SURRENDER OF CHARACTER based on Ephesians 5:1-20
There are many around the world who claim to follow Jesus, but how do we know who is the one who really is following? Too often there are contradictory realities that create confusion and chaos. This is nothing new, for Paul also saw this struggle taking place in Ephesus. The church had become such a melting pot of ideology that it was hard to discern who Jesus really was and it was difficult to differentiate between believers and those who did not believe in their community. This is also the reality we experience in our day! So how do we know who is the real Christian? We need to become an imitator of God! To imitate is to mimic, or study one’s life, actions and character so closely that the imitator can closely copy the original. Paul’s challenge to the church is to become such an imitator of Christ–that everything we are looks like him so we can be the “little Christs” that we are called to be!
But how do we imitate Christ?
- Strive for purity in every sphere (5:3-5). Jesus was sinless, the perfect lamb who was able to become the sacrifice for our sins. To be perfect meant to be unstained by the evils of this world, to be unique and stand out. We will never be sinless or perfect on this side of eternity. But we can strive for purity in our relationships, abstaining from all forms of sexual immorality and returning to God’s design of expressed sexuality only within the confines of a marriage relationship (one man, one woman). We can strive for purity in our speech, watching closely what comes from our mouths, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. We can strive for purity in our motivation, acting not out of lust, selfishness, greed, or idolatry, but for the welfare of others. In these ways we would stand out from culture, showing there is a higher and different way.
- Guard your ears and your hearts (5:6-7). It becomes easier to stray when we surround ourselves with voices that speak against God or tempt us away from the life God desires for us. We need to watch carefully the teaching we receive and who we allow to speak into our lives. Can we find the boldness to say “Get behind me Satan?” to anyone who tries to move us from God’s will? Are we willing to not waver because God’s Word is what we will follow?
- Walk in the light, not in the darkness (5:8-14). We cannot walk in the light and dark at the same time. We should have no fellowship with darkness. Rather, we should bear the fruit of the light, focusing on what is good, righteous, true, and that which pleases God. As we walk in the light, we should expose darkness and all secret sins.
- Follow God’s lead (5:15-18). We should seek first the kingdom of God. Take heed to your path and make sure you walk in the way of wisdom. We do so by taking the time to understand God’s will, by refusing to conform to the pattern of this world and being transformed instead by the renewal of our minds. This comes as we are filled with the Spirit, not with spirits or other forms that distract us from living for God.
- Speak life (5:19-20). Our mouths should be filled with praise of God in every circumstance, and gratitude should be our focus. We should be among the most positive individuals, turning everything back to God and allowing him to guide our lives.
People need to see Jesus today. If we imitate God by doing these things, we will stand out from the world and show there is a difference and a savior who has come to set them free!
Questions for Reflection
1) In which area of purity (relationships, speech, motivation) do you need to allow God to work to become more like him? What steps can you take to improve in that arena?
2) Do you have solid friends of faith who speak into your life? If not, pray that God will send you one or you will discover one.
3) In what ways do we still walk in darkness? How can we expose it and bring it to the light?
4) What distractions do we face that keep us from following God wholeheartedly?
5) How often do we praise God outside of church?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will conclude the study in the discipline of submission with the sermon titled, “Submission in the Battle”, based on 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Corinthians 10:11-13, and James 1:12-16. All of us face a spiritual battle. How can we come out victorious? How can we resist temptation? Come or tune in on Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for September 19 – 25
September 19: Genesis 32:22-32 How did God teach submission to Jacob?
September 20: Genesis 41:39-57 How did Joseph submit to Pharaoh?
September 21: Exodus 1:15-21 When is it permissible to not submit to governing authorities?
September 22: Exodus 18:11-27 How did Moses’ submission to Jethro empower him to become a better leader?
September 23: Exodus 32:7-35 What were the consequences of the lack of submission to God?
September 24: Leviticus 10:1-20 What were the consequences of a lack of spiritual submission?
September 25: Leviticus 26:1-13 What are the blessings of submission?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, September 21–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Sunday, September 24–Children’s Church
Monday, September 25–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Sunday, October 8–Love Feast
Saturday, October 14–Fall Festival, 9 am – 12 pm
Sunday, October 22–Congregational Business Meeting & Chili Cook Off after church
Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4–Beaver Creek Cares
Submission– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
Submission is the discipline of bringing and ordering our lives fully under the mission of God. This week, we will look at our practice of submission in keeping with the sermon. Are we being a great imitator of Jesus?
Reflect on the following questions:
Does how we live match the lifestyle and teachings of Jesus?
Does who we allow to speak into our lives draw us closer to God?
Is our life more consistent with the light or with darkness?
Do we seek first the kingdom of God and follow his lead?
Do we speak life in any and every circumstance?
Take your honesty before God and ask him to mold you and shape you to be more a reflection of Jesus!
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 CANDY
Our Fall Festival is slated for Saturday, October 14. As the date approaches, we will have a call for volunteers for the specific stations again. But for now, we need candy! We use the fun-sized, trick-or-treat-sized pieces of candy for the prizes for the games. We need both chocolate and non-chocolate options. A box will be placed in the narthex of the church. Please bring some donations of candy and place them in the box. The more we have, the more we can bless the children of our community! We need approximately 5000 pieces of candy! To date, we have only received about 800 pieces.
Fall Festival will take place on Saturday, October 14 from 10 am until 1 pm. Several of you volunteered last year to help with food and/or games, and several of you have already spoken with someone from the Outreach Team. If you would like to help (set up, games, food, clean up), please let me know or call the office with the area you would like to help in.
Our next Love Feast will take place on Sunday, October 8. Details will be coming soon!
Chili, Soup, & Dessert Cook-off and Council Meeting
Our next council meeting will take place on Sunday, October 22 after church. We will start with the chili, soup, and dessert cook-off. Then, we will have our meeting and announce the winners at the end. In the narthex and attached to this email are two proposed changes to our Constitution and Bylaws. Please read over them carefully!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story) if you want to serve.
CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY
There is no children’s church this Sunday. It will resume the following Sunday, September 24.
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 to 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) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller & Carolyn Wine
Keep Evy Kaye’s friend Mary Beth and Tami Plaugher’s friend Vicki as they both are wrestling with cancer.
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Reba Kline (surgery)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (recovery)
Savannah Miller (health)
Moore Family (condolences)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (surgery)
Kenny Wheelbarger (injury)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Bill Wood (recovery)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church