Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saved, Severed, Sent

"And ye shall be holy unto Me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine" (Leviticus 20:26). "The Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.... It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you.... For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost" (Acts 13:2, 15:25,28).

Saved by the grace of God from sin,
Severed to do His will,
Though we're not of the world we're in,
We're sent with a task to fulfill.

Sent by the Holy Spirit of God,
Judging success by this measure:
Whether the world will mock or applaud,
Doing what gives the Lord pleasure.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yoke of Yeshua

"God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (Acts 15:8-10). "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:29,30).

The yoke of the Law demanding perfection
Could only be borne by Yeshua, God's Son.
Jesus now bids us to make our selection,
Choosing the yoke of His grace to put on.

Come to the Savior; partake of His rest.
His yoke is easy; His burden is light.
Among every love, His love is the best,
Lowly, yet lifting us to heaven's height!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lasting Labor

"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1). "And when they [Paul and Barnabas] were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that GOD had done with them, and how HE had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27).

Labor that is done if vain
Is all the work of man.
How wasted is the work and pain
In every godless plan.

Working as a bumble bee,
Running hard and fast,
Surely will not guarantee
The work that's done will last.

It's not the laborer that's skilled
That guarantees success;
It's only as the Lord will build,
And as the Lord will bless.

Keep this principle in mind
In everything you do,
And lasting labor you will find,
As God is using you.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Joined with Joy

"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter.... Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Psalm 126:1-5). "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 13:52).

There is a joy that fills the heart
So full it overflows.
We cannot know this joy apart
From God the Holy Ghost.

This is not the kind of joy
That circumstances feed;
Joy in Christ does not employ
What others say we need.

This is joy that finds its source
In God the Holy Spirit,
Like a steam that runs its course
Wherever God will steer it.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Beware, Believe, Behold

"For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him.... Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you." (Acts 13:27,41).

The voice of the prophets may often be read,
Yet still they may never be heard.
For those who fulfilled all their voices had said,
Were blind to the truth of God's Word.

Beware therefore, sinner, lest that come to you,
This blindness that prophets foretold!
For all that the prophets have said will come true,
Beware, then, believe, and behold!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life in Leviticus

"The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, for it is the blood tat maketh an atonement for the soul.... Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 17:11, 18:5).

According to Leviticus,
The life is in the blood.
Atonement is imparted thus
To reconcile with God.

Yet in Leviticus we see
This option God will give:
Just keep His Law entirely,
And you shall surely live.

The way is plain in option one;
Not so in option two:
For in the blood the work is done
That Law demands we do.

How clearly we can hear God's voice
Extolling option one!
Leviticus displays that choice
Of life in God the Son.

For blood that has been sacrificed
Imparting life to us,
Was thus foreseen in Jesus Christ,
Here in Leviticus.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ornament of Obedience

"As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear" (Proverbs 25:12).

Wise Reprover on my ear,
Superior to the rest,
Lord, there's none so wise, so dear
As You, to know what's best.

Lord, I pray that You'll adorn
My ear with what You say;
And with that ornament thus worn,
A heart that will obey.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Exceeding Expectation

"Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again" (Proverbs 24:15). "And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of he people" (Acts 12:11).

Let all the expectation of the people be exceeded,
For God is my salvation, providing all I've needed.
Lay not, O wicked one, in wait against my soul:
I'm trusting God the Son to cleanse and make me whole.

Let all the expectation of the powers of darkness fail.
God hears my supplication; He surely will prevail.
Yes, let my soul arise, victorious, undiminished,
And thus my foe surprise, who thought that I was finished.

Let all the expectation of even my own heart
Exceed the limitation, I imagined at the start.
Let Jesus be exalted, victorious over strife;
His kingdom never halted in ruling all my life.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Was I?

"What was I, that I could withstand God?" (Acts 11:17). "O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" (Romans 9:20).

God is God, so what was I,
That I could then withstand,
Or ever utter a reply
Against His sovereign hand?

Yet, in fact, I understand,
That You gave me, Lord, a will
To obey or to withstand;
To do good, or to do ill.

How well I know that I am prone
Against You to reply!
And in repentance at Your throne,
I wonder, what was I?

And therefore, Lord, I now elect
To willingly obey!
And I will trust You to protect
And keep me in Your way.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Preservation for the Proclamation

"The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge.... Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth: that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?" (Proverbs 22:12,20,21). "And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:42,43).

The eyes of the Lord watch over His Word,
Ensuring its pure preservation.
Thus it is written, thereby we have heard,
And preach therefore His proclamation.

For God has commanded His people to preach
The same Word that brought us salvation.
The prophets all witness, and so we will teach,
His Gospel among every nation.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Looking at Lordship

"But Peter said, Not so, Lord.... Then Peter opened up his mouth and said.... Jesus Christ... is Lord of all" (Acts 10:14,36).

Lord of heaven, Lord of earth,
And of those who on You call,
Does my life reflect that worth,
That You are Lord of all?

Is there inconsistent strife
Where Your Lordship is in view?
Are there pockets in my life
Not submitted, Lord, to You?

Lord, You know me thoroughly,
How easily I roam.
Let Your Lordship grow in me
Until You take me home.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Great Grace

"I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.... Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:162,165). "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all" (Act 4:33).

If I had won the lottery
With a billion dollar prize,
You would not think it strange of me
To shout with glad surprise.

Yet what I've found is far above
The world's greatest treasure:
The wealth of God's tremendous love
Exceeds our greatest measure.

So if you hear me sing and shout,
It's not the lottery:
Great grace is what it's all about
For all eternity!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Qualifying the Quickening

"Quicken me according to Thy word.... Quicken me according to Thy judgments.... Quicken me, O Lord, according to Thy lovingkindness" (Psalm 119:154,156,159).

Quicken me, O Lord, according to Your word:
Help me be obedient to all that I have heard.
Let Your Holy Spirit bring to light what You have said.
Quicken me lest should sleep alongside of the dead.

Quicken me, O Lord, in judgment to discern
The things that You would daily have my heart to learn.
Let Your Holy Spirit in Your fear thus make me wise.
Quicken me to understand Your truth with opened eyes.

Quicken me, O Lord, according to Your love,
To set all my affections on the things of Christ above.
Let Your Holy Spirit draw me close by Your love story.
Quicken me to love You more and give You all the glory.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Closeness of Christ

"They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from Thy law. Thou art near, O Lord; and all Thy commandments are truth" (Psalm 119:150,151). "There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).

Those who follow lies
Are drawing ever near;
Wise in their own eyes,
They have no godly fear.

But Christ is closer still
Than that approaching host
Of those who steal and kill,
And in destruction boast.

And so I will depend
On Christ, and not another;
For Christ, my dearest Friend,
Sticks closer than a brother.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Despite the Despised

"Thy word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it. I am small and despised: yet do not I forget Thy precepts.... Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth.... The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting" (Psalm 119:140-144).

Despite the fact that I am small
And I may be despised,
Your word is pure, and that is all
That should be emphasized.

Lord, You are righteous, though I'm not,
In all that You have said.
I will not trust my wavering thought;
I'll trust in You instead.

Those who do not want to see
May choose to turn their eyes
To failure and hypocrisy
In those whom they despise.

But Your truth does not depend
On those who sometimes fail.
It rests on You, and in the end
Your word, Lord, shall prevail.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Utterly Unclean

"He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean" (Leviticus 13:44,45). "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 16:25). "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Unclean! Unclean! The leper thus would cry.
What then does this mean? What does it signify?
How shall we understand this passage we have read?
For this was God's command when the plague was in his head.

There is a way that seems, to man, that all is right;
Thus leprosy, unclean, is a portrait that sheds light,
Allowing us to see the end of sin that spreads:
That sin will surely be like cancer in our heads.

There is way of healing; a way that God gives peace.
His Gospel is revealing, the cure for sin's disease.
O come to Christ today, and discover what it means
To have sin washed away by the blood of Christ that cleans!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Time and Tools

"It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy Law.... Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way" (Psalm 119:126,128). "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

Lord, it's time for You to work,
And time for us as well.
The powers of the darkness lurk
And lead the way to hell.

Yet in this present darkness now
Your truth gives us a song.
Your precepts rightly tell us how
To know what's right and wrong.

We hear it in the public school
And everywhere we find
The godless teaching of the fool;
The blind thus lead the blind.

Yet we are workmen from Your school
And soldiers in Your field.
Your Gospel is our harvest tool;
Your truth, our sword and shield.

Yes, we are workmen You have sent;
We'll work, Lord, as we learn.
And since the night is now far spent,
We'll watch for Your return.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hide in Here!

"I hate vain thoughts: but Thy law do I love. Thou art my Hiding Place and my Shield: I hope in Thy Word" (Psalm 119:113,114). "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not things on the earth. For...your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3).

I hate the thoughts of vanity
That fill me with distractions.
They waste my time and energy
On worldly attractions.

Where then shall I run and hide?
What refuge can I find?
They come at me from every side
To battle with my mind.

Now I hear You bid me, Lord,
To hide myself in You;
To meditate upon Your Word;
So virtuous and true.

You say to seek those things above,
And not the things of earth;
To love the things that You will love
That have eternal worth.

And so I'll gladly heed Your voice:
When You say, "Hide in here!"
I'll hide in Christ, and there rejoice,
In love and godly fear.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Laughter in the Light

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.... Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart" (Psalm 119:105,111). "The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out" (Proverbs 13:9).

Rejoice, beloved, on the path
That God lights with His Word!
Jesus saves us from the wrath
That He, for joy, endured.

That joy ahead He kept in mind,
So He endured the shame.
And since His light for us has shined,
We ought to do the same.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Reason for Rightness

"The thoughts of the righteous are right.... He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness" (Proverbs 12:5,17). "If ye continue in My word... ye shall know the truth" (John 8:31,32).

I know it may sound strange to some
To say, "I know I'm right."
But this is where I'm coming from:
The Word of God is light.

The light of God within His Word
Illumines what is true.
Our God has spoken, I have heard,
And I believe Him too.

Our God is right, in any case,
If we believe or not.
And we are right when we embrace
His truth within our thought.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Settled Servant

"Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: for all are Thy servants.... I am Thine, save me.... I have seen an end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad" (Psalm 119:89-96).

Lord, settled in heaven and serving on earth
Are all Your commandments that order creation.
There's only one creature that questions the worth
Of Your perfect will and of Your great salvation.

That creature is man, that prideful exception,
The object of heaven's astonishing love!
Refusing to see Your commandment's perfection,
He clenches his fist against heaven above!

O Lord, I am Yours! O save me today
From this world's folly, defying You still!
Let all that I am be true to Your way
And settled forever, conformed to Your will.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Smart in the Smoke

"Mine eyes fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget Thy statutes.... All Thy commandments are faithful... help Thou me" (Psalm 119:82,83,86).

Lord, when things become obscure,
Like bottles in the smoke,
I know that I can rest secure
In every word You spoke.

For soon the smoke will clear again
And then I know You'll be
The very same as You were when
My eyes could clearly see.

So this is how You teach my heart
In every situation;
No matter what, it's always smart
To trust Your reputation.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Holy Hands

"Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:73). "Go in the way of understanding.... The knowledge of the Holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:6,10).

Lord, You made me with Your hands;
You fashioned me to be
A child of God who understands
What faith alone can see.

Lord, I've heard Your gracious call
Since I was heaven-born,
To search the Holiest of all:
The veil now is torn!

Here between the cherubim,
The bloodstained mercy seat
Speaks so perfectly of Him,
Where truth and mercy meet.

Here I see the Law's demands
Were fully satisfied!
Here I see why holy hands
For me were crucified!

Be still, my soul, in silent awe;
For words cannot suffice
To tell what God the Father saw
When Christ was sacrificed.

Lord, Your hands, now nail-scarred,
Have led me to this place,
To melt my heart that once was hard,
With holiness and grace.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Consequence of Consecration

"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said.... This is the Stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the Head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:8-13).

They were just unlearned and ignorant men:
Such was the world's perception
Of Peter and John who were undaunted then,
In the face of their hostile reception.

The leaders forbade them to teach in Christ's name,
They mocked them as being unlearned;
They threatened to punish and put them to shame,
And hoped that would make them concerned.

But the boldness of their proclamation,
The fact that they'd been with the Lord,
And result of their consecration
With Jesus could not be ignored.

So may we also draw near to the throne
In the stillness of God's consecration,
That we, by being with Jesus alone,
May boldly proclaim His salvation.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Turned to His Testimonies

"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:59,60). "God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3:26).

I thought, Lord, on my ways, and found upon reflection,
Whenever my heart strays, I forfeit Your protection.
Yet I find a refuge sweet, in Your Word when I obey.
So I turn my erring feet, to Your truth without delay.

WHAT was I thinking of? WHERE did I lose my song?
WHY did I doubt Your love? WHEN were You ever wrong?
HOW can such foolishness, still lead my soul astray
From Christ WHO came to bless, and take my sin away?

Your testimonies sure, in every situation,
Are altogether pure, the light of Your salvation.
And so I'll heed that light, and guide my feet thereby,
Esteeming Your Word right, and unbelief a lie.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reviving my Remembering

"Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me... I have remembered Thy judgments of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself... I have remembered Thy name, O Lord, in the night" (Psalm 119:49,52,55).

Remember, Lord, Your word upon which I rely.
I know that sounds absurd; I know You cannot lie!
You have not failed yet; I know You never will.
I know You won't forget; each promise You'll fulfill.

So now that we've rehearsed Your faithful reputation,
The point is now reversed, to view my dedication:
Do I remember You, recalling Your affliction?
Your faithfulness so true, now fills me with conviction!

That's why the bread and wine, were given to us all,
Because we are inclined to forget and not recall!
Forgive forgetfulness, so often seen in me,
And in Your faithfulness, revive my memory!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ambassador's Ambition

"And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Thy judgments.... I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed" (Psalm 119:43,46).

Lord, You've heard this prayer before;
Well, here it is again:
I would be Your ambassador
Before the sons of men.

Kings and peasants, rich and poor,
All need to hear Your Word.
I would be Your ambassador,
Until they all have heard.

Till night has come and then no more
Your Word may be proclaimed,
I would be Your ambassador,
And will not be ashamed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Way of the Word

"Teach me, O Lord, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.... Stablish Thy Word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear" (Psalm 119:33,38). "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.... Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:18,19,26,27).

Teach me, O Lord, in the way of Your Word,
And let all my ways be established therein.
For why should I wander from what I have heard,
To stumble in darkness and wallow in sin?

For the path of the justified shines as the light
That shines more and more till the fullness of day.
Your will is the center, not left, neither right,
And that is the path I would walk all the way.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Faithful Fire

"This is the law of the burnt offering: it is the burnt offering because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.... It shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it.... The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out" (Leviticus 6:9-13). "This same Jesus... shall so come in like manner" (Acts 1:11).

How faithful this type is of Jesus we see:
An offering by fire that never goes out.
His love is unquenchable for you and me;
How sweetly that knowledge removes every doubt!

Our seasons of darkness cannot quench His flame.
His passion continues unchanged through the night.
Each morning we rise up to find Him the same;
God's Word sets in order that truth in our sight.

Unquenched by millenniums which have gone by,
The love of our Savior has never diminished.
The very same passion that caused Him to die
Shall come in like manner when this age is finished.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lesson Learned (again)

"Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following... Peter seeing Him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him... What is that to thee? Follow thou Me" (John 21:22).

So "what is that to you?
Our Lord was heard to say.
His words still ring so true
And relevant today!

As Peter turned his face
So distracted and concerned,
How often in our case
This lesson is relearned!

We quickly turn aside
From truth that makes us free.
Then hear our Savior chide
Again: "You follow Me!"

We turn back to our Lord,
Repenting of our strife;
Reproved and thus restored—
This is the school of life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Discerning my Desire

"I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches" (Psalm 119:14). "Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.... So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, lovest thou Me more than these?" (John 21:10,15).

Jesus bids me, "Come and dine."
Reminding me as we recline,
That I am His and He is mine,
And none can quench love's fire.

Temporal pleasures, luxuries,
With all this world's treasuries,
"Do you love me more than these?"
I hear my Lord inquire.

Let all the world's riches fade,
With all its passing, vain parade!
Let all my hope in Christ be stayed,
With all my heart's desire!

Do you love Me more than these?
I am ashamed at what He sees!
Yet I will go down on my knees,
That He may lift me higher.