Vision, Distraction, and Expectations

Scripture Notes Header

“So I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work and cannot come down.  Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?’”  (Nehemiah 6:3)

Fulfilling a vision means being able to say no to the distractions of less important things.  It requires boldness and determination, and a willingness to hold the line even (and especially) in the face of criticism.

When it seems like everyone is pressing and everything is urgent, just remember this.  Don’t let the expectations of others derail the destiny God has for your life.

–Pastor Phillip

Wisdom, Stature, and Favor (Luke 2:52)

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.  (Luke 2:52)

Would you increase in your stature and standing in the world?  Would you maximize and take advantage of every opportunity to grow stronger in body, mind and spirit?

Seek God’s wisdom, and the stature will follow.

Would you grow more highly favored by the people around you?  Would you be looked on with deference and high regard by those who cross your path?

Receive and rest in the incredible favor of God that you have in Christ, and the confidence that comes from walking in God’s favor will produce an incredible result.

It will cause others to favor you, too.

–Pastor Phillip

God saves you for his glory

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 79

GOD SAVES YOU FOR HIS GLORY

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for Your name’s sake!  (Psalm 79:9-10)

There is an order to all creation, a cosmic balance in the physical universe that was designed to work in harmony.  When that balance is disturbed, chaos ensues.

The same is true in the spiritual world.  There is a sequence, a balance, a divine order of priority that God established, and when things are in their rightful place, there is harmony and peace.

This is why it is so vital to remember the preeminence of the glory of God.

He is not a selfish tyrant seeking an ego boost.  He is a loving Father who knows how His universe and His people will best flourish, and that only happens when all things are focused on bringing glory to God.

As you pray for help and deliverance, let your heart and mind be tuned to the thing that matters most.  You will find your greatest peace when you follow this guiding principle: God saves you for His glory.

-Pastor Phillip

God gave you a greater calling

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 1

GOD GAVE YOU A GREATER CALLING

Paul, a bondservant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God. (Romans 1:1)

The issue of calling is one we deal with throughout our life.  As we grow up, we try to find our calling, that thing that will be our specific niche in the world.  We’re searching for that thing we were born to do, the person we were born to be.

As we age, sometimes we look back and wonder if we fulfilled our calling well, or maybe we wonder if we missed it completely.  We’re wondering if we did what we were really supposed to do.

Paul had no question as to what his calling was.  It was this that brought power, focus, and clarity to his life.  Paul had been well-educated, but academics were not his calling.  He was a skilled tradesman who made fine tents, but his job was not his calling.  No, Paul’s calling was to be a servant of Jesus and an apostle of the Good News about Christ.

Simply put, Paul was sent by Jesus to serve.

Everywhere he went, with everyone he spoke, Paul had a mission to share and to serve by telling them about Jesus.  His training was secondary because Jesus called him.  His gifting was secondary because Jesus called him.

And, if you’re in Christ, Jesus has called you to share and serve, too.

Your purpose in life is not defined by other people or by any earthly pursuit, but by something higher.  More than your job, more than even your family, Jesus has sent you to share the good news wherever you go, and this is your greatest calling!

That means when the things and people of this world inevitably let you down, you can still have hope as you remember this truth: God gave you a greater calling.

-Pastor Phillip


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God’s presence brings you peace

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 27

GOD’S PRESENCE BRINGS YOU PEACE

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.

For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;
He will lift me high upon a rock.  (Psalm 27:4-5)

What’s your “one thing?”

Is it to be loved?  Is it to be respected?  Is it financial success or social standing?

Is it the power to choose your own destiny, or the influence to shape the destiny of others?

Is it safety?  Is it security for your family?  Is it that your kids would turn out all right, or that your retirement plan would work out?

Is it that your parents would stay together, or that your grandkids would be safe?

What’s the “one thing” you’re asking of the Lord more than anything else?

For David, his “one thing” is simply this: that he would live his life in the presence of God.

You see, even though all of those other things have their place, when you’re in God’s presence, you can have peace about everything else.

Whether your life is stormy or calm right now, may your heart be drawn in by the goodness of Jesus to make His presence your greatest priority.  As you do, you’ll receive the hope that comes through this truth: God’s presence brings you peace.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your never-failing source

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Matthew 6

GOD IS YOUR NEVER-FAILING SOURCE

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light…” (Matthew 6:22)

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this…” (Matthew 6:8b-9a)

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, there is a single, powerful thread that runs through Jesus’ teachings on giving (vv 1-4), praying (vv 5-9), fasting (vv16-18), possessions (19-21), and anxiousness about physical needs (vv25-32). The main idea is simply this:

God knows what you need, and true peace is found by letting Him be your source, not the world around you.

Are you looking for honor and validation? Seek it from your Father above, not the people around you.

Are you seeking a sense of security? Find it in the treasures of heaven, not the trinkets of earth.

Are you searching for inner peace? You will discover it when you learn to trust God for your needs, instead of carrying the burden on your own.

You see, when your heart is focused on Jesus, the people and things and needs and cares around you won’t seem so important. When your life is centered in Christ, God will take care of the details you’ve entrusted to Him.

So, may you fix your gaze today on the One who loves you most, because when you do, you’ll discover great hope in this truth: God is your never-failing source.

-Pastor Phillip


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Your world will be in order when God is on the throne

Scripture Notes on Psalm 132

Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. (Psalm 132:8-9)

So often it’s easy for our lives to get chaotic. Work or school, family or finances, personal goals or other priorities can quickly drift out of sync if we’re not careful.

Yet, how often we seek to bring ourselves peace and order through strategies, rather than through our Savior! This should not be so.

When God is in His rightful place at the center of your life, everything else must fall in line. It doesn’t mean circumstances will always suit your preferences, but as you focus on Jesus and follow where He leads, you will certainly have peace.

No matter how crazy your life is right now, turn to Jesus and be encouraged by this truth.

Your world will be in order when God is on the throne.

-Pastor Phillip

God saves you for His glory

Scripture Notes on Psalm 79

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for Your name’s sake!  (Psalm 79:9-10)

There is an order to all creation, a cosmic balance in the physical universe that was designed to work in harmony. When that balance is disturbed, chaos ensues.

The same is true in the spiritual world. There is an order, a balance, a divine order of priority that God established, and when things are in their rightful place, there is harmony and peace.

This is why it is so vital to remember the preeminence of the glory of God.

He is not a selfish tyrant seeking an ego boost. He is a loving father who knows how His universe and His people will best flourish, and that only happens when all things are focused on bringing glory to God.

As you pray for help and deliverance, let your heart and mind be tuned to the thing that matters most. You will find your greatest peace comes when you remember this great principle. God saves you for his glory.

-Pastor Phillip

Saying “No” is More Powerful Than You Realize

Do you struggle with saying “yes” too much like I do?

It has been said many times, in many ways, by many people, yet it is so vital and powerful a principle that it bears repeating.

The thing that will bring power and purpose to your life is not saying “yes” to the right opportunities, but saying “no” to the endless diversions that would distract you from what really matters most for you.

Hobbies are fine, and can provide needed relaxation and keep you sharp in other areas.  However, it is far too easy in a hyper-connected, always-on culture of endless options to simply bounce from thought to thought, project to project, and never truly make any difference at all.

It’s easy to say “yes” to everything.  It takes courage to say “no”, and that is where the power comes from.