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

Jesus is the anchor of your soul

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf… (Hebrews 6:19-20a)

Of all the storms in this life, perhaps none is more troubling than uncertainty.  Bad news and hard times can at least be faced head-on and dealt with, but how maddening it is when you just don’t know.

Not only that, but what more painful uncertainty could there be than not knowing where you stand with God?

That’s why Jesus is such a great Savior!  Not only does He make righteous all who come to Him by faith, but He himself is the personal guarantee of your acceptance by the Father.

No matter what your past reveals, how bad your present circumstances are or how uncertain your future may appear, if you’re in Christ, you can find strength as you meditate on this truth: Jesus is the anchor of your soul.

–Pastor Phillip

When you focus on Jesus, He steadies your heart

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 75

WHEN YOU FOCUS ON JESUS, HE STEADIES YOUR HEART

When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars.  (Psalm 75:3)

Our world is full of instability.  From economies in turmoil to civil unrest, discord in the workplace and division at home, sometimes it can feel like the whole thing is getting ready to tumble down.

Yet, there is hope for the believer.  There is a promise for all who are in Christ, that even though everything around you may be shaking and unstable, you can have a steadfast peace in the midst of it all.

When your world feels insecure, remember and apply this powerful, hope-building truth.  When you focus on Jesus, He steadies your heart.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s love makes you steadfast

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 52

GOD’S LOVE MAKES YOU STEADFAST

“See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
(Psalm 52:7-8)

The world has its way of seeking security, but it will always ultimately fail.  Power and wealth may bring stability for a season, but eventually they only produce bitter disappointment.

On the other hand, look at those whose hope and security are found in the Lord.  You will find stability in their heart.  You will discover joy in their life.  They are steadfast, because their trust is in something that never fails: the steadfast love of God.

May that be your trust, too, and as you keep your eyes fixed on Him, may you experience the hope found in this truth: God’s love makes you steadfast.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus wants to give you fruit that lasts

God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 15

JESUS WANTS TO GIVE YOU FRUIT THAT LASTS

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.”  (John 15:16a)

If you’re like most people, at some level you want to make an impact on the world.  You want to feel that your time on earth has meaning, that your life is one of consequence, that at least someone or something will be better off because you were here.

Jesus wants the same for you!

Of course, it is neither helpful nor Biblical to live in a state of restless worry about whether or not you’re “doing enough for God.”  If you know that feeling or if you’ve been in that place, though, here’s some good news.

If you’re seeking Jesus and loving Him, HE will accomplish through you all that He wants done, and HE will ensure that the fruit actually lasts.  Because it’s all about Him, it all depends on Him, and He’s very, very dependable.

So, trust God today to do His job, and let yourself be free to rest in Him.  Relax.  Remember that God’s got it covered, and as you do, you’ll discover the hope found in this truth: Jesus wants to give you fruit that lasts.

-Pastor Phillip


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God’s love is your security

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 21

GOD’S LOVE IS YOUR SECURITY

For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved. (Psalm 21:7)

Think, for a moment, about all of the resources that a king has at his disposal.

He has people to serve him.
He has treasure to provide for him.
He has a castle to protect him.
He has an army to defend him.

Yet, for David, Israel’s greatest king, these things are not the source of his sense of security.  David’s ability to be steadfast in any circumstance rests on one simple, but solid, foundation.

He trusts in the love of God.

Above all of the other foundations in David’s life, the truth that God loves him gives him confidence and security and ensures that “he shall not be moved.

And it can do the same for you.

If you’re in Christ, may you experience–deep in your bones–the beautiful steadfastness that comes from simply knowing God loves you, and may you be filled with hope by this wonderful truth: God’s love is your security.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus gives you strength as you obey

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 6

JESUS GIVES YOU STRENGTH AS YOU OBEY

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I tell you?”  (Luke 6:46)

At the core of the Christian faith is not a list of rules or “do’s and don’ts,” but a relationship.  It is absolutely crucial, though, to know what kind of relationship it is, or else we may miss the point.

It is not a relationship of duty, but of delight.

It is not a relationship of fear, but of joy.

It is not a relationship of obligation, but of love.

And, it is not a relationship of equals, but one between grateful servants and the kind and gracious Master who both cares for and commands us for His glory and our joy.

Now, in the Christian life, great emphasis is often placed on the importance of “being.”  How right this is!  It is the first and deepest need of every follower of Christ to simply abide with Him.

But it is not the only need.

You see, water is important to the body, but we also need food to live.  “Being” is vital to the spirit, but we also must DO what Jesus says if we are to truly be disciples.

To know about Jesus or even to believe His claims intellectually is not the same thing as trusting and obeying Him.  What matters most to God is not spiritual knowledge, but a surrendered heart, and for that obedient soul He has a special promise…

“When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well-built.  (Luke 6:48b)

May you find rest in the “being” aspect of the Christian life, and may you find strength in the “doing” to which Jesus called you.  As you obey God in your everyday life, you’ll be empowered by the hope of this truth: Jesus gives you strength as you obey.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your stability

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalms 15-16

GOD IS YOUR STABILITY

He who does these things shall never be moved.  (Psalm 15:5b)
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.  (Psalm 16:8-9)

We live in a changing world.

Maybe you’ve felt it before, the frustration of counting on something, only to have it shift underneath you or be taken away entirely.  Foundations you expected would hold you suddenly collapse or turn in to something entirely unforeseen.

Look, then, at how the actions prescribed in Psalm 15 are a pattern for a stable life.  David describes a life that is connected to the surrounding world in ways that look after the good of others instead of being focused solely on personal advancement.  It’s a life of truth, honor and integrity, and David says that’s the hallmark of a life that “shall never be moved.”

Does he mean there will be no change in that life?  Of course not.

He means that a life lived according to God’s word will have a steadfastness of heart that will not be subject to the changing seas of the world outside, because that person’s inner world will be stable and secure.

How does this happen, then?  How do we have such a life?  Is it in checklists and perfect performance?

While personal discipline is always a good thing, the Psalmist knows that our own efforts will only take us so far before they fail, and he has an answer that makes all the difference.

“I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”

When you keep your mind focused on Almighty God in the person of Jesus Christ, He becomes your stability.  Like fixing your eyes on a point on the shore when you’re out on a troubled sea, having your mind and your heart set steadfastly on Jesus will help the rest of your life be steadfast, too.

Keep His Word in your mind.  Keep His praise on your lips.  Keep His people around you.  Keep His goodness before you.

As you do, your heart will be stable, no matter how turbulent your circumstances become, and your life will be filled with the hope that comes from this truth: God is your stability.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus loved you with His life

Scripture Notes on 1 John 3

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