RECAP: PASSIONATE LIVING based on Philippians 3:4b-20
Vision without passion is just words. Togetherness in a church without passion is just a good time. We understand the truth behind the statement simply by observing New Year’s resolutions: most fail within the first two months because there is no discipline and no passion. Without passion, we simply will fall flat on our face every time, no matter what we resolve or how wonderful our goal might be.
Paul was a very passionate individual. He had every reason to lose his passion for ministry: he was beaten several times, stoned, left for dead, imprisoned, and even shipwrecked all for his faith in Jesus Christ. But instead of giving up in the midst of such great adversity, he grew even more passionate and tenacious. What inspired him to passionate living? And how can we find the same kind of passion?
1) Paul understood the value of Jesus. If a choice is before us, whatever we value more is what we will choose. On a simplistic level, I may choose which vintage baseball cards to buy based upon my perceived value. Yes, a 1959 Al Kaline is far more valuable than a 1976 Johnny Bench. But when Johnny Bench is distant kin and one of my father’s favorite players of all time, when making the choice, I took the 1976 Johnny Bench because it was more valuable to me.
The same is true in the things of life that matter, such as our faith. Whatever we value most, when we have to make a choice, is what we will choose. What we value less is what we will sacrifice. Unfortunately, in the church in the United States, we choose to sacrifice our relationship with Jesus and our integrity in favor of other things. We have lost sight of the value of our salvation!
Paul had every reason to not place value in Jesus. He was the who’s who of the Jewish faith! Yet, Paul considered every one of his accomplishments as a loss compared to knowing Christ. What was more, he considered everything else as garbage. Garbage in the first century was not like garbage today. They did not have paper plates, or tv dinner trays, or plastic bottles; they even reused bones in stews and soups. The Greek word skubalon which we translate as garbage refers to that which comes out of a person: from bowel movements to menstrual discharge to vomit. Paul was able to be passionate about Jesus because everything else amounted to no more than a pile of used cat litter! How valuable is Jesus to us?
2) Paul left the past behind and looked forward to what was ahead. Paul left the past in the past and kept his eyes on the goal, the prize, the heavenly calling of Jesus. The ultimate end of his passionate journey would be to see Christ face to face and become a citizen in heaven. Because his eyes were focused on what was above, he was able to be completely passionate because nothing was holding him to his current context.
Yes, our past is important, and it shapes who we are. But too often we become trapped by our past. We feel like we have to keep the trajectory set by the past, or live up to the expectations of the past. Sometimes, we are crippled by the failures in our past. And in so dwelling on the past, we can miss what God is doing in the present and the future. What is our highest goal? If it is serving Christ, the way of Christ is the way of sacrifice, but also the way of great joy. Our citizenship is in heaven, and Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Could we dare to follow him with everything we have, even if into the unknown?
Passionate living comes from deep within, valuing Christ above everything else, considering things as garbage. It comes from not being bound by the past, but allowing Christ to lead. People need hope; the lost need to see a life of passion living for Jesus. Can we bring it to them?
Questions for Reflection
1) How much do you value your relationship with Jesus?
2) What would you say is your greatest personal goal as it relates to faith?
3) What dream can we have as Beaver Creek?
This Sunday Pastor Ryan will continue the Vision series with the sermon titled, “Radical Transformation,” based on Mark 5:1-20. What is the power of radical transformation? And does it impact others? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for July 27 – August 2
July 27: Matthew 22:34-40 What does it mean to passionately live your faith?
July 28: Matthew 25:31-45 What does it mean to passionately live your faith?
July 29: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 How did the Corinthian church passionately live their faith?
July 30: Philippians 4:10-20 How did the Philippian church passionately live their faith?
July 31: Revelation 2:1-7 What is the warning if we lose our passion for Christ as one body?
August 1: Exodus 2:11-22 What was Moses like before his radical transformation?
August 2: Exodus 34:29-35 What was Moses like after his radical transformation?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, July 29–Called Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Saturday, July 31–Men’s Fellowship Breakfast @ Thomas House @ 7:15 am
Sunday, August 1–First Sunday Breakfast @ 8:45 am
Sunday, August 1–First Sunday Offering–World Hunger
Wednesday, August 4–Outreach Team Meeting, time TBD
Wednesday, August 4–Worship Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm
Sunday, August 8–Summer Vespers @ 6:30 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).
In place of our Lenten Vespers, we will have summer outdoor vespers on our church grounds two additional Sunday evenings during the summer: August 8, and September 5 at 6:30 pm. Come enjoy some fellowship, campfire songs, and our wonderful church family outdoors!
This past Vespers, I challenged those who attended to think about one thing that the church has meant to them and one thing they would love to see at Beaver Creek in the next five years. I now extend the same two questions to you if you did not attend. If you would like to answer, please simply email me the answer to those two questions!
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
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!
1) Mail your tithe into 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) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Tina Dotson (COVID)
Bill Eckard (recovery)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Reba Kline & family in Garry’s passing early Wednesday
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (recovery)
Mary G Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (recovery)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Tammy Stine (broken ankle)
Frank Tusing (health)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Owen Wright (health)
Tyler Zombro (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB