In the news today, the Roman Times documents the events that unfolded over the weekend. Officials brought a man before the governor but did not give the governor any formal charges. The governor was expected to trust the judgment of the officials that this man was indeed doing evil or they would not have delivered him over to him.
The governor questioned the accused man trying to find out what he had been charged with. He didn’t find out anything and publicly stated to the the officials that he found no guilt in him. The governor offered to release the prisoner but the officials said no. Release to us a man we knew to be guilty.
If a Roman citizen had read this news article on Monday, following these events, and found out that their governor executed this man with no formal charges against him and he himself found no guilt in him, what would he had thought about that?
(Ps. 145:1-10) I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. 10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
Hymn No. 3 “Worthy of Worship”
Hymn No. 603 “When We All Get to Heaven”
(Heb. 10:23) He who promised is faithful.
Hymn No. 339 “Standing on the Promises”
Hymn No. 249 “Jesus Paid it All”
(Jude 1:24-25) 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Ps. 23:1-6) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Hymn No. 96 “Great is Thy Faithfulness”
Dear Father, indeed you are faithful. You have been faithful in the past. You are faithful now. And you will always be faithful. You changest NOT! We always know what to expect from you. Indeed, Your steadfast love never ceases; Your mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23).
On this day, we celebrate your faithfulness. We will sing and pray and preach and fellowship with each other. But there are some who are missing among us. They have truly come home. This celebration today is just getting us ready for that heavenly homecoming that awaits us. We sincerely grieve the death of our sisters Judy and Doris but they have…fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
One day this will be true for all who believe: (Rev. 19:6-9) 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Come Lord Jesus. Do with us as you please. Make much of your great name! In Christ’ name we pray, amen.
Hymn No. 149 “Praise Him! Praise Him!”
(Jas. 1:12) 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Hymn No. 447 “It is well with my Soul”
Hymn No. 506 “In Christ Alone”
(Eph. 3:14-21) 4 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith– that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ps. 67:1-7) May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Hymn No. 149 Praise Him! Praise Him!
O Father, Son, Holy Spirit you are worthy of our praise! May our praise of you fuel our desire to make your name known to all peoples.
As we prayed Wednesday night, we ask again for the Pashtun people of Afghanistan to be reached with the gospel. O Lord, so few people there know you. Make yourself known in that dark land and may your people fill that land with praise.
We also pray again for the suffering of Rama and Joseph who were recently married but had to flee their family and home because they follow Christ. Please, Lord, strengthen them by your grace to endure under trial for your glory. Give them wisdom in every move that they might find a place to resettle and live out their faith.
We are also excited about the new church plant in eastern Berlin. Please help them begin with a healthy start and grow that community as they seek to make your name known in that vast city for your glory.
O, Father, we ask along with many others that you would raise up labors for the harvest. Send help to us here that we might reach our neighbors and friends. Lord use us to make your name known here. To the praise of your glorious grace! Be honor and domain and praise forevermore! In Christ’s name, amen.
Hymn No. 40 All People That on Earth Do Dwell
(Tit. 3:5) 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy
Hymn No. 162 Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Hymn No. 346 The Church’s One Foundation
(2 Cor. 5:18-21) 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
How do you draw “invisible?” Well, it seems the best way is to make use of darkness as the Genesis account does. God created light out of darkness…out of nothing. So, I attempted to take a picture of darkness above.
I was almost finished reading my daily Bible reading plan when all of a sudden Hebrews 11:3 stopped me in my tracks. I had flown by this verse as I anticipated the great stories ahead of me. But not today.
 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
First, what have you thought about this verse? It initially caught my attention because it sounds like it’s saying something different than Genesis 1 account where we conclude that God created the universe out of nothing.
I grabbed Peter O’Brien off the shelf after a quick look at the ESV study Bible note. He said this:
“‘What cannot be seen’ is parallel to ‘the word of God’ in the first half of the verse and regard the two halves as forming a chiasmus.”
Was formed……………………1’ Came into being
The universe…………………..2’ What is seen
By the word of God………….3’ by what cannot be seen
His conclusion is really good: “God’s word is an invisible power that produces visible results.”
Amazing! I needed to hear this as I prep to preach His word on Sunday. And in particular, this makes one of the verses even more powerful.
 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word
The sharing of the gospel will result in more people believing. It’s not the disciples who cause them to believe, it’s that same conclusion stated above. Sow the word and God will cause some of it to sprout. That is, those who are His.
I had not connected this post to the name of this blog! Indeed, God’s word cannot be imprisoned!
(Ps. 5:11-12) 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Hymn No. 55 Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken
Hymn No. 90 God will Take Care of You
(Rom. 12:1-2) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hymn No. 587 Take Time to be Holy
Hymn No. 104 Amazing Grace
(Ps. 9:10) And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
My family and I (Gentiles) were allowed to sit in on a Yom Kippur celebration several years ago. What struck me was the deadness of the event. This event happens once a year and yet there was no celebration. The picture above is not from the holy day that we visited but that’s all there was…dull reading to dull hearts. Now, I don’t know their hearts but I watch people closely as the promises of God were read. The people were non-responsive…just another day. Well, I understand why. So, let me point you to this article in hopes that God might use it break open your heart.
(Ps. 145:1-13) I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. 10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you! 11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, 12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Hymn No. 28 To God be the Glory
Indeed, Lord, you have done great things! We ask, please pull back the veil of familiarity that we might behold your glory afresh, today. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear. May the thought of your amazing grace move us to genuine worship as we sing of your glory…as we hear your word…stir our hearts to praise.
Lord we also want to remember those who lost their lives 20 years ago. Please, Father, have mercy on the families and friends of those who lost loved ones. Help them through this tragedy. May they know the perfect peace that is only found in you. Woo them to the greatest act of love in all of history in the sacrifice and resurrection of your beloved Son. There will be tragedy and death in this life, but what we do with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. Make yourself, known Lord!
For truly, you are holy, as we are about to sing. You are God and there is no other. No one is like. You are set apart from all other things. You are transcendent…above all things! You are perfect in all your ways. You are light and in you there is no darkness. May we have fellowship with you through the perfect work of your son.
Give us faith! We cannot please you any other way! We love, you Lord. Make much of your Son today in this service. Do with us as you please. We are yours. Glorify your name!
Hymn No. 68 Holy, Holy, Holy
(Heb. 9:22-28) 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hymn No. 252 Down at the Cross
Hymn No. 438 Jesus, I my Cross Have Taken
(Num. 6:24-26) 24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
(Ps. 107:1-9) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
(Ps. 107:32-37) 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. 33 He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, 34 a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 35 He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 36 And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; 37 they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield.
Hymn No. 136 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Hymn No. 499 Victory in Jesus
(Jn. 16:26-27) 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
Hymn No. 555 I Love You, Lord
Hymn No. 143 You are My All in All
(Jn. 16:33) 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have [conquered] the world.”
To his Kingdom, there will be no end! It is an abiding victory and his victory is our victory by faith!
Old Testament: Isaiah 63–66 Isaiah 63–66 (Listen) The Lord’s Day of Vengeance 63 Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who tre […]