Thursday, July 31, 2008

Discerning His Delight

"He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: He taketh no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 147:10,11). "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30).

What could we give to the Lord of creation
That He could not have by just wishing it true?
Come to His cross where He wrought your salvation
Because He delighted so greatly in you.

The Lord is not thrilled over temporal gain;
The strength of a horse or a man He won't treasure.
Such favor deceives; its beauty is vain,
Yet all those who fear Him, in them He takes pleasure.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Refreshing and Restitution

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom heaven must receive unto the times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:19-21).

The times of refreshing in Christ are now here.
The times of restoring all things is ahead.
Refreshing salvation right now is brought near;
Then Christ shall return and shall reign as He said.

Now is the time when refreshing is sent.
Now is the day to receive Christ the Lord.
His Spirit is pleading with souls to repent
Before judgment comes and His reign is restored.

Come to the Savior; now cast aside doubt.
Come while He bids you, before it's too late.
Come that your sins may be thus blotted out.
Why should the times of refreshing now wait?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parted for Pardon

"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth" (Psalm 145:18). "I will pardon them whom I reserve" (Jeremiah 50:20). "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40).

Who indeed has God reserved
For pardon by His grace?
Grace, we know, is not deserved
In all the human race.

What then is the basis for
God setting us apart?
It's not that one deserves it more,
But a true, repentant heart.

The Lord is near to all that call,
That call on Him in truth.
Rich and poor, come, one and all,
The elder and the youth.

Save yourself, then, from this age,
A wicked generation
That yet against the Lord will rage
And spurn His great salvation.

Be parted from the dreadful path
Of those whose hearts are hardened,
Who willfully are choosing wrath,
Instead of being pardoned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hints on Happiness

"That there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 144:14,15).

Here's a couple hints for achieving happiness:
First of all, be grateful, though others may complain.
Secondly, be mindful that our God would choose to bless
The very ones whose sinfulness has caused our Savior pain.

Happy is that people that is found in such a case!
Yes, happy is that people who belong to Jesus Christ.
He is that Fountainhead of our happiness and grace.
He is the Lamb of God who for us was sacrificed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beware of the Boast

"Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

Boast not yourself in the things of tomorrow.
Seize every moment God gives you today.
Procrastination will surely breed sorrow
And rob you of riches for those who obey.

Beware of the boast that assumes you can wait
To bank on a future that's not guaranteed.
Act in the present, before it's too late,
To say today's word, and to do today's deed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Calling and Caring

"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then Thou knewest my path.... I looked on my right hand, and beheld, and but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul" (Psalm 142:3,4).

Lord, as I think of my troubling youth,
When so overwhelmed by the prospect of wrath,
Searching in vain for the knowledge of truth,
You cared for my soul and You then knew my path.

I looked on my right hand for someone to care;
No one would know me; none cared for my soul.
I called out to You, Lord, in desperate prayer:
You heard me, You answered, and You made me whole.

You were the One, Lord, who prompted my heart
To search for a refuge, and find it in You.
You warned me and wooed me that You might impart
A hunger within me to know what is true.

The truth of Your holiness taught me Your fear.
The truth of Your kindness then taught me Your love.
I called, and You cared, and You brought me so near,
That You'll not be closer (though clearer) above.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Triumphant Trust

"Mine eyes are unto Thee, O God the Lord: in Thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute" (Psalm 141:8).

My eyes are fixed upon You, Lord,
My God in whom I safely trust,
My Strength, my Shield, and my Sword,
Who justifies me and is Just.

Where else can I put my trust?
Not in mortal man who dies!
I shall not put my faith in dust,
But on the Lord I'll fix my eyes.

My soul shall not be destitute;
I trust the One who cannot fail.
For by His grace I shall bear fruit,
And by His power shall prevail.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wise in the War

"O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle" (Psalm 140:7). By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war" (Proverbs 24:6). "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood" (Jeremiah 48:10).

God will never sound retreat
Nor call for compromise.
It is the counsel of deceit
That counsels otherwise.

The battle rages on today;
We have the Spirit's sword.
Cursed is he who turns away
From following the Lord.

Christ will lead in victory
In the battlefield of souls.
There is a calm security
In knowing He controls.

We follow on where Christ has led,
Where the battle has been stirred.
The helmet that protects our head
Is the promise of His Word.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leading of the Lord

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:9,10). "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me... unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:20).

It matters not where I may be,
As I am sent to do God's will,
If I should go beyond the sea,
Lord, even there You'll lead me still.

In every place You send me, Lord,
Your presence there shall make me stand.
What confidence You thus afford,
As I am held by Your right hand.

So whether I am here at home
Or whether I am sent abroad,
I need not fear, nor would I roam,
As I am following my God.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Which Words?

"Behold, I have sworn by My great name, saith the Lord... and all the remnant... shall know whose words shall stand: Mine or theirs" (Jeremiah 44:26,28). "That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth, that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?" (Proverbs 22:19-21).

God has sworn by His great name
And staked His spotless reputation
On each fulfillment of His claim
Of judgment and His great salvation.

Yet His words have met the foe
Who mocks the truth that God declares.
Very soon, though, all shall know
Which will stand: His words or theirs.

And thereby God will validate
His words of truth with certainty.
And thus His name He'll vindicate
For time and all eternity.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Larger Love

"Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto Him, Feed My lambs.... Feed my sheep" (John 21:15,16).

More than friends you want to please,
More than things that men applaud,
More than temporary ease,
Do you love these more than God?

More than things this world treasures,
More than all its vain reward,
More than all its passing pleasures,
Do you love your precious Lord?

If these things distract your heart
Diminishing for Christ your love
It's time to set yourself apart
To focus on the things above.

Then mindful of what Jesus did,
And mindful too of Who He is,
Turn with love that can't hid,
To feed the sheep that He calls His.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Reason for the Record

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name" (John 20:30,31).

The reason for the Book of John
Is that you truly might believe
That Jesus Christ is God the Son,
Whom humble sinners may receive.

The reason for this Gospel written
In this record that John gave,
Is to know that Christ was smitten
As the Lamb of God to save.

The reason that we have this Book
That tells why Christ our Savior came,
Is that believing, you might look,
And thus have life through Jesus' name.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Naming Names

"The sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.... Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master" (John 20:15-16).

Put yourself in Mary's place
When to the empty tomb she came;
As well you should, for it is grace
That calls you also by your name.

Is this hard for you to do,
Assuming that it's not the same,
Seeming too good to be true
That Jesus calls you by your name?

Then hear again your Shepherd's voice
Who calls and leads His sheep by name;
Then let your heart in Him rejoice
Whose blood has washed away your shame.

Mary, David, Cindy, Frank;
Yes, the names go on and on.
Hear your name, return, and thank
The Lord of Richard, Lisa, John.

Have you heard your name today
When you spoke to God in prayer?
If you listen when you pray,
You will hear it then and there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Resurrection Run

"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved.... Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher" (John 20:1-4).

Follow Mary Magdalene
On that resurrection day
When the sepulcher was seen
Where the stone was rolled away.

Follow closely, if you can,
And pick your pace up to a run,
For Mary, with excitement, ran
And thus the thrill had just begun.

Peter and another heard,
And by that news they ran their race,
Investigating Mary's word,
Examining that vacant place.

He is risen! Praise the Lord!
How this thrilled the brokenhearted
As they raced with joy toward
The tomb from which our Lord departed!

Oh may that joy our hearts revive
That we may run with joy and fear,
Proclaiming that He is alive
And His return is drawing near!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fearless Fellowship

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1). "Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus.... And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night" (John 19:38,39).

Oh, how good the common ground
Where fearless fellowship is found,
Where love for Christ fills heart and mind,
And fear of man is left behind!

Oh, how pleasant is the tie
Of brethren who can testify
That Jesus Christ has drawn them near
And by His love has cast out fear.

Oh, how gracious is our Lord
Who unifies us with the cord,
Of love, of light, and life in Christ
Secured when He was sacrificed.

Oh, how thrilling, most of all,
That our Lord Jesus Christ would call
Each one of His to come and dine,
And each can say that He is mine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Keep your King

"The Jews cried out saying, If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar's friend... Pilate, saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:14,15).

Let this world have their king,
And to that master keep their vow.
I would surrender everything
To Christ my Lord and Savior now.

Keep your king; I'll have no part
Of compromise as Caesar's friend.
I do not owe to him my heart,
Nor would I on his help depend.

What is Caesar's I will render,
But loyalty belongs to Christ.
All to Jesus I'd surrender,
Who for my soul was sacrificed.

Keep your king, then, if you must,
And thus decide your destiny.
As for me I'll put my trust
In Christ Who gave Himself for me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ignorance of Impudence

"Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above" (John 19:10,11).

The Mighty God, the great I Am,
Omniscient and omnipotent,
Was willing as the silent Lamb
To stand before the ignorant.

For such was Pilate's impudence
And ignorance in that dark hour,
That questioned Jesus' competence
To know the limits of his power.

But impudence and ignorance
Were tolerated by our Lord,
For nothing then was left to chance
When God unsheathed His judgment's sword.

That awful sword that heaven gave
Into the sinner's wicked hand,
Would be God's instrument to save,
As only He could understand.

What wisdom, what omnipotence,
And love brought forth our precious Savior,
Who suffered there in our defense,
For us enduring such behavior!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Try Truth

"Pilate saith unto Him, What is truth?" (John 18:38).

The urgent question of the ages,
Indeed, of all eternity,
Posed by philosophic sages
Is worth our scrutiny.

Pilate asked it on that day
When facing Jesus eye to eye:
What is truth? Then turned away,
Without hearing God's reply.

And thus it is the same today.
Each of us must make a choice
To hear the truth that God will say,
Then also to obey His voice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Strange Strategy

"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain" (Psalm 127:1).

There is a building strategy
That often is employed
That always ends in tragedy
With workmanship destroyed.

There is a battle strategy
That is a great mistake
That wastes the watchman's energy,
Who vainly stays awake.

It is the strange philosophy
That we do not need God.
It is the godless vanity
The world will applaud.

There is a better strategy
That God Himself endorses:
Build on faith obediently
And battle by God's forces.

Let this be our building code
And this our battle plan:
To work by wisdom God bestowed,
And put no trust in man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Harvesting Happiness

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing His sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:5,6). "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20).

They that sow in heartfelt tears
Shall surely reap in joy.
God is calling each who hears
To come to His employ.

Tears of sorrow for the lost
Are qualities desired.
Those who weep will count the cost
And spend what is required.

And joy will come with harvest sheaves
For what their hearts have craved:
To see a sinner that believes
Whom God has thereby saved.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Reasons for Reproof

"And when He [the Comforter, God's Spirit] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).

The ministry of God the Spirit
Is very much alive and well,
Reproving those with ears to hear it
Of their need to flee from hell.

Among the reasons for reproof
Is this matter of our sin
To which this age is so aloof,
To what defiles us within.

Another reason we're reproved
Is for our need of righteousness,
Without which we must be removed
From every way that God would bless.

The final reason that we hear
Reproof with God's correction
Is judgment that is drawing near,
For which we need perfection.

For sin, for righteousness, and wrath,
God's Spirit is reproving still
To lead us in the saving path
Within the center of His will.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Heedless Hatred

"Whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death" (Proverbs 8:35,36). "But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause" (John 15:25).

Why should people hate the One
Who gave Himself to save their life?
What has Christ the Savior done
To warrant all their hateful strife?

What could possibly inflame
Such hatred that would never pause
To question in their senseless shame
Why they hate Him without cause?

Heedless hatred rushes on
Into their judgment's fiery lake.
What a strange phenomenon,
And what a horrible mistake!

Let this world be forewarned,
The time is surely drawing near,
When the Lord whom they have scorned
Shall in His majesty appear.

Let us who are truly His
Thus show how evil and how odd,
Indeed, how dangerous it is,
To hate our loving God.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Calling for Counsel

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).

Call upon the Lord to know
The hidden counsel of His thought.
He has said that He will show
The mighty things that we know not.

Sometimes God may have us wait.
Sometimes God will not tell all.
Yet many things, both small and great,
He reveals to those who call.

What a blessing in salvation:
God will answer those who pray!
Let us seize His invitation,
Calling on the Lord today.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Peculiar Peace

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

The world cannot give the peace
That Jesus Christ imparts.
Its fragile calm will surely cease
Whenever trouble starts.

Peace from God does not depend
On vain prosperity.
It rests on Christ, our dearest Friend,
For all eternity.

Let not your heart be troubled then;
You do not need to fear.
Return now to your rest again;
That's all I need to hear.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Higher Helper

"My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:2). "And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13).

Maker of the skies above,
Architect of earth below,
Helper of the ones You love,
Keeper of the sheep You know,
We have found our heart's desire
In Your matchless, precious worth.
We have found a help that's higher,
In the Lord of heaven and earth.

Savior of Your wayward sheep
Watching over us each hour,
Never closing eyes to sleep,
Keeping us by Your great power,
May Your love be magnified
As we call upon Your name
That You may be glorified
By the help from You we claim.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Trading Trouble

"Now is My soul troubled.... He [Jesus] was troubled in spirit.... Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me" (John 12:27, 13:21, 14:1).

How troubled was our Savior's soul
In those times He contemplated
The price He'd pay to make us whole,
The trouble for our peace He traded.

This is truth that makes us free,
Not just any truth will do:
It's knowing Jesus died for me
And that His promises are true.

It's knowing that He was forsaken,
So that I might never be.
It's knowing love that can't be shaken;
This is truth that makes us free.

It's knowing that He freely took
Our burden of iniquity.
Upon His hands and feet we look,
And see the price of liberty.

So let not your heart be troubled;
What gracious words we hear Christ say!
Grandest kingdoms turn to rubble,
But His words won't pass away.

Come to Jesus, troubled friends!
Lay your trouble at His feet.
This is where your trouble ends
And your freedom is complete.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wondrous Washing

"Then cometh He to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him.... If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me" (John 13:6-8).

Lord of all eternity
Enthroned on heaven's seat,
How is it, Lord, You say to me,
That You must wash my feet?

Master of the universe,
Should You stoop down to us?
Should it not be the reverse
That we should serve You thus?

Wondrous washing! Humbling thought,
Arresting, Lord, our heart:
That if indeed You wash us not,
With You we have no part.

Wash us, Lord, that we may be
A vessel You will use.
Cleanse our hearts, Lord, thoroughly,
To serve as You will choose.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Limitless Love

"The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkiness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3). "When Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" (John 13:1).

The Lord of ancient days appeared
To tell of unseen things above,
Unveiling thus His heart endeared
To us with everlasting love.

Such love then made Him leave His throne;
His pity caused Him to descend.
Having loved us as His own,
He loved us to the very end.

Who can search the endless span
Of love unlimited by time?
Why, O Lord, is mortal man
The object of Your love sublime?

Lord, we stand in awe of You,
Yet only slightly comprehend
The love unlimited and true
Displayed in Christ, our dearest Friend.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cause of Christ

"Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to Thy word" (Psalm 119:154). "There is none to plead your cause" (Jeremiah 30:13). "For this cause came I unto this hour" (John 12:27).

Plead my cause, Lord, You have heard
And seen the trouble I am in.
According to Your faithful Word,
Rescue me from all my sin.

Plead my cause, Lord, lest I die
And perish in my sinful state.
Only You can testify
And save my soul from judgment's fate.

Lord, I've heard You plead my cause
In that troubling hour You came.
Thus astonished, now I pause
To contemplate my sin and shame.

Can there be no other path
To plead my cause and rescue me?
Must my Lord endure such wrath
To thus provide the sinner's plea?

I did not know what I had prayed!
I did not understand the cost
That for my soul, Lord, You had paid,
To plead for me among the lost.

Sin condemned me: rightly so!
Death had opened wide her jaws!
It was love that made You go
And strive in death to plead my cause.

Thank you, Lord, for all you did;
My cause was hopeless otherwise!
My tears before You were not hid,
Nor was my cause before Your eyes.