Brand New

Oh Lord,
You live in me and I in You,
and by Your grace, You don’t give what I’m due.
You heal and redeem;
You lift up and on You I lean.
You make alive,
and indeed I thrive.
Oh Lord,
Hear me as I cry out,
even as I often doubt.
Increase in me Your Spirit,
that I may shout of You and others hear it.
May I rejoice
and make noise.
May I show it
and others know it.
For You, oh Lord, live in me and I in You,
and by Your grace I am made brand new.

The Pastor -|—

Never Forsaken

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Mark 15:34 ESV]

Have you considered and reflected on the forsakenness of Christ; those long, horrible hours on the cross? Have you? I mean, it’s one thing to be beaten to within an inch of your life but Jesus was also nailed to a cross after that to suffer an unimaginable agony. And now, on top of that, Jesus is forsaken by God to endue the weight of the sins of the world.

But consider the Psalm that Jesus is quoting from. Yes, this is more than a cry to his abba. It is a cry of hope…FOR YOU.
~ Yet you are holy (vs 3)
~ To you they (our fathers) cried and were rescued (vs 5)
And it goes on to talk about his suffering, BUT, ends with praise. God is doing something. Jesus cries out in agony, but, through Psalm 22, proclaims the Gospel in the midst of his agony.
~ For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (vs 28)

What is awesome about Jesus’ suffering is that he was not focused on the suffering itself but rather on the victory that is coming. Even though God had forsaken him at that moment, Jesus was still looking forward to his redemption. This is not a desperate cry but rather a cry of salvation…FOR YOU.

In the midst of your suffering, look to your Father in heaven and know that you are NEVER forsaken. Jesus suffered the ultimate forsakenness that you would never have to. This momentary affliction is nothing compared to the glory that is to come through Jesus Christ.

Reflect on THAT and praise HIM always and forever.

Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Arise and Fight

Let us pray…

Oh God,
in Jesus’ name I appeal to You.
What more can I do?
What more should I do?
How are you calling me to act?
Life is precious but so many don’t see life that way.
Many see the unborn as a “something” or an “it”, not as a child.
May You change their hearts.
May You open their eyes to the Truth.
For me, this is an impossible task but not for You.
Whom shall You send?
Send me.
May I arise and speak.
May I arise and act.
May I arise and fight.
Oh God,
go before me and lead the way.
May the victory be Yours.
Lead on, oh King eternal, and I will follow.
Amen

The Pastor -|—

Life Giving God

Communion prayer…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times
and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
the creator and sustainer of life.
You breathed breath into us that we could live.
You gave your Son, Jesus Christ, that we could have hope.
You give Your Holy Spirit that we could be sustained.
You are an awesome; life giving God.
And it is for that reason that we join with the Church on earth
and the hosts of heaven
in signing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Intercede

Holy God,
Your Word proclaims to us
that the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Intercede for us now, oh God, and teach us how we ought to pray.
We see the darkness of this world,
and the darkness within ourselves,
and become overwhelmed and convicted.
We know we ought to cry out, but words escape us.
Justice is being denied to many and we feel helpless.
Intercede for us, oh God, and then tune our ears to hear your voice.
Help us to help others.
Help us to cry out for others.
Help us to give justice to others.
Intercede for us, we beg You.
We especially remember those who can’t cry out for themselves;
the unborn.
Transform the hearts of those who feel no remorse
over the death of Your little ones.
Intercede, oh God, intercede.
We are Yours.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Portent

Psalm 71:7–8 (ESV) ~ I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.

Definition
Portent ~ A warning; sign from God

As you were, and now let us pray…

Holy God,
You have called me to speak Your Word;
To call people to repentance;
To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
To be a “portent”.
But I find that many don’t want to hear Your Word.
There are many that assail me;
Many who speak harsh words to and about me.
Oh God, many don’t want to hear the Truth.
But as the psalmist finds refuge in You,
I, too, find my refuge in You;
for you are my Rock and my Salvation,
and therefore may I stand firm.
May I not back down from speaking out.
May I not back down from proclaiming the Truth.
May I not back down from defending the innocent.
May I stand firm.
In a world where many walk as enemies of the cross,
may I keep in step with You.
Holy God, loving Father,
send Your Holy Spirit and touch my mouth.
Touch my mouth that I may speak Your words;
speaking them in and from love.
May I speak not with the intention of winning an argument,
but to bring glory to Your most holy name.
May I be a portent,
that healing may come to this land.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Known

Psalm 71:5–6 (ESV) ~ For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV) ~ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) ~ “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul talks about not just KNOWING God but being KNOWN by God.

Wow, just reflect on those texts for a moment. You are KNOWN by God. You are KNOWN from the very moment your life began…in the womb. God KNEW you then and KNOWS you now. God has a purpose for your life. Scripture talks about our hairs being numbered. You are KNOWN better by God than you KNOW yourself.

God KNOWS your shortcomings. God KNOWS every skeleton you are trying to hide. God KNOWS every dark secret; every single sin. God KNOWS. The psalmist reflects in Psalm 139 that there is no where he can hide from God. Even darkness is as day to God. Nothing can conceal you.

You are KNOWN.

And it is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was born. It is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was crucified and raised for you. God KNOWS you yet offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You are KNOWN

WOW!

Just think about THAT.

You are KNOWN by God…from the moment of conception. God formed you and wove you together. Everything is ordained by God. And why? Because you are precious. Life is precious. EVERY life is precious. And if it is important to God, then it ought to be important to you.

You are KNOWN
The unborn are KNOWN
ALL life is precious to God

The Pastor -|—