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43 minutes | Jan 22, 2023
Overcoming Fear of the Future
Fear of the future is one of the most common fears gripping our world. This tends to paralyze and isolate people. So what are we to do in the face of the uncertainty about the future? What instruction does God’s word give his people? What has done and what will God do on behalf of his people? I. Overcoming fear starts with a firm foundation II. Fear of the future will often include lies of the enemy III. Overcoming fear through the means of grace 1. How do you typically respond when you anticipate bad things to come? 2. What element of the Rabshakeh’s speech was most alarming to you? Why? 3. What are some things you currently are afraid of as you think about the future? 4. How does Jesus’ work on the cross put into perspective our fear of the future?
46 minutes | Jan 8, 2023
We Will Remember
Psalm 78 reminds the people of God of the importance of remembering God’s works and words and passing them on to the next generation. In this message, we will remember the mighty works of God at Covenant Church over the last 14 years so that we would trust him more and obey his good commands. Sermon Outline: I. We Must Remember 1. The Works of God 2. The Word of God II. So that We Trust III. So that We Obey Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. How has your understanding of God's mighty works changed or been strengthened through hearing about the history and growth of our church over the last fourteen years? 2. Why is remembering so essential to trusting? Why is trusting so fundamental for obeying? 3. Scan the rest of Psalm 78. When do the people of God get themselves into trouble? How can we avoid doing the same as a church? As individuals? 4. In what ways can reflecting on the successes and challenges of our church's history provide insight and guidance for making decisions and setting goals in the present and future?
43 minutes | Jan 1, 2023
Unless Jesus returns first, we will all die with unfulfilled longings, just like Moses. We will have goals we did not accomplish, books we did not write, places we did not travel, changes we did not make, things we did not say, growth that did not happen. Death is the jagged rock upon which our deepest longings will be dashed. How then should we live? Join us for the last in the Deuteronomy series. Sermon Outline: I. Death Comes to the Best of Us and to the Rest of Us. II. Business Will Remain Unfinished and Longings Will Remain Unfulfilled. III. No One is Indispensable and the World Will Move On. IV. One Day, Death Will be Swallowed Up in Victory and Every Longing Will Be Satisfied. Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. Think back on this series through Deuteronomy that began in August 2021. What were some highlights or main takeaways for you from studying this remarkable book? 2. Death will come to us all, as surely as it came to Moses. Why is facing this fact so important for living life well? 3. Unfulfilled longings will be the reality for each of us when we come to die. The question is whether the longings we have are worthy of who God has called us to be. What worthy pursuit are you unwilling to begin for fear of not finishing? How does this passage speak to that? 4. How does the resurrection and the promise of a new heavens and a new earth speak to the pain of our unfulfilled longings in this life? What kind of people ought we to be when we know that one day even our greatest sufferings will become the subject of God’s greatest praises? 5. What do you need to remember? Where do you need to trust? How is he calling you to obey?
32 minutes | Dec 25, 2022
48 minutes | Dec 11, 2022
Look To The Rock When You're On The Rocks
What do you do when your life is on the rocks? The song Moses teaches the people of God in Deuteronomy 32 gives us the answer. Sermon Outline: I. Ascribe Perfection to Yahweh. II. Acknowledge the Imperfections of Yahweh’s People. III. Recognize the Justice of Yahweh. IV. Treasure the Compassion of Yahweh. V. Rejoice in and Respond to the Deliverance of Yahweh. Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. What is a song that evokes powerful memories for you? 2. How is ascribing perfection to God a powerful help when we find ourselves on the rocks of life? Why does ascribing perfection to God not preclude lamenting difficult circumstances? 3. As you read or heard about the way Israel trampled and scorned God’s grace, did it bother you? How are you repaying the Lord for his kindnesses to you? Are there any changes you need to make today? 4. How can we hold God’s justice toward evil and God’s compassion toward his people together? How does the gospel resolve the tension? 5. The proper response to God’s promised salvation is both joy and obedience. How do those two things go together? What happens if we separate them?
53 minutes | Dec 4, 2022
Strong Foundations in Times of Uncertainty
The people of Israel are facing the uncertainty of a leadership transition. Who and what will they be able to depend on when they cross the Jordan and face the enemies that caused their parents’ faith to shrivel up and die? We, too, go through times of uncertainty. We may be passing from one season of our life across a Jordan river moment into an unknown land and we do not know what to expect. What strong foundations can we depend on when we enter times of uncertainty? Sermon Outline: Foundation #1: God’s presence is the foundation of our strength and courage at all times. Foundation #2: God’s appointed leaders are the ordinary means by which God brings us into what he has promised. Foundation #3: God’s Word gives us needed direction about how to be, what to do, and how to return. Foundation #4: God’s unchanging character gives us confidence that we can always depend on him to do what he has promised. Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. Where are you cognizant of uncertainty in your life today? 2. How should God’s presence give us strength and courage in the face of uncertainty? If we are allowing fear to lead us to disobedience, what are we forgetting? 3. What are some reasons why it is so important that we continually expose ourselves to the reading and preaching of God’s Word? What are our personal hindrances to taking in God’s Word? 4. Prosperity was generally a hinderance to Israel faithfully following the Lord. How can we ensure that our own prosperity does not lead us astray from the true God? 5. How does God’s unchanging character give you confidence in uncertainty even though you may personally fail?
37 minutes | Nov 27, 2022
Advent In The Wilderness
Isaiah 35 speaks hope to weary exiles who wait for redemption. Its an appropriate meditation during Advent season for Christians who are still waiting for Christ to return. Sermon Outline: I. Homesick exiles II. The home we’re sick for III. The way back home IV. What we have while we wait Discussion Questions 1. When was the last time you visited your hometown? What was the experience like? 2. Isaiah 34 describes the judgment of God. What does chapter 35 tell us about the intentions and purposes for God’s judgment? Why is this hard to remember? 3. What life experiences tend to give you “weak hands and feeble knees”? How does this passage speak to your need? 4. In what ways is Jesus shown to be the fulfillment of this specific set of prophecies in Isaiah 35? 5. In what ways are you presently witnessing the kind of transformation described in this text? In what ways are you still waiting to see this promised transformation? 6. What has God given us to help us “walk on the way” (v8) as we wait for the world to be fully restored ?
29 minutes | Nov 23, 2022
An Unlikely Thanksgiving
46 minutes | Nov 20, 2022
God has made it clear throughout the book of Deuteronomy that if his people break his covenant and disobey his commandments, they are going to find themselves cast out of the land and into the far country. Eventually that would happen. But judgment is not God’s final word to his people. This passage reminds us that no matter how far we have drifted or run from God’s good plan, the option to choose life is still before us. Sermon Outline: I. The Condition of Life. II. The Promise of Life. III. The Objections to Life. IV. The Choice of Life. Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. Have you ever been in the “far country?” What was that like? Do you know anyone in the “far country” now? 2. What are the elements of repentance as they are portrayed in Deuteronomy 30:1-2? Why can we not go on loving God and loving our sin? 3. How is God’s law a blessing to those who have it? Was it ever intended to be a means by which God’s people could be righteous before God? Why or why not? 4. Are the choice of life and death still on the table for us today? How would you explain this to someone who is not a Christian? 5. Pray and consider who God would have you share the message of life with today.
53 minutes | Nov 13, 2022
The Things that are Revealed
God has revealed to his people everything they needed to know for life in the land through this book of Deuteronomy. But the revelation itself is not enough to benefit from it. And so, in this chapter Moses brings together all of the main threads of Deuteronomy in order to impress upon them the importance of taking heed to the message that is revealed. How can they be sure to benefit from the things that are revealed? And likewise, how can we? Sermon Outline: I. Remember God’s Grace in Establishing his Covenant. II. Embrace Your Place in God’s Covenant. III. Beware Betraying the God of the Covenant. IV. Live by What is Revealed. Sermon Discussion Questions: 1. Have you ever been given a helpful piece of information that you did not act on and regretted it later? (ie. medical advice, stock tip, etc.) 2. How is it that someone can hear the message of what God has done, and yet not really hear it? How does this shed light on this phrase Jesus uses repeatedly: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (e.g., Mark 4:9)? What is the solution not hearing, seeing, or understanding? 3. What are some of the idols that we are most inclined to go after today? Where do you see people inclined to follow the stubbornness of their own heart rather than God’s Word? 4. Why is it so dangerous to reject God’s word and do what you want on the assumption that you can just ask forgiveness later? Read Hebrews 6:1-12. What do you think is to be the intended effect of this passage on true Christians? 5. Many people get caught up on trying to figure out God’s will for their lives in areas God has not revealed, and it tends to produce anxiety. How is Deuteronomy 29:29 freeing?
49 minutes | Nov 6, 2022
The Blessings of Obedience and the Curses of Disobedience
God desires a people who will not leave him or forsake him, who will not worship other gods besides him, who will obey his commands, honor him as Lord, and keep coming back to him as long as their heart is pumping. And while this kind of loyalty will yield blessings beyond our imagination, disloyalty is threatened with curses unspeakable. Sermon Outline:I. Obedience leads to blessings untold.The Condition: The Blessings:The Cause: II. Disobedience leads to curses unspeakable. The Condition:The Curses:The Cause:III. So What?Sermon Discussion Questions:1. Covenant loyalty is a very big deal to God. Why do you suppose that is? How does the image of God’s people being his bride help us grasp the intensity of his love?2. God’s blessings described in Deuteronomy 28 are primarily focused around physical and financial prosperity in the land. Should we expect physical and financial prosperity if we obey God’s commandments? (*Hint: in addition to New Testament texts like 2 Cor. 4:7-5:10, you may want to revisit Psalm 73 and Job 1-2.)3. Not all hardship is a result of God’s response to our sins, but all of God’s curses are intended to function as discipline in the life of his people to turn us back to repentance and faith. Read Hebrews 12:3-17 and explain how we should respond to discipline.4. Read John 15:1-11. How are Jesus’ words a further confirmation of the message in Deuteronomy 28?5. How does understanding what Christ has accomplished for us at the cross turn obedience from feeling like a burden of “have to” to the joy of “get to”? Where in your life do you need to apply that gospel more personally so the “have to” becomes a “get to” again?
51 minutes | Oct 30, 2022
It is hard to imagine a worse word to describe our lives than “cursed.” Over the next four chapters of Deuteronomy, the people of God are going to be presented with a choice: blessing or curse. It is a choice we all face every single day. If we are going to avoid the curse, we need to be clear on what the law requires, clear on who we are, clear on the consequences of disobedience, and clear on the remedy for disobedienceSermon Outline:I. To Avoid the Curse, We Need to Be Clear on What the Law Requires.II. To Avoid the Curse, We Need to Be Clear on Who We Are.III. To Avoid the Curse, We Need to Be Clear on the Consequence of Disobedience.IV. To Avoid the Curse, We Need to Be Clear on the Remedy for Disobedience.Sermon Discussion Questions:1. What do Moses and the elders mean in verse 1 when they say, “Keep the whole commandment that I command you today”? How do Christians relate to the commandments of Moses in Deuteronomy?2. What are some ways that this passage reminds us that God’s law comes to his people in the context of his grace?3. How does having a firm conviction of who we are change our motivation for obeying God’s law?4. This passage reminds us that even if we hide from human justice, there will be no hiding from divine justice. If we truly believed that, how would this impact our thought life or the things we do in secret?5. What is the remedy God has provided to deliver us from the curse of sin? Why does being redeemed from the curse of the law not mean that the law no longer matters?
51 minutes | Oct 23, 2022
Grateful People are Obedient People
Gratitude is the natural response to rescue. In this passage, Moses prescribes a couple of rituals and recitations that will serve to remind the people of what God has done for them. Come discover how gratitude for God’s grace expresses itself in obedient worship, obedient giving, and obedient living. Sermon Outline:I. Give thanks for God’s grace through obedient worship.II. Give thanks for God’s grace through obedient giving.III. Give thanks for God’s grace through obedient living. Sermon Discussion Questions:1. Have you ever been rescued or saved from something scary or life-threatening? What did that feel like, and how did you respond?2. In our worship, we should be cognizant of God’s provision for us, his faithfulness to us, and his rescue of us. How can we keep these things in mind as we worship? What happens if we forget?3. Why is giving to the local church and to those in need an appropriate response to God’s grace to us? Do your own giving practices reflect your own sense of gratitude for what God has done for you and promised to you?4. How does knowing you are God’s treasured possession affect your understanding of his commandments? How is disobedience to any of God’s commandments ultimately a failure to remember and trust?5. Reflect today on what God has done for you. Take some time to pray and re-commit yourself to obeying all of his commands in loving gratitude for his abundant grace to you in Christ.
45 minutes | Oct 16, 2022
Love Protects in a Selfish World
In a world that puts self first, God’s people put the interests of others ahead of their own. In a world where many seek to take advantage through dishonesty, God’s people are honest even when it hurts. In a world that seeks to divide, God’s people are breaking down boundaries with love. When we live this way, we push back against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places and upon the earth.Sermon Outline:I. Love Protects the Family.II. Love Protects the Economy.III. Love Protects the Covenant Community.Sermon Discussion Questions:1. The laws around levirate marriage were to protect and provide for the deceased man’s family. How was selfishness a threat to that provision? How does selfishness threaten families today?2. Read 1 Timothy 5:8-16. What are the implications of this passage for us as families today?3. For those who are or have been in the marketplace, where do you see selfishness as a threat to the economy? Where have you been tempted to be dishonest? How would honesty in the workplace transform your industry?4. Read Colossians 3:22-24. If you were living this, what would change about the way you work?5. How is love the ultimate act of rebellion in a selfish world? How does Jesus show us this and how do we benefit from it?
46 minutes | Oct 9, 2022
A Compassionate People
In this passage, Moses reminds the people of God that they were once enslaved, without hope, and unable to help themselves. Yet God stepped into their misery and demonstrated compassion toward them and rescued them from their misery. And now in this series of loosely connected laws, he calls forth the same kind of compassion to be demonstrated by his covenant people. Sermon Outline:I. Have Compassion on the Newly Married.II. Have Compassion on those in Debt.III. Have Compassion on Victims of Trafficking.IV. Have Compassion for your Neighbor’s Health.V. Have Compassion on those who Work for You.VI. Have Compassion on the Poor.VII. Have Compassion on the Innocent and the Guilty.Sermon Discussion Questions:1. Tell of a time when you were the recipient of someone else’s compassion? How did it impact you?2. What do you think are some of the primary obstacles keeping Christians from being more compassionate toward others today?3. Consider the commands in Deuteronomy 24:19-22. What do you think are some contemporary applications of this law to meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable while preserving their dignity?4. What kind of person do you find it most difficult to feel and express compassion for? How can the gospel renew your heart and perspective toward such people?5. What is one change you are going to intentionally make this week as a result of this passage?
48 minutes | Oct 2, 2022
Mightier Than the Waves
This week we came face-to-face with the power of the waves in Southwest Florida. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Ian, we have the opportunity to come face-to-face with the one who is even mightier than the waves.
52 minutes | Sep 25, 2022
Do Not Take Advantage
To take advantage of other human beings, or to exploit them, seems as natural to us as breathing. We see it all around us everyday. But it is not to be so among God’s covenant people. Rather than taking advantage, we are called to love. Join us to find out how!Sermon Outline:I. Do not Take Advantage of the Refugee Slave.II. Do Not Take Advantage of the Sinful Vices of Others.III. Do Not Take Advantage of the Poor.IV. Do Not Take Advantage of the LORD.V. Do Not Take Advantage of Your Neighbor’s Generosity.VI. Do Not Take Advantage of a Divorce.Sermon Discussion Questions:1. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor.” What are some ways that you see people being wronged or taken advantage of in our world today?2. What modern-day equivalents of the refugee slave should the people of God provide refuge for today?3. How might the poor be taken advantage of in our context? How do you see generosity being taken advantage of? How do you see divorce being used to take advantage? What can we do about any of these things as the covenant people of God?4. Vows are taken very seriously in the Bible, but not so much by many of us. Reflect on the vows you have taken (eg. marriage, church membership, etc.). Are you living by them? Recommit yourself to give what you have promised in light of what Christ has given you.
58 minutes | Sep 18, 2022
Holiness Among God’s People
The rules in this passage are quite strange to us. But God’s motive in giving them to his people was so that his people who are sinful and unclean, could enjoy the benefit of fellowship with the God who is described as “Holy, holy, holy”. While the ceremonial rules regarding ritual purity in Israel have come to an end through the ministry of Jesus, the instructions about who can be in the assembly of the Lord and how we should live knowing that God is present are no less instructive for us than for them. Sermon Outline:I. Because God is holy, we must preserve the sanctity of the holy assembly.II. Because God is holy, we must keep ourselves from every evil thing. Sermon Discussion Questions:1. How do you feel about certain people and groups being excluded from the assembly of the LORD? Do you think it is fair?2. Read Acts 8:26-39. How does this passage relate to Deuteronomy 23:1-8 and what does it teach us about the reach of the gospel?3. Read Ephesians 2:11-22. How does this passage relate to Deuteronomy 23:1-8 and what are the implications for us?4. If you believed in the core of your being that God not only dwelt in your midst, but within you as a temple, how would your life be different? What needs to be cleaned out so that “he may not see anything indecent” in you? After discussing, spend some time in prayer asking God to show you those things and to cleanse you of them.
47 minutes | Sep 11, 2022
Our Story of Discipleship
Real life isn’t random as many might say; we are all living in a story written and orchestrated by a powerful and loving God. This story is filled with hope and can give us comfort and courage each and every day. The reigning sentiment of our time gives us conflicting messages about how we get hope in this life, but the Gospel of Jesus gives a clear answer. Sermon Outline I. Do Not ConformII. Be Transformed Questions1. What are some of the differences between the world’s narrative of things, and the gospel’s?2. Are there any parts of the world’s narrative you find yourself tending to believe? Which parts?3. How does the gospel contradict those false truths?4. If your story seems different from others, what false conclusions can you make about God’s love for you?
50 minutes | Sep 4, 2022
The (W)hole in Our Discipleship
We are all disciples of something or of someone. Only Jesus disciples us in the ways that are best for us, and can fill the void in our hearts we try to fill with achievements, experiences, possessions…the list is endless. The world disciples us by demanding and taking. Jesus disciples us by leading, tending, guiding, nurturing, strengthening, correcting, and restoring, as our Creator and as the Lover of our souls. Sermon Outline:I. Encounter: Discipleship begins when someone encounters Jesus for the first time. II. Engage: Disciples must engage their whole selves completely.III. Experience: Disciples must experience and embrace Jesus’ mercy for them personally.IV. Endure: Jesus’ boundless mercy is a rock that enables us to endure all. Sermon Discussion Questions:1. Ozymandias thought his statue and his kingdom would last forever. What are some of the “statues” and “kingdoms” the world around you assumes will last forever. Are there any statues and kingdoms in your life you assume will always be there?2. When did you encounter Jesus for the first time? What are some key moments in your life when your faith became personal? Who are some key people that have played a role in helping you see Jesus better?3. When you think of how Jesus calls us to surrender everything in our lives and follow him, do you ever struggle to believe if he will be enough to replace all of that? Do you believe he, in fact, is enough? 4. What are some ways you’ve needed the rock of Jesus’ mercy this week? How might this change your approach to helping others going through hard times?
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