Steve DeNeff - Luke 20:45 - 21:4. Contrary to popular belief, our possessions lie at the heart of our spiritual lives because whatever we do with them, for better or worse, we do to ourselves. That’s why the widow who “put in everything - all that she had to live on” is so impressive a model of discipleship. In sharp contrast to the “long and flowing robes” of the Pharisees, she quietly reflects the character of God’s own gift, Jesus, who noticed her.
Steve DeNeff - Matthew 15:21-28. What happens in seasons when God is not speaking? Whether we like it or not, every one of us has been (or at least “felt” like we’ve been) in that season. Like the Canaanite woman, we’ve desperately cried to God, “Lord, help me” but “Jesus did not answer us at all.” This message - on the importance of not speaking for God when God is not speaking - will give counsel to both those crying out (like the woman) and those who try to avoid them (like the disciples).
Emily Vermilya - Acts 15. Discerning the voice of God lies at the heart of our desire to shift from asking to listening. But what if God’s leading seems unclear or leaves open a number of options for us in terms of next steps? What do we do when what we discern lies in direct contrast with what another brother or sister is hearing from the Lord? Examining the account of the Jerusalem Counsel (Acts 15), the Early Church models for us the role of others in helping us discern God’s voice and encourages us to become a community of people who engage in corporate discernment.
Steve DeNeff - 1 Samuel 16:1-13. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance… The Lord does not look at the things man looks at… the Lord looks at the heart.” On discernment as the single most important practice for dealing with complexity in our contemporary lives.
Ethan Linder - Amos 2:6-12, 8:11-12. “I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” On yearning to hear the voice of God, only to find we’ve lost our hearing.
Steve DeNeff - Ezekiel 3:1-11. “The voice said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what I am giving you – eat this scroll – (and) let my words sink deep into your own heart first; then go to the people in exile.” On the importance of putting ourselves before the Word and obeying it, whether anyone else does or not.