Friday, February 29, 2008

Value of Vexation

"Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.... the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.... I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:2,8,14).

The world cannot satisfy
With one thing and the next;
The hearing ear and seeing eye
Shall only be more vexed.

For God has placed within each heart
A thirst for something more
Than what this world can impart
That we cannot ignore.

Ah! What a brilliant strategy!
God fills us with vexation
That we may turn from vanity,
And long for His salvation.

How sweet our satisfaction,
How great is our reward,
When we find our attraction
In Jesus Christ our Lord!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Seeing by Seeking

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

Evil men may think they're good,
Expecting a reward.
For judgment is not understood,
Until we seek the Lord.

But those who seek the Lord can see
From heaven's point of view,
That Jesus died on Calvary
For judgment we were due.

Come, seek the Lord, and thus perceive
God's judgment and His grace.
You'll understand why you believe
Through evidence you trace.

And God will show you so much more
Than judgment's condemnation,
But all things that He has in store
For those with His salvation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hear Him

"While he [Peter] yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only" (Matthew 17:5-8).

Peter's speech was superseded
By a cloud that brightly shined,
When a voice therein entreated,
And the Father spoke His mind.

"This is My beloved Son,
In whom I am well pleased;
Hear Him”, and when that was done,
Great fear upon them seized.

But Jesus came and touched them then
And said to them, “Arise,
Be not afraid." And that was when
They lifted up their eyes.

So may Jesus fill our vision;
So may Jesus thus be heard.
Let the Father's wise derision,
Bid us only hear His Word.

For by Him we can truly see,
And by Him we can truly hear.
And only Christ so tenderly
Can by His touch remove our fear.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Profitless Prosperity

"For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).

What shall it profit a man if he gain
All of the riches contained in the earth,
And yet lose his soul? Can someone explain
What is his fleeting prosperity worth?

Or what shall a man exchange for his soul?
That is to say, what will keep him from Christ?
Sin is demanding its payment in full.
How often the soul is thus cheaply priced!

The soul had its value displayed on the cross
When Jesus Christ suffered and died in our place.
In view of redemption, how great is the loss
When even one soul has neglected God's grace!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hearing the Humble

"Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart, Thou wilt cause Thine ear to hear" (Psalm 10:17).

Our loving Lord hears the heart of the humble,
Even before a word has been spoken.
And He dries the tears they cry when they stumble,
Healing the sore of the heart that is broken.

Our holy Lord knows that we're not inclined
To simply retire from our foolish pride.
Yet He works in those in whom He will find
A heart with desire to let Him inside.

Oh Lord, have Your way in each situation;
Your wisdom impart, so I'll know what to do.
Lord, teach me to pray and find Your salvation,
Preparing my heart then to draw near to You.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reliable Refuge

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And 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).

For everyone who is oppressed,
For everyone who is distressed,
For everyone who seeks for rest,
In Christ there is a Refuge here.

For those who know the Savior's name,
For those who know He took their shame,
For those who know why Jesus came,
In Christ there is no other peer.

Those who come to Him aren’t shaken.
Those who trust Him aren’t mistaken.
Those who seek Him aren’t forsaken.
In Christ they never need to fear.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Exploring the Excellence

"O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!.... When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" (Psalm 8:1-4).

Oh Lord, when we're searching Your heavens above,
The work of Your fingers, the moon, and each star,
Surpassing these wonders, we ponder Your love,
Exploring the excellence of who You are.

We search the omniscience of Your wondrous mind;
We see Your omnipotence spread in plain view.
What infinite wisdom and power we find!
How boundless the love we've discovered in You!

What mercy descended to visit the lost?
We ask with the psalmist, O Lord, "What is man?"
You measured his ransom and You to paid the cost!
What kind of love could devise such a plan?

Lord, we have explored love of Your heart;
We've pondered Your wisdom and power as well.
Yet all we have searched, Lord, is just a small part
Of Your excellence which has saved us from hell.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Relearning Returning

"Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. And He commanded the multitude to sit down... and they did all eat, and were filled... about five thousand men, beside women and children" (Matthew 14:16-21).

How many times must I relearn
The truth of loaves and fishes:
God multiplies what I return
Beyond my prayerful wishes.

The Lord who gives me His command
Will give sufficiency
To do whatever He has planned
By His ability.

I know my gifts are very small,
But that is not the key.
I hear my Lord and Savior's call:
Now bring them here to Me.

Since everything I have is His,
I'll gladly give them back
To see Him multiply what is,
That there may be no lack.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stand Still

"Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God" (Job 37:14).

Schedule some time for yourself to stand still
To consider the wonderful works of our God.
Give quality time, not just moments to kill,
Although this may seem just a little bit odd.

For our "things to do" lists will rarely allow
A break from "priority A" demands.
But when will you stop, unless you plan now,
To rightly consider the work of God's hands?

Day after day God continues to bless:
Praise Him and thank Him for daily provision!
Stand still for a while and halt busyness;
Plan it and make it a conscious decision.

Consider the seas, the land, and the sky:
Our God made them all, below and above.
Consider salvation, and ask yourself why
Our God has bestowed upon us such love!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Terrific Teacher

"Behold, God exalteth by His power: who teacheth like Him?" (Job 36:22). "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 13:34,35).

Behold and consider, in all of the earth:
Who teaches like God by His power?
Behold now His wonders portraying new birth
In a seed and its blossoming flower.

Behold, from the world's beginning foundation,
The things that were secret are shown.
The truths that reveal the way of salvation
Were by Jesus' teachings made known.

Look to the east, to the west, or the south:
None like our Lord can impart
Such teaching like His when He opened His mouth,
Unveiling the thoughts of His heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sight Supreme and Sound Sublime

"Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them" (Matthew 13:17).

Blessed are the eyes that see
Blessed are the ears that hear
The things foretold in prophecy
That God had promised would appear.

Many prophets have desired,
Many righteous men have longed,
To see fulfilled their word inspired
And to hear redemption's song.

Many are the truths sublime
Prophesied of Christ our Lord,
That came to pass in time,
And that we still look toward!

Praise God for the sight and sound
Of the Gospel of Christ that saves,
And the freedom that we have found
From the sin that no more enslaves!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Questions on Quietness

"When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble... whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only?" (Job 34:29).

Who can rob the quietness
God will give with His salvation?
Who can curse if God will bless,
Whether it be man or nation?

God gives comfort to our soul
Through every season of our life.
Since we know He's in control,
Who can trouble us with strife?

So help us, Lord, to not forget
To claim the peace our Savior gives.
For why should we, Your children, fret,
When we may rest assured He lives?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Reason for Rage

"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" (Psalm 2:1). "The Lord trieth the hearts" (Proverbs 17:3). "His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings" (Job 34:21). "Jesus knew their thoughts" (Matthew 12:25).

Why indeed do nations rage
Against all common sense?
There is none wise, there is no sage,
To speak in their defense.

For God knows why they are not wise
In their imagination:
They blind themselves when they despise
The truth of His salvation.

And Jesus knew the thoughts of men,
That they were truly vain.
He proved Himself time and again;
He could not be more plain.

And yet He was rejected still
By stubbornness and treason.
For when you rage against God's will,
Your heart abandons reason.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sanitized Sanity

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:1-3). "All the ways of man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established" (Proverbs 16:2,3).

All the ways of sinful men
Are clean in their own eyes.
Commit your works to God and then
You'll see it otherwise.

For God can see with clearer vision
Ungodliness and pride.
He sees when sinful indecision
Turns our heart aside.

Walk not where the ungodly walk,
Stand not where sinners stand,
Sit not where scorners sit to mock;
Thus cleanse your heart and hand.

How then shall we sanitize
And keep our thinking sane?
How can we escape the lies
That make our living vain?

If on God's Word we will dwell
And In His way delight,
We shall surely prosper well
All day and through the night.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Holy Humility

"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility" (Proverbs 15:33).

There is a path to honor shown
Where holy feet have trod;
The Book of Proverbs makes it known:
It is the fear of God.

And in that path we understand
The foolishness of pride,
When humbled underneath that hand
That once was crucified.

We're not inclined to take our place
Among those who are humble.
Yet God directs us there by grace,
Lest we, by pride, should stumble.

Remember God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the lowly.
And thereby honor is endowed,
And thus He makes us holy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Forbidden Fears

"In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge" (Proverbs 14:26). "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:28-31).

Fear not them, our Savior said,
Who kill the body, not the soul.
Fear and love the Lord instead,
For He alone is in control.

Fear not, thinking you're not known,
For God knows every beast and bird;
Yet how much more has Jesus shown,
His love for us in deed and word!

Fear not, therefore, you are worth
The price He paid upon the cross.
That is why He came to earth
To save us from such dreadful loss.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shepherdless Sheep

"When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:36-38).

As sheep that had no shepherd,
Our Savior saw the crowd;
As land where few endeavored
To reap the ground they plowed.

I see that noisy multitude,
Imagining their fashion:
Though pushy, noisy, needy, rude,
They moved Him with compassion.

The multitude has not changed much,
Though centuries have gone.
Our televisions, cars, and such
Are here, but life goes on.

Yet still my Savior's heart is moved
With love for straying sheep.
So by His love I am reproved
To pray, go forth, and reap.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prophetic Privilege

"He showeth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 147:19,20).

God showed His Word to Israel,
His special, privileged nation.
He called His prophets to foretell
The way of His salvation.

His Testaments, both Old and New,
Were by his servants penned.
His Spirit told them what was true
From beginning to the end.

From Genesis to Revelation
The torch to us has passed,
For now we have His inspiration
Preserved for us at last.

Let us never take for granted
This stewardship we hold.
The Word of God is to us handed:
His Gospel must be told!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ponder the Power

"Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him? But the thunder of His power, who can understand?" (Job 26:14). "What manner of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!.... The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 8:27, 9:6).

How awesome is the solar thunder
That God ordained in space!
And yet there is a greater wonder:
The power of His grace!

Indeed, our Savior showed His power,
Commanding seas and winds.
Yet in His most triumphant hour,
He took away our sins.

And so exploring His creation,
We see a little part.
But as we ponder His salvation,
We fully see His heart.

But who can fully understand
The power of His love,
That carried out what God had planned
That we might dwell above?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where is Wisdom?

"Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?.... God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.... And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:20-28). "The Lord is good to all.... The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them" (Psalm 145:9,18,19).

Where is the spring from where wisdom bursts?
Where is the place of right understanding?
Come, every one who hungers and thirsts:
God has the answers your soul is demanding.

The place of God's wisdom cannot be confined
To rich or to poor, to old or to youth:
To all those who fear Him, He's loving and kind,
To those who will call upon Him in truth.

True wisdom is found in God's holy fear;
Each one who will fear Him, the Lord satisfies.
To all them who call upon Him, He is near,
To hear and to save His child who cries.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hopeless Hypocrite

"What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?" (Job 27:8). "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly.... for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction" (Matthew 7:5,13).

What is hypocrite's hope in the end?
What is the point of his temporal gain?
Why can't he see? Why must he pretend,
And hold to deception that makes his life vain?

Things are not really as he makes them seem:
That is, of course, the hypocrite's art.
Refusing to cast from his own eye the beam,
He walks on in darkness and hardens his heart.

And though he has gained, it will soon come to nought
The moment he enters the gate of destruction;
And then he'll discover the hypocrite's lot,
Thus hopelessly led and lured by seduction.

Hypocrite, cast out that beam from your eye,
That you may see clearly eternity's goal!
The day is approaching in which you must die:
Now turn to the Savior and rescue your soul!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Listening to Lovingkindness

"Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my soul unto Thee" (Psalm 143:8). "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

Cause us to listen to Your lovingkindness.
Cause us to see how to walk in Your way.
How dull is the hearing, how dark is the blindness
That hardens the heart and that leads men astray.

Cause us to seek for Your kingdom above.
Cause us to search for Your righteousness, Lord.
For there we shall find in Your infinite love
Our purpose on earth and then heaven's reward.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Secretly Seen

"He knoweth the way that I take.... For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with Him" (Job 23:10-14). "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path" (Psalm 142:3). "Pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:6).

All of my secrets are known.
The Lord sees my most inward part:
The unspoken prayer and the groan,
As well as the joy of my heart.

God knows the way that I take.
The Lord knows me inside and out.
He sees every foolish mistake.
He searches each lingering doubt.

I know I am watched by His eyes.
He sees what no other can see.
I know He is loving and wise
In all He performs within me.

And therefore I'll lift up my prayer;
I know God shall certainly hear.
On Him I will cast all my care,
And know He is secretly near.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Savior Says

"And He [Jesus] opened His mouth, and taught them, saying.... Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time... but I say unto you..." (Matthew 5:2,33,34).

Many things we hear today
Endorsed by vain tradition
Are incorrect in what they say;
Be careful when you listen.

No matter what you may have heard,
No matter who has said it,
Our Savior has the final word
With no mistakes to edit.

The final word on right relations
That teaches us to love
Is not from human explanations,
But comes from God above.

So all the Savior says to you
Is all you need to know.
The Word of God is always true;
Let vain tradition go.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Gain to God

"Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? Or is it gain to Him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?" (Job 22:2,3).

Sometimes we may think we've done
For God a real big favor
When we've shined for God the Son,
And spoken for the Savior.

The fact is, God would do just fine
If we were not around;
Yes, even if we did not shine,
Or ever make a sound.

Yet God Almighty makes it plain
That in us He takes pleasure:
If we are wise, He counts it gain;
Our righteousness is treasure.

Without us God would do alright,
But He would rather not.
For we are precious in His sight,
And with His blood we're bought.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Rousing Reality

"How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee" (Psalm 139:17,18).

Oh how precious is the treasure
Of Your thoughts revealed to me!
Oh how countless is their measure,
Like the sand beside the sea!

How rousing is reality
When I awake each day!
Lord, You set Your love on me;
You hear me when I pray!

You have promised not to leave
And that You never will forsake.
It's like a dream! Yet I believe
That You are with me when I wake!

Lord, my heart could never dream,
Nor could I comprehend,
The blessings now that surely seem,
That when I wake, they'll end.

And yet I wake each day to find
That You are with me still.
What a wondrous peace of mind,
And what a rousing thrill!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Promotion of the Proud

"Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off" (Psalm 138:6). "Surely He scorneth the scorners: but He giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools" (Proverbs 3:34,35).

The Lord on high respects the lowly,
But He resists the proud.
Yet He will make the sinner holy,
If only He's allowed.

Yes, our Lord, though very high,
Still waits for our devotion.
Thus He lets the proud deny
Themselves their own promotion.

When time is gone and life is spent
The arrogant shall know:
The pride that made them not repent
Has brought them very low.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Printed Prayer

"Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me" (Job 19:23-27).

Sometimes we may utter prayers
With little expectation,
Forgetting that God truly cares,
And hears our invocation.

Consider now this classic end,
In Job's petition heard:
He prayed that his words might be penned,
And printed, word for word.

We listen to the words God gives
To Job with precious worth,
That his Redeemer Who now lives
Shall stand upon the earth.

What a word of prophecy
That Job petitioned thus!
These are words for you and me
That God preserved for us.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Remarkably Remembered

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.... to Him Who alone doeth great wonders.... to Him that by wisdom made the heavens.... to Him that stretched out the earth above the waters.... Who remembered us in our low estate" (Psalm 136:1,4-6,23).

Oh give thanks to our Creator
Who by wisdom made the skies
And circumscribed earth's equator
Where the ocean round it lies.

How wondrous His omnipotence!
How remarkable His love,
That He would come to our defense,
From His majesty above!

And how shall we articulate
The wonder of His deeds?
Remembering our low estate,
He met our deepest needs.

How infinite the distance spanned
From heaven's highest place:
Our Savior came that He might stand
In every sinner's place!

Everywhere our eyes can look
His majesty we see.
Still more recorded in His Book:
What love for you and me!

How remarkably sublime
The love of Jesus is,
That He remembered us in time
And died to call us His!