God gives you discipline to bring you peace

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 12 

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-8, 11)

Think of the ruin that comes from a flood. Torrents of water can cause great harm as they rise, undirected and spilling everywhere.

Dams and riverbeds restrict the water, but in doing so they channel it into something useful, something good.

So it is with our lives.

When God disciplines us, it is not intended for our punishment, but for our peace. It is God using any means necessary to channel our lives and hearts into the good purposes He has for us, purposes that sin will inhibit if not dealt with.

God may allow or even cause pain in your life, but it is only and always because He loves you, and it is never His first choice.

Listen to His whispers and pay attention to His Word so that you will have no need of stronger discipline. If and when it comes, though, do not lose heart, and do not misunderstand what your Heavenly Father is doing. Far from showing you His wrath, God is showing you His love, so be encouraged by this truth.

God gives you discipline to bring you peace.

-Pastor Phillip

God has prepared a homeland for you

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 11

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11:16)

For every Christian, there are those times when we see the world as it is and realize that this is not our home. We see our lives as they are and realize that this is not our final form.

No, in Christ, God is making all things new, and much better things await us in eternity!

This is not to say that you shouldn’t work for good here and now. Indeed you should do your best to bring blessing to all those around you, in Jesus’ name.

However, when you come face-to-face with the inevitable imperfection and persecution of a fallen world, you don’t have to be discouraged.  Instead, you can take heart in this truth.

God has prepared a homeland for you.

-Pastor Phillip

God will fulfill His purpose for you

Scripture Notes on Psalm 138

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.  (Psalm 138:8)

Your life matters to God. He created you with dignity and purpose, with honor and glory because He made you in His image.

You were born sinful, yes, but if you’re in Christ, then your sin has been completely washed away by His blood and you are righteous and clean and free!

This means that no longer does sin have to hold you back from the destiny God created for you. It means you can be empowered by His Spirit as you trust and follow where He leads.

Set your eyes on Jesus today and keep moving forward, and as you do, you will find confidence in this truth.

God will fulfill His purpose for you.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s love for you endures forever

Scripture Notes on Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.  (Psalm 136:1)

God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your goodness, but on His grace. His love for you doesn’t rest on your performance as a Christian, but on Christ’s performance as a savior. His love for you doesn’t rely on your faith, but on His faithfulness.

Not only that, but because of this, if you’re in Christ then His love will never, ever, leave you!

Times may be tough right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Circumstances may be complicated right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

The way may be uncertain right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your heart may be hurting right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your mind may be clouded right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your soul may feel dry right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your body may feel pain right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your bank account may be low right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Your love may feel cold right now, but God’s love for you endures forever.

Whatever your life looks like at this moment, let this reminder bring you hope through this simple, but powerful truth.

God’s love for you endures forever.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus offered Himself for you

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 9

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:14)

There were powerful people who conspired against Jesus, but they were not the ones that put Him on the cross. Many enemies wanted to see Him dead, but it was not their will that won the day.

Jesus gave His life willingly on your behalf.

When you are confronted with your own inadequacies and sin, do not despair. When you are brought face-to-face with your failures, do not lose heart.

Remember that Jesus loved—and still loves—you exactly as you are, and that He loved you so much He was willing to die.  As you dwell on this, may you be encouraged by this truth.

Jesus offered Himself for you.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your conduit of mercy

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 8

“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12)

Guilt is a powerful motivator. It can change habits and open handbags, clean up words and free up wallets. Yet, in the life of a Christian, guilt is not of God.

Conviction is the sorrowful sense that something is not right in your life and that a change must take place, but conviction differs from guilt in a very important way. Fear.

Guilt brings fear of punishment, but conviction carries with it this blessed assurance. In Christ, God has full forgiveness for you! In Christ, God has unstoppable love for you!

In Christ, nothing you could ever do would make God cast you away, so let this truth set you free to live a life of holiness without fear.

Jesus is your conduit of mercy.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your better hope

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 7

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19)

There are many substitute saviors in this life. For the Jewish people, it was observing the law of Moses. For many religions today, it is doing good works. For the irreligious it is “just being a good person.”

But none of these things can ever provide a lasting hope and full security of salvation. After all, if your salvation depends on what you do, how will you ever know if you’ve done enough?

That’s why Jesus makes all the difference!

Because your salvation depends on Jesus alone, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve done enough. Jesus has!

In Christ, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re good enough. Jesus is!

Don’t let yourself slide into works-based thinking that makes you earn right standing with God. Instead, let your heart be set free by this magnificent truth of grace.

Jesus is your better hope.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is the anchor of your soul

Scripture Notes on Hebrews 6

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf… (Hebrews 6:19-20a)

Of all the storms of life, perhaps none is more troubling than uncertainty. Bad news and hard times can at least be faced head-on and dealt with, but how maddening it is when you just don’t know!

Not only that, but what more painful uncertainty could there be than not knowing where you stand with God?

That’s why Jesus is such a great Savior! Not only does He make righteous all who come to Him by faith, but He himself is the personal guarantee of our acceptance by the Father.

No matter what your past reveals, how bad your present circumstances are or how uncertain your future may appear, if you’re in Christ, let this truth bring you strength.

Jesus is the anchor of your soul.

-Pastor Phillip

God will deliver you for the sake of His name

Scripture Notes on Psalm 135

Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout the ages.  For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.  (Psalm 135:13-14)

The people of Israel were constantly getting into trouble.  Time and again they failed to follow God’s commands and fell under oppression as a result.  Yet, time and again, God rescued them just the same.  Why?

Because God is faithful for His own sake.

On the surface this might seem less than comforting, but it is actually wonderful news for you!  It means that God’s desire to rescue you doesn’t depend on your ability to deserve it. He is ready and able to help you because in so doing, He glorifies His glorious name.

Not only that, but this is the most loving thing He could do for you, too, because in glorifying Himself through your life, He is helping you accomplish the very purpose for which you were created.

Whenever you find yourself in the midst of troubles and trials, take heart in this comforting truth.

God will deliver you for the sake of His name.

-Pastor Phillip

Your world will be in order when God is on the throne

Scripture Notes on Psalm 132

Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. (Psalm 132:8-9)

So often it’s easy for our lives to get chaotic. Work or school, family or finances, personal goals or other priorities can quickly drift out of sync if we’re not careful.

Yet, how often we seek to bring ourselves peace and order through strategies, rather than through our Savior! This should not be so.

When God is in His rightful place at the center of your life, everything else must fall in line. It doesn’t mean circumstances will always suit your preferences, but as you focus on Jesus and follow where He leads, you will certainly have peace.

No matter how crazy your life is right now, turn to Jesus and be encouraged by this truth.

Your world will be in order when God is on the throne.

-Pastor Phillip


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