Steve DeNeff - Mark 7:31-37 & Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11. It has never been harder, and it has never been more urgent to share the gospel than it is today: harder because people are disenchanted and less interested, yet urgent because so much is at stake. But even when the soil is hard, we must keep sowing.
Steve DeNeff - Luke 2:8-12; Philippians 2:5-11. To humble ourselves and obey is the nature of God: “Being in very nature God . . . he made himself nothing and took the very nature of a servant . . . (then) he humbled himself, and became obedient,” (Phil. 2:6-8). This is not only Jesus’ humanity; it’s ours at its best. It’s who we are and who we want to be.
Emily Vermilya - Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38. Sometimes a single act of obedience can take the rest of our lives to complete. Like Joseph and Mary, we are summoned into a story that has already begun and is larger than us, and to give our consent requires us to spend the rest of our lives doing what is hard and beyond us.
Eric Crisp - Luke 1:5-22. Obedience takes time. Sometimes it cannot be done in day, not even in the day we are told. Like Zechariah, we must wait for another day when the opportunity presents itself, then we must be true and faithful to that moment before God will open new possibilities.
Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 40:1-5; 42:1-9. Sometimes obedience means believing the impossible, saying the absurd, holding onto he improbable simply because we’ve heard God’s Voice. It means being the minority report. Sometimes the certainty of it is unclear, even to us, so it is only by looking back that we know what the will of God was.
Steve Lennox - 2 Peter 1:1-11. For the most part, Christians know what God asks of them, but feel ill-equipped to oblige, explaining their shortfall as “being human.” In this passage, God makes clear that He has already given us everything we need for living the godly life.
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.