Sunday, September 30, 2007

Marvelous Mind

"Let all the earth fear the Lord.... for He spake, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast.... The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure" (Proverbs 30:4,5). "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?" (Romans 11:33,34).

Who has known God's awesome mind?
Who can say what has thought?
Who to heaven's throne has climbed?
To declare what God has wrought?

Who created everything
By the word He spoke with power?
Stars that shine and birds that sing
Show His glory every hour.

Who descended down to earth
From His majesty above?
Who defined what we are worth
By His mercy, truth, and love?

Praise the Lord, for He made known
What we never could find out!
All the evidence He's shown,
Thus has left no room for doubt.

Jesus Christ, the great I AM,
Thus created all that is.
Jesus Christ, God's spotless Lamb,
Ransomed us to call us His.

Every word of God is pure,
Every single precious thought.
Forever shall His words endure,
Though all else shall come to naught.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Studies in Stubbornness

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee" (Psalm 32:8,9).

There is a twofold stubbornness
That God would have us know
Will hinder His delight to bless
When we're too fast or slow.

First God shows to us the horse
Controlled by bit and reigns
That races forward on its course,
And slowing down disdains.

Next we see the classic mule
Content to take it slow.
He often stops, and as a rule,
It's hard to make him go.

Thus we have these stubborn two,
The horse and mule, portrayed.
In these are similes so true
When we have not obeyed.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Simply Seeking

"Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things" (Proverbs 28:5).

Those who will not seek the Lord
And salvation from His hand,
Still each day must press toward
Judgment they don't understand.

They may argue all day long
Why they think they're justified.
God defines what's right and wrong,
What is true, and who has lied.

There is a simple resolution:
Seek the Lord while still you may.
He will free you from confusion;
He will lead you in His way.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Force of His Favor

"In His favor is life.... And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Lord by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled" (Psalm 30:5-7). "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy" (Romans 9:16).

There is a danger I may face
In my prosperity:
The tendency to discount grace;
God's favor shown to me.

If I should say within my heart
That I shall not be moved,
What foolishness is on my part,
That must be yet reproved!

The favor of God's gracious gift,
Comes not by force of will,
Nor by the running of the swift,
Whose race the crowds may thrill.

But God is looking to the meek,
And He will be their Savior.
They shall not be moved who seek
And trust Him for His favor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Majestic Majority

"If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:31,32).

Who can be against the one
Whom God Himself is for?
How could God who gave His Son
Assure us any more?

Who can separate the Lord
From His own congregation?
Shall persecution or the sword,
Succeed by tribulation?

Who can separate us from
God's never ending love?
Nothing now, nor yet to come,
Below or from above!

What assurance we possess
From God's majestic throne!
None can curse whom God will bless,
Nor take from God His own!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Costly Carnality

"Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up" (Psalm 28:1,5). "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:6,7).

There is an awful consequence
Connected with carnality.
The carnal mind has no defense
Against its deadly apathy.

They do not heed the works of God,
Nor operation of His hands;
The carnal do not count it odd
That no one understands.

Not only is there apathy,
But hatefulness from hell.
The carnal mind is enmity
Against the Lord as well.

Escape the self-destructive way
Of this world's carnal mind
Come to Jesus Christ today,
And life and peace you'll find.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Faithful vs. Fainting

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:13,14). "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.... A just men falleth seven times, and riseth up again" (Proverbs 24:10,16). "Who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:24,25).

If not for the knowledge that God is so good,
I surely would come to despair.
I'd faint if I did not believe that I could
Be casting on my Him every care.

So if I am fainting and my strength is too small,
I'll wait on the Lord in that hour.
For when I am weak and I'm ready to fall,
He'll lift me again by His power.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reckoned as Risen

"We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.... Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:4,5,11).

We're reckoned as dead indeed to our sin.
We're reckoned alive with a life that is new.
We're reckoned as righteous that we may begin
To glorify God in all that we do.

We're planted with Christ in the likeness of death
And also the likeness of His resurrection.
Thus as we yield to Him life and breath
Our Lord gives us power and daily direction.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sessions for Sinners

"Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.... What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He shall choose" (Psalm 25:9,10,12). "Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:3-5).

Class is in session for sinners who seek
The knowledge of God's way imparted.
The fear of the Lord and a heart that is meek
Are all that you need to get started.

We all qualify as those born in sin
In need of our Savior's salvation.
We have a course list before we begin
Of sessions before graduation.

The first course we take is in tribulation,
For through it our patience is tried.
When patience is learned (instead of frustration),
Experience thus is supplied.

The goal of experience has this great aim:
To hope with assurance in God.
And hope thus imparts that which never will shame:
God's love in our hearts shed abroad.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reckoned as Righteous

"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and pure heart, who hath not lifted up His soul unto vanity. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of His salvation" (Psalm 24:2-5). "The righteousness of God without the law is manifested... even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:21-23).

Who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord?
Or who shall be standing in His holy place?
Only the ones who receive the reward
Of righteousness God is giving by grace.

Jesus procured our righteousness thus:
By offering Himself as our Sacrifice.
Thus He received it and gave it to us;
No other ransom will ever suffice.

Religion must fail because it demands
The righteousness we ourselves cannot give:
A right soul, a pure heart, and clean holy hands,
In no way describes how we truly live.

But Jesus ascended as God's spotless Lamb,
Fulfilling those standards just mentioned above.
It boggles my mind when I think how I am
Thus reckoned as righteous by faith in His love!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Way without Want

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). "Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?.... The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly" (Proverbs 20:24,30). "He was wounded for our transgressions... and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).

The way without want is not within man
For he was created with needs.
Our God will supply, as only He can,
Whatever we lack where He leads.

The Lord is my Shepherd, and I shall not want,
Though sometimes I stray without reason.
And yet even then, though Satan may taunt,
My soul He restores in due season.

The pathway of life is soon shadowed by death
When every false way is revealed.
Now is the time, while we have life and breath,
To discover the way to be healed.

Jesus our Shepherd once laid His life down;
And thus was our greatest need met.
How great was His love that the floods could not drown,
And no greater love is found yet!

The way of salvation is not found within,
Which Jesus alone can provide.
If we would know peace and His freedom from sin,
He must be invited inside.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Destined to Declare

"The assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet.... I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.... They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done this" (Psalm 22:16,22,31).

There is a destiny we share
With all who know God's Son:
We are the seed who shall declare
What Jesus Christ has done.

He has done what He foretold:
They pierced His hands and feet!
In our Savior we behold
This prophecy complete!

Thus we share this destiny:
Declaring that God gave
His Son to die for you and me,
And to forever save.

And Jesus also has declared
His Father's name to those
Who have a place above prepared,
Because He died and rose.

He has done this, we proclaim,
As Scripture said before.
We will bless His precious name
And praise Him more and more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Brook from the Book

"The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.... The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.... Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:4,15,21).

Submerged beneath the flowing brook
Of the words the wise have said
The Bible, God's inspired Book,
Is our wisdom's Fountainhead.

The prudent heart will always thirst,
Discerning ears will always seek,
For wisdom from the Bible first,
Supplying fitting words to speak.

Death and life are in the power
Of the tongue that will persuade.
Every day and every hour
Are eternal choices made.

Thus we see the urgent cause
To speak a fitting word in season:
Life and death should give us pause
To pray and preach with fervent reason.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Additional Acts

"And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Acts 28:30,31). "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God.... I am debtor... I am ready... I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" (Romans 1:1,14-16).

The Book of Acts concludes with Paul
Continuing his preaching;
It doesn't seem to end at all,
As he goes right on teaching.

The Book of Romans picks right up
And tells us what Paul taught,
As if he called us in to sup
To hear what God has wrought.

So it is the Book of Acts
Adds to its unseen pages,
As God accumulates the facts
Throughout the Church's ages.

And though apostles now are gone,
We still convey their teaching,
As still the Church is marching on,
And to the lost is preaching.

Everyday there's more to write;
Be sure God will record
Each word and deed, however slight,
That magnifies the Lord.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Granted by Grace

"And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested" (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Who can forbid the thing that God grants?
No one, as surely as God the Lord lives!
God is the Lord over each circumstance;
None can deprive us of what the Lord gives.

See how God granted the prayer of this man,
Jabez, who prayed that the Lord would impart
The blessing, enlargement, and help of His hand
To keep him from evil that grieved his own heart.

Let us pray likewise about every care;
Sometimes we have not because we don't ask.
Let us come boldly to God with each prayer
That we may find grace for each burden and task.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Working on my Way

"It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect" (Psalm 18:32). "The way of the righteous is made plain.... The way of life is above to the wise" (Proverbs 15:19,24).

God is working on my way
And girding me with strength
To run with patience everyday
My course throughout its length.

God who leads in righteousness
Is making my way plain:
Trusting Him ensures success,
And doubting Him is vain.

God has shown the way above
And lifted up my eyes.
Thus I see His boundless love,
And thus He makes me wise.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Awaiting the Awakening

"As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness" (Psalm 17:15). "The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death" (Proverbs 14:32).

The length of this life is not what it seems
When seen from eternity's view.
Its treasures and pleasures are like empty dreams
That vanish, as dreams always do.

This life shall be over and we shall awake,
With all who are saved by God's grace,
To rise in His likeness, transformed for His sake,
And then we shall see Jesus' face.

This is our hope, our great expectation,
That not even death can defeat.
And we shall be like Him! Oh, what a salvation,
That finds us in Christ so complete!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cause of Contention

"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom" (Proverbs 13:10).

Look for the cause of contention,
And as you are looking inside,
You ought to give special attention
To the presence and problem of pride.

Surely we should be contending
With forces of evil today;
This is a battle unending,
Where not to contend is to stray.

But pride is an evil contender
That has only one thing in view:
To lift up yourself to engender
A higher opinion of you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Measuring Madness

"And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him, for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:24-28).

The madman may think if he shouts
That he has the very last word.
The monarch may publish his doubts,
Regardless of evidence heard.

Consider the discourse of Paul
With all of his evidence had;
Still Festus would not hear it all,
And simply dismissed him as mad.

Then addressing Agrippa the king,
Paul found he was almost persuaded,
Yet in spite of the facts Paul could bring.
Agrippa remained cold and jaded.

How shall we then measure madness
In view of the truth so perfected?
Perhaps by the height of the sadness
In heaven for grace thus rejected.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

King's Kindness

"And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah... that Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; and he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, and changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life" (2 Kings 25:27-30).

What a lovely portrait here
In Jehoiachin we see
In the thirty-seventh year
Of his long captivity.

Scripture doesn't tell us why
His prison term had ended.
The writer does not testify
Just why he was befriended.

We only know a king arranged
To lift him out of prison
His prison garments then were changed,
And daily his provision.

This kindly king of Babylon,
That lifted up his head,
Could have left him just go on,
But set him free instead.

Does it seem that this behavior
Towards Jehoiachin
Reflects the kindness of our Savior
Who rescued us from sin?

It doesn't stretch imagination
To see Christ here reflected.
Oh, what a picture of salvation
And grace in us perfected!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Curse of Convenience

"And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25).

How deep the pit, how steep the climb,
Convenience may achieve,
When opportunity and time
Are passed by to believe!

Tomorrow's time is an illusion,
Betraying expectation.
It mocks us with our own confusion
By our procrastination.

The future surely will not bow
To our convenient season.
God is calling sinners now,
Come now, let us reason!

Convenience is an awful curse,
That vainly trusts tomorrow.
Day by day grows only worse,
Compounding thus our sorrow.

Seize the moment, while you can,
To come to Christ today.
There is no secondary plan
If time sweeps you away.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cheerful Charge

"And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.... Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned him to speak, answered... I do the more cheerfully answer for myself" (Acts 23:11, 24:10).

Where did Paul find his unquenchable cheer
To finish his task so opposed and so large?
Jesus Himself was the One who drew near;
"Be of good cheer," was His comfort and charge.

Where did Paul find the wisdom to speak
With grace to respond in that difficult hour?
Jesus Himself, when His servant was weak,
Drew near to impart to him wisdom and power.

Where do we find this cheer for the heart
With wisdom and power to finish our course?
Jesus Himself still has grace to impart;
Yes, Jesus Himself is our infinite Source!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mistaken Mountain

"In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?" (Psalm 11:1).

The world has counsel to give us today
That bids us to flee as a bird:
Flee your mountain, and there you must stay;
Hide there, and do not be heard.

My worldly friends, you're sadly mistaken:
The mountain is no place to hide.
Though we may be weak, we are not forsaken;
In Jesus we safely abide.

Flee to your mountain? Is that what you said?
Your strategy surely sounds odd!
Shouldn't you rather be fleeing instead,
In view of the judgment of God?

Truly there's safety, but not in the mountain,
There hiding yourselves in the caves.
Flee to the Savior and come to the Fountain
For cleansing and blessing that saves!

Then go to the world! It's not time to flee!
The Gospel still needs to be heard!
Go forth with boldness and humility,
Though others may flee as a bird.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tending to the Tenderhearted

"Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord... I also have heard thee, saith the Lord" (2 Kings 22:19). "Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart, Thou wilt cause Thine ear to hear" (Psalm 10:17).

Tenderhearted soul, rejoice,
For God will hear your prayers!
Indeed, before He hears your voice,
Your heart He first prepares.

How loving is God's tender hand
That works within the heart,
That in our meekness we may stand
And from our pride depart.

For when our sinful pride exists
That we do not confess,
We find the pride that God resists,
Though He would rather bless.

Lord, keep our hearts revived and tender
By that which You allow.
From pride, oh Lord, be our Defender,
And humbleness endow.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Nestled in the Name

"The Lord also will be a Refuge for the oppressed, a Refuge in times of trouble. They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee" (Psalm 9:9,10).

Those who know the reputation
Of our Savior's name,
Are nestled in the sure salvation
Only His can claim.

None shall ever be forsaken
Who trust in Christ alone.
God (who never is mistaken)
Has surely made that known.

We're nestled in the matchless name
Of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who is a Refuge from our shame
And heaven's best Reward.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mercifully Mindful

"What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" (Psalm 8:4). "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings" (Proverbs 5:21).

Lord, what is man upon this earth
That You should give him thought,
Or that You ever thought him worth
The ransom that You brought?

How merciful and marvelous,
Oh Lord, that You revealed
That You have set Your love on us,
And by Your stripes we're healed.

Lord, what is man that he should be
The object of salvation?
There's more than human eyes can see,
That drives Your estimation.

The eyes of God that never wander
Behold us from above.
The heart of God will ever ponder
And hold us in His love.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hezekiah's Hallelujah!

"And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord.... Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.... Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.... For I will defend this city, to save it" (2 Kings 19:20-34).

Hezekiah prayed his prayer,
And made his anguish known.
What a refuge he found there
Before God's mighty throne!

Stripped of all self-confidence
He went to God and pleaded.
There he found the Lord's defense
Was all he ever needed.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
The enemy must face,
Not Hezekiah's trembling sword,
But God's defending grace.

Surely there's instruction there
That God would have us see.
God was waiting for that prayer
To send His victory.

Let us thereby understand
That God still waits to hear
The prayer that moves His heart and hand
With grace when we draw near.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Welcome vs. Weary

"I am weary with my groaning" (Psalm 6:6). "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction. For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a Father the son in whom He delighteth" (Proverbs 3:11,12).

Lord, You've seen my weariness;
You have also heard my moaning,
And at times, I must confess,
I am weary with my groaning.

Yet I know Your purpose, Lord,
Is Your loving, wise correction.
Looking back with soul restored,
I rejoice in Your direction.

Chastening is never pleasant,
Yet I welcome its effect.
So I'll look beyond the present
Knowing by it You correct.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Urgency to Understand

"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 thou shalt understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom.... He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous" (Proverbs 2:3-7). "They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11).

Lord, give me readiness of mind,
To search Your Word as hidden treasure.
By Your grace, Lord, let me find
The joy of serving You with pleasure.

The things that You are pleased to show
You manifest to those who pray
And lift their voice that they might know
Your perfect wisdom, will, and way.

Daily, Lord, I thus would seek
With urgency to understand
And readiness to hear You speak,
That I may follow Your command.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Searching our Secrecy

"And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God" (2 Kings 17:9). "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself" (Psalm 4:3). "For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD.... Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with own devices" (Proverbs 1:29-31).

God examines all we do,
In public or in secrecy.
Right or wrong, false or true,
All is done transparently.

All we think and all we say,
Every motive for each deed,
Are before Him, plain as day,
By His grace or by our greed.

Save me, Lord, from secrecy;
Purge this folly from my heart!
Search the secrets seen in me;
Set me for Yourself apart.