No Fear!

“Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35 HCSB)

If we are Christians, is there any reason for us to live in fear?  Is there anything that can separate us from the love of Christ?  Is there anyone who can separate us from the love of Christ?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

Here’s the reason why (read the entire passage):

“As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:36-39).”

As Christians, this passage should strengthen us, empower us, encourage us, and eradicate all fear from within us!  So then,

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

In Christi’s love,




“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

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



“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

The Word

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

Over the centuries there have been many kinds of people who have tried to deny, disprove, and discredit Jesus for who He is by using their own limited intellect and understanding.  Instead of going to God looking for answers about Himself, they ask for answers about God from those who do not know God, or Christ.  They do so in an attempt to lessen His power and authority of Christ over all creation, thus not having to answer to Him for their lives.  Who Christ is, or is not, does not depend on what His creation thinks, but in who He has proven Himself to us to be.

In today’s verse of Scripture, God, through the Apostle John, has revealed to us who Jesus is.  Let’s take a look:

  1. “In the beginning…” – at the beginning of time and all created existence (John 1:3).  Before the world was, Word was (John 17:5).
  2. “was the Word,” – the Word has a name, Jesus, the Christ, who is the manifestation of God to those who don’t know Him, or who are without Him (John 1:18).  Christ is God incarnate.
  3. “and the Word was with God,” – Jesus is a conscious, personal, distinct existence from God, but inseparable and associated with Him (John 1:18; John 17:5; 1 John 1:2).
  4. “was God.” – Jesus is in substance and essence, God. He possesses the same Divinity as God.  There is complete and perfect harmony and unity between God and Jesus. One is not greater than the Other, nor is there ever any contradiction between them.

There are those who believe that Jesus is not God because Jesus Himself says that all power was given to Him (Matthew 28:18), which to them implies that Jesus had no Deity until God the Father imparted it to Him.  That assumption is incorrect.  Here’s what Jesus said,

“Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).”

What Jesus means is that all authority is given to Him by the fact that He is God, the reality of His Deity.  Because of His Deity, He has the power to create, and all authority over all things He has created in the heavens above, and on earth.  Jesus’ Deity is well discussed and proven in the Bible in several different ways:

  1. By His names: 1. God (Hebrews 1:8).  2. Son of God (Matthew 16:16; 26:61-64).  3. Lord (Matthew 22:43-45).  4. King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).
  2. By His Characteristics:  1. Omnipotence (Matthew 28:18).  2. Omniscience (John 1:48).  3. Omnipresence (Matthew 18:20).  4. Life (John 1:4).  5. Truth (John 14:6).  6. Immutable, or unchanging (Hebrews 13:8).”
  3. By His works:  1. He creates (John 1:3).  2.  He sustains (Colossians 1:17).  3. He forgives sin (Luke 7:48).  4. Raises the dead (John 5:25).  5. Judges (John 5:27).  6. Sends the Holy Spirit (John 15:26).
  4. By worship given to Him:  1. By angels (Hebrews 1:6).  2. By men (Matthew 14:33).  3. By all (Philippians 2:10).
  5. By equality in the Trinity:  1. With the Father (John 14:23; 10:30).  2. With the Father and the Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

Please don’t rely on the words of mere mortals and their finite minds.  Though it may take you a while, please read all the Scripture references given so that you can see for yourself what the Bible says, and it will prove to Jesus that you really want to know Him.  Only then will Jesus reveal Himself to you.  Before you do though, pray that God will reveal His truth to you, and He will.

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone


“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Wow!!!  What a powerful, and encouraging passage of Scripture, especially for us Christians.  Contrary to popular belief, even among Christians, there is no such thing as a superhuman temptation that can overpower us, and force us to summit to sin.  That is great news, is it not?  God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us a great lesson about temptation.

First, let’s define temptation. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines temptation as “an enticement or invitation to sin, with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.”  Notice that temptation is nothing more that an enticement or invitation to which we have the power to decline.  What makes it so hard to resist is the promise of something “good” for our disobedience to God.  Always remember that Satan is the great tempter (Matthew 4:3: 1 Thessalonians 3:5), and the father of all lies (John 8:44).  So, if Satan is enticing us to do something that is wrong in God’s eyes, and promising us something good for doing what is wrong, IT’S A LIE!!!

There are five very important things we are able to take away from today’s passage of Scripture:

  1. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.” – Paul reminds the Corinthian church, and us, that there is no such thing as a superhuman temptation that can not be resisted by humans.  There is no need for us to trow our hands up and give in to temptation.
  2. “God is faithful.” – when we are tempted, God is always there for us.  He “never leaves us or forsakes us”, especially in times of trouble.
  3. “He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,” – God will not allow Satan to tempt us beyond what we are capable of resisting.  God knows the full measure of our strength.  Therefore, He will not allow Satan to tempt us beyond what we are able to resist.
  4. with the temptation He will provide a way to escape…” – God not only controls how hard we are tempted, He also provides a way to escape temptations.  When we’re in a dark theater we can be comforted in the fact that if something happens, there are always lit exit signs that will help us escape danger.
  5. “so that you are able to bear it.” – so that we are able to resist it.

So, what are our God given defenses against temptation?

  1. God’s Word –  God demands immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands.   The Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you (Psalms 119:11).”  Jesus fought Satan’s temptations by quoting Scriptures (Matthew 4:4-10).  We must make time to study God’s Word: “Oh, how I love thy law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies (Psalms 119:97-98).”
  2. Prayer – The night Jesus was betrayed, Jesus prayed and commanded Peter to pray so that he would not fall into temptation (Mark 14:38).”  In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray that we would not be led into temptation (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4).”
  3. Common sense – We must not put ourselves in situations that will exploit our weaknesses.  If gambling is a weakness, do not go to casinos or places where where betting games are offered.  If alcoholic beverages are our weakness, we must stay out of places that serve alcoholic beverages…we get the point, don’t we?

So now that we are well equipped to fight and overcome Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6),

  • How will we obey what we’ve learned in today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share what we learned in today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation, and the story of what Jesus did for us?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

How Well Do We Know Ourselves?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

Because of our sin nature, every one of us has a skewed view of our selves.  Sin is what is familiar to us, which blurs what’s important.  Because of our sin nature, we excuse the wrong we do and lessen our guilt for doing it.  This is what is normal to us.  The result of this is that we see ourselves very differently than others do, and even how God does.  There could be, in each one of us, an evil habit, or a strong pull to do what is wrong in God’s eyes, which, if not dealt with, can overpower and destroy us.  Not only that, there could also be something in our hearts or lives, that causes us to think less of ourselves, nullifying our ability to be an influence for good.  Here’s the thing, we may not even be aware of all this.  Look at what God tells us about ourselves, through the Prophet Jeremiah:

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).”

The very next verse (verse 10) aught to cause us to tremble, and to be grateful at the same time:

“I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve Jeremiah 17:10).”

  1. “Tremble” because He is going to judge us and punish us according to whether we live our lives according to His will, or our will.
  2. “Grateful” because He loves us enough to warn us and give us the opportunity to drop our own way of living and live according to His ways.

The reality is that we do not know ourselves as well as we portray ourselves to.  Therefore, the wise thing to do on our part, is to ask our Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God to do for us what King David begged Him to do for him in today’s passage of Scripture.  King David asks God to do four very important things for Him:

  1. “Search me, God, and know my heart;” – He asks God to search the very depths of his heart – that God would search every part of his being, leaving nothing about him unstarched.
  2. “test me and know my concerns.” – He asks God to test and see that he is not representing himself as a God loving, God fearing man, when he is not.
  3. “See if there is any offensive way in me;” – He asks God to make sure there is nothing in himself that is offensive to God.  He does not want to offend God in any way.
  4. “lead me in the everlasting way.” –  King David asks God to put him on the path to, and lead him on the way to eternal life. In others words, He wants to live according to God’s will, which will lead him to an eternal life in heaven with God.

King David was afraid of breaking God’s heart again, and becoming useless to Him. How well do you know yourself?  Is there anything hidden in your life that is hindering you from being an instrument of God for good?

Will we all have the courage to ask God for what King David asked Him?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Insights from God's Word