Tag Archives: God’s Word

God’s Word is God’s Word

The following is an article I submitted to the Tacoma News Tribune. I have had the privilege of submitting articles every other week for a few months now and this my latest one; printed on Saturday, Nov 4. I have received a number of requests to make these more available so here you go…

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17]

I came across a quote recently that really bothered me and scared me. The quote came from a prominent church leader in a major denomination. The reason it scared me was not just that it came from this leader, but that this leader has and will be again speaking at a national youth gathering. I fear what her ideas and beliefs will do to the next generation. The quote is this, “Preaching hopefully in some way is the word of God, speaking is not. So I thought, I wonder, we can look at (the apostle) Paul that way. You know like sometimes he was just going off on his snotty opinions, he has some authority to speak on it but that’s not necessarily the Word of God.” Just his “snotty opinions”? Wow, that is scary because it is saying that if you don’t like something in the Bible, you can just call it a “snotty opinion” and totally discount it as something not authoritative. The problem is that when you start doing this, then all of scripture becomes suspect. When that happens, then scripture ceases to be authoritative.

The fact of that matter is that ALL of scripture is breathed out by God. ALL of scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, not just the parts you like. C.S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” Those are very wise words. The Word of God operates the same way. You simply cannot twist and manipulate it to justify a certain way of life, or a certain behavior, or a certain belief system. You simply cannot toss out the verses and/or chapters you do not like or agree with. You cannot rewrite scripture because it makes you uncomfortable. The Word of God is just that, the Words of God almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You cannot pick and choose like going through some divine a la carte line. The Word kills but brings to life. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 Corinthians 5:17]

The Word of God is not outdated or irrelevant as some would want you to believe. It doesn’t need to be updated to fit our culture today. The Word of God does not need to be softened so as not to offend certain people. The Word of God is authoritative, all of it, and thus needs to be listened to, for in it are the words of eternal life and that never goes out of style. Don’t minimize God’s Word but hold it as authoritative and watch it transform you. Cling to God’s Word and trust in its power. Taste and see that it is indeed good.

The Pastor -|—

Prayer for those in Err

O God,
there are many who misuse Your Word;
there are many who devalue the Scriptures.
I see and hear,
I read and peruse,
and my heart is saddened;
anger threatens to rear its ugly head
against those who do not understand.
O God,
may anger not control my actions
but rather compassion for those who are in err.
Grant understanding,
O God,
to those who take Your Word as something
to suit their own desires;
redefining Your Word according to the culture;
according to the masses.

Grant insight,
O God,
to those who do not understand.
Grant ears of faith,
O God,
to those who do not and will not listen.
Grant me patience,
O God,
that I may be a steadfast beacon of light;
for this world needs Your Truth.
May I never back down

and may I never fail to glorify You.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Reveal

Father God,
I remember at Christmas how
the shepherds hurried from the manger
glorifying and praising You;
revealing Jesus birth to the world.
The wise men revealed Jesus
through their gifts of three.
During this season of Epiphany
may you reveal yourself to me,
through Jesus,
each and everyday
and beyond.
May I see Christ in others.
May I see you in all of creation.
May your light shine through my life.
And as I read your holy Word,
may your promises fly off the page
and into my heart;
revealing over and over again
the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Oh God,
I need constant remembers of your
love.
Continue to reveal Jesus to me.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Rain

Living out here,
I have learned to walk in the rain
without any concern.
No running for cover.
No umbrella in hand.
No fear of melting.
It’s just water.
It’s almost like I am not getting wet.
The rain falls,
the water puddles,
and I barely notice anymore.

Living in this world,
I see people walking in the “rain”,
without any concern.
No running to You.
No Bible in hand.
No fear of You.
Nothing.
It’s almost as if You don’t exist.
Your Word goes out,
as rain falling in the Northwest,
and people barely notice anymore.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
[Isaiah 55:10-11]

Let Your Word rain down,
oh God,
let Your Word rain down,
for You will not be denied.
May these people, wet with Your Word,
take notice and
seek shelter in You.
And since Your Word will
NEVER
return to You empty,
may I not lose heart.
Let Your Word rain down,
oh God,
let Your Word rain down.

The Pastor -|—

Bursting Forth ~ A Morning Prayer

Holy Father, awesome God,

Your Word is life.
Your Word is our hope.
Your Word is our very breath.
You created with a word.
The serpent deceived with a false word.
Adam and Eve were expelled with a word of curse, warning and finally hope.
You created a people and nation with a word of promise.
You gave new life with a Word
and that Word is embodied in our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.

And so we come to this Advent season with anxious anticipation of this Word. May we not doubt.
May we not impose self-inflicted mutism when is comes to the Gospel,
but rather,
may we burst forth in praise
with what the birth of Jesus means for a dark and lost world.
May we sing the glories of your name
to a wearied people.
May we announce hope
to a hopeless word.

Send now Your Spirit, oh God,
that we may hear this Word
and be filled with awe,
so much so,
that we can’t wait to burst through these doors
and fill this world with the hope of the resurrection.
It’s through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray,

Amen.

God bless you as you begin this Advent season. May the light of Christ shine brightly in and through your life to the glory of God.

The Pastor -|—

Prepare the Soil

Prepare the soil of my heart,
Lord,
prepare the soil of my heart
as the seed of Your Word is sown.

Satan lurks,
as a bird waiting for the grain truck
in order to snatch away any stray seeds.
Satan lurks,
as a prowling lion waiting for prey
in order to devour an unsuspecting soul.
Satan lurks,
as a thief scoping out a house
in order to rob it of it’s treasure.

Prepare the soil of my heart,
Lord,
prepare the soil of my heart
as the seed of Your Word is sown.

The world entices,
as a forbidden lover
looking to steal away someone’s love.
The world entices,
as a wolf in sheep’s clothing
looking to deceive unto death.
The world entices,
as a desert mirage
only to provide sand to quench a dry mouth.

Prepare the soil of my heart,
Lord,
prepare the soil of my heart
as the seed of Your Word is sown.

For…

Jesus saves,
that’s it.
Jesus saves.

So…

Prepare the soil of my heart,
Lord,
prepare the soil of my heart
as the seed of Your Word is sown.

The Pastor -|—

Your Holy Word ~ A Prayer before Preaching

It never ceases to amaze me that I get to preach God’s Word in this way each and every week. It also never ceases to amaze me that these fingers manage to pound out words through this keyboard, that when put together are something that proclaims Christ to people. And so my prayer each and every week (and day), as I approach God’s Word, is that I may be faithful with God’s Word and approach God’s Word with an open heart; one ready to receive.

May God be glorified in this sermon this morning and may the Holy Spirit do it’s thing in this place and wherever you are at. Let’s pray..

To approach Your holy Word faithfully
is to do so with fear and trembling;
not only because of how it convicts us of sin
but also because
of it’s awesome power through the Holy Spirit.
For Your Word kills and gives life.
It convicts and redeems.
It’s alive.
It’s does something.

And so may we approach Your Word here this morning with great expectation;
leaning on Your promises
and joyfully basking in Your faithfulness.
May we toss off all that would hinder our hearing of Your Word
and fix our eyes on
You.
May we receive this Word with all joy
but not just receive it,
but also put it into faithful action that proclaims Your glory.
May we embrace its transformative power
that gives courage in a fear-filled world.

All glory,
honor,
worship
and praise
be onto
You,
holy Father,
through Christ Jesus our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—