Create in Me

It’s Ash Wednesday this week; the beginning of Lent. The text that I will preaching on is Psalm 51. What follows is some reflections from my heart…

Create in me a clean heart,O God,
and renew a right spirit in me.

for You are my Father and my Lord,
thus I will always live with much glee.
I am broken and fallen,
but You are mighty in love.
I am sinful and unclean,
but You are mighty in mercy.
I am lost without You,
but I shall never fear the pit.
For Jesus my Savior; he saves me,
and so I will offer this one plea…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and I will praise You on bended knee.

The Pastor -|—

Goose Bumps Moment

Psalm 103:10 (ESV) ~ He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Just think about that above verse.

Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait…

[cue Jeopardy theme]

Did you think about it?
Are you blown away by it?
Did you get goosebumps?

Let’s review…

God the almighty. God the Creator. God the holy, holy, holy One. This God does not deal with you according to your sins. He does not give to you as you deserve. You sin and thus deserve death. You sin and thus deserve condemnation. You sin and thus deserve hell. God does not repay you according to your sins because someone already paid the price…

JESUS

Jesus took the full wrath of God and thus received what you deserved for your sins.
He suffered
He was crucified
He died
He was buried
But…Jesus rose victorious FOR YOU and thus, through faith in Jesus, you receive what you do not deserve.

That’s AMAZING grace 🙂

WOW! Got goose bumps yet?

The Pastor -|—

Wake-Up Call

[Based on Psalm 103:1-5]

Hey there soul,
wake-up and praise the Lord,
praise him with all that is in you.
Yes, you soul, praise the Lord,
and forget not all the Lord has done for you:
He forgives your sins.
He heals.
He redeems your life from the pit.
He crowns you with amazing love and mercy
He satisfies beyond anything this world can offer.
And He does all of this so that you can be renewed.
Oh soul,
wake up!
Worship and praise the Lord.
For He is awesome,
mighty in power,
great in mercy,
abundant in love.
The Lord is worthy of all praise.
Oh my soul, wake up and bless His holy name.

The Pastor -|—

Never Forsaken

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Mark 15:34 ESV]

Have you considered and reflected on the forsakenness of Christ; those long, horrible hours on the cross? Have you? I mean, it’s one thing to be beaten to within an inch of your life but Jesus was also nailed to a cross after that to suffer an unimaginable agony. And now, on top of that, Jesus is forsaken by God to endue the weight of the sins of the world.

But consider the Psalm that Jesus is quoting from. Yes, this is more than a cry to his abba. It is a cry of hope…FOR YOU.
~ Yet you are holy (vs 3)
~ To you they (our fathers) cried and were rescued (vs 5)
And it goes on to talk about his suffering, BUT, ends with praise. God is doing something. Jesus cries out in agony, but, through Psalm 22, proclaims the Gospel in the midst of his agony.
~ For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (vs 28)

What is awesome about Jesus’ suffering is that he was not focused on the suffering itself but rather on the victory that is coming. Even though God had forsaken him at that moment, Jesus was still looking forward to his redemption. This is not a desperate cry but rather a cry of salvation…FOR YOU.

In the midst of your suffering, look to your Father in heaven and know that you are NEVER forsaken. Jesus suffered the ultimate forsakenness that you would never have to. This momentary affliction is nothing compared to the glory that is to come through Jesus Christ.

Reflect on THAT and praise HIM always and forever.

Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Known

Psalm 71:5–6 (ESV) ~ For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV) ~ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) ~ “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul talks about not just KNOWING God but being KNOWN by God.

Wow, just reflect on those texts for a moment. You are KNOWN by God. You are KNOWN from the very moment your life began…in the womb. God KNEW you then and KNOWS you now. God has a purpose for your life. Scripture talks about our hairs being numbered. You are KNOWN better by God than you KNOW yourself.

God KNOWS your shortcomings. God KNOWS every skeleton you are trying to hide. God KNOWS every dark secret; every single sin. God KNOWS. The psalmist reflects in Psalm 139 that there is no where he can hide from God. Even darkness is as day to God. Nothing can conceal you.

You are KNOWN.

And it is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was born. It is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was crucified and raised for you. God KNOWS you yet offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You are KNOWN

WOW!

Just think about THAT.

You are KNOWN by God…from the moment of conception. God formed you and wove you together. Everything is ordained by God. And why? Because you are precious. Life is precious. EVERY life is precious. And if it is important to God, then it ought to be important to you.

You are KNOWN
The unborn are KNOWN
ALL life is precious to God

The Pastor -|—

The Word

Oh God,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet.
Your Word is a light to my path.
Your Word is profitable for teaching,
for reproof,
for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that I may be complete and equipped for every good work.
You Law is perfect,
and sure,
and right,
and pure,
and clean
and true.
Oh God, why would anyone despise the learning of it.
Your Word is much to be desired.
It’s more precious than gold.
Sweeter than honey.
More valuable than anything.
Your Word is salvation.
Your Word is Jesus.
May I desire it more and more.
May I receive it with an open heart.
May I live it each and every day.
May I proclaim it with every breath.
May I not twist or distort it.
May Your Word sustain my life.
Oh God,
teach me and lead me and transform me.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

The Pastor -|—

GLORY!

After reading Psalm 29…

Holy God,
mighty and awesome,
You are worthy of all our worship.
You are worthy of all our praise.
You are worthy of all honor.
You are worthy of all glory.

Your voice is powerful;
for with Your voice You created.
Your voice is mighty;
for with Your voice You sustain creation.
Your voice is victorious;
for with Your voice You subdue Your enemies.
You voice is love,
for with Your voice You give peace.

May all Your children worship You,
in gladness,
and joy,
and cry with one voice,
“GLORY!”
You are King.
You are Lord.
You are sovereign.
You reign forever and ever.
In Jesus most awesome name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—