Jesus is your guard against all evil

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Thessalonians 3

JESUS IS YOUR GUARD AGAINST ALL EVIL

But the Lord is faithful.  He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.  (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Jesus warned we will have trouble in this life, but trouble and evil are not the same thing.  He told us we would surely face persecution, but persecution and evil are not the same thing.

If you’re in Christ, then you also have an enemy.  Satan wants to bring pain into your life so that it drains your hope and eclipses the glory of God.  This is true evil, not just pain, but pain that hinders the purposes of God.

Here’s good news, though.  In Christ, nothing can stop God’s purposes for you!  No suffering or setback can derail His desire to bless you with a meaningful life that brings true joy to you through bringing glory to God.

This means that in Christ, you may have pain, but it has deep and lasting purpose.  You may have sorrow, but it need not steal your hope.

In Christ, your life matters.  You matter, and no plan for evil can ever take away God’s plan for good in your life.

In whatever season you find yourself, take courage in this truth: Jesus is your guard against all evil.

-Pastor Phillip

God has provided for your protection

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 6

GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The armor of God is your defense against the attacks of Satan.

It includes the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.  It is the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.  It is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Look, now, at those elements one more time.  Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the gospel of peace and the word of God.  Which of these things did you work for?  Which of them did you earn?

None.

To be sure, the armor must be applied, but never forget that God supplied it to you freely because of His love and grace.  You didn’t earn it, so you don’t have to work to keep it, simply rest and receive!

No matter what spiritual opposition comes your way, be strengthened and filled with hope by this truth: God has provided for your protection.

-Pastor Phillip

 

God delights to deliver you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 44

GOD DELIGHTS TO DELIVER YOU

For not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You delighted in them.  (Psalm 44:3)

The Psalmist knows that swords and shields aren’t the true source of protection, God is.

The Psalmist knows that strength and cunning aren’t the true source of deliverance, God is.

The Psalmist knows that clever plans and comprehensive strategies aren’t the true source of victory, God is.

Maybe deep down you know this too, but oh how easy it is for us to forget!

We pour our time and energy into devising our own deliverance and then collapse in despair when it doesn’t come through.  We invest our money and creativity in strengthening our positions and then fall apart when they don’t prevail.

Of course they don’t prevail.  They were never designed to.

God alone is the source of true strength and deliverance, because that’s the way He made things to be.  God alone is the source of true rescue and redemption, because that’s the way He planned for things to work.  God alone is your true hope, not your own abilities, and that is an incredibly good thing!

Why?

Because even though your deliverance plans may fail, God’s never do, and He delivers those in whom He delights.  That’s good news, because it means if you’re in Christ, you can have hope because of this truth: God delights to deliver you.

-Pastor Phillip


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


 

God is your passionate protector

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 7

GOD IS YOUR PASSIONATE PROTECTOR

My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
(Psalm 7:10-11)

What makes God angry?  What makes Him indignant?

Is it when you sin and come up short of His perfection?  Is it when you struggle and stumble and fall?  Is it when you fail to live up to His expectations of you, or don’t live out His commandments to you?

No.

If you’re in Christ, then Scripture promises that all of these things are completely covered under the blood of Jesus.  In fact, when God looks at you, He sees the perfection of His Son, and He is filled with joy and delight in you because of Christ!

What makes God indignant is when evil comes against you.

The Psalmist writes, “Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous…” and that’s exactly what God wants to do.

If you’re in Christ, then when God gets angry, it is not a reaction of wrath that motivates Him to punish you.  It is an upwelling of passionate love that leads Him to protect you!  He desires to come to your rescue, to leap to your aid, to defend you against the lies and attacks of the evil one and keep you safe in Him.

Yes, there will be trouble in this life, but if you’re in Christ, you can have confidence in this.  Even in times of trial, God is using your suffering to perfect you and protect you from eternal things that are far worse than whatever you might experience here and now.

He is working out all these things for good in the end, and though the road may not always be smooth, the One walking with you is strong, and you can have hope in this truth: God is your passionate protector.

-Pastor Phillip


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


 

God is your helmet of salvation

Scripture Notes on Psalm 140

O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. (Psalm 140:7)

In any good fight, a headshot is the way to win. A strong blow can render an opponent unconscious -or worse- and quickly determine who is victorious. That’s why protecting the head is so vital.

The same is true in our spiritual life.

The battles that make the most difference are the ones not waged against the body, but against the mind. The enemy knows that if he can conquer you there, he can control you everywhere else. That’s why guarding the mind is so vital!

Here’s good news, then. In Christ, God Himself is the one who can keep your mind secure. He has given you His Word and His Spirit, and as you set your mind on these things, your Heavenly Father will protect you from the lie attacks of the enemy.

Whatever battle you face, focus on Jesus and let His Word give you strength as you remember this powerful truth.

God is your helmet of salvation.

-Pastor Phillip

God never stops looking after you

Scripture Notes on Psalm 121

He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)

An old children’s song declares, “He’s got the whole world, in His hands; He’s got the whole wide world, in His hands…” but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

When hard times come, seasons of loss or dark nights of the soul, it can feel as if God isn’t really there at all, or if He is, that He must not be paying attention.

It’s in those times that the very survival of our soul depends on believing the promises of God. We hang on to all He has spoken through His Word, because this is our true and faithful anchor of hope.

The truth is, no matter how much it may seem like it, God will never abandon you! He will never check out on you! If you’re in Christ, you can take courage in any situation because of this powerful truth.

God never stops looking after you.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your guard against all evil

Scripture Notes on 2 Thessalonians 3

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Jesus warned we will have trouble in this life, but trouble and evil are not the same thing. He told us we would surely face persecution, but persecution and evil are not the same thing.

If you’re in Christ, then you also have an enemy. Satan wants to bring pain into your life so that it drains your hope and eclipses the glory of God. This is true evil, not just pain, but pain that hinders the purposes of God.

Here’s good news, though. In Christ, nothing can stop God’s purposes for you! No suffering or setback can derail His desire to bless you with a meaningful life that brings true joy to you through bringing glory to God.

This means that in Christ, you may have pain, but it has deep and lasting purpose. You may have sorrow, but it need not steal your hope.

In Christ, your life matters. You matter, and no plan for evil can ever take away God’s plan for good in your life.

In whatever season you find yourself, take courage in this truth.

Jesus is your guard against all evil.

-Pastor Phillip

God has provided for your protection

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 6

GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The armor of God is your defense against the attacks of Satan.

It includes the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. It is the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. It is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Look, now, at those elements one more time. Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the gospel of peace and the word of God. Which of these things did you work for? Which of them did you earn?

None.

To be sure, the armor must be applied, but never forget that God supplied it to you freely because of His love and grace. You didn’t earn it, so you don’t have to work to keep it, simply rest and receive!

No matter what spiritual opposition comes your way, be strengthened by this truth.

God has provided for your protection.

-Pastor Phillip

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

AUDIO VERSION
[click here for today’s. | click here to subscribe via iTunes.]

Let the Past be the Past

Let the Past be the Past

The white metal sign looked so lonely, its faded yellow trim standing out in a field of brittle grass and flowing weeds.

Once upon a time it had been an important warning marker to approaching boats.  At some point in the past it had served a purpose, had helped travelers avoid danger by not letting them float too close to the jetty that would likely bring their boat to a bitter end.

But that was a long time ago.

Now the sign was abandoned and irrelevant.  The world had moved on, leaving only echoes and memory of a past when the sign served a purpose.  To pay attention to it now would just be silly, because the danger of which it warned had long since passed.

Sometimes we live our lives like that.

Once upon a time we set up walls and gates to protect our hearts from grief and our lives from pain.  At some point we built defenses and routines that served a purpose.  They helped us avoid danger on our travels through life by not letting us get too close to other people.  They gave us the time and space we needed to heal and grow.

But maybe that was a long time ago.

Maybe paying too much attention to the warnings and watchtowers you created isn’t helping you anymore but is hurting you instead.  Maybe the habits you built to keep from drowning in sorrow have kept you from not just a river of tears, but the river of life as well.

Maybe there are still reasons to be on your guard, for sure, but maybe it’s been long enough that there aren’t as many as you think.  Maybe it’s time to trust God with your heart and take a chance today, and let the past be the past.

-Pastor Phillip

 

My God Will Fight for Me

Ever feel like you’re in a fight you can’t win?

“Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!
With God we shall do valiantly; it is He who will tread down our foes.”

– Psalm 108:12-13 

I don’t know about you, but I’m amazed at how instinctively I run to my strategies and backup plans in the day of trouble, rather than go first to my Savior.  I am so quick to jump behind the wheel and try to steer myself to safety, yet I have been given a promise FAR greater than any plan I could conceive.

My God will fight for me.

You and I have a spiritual enemy who desires to destroy us, but for those who’ve trusted Christ for salvation, we have a heavenly Father who has promised to preserve us!  No matter how great the struggle, “With God we shall do valiantly [because] it is He who will tread down our foes.”

That’s good news!  I’m trusting Him today.  How about you?

GET YOUR LAUNCH LIST BONUSES NOW!

Let's do this together.

WHAT TYPE OF ORGANIZATION IS THIS FOR? (Primarily)