RECAP: A CALLING BODY–based on Acts 13:1-3; Acts 14:21-28
I think it is safe to say that most of us have never had a theophany, a visible manifestation of God, calling us to serve him or his kingdom. Moses had a burning bush. Isaiah had a vision. Paul had a blinding light. But most of us have never had such an experience. In fact, if God would to speak to us, would we recognize it or hear it? Would we know it is God? How would we be sure? And how would we know what he is calling us to do?
We have been looking over the last several weeks at the Acts church, specifically the congregation at Antioch. Here was a congregation that had five leaders. Yet they were able to not only recognize the call of God, but act upon it! How did this church accomplish this? And can we do the same? The church was successful in being a calling body because they did three things very well:
1) Listened for the call. They intentionally carved out an atmosphere where they could hear God speak. They spent regular time in worship and prayer. They worshipped and fasted. They came together for the whole body to focus on God. In doing so, they drowned out the competing voices and could hear God clearly.
Do we have an intentional space to listen for God? Do we come together, seeking the will of God for Beaver Creek, not in a “God’s will be done” sense, but “God, enable us to do your will”?
2) Discerned the call. Once they heard the voice of God, they tested it to make sure it was truly God’s voice. They tested it with more fasting and prayer. They discerned it as a community, making sure all heard the call. They examined it against the word of God. They also tested the need: is this truly a need for this time? Surely the gospel needed to go to the Roman Empire! But they also tested the individuals: are Barnabas and Paul the right men for the task? They had to be strong, well learned, and stubborn. After all, they were stoned, left for dead, but got up and went right back into the town to continue preaching!
Do we have the right tools to test God’s will? Romans 12:1-2–offer your body as a living sacrifice. Break your dependence on the world, and renew your mind by the Holy Spirit.
3) Recognized the call in others. Paul and Barnabas received the original call. Yet they could not be the pastors of every church they planted in the Roman Empire. As they traveled, they recognized in the new believers who had the gifts of teaching and leadership, and tapped them on the shoulder. They then empowered and called them to continue the work.
More often than not, we serve because someone has come beside us and tapped us on the shoulder and recognized our gifts. My great-grandmother and grandmother did that for me. My congregation as a youth did that for me. And Scott Duffey did that for me in a season of my life when I had thrown in the towel.
This church continued to thrive and grow because they created an environment where they listened for God, tested what they heard, and recognized the call in others. Whose shoulder can we tap? Are we listening? Who knows where God can lead!
Questions for reflection
1) In what ways do you carve intentional room to hear the voice of God?
2) What needs do you see exist in our church? Our community?
3) Who is someone in the congregation that you think has a gift or call? In what area?
4) Are you willing to tap that person on the shoulder and encourage them to get involved?
Pastor Ryan is on vacation this week. John Wright will be bringing forth the message titled, “Grace vs. Works,” based upon Ephesians 2:4-9.
Daily Bible Readings for July 28 – August 3
July 28: Ephesians 4:11-16 Why does God give different people different gifts?
July 29: 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Who does God bring together to become the body of Christ?
July 30: 1 Corinthians 3:1-17 How are we fellow laborers in Christ?
July 31: Matthew 25:14-30 How can this parable speak to calling and investment?
August 1: 2 Timothy 1:3-14 What was the fruit of Paul’s empowerment of Timothy?
August 2: Matthew 7:15-23 What does Jesus teach about works and salvation?
August 3: Matthew 20:1-16 What is the relationship between works and grace?
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
We will take the month of July and August off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We will resume Bible study in September!
Before church closed for COVID, we had begun to announce a baptism and membership class (for transfer of membership). So for we have two that have expressed interest. If you are interested in either, or even if you recently became a member without the class and would like more of what it means to be a member of Beaver Creek, please let Pastor Ryan or Tess know you would like to take the class. Once there is enough interest, more specifics will be shared at that time. Classes will be on Sunday evenings at 7 pm in pastor’s office, beginning August 9 and ending September 13. If you would like to be a part, let Pastor Ryan know ASAP!
Call to Prayer
As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, it starts with us as the church in fervent prayer and leading the way of repentance. September 18-28 has been called as a ten day season of repentance. On Saturday, June 26, there will be a national day of prayer for our nation. Let us take that day and time to pray!
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.
Mary Batterman–(recovering at home, provide a meal at this link: www.TakeThemAMeal.com/XHOZ8636.)
Betty Miller — (Roger & Nancy Simmons’ neighbor, hospital)
Rhoda Phifer — (Dan Rhodes’ mother-in-law, injury)
Tami Plaugher — (health) great report last week!
Dan Rhodes — (health, recovering from surgery)
Lottie Ritchie — (health, Sandy Bennington’s mother, at Lifecare)
Evy Kaye Sandin — (health, surgery August 6)
Chris Shirk — (Reba’s brother, health-testing)
Louise Shirkey — (loss, in the passing of her brother, Andrew Brookman)
David Simmons — (health)
Grayson Whitmore — (recovery)
Tom Wilfong — (recovery)
Charles Wright — (health)
John Wright — (health, surgery August 4).
Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB