You can overcome in Christ today

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“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.”  (Revelation 5:5)

What is that unsolvable problem in your life?

What is that question that can’t be answered, that stronghold that can’t be broken, that obstacle that can’t be overcome?

Weep and worry no more: Jesus can overcome it!

Jesus can break it!

Jesus can answer it!

Weep no more today, friend, for the Lion of Judah has already conquered the foe you face, and He is on your side.

–Pastor Phillip

God’s gospel is about God’s glory

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And I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.  And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”  (Revelation 14:6-7)

The word “gospel” in Greek means good news.  When used in Scripture, though, it isn’t just news of any random thing.  Rather, when the Bible uses the word “gospel,” it carries with it the nuance of an announcement of triumph, a declaration of victory.

Typically we see this word connected with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but here in Revelation we see something related, but different.  Here we see an angel of heaven, announcing an “eternal gospel” to all the peoples of the earth.  So then, what is this good news that has been true for all eternity?

That God is glorious, and worthy of worship.

Here’s why this is good news…

We were created to worship and serve God.  Since this is the point of our existence, true joy and fulfillment in our lives can only come through bringing glory to God.  For most of us, though, it can be difficult to worship God when we’re in the midst of painful seasons.

However, something special happens when we realize that the main point of God’s redemptive work is not our happiness, but His glory.  When we embrace this reality, we are empowered to worship God fully and freely no matter what our circumstances look like, because we realize that God’s goodness is not determined by our experience, therefore our worship of Him need not be, either.

This is truly good news for you, because it means that no matter how difficult your life may seem today, you can still experience joy, meaning and fulfillment as you receive and embrace this truth.

God’s Gospel is about God’s glory.

–Pastor Phillip

Your accuser has no power over you

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And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.  (Revelation 12:10-11)

War in heaven, the angels of God against the demons of the dragon: different scholars believe different things about when these events will take place and what exactly the images mean.  Yet, nestled in the midst of these descriptions of battle is a word of hope for every believer in Christ.

When Jesus died, His blood was shed on your behalf.  Like a sacrificial Lamb, His death was offered as payment to God the Father for all of your sin.  When Jesus rose, His victory was validated, His triumph secured and His Kingdom authority confirmed.

Now, look at the result of Jesus’ triumphant work on the cross…

“The accuser…has been thrown down…and they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death.”

This means if you’re in Christ, your sin can no longer be used against you because the prosecutor has been kicked out of court!

If you’re in Christ, your failures have no impact on your membership in God’s family because your accuser has been thrown down!

If you’re in Christ, then you have no need to wallow or worry because your guilt and shame now have no effect on your standing before God!

So, stand strong and free today as you trust the finished work of Christ on your behalf.  Don’t let your past sins or present struggles have any power over you, because they have no legal claim on you anymore.

Christian, if you feel the weight of failure and condemnation, push it aside and be released as you walk in this powerful truth today.

Your accuser has no power over you.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your eternal reward

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  (1 John 2:16-17)

The world promises great rewards for those who will follow its ways.  Money, power, fame, love, success, honor—all these and more it promises you if you bow down and worship.

But all of these things are passing away.

Bank accounts bleed, power wanes, and fame is fleeting.  Love grows cold, success gets old, and honor from others comes and goes with the changing of seasons.

How comforting, then, to know that for those who follow Jesus, there is a reward that endures forever—Jesus himself!

When you are abiding in Christ, you are connected to the source of all good things, of all joy and peace, of all meaning and fulfillment.  When you are in Christ, you can let the world do what it will to you, because you are eternally secure in Him.

Christian, don’t let the trinkets of earth distract you from the treasure you already have.  In Christ, you can find satisfaction in this glorious truth.

Jesus is your eternal reward.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your conduit of mercy

“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 wants to set you free from works

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.  (Hebrews 4:9-10)

Did God get tired and need a break after His work of creation?  Of course not.  He rested to set an example for us.

We know that we need physical rest after physical work, yet all-too-often we fail to receive the spiritual rest God desires for us.  We run around doing good deeds or feel guilty for not spending more time in prayer, all the while hoping we’ll do enough to please the Father.

But if you’re in Christ, God is already pleased with you!

If you’re striving and straining to earn God’s favor, relax, Jesus took care of that for you!  If you’re working and struggling trying to make God happy with you, relax, Jesus took care of that for you!

Today, let God’s love for you in Christ give rest to your soul and freedom to your mind, and let your heart be encouraged by this truth: Jesus wants to set you free from works.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your sovereign peace

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Colossians 3

JESUS IS YOUR SOVEREIGN PEACE

And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  (Colossians 3:15)

You never saw it coming.

It’s that phone call you never thought you’d receive, that news you never imagined you’d hear.  It’s that conversation you didn’t expect to have, that tragedy you thought could never happen to you.

But it did.

In times of shock and sorrow, it’s all too easy to surrender to the pain.  Despair creeps in, and fear rises up to take control of your heart.

But that is not what God wants for His children!

In Christ, God has promised that no matter what chaos goes on around you, you can experience His peace within you.  He has promised to never leave nor forsake you, so when darkness threatens to take control, you have a choice.

You can let fear rule your heart, or let faith take its place.  You can surrender to despair and let it drown you in sorrow, or surrender to Jesus and let Him lift you in His strength.

When tragedy strikes and you’re feeling overwhelmed, take heart.  Remember that God is still in control, He is still good, and He still loves you.  Fix your eyes on Jesus and let this truth give you power to press on.

Jesus is your sovereign peace.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus came to set you free from religion

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 2

JESUS CAME TO SET YOU FREE FROM RELIGION

Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.  (Galatians 2:4-5)

Religion is slavery, but Jesus came to set you free.

Religion creates burdens too heavy to bear, but Jesus came to bear your burdens.

Religion adds rules to God’s commandments to weigh you down, but Jesus came to lift you up to walk in God’s ways in the fullness of joy.

There is a fine line between godly sanctification and religious slavery, and the biggest difference is usually motivation.  Religion says, “Live right and you will be accepted.”  Jesus says, “In me, you are already accepted, so now you can live rightly as a result.”

Don’t let rules and traditions force you into the obedience of fear.

Let Jesus remind you of His perfect grace, and let that grace result in the joyful obedience of love, because because of the hope found in this truth: Jesus came to set you free from religion.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus came to set you free from sin

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 1

JESUS CAME TO SET YOU FREE FROM SIN

[The Lord Jesus Christ] gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.  (Galatians 1:4-5)

Sin is slavery, but Jesus came to set you free.

Sin separates from God, but Jesus came to unite you with the Father.

Sin brings death, but Jesus came to bring you life.

Sin produces bondage to the patterns and principles of a broken world, but Jesus came to provide deliverance.

When sin is enticing you, remember, it’s only entrapment.  When God seems restrictive, remember, He is releasing you to a greater freedom.

When temptation seems too strong for you to bear, you will find the strength you need to stand as you keep your eyes fix on the hope of this truth: Jesus came to set you free from sin!

-Pastor Phillip


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Spirit-led service leads to joy

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 7

SPIRIT-LED SERVICE LEADS TO JOY

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.  (Romans 7:6)

Obligation strips the joy out of obedience. Isn’t it true that when you are forced to do something it’s much harder to be happy about doing it?

This is the dominant method of religion, though.  Rules and regulations and duty and shame and fear, these are the hallmarks of a law-centered life.

But Jesus came to set you free!

If you’re in Christ, your life is no longer about being a slave to sin, which causes you to disobey God’s law.  It’s also not about being a slave to the law itself so that you’re under the constant burden of performance.  Jesus came to give you life so that your obedience to God can now come out of the overflow of His love rather than an obligation to the law.

Here’s the thing.  The hallmark of a life that’s truly free is a genuine desire to serve.  When you experience true freedom in Christ, it will produce gratefulness, a desire to obey Him, and a willingness to share His love with others.  And, you’ll discover that as you pour yourself out, you’ll be continually filled with hope because of this truth: Spirit-led service leads to joy.

-Pastor Phillip


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