Please note our last audio lesson is complete and uploaded at the FBC website. It is the second Short Courses series we have finished. Our next series will feature " The Ten Parables Of Jesus ". I trust you have been enjoying the courses, and I thank you for those who have been participating in the studies. They can be studied for personal spiritual growth, and are 50.00 for two college credits.
If you don't have a chance to study any other lesson, please do listen to this last message on " Praying In The Spirit ". It is practical and as well sums up the lessons quite well.
Short Course page:
The Foundations Series that augments our Foundational Studies series at CGMF is now available on the website. Those studying in that series have finished available the first 13 lessons. The outlines for that study are now available on our archives page.
We have been studying the book of Joshua in our CGMF Through the Bible study groups. This past week we compared parallels of Jesus and Joshua. Here are some side notes I offered from David Guzik's book we have been using as backup material. I found it especially revealing.
PS. Can you believe it has been over 9 years since we started the ministry, and this is the third time the Through the Bible Study groups have gone through the entire Bible. That is pretty remarkable.
Notes From Study:
To face such impossible challenges in our lives, we must look unto Jesus, our Joshua. He always leads us
a. Jesus is the fulfillment of the ark; He is Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
b. Jesus has cleared the way to victory over all things: Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross (Colossians 2:15).
c. As we keep our eyes on, and follow behind our victorious Jesus, the river of impossibility will dry up.
d. To the cynic, who wonders if they haven’t tried that and been disappointed, we must ask them: “Have you really tried this? Have you truly walked according to God’s word, trusted in Jesus and been disappointed?” Perhaps your disappointment is actually in your flesh.
e to edit.
2 In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2 This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4 Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5 He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
Luke 2:17 CEB
On this day we celebrate the birth of our saviour. I pray that you will be blest with family, friends and great grace. Remembering that He came to touch our world, and express the lifestyle of a servant. Reflecting the Father's intentions for us, showing us by His life the ultimate gift of love and sacrifice one for another.
Merry Christmas dear church family. I pray the blessings of God overtake you, and His joy fills any sadness with gladness this holiday season.
Next month at our Gathering we will formally be installing The Craft family as our new Administrative Coordinators for the ministry of Covenant of Grace Ministry and Fellowship. They will be acting in my place in many areas as did Skip and Mary, and will do a fabulous job in strengthening, helping and assisting the work of God. We will be posting updates on our website later this week at cgmfinc.com.
The last few weeks with all the snow has seen us with a lot of disrupted Neighborhood Groups, meetings, etc.. Yet, its Omaha, Lincoln and North Platte, Nebraska. What else do we expect? ROFL. Thanks for being flexible and patient. If you need assistance in any way to meetings, please don't hesitate to call the office. Blessings to all.
Good morning! I trust you all were safe Sunday and that despite two weeks of disrupted services or studies. We are plodding on by faith.
I know we only had about half our Neighborhood groups able to hold studies the past two weeks, and our Gathering meeting was postponed in the Omaha-Lincoln area for two weeks. We will give you the exact location, time and date in the the next few days for the event.
Some of you have asked how they might share their gifts or offerings during this time. You can either send a check to Covenant of Grace Ministry & Fellowship at the office at 2217 Deer Park Blvd. in Omaha, Nebraska 68108, or click the donate button on the bottom of our website pages at cgmfinc.com. Thanks for your faithfulness and love for the ministry.
The study guides we have been using in the advanced study portion of our Foundations Truths Studies are available. We have finished 10 lessons so far, and those guides I am making available through a link on my persona OneDrive account, until I have them posted on our website archives at cgmfinc.com. Take advantage of the guides. They will help you in retaining what you are studying.
Here is the link: Laying the Foundations Guides
Blessings and Grace,
Founding Pastor, Patrick Vossen
November 25th, 2018
John 18:33–37 CEB
33 Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?”
35 Pilate responded, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”
37 “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”
38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked
Pilate’s question reveals doubt. He asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He asked it because Jesus didn’t look like a revolutionary or a criminal, the only types who would be foolish enough to claim to be the King of the Jews in the face of Rome.
Jesus responded by asking are you speaking for yourself? Jesus must clarify the question, because the Roman conception of king. To the Romans, “king” meant a political rival. Though Jesus was a King, He was not a political rival in the sense Pilate thought. Jesus goes on to explain to Pilate that My kingdom is not of this world. Jesus here declares the great and permanent difference between God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. Jesus’ kingdom originates in heaven (My kingdom is not of this world). The foundation of Jesus’ kingdom is peace (His servants will not fight). His kingdom is not from here: Augustine observed from this verse that earthly kingdoms are based upon force, pride, the love of human praise, the desire for domination, and self interest—all displayed by Pilate and the Roman Empire. Jesus Kingdom wasn't. It was based on not on self interest, but upon the Father's desire which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. A kingdom where the Holy Spirit operates on the inner man. Where our soul and spirit join together, linking with the God who is all in all. His focus wasn't on power and politics, but praise, peace and power in the Spirit.
Desiring for us to walk in the anointing, grace and favor of God.
Next Jesus challenges him by proclaiming he came here to testify to the truth, and if we accept the truth we obey His voice. Pilate then asks, " What is truth? " “It was the question of the practical politician, who attached no importance to the speculations of philosophers or the dreams of enthusiasts. If the truth was all that Jesus was concerned about, there was no need (Pilate thought) to take him seriously.” (McClymont) For Pilate, soldiers and armies were truth, Rome was truth, Caesar was truth, political power was truth, but Jesus knew what truth was, while Pilate was still seeking.
Jesus doesn't go on in this passage and explain truth to him. He basically leaves the subject hanging out their just to be thought upon by Pilate. However, through his life and teachings we know he demonstrated that he was the truth. Jesus said “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. " He was the truth ( John 14:6 ), and promised that those who expressed faith in him would be set free from sin, doubt and fear.
Truth is a predominant subject of our Lord's in John's gospel. He even declared that the Spirit of truth would come and testify of him in John 15:26. Truth is an important commodity in God's kingdom. Let us not forsake its liberating force by avoiding its revelatory nature, but find its power in its clarity. Walking in the light of the Lord's grace and abiding faithfully in his kingdom of light.
CGMF Leadership Changes and Adjustments.
November 20th, 2018
Our Shepherd Leaders and I, want to apologize for how long it has taken for us to place new leaders in various positions of the ministry. We knew in July we would have various folks stepping down and it has been a long process of change.
Our Shepherd Neighborhood groups in Grand Island and Kearney have started their own works, but will indeed fellowship with us in our Gathering services I have been told. I appreciate those who have served, and we love the many believers who have come to Christ in those groups. God has a new challenge for them in the days to come.
CGMF is a bit more scattered as our North Platte Neighborhood Groups now have to go to Lincoln as its closest source of fellowship. However, that is our oldest series of Neighborhood Groups, so I have all the confidence in the world in its progress and growth. Barry and Stephanie will be our new new leaders for that area, and Shaun continues to work as our Secretary for CGMF. He formerly will step down in March from that position, but has temporarily agreed to stay on for awhile.
The Rodriguez family from Omaha will be our new Ministers of Music. They will organize our music for our monthly Gathering services, or special services. I believe they will do a fabulous job.
After two or three temporary fill ins. We have finally agreed upon Steve and Cecilia Craft as our new Administrative Coordinators for CGMF statewide. They will work closely with me and the Shepherd Leaders in the months to come. They will be visiting Lincoln and North Platte's groups in the next month or two. Giving you all the support and encouragement they can. The Crafts are graduates of Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa. They have spent four years as assistant pastors at Jimmy Harris's church in the Kansas City area, and have pastored there for the most part after Jimmy's death. Jimmy blest our church many times and we miss him greatly. They are making transition like us, and the Craft's have come here to Omaha to assist us in the ministry. Both now have taken secular jobs in the Omaha area. They will be a great blessing, and I know our young people will enjoy their ministry a lot.
Other areas we are working on. Keep the ministry in your thoughts and prayers.
In His Grace,
Founding Pastor Patrick Vossen
THE ROCK OF OFFENSE
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
—1 Peter 2:6–8
Today the meaning of the word believe has been weakened. In the eyes of most it has become a mere acknowledgment of a certain fact. To many it has nothing to do with obedience. But in the passage above, the words believe and disobedient are represented as opposites.
The Scriptures exhort “that whoever believes in Him [Jesus Christ] should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). As a result of the way we view the word believe, many think that all they are required to do is believe that Jesus existed and died on Calvary, and they are in good standing with God. If this were the only requirement, the demons would be in good standing with Him. The Scriptures also say, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble” (James 2:19, emphasis added). Yet, there is no salvation for them.
The word believe has more meaning in the Scriptures than acknowledging existence of or just mentally assenting to a fact. Remaining true to the context of the verse above, we can say that the main element of believing is obedience. We could read it this way: “Therefore, to you who obey, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ ”
It is not difficult to obey when you know the character and love of the one to whom you are submitting. Love is the bottom line in our relationship with the Lord—not love of principles or teachings but love for the Person of Jesus Christ. If that love is not firmly in place, we are susceptible to offense and stumbling.
From the book " The Bait Of Satan ", Written by John Bevere
Weekly Message For Oct. 13th, 2018 " The Legend Of The Fourth Temptation. "
To listen in call the CGMF Prayerline at 712-432-8399 and use the Conference number 584684. Then hold to be placed in conference and the message will play.
Reverend Patrick Vossen,