RECAP: LIKE THE MASTER based on John 15:18-16:4
In the early fourth century, as a way to honor the martyrs who willingly gave their lives because of their belief in Jesus Christ and the gospel message, a day of remembrance was established and became known as All Saints Day. The evening before was known as Hallows Eve (Halloween).
Even though Christianity became the official world religion at that time, true Christians have still been persecuted throughout history. From Jesus and the Twelve to the early church fathers, to John Wycliffe, to modern day martyrs like Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine, many have laid down their lives for Jesus Christ. Matter of fact, Jesus declared that would be the case when he said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first” (John 15:18). If we want to be like the master, we need to know that most likely means we will face trouble. How do we know we are being like Jesus?
1) What is our relationship to the world? Jesus loved the world and gave his life for the world. At the same time, he did not embrace the world system. He preached the Word of God. In so doing, he taught the truth to a world living in sin and darkness. People who are living in darkness do not like to be exposed and will do everything possible to remain in darkness. Sometimes, that even means a forcible attempt to remove the truth.
If we are being like Jesus, teaching and living the truth of God’s Word, the very message we teach and live by will be at odds with the world. If we claim to follow Jesus, and we are loved by the world, something is not quite right! We should be in the world, loving the people of the world, but not embracing the world’s way of life! If the world is opposed to the message of the gospel that you bring and live, then you are in the right direction!
2) Do we serve even those who oppose us? Remember, Jesus came as a suffering servant, to give his life as a ransom for many. He came to seek and to save the lost, offering forgiveness for and crying over the very people who crucified him! This was because he was filled not just with a servants heart, but a heart full of love for all people, that all may come to know the hope of the gospel. The same was true with the Twelve and the apostle Paul; they gave of themselves to the very people who put them to death!
Can we live not for ourselves, but for others to find the hope of the gospel? If we are living to help others find the peace of God, the joy of salvation and the hope of eternal life, we are following Jesus. The martyrs did not die because they brought a feel good message!
3) Do we let our light shine? Jesus showed the way through his living. Not only did his life match the message of the gospel, but it also pointed to a higher standard–God’s highest standard. Jesus taught the Word and lived the Word. When the light shines in the darkness, either through the spoken Word or lived Word, the darkness will want to either hide or snuff out the light. He allowed the light to shine on those who were marginalized because of their sin, allowing them an opportunity to repent (tax collectors, sinners). However, those who were self-righteous were threatened and tried to extinguish the light. The disciples had similar experiences, but they let their light shine anyway.
Can people see the light within us? Can they tell we live the Word? Are we speaking the Word?
4) Testify and Remain Faithful. Even though Jesus was under constant pressure, he testified about the Father and was faithful–even unto his death on the cross. The disciples, when under pressure, could not help but testify and were faithful, even if it meant prison, floggings, or death. Matter of fact, the word in Greek for testify is the same word for martyr; in other words, a martyr is one who testifies. And how did they testify? Not just by boldly sharing the word, but being faithful even until their final breath.
Many in this world need to know the hope of Jesus. You would think a movement would quit if people were dying as a result of their faith. But their bold witness and testimony inspired those who were looking for hope, those who were looking to come out of the darkness into the light to see there was a better way, even if it was worth dying for. How would martyrs feel today with a watered down gospel, where the very truths they died for have now been exchanged for cultural relevance?
If we want to be like Jesus, we should expect to receive some pushback. Let us testify and remain faithful, boldly shining our light in the darkness, serving even those who oppose us. But know that we will not be embraced by the world.
Questions for Reflection
1) Who do you know needs to know God’s love and salvation? How can you serve them?
2) Who do you know needs to know the truth that will set them free? How can you share with them the hope that you have?
3) What in your lifestyle could change to better reflect the light of Jesus and the Word of God?
4) Why is cultural relevance at odds with God’s Word?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will conclude the “What’s Next” series with the sermon titled “Suit Up!,” based on Ephesians 6:10-18. What do we need to “wear” in order to be successful in carrying out our mission, and to be a healthy Christian? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for November 2 – 8
November 2: Joshua 6 What was the blessing of obedience?
November 3: Joshua 7 What was the curse of disobedience?
November 4: Isaiah 39 What was the curse of disobedience?
November 5: Romans 1:17-32 What is the curse of disobedience?
November 6: Romans 8 What are the blessings of obedience?
November 7: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 What is the depth and power of truth?
November 8: Romans 2:1-16 Why is righteousness serious and important for a Christian?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, November 3–Worship Team @ 7:30 pm
Friday, November 5–Beaver Creek Cares @ 6 pm
Saturday, November 6–Beaver Creek Cares @ 9 am
Thursday, November 18–Leadership Team @ 7 pm
Sunday, November 21–Stewardship Sunday (mailing sent out today!)
Sunday, November 21–Called Council Meeting @ 12 pm
Sunday, November 28–Hanging of the Greens Celebration
Saturday, December 4–Women’s Fellowship Auction
Saturday, December 11–McAvoy/Over Wedding @ 4 pm
Beaver Creek Cares
Beaver Creek Cares is a few weeks away! Right now, the plan is to gather Friday evening beginning at 6 pm for a meal a campfire Vespers service, and then shop for Operation Christmas Child. On Saturday, we will gather to assemble at 9 am the shoe boxes, put together a little gift for teachers, organize the items for strength in peers, and pick up trash. There will be NO bingo this year, unfortunately, due to the current COVID outbreak at White Birch.
For the care packages for teachers, we need donations of Ziploc sandwich bags. We do have a fair amount of candy, but more certainly doesn’t hurt (especially non-chocolate varieties).
For Strength in Peers, we are collecting the following items: breakfast bars, non-perishable food items (nabs, etc.) that can be eaten on the road; bottled water; disposable rain ponchos, shampoo/conditioner, feminine hygiene products, lotion or sunscreen, Tylenol or Advil, cough drops, shaving cream & disposable razors, hand sanitizer, band-aids or small first aid kits, can openers, hats, gloves, coats, sleeping bags/blankets, slightly used backpacks, flashlights, batteries, toothbrushes and toothpaste, socks (men’s & women’s sizes).
You can drop it off either in the narthex of the church, but please label it as either for teachers or Strength in Peers. If you would prefer to do a cash donation, give it to Winnie or Diane.
Question & Answer Sessions
The second Question and Answer session will be at the conclusion of Beaver Creek Cares on Saturday. If you cannot make the question and answer session, but you do have a question needing answered, you can reach out to Pastor Ryan, Ann Healy, or anyone on the Leadership Team.
First Sunday Offering
Several in our church and our community has been touched by COVID. This month, the Outreach Team has elected to make the First Sunday offering be to help those in our immediate community who have been affected by COVID.
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 stories. 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 & Discernment
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
In addition, if you have questions and would like answers for clarification, please reach out to the office, Ann Healy, or Pastor Ryan. The Leadership Team will inform the congregation of the entire process in this season of discernment despite the rumors spreading in the community. But if you do have a question, please reach out!
Book Study during Sunday School–all who do not have a class are welcome to attend!
The Fidelis Class has begun a new book study for Sunday School called Altar Ego by Craig Groeschel. If you are not actively involved in a Sunday School class, you are invited to participate in this book study!
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)
Norman Clark (COVID)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Gene LaPrade (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Forest & Marlene Miller (COVID)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Victor Samalot (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Stan Suter (health)
Joyce Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB