HEART OF WORSHIP based on Micah 6:6-8
Why do we worship God? Why is he a part of our lives? We may have many different reasons why we worship God, but the two primary motivations that inspire us to worship tend to be thankfulness and fear. When we are thankful, we acknowledge how God has worked in our lives and are grateful for the relationship we have with him. Those who worship out of thankfulness tend to be more filled with joy, have a deep strength in the midst of adversity, have an assurance of their final destination, and tend to not give into sin.
However, those who worship out of fear come to God because they are afraid they can never please God. Instead of joy, life is filled with worry, wondering if they will ever be good enough for God. There is little assurance of a final destination, wondering if they have “done enough” to get into heaven. In seasons of trouble, they struggle and fall into sin and compromise more easily.
Thankfulness draws us closer to a relationship with God. Fear keeps a relationship with God at a distance. When we are thankful, we come to God in worship as an opportunity to build our faith and find our souls refreshed. But when we are motivated by fear, we tend to find ourselves trying to earn salvation or impress God to gain his favor. This is where Israel was in the time of Micah. We see this in the opening question: “With what shall I come to the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?” (6:6a) Israel looked to earn God’s salvation and favor with three errors:
a) Focusing on the ritual (6:6b). They focused on all the aspects of the practice of religion but lost the heart of it. They kept the fasts, the feasts, the sacrifices, the purity laws, the cleanliness laws, and the kosher laws. They regularly attended temple services. Yet that was as far as their relationship with God went. You can do all the church things, but be far from God.
b) Focusing on the contributions (6:7a). They also believed they could earn God’s favor through contributions of oil and rams. In other words, they tried to appease and bargain with God by lavishing him with gifts, just like Cain did in Genesis 4. Yet God is not impressed with gifts if it is given out of a guilty heart or manipulation to get something. A gift given in love is the best gift given, expecting nothing in return. We can’t buy the favor of God.
c) Focusing on good deeds (6:7b). We can do all the good deeds in the world, but if we are only doing the deeds to win God’s approval, we are doing it for the wrong reason. Many believed the deeds earned the favor of God. But Jesus even warned of a day when people will list their deeds to him, but he will acknowledge there is no relationship and they need to depart (see Matt 7:21-23). When we focus on deeds to get God’s approval, we are still showing it is about us, not God!
So how do we correct these errors and move from worship because of fear to thankfulness? What will please God? What does God require of us? Micah answers with one of the most famous Scriptures of the whole Bible, Micah 6:8:
1) God has shown us what is good. That which is good is that which is according to God’s standard and God’s character. If we are in a relationship with God and strive to walk with him, we need to take on his standards and character in our lives. Our lives will gravitate toward holiness. All is truly good when we are at peace in our relationship with God. We will live right, love right, and serve right, so all can be made right.
2) Act justly. We can’t just sit on the sidelines; rather, we need to be actively involved in living out of our faith. We are to act on mishpat, God’s justice. This is not the justice of humanity, but rather justice defined by God–which is a restoration of the way things were supposed to be before the curse of sin entered the world. Do we take on social justice issues like looking out for children and the elderly? Absolutely! But we also pursue things that reject sin and work toward reconciliation between God and humanity!
3) Love mercy. To love is to be committed and devoted to; there is no ounce of selfishness in true love! the cause is hesed, God’s unchanging unfailing love rooted in compassion, reconciliation, and redemption. Can we see people as God sees them? Can we work toward providing opportunities for all humanity to have a relationship with God? Are we willing to be devoted to that relationship ourselves?
4) Walk humbly with our God. To walk is to follow a path, to pay attention to our daily living and the trajectory of our lives. But we are to be humble in doing so. The word here in Hebrew is a recognition of who we are in comparison to God. Instead of trying to become like God (the sin in the garden), we recognize that God is God, and we are his creation. Instead of striving to become God, we desire to know God and be in harmony with him, walking together in the cool of the day.
Notice the theme? The answer is relationship and living as God originally intended for humanity to live. As we do so, we will find assurance, growing more and more thankful for our God and coming to him in worship instead of fear. Will we take Micah’s advice?
Questions for Reflection
1) Do you worship God out of thankfulness or fear? Why? If out of fear–what can help you move from fear to thankfulness?
2) Which error do you find yourself believing about pleasing God?
3) How can you make your relationship with God “good” this week?
4) How can you work toward God’s mishpat this week?
5) What is your current commitment to mercy? How can you increase that this week?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the discipline of service with the sermon titled, “True Religion”, based on James 1:26-27 and 2:14-26. Why is service essential for a person of faith? Come or tune in on Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for October 3 – October 9
October 3: Matthew 5:38-42 How does service to an evil person transform lives?
October 4: Matthew 5:43-48 How does service to an enemy transform lives?
October 5: Matthew 6:1-4 Why are motives important in service?
October 6: Matthew 8:1-4 How did Jesus’ act of service impact a life?
October 7: Matthew 8:5-17 How did Jesus’ act of service impact lives?
October 8: Matthew 8:28-34 How did Jesus’ act of service impact lives?
October 9: Matthew 9:1-8 How did Jesus’ act of service impact lives?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, October 3–Women’s Fellowship @ 1 pm
Wednesday, October 4–Outreach Team Meeting @ Smiley’s, 7 pm
Sunday, October 8–Children’s Church during service
Sunday, October 8–Love Feast @ 5 pm
Monday, October 9–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Saturday, October 14–Fall Festival, 9 am setup, 10 am – 1 pm event
Sunday, October 22–Congregational Business Meeting & Chili Cook Off after church
Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4–Beaver Creek Cares
Service– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
This month’s spiritual discipline is service. Service starts with the right heart, not doing good deeds for recognition, but because we love God.
You have two challenges this month. First, sign up for at least one service project, either at the church or in the community, to be completed between now and the end of the year. Second, submit to pastor Ryan at least one service idea or impactful way we can make a difference in the community before the year is done.
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 5,000 pieces of candy! To date, we have received about 3,500 pieces. We need about 2,000 more pieces at a minimum!
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. We need three more volunteers to help with games, two more volunteers to help in the kitchen, and a few to help with setup AT 9 AM. 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. We also would love some donations of snack cakes (Little Debbies, Hostess, etc.), and one pot each of mac & cheese, baked beans, chili, and nacho cheese. If you are willing to donate any of these, please call the office and let us know!
We need as many people as possible to know! I have attached the flyer for the event. Share it with your friends and neighbors–especially if they have young children!
Beaver Creek has updated its social media page. Please follow and share so as many people can hear what is going on at Beaver Creek! You can find the pages as follows:
Our next Love Feast will take place on Sunday, October 8 at 5 pm. Will love to see you there!
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!
Beaver Creek Cares
Beaver Creek Cares will take place on Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4. We will meet for dinner at 6 pm on Friday, then have a vespers service. The youth and friends will shop for Operation Christmas Child in the evening. Saturday morning we will gather for breakfast around 9 am, assemble the shoe boxes, sort and package the donations for Strength in Peers, assemble the gifts for our local teachers, assemble the exam kits for our college students, and clean up trash. At 2 pm we will gather at White Birch for bingo.
In the coming days, you will receive the donation list for Strength in Peers. The note cards for the items for the exam kits will be available beginning Sunday, October 15.
Misti has placed a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board to assist with the backpacks. If you are willing to help, please sign up this week!
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
Children’s Church is this Sunday, October 8!
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)
Norma Cunningham (recovery)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Cora Henkel (COVID)
Bob Hess (health)
Reba Kline (recovery)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Ruth Luce (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (recovery)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Shelby Simmons (foot)
Roger Simmons (recovery)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (recovery)
Kenny Wheelbarger (recovery from injury)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church