Our First Love

I commend these words of Scripture to you and the following prayer:

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
[Revelation 2:1-5]

Lord visit our church. We have heard Thy message to the churches at Ephesus (see text above); it is a message to us also. Oh! do not let any of us lose our first love. Let not our church grow cold and dead. We are not, we fear, what once we were. Lord revive us! All our help must come from Thee. Give back to the church its love, its confidence, its holy daring, its consecration, its liberality, its holiness. Give back all it ever had and give it much more. Take every member and wash his feet, Sweet Lord, most tenderly, and set us with clean feet in a clean road, with a clean heart to guide them, and do Thou bless us unto your glory. [Charles Spurgeon]

I read this prayer and then went to re-familiarize myself with the letter to the Church in Ephesus in Revelation 2 and I was struck by the words: you have abandoned the love you had at first. And I can’t help but wonder if this is still the message to the Church today.

Have we abandoned our “first love”?
Have we grown weary of bearing up the name of the Lord?
Have we lost patience in the midst of persecution?
Do we toil for the Gospel?
Do we test the spirits and those who say they preach in the name of Jesus?

Have we abandoned the love we had at first in order to cling to this world?

I read these words of Scripture over and over again and then went back to the prayer of Charles Spurgeon and found myself praying for the Church; pleading to God on behalf of the Church; appealing to God to send His Spirit. I found myself praying for
Gospel boldness,
a renewed sense of passion for Jesus,
courage and strength to resist the tides of change,
faith to be transformed and not to conform.

I found myself wondering why God has put up with the Church so long; why not just dump us. Then I was quickly reminded that Jesus, the bridegroom, will never ever leave his bride, the Church. Jesus died and rose that we may be made holy and sanctified and Jesus is not going to quit until the job is finished. In the mean time there is much to be done.

For you?

Pray for the Church (which includes you). Pray that we return to our first love (Jesus) and proclaim this Good New to a shifting culture. Pray for the Spirit to revive His people and pray for the Spirit to raise up passionate, God-fearing, Jesus-loving disciples. Pray for this nation. Pray for leaders. Pray for peace.

There is indeed much to do. There are many who need THE Good News of Jesus Christ. And there is no time to waste, so let’s get started and…

Let’s pray…

The Pastor -|—

Have No Fear? Really? (Revelation 15:3-4)

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
 Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
(Revelation 15:3-4 ESV)

I stumbled upon was led to this scripture this morning for some reason. Funny how the Holy Spirit works sometimes.

In any case…

I started staring and reflecting on the question:
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?

Seriously who? Who won’t fear the Lord? And why? It is a baffling question, really, when you think about it. God’s deeds are great and amazing. God’s ways are just and true. God is King. God is holy. But way too many people don’t know this or acknowledge this.

What a shame.

I look around and see God’s great and amazing deeds all over the place. I can not fathom the thought that we are nothing but chance; that some random molecules or proteins or whatever it is; came together and started forming the universe and thus life. There is no way whatsoever that life is random. It just doesn’t start out of nowhere and with no reason.

GOD is the author of life and thus God should be feared.

Romans 1:19-20 tells us:
[19] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. [20] For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

It comes down to emptying yourself and trusting God. I saw this quote on Facebook yesterday that said: If you’re not hungry for God, you’re probably full of yourself. That sounds about right but I would say more than just “probably” full of yourself.

Through creation God has made it abundantly clear that God is God Almighty, Creator of the heaven and the earth. God has made it plain who He is. Just look around and see.

So take some time and reflect on the awesome deeds of God. Consider His just and true ways. Submit to His Kingship and acknowledge God’s holiness. Do this in order to foster and nurture a healthy fear of the Lord that sends you NOT running away screaming but running TO God in worship.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Don’t be a fool. Embrace the wisdom of God and learn from Him.

Creator God, You are holy and awesome and just and true and your ways are wholly righteous. May people run to you in holy fear and cling to Your promises through Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Be the Town Crier (Psalm 130:5-6)

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
[Psalm 130:5-6]

Is your soul more confident of the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city, and waiting for the morning sun to come up?

Is your soul more excited about the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city, and longing to return home at day’s first light?

Is you soul more hopeful of the Lord’s return than some night watchmen standing on the city wall, protecting the city; knowing that the sun will rise in the morning?

Does your soul wait for the Lord?
Is your hope in the Word of God; promising salvation through faith in Jesus?
Do you long for the Lord’s return, so much so, that your soul aches to be away from the Lord?

I don’t know about you, but there are times that I find myself sitting in my quiet living room; listening very carefully. What am I listening for? I am listening for a trumpet. Nope, not the local high school marching band, but THE heavenly band announcing the arrival of our Lord and King. I am waiting for the trumpet blast that will signal me to run outside to watch our Lord returning on the clouds.

And what a scene that will be.

I can hardly wait for that day. I can hardly wait for Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom here on this earth. I can hardly wait for Satan, sin, evil and death to be done away with. I can hardly wait for God to wipe my tears away.
[Revelation 20 & 21]

I can hardly wait to reside in God’s holy kingdom where the gate never needs to be shut because there is no night; where there is no sun because the glory of God is the light and where there is no temple because God Almighty and the Lamb is it’s temple.
[Revelation 21:22-25]

I can hardly wait for all things to be made new.

In the mean time, our souls wait because that’s all we can do. But don’t be idle; just sitting around waiting. Don’t just be a night watchman waiting for the sun to rise so you can go home. Be the town crier; announcing the arrival of the King. Wake people up so they too can run outside and watch their Lord and King arrive on the clouds.

Praise be to God!

Heavenly God and King, we anxiously await the day when Your son returns to establish Your kingdom. In the mean time stir our hearts to be criers; announcing and preparing people to receive Your son. May we not be idle but active in our anxious waiting. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—



Let us prepare our hearts to worship God…

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
(Revelation 4:11 ESV)

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 
(Revelation 5:12 ESV)

Worthy is God, creator of all that is seen and unseen, for his glory shines forth in creation.

Worthy is God our Father, who opens his arms to his children and receives them with love and compassion.

Worthy is God for through the death and resurrection of Jesus, gives hope eternal and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Worthy is God, the holy One, who through Jesus Christ sanctifies us that we may be perfect someday as God is perfect.

Worthy is God, who is closer to us than we are to ourselves, for he listens to our prayers and grants us our daily bread.

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Amen!!!
(Revelation 5:13 ESV)

May God bless you on this Lord’s day as you worship and praise His holy name. May you know the hope of the resurrection and may you be equipped to continue to worship throughout this day and everyday, for God is worthy.

The Pastor -|—

Achy heart

The pastor’s heart is feeling achy because of some pastoral care situations.  I can’t go into details because I value confidentiality but all I can say is this world is messed up in so many ways.

Brokenness in relationships

…they are all around, and I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all go away (by the way I really don’t have a magic wand).  I wish I could take away the hurt in people’s hearts.  I wish I could heal broke relationships, take away cancer and put hope into sad hearts.  I wish I could relieve suffering.

[That’s not too much to hope for…it is?]

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
[Revelation 21:1-4]


Honestly…when I started writing this I wasn’t thinking of Revelation 21, but I should have been.  I can’t take away the hurt that is all around me but Jesus has.  And because of his death and resurrection we have Revelation 21 to look forward to.  I guess instead of a magic wand I need this hope amplified in my heart.  Yes…that will do it.

Thanks for letting me vent for a while.

God…grant me strength. Amen.

edh -|—


There’s that number ~ 666.

In this particular context, though, it represents how many posts I have published on this blog.  For many people it is the number of the beast from Revelation 13:18.  Maybe this number makes you a little nervous when you see it or maybe you just make a passing observation when it shows up and then brush it away.


…I don’t get nervous or put a lot of stock in that number but I thought I would still post something in “retaliation”, so to speak, since this is post #666.  So in “retaliation” I decided to go to the Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) book; to hymn #666 which is “What Wondrous Love Is This” 🙂  Just soak in these lyrics for a moment:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul! What
wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my
soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down, when
I was sinking down, sinking down, when I was sinking down
beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside his crown for my
soul, for my soul, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing; to
God and to the Lamb I will sing; to God and to the Lamb,
who is the great I Am, while millions join the theme I will
sing, I will sing, while millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on; and
when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; and when from death I’m free,
I’ll sing God’s love for me, and through eternity I’ll sing
on, I’ll sing on; and through eternity I’ll sing on. 

Isn’t that beautiful?

I just love it because in the end it is all about the wondrous love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  The number 666 is just a number.  “The Beast” has been defeated.

GOD is the one who should be feared (because of His awesome holiness).
GOD is the one who should be praised and glorified.
GOD is the one who reigns on high.

So because of that…let’s sing on…and praise the LORD 🙂

edh -|—