Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Homeland Hope

"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The very best security
A homeland can enjoy
Is not by the artillery
Her forces may employ.

It's not in brilliant speeches
The orator conveys,
But what the Scripture teaches
About the land that prays.

The city's watchmen wake in vain
Unless God does the keeping.
If God does not their cause sustain,
They might as well be sleeping.

If My people by My name,
Will therefore humbly pray,
And seek my face, and turn from shame
And every wicked way,

Then I'll surely hear their prayer,
And I'll forgive their sin,
And I will heal them then and there,
And all their land within.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Love and Life

"O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.... because Thy lovingkindness is better than life.... My soul shall be satisfied" (Psalm 63:1,3,5).

What an apt description of a place so sorely cursed:
A dry and thirsty land without a well!
I see what life can offer, and there's nothing for my thirst,
Not in all the land wherein we dwell!

What a blest prescription we find, Lord in Your love,
Your lovingkindness satisfies my soul!
Your love is like a river that flows down from above,
To quench our longing spirits to the full!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Boasting in the Balance

"Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity" (Psalm 62:9). "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).

Those who boast that they are great
Are boasting of a lie,
As balances that check their weight
Will surely testify.

Why then should we ever fear
The weight of man's displeasure?
The humble and obedient ear
Is what our Lord will treasure.

Many seek the ruler's favor,
But judgment comes from God.
The balance true is from our Savior
All others, then, are flawed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Viewing my Vows

"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.... that I may daily perform my vows" (Psalm 61:1,8). "They that seek the Lord understand all things" (Proverbs 28:5). "Wherefore we labor that... we may be accepted of Him.... For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge... that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again" (2 Corinthians 5:9-15).

Lead me to the rock, Lord, that is higher than I am,
That I may from Your vantage point thus see,
That I may know Your purpose, and glorify the Lamb,
And thus perform Your perfect will for me.

There's such a wide variety of things that I would do,
But I would know exactly what is right.
That daily I may consecrate myself, O Lord, to You
And thus perform what's pleasing in Your sight.

I would know Your purpose for me that You ordain:
The what, the where, the why, the when, and how.
So I will seek Your face, O Lord, that You may make it plain,
That I may daily thus perform each vow.

Always keep before us, Lord, this viewpoint from above;
The reason that we labor now is thus:
We're not constrained by duty, but rather by Your love,
To live for Him who gave Himself for us.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vanity vs. Victory

"O God, Thou hast cast us off, Thou hast scattered us, Thou hast been displeased; O turn Thyself to us again....Who will bring me into the strong city?.... Wilt not Thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? And Thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies" (Psalm 60:1, 9-12).

Lord, we know Your promise well
That we'll not be forsaken.
Yet as we on this promise dwell,
We should not be mistaken.

Your promise not to leave Your own
Does not mean You'll stand by
And thereby tacitly condone
The sin that we deny.

At times we sense by Your removal,
We surely need correction.
We rush ahead without approval,
And thus without protection.

Oh turn Yourself to us again,
Restore us, Lord, anew.
For vain is help from mortal men;
Our triumph comes from You.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Glory in the Glass

"And he [Moses] made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses" (Exodus 38:8). "Moreover he [Solomon] made an altar of brass... Also he made a molten sea... He made also ten lavers... to wash in them... of bright brass.... Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out" (2 Chronicles 4:1-18). "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Behold the glory of the Lord
As in a looking glass,
As those who used to look toward
Their image in the brass.

For then the altar and the laver
With vessels of the court
Were thus reflections of our Savior
In brass, the brightest sort.

And now we see the greater glory,
Not in our reflection,
But in the sacrificial story
Of Christ and His perfection.

For judgment's brass had weight as such
Which could not be declared.
Now does this not convey how much
The Lord for sinners cared?

So change us, Lord, as we behold,
Your beauty in the brass.
Reflect in us Your love untold,
Your glory in the glass.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sufficiency and Sincerity

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.... And who is sufficient for these things?... But as of sincerity, but as of God, in sight of God, speak we in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

God is sufficient to make us to stand
And cause us to triumph in Christ everyday.
God is sufficient by His mighty hand
To lead us in righteousness all of the way.

God is sufficient to give us a voice
Among those with whom we now presently dwell.
The Gospel we share will afford them a choice
Of where they will spend either heaven or hell.

God is sufficient, but are we sincere?
Are we just going through motions expected?
In sight of our God, in His holy fear,
Let us be guided and thereby perfected.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calm in Calamity

"My soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast" (Psalm 57:1).

There is a shelter from the blast,
A calm amid calamity:
Until these troubling times are past,
I'll trust You, Lord, to care for me.

In the shadow of Your wings,
Like a fledgling in the nest,
Trusting You, Lord, always brings
Perfect peace and sweetest rest.

Soon these trials shall be past,
Soon we'll stand before Your face
Face to face with You at last,
The Lord who saved us by His grace!

Trials come and trials go;
Calamities may stay awhile,
Yet this is all I need to know:
That You are Lord of every trial.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Competent to Comfort

"The God of all comfort... comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort which we ourselves are comforted of God.... knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4,7).

In all our tribulation
Our God has wisely planned
To grant His consolation
That we may thereby stand.

And thus by this experience
Through which our Lord will lead,
We thereby gain the competence
To comfort those in need.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Maranatha Motivation

"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (Accursed); Maranatha (The Lord comes)" (1 Corinthians 16:22).

If any man love not the Lord,
Then he shall not have rest.
The curse is all he moves toward,
And he shall not be blest.

Anathema! How sad that some
Shall find themselves accursed!
Maranatha! Christ will come
And rapture His own first!

And then shall come the tribulation,
God's curse upon mankind.
Wouldn't you prefer salvation
And blessing therein find?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Riches Returned

"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted above all. Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might, and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all... But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee" (1 Chronicles 29:11-14).

Lord, I think I understand,
Though I have slowly learned:
The things we give are from Your hand,
And merely are returned.

But who are we, Lord, in Your view
That You should thus bestow,
The thrill of giving back to You
What we already owe?

For everything is Yours, O Lord,
In heaven and in earth,
And riches of Your grace afford
The measure of our worth.

For far above all earthly measure
By human estimation,
Our highest worth and greatest treasure
Are found in our salvation.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Which Way?

"God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psalm 53:2,3). "Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness.... Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:6,24).

God has looked down on the children of men
To see if there happened to be any good.
His findings were clear, for none sought Him then,
Each one has gone back; not one understood.

Yet most men proclaim their goodness today,
In spite of the statement God made from His throne.
How then can man understand his own way,
With God's view so different than that of his own?

The problem is easy; the question absurd:
Man should submit to the viewpoint of God!
We understand when we trust in His Word.
With so clear an answer, confusion seems odd!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Awesome Audience

"Now therefore in the sight of all... the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God.... for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee" (1 Chronicles 28:8,9).

Every distant thought is known
To God who searches hearts.
He understands it from His throne
Before it even starts.

What an awesome audience
Amidst His congregation!
He knows each thought our mind invents
With each imagination!

Let us seek to understand
His awesome audience,
Seeking, keeping His command,
And finding His Defense.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inward Integrity

"Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom.... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:6,10). "A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself" (Proverbs 18:2).

Lord, I gladly shed my mask
As I draw near to You.
A clean heart, Lord, is all I ask,
That inwardly is true.

It's not enough to understand
My wretchedness within.
I need Your healing, saving hand,
To wash me from my sin.

There's nothing good that I can see
Within my sinful heart
Apart from grace that cleanses me
Throughout my inward part.

Lord, You have shown the truth to me
And I am glad you did.
I'd rather have integrity,
Than inwardly be hid.

Create in me a clean heart, Lord;
My inward part, renew.
There's no one else to turn toward,
My gracious God, but You.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Clarity by Charity

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.... And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1 Corinthians 13:1,13).

Faith and hope need charity
To show that they are true.
Love will give them clarity
And let their light shine through.

Be careful not to minimize
The necessary role
Of faith and hope, lest you despise
The anchor of your soul.

Remember that through faith we're saved,
For faith lays hold on grace.
Our path ahead with hope is paved
To heaven's dwelling place.

Faith and hope are no less true
If we should fail in love,
But lack of love obscures from view
The grace of God above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Better Business

"Men of valor... were officers... in all the business of the Lord, and in the service of the king.... for every matter pertaining to God, and the affairs of the king" (1 Chronicles 26:30,32). "They that trust in their wealth.... none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of their soul is precious" (Psalm 49:6-8). "Better us a little with righteousness than great revenues without right" (Proverbs 16:8).

In all the business of the Lord,
And in the service of the king,
Men of valor can't afford
To be ensnared by lesser things.

Yes, our busy world seems
To hold the most important cares;
But God alone the soul redeems,
So let this govern our affairs.

Better is God's righteousness,
Than all this world's revenue.
There's no better way to bless
Than letting Jesus shine through you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beauty and the Betrayer

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me" (1 Corinthians 11:23,24).

Twelve were seated at the side
Of our Savior Jesus Christ.
All would flee, and one denied;
One betrayed Him at a price.

There our Lord was with delight,
In that fickle company.
He gave thanks on that same night
That He gave Himself for me.

Yes, amid these turncoat friends,
He gave thanks to God above.
Wondrous love that never ends:
None could quench His saving love!

On the night He was betrayed
On the night He broke the bread,
Undeterred by sheep that strayed,
Jesus suffered in our stead.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Administering Admonition

"Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come... But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able" (1 Corinthians 10:10-13).

Things that happened which are written
When God's people wandered,
As when they by God were smitten,
Surely should be pondered.

For these are written to admonish,
Providing us instruction,
That we may not be astonished
With their same destruction.

Though from judgment we're exempted,
Our sin has consequence.
But God is faithful when we're tempted,
And He is our Defense.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Refuge in the Rage

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.... The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted.... Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge. Selah" (Psalm 46:1,6,10,11).

Refuge sweet amidst the rage,
Lord and Savior of our life,
Thank You that from age to age,
You are present in the strife.

Sometimes we forget that fact.
Sometimes we are prone to worry.
Sometimes we may wish You'd act
In our narrow-visioned hurry.

Then we hear You say, "Be still,"
For You are God, though some resist;
Though the heathen rage, You will
Be exalted in their midst.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Arise and Arouse

"Arise, therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.... Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God" (1 Chronicles 22:16,19).

Now set your heart and soul today
To seek the Lord above.
Arise, therefore, and come away
To serve your Lord with love.

Arouse your spirit from its sleep;
Arise, therefore! Awake!
God will strengthen those who keep
A vigil for His sake.

We wake, we watch, we work as well,
As laborers with Christ.
We've pressed against the gates of hell,
Where grace has thus sufficed.

Until we hear Your upward shout
To call us home forever,
Stir our hearts, Lord, purge our doubt,
And strengthen our endeavor.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Precious Price

"Ye are bought with a price; be ye not the servants of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23).

You who are bought by the Lord Jesus Christ:
How great was the price that He paid for you then!
In view of the ransom at which you were priced,
Do not return to be servants of men!

What wonderful freedom our Savior has bought!
What purpose and joy He has thereby instilled!
We're servants of God (what a marvelous thought!),
Delighting to do what our Savior has willed.

Give to the Lord the glory He's due.
Serve Him recalling the price that He paid.
How precious that price was for me and for you!
How great was the love on His cross He displayed!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Going to God

"Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?.... Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God" (Psalm 43:2,4).

Why do I act as if God is sleeping,
As if God has not been aware of my strife?
Why do I meet my oppression weeping,
Instead of committing to Him my whole life?

Surely I know the right thing to do:
I'll go to my God, my ultimate Joy.
He is the One that my heart will pursue.
He is the Theme of the song I'll employ.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ministers of the Mysteries

"We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.... Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 2:7, 4:1).

The Gospel is a mystery,
And yet it's on display
Across the face of history
As plain and clear as day.

How can the world be so blind?
How can they miss God's grace?
How can they call what God designed
Mere randomness in space?

Our Savior came to intervene
As Scripture said He would.
Has not the world clearly seen?
Has not it understood?

The cross was real, as was the tomb;
Christ died and rose again.
It seems that there should be no room
For honest doubters then.

Oh mystery of mysteries,
That blindness is sustained,
In spite of proof this world sees
That God Himself ordained!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Favored Forever

"By this I know that Thou favorest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, Thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face forever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting. Amen, and Amen" (Psalm 41:11-13). "From everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.... My delights were with the sons of men" (Proverbs 8:23,31).

Eternally present, O Lord, You have been;
Before there was time You delighted in me.
From everlasting You favored me then,
And You will uphold me through eternity.

I'm favored forever! How can it be true?
It's not because I am deserving of grace,
But rather because it was pleasing to You
To wash me from sin and to die in my place.

From everlasting, before Your creation,
Lord, I was the object of Your loving favor.
To everlasting, exploring salvation,
I'll thank You and praise You, my God and my Savior!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Surprising Selection

"And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Whom am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto?" (1 Chronicles 17:16). "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called... that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:26,29).

Now who would have thought
That our God would choose
So lowly a lot
To commission and use!

Surprising selection,
That God would choose those
So far from perfection,
As each of them knows!

For not many wise,
Or mighty we see,
And not many rise
From nobility.

But God has selected
The ones least esteemed
Whom He has detected
Will do as He's deemed.

May God thus receive
All the glory He's due
From those who believe,
Like me and like you.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Counsel that Conquers

"My son, keep thy father's commandment.... When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee" (Proverbs 6:20,22). "I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (Romans 16:19,20).

What marvelous counsel I have in God's Word
That leads me, that keeps me, and talks to my soul!
Thus I am spared from the lies I have heard
That lead hearts astray (Satan's tireless goal).

The voice of division, the voice of seduction,
The voice deception that Satan inspires,
All have this purpose: the death and destruction
Of souls that are conquered by evil desires.

Let us be wise in that which is good;
Let us be simple in evil explored,
Obeying commandments that we've understood,
Enabled by grace that proceeds from our Lord.

Counsel that conquers is ours for the taking,
For Satan is bruised by obedient feet.
Whether we're walking, we're working, or waking,
The counsel of God is protective and sweet.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Need Now

"NOW the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.... NOW the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.... NOW the God of peace be with you all. Amen" (Romans 15:5,13,33).

Now may the God of patience above
And of eternal life's consolation,
Grant us to be likeminded in love,
Striving together for edification.

Now may the God of hope that's alive
Fill us with joy and hope in believing.
That He, by His Spirit, may thereby revive
Our hearts as we pray for revival and healing.

Now may the God of heavenly peace
Be with us all till our journey shall end.
Thus may we shine and His glory increase
Until He returns. Even so, Lord! Amen!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Examine the Ends

"I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not. Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace" (Psalm 37:35-37). "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" (Proverbs 4:18,19).

Across the ages we can see
The wicked come to power.
They spread out like a green bay tree;
They sweep down like a shower.

And yet they did not come to stay;
We looked and they were gone.
By God's decree they passed away,
As night gives way to dawn.

Across the ages we can see
God's servants give their lives.
The blessing of their memory
By God's decree survives.

Mark these paths, then, very well.
Examining their ends:
The wicked shall be turned to hell;
The upright God commends.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Trust as you Tread

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes.... Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble... He giveth grace to the lowly" (Proverbs 3:5,6,23,34).

How can you walk in a way that is wise?
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.
Lean not toward what is right in your eyes;
Wait for the wisdom that God will impart.

In all of your ways, then, acknowledge the Lord.
God will ensure that your foot will not stumble.
His marvelous grace shall be your reward,
For God gives it freely to all who are humble.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Whatever You Will

"Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation" (Psalm 35:3). "My son, if thou wilt receive my words.... so that thou incline thine ear to wisdom.... If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shall thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:1-5).

Say to my soul, Lord, I am thy salvation.
Say what You will, for I'm ready to hear.
Direct by Your Spirit the whole conversation;
You have the treasures of knowledge and fear.

Say to my soul, Lord, what You know I need.
Search me and know me, as no one else can.
Surely I'd stray, Lord, if You did not lead;
Teach me to walk in the way of Your plan.

Lord, I delight in the privilege of prayer,
But frankly, I tire of hearing my voice.
I'd rather be hearing the truth that You share.
This is my sweet meditation of choice.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Members who Magnify

"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3). "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:4,5).

Oh magnify the Lord with me;
Together let us praise His name!
Though we're different as can be,
Yet our purpose is the same.

We are members of each other,
Though we each have different roles.
Let's encourage one another:
Praise the Lord who saved our souls!

Here we find our common ground,
With our hearts in accord.
Those who know the joyful sound:
Magnify with me the Lord!