"An Inside Perspective"

Christmas 2013


My Dear Family in Christ,

Merry Christmas in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Have you ever considered that Christmas is pregnant with Hope?

It is written, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow, upon them hath the light shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

Where would our hope be, but for the Christ who is Himself Christmas. As we say in this holiday season, salvation was wrapped up in swaddling clothes. Our hope is in a Person, even the Son of God made flesh Who now today dwells within believers.

It is written: "Christ in you, the hope of glory..." (Col. 1:27b)

There is no hope of glory (God's likeness) for mankind but in Christ Jesus and Him crucified. He was raised from the dead and exalted to glory---living now and forever in the power of an endless life, and that not for Himself but for sin---sick sinners.

This very ministry itself was named after Our Father's Persistent Love toward me. I am humbled by that fact, and thus, I will always be found joyfully at His feet. He never gave up on me until I was His. That is the kind of love I now want to practice towards others. I ran from the Lord even while He ran after me and pursued me down through the years. His face was in so many human faces calling me home. His voice was on so many human tongues drawing me to Himself. I was a man "having no hope and without God in the world..." (Eph. 2:12b)

I was a man ruled by sin, I did it's bidding and the deeper I fell the more the chains of death tightened around me. In His permissive patience He waited until I came to the end of myself. I became a hopeless suicidal man ravaged by the degradation of my own sin. The stubborn mule had nothing on me. It took the rod, which now by grace I kiss, to bring me home to God. Jesus is my present from my father and the more of Him I unwrap the more wonders I discovered! That is my Christmas story.

Perhaps you too, as I did, think God has given up on you? It is not so beloved, nor will it ever be. It is not in His nature to leave you alone in your sin. Are you feeling hopelessly lonely? Come with me to my Savior and you will never be lonely again!

I want to share with you a true story of God's relentless pursuit of sinners by Christ their only Hope. I know a woman of God who loves the Lord and His people deeply. Her delight, as is that of her precious Savior, is in seeking and saving those who are lost. In the highways and bi-ways of life many lie hopelessly fallen along the roadside. This is her ministry, this is her life and to these is she called. It is for them that her knees do daily bend while at the Throne she pleads.

In the course of her ministry, her own elderly father took ill and was in the hospital for a few days. One day while she sat with him in quiet fellowship she became aware of her father's roommate. His name was Hugo and he was nearly ninety. The woman of God prayed silently in her heart as she approached him, "Lord give me words of grace---Lord save this man."

The gospel of the grace of God, the sweetest words on earth were shared. The woman of God, grateful for the opportunity, went silently back to her chair. As she sat there she reflected on Our Father's Persistent Love. She teared up as she thought, "How gracious is my Lord, He never gives up on anyone even into their nineties!" Only the Lord Himself knows how many times this man heard the Word. Only the God of grace saves men while they die on the cross of their own willful sin. The woman of God joyfully marveled, as should we all, at Our Father's Persistent Love. That is her Christmas story.

Beloved, today this newsletter has fallen into your hands. It is the Lord's will. Maybe your life is also ravaged by sin and all your hope is gone? There is hope beloved. There is a Redeemer and He is mighty to save. Jesus is always about His Father's business seeking, saving and forgiving sinners. Salvation---new life and hope is here for you now. It's not in the mall or on a bar stool, and for sure it's not under a tree. It is though, as near as your heart. Jesus is your only Hope and He delights to encamp in repentant hearts, indeed, He inhabits the praises of His people!

It is written, "But what saith it, the Word is near thee even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is the word of faith which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:8-10)

"And this is the record (tesimony) that God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in His Son; He who has the Son has life and he that hath not the Son hath not life." (1John 5:11-12)

No matter who you are, what you have done or even how old you are, if you repent of your sins and turn to God for forgiveness He will receive you. Beloved, come to Jesus now, He is your only Hope! Make this...

"Your Christmas Story!"

Joyfully in Jesus,
Love Philip