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  Beaver Creek Christian Church : A nondenominational fellowship of believers in Ashe County, West Jefferson, NC Minister's Minute: Minister's Blog - Posted Every Tuesday - Friday

 

The Real Reason For The Season: 31 Bible Names of Jesus-

4. Bread of Life – John 6:35

4. Bread of Life – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35

After Jesus fed the 5,000 people flocked to him. They want his free meal program. Wouldn't you? You never have to work again! Why not make this man king or president? You could really live on free bread and fishsticks.

But Jesus tried to tell them that if they should follow him not because he gives free food but because he can give them life. He is like the life giving Manna that fell from earth in the wilderness except the life he brings is abundant and eternal!

I praise God for Jesus who gives life. May God bless you as you discover Jesus, the bread of life today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Holy Lord, I am hungry for you. I hunger for your word. I hunger for life. Give me today the bread that I need to live...truly live. And help me to share that bread with others who are starving and may not even know it. I love you, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Dec 12, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Real Reason For The Season: 31 Bible Names of Jesus-

3. Author and Perfecter of Our Faith –Her. 12:2

3. Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2

Jesus endured the horrors of the crucifixion and rose from the grave so that you and I would know that he is the Messiah, the Son of God. He wrote the faith story in his blood and published it so that we would believe.

I praise God that he gave us Jesus to show us the way to have life with him. I know this to be true. I believe that he came to save us and that he is coming again.

May God bless you as you build your faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer Thought: Dear Glorious Father, I praise you for Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. I praise you for the story written on my heart and for your love. Help me to be the man you would have me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Dec 11, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Real Reason For The Season: 31 Bible Names of Jesus

2. Advocate –1 John 2:1

2. Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1

When we think of the baby Jesus laying there on the straw do you ever think of him as being your lawyer? That's exactly what Jesus does. He presents our case to God by saying, "He's good... He's with me. His name is written in my Book of Life."

We are justified by Christ. When we accept Jesus and receive Him in our lives he takes us from a state of sinfulness and unrighteousness to a state of forgiveness and holiness. He makes the guilty of sin (those who accept him) innocent again.

It is nothing that we can do on our own. I can't imagine standing before the creator of all things, the Almighty God, all alone. I am a man of unclean lips, unclean heart, unclean mind. My robes are as filthy rags. But Jesus has cleaned me up, put me in a white robe and stands beside me in front of the Judge of All. How great is that!!!

I praise the name of Jesus, my advocate. May you be blessed today as you consider Jesus Christ and appreciate his birth all the more.

Prayer Thought: Almighty God, You are worthy of honor, glory, power, and praise. You are holy and you are pure. I am unworthy to even stand in your court. So I praise you today for appointing Jesus as my advocate. I thank you for allowing him to take on my sins and die on the cross to justify me before you. I praise you that he rose from the dead so that I could have life eternal. I praise you for Jesus and it is in his name that I come before you in this prayer, AMEN

-Loren H. Lung

Dec 10, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Real Reason For The Season: 31 Bible Names of Jesus

1. The Alpha and the Omega - Revelation 22:13

Christmas is a busy time of celebrations, programs, dinners, plays, family, shopping, gifts, decorating, and 10,000 other things. It's the time of year that we "celebrate" the birth of Jesus (even though Jesus was not born on December 25). I sometimes wonder what Jesus would think of what we do and why.

But I also wonder if people really know why they celebrate the birth of Jesus. I remember one of the children where I used to work telling her version of "The Christmas Story". There were a lot of missing pieces and some things thrown in about Santa, eating ham on Christmas, and why we hang our stockings. I must admit... the misinformation that is out there is just plain overwhelming.

So this December I though I would remind us all of the real reason for the season by giving you 31 Bible Names for Jesus. Let's get started!

1. Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev. 22:13

In the last chapter of the Revelation of Christ, Jesus has a closing epilogue for all who listen. In it he says that he is the Alpha and the Omega.

This typically is a term that has been used to describe God. It refers to his eternal nature. God has always been and always will be. It is this eternal nature that knew the right time, "the fulness of time", for him to send His Son Jesus Christ into the world.

In this title, Jesus identifies himself with God. He is a part of the God-head, the trinity, Three-in-One! It also goes hand in hand with John 1:1 - In the beginning he was with God and Is God. To us mere mortals it is hard to comprehend and explain. How can our limited, temporal minds comprehend the nature of what is in the spiritual realm?

It also identifies him as being eternal, Jesus was there in the beginning of creation and taking a part in the creation of all things and especially the beginning of man. Not only was he there in the beginning but he also "will be with us to the very end of the age."

I praise the name of Jesus Christ, The Alpha and The Omega!

Prayer Thought: Dear God in heaven, We praise your name for this time of year when we can celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, your Son, and our Redeemer. You are the eternal God. And Jesus is your eternal gift to us. Please bless us and remind us throughout the season of Christmas that Jesus is the reason for the season. In Jesus' name, AMEN

-Loren H. Lung

Dec 10, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

In the beginning God

Genesis 1:1

I cannot think of one book that introduces the main character in just four words. How powerful and eloquent an introduction. The first verse says so much about God. It tells us that God is eternal. It tells of of His power. It tells of His creative nature And it tells of His intellect.

"In the beginning..." tells us of God's eternal nature. He was from the very beginning. He was before time...in fact, we learn later in this chapter that he created time. This is such a massive concept for us as humans. We were created in time. We have only known the rule of time. We have no real understanding of what it means to eternal so we say things like "that means to live forever" or "It means an endless number of days". But this does not really describe something that is eternal. So it leaves us praising God for his eternal nature.

"...God created..." tells us that He is a benevolent God. He made something out of nothing. He did not make it shoddy or weak. In fact, the Bible tells us that He looked it over and pronounced it "good". A creative God does not build something just to destroy it. A creative God builds something good for a purpose. So it leaves us praising God for his goodness.

"...the heavens and the earth..." tells us two things. First, it tells us that God is powerful. He literally spoke things into being and they were created. I like to think of myself as a creative person but everything I make is put together from available resources. I can make something out of paper with the use of pens, glue, and scissors but only God can create something out of nothing.

The second thing it tells of us is of his massive intellect. The mathematical equations that it took to put the earth in orbit at just the right distance from the sun so that we would be too hot or too cold are absolutely amazing. The rotation and the tilt of the earth all figure in to making life possible on this planet. I could go on and on.

There are those that want to tell you that it happened by random chance but if you figure all the random variables into the equation that the odds of life existing by chance are mathematically impossible.

The other day I gave each child in my class a die. I told the children to roll their die just once. I asked each one of the what the number was on their die. Then I told them to try and roll the same number again. They were to continue only as long as they got the same number. A few kids got their number to come up twice. Only one child got it to come up three times. Now imagine trying to get that same number to come up a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times, a billion times, a trillion times... keep going. The mathematic equation for life happening on earth by chance is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! The only way for that to happen is if something or someone stacked the deck. Guess what. GOD DID! And this leaves us praising God for his power and in intellect.

Genesis 1:1 uses simple words with such a profound meaning. C.S. Lewis once said, “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” The only word that comes to mind when I read this verse is AWESOME.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are truly awesome. You take my breath away. To think that you spoke from eternity the words that created the heavens and the earth and it came into being by your great power and intellect is more than my mind can comprehend. I praise you for creating this world and mankind for a purpose. I thank you for being my God and I beg the question that David asked in Psalm 8, "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" Thank you, God for loving me and caring for me and thinking of me. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die for me. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

-Loren Lung

Oct 14, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship (Ro 12:1 NIV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Ro 12:1 KJV)

Perhaps this is the most pivotal verse in Romans. It is the transition from background into application. And when it comes to studying the word I am really into asking the question, “How does this apply to my life.” So let’s take a look at this one little verse and see the beautiful picture it paints and application for our life today.

THEREFORE: Whenever you see the word “Therefore” in a verse you must ask the question, “What is it there for?” To find out the answer we look at two things: 1. The context of the writing or what has the writer been trying to convey. 2. The content of the statement itself.

Paul has been addressing the churches at Rome. The church was started by Jews. As they shared the good news message of Jesus Christ, Gentiles accepted Jesus and became a part of the church. Somewhere around 49 AD, Claudius expelled the Jews from the city of Rome. The church was left for the Gentiles to carry on and they did. In 54 AD, Claudius died. Afterwards, the Jews were gradually allowed back in Rome. But this caused some tension in the church as the Jewish Christians came back.

Paul writes the book of Romans sometime around 56 AD. He sends his letter to Rome with Phoebe who is a deaconess and helper to Paul.

Paul reminds both the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians of the background and common bond. He tells them that there is difference between Jew and Gentile – both the Jew and the Gentile are lost in sin and unable to save their selves. Both the Jew and the Gentile struggle with sin nature verses the righteousness of God. Both the Jew and the Gentile are saved by grace of God and receive Jesus by faith. Both the Jew and the Gentile are made righteous by God – justification and sanctified.

In the verse, Paul says “in view of God’s mercy”. God has saved both Jew and Gentile. God has done this for a purpose…so then, let us get on to it!

URGE: Looking at the various translations you can see different words used for this idea: beg, beseech, encourage, and admonish. The Greek word Paul uses is parakaleó which is used as a strong exhortation with deep emotion. Paul is basically saying that because of this common bond of God’s grace I implore you to do as I say.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Too many people get caught up in this gender inclusive issue here. Paul uses the Greek word adelphos which literally means brethren or brothers. But the word is a compound word from alpha which is a prefix indicating “of the same” and delphus meaning “womb.” The idea is a shared origin or commonality. Paul uses it in the larger sense of the Christian brotherhood.

Today we call our fellow Christians brothers and sisters. We use this rather superficially. But Paul is sharing a deeper connection. It is the common bond of Jesus Christ that holds us all together. It does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free because we are all of the family of God. This is a powerful thought to keep in mind the next time you hold a grudge against a fellow Christian.

In this case, the translation of adelphos as brothers and sisters does fit perfectly in spite of the fact that it is not a literal translation.

IN VIEW OF GOD’S MERCY: Paul is directing the attention where it needs to be. If it weren’t for God’s mercy we would be lost. Other translations may use grace or compassion here. The idea is that God was moved to action. He loves man so much (Jn 3:16) that he could not idly stand by and watch us perish. Like a mother who cares for her child’s safety puts herself in danger so the child will be safe. It is beyond logic. Logically, we are sinners who deserve to die. But God’s mercy goes beyond the logic of man. He moved! His Son died for our sins. Paul urges us by this common cord of the mercy of God to do as he says. This says so much about God’s unconditional love.

PRESENT: Another word pops off the page to me. Paristémi is the Greek word that Paul uses to paint this picture of an Old Testament sacrifice. The word literally means to stand close beside. The idea is as someone brings there sacrifice or offering to the tabernacle. They would stand beside the animal or offering.

Almost as important as the offering is the attitude that we have with giving the offering. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:21-25, “…if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Cain presented his offering in Genesis 4. His brother, Abel, also presented his offering. But Cain’s offering was rejected. God said, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

When we present our lives as a living sacrifice it is to be a given freely without resentment, without guilt, and with a proper attitude.

LIVING SACRIFICE: This sacrifice of ours is to be living. Paul is basically saying that everything we do, everything we own, everything we say, everything we think, is to be a sacrifice for God. Every breath that we breathe is an experience of the gift of life, abundant life, and eternal life that God has given to us. We are to give it back to him. Jesus gave his life for us so that we could present our life back to God.

The blood sacrifices of the Old Testament were sacred. It was to be done in a prescribed manner and sacrificial animal was to be perfect. Every part of the animal was presented to God. There is even a Jewish writing that talks about the cries of the sacrificed animal were a song to God.

Another word for sacrifice is offering. What we bring to God is what we offer to him. We should never offer him anything that does not cost us (2 Samuel 24:24). It also should not be something cheap or given half-heartedly. God gave his Son. Jesus did not give a partial sacrifice… he gave his all and suffered for us. What else can we offer God than our whole life without reservation or excuse?

Ananias and Sapphira laid their offering at the feet of Peter (Acts 5). It wasn’t that the gift wasn’t of value. But Ananias and Sapphira did not give all. They held back a portion for themselves and lied about it. The result is that both dropped dead.

ACCEPTABLE: It is not only the gift that is important. The priest presenting the offering had a prescribed method that God had laid out in the book of Leviticus. Both the ritual and the animal had to be according to the law. (Leviticus 1:3, 9). If he used the proper method with the right attitude of service the gift would be accepted. This was true of every offering and sacrifice.

When Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10) offered “strange fire” on the altar of incense they were consumed by fire from the Lord. Aaron was so devastated that he wanted to be removed from service as the High Priest.

Our living sacrifice must be presented in a way to God that is both “holy and acceptable”.

SERVICE / WORSHIP: The Greek word latreia is often interpreted several ways (NIV - true and proper worship. NASB - spiritual service of worship. KJV - your reasonable service. CEB - appropriate priestly service). This has cause much confusion over the years.

Latreia is a word that refers to "render sacred service" as a priest or Levi would perform in the temple or tabernacle. The word occurs five times in the NT (Jn 16:2; Ro 9:4, 12:1; Heb 9:1,6). Paul uses the idea to show us the solemnness of the sacred service that we perform as we present our bodies as a living sacrafice.

Now if you haven’t noticed. Paul has painted a beautiful picture of the Old Testament sacrifice. In the picture you play three roles: the one presenting, the one sacrificed, and he one doing the sacrifice. This is a perfect reflection of what the Hebrew writer says about Jesus as our sacrifice for sin. Jesus is the presenter of the sacrifice, the sacrifice, and the high priest. Isn’t that a beautiful picture?

The application for us as Christians is very clear. Often times in the church we spend more time arguing and fussing with each other over means and methods and petty stuff. We often focus on our differences rather than what we have in common. We are brothers and sisters in Christ with a common cord of the love, mercy, and grace of God. We all have faith in Jesus. So let’s move forward together and get with it.

The Roman church is not unlike so many out there today. When we focus on our difference and all paddle in different directions we go in circles and accomplish nothing. But when we put aside our differences and present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God we can get busy working together and we can accomplish much in God’s kingdom.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, I want to thank you for your sweet mercy and grace. I thank you for Jesus who is the sacrifice for my sins. Lord, I want to be a living sacrifice. Help me to present my whole being to you with the right attitude. I ask also that you help me to work together with my brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can accomplish your work and your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

-Loren Lung

Oct 4, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Let the Children Come

Mt 19:13-15; Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17

We are blessed to have many children at Beaver Creek Christian Church. I want to thank all the parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends who bring their children and the neighborhood children to church.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He then went on to say, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mt 19:13-15; Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17)

There are several implications that this passage has for us. The first thing is that we should help all children have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Teaching children is an important part of the church. After all, Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." We often look at this as a promise from God that the kids will "be good" when they grow up. But this verse is really an obligation for us to help kids develop a relationship with the Lord and equip them with the tools they need to become mature in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God and to attain the full measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16). We are good at introducing children to Jesus. But we sometimes lack in giving them the tools the need to build a lasting and growing relationship with Jesus. We need to come along beside them and walk with them in this child-like faith to help them grow.

The second implication is that we adults need to become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Of course, the obvious applications is that we need to have a simple child-like trust and faith when we come to Jesus. And we often start off our relationship with Jesus like this. But as we "mature" in our faith we sometimes become crusty old curmudgeons! I believe we need to maintain that child-like faith. Children love to play, run, climb, jump, hang upside-down, bend the rules, laugh, sing, clap, dance, and enjoy life. When was the last time you had fun in your faith? I can picture Jesus standing at the door asking, "Can Billy come out to play?" Perhaps if we Christians put a bit more joy in our relationship with Jesus more people would want to join us on the journey.

These are some powerful lessons for us out of a few short verses. I am sure you can think of some more applications.

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for children. Thank you for entrusting us to their spiritual care as well as their physical care. Bless the children, Lord, and bless their parents. Help us to bring these children to a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ and to equip them with the tools to overcome any obstacle than comes their way. And help us, Father, not to be too serious and dignified that we can't come out to play. In Jesus' name, Amen.

-Loren Lung

May 9, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Christmas in February

The King is Born - Matthew 1, 2; Luke 1, 2; John 1.

What if one word could change your life? We have all seen those posters with inspirational words on them: ENCOURAGE, TEAMWORK, BELIEVE, SUCCESS, HOPE, LOVE, DREAM, FAMILY, FAITH, IMAGINE, etc.

In 1999, Three business men wrote a book called, "One Word That Could Change Your Life." The idea is that you pick a word to drive your life for the year... like a theme. No endless list of goals and objectives, no meetings or itineraries... just one word.

In John 1:1-18, we read about the word. It is logos in Koine Greek of the New Testament. Logos is the root from which the word English word, logic is derived. It only makes sense that real logic comes from heaven. Jesus is real wisdom not "hollow words and deceptive and empty philosophy" (CL 2:8)

John reveals that this word was with God in the beginning. How meaningful it must of been for the Hebrew men and women to hear John echoing the words from Genesis 1:1 when he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." God created life with his spoken word. John connects that theme in that fact in Jesus was the life that brings light to all mankind.

When Jesus came, it had been over 400 years since a spoken word had come from God through the prophets. There were those who were hungry and waiting for the Word of God. The Word, Jesus, was better than that the prophets shared... Jesus was the word in the flesh (JN 1:14).

Not everyone accepted the Word. Busy little town of Bethlehem found little room for a pregnant woman about to give birth. King Herod was not excited when he heard that the Word was to be born, "King of the Jews." And all of Jerusalem was troubled with him.

"The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him". (JN 1:9-11)

There are many people today who have no room in their lives for Jesus. Like a customer in the restaurant telling the waitress they are too full for dessert, they tell others, "NO GOD, I have no room for that in my life." But Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 both say, "The fool in his heart says there is no God."

Jesus is the word that changes lives. The Magi were so excited about the Word that they traveled a long distance to see him. The shepherds received news about the Word from angels and when they found him they could not contain their joy and went sharing the Word with all who they could find. The New Testament is filled with people who were changed when they encountered and accepted the living Word, Jesus Christ.

And the Word continues to change lives today. There are many people who are living by faith in the Word. They are excited about what he is doing and they are sharing the Word with others.

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." (JN 1:12-13)

I am a life that was changed by the Word. Jesus has given me meaning a purpose. He has helped me to accomplish things in my life and overcome obstacles that would stop others in the tracks. My favorite passage is 1 John 3:1 where it says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!..." God has made me his child and lavished his love on me! I love that word "lavished". Grace is God lavishing his love on me even when I don't deserve it.

The truth of the matter is there is only one word that can really change your life. All those other words are pointless and meaningless without Jesus. I want to invite you to be lavished in God's love and grace today. It's time for you to accept the Word that will give light and life to your life.

Prayer Thought: Dear Father, Thank you for the Word that gives light and life. Thank you for the love that you lavish on me everyday because of the Word, Jesus Christ. It is in his name that I pray to you today. Amen.

-Loren Lung

Podcast of Sermon
Feb 24, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

A Connection Between Christ and Sukkot

ZECHARIAH 14:16

"AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT EVERYONE WHO IS LEFT OF ALL NATIONS WHICH CAME AGAINST JERUSALEM SHALL GO UP FROM YEAR TO YEAR TO WORSHIP THE KING, THE LORD OF HOSTS, AND TO KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES." ZECHARIAH 14:16

A rabbit hole is an expression that is used when studying. You may be researching down one area and then find yourself branching off into other areas. Sometimes it is easy to get distracted from your main objective and end up in a whole new place.

This happened to me yesterday. I was studying Nehemiah 7-9 and about the Feast of Tabernacles. I ran across an interesting article that had to do with Jesus birth in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles. The article is by a Messianic Jew who figured the birth of Jesus by chasing down clues in the Bible. He found clues to the birth of John the Baptist based on the months of service of the priest division in which Zechariah belonged. Then he showed how that connected to Jesus' birth 6 months later.

He stated that John would have been born on the Passover, the fifteenth day of the first month (Nisan). The Passover is to this day celebrated in the early spring. The Bible said that John would come in the spirit of Elijah (Ma 4:5; Lk 1:17; Mt 17:10-13). A part of the Passover celebration has families setting a place for the spirit of Elijah. (Interesting)

According to his research, Jesus would have been born six months later, in the fall, during the Sabbath or seventh month (Tishri). This is one of the most holy months on the Jewish calendar. The word Sabbath means rest. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Mt 11:28). (interesting!)

The most sacred day of the month is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, which happens on the 10th day of the month of Tishri. During the daily activities two goats would be brought out for the people, one would be a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people, the other is the "scapegoat" which is released into the wilderness to carry the sins of the people (Le 16). Jesus would become the our atonement for sins (Ro 3:25; He 2:17). (very interesting!)

According to his research, Jesus would have been born in the middle of the month on the 15 day. This is the start of Rosh Hashanah or the feast of the Tabernacles or Sukkot, which is a celebration of God’s provision to the Hebrews as they wandered in the wilderness. There is a dimension of time in this celebration as it looks at God’s provision in the past, present, and future. It points to God’s ultimate provision in the messiah to come. (Very Interesting!!!)

Moses was the messianic figure that brought the Hebrews out of the wilderness to the promised land. Jesus is the messiah that brought us out of the wilderness of our sins into salvation with an eternal home. (De 18:15-19; He 3:1-6). (very interesting indeed!)

The feast of Tabernacles is also called the feast of the harvest or ingathering. Jesus talks many times about the harvest in spiritual terms… We are the fruit of the harvest. The harvest is the time of reckoning… the judgement (Mt 13; 25:31-46; Re 14:14-20, etc.) Jesus even tells his disciples to “Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send more workers”. Jesus brings new meaning to the harvest and the urgency of more workers in bring people to salvation. It also reminds us that Jesus will be coming soon for the final ingathering. (very, very interesting!)

In 959 BC Solomon's Temple was dedicated to the Lord (1 Kings 8:2) during the Feast of Tabernacles. In 538 BC priest returned to Jerusalem from Babylon and began sacrificing to the Lord during the Feast of the Tabernacles even before the foundation was laid. Nehemiah finished building the walls of Jerusalem in 445 BC and the Jews shut themselves up in their new walls and celebrated the Feast of the Tabernacles together with more joy than even in Joshua’s day (Ne 8:17). Jesus tore the vail of the temple between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place to signal that he paid the price so the we could have direct access to God (He 10). (Incredibly interesting!)

If indeed Jesus was born on the 15 than he would have been circumcised on the eighth day which is the 22 day of Tishri and the last day of the Feast of the Tabernacles. The last day is called Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, God’s Word. The day is celebrated thanking God for his Word and reading the Torah . John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word of God. (OVERWHELMINGLY INTERESTING!)

Now I know that many of you will say this is all speculation and coincidence. But God is very big into symbolism and parable. If Jesus was really born in the fall (this year Oct 16-23) than it brings a fresh dimension to the birth of Christ and an appreciation to the Feast of Tabernacles.

Hope you enjoyed my rabbit hole.

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth. You have made the signs of times and the seasons. I praise you for your Son Jesus who is my atonement for my sin. I celebrate the provisions of life and the hope of eternal life with you, my God. In Jesus' name, Amen. -Loren Lung

Feb 12, 16/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Story: Daniel in Exhile

Chapter 18:Daniel 1-3, 6, Jeremiah 29-31

Integrity is a rare commodity. Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah show us three examples of integrity in Daniel. (DA 1:4;1 PE 2:11)

Daniel and his three friends refuse to eat from the King’s table . (DA 1; JE 1:4-10, 17-19) Like Daniel, we need to refuse to eat the world’s diet.

Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah refuse to worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar. (DA 3: EX 20:3-6) Like Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah we need to stand up for God.

Daniel refuses to pray to anyone but God. (DA 6)

Daniel 9 gives us a glimpse into the coming and second coming of the “anointed one”, the Messiah. He is coming to take us home to heaven. We need to be men and women of integrity.

Reading This Week: The Story (chapter 19)

The Return Home (Chapter 19) -Ezra

Text: Ezra 1-6, Haggai 1-2, Zechariah 1, 8

Today (Sunday) Ezra 1-2

Monday Ezra 3-4

Tuesday Ezra 5-6

Wednesday Haggai 1

Thursday Haggai 2

Friday Zechariah 1

Saturday Zechariah 8

Memorize Jeremiah 29:11

Podcast of Sermon
Jan 23, 16/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

Flooding My Soul With Glory Divine

-1 John 1:5

1 John 1:5 – “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

I had a rough night and didn’t sleep well all night. I didn’t feel well when I woke this morning. I didn’t want to get out of bed let alone even think about walking or exercising.

I felt the need for prayer but the words were illusive and I didn’t even know where to begin. I drug myself to the coffee pot and hastily made a cup of Joe. My mind wasn’t in it when I shaved and I paid the price with a little nick below my chin. It was almost time to go to the preacher’s meeting.

God has a way of putting things in perspective. While I was at the meeting, the sun started coming in the window. At first, I was a little annoyed that the sun was in my eyes and I moved over a bit. But the sunlight seemed to follow me and was again in my eyes. So I looked up and the stain glass window was aglow. The image seemed to reach out to me. The colors were so vivid and alive. It was a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. And it was awesome.

Suddenly, things were in perspective. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, was carrying a lamb. His other sheep were gathered around him. The lamb, who was to young and weak to follow on his own, was being carried. I knew then who was really carrying my load. Jesus doesn’t just have my back. He is willing to carry me.

Do you know how often we let little things become stressful and hinder our walk and our testimony. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, The Great Physician, and Mighty Counselor. What more do we need?

Heavenly Sunshine

Lyrics: H. J. Zelley

Music: George H. Cook

Walking in sunlight all of my journey

Over the mountains, through the deep vale;

Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,”

Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Shadows around me, shadows above me,

Never conceal my Savior and Guide;

He is the light, in Him is no darkness;

Ever I’m walking close to His side.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,

Pressing my way to mansions above;

Singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,

Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Everlasting Father, Creator of all things. I am really sorry for the times I have let distractions, stress, and frustrations get in the way of doing what I should. I thank you for carrying me and caring for me. Thank you for the message written very clearly and delivered in brilliant color. Help me to trust you in all things. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Sep 15, 15/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

I Believe in the Church

Acts 2:42

Acts 2:42 –They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

I have to admit that I get a bit upset when I see an old church building converted into a fitness club, a brewpub, or restaurant. It’s not that there is anything holy or sacred about the building. It’s just a building… a piece of real estate where people used to gather to worship God.

I think about the songs of praise and worship that were raised to God in those buildings. I think about the people who sang them and the preachers who preached in the pulpit long since removed to make way for a salad bar or beer tap.

These building had a purpose that they fulfilled and have now been re-purposed for some other use. I may not always care for how they are now being used but that is not my concern.

I am seeing a lot of churches that were once thriving and full now struggling to keep the doors open. My aunt was talking about how few there are attending their church. They barely raise enough money to pay the preacher and the light bill. The sad news is that they announced that if things keep going they will only survive another two years. I’m sure that sucked the joy out of any ambition that they had left in them.

Some people think that churches are dying because of the changing times. Some say that it is because people don’t have time for church. There are those who think there is no value in church. Some say that the church has outlived it’s purpose and needs to die.

I don’t believe any of that. I believe that the church is as relevant today as it was in the beginning when it started on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). I just believe that the message and the purpose has been lost and convoluted. We are good at coming together for an hour a week to worship. But we are missing the rest of the mission. The church has lost it’s value because it focused on the building and not the mission.

No, the building isn’t special. It is the people. They are Christ’s Ekklesia. They are the ones who are called out. They were called out by Jesus for a mission. The mission is to worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelize, and outreach. We were not called out to build buildings or care for property. We were called to take care of people.

There are churches that are thriving. There are churches that are growing. And there are churches that are doing incredible things in the name of the Lord. They don’t always meet in the traditional building. Sometimes they meet in outdoor pavilions, store-fronts, or even barns. Some of these churches build buildings that suit their purpose that don’t even look like the traditional church building.

My sister commented that my parent’s church doesn’t look like a church. It looks more like a movie theater or office complex. To their credit, they don’t act much like a traditional church either. Their bulletin is full of ministry opportunities. They meet in homes for growth groups. There are so many activities and opportunities during the week that the worship team actually has to have a special practice room just to get ready for Sunday because the auditorium is constantly being used.

But it’s not just about being busy and active and full. The people have opportunities to become disciples and grow in their faith, opportunities to get involved, opportunities to minister to the needs of others, and even opportunities to take missions trips to foreign countries. They freely share their faith with others. They don’t try to win them to the church but to help them build a loving relationship with Jesus Christ that inspires them to keep growing spiritually.

I believe in the church. I believe in God’s people. I believe it is time that we get serious and get back to the mission that we were given.

Prayer Thought: Oh Holy God, We praise you for who you. We thank you for your goodness. We worship you. Father, you have called us out and given us a purpose to our lives. We ask you to stir the spirit within us so that we may be united as we work together in love to fulfill this mission. Thank you, Lord. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

- Loren

Jun 4, 15/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

All Things Point To Jesus

Romans 1:20

Why do we do the things we do as Christians? The answer is simple, we do them to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ and glorify God.

Unfortunately we are also human and prone to making mistakes. Inadvertently, instead of pointing people to Jesus we sometimes show them our selfishness, pride, sins, weakness, anger, jealousy, and other things that just aren't pretty to see. Instead of drawing people to a relationship with Jesus we drive them away.

Sometimes even the good things can distracts from the love and grace of Jesus. For instance, Instead of showing them to Christ we point people to the church or the many activities we have going on there. We point people to our good works and our “friendly, family atmosphere”. We point them to programs and worship styles rather than a saving relationship with Jesus. All these things are good but we need to bring people to Jesus, not programs, activities, and ministries.

Sometimes we have even been guilty of asking people to accept Jesus as their savior so they will be saved from the punishment of sin. It sounds like a good reason - Fire insurance…”get out of jail free” card. But the problem is they don’t have an interest in Jesus so their relationship never grows beyond their baptism. We need to emphasis that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He died to take away your sins because he wants a personal relationship with you.

In his book, God is the Gospel, John Piper wrote, “The critical question for our generation, and for every generation, is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and with no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

Ouch! That is a painful question to ponder if you are honest with yourself.

I once had a professor at Johnson University that told us, “You keep them with what you catch them with.” I may not have fully understood then but I do now. If you catch them with fun things when the fun is over they will leave. If you catch them with food, personalities, programs, gimmicks, or fascinating lessons, etc., they will leave when it’s all over. You keep people by inviting them to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

The challenge is to make sure everything points to Jesus. Growth in our walk with the Lord happens when we have a desire to please Jesus and a hunger and thirst for Him. Ministry happens when we have a passion for Jesus and compassion for others.

There was a person who saw the face of Jesus everywhere. She saw the face of Jesus in the wood grain pattern of the church door. She saw the face of Jesus in the shape of a potato chip. She saw the face of Jesus reflected in the glistening light of a pond. She even saw the face of Jesus in the spots on a cow! Many people though she was a bit odd or even crazy. But when you got to know Mary you understood that she saw Jesus everywhere because she loved him so much and was looking for Him in everything around her.

Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Have you seen Jesus lately? Are you pointing others to Him?

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your mighty works of creation. These beautiful things point me to Jesus and remind me daily of your love and grace for me. Please help me to keep pointing others to Jesus too. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Loren Lung, minister

May 8, 15/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

By-Laws and The Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“Why do we need by-laws? I thought we were a Bible church. If we go by the Bible why do we need by-laws?”

These are all good questions and some that have been brought up recently as the leadership began looking at revisions for the by-laws.

First of all, let me emphasize the fact that we are a church that believes and follows the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Bible is our ultimate guide in doctrine, principle, and procedure. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.“

Every incorporated body by law must have a constitution and by-laws that outlines the purpose, principles, procedures, and government of that body. These are there for legal protection of the organization, it’s leaders, and it’s membership.

Because the by-laws are for legal purposes they should be reviewed and updated to make sure that we are doing what we say and saying what do.

The review of the by-laws has been discussed by the board for the last couple of years. Last year the board appointed a committee to look over and review the by-laws to see if there were weaknesses and inconsistencies with how the church functions so that we can better lead and protect the Church and the membership. 

One of the changes that has been suggested addresses the concerns above. It reads, “We accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God and as the ultimate authority in matters of faith, doctrine and Christian living. These bylaws and any amendments made hereto shall be the governing documents of this Church but they should always be interpreted and applied in conformity with the Bible.” Scripture references have also been added through the by-laws.

It is our desire that you will prayerfully read over the amendments and changes to the by-laws. There will be a congregational meeting following the morning worship service on February 1st. We will briefly go over the changes and then have a question and answer time. The vote on the by-law changes will be on February 15th.

If you are an active and eligible member of Beaver Creek Christian Church you may vote at the election. If you are not going to be in town for the election, please contact one of the elders who will arrange for an absentee ballot.

Prayer Thought: Dear Father in Heaven, We praise you and lift you up. We thank your for this congregation of believers. We want to serve you and live for you. Help us to live up the the scriptures. Thank you for Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through his sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for your blessings. In Jesus' name, Amen

-Loren Lung

Feb 11, 15/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

State of the Church Address

Revelation Chapter 2 and 3

Once a year the president of United States of America gets up in front of a joint session of congress and gives “The State of the Union Address”. It is televised all over the world and preempts most of the network programing.

In the address, he shares the condition and issues facing the country, what has been done during the past year, and what he hopes will be accomplished in the coming year. For some people the address is like a “pep-talk” for the country and yet some people think it is a total waste of time and money.

But let me ask you this. What if Jesus where to come and talk to us about the condition of his church, what we have or have not accomplished in the past year, and what he wants us to accomplish this year? What would he say to our ministry teams, our board, our preacher, and to you personally?

How would you react? What demands would be put on you for your time, your finances, or talents and abilities? Would he ask you to be more involved in helping others? Would he ask you to attend church a little more regularly? What about sharing your faith a little more enthusiastically?

Jesus did just that to seven churches in the book of Revelation (ch. 2, 3). For some of the people he gave praise and for others they received a scathing report in which he warned them to do better.

To the church in Laodicea the report was really bad. He told them that they’re service was unpalatable! He said that even they thought they were rich that they were wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. But he told them that because he loved them he was disciplining them. And that they should repent.

After each of the reports he added, “Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” It reminds me of what my mother used to say when she was trying to make a point, “LISTEN UP AND LISTEN GOOD!”

I don’t know what Jesus would say to Beaver Creek Christian Church. There are good, generous, loving, and caring people who work hard for the kingdom in our church. But just like in anything, there is room for improvement.

Paul begged the good brothers and sisters of the church at Rome to be living sacrifices for God. He told them not to be conformed to the world but transformed by God’s renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

My prayer for Beaver Creek Christian Church for 2015 is that we let Jesus lead us to new areas of service and ministry for his kingdom.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for the congregation at BCCC. I want to lift up the church to you and ask for your blessings about everyone there. I ask that you will help us to be the church you have called us to be. Help us put aside indifference in order to serve you and work in your kingdom. You are our awesome God. Remind us that it is your name on the door. In Jesus' name, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Nov 1, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

What Happened to Autumn?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens...

It was hard enough for me to watch the trucks full of Christmas trees heading out to parts unknown. Then I had to start planning the holiday season on the church calendar. When I had gone to bed last night I had planned on going though some Christmas songs this morning for the choir to start preparing. But this morning there is about 2 inches of snow on the ground. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN?

It's All-Saint's Day for the Catholics; November 1st. And the first winter storm of the season is passing through. It's not even officially winter!

Seasons come and go. They often pass faster than we wish. That is especially true when we watch our children growing up...then our grandchildren... and so on. The days go by so fast.

That is why it is so important to make a decision for the Lord and to live for him each day. We may think we have all the time in the world. The invitation is always open but we are not even promised the next hour!

I am not selling fire insurance. I am offering you more time... eternal life with our Lord, Jesus Christ. And everyone can use a bit more time!!!

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Where does the time go. One day we are children longingly looking forward to growing up. The next day we are older adults remembering the carefree days of our youth. To you a day is like a thousand years and thousand years is like a day. But to us life is a precious struggle for each moment. Help us to release the bounds of time and to embrace the eternal nature of your majesty. Help us to boldly shed the temporal and clothe ourselves in the spiritual. You are our God. In Jesus' name, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Nov 1, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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