RECAP: PURE AND HOLY–based on 1 Peter 1:13-2:3
When I was a youth, many of my peers wanted to be like Mike. After all, Michael Jordan was the best and greatest basketball player to ever play! We bought Nikes, wearing his shoe. We bought Sprite to quench our thirst. We ate Wheaties so we could be big and strong. And for my generation, it motivated us to become someone greater than we were.
What if we took that same level of devotion that we had to be like Mike and used it to be like Christ? What if we strove to be a perfect imitation of Jesus? What would happen to us? What would change in our lives, our community, and our world? Jesus we know was the Son of God. He lived a pure and holy life and died for our sins; without that sinless life, we would have no hope. But how can we possibly even become pure and holy? Even though we will never be sinless, we could still strive to live a pure and holy life. Peter gives us eight areas that we could target:
1) Prepare our minds for action. Literally, the image of preparation takes its roots from the first Passover–the people were “ready to go” at a moment’s notice. Likewise, if we want to be like Christ, we need to be able to trust the leading of the Spirit. But how do we get there? Peter declared through self-control. The word image here is literally that of sobriety; we should be disciplined enough to say no to those things that will drag us down and yes to God. But we grow through discipline by putting practices in place that help us draw closer to him.
2) Do not conform. Peter encourages the believer to not give in under pressure. The world will squeeze us and try to pressure us to conform. Temptation knocks at the door of our heart. Our old way of living tries to come to the surface. But we should not give in; instead, we should remove ourselves from situations that might cause us to compromise our faith.
3) Be holy. Just as God is holy, so we should be holy. One aspect of holiness is perfection and a sinless life. We will never achieve this as long as we live on this earth because we are a fallen humanity. But the better translation here in the text is to “become” holy. The root of holiness is being “set apart.” We should set ourselves apart from the sinful ways and strive to become closer to Christ. That means as we are cleaned, we need to pull ourselves away from the mud!
4) Break the attachment with the world. Peter encouraged us to not live for the world, but live in reverent fear of God. The image here is a dog on a leash; a dog will only go as far as the leash allows it to go. When we are attached to the world, we allow the world’s system to control the slack on the leash of our lives. But if we want to be like Christ, we need to cut the leash so we can fully follow after God. The world will allow us to follow up to a point, but if we want to truly follow, we need to cut that leash!
5) Obey the truth. Today we have competing voices of truth. Some say there is no absolute truth. Others say what is true is only what you deem to be true. Still others say that you should doubt everything you are told, for it is all a lie. But truth can be found in the Holy Word of God. Jesus constantly pointed back to the words of Scripture. If we want to be like him, we need to both pursue the truth and obey it–to fully commit to keeping it. But we only will do so if we are reading it and following it, even if we are alone in doing so.
6) Love one another deeply. Christ loved us so deeply, that he gave everything he had for us, like an athlete that strains for the finish line. So too if we want to be like Christ, to become pure and holy, we need to love the same way. We should give of ourselves wholly to everyone, believing all can encounter the love of Jesus.
7) Cleanse yourself. You will only be clean and smell good if you bathe or shower. You can stand under water all day, but we need the soap to capture the “dirt” so we can wash it away. As we become more like Christ, those things that are dirt or “trash” in our lives will rise to the surface. What do we do when they show up? We should cleanse ourselves, wash it away, and remove it from our lives. We don’t want to hoard the garbage!
8) Crave spiritual nourishment. When we remove the trash, the junk, the unhealthy habits from our lives, we need to replace it with wholeness and goodness. We need to constantly fill ourselves up with God, like Jesus would refill himself in times of fasting and prayer.
If we want to become like Jesus, it will require work and effort. I could want to become like Mike all day long, but unless I put in the same amount of work, I would never get there. But if we begin to strive to be like Jesus, work on these eight areas, we will find ourselves becoming more like him, striving more for purity and becoming more holy. Be like Jesus!
Questions for reflection
1) What disciplines do you have in place to grow in faith?
2) Do you have any unhealthy areas that you feel attached to the world? In what ways can you sever that attachment?
3) What steps do you think you can take to become more holy?
4) What are some of your favorite Scriptures that you can anchor your life on?
Pastor Ryan will continue the series, Faithfulness Under Fire, with the sermon titled, “A Royal Priesthood,” based upon 1 Peter 2:4-12. What is supposed to be the legacy of the church, especially one under fire? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for October 20 – 26
October 20: Joshua 7 What was the penalty for a violation of that which was holy?
October 21: 2 Samuel 6:1-10 Why was Uzzah slain?
October 22: Ezekiel 23 What was the price of Israel’s lack of purity?
October 23: Hebrews 6:1-8 Why is it important to be holy?
October 24: Hebrews 12:14-17 Why is holiness important?
October 25: Hebrews 4:14-5:7 What was the role of Jesus as our priest?
October 26: Hebrews 7:11-28 How was Jesus our priest?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, October 21–Ministry Team Meeting, 6:30 pm
Sunday, October 25–Bible Study, 6:30 pm
Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29–District Conference events via Zoom
Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting
Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7–Beaver Creek Cares Weekend
Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service
Sunday, November 22–Stewardship Sunday
Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Church Decorating
Places to Serve (from the Gifts and Calling Team):
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve on the following teams: Worship, Outreach, Fellowship, and Finance. If you are willing to serve, please contact Brad Eckard, Jeanette Hess, or Phyllis Simmons.
Beaver Creek Cares
We still will hold Beaver Creek cares on Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7. However, it will look a little different this year! More details are to come, but one of the projects we will do is a collection for Strength in Peers. They are an outreach literally on the streets of Rockingham and Page counties, as well as Harrisonburg City, to meet the needs of the homeless. For the next few weeks there will be a box in the narthex to collect the following goods:
Non-perishable food items: Nabs, etc.
Disposable rain ponchos
Feminine Hygiene products
Lotion or sunscreen
Tylenol or Advil
Shaving cream & disposable razors
Band-aids or small first aid kits
Slightly used backpacks
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).
Bible Study will continue on Sunday, October 25th at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87612237258
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
6) Restoration of the national church
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.
Church Decoration/Ornament Exchange
Right after church on Sunday, November 29th, we will decorate the church for the season. We will also have a modified ornament exchange on that day, again, right after church. More details to follow.
Congregational Business Meeting
We will meet immediately after service on Sunday, November 1, to approve the budget, the ballot, one amendment, and receive reports. It is also Daylight Savings, so please remember the time change!
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!
More details will be coming soon, but the Outreach Team has agreed to lead the creation of Sunshine Boxes for our members in long term care facilities.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Mary Batterman (health)
Regina Harlow (recovery)
Eli Harlow (recovery)
Heath Kimmell (Reba and Garry’s son-in-law)–health
LaDawn Knicely (recovery)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Pam Shaffer (Mary Batterman’s daughter–health)
Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB