Church Blog

Review and Apply: Matthew, Part 22

October 30 2012 at 1:33 pm 0 Comments

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In the 22nd part of our series, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew, Mark Mitchell preached from Matthew 7:7-11 on praying to our Father with our requests.  In his message, Mark reminds us to ask and keep asking because God honors persistence, promises that his disciples will receive, and delights in giving his children good gifts.

Options for reviewing the message:

Watch the sermon online.
Listen to a downloadable MP3 of the sermon.
Read and review the PDF version of the study guide.

Questions for reflection and application:

1. Take some time to read Matthew 7:7-11

2. How does this passage’s place in the Sermon on the Mount help shed light on its meaning?

3. So far in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been expounding on the character qualities disciples should exhibit. How does he shift our attention in verses 7-11?

4. Are you tempted to doubt that your Father would be willing to help you? Has your desire to pray for help ever been squelched by doubt? How does Jesus’ teaching speak to your uncertainties?


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Review and Apply: Matthew, Part 21

October 23 2012 at 1:37 pm 0 Comments

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In part 21 of our series, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew, Joshua Harris preached from Matthew 7:1-6 on judging others.  In this message, entitled The World’s Most Popular Bible Verse, Joshua teaches that only by accepting God’s judgment can we escape being judgmental.

Options for reviewing the message:

Watch the sermon online.
Listen to a downloadable MP3 of the sermon.
Read and review the PDF version of the study guide.

Questions for reflection and application:

1. Take time as a Care Group to read Matthew 7:1-6

2. Have you ever misapplied these verses – either to escape moral responsibility, correction or criticism?  Are there other ways you have misapplied these verses?

3. How should a vertical awareness of our accountability to God help us to extend grace instead of judgment to others? 

4. In what ways are you tempted to sin (or sin) in judging others?  What does this reveal about your relationship with the Lord?  How can you grow and change?

5. Who are you viewing as your own personal “project” right now?  Is your desire to “help” them motivated by love or by a sense that you are better than they are?

6. Why does Jesus teach that love for other people begins with a focus on our own shortcomings?

7. In verse 6, what wisdom and discretion does Jesus call us to?


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The Gospel at Work

October 17 2012 at 11:50 am 0 Comments

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Register now for The Gospel at Work conference, coming to Covenant Life January 11-12, 2013. The conference was born out of a desire to help Christians think and live differently in the workplace. If you work a 9 to 5, will someday be working a 9 to 5, or are in between working a 9 to 5, this conference is designed for you and will build you up.
Dever/Guinness photos
Come and be taught and encouraged by Os Guinness, Mark Dever, Bob Doll, Michael Lawrence and more fine speakers.

Despite the fact that most Christians spend half of their waking lives at work, most have been taught very little on Sunday mornings about how to apply the truths of the gospel to the practicalities of their Monday to Friday work life. It is not uncommon for Christian professionals to hold an undeveloped, if not flat-out unbiblical, theology of work.

The conference will address questions like:

• What is God’s purpose for my work?
• How does the gospel change my work?
• How does applying the truths of the gospel help me manage differently?
• How does a Christian strategize and plan his or her career?

We hope you’ll make plans to attend. Register online and begin to pray that God would be glorified, that employees would be built up, and that our workplaces will be an area of extraordinary, gospel-centered, faithful and fruitful living. Visit thegospelatwork.com to learn more.


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Review and Apply: Matthew, Part 20

October 17 2012 at 11:08 am 0 Comments

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Robin Boisvert brought the Word of God to bear in our congregation’s individual lives this past Sunday, preaching on the topic of anxiety from Matthew 6:25-34.  In part 20 of our series, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew, we learn the reasons why we don’t need to be anxious and how to shift our focus to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Options for reviewing the message:

Watch the sermon online.
Listen to a downloadable MP3 of the sermon.
Read and review the PDF version of the study guide.

Questions for reflection and application:

1. Take time as a Care Group to read Matthew 6:25-34.

2. Jesus begins our passage by using the word “therefore,” indicating that this section is logically connected to the previous one. Take some time to read Matthew 6:19-24. How do these verses serve as the basis for Jesus’s instruction in 6:25-34?

3. Robin points out that we are anxious because we are finite beings in a fallen world. What specific things tempt you anxiety? How do you respond?

4. Jesus doesn’t just tell us to not be anxious. He gives us reasons. Specifically, God both cares and knows. He is both good and great. Do these truths readjust your perspective on the things that provoke you to worry?

5. Jesus tells us to seek God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. This includes all of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. Are you actively seeking God’s strength to align your life with Christ’s teachings?

6. Robin provided some practical advice for when anxiety strikes: lay hold of the promises of God in scripture. Do you have specific passages that you can call to mind when you are tempted to worry? Consider Psalm 23, Psalm 46, and Matthew 6.


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Resources from Men’s Conference

October 17 2012 at 10:33 am 0 Comments

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“We need men who will shoulder the weight of manhood as God designed it, who will live it out day to day but will incline their manhood toward the gospel.” —Dr. Randy Stinson

In a culture where the definition of what it truly means to be a man and how that affects one’s actions has been so distorted by sin, Randy Stinson brings his knowledge of Scripture to bear in the lives of male Christians.  Speaking to men from our congregation and surrounding area churches, Dr. Stinson covered four main topics at the September 29 Manhood Conference:

  • Session 1: Be Strong and Prove Yourself a Man (1 Kings 2:1-9)
  • Session 2: Men Who Lead (Ephesians 5:22-23)
  • Session 3: Raising Masculine Sons and Feminine Daughters (Ephesians 5:22-23)
  • Session 4: Leading to Reach the Generations: Leaving a Legacy (1 Peter 1:1-7)

Men, if you weren’t able to attend, or simply want to review Dr. Stinson’s biblically-informed exhortations to embrace your identity as a man, stream or download the audio from his sessions.  We pray that these resources will help you embrace your unique identity as a male image-bearer of Christ and live for his glory.


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Review and Apply: Matthew, Part 19

October 10 2012 at 1:38 pm 0 Comments

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Last Sunday Joshua Harris preached part 19 of our series, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew. From Matthew 6:19-24, he challenged us to weigh the peril of serving two masters and focus on Christ as our true treasure.

Options for reviewing the message:

Watch the sermon online.
Listen to a downloadable MP3 of the sermon.
Read and review the PDF version of the study guide.

Questions for reflection and application:

1. Take time as a Care Group to read Matthew 6:19-24.

2.  Have you ever paused to consider how temporal earthly treasures are? How does Jesus want this reality to reshape our priorities?

3.  Where do you fix your attention? Is it on acquiring things or on the purposes of God?

4.  Is your heart inclined towards generosity toward the needy? Are you passionate about participating in the spread of the gospel through financial sacrifice? Does giving feel like a “get to” or a “have to”? Do you have a healthy eye?

5.  How does 1 Timothy 6:17-19 shed light on how we are to live this passage out?

6.  Josh pointed out that we need to remember that entrance into the Kingdom requires a supernatural heart change. We need Jesus to save us so we can live a new life under God’s reign. Free from the love of money. Free from greed. Are you seeking the Lord to free you from slavery to possessions?


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