This past Sunday, Braden Greer preached part 14 of our series entitled, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew. His text was Matthew 5:38-42, where Jesus addresses how a disciple of the kingdom of heaven thinks about revenge and the underlying issue of how we view our rights.
Here are options for reviewing and applying the message:
1. Take time to read Matthew 5:38-42.
2. When you are confronted with the true interpretation of the law, what is your initial reaction? Does it drive you to try to earn God’s favor or to rest in God’s mercy? Consider Luke 18:9-14. Does Christ’s teaching provoke you to change? Consider Ezekiel 36:26-27.
3. What are some modern equivalents of a backhanded slap? How do you react when you are insulted?
4. Are you quick to lay claim to your rights even when it leads to others being harmed? How would life at home change if you decided to lay aside your prerogative for the sake of others?
5. Have you considered what Christ laid aside to come and save us? Have you allowed his example to put your own prerogative into perspective?
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August 28 2012 at 8:31 pm 1 Comments
We had hoped to post daily updates from the Worthy12 Youth Retreat (August 16-20, in North East, Md.), but it turns out the internet connection at the camp was not so reliable. Here’s an after-the-fact report from Dave Brewer.
Joshua Harris spoke Friday morning, continuing the theme of “Holiness: Become What You Are,” challenging the teens to holiness by putting off sin, starving our sinful desires and putting on Christ! Our guest speaker’s name was Jefferson Bethke, the same guy who shared a poem with Covenant Life on Sunday morning last week. He spoke twice, challenging the teens to devote every aspect of our life to Christ, to use every gift from God for his Kingdom. Jon Smith and Kevin Rogers rounded out the speaking line up, both speaking on the holiness of Christ.
Each year there is a running competition between the Connect Groups that continues throughout the entire retreat. On the first day, the Bozarth Connect Group was in LAST place, but they came all the way back and just barely collected the most points on the very last afternoon! Huge upset!
Every afternoon we gathered on the big field for Connect Group games. There was dodgeball, field hockey, slip ‘n’ slides, relay races, and the infamous “paint war.” If you don’t know what the “paint war” is, just ask a teen at some point on a Sunday morning and they will tell you all about it! You also will probably see lots of pictures on Facebook with teens covered in paint!
Ministry night was the highlight of the retreat. We gathered to ask the Holy Spirit to be active among us. We prayed, worshipped, prayed some more, and worshipped some more! God met us in amazing ways ... salvation for some, conviction of sin, joy in the Lord, etc. We prayed for the upcoming senior class, and then ended the retreat with some crazy awesome worship! The band did a great job serving us this weekend, led by Ken Boer, Ryan Kelley and Erin Hill.
God is faithful. God is good. He is transferring the gospel to yet another generation! It’s an amazing privilege to be a part of it!
Thanks again for your prayers!
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August 23 2012 at 7:17 pm 0 Comments
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August 21 2012 at 6:35 pm 0 Comments
This month Crossway Church of Lancaster, Pa., marks its 30th Anniversary. Our own Robin Boisvert was the founding pastor of Crossway and preached at the church’s first official meeting in 1982. He travels to Lancaster this coming Sunday to preach and join in the celebration.
The above video from the Crossway Church blog notes Robin’s faithful work and investment in the church (see the 1:32 mark). Thank God for Robin and Clara and their long history of service in equipping God’s people for the work of the ministry!
Close on the heels of Robin’s visit comes the grand opening of Crossway’s beautiful new church building September 8 and 9. Let’s pray for this church as they continue to share God’s love in Lancaster and beyond.
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August 20 2012 at 5:16 pm 0 Comments
Discovery Land, the children’s ministry here at Covenant Life, needs your help for the upcoming school year. Are you curious to know what it would be like if there were no Discovery Land volunteers? Find out in the “breaking news report” video above! Special thanks to Caleb Barker for his hard work on this.
Would you please consider serving here and also pray that God would provide workers?
Discovery Land is a wonderful way to not only serve the dear families of this church, but also fulfill the command of Psalm 78:4: “Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” We want Covenant Life’s children to come to faith in Christ, and what better way to be part of that than to come alongside parents on Sunday mornings to help teach their kids the gospel?
A couple quick items to consider:
- The need for classroom volunteers is great. But there are also many other ways to serve in Discovery Land, including caring for children in classrooms, welcoming guests, hallway security, singing, teaching and more. Whatever your gifting and interests, there’s probably a place for you!
- If your family is planning to benefit from Discovery Land in 2012-13, we ask that at least one parent serve at least once a month. Please keep in mind that this is the minimum requirement. If you can serve more, that would greatly helps us.
- We love champions! A champion is someone who serves each week for a whole year. It’s a big commitment, but it’s well worth the investment.
- Our annual volunteer training night is on Aug. 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the main auditorium. We ask that all volunteers attend, regardless of how long you’ve been serving in the ministry.
- If you’d like to fill out an application form or ask more questions, contact Annabel Hughes at the church office.
Thank you for considering this important ministry!
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August 19 2012 at 1:20 pm 2 Comments
Today in church we heard a live rendition of the poem in the above video by Jefferson Bethke, a young man God has used to spread biblical truth through “spoken word” poetry, both live and recorded. Jefferson is a member of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash. Some of his videos have received millions of views on YouTube. He is boldly sharing the gospel in a new media format and reaching a wide audience.
Jefferson spoke this weekend at the Worthy12 Youth Retreat, and while he was in the area, we asked him to share his poem, “The Death of Y.O.L.O (You Only Live Once),” during our church services. In the description of the video on YouTube, he explains the thinking behind his poem:
[The Death of Y.O.L.O.] was a poem I wrote for my church’s Easter service this past April. My hope is that someone watching this will walk away with a deeper sense of the grace of God and just how monumental Jesus death, burial and resurrection truly were. If Jesus is still dead, we are to be pitied, but if He really rose, we have to face up with the implications. Nothing is more precious than the fact that when we trust in Jesus, we are united with Him as one. Because of that, whatever is true of Him, instantly becomes true of us. “Spotless,” “blameless,” “perfect,” “righteous,” etc. all are accounted to us since we are “in Him.”
Enjoy! And let’s pray that God will continue to bless Jefferson and use him for his glory.
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