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 -|—

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 -|—

God Pressing On

Holy communion liturgy based on my preaching text ~ Philippians 3:12-16

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, King of all creation. Through Jesus Christ You pressed on to make us Your own; though we are sinful. You continue to press on in pursuing Your sheep as we stray. You press on in Your forgiveness of us though we rebel. Oh God, may we press on to know You better and better; drawing closer that we may have deeper intimacy with You. And so, because of Your amazing grace; Your relentless pressing on, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

My brothers and sisters in Christ…press on 🙂

The Pastor -|—

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 -|—

This Much

The magnitude of what Jesus did for us can not be overstated.
The lengths that Jesus went to can not be measured.
The depths of his love can not be gauged.
The wideness of his grace can not be seen,

The closest we get is this: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God (think about that for a moment, the form – of – God), did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, BUT

emptied himself,
by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient
to the point of death,
even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:5–11 ESV]

Let that sink in…

Goosebumps yet? No? Then go back and read it again and this time pay attention.
or
Goosebumps yet? Yes? Then go back and read it again and just abide in this Word.

This is how much Jesus loves you. Any questions?

The Pastor -|—

 

Worthy Lives

It is right and salutary
that we should at all times
and in all places
gives thanks and praise to You,
oh God,
for You alone are worthy of all worship and honor and glory.
You gave Your only Son to die that we might live;
people who are indeed unworthy.
But because You alone are worthy,
may we live lives that are worthy of You;
lives that shine the light of Your love.
May Your worth be evident in and through us
that Your glory may be know to all.
And so with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven
we join in singing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Partnership in the Gospel

[Prayer of the Day for Sun, Sept 16, 2018, based on the preaching text from Phil. 1:3-11]

Holy God,
Through Your grace
You have called us to salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ.
Through Your Holy Spirit
You empower us to serve in Your kingdom.
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ,
You knit us together as a holy Church.
May we, together, work to advance the Gospel;
lifting one another up
and bearing one another’s burdens.
To You be the glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|–