Worthy is the Lamb

In a loud voice [the angels] sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain.” ~ Revelation 5:12

His name was Charles Jennens. Charles was a wounded, broken man. He was wounded and broken in spirit because of a tragic death in his family. But in his bouts of grief, he found comfort in the Word of God, especially in those passages that spoke to him about his Savior.

As a result, Charles decided to put together a set of lyrics that, he hoped, someone could set to music. The lyrics were unusual in that he lifted almost all of them from the Bible. They contained passages about his Savior—the same passages that had given him light in his moments of darkness.

As it happened, the set of lyrics Charles had put together did, indeed, catch the eye of a gifted composer. But that composer was under a cloud of sadness as well. A recent stroke, money troubles and a series of failures in his life had left him feeling defeated. But in those lyrics, the Word of God spoke to him—so much so that it moved him to pick up his pen.

He started slowly. But soon the music began to flow. Note after note, page after page, he worked from morning until night. He wrote non-stop for a week. One week became two, then three. In 24 short, explosive days, he was done. The sad composer had set to music a collection of Bible verses that brought comfort and strength to a man reeling from tragedy and pain.

The composer was George Frideric Handel. He entitled his composition, Messiah. In it, the Word of God proclaims the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It declares that Jesus is the One who has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. It declares that Jesus is the One who has washed our every sin away. It declares that we have forgiveness and eternal life through faith in him, for Christ is risen from the dead.

At the conclusion of Messiah, the choir sings, Worthy is the Lamb. If you have a moment, find it on YouTube and listen. It is a song of victory and unbridled joy in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The truth of that song will never fade. It will never fade because Jesus, our Messiah, lives.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. You have risen from death. Your promises are true. Move me to sing your praise with my life. Amen.

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Father’s Day Prayer

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds… Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
~ Deuteronomy 11:18a,19

Heavenly Father, you made us and have loved us and protected us each day of our lives. You are truly our loving Father. Thank you for our earthly fathers. Lead us to respect and honor them. If we are now fathers, help us take seriously the great responsibility to be faithful teachers and guides for our children. They are a great treasure given to us by you. Give us the courage to teach your words to our children. We thank you for your rich blessings of family.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What do You Contain?

pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

It was just an ordinary container. That’s what a couple in Concord, California found as they rummaged through an abandoned storage unit. Such an item is nothing to get excited about. If someone had stolen it, damaged it or thrown it away, no one would have lost a bit of sleep.

But then the couple took off the lid. Inside were old gold coins. They were rare and they were real. In a moment that container grew in value to $500,000 dollars. Not because it was so special, of course, but because of what the container contained.

You and I are painfully aware of how ordinary and plain we are in so many ways. In fact, if we catch each other in candid moments, we might tell each other all the ways in which we are not even adequate. That’s what our sin has done. It has ruined us. It has broken us. It has emptied us of value. By ourselves we are less than an ordinary container located inside an abandoned building.

But Jesus changed everything. His perfect life covered our sinful failures. His blood made us clean, new and forgiven. And now, through faith in him, we contain the gospel, the only message that changes lives forever.

That makes us priceless. Not because of what we are by nature, of course. But because of what we contain in Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m just a jar of clay, but you have placed inside me your priceless message of forgiveness. For this act of love, I thank you. Amen.

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What’s on your calendar?

Sundays

  • 9:00 AM ~ Sunday School, Adult & Teen Bible Study
  • 10:00 AM ~ Sunday Worship Service

June

  • June 19: Father’s Day
  • June 29-July 1: WELS Youth Rally in Tennessee

July

  • July 4: Independence Day
  • July 21-23: WELS Women’s Ministry Conference in Wisconsin
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A Resurrected Life

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4

He had lived all his life on the streets. His skin was weathered. His hair a tangled mess. His clothes tattered and stained. He slept on cardboard and under garbage bags. He dined in alleyways from restaurant dumpsters. Days he spent squatting on sidewalks, begging from passersby.

One day someone stopped, lifted him up, cleaned him up, dressed him up, and gave him $10,000 a week to live on. But months later, the pauper turned prince was still living on the streets. Once a week, he’d clean up. Once a month, he’d dine in a restaurant. He was not taking advantage of his new-found life.

God’s Word says that through faith we have been raised with Christ. But are we living the resurrected life? Not if we only focus on Christ’s resurrection one day a year, Easter Sunday. The blessings of a resurrected life are life-changing. Take advantage of it!

A resurrected life is a life that looks up. Guilt can’t consume us because we find daily rest in Christ’s payment for all our sins. The world can’t fool us because we have God’s wisdom for making good decisions. Bad days can’t stop us because we have confidence in a better eternal tomorrow. Happiness is never out of reach, because it’s already in hand as we imitate the humble servant-life of our victorious Savior, Jesus Christ.

A resurrected life is a life connected to Christ. Your conscience may condemn you and Satan may accuse you. Let them! You have been set free from the guilt of sin. You are a redeemed child of the Father, purchased by the blood of Christ.

A resurrected life is a life with a glorious future. You may be overcome by the world’s hatred and hardship. But remember, what is over your head is still under Jesus’ feet. And one day, you will reign with Christ forever.

Heavenly Father, help us to set our hearts on things above where Jesus Christ is seated at your right hand. Amen

WhatAboutJesus.com

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