Thursday, January 31, 2008

Plainly Pleading

"O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!" (Job 16:20,21). "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).

God has sent a Man to plead
And present the sinner's case:
Christ, the sinner's Friend indeed,
Is our Advocate of grace.

The Spirit pleads with sinners cursed,
Bidding whosoever will:
Come and satisfy your thirst!
Come to Christ, and take your fill!

God has sent His bride as well
(Sinners who have come to Christ)
To plead with men to turn from hell,
Since Christ was for them sacrificed.

Plainly pleading, day by day,
God is getting through to some.
Though many still may turn away,
Whosoever will may come.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Faith to Face

"And there shall be nor more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. And they shall see His face.... And there shall be no night there.... Worship God" (Revelation 22:3-9).

No more curse and no more night
Shall ever be in heaven's place.
Faith shall be replaced by sight,
And we shall see our Savior's face.

Our curse could not be wished away:
Jesus bore it in our stead.
Our night could not have changed to day
If His light had never led.

Until we see Him face to face
We will worship more and more
That One who saved us by His grace,
Who leads by faith to heaven's shore.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Colossal Consolations

"Are the consolations of God small with thee?" (Job 15:11). "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:3,4).

The consolations of our God:
Do they seem small to you?
The question is not very odd,
If you will think it through.

How great His comforts truly are
That God in love imparts!
But sometimes when we wander far
That truth escapes our hearts.

Let your heart again draw near
To see His consolations!
Let His Spirit make them clear
Beyond your expectations!

See the past, how Jesus died
To save your soul from hell.
See the future prophesied
When we shall with Him dwell.

God shall wipe away all tears,
And death shall be no more.
No more sorrow, no more pain:
What comforts are in store!

So when we find a situation
That renders our eyes dim,
The God every consolation
Bids us look to Him.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Look at the Lake

"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it.... And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life.... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15).

Peer through the lens of the Scripture to look
At the sinner's most dreadful mistake:
All those not found in the Lamb of God's Book,
Are cast in that horrible lake.

Yes, look at that lake and then reassess
The things that you now so desire.
Who can imagine the awful distress
Of those who are cast in that fire?

Judgment is not very far down the path;
Let this change our thoughts and behavior
To labor in earnest, in view of God's wrath,
To plead with those needing the Savior.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reasoning and Resting

"Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and desire to reason with God.... Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation" (Job 13:3, 15,16). "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

I would speak with the Almighty;
I would reason with the Lord,
For I know He will invite me
To find rest and be restored.

"Though He slay me I will trust."
That's what Job with patience said.
Worms and robbers, thieves and rust
Scorn what we would trust instead.

"Come now," says our God above,
To all who would desire to speak
And reason with the Lord of love,
For they will find the rest they seek.

Scarlet sins shall be snow white;
Crimson sins shall be as wool.
Reason knows that God is right,
And here I'll rest my weary soul.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Terrestrial Teachers

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?" (Job 12:7).

Ask now the beasts and they shall reply,
To teach you that God has created all things.
Ask now the birds of the air why they fly,
And they shall declare Who has given them wings.

Speak to the earth, to the mountains, and trees,
And these shall provide you a clear explanation.
Go to the fishes in all of the seas
And they shall expound on the God of creation.

Who does not know that God by His hand
Has wrought all these marvelous creatures?
Alas! There's so many who won't understand,
In spite of terrestrial teachers!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Searching the Savior

"Canst thou by searching find out God?" (Job 11:7). "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.... For men to search their own glory is not glory" (Proverbs 25:2,27).

Can you search and find out God?
Can you show what He conceals?
Can you tread the path He's trod?
Can you know the love He feels?

Glory waits for searching hearts,
For God reveals it to those
Who search for knowledge He imparts
And the wisdom He'll expose.

Searching God is truly glory.
Searching self esteem is not.
Come and search our Savior's story,
Finding out what God has wrought.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clearing the Clutter

"Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.... I went by the field of the slothful... and , lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone was broken down" (Proverbs 24:27-31).

Life is like a plot of ground,
A field we inherit.
The wise inspect it all around,
To clear and to prepare it.

And then is laid the firm foundation
Upon that field planned:
It's Christ the Rock of our salvation,
By whom the house shall stand.

There is a subtle danger though,
That creeps in through the years,
As thorns unchecked and nettles grow
On grounds that no one clears.

Be careful then to clear your field
And keep your plot of ground.
Lest in your slothfulness you yield
To those who tear you down.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hiding in Holiness

"Then Job answered and said...How should man be just with God?" (Job 9:1,2).

How can a man become justified
With the God who is perfectly just?
This is the question for which our Lord died,
And this is the reason we trust.

For God in His holiness cannot deny
The judgment for sin we are due.
But God found a way that will yet justify
Poor sinners like me and like you.

How can a man draw near to God's throne,
Where justice is uncompromised?
We're hiding in holiness, but not our own,
But that of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Every Morning, Every Moment

"What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him? And that Thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that Thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?" (Job 7:17,18).

What is man to You, Oh Lord,
That You should magnify his worth,
And set Your heart on the reward
Of his redemption and new birth?

What is man that every morning
You would visit him again,
And every moment give him warning,
Try his heart, and help him then?

Every morning, every moment
You astound us, Lord, with love
Epitomized by Your bestowment
Of our Savior from above!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Limited Leaders

"As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity" (Psalm 125:5). The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever He will.... The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness" (Proverbs 21:1,12).

As rivers of water are channeled and turned,
So are the hearts of the kings.
This is the lesson of history learned
By the judgment the hand of God brings.

Good kings and bad kings, submissive or not,
Shall all have their part in God's plan.
The wise will consider what God's hand has wrought,
And trust in the Lord and not man.

Pray that the righteous may reign in our land!
Yet if they do not, surely know
That God still turns hearts by His sovereign hand,
And the wicked He shall overthrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

His Help

"If it had not been the Lord who was on our side... then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: the proud waters had gone over our soul.... Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 124:2-6). "And the earth helped... and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth" (Revelation 12:16).

Across the seasons of my life
I surely now can see
How God delivered me from strife
And set His love on me.

The flood, the winds, and rising tide
My little shipped had tossed.
If You had not been on my side,
Oh Lord, I would be lost.

It was not mere coincidence
That things worked out for me.
The Lord Himself was my Defense,
Commanding wind and sea.

So now the things that overwhelm
Instruct me to recall
That Jesus Christ is at the helm,
And He is Lord of all.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scope of the Scornful

"Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes.... Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease" (Psalm 123:1,4). "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that 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. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment.... Judgments are prepared for scorners" (Proverbs 19:2-29).

The scope of the scornful is clearly defined,
In spite of their many devices:
Their counsel shall fail as blind lead the blind,
And ruin the souls it entices.

I lift up my eyes and I find my relief
From the scorning of sinners at ease.
The counsel of God undergirds my belief,
And He is the One I would please.

And so for a season the scorner will mock,
But judgment shall find them at last.
Cease then from hearing their blasphemous talk,
And to God's instruction hold fast.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bitter Belly

"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth as sweet as honey.... And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (Revelation 10:8-11).

The vision of John may seem to us odd,
As he is commanded to eat up the book.
Yet this was the sign that was given by God
That we would do well to not overlook.

This book would be sweet as honey to taste,
But how bitter indeed to digest!
Yet this is the prospect we surely have faced
When the welfare of souls is our quest.

We taste of the sweetness of God's holy Word
Yet we ponder it's bitterness too,
Alarmed by the carelessness of those who heard,
Who have cast it aside as untrue.

Yes, we rejoice in the sweet bye and bye,
And assurance of our own salvation,
But what about those who are destined to die,
And afterwards face condemnation?

We taste of the sweet and the bitter as well,
Just as John did in his vision.
We glory in heaven and shudder at hell,
And pray for the sinner's decision.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hope of my Help

"My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:2).

My help comes from the Lord,
Who created all that is.
What hope this shall afford,
To know that I am His!

This is my hope forever,
I'm resting in His power.
In all that I endeavor,
He's with me every hour.

I know that this may seem
To many quite naive,
Absurd to the extreme,
And too hard to believe.

But I know God's Word is right;
I know that He is able.
In darkness He is light,
Exposing every fable.

Our help comes from the Lord;
That's all we need to know.
Our trust He shall reward,
And confidence bestow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Searching our Serving

"Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?" (Job 1:9).

The searching question Satan hurled
At God concerning Job,
Is valid in our present world,
Which we do well to probe.

Did Job fear God and serve Him well
For nought without a reason?
Of course not, Job would live to tell,
When patience had its season.

And what about the rest of us?
Do we fear God for nought?
Do we understand it thus,
That with a price we're bought?

Let us not forget the love
That came to seek the lost.
Our Savior left His throne above,
And paid a dreadful cost.

We know that our Redeemer reigns
Triumphant from the grave.
And thus eternal love constrains
The souls He died to save.

We neither fear the Lord for nought,
Nor serve Him without cause.
He loved us first! O wondrous thought
Transcending lifeless laws!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Loyal Servant in the Lost Sheep

"I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant, for I do not forget Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:176). "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).

There is a servant in disguise
Within the sheep that strays.
Seek that servant, Lord, with eyes
That search and know my ways.

Lord, You know I am inclined
To wander on my own.
Renew in me a servant's mind;
Replace my heart of stone.

Let me come into the ranks
Of servants who are true;
And not with words alone give thanks,
But deeds I likewise do.

Seek Your servant, Lord; he's there
Beneath that straying lamb.
That bleating sound, O Lord, is prayer;
That sheep is who I am.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wise Ways

"I have kept Thy precepts and Thy testimonies: for all my ways are before Thee" (Psalm 119:168). "A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil.... The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death" (Proverbs 14:16,27).

All of my ways are before the Lord's eyes:
All my thoughts, all my words, all my deeds.
Living in view of this renders me wise,
As my God, by His fear, safely leads.

Yes, this is the fountain that cleanses my ways:
The knowledge that God sees it all.
My heart by this wisdom surrenders, obeys,
And heeds my Deliverer's call.

Ponder your ways, for God surely does.
Nothing escapes our Lord's vision.
So faithfully live for His pleasure because
It is simply the wisest decision.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Lion is the Lamb

"Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed.... And I beheld, and, lo in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain.... Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5:5-12).

The Lion roars, yet calms my fears
In spite of what I am,
For He alone could dry my tears
Because He is the Lamb.

Come, as nations all applaud:
The Lion has prevailed,
For He became the Lamb of God,
And to the cross was nailed!

And there He nailed iniquity
Upon that rugged cross.
And there He gave us victory
Instead of dreadful loss.

Worthy is the Lamb to reign
By every tribe and nation!
The Lion is the Lamb once slain
To purchase our salvation!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Laodicean Lukewarmness

"He that hateth reproof is brutish.... The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor, but the way of the wicked seduceth them" (Proverbs 11:1,26). "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:.. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.... As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Revelations 3:14-19).

Where would we be, Lord, without Your reproof?
How easily we are inclined to seduction!
Laodicean lukewarmness is proof
Of how much we need Your rebuke and instruction!

Save us, Oh Lord, from being lukewarm
In an age when that means "fitting in."
Lord, help us rather to never conform
To a world indifferent to sin.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sovereign Scepter

"And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? And what is thy request?" (Esther 5:2,3). "Let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

Pressed with the exceeding weight
Of burdens for her own,
Esther came, though risk was great,
Before the royal throne.

The sovereign scepter was held out;
If not, she would have perished.
Yet still she came, though full of doubt,
And found that she was cherished.

There is a lesson here for us
By pondering this scene.
God extends His scepter thus,
As to His favored queen.

There never is a moment's time
His scepter is withdrawn.
Our prayerlessness is thus a crime
That greets God with a yawn.

Let us then with godly fear,
Yet with permitted boldness,
Therefore by His grace draw near,
Abandoning our coldness.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Time and Task

"If thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time... who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14). "It is time... to work" (Psalm 119:126). He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.... The labor of the righteous tendeth to life" (Proverbs 10:5).

For such a time as this
In God's appointed place,
Lord, help us not to miss
The purpose of Your grace.

The time to work is now
For each one who believes.
The fields that we plow
Are waving now with sheaves.

This isn't time for sleeping;
Lift up your eyes and see:
The harvest time for reaping
Has beckoned you and me.

Laborers of love:
Declare the Savior's name
Who left His throne above
To rescue us from shame.

For such a time as this
We need to hear God's voice.
Obedience is bliss,
And always the best choice.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Surety and Shield

"Be surety for Thy servant for good" (Psalm 119:122). "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen" (Jude 24, 25).

My God and my Savior,
My Surety true,
My Shield of favor,
My prayer is to You.

You came as my Surety
Procuring my good
For time and Eternity
As You said you would.

You answered the prayer
Conveyed in this Psalm
To save from despair,
And grant me Your calm.

To God be the majesty,
Be glory, and power,
Forever our Surety
And Shield each hour.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cheerful for the Children

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 4).

The greatest joy life can afford,
The greatest recompense
That's shared with Jesus Christ our Lord,
Is when a child repents.

And as our Savior softly leads
Our children in the earth,
We share His joy that far exceeds
This world's fleeting mirth.

Praise the Lord with jubilation!
Proclaim the news abroad!
Joy abounds in His salvation
When children walk with God!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Look or Lose

"Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward" (2 John 8).

Look to yourself that you do not lose
The things you have wrought for the Lord.
Each day is a treasure that you ought to use
That you may receive full reward.

And what is the purpose? What is the gain,
The reward to be seeking in full?
To know that your life was not spent in vain,
But for Him who has ransomed your soul.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Kneeling for Knowledge

"I have more understanding than all my teachers.... I understand more than the ancients.... for Thou hast taught me" (Psalm 119:99-102). "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).

Nothing we know is due to ourselves,
But rather to God Who gives knowledge.
This knowledge won't come from the books on our shelves
Nor teachers employed at a college.

The knowledge of God from His Word He imparts
Is given to those who will pray,
To those who will seek Him with all of their hearts,
And yield themselves to obey.

More understanding that all of our teachers,
More than the ancients we've heard,
Is given that we may be practicing preachers
Who live by the truth of God's Word.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Winning Witness

"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" (Psalm 119:90,91). "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son" (1 John 5:9).

The witness of God is greater than man's,
And this is a truth we are seeing.
The earth by His word was created and stands;
He spoke, and it came into being.

Call the next witness: How long is the line
Of those who will yet testify
That God has a witness, eternal, divine,
Far greater than men who will die!

Creation witnesses twenty-four/seven,
On earth, in the sky, or the seas:
Explore now His witness on earth or in heaven;
Behold there His faithful decrees.

Turn your attention to God's faithful Word,
The record inspired by God.
See now the difference in what we have heard
In man's word, dishonest and flawed!

The witness of men, though dishonest and poor,
We find ourselves trusting each day.
In view of this fact, how can we ignore
The witness of God on display?

For this is the witness God gives of His Son,
A witness this world refuses.
The contest of witnesses God surely won,
Depriving mankind of excuses.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Lesson on Love

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

Love so pure, so great, so kind
Displayed in our Lord Jesus Christ
Instructs our heart, our soul, and mind
By His body sacrificed.

Herein we may understand
Where the truest love begins:
It wasn't us, but God who planned
A way to take away our sins.

God the Father sent His Son
To be our sins' propitiation.
Look upon what Love has done,
And rejoice in His salvation!

Let this lesson now suffice
To teach what love is all about:
Love has paid the highest price,
Defining love that leaves no doubt.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Purifying Power

"Let my heart be sound in Thy statutes, that I be not ashamed" (Psalm 119:80). "And now, little children, abide in Him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (1 John 2:28).

There is a purifying power
That always cleanses when
We ponder that approaching hour
When Christ shall come again.

If Jesus Christ should come today
Would we then be ashamed
Of what we think and do and say
And plans that we have framed?

Let us live each moment then
With this purifying view:
When Jesus shall come again,
What will He think of you?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Seek her as Silver

"The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver" (Psalm 119:72). "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" (Proverbs 2:3-5).

What is the knowledge of God worth to you?
What is its value by your estimation?
Will you seek her as silver to know what is true,
And search as hid treasures His wondrous salvation?

Our God surely knows when we are sincere.
He knows when we are halfhearted as well.
Our Lord counsels those who have ears to hear,
But He hides His wisdom from those who rebel.

What is the knowledge of God truly worth?
How shall we weigh the worth of its treasure?
Nothing suffices in all of the earth
To estimate rightly its infinite measure.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Grow in Grace

"I thought upon my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:59,60). "Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you" (Proverbs 1:23). "Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:17,18).

We do not need a New Year's Day
To make a resolution.
We ought to haste, and not delay
To turn from our confusion.

We thought upon our ways and turned
When Christ first entered in.
And surely since that day we've learned
Each day to flee from sin.

Beware, therefore, lest you should fall
From holding fast God's Word,
And thereby close your ears to all
The warnings you have heard.

But daily let us make this choice:
To grow in Jesus' grace,
To love Him more, to heed His voice,
And run a steadfast race.