Opening prayer ~ The Narrow Gate (Matthew 7:13-14)

As we prepare for worship this morning, let us first prepare our hearts to praise God and receive His Holy Word. Let us pray…

Father God,

scripture teaches us to “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14) May those who are here gathered enter by the narrow gate and deny themselves the easy way through the wide gate. May we enter through

Your Word
Your Promises
Your Grace and,
Your son, Jesus Christ

But we are not so foolish to think that the path through the narrow gate will be easy. It will be hard, so I humbly ask that you may send your Holy Spirit to make us lean; trimming away

the cares of this world
false gods
false doctrine
prosperity gospel faith and
anything else that weighs us down.

May we have the faith to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Jesus through the narrow gate.

So make your Word manifest among us as we lift up our prayers, praise and thanksgivings. You are worthy, oh God, You are worthy. So here we come, to worship Your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

May you bless God as you worship this morning and may you be blessed by the proclamation of God’s holy Word.

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ Don’t be lazy

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [Matthew 7:21]

Dear Christian, it is a dangerous thing to be so secure in your salvation that you become complacent. It is a dangerous thing to think you can coast through life without “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2). It is a dangerous thing to think that the Christian life is a spectator sport. For if this is what you are doing, then you don’t know Jesus.

May you not find yourself in a position where the door is being shut in your face because you traveled down the wrong road. I imagine (because I can’t say for certain since I am not God) many a “Christian” have lived a “secure” life because they have “put their time in” or because they thought they were already through the door and then found themselves being rejected by the one they through they were following, because they really did not know Jesus. That is a terrifying thing to think about.

Instead, O Christian, work out your salvation with fear and trembling (as the apostle Paul so eloquently says).  See your salvation through faith in Jesus as a wonderful gift and then seek to do the will of God. Search him out and listen. Listen and then do. Do and rejoice. Rejoice and glorify God.

When you truly know your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and what he has done for you, then you are not going to want to sit on the sidelines. When you realize what salvation truly means you are going to want to “get into the game” in order to glorify God and share with others this awesome God.

So dear Christian, don’t be lazy. When you say, Lord, Lord” actually mean it. Get to know the real Jesus and work out your gift of salvation with fear and trembling.

Praise be to God, always and forever. Amen

The Pastor -|—