Rise

Rise and shine like the sun;
For the Son shines in you.
Rise and face this new day;
Knowing you don’t face it alone.
Rise and be bold;
For the Lord your is Rock.
Rise and be confident;
For the Lord is your refuge.
Rise and praise Him;
For God almighty has redeemed you.
Rise and worship Him;
For He is worthy.
Rise and be forgiven;
For Jesus has died for you.
Rise and rise again;
For Jesus lives and so shall you, forever.
Rise and shine;
For this is indeed a glorious day.

The Pastor-|—

To Begin My Day…

To You, oh Lord,
I place my trust.
To You, oh Lord,
I cast my eyes.
Hold me tight in the midst of the storm;
In the midst of enemies who claim victory.
Wield Your sword to defend me;
Your mighty arm is powerful.
Hedge me in on all sides;
Oh Lord, You are my fortress.
May I not fall into despair;
May I always see You.
To You, oh Lord,
I place my trust.
To You, oh Lord,
I give my praise.

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 -|—

Misplaced Fear

And Herodias had a grudge against him (John the Baptist) and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
Mark 6:19‭-‬20 ESV

Herod feared John.
Herod knew John was a righteous and holy man.
Herod listened to John.
Herod was perplexed by John yet gladly heard him.

THUS…

Herod protected John — for awhile — until his fear of man trumped his fear of John.

Hmmm…interesting, isn’t it. Herod feared and respected John the Baptist and gladly heard him, but nothing about fearing God. Nothing about wanting to know more about this Messiah to which John was pointing. Herod was simply fascinated with the man (John), not God, thus his “fear” was not firmly grounded.

And herein lies the issue — the fear of man verses the fear of God. The fear of man will only take you so far and will eventually betray you and/or the one you claim to fear. The faith-filled fear of God will keep you in awe and never betray you, and will rightly direct your worship.

It’s sad, really, as this worldly fear leads people into false worship. This is evident in how people view /think of Christian worship. The delivery or form or the service itself becomes the object of one’s worship. One’s fear of how worship is done soon captures their heart and veils the one they claim to fear/worship.
They fear not being entertained.
They fear something going wrong.

When these becomes the main fears, then God is not glorified. How can God be glorified when people want…

…entertainment, not worship
…form, not substance
…creature, not Creator
…words, not the Word
…Easter, not Good Friday
…absolution, not confession
…comfort, not suffering

They fear man, not God.

May you not adopt the ways of Herod but walk in the Way of Jesus.
May your fear not be misplaced.
May your worship be directed towards “entertaining” God not in being entertained.

May you be greatly “perplexed” about God, so much so, that you are driven, more and more, to hear God, more and more gladly, so much so, that your holy fear of God is nurtured and cultivated in such a way that God is glorified in every way in your life.

Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalms 46:10 ESV

Have you obeyed this command?

Have you “stilled” yourself and reflected on the fact that God is God?

Do you believe that God WILL be exalted? No, I mean truly believe it?

Oh Christian, God WILL be exalted. It matters not what is going on in your life. It matters not how Satan ravaging you. It matters not what the world does or says. God WILL be exalted. God sits on His throne. Every one of His enemies will be made a footstool for Him. God rules.

So…

Be still, oh Christian, and remember.

Be still, oh Christian, and believe.

Be still, oh Christian, and know.

This exalted God is your God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Obey and relax and Be still…

The Pastor -|—

Begin…

Hebrews 12:1–2 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Holy God,
as I begin this day,
I am feeling the weight of demands and expectations.
I am feeling the prodding of Satan’s attacks.
I am feeling the weariness of the battle.
All of which work against that which You call me to do;
to shine the light of Your love.
Oh God,
May my eyes be fixed on the founder and perfecter of my faith, Jesus Christ.
May his strength alleviate the weight of demands and expectations.
May Your armor shield me from Satan’s prodding jabs.
May Your promises revive my weary soul.
May I continue to “run the race”;
following the example of the witnesses before me
and with my eyes firmly fixed on my Lord and Savior.
And so,
I begin may day,
ready to run.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Strength and Shield

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
[Psalms 28:7 ESV]

Oh Lord,
You are my Strength.
You are my Shield.
In You I am found safe and secure.
In You I am on firm footing.
In You I shall never to be moved.
And thus I praise You,
oh Lord,
for many would assail me,
Satan’s torments crash against me as the waves of the sea.
Sin is constantly enticing me to turn away from You.
On my own I am weak.
On my own I would surely succumb to the evil one.
On my own You are not glorified.
But You ARE my Strength.
You ARE my Shield.
And thus I am here to praise You.
My heart exalts.
My heart is over-joyed.
For You help me,
and You shield me.
You place a hedge of protection around me.
And there is nothing and no one that can snatch me out of Your hands.
And so, as I begin this new day,
may I ever remember You as my Fortress,
and say with confidence and boldness,
Satan, bring it on.”
To You, oh God, be all glory and honor and strength and praise.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—