Jesus is completely in control

Jesus Christ [is] the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.  (Revelation 1:5)

The world is run by rulers of all sorts and kinds.

Some are elected representatives, and others, self-appointed tyrants.  Some lead by example and others rule by force and fear.  Some act in ways that honor God and benefit their people, while others use their authority for selfish ends.

Yet, none of the rulers of earth truly have the final say.  Jesus does.

Whatever the political landscape looks like today, remember this.  Above every earthly power sits the exalted throne of the risen Christ.  Above the authority of every grand emperor or petty politician is the rulership of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

He is infinite in power, boundless in wisdom and altogether good.  So, even when governments seem to run unchecked and societies seem to come unhinged, you can take comfort in this liberating truth…

Jesus is in complete control.

–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

God’s grace is your level ground

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 26

GOD’S GRACE IS YOUR LEVEL GROUND

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.
(Psalm 26:11-12)

Integrity is a theme that comes up all throughout the Psalms and Proverbs.  It is a consistency of action and behavior, a harmony between what you say and what you do and a life lived according to God’s principles.

We see that this kind of life produces blessing and favor, and it is this kind of life that provides the “level ground” we all need in order to build a life of stability and peace.

Too bad it’s impossible.

To live with 100% integrity all the time, in all circumstances sounds like a great goal, but it’s one you can never reach on your own.  Try as hard as you like, but somewhere, sometime, in some circumstance you’ll find even the best of intentions can go wrong.

That’s why we need God’s grace!

It is only when we stop trusting in our own efforts and abilities that we can discover God’s power at work in us.  It is only after we’ve laid down the reigns and handed over the keys that God can take our life and steer it in the right direction, permanently.

Friend, have you been trying to find some level ground in your life?  Have you been working hard to live with total integrity but find yourself struggling?  Take heart!

Ask God for His power and let go of your right to control.  Don’t depend on your own efforts to work things out for you, trust in His mercy and love.  As you do, you’ll find hope in the reality of this truth: God’s grace is your level ground.

-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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God secures those who seek His purposes

Scripture Notes on Psalm 122

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!  (Psalm 122:6)

God wants peace for His people. He desires peace for the city He loves. Though war and strive more often rule the day in the Middle East, God’s heart yearns for stability there.

Does yours?

When we take on the heart of God, we begin to see as He sees, feel what He feels. We begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. We start to care about what He really cares about, and when we do, something incredible happens.

Our hearts are made secure.

Do you want greater stability in your soul? Ask God to give you His heart for the world and then act according to what He shows you. When you do, you will discover a new level of strength as you reap the benefit of this truth from God’s Word.

God secures those who seek His purposes.

-Pastor Phillip

You are secure because God stays the same

Scripture Notes on Psalm 102

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.
(Psalm 102:25-28)

It has been said of life that the only constant is change. All around us, we see nations in turmoil, people in confusion, and even the earth itself constantly in a state of flux.

But God stands above the fray.

God made the universe, so He is not affected by its instability. He formed each person and knows them completely, so He is not caught offguard by their unpredictability. He knows you, too, so He is not surprised by your ever-changing circumstances.

Here’s why this is such good news. Since God is perfectly secure even when everything changes, if you’re in Christ, you can be, too.

Because God never changes, He is your rock of stability. Because He is steadfast, He is your anchor of strength.

When all around you is changing and you feel the fear of uncertainty, take heart in this truth. You are secure because God stays the same.

-Pastor Phillip

TEACHING: The Catamaran

Do you ever feel like you’re just not going anywhere?

Stability. It’s someone almost everyone wants, but what about when you’re stable, but don’t seem to be going anywhere? Join Pastor Phillip Gonzales for the conclusion of “The Cat, the Ketchup, & the Catamaran: unlocking the power of the Christian life.”

MESSAGE PREACHED AT GATEWAY GRACE FELLOWSHIP, 5/13/12

 

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