A special thank you to Bill Wood for bringing forth the message while I was away on vacation.
RECAP: SETTING THINGS RIGHT based on 2 Chronicles 7:1-16
When the temple was dedicated, it was a grand scene: twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep and goats were offered as a burnt offering! The festivities lasted for fourteen days as they celebrated the dedication of the house of God. And when the glory of the LORD arrived, the presence was so strong, the priests could not even stand to do their duties. It was an amazing scene!
Yet, despite all the pomp and circumstance, something was missing underneath. Unfortunately, a sickness plagued the nation of Israel. It was a sickness of pride, apathy, and familiarity. They assumed that because the temple would be there, God would always forgive, and their sins would always be erased. As a result, the nation, instead of pursuing God with all their heart, stopped doing the things that led them to that grand place of the temple dedication and settled for spiritual apathy. In time, that sickness would eventually lead to the demise of the nation, for they no longer could recognize the presence of God, and eventually, it left without their notice.
Solomon, in his prayer of dedication as recorded in 2 Chronicles 6, listed many conditions on God. God, if I do this, or if we as a nation do this, and we return to this place, remove the locusts, bring healing, forgive our sin, etc. The focus was assuming the failure of the people, but that if they went to the magical temple, God would have to respond and set things right. But God had a different answer. How can one and a nation make things right?
If my people, who are called by my Name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.
What do we need to do to make things right?
1) Have the name of Jesus. We wear on our shirt that which we believe in (which is why you will never see me in Cowboys gear!). But do we wear on our lives who we believe in? Are we proud to carry the name of Jesus everywhere we go? Or do we try to hide it? When we bear the Name, we are saying not only do we believe, but we chose to order our lives according to his ways.
2) Humble ourselves. Humanity does not like to be humble; instead, we are stubborn and want our own way. And if someone corrects us, we dig in our heels and try to prove others wrong! But we are not truly in control of our lives. When we try to take control, we try to make God answer to us instead of answering to God. Whoever exalts themselves will be humbled. This is probably the hardest step; we need to move out of the way and let God be God.
3) Pray. The true purpose of prayer is to align our hearts with God’s will. When we pray, sometimes we do not see the answer because we are asking for what we want instead of what God wants. We come to prayer as a last resort, trying to use it to either convince others of our cause or get God to cave into our demands. Instead, our attitude should be like that of Martin Luther, who was so busy he must start his day with three hours of prayer. Prayer changes things, most of all our hearts.
4) Seek God’s face. This goes beyond prayer into actively pursuing a relationship with God and worship. We are not seeking God’s face if the only time we give him is an hour on Sunday. Rather, this is a pursuit of daily communion with God, spending regular time with him, and ordering our lives according to that relationship with God. What if instead of trying to fit God into our plans for life, we allowed God to direct our life and submit to his way?
5) Turn from our wicked ways. It is not popular to say this, but God does not bless sin. Sure, sometimes those who are in sin seem blessed, but in what matters most, the whole of our life and eternity, God will not stand for sin. When we refuse to repent of our wicked ways, in time we will see the result of that severing of a relationship with God. For Israel, it was enduring natural disaster after natural disaster, and then eventually exile. If we want to see God work in our day, we have to move away from sin instead of calling sin good!
Questions for Reflection
1) If people were to dialogue with you, would they see you are a follower of Jesus? What can you do to show that you boldly declare his name?
2) In what area of your life do you find yourself clinging on to pride? Can you lay it down to God?
3) How can you carve more intentional time to pray in the next few weeks?
4) How can you allow God to order the steps of your life more than he has to this point?
5) Is there any sin in your life you need to confess before God? If so, he is gracious and just to forgive!
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the series called “A Fresh Start” with the sermon titled, “Blinded By the Light,” based on Acts 9:1-19. Sometimes God has to do something radical to get us to change. How do we respond to such radical grace? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 21 – 27
June 21: Psalm 51 How did David seek to make things right after his sin?
June 22: Ezra 10:1-17 How did Israel seek to make things right after their sin?
June 23: Job 42:1-17 How did Job make things right with God and his friends?
June 24: Matthew 18:15-35 Why is it important to seek to make things right?
June 25: Philemon 1-21 What counsel did Paul give to make things right?
June 26: Mark 2:1-12 How was a man radically transformed after a touch from Jesus?
June 27: Mark 5:1-20 How was a man radically transformed after a touch from Jesus?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, June 26–Outdoor Worship & Communion
Sunday, June 26–Summer Vespers @ 6 pm
Sunday, July 10–Baptism
We will have summer vespers on the final Sunday of each month for June, July, and August. We will gather for a meal over the fire, sing some hymns and camp song favorites, play a camp-style game or two, and conclude with a vespers devotional. Come out and enjoy!
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 them 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 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)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Brunk family (tragedy)
Donnie Cornwell Sr (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Leroy Makely (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Torrey Meyer (well-being)
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)
Norma Suter (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Becky Whitmore (health)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Winnie Wilfong (knee)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church