God’s gospel is about God’s glory

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And I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.  And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”  (Revelation 14:6-7)

The word “gospel” in Greek means good news.  When used in Scripture, though, it isn’t just news of any random thing.  Rather, when the Bible uses the word “gospel,” it carries with it the nuance of an announcement of triumph, a declaration of victory.

Typically we see this word connected with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but here in Revelation we see something related, but different.  Here we see an angel of heaven, announcing an “eternal gospel” to all the peoples of the earth.  So then, what is this good news that has been true for all eternity?

That God is glorious, and worthy of worship.

Here’s why this is good news…

We were created to worship and serve God.  Since this is the point of our existence, true joy and fulfillment in our lives can only come through bringing glory to God.  For most of us, though, it can be difficult to worship God when we’re in the midst of painful seasons.

However, something special happens when we realize that the main point of God’s redemptive work is not our happiness, but His glory.  When we embrace this reality, we are empowered to worship God fully and freely no matter what our circumstances look like, because we realize that God’s goodness is not determined by our experience, therefore our worship of Him need not be, either.

This is truly good news for you, because it means that no matter how difficult your life may seem today, you can still experience joy, meaning and fulfillment as you receive and embrace this truth.

God’s Gospel is about God’s glory.

–Pastor Phillip

A woman’s place (Luke 8:1-3)

Soon afterward [Jesus] was traveling from one town and village to another, preaching and telling the good news of the Kingdom of God.  The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary, called Magdalene (seven demons had come out of her); Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others who were supporting them from their possessions.  (Luke 8:1-3)

In a culture that told women to stay at home, Jesus invited them to come along with Him on His travels.

In a culture where women were relegated to “women’s work,” Jesus allowed them to support the most important work of all: His.

If the question is asked, “Where is a woman’s place?” the answer is clear.

A woman’s place is with Jesus, valued and vital to the Kingdom.

–Pastor Phillip

Service (Luke 4:39)

So [Jesus] stood over [Peter’s mother-in-law] and rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She got up immediately and began to serve them.  (Luke 4:39)

In the culture of Jesus’ day, it was customary and expected for a woman to serve as a hostess whenever guests were in her home.  So, the fact that Peter’s mother-in-law responded to her healing by serving is at one level simply a societal norm.

At another level, however, she is a perfect illustration of a proven truth.  One of the surest ways to tell if someone has been deeply touched by Jesus is their willingness to serve others.

How are you doing?

–Pastor Phillip

Your reward is on the way

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 6

YOUR REWARD IS ON THE WAY

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Galatians 6:9-10)

Sometimes doing good gets old.  Don’t pretend like you don’t know the feeling; you do.

You’ve been giving and giving but gotten little thanks in return.

You’ve been working and working but seen little fruit from your labors.

You’ve been praying and praying but nothing seems to change.

Don’t let the waiting wear you out!

Hang in there, your answer is coming.  Keep going, your work is going to pay off.  Hold on to hope, keep doing good, and be encouraged the hope of this simple truth: your reward is on the way.

-Pastor Phillip


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God gives you power to strengthen His Church

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 14

GOD GIVES YOU POWER TO STRENGTHEN HIS CHURCH

So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the Church.  (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Jesus never intended His Church to be a people who only pursue Him with their minds.  He did not send the Holy Spirit simply to help us live moral lives.  No, Jesus gives power to His people so that He would be glorified by building His Church.

The Church is a people among whom God wants to reveal Himself in deep and glorious ways.  He wants to display His love to the world by the way we love each other.  He wants to show His generosity to the world by the way we give.  He wants to show His compassion to the world by the way we serve those in need. And, He wants to show His power to the world by the way we walk in the supernatural.

This means God is ready and willing to give you more power to the degree that you’re ready to steward it well.  It means He wants to pour out His Spirit on you with as much abundance as you’re able to handle!

God’s power is awaiting a people who will direct it to the place He wants it to go, to the people who are the passion of His heart.

Open your eyes and your hands today.  Receive this gift and seek to use it for the goal God intended.  As you do, you’ll discover the hope found in this truth: God gives you power to strengthen His Church.

-Pastor Phillip


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Your work for the Kingdom has infinite worth

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 9

YOUR WORK FOR THE KINGDOM HAS INFINITE WORTH

Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Everybody likes rewards.  When we do something difficult or pursue a significant goal, we expect there will be a reward for our effort.  Not only that, but usually the greater the reward, the more valuable the project and the work required to obtain it.

Look, then, at the reward prepared for the Saints of God.

It is eternal.

It is unfading.

It is a glorious new life in the presence of Jesus, loved and embraced for eternity—an infinite reward.

If that’s how great the reward is, think how valuable your work for the Kingdom must be!

Press on in serving God today.  Push ahead in all the things to which He’s called you.  Don’t let discouragement or doubt rob you of the hope of this empowering truth: your work for the Kingdom has infinite worth.

-Pastor Phillip


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God will take care of the end result

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 3

GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE END RESULT

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  (1 Corinthians 3:6)

We live in a fast-paced, results-oriented world that prizes achievement above most everything else.  So, we go go go, push push push, trying to get ahead and get the results we need.

But the Kingdom is not like that.

In the Kingdom, we all have our own parts to play.  Some plant, some water.  Perhaps one could say some fertilize and others help with pest control.  However you see the analogy, though, one thing is sure.

God, not us, ultimately makes it grow.

This is great news because it takes away the pressure of the end product!  You’re not in charge of the final outcome, God is.  You’re not on the hook for the ultimate goal, God is.  Your responsibility is simply to do your best to serve with excellence in whatever way He’s called you, and leave the results to Him.

So, relax.  You can be free to serve with joy and peace because of the hope of this truth: God will take care of the end result.

-Pastor Phillip


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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 has Kingdom power just for you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 6

GOD HAS KINGDOM POWER JUST FOR YOU

And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.  Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty… And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.  (Acts 6:2-3, 8)

There is no such thing as a “professional Christian.”

To be sure, there are callings to Christian vocation, but while there are distinctions in role and responsibility, in the Kingdom there is no hierarchy of importance.

Stephen was not an elder or Apostle; he was a disciple.  He was not a senior leader; he was a servant leader.  Stephen was chosen for what some might consider an “ordinary” task, serving tables, yet the fruit of Stephen’s life was profound.

This “table server” was doing ministry and demonstrating miracles just like the twelve Apostles.  When brought on trial before the Jewish religious leaders, he gave just as strong and powerful a defense of the Gospel as Peter and John.

Though Stephen’s role in the church was one that some might call “ordinary,” that didn’t make him second class.  In fact, by operating within scope of his practical gifting, he was enabled to walk in the power of the Spirit.

Why?

Because Kingdom power is for everyone!  The Holy Spirit doesn’t only flow through preachers and poets and players of music.  He lives in all of us who have been born again through Christ, and loves for all of us to follow His leading and demonstrate His life in powerful ways.

So, as you go about the regular routine of your life, remember this.  No matter what role or gifting you have in the body of Christ, you can have hope in this truth: God has Kingdom power just for you!

-Pastor Phillip


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Your worship can bless the world

God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 12

YOUR WORSHIP CAN BLESS THE WORLD

Mary took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair.  The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  (John 12:3)

It was a small act, a little gesture, but it had a big impact on the environment.

Mary’s ointment was intended as a gift for Jesus.  It was directed at Him, given to Him, focused on Him.  However, the aroma of the offering spread much wider, blessing many others as a result.

Do you realize your life can be like that?

When you worship Jesus with your life, bringing your praise, your gifts, your service, if it comes from a heart devoted to Him, it is a fragrant offering that blesses not only Jesus Himself but others in His house as well.

May you never lose sight of the big implications of this hope-filled truth: Your worship can bless the world.

-Pastor Phillip


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