RECAP: SPIT OUT based on Revelation 3:14-22
Growing up, I feared the letter to Laodicea. I as a teenager was always concerned whether I was being lukewarm for God and would end up being spit out of God’s mouth. After all, to be spit out of the mouth of God is literally to be vomited or hurled violently from God’s mouth! But that is precisely the warning Jesus gave to this church. In recent days, I have seen the pendulum swing the other direction; instead of watching one’s character and life closely, there has been a surge of anything goes lifestyles. There has to be a way to live for God without sacrificing character or living so legalistically that one is gripped by fear.
What does it mean to be lukewarm anyway? Why was Laodicea accused of being a lukewarm church? What can we learn from this church, and what can we do today to avoid such a designation?
- Be fully committed to God. The church at Laodicea had lost its full commitment to God. The church was admonished to be either hot or cold. Hierapolis to the north was known for its hot springs, used for healing and bathing. Colossae, to its south, was known for its cool springs, used for drinking water and refreshment. Laodicea however had no natural water source; they were dependent on the transport system of pipes from these two cities. Sometimes though, the pipes would break down and the waters would mix, making everything lukewarm.
Jesus was not telling the church he would rather they be cold, having nothing to do with him; rather, he critiqued the church because they were no longer of any use. They had become so compromised, abandoning their sincere and full devotion to God that they allowed anything to enter into its midst, watering down the gospel and no longer being a place that pointed to Christ for cleansing, healing, or to quench a thirsty and weary soul. They fell into two traps: the traps of half-heartedness and the trap of mulitple allegiances. They no longer gave their best to God, and allowed multiple loves in their midst. We will ultimately side with who or what we love the most.
How can we avoid being lukewarm? Be fully committed, be all-in for God, holding nothing back!
- Be honest and humble. The city suffered an earthquake in 60 AD. But the city was the proud banking capital of the Roman Empire. After the quake, they refused assistance from Rome, firmly confident in themselves and rebuilt the city. But wealth can stop us from becoming dependent on God, and pride stops us from acknowledging our real need. The church had allowed possessions and pride to get in the way of their relationship with God. They had become blind to their real condition. And when we allow material possessions and pride to creep into our lives, we become dependent on ourselves and leave God out. It is humility and honesty, to reflect and see our true needs, that breaks lukewarmness and draws us closer to God.
- Listen to godly counsel. Jesus encouraged the church to listen to his counsel, to take the provisions he offered to cover their sinful condition, and to find a way of restoration. But listening to counsel requires us to let go of our stubborn pride and embrace wisdom and the mercy of God. It requires us to acknowledge that we are in need and that God’s way is best. God desires the best for his children but sometimes we act like rebellious teenagers, believing our way is the best way. When we refuse to listen, we can become lukewarm, for we keep God at arm’s length and do not fully embrace his influence in our lives. We might have a form of God, but we lose connection to his power.
- Accept discipline. Jesus told the church that he only disciplines those he loves. That discipline was so they would be earnest and repent. But to accept discipline, we need to be willing to understand that correction is not judgment; rather, it is an opportunity for redemption! We show we are receiving correction by living in repentance, demonstrating by our living that we have received the word. That means like the pipes to the city needed to be repaired to prevent lukewarm mixing, so too we need God to repair the pipeworks in our own hearts so we can be hot, bringing healing and cleansing to others, or cold, bringing the cool refreshment that quenches the soul, for God.
- Answer the knocking door. Jesus stood at the door and knocked. He implored the church to open the door and let him in. Ultimately, Laodicea did not fully commit to God, nor would they be honest and humble, listen to godly counsel, accept discipline, or open the door to God. The church eventually became so indiscernible from the world that it simply ceased to be distinct and different–it morphed into a social club! But if we answer that door and allow God in, we will find there is always hope and a chance to get it right.
God will spit out those who are lukewarm. We don’t have to live in fear or legalism; we simply need to allow God to be our focus and to follow after him!
Questions for Reflection
1) How can you increase your own personal commitment to God? What about us as a church–what can we do together to increase our commitment to God?
2) Do you allow yourself to be honest with God? What do you need to surrender the most to God?
3) What counsel from God, either spoken by another or revealed in the Word, do you keep at arm’s length? Why? Would you be willing to let go and see where God leads?
4) Where do you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit saying you need to repent? What steps can you take today to accept his correction?
5) Do you have regular times of fellowship with God? What can you add in your week to increase your time and sensitivity to his leading?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will begin a new series studying the book of Colossians. The first sermon is titled, “Pastoral Wish,” based on Colossians 1:3-14. What was Paul’s wish for the church in Colossae? And what is God’s wish for us? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for September 20 – 26
September 19: Genesis 25:27-34 What happened to Esau because of his lukewarm spirit?
September 20: Genesis 27 What happened to Esau because of his lukewarm spirit?
September 21: Exodus 32 What happened to Israel because of their lukewarm spirit?
September 22: 1 Kings 11 What happened to Solomon when he became lukewarm?
September 23: Isaiah 39 What will happen to Israel because of Hezekiah’s lukewarmness?
September 24: Matthew 15:1-20 What makes one truly lukewarm?
September 25: Romans 1:1-17 What was Paul’s wish for the Romans?
September 26: Romans 9 What was Paul’s wish for Israel?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, September 25–Chasing the Lions Bible Study @ Scott & Heather’s (5509 Sagefield Dr, Rockingham)
Monday, September 26–Pastoral Epistles Bible Study @ 7 pm
Sunday, October 9–Love Feast
Saturday, October 22–Men’s Fellowship Chicken BBQ
Sunday, October 23–Chili/Soup Cook-Off & Council Meeting
Saturday, October 29–Fall Festival Outreach from 10 am to 1 pm
November 4 – 5–Beaver Creek Cares weekend
November 13–Crestmen leading worship service
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Need for Altar Decorator
Are you artistic? Do you have a desire to worship God using arts/crafts behind the scenes? We are in need of an individual or team to help decorate the altar each week for the months of October through December. If you would like to know what is expected, please reach out to Alice Over, the Worship Team chair, for more information.
Bible Study Opportunities!
The Chasing the Lion Bible Study continues this Sunday at 4 pm. We will meet at Scott and Heather’s (5509 Sagefield Dr, Rockingham) this week. This study meets every Sunday at 4 pm.
Pastor Ryan will also continue the study on the books of 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul shared his heart with Timothy and gave him instructions for himself and the church after he was gone. Most of these letters are reflected even today. How can we live our faith? I encourage you to dig deeper into these two short books! We will meet on Mondays in the church library from 7 pm – 8 pm.
Take advantage of one of these two Bible studies today! If you would like to participate in the Timothy Bible study, please email Pastor Ryan or call the office.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are still in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Fall Festival & Beaver Creek Cares–Candy Request
Our outreach team is planning a fall festival for the church and community. Fall Festival will be Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 1 pm. Beaver Creek Cares will be November 4-5.
For both, we will need individually wrapped fun-sized pieces of candy (Halloween style) for both the kids for Fall Festival and for the teachers for the appreciation gifts during Beaver Creek Cares. You can bring the candy to the narthex. We need lots and lots of candy!
Fall Festival will take place Saturday, October 29 from 10 am to 1 pm. This will be a community-based outreach to reach children and young families in our areas. We will have several different activities:
Carnival games (with candy prizes)
Food (hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn)
We are also working on a bounce house and a hayride!
Many hands make light work. We will need three different sets of volunteers for the event:
Saturday morning to help with set-up (arrive around 8:30 am)
Saturday to help with the event
Saturday early afternoon with clean up (arrive around 1 pm)
There will be a more detailed sign-up list in the narthex. Let us come together and let the families in our community know Beaver Creek cares!
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!
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to the Christian Education Team and let them 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)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Torrey Meyer (well being)
Meda McNett (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (COVID)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Winnie Wilfong (recovery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church