Have you ever felt discouraged, attacked, beaten down, driven away like chaff or defeated? Have you ever felt like running away, hiding or curling up into a ball to wait out what’s afflicting you? Have you ever felt alone, lost or hopeless? Have you ever wondered if God actually cares? Have you ever wondered if God really knows what is going on or is doing what He said He would do? Well, you are not alone – and in more ways than one. First of all, you are not the only one to feel this way and second, you are never alone. God, your Shepherd, is always watching His sheep – He is always watching over you. Satan may get his punches in, but Satan will never remove and devour the sheep of the Shepherd, our God through Jesus Christ. And so, raise your voice to the Shepherd, but know – you are never alone, and Satan will never win.
Satan is on the prowl,
Looking to devour,
And I feel so defenseless.
He bites and scratches,
Wounds are appearing,
Energy is draining.
And there is nothing I can do to stop him.
Hopelessness is his goal.
Lostness is his desire.
Oh God, come and rescue me.
Smash out his teeth,
Destroy his goals,
Slay the lion,
Leave him defeated.
Oh my Shepherd,
Keep me close to You,
May Your rod and staff comfort me,
Lead me through this dark valley,
May I once again see green pastures and still waters,
As You lead me in Your path of righteousness;
Healing and restoring my soul.
Satan is on the prowl, but YOU, oh God, are my Shepherd.
And thus, I am yours,
In Your house dwelling,
Forever and ever to worship You.
This is the liturgy I wrote for Holy Communion today based on the preaching text, James 1:1-18. To God be the glory…
It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, for, of Your own will You brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of Your creatures. (James 1:18) You brought us forth through Jesus Christ and thus You have promised to bring us to completion and place on our head the crown of life. You put us through trials in order build us up that we may remember who we are and whose we are – becoming more and more Christ-like. You do not desire our destruction but rather our salvation. May our endurance bring You the glory that You rightly deserve. And so, with the Church on earth – redeemed sinners through the blood of the lamb – and the hosts of heaven, we join in singing Your unending praise.
This is a poem based on James 1:1-18 – the sermon text for Sunday, Sept 15 as I being preaching through the book of James. To God be the glory.
Lead me by the hand,
when trials come my way.
Hold me close to You,
So I’ll not go astray.
For You have a plan,
in all that I will face.
Trials have a goal,
Please help me to embrace.
I want to grow strong
For Satan tries to stop,
May I lean into You,
So I’ll come out on top.
Jesus is my Lord.
I know I’ll see some strife.
But, through my trials,
there lays the crown of life.
You have redeemed me through the blood of Your Son –
my Lord Jesus Christ.
You have set me apart to be a light in this world.
You have seasoned me to be the salt of the world.
You have filled me with Your Spirit.
may I stand apart from this world –
shining a “strange” light within it –
one that makes people take notice as it shines the way to Life eternal.
May my dealings with the world open eyes and my love draw people to You.
May my conduct be holy and my words speak the Truth.
May I see the trials in my life as Your holy plan to bring me to maturity so that I may show the world Your glory through my faith.
Bless this day, oh God, as I engage my mission field.
May my life be all about You.
All praise be onto You, always and forever. In Jesus name I pray,