Believing

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
[John 20:29 ESV]

Believing isn’t seeing,
it is knowing that the unbelievable;
that which doesn’t make sense,
is not only believable but,
true.
Believing isn’t trusting your senses,
but it is knowing in your heart;
your heart of hearts,
that which your senses can’t confirm is
true.
Believing is leaping from a precipice
into the unknown,
defying the screaming voice within;
the voice staying, “you will die, this is
true.”
Believing is shutting that voice out
and jumping; listening to the Spirit;
listening with the ears of faith,
listening to the voice of
Truth.
Believing is falling to your death,
knowing that it means Life;
for the hands of our gracious God,
will keep you in the
Truth.
Believing is a gift,
wrapped in the messiness of the cross,
presented through the empty tomb,
and secured in the Spirit of
Truth.
Yes! Yes! I believe! Jesus Christ lives, and that is the
truth.

Now therefore, go…

Exodus 4:10–12 (ESV) ~ 10 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Oh God,
through Jesus Christ,
You have called me.
You have called me to Yourself.
You have called me to a new life and to New Life.
You have called me to Go therefore to all nations…
You have called me to bring glory to Your holy name.
You have called me to things that scare the living daylights out of me.
You have called me to suffer in many ways.
You have called me to set aside my selfish desires.
You have called me to obedience.
You have called me,
an unqualified sinner,
to speak of You and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You have called me.
Some days I just want to run away.
Some days I just want to say, “Send someone else“.
Some days I just want to hide.
When those “Some days” rear their ugly head,
Kick me in the butt as you did Moses.
Now therefore go…
And may I have the faith to trust You,
and rejoice in the certainty of Your plans.
Oh God,
You have called me.
Help me to go.

The Pastor -|—

Christ my Savior

Christ my Savior, Christ my Lord,
always will you be adored.
Christ my refuge, Christ my rock,
thankful that I’m in your flock.
When the storms arise, you are there.
When the wolves circle, you are there.
In persecution,
In opposition,
heavy affliction,
and destitution.
Christ my Savior, Christ my Lord
my feeble strength is restored.

The Pastor -|—

Content in You

[Communion liturgy based on my sermon text from Philippians 4:10-20; the “secret” of being content.]

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 author of our peace.
For through Jesus Christ you have given us hope
so that we could live lives that bring You glory.
You provide for all our needs.
You strengthen us to do the work of the church.
You surround us with Your abundant love.
You shower us with amazing grace.
You give us Your Holy Spirit.
Through faith in Jesus Christ we are content in You
as we rest in Your mighty arms.
And so with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven
we join in singing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Jump

I look at this picture and I see a child leaping with wild abandon into his father’s arms. The child, never for a moment, thinks that his father will drop him. It is a faith that is unshaken and solid. The father is bracing himself and eager to catch the child. Never for a moment does the father imagine doing anything to endanger his child. It is a fatherly love unmatched by anything and anyone of this world.

Following the catch I imagine a loving embrace filled with laughter. The father spins his child around trying to elicit more laughter all the while each of them are smiling ear to ear; enjoying the embrace. The child feels safe and secure; totally content and willing to jump again. The Father is filled with joy. Nothing in this scene dampens the child’s faith, but only draws him closer to his father. Nothing in this scene dampens the father’s love for his precious child. What a love that these two share.

Are you this child? God our Father is the Father ready to catch you.

Jump

Father God, may I jump with wild abandon into Your loving arms. May I cling to Your faithfulness even though the Enemy would have me doubt You. Holy God, I know You stand ready to catch, may I have the faith to jump. And as You catch me, may I cling to You and bask in Your presence; ready to jump again and again. Oh God, holy Father, You are my life, my shield, my home. In Jesus most precious name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Rise

Rise and shine like the sun;
For the Son shines in you.
Rise and face this new day;
Knowing you don’t face it alone.
Rise and be bold;
For the Lord your is Rock.
Rise and be confident;
For the Lord is your refuge.
Rise and praise Him;
For God almighty has redeemed you.
Rise and worship Him;
For He is worthy.
Rise and be forgiven;
For Jesus has died for you.
Rise and rise again;
For Jesus lives and so shall you, forever.
Rise and shine;
For this is indeed a glorious day.

The Pastor-|—

From Where?

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth.” [Psalms 121:1-2]

Oh sinner;
weak,
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?
Does it come from your self-determination?
Does it come from your wisdom?
Does it come from your advanced degree(s)?
Does it come from your many acts of service?
Does it come from your many friends?

From where does your help come?
Be honest, oh sinner;
from where does it come?
If it comes not from the Lord Jesus,
then you have no real and true help.

As for me;
a weak and foolish and pride-filled person?
My help comes from…

The Lord!

It is HE who made the heaven and the earth.
It is HE who knows my very frame.
It is HE who has every hair of my head numbered.
It is HE who knew me before I was born,
and knows me now.
It is HE from whom I have forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
It is the Lord.
My help comes from Him.

The Lord!

So I ask again, oh sinner;
weak,
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?

The Pastor -|—