Here I Am to Worship You

Father God, Creator and Redeemer,
I know not how to praise You as You deserve;
for there is much in my heart that leads me
astray.
You deserve so much more that I can give, for…
You loved me even before I was born.
You breathed the breath of life into my being.
You have redeemed my sin-fallen life through Jesus Christ.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Oh God,
fill me with Your Spirit that I may see You.
Fill me with Your Spirit that I may know You better.
Fill me with Your Spirit that I may praise and worship You
as You deserve.
Here I am to worship You.
Receive my song, my praise, my thanks.
Oh God, receive me.
Here I am to worship You.
Here I am to worship You.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

It’s All about Jesus

I attended a worship service while on vacation, recently, that left me scratching my head (and not because it inflamed my dandruff). What left me scratching was the sermon. The topic?

Ebeneezer Scrooge

I kid you not. This was part of a larger Advent theme titled, “The Redemption of Scrooge“. Now, I am not criticizing the Advent title because there is much you can do with it that is inline with the Gospel. What bothered me was the sermon content. Four times the name “Jesus” was referenced but never as the topic. I can’t tell you what the scripture text was because that was never referenced. Some other random scriptures were thrown in but I struggled to find the connection.I waited and waited. I waited for Jesus and was denied. And that in lies the problem.

If the sermon is not about Jesus, then it is not worth preaching.

I went to worship my awesome God through Jesus Christ and to hear the Gospel proclaimed to me but I left with a message about a Christmas character that is not even found in the Bible. Did that sermon really need to be preached for the advancement of the Kingdom?

No!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to criticize the above, unnamed church I attended but rather bring to light something I have heard many times before (or not heard). Too many times I have listened to a “sermon” that had nothing to do with Jesus but people left thinking so because the name “Jesus” was mentioned or the pastor was holding a Bible or because they were in a “Christian” church. I wonder, sometimes, if people are really listening to the sermon. Knowing the congregation I currently serve, if I ever preached a sermon about Ebeneezer Scrooge, I would have to answer to the leadership about my sermon content.

As a pastor, I preach the Gospel from the pulpit. The Gospel is about Jesus, period. So therefore, any sermon that is not about Jesus fails to do it’s job, period. That is why I am opposed to preaching politics in the pulpit. I will preach about biblical topics that are political but Jesus is always at the center. If I ever preach a sermon that is not about Jesus, I hope my congregation will slap me up across the head.

It’s all about Jesus.

I write this in hopes that pastors will be very aware of what they are preaching. Is it about Jesus? I also write this in hopes that the people in the pews will be aware of what they are hearing. Was that about Jesus? And if you ever hear a sermon that is not about Jesus, I hope you will feel free to talk to your pastor about it. As pastors, we need to be held accountable. We are human after all and are susceptible to being lead away.

All of life is about Jesus so make sure that Jesus is the topic and not just a passing mention. Preach Jesus, and not just pastors but everyone and give glory to our awesome God.

It’s all about Jesus.

The Pastor -|—

 

For Your Glory

Holy God,
we humbly come before You
to praise Your holy name;
to lay our petitions at Your feet,
and to confess our sins.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
receive our praise,
hear our petitions
and grant us forgiveness,
so that,
our lives may be refreshed and strengthened
to live for Your glory.
Send now Your Holy Spirit,
oh God,
to fill us and lead us along our way.
In Jesus Name we pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Spread the Wealth

Father God, may we bask in the joy and glory of our lives being hidden with Christ. But may we not hide from others. May this hidden-ness not be an excuse to keep to ourselves and simply wait for the coming of our Lord. Rather, may the joy of being hidden with Christ lead us to spread the wealth with others so people, through faith, may be rich towards God.

Lord in Your mercy…

Awaking

Holy God, I pray for an awakening in this country. Send your Holy Spirit to powerfully use us to shine the light of Your love. May we not see people only skin deep, but may we look on people with the eyes of Christ. May we not build walls but open the gates to one another. May we not get defensive but go on the offensive; striving to outdo one another in showing love.

Lord in Your mercy…

 

To Follow

Holy God,
through Jesus Christ You call us to action,
as You call us to follow.
But road is not easy
and the task is daunting.
We are tempted to give up
or take shortcuts so not to offend people.

May we never do so.
May we always be faithful.

Grant us Your Spirit
that we may fix our gaze upon Jesus,
so much so,
that his glory is reflected in the world
through our faithfulness.
May our actions shed light
in a dark world
and
may our words speak peace and hope.

You call us to follow,
may we do so now without hesitation.
All praise, glory and honor
be unto You,
Creator God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

The Pastor -|—