GRACE NOTES- PASTORAL LETTER 3.8.23

View this email in your browser03-08-2023 Grace Notes – Pastoral Letter Monthly memory verse: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith ” (Gal 6:9-10).

Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,What a blessing to be with you, worshipping our God and fellowshipping over lunch this past Lord’s Day!  And what a blessing to have been able to celebrate the ordination and installation of our new Associate Pastor the prior Lord’s Day!  Truly, the Lord has been, and continues to be, good to us.  It is a reason to rejoice and give Him thanks.  And, in particular, the recent ordination and installation service reminded me that it is also a time to pray.  The great enemy of our souls, that ancient serpent called the devil, doesn’t like to see Christ’s church flourishing, and is sure to do his best to attack when she seems to be doing just that.  So, I want to write briefly to encourage you, at all times and especially when a season of blessing might tempt us to spiritual apathy or laziness, to pray.Pray for one another.  Even as the Lord Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s prayer that we ought to pray with and for one another, repeatedly using the plural pronouns “us” and “we” (cf. Matt 6:9-13).  Pray, above all, that we your brothers in sisters in Christ, throughout the world and particularly at Covenant of Grace, would hold the Lord’s name in high esteem, sanctifying it – setting it apart – in our minds, hearts, and lives, such that we value Him above all else (cf. Matt 6:9).  Pray that your brothers and sisters in the Lord would humbly submit to His will in all things, His sin-killing, holiness-producing work being increasingly evident in both hearts and lives (cf. Matt 6:10).  Pray that, as your brothers and sisters seek first the Lord’s kingdom and righteousness, striving to serve Him in all of life as a matter of first priority, that He would add to them all necessary things, such that they would have no worldly lack (cf. Matt 6:11, 33).  Pray that your brothers and sisters, being well-aware of their own sinfulness and need of mercy from the Lord, would be quick to forgive one another and others, and would both participate in and enjoy the forgiveness of their sins through the shed blood of Christ (cf. Matt 6:12).  And pray that your brothers and sisters in the household of God would be protected from experiencing temptation wherever the Lord pleases, and prevented from falling into temptation when they are exposed to it (cf. Matt 6:13).  Ask the Lord to give us that we would all strive, by God’s grace, to, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:1b-3).  Pray that we would, “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:9b-12).  Prat that times of blessing and times of trial alike would not be times of spiritual indifference and stumbling, but of growth in the Lord as we all draw near to Him, in private and as we gather together.  Pray for one another.At the same time, pray for your Pastors.  This might sound like a selfish request, and I suppose in one sense it is, but I hope it is a request rooted in a desire for the wellbeing of Christ’s entire congregation at Covenant of Grace.  You now have one very new Minister, and one who, though having a few years of experience, yet remains entirely weak in himself, and both of them are entirely dependent upon the grace of God if any good and lasting fruit is to be produced.  So, even as Paul was unashamed to ask that those to whom he ministered would pray for him, I would echo his request and say, “Brothers, pray for us” (1 Thess 5:25).  Everything that you were encouraged to pray for your fellow member as Covenant of Grace, pray also for your Pastors, especially that we would be kept from evil, as the evil one would love nothing more than see a shepherd of the flock fall, and so to bring disgrace and many other perplexing troubles into the life of the church.  Pray that we would go about the work of the ministry with joy and a clear conscience before the Lord, acting honorably in all things (cf. Heb 13:17-18).  “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ… that [we] may make it clear, which is how [we] ought to speak” (Col 4:3-4).  Pray, “that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored” (2 Tim 3:1).  Pray that we would have the same heart that pulsed within the Apostle John, who could say, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 Jn 1:4).  Pray that we would be able to say, with Paul, that our great desire is, “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Phil 2:15-16).  In a day of great blessing, as the Lord has only just added a new Minister to our congregation, do not become lax or dull in heart, but pray for your Pastors, and for the well-being of the congregation through our flourishing, both personally and in the ministry to which the Lord has called us.The Lord has done much among us.  I praise Him for it, and I trust that you do as well.  But, the battle is far from over.  Let us therefore not fail to heed the counsel of the Lord when, having just instructed us to take up the whole armor of God, He calls us to be a people who are found, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication,” keeping alert, persevering, “making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18).  And may He who hears prayer be pleased to continue to gather, bless, and perfect His saints at Covenant of Grace in every way! In Christ,Pastor EricP.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.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://covenantofgracews.org/event-calendar/· 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
 

‘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.

 

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508 Harvey Street
Winston-Salem, NC  27103

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

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