The Lord Alone

Today’s readings:  Isaiah 45:11-48:11; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 24:3-4

“For this is what the Lord says–he who created the heavens, he is God;

he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it;

he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–

he says:  “I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness;

I, the Lord, speak the truth;  I declare what is right.”  Isaiah 45:18-19

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;  Curb those who by deceit or sword would wrest the kingdom from Your Son and bring to naught all He has done.

Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known, for You are Lord of lords alone;  defend Your holy Church that we may sing Your praise eternally.

O Comforter of priceless worth, send peace and unity on earth;  support us in our final strife and lead us out of death to life.   ~hymn by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Whose words do you trust?  In whom do you trust?  In what do you place your trust?

If it is not in Jesus Christ, your trust is in vain.  He alone is Lord of Lords.

Turn our hearts to You and You alone, O Christ.  You have the Words of eternal life!  Amen.

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Solid Faith

I know my faith is founded on Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;  and this my faith confessing, unmoved I stand on His sure Word.  Our reason cannot fathom the truth of God profound;  who trusts in human wisdom relies on shifting ground.  God’s Word is all sufficient, it makes divinely sure;  and trusting in its wisdom, my faith shall rest secure.

Increase my faith, dear Savior, for Satan seeks by night and day to rob me of this treasure and take my hope of bliss away.  But, Lord with You beside me, I shall be undismayed;  and led by Your good Spirit, I shall be unafraid.  Abide with me, O Savior, a firmer faith bestow;  then I shall bid defiance to every evil foe.

In faith, Lord, let me serve You;  though persecution, grief, and pain should seek to overwhelm me, let me a steadfast trust retain;  and then at my departure, Lord, take me home to You, Your riches to inherit as all You said holds true.  In life and death, Lord, keep me until Your heav’n I gain, where I by Your great mercy the end of faith attain.

Hymn text by Erdman Neumeister, 1671-1756

“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;  all day long an attacker oppresses me;  my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;  I shall not be afraid.  What can flesh do to me?”    Psalm 56:1-4

Lord God Heavenly Father, we may not be in danger of being pinned to a wall by a spear like David.  We may not be in danger from the perils of a sea voyage like Paul.  Yet, we do face enemies of body and soul because we still live in a fallen world.  Crime and violence surround our communities.   Godless belief systems conflict with Your good Word.  Our own sinful nature continues to threaten our peace in You.  So today, Lord, we entrust ourselves to You, to preserve us in the One true faith as we confess Jesus as our sovereign Lord and God.  Thank You for Your faithfulness to us through Jesus Christ.  In His name we pray, Amen.

Morning Song

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Now that the daylight fills the sky, we lift our hearts to God on high, that He, in all we do or say, would keep us free from harm today.

Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife; from anger’s din would shield our life; from evil sights would turn our eyes, and close our ears to vanities.

So we, when this new day is gone and night in turn is drawing on, with conscience by the world unstained shall praise His name for vict’ry gained.

“All praise to You, creator Lord!  All praise to You, eternal Word!  All praise to You, O Spirit wise!”  We sing as daylight fills the skies.

Hymn text–Latin c. 5th-6th Century.  Translated by John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Lord God Heavenly Father, we begin this day with our eyes on Your Word and Your promise to “never leave us nor forsake us.”  Enable us to be faithful in our vocations this day and to help our neighbors in need.  Open our eyes to see who may need a kind word or deed.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

Boundless Love

Jesus, Thy boundless love to me no thought can reach, no tongue declare; Unite my thankful heart to Thee, and reign without a rival there!  Thine wholly, Thine alone I am; be Thou alone my constant flame.

O grant that nothing in my soul may dwell, but Thy pure love alone; oh, may Thy love possess me whole, my joy, my treasure and my crown!  All coldness from my heart remove;  my every act, word, thought be love.

This love unwearied I pursue and dauntlessly to Thee aspire.  Oh, may Thy love my hope renew, burn in my soul like heav’nly fire!  And day and night,  be all my care to guard this sacred treasure there.

In suff’ring be Thy love my peace, in weakness be Thy love my pow’r; and when the storms of life shall cease, O Jesus, in that final hour, be Thou my rod and staff and guide, and draw me safely to Thy side!

Hymn text by Paul Gerhardt, 1703-91

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.”  Ephesians 1:7-8

Lord God, Heavenly Father, thank you for your boundless, endless mercy and love which you poured out upon us through your dear Son, Jesus Christ!  You never stop forgiving us.  You never stop loving us even when we are at our most unloveable.  Help us to remember the gift of grace you gave to us at our Baptism that continues to bless and benefit us each and every day.  Accept our humble thanks and praise.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Awake!

Awake O sleeper, rise from death, and Christ shall give you light;  So learn His love, its length and breadth, its fullness, depth and height.

To us on earth He came to bring from sin and  fear release, to give the Spirit’s unity, the very bond of peace.

Then walk in love as Christ has loved, Who died that He might save;  with kind and gentle hearts forgive as God in Christ forgave.

For us Christ lived, for us He died, and conquered in the strife;  awake, arise, go forth in faith, and Christ shall give you life.  ~ hymn by F. B. Tucker

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:15-16

Lord God, as we anticipate celebrating Independence Day in America may we remember the greater freedom won for us through Jesus Christ on the Cross.  We are both citizens of heaven and earth so we thank you for the gift of freedoms allowed to us under the Constitution.  Bless all the lawmakers and lawkeepers of this land that we might live in peace.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

There Is A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, a time for all that life may bring:  A time to plant, and time to reap, a time to laugh and time to weep, a time to heal, a time to slay, a time to build where rubble lay, a time to die, a time to mourn, a time for joy and to be born.

A time to hold, then be alone, a time to gather scattered stone, a time to break, a time to mend, a time to search and then to end, a time to keep, then throw away, a time to speak, then nothing say, a time for war till hatreds cease, a time for love, a time for peace.

Eternal Lord, Your wisdom sees and fathoms all life’s tragedies;  You know our grief, You hear our sighs–In mercy, dry our tear-stained eyes.  From evil times, You bring great good; Beneath the cross, we’ve safely stood.  Though dimly now life’s path we trace, one day we shall see face to face.

Before all time had yet begun, You, Father, planned to give Your Son; Lord Jesus Christ, with timeless grace, You have redeemed our time-bound race;  O Holy Spirit, Paraclete, Your timely work in us complete;  Blest Trinity, Your praise we sing–There is a time for everything!   ~Stephen P. Starke

O Lord, whatever this day may bring, we confidently know that it is in Your time.  Help us to use the time you’ve given us wisely for Jesus’ sake, we pray, Amen.

Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus

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Let us ever walk with Jesus, follow His example pure, through a world that would deceive us and to sin our spirits lure.  Onward in His footsteps treading, pilgrims here, our home above, full of faith and hope and love, let us do the Father’s bidding.  Faithful Lord, with me abide;  I shall follow where You guide.

Let us suffer here with Jesus and with patience bear our cross.  Joy will follow all our sadness;  where He is, there is no loss.  Though today we sow no laughter, we shall reap celestial joy;  all discomforts that annoy shall give way to mirth and hereafter.  Jesus, here I share Your woe;  help me there Your joy to know.

Let us gladly die with Jesus.  Since by His death He conquered death, He will free us from destruction, give to us immortal breath.  Let us mortify all passion that would lead us into sin;  and the grave that shuts us in shall but prove the gate to heaven.  Jesus, here with You I die, there to live with You on high.

Let us also live with Jesus.  He has risen from the dead that to life we may awaken.  Jesus You are now our head.  We are Your own living members; where You live, there we shall be in Your presence constantly, living there with You forever.  Jesus, let me faithful be, life eternal grant to me.     ~Sigismund von Birken, hymnwriter

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

Almighty God, Your Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption.  Grant us courage to take up our cross daily and follow Him wherever He leads; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.   

(collect for Proper 17, Series A, LSB)