Sunday, August 31, 2008

Recipe for Ruin

"O Lord, my Rock, be not silent to me: lest if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down to the pit.... Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up" (Psalm 28:1,5). "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" (Ezekiel 16:49).

Their idleness, indifference,
Their pride, and stomachs full
Each had wrought their consequence
In Sodom's wretched soul.

These were the ingredients,
That awful recipe,
That raged against Omnipotence,
And wrought iniquity.

Lord, we need to hear Your voice,
And not this world's seduction,
Lest we likewise make their choice
And fall by their destruction.

Let idle hands be strengthened now!
Replace indifference with love!
Instead of pride, let's humbly bow,
And find our fullness from above!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prisoner's Priority

"And the keeper of the prison.... said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:27-31).

Life was just a hopeless prison
Until the Savior made me free.
For me He died, for me He's risen,
And He is my Priority.

The Lord could see humanity
Was hopelessly depraved.
He made us His priority,
That we might thus be saved.

So now this is our highest call,
Our great priority:
To make the Savior known to all;
He holds our prison key.

His freedom we may all receive
If we will let Him in,
And all of those who will believe
Are pardoned from their sin.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Righteous Rulers

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.... Many seek the ruler's favor, but every man's judgment cometh from the Lord" (Proverbs 29:2,26).

Lord of heaven, hear our prayer,
Though we don't deserve Your grace:
Give us rulers that prepare
To serve You in this time and place.

Many seek the ruler's favor,
But all too few are seeking God.
Give us those who love the Savior,
Not the power men applaud.

Let the ruler's of Your choice,
Come into authority
That Your people may rejoice,
As you answer thus our plea.

We're waiting, Lord, for Your return
When the trumpet blast shall sound.
Until that day we'll pray and yearn
For righteous rulers to be found.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Searching His Secrets

"What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose... The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant" (Psalm 25:12,14).

Search the secrets God has hidden
That He whispers in the ear.
All who fear the Lord are bidden
In their meekness to draw near.

Search the secrets of the ages:
Hear the voice of God today
In the Holy Scriptures' pages;
Hear what God the Lord will say.

Search the secrets of God's heart:
Hear the cause for which He came.
Search the Savior's inward part,
The love that made Him bear our shame.

Search the secrets God makes known
To everyone who fears the Lord.
Thus He bids us to His throne,
And those who seek Him He'll reward.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charge and Challenge

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle... The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory" (Psalm 24:7-10).

Lift up your heads at last, O you gates;
And lift up your everlasting doors.
Creation is groaning and anticipates
The King shall come in and its glory restore.

Who is this King of glory proclaimed?
Why should He rule and thus enter in?
He's Jesus, above every name that is named,
Mighty in battle against death and sin.

One day He's coming to reign on this earth.
He's coming again to take sovereign control.
Yet we who now know Him acknowledge His worth,
And even now own Him as Lord of our soul.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Comforting Correction

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.... Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:1,4).

I know that I shall never lack
Whatever I shall truly need.
My Lord was faithful, looking back,
And faithfully He yet will lead.

Sometimes He will give direction,
By His staff and gentle hand;
Sometimes by His rod, correction,
That thereby I might understand.

There's more than human eye can see;
I know I have not seen the half
Of all the comfort given me
By my Shepherd's rod and staff.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Declare it Done!

"The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: your heart shall live forever.... A seed shall serve Him.... They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done this" (Psalm 22:26,30,31).

The work is done that saves forever.
Come, declare our Savior's deed!
Mankind's very best endeavor
Never could have met our need.

Done! How sweet this one word is
That now declares the work complete,
By which the Lord declares us His,
And thereby truth and mercy meet.

There's nothing left for us to do
But live out our appreciation,
And thus declare that it is true
That Christ accomplished our salvation.

Declare His righteousness today;
Sing the praise of God the Son!
Let His seed arise and say:
Come and see what He has done!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rejoicing in the Right

"The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (Psalm 19:8). "The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge.... 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?" (Proverbs 22:12,19-21).

Rejoice in the knowledge that God's word is right;
We have the certainty that His words are true!
Come, let your soul in His counsels delight
In excellent things that are written to you!

Rejoice in assurance: these prophecies written
Provide all the proof that we ever could hold!
The Lord took His place as the Lamb of God smitten;
Come, read the pages of history foretold!

Rejoice in the logic, "connecting the dots,"
For God has established His impeccable Word,
Inspiring His words and preserving His thoughts,
That we may believe in the Gospel we've heard!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Haughty Herod

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Proverbs 21:1). "Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration... And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost" (Acts 12:21-23).

Herod loved to hear the praise
Of those who said he was a god.
But God would terminate his days
By worms which were His judgment rod.

Herod sat upon his throne
As if, as god, he called each shot.
But God thereafter made it known
That God was God, and he was not.

Herod never had a clue
That he would speak to his demise.
Apparently he never knew
The fear of God that makes one wise.

Herod in his haughtiness
Is not an odd, uncommon story.
How many like him won't confess
Or give to God His rightful glory!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kept by Kindness

"Show Thy marvelous lovingkindness.... Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of Thy wings.... As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness" (Psalm 17:7,8).

Kept as the apple of God's watchful eye,
Hid in the shadow of His healing wings:
How sweetly these images thus testify
Of kindness that keeps us and mercy that clings.

In all of life's journey we rest in His love.
He faithfully leads us and calms every fear,
And when we are called to be with Him above,
We shall in His marvelous likeness appear.

We're saved by His grace, kept by His kindness,
And called to be witnesses in all the earth.
The world we live in is smitten with blindness,
With no source of healing without a new birth.

So let us be faithful to clearly make known:
The grace of our God has appeared to mankind.
In view of the marvelous love God has shown,
Let's pray for the healing of those who are blind.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Perfected with Purpose

"Therefore my heart is glad.... Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:9,11). "Barnabas... when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord" (Acts 11:22,23).

Let us exhort one another today
To cleave to the Lord with a purpose of heart.
Let us encourage each other to pray,
When we are together or when we're apart.

Let us draw near to our Lord's throne of grace
That we may come boldly for help in our need.
Let us together now seek our Lord's face,
As children of God whom His Spirit will lead.

This is the purpose we have from our Lord
That binds us together, perfecting our love;
This is the prize that we're pressing toward:
Our fullness of joy in His presence above.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Contradicting Contrast

"But I [Peter] said, Not so, Lord.... What was I, that I could withstand God?" (Acts 11:7,17).

Do you hear the contradiction
In what Peter's heart outpoured?
"Not so, Lord" denied conviction,
Thus confusing who was Lord.

Yet, though Peter's words were flawed,
He later changed his backward thought:
"What was I to withstand God?"
These were words the Spirit taught.

It's good to meditate awhile
On what the Word of God conveys.
"Not so, Lord" is out of style
With giving God His rightful praise.

So cause us, Lord, to be inclined
To be consistent and obey.
Revive us, Lord, renew our mind,
And teach us what we ought to say.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heart to Hear

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). "Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?" (Proverbs 17:16). "We are all here present before God, to hear all the things that are commanded thee of God" (Acts 10:33).

The fool has no delight to hear
The truth God would impart,
And so he simply stops his ear
And hardens thus his heart.

The fool may sound like he's sincere
And come with price in hand,
But what's the point if he won't hear
And follow God's command?

How great the contrast that we see
In those who have prepared
To listen with humility
To what God has declared.

Let us therefore likewise be
Prepared to hear and heed
And follow Christ obediently
Wherever He will lead.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Go beyond Gold

"How much better is it to get wisdom than gold, and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!" (Proverbs 16:16).

We go for the medals, the silver and gold,
And those who achieve them we rightly applaud.
Yet there is a prize with a value untold
For those who obtain the approval of God.

Better is wisdom with all its rewards,
As we set our hearts on achieving its goal,
Than all of the gain that this world affords,
For what shall it profit the perishing soul?

Let’s go beyond gold in every endeavor,
Running with patience our heavenward race,
Giving the glory to God who forever
Will save us and keep us with wisdom and grace.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Source for all Seasons

"The words of the Lord are pure words" (Psalm 12:6). A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! .... The heart of the righteous studieth to answer" (Proverbs 15:23,28).

Questions often come to mind
That make us search for reason.
It's in the Word of God we find
An answer in due season.

In times of joy or times of strife
We may be called to speak.
The answers that we need in life,
God gives to those who seek.

Therefore we are called upon
To study from God's source.
For seasons come and soon are gone
As life has run its course.

Oh what a source is ours today
Where answers thus abound!
If we will study and obey,
God's wisdom shall be found.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Godliness isn't Gullible

"The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going" (Proverbs 14:15).

Beware of gullibility
That masquerades as godliness:
We dare not think naivety
Is like the faith that God will bless.

The simpleton believes each word
And will not search with diligence,
While prudence weighs what she has heard
Against God's massive evidence.

Yes, evidence of things not seen
Is based on what our God has shown.
The Word of God on which we lean
Is by that evidence made known.

The evidence in prophecy,
The resurrection from the grave,
Establishes for you and me,
The faith by which our God will save.

Beware: there is no true salvation
Within a faith that's dead and blind.
Faith invites investigation,
And satisfies the heart and mind.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scales of Scorn

"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized" (Acts 9:17,18).

God has removed the scales of scorn
That kept me from seeing the glory of Christ.
The dark night is over; oh, glorious morn!
I see now the love of the Lamb sacrificed.

Once I had scorned, in my arrogant youth,
The idea that absolute truth could be known.
But God intervened, and He showed me the truth
Which He had so clearly in Jesus Christ shown.

How could I have missed it? How plain now it is!
The scales of blindness have now been removed.
I know He is mine, and I know I am His.
The evidence stands and the verdict is proved.

The witnesses speak and present their conclusion:
The prophecies written are clearly fulfilled.
The grave is still empty; there is no confusion,
Except in the minds of the stubborn, self-willed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Right Reply

"And Saul.... fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:1-6).

The Lord will ask each sinner why,
As He once did to Saul.
He'll listen for a right reply,
As to each one He'll call.

We do not need to hear a voice
Or see a brilliant light
For us to make a prudent choice,
Responding to Him right.

The questions we should ask are two:
The first: Who are You, Lord?
And then: What will You have me do?
In honesty outpoured.

How merciful is God to those
Who rightly have replied
To Jesus Christ who died and rose
For those He justified!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mockery of Money

"Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money" (Acts 8:20).

You may have heard that old cliché
Which says that "money talks."
But what indeed does money say?
Beware! It sometimes mocks!

Blessings money cannot buy
Are mocked by implication,
If one would even think to try
To purchase God's salvation!

If you could purchase all the earth
And all the things you cherish,
Without Christ, what are they worth?
They'll mock you when they perish.

Come to Christ by grace alone,
And thank Him for His love,
That prompted Him to leave His throne,
With blessings from above.

For God is far too rich to sell,
And we're too poor to buy
Our ransom from the depths of hell;
It's mockery to try.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welome Words

"Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee: Thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life" (Lamentations 3:57,58).

God has said "Fear not" to me,
And that is quite enough
To calm my fears, to make me free,
And smooth the pathway rough.

A billion reasons wait in line
Persuading me to fear.
What are these, since Christ is mine,
And He has drawn so near?

Oh what welcome words of grace:
"Fear not!" our God has spoken.
He pleads our cause, He makes His case,
And heals the heart that's broken.

These are welcome words indeed:
Our Lord has said, "Fear not!"
The blood of Christ shall for us plead,
For by His blood we're bought.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Morning Mercies

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my Portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him" (Lamentations 3:22-25).

The mercies of our Lord prevail;
Every one of them are true.
For His compassions do not fail;
Every morning they are new.

The treasures of the Lord are full;
They fill my cup beyond the brim.
He is my Portion, says my soul,
And therefore will I hope in Him.

The faithfulness of God is great;
We rest on His unchanging love.
The Lord is good to those who wait
And set their hearts on things above.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ushered Upward

"My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:3).

In the morning when I rise
And ponder what the day may bring,
I will early lift my eyes
To Jesus Christ, my Lord and King.

I will offer up my prayer
And dedicate to Him the day.
I will cast on Him my care
And hear what God the Lord will say.

In the morning as I read
My thoughts are ushered to the throne
Of Him who promises to lead
Each one who trusts in Him alone.

I will open then His Word,
And all His counsel I will hear.
Oh what wisdom I have heard
As to my Lord I have drawn near!

In the early morning hour
I will pray and will look up
To God for wisdom, love and power;
He will fill my empty cup.

It will overflow the brim
With blessings that my Lord has planned,
For every blessing flows from Him,
Who leads and keeps me with His hand.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Trust or Thrust

"And Moses... they understood not... but he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a Ruler and a Judge over us?" (Acts 5:22-27).

Joseph, son of Israel,
Was sold to the Egyptians.
(Jesus Christ was sold as well,
Through similar conditions.)

Moses was not understood
The first time that he came.
His reward for doing good
Was thanklessness and shame.

These are portraits on the pages
Of our world's history,
Of Christ rejected through the ages,
By force or apathy.

It all comes down this one thing:
To trust the Lord today.
If you don't worship Christ the King,
You thrust the Lord away.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Astonishing Apathy

"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger" (Lamentations 1:12).

Is it nothing to you,
All you who pass by?
With such sorrow in view,
Will you not wonder why?

It is here we discern
By this great devastation
That indifference will earn
In the end condemnation.

Is it nothing to you
Who pass by the cross?
Will you not think it through,
Why our Lord suffered loss?

Our Lord left His throne
To die in our place,
To ransom His own,
And to save us by grace.

Is it nothing to you
That He rose from the dead
As He promised to do,
And the prophets had said?"

Then what will it take
That your heart may be stirred?
Oh sleeper, awake
To the truth of God's Word!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fight of Fools

"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed (i.e., Christ)... Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron" (Psalm 2:1,2). "If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:39).

Why indeed would nations fight
Against our awesome God?
He shall put them all to flight,
And break them with His rod.

Why would nations entertain
A war that can't be won?
They rage and plan, but all in vain;
Their counsel is undone.

Why are nations so unwise
In sizing up this war,
Deceiving and deceived by lies
That never worked before?

Why are sinners not inclined
To joyfully surrender,
While God is calling them to find
In Christ a sure Defender?

Why? The question is profound
That probes the rebel's thought.
Yet Christ shall nonetheless be crowned,
And bring their war to nought.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Guided by God

"We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

We ought to live in such a way
That brings God's blessing to our land,
But God alone we must obey
When there's a conflict of command.

It may not make the world applaud
When you hold fast this rule.
The world may label you as odd
And brand you as a fool.

Yet God esteems integrity,
Commending those as wise
Who live before His scrutiny,
Forsaking compromise.

How sweet is this simplicity
That clarifies our choice,
When guided by the clarity
Of heeding our God's voice.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Savior's Symphony

"Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.... Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 150:1,2,6).

Our God conducts the orchestration
Of His symphony of praise.
We're waiting with anticipation:
He directs each one who plays.

Thus we lift attentive eyes
To see the nod of His direction:
Praise Him in the spacious skies,
For His power and perfection.

Praise Him for His mighty acts:
In all the earth they are not hid.
Creation and the cross are facts:
Now praise the Lord for all He did!

Praise Him for His excellence,
Ascribing greatness to His name.
Our Lord deserves preeminence
For who He is and why He came.

Let each of us devote our breath
In this our Savior's symphony,
Who took away the sting of death
And robbed the grave of victory.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Singing Saints

"Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.... For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds" (Psalm 149:1,4,5).

I have heard the invitation
From my Lord to gladly sing
His praise within the congregation
Where His saints are worshiping.

Sing, O saints! For you know well
The noblest saint is stained with sin,
And thus has earned eternal hell,
But for the grace that entered in.

Sing, for God has beautified
The sinners whom He now calls saints.
Sing! Since Christ for us has died,
Should not our joy eclipse complaints?

Sing, O saints, in joyful glory;
Sing aloud upon your bed!
Awake to find the Gospel story
Is everything our God has said!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Only One

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

One name rises, Only One,
That has the power to save:
It is the name of God the Son,
Who God the Father gave.

There is no other qualified
To save the sinful soul
Than Jesus Christ, who for us died,
To pay our debt in full.

Search the world in the past;
Search the nations now,
He is the Only One, at last,
To whom each knee shall bow.

Every tongue shall then confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord,
The Only One whose righteousness
Salvation can afford.