Category Archives: Devotional

Coming Soon To A Church Near You

Coming Soon To A Church Near You

By: Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer

Overnight your Gospel-preaching church could change from being “a cool place to worship” to being branded as a church of bigotry and hate. That’s what happened at The Crossing in Columbia, Missouri—and it could happen anywhere.

On Sunday, October 13, Pastor Keith Simon preached a message on Genesis 1:27 as part of a new series on Genesis. His topic was gender. The sermon was thoughtful, welcoming, and non-judgmental. In an attempt to speak to the issue of gender confusion, the tone was one of respect and compassion. However, he did affirm the biblical teaching that God created only two genders: male and female. He ended with a series of questions including:

Are we sure that erasing the concept of father and mother and substituting parent 1 and parent 2—are we sure that this is good for families?”

Are we sure that it is fair for sports to have biological males [who transitioned to female] compete with biological women?”

Are we sure that we should give hormones to boys entering puberty to prepare them for gender reassignment surgery?”

Are we sure that our internal feelings of who we are always define reality?”

Normally, such a sermon would not only be expected in an evangelical church, but would be accepted as consistent with Scripture and biology. Nothing unusual so far.

But on Monday, a social media firestorm ensued, and the surrounding community was thrown into a polarized debate. The church had been a long-time sponsor of a local art gallery and a documentary film festival. Within days, an online petition emerged, and was quickly signed by 1,000 citizens urging the art community and film festival to cut their ties to the church. They obediently did so. Personal attacks followed, including calling the pastor the “Anti-Christ.” People who had never entered the church and did not even hear the sermon weighed in, fueling the fire of outrage. After widespread coverage in local newspapers and television, it has now drawn some national attention.

The Crossing has always been actively involved for the good of their community. For example, this past August they raised $430,000 to pay off the medical debt of 42,000 patients in Missouri (a sponsor cooperated with the church, so the sum total of forgiven loans was in the millions). The church supports multiple local organizations that assist those in financial need, and plans annual missions trips to partner with effective ministries in countries with great poverty. Started 20 years ago, it now has an attendance of 4,000. No wonder the word on the street was that this was the place to worship. They were known for what they were for, not what they were against.

But they crossed a trip wire. The current culture rejects civil discourse, rational discussions, and honest evaluations of biological and scientific evidence accepted by many doctors which state that gender tampering can be harmful for children and, for that matter, adults. There has been a consistent push to uncritically accept the contemporary dictum that gender is fluid, that it is a state of mind which can be changed based on vacillating desires and inclinations. Not only can a man become a woman and a woman become a man, but there are also other genders somewhere between the two. The growing number of stories of heartbreak by those who experienced transgender surgery, only to determine that their gender dysphoria had not been resolved, are ignored. Simply raising these questions has resulted in hatred and vilification of anyone who dares to ask.

For years I have wrestled with the oft-repeated statement, “We have to be known for what we are for and not what we are against.” Given our present political and moral climate, what you “are for” will evaporate in the minds of many once they hear “you are against same-sex marriage and gender fluidity.” It won’t be long until other convictions elicit the same response. We already know that to be pro-life means you hate women; to believe that Jesus is the only way to God is religious bigotry.

Some people may leave The Crossing as a result of this media backlash. But this is the reality that many churches will likely be facing in the coming years. As this issue begins to divide families, communities, and churches, some will begin to separate themselves from organized religion and reject Christianity as a whole. Congregations may begin to thin out. It seems that the church is in a process of being pruned, and while some will remain, others will walk away.

I know that parallels between our situation in the United States and Nazi Germany can be easily overdrawn. But there is this similarity: at some point God separates the chaff from the wheat in His Church. Most of the churches in Germany were either silent or supportive of Hitler after he announced “The Muzzle Decree” which made criticism of the Reich a crime.

But Martin Niemöller, who would spend time in a concentration camp for his boldness, preached these words to his congregation:

We have all of us—the whole church and the whole community—we’ve been thrown into the Tempter’s sieve, and he is shaking and the wind is blowing, and it must now become manifest whether we are wheat or chaff!…[we] must see that the calm of meditative Christianity is at an end…

It is now springtime for the hopeful and expectant Christian Church—it is testing time, and God is giving Satan a free hand, so he may shake us up so that it may be seen what manner of men we are!

Satan swings his sieve and Christianity is thrown hither and thither; and he who is not ready to suffer, he who called himself a Christian only because he thereby hoped to gain something good for his race and his nations is blown away like chaff by the wind of time.”

Blown away like chaff by the wind!

It has been aptly stated that “a Christianity without courage is cultural atheism.” Let us resolve as a church that silence is not an option. Jesus commanded us to rejoice when others speak evil of us, and be prepared for what we are facing when He said, If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 15:18; 16:33).

I think I hear Him saying to us what He said to the church in Sardis:

Wake up and strengthen what remains.”

 


We invite you in 2020 to attend a Seminar or a Pastor Renewal Retreat led by Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer. Click here to learn more.

Click here for a schedule of all seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Confident Expectations: A Cove Devotional

One of our summer interns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Abigail Bowen, wrote a devotion entitled, “Confident Expectations” that we would like to share with you.

Confident Expectations

In difficult situations or choices, we are often told to trust God. Trust is necessary to have a relationship with Him. If you can’t trust God, you aren’t going to willingly obey His calling on your life. Every time we worry about something, it is showing a lack of trust in God. Every time we try to take a situation into our own hands, it shows a lack of trust. Every time we question what God is calling us to do, it shows a lack of trust. So, what does it mean to fully, constantly, and consciously trust in God?

When you take the word back to its origins, we find that one of the earliest uses of Trust was to express “confident expectation” of someone. That is what it means to trust God: to have confident expectations of what He is going to do. We are confident in who He is and what He can do, and we are expectant of His working.

The power of that phrase has the ability to strengthen our faith and deepen our relationship with God. What if we faced every difficult situation and decision by saying, “I have confident expectations of what God is going to do.” The power of that sentence is tangible.

So how do we apply this? How do we act in confident expectation?

To go back to the origin, four words round out our understanding of Trust: help, confidence, protection, and support.

If you trust someone, you believe that that person is going to help you when you are in need or in danger. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” When you trust in the Lord, He will help you. He will direct your paths and guide you. To trust in the Lord is to acknowledge His ability to help and to seek His help.

Trust brings with it a sense of confidence in the person. Isaiah 12:2 expresses this by saying, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” There is confidence in God’s strength and His salvation. When you are confident in God’s power, you are no longer afraid—you are bold.  

There is an assurance of protection in trust. “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us,” states Psalm 62:8. He is a refuge. He protects us, and we feel that protection when our trust is in Him.

There is support in trust because you believe that the person is going to be there for you and they will be with you the whole time. When you think of support, you think of the environment or people around you—that which is going to sustain you. Jeremiah 17:7-8 illustrates what this support from God looks like. It says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord… For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters…” When a tree is planted by water, it has the support of the water to thrive. That is what it is like for us when we trust in God—we have the support from Him that we need.

Walk into every situation with confident expectations that God is going to help you, protect you, and support you—this is how we trust God.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Seeking the Lord’s Face: A Cove Devotional

One of our summer interns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Naomi Balk, wrote a devotion entitled, “Seeking The Lord’s Face” that we would like to share with you.

Seeking the Lord’s Face

So often in Christian circles, it’s easy to let distractions and demands pull Christ from our attention and from His rightful place on the throne of our hearts. We were meant to know Christ and enjoy a beautiful relationship with Him, so let us seek God like Hebrews 12:1 says: “[laying] aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…” Don’t undermine your relationship with your Creator by being complacent.

The best of us have lost something irreplaceable or valuable like your car keys or wallet. The rush to find it can become all-consuming because even a high price or inconvenience is worth it to get it back. At the end of the day, we must not neglect the valuable things of life. Jesus shared a story in Matthew 13:44-46 about a man who sold everything he had to buy a plot of land because on that plot there was buried treasure.  It probes the question, are we willing to let go of what we have just to know God?

Taking a deeper look at the Old Testament, the word “seek” is often associated with seeking God’s presence or seeking His face. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” The Hebrew uses two different works for “seek”. The first “you will seek” means: to seek, require, desire, exact, request. The second means “to resort to, or seek out”. God promises His presence (Hebrews 13:5), yet we are to us to seek Him with our whole heart — moment by moment— because he is worthy.

In the scope of eternity, diving deeper into the depths knowing God is the most eternally significant thing we can do while on earth. Humanity was created to know and enjoy Him. We could never fully comprehend the all-knowing God, yet the apostle Paul celebrates what God has revealed about Himself in the Gospel. Romans 11:33 says:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

In addition to His complexity, God has revealed Himself by causing the Word to become flesh (John 1:1, 14), and He invites us to grow in relationship and in holiness. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Though the words, “draw near” sound passive, they are not!

Followers of Christ are on a journey of transformation and spiritual growth. This often involves spiritual disciplines, time in the Word, fellowship with believers and spiritual retreats. In all of life’s noise, be encouraged to seek God and ask Him to show you more of who He is. One of the best ways is to recommit and surrender your heart to Christ and invite Him into each moment.

If you would like to learn more about a relationship with God, I invite you to visit this link.  This will be the greatest decision of your life.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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I Am Not Afraid

One of our newest interns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Abigail Bowen, wrote a devotion entitled, “I Am Not Afraid” that we would like to share with you. 

I Am (not) Afraid

Every day we come face to face with our fears. Fears of failure, of not being enough, of rejection, loss, hurt, and many others. When our fears make their appearance, we pull our guard up and use cleaver phrases to disguise the real reason we won’t do something. “I’m not qualified,” we say. “Someone else would be better at that.” Or even, “Someone else is already doing that, and I wouldn’t be as good.” Translated, these excuses say one thing: “I am afraid.”

In the Bible, there are so many examples of courageous men and women who hardly seemed fazed by these types of fears. God, however, was intentional in making sure that there was a backstory for each of those people. He revealed character flaws in everyone so that when we read the Bible, we can see the way He works through people, despite their fears and flaws.

Moses is a man God worked through in incredible ways. But the grand moment when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and called him to free the Israelite’s, he made excuses about his qualifications for the task.

In Exodus 3:11, right after God finished telling Moses His desire for him to rescue His people from slavery, Moses responded, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” To which God explained, “I will certainly be with you” (3:12). That wasn’t enough for Moses. He kept asking for signs and proof that God was who He said He was. He said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you” (4:1). So, God gave him more signs and more miracles. Even after he exhausted all of his questions, and God thoroughly proved Himself, Moses had one more excuse: “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10).

Whenever I read this story, I always think to myself, “Moses, C’mon! God is literally talking to you through a burning bush what more do you need?” But then, I remember how many times I am scared to do what I know God is calling me to do. I turn to him with all my excuses and questions, trying to convince Him that He has the wrong person for the job.

That’s what fear does in our lives—it keeps us from listening to the burning-bush moments from God. It tells us that we need more evidence that this is what we’re supposed to do, where we’re supposed to go. Or, fear comes in and simply tells us that we aren’t qualified.

We all know how the story ended: Moses went to Egypt and rescued the people, but he could only do that because he trusted God. God doesn’t rely on what we can do; He focuses on what he can do through us. So, when God calls you to something, and life throws the doubts into your mind, remember what He promised Moses.

“I will certainly be with you” Exodus 3:12 (NKJV).


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Faith to Walk on Water

At The Cove, we have morning devotions with our staff. These devotions are led by managers of each of the departments. We also have employees who write and share devotions from time to time. One of our managers, Michelle Coleman recently wrote a devotion entitled, “Faith to Walk on Water” that we would like to share with you.

Faith to Walk on Water

Our devotion comes from Matthew 14:22-23

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,  and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

What does it take to have the kind of faith that Peter had to step out of the boat and to walk on the water? When we read this passage, we sometimes see the Peter that did not focus on Christ and began to sink. However, there was the other Peter. The one that had the courage and bravery to actually step out of the boat. As we study Peter, we see a disciple that wavered in his faith at times. He was passionate,  but also uncontrollable in his emotions.  In this moment of stepping out of the boat, he showed his passion and his boldness in getting to God. He was the only disciple that even thought about stepping out of the boat. However, when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.

Do you remember that moment that you accepted Jesus into your heart? It was a defining moment in my life. I remember being so excited about this new relationship. I wanted to learn everything I could about Jesus. I was bold in telling others about Him and could not get enough of the Bible. This passionate enthusiasm began to diminish when I went through some tough times. I remember hitting my first “storm” a few months later and my thoughts immediately turned to the situation in front of me. I started processing how I could fix the situation. I took my eyes off Jesus and began to get overwhelmed and fearful in looking at the issues that surrounded me.  When I finally turned my attention back to God in the midst of this time, I had an overwhelming sense of peace and a new perspective.

What we saw in Peter on the water was a man with a Kingdom mindset. A man who had a focus on Jesus and not on the world around him. By having this mindset, God enabled Peter to do the impossible. Peter had the strength, courage, and ability to walk on the water in the middle of the storm.  When he took his eyes off Jesus, the fear set in.

I do not know what you may be going through today. What I do know is that God can give you His peace in the midst of the storm. He can give you the ability to not only get through this time, but can do greater than you can even imagine. His Word states in Proverbs 18:10:

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.” 

It all comes down to having a singular focus on Jesus. It is having a Kingdom mindset in every situation. Peter grew in his faith after this moment and led one of the greatest movements in history of spreading the Gospel. Later in Peter’s ministry, he was able to encourage people who were being persecuted for their faith in God. It was a very dark and painful time for Christians. Peter said to them, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). He pointed people back to a focus on Jesus. To “gird up the loins of your mind” meant to take every thought captive that was not from the Lord. Peter knew that the only way the people would endure this horrific time in history was to focus everything on Jesus.

As we end this devotion,  a question remains. Where is your focus? Are you trusting God for every situation in your life right now? He will calm the storm and give you the tools to walk through the toughest of times. He will give you His peace when there is none.

My prayer is that you have the faith that Peter demonstrated to trust God in this season and have a singular focus on Him.

If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please click here. He loves you and has a great plan for your life.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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Struggling in the Stillness

At The Cove, we have morning devotions with our staff. These devotions are led by managers of each of the departments. We also have employees who write and share devotions from time to time. One of our staff members, Lori Brown recently wrote a devotion entitled, “Struggling in the Stillness” that we would like to share with you.

Struggling in the Stillness

“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” Exodus 14:14 (ESV).

Exodus 14 encourages me every time I read it.  After 400 years of slavery and torture in Egypt, God creates a way for the Israelite’s to escape bondage and head to the promised land. Life is good and filled with much rejoicing as the people rush out of their homes and toward the Red Sea. But things get tricky at the water’s edge. Reality hits hard as the people acknowledge they have two choices: to die at the hands of Pharoah’s advancing armies or drown in the deep waters. Yikes! It is any wonder that the group’s songs of praise turn to panic as they feel trapped and alone.


Each time I read about their panic, I can’t help but imagine God looking down from heaven, shaking His head, saying, “Really? Could you not trust me for at least 24 or 48 hours? Are you really going to let those deep waters put you in panic mode? Do you not believe anything I said or promised Moses? And by the way, how did you lose your obedience and trust in me that fast? You haven’t even been gone a week from Egyptian bondage.”

Sadly, I see myself in their fear and panic. Despite God’s repeated blessings, there are days when I wrap myself in a mantle of disobedience and defiance, believing the God who promised to deliver just left the building. On Monday morning after a weekend of worship and praise, I say I’m going to trust God with all my heart, but by lunch time Tuesday, when life’s challenges hit, I turn into a grumbling, complaining wilderness soul who seriously believes God is pushing me back to Egypt.

As I grow louder with my grumbling complaints, I imagine God looking down and whispering in my ear, “Really? Are we going to do this again? How long are you going to keep running? Don’t you think it’s time to trust? Isn’t it long past the time to be still and confident?”
Like a preschooler on the front pew, I struggle to be still or quiet for more than a few seconds. Well, hold on. Let’s take this one step further and admit the real issue, since it’s not just impatience: I REALLY struggle in the silence and quiet that accompanies a season of waiting on God to act because my mind registers his silence as total abandonment.

While I know in my head that God has a mind-blowing “Red Sea” plan to make a way in my impossible circumstances, just as he did for the Israelite’s, I still believe that I have to “fix” things, meaning I can’t fully trust Him. But lack of trust and an unwillingness to be still while he prepares and provides only leads me to a good, old-fashioned spiritual melt down. Anger and grief finally yield to pure exhaustion when I reach the end of my rope and yet again admit that I’m not the one who can part the waters.


If you’re also at that point of fatigue, frustration, and doubt – that place of realizing that none of your efforts can ultimately fix the problem or make a way in the wilderness, then take hope in this promise today. Your God is STILL in the business of rescuing His people, but not without stillness before Him. Being still and waiting for Him to make a way is an act of obedience, and God desires that full surrender before He can show the path. God cares for His creation, so take time to be still while He guides you into his perfect will.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Saturday Snapshot: A New Season

As we move into this next season, we can expect that change is coming. We see it between summer and fall, as the temperatures cool slightly and the leaves slowly begin to change. We see it as kids go back to school and families  wrap up vacations and return to work.  We all know it’s inevitable that we will experience change in our lives, in ways big and small.

As we anticipate that change is coming, what are some ways that we can be prepared and stay firm in our foundation? Let’s take a look at Psalm 28:7, ” The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (NIV).

No matter what change comes in our lives, it cannot destroy the unshakeable truth that our God’s love for us never changes.  He is our strength and shield for everything.  We can always lean on Him for the support that we need. Change and transition is hard for most people, but it becomes less difficult when we recall the promise that God is always  our firm foundation.  One of the ways that we can stay strong is by trusting in His Word,  meditating on verses just like this one and holding tight to His promise.

Another way to stay strong is by simply acknowledging and anticipating that change will come. It may come through a trial or just by a shift in life circumstances. Maybe it is a positive change that you direct, knowing that you want something new. Knowing that change will arise can prepare you for it.  As we look at 1 Peter, we see that the Apostle wrote this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters who were getting ready to face a change that would threaten their very lives: persecution.

In this short epistle (letter), Peter encourages the believers and instructs them in how to face the looming persecution they will undergo because of their faith. He tells them to, ” gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13, NKJV). When he spoke of “girding up [their] mind,”  Peter was referring to what many of those early Christians knew as “girding up your robe.” In the historical context of this verse, the term is reminiscent of the ancient Near Eastern custom of pulling up long robes and tucking them a belt when running so that nothing would be loose. In this passage, Peter is telling them to do this with their mind. He is saying that their focus needs to be on Heaven and on Jesus. Peter understood that when believers are heading into persecution, they have to make sure that their only thought pattern and focus is the Lord. He knew that these Christians would not endure if they did not have that singular focus in their mind. They could not allow “loose” thoughts to run wild. As we acknowledge that change will come to us in the days ahead, let’s remember to prepare our minds by focusing on Christ and Him alone. The enemy may want to put doubt, fear, and other things in our minds, but we will stand firm as we keep a singular focus on Him.

Another way to stand strong is through worship. Psalm 59:16 states, “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” As we move through change and things begin to feel uncomfortable, that is the time to press-in even more in our worship of the Lord. As we enter His Presence, everything changes! Our perspective changes, and we gain hope and strength. We have peace. As we walk through seasons of change, we must pursue His Presence in the difficult moments.

How are you going to go through the changes that will come this year? How about the battles you know are inevitable. We can anticipate opposition, just like the people Peter spoke to in 1 Peter. Because of the words the Lord spoke to them through Peter’s letter, they had a plan of action when that time came. They were prepared; and because they were prepared, the First Century Church exploded! As those early believers kept their eyes on Christ, they did not waver; and as a result, everyone around them deeply desired what they had. Those around them wanted that eternal promise.

We have the same opportunity to show Christ to everyone as we ourselves go through periods of change. As people watch us go through this next season, will they be drawn to Christ in us? Will they want what we have? We must make up our minds now as to how we will go through this next season. He is with us and will never leave us!


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Devotional- Rooted in Christ

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”  (Matthew 7:24-25)

When the storms come in your life, are you shaken? It is normal for all of us to experience feeling uncomfortable, unsettled, fearful, heartbroken, or even like the wind has been knocked out of our sails. We will feel the blow. This verse clearly says that the winds blew and beat on that house. When we go through storms, it will sometimes feel like we have been hit mentally, emotionally, and physically. It hurts. We will feel it. Jesus is not saying that we will not feel it. He is telling us that if we are rooted in Him and in His Word that we will not fall. It will not destroy us. He gives us the tools we need to withstand the storm.

He gives us strength. The kind of strength to endure any storm in our lives. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

He gives us peace. A peace that we cannot attain from the world. It is a peace that is lasting. A peace that will cover us! John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We have nothing to fear when we are in His presence. When we are rooted in Him. He is the Prince of Peace. He says that,These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He gives us joy in the midst of the storm! It is one thing to just get through the storms of life by simply just getting through them. But God offers us to have joy in these tough times. We can have joy because through the storms we are gaining strength.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

It is up to us to study and read His Word. It is our lifeline for everything we need in our lives. After we read it, we must act on it. We must put it to the test and activate it in our lives. The Word says in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. ” That means that we take His Word and literally stand on what it says. When storms come and we know that they will, we must root  ourselves so deep in Him that it will not shake or move us.  Take some time to memorize some key verses like the ones above to call upon when you need them.  Listen to worship music and give Him thanks for the blessings in your life.  We would also love to encourage you and pray with you. You can click here and we have someone available to chat with you right now!

May God be with you today and always!


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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