Morning Reflection – Psalm 24:1-2

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the waters
and established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 24:1-2 (ESV)

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That which God FOUNDS, He also ESTABLISHES.  He is not in the business of ignoring His creation or abandoning things He has begun.

God is a finisher, a strengthener, One who sets things in motion and enables them to withstand the test of time.  Things like the earth.  Things like the Church.  Things like your life.

If you have a new life in Christ, God has founded that life on good promises, and He will establish it for good results in the end.

So, be at peace, follower of Jesus.  God’s got you.
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About that sinking feeling…

You have not been left out.

You have not been left behind.

You have not wasted your life.

You have not failed your calling.

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You still matter to God.

You still have much to offer.

You are still valuable to the world around you.

The best is yet to come.

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Now get to it!

–Phillip


Image creditunsplash-logoPaul Bulai

God has perfect rest prepared for you

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And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire–and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.  (Revelation 15:2)

In several places throughout Scripture, heaven is described and images of God’s throne room are given.  A consistent feature in these descriptions is the sea of glass, an expanse before God’s throne that is clear like crystal and perfectly smooth.  (See Exodus 24:10, Ezekiel 1:22, 26)

It is a picture of peace and tranquility.

Contrast this image with how we might visualize the state of our world today, and so often the state of our hearts.  Far from a sea of glass, these things are better described as muddy streams or turbulent oceans.  Over and under, forward and back, murky and uncertain, these are better descriptions of our life here on earth, so is it any wonder that sometimes we feel emotionally exhausted by all the ups and downs?

But if you’re in Christ, God has something better planned for you.

One of the beauties of our future hope is that it is a hope of rest.  For every believer in Christ, once we finish our time on the uncertain seas of earth, we have a glorious reward waiting for us in the harbor of heaven.

So, no matter how stormy your life is at the moment, hang on and take heart as you embrace the hope that comes from this truth.

God has perfect rest prepared for you.

–Pastor Phillip

God still commands the chaos

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And the [first] beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months…  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them…and by the signs that [the second beast] is allowed to work in the presence of the [first] beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:5, 7a, 14-15)

Ungodly authority, violence and conflict, deception and false miracles, persecution, state-sanctioned murder: this is chaos.

As the book of Revelation continues to unfold the unraveling of human society in the end times, it seems like things are getting darker and darker, worse and worse, and it seems like for the people of God, everything is falling apart.

Does your life ever feel like that?

Take note, then, that even in the midst of such hardship and trial, there is a common thread running through this entire chapter: “it was allowed.”

We may never understand in this life just why God allows certain things.  We may feel we would do differently, or wish there would have been an easier way.  As we try to process the hard circumstances of our lives, this is a normal reaction and a natural place to start.  However, it doesn’t have to be the place we finish.

Christian, know this.  No matter how crazy things look down here, God is still in control, watching over your destiny from above!  No matter how dark things appear from your perspective, God is still overseeing and working all things together for your good in Christ.

So, in the midst of whatever turmoil you may be facing, this is God’s word of hope to you today, sent by the Holy Spirit through the prophetic pen of John.

God still commands the chaos.

–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

The King and His Kingdom are coming

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Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”   (Revelation 11:15)

As we look around at our world, we see brokenness and pain.  We see evil and injustice.  We see suffering and sin.

But all these things will soon pass away.

We live in “the time between the times,” when the Kingdom of God has been inaugurated, but not consummated.  The kingdom of this world, of darkness and death, that kingdom is still very much alive and strong… but not forever.

The deepest hope of God’s people is not that somehow humanity will all finally wake up and be nice to each other, but that someday soon Jesus will come and complete His Kingdom on earth.

We look to a day that is not yet here, but is nevertheless certain to arrive.  We look to a coming reality that is sure to happen because it has been promised by the only One who has never, ever broken a promise.

So, no matter how strong the darkness may appear, take heart!  No matter how bad the world seems to get, stand strong!  If you’re in Christ, then you can live boldly and confidently today because of this hope-inspiring truth.

The King and His Kingdom are coming.

–Pastor Phillip

God will keep His people from true harm

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Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.  They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  (Revelation 9:3-4)

As the world receives an end-times judgment of demonic attack, God gives the order that the only ones who may be harmed are those who are not His children.  So, what happens to those who are His children?

They are protected from the judgment.

Times and seasons of pain are inevitable for all of us, saints and sinners alike.  However, there is a crucial difference between the two.  For sinners, those who haven’t come to Jesus for salvation and forgiveness, their pain is harmful, serving as punishment for their sins in the end.  Yes, often God allows pain to wake us up to our need for salvation, but for those who don’t respond, pain in this life is a reminder that all that awaits them is eternal harm.

Believers, on the other hand, have a much different lot.  Pain in this life is our Refiner’s fire, cleansing and purifying us and drawing us closer to Him.  Not only that, but because a heavenly eternity with Jesus awaits us, we can have hope because we know it will get better.

How can we know this?  Because again and again in Scripture, we see this truth.

God will keep His people from true harm.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus’ Word to You

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Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.  (Mark 13:31)

An old saying goes, “all good things must come to an end,” and in most cases this is true.

Companies close and relationships fall apart.  Nations crumble and loved ones die.  Hopes fail and dreams fade and according to Jesus, even heaven and earth will one day cease to exist as we know them.

But there is at least one good thing that will never, ever come an end: Jesus’ word to you.

So what is His word to you if you’re in Christ?

You are loved, embraced, accepted and forgiven, and nothing can ever take that away.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus turns death into deliverance

“You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  (Revelation 5:9b)

Nobody watching Jesus bleed out on the cross had a chipper outlook for the future.

To be sure, Jesus had told His disciples He would rise again, but their astonishment when He showed up again reveals they hadn’t bought in 100%.

But Jesus has a way of changing insurmountable obstacles into unexpected blessings.

His life was a demonstration, but His death was the true deliverance.  Many people were helped by His words, but the real power was in His blood.

When your circumstances look like death, remember that Jesus changes everything, and let yourself be comforted by this truth.

Jesus turns death into deliverance.

–Pastor Phillip

God’s promises are on their way

The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)

Sometimes it can seem as if our prayers go unanswered.  Sometimes it can seem as if God has forgotten us, or gotten distracted or delayed.  Have you ever felt that way?

Take heart!  Nothing could be further from the truth.

God’s promises are perfect, and so is the timing of their fulfillment.  If you’re not seeing them come to pass, it means that He is making sure everything is in its proper place so that when they do, it will be in a way that brings the greatest glory to Him and the most good for you.

This also means that for those who are not in Christ, God’s promise of judgment is sure to come, as well.  Yet, in His great love and mercy, He is giving more time to come home to Him and more opportunities to repent!

If you’re not fully right with God, let His kind patience move you to turn away from sin and turn to Him for salvation.  If you’re in Christ and waiting for His promise to you to be fulfilled, let His faithfulness move you to keep trusting, keep hoping and keep walking forward in Him.

In whichever position you find yourself, may you remember and be moved by this truth.

God’s promises are on their way.

–Pastor Phillip

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