RECAP: LOOK IN THE MIRROR based on Daniel 9:4b-19
Michael Jackson in his hit song “Man in the Mirror” was a song of confession, recognizing the evils that existed in that day and in modern history. How can things change? “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and change.” Even though not a Christian, Michael Jackson understood that true change comes first when we look at ourselves and, with resolve, commit to charting a different path. But it will only work if we are truly honest.
Daniel is a man in Scripture whom we very much associate as someone who was righteous and favored by God. He was not responsible for the fall of the nation of Israel; yet, he witnessed his beloved nation’s downfall from his exile and captivity in Babylon. Daniel was a man of deep faith, standing up to kings and the mouths of lions. Yet, he was moved to prayer, fasting, and confession. Even though Israel could not see clearly and refused to be honest with themselves, Daniel could see clearly. He knew why the exile had come and what Israel had done. So he took a courageous step and made a confession on the behalf of his people.
We have evil in our day, and many have gone astray. How can we be like Daniel and stand in the gap for the church and our nation?
- Take ownership. Daniel was part of the people of God. He openly confessed the many ways the people had sinned–through being disobedient, rebellious, and refusing to listen. Daniel did not claim upon himself things that he himself had not done, but rather what the nation had done. While human nature is quick to blame others or justify their behavior, Daniel openly confessed. The nation rejected the true voice of God, ignoring and mistreating the prophets. When we chose to not listen or focus on God’s Word, we fall astray.
- See ourselves rightly in comparison to God. God is righteous and holy; he will not tolerate blatant, disrespectful sin. God is justice and judgment, carrying out a sentence upon sin. But too often we only focus on the merciful and forgiving God. God is mercy and forgiveness for repentant hearts; but for those who reject him, he will deal with the sin. Do we see ourselves clearly? Human nature wants to run and hide to avoid shame and guilt or put on a false face to try to appease God and win his favor. But when we encounter God, do we respond like Isaiah, Daniel, and John, recognizing our unworthiness? Or do we try to hide?
- God responds to our actions. God warned the nation of the consequences of disobedience and was true to his Word, removing his hand of blessing and protection. But God is also true to his Word when his people pray and repent, he will draw near to us, forgive, and restore. Will we have a right heart before God?
- Ask for forgiveness. Again, Daniel confessed where the nation had gone wrong, and openly asked for forgiveness. Can we ask for forgiveness for our nation?
We can change. Our nation can be whole again, but until the nation is willing to look into the mirror and change, it needs people like us who are willing to stand in the gap, as Daniel did for his nation. Will we pray on behalf of our country, asking for the mercy of God?
Questions for Reflection
1)Why is it hard for people to own their sin?
2) Why is it difficult to acknowledge the holiness of God?
3) Why is it difficult to humble oneself and submit to God’s authority?
4) Why is it difficult to ask for mercy and forgiveness for our nation?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will conclude the study in the discipline of confession with the sermon titled, “Action Plan”, based on 2 Chronicles 34:23-33. Why is it important to have a plan of action after we confess? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for March 21 – 27
March 21: Numbers 14:36-45 What was the further consequence of those who refused to accept the Lord’s discipline?
March 22: Numbers 16:1-34 What can an unrepentant heart do? What was the consequence of their lack of confession?
March 23: Numbers 21:4-9 What was the consequence of a lack of confession? What happened to those who did confess?
March 24: Deuteronomy 32:48-52 What was Moses’ consequence for his sin and lack of confession?
March 25: Joshua 2:8-21 What was Rahab’s confession? How did it bring her salvation?
March 26: Joshua 7:6-15 How did Joshua’s confession and intercession spare Israel?
March 27: Joshua 7:16-26 Does confession as a result of confrontation show a true change of heart? What happened to Achan?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, March 22–Christian Education Meeting @ 8:15 pm @ Scott & Heather McAvoy’s house
Sunday, March 26–Worship Team meeting after church @ 12 pm
Monday, March 27–Bible Study @ 7 pm
Sunday, April 2–Love Feast @ 6 pm
Saturday, April 8–Easter Egg Hunt @ 10 am
Sunday, April 9–Sunrise Service @ 7 am
Sunday, April 9–Easter Breakfast @ 7:45 am
Sunday, April 9–Easter Service @ 11 am
Saturday, April 15–Men’s Fellowship Chicken Barbecue (we need volunteers to especially turn chicken!)
Saturday, April 22–Crestmen Benefit Concert @ 4 pm (more details next week)
Confession– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
There are several different things we can confess. This week, we will take a page out of Daniel’s confession.
- Confess the sins of the nation. Where has our nation strayed away from faithfulness to God? What idols have we created as a nation? Where have we compromised? What do we call right that God calls wrong?
- Confess the sins of the church (universal). How have we strayed from faithfulness to God? Where have we compromised? Are we listening to the voice of the Spirit? Are we obeying the Word of God? Are we truly allowing our light to shine before all humanity?
- Confess our personal sin. Where have we not been obedient to God? Have we allowed any idols to exist in our midst? Where have we personally compromised?
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).
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.
Emma Trip Update
Emma is very close to having all the money raised for her trip.
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 money needs to be accounted for by the end of April.
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)
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)
Stanley Suter (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Jeff? Wilbur (health; thankful for all of the prayers)
Cindy Wittig (surgery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church