READY2WORSHIP

"Soon And Very Soon" 

As a kid I once saw my dad on the balcony looking out across the sky intently, and so I asked "What are you looking for?" and he responded "I'm looking for Jesus, he's coming soon."

 Just think, each day, hour, minute, and second brings us that much closer to the moment when Jesus will return. He may return before I finish typing this sentence, or tonight as I sleep. Perhaps while driving the kids to school, or during my train commute home after work in the evening. The bible says no one knows the time, but that He (Jesus) will come like a thief in the night. This has always alarmed me. On one hand it's cause for unspeakable joy, as we eagerly await the day when He (Jesus) will wipe away every tear, and heaven will become our home for eternity. On the other hand it's cause for urgency as we must relentlessly (by the power of the Holy Spirit) prepare ourselves and others for the return of Christ, and the day when we will all have to stand before God and give an account. This earthly life is just a snippet in comparison to eternity, it's just a moment. How many people will you bring to heaven with you? How many people will you let pass by without sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, knowing that He (Jesus) is at the door ready to judge the world? I look forward to the return of Jesus, I long for it, I cry for it, but He (Jesus) commanded us to prepare the world for that day, so let us work while we wait, and take comfort in the coming of that glorious day. How beautiful it will be, when we all breathe a sigh of relief and walk into eternity with our Lord. On that day it will be worth it all.

Revelation 21:4

... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither
shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things ... 
 

"Trading My Sorrow"

Is the life we live worth Christ dying for? Jesus (who knew no sin) suffered the punishment (wrath of God) for our sin both physically, and spiritually so that you and I wouldn't have to. He took our place, and in doing so He took our sin, sickness, pain, guilt, and shame upon himself when he was nailed to a cross, and crucified publicly. The innocent blood of Jesus was shed so that you and I would be forgiven, reconciled, healed, and have everlasting life, being saved by grace through faith in Christ. We can literally trade our sorrows because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Are we holding on to things that Christ died to set us free from? Think about it. Rejoice for what The Lord has done, and give thanks knowing that we have the victory in Jesus; because of this we can sing even amidst the storm Yes Lord Yes Lord Yes Yes Lord Amen!

Isaiah 53:4-5

 our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God,and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.…

"I am Not Forgotten"

Ever feel invisible? Voiceless? Abandoned? Forgotten? I'm often pleasantly surprised when someone greets me by name, or even remembers me at all. Ever feel like you're not very memorable? Or that the things you do go unnoticed? Well the bible says that when you were in your mothers womb God knew you, that God's thoughts of you are pleasant and the sum of them outnumber the sand. The bible says that God will never leave you, nor forsake you. I love the story of Hagar in the book of Genesis. Hagar was just a servant (minding her own business) when she was suddenly dragged into a situation (that had nothing to do with her), eventually becoming an outcast because of it, shamed by the very one who got her in trouble in the first place. Thats so wack! But when she left home feeling alone, and forgotten, God met her, and reminded her that He loves her, and cares for her, that He knows her name (He called her by name), and that He has a plan for her. She was not forgotten. You are not forgotten. God knows your name. Psalm 27:10 says Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close. 

Genesis 21:17

16Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, "Do not let me see the boy die." And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept. 17God heard the ladcrying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18"Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him."…

 

"How He Loves Us"

"All of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory" 

Could this be how Jesus felt as he cried out from the cross "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!"?  Perhaps it's how Stephen the martyr felt as he cried similar words while being stoned to death. Paul said that the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to come. There is something super natural that takes place when we get even just a glimpse of the glory of God, and how great His love is for us. Suddenly God's purpose, will, and desire are far more important to us than our momentary suffering, discomfort, or embarrassment. He (God the creator of the universe) loves us. He (God) sent his son (Jesus) to die the most shameful, and brutal death to show his unconditional love for you and I even while we were still enemies of God. This kind of love is so amazing we cannot fully comprehend it. I cannot even begin to imagine how God would go to such an extent for someone like me, for me... And you. There is no greater love. 

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.