grace notes-pastoral letter 9.7.22

Monthly memory verse: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Rom 8:33).”
Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,It was a great blessing to spend some time together this past Lord’s Day.  From learning to worshipping to fellowshipping over a meal, it was truly sweet to be gathered with those whom the Lord calls saints, in whom, the Psalmist said, was all his delight (cf. Ps 16:3).  What a gift to be among those called by that name – saints, holy ones.  Still more, what an honor and privilege to be called to draw near to the King of kings, receiving from Him good gifts as He opens His hand and satisfies our desires with His Word, which is a treasure purer than gold and sustenance more needful than the food we eat (cf. Ps 12:6; Pr 16:6; Matt 4:4; cf. Deut 8:3).  Indeed, simply to be granted to come into His presence and sit under His smile is an incredible blessing.  It is something of which I was recently reminded, as I sat at the park in the early hours of the morning, with the sun just beginning to rise and the dew sitting heavy on the grass, calling to mind the wisdom of Solomon.There, inspired by the Spirit, the wise man tells us how good it is to know the favor of the King.  In his words, “A king’s wrath is like the growling of the lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass” (Pr 19:12).  There is, of course, the reminder that to oppose one’s King is to place oneself in a position of great peril – to fall under his wrath, which can be as fearful and furious as the lion as it hunts and tears at its prey.  But, as awful as it is, those who know the King’s favor don’t live under the constant terror of this wrath, because they stand in quite a different relation to Him.  Indeed, to them, the King is a source of unparalleled blessing, sustaining and nourishing the life of His favored subjects.  Naturally, Solomon’s wisdom includes the blessing of having a good standing before earthly rulers.  To live under the favor of those who have a measure of authority in this world is no doubt far more pleasant than to be an object of their scorn.  But, what believer can read Solomon’s words and not ultimately run in his thoughts to the King of kings and Lord of lords?  If it is a blessing to live and labor under the smile of mere men, however great, then how much more to go through our days beneath the glad countenance of Him who sits enthroned in heaven!  With unequaled knowledge, wisdom, power, and love, He meets our every need in this life, as we look to Him to supply (cf. Ps 37:25; Matt 6:11; Phil 4:19; ).  Greater still, to know Him is eternal life (cf. Ps 110:1; Jn 17:3).  And, whether in this life or in that which is to come, “In His presence,” says David, “there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).  Such that, the one who is no longer a child of wrath, but a child of God and citizen of the kingdom of heaven, is blessed indeed (cf. Eph 2:3; Rom 8:16).  Truly, it is good to know the favor of the King.To those who know His favor, the Lord comes not as fire to kill and consume, but as dew to revive and refresh.  In a picture well-suited to the North Carolina summer, we discover that, as we seek Him in His Word, His teaching drops like rain and distills as the dew, watering and enlivening the face of the earth (cf. Deut 32:2).  His teaching revives the soul and rejoices the heart (cf. Ps 19:7-8).  His goodness permeates the whole of our lives, as He works all things together for our good, never leaving or forsaking us for a moment, but using everything in our lives to bring to perfection the good work He has begun in us (cf. Rom 8:28; Phil 1:6; Heb 13:5).  Yes, the Lord promises, to those who know His favor, “I will be like the dew to Israel,” such that, “he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon” (Has 14:5-6).  Such is the portion of those who trust and love the Lord, who gave Himself for us, and who continues to care for us with each passing moment.  We have His great and very precious promises guarding our every step in this world, and His infallible assurance of glorious things not yet imagined in the world to come.  To us, by His grace, He draws near, not to destroy but to abundantly bless and sweetly satisfy.Therefore, let us worship the King and learn to seek Him daily.  The world around us looks in so many ways like burnt-over soil, with much wickedness bounding and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.  But, we are not of the world, and the morning dew is sent from heaven to remind us that, unlike those of this world, whose lot is to be consumed with fire, we know the favor of the King.  In a land so dry and barren, He gives rain to revive us and dew to refresh us.  Let us then seek Him continually – drinking in His goodness and flourishing under His favor as we offer our lives in His service and our lips for His praise, being made to shine in the world like so many drops of dew, reflecting the first rays of the morning sun. In Christ,Pastor Eric P.S. Join us for the prayer meeting each Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall – dinner is served at 6:00pm, followed by a brief lesson and a time of prayer at 6:30.  Or, join us for prayer each Thursday at 10:30am in the adult Sunday School room.
ANNOUNCEMENT: In addition to our weekly Wednesday evening prayer meeting, we have a new prayer meeting every Thursday at 10:30am in the Adult Sunday School room.  We will read a brief portion of Scripture and pray together, ending at 11:00am.  It is our hope that this will allow some of our members and other visitors to attend who are not able to make it on Wednesday evenings.NOTE:  Our men’s breakfast study — Joshua’s Men is now recorded and available on YouTube.
NOTE2:  Our adult Sunday School lessons are now being recorded and are available on YouTube.
Just search for Covenant of Grace ARP Church to find the links.
· Daily devotions
o I continue to encourage you to daily read Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening as we seek to maintain a spirit of unity.  It is widely available – here is one link:
§ https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening/today
 

Our mailing address is:
Covenant of Grace Presbyterian Church
PO Box 26511
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27114-6511


 ‘Vision Statement’Covenant of Grace is a loving church family that equips people to know God and His Word through serious, joyful, Christ-centered worship and service, in reliance upon the Holy Spirit.Matt 22:37-39
37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Love God.  Love people.


Please mark your calendars!  If you ever need to double-check dates, events are usually kept up to date on the church’s website calendar:  https://www.covenantofgracews.org/events.html
 

 We are located at:
508 Harvey Street
Winston-Salem, NC  27103


  
   
  
    
  
   
  
  
     

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