RECAP: OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH based on Matthew 26:36-46
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
“Look out for numero uno.”
“We live in a dog eat dog world.”
We live in a day and age where people only care for themselves. They are willing to sacrifice the welfare of others if it means lifting up oneself or putting oneself in a more advantageous position. If a better opportunity arises, or something appears to be financially more profitable, we trade to chase that better thing. And when adversity comes, we do not stick around or press through it. Very few people today would show the same dedication as the 20th Maine did in their charge to guard the flank that day at Little Big Top in Gettysburg. And certainly, very few would be obedient to their charge if they knew it brought certain death. But that is what Jesus did–he was obedient unto death.
We focus and rightly so on the divinity of Jesus, for he is the Son of the Living God and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But we often forget his humanity; he was, as the writer of Hebrews said, tempted in every way, just as we have been, but did not sin. He faced temptations to take shortcuts, to better himself at the expense of others, and above all, to abandon the plan of the Father in the cross. Yet, Jesus was able to remain faithful. How was he able to do this? The battle was won in the garden of Gethsemane.
1) Take it to the Lord in prayer. Despite being overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, Jesus did not try to power through it on his own; instead, he withdrew to the garden to pray. This was his regular practice, to spend time with the Father. At this moment, he needed the strength of his Father more than ever, and the Father was his strength. He did not wait until the last possible moment, or after he exhausted every other avenue; he went first and foremost to God in prayer. Why? Prayer is where we connect with the Father. As a cell phone needs to be recharged by plugging into the power source, so too we, in our journey of faith, need to be plugged into our power source to have the strength to face the challenge.
2) Not my will, but yours be done. Jesus prayed this prayer, or a variation of it, three times. In so doing, he showed us that although it is hard to surrender, surrender is indeed the key to victory. We often think of surrender as defeat, but it is really a giving up of our own plans, way, and even pride and acknowledging that God’s way and plans are better and can be trusted. It is an ultimate declaration of trust in the midst of any trial. To remain faithful, no matter the challenge, we must surrender our own way and lay it in God’s hands.
3) Stay awake and alert. The enemy, as Peter wrote, is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. The enemy waits for us to be in a place of weakness, and that is when he pounces. We are at our weakest point when we are tired and exhausted, or no longer alert to our surroundings. Jesus was aware of the moment but was also alerted to the presence of the enemy in the shadow, trying to get Jesus to exchange the way of the cross. Visually portrayed in the Passion of the Christ, a serpent slithered from Satan’s hand in the garden toward Jesus. But Jesus was alert, aware of the attack, got up, and crushed the serpent’s head. The disciples on the other hand were asleep. When we are asleep, it is hard to remain faithful; only one of the Twelve actually would follow Jesus to the cross! But when we are awake, we can remain alert.
4) Develop the spiritual. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Just as a marathon runner slowly builds their training so they can be successful, we too need to develop the spiritual if we are able to stand strong. We need to practice being in the presence of God, and that comes far more than just attending church for one hour a week! Jesus was able to be strong in that moment because of his regular practice of communion with the father.
Jesus was obedient unto death. Can we be faithful in this time? Or will we be like the disciples and be lulled to sleep?
Questions for Reflection
1) How often do you spend time with God in regular prayer?
2) Is your life ordered to God’s plan? What steps can you take to reorient, or strengthen?
3) Are you alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic in your faith walk? What can help you become more alert?
4) What is one practice you can add to your daily routine to spend some more time with God?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the “I AM JESUS” series with the sermon titled, “Coming King”, based on Matthew 21:1-11. Jesus came into Jerusalem triumphant on a donkey. Jesus left Jerusalem with a cross on his back. How did this make him king? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for April 5 – 11
April 5: Matthew 19:16-30 What is the cost for following Jesus?
April 6: Matthew 24:1-25 What is the cost for following Jesus?
April 7: Matthew 24:26-51 What is the cost for following Jesus?
April 8: Matthew 25:1-13 What is the cost for following Jesus?
April 9: Matthew 25:14-30 What is the cost for following Jesus?
April 10: Matthew 21:12-17 How does Jesus challenge the status quo?
April 11: Matthew 21:18-22 What lesson does Jesus want us to understand?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, April 6–Worship Team @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 10–Instachoir right after church, 12 pm
Sunday, April 10–Love Feast, 5:30 pm
Saturday, April 16–Men’s Fellowship Chicken BBQ, 4:45 am
Saturday, April 16–Easter Egg Hunt, 10 am
Sunday, April 17–Easter Sunrise Service, 7 am
Sunday, April 17–Easter Service, 11 am
Wednesday, April 20–Ministry Team @ 7 pm
Thursday, April 21–Leadership Team @ 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 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
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
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
If you are interested in water baptism, please email Pastor Ryan in the next few weeks!
The Christian Education Team 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)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Joyce Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church