Loving Father, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die and rise for us that we would have forgiveness of sins and thus the hope of the resurrection. And now we wait excitedly and patiently for Jesus’ return; knowing that at any moment the trumpet will blast, and our Savior will ride in triumphantly, and bring us into the great wedding feast. May we not be found wanting when he returns, but also, may we not be quiet until then. Therefore, may our preparations also include announcing to all that Jesus WILL return. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Sunday’s sermon text is Matthew 20:1-16; the Laborers in the Vineyard. The following is the prayer of the day I wrote based on our hymn of the day, Amazing Grace. For it is only through God’s amazing grace that we are saved through Jesus Christ; no matter the work or amount of work. Let us pray…
your grace is amazing;
such a sweet sound to our ears;
for through Jesus Christ you have saved us;
a wretched people.
Once we were lost but now we are found.
Once we were blind but now we see.
may we see You as our shield and portion
for as long as our lives endure.
In Jesus name we pray,
You are awesome and great;
mighty and wonderful. You call us to leave behind all that we have
in order to gain so much more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grant us faith to see that what we have in stuff
doesn’t even come close to Your infinite worth,
and thus may we boldly carry our cross
and follow Jesus.
we praise You,
for You save sinners such as us.
In Jesus name we pray,
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Can you answer that question? I am not talking about the first question he asks which is, “Who do PEOPLE say that I am?” That’s an easier question to answer, but not the one a follower of Jesus needs to answer. Who to YOU say that Jesus is?
You are holy.
You are mighty.
You are love.
Through Jesus Christ,
You are Life.
You are hope.
You are grace.
I ask, oh God, that each and every day
You reveal to me who You are
and then may I live in that revelation
in order to bring glory to Your holy name.
I worship You for You are my all in all;
more than words can describe.
In Jesus name I pray,
I was struck by a convicting thought during our congregational text study this morning. The Gospel text for Sunday is Matthew 14:22-33; Jesus walking on the water. As we were discussing this I began to think about facing fears. Peter was afraid in that boat as the wind and waves were causing havoc out there on that sea. To top things off, a “ghost” was heading straight towards them. Upon seeing it was Jesus, Peter asks to be near Jesus and thus it happened. Instead of facing his fears, Peter was facing Jesus and eventually, face to face with him out there on that stormy sea. It wasn’t until Peter looked at the wind; his fear, that he began to sink.
As we continued to discuss this text the issue of North Korea came up. All the talk about them attacking Guam and potentially the main land of the United States. It’s kind of scary when you dwell on that but why am I dwelling on it. I began to reflect on the fact that I normally close my day by watching the news and then going to bed. On many nights, the final images and words in my brain are the crap going on in the world. How dumb is that. It seems like a no-brainer. Face my fears or face Jesus. The answer is pretty simple.
Off went the T.V.
Now if you will excuse me, I’m climbing out of the boat…
when the seas billow
and the wind rages,
it threatens to submerge us in
but Jesus walks on the water.
Jesus is above the waves.
Jesus commands the winds.
Through our faith in him,
bid us to come to You and may we too walk on the water
and find peace in our souls.
In Jesus name we pray,
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]
Of all of the head scratching things Jesus has said this is perhaps the head scratchiest of them all. I have not come to bring peace? That doesn’t sound like Jesus, right? I mean, he is the Prince of Peace, right? In John 14 he said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. In Luke 2, the angels sing, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Everything we know about Jesus is one of peace. I feel at peace when I am near him. I feel at peace when I am in the Word. I feel at peace when I am praying. I think many of you could say those things as well. So, what is Jesus saying here; Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. That is what we need to explore. After all, if we are going to go out and make disciples of all nations, we had better get the message right because there are many that do not. Jesus did not come to bring peace to earth…but…he did bring peace. The issue at hand is this: What kind of peace did Jesus bring?
I can hardly wait to dive into this text 🙂
All praise and glory be unto God the Father through Christ Jesus my Lord.