TRUE RELIGION based on James 1:22, 26-27; 2:14-26
There is much confusion in the world today as to who is a true follower of Jesus. Multiple people claim they follow Christ, but their words and practices contradict each other. How do we know who is the true follower? How do we know we are representing Jesus well? James addressed this in his letter. As in our day, so it was in his day. James pointed to seven areas where we can show by our living that we are following Jesus above all others:
1) Live the Word (1:22). We should not merely listen to the Word; rather, we should be obedient and do what it says! When we hear but don’t practice, we are like one who looks in the mirror and forgets what they see. When we refuse to listen, we ignore God’s voice in every medium. The more we ignore, the more we redefine what God said into what we want him to say. And when that happens, we open the door to alternate spiritualities. But if we live the Word, we are guided by its instruction in the ways of the Lord.
2) Watch your mouth (1:26). If we don’t keep a tight rein on our tongue, our religion is worthless, in vain, ineffectual, or godless. Our speech reveals what truly lies inside of us. If we truly follow Jesus, then his teachings and practices should be what comes out of our mouths. Blessing and cursing cannot both come out of the same source! Can people tell we are followers of Jesus when they listen to us talk?
3) Aid the defenseless (1:27a). God cares about the widow and the orphan, who cannot defend themselves. Unfortunately, in James’ day, the “religious” often found ways around helping the widows and orphans, instead spending most of their efforts in helping those who eventually could help in return. But if we follow Jesus, our eyes should be looking for opportunities to be the defender of the weak (Ps 82:3) and to meet the needs around us.
4) Keep the garbage out (1:27b). We should keep ourselves from being polluted, stained, marked, and blemished by the world. What the world values and desires run contrary to the ways of God. Watch your intake! Whatever you allow into your life will shape who you are. The more you dwell on certain things (negativity, impure thoughts, influences), the more you become or engage in what you dwell on! Don’t see compromise as not a big deal, for it is a rather large deal!
5) Practice what you preach (2:14-17). If we say we are a person who believes in Jesus, then we should show it by our actions. If we don’t put into practice what we believe, we are proving ourselves not to really believe in Jesus! When we ignore the needs around us, we are telling the world we do not care. Faith without deeds is dead!
6) Respect God (2:18-19). Don’t think you can fool God by giving him lip service. Those who follow Jesus fully are not afraid of full commitment. They know who Jesus is and live according to his power. Even the forces of darkness understand the full depth of the power of God! Our lives should demonstrate we truly believe God is who he says he is and don’t try to play games!
7) Live out your faith, no matter the circumstance (2:20-26). Even when things are hard, we should still live out our faith. Even when we are asked to be obedient with a cost, like Abraham, we should remain faithful. Even if it means we lose our friends or family, like Rahab, we should remain faithful. For a true follower of Jesus lives out the faith, no matter the cost.
Questions for Reflection
1) Do you find yourself being obedient to Scripture? What Scriptures do you resist obeying? Why?
2) If a person spent an entire day with you, can they tell your faith by what comes out of your mouth? What do you need to repent of as it relates to your speech?
3) What pollution do you allow into your life? Are you willing to let it go and throw it away?
4) Do you actively engage and live out your faith?
5) Who do you believe God to be? Does your life match your belief?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the discipline of service with the sermon titled, “Come, Follow Me,” based on Matthew 19:16-30. Following Jesus is a sacrifice. How can we demonstrate our love for Jesus through our deeds? Come or tune in on Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for October 10 – 16
October 10: Matthew 9:9-13 How does service tie to salvation?
October 11: Matthew 9:18-26 How did Jesus’ acts of service impact lives?
October 12: Matthew 9:27-34 How did Jesus’ acts of service impact lives?
October 13: Matthew 9:35-38 How can we partner with Jesus in service and salvation?
October 14: Matthew 10:1-16 How are we as disciples challenged to serve?
October 15: Matthew 10:32-42 How are we as disciples challenged to serve?
October 16: Matthew 11:1-6 How is service a sign of salvation?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, October 12–Alda Miller Visitation @ Johnsons, 6 pm – 8 pm
Friday, October 13–Alda Miller Funeral @ 11 am
Saturday, October 14–Fall Festival from 10 am – 1 pm (setup at 9 am)
Monday, October 16–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Sunday, October 22–Congregational Business Meeting & Chili Cook Off after church
Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4–Beaver Creek Cares
Service– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
This month’s spiritual discipline is service. Service starts with the right heart, not doing good deeds for recognition, but because we love God.
You have two challenges this month. First, sign up for at least one service project, either at the church or in the community, to be completed between now and the end of the year. Second, submit to pastor Ryan at least one service idea or impactful way we can make a difference in the community before the year is done.
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!
Fall Festival–THIS SATURDAY
Fall Festival will take place on Saturday, October 14 from 10 am until 1 pm. Thank you for all the donations! To date, we have received 6100 pieces of candy!
If you are willing to volunteer with the setup on Friday evening, please arrive at the church around 6 pm. We will work on setting up the inside at that time.
If you are willing to volunteer to help with the setup on Saturday morning (outside pieces), please arrive at the church around 9 am.
If you are helping in the kitchen, you are also needed around 9 am on Saturday.
If you are helping run one of the games, please arrive by 9:30 am to review the expectations of the game you are leading.
If you are helping with cleanup, please arrive around 1 pm.
We acknowledge weather might be a factor, and it might require some shifting around. But there is a contingency plan in the event of weather. The biggest help now is to spread the word and invite as many people as you can!
Beaver Creek has updated its social media page. Please follow and share so as many people can hear what is going on at Beaver Creek! You can find the pages as follows:
Chili, Soup, & Dessert Cook-off and Council Meeting
Our next council meeting will take place on Sunday, October 22 after church. We will start with the chili, soup, and dessert cook-off. Then, we will have our meeting and announce the winners at the end. In the narthex and attached to this email are two proposed changes to our Constitution and Bylaws. Please read over them carefully!
Beaver Creek Cares
Beaver Creek Craes will take place on Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4. We will meet for dinner at 6 pm on Friday, then have a vespers service. The youth and friends will shop for Operation Christmas Child in the evening. Saturday morning we will gather for breakfast around 9 am, assemble the shoe boxes, sort and package the donations for Strength in Peers, assemble the gifts for our local teachers, assemble the exam kits for our college students, and clean up trash. At 2 pm we will gather at White Birch for bingo.
I have attached the list for donations for Strength in Peers. If you are unable to shop, please drop by donations for either Winnie or Diane, and they will go shopping on your bhealf. The note cards for the items for the exam kits will be available beginning Sunday, October 15.
Misti has placed a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board to assist with the backpacks. If you are willing to help, please sign up this week!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story) if you want to serve.
CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY
Children’s Church will not meet this week. They will meet next Sunday, October 22.
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!
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. But before the class can investigate bus prices and total cost, we want to gauge the true interest in the church. We have had several express interest and are trying to the best package for us as a church body. If you are interested and would like to be considered for this one-day event next year, please contact the office or let Pastor Ryan know in the next few weeks.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe to 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) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller & Carolyn Wine
Keep Evy Kaye’s friend Mary Beth and Tami Plaugher’s friend Vicki as they both are wrestling with cancer.
Please keep the members of Alda’s family in your prayers as they mourn her passing.
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Norma Cunningham (recovery)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (recovery)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Cora Henkel (COVID)
Bob Hess (health)
Reba Kline (recovery)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Christy Lazer (emergency surgery)
Ruth Luce (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (recovery)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Shelby Simmons (foot)
Roger Simmons (recovery)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (recovery)
Kenny Wheelbarger (recovery from injury)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church