Open

Open the eyes of my heart that I may see and respond.
Open the eyes of my heart to see the hurts of others.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may join You in mission.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may bring You glory.
All that You want me to do is clear – if only I would see.
All that I am to say is clear – if only I would listen to Your Spirit.
Opportunities abound.
Hurts are all around.
People are lost.
People are searching.
Open my eyes that I may lead them to know they are found.
May I not stall.
May I not turn away.
May I not give excuses.
May I not seek my own way.
Open the eyes of my heart that I may see You and follow You –
Anywhere and everywhere.
Open, oh Lord, open.
Open the eyes of my heart.
Amen!

Singing His Song

You are right and You are strong,
But they tell me I am wrong.
You are Life and You have won,
But they tell me I am done.

But…

Mighty You are in power,
And gentle as a flower.
A rock solid foundation,
The King of all creation.

There is no God quite like You,
And thus to You praise is due.
But they bow to other lords,
When in them there’s no rewards.

They’re striving after the wind,
And to death they are destined.
Oh, send me to preach thy Name,
So it is You they acclaim.

For…

Sinners we are that is true,
Death is due, that’s nothing new.
Falling short of Your glory,
But that’s not the whole story.

For Jesus was crucified,
And through faith I’m justified.
My sin is covered and gone,
Your wrath has now been withdrawn.

So send me with Your power,
That I may never cower.
They will tell me I am wrong,
But I’ll always sing Your song.

Bold Witnesses

Today is Ascension Sunday and thus I will be preaching on Luke 24:44-53. The following is the Great Thanksgiving liturgy I wrote for Holy Communion with this context in mind. Stand firm for the Truth and never, ever shrink back in fear…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God. You have shown us Your glory through Your son Jesus Christ.
You have opened our eyes to the Truth.
You have cradled us in Your arms.
You have given us hope.
Oh God, Creator and Redeemer, through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection we rest secure. My we live as bold witnesses of that Truth that others may come to know You as their Lord and God. May we not shrink back but stand firm; ready to die if called to do so. And so, since we have such a sure and certain hope we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…

Subpoenaed

Sunday, June 2 is Ascension Sunday and the text that I will be preaching on is Luke 24:44-53. The following is the opening paragraph of the sermon that God is laying on my heart. If you want the rest, you can now watch the sermon on our congregation’s website at: http://www.livingwordlutheranchurch.com.
The sermon should be posted next week sometime. In the mean time, here is a little sermon teaser for you…

Shortly before his ascension, Jesus issues a subpoena (You are witnesses to these things) to all who know the Father as revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. The Subpoena is to testify to the Truth. It is not something that someone chooses. You don’t choose to be witness but rather you become one and thus are called and commanded to testify. Your testimony is not to be about your opinions or theories. You are not called to speculate or guess. You are called to testify to the Truth. The facts of the matter. And the facts are this, thus saith the Lord, Jesus has suffered and died and rose from the dead for the forgiveness of sins. He has ascended and is seated on the right hand of the Father. He WILL come again to judge the living and the dead. Amen? These are the facts. Now, what say you?

Witnesses

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8 ESV]

Witnesses don’t share their opinions.
Witnesses don’t share their theories.
Witnesses don’t speculate.
Witnesses don’t guess.
But rather…
Witnesses tell the truth.
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.
So helped by the Holy Spirit.
And YOU, Christian, are called to be a witness for Jesus.
You’ve been subpoenaed by Jesus.
But here’s the thing…
The Holy Spirit will give you power to witness.
Jesus doesn’t send you empty-handed.
Jesus sends you equipped.
Jesus sends you.
Jesus goes WITH you.
You are not alone.
Don’t be afraid of the Truth.
Proclaim the Truth boldly and if the world hates you, then so be it.
Jesus loves you.
You are witnesses.
So go and give them Jesus.

Speak!

Those days are done. The time of silence is over. The glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Word is being abused; twisted and contorted. Rewritten to fit the desires of the world. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Firm, Word-standing Christians are being mocked. Hate-filled language is being hurled at us. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

People are lost and confused; searching for meaning. People are being mislead and deceived. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Many church are conforming to the world. It’s leaders are preaching a false gospel. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

This slippery slope sliding culture is plunging faster and faster into oblivion. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Church is becoming more and more irrelevant. But the world cannot afford to miss our message, for the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, SPEAK!

The Pastor -|—

Brand New

Oh Lord,
You live in me and I in You,
and by Your grace, You don’t give what I’m due.
You heal and redeem;
You lift up and on You I lean.
You make alive,
and indeed I thrive.
Oh Lord,
Hear me as I cry out,
even as I often doubt.
Increase in me Your Spirit,
that I may shout of You and others hear it.
May I rejoice
and make noise.
May I show it
and others know it.
For You, oh Lord, live in me and I in You,
and by Your grace I am made brand new.

The Pastor -|—