Friday, March 31, 2006

Stars and Statutes

"He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.... He showeth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel" (Psalm 147:4,19). "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" (Job 38:31,32). "But he [the cleansed leper] went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter" (Mark 1:45).

Twinkle, twinkle, blazing star.
Now I know just what you are.
You're a witness up above,
Of God's majesty and love.

God assigned to you a name
To spread abroad your Maker's fame.
So let Orion magnify
The Prince of Light who came to die.

Mazzaroth, bring forth His praise!
Shine, Arcturus, set ablaze
The sky with words that tell the story
Of redemption and God's glory.

And as we turn our wondering eyes
Away from God's majestic skies,
His statutes, true from age to age,
Are told on Scripture's every page.

Let us therefore blaze abroad
The Gospel of our glorious God!
Like the stars shine in the night,
Let us shed abroad His light.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happiness, Hope, and Help

"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever" (Psalm 146:5,6).

Happy is he whose Helper is God,
Happy is he who hopes in the LORD,
Who is led by the comfort His staff and rod,
And is kept by the power His mercies afford.

Happy is he whose trust is in Christ,
The Maker of heaven, the earth, and the sea,
Who came to this earth to be sacrificed,
To rescue the likes of you and of me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Foolish Fear

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Many seek the ruler's favor; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD" (Proverbs 29:25,26).

The fear of man will bring a snare,
Warp discernment, prompt despair.
The fear of God will bring relief,
Guide our steps, promote belief.

Be done with fearing mortal man!
Fear the Lord! Before Him stand!
While many seek the ruler's favor,
God tries and judges our behavior.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Moot Man

"Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch" (Matthew 27:65,66).

"Make it as sure as you can."
That is what Pilate had said.
The tomb would be sealed by man,
But God raised our Lord from the dead.

Make it as sure as you can;
Try, but your efforts must fail.
No counsel, no power, or plan
Can ever against God prevail!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Better Boast

"Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

Boast not yourself of tomorrow, my friend,
You cannot foretell just how it will end.
God owns tomorrow, and all it contains:
Its mixture of sorrow, of joy, and its gains.

Boast in the Lord, for the future is His,
The past we record, and what presently is.
Trust in the Savior, for He holds tomorrow,
The past that we savor, and the present we borrow.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Solace for Souls

"I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my Refuge and my Portion in the land of the living" (Psalm 142:4,5).

How much I was shaken that day when I cried
Concluding that none would care for my soul;
But I was mistaken, since Christ for me died:
The work now is done and my debt paid in full!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Word Watch

"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing" (Psalm 141:3,4). "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold" (Proverbs 25:11). "Then he [Peter] began to curse and swear, saying, I know not the Man" (Matthew 26:74).

Set a watch, O my Lord,
At the door of my lips,
And screen every word
Before the word slips.

Be the Guard of my heart
Before my mouth sins.
Yes, it's better to start
Where the problem begins.

Let Your word richly dwell
In my heart everyday.
Let me draw from the well
Of Your word and Your way.

Send a word that is right,
Fitting each situation.
Let Your truth be my light
And my heart's meditation.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Prayer for Preservation

"Deliver me, O Lord.... Keep me, O Lord... preserve me.... O God the Lord, the Strength of my salvation, Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle" (Psalm 140:1-7). "A wise man is strong.... If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small" (Proverbs 24:5,10). "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but he flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

The spirit indeed is willing,
But the flesh is so very weak.
Let that true assessment be filling
Your heart as in prayer you will speak.

So pray for your own preservation
And watch in adversity's day.
The God of your strength and salvation
Will cover your head as you pray.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Seek and Seen

"And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me; for she said, Have I also looked after Him that seeth me?" (Genesis 16:13). "O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me.... See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:1,24).

When at first for God I sought,
I found Him by surprise.
Amazing truth! Who would have thought
God fixed on me His eyes?

My every thought and word and deed
Were pondered in His sight!
I'd sought for Him who saw my need
For love and life and light.

Lord, You've searched and known me well.
I seek You; I am seen.
Search me still, and thus dispel
My sin, and make me clean.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Worship isn't Wasted

"After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great Reward" (Genesis 15:1). "Now when Jesus was in Bethany... there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose was this waste?" (Matthew 26:6-8).

"Why this waste?" the lost will say,
For they know nothing of
The ransom Jesus died to pay,
Compelled by His own love.

So what if others count it vain
To worship Christ our Lord?
Jesus is our greatest Gain,
Our exceeding great Reward.

No, worship is not wasted;
It's a breath of heaven's air.
It's heaven's joys foretasted,
And heaven's grandest prayer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sovereign Searcher

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will. Every way of man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.... A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, He directeth his way" (Proverbs 21:1,2,29).

The heart of the king is in the Lord's hand,
To turn it wherever He will.
Whether or not the kings understand,
His purpose they'll surely fulfill.

And God is the searcher of each of our hearts;
The meek will He teach by His grace.
How sweet is the peace that surrender imparts!
How bitter the proud, hardened face!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back to the Beginning

"And he (Abram) went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto to the place where his tent had been at the beginning... unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.... And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art" (Genesis 13:3,4,14). "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35).

Look back to the place you began,
To the place where you called on the Lord,
When you learned of His judgment and ran
To the refuge His cross would afford.

Now lift up your eyes on the fields,
From the place where you presently are.
The grace in the harvest that yields
Is the grace that has led you thus far.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Counsel that Counts

"Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.... Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge" (Proverbs 19:21). "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

Many indeed, are the counsels of man
This world so highly esteems.
The counsel that counts is that which will stand;
All else are just wrongheaded dreams.

Cease from instruction that causes your heart
To go from God's counsel astray.
Heaven and earth shall surely depart
But His words shall not pass away.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Behold Before

"Behold, I have told you before" (Matthew 24:25).

Down through time's long corridor
Our Lord could see clearly and say:
"Behold, I have told you before,"
And speak of this earth's latter day.

What marvelous truths He unveiled!
The earth's final chapters are written!
The Lord will have finally prevailed,
Though He, for our sakes, would be smitten.

Let this be our great expectation:
"Behold, I have told you before."
From the cross to the great tribulation,
And thereafter with Christ evermore.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Gathered by His Goodness

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity... for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Psalm 133:1,3). "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37).

How good and how pleasant it is when we gather
Around Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord!
And this is the place where Christ would be rather
Than any place else that He looks toward.

"How often would I have gathered your children"
(How tender the Savior's lamentable thought!),
"Just as a hen also gathers her chickens
All under her wings, and yet you would not."

Astonishing words revealing His heart!
How sweet the assurance that He is same!
One day He'll gather us not to depart;
Till then we'll gather around His dear name.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Weightier Wealth

"Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.... How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!.... Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.... He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Proverbs 16:8,16,19,32). "Ye... have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (Matthew 23:23).

When measured on the perfect scales
That God Almighty views,
The righteousness from God prevails
Above great revenues.

When wisdom is compared with gold
By God's unerring measure,
How much better, we are told,
Is wisdom's greater treasure.

When God contrasts humility
Against the haughty crowd,
He gives grace to the lowly,
But He resists the proud.

When patience rules our hearts and souls,
We're better than the strong.
How good it is when God controls
Our spirits all day long.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Laws of Love

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:36-39).

Of all the mandates of the Law,
The greatest one that we can find
Is: You shall love the Lord your God
With all your heart and soul mind.

The second one is: Love your neighbor
The same as you would love yourself.
May these be found in our behavior,
Not hidden on a dusty shelf.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wedding Warning

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which a made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.... They made light of it and went their ways.... And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless" (Matthew 22:2-12). "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.... But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 61:10, 64:6).

You have your wedding invitation;
God bids the greatest and the least.
He gives the garments of salvation,
Required at this wedding feast.

This robe of righteousness He gives
Will cover your unrighteousness;
For Jesus died, He rose, and lives
To justify each wedding guest.

A word of warning to all those
Who think their righteousness will do:
Your righteousness, like filthy clothes,
Will not suffice to cover you!

How shall you stand before the King
Without His garment on that day,
When no excuse that you can bring
Explains your negligence away?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hope Deferred and Heart Desire

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.... The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul" (Proverbs 13:12,19).

Hope deferred is part of life;
Heart desire is as well.
Look beyond the present strife:
Heaven triumphs over hell.

While our hope is in the Lord,
We can rest; He's in control.
Christ shall come with His reward;
Come, Desire of our soul!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Goodly Fruit in Godly Fear

"Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord... Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table" (Psalm 128:1-3). "The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.... A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth" (Proverbs 12:12,14). "And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it , and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away" (Matthew 21:19).

The goodly fruit of godly fear
Is given by the Savior.
We taste it in the words we hear,
We see it in behavior.

Lord, grant in us this goodly fruit
Through what we say and do.
Lord, give to us that righteous root
That yields fruit for You.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Heavenly Heritage

"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3). "Then came the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping Him, and desiring a certain thing. And He said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left in Thy kingdom" (Matthew 20:20,21).

(Note that James and John, this mother's "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17), were among the three that our Lord drew especially close to Himself throughout His ministry.)

Behold the children that God gives:
They're heaven's precious treasure.
For them our Savior died and lives,
This is their valued measure.

Pray that children of the womb
Be children born again;
Guide them to the empty tomb
Where Jesus rose again.

Petition God to keep them close
And live for Him each day.
Our Savior heeds the prayer of those
Who pray to Him that way.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Weeping vs. Sleeping

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:5,6). "He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame" (Proverbs 10:5).

They that sow the Gospel seed
Are also those who weep.
Those who do not see the need
Are also those who sleep.

Those who weep with tears of love
Can see through Jesus' eyes.
Those who sleep are thoughtless of
The hopeless soul who dies.

Awake! The harvest time is here!
What shall the sleepers say,
When they before the Lord appear
On that approaching day?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Suffer them Sooner

"Then were brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:8).

Suffer the children to come to the Lord.
Do not forbid them or hinder their way.
The Savior is calling, and looking toward,
The children to trust Him and not go astray.

The sooner the better, little children should know
That God is concerned with a child's behavior.
So train up a child in the way he should go,
And guide him to trust in the Lord as his Savior.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kindred Keeper

"And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9).

Am I my brother's keeper?
These were the words of Cain.
The secret lurking deeper,
Before the Lord was plain.

Before Cain slew his brother
God saw his evil heart.
The murder of another,
Is traced there from the start.

I am my brother's keeper,
A steward of God's love!
I watchman, not a sleeper,
Accountable above.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Asking for Adam

"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" "For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost" (Matthew 19:11).

Lord, You knew where Adam hid,
And yet you asked him where he was.
Lord, You knew what Adam did,
And what each son of Adam does.

And still Your love has asked for us,
Within this garden cursed by sin.
We hear Your voice, and answer thus:
Forgive us, Lord, and enter in!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Changed as a Child

"And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:2,3).

Jesus called, the child came,
And He set him in their midst.
Thus He calls us, just the same,
Yet our rebel hearts resist.

Becoming as a little child
Does not mean to be naive.
How often rather we're beguiled
By our pride that will deceive.

Lord, we come to You defiled:
Cleanse us from the pride you find.
Change us, as a little child;
Keep us in that frame of mind.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Just Jesus

"This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased; hear ye Him.... And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only" (Matthew 17:5-8).

Jesus only, what a sight!
Oh what peace our Lord imparts!
Jesus only, puts to flight
Every fear that plagues our hearts!

Lift your eyes to Jesus only;
Lend your ears to hear His voice.
We need not be sad or lonely;
Hear Him, see Him, and rejoice!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Decrees in the Darkness

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.... And God said, Let there be light in the firmament of the heaven... and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so" (Genesis 1:1-3,14,15). "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).

In the beginning when God had created
The heaven and earth in the darkness of night,
The light was ordained as soon as He stated:
"Let there be light," and then there was light.

And so shall it be with those who are wise,
Shining as stars by God's Gospel decree;
And so may His Spirit illumine the eyes
Of those who in darkness are longing to see.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ready Remedy

"Fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (Proverbs 3:7,8). "Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).

There is a ready remedy
That will heal our soul's disease:
Fear the Lord, and thereby flee
From all evil that He sees.

Let Your fear, Lord, make us wise,
With the remedy it brings.
Sun of righteousness, arise
With our healing in Your wings.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fortune Finder

"I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil" (Psalm 119:162). "My son, if thou wilt receive My words... Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom" (Proverbs 2:1-6).

Rejoice, my soul, at what you've found!
No earthly fortune can compare!
The treasures in God's Word abound;
Who would have thought so much was there!

Come, search with wondrous expectation
The knowledge of our God concealed:
Prophetic words of our salvation,
And His wondrous love revealed.

Lift your voice for understanding;
Search for her as hidden treasure!
Find the wisdom God is handing
To all those who seek His pleasure.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hypocrisy in the Heart

"Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 15:7,8).

Dear Lord, in view of all You are,
It seems so very odd
That hearts can choose to be so far
With lips that honor God.

Expose my heart's hypocrisy,
And purge it by Your gaze!
Thus shall my heart and lips agree
In love and grateful praise.