RECAP: CORPORATE CONFESSION based on Nehemiah 9:5b-37
Israel was a defeated people. Because of their sin and rebellion against God, he had withdrawn his hand of protection and blessing. As a result, Israel first lost the Northern Kingdom to Assyria, and about 150 years later, the Southern Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians. The wall of Jerusalem was destroyed. The temple was overturned by the army. People were taken into exile, far from their homeland, and scattered among the empire. Instead of the promise given to Abraham, the nation was lost.
Roughly seventy years after the exile began, Cyrus, the new king of Persia, issued an edict that allowed all displaced peoples to return to their homeland and rebuild. When Israel returned to their homeland, they saw destroyed houses, walls, and temple. What was even worse, other nations who had been displaced from their homes to this land refused to leave, bringing great opposition to native Israel. The people, although home again, remained defeated.
How do you pick up the pieces when you feel defeated? How can a lost nation be rallied to be who they were called by God to be again? Just like George Patton was able to breathe new life into a defeated army in North Africa, shaping them into a unit that was vital in ending the occupation of Nazi Germany, so too Nehemiah and Ezra as leaders were able to breathe new life into the defeated nation of Israel. What was their solution to bring these people back together and rebuild? It started with corporate confession.
We too might feel defeated. Certainly, it is hard to see God at work in our nation today. Darkness seems to grow with every passing day. Yet we too can rally together in corporate confession. After this period of confession, the people as one were able to rebuild and emerged out of the shadows. What did they confess? And what can we learn from Israel?
- Confess who God is. Nehemiah started the people focused on declaring both the name and character of God. God is the creator. He is the Almighty. Nehemiah reminded the nation the power behind the name of the LORD and the authority that name carries. Satan has no power over the name of the LORD. Death has no authority. Culture has lost its strength in comparison the name of the LORD.
Hand in hand with the name is the character of God. Nehemiah reminded the people that God’s character never changes. Yes, the people had sinned, but God is forgiving, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and full of grace. Yet, God is also holy, just, and righteous. We don’t have to guess who God is; his character has been fully revealed to us in the Bible. If we are going to fix our nation, we have to start with a universal right standard grounded in the person and character of God!
- Confess what God has done for us, his people. Over 600 times in the Bible the phrases “do not forget” and “remember” appear. There is great power in memory; when we recall what God has done for us, it keeps us centered and strong, no matter what we face. When we remember, we intentionally call to the forefront of our minds. When we refuse to forget, we declare we will pay close attention to what has happened and order our steps based on God’s way. Throughout history, Nehemiah helped the people remember they were called, starting with Abraham, delivered from slavery by means of the plagues and the Red Sea, and taken care of by God’s provision. So too we are called and chosen by God (John 15:16), have been granted salvation by the cross (John 3:16) to overcome temptation (1 Cor 10:13), and have the daily provision of guidance through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26-27), and our daily needs (Matthew 6:25-34). When we focus on what God has done, it helps our faith grow in trust for what he will still do!
- Confess our unfaithfulness. Once the nation confessed their joint belief in God and expressed thankfulness for how God had worked in their history, they then turned to the sin which separated them from God. They confessed their historical failings, from stubbornness to rebellion. They confessed their arrogance and how they were stiff-necked. They acknowledged their idolatry and their disobedience. They could do this because now that they were aligned together in who God is and what he has done, they could now see how the decisions of the past were out of step with God. We too can also look and see how we have fallen short. Where have we been arrogant or stiff-necked? How have we disobeyed God? Have we built any idols, or replaced God with anything?
- Confess our plight. Once we confess our unfaithfulness, now we can contextualize our current plight as the result of it. In confessing, we are not only saying how we contributed, as Israel did under Nehemiah’s leadership, but also confess that we acknowledge Jesus is the only one who can set us free. Do we go to the one who can break every chain?
Corporate confession allows us as one body to align ourselves together under God. It brought the healing the nation needed and ultimately led to its turnaround. Can we do the same today?
Questions for Reflection
1) Can you articulate who God is?
2) What are some of the things God has done in your life? What about the life of Beaver Creek?
3) What are some of the areas you see in our country that have been rebellion against God? Or disobedience? Or idolatrous? How have we been stiff-necked as a society? What about us personally? The church?
4) Do we believe that God can break any and every chain? Can we trust him with our plight?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the discipline of confession with the sermon titled, “Look in the Mirror”, based on Daniel 9:4-19. Why do we need honest self-reflection in confession? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for March 14 – 20
March 14: Exodus 10:27-1:10 What was the consequence of Pharaoh’s lack of confession of sin?
March 15: Exodus 32:1-29 What was the consequence of the nation of Israel’s lack of confession?
March 16: Exodus 32:30-35 What was Moses’ confession? What was the consequence for those who refused to confess their sins?
March 17: Leviticus 10:1-11 Why is confession and striving toward repentance important?
March 18: Numbers 13:26-33 What did the confessions of the twelve spies reveal about their belief in God?
March 19: Numbers 14:1-25 What was the result of the sin of unbelief? What was the consequence of the lack of confession?
March 20: Numbers 14:26-35 What was the consequence of the lack of confession?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, March 15–Outreach Team Meeting @ 7 pm @ Smiley’s Ice Cream
Thursday, March 16–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Friday, March 17–Community movie night @ 7 pm
Sunday, March 19–Fundraiser meal for Emma Eckard after church
Monday, March 20–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Wednesday, March 22–Christian Education Meeting @ 8:15 pm @ Scott & Heather McAvoy’s house
Sunday, April 2–Love Feast @ 6 pm
Saturday, April 8–Easter Egg Hunt, time TBD
Sunday, April 9–Sunrise Service @ 7 am
Sunday, April 9–Easter Service @ 11 am
Saturday, April 15–Men’s Fellowship Chicken Barbecue (we need volunteers to especially turn chicken!)
Confession– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
There are several different things we can confess. This week, focus on confession of faith. Evaluate your life using the following criteria:
- Who is God? Write out a list of all the things you know God to be according to the Scriptures. Also, describe his character. For example, you might say that the LORD is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1), or God is love.
- What has God done for you? Write out all the ways you have seen God work in your life. Write out your testimony of how God has changed your life.
- Where do you see God at work today? Write down all the ways you have seen God at work today. Who do you know has been healed? How has God provided for someone you know?
- Where do you see God at work in our church? Write down what God encounters and moments you have seen here at Beaver Creek.
Why do you write these things down? In order to help you not forget who God really is and to remember what he has done. There is great power in memory!
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!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story).
The order form for the Easter Lillies is due on Sunday. Each Easter Lilly is $10. If you would like to order one, and cannot stop by the church, please call the office by Friday at noon. You can make any check out to Evergrowin.
Extraordinary Women’s Conference
This is an opportunity for the ladies of the church. The Extraordinary Women’s Conference returns to Lynchburg this year on October 13-14! Some of the speakers include Tim Tebow, Mandisa, Julie Clinton, Hannah Keeley, and others, with a concert from Big Daddy Weave and worship led by Michael O’Brien. The cost is $64 for basic and $84 for gold as long as you register by March 31. The Fidelis class really would like to see if we can get a group of women together to go. If you are interested, please contact the church office. If there is a large enough group, there can potentially be a discounted group rate.
Fundraisers for Emma
- There will be a soup and sandwich luncheon sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship after church on Sunday for donations. All donations will go toward Emma’s trip. If you would like to make out a check, make it out to Beaver Creek Women’s Fellowship, but mark “Emma Eckard” on the memo line.
Many of you have inquired how to help Emma achieve the funds for her trip. She needs to raise approximately $4500 before the trip begins. Here is how you can help:
- You can donate through the offering plate. Make the check out to the church and notate “Emma Eckard fundraiser” on the memo line. Likewise, if you want to give cash, put it in an envelope and also mark “Emma Eckard fundraiser” on the envelope.
- If you would like to give only, go to http://crossworld.org/give.
Click on support a disciple-maker.
Enter Emma Eckard for name and 40612 for account number
All gifts are tax-deductible.
Keep posted for more fundraising opportunities.
On Friday, March 17, there will be a movie night for free for the community. We will be showing Despicable Me. Please share the word, especially to those households you know have children, to your neighbors, and to anyone you know that has kids that also does not have a church home. We have plenty of flyers at the church; please share with your friends and neighbors! Please share these flyers with as many people as you can!
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 six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
The Christian Education team would like to relaunch children’s church for our kids, as well as for the kids in our community without a church home. To be successful, we need six to eight volunteers who would be willing to give up one Sunday either a month or every other month to minister to our children. If you are interested, please let one of Christian Education know, email the church office, or sign up on the sign-up sheet on Sunday.
The hope is that as we build our children’s ministry, more young families will want to participate in the church.
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
Eddie Baker (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bonnie Sue Eckard (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Lynne Lent (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Jeff? Wilbur (health)
Cindy Wittig (surgery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church