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Christ Jesus is our solid rock

“On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand
All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand…”

The words to this old hymn written by Edward Mote and music by William Batchelder Bradbury, bring such a place of hope and faith expressed.  The firm declaration of personal trust in the  foundation found in believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is such a testimony of faith.

Would that we all had reached this place in Him.  Are we able to stand and declare such a firm belief in His care for us?  Some of us can say, “Yes! I believe and have seen His tender care and mercies given to me many times over.”  It is interesting to note personally, there are so many areas where I have known faith’s rewards through God’s provision.  And others where my faith faltered and missed the mark.  Yet, I will not quit going back to the Bible to find more and more of His ways, deeds and love made available to me by the finished work of the Cross of Christ.

Our “standing on the Rock” is our faith extended as far as we can send it…the rest is up to God to fulfill.  Without Him, we can do nothing.  Our very breath is supplied by Him.  What a reassurance to realize He daily supplies to us all the necessities of life without prejudice. We all have an atmosphere to breathe, rain in season, harvests of food and so many other things we take for granted.  Perhaps our declarations at this time should be ones of praise and thanksgiving as well as expectations for future provision.

God is so good to us.  His ear is open to our cry and his love is extended to all mankind, even those who hate and reject Him.  Let us lift up some Hallelujahs today!.

Psalm 68:4 The Passion Translation 

Let them sing their celebration-songs
for the coming of the cloud rider whose name is Yah!”

Psalm 18:31 The Passion Translation 

Could there be any other god like you?
You are the only God to be worshiped,
for there is not a more secure foundation
to build my life upon than you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

Fix your eyes on Jesus

Berean Bible Hebrews 12:1-3

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Choose who you will listen to

It is our choice who or what we look to with intent.  Will we look at the newspapers, TV news programs, Facebook, Twitter, other media platforms, our family and friends?  When life gets really hard to deal with when there seem to be enemies all around us, who do we look to for help?

The book of Hebrews in the Bible tells us to fix or focus on Jesus.  He has already gone where we are going.  He already conquered sin, sickness, and death.  He has released his anointing through Holy Spirit to be used by his saints in His name.  It is time to stop looking around us and start truly looking at the Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  He is the answer.

John 14:6 King James Version

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The challenge before us today is, follow Christ and be at rest and in peace.  Or follow the blast of negative words around us and walk in fear and distress.  There is such a wonderful place of rest once we choose to listen to the Bible instead of the world around us.  God loves us so much and wants the best of life for us.  When we can let Him lead us through the trial, we will succeed!  Praise God.  One of my favorite Scriptures which had led me out of so many places of fear and distress is:

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version  

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

When we confess the Word of God out loud, in faith, God steps in to answer us.  Let’s join in the “I believe God” team and start winning this battle!

 

 

God’s Love Breaks the Clawing Beast of Fear

The Love of God breaks the clawing beast of fear

Fear is like a raging, clawing beast, destroying peace and love in our lives.  It tears at us, rages and shoves against us.  It can come day or night without warning.  Sudden events can trigger it quicker than any other thing.  Learning about a serious disease, an accident, loss of job or relationship, money needs being more than the present supply can open the door for fear.

God has spoken over and over in the Bible about conquering fear.  He would come into a group of people or speak one-on-one and speak faith and life into a place of fear and loss.  We walk by faith and not by sight, yet that faith must be acted on to become alive in our hearts.  We can speak to fear and tell it to leave our presence in the Name of Jesus and the power of His blood-bought Covenant.  The only fear we are to walk in is the fear of the Lord.

Declare the Word of God to overcome fears voice

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version 

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Romans 8:10-17 King James Version

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Proverbs 19:23 King James Version

23 The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Isaiah 50:10 King James Version

10 Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

1 John 4:11-18 King James Version

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We must pull down any wicked imagination of fear in the Name of Jesus

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 King James Version

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Anytime fear tries to war against you with lies and temptations, choose to speak out against it by declaring what the Bible says about it.  Take your Holy Spirit given authority and send fear packing.  That sounds easy, doesn’t it?  It may take you a few times of declaring out loud the Word of God, but keep doing it until you see the victory in Christ Jesus!

I pray you rout fear out of your lives, one day at a time. Thereby growing in faith in God’s provision for all things in your life.

 

 

If God Seems Far Away, Who Moved?

Meditation for March 24, 2020

“If God seems far away, who moved?”

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8 NKJV)

It is a good time now (as it is always) to seek after the Lord through reading the Bible and praying to Him in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ! Drawing close, and staying close to God provides overcoming strength to keep on “keeping on!”

As a young man, my developmental years were spent in a church with my family that was a “country church”. There were a lot of good people in the church body and more good people in the community where I lived. Many of those people, in addition to my family, spoke into my life and helped me grow in my personal faith. One such person was a man by the name of John Tharp. Brother Tharp was not a typical “worshipper” in the church where I grew up, but, he was a very profound thinker. I do not know who originated the statement, “If God seems far away, who moved”, but, it was Brother John Tharp that impressed it upon me. A dear sister from my church created a poster with that message on it and the poster was placed in a shadow box. As far as I know – over 50 years later – it is still there to remind worshippers of the need to seek after God in order to stay close to Him.

Some messages are enduring for a reason. As Christian believers, our faith is the most precious treasure we have on this earth. If God seems far away from you today, you can find Him in the Scriptures. Faith comes from reading and obeying the Word of God. Faith encourages us to pray, engaging the journey of faith for the glory of the Name of our God and of his Son, Jesus Christ.

It is my hope that a voice from my past – that of Brother John Tharp – will give you newfound inspiration and courage to face your day with God. Most importantly, I want God to come near to you today. I believe He will as you read His Word given to all of us, and as you pray to Him about your needs in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ.

COVID-19 How Covenant Life Cog is Responding

COVID-19 Warnings and information

From the CDC website

CDC Symptoms of COVID-19       CDC Symptoms of COVID-19 sign language

CDC Instructions concerning COVID-19 Virus

Covenant Life CoG’ Response  to the Virus

  1. Pray for God’s intervention on behalf of the world’s population.  We are standing on Psalms 91 for God’s protection.
  2. We are adhering to the President’s instructions for gathering of groups of people of more than 10. Because of these preventative measures laid out by the President, we will not have regular church services through April 12, 2020.
  3. We will be live-streaming the pastor and a few of the worship team on Sunday mornings at 10 AM on Facebook Live.   Covenant Life CoG Facebook  
  4. We are standing in faith for all of us to get through this test by faith and see God move in our midst.
  5. Any changes to this schedule will be posted both here and on our Facebook page.

Psalm 91  (TPT)

Safe and Secure

91 When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai,
you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.
He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me,
the only God for me, and my great confidence.
He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy,
and he will protect you from false accusation
and any deadly curse.
His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.
You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.
Don’t fear a thing!
Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you,
nor will the powers of evil launched against you.
Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed,
you will remain unscathed and unharmed.
you will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment,
for they will be paid back for what they have done!
9–10 When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High,
our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm.
How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?
11 God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go,
defending you from all harm.
12 If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you
and keep you from stumbling.
13 You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness,
trampling every one of them beneath your feet!
14 For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
“Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
I will greatly protect you.
I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.
15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
and you will find and feel my presence
even in your time of pressure and trouble.
I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.
16 You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you.
For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”

 

Living a fruitful life

Productive people are planted people

We all want to be productive in some area of life.  Whether as a father or mother, a business person, in a ministry or even in relationships.  There is a standard in which we can achieve this successfully.  The main way is by being planted in relationship with God.  With His guidance by the Bible and the wonderful Teacher, the Holy Spirit, we can grow in faith in Jesus, our Lord.

If we plant ourselves in the river of His love and allow ourselves to be fed by His Word, the Bible, we can see growth and strength.  Peace will rule our hearts and consciences.  Our hearts will grow to love people rather than things.  Our motives will become more pure and less selfish and we will want to please God more than other people.  In living a lifestyle like that, we will succeed more and more each day.  Our outflow of living will be productive and bear fruit in every direction of life.

When we love, we won’t fight as much for position.  When we care more for people than things, our need to accumulate things will grown less and less. Our need for attention will diminish as we think of others first.  And our hearts will be full of love by seeing the results of our life laid out before us.

Growing takes time

It is not an “overnight success” story.  It is a daily laying our lives at the feet of Jesus and allowing His love to change us from the inside out.  I love the Scripture in Romans 5:5, “ Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  It is the love of God-his own understanding, emotions, selflessness that is poured into our hearts to be able to learn to love others.

May we start and continue this journey of being planted by God’s own river and allowing Him to changes us into His kind of people.

Intimacy with God requires relationship

When I saw this photo on Pixabay, I was struck by the calmness and directness of the scene.  These two lions are face to face, staring into each other’s eyes.  Obviously one is adult and the other a cub.  I could picture the older one speaking to the younger one about life.  Warnings, directions, instructions and even an affectionate paw swat could be a part of this moment in their relationship.

I immediately was reminded of Solomon in the book of Proverbs.  He was instruction his sons and daughters about life.  There is so much wisdom found there.  He was given insights into the human condition from God.  He was considered the wisest man that ever lived.  There was only One who was greater and that was Jesus Christ.

The following Scriptures really show the heart of Solomon as he wrote down advice to his children:

Proverbs 1:1-19 (TPT)

Here are kingdom revelations, words to live by, and words of wisdom given to empower you to reign in life, written as proverbs by Israel’s King Solomon, David’s son.

Within these sayings will be found the revelation of wisdom
and the impartation of spiritual understanding.
Use them as keys to unlock the treasures of true knowledge.
Those who cling to these words will receive discipline
to demonstrate wisdom in every relationship
and to choose what is right and just and fair.
These proverbs will give you great skill
to teach the immature and make them wise,
to give youth the understanding of their design and destiny.
For the wise, these proverbs will make you even wiser,
and for those with discernment,
you will be able to acquire brilliant strategies for leadership.
These kingdom revelations will break open your understanding
to unveil the deeper meaning of parables,
poetic riddles, and epigrams,
and to unravel the words and enigmas of the wise.
How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom?
We cross the threshold of true knowledge
when we live in obedient devotion to God.
Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this,
for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge.

The Wisdom of a Father

Pay close attention, my child, to your father’s wise words
and never forget your mother’s instructions.
For their insight will bring you success,
adorning you with grace-filled thoughts
and giving you reins to guide your decisions.
10 When peer pressure compels you to go with the crowd
and sinners invite you to join in,
you must simply say, “No!”
11 When the gang says—
“We’re going to steal and kill and get away with it.
12 We’ll take down the rich and rob them.
We’ll swallow them up alive
and take what we want from whomever we want.
13 Then we’ll take their treasures and fill our homes with loot.
14 So come on and join us.
Take your chance with us.
We’ll divide up all we get;
we’ll each end up with big bags of cash!”—
15 my son, refuse to go with them and stay far away from them.
16 For crime is their way of life and bloodshed their specialty.
17 To be aware of their snare is the best way of escape.
18 They’ll resort to murder to steal their victim’s assets,
but eventually it will be their own lives that are ambushed.
19 In their ungodly disrespect for God
they bring destruction on their own lives.

Let us listen to Wisdom’s voice

We are the deciding choosers in life.  We chose to listen to those who have lived long enough to understand some of life, or we rebel and find out for ourselves just how hard can be.  Foolish choices lead to destruction.  In the book of Proverbs is revealed how to not be a failure in life.

Let us choose this week to seek after wisdom and stay out of the devil’s traps found in rebellion and foolishness.

What are doing to prepare for the next move of God?

Isaiah 40:1-11 (TPT)


“1
Your God says to you: 
    “Comfort, comfort my people with gentle, compassionate words.Speak tenderly from the heart to revive those in Jerusalem,   and proclaim that their warfare is over.   Her debt of sin is paid for, and she will not be treated as guilty.    Prophesy to her that she has received from the hand of Yahweh    twice as many blessings as all her sins.”thunderous voice cries out in the wilderness:    “Prepare the way for Yahweh’s arrival!

    Make a highway straight through the desert for our God!
Every valley will be raised up, every mountain brought low.
    The rugged terrain will become level ground
    and the rough places a plain.
Then Yahweh’s radiant glory will be unveiled,
    and all humanity will experience it together.
    Believe it, for Yahweh has spoken his decree!”
A voice says, “Cry out!”
    And I ask, “What should I say?”
    “All people are as frail as grass,
    and their elegance is like a wilting wildflower.
The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of Yahweh blows upon it;
    the people are just like grass!
But even though grass withers and the flower fades,
    the word of our God stands strong forever!” 

Proclaim Good News

Go up on a high mountain, you joyful messengers of Zion,
    and lift up your voices with power.
    You who proclaim joyous news to Jerusalem,
    shout it out and don’t be afraid.
    Say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 Look! Here comes Lord Yahweh as a victorious warrior;
    he triumphs with his awesome power.
    Watch as he brings with him his reward
    and the spoils of victory to give to his people.
11 He will care for you as a shepherd tends his flock,
    gathering the weak lambs and taking them in his arms.
    He carries them close to his heart
    and gently leads those that have young.”

Doing our part for God

Each of us Christians, as part of the Body of Christ, have assignments from the Lord God.  We are called to proclaim who He is and what He is doing today.  The only way we will be able to follow through on these assignments is to have a personal relationship with Him.  His son, Jesus was born of a virgin (Mary-Luke 1:26-38).  He lived a sinless life before God and man (2 Corinthians 5:21). He died on the cross of Calvary to save us from our sins (Galatians 6:14).  He arose from the dead (Romans 4:13-24).  And He is coming back to earth again (1 Corinthians 15).

When we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our whole life changes.  We now have a relationship with God, the Father, Jesus our Redeemer and Holy Spirit our teacher.  That relationship is developed by our time spent in the Bible, in prayer and in worship.  There are so many Scriptures that talk about relationship all through the Bible, that there is not time to expound on them here.  Nevertheless, we can be sure if we spend time in the Word of God, we will develop a relationship with Him.  We will begin to know who He is and what His plans are for mankind.

He is working all the time to interact with His creations, man and beast.  He loves all He created and wants relationship with them.  The depth of relationship is totally a choice of the creation.  God is always reaching out to us.  We are the ones who continually ignore or rebel against Him.

Now is the time to choose surrender to the love of God found in Christ Jesus. In that surrender we find peace and a depth of living that can be found no other way.  All the promises in the Bible are released by faith in God and His Son.  We activate everything that is set aside for us, by believing He is, and that He rewards those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:1-6 (KJV)

“1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

We must seek His will for this season so that we can do our part.  What is the Lord asking you to do-to believe for?  How can you bless His people?  What gifts and talents are you hiding instead of sharing with the world?  Each of us has born in us something the world needs to see.  Our personalities are created by God to be used for His grace.  Pray about how you can join in this great season we are entering into.  God grant you the courage to surrender to His call for your life.

Trust in Him for rest and peace

We choose whether we allow rest to come to our hearts.  Anytime we get all panicked and frustrated, we can wallow in it, or choose to cast that care, fear, trouble and mess over on the Lord Jesus, who is well able to handle it and help us get set free.

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)                                                                                      “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

 

You must rule over the sin of your mind and your mouth with the strength of your Master

After listening to a podcast  by Proverbs 31 Woman’s leader Lysa TerKeurst, I was struck by the need to correct ourselves, not with our own strength, but allowing the Lord Jesus, to help us control and change our mind and mouth.  If we are indeed His servants, redeemed and bought by Him, we should all be submitting to His work in our lives.

Romans 12:1,2  (NLT)

“12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

We have the choice and the ability to change.  We need to take active control over our own actions and not blame others or circumstances for our own failures.  God help us today, to surrender our mind and mouth to the mastery of Jesus.