A Legacy of Faith

Scripture Notes Header

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure, dwells in you as well.  For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.  (2 Timothy 1:5-7)

For what reason does Paul remind Timothy to press on and increase in the power of God?  Because of Timothy’s godly heritage.

A legacy of faith is both an opportunity and a responsibility.  It provides a set of shoulders on which to stand, and a charge from God to rise to the occasion so that others may stand on your shoulders, too.

If you come from a long line of believers, may God give you strength and will to follow the path they started.  If you don’t, may He give you courage to blaze the trail for those who will come behind.

–Pastor Phillip

Walking in truth leads to multiplied joy

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  (3 John 1:3-4)

Sometimes it’s easy to start thinking that our walk with God is just between us and Him…but it’s bigger than that.

Sometimes, if we’re not careful, we can slip into believing that our beliefs are only a private matter…but they’re not.

Your life has an impact on more people than you know, and so your relationship with God is a profoundly important thing!  Since what you believe drives how you behave, you have the potential to help or harm the people around you, simply by how committed you are to the truth of God’s Word and the life of Christ.

Here’s some good news.  When you walk faithfully with Jesus, you are not just blessing yourself, and you’re not just blessing God.  You are blessing the world around you because your life is affecting it with the transforming love of Christ!

Let this reality encourage and strengthen you to keep moving forward on the narrow road of faith.

Walking in truth leads to multiplied joy.

–Pastor Phillip

God has granted you the ability to grow

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence…  For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith…”  (2 Peter 1:3, 5a)

God’s amazing grace is the most incredible gift imaginable.  It is His undeserved favor, His unbreakable love, His unstoppable redemption, and if you’re in Christ, it is His irrevocable gift to you.

But it gets even better than that.

God has not only given you right standing with Him, but also the power to stand for Him.  He has given you the ability to learn and grow, to increase your knowledge of His love and amplify your experience of His power.

God’s plan for you is not that you would become a weak recipient of spiritual welfare, but a strong participant in spiritual warfare.  His grace is not the enabling force for you to sit back and do nothing, but the empowering strength for you to stand up and do something that matters with your life.

Never forget that you have great power in Christ, and with it, a great opportunity and responsibility to follow Him in deeper and deeper ways.

Rest in His grace, then work for His glory as you are strengthened by this truth.

God has granted you the ability to grow.

–Pastor Phillip

Working Within the System (Luke 2:22-24)

And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, [Joseph and Mary] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”).  (Luke 2:22-24)

Of all the people in history, Joseph and Mary could have made the best case that the rules didn’t apply to them.

“Our baby is special; he doesn’t need to go through the system like everyone else does, and neither do we,” they could have said.

But they didn’t.

–Pastor Phillip

The weight of performance isn’t yours to bear

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 3

THE WEIGHT OF PERFORMANCE ISN’T YOURS TO BEAR

And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? … [Jesus’] name—by faith in His name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.  (Acts 3:12, 16)

When people saw a lame man healed right in front of them, they were astonished.  Naturally, they looked at Peter and John as “miracle workers” because they had, in fact, just demonstrated a miracle.

Yet, Peter was quick to deflect the praise and redirect the credit to the one to whom it really belonged–Jesus.

The more God uses us to bless people, the easier it is to slip into the snare of believing our own publicity.  In our celebrity-obsessed culture, it can be tempting to start taking the credit for good things we’ve done, rather than remembering and reminding others it’s the power of Christ within us.

The problem is, credit always brings with it the weight of future expectations.

If you are the one doing wonderful things, then you’re on the hook to keep it up.  If you are the miracle worker, then the world will keep looking to you to produce more and more, until the day when you don’t come through for them, and they turn on you.

Jesus doesn’t want that for you.

When you cultivate a proper perspective, you’ll be able to receive praise graciously but still make sure the credit goes to God.  It’s not that you downplay your role, but rather that you lift up Jesus.  The great thing is that as people are continually reminded that any great thing you do is because of Christ, it means that you’re off the hook because Jesus is on the job.

As you receive compliments, let people know that any good in you is because of Jesus.  When you do, you’ll find out just how much hope can come from this truth: the weight of performance isn’t yours to bear.

-Pastor Phillip


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God has granted you the ability to grow

Scripture Notes on 2 Peter 1

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence… For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith…”  (2 Peter 1:3, 5a)

God’s amazing grace is the most incredible gift imaginable. It is His undeserved favor, His unbreakable love, His unstoppable redemption and if you’re in Christ, it is His irrevocable gift to you.

But it gets even better than that.

God has not only given you right standing with Him, but also the power to stand for Him. He has given you the ability to learn and grow, to increase your knowledge of His love and amplify your experience of His power.

God’s plan for you is not that you would become a weak recipient of spiritual welfare, but a strong participant in spiritual warfare. His grace is not the enabling force for you to sit back and do nothing, but the empowering strength for you to stand up and do something that matters with your life.

Never forget that you have a great power in Christ, and with it, a great opportunity and responsibility to follow Him in deeper and deeper ways.

Rest in His grace, then work for His glory as you are strengthened by this truth.

God has granted you the ability to grow.

-Pastor Phillip

Space for Change

Jesus brings change, but does it stick?

“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold… And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.” – Luke 19:45-48

It’s one thing to make a scene and drive out a few money men for an afternoon.  It’s quite another to set up shop in their spot from then on and not have these business people come back to reclaim their livelihood.

Something about Jesus’ person and His teaching has a profound way of making space for lasting change.  How telling, that though factions of business and religious leaders undoubtedly wanted to drag things back to the way they were, they could not because “the people were hanging on His words.”

It wouldn’t be long, though, before the same crowd that hung on Jesus’ words demanded His body be hung on a cross.  It seems that though Jesus’ touching and teaching can make space for lasting change, how long it lasts is often up to us.