God has perfect rest prepared for you

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And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire–and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.  (Revelation 15:2)

In several places throughout Scripture, heaven is described and images of God’s throne room are given.  A consistent feature in these descriptions is the sea of glass, an expanse before God’s throne that is clear like crystal and perfectly smooth.  (See Exodus 24:10, Ezekiel 1:22, 26)

It is a picture of peace and tranquility.

Contrast this image with how we might visualize the state of our world today, and so often the state of our hearts.  Far from a sea of glass, these things are better described as muddy streams or turbulent oceans.  Over and under, forward and back, murky and uncertain, these are better descriptions of our life here on earth, so is it any wonder that sometimes we feel emotionally exhausted by all the ups and downs?

But if you’re in Christ, God has something better planned for you.

One of the beauties of our future hope is that it is a hope of rest.  For every believer in Christ, once we finish our time on the uncertain seas of earth, we have a glorious reward waiting for us in the harbor of heaven.

So, no matter how stormy your life is at the moment, hang on and take heart as you embrace the hope that comes from this truth.

God has perfect rest prepared for you.

–Pastor Phillip

Your accuser has no power over you

God's Hope for Your Heart Header

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’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

God calms the anxiousness of the humble

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.  (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Anxiousness creeps in when we take upon ourselves the burden of having to figure things out on our own.  Worry takes over when we dwell on all the circumstances beyond our control.

This is a subtle form of pride, and it is a cancer of the soul.

The cure is to humble ourselves before God, to think and act in a way that acknowledges and embraces this simple fact: God is in control, not us, and that’s a good thing.  Humility frees us from our addiction to control and instead, repeatedly and joyfully hands over the reigns to God.

This is why God can take away the anxieties of the humble, because they let Him.

Don’t hold on to your worries and fears.  Turn them over to Jesus and let Him give you peace through this glorious truth.

God calms the anxiousness of the humble.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your sovereign peace

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Colossians 3

JESUS IS YOUR SOVEREIGN PEACE

And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  (Colossians 3:15)

You never saw it coming.

It’s that phone call you never thought you’d receive, that news you never imagined you’d hear.  It’s that conversation you didn’t expect to have, that tragedy you thought could never happen to you.

But it did.

In times of shock and sorrow, it’s all too easy to surrender to the pain.  Despair creeps in, and fear rises up to take control of your heart.

But that is not what God wants for His children!

In Christ, God has promised that no matter what chaos goes on around you, you can experience His peace within you.  He has promised to never leave nor forsake you, so when darkness threatens to take control, you have a choice.

You can let fear rule your heart, or let faith take its place.  You can surrender to despair and let it drown you in sorrow, or surrender to Jesus and let Him lift you in His strength.

When tragedy strikes and you’re feeling overwhelmed, take heart.  Remember that God is still in control, He is still good, and He still loves you.  Fix your eyes on Jesus and let this truth give you power to press on.

Jesus is your sovereign peace.

-Pastor Phillip

God will be your confidence in times of trouble

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 56

GOD WILL BE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?
(Psalm 56:9b-11)

David is a fugitive in enemy territory.  He writes this Psalm as he finds himself taken captive by Philistines, the enemies of Israel.

Yet, in the midst of honest lament about his plight, David does not lose hope because he sets his heart on one thing.

“This I know, that God is for me.”

He doesn’t say, “This I hope,” or “This I think,” he knows, and that makes all the difference.

When you know God is for you, you don’t have to be afraid, and because Jesus secured your acceptance and ensured your favor in God’s eyes, rejoice!  God is always for you, which means that no matter your circumstance, you can find hope because of this truth: God will be your confidence in times of trouble.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your refuge in times of trouble

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 43

GOD IS YOUR REFUGE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

In the wake of an historic Supreme Court decision that has left so many believers saddened and afraid for what’s to come, the best thoughts of all are not those I could share from my heart, but those God would share from His.

In the calendar of content that guides this devotional series, today brought us to Psalm 43.  I invite you to read it slowly and prayerfully, and as you do, may you find hope in this truth: God is your refuge in times of trouble.

-Pastor Phillip


PSALM 43

“Vindicate me, God, and defend my cause 

against an ungodly nation; 

rescue me from the deceitful and unjust man. 

For You are the God of my refuge. 

 

Why have You rejected me? 

Why must I go about in sorrow 

because of the enemy’s oppression? 

Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me. 

Let them bring me to Your holy mountain, 

to Your dwelling place. 

Then I will come to the altar of God, 

to God, my greatest joy. 

I will praise You with the lyre, 

God, my God. 

 

Why am I so depressed? 

Why this turmoil within me? 

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, 

my Savior and my God.”

http://ref.ly/Ps43.1-5;hcsb



AUDIO VERSION (Click here to subscribe to the daily podcast on iTunes.)


 

Your accuser has no power over you

Scripture Notes on Revelation 12

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 that 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 to you anymore.

Christian, if you feel the weight of failure and condemnation today, push it aside and be released as you walk in this powerful truth.

Your accuser has no power over you.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your sovereign peace

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Colossians 3

JESUS IS YOUR SOVEREIGN PEACE

And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

You never saw it coming.

It’s that phone call you never thought you’d receive, that news you never imagined you’d hear.  It’s that conversation you didn’t expect to have, that tragedy you thought could never happen to you.

But it did.

In times of shock and sorrow, it’s all too easy to surrender to the pain.  Despair creeps in, and fear rises up to take control of your heart.

But that is not what God wants for His children!

In Christ, God has promised that no matter what chaos goes on around you, you can experience His peace within you.  He has promised to never leave nor forsake you, so when darkness threatens to take control, you have a choice.

You can let fear rule your heart, or let faith take its place.  You can surrender to despair and let it drown you in sorrow, or surrender to Jesus and let Him lift you in His strength.

When tragedy strikes and you’re feeling overwhelmed, take heart.  Remember that God is still in control, He is still good, and He still loves you.  Fix your eyes on Jesus and let this truth give you power to press on.

Jesus is your sovereign peace.

-Pastor Phillip

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