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 -|—

Morning Chuckle and Promise

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. [Psalm 119:105]

The above verse was the verse of the day on the YouVersion Bible app for Sunday, January 6. A good verse for Epiphany Sunday but that is not why I am sharing this. You see, Sunday at 1:30 AM began a 23 hour power outage for us.

[Read the verse again] 🙂

You can’t make this stuff up ~ at least not with a straight face. This is simply God with a sense of humor. Got to love Him, right? The other funny thing about it was when I shared this verse on Facebook on Sunday morning I didn’t catch the connection until someone commented on it. Either the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet or the outage had dampened my sense of humor.

Either way, no matter what happens in life, God’s Word is a light to our path. Power outage, cancer, illness, job loss, kids out of control, marriage problems, etc. No matter the situation, at the very least you have God’s Word ~ which is A LOT. For you see, If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. [Psalm 139:11-12] Basically, there is no hiding from God in the darkness AND darkness can not overtake you to hide you from God. Take joy in this fact.

God is:
Sovereign
Mighty
Powerful
Omnipotent
Omniscient
Lord
A strong Fortress
etc…

AND…

has a sense of humor 🙂

Thank you God

The Pastor -|—

Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
[Psalm 27:1]

Fear is irrelevant unless, of course, that fear is holy awe of our most awesome and amazing God who loves you with a love that is beyond comprehension. Then fear is a command because of what God has done FOR YOU. And what has God done FOR YOU?

God is your light in this dark world.
God is your salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
God is your stronghold.
God is your fortress from the enemy.

In light of all of this, why would I fear anything or anyone of this world? Why would I fear any situation that is thrown at me? Why would I fear opposition, challenges or road blocks? My friends, do not let Satan drive you to fear, but rather direct your attention to God and fear the one who is bigger and more powerful than the fear of this world.

There is nothing that surprises God.
There is nothing that can foil His plans.
There is nothing that God can not handle.
There is nothing that God can not use for His glory.

Whom shall you fear? Whom shall you be afraid?

NOTHING and NO ONE.

Fear God and worship only Him; for He is FOR YOU and not against you. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Let This Soak in…

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Psalms 24:1‭-‬2 ESV

Let that soak in for a bit;
the fact that the earth is the Lord’s;
including those who dwell therein;
You
You are the Lord’s.
This is a matter of possession,
and thus of provision.
You are the Lord’s and therefore,
You are valued.
You are loved.
You are cherished.
It is that fundamental.
It matters not who you are.
It matters not what you’ve done.
It matters not what you will do.
You are the Lord’s.
He established you.
He founded you.
He knows you.
You are never out of His
Sight
Reach
Shelter
You are the Lord’s.
Fear not the Lord but fear the Lord.
It’s that simple.
It that fundamental.
It’s that awesome.
You are the Lord’s.
Let that soak in…

The Pastor -|—