Washed Clean

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
righteous King and Creator.
We are a sinful people; lost, corrupt and seekers of our own glory.
We have gone astray and sought after other gods.
We are deserving of Your wrath-filled judgment.
But You, oh God, are a merciful God.
You are holy and just
and so You sent Jesus to redeem our sin-filled selves.
He washed us clean with his blood;
taking our sins upon himself
and thus gave us entry into the Wedding Feast.
And so we worship You;
joining with Church on earth and the hosts of heaven
in singing Your unending praise.

The Cornerstone

The following is the Great Thanksgiving preface that I wrote for the Holy Communion liturgy for today. I was inspired by the Gospel text from Luke 20:9-18; the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. A church not built on Jesus will surely fall…

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
holy, mighty and awesome.
You built the Church on the foundation of Jesus,
Your anointed and only Son.
Through faith in him our sins have been forgiven
and thus we have been clothed in righteousness
and are justified in Your sight.
Oh God,
what an awesome thing to be at peace with You
and in You
for all eternity.
And so we shout out Alleluias each and every day
as we recall your amazing grace.
And so we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

Goose Bumps Moment

Psalm 103:10 (ESV) ~ He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Just think about that above verse.

Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait…

[cue Jeopardy theme]

Did you think about it?
Are you blown away by it?
Did you get goosebumps?

Let’s review…

God the almighty. God the Creator. God the holy, holy, holy One. This God does not deal with you according to your sins. He does not give to you as you deserve. You sin and thus deserve death. You sin and thus deserve condemnation. You sin and thus deserve hell. God does not repay you according to your sins because someone already paid the price…

JESUS

Jesus took the full wrath of God and thus received what you deserved for your sins.
He suffered
He was crucified
He died
He was buried
But…Jesus rose victorious FOR YOU and thus, through faith in Jesus, you receive what you do not deserve.

That’s AMAZING grace 🙂

WOW! Got goose bumps yet?

The Pastor -|—

Known

Psalm 71:5–6 (ESV) ~ For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV) ~ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) ~ “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul talks about not just KNOWING God but being KNOWN by God.

Wow, just reflect on those texts for a moment. You are KNOWN by God. You are KNOWN from the very moment your life began…in the womb. God KNEW you then and KNOWS you now. God has a purpose for your life. Scripture talks about our hairs being numbered. You are KNOWN better by God than you KNOW yourself.

God KNOWS your shortcomings. God KNOWS every skeleton you are trying to hide. God KNOWS every dark secret; every single sin. God KNOWS. The psalmist reflects in Psalm 139 that there is no where he can hide from God. Even darkness is as day to God. Nothing can conceal you.

You are KNOWN.

And it is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was born. It is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was crucified and raised for you. God KNOWS you yet offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You are KNOWN

WOW!

Just think about THAT.

You are KNOWN by God…from the moment of conception. God formed you and wove you together. Everything is ordained by God. And why? Because you are precious. Life is precious. EVERY life is precious. And if it is important to God, then it ought to be important to you.

You are KNOWN
The unborn are KNOWN
ALL life is precious to God

The Pastor -|—

Faithful

Oh God,
Your Word is faithful and true,
Your Word is enduring and timeless,
Your Word is changeless and trustworthy,
You have never failed to follow through.
You have never let me down.
Oh God, so
How could I be so faith-less?
How could I be so trust-less?
How could I be so impatient?
You have never given me reason to doubt You, yet I did.

I confess.
I repent.

Hear my prayer and heal me.
Hear my prayer and strengthen me.
Hear my prayer and empower me.
In Jesus name, forgive me.

And now, oh God…

May I shine a light unto Your faithfulness
for all to see.
May I reflect Your glory,
for all to bask in.
May I proclaim Your love,
for all to know.

Satan wielded his sword against me.
Your sword is stronger for Your Word will never pass away.
May I always trust in Your faithfulness.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—


From Where?

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth.” [Psalms 121:1-2]

Oh sinner;
weak,
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?
Does it come from your self-determination?
Does it come from your wisdom?
Does it come from your advanced degree(s)?
Does it come from your many acts of service?
Does it come from your many friends?

From where does your help come?
Be honest, oh sinner;
from where does it come?
If it comes not from the Lord Jesus,
then you have no real and true help.

As for me;
a weak and foolish and pride-filled person?
My help comes from…

The Lord!

It is HE who made the heaven and the earth.
It is HE who knows my very frame.
It is HE who has every hair of my head numbered.
It is HE who knew me before I was born,
and knows me now.
It is HE from whom I have forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
It is the Lord.
My help comes from Him.

The Lord!

So I ask again, oh sinner;
weak,
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?

The Pastor -|—

You Are

You are holy,
we are not.
You are perfect,
we make mistakes.
You are love,
we are anything but that.
You are strong,
we are weak.
You are right,
we are wrong.

We have good intentions,
but Your plans always succeed.
We think we’re in control,
but You sit on the throne.
We try to take control,
but You rule over all.
We look to our knowledge,
but You have all wisdom.
We plot out our course,
but You are the Way.

Oh God,

We fall short.
We hurt one another.
We go astray.
We forget about You

On our own we are lost…

[Father God, in Jesus name, forgive us]
[My child, you are forgiven]

Oh God,

YOU are…

AWESOME!

The Pastor -|—