Guarding

I am preaching on Romans 10:8-17 this morning. Earlier i posted, A Gospel Poem, that flowed from this sermon prep. Now, i have written this Holy Communion liturgy that was inspired by that text. To God be the glory, always and forever, Amen.


It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
for You have given us the word of truth that saves us our souls –
Jesus Christ,
Your only Son,
our Lord.
And through Jesus, You have given us a “good deposit” that is to be guarded with our lives, not hidden away and protected as gold or silver, but maintained in all its integrity. For it is only through the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ that people are saved.
And so,
may You send our feet to people who have not heard –
that faith may come through their hearing of the Gospel that flows from our lips and may those who hear this Good News come to call upon Your most holy name.
Oh Lord,
my God,
You are mighty to save and thus we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

Shamelessly Persistent

The following is the opening prayer for the sermon I am preaching on Sunday, July 28. The text is Luke 11:1-13; Jesus teaching the Lord’s Prayer and the story of the persistent friend. To God be the glory. Let us pray…

Good things. That’s what we want, oh God, is good things. But too often those good things that we desire are only for our comfort and peace; for self-glorification. We want healing. We want stuff. We want notoriety. We ask and ask and ask some more. Maybe we even recruit others to ask on our behalf, because, after all, the more who are praying the better our chances. But that’s not how it works. Convict our hearts of this error, oh God. Give us understanding. Give us intimacy. Give us Your good gifts. We ask but we are too short-sighted. We long for something and become idolatrous. Forgive us, oh God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Give us your good gifts. Through faith in Jesus Christ, may we long for the gift that only You can give. And thus, may we be shamelessly persistent in our prayer for the good gift of You. Now may the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, oh God, our rock and Redeemer. Amen.

Adored

Oh God, Your name is awesome,
holy and true.
May all who preach Your name,
give praise that is due.
Not in realms of self-glory and pride,
but hallow Your name,
in all truth and purity,
for You, oh God, are the One who reigns.
May all who step into the pulpit this day,
do so with pause,
knowing that it is You
that deserves all applause.
May Your name be proclaimed
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May You receive all worship,
for You are to be adored.

Just the Gospel

From the sermon this morning. This can not be said enough. So I am going to just leave this right here…

My friends, through faith in Jesus Christ, your sins have been forgiven and thus you have been justified in the eyes of God. You cannot justify yourself. But your filthy rags have been removed and the white robe of righteousness has been placed on you. Jesus has personally dressed you with the wedding garment and has seated you at the banquet table. Through his death and resurrection, you have been made new. This is not from you. This is not something you can obtain through self-justification for you are unclean, dirty and filthy; always falling short of the glory of God. You are sinner. The justification that places you in God’s holy courts; His kingdom, is pure gift. It is all grace. Confess that you are a sinner and know a love like no other.

Preaching Preparation Prayer

Holy God, Your Word is truth. Your Word is Life. Your Word is living and active. Your Word speaks to the heart and inflames the soul. Oh God, speak to us this morning through Your Word and through the words that I speak. May this not be a self-glorifying speech but a faithful proclamation of Your Word; for I am not a good speaker, preacher or writer therefore if this were left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin. And so, I beg of You to send now Your Holy Spirit, not just to guide me but to open our hearts to receive this Word, for Your Word is truth. Your Word is Life. To You be the glory now and forever. Amen.

A Walk in a Park

The sermon for this morning is from Luke 9:57-62. This is about the call to follow Jesus. It is a very timely message for the congregation I am serving. The following is the opening paragraph to the sermon that God has placed on my heart. The video of the whole sermon will be posted on the church website this week. To God be the glory!

I saw an internet meme recently that said, “Raising kids is like a walk in the park – Jurassic Park.” We chuckle, but there’s a lot of truth to that. One could also substitute “Following Jesus” for “Raising kids”, and still chuckle; understanding that the meaning is still the same. You see, following Jesus is not easy. Following Jesus is not simply a peaceful walk in a beautiful park. Following Jesus has twists and turns; hills and valleys; roadblocks and straightaways. Following Jesus requires the faith of the father in Mark’s Gospel who says to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Jesus calls you to follow – now – and not to look back. But as you follow him, he also walks along side to encourage you along the way. You must never follow Jesus with rose colored glasses but understand what a life is discipleship requires: Faith. For if following Jesus were really that easy, don’t you think more people would be doing it?

Making a Name

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate and recognize the giving of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. This is also the birth of the Church as the Spirit would send those first missionaries out to share the Good News of Jesus Christ; proclaiming a peace that surpasses all understanding. This is a day about God making a name for us; a name sealed forever in the Book of Life.

Below, is the opening paragraph to the sermon I will be preaching this morning. If you want to watch the rest, I invite you to visit our church website (link on the right hand side of this page) or go to YouTube and search for “Living Word Lutheran Church, Puyallup, WA). The sermon should be posted later today or early in the week. The sermon text is based in Acts 2:1-21, but I will be starting in Genesis 11:1-9 as I reference the Tower of Babel.

To God be the glory!!!

John 14:27, Jesus says, 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. And this fear thing is what people in this world are trying to deal with. They do this through many means, but mainly, through making a name for themselves. Through unity of purpose and thought; through being connected to a group or community of people, many hope to find intimacy, but what they find is a tower that has fallen into a heap of rumble. The only true peace and intimacy that will last, not just through this life, but for all eternity, is what we have with God through Jesus Christ as Paul tells us in Romans 5. It is a peace and intimacy, a purpose and belonging that is only made known through the Helper, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is that moment and manifestation for the believer.