You can overcome in Christ today

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“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.”  (Revelation 5:5)

What is that unsolvable problem in your life?

What is that question that can’t be answered, that stronghold that can’t be broken, that obstacle that can’t be overcome?

Weep and worry no more: Jesus can overcome it!

Jesus can break it!

Jesus can answer it!

Weep no more today, friend, for the Lion of Judah has already conquered the foe you face, and He is on your side.

–Pastor Phillip

God gives life to those who are strong in Him

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.  (Revelation 2:7)

God is a God of victory, so His people can be, too.  God sent His Son as the ultimate overcomer, so His people can overcome, too.

As Jesus persisted and resisted sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, so we who follow Him can do the same, and not only can we stand firm in the Spirit, we must!

Through Christ, God has given you power and authority to conquer anything Satan throws at you.  So, as you receive His strength by faith today, you can take courage in this truth.

God gives life to those who are strong in Him.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus understands your struggle

For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.  (Hebrews 2:18)

Do you ever struggle with temptation?  Jesus understands.

Do you sometimes wrestle with desires to meet God-given cravings in ungodly ways?  Jesus understands.

The particulars of a temptation are not its most powerful element.  Underneath every specific draw to sin is a root cause, a deeper desire that drives it.  Comfort, pleasure, pride, accumulation of power or avoidance of pain; with all of these Jesus is quite familiar.

Yet, not only did Jesus have the strength to resist temptation, He also has an abundance of that same strength to share with you!

When you are tempted, turn to Jesus, be at peace, and find hope in this powerful truth: Jesus understands your struggle.

–Pastor Phillip

God has provided for your protection

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Ephesians 6

GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The armor of God is your defense against the attacks of Satan.

It includes the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.  It is the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.  It is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Look, now, at those elements one more time.  Truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the gospel of peace and the word of God.  Which of these things did you work for?  Which of them did you earn?

None.

To be sure, the armor must be applied, but never forget that God supplied it to you freely because of His love and grace.  You didn’t earn it, so you don’t have to work to keep it, simply rest and receive!

No matter what spiritual opposition comes your way, be strengthened and filled with hope by this truth: God has provided for your protection.

-Pastor Phillip

 

In Christ, God wants you to do what you want

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 5

IN CHRIST, GOD WANTS YOU TO DO WHAT YOU WANT

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  (Galatians 5:16-17)

To be a Christian is to have new desires, deeper than the ones you had before.  Central to our understanding of the Gospel is the fact that God gives a new heart to those who are saved by Jesus.  With this new heart come new desires that need to be fulfilled.

We don’t have to spend time with God in prayer, we want to.  We don’t have to engage with God’s word, we get to.  We’re not required to gather with other believers, we rejoice in it because it’s what we truly want to do.

What Satan will do, then, is try to stir up our old desires more strongly, to cover up our new ones and distract us from doing the things we truly want to do.

Don’t let him deceive you!

God has given you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you follow Jesus, and the whole point is not that you would be restricted to duty, but released to delight.

Let the Spirit empower you to pursue your deeper desires in Christ, and as you do, thank God for the hope of this liberating truth: in Christ, God wants you to do what you want.

-Pastor Phillip


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In Christ, Your Difficulties Are Deposits

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 4

IN CHRIST, YOUR DIFFICULTIES ARE DEPOSITS

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Do you sometimes find it hard to follow Jesus?

Do you struggle with opposition or discouragement from others, or from yourself?

Is it difficult sometimes to obey what God commands, even though you know it’s for your good?

Take heart, your effort is not in vain!

In your walk with Christ, the roadblocks you face and the hardships you endure are not wasted; they are invested.  Each one is adding to your reward in heaven and your spiritual strength here and now.

You may not feel it.

You may not see it.

However, something is happening each time you obey.  Out of every struggle in which you are faithful to Jesus, a deposit is made into your heavenly account.  When you choose Jesus first and remain in Him, glory is added to your eternal reward.

It may be hard, but push forward and keep following in faith.  As you do, you’ll find the hope that comes from this truth: in Christ, your difficulties are deposits.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is for you when you’re tempted

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 10

GOD IS FOR YOU WHEN YOU’RE TEMPTED

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God is never disappointed in you when you’re tempted.  He doesn’t look at you with frustration and think, “They should be above this by now.”

In fact, in the Bible we see that Jesus Himself was tempted.  We see that all people are tempted.  We discover that temptation is simply our enemy, Satan, taking a good desire and twisting it out of its proper proportion, direction, timing or priority in our lives.

When God sees you being tempted, He doesn’t get annoyed; He goes into action!  Angels are dispatched to help you.  Circumstances are aligned to assist you.  Escape routes are opened and heaven itself glows with the anticipation of your victory over sin!

When temptation comes your way as it does to all of us, don’t believe for a second that you’re facing it alone.  Don’t accept for a moment the lie that you have to prove yourself to God or that He is displeased that you have struggles.

Jesus’ finished work on the cross paid the full price for your acceptance by the Father and provided you free access to His power.  So, when you find yourself in a struggle, let your heart be strengthened to walk in righteousness and resist the deceitfulness of sin, as you remember the hope of this truth: God is for you when you’re tempted.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is preparing your victory

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 16

GOD IS PREPARING YOUR VICTORY

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  (Romans 16:20)

Peace does not come merely from the absence of conflict, but by persistence through it.  Victory—especially in your spiritual life—is not found in the removal of opposition, but in triumph over it.

Your spiritual enemy will not relent and will not surrender, but here’s good news.  Neither will your God!

Your spiritual enemy will never cease trying to crush you, but here’s more good news.  Because of the finished work of Christ, it is Satan who will be crushed, not you.

This means that when trials and temptations come your way, you can rejoice!  You can stand strong and hold the line, and as you do, you will find hope in this truth: God is preparing your victory.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus has true power just for you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 19

JESUS HAS TRUE POWER JUST FOR YOU

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”  Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.  But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”  And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  (Acts 19:13-16)

Why did this story end so badly for these men who were trying to do a good thing?  Because they were dealing with power far greater than they realized, and that power didn’t belong to them.

They thought using the name of Jesus was just another incantation like all the rest.  They thought they could use it and duplicate the results they saw from the Apostle Paul.

They thought wrong.

The name of Jesus is powerful beyond compare.  It is not part of some religious ceremony or ritual.  Rather, it is the container for the very nature of Almighty God.

Not only that, but the name and power of Jesus are not available to just anyone, but only those who have trusted Him as Savior by surrendering to Him as Lord and who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

This means that while the seven sons of Sceva were shamed for lack of power, if you’re in Christ, you can stand in Jesus’ name!  So as you face opposition and temptation in this life, take heart, and find hope in this truth: Jesus has true power just for you.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus is your voice of life

God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 10

JESUS IS YOUR VOICE OF LIFE

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”  (John 10:10)

There is no “silver lining” to sin.  Yes, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but that is completely based on grace and not at all on any redeeming value of the sin itself.

But your enemy likes to tell you otherwise.

“It’s not that bad,” says the thief, but he is only luring you in for the kill.  “Nobody has to know,” says the thief, and that’s exactly where he wants you: in the dark of secrecy where no one will hear you scream.  The thief wants only one thing for you: destruction.

Then there is the Shepherd.

“It’s so much better than this,” says the Shepherd, longing for you to come out of the alleyway into the sun.  “You don’t have to live like that,” says the Shepherd, holding out your ticket to greater joy and peace.  The Shepherd wants only one thing for you, too: abundant, glorious life.

Whose voice will you trust and follow today?

As you make decisions about the way you live your life, may you refuse to give in to the shouts of the thief, and choose instead to listen to the whispers of the Shepherd.  As you do, you’ll find hope in the results of this truth: Jesus is your voice of life.

-Pastor Phillip


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