Hope and Life

The following chalk art was created by my imaginative 6-year-old daughter. It used to adorn the sidewalk in front of our home. Knowing that the lawn sprinklers would soon wash this masterpiece away, I made sure this was digitally preserved. This artwork, from the heart of a 6-year-old, inspired the following poem. To God be the glory!

Through death to Life,
You give me hope.
Through dark to light.
I can now cope.
For the cross rises above this broken world
and life rises from within.
I now have hope and strength for through Jesus Christ
eternal life now begins.
The sun shines,
The flower blooms,
Oh Lord my God my final place is not the tomb.
And now my heart leaps for joy,
I just can not contain it.
My face radiates with love,
Something that will never quit.
So may the cross brightly shine,
A hope for the world to see.
My sins have been wiped away.
That is Your loving decree.

The One

You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
You and only You,
You are holy and true,
You are my hope and salvation.
There are no other gods who can stand,
all have been outdone,
none can prove to be the one.
Many try to dethrone You,
but all fall short,
incomplete
impotent
Ineffective.
Only You is praise wholly due.
But the battle rages on,
my soul is conflicted.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing,
trying to pull off a big con.
I become deceived,
straying from the way.
Listening to the lies,
oh God, my soul is grieved.
Forgive and restore,
remake, for You I adore.
May it be You who I follow,
for there is no other way.
The gods of this world,
are nothing, only hollow.
So dethrone the gods I’ve crowned,
Show me again,
That Jesus, only Jesus,
is the way to truly abound.

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.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 3

READ: Psalm 3. Now read it again. One more time. Alright, we’re ready. Let’s pray…

Father God,
My foes are many; those who would oppose Your ways.
They celebrate and flaunt their success; scoffing at me and saying that I have no hope.
They claim victory; boasting of their strength. They think they are in control; that they hold the upper hand.
My foes arrogantly go on their way; secure in their positions of power; strutting in confidence; smug in their ways.
Oh Lord, my God, my foes are many.
Their numbers overwhelm me.
But You, oh God, are a shield about me.
You are my fortress.
You are my army of myriads that goes before me.
You have lifted me up and secured my life.
You have never ceased to hear and answer my cry for help.
Therefore, I will never fear the hordes that oppose me.
Day and night You are my guard.
I am at peace.
Oh Lord, my God, my foes are many but You overwhelm them.
Your enemies have been defeated and thus I am victorious.
They claim salvation is theirs.
They are wrong.
Salvation is Yours and Yours alone.
Through Jesus Christ You have saved me thus may Your blessings sustain me now and forevermore.
Through Jesus Christ my Lord I pray,
Amen.

Help Me, Oh Lord My God!

Help me, Oh Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love.
” (Psalm 109:26)
Help me Oh Lord my God!
Guide me with Your Holy Spirit.
Help me, Oh Lord my God!
Teach me to know Your ways.
Help me, Oh Lord my God!
Show me the path to follow.
Help me, Oh Lord my God!
I want to glorify You with my life.
As the psalmist cried out to You for help;
knowing his shortcomings;
knowing his failings;
knowing his sin;
I cry out to You.
I cry out to You for help that I may not be crushed by my sin.
Save me according to Your steadfast love,
For my faith is in Jesus.
I am weak.
I fall short.
I often turn from You.
If salvation were up to me, I would certainly be damned.
Please do not turn from me.
Please do not give to me as I deserve.
May Your grace shower me and drench me.
May I be caught up in Your river of Life;
sweeping me away in a torrent of Love.
Help me, Oh Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love.

To Live

Inspired by Philippians 1:21 (ESV) ~ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

To live is Christ, to die is gain,
To live for me I will abstain,
For my life is so very frail,
So fraught with weakness it will fail.

To live is Christ, to die is gain,
To live in fear I will refrain,
For this world does not win the day,
For this world only has today.

To live is Christ, to die is gain,
To live for Him I can’t complain,
For God does love me this is sure,
And from Satan He did secure.

To live is Christ, to die is gain,
To live in Him I’ll be sustained,
For Jesus lives and I will too,
For in his life I am renewed.

Is It Right to Praise the Lord?

This “Psalm” was inspired by Psalms 146-150; Psalms with the bookends “Praise the Lord“.

Is it right to praise the Lord?
Oh let me think…
He is awesome and mighty
Gracious and merciful
Faithful and just
Powerful and gentle
Father
Shepherd
Creator
He has made the heavens and the earth.
He breathed the breath of life into all living creatures.
He perfectly made everything
We sinned
But He vowed reconciliation and restoration through crushing Satan.
And He followed through on His promises.
He sent Jesus
Jesus lived and loved and healed and forgave
Jesus suffered and died and was buried
Jesus rose victorious
Jesus reigns
Sins are forgiven
Death and Satan and tears are no more.
Joy and peace and Life forevermore.
Oh sinner, is it right to praise the Lord?
Yes
YES!
Praise the Lord!