God is eternally holy, so you can be, too

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!  (Revelation 4:8b)

From eternity since before the world began, God was holy, perfect, righteous and good.

Throughout every age of humanity, God has been holy, perfect, righteous, and good.

Long after the cosmos have sighed their last breath, forever and ever God will still be holy, perfect, righteous and good…and that’s not all.

If you’ve been united with Christ in salvation, then you are being transformed into the image of Jesus who is the exact representation of God.  This means that if you’re in Christ, then you are being made holy, perfect, righteous and good as you surrender to the power of Christ within you!

No matter what you’ve done in the past, trust Him and follow Him today, and let this truth encourage you to keep growing in Christ.

God is eternally holy, so you can be, too.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your perfect path to God

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Timothy 2

JESUS IS YOUR PERFECT PATH TO GOD

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…  (1 Timothy 2:5)

Some try to get to God through works.  By doing enough good, perhaps they can accomplish their salvation.  Yet, how good could ever be good enough for a God who demands perfection?

Some try to get to God through religion.  By obeying the right rules, perhaps they can purchase their own redemption. Yet, how much rule-keeping could ever be enough for a God who requires perfect obedience?

No road we could ever build would be straight enough to get to God, but Jesus made a way.  No performance we could ever display would ever be perfect enough for God, but Jesus made a path.

Any way we try to get to God on our own will ultimately fail, because it rests on the efforts of imperfect people.  Yet, all is not lost!  Hope is alive and well and salvation is close at hand for all who would receive it by faith in Christ.

Stop trying so hard to be perfect on your own, and simply rest in the beauty of this life-transforming truth: Jesus is your perfect path to God.

-Pastor Phillip

God will surely make you clean

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Thessalonians 5

GOD WILL SURELY MAKE YOU CLEAN

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

The world leaves its mark on everyone.  Broken by sin, stained by rebellion, it has a way of creeping in to even the most faithful heart.

But God always has the last word.

God calls His children to be holy and pure, sanctified and set apart, not isolated from the people of the world but insulated from its darkness.  Yet, He doesn’t expect us to make it happen on our own.

Here’s good news.  The same One who called you to be holy is also the One who will build that holiness within you.  Because He is perfectly faithful, He is perfectly trustworthy to finish what He starts.

If you’re in Christ, it doesn’t matter what sin or struggle you’re dealing with right now; you can still have hope!  All you need to do is surrender to His work and respond to His Word to you and you can rest in the hope of this truth: God will surely make you clean.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s love is the source of your holiness

God’s Hope For Your Heart from 1 Thessalonians 3

GOD’S LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR HOLINESS

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.  (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Love comes from God.  This is a basic foundation of the Christian faith, that God is love, therefore the kind of self-sacrificing, others-centered, God-honoring love that truly matters can only come from Him.

So, a prayer for God to help us love others better is really a prayer for Him to simply pour more of His love into us so that it overflows.

Holiness is required by God.  Over and over in Scripture, we see that to be called AS a son or daughter of the King is to be called TO the life of the kingdom, a life that is set apart, a life that honors God.

All too often, though, we make two fundamental mistakes in the arenas of holiness and love.

First, we try to pursue holiness through our own efforts and moral goodness, but this will always fail because our human effort can never be good enough for God.

Second, we feel as if God’s love for us depends on our performance in holiness, so we slip into despair as we realize we just can’t measure up on our own.

If you’ve ever felt either of these things, here’s good news: they’re all wrong and upside down!

God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your character.  It depends on His.  Your holiness doesn’t depend on your effort.  It depends on His!

The road to God’s love isn’t about getting rewarded for your good deeds and the pathway to holiness isn’t about living rightly on your own.  Both of them are about simply receiving God’s love as a gift through Christ.

That means once you receive more of God’s love for you, you will abound in love for others, and the overflow of that love will result in a holy life, because of this hope-inspiring truth: God’s love is the source of your holiness.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus turns your darkness into light

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 5

JESUS TURNS YOUR DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true…  (Ephesians 5:8-9)

People living in darkness often don’t know they are.  All of us at one time were the same way, deceived by Satan and destined for hell.

Then Jesus stepped in.

Jesus takes darkness and redeems it with His light.  He takes sin and redeems it with His blood.  He takes sickness and redeems it with His healing.  He takes shame and redeems it with His forgiveness.  He takes sorrow and redeems it with His joy!

If you’re in Christ, your life has a calling to goodness and righteousness and truth.  Yet, the way to get there is not through lots of self-effort.  It’s through the light of Jesus burning brightly in your soul.

Whatever is dark in your life, let go of it and let the light of Jesus take its place.  Whatever is broken in your life, trust God in it and let the light of Jesus make it whole.

Surrender to His love today and let it overflow into a life that pleases Him.  If you trust Him, that’s exactly what will happen, because of this hope-inspiring truth: Jesus turns your darkness into light.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s grace removes your burden

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 15

GOD’S GRACE REMOVES YOUR BURDEN

“…And [God] made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.  Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”  (Acts 15:9-11)

Jewish Christians in the first century were very concerned that the Gentile Christians weren’t “doing it right,” and they were quite vocal about it.  They were convinced that to truly be saved, there was a whole list of rules people needed to keep in addition to trusting Christ for salvation.

While they would talk about grace, their actions and attitudes were more focused on what people were supposed to do rather than what Jesus had already done.

However, grace with conditions isn’t grace at all.

Peter and Paul and the Jerusalem council agreed that to lay great burdens of rule-keeping on the necks of Gentile believers was antithetical to the Good News of grace.  They recognized, both in this instance and in letters written later, that following Christ does include pursuing a holy life.  However, they also strongly affirmed that making holiness a condition for salvation rather than a joyful response to salvation is not what Jesus intended at all!

Of course, the same debate continues today.

There are some who are so focused on “doing it right” that they miss the Gospel of grace.  They will emphasize all of the moral instructions and commands of Scripture and insist that anyone who doesn’t follow their particular understanding is certainly in the wrong.

Yet, Jesus didn’t come to bring burdens, but to relieve them.  He didn’t come to weigh you down with law, but to lift you up with grace!

Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, all who come to Him and put their faith in Him are called righteous and holy, and nothing can change that!  When He calls and commands you to pursue a life that’s in line with God’s Word, it’s not a beforehand requirement for His love and acceptance.  It’s a grateful response after you’ve received them by faith.

May your life be marked by a desire to follow God’s instruction in Scripture, but don’t let an endless burden of rules keep you from living in the beauty of grace.  Trust in the kindness of Christ today, and as you do, you’ll discover the hope found in this liberating truth: God’s grace removes your burden.

-Pastor Phillip


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You are uncommonly valuable in Christ

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 11

YOU ARE UNCOMMONLY VALUABLE IN CHRIST

But the voice answered a second time from heaven, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”  (Acts 11:9)

Ranking systems are everywhere.  From school grades to sports standings, restaurant reviews to religious orders, the human heart has a deep-seated habit of ordering things to determine their relative value.

But that is not how God looks at you.

God sees His children not through the lens of a report card, but a relationship.  He values you based not on how you match up against others, but on how much Jesus paid to make you clean!

No matter what others may say of you or how you may feel about yourself, believe in this truth of God’s Word.  When you do, you’ll find hope in this comforting truth: you are uncommonly valuable in Christ.

-Pastor Phillip


AUDIO VERSION (Click here to subscribe to the daily podcast on iTunes.)


 

God is eternally holy, so you can be, too

Scripture Notes on Revelation 4

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!  (Revelation 4:8b)

From eternity since before the world began, God was holy, perfect, righteous and good.

Throughout every age of humanity, God has been holy, perfect, righteous and good.

Long after the cosmos have sighed their last breath, forever and ever God will still be holy, perfect, righteous and good…and that’s not all.

If you’ve been united with Christ for salvation, then you are being transformed into the image of Jesus who is the exact representation of God.  This means that if you’re in Christ, then you are being made holy, perfect, righteous and good as you surrender to the power of Christ within you!

Trust Him and follow Him, and let this truth encourage you to keep growing in Christ.

God is eternally holy, so you can be, too.

-Pastor Phillip

God will surely make you clean

Scripture Notes on 1 Thessalonians 5

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

The world leaves its mark on everyone. Broken by sin, stained by rebellion, it has a way of creeping in to even the most faithful heart.

But God always has the last word.

God calls His children to be holy and pure, sanctified and set apart, not isolated from the people of the world but insulated from its darkness. Yet, He doesn’t expect us to make it happen on our own.

Here’s good news. The same One who called you to be holy is also the One who will build that holiness within you. Because He is perfectly faithful, He is perfectly trustworthy to finish what He starts.

If you’re in Christ, it doesn’t matter what sin or struggle you’re dealing with right now; you can still have hope! All you need to do is surrender to His work and respond to His Word to you and you can rest in this truth.

God will surely make you clean.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s love is the source of your holiness

Scripture Notes on 1 Thessalonians 3

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Love comes from God. This is a basic foundation of the Christian faith, that God is love, therefore the kind of self-sacrificing, others-centered, God-honoring love that truly matters can only come from Him.

So, a prayer for God to help us love others better is really a prayer for Him to simply pour more of His love into us so that it overflows.

Holiness is required by God. Over and over in Scripture, we see that to be called AS a son or daughter of the King is to be called TO the life of the kingdom, a life that is set apart, a life that honors God.

All too often, though, we make two fundamental mistakes in the arenas of holiness and love.

First, we try to pursue holiness through our own efforts and moral goodness, but this will always fail because our human effort can never be good enough for God.

Second, we feel as if God’s love for us depends on our performance in holiness, so we slip into despair as we realize we just can’t measure up on our own.

If you’ve ever felt either of these things, here’s good news: they’re all wrong and upside down!

God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your character. It depends on His. Your holiness doesn’t depend on your effort. It depends on His.

The road to God’s love isn’t about getting rewarded for your good deeds and the pathway to holiness isn’t about living rightly on your own. Both of them are about simply receiving God’s love as a gift through Christ.

Once you receive more of God’s love for you, you will abound in love for others, and the overflow of that love will result in a holy life.

You see, God’s love is the source of your holiness.

-Pastor Phillip

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