Serving and Sitting (Luke 10:38-42)

While they were traveling, [Jesus] entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  So tell her to give me a hand.”
The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42)

Working for God without spending time with God is a fast-track to frustration.  Taking time to listen and learn from Jesus is a pathway to peace.

Often we may seek to work for the Kingdom because it produces the immediate gratification of a job well done.  This is not a bad thing, but separated from quality time simply listening to the King, it’s not the best thing.

Don’t just work for Jesus, walk with Him, and in doing so you’ll not only be able to learn; you’ll also be showing your love.

–Pastor Phillip

God has a generous wisdom for you

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  (James 1:5)

We live in a complicated world.  So many decisions, so many problems, so many responsibilities come to fill our minds, and it can sometimes be so hard to make sense of it all.

That’s why we need wisdom.

Here’s good news, then.  God wants to give you the wisdom you need!  He wants to give you the clarity you desire! The only question is, will you trust Him enough to regularly ask?

Don’t let complexity trouble you.  Instead, be refreshed as you act on this glorious truth.

God has a generous wisdom for you.

–Pastor Phillip

The Time Came (Luke 2:6)

While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for [Mary] to give birth.  (Luke 2:6)

We live in a world of instant weather reports and apps that let us track every stage of a pregnancy.  Finding our way to a new place is as simple as tapping a button on a smartphone, and knowing what to expect when you’re expecting has never been easier.

Not so for Joseph and Mary.

For them, they simply had to wait, to wonder, and to pray.  No ultrasounds or sonograms, no regular checkups to see how the baby was doing; they had to sit in the darkness of uncertainty, trusting fully in God’s promise that the baby would come at just the right time.

And He did.

–Pastor Phillip

Time to Treasure (Luke 2:19)

But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.  (Luke 2:19)

Wonderful things were happening to Mary, and she refused to just let them pass by.  She took time to treasure, to set aside moments for meditating on the things that were taking place in her life.

Mary was able to treasure because she was willing to take the time.

Am I?

Are you?

–Pastor Phillip

God’s fulfillment will come at just the right time

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Titus 1

GOD’S FULFILLMENT WILL COME AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME

…in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began, and at the proper time manifested in His word…  (Titus 1:2-3a)

From the time “before ages began” to the time Jesus came was a pretty long wait, but God fulfilled His promise at just the right time.

From the time God promised Abraham a son to the time Isaac was born must have seemed like an eternity, but God fulfilled His promise at just the right time.

From the time God promised Joseph his destiny as a ruler and savior of his family to the time it actually occurred, it must have seemed like God forgot about His child, but God fulfilled His promise at just the right time.

He will do the same for you.

No matter what you’re waiting for or how long it’s been, take heart in this truth: God’s fulfillment will come at just the right time.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s peace is greater than your problems

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Philippians 4

GOD’S PEACE IS GREATER THAN YOUR PROBLEMS

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:5b-7)

“The Lord is at hand.”  Think on that for a moment.

God is not far from you; He is near.  He is not distant; He is close.  He is not disinterested; He is involved in the details of your life.

Now think about your problems.  The money isn’t there, or the sickness is.  The relationship is collapsing, or the growth barrier isn’t.  You have too much of one thing or not enough of another.

Your problems can seem so big when you are right up against them, so that is precisely the time God wants you to draw near to Him!

Praising Him and pleading for answers, bringing requests for Him to move and giving thanks for what He’s already done — these are ways we draw close to God.

The result, then, is this.

No matter how anxious your heart or how awful your situation, God has a promise for you.  Draw near to Him with a humble, prayerful heart, and you will discover the hope of this powerful truth: God’s peace is greater than your problems.

-Pastor Phillip

God is your continual salvation

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 71

GOD IS YOUR CONTINUAL SALVATION

Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.  (Psalm 71:3)

Life is hard.

Perhaps you’ve discovered this, that every person sees their fair share of trouble and finds themselves in need of deliverance.  Not only that, but maybe you’ve seen that as life goes on, we find ourselves in need of saving again and again.

That’s why we need a Savior!

Here’s good news.  In His great love, our God does not get weary of us coming to Him for help.  He doesn’t tire of our neediness or get annoyed with having to rescue His children again and again.  He is a refuge for His people, not just once, but all the time.

No matter how frequently you find yourself struggling, if you’re in Christ you can take heart in the hope of this truth: God is your continual salvation.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus gives you the grace that you need

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 4

JESUS GIVES YOU THE GRACE THAT YOU NEED

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  (Ephesians 4:7)

When God distributes grace to His people, it’s not a one-size-fits-all affair.  He doesn’t only hand out generic blessings to the masses or general gifts to everyone in the same way.

God knows just what grace you need, this moment, personally.

Your Heavenly Father wants to be lavish with you.  Not only does He know the particulars of your situation, but He cares about the details of your life!

Whatever you need right now, ask God for it and trust Him to meet that need in a personal way, in His perfect time.  Have faith and ask boldly, and as you do, may you be strengthened by the hope found in this truth: Jesus gives you the grace that you need.

-Pastor Phillip

Praise will revive your heart

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 69

PRAISE WILL REVIVE YOUR HEART

But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!

I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.

When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.

(Psalm 69:29-33)

Pain is no respecter of persons.  There is no “free pass” to forever avoid sorrow and suffering, and sometimes the night can seem so long that it simply drags you down.

That’s when praise is most powerful.

Whether for encouragement or forgiveness, for healing of old wounds or soothing of fresh ones, praise is the answer.  Whether your spirit has been brought low by the reality of hard circumstances or the deception of your enemy, praise is the answer.

You can choose to dwell on your sorrow, or you can choose to praise God for His salvation.

You can choose to focus on your hurt, or you can choose to praise God for your hope in Christ!

You can choose to listen to the voices of despair, or you can choose to speak and sing the truth of God’s deliverance, and when you do, you’ll discover incredible hope as you walk in this truth: praise will revive your heart.

-Pastor Phillip

p.s…

It is when our hearts are broken that God’s healing lifts us up.
It is when our souls feel empty that His presence fills our cup.
It is when the night seems longest that we most need day to start.
Oh, but our God hears the needy, so let praise revive your heart.
-Phillip Gonzales

God cares for you at all times

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 62

GOD CARES FOR YOU AT ALL TIMES

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  (Psalm 62:8)

God is not looking for shiny happy people all the time.  He’s not expecting His children to have it all together or to always be on top of things.

He knows the struggles we face.  He knows the pain we feel.  He knows the ways we fall, and like the gracious Father He is, it’s in those times that He draws nearest to us in love, and yearns for us to draw nearer to Him in faith.

When you’re hurting, run to God!

When you struggle, run to God!

When you stumble, run to God!

Pour out your heart in repentance to Him and watch what He does.  He will prove His love for you once again, and when He does, you’ll discover the hope of this truth: God cares for you at all times.

-Pastor Phillip


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