Celebrating 5 Years – Lauren Young


The first time I visited Covenant Life Church, I was invited to join by my friend Kaity, who God used to share the gospel with me. I first believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior two years ago in May, when God gave me new life and made me a new creation.

When Kaity and I visited Covenant Life Church for the first time together, along with her soon-to-be husband Corey and their friend Kevin, I had been a believer for just over two months. The church was preaching through the book of Acts, which I had never even heard of. I had never opened my Bible to those pages, or heard some of these names in the Bible. Nor had I sang the songs being sung. There were plenty of “nevers” all around me.

Entering the little chapel then, I had no idea what to expect, but was excited to find good coffee. As far as I could remember, this was only the fourth church I had been inside. One of the hymns we sung in the church that morning I had never heard before. Since I first sang these words, they have been on my heart on a regular basis:

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day,
And there may I though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

When the pastor, Justin, introduced himself, he recognized our great need for the Spirit to come and have His way in our hearts so we would have our affections increased and placed rightly on Christ. He talked about God’s sufficiency, and preached and prayed in humility and faith. He reminded us of our great joy in Christ. He begged God to save the lost that day, and for us to all grow in holiness and Christ-likeness. He asked that his prayer would be answered so that Christ would be exalted and honored.

I remember Kaity whispering to help me find Acts in the Bible. My book containing many other books seemed very complex and difficult to navigate. Later on, I desperately wanted to locate the different verses Justin referenced to read them again. During that time, my heart was eager to learn about the Lord and see Him in the scriptures. I was so hungry, and not afraid or distracted. I felt comforted, and was humbled by the knowledge of my sin.

We learned of Steven being martyred at the end of Acts 7, and of the church in Acts 8. Within the text, major persecution occurred by Saul toward the church in Jerusalem. Then, Christ was proclaimed by Phillip in Samaria, leading to miracles and joy. As Paul says in Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Alive in Christ, ready to be used by Him in any way, and prepared to share with everyone that I came in contact with about Him—I didn’t really know what that looked like. I didn’t feel like I knew much about the gospel, or how to explain it in a clear way. But I knew that my heart was changed. I was learning not to depend on my own eloquence or strength, since I had never been capable of saving myself. This is why I needed a Savior to begin with.

I believed that the Creator looked upon me, a hopelessly sinful person, and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who bore God’s wrath against sin on the cross. Through the resurrection He showed His power over sin, so that all who have faith in Him would be reconciled to Him forever. I knew what happened to Steven was not lost. He was used by God to advance this very truth. That morning, Justin said: “Steven had a perspective that dying for the sake of Christ was gain, and that hiding for the sake of self was loss”. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Since I was saved, I’ve learned what this looks like in my own life.

So fast forward to a year and a half later since I first visited Covenant Life Church. Through the body of Christ, the Lord has blessed me with spiritual growth, people who love and know my heart and my tendencies to sin, and people to share this very truth with who aren’t ready to stand before their Maker. He has taught me obedience in the ways I serve and so much more. God has loved me so well through the body of Christ.

Here is a list of “nevers” I never thought I would do before I began to live for Christ. Because Christ lives in me, He made it possible made me desire these things. I never thought I would: love Jesus more than anything, stop drinking alcohol, forgive the abuse that happened to me as a child, share Jesus with my mother and my grandmother, enter into a Muslim culture to share with them about Jesus, leave my “prestigious” high-paying job to work at a job that cares about sharing Biblical truths with families, want to be a mother so very much…

My identity is no longer in myself, my job, or my stuff. To live is Christ. Even though we live in a fallen world, where we will struggle, nothing this world offers is better than Christ. As Jesus said in John 16:33: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Where I struggle is reminding myself of my identity. I can forget who I belong to. I can wake up and go about my day as if Christ didn’t die for my sins and God isn’t in control. I can be self-sufficient, isolated, angry, frustrated, and bitter and think it’s normal. It’s easy to conform to my “old self”. It’s easy to not feed my soul with Scripture, pray to our Heavenly Father, forgive others as Christ has forgiven me, be intentional with sharing the gospel, and worship God in my thoughts, actions and words.

So what in the world do I do with that? I cry out to God: “God soften my heart” “God make the Word real to me” “I am in need, I cannot do it”. I learn about His goodness, sovereignty and His character in the Word. I go deep in the word in place of starving myself of it. I reject isolation and take on fellowship and accountability. I remind myself of the gospel. I sing to the Lord.

Happy 5 Years to Covenant Life Church. I am so thankful for the way God has and will continue to bless me through it!

And I am sure of this, that he who began ha good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6

Lauren Young

Posted on: April 15, 2015 - 8:00AM

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