God turns your lack into a heavenly abundance

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him?  (James 2:5)

When you look at what you lack, it’s easy to lose heart.  When you focus on where you fall short, it’s easy to get discouraged.  When you dwell on what you don’t have, it’s easy to miss what you do have.

You have the treasure of the Kingdom!

If you’re in Christ, your level of worldly success is no match for the heavenly blessings God has for you.  What you lack in the physical, God wants to provide in the spiritual in much greater amounts!

Yes, God provides for physical needs and loves to do it, but in the in-between seasons when you feel you don’t have what you wish, take heart in this glorious truth.

God turns your lack into a heavenly abundance.

–Pastor Phillip

You are part of the foundation

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Timothy 3

YOU ARE PART OF THE FOUNDATION

But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.  (1 Timothy 3:15 HCSB)

The Bible says God has a family, a household, a group of people united under the banner of Christ who are all part of one another.  This family is the Church.

But the Church does not exist only for the people inside.

It is not only a source of provision for the needs of its own, but a source of preservation for goodness and truth in the world.  The Church is the bedrock, the guardian and steward of the Good News God wants to share with humanity.

That means that if you’re in Christ, you’re not just part of a club or even a family.  You have a purpose and a place in something far bigger than yourself!  So, when your life feels unimportant and insignificant, be encouraged by this wonderful truth: You are a part of the foundation.

-Pastor Phillip

God wants to make an example of you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 67

GOD WANTS TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF YOU

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.  (Psalm 67:1-2)

The God of the universe has one primary goal above all others: the display of His glory.

Through His works in creation, He displays the glory of His power.  Through His offering of redemption through Christ, He displays the glory of His grace.  Through His blessings to His children, He displays the glory of His love.

Your life was redeemed and positioned for blessings because God loves you, yes.  However, the reasons for His grace go much deeper, and your life has much greater purpose than just passively receiving.  God has chosen you to actively display His glory to the rest of humanity!

So, let your heart and mind and hands and mouth be devoted to showing and telling the glory of God to the world around you.  Focus your life on bringing Him glory in all things, and watch as your Heavenly Father brings all sorts of blessings into your life to show His glory to the world.

As you focus on His glory, you’ll be able to see opportunity in whatever circumstances come your way.  As you do, you’ll find you can always have hope because of this truth: God wants to make an example of you.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus took your curse from you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 3

JESUS TOOK YOUR CURSE FROM YOU

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” … Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”  (Galatians 3:10,14)

A curse is a destiny of darkness.  It holds you back, locks you up, and locks you in to a future of bondage and pain.  A curse ties you to a promise of suffering, intercepts any efforts to get free and redirects them towards failure.

This is what life is like under the law, for those trying to be good enough for God.

The problem with curses is that they can only be broken by someone who has power equal to or greater than the one who put the curse in place.  The curse on those who fail to keep God’s law was put in place by God Himself, so only He has the power to break it.

That’s why Jesus changes everything.

Jesus came to earth as God in the flesh, not because He needed a vacation, but because you needed vindication.  He came not to burden you, but to break the power of sin in your life and to set you free from the curse of the law!

If you’re trying to be good enough for God, you will always fail because the curse will stop you.  However, when you come to Jesus and surrender, you will be completely free!  That means your heart can be filled with hope today because of this powerful truth: Jesus took your curse from you.

-Pastor Phillip


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God wants blessings to flow through your life

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 9

GOD WANTS BLESSINGS TO FLOW THROUGH YOUR LIFE

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)

God is not a stingy giver.  He does not like to hold back, play it safe or give His children only the bare minimum they need to get by.

No, He is generous!  He is lavish!  He is an extravagant giver, to the degree that you allow Him to be.

You see, God is also a wise Father.  He knows when the state of your heart is ready to receive abundantly, and when multiplied blessings would actually be turned cancerous by your own selfishness.

That’s why God has a purpose for His provision.  He blesses abundantly, so that you will bless others abundantly, too.

Why?  Because when you live with open hands towards others, you are free to receive even more from your Heavenly Father, because of this hope-inspiring truth: God wants blessings to flow through your life.

-Pastor Phillip


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In Christ, Your Difficulties Are Deposits

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 4

IN CHRIST, YOUR DIFFICULTIES ARE DEPOSITS

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Do you sometimes find it hard to follow Jesus?

Do you struggle with opposition or discouragement from others, or from yourself?

Is it difficult sometimes to obey what God commands, even though you know it’s for your good?

Take heart, your effort is not in vain!

In your walk with Christ, the roadblocks you face and the hardships you endure are not wasted; they are invested.  Each one is adding to your reward in heaven and your spiritual strength here and now.

You may not feel it.

You may not see it.

However, something is happening each time you obey.  Out of every struggle in which you are faithful to Jesus, a deposit is made into your heavenly account.  When you choose Jesus first and remain in Him, glory is added to your eternal reward.

It may be hard, but push forward and keep following in faith.  As you do, you’ll find the hope that comes from this truth: in Christ, your difficulties are deposits.

-Pastor Phillip


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God’s presence brings you peace

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 27

GOD’S PRESENCE BRINGS YOU PEACE

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.

For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;
He will lift me high upon a rock.  (Psalm 27:4-5)

What’s your “one thing?”

Is it to be loved?  Is it to be respected?  Is it financial success or social standing?

Is it the power to choose your own destiny, or the influence to shape the destiny of others?

Is it safety?  Is it security for your family?  Is it that your kids would turn out all right, or that your retirement plan would work out?

Is it that your parents would stay together, or that your grandkids would be safe?

What’s the “one thing” you’re asking of the Lord more than anything else?

For David, his “one thing” is simply this: that he would live his life in the presence of God.

You see, even though all of those other things have their place, when you’re in God’s presence, you can have peace about everything else.

Whether your life is stormy or calm right now, may your heart be drawn in by the goodness of Jesus to make His presence your greatest priority.  As you do, you’ll receive the hope that comes through this truth: God’s presence brings you peace.

-Pastor Phillip


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God wants to pour new things into your life

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Mark 2

GOD WANTS TO POUR NEW THINGS INTO YOUR LIFE

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2:22)

Jesus is with His disciples, and they get questioned by the Pharisees, the religious leaders of their day.

The essence of the encounter is that the Pharisees come to Jesus and tell Him, “You’re doing it wrong.  This is how we are supposed to serve God, and you aren’t following the rules.”

Now, the Law of Judaism was a good thing, but in Christ a better thing had come.  The traditions of the past had their place, but in Christ better ways had arrived.  The problem with the Pharisees wasn’t that they weren’t following God at all, but that they weren’t willing to accept that sometimes He exchanges old ways for better ones.

As a result, despite all their obedience to the Law, the Pharisees were positioning themselves to become enemies of God.

So, Jesus gives them an illustration of their hearts, using the imagery of wine and wineskins.  His basic point is this, “You can’t receive new blessings if you aren’t open to new ways.”

Why would He hold back blessings?  He tells us why, “the wine [will be] destroyed, and so [will be] the skins.”  Why would God pour out blessings on a life that won’t receive them with an open heart?  Why would He offer new power to those who won’t accept a new perspective?

When it comes to the things of God, far more is gained with an open heart than with a closed hand.  God is faithful, and He will show you what things to hold on to and what things need to be let go.  The question is, are you willing to listen?

May you have ears to hear His Spirit whisper the new things He wants to pour into your life, for He gives good wine indeed.  And, may you have hands that are open to receive the hope that comes from this truth: God wants to pour new things into your life.

-Pastor Phillip


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Whatever Jesus breaks, He multiplies

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Matthew 26

WHATEVER JESUS BREAKS, HE MULTIPLIES

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26)

There He is, Jesus the Christ, sitting with His disciples for one last meal before His imminent betrayal and execution.  His friends are gathered around Him at the table, and Jesus does something for them that He has done plenty of times before.

He blesses, He breaks, and He gives.

In Scripture, as in nature, God often reveals Himself through patterns, and this particular pattern of activity has occurred at least two other times in Jesus’ ministry.

In Matthew 14:19 we find that when Jesus took “the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing.  Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”

In Matthew 15:36 we see again that Jesus “took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowd.”

Jesus blessed, He broke, and He gave.  He gave the bread to the disciples and the disciples gave the bread to the people around them, and what happened each time?  The gift was multiplied and the people were blessed by the results.

Now Jesus is doing it again, taking bread, breaking it, and giving it to His disciples, but there is one key difference here: this bread is more than bread.  It’s His body that Jesus is breaking and giving.

What happens when Jesus breaks and gives His body?  We find out in the book of Acts that the Body of Christ–the Church–experiences the same thing as those little loaves, it is multiplied and people are blessed as a result.

Maybe in your life, you feel like Jesus is breaking things.  Maybe you feel like things that sustained you are being taken and broken.  If that’s the case, don’t lose heart.

Remember that God’s good plan for you is that you would have something special to give back to the world, so you can rest in hope because of this truth: Whatever Jesus breaks, He multiplies.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your never-failing source

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Matthew 6

GOD IS YOUR NEVER-FAILING SOURCE

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light…” (Matthew 6:22)

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this…” (Matthew 6:8b-9a)

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, there is a single, powerful thread that runs through Jesus’ teachings on giving (vv 1-4), praying (vv 5-9), fasting (vv16-18), possessions (19-21), and anxiousness about physical needs (vv25-32). The main idea is simply this:

God knows what you need, and true peace is found by letting Him be your source, not the world around you.

Are you looking for honor and validation? Seek it from your Father above, not the people around you.

Are you seeking a sense of security? Find it in the treasures of heaven, not the trinkets of earth.

Are you searching for inner peace? You will discover it when you learn to trust God for your needs, instead of carrying the burden on your own.

You see, when your heart is focused on Jesus, the people and things and needs and cares around you won’t seem so important. When your life is centered in Christ, God will take care of the details you’ve entrusted to Him.

So, may you fix your gaze today on the One who loves you most, because when you do, you’ll discover great hope in this truth: God is your never-failing source.

-Pastor Phillip


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