Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heart for Him

"Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways" (Psalm 119:2,3). "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:13,14).

Away with distracted, unworthy desire
That gives to my Lord a halfhearted praise!
Lord, I would give You my heart now on fire,
That seeks You completely and walks in Your ways!

Surely, I know I have not apprehended
This wholehearted search that I hope to attain.
I'll press for that mark till my journey has ended,
Where living is Christ and my dying is gain.

Here is my heart, Lord, submitted to You,
Aimless without You, toward evil prone.
This is the one thing I'm longing to do:
To seek to be pleasing to You, Lord, alone.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Singing with the Savior

"The Lord is my Strength and Song, and is become my Salvation" (Psalm 118:14). "Sing... be glad and rejoice with all the heart.... The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:14-17).

The Lord is our Strength and our Song,
And He has become our Salvation.
The Savior is singing along
Rejoicing with His new creation!

Yes! Our Savior is singing as well
With joy over those He redeemed
And those He has rescued from hell;
How hopeless and helpless they seemed!

But Christ has delivered our souls,
And sings with us now on our path.
We sing now the song that extols
The Love that delivered from wrath!

How sweet is His singing that blends
His song with His own people's voices!
The song of our Lord never ends
That rests in His love and rejoices.

Friday, November 28, 2008

He Humbled Himself

"O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 117:1,2). "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).

He humbled Himself: now what does that mean?
How can we know what that meant for our Lord?
Can we comprehend that spectacular scene
When He was by angels in heaven adored?

He humbled Himself! He set it aside!
He came down to earth in the likeness of man.
For us He would suffer and be crucified:
If we would be saved, there was no other plan.

He humbled Himself! We scarcely begin
To ponder that distance when He stooped so low!
That we might be rescued and ransomed from sin,
Even to death on the cross He would go!

He humbled Himself, but God has now raised
His name above all other names for His worth!
How rightly the name of our Savior is praised
And worshipped in heaven and nations on earth!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thoughtful and Thankful

"I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice.... I was brought low, and He helped me.... What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?.... I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name o the Lord" (Psalm 116:17). "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen" (Ephesians 6:24).

Do you remember that wonderful day
When you cried to the Lord and He heard your voice?
The sorrows of death, of hell, and dismay
Were conquered by Christ! Recall and rejoice!

No wonder we love Him! We all surely know
The price that He paid to answer our prayer.
We each can remember when we were brought low,
And His nail-pierced hand delivered us there!

In view of His benefits, what shall we render?
We cannot repay that unspeakable price!
But we can in love and thanksgiving surrender
Ourselves as a living and right sacrifice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bless our Blesser

"The Lord hath been mindful of us.... He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.... Ye are blessed of he Lord which made heaven and earth.... But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 115:12-18). "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).

Come, bless the Lord, for the way He has blessed;
How great are the blessings our Savior bestows!
Forgiveness, redemption, revival and rest:
Yes, Christ is the Fountain from Whom blessing flows!

Come, bless the Savior for all He has done:
Give Him the praise Who made heaven and earth.
For all of His blessings bestowed in God's Son,
We will give thanks, magnifying His worth.

Come, bless the Blesser, Who came from above
To meet us with mercy and truth on the cross.
Bless Him forever for His wondrous love
That spared not His life to protect us from loss.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dread of His Dominion

"When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion. The sea saw it and fled: Jordan was driven back.... What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest?.... Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord" (Psalm 114:1-7). "Wherefore He saith, Awake... because the days are evil. Wherefore.... be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:1,18).

Looking back in history,
When Israel was God's dominion,
Why did Jordan have to flee?
Now what is your informed opinion?

No, it wasn't Israel
From whom those waters fled.
The presence of Immanuel
Then caused the earth her dread.

Now in these dark and evil days,
The Devil rages like a flood.
The hellish army he arrays
Is surely not of flesh and blood.

Let us therefore be aware,
And let us be awake!
Our feeble powers neither scare
Nor Satan's forces shake.

But through our God, Immanuel,
The battle shall be won
And turn away the powers of hell
For dread of God the Son.

Lord, we know we have no power
Or wisdom of our own
Within this present evil hour
To make Your Gospel known.

So come and reign, Lord, as You please;
All other help must fail!
For by Your presence Satan flees,
And thus shall we prevail!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fall at the Feet

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies thy footstool... Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning" (Psalm 110:1,3). "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory... hath raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places... and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:17-23).

Scripture knows no middle ground,
For Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
The saved delight to see Him crowned,
His enemies will surely fall.

We'll fall in worship or in wrath:
There simply is other choice.
There is a broad or narrow path:
The lost will weep; the saved rejoice.

Oh how thrilling it is now
To worship humbly at His feet!
One day every knee shall bow
When at His throne we all shall meet.

Before His feet our joy is full;
Beneath His feet His foes lament.
We praise the Lord who saved our soul,
And so will they if they repent.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blessed in the Beloved

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love... to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted (Greek "charito" = highly favored) in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:3,6).

God bestows the highest favor
That can come from heaven's place
Through the love of Christ our Savior:
Praise the glory of His grace!

We are more than just "accepted":
Christ removed from us our blame.
By His grace we were perfected
When we called upon His name.

Before He gave the earth foundation,
Even then our Lord foresaw
And chose us to receive salvation
With grace that satisfied His law.

What countless blessings are bestowed
(Yes, all that heaven can afford!)
When we exchange sin's heavy load
For favor found in Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reaping vs. Retiring

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:9,10).

The thought that one day we retire
To live for leisure and to sleep,
Is out of step with God's desire
To never faint and thus to reap.

Strength of body may diminish,
But never God's sustaining grace.
Fight the good fight to the finish,
Keep the faith, and run the race.

While there's opportunity
Let us do what good we can.
In view of our eternity,
Retirees should have this plan!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cost of the Calm

"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.... Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord" (Psalm 107:29,43). "Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? For the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you.... So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging" (Psalm 107:11,16).

We read in Psalm one hundred seven,
This sweet, majestic Psalm,
That God extends His hand from heaven
To make the storm a calm.

Whoever will observe these things
Will see there was a price:
The calm of spirit that God brings
Required Sacrifice.

The storm that Jonah's ship was in
Where souls were nearly lost,
Portrays God's wrath against our sin,
And for the calm, the cost.

For Jonah was a type of Christ,
Then lifted up and hurled.
The Lamb of God was sacrificed,
For God so loved the world.

The sea is calm that used to toss
And rage because of wrath,
For Christ was lifted on the cross:
Peace had no other path.

O let us praise and thank the Lord
Who left His throne above!
The wrath of God was on Him poured,
But on us streams of love.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jarring Jonah

"The Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.... But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not" (Jonah 1:4-6).

The downward slope we clearly see
When Jonah fled from God's command,
And then he slept in apathy,
Despite the fearful storm at hand.

If not the tempest, who could wake
This wayward prophet sleeping hard?
If not the storm, what would it take,
So that God's servant might be jarred?

At last the prophet would be wise,
By words that stirred within him shame:
What mean you, sleeper? Now arise!
Call on God! Invoke His name!

The lesson here to us applies
And bids us think upon this scene,
That we might hear those fearful cries:
O sleeper, rise! What do you mean?

For even now there is a storm,
That threatens souls with every wave.
Though apathy accepts this norm,
God does not, and longs to save.

So let us hear the Savior's voice,
And go wherever He has sent,
For heaven's angels still rejoice
When one lost sinner will repent.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wellspring of Wisdom

"The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.... Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it.... The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips" (Proverbs 16:1,22,23).

The well of our wisdom will surely run dry
Unless there's a Spring that will give understanding.
God is the Wellspring, our Source of supply,
That fills us with truth that the need is demanding.

God gives the answer for which we are yearning.
God gives His wisdom to those who will ask.
God is the Teacher of lips that are learning,
Providing the word that is right for each task.

The heart may prepare, but God gives the word
That has understanding and wisdom He gives.
Let us then pray till this has occurred,
And thus by His wellspring declare that He lives.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Song of my Soul

"The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: Lord shall rejoice in His works.... I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord" (Psalm 104:31,33,34).

Sing, to the Lord with a sweet meditation.
Sing, to the Lord with all heaven above.
Sing, for His wonders displayed in creation.
Sing for the joy of His unceasing love.

Sing, O my soul, for as long as you live.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise.
He gave Himself; how much more could He give?
Sing, O my soul, bless the Lord all your days.

Sing, O my soul, and forever rejoice.
Sing, for the Lord is rejoicing as well.
Sing to the Lord with your heart and your voice;
Sing of your Lord who redeemed you from hell.

Sing, O my soul, and be glad in the Lord.
Sing, for He gave you a new song to sing.
Sing, O my soul, now redeemed and restored.
Sing to your Savior, Creator, and King!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Famine of Forgetfulness

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2). "A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not" (Proverbs 14:6). "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8:11,12). "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another" (Galatians 1:6,7).

There is a famine in the land,
No, not for water or for bread,
But rather for the Lord's command,
To hear and do what He has said.

How odd it is that we should be
From Christ so easily removed,
Our Fountainhead of liberty,
Whose faithfulness is surely proved.

In view of all that God has done
To save us, keep us, and to bless,
How great our famine if we shun
Our God by our forgetfulness!

The scorners seek and cannot find
A puzzle piece of truth to fit,
And then lead others who are blind
To likewise fall into their pit.

Oh may our land again return
To seek her blessings known at first,
To feed the hungry hearts that yearn
And satisfy our nation's thirst.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meeting Majesty

"Prepare to meet Thy God.... He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts is His name.... Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His name" (Amos 4:12,13, 5:8).

Prepare to meet with Majesty,
Far greater that we thought!
The day approaches when we'll see
And praise Him as we ought.

Yet even now we may prepare
To meet and praise Him here,
Who formed the mountains, wind, and air,
And shaped our atmosphere.

He made the sea and all therein;
He made the morning light.
He came to earth to bear our sin
And save us from our plight.

He declares each thought we hide;
He knows them one by one,
And yet He'll meet us and abide
When we receive His Son.

Seek the Lord who made the stars
And shows us what shall be.
What a privilege is ours
To meet with Majesty!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Agressive Agreement

"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt Thou come to me? I will walk in my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" (Psalm 101:2,3). "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3).

Can two now walk together, except they be agreed?
Is God content to dwell with us without reproving sin?
The answer "NO!" is obvious. And thus I see my need
To purge my life aggressively; now where should I begin?

Perhaps I'd better start with what I put before my eyes:
Things not only wicked, but the things that waste my time.
Why should I give energy to things that are not wise,
Since God has offered me instead His Word that is sublime?

Do I have God's approving eye on every secret thought?
The Word of God is like a sword dividing wrong from right,
And God will thereby show me what is true and what is not,
As every thought in darkness is reproved within His light.

So let me work aggressively to purify my way
That I may walk in harmony with Jesus Christ my Savior.
Search me and create in me a clean heart, Lord, today,
That our agreement may be seen in all of my behavior.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Simplicity vs. Subtlety

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through His subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Remember Satan's subtlety,
That serpent in the garden,
Who turned Eve from simplicity,
So that her heart would harden.

Remembering the subtle ways
And words that Satan used
Will thus expose the snare he lays
For those whom he's confused.

Satan's question: "Hath God said?"
Was all that he would need
To take Eve down the path he led
And sow his doubtful seed.

Let us take this for instruction,
And hold fast to God's Word,
Lest doubting God be our destruction,
In spite of what we've heard.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chastened and Challenged

"Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name; they called upon the Lord, and He answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept His testimonies, and the ordinance that He gave them. Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: Thou was a God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions" (Psalm 99:5-8).

Flawless perfection shall never be found
When looking in people, whoever they be.
Even the prophets and priests so renowned,
All had sin natures, just like you and me.

Moses the prophet and Aaron the priest
Were chastened by God for sinful inventions.
Samuel's favor with God had increased,
Yet he also failed, despite good intentions.

We do not find comfort because they were flawed,
But rather because they were men God forgave.
And though we have sinned, there is pardon from God,
There is challenge to grow, and His power to save.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Openly Offered

"The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the heathen" (Psalm 98:2). "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

You know of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who left heaven's riches to come to this place
To make Himself poor, to be sacrificed,
And openly offer His riches of grace.

We've seen the historical proof of His love.
We've heard of the grace that He graciously gives.
We know that our Savior ascended above,
And saves to the utmost, since He ever lives!

The grace of our Savior has never been hid;
All of these things have been openly shown.
Those who will choose to ignore what He did
Shall have no excuse when they stand at His throne.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Helping Holiness

"Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10). "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Proverbs 8:13). "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1).

There is a help for holiness
In godly fear and love
That promises to cleanse and bless,
With help from God above.

Love the Lord with all your heart,
And then you will despise
The evil prompting to depart
From truth (exchanged for lies).

The fear of God, then, simply stated,
Is living for His smile
And hating all that He has hated
Because it will defile.

So let us cleanse ourselves from all
Our filth of flesh and spirit,
With fear that heeds our holy call
And love with ears to hear it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Daily Declaration

"Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among the people" (Psalm 96:2,3). "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (literally, implore) you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.... Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 5:20, 6:2).

Among the reasons to declare
Salvation day by day,
Is so that souls may be aware
Before they're swept away.

Eternity is like a wave
That crashes on the shore,
A tide that sweeps us to the grave,
And then returns for more.

Thus we are ambassadors
Imploring in Christ's stead,
Though the mocker yet ignores
And scorns what God has said.

We use the time, we seize the day,
And boast not of tomorrow.
We point to Christ, the only Way
To flee from judgment's sorrow.

Day by day we now proclaim
The Good News of salvation:
To those who trust in Jesus' name,
There is no condemnation!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Redeemer's Remedy

"O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thine help. I will be thy King: where is any other that may save thee?.... I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death" (Hosea 13:9,10,14).

The self-help books upon our shelves
Won't help us when we've stumbled,
If we who have destroyed ourselves
By pride will not be humbled.

These remedies cannot begin
To heal our condition
If we will not admit our sin
And turn with true contrition.

In spite of our rebellious pride
And foolishness employed,
The love of God calls us aside
When we are self-destroyed.

We hear the Lord in kindness say:
"Come, find your help in Me,
For I will be your King today,
And I will set you free.

Are there others who can save?
Their boasts are wasted breath!
I will ransom from the grave,
Redeeming you from death."

What redemption is extended
To the one who will take heed!
What a Savior has befriended
Sinners in their time of need!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Readiness for Righteousness

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12).

God shall send His righteousness
As rain to bless our thirsty land,
But till that time He comes to bless
There's surely labor now at hand.

Sow the land with Gospel seeds,
And reap where mercy may abound.
Cultivate your righteous deeds,
And thus break up your fallow ground.

For now it's time to seek the Lord,
Lest all our efforts be in vain.
Let prayerful hearts be thus outpoured,
Till righteousness come down like rain.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Floundering Floods

Election Day 2008

"Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.... The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty.... Thy throne is established of old: Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea" (Psalm 2:6, 93:1-4).

Within this season of election
We would do well to note
That God has made His own selection
With His deciding vote.

The floods have lifted up their voice;
God sees the vote their casting,
But God already made His choice,
In fact, from everlasting.

The floods of people vainly roared
Against our Lord and Savior,
But Jesus Christ is still the Lord,
No matter whom they favor.

What a privilege, by election,
We too may choose to own
And worship Christ in His perfection
As King of our heart's throne!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Give Thanks for God's Thoughts

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.... For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands. O Lord, how great are Thy works! And Thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a fool understand this" (Psalm 92:1,4-6).

How good and wonderful it is
To thank the Lord for all He's done:
Wisdom, might, and love are His,
Displayed in Jesus Christ His Son.

Your thoughts, O Lord, are very deep!
How great the works are of Your hands!
Your promises You always keep;
Your counsel thus forever stands.

The fool by choice will know You not
And sets aside the evidence
Preserved in Your prophetic thought,
And thus remains without defense.

Receive our thanks, Lord, once again,
That You, in love, upon us thought.
How hopeless we all would have been
And helpless, Lord, if You had not!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Opened for Obedience

"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.... For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries" (1 Corinthians 15:58, 16:9).

Behold a door is open wide
With opportunity today.
God now bids us step inside
And then with diligence obey.

This door of opportunity
Is opened for obedience.
The impact on eternity
Should summon all our diligence.

God includes this guarantee:
Our labor shall not be in vain.
To live through Christ is victory,
To die in Christ, eternal gain.

So how can we afford to wait
While God commands us enter in?
The opportunities are great;
To turn away is surely sin.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Beauty and the Believer

(Change We Can REALLY Believe In!)

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it" (Psalm 90:17). "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.... and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:49,52).

Let the beauty of the Lord
Be evident upon our lives.
This is what we look toward,
And that for which His Spirit strives.

Strengthen, Lord, our feeble hands
So that our work by grace may last,
And leave a monument the stands
To future generations passed.

This is now our Christian duty,
For such a time by God arranged.
Yet God shall grant eternal beauty
In that day we shall be changed!

How beautiful the victory
That we may see on history's pages!
Behold as well eternity:
We shall be changed for endless ages!