Working Out

I am preaching through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The following prayer is what I am using on Sunday, Nov 4, before I preach on Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Holy God,
Martin Luther is quoted as saying,
The Bible is alive, it speaks to me;
it has legs, it runs after me;
it has hands, it lays hold of me.
Oh God,
run and catch us.
Lay hold of and keep us.
Open our eyes and ears
that we may see and hear Your Word of truth;
for Your Word is a living word.
It’s active and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Pierce our hearts and make us alive in Jesus.
Trim away the fat and make us lean.
May Your Word be all that is left in us,
so much so,
that You shine forth
and are glorified in and through our lives.
May we be so alive with Your Spirit
that we run after you;
working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
To you be the glory, now and forever,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Let This Soak in…

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Psalms 24:1‭-‬2 ESV

Let that soak in for a bit;
the fact that the earth is the Lord’s;
including those who dwell therein;
You
You are the Lord’s.
This is a matter of possession,
and thus of provision.
You are the Lord’s and therefore,
You are valued.
You are loved.
You are cherished.
It is that fundamental.
It matters not who you are.
It matters not what you’ve done.
It matters not what you will do.
You are the Lord’s.
He established you.
He founded you.
He knows you.
You are never out of His
Sight
Reach
Shelter
You are the Lord’s.
Fear not the Lord but fear the Lord.
It’s that simple.
It that fundamental.
It’s that awesome.
You are the Lord’s.
Let that soak in…

The Pastor -|—

Child of God

Oh, most blessed child of God,

Arise and meet the new day.

Know the love of the Creator,

Know His amazing grace.

Oh, most blessed child of God,

Arise and meet the new day.

Go and make disciples,

Go with confidence and strength.

Oh, most blessed child of God,

Arise and meet the new day.

Remember that God is for you,

So therefore who can be against you.

Oh, most blessed child of God,

Aside and meet the new day.

Though God reigns on high,

He is always close to you.

Oh, most blessed child of God,

Arise and meet the new day,

The Lord will be your shield and fortress,

He will be your God.

The Pastor -|—-

Misplaced Fear

And Herodias had a grudge against him (John the Baptist) and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
Mark 6:19‭-‬20 ESV

Herod feared John.
Herod knew John was a righteous and holy man.
Herod listened to John.
Herod was perplexed by John yet gladly heard him.

THUS…

Herod protected John — for awhile — until his fear of man trumped his fear of John.

Hmmm…interesting, isn’t it. Herod feared and respected John the Baptist and gladly heard him, but nothing about fearing God. Nothing about wanting to know more about this Messiah to which John was pointing. Herod was simply fascinated with the man (John), not God, thus his “fear” was not firmly grounded.

And herein lies the issue — the fear of man verses the fear of God. The fear of man will only take you so far and will eventually betray you and/or the one you claim to fear. The faith-filled fear of God will keep you in awe and never betray you, and will rightly direct your worship.

It’s sad, really, as this worldly fear leads people into false worship. This is evident in how people view /think of Christian worship. The delivery or form or the service itself becomes the object of one’s worship. One’s fear of how worship is done soon captures their heart and veils the one they claim to fear/worship.
They fear not being entertained.
They fear something going wrong.

When these becomes the main fears, then God is not glorified. How can God be glorified when people want…

…entertainment, not worship
…form, not substance
…creature, not Creator
…words, not the Word
…Easter, not Good Friday
…absolution, not confession
…comfort, not suffering

They fear man, not God.

May you not adopt the ways of Herod but walk in the Way of Jesus.
May your fear not be misplaced.
May your worship be directed towards “entertaining” God not in being entertained.

May you be greatly “perplexed” about God, so much so, that you are driven, more and more, to hear God, more and more gladly, so much so, that your holy fear of God is nurtured and cultivated in such a way that God is glorified in every way in your life.

Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Other Articles

Some of you know this but others of you may not, but I write other stuff that doesn’t get posted here…but that’s now changing 🙂

A couple years ago I was given the opportunity to submit faith-based articles to the Puyallup Herald newspaper on a monthly basis. Eventually that transitioned to twice a month in the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT). It’s an incredible outreach opportunity and I give thanks and praise to God that I get to do this. I have a supportive congregation that encourages me. I have an amazing proofreader that checks every article I write before it’s submitted. As long as the TNT let’s me submit articles, I will keep writing them. God is indeed doing something here.

Currently, I submit articles for publication every 1st and 3rd Saturday. The following week, those articles posted on our church web page. On the left hand side of this  blog, I have added a link to that web page…just in case you want to read more from me. I am not bragging but giving God the glory for empowering me to write.

So NOW…”other stuff” I have written is posted here.

The Pastor -|—

The River

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
Psalms 46:4 ESV

Oh child of God, as this day draws to a close, drink in the Word of God and soak in the River of Life. Bask in the knowledge that this River is overflowing with grace. No sin is too big. No darkness is too dark. The River flows and nourishes, if only you would drink from its refreshing waters. Come with your sins and be washed clean with God’s mercy through Jesus Christ.

Oh child of God, close not your eyes this night without gazing at God’s beauty and hearing His voice calling to you. Rest not you head upon your pillow without finding your rest in Him.

Oh child of God, come and drink. Come and be healed. Come and be washed. Oh child of God, the River flows. Come…

The Pastor -|—

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalms 46:10 ESV

Have you obeyed this command?

Have you “stilled” yourself and reflected on the fact that God is God?

Do you believe that God WILL be exalted? No, I mean truly believe it?

Oh Christian, God WILL be exalted. It matters not what is going on in your life. It matters not how Satan ravaging you. It matters not what the world does or says. God WILL be exalted. God sits on His throne. Every one of His enemies will be made a footstool for Him. God rules.

So…

Be still, oh Christian, and remember.

Be still, oh Christian, and believe.

Be still, oh Christian, and know.

This exalted God is your God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Obey and relax and Be still…

The Pastor -|—