“Cover me” is a phrase most of us hear on tv shows or movies, as an intrepid hero steps into danger and saves the day. It’s unlikely you will never need to be covered in that way. But I’ve got another one for you, and you NEED to get covered in this situation.
Well, ready or not, here comes “Mornings with Bishop Robert” on National Espresso Day in the United States. Sure, it’s one of those obscure, made up holidays by some marketing company; but you can bet I’M going to celebrate it. Come on in and have a seat with me, then grab a cup and lift it up as we dive into today’s lesson. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! Join our email list to get a free copy of my book COUNT TO ONE, get Mornings with Bishop Robert sent directly to your inbox each morning, and lots of other great benefits. Click the link in the description.
Covering something or someone – as I think about it there’s really a pretty wide range of concepts covered here. (Pun intended.) If you’re out for coffee with a friend, a great illustration to use on National Espresso Day, when the bill arrives you may grab it and say, “I’ll cover this.” While your friend would likely be appreciative, it certainly wouldn’t be something that overwhelms them with gratitude. Nothing like the emotions that overwhelmed Jacob Cline, an Army veteran who was told on Veteran’s Day that the house he and his wife just purchased had just been paid off as a thank you for his military service by their mortgage lender. Mortgage … COVERED!
I could fill the lesson with stories. Everything from a young boy who topped up a parking meter and saved a driver they’d never meet an $80 ticket to a complete stranger who covered $10,000 for a liver operation the patient otherwise could not have afforded. COVERED!
Today’s verse says HATRED STIRS UP STRIFE, BUT LOVE COVERS ALL WRONGS.
Covering all wrongs! Now THAT’S a lot of love.
One aspect of a love that covers all wrongs encourages us to love enough to forgive the offenses against us. Forgiving and moving forward with offenses covered can be tough. But hatred and bitterness never built a good relationship. Forgiveness is the first step on the path of restoration and change. That forgiveness may need to come with boundaries. There’s a huge difference between forgiving and trusting. Forgiveness is a choice driven by grace, trust is something that must be earned back over time. But making a deliberate choice to cover the offense with love so that the relationship can be restored, now that’s something we can all do. Are there people in your life and mine who have caused pain, perhaps even deliberately? People whose actions have broken our heart and added pain to the relationship. Of course there are. But covering the offense with love, even when it’s undeserved, is the beginning of the healing process. Perhaps especially when it’s undeserved.
Of course, that brings us back to Christ, and the ultimate gift of love that offers to cover OUR offenses. Offenses that have caused Him pain, many of them deliberate choices to sin. Our sin has completely broken the relationship we have with God, and closed the door to an eternity of joy and peace in His presence. And we have no more chance of being able to pay off our own debt of sin than we do of paying off every mortgage in the country with our checking account. Even if we could stack up our good deeds against our sins and failure in some sort of comparison, the net result would look like a doll house next to a skyscraper. The doll house may be quite cute, but it will never measure up. We need a LOVE THAT COVERS ALL WRONGS. We need to be willing to say “cover me” to Jesus.
Jacob Cline would have been insane to refuse the offer to pay off his mortgage. But that offer is small considering the one Jesus is extending. He’s standing next to the skyscraper of every sin you ever have or ever will commit and saying, “I’ll cover this, if you want.”