Covenant Christian Reformed Church Welcome to the weekly podcast of Covenant Christian Reformed Church led by Rev. Curt Walters in Cutlerville, Michigan. For more information, check out our website at http://www.covenant-crc.org

Series: "The Good and Beautiful God"

Sermon: "God is Good"

Scripture: Psalm 100

 

Notes

1. Job's friends believed he was being punished for his sin.
    (Job 4:6-8; 7:3-4)

2. The people of Jesus' day thought bad things only happened to bad people.
    (Jeremiah 7:10; Luke 13:1-5; John 9:2)

3. Many people blame God for all of the suffering in our world.

4. We sometimes wonder if God doesn't punish us for our sins.

5. Jesus rejected this kind of thinking.

6. God is good! 
    (Psalm 34:8)

  • He created everything good. (Genesis 1)
  • He will restore everything to perfection. (Revelation 21:1-5)
  • He forgives our sins. (Psalm 103:3, 10-12; John 3:16-18)
  • His love and faithfulness are amazing. (Psalm 100:5; Romans 8:31-32)

Next Steps...

  • The next time you hear someone (or yourself?) blame God for something, remind them that sin started with Satan and humans, not God - and that God has demonstrated his goodness by offering us eternal life through Christ.
  • Read and reflect on Psalm 100 and 103 and be inspired by the amazing goodness of God!
  • Say a prayer of thanksgiving and praise every morning based on Psalm 100:5, "Lord, You are good! Your love endures forever! And your faithfulness continues through all generations."
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Series: "The Good and Beautiful God"

Sermon: "How People Change"

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:1-16

Notes
1. We need more than good intentions.

2. We have to trade false ideas for true one.
    (Psalm 51:6; Proverbs 10:23-24; John 14:26; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:2; Philippians 2:5)

3. We need training.
    (1 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 9:25)

4. We can't do it alone. 
    (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Proverbs 27:17; Hebrews 10:24-25)

5. We have to want it.
    (Psalm 16:2-3, 11; 27:4; 63:1-8; Proverbs 11:6; Mark 1:35)

 

Next Steps...

  • Pray to God every day aksing Him to help you desire Him more than anything else.
  • Think about what spiritual training exercise God might be calling you to do this year so that you can know and love Him more.
  • Who is another person that you might discuss the topics in this series with in order to make more progress in your personal discipleship?
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Series: "The Angels of Christmas"

Sermon: "Peace on Earth"

Scripture: Luke 2:13-14

Notes

1. The armies of heaven appeared. (Luke 2:13)

2. They praised God. (Luke 2:14)

3. God was bringing peace into our world. (Luke 2:14; Matthew 10:34; Romans 5:1; Isaiah 9:6)

Next Steps

  • How does the thought of an army of angels in Luke 2:13 change the way your view the Christmas story? Discuss why God needs an army and what He might use them for.
  • Think about the areas of your life and the world where peace is lacking. Invite Jesus to come into those areas and bring true and lasting peace.
  • Thank God for making peace between you and Him by having Jesus pay for your sins. (Romans 5:1) How can you become more of a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9) and/or a minister of reconciliation? (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
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Series: "The Angels of Christmas"

Sermon: "Good News for Everyone!"

Scripture: Luke 2:1-12

Notes
1. There were what? Shepards? (Luke 2:8)

2. A glorious angel appeared. (Luke 2:9)

3. He brought them good news of great joy. (Luke 2:10; John 4:9; Isaiah 61:1-3)

4. It was for everyone. (Luke 2:10; Matthew 5:1-12)

4. The sign? A manger. (Luke 2:7&12)

 

Next Steps

  • Cross racial, ethnic, or socio-economic lines and bless someone who's quite different than you either saying something encouraging or doing something kind.
  • Find a quiet time and place, and ask God this question: "What do you want me to know this Christmas?" Then listen to twhat thoughts, images, Bible verses, etc. He might give you.
  • Say something like: "Merry Christmas - God loves you!" or "Have a blessed Christmas - Jesus came for you!" to someone this Christmas.
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Series: "The Angels of Christmas"
Sermon: "Guardian Angels"
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-2:23

Notes

1. An angel protected Jesus before he was born. (Matthew 1:18-25)

2. Did angels protect Mary while she was pregnant? (Luke 1:39-56; 2:5)

3. God sent angels to protect Jesus from King Herod. (Matthew 2)

4. Angels appeared elsewhere in Jesus' life. (Matthew 4:11; 26:53; Luke 4:22-30; 22:43)

5. God sent guardian angels throughout the Bible. (Genesis 19:1,15; Exodus 14:19; 23:20; 1 Kings 19:5,7; 2 Kings 6:17;     Daniel 3:28; 6:22; Acts 12:7-11; 27:23)

6. God still watches over and send angels to guard and protect His people. (Psalm 34:7; 91:9-16; Psalm 121; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14)

 

Next Steps...

  • Discuss the topic of guardian angels with your family members and/or friends, and invite them to share any experiences they've had, or stories they've heard.
  • Read and reflect on Psalm 34:1-10. How does this psalm frame the ministry of "guardian angels" in a larger context of the goodness of God?
  • Ask God to deepen your faith in His watchful care over you and those you love. Ask Him to do so when you're afraid, and thank and praise Him when He answers your prayers.
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Series: "The Angels of Christmas"
Sermon: "Mission Impossible"
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

Notes
1. God accomplished many "impossible" missions before.) Exodus 14,16; Joshua 6; 2 Chronicles 20:15-17

2. God sent Gabriel to invite Mary into an impossible mission. (Luke 1:26-37)

3. God sent Jesus on an "impossible" mission. (John 3:16, Galations 4:4-5, Luke 19:10)

 

Next Steps...

  • Memorize and recite John 3:16 every day until Christmas as a way to remember what God has done for us in giving His one and only Son.

  • Write a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God for the gift of His Son, and share it with family member and/or friends this Christmas.
  • Think and pray about how God may be inviting you to participate in the seemingly "impossible mission" of reaching the people in your life with the good news of the gospel. Who might you invite to our Christmas Candlelight service at 5pm on December 17, or our Christmas Eve service at 4pm on December 24?

 

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Series: Romans
Sermon: "Help When We Pray"
Scripture: Romans 8:18-27
Text: verses 26-27

Notes
1. We don't know what to pray for. (Romans 8:26b)

2. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26a)

3. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. (Romans 8:26c)

4. The Holy Spirit prays for us according to God's will. (Romans 8:27)

 

Next Steps

  • Be open and honest with someone about the difficulties you face in your prayer life. You're not the only one who struggles. And thank Jesus for always interceding for you.
  • Try and experiment. Ask God what you should pray about, then start praying about whatever comes to your mind. Pause and sit quietly to see if any other people or situations come to your mind, then pray about those as well.
  • Challenge your self to participate more fully in group prayer times. Share the concern that's on your mind. Join in the "popcorn" prayer time whenever you can. Get more practice praying out loud.
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Series: "The Angels of Christmas"
Sermon: "An Angel of Hope"
Scripture: Luke 1:5-25

Notes
1. Zecharian and Elizabeth felt hopeless. (Luke 1:7,25)

2. God's people felt hopeless and forgotten. 

3. We sometimes feel hopeless and forgotten.

4. God sent Gabriel bringing hope! (Luke 1:11-17)

  • To Zechariah and Elizabeth. (Luke 1:14,25)
  • To Israel (and the world). (Luke 1:11-17, Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 12:21)

5. God sent Jesus bringing us hope. (Isaiah 61:1-3, John 3:16, Galatians 4:4-5

 

Next Steps

  • Share with a family member or friend about a time in your life when God seemed absent or distant. What did that feel like? Discuss why God might allow us to experience the "dark nights of the soul."

  • Think of someone who might be discouraged or struggling this Christmas season. How might God use you to bring them hope?
  • Read and reflect on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. How does thinking about the second coming of Jesus make you feel? Does it comfort and encourage you? Why or why not?
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Series: Romans
Sermon: "When Groaning Turns To Glory"
Scripture: Romans 8:18-25
Contemporary Testimony - Our World Belongs To God - 55-58

Notes
1. We all experience suffering. (Romans 8:18)

2. We groan, eagerly awaiting adoption and remption. (Romans 8:23-25)

3. The creation groans in eager expectation of liberation. (Romans 8:19-22)

4. Future glory far outweighs our present suffering. (Romans 8:18,21)

 

Next Steps

  • Think about the different ways that you experience pain and suffering. Ask the Lord to show you how He is with you in these things, and ask Him for grace and strength sufficient for each day.

  • Read, reflect on, and memorize Psalm 73:23-26, "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:23-26, NIV84)
  • Pray a prayer each day inviting Jesus to return to take away all pain and suffering, and to make all things new. "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)
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