God’s promise to you is peace

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.  (2 John 1:3)

Sometimes the greatest truths of God are also the simplest.  Sometimes the deepest revelations don’t come from more books, but more belief.

Do you believe God has grace for you?  Do you believe God has mercy for you?  Do you believe God has peace for you?  You must!

If you’re in Christ, that means all of Jesus’ obedience is credited to you and all of the favor He deserves from the Father now rests on you.  Grace doesn’t always mean pleasant circumstances, but it guarantees purpose and power and peace to all who will receive it by faith in Christ.

Trust Him today.  Believe His word, and rest in this truth.

God’s promise to you is peace.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus loved you with His life

By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  (1 John 3:16)

Love is not just a feeling, it is a choice to act.  It is a demonstrated desire to put someone else’s needs above your own.  Love is an action, not just an attitude.

We know this because it’s how Jesus Himself demonstrated what love really is.  He didn’t just speak, He sacrificed.  He didn’t just compliment, He committed himself by what He did.

And He did this for you!

When your heart wavers and you wonder if Jesus really loves you, look to the cross.  It is there that your hope and comfort are found, because it is there that you can discover this powerful truth.

Jesus loved you with His life.

–Pastor Phillip

More than Mary

As [Jesus] was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “The womb that bore you and the one who nursed you are blessed!”  He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed.”  (Luke 11:27-28)

Some traditions venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus.  They speak of the favor she had with God, the righteousness she had before God, and the blessing she received from God.

Yet, Jesus says that if you follow Him faithfully, hearing His words and obeying His commands, something incredible can be said of you.

You are more blessed than Mary.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your faithful forgiver

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)

If you betray someone you love, you will discover that a barrier begins to grow between you.  There may be no retribution on their part, but the closeness of the relationship will suffer.

Christian, so it is between you and God.

Make no mistake, the cross of Jesus Christ provides the full payment for the penalty of your sin.  There is no more punishment for you, only loving discipline.  God has no more wrath for you, only grace!  However, though God will not bring retribution on you now if you sin, you can still bring barriers into the relationship.

God wants more for you than that!

When you stumble off the path of righteousness, remember this.  In Christ, your legal standing before God is totally righteous and completely loved.  So, don’t let fear keep you from coming back into loving fellowship with your Heavenly Father.

He is waiting for you with open arms, longing for you to return with a repentant heart so that He can restore your closeness with Him.

Open your mouth and confess where you’ve strayed, and open your heart to be encouraged by this truth.

Jesus is your faithful forgiver.

–Pastor Phillip

God is your gracious rescuer

…and if [God] rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…  (2 Peter 2:7-9a)

The story of Lot in Genesis 19 is one of a man who was deeply flawed.  He was foolish in where he chose to live, argumentative with God, and was willing to all but sacrifice his own daughters for the sake of his reputation.

Yet, God rescued him anyway.

Christian, God’s call to you is to live a life of holiness according to His Word, but know this.  Even when you totally fail, if you’re in Christ, God’s grace still remains on you!

Always do your best to follow Him and obey His Word, but remember this, too.  No matter how well or poorly you perform, you can find comfort in this truth.

God is your gracious rescuer.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your guaranteed inheritance

For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  (Hebrews 10:34-35)

The world has its values system of what matters and what doesn’t, and it teaches us to safeguard what we hold to be most valuable.  Yet, in this life we have far less control than we imagine, and in light of this vulnerability, how do we deal with the inevitability of loss?

We fix our eyes on the one thing we can never lose: Jesus Himself.

It is Christ who is our cherished possession, and His love that is our greatest reward.  If the uncertainty of life has you down, you can be lifted up by re-orienting your values system around this one simple truth.

Jesus is your guaranteed inheritance.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus offered himself for you

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

“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

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!

Since 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 tries to make 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

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