Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Prayer for the Lord's Day

Holy Father, source of all, we call to you this day.
We know you're here when we come to worship you. We know you hear.
We know you're good and wise and strong, forever faithful to those you call your own.
We don't know why you've loved us and called us and saved us, but we thank you for it. We praise you from our washed-clean hearts.

Grant us zeal and passion for following you. Expand your kingdom. Achieve your will.
We don't presume to tell you what's most important next. You are Lord. We are not.

And yet, Lord, we do dare to ask things. We ask that you grow your church in depth, in breadth, in love, in purity, in wisdom, in numbers--for your own glory. We don't pray just for our own local church. Work these blessings in your church around the world. Strengthen those who are in hard testing. Wake up those who are drowsy and falling into the sleep of sin. Protect those who are bearing much fruit. Raise up others who will bear even more fruit. Comfort those who mourn. Give godly ambition to the young. Give fresh purpose to the old.

Use the methods you've used for fifty generations:

  • The assembling of the saints. 
  • Our declarations of faith in you and in your Son Jesus, the Christ, the Lord.
  • Our confession of sins.
  • Baptism of new believers.
  • The public reading and preaching of your word. 
  • Prayers
  • Our worship of you in singing.
  • The bread, the wine that speak of Jesus' body and blood.
  • Benedictions.
We pray for those who will be leading us, your church, in these things. Grant true repentance. Grant fullness of your Holy Spirit. Grant insight and discernment and love while serving you. Deliver your church from those leaders who would exalt themselves instead of exalting you. 

As your people worship you today in many thousands of places, speak to us. Correct us in love. Build us up in truth. Lead us in grace. Prepare us for serving you.

We come to you as your needy, stumbling, expectant people. Take our prayers; refine them and sort them and answer them as you wish. Yours, Lord, is the glory and the dominion forever. We give all praise to you, through your son Jesus Christ. 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jesus Left.

Jesus left.
His body rose
And went right up--
And, wrapped in clouds,
He disappeared.

He will come--
Come back to earth,
Descend from sky
With all his saints
And reign on earth.

He will claim
His bride, his church;
But none of those
Whose faith is fake.
Are you his own?

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”   (Acts 1:9-11 ESV)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Our Grief

I never know who will read this, when, but am confident that it will speak to someone. 

In our grief, we're not alone.
Jesus knows our pain, our fear.
He's not hard like steel or stone.
Jesus feels each flowing tear.

He'll defeat the things we dread--
Things that gnaw us in the night--
He can even raise the dead.
He's the life, the truth, the light.

After this life's pain is past,
Horrors driven all away,
He can dry our tears as last,
Bringing us to brilliant day.

Grief may still be ours today,
Feelings fraying like a rope.
Yet, through Jesus as we pray,
In our grief, there's deeper hope.

We read in John 11:35 that at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, "Jesus wept." He wept, even though he knew he'd shortly raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus knows your pain. 

Do you trust Jesus? If not...

Turn, friend, from all doubt, all sin,
Trusting Jesus--yes, today!
In your grief, let life begin.
Trust, and see sin washed away.

Friday, January 02, 2015

After Christmas

Ornaments off,
Lights all down,
Tree down,
Wrap all stored...

Christmas comes but once a year,
But joy in Christ is always here.

Ornaments break.
Presents break.
Friends die.
Wrappings fade.

Pity those whose joys are all
Found in things within their walls.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
(1 Chronicles 16:27 ESV)

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Jesus, thaw my frozen heart.
Bring ablaze each hidden part.
Change my often dullish thought:
Make me love you as I ought.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
(Ezekiel 36:26 ESV)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Simeon Waits

Painting by Corot: Old Man on Trunk

The Bible tells in Luke 2 of Simeon. The Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. 

Waiting. Waiting. Years of waiting.
     Will deliverance ever come?
Worshiping the LORD and waiting…
     When will the Messiah come?

Scanning faces as they’re passing--
     LORD, don’t let me miss the king!
Daily hopes meet daily dashing,
     But you’ve promised! Hope still springs.

Babies passing by the thousands--
     Precious, cute, but not the One.
Then the Spirit speaks somehow, and
     See! It’s him! Messiah’s come!

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  (Luke 2:25-26 ESV)

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Image modified from a photo by kathie wu. Some rights reserved.

Now, my neighbors, hear me well:
I must warn of fires of hell.
Just as blessings never end,
Curses go on, too, my friend.
Without Jesus, you are lost.
You can't pay your sin's great cost.
Flee to Jesus Christ today.
He will save you--all the way.
After battles fierce and strong,
You'll be welcome. You'll belong.
You'll forget each painful thing
In the joy of Christ the King.
But, I also have to say,
If you don't take Christ today,
Time for mercy could be past.
You may go to flames at last.

And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Matthew 18:9 ESV)

Do I really believe you should run to Jesus just to escape hellfire? Yes.

Is that the only reason? Absolutely not.

What are some others? He is good. He is king. He is faithful. He's the source of all that's truly good. He's the one "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3 ESV)

For posts about heaven, click here.