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

February 3, 2020  

Shhhh....Be Quiet
(Discovering God’s Will Together; #6)
1 Kings 19:11-14

A. The word noise is derived from the Latin word for nausea

B. Most people consider noise an unavoidable part of life

C. Noise is also a significant spiritual problem; the antidote is silence

THE CALL TO SILENCE

A. We are easily caught up in the noise of our world

1. Unrealistic expectations
2. Performance Paranoia
3. Lack of Boundaries
4. Unhealed Wounds
5. Personal Isolation
6. Societal Pressures

B. If we’re not extremely careful, we’ll just get carried along!

1. Because our lives are so noisy, we can’t hear God

2. Silence is the response of awe

3. The impact of noise on our spiritual life is often invisible,

cumulative, and gradual

C. God calls us to be silent because it will enhance our relationship,

allow us to hear him speak, and nurture our soul

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“I have stilled and quieted my soul...” (Psalm 131:2a)

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place...” (Mark 6:31)

THE CHALLENGE OF SILENCE

A. Being silent is difficult. It is a spiritual discipline

1. The discipline of silence is making space for God in our life

a. We know a lot about God

b. We periodically talk to God

c. But most people have little experience simply being with God

2. The goal of spiritual disciplines is being with God

THE COURSE OF SILENCE

A. The Biblical place of silence and solitude is the desert

1. In the desert – we are stripped of all distractions

2. In the desert we are reminded of our dependence

3. In the desert God teaches life isn’t about doing something great for God

a. Ultimately, life is having an intimate relationship with God

b. Ultimately, life is not doing what God wants us to do, but being who

God wants us to be

B. Solitude, an intentional time to be alone with God, enhances silence

1. Silence and solitude is where we meet God, hear him speak

2. Solitude and silence is where we practice our waiting

C. Silence is indispensible to spiritual health and growth

1. Do it. Start slowly

a. Redeem the little solitudes of your day

b. Make your words are fewer, fuller and God-honoring

c. Set aside a few moments to pray, reflect on Scripture and

enjoy his presence

2. Keep on doing it. Persevere!

January 7, 2020  
November 26, 2019  

The Ultimate Quest
(Discovering God’s Will Together; #4)
(A Look at Our Deepest Desire)
Matthew 13:44-46

A BALANCED LIFESTYLE

A. People are searching for balance

B. This raises some significant concerns

1. It encourages us to think of “spiritual” as a separate entity

2. It offers little help or encouragement to those in crisis

3. It provides little sense of urgency worthy of human devotion

“This is the true joy of life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” (George Bernard Shaw)

4. It lacks any sacrifice, self-denial and surrender

A FULLY DEVOTED HEART

A. The ultimate quest is for a fully devoted heart

A fully devoted heart is “to love...the right thing...to the right degree...in the right way...with the right kind of love” (St. Augustine)

B. How is a fallen heart transformed into a fully-devoted heart?

1. Answer: Over a lifetime

2. Answer: By rearranging our life around what we want and need

3. Answer: By making it the ultimate quest of our life

THE HUMAN JOURNEY

A. Our spiritual journey is profoundly shaped by our deepest desires

1. Our desires shape us. We get what we desire

2. What is it you want most of all? What is your pearl?

“Life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.” (Thomas Merton)

3. Our desires are God-given and we’ve distorted them...

4. Transformation is about recovering, redeeming and restoring them

B. We don’t spend much time focusing on our deepest desires...
1. We assume God’s desires for us and our desires for ourselves don’t mesh

2. We believe our desires have been tarnished by sin and are unredeemable

3. We’re consumed by superficial desires and confuse them with deepest desire

C. Knowing our deepest desire starts with our surface desires and then we

begin to dig...

“...where our treasure is, there our hearts will also be.” (Matt. 6:21)

1. Our core needs – love, security, Truth, Life, fulfillment – are all God-given and are designed to lead us to him

2. Nothing of this world can satisfy our deepest desire

REDEEMING OUR DESIRES

A. Why not simply call it sin?

“Every idolatrous desire—i.e., everything that we love and desire more than God—tends ultimately to diminish our humanity and damage our soul” (David Benner)

1. Calling it a distorted desire reminds us that it is God given

2. Calling it a distorted desire underscores it’s something we messed up

B. What can we do to correct these distortions?

1. Answer: we cannot do anything; grace is a gift

2. Answer: We can pray and ask God to reorder our life...

“Examine me and know my heart, probe me and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23)

a. In prayer, God reveals us to ourselves

b. In prayer, we discover our deepest desire is for God alone

c. In prayer, we ask God to give us our hearts desire

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

“If you, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask!” (Matthew 7:9-11)

3. Answer: we can re-order our life so Jesus can do what needs to be done

C. Two questions:

1. First, what is your deepest desire?

2. Second, are you willing to rearrange your life for what your heart most

desperately wants and most deeply desires?

September 26, 2019  
September 26, 2019  
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July 26, 2018  
July 26, 2018  
March 12, 2018  

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