Category Archives: Faith

What Will You Do?

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” (John 3:16-18 HCSB)

God loves us enough to warn us of the consequences of living a life apart from Him, and in His Sovereignty, He allows us to chose whether or not we will believe Him, or not.  With every choice we make we also choose the consequences that comes with that choice. So, what will you do?  It’s your choice…

 

“Holy Death”

A family, friends of ours, lives in a typical neighborhood in our city that is surrounded by temples to the “holy death” (one of them is pictured above).  On the outside walls of the temples they paint images of a skeleton and build shrines around it so that passers by can stop and worship and pray to it, as seen in the above photo.  People pray to the “holy death” for protection from death, and for the “holy death” to avenge the death of family and loved ones at the hands of others.  This practice was started by narco-traffickers, and sex-traffickers, who are warring against each other, and against police.

People also call upon the “holy death” to commit acts of evil against family members who have wronged them, or who have chosen not to remain under Roman Catholic rule.  Our friends are Evangelical Christians and their families have turned against them.  Some of their family members have called upon witches and witch-doctors to cast evil spells on them in order to force them back into Roman Catholicism.  Every night, one of their daughters sees shadows roaming around her bedroom.  She prays out loud asking God to remove the evil spirits, which He does, and she can finally sleep.  One afternoon, her mother was putting clothes on the line to dry.  Before she got finished, she went in the house for something and both she and her daughter saw some of the clothes being pulled off the line, but there was nobody there doing it.  They prayed together and the evil spirit left.  This is very common.

Some of you may be wondering how the Roman Catholic Church, in Mexico, feels about worshiping and praying to the holy death.  The fact is, even though they would never admit it, the Roman Catholic Church sanctions and encourages it, as you can see in the picture below.

santa-muerte-1

Through all of this, though, our friends have remained faithful to the Lord and have never wavered in their faith, even though they are surrounded by evil and are being persecuted by their own families and friends.

God tells us:

“In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12 HCSB).”

Friends, this is why God has us in Mexico.  He has sent us here to share the Good News of Christ with this very spiritually dark country.  Please pray for us and this precious family as we continue to do battle against evil, every day.  In Christ’s love, thank you.

Please visit our website: covoneministries.com

Eternal Destiny

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 HCSB)

Wow! What a great lesson God has in store for us, today.  Jesus spoke a truth that we all need to hear and understand.  So lets look at the context in which He said what he said in today’s verse.

A wealthy young man, whose name is not mentioned, came up to Jesus and asked Him what He had to do to get to heaven.  Jesus told the young man to keep all the commandments.  The young man asked, “Which ones”, to which Jesus replied, “Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself (all the moral law).”  Arrogantly, the young man told Jesus that he kept all those commandments and asked what else he had to do to get into heaven.  Then Jesus told the young man,

“If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me (Matthew 19:21 HCSB).”

When the rich young man heard Jesus’ command he turned and walked away sad because he was very rich and did not want to give his riches up to follow Jesus.  To him, money was his god.  His faith and confidence was in his martial wealth, not in Jesus.

Then Jesus turns and says to His disciples:

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I assure you: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:23-24 HCSB).”

Let me explain what this means.  It’s not because someone is rich that they cannot enter into heaven.  It is because they believe that money is the answer to all their problems and they hoard it.  Money has become their God, it’s what they live for every day.  When the disciples heard what Jesus said, they were astonished and confused, so they asked Jesus who, then, could be saved.  Jesus responded with today’s verse,

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 HCSB).””

There are many thing that are out of our control, but there is nothing that’s out of God’s control.  The salvation of our souls is one of those things.  Money may be able to solve all kinds of problems, but our eternal destiny is one only God can solve, and He already did.

Our eternal destiny cannot be bought by any amount of money.   Our lives, our souls, are much more valuable to God than mere money.  There is no amount of money that can be printed by all the countries tries of the world that can equal the value of one life, one soul.

The salvation of our souls and destiny in heaven has already been bought and paid for in full.  God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross as full payment for our sins, thus forgiving our sins.  Jesus was then buried and three days later, He rose again from the dead in order to assure us eternal life in heaven.

Do you want to secure your place in heaven?  Here’s how God says it can be done:

1. Recognize that you’re a sinner and thank Him for sending Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross in order to pay the ultimate price for your sin (Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8) and raising Him from the dead in order to give you eternal life (John 3:16-18; John 11:25).
2. Tell Him that, at this moment, you willfully and intentionally choose to stop living your life in rebellion against Him and choose to start living your life as His disciple; that you commit to seeking Him, every day; following Him, every day; and that you will strive live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to Him and only Him, no matter the cost – even if it costs you your life (2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 10:9-10). Then, do it.
This is the only way you can become God’s child (John 1:12) and experience the fullness of His love, goodness, joy, peace and perfect care. Do this right now!

If you didi this, please let me know in a comment below so that I can pray for you.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

No Rejection!

“Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37 HCSB)

There are those who misunderstand and misuse today’s verse.  Contrary to the beliefs of some, God does not force His will on us.  In His Sovereignty, God has chosen to give us free will to choose to believe in Him and trust Him, or not.  He does not create some people with the purpose of going to hell, and others to be saved from hell.  That would make Him and unjust God, which he is not.  God would never create anyone for the sole purpose of sending them to hell without giving them a chance to be saved from hell.  That’s why he speaks to all of us and draws us to Himself.  He wants us to be with Him and leads us to the One who can get us to Him, Jesus.

Here’s what Jesus is really teaching us in today’s verse:

  1. “Everyone the Father gives to Me will come to Me…” – this is the drawing of the Father, the hearing and learning from the Father about Jesus.  God’s opening of our eyes to the reality of our spiritual condition, which causes us to seek and call upon Jesus for Salvation.
  2. “and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.” – the one who seek Jesus with all their heart will find Jesus, will be saved by Jesus, and will never be rejected by Jesus – their salvation can never be lost.

God, through the Apostle Paul said:

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13 HCSB).”

Have you been rejecting God’s call upon you to come to Him?  Are you hearing Him calling you now?  Would you like to call upon Him and know that you are saved and have your place in heaven with Him for all eternity?  Here’s how God says you can do it:

1. Recognize that you’re a sinner and thank Him for sending Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross in order to pay the ultimate price for your sin (Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8), and raising Him from the dead in order to give you eternal life (John 3:16-18; John 11:25).
2. Tell Him that, at this moment, you willfully, willingly, and intentionally choose to stop living your life in rebellion against Him and choose to start living your life as His disciple; that you commit to seeking Him, every day; following Him, every day; and that you will strive, every day, to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to Him and only Him, no matter the cost – even if it costs you your life (2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 10:9-10). Then, do it.
This is the only way you can become God’s child (John 1:12) and experience the fullness of His love, goodness, joy, peace and perfect care. Do this right now!

If you did this, God is so happy with you and wants to start working in your life and through your life. Please send me a message letting me know that you did it so that I can pray for you as you begin a new life in Christ.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Stop!

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalms 46:10 NKJV)

There are times in which we are to arrogant and self-absorbed for our own good.  We all have battles we’ve been fighting against for years, alone, to no avail.  Our egos are bigger than the world, and we refuse to turn to anyone for the help we so obviously need.  Even though our loved ones and friends see the futility of our battles and beg us to get the help we need, we reject them and continue to fight a battle we cannot win.  If we are not going to listen to our loved ones and friends, maybe we will listen to God. After all, He is the Omnipotent One.

For those of us who are hardheaded, listen to what our God tells us in today’s verse:

  1. “Be still,” – Literally, God says, “Stop fighting!”  God is also Omniscient, He knows we are in a battle in which we cannot prevail, and orders us to STOP!  Sometimes we are cheering for ourselves so loud that we can’t hear God’s gentle and quiet voice telling to stop and turn to Him, that He now has to yell at us to get our attention.
  2. “and know that I am God;” – in a sense, God wants to show off for us.  He wants to take over and fight this battle we’ve been fighting for so long, and defeat it.  He wants to remind us, as Christians, that He is still God, and that He is still Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.  There is nothing He doesn’t know about us, there is nothing He can’t do for us, and that there is no place we can go in which He is not already there.  God wants us to put the full measure of our faith and trust in Him, then watch what He does.
  3. “I will be exalted among the nations,” – When we allow God to intervene in our lives, all those around us will get to see God’s power over all circumstances. That gives them the opportunity to put their faith and trust in Him also.
  4. “I will be exalted in the earth!” – when God intervenes and does something that we couldn’t do for ourselves, then everyone around us will know that it had to be God, and He alone will get the honor, glory and praise.  We must also proclaim to the world what He does; He wants the entire world to know about Himself and wants to use us to let the entire world know about His greatness.

God will never ask us to “be still”, or to “stop fighting” so that we can be defeated, but so that He can show up and blow our minds, and the minds of those around us, with what He does for us.

It is more courageous to admit that we are not able to do something, and let God intervene, than to continue doing what is easy; fighting a battle that we know we cannot win.  So we must not be afraid to be still, stop fighting, for fear of what others may think of us.

Are you fighting a battle that you know you cannot win?  Are you tired and weary of the fight?  Then,

  • how will you obey today’s lesson?
  • With whom will you share today’s lesson?
  • With whom will you share the story of your salvation, and the story of what Jesus has done for you?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Troubled?

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.”                   (John 14:1 HCSB)

As the time grew near for Jesus to be crucified, His disciples grew more and more concerned that they would be left alone.  All of a sudden, after following Jesus faithfully for three years, they are facing His departure.  They didn’t know what would become of them since their master and friend would no longer be with them to teach them and show them what to do.  Jesus knew this, and beginning in today’s verse of Scripture, He delivers to them one of the greatest messages, ever.  It is a message of hope and joy, not only for them, but for all of us today.

How many of us are feeling that Jesus is far away from us?  If we are Christians and feel that way, it’s because we walked away from Him, not Him from us.  Sadly, many of us Christians live as if Jesus is a liar, even though we know He is not.  Let’s let today’s verse remind us of where, and in whom, we must put our faith.

  1. “Your heart must not be troubled.” – Jesus is telling us not to let our hearts be troubled because there is Someone whom we can count on, Someone who will never betray us, Someone who will never leave us, nor forsake us, Someone who already knows and feels what we’re going through. There is Someone who loves us unconditionally, no matter how bad we may think we are, or have been, Someone who will cary us through our hardest, loneliest, and most painful times.
  2. “Believe in God;” – the God of the Old Testament delivered the Israelites from their Egyptian captors. Then, as they spent forty years traveling through the dessert to the land He had promised them, He protected them from all those who tried to destroy them, and through miracles, He supplied their every need.
  3. “believe also in Me.” – Jesus reveals to them that He is that very same God, only in the flesh (John 1:14).  Therefore, they should put all their faith and trust in Him, as they did in the God that they had always heard about.  God did not forsake their ancestors, Jesus would not forsake them, nor will He forsake us today.

 

Now, here’s what Jesus wants us to believe and never forget, because this is our hope and our unspeakable joy:

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going (John 14:2-4 HCSB).”

Jesus did not leave us as orphans, He promised the He would return for us so that where He is, right now, we will also.  In the mean time, we are not to throw our hands up and give up.  On the contrary, we are to, by faith in Him and His Word, persevere in faith until He returns for us.

 But the one who endures to the end will be delivered (Matthew 24:13 HCSB).”

Difficult circumstances are not evidence of God’s absence, but an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in His promises.  Is your heart troubled?  Do you want peace and joy?  Let me know in a comment below.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Faith and Obedience

“Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.”” (Malachi 3:10)

This is one of the most misunderstood and misused verses in the Bible.  Contrary to popular belief, this was, and still is, a test of our faith in God, and our obedience to God.  God was testing the Israelites, and He is testing us today.  Many of us focus our attention on God’s promise of an immeasurable blessing, instead of the condition by which we will receive the blessing.  Let’s look closer.

  1. “Bring the full tenth…” – this is the condition.  God commands us to bring the full tenth, not a partial part of the tenth, or tithe.  If we were to be honest, most of us would have to admit that we hardly ever give the actual tenth of our first fruits,  before taxes.  God does not accept partial service, or partial worship.
  2. “into the storehouse so that there will be food in My house.” – so that those who serve God in His temple, may live. We must provide for those who serve God, and us.  This is a command, not a suggestion.  In the Book of Haggai, chapter two, verse eight, God reminds us that all the gold and silver belongs to Him: “The silver and gold is mine” – this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.” If we believe that this is true, and it is, what right do we have to withhold any portion of the tithe from Him?   How dare we!
  3. “Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts.”” – God issues us a challenge.  He wants to demonstrate to us that He will keep His promise.  He challenges us to put all our faith and trust in Him to do what he says He will do.
  4. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.” – God was promising rain for their faith and obedience, and with the rain, abundance of crops that would over-abundantly provide for their families.

If by faith we obey God and give Him the FULL 10% of our gross earnings, as He commands us to do, He will supply us, over-abundantly, with what we need to take care of ourselves and our families.  DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND! GOD DOES NOT, NOR DOES HE EVER, PROMISE TO MAKE US RICH!  He promises to give us what we need, and we are to be satisfied with what He gives us.  If we expect more than what God provides, it’s greed, and greed is a sin.

“But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

So then,

  • how will we obey today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for us?

 

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone