Tag Archives: Bible Teaching

Gary Thomas to Teach on the Names of God

Gary Thomas, award-winning author, probably best known for Sacred Marriage, will teach us here at The Cove later this month about knowing the Object of our worship. Read below, as he explains why it is important to know the names of God.

We live in a self-important society. We take personality tests. We use social media to broadcast what is on our mind. We hear slogans that tell us we’re due something or we deserve a reward.

But, in order to live in such a way that God is most glorified, we must pursue a greater knowledge of Him.

“To really be who God made us to be, we must make it a priority to know Him over knowing ourselves. Who God is will transform our own lives, our relationships, and our own sense of identity,” explained Thomas.

God As Creator

One way Thomas will give the audience a biblical lens through which they can more closely examine God is to study Him as Creator. When we can emphasize God as our Creator as much as we do our Savior, this provides a stronger basis for worship.

“This understanding should change how we view our lives, days, body and money. God as Savior is such a glorious role. But He has a prior claim as creator.”

So, how does this understanding change the way we live?

“I think it feeds our worship. We realize just how great God is and that’s what informs our worship. We’re not relying on our feelings toward Him but leaning on a deeper understanding of who He is and what makes Him who He is,” said Thomas.

“The more we love Him and understand Him, we see that He’s better than we could have dreamed. And we gain an appreciation of who He is by studying His names.”

Not only can we know God deeper through understanding His names and his attributes, we can better understand ourselves. God’s position as creator, explains our call to create. We are called to a sense of mission.

“We are to be people who create. The problem is passivity. We’re not creating as God calls us to create. Fathers are leaving children instead of creating families. Instead of creating work or business, people are waiting for handouts. Instead of sharing our faith to create brothers and sisters in Christ, we often sit out these opportunities, afraid to do so.”

A Merciful God

Another name Thomas will examine during the seminar is “God the Merciful.”

We like to receive mercy, but we’re often slow to give it. Thomas hopes to help people become more merciful as he teaches them about the God of mercy.

“We’ll look at the well known passage in Micah that tells us to love mercy, act justly, and to walk humbly with God. We’re called to love, and out of that love we are to give mercy to others.”

Understanding: A Precursor to Change

Once we gain an understanding of God’s names and attributes (like Creator and Merciful), we get more than just knowledge: we’re called to action. We’re not learning just to gain information; we’re learning so we can change.

“Knowing who God is affects how we treat others. When we lack mercy, we have poisoned relationships because we’re holding on to things. Also, when we can understand who God is, for instance, as Creator, it changes the way we worship. We’re not just worshipping when the music is catchy or the hymns sound majestic, but we’re worshipping in spirit and in truth.”

You can still make plans! Join Gary October 29-31 as you fall more in love with God and learn to become a more accurate picture of Him.

FREE Webcast Tonight with Alistair Begg!

Join us online tonight at 7:35pm ET for the first session of Alistair Begg’s seminar at The Cove titled, The Truth, Power and Relevance of the Gospel…for FREE! 

No amount of money, social status, power, nor any kind of immediate gratification could ever take the place of peace with God. Learn to live the Gospel daily with the blessed assurance that nothing “will be able to separate” you “from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39, ESV).

Please share this great opportunity with friends and family. 

Click here to watch online.

Free Webcast TONIGHT with Dr. Jack Hayford!

Tonight, you can tune in at 7:15pm ET for the first session of Dr. Jack Hayford’s seminar, A New Time In A New Placefor free!


You may not be able to attend the seminar in person, but this will give you a taste of the excellent Bible teaching that takes place at The Cove in Asheville, NC.

Watch and listen as Dr. Hayford teaches from the Book of Ruth, which illustrates for us God’s ways with people just like us. When facing a crossroad, you and I must decide whether to stay with the status quo or, like Ruth, follow God’s call to a new time and place. Come learn how to face the challenges of unpredictable need and painful difficulty, and experience God’s covenant faithfulness.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to participate in the LIVE Q&A session with Dr. Hayford.  Afterward, if you complete our short survey, you will be entered in a drawing for a CD or DVD set of the entire seminar you watched.

Click here to watch online!

The God With Scars

By James Emery White 

James Emery White, pastor in Charlotte, NC and author, will be teaching on Living as the People of God in Turbulent Times at The Cove on October 24-26, 2012.

 One of the first things that happens at a violent crime scene, after evidence has been collected, is the removal of any and all signs that violence has taken place. Broken glass is swept up, blood is wiped away, bodies are covered up and removed. Everyone wants to do everything possible to keep the memory of the event from lingering in their minds.

 

Not God.

In the Book of Revelation, John comes face to face with a scroll, sealed with seven seals, that no one is worthy to open.  Weeping that no one could open the scroll,  and that the very heart of the revelation would be kept from him, John is told that there is one who can open it—the Lion of the tribe of Judah. When John looks for the Lion, he instead sees a Lamb in the center of the throne. The Lamb is alive but bears all the marks of having been slain, suggesting that its death is somehow part of its power (Revelation 5).

Why is a previously slain lamb at the center of John’s heavenly vision? Why is a unique word used for lamb found 29 times in Revelation, but only once in the rest of the New Testament? (John 21:15). How can a lion of power be found in a lamb?

To understand all of this involves understanding the Passover. During the time when the Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians, God sent the deliverer Moses and unleashed 10 plagues before the stubborn hearts of the Egyptians would allow the release of the Jewish slaves. The tenth and decisive plague was the death of the fi rstborn of Egypt.

The sacrifice of an animal was a common way for people of that culture to make amends for their sins. It sounds strange to us today, but there was a very important idea behind it. They saw sin as something serious, deadly and gruesome, something that could cost them their life before a holy God. So it was only through some type of atoning, sacrificial death—something equally serious, deadly and gruesome—that the sin could be addressed.

God told the Israelites that if they would sacrifice an unblemished lamb—one without defect, perfect in every way—and then take the blood from the lamb and spread it on their doorposts, the angel of death that was being sent to deliver the tenth and final plague would pass over them, hence the term Passover.  The Israelites did as God said. The angel of death came, the firstborn of Egypt were killed, and the Israelites who had covered their homes with the blood of the lamb were saved. It had such an impact on the leaders of Egypt that they released the Israelites from slavery.

Jews have been celebrating the festival of Passover ever since as a reminder of God’s deliverance from death, and the freedom that came from that deliverance, through the blood of a lamb. The festival came to be marked each year with the slaughter of a lamb that would then be eaten, along with unleavened bread, in remembrance of the quick departure from captivity in Egypt that did not afford them time to add yeast. But even more important, the taste would remind them of the bitterness of the slavery that the blood had released them from.

Just before His death, Jesus gathered His disciples together to celebrate the Passover, but with a twist: “[Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This  cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:19-20).

Jesus gave the bread and wine new meaning. It would now represent Him as the unblemished Lamb that was sacrificed. Those marked by His blood would be freed from the slavery of their sin and would be passed over from the spiritual death that comes from sin. Through Jesus, “This was one death that was not to be airbrushed from the world’s consciousness. Instead, it was to stand at the center of human history, for we worship, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann once wrote, a crucified God.”  God was calling His people out of a deeper slavery than ever existed under the Egyptians—the very slavery of sin—into a new community in relationship with the living God.

This was one death that was not to be airbrushed from the world’s consciousness. Instead, it was to stand at the center of human history, for we worship, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann once wrote, a crucified God.

Any other God is false.

Even when facing a doubting Thomas, Jesus relied on one mark of authenticity: See my hands, see my feet, look at my side. I am the One that was crucified.

And that led Thomas to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

It reminds me of the controversy surrounding the violence portrayed in Mel Gibson’s film on the passion of Jesus. There was a great deal of conversation about the brutality, the torture, the blood in the movie. “It’s so violent,” people said.

I wanted to say, “Yes, because it was.”

The film was rated R, and it deserved that rating—but I would argue that the R stood for Realistic.  I would have been more offended if the film had tried to water it down, sanitize it or make what Jesus went through something less than it really was.

Scars matter. When you pray to a Lamb that was slain, a crucified God, you pray to One who is able to understand your scars.

I once read of a little boy who went shopping for a puppy. He went into the pet store and asked how much the dogs were. The owner said that they sold for anywhere from $30 to $50. The little boy pulled out $2.37, all that he had.

“Here is all of my money. I don’t know how much it is, but it’s worth it.”

The store owner knew it wasn’t enough, but he let the little boy look at the puppies anyway. He looked at all of them, but at one in particular: the runt of the litter, which had a limp. The boy asked the owner what was wrong with that dog, and the owner said that he was born without a hip socket.

“That’s the puppy I want!”

“Son,” the owner said, “I can’t sell you that dog. He’s not worth it.  I’ll just give him to you for free.”

Tears filled the little boy’s eyes.  “Mister,” he said, “that dog is worth as much as any other animal in this store. You take my money.”

The owner did, and only as the boy walked out did he notice that the boy had an artificial leg.

Let us now and always worship the Lamb that was slain, the crucified God. But remember that you get to pray to Him, too. And when you do, you can trust that He understands whatever is making you limp.

This article is from the June 2012 Decision magazine.

James Emery White’s seminar titled Living as the People of God in Turbulent Times takes place at The Cove on October 24-25, 2012.  Call 1-800-950-2092 or click here for more information and to register.

Is Prayer at Work In Your Life?

By Joy Allmond

Do you ever have trouble praying? Is it hard to know where to start, let alone pray at all? 
Stormie Omartian, Bible teacher and award-winning author of the Power of Praying series, will help people explore these questions and find answer at The Cove in September. Read here a little about her personal prayer journey and some prayer tips she has just for you.

Stormie Omartian was at the end of her rope.

As a young professional living in Hollywood and working in television, she was bound by fear, anxiety and depression that was rooted in her background as an abused child. No matter what she did, she couldn’t escape the pain.

That is, until one day, when she turned to prayer.

Someone led her to Jesus Christ, but, as for many of us, the pain didn’t instantly go away. Shortly after her conversion, she began to see a Christian counselor, who encouraged her to fast and pray over her past and the impact it would have over her present and her future. 

That season of prayer and fasting dramatically transformed her life. It is because of prayer that she found freedom from the effects of her past.

“When I found absolute deliverance and freedom from depression and anxiety, I felt a burden lift. It was such a great manifestation of the power of God—I’ll never forget it. Prayer changed my life forever,” she said.

Now, she is widely known for speaking and writing about the subject of prayer, having released a series of popular books, such as The Power of a Praying Life.

“That time in my life led to find out about what God wants to do in our lives through prayer—our communicating with Him.  I wanted others to understand the power of prayer, so my husband and I began to form prayer groups.”

Why Don’t We Pray More?

Many of us, although we have been walking with Christ for years, have difficulty even praying at all.

“So many of us won’t stop and pray because we don’t think we’re good enough to receive an answer. Or maybe you don’t know how to pray. Some of us are too intimidated to pray because we think we don’t have the right words—we can’t pray the same way as the pastor. We all have these doubts and fears when it comes to prayer,” she explained.

That’s why she writes the books and speaks at conferences—to help people get past their misconceptions about prayer and learn to effectively communicate with God.

Tips For Effective Communication With God

The first thing, Omartian says, is to express our gratitude for God’s faithfulness and work in our lives.

“Thank Him for everything. Praise and worship isn’t just something you do while you wait for the sermon on Sunday. It should be a way of life.

“Also, ask Him to show you if there is any sin that needs to be confessed, because unconfessed sin puts up barrier between you and God. Scripture tells us that God will not hear us if there is iniquity in our hearts,” she said.

Once we confess this, then we must ask for forgiveness, and ask Him to help us obey Him in the particular area in which we struggle.

Next, she said it’s best to keep our prayers simple.

“It doesn’t need to be complicated. Prayer can get overwhelming if you start incorporating man made rules. Just communicate your heart with God.”

She also reminds us that we should seek the will of God in our prayers—not our own.

“Ask God to lead and prompt you to pray for the things He wants in your life. Remember that He will help you pray this way if you ask Him. Be honest with Him in your prayers.”

Lastly, she says it’s very important to be in God’s Word every day.

“It helps you to pray, because it help you understand what God’s will is. You will hear the Holy Spirit more clearly if you are filling yourself with the Word of God. He will bring things alive to you as you read. And, we need to hear His voice clearly, because there are so many competing voices out there. We need to be able to isolate His voice.”

From September 4-6, she will be at The Cove, teaching others about the importance and effectiveness of prayer, and helping them transform their prayer lives.

When asked about what she wants to accomplish through her upcoming time at The Cove, she simply said, “I want people to leave praying.

“We can learn about prayer, talk about it, read about it. I want to inspire people to actually do it! I want people to understand how much God wants to accomplish through prayers, and I want it to be a dynamic in their hearts.

There is still time to make plans to join Stormie and see what God has in store for you at The Cove September 4-6! Learn more about her seminar and register by clicking here or calling 1-800-950-2092.

The Cove Welcomes Stormie Omartian

On September 4-6, 2012, we will welcome Bible teacher and award-winning author of the Power of Praying series, Stormie Omartian to The Cove! 

Stormie’s seminar titled, The Power of a Praying Life, will focus on how to open up the mystery of prayer.  You will learn how to establish an intimate and abiding walk with God, find your purpose, and better understand your gifts and calling.

After a very abusive upbringing and living through countless unhealthy choices to cover the enduring emotional pain, Stormie came to Christ.  She says, “I learned about the power of prayer and the great things that can happen when we pray. I learned about the importance of worshiping and praising God and the transformation that takes place in our souls when it becomes our priority. I learned that the more I obeyed God, the more I changed.”  Click here to read Stormie’s full story. 

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 for more information and to register for Stormie’s seminar.        

Join Us Online Tonight!

Tonight, you can tune in at 7:15pm ET for the first session of Dr. Tony Evans’ seminar, Victory in Spiritual Warfarefor free!

How well do you understand the nature of spiritual warfare? How can you live a life of victory through Christ? This timely, insightful exploration of God’s Word unveils a simple yet radical truth: Every struggle and conflict faced in the physical realm has its root in the spiritual realm. Discover how the Bible demystifies spiritual warfare and learn to actively use the armor of God, experience His victory, and more fully embrace the life, hope, and purpose God has for you.

Click here to watch online!

 

Tony Evans on Spiritual Victory

By Joy Allmond

What do you do when you are living in a season of spiritual defeat? Do you pray? Do you retreat? Do you ask people for advice? Maybe you get angry, or perhaps the other areas of your life suffer.

Tony Evans, well known pastor and author in the Dallas, Tex. area, wants people to understand that there is only one way to defeat our enemy soundly—through engaging Scripture.

“I don’t believe people consistently make the connection with what is happening in history, or in their personal lives, with what is happening in the spiritual realm,” Evans explained.

“To the degree that people can understand the spiritual connection is the degree they can invoke the spiritual realm to change things in this physical, visible realm in which we live.”

Dr. Evans believes we lose sight of the impact of the spiritual realm because we tend to be focused on the tangible—the physical world in which we exist.

Most of the time, anyway.

“We see and feel the physical world, so we are more conscious of it. But, when pain in life comes, we desperately want the spiritual realm to change things in our physical world. So, I want people to understand how that realm works, and how to implement God’s plan for addressing things from that perspective,” he said.

And the way to do that, he says, is simply through the Scriptures. Knowing them is one thing; using them is another.

“We should know them, but Scriptures are not merely to be known. They are to be utilized against the devil, not just a ‘safe’ place, like Bible study with other Christians,” Evans explained.

The Bible is full of Scriptures for combatting the enemy and his tactics, but Evans specifically points to Ephesians 6:10-18.

It is in this passage that God gives six guidelines for spiritual victory—six pieces of spiritual armor with which we need to fit ourselves: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

Dr. Evans urges all believers to get to know those six pieces of armor, and understand how they relate to spiritual victory.

July 19-21, he will be teaching an auditorium of people at The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove how to use Scripture as a weapon of defense against the devil’s attacks, and as a resource to have peace in the middle of a spiritual battle. 

“I’m going to make it very practical, as opposed to theoretical. Those in the seminar will learn how you handle God’s Word in a way that will allow them to accomplish what God wants to see in their lives—victory.”

Tony Evans’ seminar titled Victory in Spiritual Welfare takes place on July 19-21, 2012 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.