You are the beloved of God

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for [and by] Jesus Christ; may mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.  (Jude 1:1b-2)

Are you in Christ?  Then God wants multiply His peace in your heart and His mercy in your life.

Are you in Christ?  Then He is keeping you secure in His love, holding on to you as His precious treasure that nothing can ever snatch out of His hand.

Are you in Christ?  Then remember this.  No matter what you’ve done, no matter where or who you’ve been, Jesus has made a way for you to find hope in this truth…

If you’re in Christ, you are the beloved of God.

–Pastor Phillip

The Father’s Delight (Luke 3:22b)

You are my beloved Son.  I take delight in you.  (Luke 3:22b)

The steadfast, unchanging posture of God the Father toward God the Son is not dutiful acceptance, but glorious delight.

The scandalous, unbelievable truth of the Gospel is that for those who are united with Jesus by grace through faith, the position He has before the Father is now given to us.

That means if you’re in Christ, God doesn’t just forgive you out of duty.  He deeply loves you out of delight!

He doesn’t just take away your sin.  He takes pleasure in your salvation.

–Pastor Phillip

God made you an eternal heir

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Titus 3

GOD MADE YOU AN ETERNAL HEIR

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  (Titus 3:5-7)

When God saved you, it was not so that you would become an employee, but so that you could be part of the family.

When God saved you, it wasn’t so that He could give you the “minimum required grace” to get to heaven, but so that He could show His lavish love through your life.

When God saved you, it wasn’t just so you could live a better life now, but so you could be part of His Kingdom forever and ever.

Here’s more good news… You didn’t earn this blessing, so you have no need to fear losing it!

Not only that, but you also have no right to feel entitled to it.  Just receive it with joy and thanksgiving and let this truth fill your heart with grateful confidence: God made you an eternal heir.

-Pastor Phillip

God will never reject you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 66

GOD WILL NEVER REJECT YOU

Blessed be God, because He has not rejected my prayer or removed His steadfast love from me!  (Psalm 66:20)

We live in a world full of rejection.  For all sorts of reasons, people will turn away from us or turn us away from them, sometimes without explanation.

Who hasn’t felt the sting of misunderstanding, the cutting words of unjust criticism, or the crushing weight of failure that closed the door of a relationship?

Yet, God never rejects His children.

Because of the blood of Jesus, if you have trusted Him as Savior and surrendered to Him as Lord, then you have been brought in to the family of God!  You have been sealed by a covenant promise from the Lord of the Universe, and He never goes back on His word!

That means if you’re in Christ, no matter how many or how often people turn away from you, you can find strength in the hope of this truth: God will never reject you.

-Pastor Phillip


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God’s love is your promise for today

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 13

GOD’S LOVE IS YOUR PROMISE FOR TODAY

So now faith, hope and love abide, these three: but the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Faith looks forward to something that can happen and trusts enough that it leads to action.  Faith looks to a possibility that has not yet been realized and says, “I believe that can be done.”

Hope looks ahead at something that might happen and chooses to have a confident expectation that it will.  Hope looks to a result that hasn’t yet been achieved, a goal that hasn’t yet been accomplished, and says, “I want that to be done.”

But love…

Love doesn’t need to look forward to some great thing that hasn’t happened yet.  Because of what Jesus did on the cross, God’s love looks back at something that already has happened and realizes what it means for today.  Love says, “It’s already been done for me.”

This means you don’t have to wait to receive God’s love until you’ve earned it, because Jesus already did!  You don’t have to wait for God to prove His love for you, because Jesus already did!

If you’re in Christ, you can have faith in God’s plan for your future and hope in His provision for tomorrow, but you don’t have to wait to walk in His love for you, because of this powerful truth: God’s love is your promise for today.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus loves to love you when you lose

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 1

JESUS LOVES TO LOVE YOU WHEN YOU LOSE

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

The world looks for power, strength and intelligence, but Jesus doesn’t.  The world looks for wealth, position and influence, but Jesus doesn’t.  The world looks for the all-stars, the stand-outs, the top dogs, but Jesus doesn’t.

Jesus looks for the nobodies.

Jesus looks for the weak ones.

Jesus looks for the poor and helpless, the overlooked and forgotten, the people no one else thinks are worth their time.  Jesus looks for them, and so Jesus looks for you.

You see, maybe you’re wise, but not in everything.  Sometimes you, too, are a fool.

Maybe you’re strong, but not always.  Sometimes you, too, are weak.

Maybe you’re a winner, a success story, at the top of your game, but you won’t be forever.  The day will come when you fail, when you fall, when you lose.

So, whether you’re on top of the world or under the weight of it all, may you take heart and find hope in this truth: Jesus loves to love you when you lose.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus triumphed so you can, too

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 41

JESUS TRIUMPHED SO YOU CAN, TOO

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.  But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them!  By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.  (Psalm 41:9-11)

In the dark hours of a Thursday night, the Son of God gathers with His closest friends for a special meal, and says something that shocks them to their core.

“One of you will betray me.”

Not only that, but He also tells them that the reason this must happen is so that “…the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'” (John 13:18b)  The Messiah knows He is about to be betrayed in fulfillment of prophecy, and He responds in humble service.

How can Jesus show such love in the face of such injustice?

He can because He knows that in the end, just like this Psalm says, His enemy will not triumph, He will.  He knows that the Father delights in Him, and that though the darkness will be great at His crucifixion, that darkness will not have the final word.

If you’re in Christ, the same is true for you.

You may go through seasons of bruising and betrayal, but that doesn’t have to be the last word in your life.  You may be wounded by those closest to you and wrongfully treated or accused, but that doesn’t have to define your present or destroy your future.

How can you be sure?

Because of the hope of this incredible truth: Jesus triumphed so you can, too.

-Pastor Phillip


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You are beautiful in God’s sight

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 7

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN GOD’S SIGHT

“At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight.  And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house.”  (Acts 7:20)

Moses was only a baby, just born into the world.  He had not done any miracles, had not delivered anyone, and hadn’t even tried to do anything for God.

Yet, God saw him as beautiful.

Moses hadn’t even had a chance to earn favor.  He had no opportunity to work to make himself acceptable in God’s sight.  The reason Moses was chosen and called and loved was not because of his own goodness, but because of God’s grace.

The same is true for you.

The moment you come to Christ, you are “born again” as a new creation.  You have not had the chance to “do” anything for God at all, but that doesn’t matter to Him because it’s not your works that make you loved, but Jesus’ work on your behalf.

This means you never have to fear being cast aside by your Heavenly Father!  You never have to bear the weight of religious performance!  All He wants you to do is be with Him, spend time in His house growing in His grace, and let Jesus’ righteousness carry you and make you strong.

Believe and rest in this today.  You have nothing to earn.  You have nothing to prove.  If you’re in Christ, you can have hope in this liberating truth: you are beautiful in God’s sight.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is well pleased with you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Matthew 17

GOD IS WELL PLEASED WITH YOU

[Jesus] was still speaking when, behold, a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”  (Matthew 17:5)

Do you look at your life and see things that don’t measure up to God’s standard?  Do you have areas of action or attitude that you feel God isn’t happy with?  Do you ever feel that God is disappointed in you?

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Yes, there may be actions and attitudes that God wants to change in your life.  There may be behaviors that break His heart because He loves you and wants what’s best for you.

However, if you’re in Christ, then your performance is never the deciding factor in how God feels about you.  When God turns His thoughts towards you, He sees you clothed in the perfection of His Son, Jesus.  He regards you, chooses to treat you, based solely on the righteousness of Christ and nothing you do can ever change that.

Christian, when your enemy tries to make you feel condemned because of your less-than-perfect behavior, may this truth strengthen your heart with hope: If you’re in Christ, God is well pleased with you.

-Pastor Phillip


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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