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

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 is a savior for all people

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.  They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice:  “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)

God is not an old, gray-haired white man with a beard.  Jesus did not speak to the masses in English.  Yet, if we’re not careful, when we look around at the diversity of the world around us it’s easy to drift into feelings of racial or cultural superiority.

However, the Gospel is not good news just for some people, but for all people.  Forgiveness is not offered only to particular countries, cultures or backgrounds, but to everyone.

This means that nobody is beyond the reach of the Gospel!  Nobody has a background too divergent or a life story too dark for the power of Christ to redeem.

Make no mistake.  God does indeed lovingly choose His children, but we are a diverse family, and everyone everywhere must have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Good News.

So, as you have opportunity to share the message of Christ with others, may you be emboldened by this truth.

Jesus is a Savior for all people.

-Pastor Phillip

God is the avenger of injustice

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  (Revelation 6:9-11)

For those who live in comfort, it is hard to imagine what true persecution is like.   A hurtful word or an unkind action from an unbeliever is usually all Christians in the west might suffer for their faith, but it is quite different in much of the rest of the world.

All throughout history and even in modern times, people have been beaten, imprisoned and killed because of their stand for Christ.

Some may ask, “If God is so loving, why does He allow His children to suffer?  If God is so good, why does He let His children die?  If God is so righteous, why does He ignore injustice?”

He has not forgotten.  He is waiting for the fullness of time.

Make no mistake.  All sin, all evil, and all injustice will be punished.  God has a cup filled with holy and righteous wrath, and it is prepared for all who violate His law and all who harm His people.  The only question is, who will drink it?

Do not forget that the glorious truth of the gospel is that Jesus Christ, the only one with no sin of His own to pay for, has offered to drink the cup for all who trust and follow Him!

This means two things.  First, if you are in Christ, then the full measure of God’s wrath against your sin has been received by Jesus Christ, and there is no more left for you!  Second, when you see or experience injustice and persecution in this life, know that either it will be paid for in full as God’s wrath is poured out on the guilty, or it will have been paid for in full upon the cross of Christ.

Either way, when your soul cries out for justice as you see all the evil in the world, you can find peace in this truth.

God is the avenger of injustice.

–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 is eternally holy, so you can be, too

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!  (Revelation 4:8b)

From eternity since before the world began, God was holy, perfect, righteous and good.

Throughout every age of humanity, God has been holy, perfect, righteous, and good.

Long after the cosmos have sighed their last breath, forever and ever God will still be holy, perfect, righteous and good…and that’s not all.

If you’ve been united with Christ in salvation, then you are being transformed into the image of Jesus who is the exact representation of God.  This means that if you’re in Christ, then you are being made holy, perfect, righteous and good as you surrender to the power of Christ within you!

No matter what you’ve done in the past, trust Him and follow Him today, and let this truth encourage you to keep growing in Christ.

God is eternally holy, so you can be, too.

–Pastor Phillip

God’s promise to you is peace

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.  (2 John 1:3)

Sometimes the greatest truths of God are also the simplest.  Sometimes the deepest revelations don’t come from more books, but more belief.

Do you believe God has grace for you?  Do you believe God has mercy for you?  Do you believe God has peace for you?  You must!

If you’re in Christ, that means all of Jesus’ obedience is credited to you and all of the favor He deserves from the Father now rests on you.  Grace doesn’t always mean pleasant circumstances, but it guarantees purpose and power and peace to all who will receive it by faith in Christ.

Trust Him today.  Believe His word, and rest in this truth.

God’s promise to you is peace.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your guarantee of eternal life

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.  (1 John 5:13)

Scripture is not given to us only for equipping, but also for encouragement.  God’s Word isn’t brought to us merely to teach us to follow commandments, but to help us find confidence in the status of our relationship with God!

If you’re in Christ, God doesn’t want you to think you have eternal life in Him – He wants you to KNOW it!  He doesn’t want you to just hope for a better future, but to have the kind of confidence in Christ that produces a better and more joyful life right now.

Christian, if you’ve trusted Jesus for salvation and surrendered to Him as Lord, then no matter what you do or is done to you, you can have confidence in this truth.

Jesus is your guarantee of eternal life.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus loved you with His life

By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  (1 John 3:16)

Love is not just a feeling, it is a choice to act.  It is a demonstrated desire to put someone else’s needs above your own.  Love is an action, not just an attitude.

We know this because it’s how Jesus Himself demonstrated what love really is.  He didn’t just speak, He sacrificed.  He didn’t just compliment, He committed himself by what He did.

And He did this for you!

When your heart wavers and you wonder if Jesus really loves you, look to the cross.  It is there that your hope and comfort are found, because it is there that you can discover this powerful truth.

Jesus loved you with His life.

–Pastor Phillip

More than Mary

As [Jesus] was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “The womb that bore you and the one who nursed you are blessed!”  He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed.”  (Luke 11:27-28)

Some traditions venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus.  They speak of the favor she had with God, the righteousness she had before God, and the blessing she received from God.

Yet, Jesus says that if you follow Him faithfully, hearing His words and obeying His commands, something incredible can be said of you.

You are more blessed than Mary.

–Pastor Phillip