With a Word

Creator God,
with a word you created life.
With a word, You created all that we can see and not see.
And with THE Word You gave us hope for eternal life.
May we cling to this hope in the midst of life’s trials
as we rejoice in our Savior;
for in him,
there is no cause for weeping.
All praise be unto You,
Father God,
through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Unending Praise…

Holy God,
it is indeed right and salutary
to give You thanks and praise,
oh God,
our giver of life.
Through Jesus Christ You made us righteous in Your eyes
and thus redeemed our lives from the grip of death.
You sustain us through Your Holy Spirit
and lead us into all Truth.
You have revealed Your glory to us
that we may reflect that Light unto the world around us.
And so,
we go with boldness into this world
to shine the light of Your love and grace.
And as we go,
we join with the Church on earth
and the hosts of heaven
in singing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Righteousness

Holy God,
through Jesus Christ
you have made us righteous in your eyes
and thus redeemed us from the pit of death
through the forgiveness of our sins.
You have given us a new hope
as we look forward to and long for the paradise prepared for us.
You are an awesome God
and thus you are worthy of all
praise
and glory
and worship.
Help us to understand what it means
to bring You glory through the practicing of our righteousness.
May we not fall to the temptation of glorifying ourselves.
May we not steal the praise that is due Your wonderful name.
Now may the words of my mouth
and the meditation of our hearts
be acceptable in Your sight,
oh God,
our Rock and redeemer,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

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 -|—