Heavenly Father, We gather this morning to give you the praise and adoration that you so rightly deserve. Good doesn’t seem to describe your transcendence. The highest of heavens to the smallest of cells declare your glory, Lord. Mountains and hills, beasts and livestock… all praise your name and we join in their chorus this morning! But we confess that we, the highest of your created order; the recipients of your grace and mercy… at times fail to ascribe to you the praise that you so rightly deserve. We are so easily distracted by the things of this world. We allow our eyes to be taken off of you, and just like Peter Lord, our minds and our hearts quickly sink. The depravity of today’s world breaks our hearts, Lord, so much so that we look with joyful anticipation towards the day when you will come again in the clouds to bring all of your children home. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace to give us what we do not deserve, and thank you for your mercy in withholding the punishment from us for what we do deserve. Thank you for sending your Spirit to live within us and to guide us. Thank you for giving us your Word to guide us. What a blessing that is! As we prepare our hearts to receive your message this morning, let us pause now to lift up our personal prayers to you… Spirit, we thank you for your presence with us this morning. We pray that you would speak to each of our hearts so that we would keep our eyes fixed on you so that we might be your light in the darkness. And we ask all of these things in your beautiful name… and all God’s children said, Amen!
Father God, you are just amazing. You created the earth and you created everything in it. You created us. And it was perfect.
But God from Adam to today, we have chosen the ways of the serpent over your just and holy ways – the way you have commanded us to live. And it has separated us from you. For our sin keeps us from the peace of an intimate and close relationship with you.
And there was nothing that we could do about it by ourselves. We could not simply do more good things to earn our way out of our sin. We needed your holiness to cover our sin. And that came at a high cost. That cost was the sacrifice of your son to die on our behalf and rise again, defeating sin and making us right with you forever.
For that and so much more, we love you, we thank you, and we praise you today.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Our glorious King of kings, we lift your name above all others. You are the almighty God of angel armies. Creator of all things who reigns over heaven and earth, life and death, all things seen and all things unseen. We magnify you, Lord of hosts, and we proclaim your greatness in all of creation. Father, our lives are but a vapor that is gone in an instant, but you Lord, are infinite and reign forever. We are helplessly weak, but you are supremely strong. We are lacking in knowledge and understanding, but you are all-knowing and infinitely wise. How is it that you care for us, full of sin and rebellion as we are? Unable to live righteous lives and be good enough to gain your favor. Oh Lord, we are wretched people, undeserving of being in your presence. But Father, you knew the situation we would get ourselves into, even before you created us, Lord. You had a plan to save us, and that plan is your word who was with you in the beginning and who was you. Thank you for your Son, Jesus, for without him, we are destined to an eternity that is void of you, the giver of life and light and all things that are good. All of our hope is found in him. Help us to live a life of love and grace and mercy and forgiveness and self-sacrifice in response to what Jesus has done for us in his life, death and resurrection. Help us to be people that are eternity-minded. Help us to see others with your eyes so that we act according to your will that all might come to know you. Father, we long to be in your presence for eternity. Refine us into who you want us to be in our short time here on earth and help us to point others to you along the way. Thank you for loving us and caring for us. Please bless our time together in your word this morning. In your name we pray, Amen.
Almighty God, you ask us to come to you to lay our heavy hearts at your feet and trust you. And so we come now before you, we come in thanksgiving and despair. We come in praise and tears. We come in joy and fear. Whatever condition our heart is in, you are here with us and want us to draw near. But how can we, Lord? We are guilty, all of us, of being your enemy. We set our hearts against you and chose our own path of destruction and despair, deserving your justice. But you are so merciful Lord! You turned your anger away from us and restored our relationship with you that we might come before you as a child to his father. And so we come, Father, for the one battling sickness, we pray for healing. For the one suffering a loss of any kind we pray for comfort. For those who are fighting for their marriage, we pray for restoration. For those who are battling an addiction or stronghold over their life, we pray for victory. We profess our trust in your ways and your plans for us. And Father we confess that we have no greater need than our sins to be forgiven. We give you thanks that in your faithfulness, through the life and death of your son, we have that forgiveness. May we be a people full of thanksgiving, in all seasons because of this life changing truth. All glory and praise to you King Jesus! Amen