Covenant Blessing Or Covenant Curse

Pastor Evan Brown begins a study of the fourth essential element of covenant: accepting consequences. While the first three elements (exchanging names, rehearsing history, and making vows) are action oriented (what we do, what we say, how we behave), this element depends on attitude, which will determine whether and how we choose to carry out our actions. God gives us plenty of evidence through His commandments (refer to Deuteronomy chapters 5-11 and 28) for how we are to keep covenant: pay attention to those with whom we have covenant (God, family, and other human relationships), stay within the boundaries of covenant, and be willing to accept the consequences (blessings or curses/life or death/obedience or disobedience) of our behavior (keeping or breaking covenant). In Deuteronomy 29:1, the Lord renews His covenant with His people.

Deuteronomy 30: 6, 9, 15, 20

Covenant Promises For Today and Tomorrow

Pastor Evan Brown continues his series on covenant. This week's study focuses on one essential element of godly covenant: making promises. Whenever God establish His covenant, He does it by making promises. God promises to do us good all the days of our lives. He promises to lead, guide and establish us so that we can come into the good future he has planned for us. But we cannot step into that God-intended future on our own. God's design is to help us into our future. We will find our God-intended future through submission to godly leadership, being accountable, and establishing covenant relationships with others. 

Scriptures: Jeremiah 32: 38-41, Isaiah 62

An Everlasting Promise In Covenant

Pastor Evan continues his study of covenant by introducing covenant’s third critical element: making promises. He leads us through Abram’s encounter with God, during which God tells Abram that he will receive a “great reward” [inheritance] (Genesis 15:1,7). When Abram questions God how that will be, since he has no heir (vv 2-3,8), God responds by promising Abram that he indeed will possess offspring too numerous to count (vv 4-5). “On that day, the LORD made a covenant with Abram,” cementing His promise to Abram (vv 9-21). God’s goal in covenant is to reconcile us with God the Father, reminding us just who God is, what He has done, and what He will do (since we can’t do it ourselves).
Covenant secures us by demonstrating God’s presence (He is always with us), brings people together by creating new life, and strengthens our relationships with God and others.

Covenant: Promises And Security

Pastor Evan continues his study of covenant by introducing covenant’s third critical element: making promises. He leads us through Abram’s encounter with God, during which God tells Abram that he will receive a “great reward” [inheritance] (Genesis 15:1,7). When Abram questions God how that will be, since he has no heir (vv 2-3,8), God responds by promising Abram that he indeed will possess offspring too numerous to count (vv 4-5). “On that day, the LORD made a covenant with Abram,” cementing His promise to Abram (vv 9-21). God’s goal in covenant is to reconcile us with God the Father, reminding us just who God is, what He has done, and what He will do (since we can’t do it ourselves). Covenant secures us by demonstrating God’s presence (He is always with us), brings people together by creating new life, and strengthens our relationships with God and others.

Rehearsing History For The Sake Of The Future

Pastor Evan Brown continues his study on Covenant. This week’s study focuses on an essential element of godly covenant: rehearsing shared history. In the scriptures, God continually reminded the Israelites of who He was and what He had done for them. God’s constant reminder helped to secure and reassure His people. His words brought hope and confidence and helped guide them into their intended future. In the same way, we can strengthen our godly covenant with others as we remember to talk about our shared history and the great times we’ve experienced together. But, do our words match our actions? Godly covenant is established through consistency, faithfulness, and presence in others’ lives.

Unforgiveness Is A Prison, Twice Over

This weekend, Evan continued on the topic of God's predetermined design for our relationships and what the components of covenant are. Forgiveness is one of those components. The story of the servant who was forgiven millions of dollars of debt by a merciful king, then turned around and threw a man who owed him a mere fraction of that into prison for not being able to pay his debt, perfectly portrays the nature of unforgiveness. It makes it impossible for others to pay back or redeem themselves for whatever way it was that they wronged us, and our own bitterness unravels us at the very core, trapping us also in our own prison. It is a breaking of covenant. In stark contrast, Jesus put Himself in the weakest position to pay for a debt that wasn't His. It was the ultimate display of covenant.

The Crucial Importance Of Forgiveness In Covenant

Pastor Evan Brown continues his teaching on the importance of cementing covenantal relationships with others through their shared experiences. He focuses on the responsibilities of followers of Jesus in their relationships with fellow believers. He points to Matthew 12:46-50, where Jesus states that we are to interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way we are to interact with our own family members. He reiterates that covenant is not easy, citing David’s experiences with his friend Jonathan and his mighty men as examples of possible risks of (1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20:17-17) and sacrifices in (2 Samuel 23: 8-12, 15-17) honoring a covenantal relationship. 

Jesus’s commandment to His disciples to love one another as He has loved them so that people will know that they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35) might encourage us to ask ourselves the following questions:

Do I love loving others? 

Would I risk my life to meet someone else’s need? 

How much will I sacrifice for others? 

What am I willing to do (Am I willing to be inconvenienced, to go out of my way?) to help others feel secure, loved, safe?

Why would I not want to help those who need help? 

Am I being an example to others that would draw them to want to follow Jesus?

Covenant With God's Family

Pastor Evan Brown continues his teaching on the importance of cementing covenantal relationships with others through their shared experiences. He focuses on the responsibilities of followers of Jesus in their relationshops with fellow believers. He points to Matthew 12:46-50, where Jesus states that we are to interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way we are to interact with our own family members. He reiterates that covenant is not easy, citing David’s experiences with his friend Jonathan and his mighty men as examples of possible risks of (1 Samuel 18:1-4, 20:17-17) and sacrifices in (2 Samuel 23: 8-12, 15-17) honoring a covenantal relationship.

Jesus’s commandment to His disciples to love one another as He has loved them so that people will know that they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 3:34-35) might encourage us to ask ourselves the following questions:

Do I love loving others?

Would I risk my life to meet someone else’s need?

How much will I sacrifice for others?

What am I willing to do (Am I willing to be inconvenienced, to go out of my way?) to help others feel secure, loved, safe?

Why would I not want to help those who need help?

Am I being an example to others that would draw them to want to follow Jesus?

Covenant: Establishing Intimacy

Pastor Evan Brown continues his study on Covenant. God’s original design was for humankind to live in harmonious relationship with God and with others.  Although sin brings separation and brokenness into our relationships, God has provided a way to help bring our relationships back into healthy alignment but it requires that we work on it. This week’s study examines one essential element of godly covenant, which is having shared history.  Shared history requires that we share experiences, focus our efforts, be vulnerable, give our time, and offer forgiveness. When we live outside God’s ways giving ourselves to ungodly desires, we rob ourselves from experiencing the fullness of life and relationship that God intended for us. Pastor Brown shares from his personal journey for establishing healthy covenant within his own marriage and family.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:18-3:12

A Name Means More Than You Think

In continuation of the series on "Covenant," Pastor Evan Brown expands on the first element of "Covenant": the exchanging of names. This morning we studied the name changes of Abram ("Exalted Father") to Abraham ("Father of a multitude") and the revelation of God's name (I AM WHO I AM) to Moses. Through personal stories Pastor Evan shows that there is much significance in: the name(s) we call ourselves; the name(s) others call us; the names we call the people we are in covenant relationship with--and in our corresponding actions and attitudes.

And remember: Gods Name (I AM WHO I AM) is the same as His identity, which is the same as what He does! The name the Lord gives each of us will have the same characteristic: it will give us a clue of who He made us to be and what we are supposed to do. What is the evolving name the Lord is giving or has given you?

Genesis 16:16-17:5
Exodus 3:2-7 and 11-15

We Are Named

Last week in his study on covenant, Pastor Evan Brown introduced us to the four essential elements of covenant—exchanging names, shared history, making vows, and accepting consequences—and discussed the importance of our need to understand how these elements impact our lives. This week he examines the first of these four elements—exchanging names. Using scriptural examples, he discusses the meanings of some biblical names and points out how the power of names establishes one’s identity, whether in positive or negative ways. He concludes that names (not just our birth names but also the names that others—for example, parents, siblings, peers, teachers—might put on us throughout our lifetime) can greatly influence both our relationship with God (depending on what we believe about who He is and how He sees us) and our relationships with those around us. This teaching might prompt you to ask yourself, Am I known? Am I loved? Does God love me? Do I belong? Am I good enough? Do I matter?

Scriptures—Genesis 2:20, 23; 3:20; Revelation 2:17; Isaiah 56:3-8; 62:1-5




Covenant And Relationships: An Introduction

Today’s teaching is the first in a series of a study on covenant (God’s plan for our relationships both with God and with others). Pastor Evan Brown has invited us to join him on his personal journey with regards to understanding covenant and how it affects us and our families. This series begins with a definition of the word, an explanation of the foundation of covenantal relationships, and an outline of the essential elements of covenant and its various aspects that impact our and others’ lives, including the consequences of keeping and breaking covenant.

Scriptures: Proverbs 1:1-7, Psalm 34:8, and Psalm 27:13

VBS Sunday

This service was a wrap up of the week of VBS (Vacation Bible School) at the Coastlands. It included two testimonies, each person sharing their experience leading up to and during the week, a video showing clips of special events, team time, assemblies and more, and in conclusion, kids who had attended VBS sang songs they had learned throughout the week.

Be Weak in Christ

Have you ever felt that your weakness disqualifies you from being all God meant for you to be? No matter what our circumstances, we are never cast aside by God.   He has an important purpose and plan for each of us.  Paul the Apostle did not let the thorn in his flesh stop him from doing what God called him to do.  In the same way, when we feel weak or that we’re not enough, that is when God‘s power is made strong through us.  Scripture references are from 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10.

Jesus as a Reference : How He Suffered

2 Cor. 1:3-7 & 2 Cor. 4:7-10

Suffering for Christ by Allowing Him to Use You to Benefit Others

Pastor Evan shares personal testimony of how God has asked him to embrace and endure suffering in his own life. Evan communicates that rather than flee from suffering, we can actually pursue it, like Christ--who endured it because He saw the joy set before Him. Suffering on behalf of others, specifically by being willing to share our own past painful experiences, can encourage them to turn toward Jesus as they experience their own. God is able to redeem our suffering in order to bring great blessing to those around us.

Jesus as a Reference : How He Stayed Focused

Jesus’s first followers were confused about who He was, where He came from, why He came, what He was all about, or where He was going. Although they did not understand much of His teaching, many of them continued to follow Him and ask Him questions (John 7). The written Word of God answers these questions for us. We have learned in particular that Jesus is our example of how to live a godly life and demonstrate the love of the Father. We know that the Father sent Jesus to do His will and to accomplish His work (John 4:34; 7:16, 28-29, 32; 9:4). Jesus charges us to carry on the work that He completed while on earth. To do this we need to stay focused and make it our mission to feed the spiritually hungry with the knowledge of God and His love and peace. Our work is to reap that which Jesus originally sowed and to harvest what will become spiritual food for the lost (John 4:35-38). May we all take advantage of opportunities to feed others with the goodness of God.

John 4:31-38; 9:1-5; chapter 7, esp. verses 7:16-18, 26-39

Jesus as a Reference : How He was Thoughtful

During his life on earth, Jesus went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed, because God was with him.  Jesus’ life on earth serves as an example for us to follow.  The same Holy Spirit that rested on Jesus, also lives within us today.  Through the Holy Spirit’s power, we can reach out to the world around us to be a help to others in need. 

Scripture reference is from Acts 10:38.

Jesus as a Reference : Who He Spent Time With

Following the theme of Jesus as the Cornerstone and our ultimate reference point, Evan now talks about what characterized the kind of people Jesus chose to spend His time with. Who did Jesus value? There was Peter, a "salty" sailor so aware of the spiritual chasm between him and Jesus when they first met, that he told Jesus to distance himself. There was Matthew, an extortionist and traitor to his own people. There was a skeptic, a political zealot, two blusterous brothers, the ultimate betrayer and others who we know only by their names. Jesus' attention was on the "unlikely" people, and most often, those who were considered contemptible by more than just the Pharisees. Jesus' motivation was clear: people. To be with people. To love people. He made the example as simple as it could be for us. 

The Puzzle of Life

The Living Stone: Jesus Our Cornerstone

Without the Cornerstone (Jesus), attempting to construct the “puzzle of life” is impossible.  Life gives us so many “pieces” to work with, many of which are incorrect or misshaped.  With Jesus we have the correct dimensions, so all other pieces align to create a more complete version of who God made us to be.  After all we are part of His great design!