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Covenant Life Church

Author: Pastor John Butler

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Pastor John Butler
Real. Relational. Reaching.
https://www.covenantlifebremen.org/
159 Episodes
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Mama's Glasses

Mama's Glasses

2021-05-0937:45

In Acts 9:36-42, we read about the passing of a disciple named Tabitha, and although she was ultimately resurrected by Peter, the widows from her community showed up in mass. Instead of just sharing heartwarming stories about her, each brought something to remember her by, evidence of her impact on their lives. These ladies all stood there with robes and other clothes that Tabitha had made for them in their moments of distress, which served as expressions of her love for them, but more than that, they were reminders of her life and her character. This week, Pastor John discusses the qualities and characteristics that he sees in his mother’s belongings and explores the topic of the legacy we leave behind every day.
The Love of the Father

The Love of the Father

2021-05-0248:01

What’s most important during an infant’s formative years is that they learn the love of a parent. That is the things that gives them the ability, the confidence, the knowledge and the security to move forward in their lives. It’s gives them the ability to receive correction and strive for higher standards. They learn to trust the love of the parent. It’s the same with newly converted Christians. We need to give them time and emphasize the importance of learning the heart of the Father. Instead of conforming them to some external standard of behavior, we need to introduce them to the Word and the presence of God. After all, before a person learns to act or talk like Jesus, they must learn to know Him and love Him. It’s all about the love of the Father.
Run Your Race

Run Your Race

2021-04-2546:57

Running is a word that is mentioned in some form or fashion more than 100 times in the Old Testament, and throughout the New Testament, including Hebrews 12:1-2, it serves as one of the primary metaphors to describe the Christian faith. If the Christian faith is an endurance race, what do we need to know and do to run it well, so we can say at the end of our lives — like Paul —that we’ve finished the race and our efforts were not in vain?
It's Complicated

It's Complicated

2021-04-1846:20

The longer that a person lives, the more he or she realizes that lots of things in life are complicated. Things seem so simple when you’re young. For the most part, life will be full of good things and, occasionally, bad things. You’ll have great relationships with wonderful people. You’ll learn to avoid the people who will bring you pain. You’ll be very careful about the decisions you make and the people you choose to be around. Then, you reach a certain age and realize that not everything or everyone will fit neatly into your categories of good things and bad things. It is disappointing and confusing to realize that there are a whole lot of things in life about which you just have to say, “It’s complicated,” and this week, we’re going to explore what the Word says about dealing with these complicated situations and relationships.
The Sadducees' Mistake

The Sadducees' Mistake

2021-04-1242:20

In Mark 12:18-27, Jesus is responding to a question from the Sadducees and say, “You have made a serious error.” Jesus was plainly pointing out an error in their belief system, and because He is clearly the expert in this situation, it’s important that we pay attention. Jesus’s rebuke was clear, true and brutally honest. He said, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” There are many people in the modern American church that fall into one of these ditches, so this week, we’re going to look at the mistakes that Jesus pointed out and make sure we stay far away from them.
Many who attend church on Easter may walk away wondering what difference the death of a teacher or prophet 2,000 years ago makes on their lives today, and if He did actually rise from the dead, they don’t see how that does anything for them now. To understand the impact of those events on our lives today, we need to realize what Jesus did in the weekend that we know as the first Easter was not a one-time event. He established a pattern that will lead us to a satisfying life — one of freedom that is completely different from the old life. In this week’s message, we’re going to talk about this pattern and how we can all go from Chained to Changed.
Although "passion" originally came from the Latin lord for suffering, the word has evolved over many centuries. Now, the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as an intense desire or a strong and barely controllable emotion. In this week's message, called The Passions of the Christ, we will look at the events of Jesus' life that got Him fired up. From the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday to the hours of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, we will experience the intense desires and barely controllable emotions of our Savior, and we will spend some time reflecting on our passions too. Why? Because passions reveal priorities. After all, we are only passionate about the things we really care about.
Kingdom Clarity

Kingdom Clarity

2021-03-2145:31

Next week, Christian churches around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday, and look back on the week that led up to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. It began with the crowds of people lining the streets, waving palm branches, praising God and expecting Jesus to overthrow the Roman government and set up His earthly kingdom. Jesus knew that the crowd in Jerusalem - and even his own disciples - were confused about the kingdom He came to establish, so He told a parable to clear up any misconceptions before Passion Week began. To ensure that we fully understand His kingdom, it's important for us to look at what He said and what it means for us today.
In February, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the Equality Act, which seeks to extend protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation and gender identification. A similar bill passed the house last year; this version includes a provision that states there can be no exemption based on religious objection. In light of what this legislation could mean for churches around the world if it passes the Senate, we will explore this issue in the context of what God created in the Bible and learn how we can uphold our religious beliefs while treating every single human being with the upmost respect.
Pressing Reset

Pressing Reset

2021-03-0841:12

As we near the one-year anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor John is helping us "press reset" and rediscover the mission of the church: to go and make disciples. By unpacking scripture and the words of Jesus following the resurrection, we'll be reminded of our purpose and learn how we can continue to be real, relational and reaching for the sake of God's kingdom.
This week, we’re ending our Marriage Series with a special message called “Unveiled” by Cindy and Raul Diaz. Together, they will explain how 2020 was a breakthrough year in their marriage and share with us the lessons that they learned along the way. As we’ll discover, we have to seek inner healing and allow Jesus to remove our veils — of fear, rejection, pain, depression and more — in order to see Him and our spouses clearly. Removing these veils and inviting the Holy Spirit to be active in our marriages will allow us to have unity and show each other God’s unfailing love.
We’re continuing our Marriage Series this week, looking at what it means to choose the Tree of Life in our marriages. The Bible talks about four different things that are trees of life, and we looked at one of them last week: words. Now, we’re going back to the Garden of Eden one more time to see that choices change lives. It was not a sin for Adam and Eve to look at the fruit or contemplate the sin, so when did they ruin their lives and their marriage? When they actually made the choice and acted on it. It was true then, and it’s true today.
Adam and Eve had the greatest marriage in the history of mankind because they are the only couple to experience marriage without the influence of sin. This week, we’re going to examine their relationship to see if there is any wisdom we can glean from their story that will help us in our marriages. To do this, we have a choice to make—just like Adam and Eve. We can take the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or we can choose to take the fruit of the tree of life to heal our marriage. The million-dollar question is: are we willing to make a different choice if it will make our marriage better?
This week, we’re kicking off a new series about marriage and talking about the joy of new beginnings. As we start this discussion, we first have to understand that our marriages are not centered around us; like other things in the life of a Christian, they’re all about serving and giving our best to the other person.
State of the Church

State of the Church

2021-01-3141:51

This week, Pastor John is delivering the State of the Church message, a look at various phases and dimensions of the church in an effort to be accountable and transparent. This allows us to celebrate the past, assess our current realities and set a course for the future, and together, we will cast vision for the days, weeks and months to come — while praising God for all that He’s already done.
We have spent the last couple of weeks talking about rejection, which is something that all of us can relate to at some level. We have been exploring the reasons that people rejected Jesus to ensure that those beliefs or mindsets are removed from our lives and get guidance on how to handle our own rejection.This week, as we wrap this series called Rejecting Jesus, we are looking at three categories of our lives–three price stickers if you will–that may cause us to want to reject Jesus. We don’t like to talk about these price stickers in church, but these reasons come straight from the Bible and are important for us to address.
Rejection is one of life’s most difficult — and most common — experiences. All of of us have to deal with rejection at some point in our lives, and what might surprise you is that Jesus Christ dealt with rejection constantly. When we think of Jesus, we often think of the Triumphal Entry, but we tend to forget that, within a week, that same crowd was calling for his crucifixion. Last week, we began a series called “Rejecting Jesus,” exploring the reasons that people rejected Jesus, so we don’t follow in their footsteps and can learn from Him how to handle the rejection that we experience in our own lives. This week, we’re going to look at how people rejected Jesus because He was different than expected.
Of the thousands of different ways that life can bring us pain, there are a few of them that are universal. Rejection is one of them. Every one of us at some point has dealt with rejection, and there are lots of reasons for it. Despite the reasons, though, rejection is a bitter and difficult pill to swallow. The Bible shows us that Jesus was despised and rejected, and this morning, we are starting a new three-part series to look at what caused people to reject Him, so we can guard our hearts against those same motives and learn from Jesus’s example how to handle rejection in our own lives.
In previous sermons and series, we’ve talked about all of the ways that life hurts us and discussed the importance of purpose. This week, as we kick off a new year and combine these two ideas, we can offer this fresh perspective on past events: there was a purpose for your pain, and there is a purpose in your healing. You did not suffer for nothing. The hurt, offense, betrayal, grief or abuse was not caused by God, but it can be used by Him for His honor and His glory. Not only can God get the glory from you being healed, He can also use your healing to help others. Pastor John is going to show us the Cycle of Healing, a biblical principle that – when applied – will help propel us into the future that God has for us.
We’re wrapping up our series about the ways that God spoke during the Christmas account and how we hear from Him today. We’ve already discovered that God still speaks through angels, dreams, visions and signs. This week, we’re exploring the simplest and most profound way that God speaks to us, and that is through the Holy Spirit.
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