Treasure

He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
Hebrews 11:26 ESV

Dear Christian, what has greater worth to you? The treasures of this world or Jesus? The rewards that worldly treasures offer are nothing more than short-term pleasures that will quickly burn out if you don’t work hard to keep the flame stoked. As anyone knows, a fire only burns as long as it has fuel. You can’t start a campfire and then watch it burn without end. You have to keep throwing logs on the fire. You have to expand energy to ensure the flame does not go out. You might have to go out before hand to cut wood and prepare it for the fire, but for what? The fire consumes your work and then you have nothing to show for it. What have you then gained for your work? It’s a wasteful work that gives pleasure for a short period of time. As the author of Ecclesiastes said, it is vanity, a chasing after the wind.

Now, oh Christian, contrast that with Jesus and the reward that only he gives. It is a fire that does not go out. The work beforehand to prepare is Jesus’ work. The stoking of the fire? Not needed for the joy of the Lord is unending; it never burns out or diminishes in the least. But people want what they can see now and not what is promised later. They want immediate satisfaction. They are too impatient and thus willing to foolishly sacrifice eternity. Moses had it all; living in Pharaoh’s household, but he gave it all up for the sake of God.

Dear Christian, what is promised later is of infinitely more value than anything that can be created here. Look to the reward; eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Bear his reproach now as a follower and disciple; keeping your eyes firmly fixed on the reward already prepared for you. Be sustained by Him and enjoy a treasure that is forever more.

The Pastor -|—

You Ways and Your Thoughts

Holy God,
the prophet Isaiah records Your words,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Those words can be frustrating to sinners
who want what we want,
but I also take great comfort
that when everything seems out of control
and doesn’t make sense,
You really are in control.
And so, I come before You this morning in faith.
My life is in Your hands.
I don’t understand many things,
(and forgive me when I claim I do),
but You are God and thus I trust in You.
Mold me and shape me.
Renew me and remake me.
Guide me and lead me.
Transform me so that
my thoughts become Your thoughts,
and You ways become my ways.
I pray this through my Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Strength and Shield

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
[Psalms 28:7 ESV]

Oh Lord,
You are my Strength.
You are my Shield.
In You I am found safe and secure.
In You I am on firm footing.
In You I shall never to be moved.
And thus I praise You,
oh Lord,
for many would assail me,
Satan’s torments crash against me as the waves of the sea.
Sin is constantly enticing me to turn away from You.
On my own I am weak.
On my own I would surely succumb to the evil one.
On my own You are not glorified.
But You ARE my Strength.
You ARE my Shield.
And thus I am here to praise You.
My heart exalts.
My heart is over-joyed.
For You help me,
and You shield me.
You place a hedge of protection around me.
And there is nothing and no one that can snatch me out of Your hands.
And so, as I begin this new day,
may I ever remember You as my Fortress,
and say with confidence and boldness,
Satan, bring it on.”
To You, oh God, be all glory and honor and strength and praise.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Be at Peace

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” [Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 ESV]

Let that blessing begin your day and carry you though as you live and serve in God’s kingdom. What grabs me this morning is “…and give you peace.” The enemy seeks to hinder the kingdom and your work within. Be at peace, Christian, the LORD’s blessing will be your shield.

The Pastor -|—

Rejoice and Be Glad

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
[Psalm 118:24]

There is much in this life in which to be depressed.
There is much in this life in which to be angry.
There is much in this life in which to be frustrated.

I recently read a blog post (I won’t get into details as they aren’t important here) that made me frustrated. Nearly ever day I watch/read something in the news that makes me roll my eyes. Each morning I wake up in some degree of back pain as I deal with arthritis. There is much in this life in which to complain.

But…

…there is much in this life is which to rejoice.

Namely?

God made this day.
God is in charge.
God has redeemed this creation through Jesus Christ.
God has created you for a purpose.
God is sovereign.

When one reflects on that (and the many other truths that could be written) how can one’s heart not rejoice?

This is indeed the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it 🙂

Praise be to God!

The Pastor -|—

The Morning

The scene
A quiet house
The sound of chirping birds drifting in through an open window
The words of Scripture marinating in my soul
And a good cup of coffee to top it off

God’s blessings to start the day
God’s presence to renew my soul

The prayer
Oh God,
Your mercies are new everyday
Your blessings abound
Your love is wide and deep
Your grace is unending

Your Son, Jesus, is Lord of all
My Savior, Jesus, died for me

Renew my faith this day
Embolden my witness
Bless my words
Guide my decisions

May Your mercies and blessings;
Your love and grace
Be evident to all

Glory and honor be unto
You
Oh God
This day and always

Amen

The Pastor -|—

Walking Closer

Allow these words from this great hymn to be spoken over you. Let them soak in and drip from your being. Receive these words through faith in Jesus Christ and know the grace of God.

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

The Pastor -|—