RECAP: REND YOUR HEART based on Joel 2:12-17
Lent is synonymous with the discipline of confession. But why do we confess to God? Is it just a means to get out of hell, or to shorten the length of time we spend in purgatory? Is it to get out of trouble? Or is it something we do simply because we got caught?
Israel knew the art and practice of confession, as prescribed by the Law. Yet God was not pleased with their confession, because it was reduced to a ritual and was not from the heart. What is the type of confession that God seeks?
- Repentance and return (Joel 2:12-14). Repentance means changing our direction, not only not repeating the same sins but taking steps in the opposite direction away from our sins and following after God. That means we have to return to the LORD with all our hearts. Maybe the reason we see difficulty and strife is that we refuse to surrender to God. Otherwise, we are simply saying “I’m sorry” to escape the consequences, but we really are not truly ready to confess our sins.
- Rend our heats (Joel 2:13). A confession show will not bring reconciliation; for if we are not truly sorry and broken, we are simply being fake. Israel did a great job rending their garments, putting on the sackcloth and ashes, but not dealing with their heart. But we should rend our hearts because sin breaks our relationship with God and those we love. Our relationship with God should matter above everything else. If we do not care about the effects of our sins on God and those we love, we need to check our hearts!
- Rededication and consecration (Joel 2:15-16). We should take confession seriously and every attempt to make things right. Joel encouraged the community of Israel to call a sacred assembly to rededicate and consecrate. Yes, we should acknowledge our sin, but that is only half of confession; rather, we need to also confess to something that we will do instead. Confession should be a commitment to a holy life, to rededicate to a life that follows after Christ and strives to live in holiness and righteousness.
- Remorse for our sins (Joel 2:17). We should feel the pain of the damage that sin causes. For not only does sin affect our relationship with God, but with people around us. Do we weep for the sins committed, how the consequences of our choices have changed the trajectory of our lives? Do we understand that the body of Christ affects the salvation of the world? When the lost see the church, they will either see a portrait of Jesus that can bring salvation and freedom, or a portrait that minimizes the impact of sin.
True confession brings freedom. But confession must be heartfelt. Let us be people of true confession!
Questions for Reflection
1) Of what sin in your life do you need to repent? How can you return to God with your whole heart in that area?
2) Do you need to restore your relationship with God? Are there people you need to reconcile with today?
3) In what practical way can you dedicate yourself to live more wholly after God?
4) Who do you know has been damaged by a poor portrait of Christ? Can you bring a true portrait to that individual to help bring them to the one who can set free?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the discipline of confession with the sermon titled, “Corporate Confession”, based on Nehemiah 9. What are the benefits of confession as a community of faith? How can it help all of us draw closer to Christ? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for March 7 – March 13
March 7: Genesis 6:1-8 What was the Lord’s confession? What was it rooted in?
March 8: Genesis 20:1-18 How did both Abimelech’s and Abraham’s mutual confession bring restoration?
March 9: Genesis 31 What was Laban’s and Jacob’s mutual confession? How did it bring restoration?
March 10: Genesis 32:22-32 How did this incident speak to Jacob’s unwillingness to confess to his brother his sins?
March 11: Genesis 35:1-15 What was the consequence of Jacob’s confession at Bethel?
March 12: Genesis 45:1-15 What was Joseph’s confession? How did it bring restoration?
March 13: Genesis 50:15-21 What was Joseph’s confession? How did it bring restoration?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, March 7–Women’s Fellowship @ church, 1 pm
Saturday, March 11–Emma Eckard Fundraiser @ 3 pm
Monday, March 12–No Bible Study This week!
Wednesday, March 15–Outreach Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Thursday, March 16–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Friday, March 17–Community movie night @ 7 pm
Monday, March 19–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Confession– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
There are several different things we can confess. This week, focus on personal confession. Evaluate your life using the following criteria:
- Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. How are we at loving God with all we have? Are there any areas of our life that we do not give to God? That is what we should first confess.
- Love our neighbor. How are we doing at loving our neighbor? Can our neighbors see by our living and our kindness we follow after Jesus? Do we lovingly point them to Jesus?
- Love ourselves. Are we taking care of ourselves, putting ourselves in places we can spiritually grow? Are we taking care of the temple of the Holy Spirit?
- Loving our church family. Are we in harmony with our church family? Do we personally have disagreements that we need to resolve and reconcile?
- Our actions. Are we doing the right thing? Are we making sinful choices?
If we are in a correct spiritual place with God, all of these will be aligned and well. If any are out of alignment, that is the starting place for confession, so we can become aligned again in God!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story).
Fundraisers for Emma
Many of you have inquired how to help Emma achieve the funds for her mission trip. She needs to raise approximately $4500 before the trip begins. Here is how you can help:
- You can donate through the offering plate. Make the check out to the church and notate “Emma Eckard mission” on the memo line. Likewise, if you want to give cash, put it in an envelope and also mark “Emma Eckard mission” on the envelope.
- If you would like to give only, go to http://crossworld.org/give.
Click on support a disciple-maker.
Enter Emma Eckard for name and 40612 for account number
All gifts are tax-deductible.
Keep posted for more fundraising opportunities.
On Friday, February 17, there will be a movie night for free for the community. We will be showing Despicable Me. Please share the word, especially to those households you know have children, to your neighbors, and to anyone you know that has kids that also does not have a church home. We have plenty of flyers at the church; please share with your friends and neighbors! Please share these flyers with as many people as you can!
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
The Christian Education team would like to relaunch children’s church for our kids, as well as for the kids in our community without a church home. To be successful, we need six to eight volunteers who would be willing to give up one Sunday either a month or every other month to minister to our children. If you are interested, please let one of Christian Education know, email the church office, or sign up on the sign-up sheet on Sunday.
The hope is that as we build our children’s ministry, more young families will want to participate in the church.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
Eddie Baker (health)
Sandy Bennington (peace)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bonnie Sue Eckard (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Lynne Lent (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Leroy Makely family (condolences; he was Tami’s step-father; and remember Tami’s mother Ella in your prayers)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Jeff? Wilbur (health)
Cindy Wittig (surgery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Joyce Wright (knee)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church