Category Archives: Uncategorized

Conquer Evil

“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 HCSB)

It appears as if evil is out of control in our world today.  We hear and see more and more of it, and it seems as if we and people around the world have succumbed to it, accepting it as if there is nothing that can be done about it.  We seem to have the “if we can’t beat it, we must join it” mentality.

But evil can and must be conquered and defeated in our society and in the world.  God, through the Apostle Paul tells us that in today’s verse of Scripture. Let’s take a closer look at it.

  1. “Do not be conquered by evil” – means that, as Christians, we do not have to be conquered by anything, much less evil.  In Romans 8:35-37, God, through the Apostle Paul, tells us that “we are more than conquerers.”  Therefore, if we do evil, it’s because we allow ourselves to be conquered by evil; we give up the fight against it and join it. There are many so-called Christians who believe that the way to fight evil is by accepting it, in the name of “love”. Accepting evil is in itself evil, and can never be love.  Evil cannot defeat, or conquer itself.  There has to be a greater force that conquers it.
  2. “but conquer evil with good.” – God is telling us that the only way to conquer evil is by doing what is good, even as we face evil.  As Christians, we are “not to repay evil for evil,  or insult for insult (1 Peter 3:9; italics added).”  Here’s what Jesus has to say to us:  But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28; italics added).” Christians, this is the way that Jesus wants to use us to conquer evil in this world; He wants us to take His love and goodness to the entire world, beginning where we are.

The problem is that few are the Christians who are willing to do what is good to conquer evil, because they fear what evil is going to do to them for their efforts.  

But God tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2 Timothy 1:7; italics added).” So we, through the power of Christ who lives in us, have the power to overcome and conquer evil and do what is good to all people.

So, what will you choose to do?  How will you make a difference in your community and the rest of the world?  Will it be for good, or for evil?

*** If you are someone who wants to do what is truly good and make a difference in this world, you cannot do it on your own, you need the power of God’s love and goodness living in you.  Think about it.  God is calling you to Himself, right now.  If you are interested in knowing how you can have God’s power in your life, message me. I’d love to help you. ***

“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

The Inconvenient Truth

 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 HCSB)

Friends, here’s the only inconvenient truth that matters: our sinful nature has condemned and sentenced us to eternal death in hell, but God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to rescue and offer eternal life to everyone who believes in Him.  This is a free gift from God! God, through the Apostle Paul, said:

“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—  not from works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

Here’s what this passage says:

  1. “For you are saved…” – Saved from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).  God is 100% love and 100% just. 
  2. “by grace through faith…” –  Faith is the vehicle by which we reach God’s unmerited favor (grace) towards us. 
  3. “and this is not from yourselves;” – Our sinful nature impedes us from being able to do anything to buy, or earn, our salvation from God’s wrath.
  4. “it is God’s gift…” – Salvation is God’s gift given to us, freely, out of a heart of love.
  5. “not from works,” – Salvation cannot be bought, or earned by our “good works” because there is nothing good about us. (Romans 3:23).
  6. “so that no one can boast.” – God took away the responsibility of our salvation from us and put it on Jesus’ shoulders.  This was meant to keep us powerless and humble, totally dependent on upon Him and His love for us.  Also, boastfulness and pride are sin, which God does not accept.

These facts are inconvenient to those whose desire is to enslave prospective believers by adding “works” to their faith for their salvation.  But here’s something for us to think about; if there was a way for us to save our own selves from God’s wrath, how cruel and unloving would God have to be for Him to punish His own Son, so severely, in order to forgive people who hate Him so intensely?

Here are the facts about salvation as simple as it can be said:

  1. Jesus reigned in heaven with God the Father
  2. Jesus left His kingdom to come to earth and become a servant
  3. Jesus served us by dying on a cross in order to suffer the full measure of God’s wrath, so we wouldn’t have to
  4. Jesus was buried, and after three days in the tomb,
  5. Jesus rose again from the dead in order to give us eternal life in heaven
  6. All we have to do is believe in what Jesus has done for us through His death and resurrection to receive eternal life.

Jesus Himself said:

“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).”

What Jesus has done for us is sufficient. there’s nothing else to be done.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Project: WHEELS

There are people in places in our state that are hard to reach with with the Gospel with regular street vehicles.

  • We take the Gospel to people who live in ranches and rural areas, far away from the city, in the rocky dessert of our state, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
  • The terrain to get to these places is extremely rough and our small SUV is not adequate enough to travel on this kind of terrain.
  • We have found a 2016, Ford F-250, 4×4, crew cab that has only 9,990 kilometers on it.  It is in great condition and the owner is asking $36,000 dollars (US), a very good price here in Mexico. (Bringing an American truck across the border is not an option because of the extremely high taxes and legalization fees.)
  • A newer, dependable vehicle is essential to our getting where we need to go, and our personal safety.

The primary use of this vehicle is ministry – so that we can go further take the Gospel to rural places that are hard to reach by regular vehicles; to take food to the hungry, take water to the thirsty, take clothes to the naked, and to care for the widows and orphans of these far away places. In this process, we train these people to reach their own people with the Gospel.

Please pray and see if the Lord would have you donate to reach our $36,000 dollar goal.  If so, please visit our website covoneministries.com for more information on what we do and how we do it.  Or, click here to donate on our website.  Thank you for your consideration.  God bless you.

Everyone

“Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭HCSB‬‬)

Contrary to what some believe, God means for everyone to be saved. According to today’s verse, salvation is for everyone. The every, “everyone,” excludes no one. NO ONE is excluded from God’s amazing love and the salvation He has provided us through His Son, Jesus. In His sovereignty, God allows us to chose whether we will call upon Jesus for our salvation, or not. He does not force salvation, or damnation on anyone. He leaves it up to us to decide.

Jesus said,

“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 (John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).”

Calling upon Jesus to save us requires that we humble ourselves and admit three things:

  1. That we are insufficient, and thus incapable of saving ourselves because of our sinful nature about which we can do nothing.
  2. That Jesus is the Lord and Master of all things, including life and death. He is the Lord of our lives whether we like it or not.
  3. That without Jesus death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and His resurrection from the dead to give us eternal life, we would have no hope.

Jesus said this:

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).”

If we don’t call out to the Lord Jesus to forgive our sin, and confess Him as Lord of our lives, we cannot be saved. Here’s what God, through the Apostle Paul, says:

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation (Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).”

Knowing these truths, what will you chose to do?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

No Place Better

“Better a day in Your courts than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather be at the door of the house of my God than to live in the tents of wicked people.” (Psalms‬ ‭84:10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬)

Unfortunately, there are too many Christians trying desperately to live in both places expecting God’s blessings. Though going to church is not what makes us Christians, nor is it what we do in order to receive God’s blessings, it is what we do as evidence of the fact that we are Christians. It is a symbol of stepping out of Satan’s world, and stepping into God’s world, leaving the secular worldview and entering God’s worldview. Too many, however, try to live in both worlds which cannot be done. We either belong to God, or belong to the world, but we cannot belong to both.

Today’s verse paints a mental picture of a person who wholly and completely belongs to God – someone who made the conscious and willful decision to turn his back on the world and live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to God’s commands, plans, and purpose. This is the person who would rather stand at the door of God’s house than to be anywhere else in the world because He understands there is no greater blessing that God can give us than to be adopted by Him through faith in what His Son, Jesus, did on the cross for us. There is nothing greater that to be sons and daughters of our Almighty God, and as such, co-heirs of God’s kingdom with Jesus.

There is no place on earth better than God’s place. Will you join me there?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

¿Es Correcto Orar a Ángeles?

¿Es Correcto Orar a Ángeles?

(Credito, en parte, a gotquestions.org)

Aunque no hay un pasaje o versículo en la Biblia que dice: “No oraran a ángeles,” es abundantemente claro que NO debemos orar a ángeles. La oración es un acto de adoración a Dios.  Por lo tanto, así como los ángeles rechazan nuestra adoración (Apocalipsis 22:8-9), también rechazarán nuestras oraciones.  Ofrecer nuestra adoración y oraciones a cualquiera que no sea Dios, es idolatría.

También hay razones prácticas y teológicas que nos enseñan que orar a ángeles es incorrecto.  Por ejemplo, cuando los discípulos le pidieron a Jesús que les enseñara a orar, Él les respondió, “Vosotros, pues, oraréis así: Padre nuestro que estas en los cielos…” (Mateo 6:9).  Si deberíamos de orar a ángeles, este hubiera sido el momento en que nos enseñara a hacerlo, pero no lo hizo.  Es claro que solo debemos orar a Dios.

Jesús le dice a todos los Cristianos, Sus seguidores, que todo lo que le pidamos a Dios en Su nombre, Él lo cumplirá porque Él es quien intercede directamente ante Dios por nosotros (Juan 14:13).  La Biblia también nos enseña que nuestras oraciones deben ser hechas en el nombre de Jesús, solamente (Juan 16:26).  Este verso nos enseña que, después de la ascensión de Jesús al cielo, Él actúa como el intercesor a nuestro Padre celestial por todos Sus seguidores.  Ni ángeles, ni ningún otros ser creado se le dio el poder o autoridad de ser intercesor por nosotros ante Dios.  Solo Jesucristo y el Espíritu Santo tienen el poder y autoridad de interceder por Sus seguidores (Romanos 8:26).

Para concluir, la Palabra de Dios nos dice que debemos “orara sin cesar’ (1 Tesalonicenses 5:17).  Esto solo es posible si los seguidores de Jesús tienen acceso directo a un Dios que siempre está presente y accesible para escuchar las plegarias de todos Sus seguidores a la misma vez.  Los ángeles no tienen esta habilidad porque no son omniscientes, omnipotentes, u omnipresentes – esto los descalifica para recibir nuestras oraciones, y mucho menos pasárselas a Dios.

Oración a nuestro Padre celestial por medio de Jesucristo es la manera más efectiva para comunicarnos con Dios.  Así que, orar a ángeles NO es un concepto bíblico.

En Dios He Confiado

“En Dios alabaré su palabra; En Dios he confiado; no temeré; ¿Qué puede hacerme el hombre?” (Salmos 56:4)

Muchos vivimos en temor porque hemos puesto nuestra fe en otras cosas, y otras personas, y no en Dios.  Tememos al futuro, a las circunstancias, a lo desconocido y a muchas otras cosas, especialmente al hombre.  El hombre, por naturaleza, es malo y no podemos confiar en el.  Dios dice:

“Engañoso es el corazón más que todas las cosas, y perverso; ¿quién lo conocerá? (Jeremías 17:9).”

En el verso de hoy, el Salmista nos dice cuatro cosas a las cuales debemos prestar atención:

  1. “En Dios alabaré su palabra;” – estoy listo para alabar la sentencia (o, Su voluntad) que Dios pronuncie sobre mi, sea lo que sea.
  2. “En Dios he confiado;” – en Dios he puesto la medida completa de my fe y confianza porque reconozco que Él es Omnisciente, Omnipotente, y Omnipresente.  Fe parcial no es fe.
  3. “No temeré;” – porque he puesto la medida completa de mi fe en mi Dios Omnisciente, Omnipotente y Omnipresente, no temeré a nada, ni a nadie.
  4. “¿Qué puede hacerme el hombre?” – no hay nada que el hombre me pueda hacer el hombre que pueda destruir mi fe en mi Dios; ni la persecución, ni la amenaza de muerte, ni la misma muerte.

Si de verdad hemos puesto la medida completa de nuestra fe en Dios, podemos usar lo que el Salmista nos enseñó en el verso de hoy como lema para nuestras vidas; y si lo cometemos a memoria, lo podremos recitar cuando tiempos difíciles nos caigan encima y nos alentara.

¿A quien, o a que, teme usted?  ¿En quien ha puesto, usted, la medida completa de su fe?

En el amor de Cristo,

Philip “Felipe” Covone

Rejoice and Be Glad

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”             (Psalms 118:24 HCSB)

Very few people are truly happy with their jobs. They stay with their jobs for various reasons, but at the end of the day, they are not satisfied, not fulfilled by what they do.  I think today’s verse of Scripture gives a clue as to why that is.

  1. “This is the day that the Lord has made;” – God brought this day into existence with a specific purpose for us.  God does not allow us to live another day just so that we can do our own thing.  He has a plan for each one of our days that, at the end, will leave us satisfied and fulfilled.
  2. “let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – we will rejoice and be glad as we carry out God’s purpose for our day.  We must remember that we, as Christians, do not work for man, we work for God.  He is sitting in our supervisor’s office looking over us, and we are to work to please Him, only Him.  Here’s what God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us:

    “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 HCSB).”

We may not like our jobs, our bosses, or some of the people we work with, but we must remember that our primary job is to glorify God in everything we do, yes, in everything we do (remember, we cannot sin and glorify God).  As Christians, we do not serve man, we serve our one and only Lord, Jesus.  He reminds us that:

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31 HCSB).”

How we do our jobs, and how we speak about our bosses and co-workers around the water cooler speaks volumes about who we are.  Our private and public lives, our attitudes, our actions, and our speech must testify to the Greatness and Goodness of our Lord. No matter where we are, or what we do, people must see and hear Jesus in us, so that they can be drawn to Him.  We must work and live for the benefit of others.  Only then, can we truly rejoice and be glad, and be satisfied and fulfilled.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

 

El Hombre Mas Odiado en la Historia

El Hombre Más Odiado en la Historia

Contrario a la creencia popular, Jesús no vino al mundo a condenar al mundo, sino a pagar el penal maximo por nuestros pecados, para no ser condenados por nuestros pecados. Jesús sufrió la media entera de la ira de Dios para que, por medio de fe en ese grandioso acto de amor, podamos ser salvos de la ira y condenación de Dios. Jesucristo mismo dijo:

“Porque no envió Dios a su Hijo al mundo para condenar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por él (S.Juan‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬).”

El hizo por nosotros lo que nosotros no podemos hacer por nosotros mismos para poder ser salvos. Nunca ha habido, y nunca habrá un acto de amor que el que Jesús hizo por nosotros. Sin embargo es odiado por ello. Jesús es el hombre más odiado en la historia del mundo. Ni uno de los líderes más malvados, odiosos, asesinos en la historia del mundo es más odiado que Jesucristo el día de hoy.

Jesús enseñó:

1. Que amáramos a Dios, nuestro Creador, más que a cualquier otra relación en nuestras vidas: “Jesús le dijo: Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, y con toda tu alma, y con toda tu mente. Éste es el primero y grande mandamiento (S. Mateo‬ ‭22:37-38‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬).”
2. Que nos amáramos los unos a los otros como a nosotros mismos: “Y el segundo es semejante: Amarás a tu prójimo como a ti mismo (S. Mateo‬ ‭22:39‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬).”
3. Que nos amáramos los unos a los otros como El nos ha amado: “Éste es mi mandamiento: Que os améis unos a otros, como yo os he amado. Nadie tiene mayor amor que éste, que uno ponga su vida por sus amigos (S.Juan‬ ‭15:12-13‬ ‭RVR1960‬).”
4. Que amemos a nuestros enemigos: “Pero a vosotros los que oís, os digo: Amad a vuestros enemigos, (Lucas 6:27).”
5. Que hagamos el bien a los que nos odian: “hagan el bien al los que os aborrecen; (Lucas 6:27).”
6. Que hablemos bien de, y invoquemos bendiciones, sobre los que nos maldicen: “bendecid a los que os maldicen ((Lucas 6:28).”
7. Que oremos por los que nos maltratan: “y orar por los que os calumnian (Lucas 6:28).”
8. Que nos perdonemos los unos a los otros como El nos ha perdonado: “Antes sed benignos unos con otros, misericordiosos, perdonándoos unos a otros, como Dios también os perdonó a vosotros en Cristo (Efesios‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬).”

Esto es lo que Jesucristo vivió, predicó, y enseñó, y es por esto mismo que Jesucristo es el Hombre más odiado en la historia del mundo; y es por esto que Sus seguidores, aquellos que de verdad son Sus discípulos – que se esfuerzan a vivir bajo el estándar moral de El, también son odiados, despreciados, y asesinados por el mundo.

Hay mucha gente que piensa que cuando Jesús habla en contra de toda inmoralidad sexual, embriagues, mentira, engaño, avaricia, abuso, abuso de poder, injusticia, aborto, asesinato, y muchas otras cosas, Jesús está condenando a aquellos que practican tales cosas. Pero no es así. El simplemente les está advirtiendo sobre el hecho de que nuestra naturaleza pecaminosa no nos permite darle la espalda a esas cosas por nosotros mismos, y por lo tanto, vamos rumbo a una eternidad completamente separados de un Dios que nos creó, nos ama, y que quiere cuidar de nosotros.

El advierte al mundo entero que solo hay una manera de evitar la ira de Dios sobre nosotros, y esa manera es, poner toda nuestra fe y confianza en lo que Jesucristo hizo en la cruz por nosotros. Jesús lo explica de esta manera:

“Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. Porque no envió Dios a su Hijo al mundo para condenar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por él. El que en él cree, no es condenado; pero el que no cree, ya ha sido condenado, porque no ha creído en el nombre del unigénito Hijo de Dios (S.Juan‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬).”

No permita que el mundo lo confunda y haga creer las mentiras que dicen de Jesucristo. Solo hay una manera de conocer a Jesús de una manera personal, que es lo siguiente:

1. Reconozca que es pecador/pecadora y dele gracias a Dios por haber mando a Su Único Hijo, Jesus, a pagar el penal máximo para el perdón de sus pecados (de usted) y por resucitar de entre los muertos para darle, a usted, vida eterna (Juan 3:16-18; Romanos 3:23; Romanos 5:8; Efesios 1:13-14).
2. Pídale perdón por sus pecados de todo corazón, y El le perdonará (1 Juan 1:9).
3. Dígale que, en este momento, usted intencional y voluntariamente escoge dejar de vivir en rebelión contra El y empieza una vida nueva siendo discípulo de El; que se compromete a amarlo, todos los días; a buscarlo, todos los días; a seguirlo, todos los días; y vivir en inmediata, radical y costosa obediencia a El y solo a El, cueste lo que le cueste, aunque le cueste la vida (Romanos 10:9-10; Lucas 14:25-27). Luego, ¡hágalo!
Esta es la única manera de convertirse en hijo/hija de Dios (Juan 1:12) y de experimentar la saciedad de Su bondad, amor, gozo, felicidad, libertad, paz y perfecto cuidado de usted. ¡Hágalo ahora mismo!

Esta es la razón por la cual Jesucristo es tan odiado, aun hoy día. ¿Odia, usted, a Jesús? ¿Aceptará, está Navidad, el regalo gratis de salvación? Después de todo, a eso vino el Señor Jesús. ¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!

***Si tiene alguna pregunta, déjemelo saber.***

En el amor de Cristo,

Philip “Felipe”