Here we are – Sunday morning – preparing to travel to a location to engage in corporate worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Why? Because God is so freak’in awesome that if you are not worshiping then something is seriously wrong. Jesus died on a cross for the forgiveness of your sins and rose from the grave that you may live forever in eternal joy with him. How can one not worship this God? How can one be ambivalent? Our Creator God is not distant but close, loving and intimate as a father to a child. Our Creator God is not too busy for you but knows every hair on your head – He’s given them each a unique name. Our Creator God reigns on high but lives in your heart.
Worship? Of course.
And so, what are you waiting for?
[The following is part of the Holy Communion liturgy I wrote for worship this morning. To God be the glory, always and forever.]
Yes, God, it is right and our joy to give thanks and praise to You, at all times and in all places. It is our joy for through Jesus Christ You gave us Your Spirit that we may know the truth of the Gospel – the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls through faith in Jesus Christ. You redeemed us though we are sinful. You saved us because we cannot save ourselves. You love us because, well, You are love. Oh God, our praise and worship is so inadequate in compassion to what You deserve. Our self-conceived works fall oh so short. May we just let go and let the works you have prepared beforehand manifest themselves through us that You are rightly glorified. And so, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…
While driving to my office yesterday morning, I saw these power poles, but these are not new. I’ve driven this road for 3 1/2 years and they have always been there, but something different happened yesterday. As pole after pole went by, I no longer saw a power pole, but rather, I noticed a cross.
~ I saw Jesus
~ I was humbled as a sinner.
~ I contemplated his death for me.
~ I experienced God’s grace.
~ I heard God’s forgiveness announced.
All of this through a series of power poles that I have seen hundreds and hundreds of times. God is amazing like that – taking everyday things and people to remind you of His grace. And so, as I continued contemplating this picture and morning experience, the following poem got written.
To God be the glory!
The cross of Christ is all around me,
reminding me of Your grace.
Suffered, died and now lives forever,
that I may not be disgraced.
Thank you, Father, for these simple signs,
reminding me of Your love.
For through Jesus Christ my Lord and King,
I will live with You above.
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly. [Psalm 149:1 ESV]
Studying Psalm 149 with my midweek Bible study crew inspired me to write the following poem.
Praise is indeed befitting You.
You are awesome, indeed that’s true.
Your great power has broken through.
To make my heart completely new.
Praise is indeed befitting You.
Lead me now that I may review.
Jesus died – my days won’t be few.
Jesus lives – I am made holy new.
Praise is indeed befitting You.
Something that I can’t overdo.
My praise now is just a preview.
Your praise will not discontinue.
On this Reformation Sunday, I give thanks to God for raising up Martin Luther and the other Reformers to show us the truth of the Gospel – that we are not saved by/through works of the Law, but apart from the Law through the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are saved by Faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone as revealed in the Word alone all to the glory of God alone. And so let pray together and sign God’s unending praise.
It is indeed right and our pleasure to give thanks and praise to You, oh God, our Creator and Redeemer. We are sinful creatures who only want to glorify ourselves – looking out for number one – but through the Law You have convicted us and showed us how we fall short. But through Jesus, You saved us through his death and resurrection. And now, through faith in him, You have given us hope. How can one not be excited about this? How can one not rise up and praise You? How can one not live out loud, proclaiming Your glory through word and deed? And so we do just that by joining with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…
The 5 Solas of the Reformation are highlighted in bold in this poem. They are important statements in understanding the Good News of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in Scripture. The Gospel is from God alone, and praise be to God for that, otherwise we would surely mess it up and condemn ourselves.
Salvation from God was needed by me.
A sinner i am, i can’t disagree.
A Savior i needed, that’s my decree.
Listen right now and i’ll share how i’m free.
God’s grace alone is where it starts,
His love is free straight from His heart.
Through faith alone He will never depart.
For in Christ alone i have a new start.
So where’s this news? Well, it’s God’s Word alone.
It is there it says your sins He atones.
Jesus died and rose, he now sits enthroned.
Through faith alone you will ever be known.
Confess your sins and admit you need Him.
And forgiveness is yours way to the brim.
His light will shine and never grow dim.
And in His great love you will always swim.
Written to the glory of God alone.
you are an evil monster,
deceiving and leading away,
the father of lies,
hiding in the shadows,
a lurking lion waiting to pounce,
a wolf wearing sheep clothing.
To hell with you.
Your dominion has been conquered by my Lord Jesus Christ.
He has shattered your hold through his resurrection.
And that is no lie for Jesus is the Truth.
You try to sell despair, but Jesus is the giver of Life.
You try to blind hearts, but Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to reside therein.
You try to reign but Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
You are nothing.
I will not listen to your whispers – no, I will not listen.
I will not buy what you are selling – throw it on the dung heap.
Silence and to hell with you –
My Lord Jesus reigns.
He is my Truth.
He is my Hope.
He is my Life.
Silence and away with you.
This poem is something I wrote as I prepared a sermon on Romans 10:8-17 — thinking about “beautiful feet” carrying the Gospel. I want people to call on the name of Jesus, but first we need to constantly reacquaint ourselves with the Gospel. So the Spirit placed this on my heart. May you receive this Good News again and again. To God be the glory, Amen.
You are a sinner, that is true.
God’s wrath you’ve certainly accrued.
Condemned to die, yes, you deserve.
A judgment from which you can not swerve.
Salvation you can not obtain.
You can’t do it, i’ll say again.
You need help, you certainly do,
In order to be made brand new.
So, what’s our hope? Well, i’ll proclaim –
You’re saved by Jesus holy name.
God’s holy wrath, he took for us.
For His love is in great surplus.
Jesus took your sins to the cross.
So your life would not be a loss.
Jesus died but death did not win.
Jesus rose much to death’s chagrin.
Now look to him and see God’s grace.
For this gift is yours to embrace.
You are a sinner that is sure,
But Jesus lives so you’ll be pure.
So repent and run fast to him.
And know peace filled over the brim.
Confess your sins, Yes, every one.
You are forgiven through the Son.
Now, Jesus lives and so will you.
And it excites me to review.
You are precious – his beloved bride.
Forever with him, you’ll abide.