Lord God, we come into this place today so that we can quiet down the world and turn up the volume of Your Word for our lives. We come here today with so many questions and concerns that weigh heavy on our hearts, but there is one question that You have already answered loud and clear: Are we loved? You say yes, we are so loved by God that He sent His only Son to free us from all of the wrong choices and decisions of this world. And it is from that same love that we can have the strength to let go of what once was and be made new and alive in Christ. For there is no ceiling that can limit God’s love and there is no wall or door that can shut us out from His grace and mercy. Even as we break Your heart with our sins that tore a chasm between us Lord. It is Your Son, Jesus, who is the bridge between anything that would separate us from God. It is Jesus who is the source of our strength and the strength of our life. It is Jesus who allows us to live and dwell in the presence of the Lord. So we stand here, in the midst of our joys and sorrows, and claim Your Son as our Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Amen.
Tag Archives: Gospel
I decided to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by singing my all time favorite praise song “Shout to the Lord” by Hillsong. I sing in both Spanish and English. My spanish is not so good but I wanted to address the global body of Christ and the many languages that are used to praise His name. I wanted to use this song in particular because this is the song that brought me back to Christ.
See, I had left the church several years ago while I was still in my youth. I was angry, lost and confused. I had so many questions and just could not get the right answers. I started to go down a very dark path until one very fateful night.
My cousin and I, loved to, and still love to sing karaoke. We are filipino, after all, so that should be no surprise to anyone. Singing is part of our culture. We would stay up until sunrise singing any song imaginable. But sometimes it is in listening that we are able to be touched in a way that moves our heart and spirit.
My cousin just happened to have one of those WOW christian hits CD’s. And during a much needed break from our karaoke, she decided to play one of the songs from this CD while we were cleaning up from our two person Karaoke extravaganza. She knew that I wanted nothing to do with religion or anything of the church but she played it anyways. Sneaky but it worked!!!
This song moved me. It’s simplistic beauty and truth hit my heart like a ton of bricks and then the walls that I had built up around my heart came crashing down. I opened up my heart to Jesus that night and I have never looked back. Yes, life happens and there are still so many questions that I have. But He has answered the one question that I had been searching for: Am I loved? He says…“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3: 16-18 (The Message).
Lord Jesus, thank You for another day and another moment to be in Your presence. Ever since you touched our hearts, You gave us more than just dreams because You showed us what God can do and gave us all a reason to live. Lord, some of us are trying to deal with the weight of the world on our own. Remind us that even though we must walk through the dark valleys in this life we are never alone. So take away any of the doubts that we have and fill them with the truth of everything that You are. You are the hope, the way and light. Lord, You are everything that You that You say You are. Give us the wisdom to trust in You for all things and give us the strength to glorify You in all that we do. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being everything that You are. Thank You for this life. This journey that started at the foot of the cross: the place where all of the darkness of the world lost to the light of God’s amazing love. You gave us more than just words on a page, you showed us what God can do and gave us a reason to live. The world may bring us down but, because of You, we don’t need to stay there. Whatever issue we are going through, Your resurrection, allows us to go through life’s dark valleys without fear for You are always with us. Jesus, You are the song that opens up our souls to the story that is bigger than ourselves. Your life, death and resurrection gave us glimpses of our own humanity intertwined with the compassionate relationship with our Creator. Because of You, we live. Because of You, we can love. Because of You we have hope in the promise of never ever being separated from the Father’s love.
Lord God, our life and our eternity belong to You and to You alone. Open our eyes to see the glimpses of heaven all around us. Reveal the signs that lead us to the embrace of Your truth. You stepped into our story, those many years ago, so that the courage of God would be revealed in His Son as proof that God stands beside us throughout every joy and sorrow in this life. Help us to grab hold of Your promises that grace and forgiveness are real, so that we can have the courage to just show up in this life and stop performing with the crowd. Don’t let us see just want what we want to see, but expose what we need to see. We exist in the here and now but You, Lord, have always existed and the doors to Your love have always been open to us through Christ Jesus. We can’t wait for anyone to give us permission to practice our faith. We just need to live out our faith in Christ, anywhere and anytime. And whether or not the crowd jeers or cheers, we serve only Him today, tomorrow and forever.
Lord God, we are grateful that You hear us…that You listen to each and every prayer that we lift up to You in this place and in our hearts. Speak life into the darkness of death and prepare us now to receive Your forgiveness, grace and the new life that is given to us because of the sacrifice of Your only son, Jesus Christ. Show us how this life works and let our hearts beat with the same pulse of Almighty God. For it is You, Lord, who gives us worth because You value us. You took on everything that is ugly about us and You put on all of our burdens on that cross. You give us redemption. You give us escape from the limitations of this world. You give us life. And even though we don’t have it all together, and probably never will, You still look on us with love and remind us “that no matter how much time we’ve wasted in the past we still have infinite tomorrows with Jesus Christ.” (Billy Graham). So as we confront the reality of the cross, let us remember, “it is not how many days we have left in our lives but it is how much life we have in our days that count.” (Ed Ly Stevenson). Help us to live as You live in eternal grace. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord God, we come here today and pray that You will remove the blinders from our eyes and ears so that Your truth can be revealed to us. Thank You for “the miracle that something so small and seemingly worthless as printed words, written 2000 years ago, would utterly and completely change our lives. “ (Emily Timbol) Let Your word reverberate in this room and in our hearts so that the truth of the Gospel would resonate in our lives beyond these walls. Tune our hearts to be in line with You because Your love inspires us. Don’t let us be numb to this life or to each other. Open our eyes to see that there is a child of God deep inside all of us and that child will be the one who will see You face to face. In a world that gets it wrong so many times, we have You, Lord, and You get us. You understand us because You created us. You heal our wounds and You take our place at the cross so that we can be free to share our lives and our stories to all for the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We are here and we are smiling because there is nothing that can compare to the time spent in the presence of the One true God. So open the doors of this place and our hearts by revealing Your truth for our lives because we are ready for You but You have always been ready for us. We can’t ignore what makes us human with all that we had to go through and will have to go through. Just remind us today that You do not sleep, You do not grow weary and Your light of hope never fades. Everything else goes away but we are never alone because Your love remains. Teach us to have that same love for one another by choosing to accept each other rather than just tolerating each other. Help us to go beyond the polite conversations so that we can see the details that the Creator has set in each and every one of us. Please be patient with us because we are still learning that we are all children of God and that our differences pale in comparison to the gospel truth that we are all sinners and saints who are redeemed by the Son of God who lives and reigns in our hearts now and forever. Amen.
Lord God, breathe into us new life today and lift our eyes off of the daily rubble so that we can magnify You in this place. Whatever circumstances we are in (financial, emotional, spiritual, or personal), take us to the place that is the presence of Jesus Christ. Don’t let shame or guilt stop us from experiencing Your grace and salvation. Just make Your presence known and print Your word on our hearts. Take away any doubt of our worth because the cross at Calvary shows the cost of Your love for all of us, and by taking Your first steps on this earth You changed our history forever. Help us to see Your greatness. Help us to hear Your word. And help us to live Your love. For “no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For (we) have every confidence that nothing – not death, life…the present, the future…nor any created thing – can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39).
Lord God, Open the window that reveals Your truth so that we can breathe in Your grace, mercy and forgiveness. Bring joy back into our lives, into our jobs, and into our relationships so that we will be so overwhelmed by the awareness of Your presence, that we can’t help but experience the joy that only comes from knowing Jesus. Just simplify the complexity of the world into Your truth: That the battle has already been won and that God lives in this moment and so should we. So as we receive Christ today, at this altar, let us all remember that He also goes with us into the world that He so loves and that we can only share what we have an abundance of. So let us be full and overflowing with the joy, love and compassion that has already been given to us by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.