Jesus understands your struggle

For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.  (Hebrews 2:18)

Do you ever struggle with temptation?  Jesus understands.

Do you sometimes wrestle with desires to meet God-given cravings in ungodly ways?  Jesus understands.

The particulars of a temptation are not its most powerful element.  Underneath every specific draw to sin is a root cause, a deeper desire that drives it.  Comfort, pleasure, pride, accumulation of power or avoidance of pain; with all of these Jesus is quite familiar.

Yet, not only did Jesus have the strength to resist temptation, He also has an abundance of that same strength to share with you!

When you are tempted, turn to Jesus, be at peace, and find hope in this powerful truth: Jesus understands your struggle.

–Pastor Phillip

God is for you when you’re tempted

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 10

GOD IS FOR YOU WHEN YOU’RE TEMPTED

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God is never disappointed in you when you’re tempted.  He doesn’t look at you with frustration and think, “They should be above this by now.”

In fact, in the Bible we see that Jesus Himself was tempted.  We see that all people are tempted.  We discover that temptation is simply our enemy, Satan, taking a good desire and twisting it out of its proper proportion, direction, timing or priority in our lives.

When God sees you being tempted, He doesn’t get annoyed; He goes into action!  Angels are dispatched to help you.  Circumstances are aligned to assist you.  Escape routes are opened and heaven itself glows with the anticipation of your victory over sin!

When temptation comes your way as it does to all of us, don’t believe for a second that you’re facing it alone.  Don’t accept for a moment the lie that you have to prove yourself to God or that He is displeased that you have struggles.

Jesus’ finished work on the cross paid the full price for your acceptance by the Father and provided you free access to His power.  So, when you find yourself in a struggle, let your heart be strengthened to walk in righteousness and resist the deceitfulness of sin, as you remember the hope of this truth: God is for you when you’re tempted.

-Pastor Phillip


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The things that matter most

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)

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Sometimes in the Christian life it’s easy to put all our effort into our “vertical” relationship with God and feel like we’re doing just fine.

So, we pray a lot.  We read our Bible.  We tithe.  In fact, we do all the good things the Pharisees did.

To be sure, they are all good things.  Jesus affirmed the vertical life of the Pharisees by saying “these you ought to have done,” but though they were apparently quite careful to be good to God, Jesus sharply rebuked them for what they neglected…

Being good to others.

Think about it.  Jesus spoke of justice, but God needs no justice from us, people do.  Jesus talked about mercy, but God needs no mercy from us, people do.  Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:13a, “if we are faithless, He remains faithful,” so who is really in need of our faithfulness?  Other people.

As you rejoice in all God has done for you, may you remember this crucial thing: our vertical relationship with God is far more for our benefit than it is for His, and the greatest way to show our love to Him is to share His love with others.

-Pastor Phillip
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You Were Made to be a Giver

Do you ever flatter people to get what you want?

“For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed —God is witness.  Nor did we seek glory from people…” -1 Thessalonians 2:5-6a

Flattery gives encouragement not just with strings attached, but with hooks.

More than the natural desire for reciprocity and appreciation, those who would flatter are manipulating people for their own satisfaction, no matter how much religious language they use.

The heart of a disciple is not greedy, desiring to take from others, but excited to give to others in Jesus’ name.

Help, hope, friendship or finances, we give not because we want all to see how generous and gracious we are, but because that’s how God’s been with us.

How much of a giver are you?

 

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