RECAP: KNOW THE WORD! based on 2 Timothy 2:14-16, 3:1-5, 3:16-4:5
It is no secret that the larger church in the United States is dying. Yet, there have been seasons of church renewal throughout history, starting with the early church up through revival movements in our day. What marks a church that is dying compared to a church that is becoming alive? According to a survey conducted by Pew Research in 2022, 54% of church attendees read the Bible less than twice a year! If you break it down by subcategory, the mainline Protestants read their Bible less than twice a year 70% of the time! However, every renewal movement in history has coincided with a refocus on God and a recommitment to faithful study and observance of the Bible. No wonder why the church in the United States is dying!
When Paul wrote the letter of 2 Timothy, he had already received his sentence of death. So when he wrote this letter to Timothy, it was the last words, what he most wanted to convey. He spoke of a time that was to come that would lead to the death and destruction of the people of God. Each of these arises when we do not faithfully follow the Word! What should we watch out for? What traps should we avoid?
- Godless chatter and quarreling about words (2:14, 16). Instead of focusing on the Bible, the time will come (and is here!) when people focus more on issues, topics, and agendas. It will be a time that distracts our focus from what matters most: Jesus, truth, salvation, and our mission and question God’s very word. Watch out for the redefinition of terms away from what God intended. In Paul’s day, it was terms such as light, love, knowledge, and elect. Today, it is new light, love, salvation, and child of God. Watch out for human reason being used in place of God’s reason! When this happens, our feelings and logic become a higher authority than God.
- Form of godliness, but denying its power (3:1-5). In the last days, there will be an abandonment of virtue and truth. But it will also be a time when people have a form of godliness, but no power. In other words, there is religion, but no relationship with Jesus. Paul warned of those who look like saints on the outside, but there is no Jesus in the heart. Watch out for those who claim God’s approval for their sinful lifestyle. God does not change, nor does his standard of holiness change. What was true for Adam and Eve is still true for us.
- Rejection of sound doctrine (4:3). Humanity does not want to hear the truth of the Word of God, for truth brings about conviction, and conviction means we must change. Instead, people will cover their ears and scream at the top of their lungs to drown out sound teaching, as Paul witnessed with Steven as recorded in Acts 7. God’s Word will not align with popular theology and current culture. God will not change his mind on his standards of holiness just because we think in 2023 that we know better! The truth is Jesus is the only way to salvation, that we need to repent of our sins, and take up our cross to follow after him! And culture will try to silence the truth.
- Manipulation of truth (4:4). Paul warned of a time when people will hear only what they want to hear. Instead of listening to the truth of the Word of God, they will gather support from the outside world to hear what sounds good, to itch their ears! Watch out for myths, which sound like God’s Word but are a human manipulation!
But we are able to watch out and overcome if we know the Word! And if we know the Word, we will move from the path of death to life.
Correctly handle the Word of truth (2:15). Show yourselves to be a workman approved by God by regular investment and study of the Word. We can correctly handle the Word if we have been trained to read it, study it, and allow it to shape our lives.
Have nothing to do with such people (3:5). Keep the influences that do not strive for a relationship with God at a distance. If entanglements with others speak more into our lives than God, we will eventually gravitate toward those who might have a form of godliness, but deny its power. Keep them at a distance!
Be shaped by the inspired Word (3:16-17). God is the divine author; to reject the Word is to reject God himself! Instead, allow the Word to teach us how to live. Sometimes, the Word rebukes us, slapping us in the face when we mess up. At other times, the Word corrects us by pointing us to the truth so we know when we are in error. The Word can train us how to live the righteous life that God desires and will equip us to fulfill our call.
Preach the Word, no matter what (4:2, 5). In every season, in every circumstance, we need to share the Word of God. Instead of being silent, we need to speak the truth, for it will only be the truth that will dispel the lie.
The world wants us to compromise and play games. For years the church has bought in, stopped reading and knowing the Word, and has fallen for the form of godliness, godless chatter, and as a result, have rejected sound doctrine and manipulated the truth. But let us know the Word, restore our zeal for and study of the Word, and watch what God can do in our day, in our time!
Questions for Reflection
1) Why is it important to regularly study the Bible? How can it reveal what is godless chatter?
2) Why is it very difficult to have a vibrant life of faith if you have a form of godliness, but no power?
3) What is one example you see in our world today, or in the church today, where there has been a rejection of sound doctrine or manipulation of truth?
4) Why is it important to watch who you allow to speak into your life?
5) Why do we need to restore the Word to a place of authority? How can it help shape our lives?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will begin the study in the discipline of meditation with the sermon titled, “The Two Paths”, based on Psalm 1:1-6. What are the two roads we can take in life? And what role does meditation play? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 27 – July 3
June 27: 1 Timothy 6:3-16 Why is it important to study and follow the Word?
June 28: 2 Timothy 2:1-7 How should we diligently study the Word?
June 29: 2 Timothy 2:14-26 How should we live what we study in the Word?
June 30: 2 Timothy 3:1-16 Why is it important to study the Word?
July 1: 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Why is it important to study the Word?
July 2: Romans 1:16-17 What does it mean to be not ashamed of the gospel?
July 3: Romans 1:18-23 Why is humanity without an excuse?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, July 2–First Sunday Breakfast @ 8:45 am; First Sunday offering–Habitat for Humanity
Sunday, July 2–Get Out Of Your Head Bible Study Resumes, 4 pm @ Melissa Poulson’s home (see email for address if you attend the study once it comes out)
Thursday, July 20–Leadership Team Meeting
Friday, August 11 – Sunday, August 13–Church Retreat @ Natural Chimney’s
Sunday, August 13–Children’s Church begins
Study– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
This week, your challenge is to read the books of 1 & 2 Peter (eight chapters). For each chapter you read, answer the following questions:
1) What is something new you learned in the reading today?
2) How is the passage challenging you to grow in your faith?
3) How can you better live out your faith in light of what you just read?
We will have our next Vespers of the summer on Sunday, July 30, at 6 pm. We will have a simple meal together, sing some camp-song favorites, have a fellowship activity, and share together in God’s Word. These have been very enjoyable in the past, so I encourage you to come attend!
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).
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!
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. But before the class can investigate bus prices and total cost, we want to gauge the true interest in the church. We have had several express interest and are trying to the best package for us as a church body. If you are interested and would like to be considered for this one-day event next year, please contact the office or let Pastor Ryan know in the next few weeks.
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 & Carolyn Wine
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (health)
Emma Eckard (safe travels)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Alma Long (recovery)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Norma Samalot (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church