God has provided for your protection

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 6

GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The armor of God is your defense against the attacks of Satan.

It includes the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.  It is the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.  It is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Look, now, at those elements one more time.  Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the gospel of peace and the word of God.  Which of these things did you work for?  Which of them did you earn?

None.

To be sure, the armor must be applied, but never forget that God supplied it to you freely because of His love and grace.  You didn’t earn it, so you don’t have to work to keep it, simply rest and receive!

No matter what spiritual opposition comes your way, be strengthened and filled with hope by this truth: God has provided for your protection.

-Pastor Phillip

 

Jesus turns your darkness into light

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 5

JESUS TURNS YOUR DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true…  (Ephesians 5:8-9)

People living in darkness often don’t know they are.  All of us at one time were the same way, deceived by Satan and destined for hell.

Then Jesus stepped in.

Jesus takes darkness and redeems it with His light.  He takes sin and redeems it with His blood.  He takes sickness and redeems it with His healing.  He takes shame and redeems it with His forgiveness.  He takes sorrow and redeems it with His joy!

If you’re in Christ, your life has a calling to goodness and righteousness and truth.  Yet, the way to get there is not through lots of self-effort.  It’s through the light of Jesus burning brightly in your soul.

Whatever is dark in your life, let go of it and let the light of Jesus take its place.  Whatever is broken in your life, trust God in it and let the light of Jesus make it whole.

Surrender to His love today and let it overflow into a life that pleases Him.  If you trust Him, that’s exactly what will happen, because of this hope-inspiring truth: Jesus turns your darkness into light.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus gives you the grace that you need

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 4

JESUS GIVES YOU THE GRACE THAT YOU NEED

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  (Ephesians 4:7)

When God distributes grace to His people, it’s not a one-size-fits-all affair.  He doesn’t only hand out generic blessings to the masses or general gifts to everyone in the same way.

God knows just what grace you need, this moment, personally.

Your Heavenly Father wants to be lavish with you.  Not only does He know the particulars of your situation, but He cares about the details of your life!

Whatever you need right now, ask God for it and trust Him to meet that need in a personal way, in His perfect time.  Have faith and ask boldly, and as you do, may you be strengthened by the hope found in this truth: Jesus gives you the grace that you need.

-Pastor Phillip

Praise will revive your heart

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 69

PRAISE WILL REVIVE YOUR HEART

But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.

When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.

(Psalm 69:29-33)

Pain is no respecter of persons.  There is no “free pass” to forever avoid sorrow and suffering, and sometimes the night can seem so long that it simply drags you down.

That’s when praise is most powerful.

Whether for encouragement or forgiveness, for healing of old wounds or soothing of fresh ones, praise is the answer.  Whether your spirit has been brought low by the reality of hard circumstances or the deception of your enemy, praise is the answer.

You can choose to dwell on your sorrow, or you can choose to praise God for His salvation.

You can choose to focus on your hurt, or you can choose to praise God for your hope in Christ!

You can choose to listen to the voices of despair, or you can choose to speak and sing the truth of God’s deliverance, and when you do, you’ll discover incredible hope as you walk in this truth: praise will revive your heart.

-Pastor Phillip

p.s…

It is when our hearts are broken that God’s healing lifts us up.
It is when our souls feel empty that His presence fills our cup.
It is when the night seems longest that we most need day to start.
Oh, but our God hears the needy, so let praise revive your heart.
-Phillip Gonzales

The love of Christ will fill you up

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 3

THE LOVE OF CHRIST WILL FILL YOU UP

 [I pray that you may] know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  (Ephesians 3:19)

It’s one thing to have knowledge about someone.  It’s another to truly know them.

It’s one thing to understand the love Jesus has for you.  It’s another to know that love in the depths of your soul.

To truly be filled with the peace, power and presence of God, what you need most is not more learning, but more love.  To truly be satisfied in Christ, you don’t need more education, but more experience of the love of Jesus.

Rest in His goodness and believe His word to you today.  If you want to be whole, receive the hope found in this truth: the love of Christ will fill you up.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus bled to bring you close

God’s Hope for Your Heart Ephesians 2

JESUS BLED TO BRING YOU CLOSE

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13)

Sin separates from God.

Sin drives a wedge between the souls of humanity and the Spirit of our Creator.  It cuts us off from the life of God, the peace of God and the power of God… But the blood of Jesus reconciles.

In Christ, no matter how far you are from God, you can be brought near!

In Christ, no matter how far your relationship has fallen, you can be brought back!

In Christ, no matter how distant you may feel, you can take heart in the hope of this powerful truth: Jesus bled to bring you close.

-Pastor Phillip


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God has a lavish redemption for you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 1

GOD HAS A LAVISH REDEMPTION FOR YOU

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight…  (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Jesus is not a stingy Savior.  He doesn’t step in to do the bare minimum in your life, to give you just enough grace to get by.

No, Jesus shed His blood extravagantly, overwhelmingly, generously on your behalf.  No matter how deep your debt of sin may be, the river of God’s grace poured out in Jesus’ blood is far, far deeper.  No matter how wide your guilt or shame may be, Jesus’ arms are stretched wider still.

Rest in this.

Rejoice in this!

Respond to this with a life of worship and gratitude.

No matter what your past or present may look like, remember the hope of this truth: God has a lavish redemption for you.

-Pastor Phillip


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Your reward is on the way

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 6

YOUR REWARD IS ON THE WAY

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Galatians 6:9-10)

Sometimes doing good gets old.  Don’t pretend like you don’t know the feeling; you do.

You’ve been giving and giving but gotten little thanks in return.

You’ve been working and working but seen little fruit from your labors.

You’ve been praying and praying but nothing seems to change.

Don’t let the waiting wear you out!

Hang in there, your answer is coming.  Keep going, your work is going to pay off.  Hold on to hope, keep doing good, and be encouraged the hope of this simple truth: your reward is on the way.

-Pastor Phillip


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In Christ, God wants you to do what you want

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 5

IN CHRIST, GOD WANTS YOU TO DO WHAT YOU WANT

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  (Galatians 5:16-17)

To be a Christian is to have new desires, deeper than the ones you had before.  Central to our understanding of the Gospel is the fact that God gives a new heart to those who are saved by Jesus.  With this new heart come new desires that need to be fulfilled.

We don’t have to spend time with God in prayer, we want to.  We don’t have to engage with God’s word, we get to.  We’re not required to gather with other believers, we rejoice in it because it’s what we truly want to do.

What Satan will do, then, is try to stir up our old desires more strongly, to cover up our new ones and distract us from doing the things we truly want to do.

Don’t let him deceive you!

God has given you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you follow Jesus, and the whole point is not that you would be restricted to duty, but released to delight.

Let the Spirit empower you to pursue your deeper desires in Christ, and as you do, thank God for the hope of this liberating truth: in Christ, God wants you to do what you want.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus is your Savior every day

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 68

JESUS IS YOUR SAVIOR EVERY DAY

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.  (Psalm 68:19)

Every day brings its own host of challenges.  Every day has its own hardships and trials.  Some days may bring us victory, while others may leave us in defeat.

Each day is different, but through them all one thing stays the same: the love of God for His children.

He is not a one-time-only Savior.  He is not an absentee Father.  He does not abandon His children to fate and chance, but actively assists you as you look to Him!

Whatever you may face today, make this your hope and prayer.  “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”  When you do, you’ll discover the hope found in this uplifting truth: Jesus is your Savior every day.

-Pastor Phillip


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