RECAP–Abiding in the Light–based on 1 John 2:3-11
The epistle of 1 John was written to the church at Ephesus. This was the church that Paul spent more time at than any other church in all of his missionary travels (Acts 19). This was the church that sent its elders to pray over Paul before he made his final journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20). This is the church that Timothy eventually became the leader of. This was a church that was as solid as they could be.
But by the time of the book of Revelation, they were a church that had lost its first love, admonished by God to return to the heights from which it had fallen. With the letter also came a warning: unless you return, God would remove its lampstand–the light within (see Rev 2:1-7). How did this vibrant church in the late 50’s and early 60’s end up by the mid 90’s a church that had lost its love for God and a church that the light within had dimmed? In short, they were under attack from all sides. It is no wonder why Paul encouraged this church to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)! They were under attack from Rome, for Domitian was far more ruthless than Nero, killing anyone in the Colosseum who refused to acknowledge Caesar as lord. They were also under attack theologically from the Gnostics, who claimed they had a special “light” within. Their confidence was shaken. They questioned their own light within, and, under pressure, faded.
We too live in a day where we are constantly under pressure. We face pressure from our culture to conform to its standards. What happens when we do not adopt the values of our culture? Likewise, we also are facing theological pressures as well, as new theologies question traditional beliefs. It is easy to become discouraged or question whether we are still following God. But to this, John writes to the church and to us today to answer the important question: How can we know we are abiding in the light?
1) Obey God’s Word. We show that we truly love God by obeying his Word completely and fully. To obey God’s word is really difficult, and it takes a change of heart to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word challenges us at our core, asking us to do things that go completely against human nature and our culture. We fall into the trap of picking and choosing which Scriptures to follow. Obedience becomes reduced to a “have to” instead of a “want to.” But the one who will thrive is the one who hears the Word and obeys it, acting upon it.
Disobedience, on the other hand, snuffs out the light. For when we begin to question the very Word of God, we can become blown by every wind and wave and teaching that is out there.
2) Live Like Jesus. John encourages us to walk as Jesus did. Jesus was selfless, always open to the needs around him. He was pure, living a sinless life. He was full of grace and compassion. He refused to compromise. He was committed to times of prayer and refreshing and devoted to the will of the Father. And he was obedient even unto death! Do we embody the character of Jesus within? The early church was called “Christian” because they were “little Christs,” embodying his very nature.
Or do we live for ourselves, meeting our own needs apart from God? Do we compromise because we don’t want to sacrifice?
3) Love. We are asked to love our brother–in the same manner Jesus loved us. Who is our brother? Everyone. No one is excluded from the act of the cross. Anyone can receive it–if they are willing to accept it! You only can prove love by your actions!
Hatred, unfortunately, kills the light within. And we live in a time where hatred reigns supreme. It grieves me how much on social media those who profess Christ show hatred toward their fellow human beings by attacking those who hold different views, or name-calling, or condemning to hell. But the way of love is the way of brokenness and compassion, crying out for mercy on behalf of the very ones we oppose!
How do we know we are abiding in the light in a time where we are under fire and the world is enveloped in darkness? Obey God’s Word. Live Like Jesus. Love. If we do, our lights will shine bright!
Questions for reflection
1) What discourages you the most about the time we are living in?
2) What Scripture is the most challenging for you to obey? Why?
3) What characteristic of Jesus is the most difficult to emulate?
4) Who is the most difficult person for you to love? How can you show that person Christ’s love?
Pastor Ryan will continue the In the Light series with the sermon titled, “The Crafty Three” based on 1 John 2:15-17. What three things does Satan use to rob from us the fullness of life? And why is loving the world so very dangerous? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for February 2 – 8
February 2: John 10:11-21 What else can keep us in darkness?
February 3: John 10:22-42 How can we keep ourselves blind?
February 4: John 11:1-16 What keeps us from seeing Christ fully?
February 5: John 11:17-37 To what truth does Jesus want to open our eyes?
February 6: John 11:38-57 What ultimately will plunge us into darkness and keep us blind?
February 7: John 12:1-11 What robbed Judas of the spiritual blessing?
February 8: John 12:12-19 What truth about Jesus did the Pharisees miss? What robbed them?
This Week’s Events:
Today–Women’s Fellowship @ 6:30 pm (subject to change)
Wednesday, February 10–Worship Team Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 14–Congregational Business Meeting @ 12 pm
Tuesday, February 16–Sunday Night Live Planning Meeting @ 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 17–Ministry Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm
Thursday, February 18–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
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).
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
Congregational Business Meeting
Our next Congregational Business Meeting will be on February 14th immediately after service. Reports are available in the narthex of the church AND in the church office. If you would like to pick a packet up, just swing by the church office while it is open.
After Easter, we will embark on a new series of our favorite hymns. We will spend 10 Sundays looking at our top ten favorite hymns. But we want your input! Please either put your hymns on a piece of paper and place it in the brown box in the narthex, call it into the office, or send Pastor Ryan an email/text with your favorite hymns. SO FAR, I have only received six submissions. I really would love for everyone to make their submission by February 28th!
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.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Mail your tithe into the church office **PLEASE NOTE: We have had several days of no mail, and also some reports of mail being stolen on our street.
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 at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Janet Good (health)
Lee Harlow (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Mary Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ashley & Andrea (COVID)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Stanley Suter (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB