Saturday, October 31, 2009

Much More

"MUCH MORE then, being now justified by His blood, we shall we saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.... For if, by one man's offence death reigned by one, MUCH MORE, they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.... Moreover, the law entered that the offence might abound, but where sin abounded, grace did MUCH MORE abound" (Romans 5:9-20).

By Law's demand, we should have died;
That's what the Law is for:
Yet now through Christ we're justified
By precious blood MUCH MORE!

We once were foes of God at strife
And waged against Him war.
Now reconciled by His life,
We shall be saved MUCH MORE!

Through Adam's sin we had to face
The death we can't ignore.
But now we reign in life by grace
And righteousness MUCH MORE!

When Law was given, sin was found
There lying at its door.
But where our sin did much abound,
God's grace did so MUCH MORE!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blessing the Barren

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 113:9). "There are... things that are never satisfied... the grave and the barren womb" (Proverbs 3015,16). "And being not weak in faith, he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform" (Romans 4:19-21).

Praise the Lord who gives new birth
Where barrenness had been!
What miracles He does on earth
Among the sons of men!

How rightly Abraham believed
The promise God had spoken!
The child promised he received,
And barrenness was broken.

The things we deem impossible,
Our God can do with ease.
The barren woman's house is full,
As God the Lord decrees.

In every trial, every storm,
Remember God is true.
What He has promised to perform,
The Lord will surely do.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just and Justifier

"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:23-26).

All have sinned; there is not one
Who has not thereby gone astray.
God has seen what we have done;
His justice cannot look away.

God will judge, indeed He must
Be true to His own holiness,
Since, by nature, He is Just,
He can't ignore unrighteousness.

How can God then justify
A sinner born in Adam's race?
The Law condemns us all to die,
Yet God extends to us His grace!

Praise the Lord! He found a way
To justify us who were lost:
His justice weighed the price to pay,
And Love would meet that awful cost!

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Our holy God, the great I Am,
Was willing to be sacrificed,
And so became God's spotless Lamb.

Just and Justifier now,
He reigns in majesty above
And in the hearts of all who bow
To worship Him in grateful love!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seeking God is Scientifically Good

"The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.... He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.... He hath showed His people the power of His works.... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do" (Psalm 111:2-10). "Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things" (Proverbs 28:5).

Note: Isaac Newton rightly observed: "Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance."

The works of the Lord are wondrous indeed;
What pleasure God gives us therein!
The fear of the Lord is where they will lead,
Where science should rightly begin.

His wonderful works are not understood
By those who refuse to seek God.
They will not give glory to God as they should,
And therefore their "science" is flawed.

How senseless, when science (so-called) won't admit:
The God of the Bible exists!
How tragic this lie is that comes from the pit!
How plain is the truth it resists!

Those who are seeking the Lord understand,
As evidence clearly has shown,
The God who made heaven, the sea, and the land,
Through Jesus our Lord is made known.

The invisible things of Him by creation
Are seen, so there is no excuse.
Abandon excuses! He offers salvation!
O seek Him while yet you may choose!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day for Diligence

"Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power" (Psalm 110:3). "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.... Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not forever" (Proverbs 27:1,23,24).

O Lord, as we ponder the day of Your power
When You shall return, it is thrilling!
And yet even now, in this day, in this hour,
Is the time when we ought to be willing.

Today is the day of salvation and might;
We ought to be diligent now!
Now is the time we should shine forth His light
And steady our hand on the plow!

Yes, Jesus shall reign! We shall see the great King,
And His joy shall replace every sorrow!
But since we don't know what the next day will bring,
We boast not ourselves of tomorrow.

Teach us to know, Lord, the state of Your flocks,
And how to look well to Your herds.
Today is the day opportunity knocks
With power for heeding Your words.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cause for the Curse

"The curse causeless shall not come" (Proverbs 26:2). "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.... Wherefore God also gave them up... who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up.... And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:21-28).

We see everywhere throughout the creation
What God declared good became worse:
Distress and decay, disease, devastation,
And death are all part of the curse.

The curse has a cause in the reprobate mind;
Unchecked it becomes more depraved.
We need only search in our own heart to find
This cause and our need to be saved!

The fool may declare himself to be wise;
The sinner may call himself good.
The truth is exchanged everyday for such lies,
With a consequence not understood.

O come to the cross where the curse has been met
By the Savior who bore all our sin!
O come to the Lord who has paid all our debt,
When He died for the souls He would win!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ready to Reach

"I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians; both the wise and to the unwise. So as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:14-16).

I am debtor now to all,
To everyone within my reach.
I am ready for the call,
Wherever God would have me preach.

I am not ashamed today
To preach the Gospel's proclamation:
All we who have gone astray
May find in Jesus Christ salvation!

I am ready at this hour
To share the Gospel I've received,
For therein is God's saving power
To everyone who will believe.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Field and Foundation

"Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established.... Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house" (Proverbs 24:3,27).

Before you lay the house foundation
Include within your plan
The need to give consideration
To clear the field's land.

The house that we now have in mind
Is not of brick and wood,
But rather of the moral kind;
It's living as we should.

Clear the field of your life
Of thoughts that are impure,
Rid yourself of bitter strife
With love that will endure.

Then build today as God will lead
With humility and love!
Eternity draws near with speed!
Build until we meet above!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Leaders who Learned

"And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned... for they have taken of the accursed thing.... neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you" (Joshua 7:10-12). "Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto for righteousness unto all generations for evermore" (Psalm 106:30,31).

These are days when we should pray,
Yet days to also stand
To hear God's Word and to obey
His practical command.

For we may pray with earnest tears,
Yet find God interrupts
To show us sin that interferes,
That hinders, and corrupts.

Joshua and Phinehas
Were men of prayer and action.
Their examples speak to us
Of how to purge distraction.

For these were leaders who had learned
To deal at once with sin
And purge its poison when discerned,
Before it could begin.

More than ever now we need
To learn from their successes!
May we, like them, learn to lead
Upon the path God blesses.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Three Thats

"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 to 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). "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25).

So THAT your trust may be in Christ,
To settle faith He has made known
More evidence than has sufficed
Through prophecies that He has shown.

So THAT you might have certainty
When tossed by winds of fear and doubt,
The truth of God that makes us free
Has been preserved and written out.

So THAT you may give answers plain,
To everyone who asks you why,
You are equipped, and not in vain,
With answers now to testify.

So therefore, let us now be bold,
Believing God that it shall be
Exactly as we have been told
For time and all eternity!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ground of Grace

"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose the shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so." (Joshua 5:13-15).

Heaven's Captain, with drawn sword,
Approached by Joshua was found,
And when he knew this was the Lord,
He knew he stood on holy ground.

As Moses learned in days of old
To loose his shoe in such a place,
So Joshua was likewise told
To do so on this ground of grace.

But for grace that sword was drawn
Not only against Jericho,
But all those whom the curse was on,
And all have sinned, we surely know!

Praise the Lord for grace to stand
Upon this ground of holiness,
To hear our Captain thus command
And lead us in His righteousness!

So let us likewise, so to speak,
With shoe loosed in humility,
Recall we were condemned and weak,
Until God gave us eyes to see!

Onward, as we hear the voice
Of Christ, the Captain of salvation,
Share the Gospel! Show the choice:
His grace to save, or condemnation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mistaken for Madness

"Bless the Lord... who forgiveth all thine iniquities" (Psalm 103:2,3). "I have appeared unto thee for this purpose... to open their eyes... that they may receive forgiveness of sins.... Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.... And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak words of truth and soberness... for this thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:16-26).

The hopeless wake up everyday
To emptiness and sadness,
Yet tell them there's another way,
And many call it madness.

We thank the Lord that some will hear
And turn to Christ the Savior.
To them the choice is very clear:
His judgment or His favor!

There is a madness so absurd,
So void of sanity:
That sinners would reject God's Word,
And hold to vanity!

Paul received this accusation:
"Much learning" made him mad,
All because he preached salvation
And pardon may be had.

It's not as if these things were done
In some fictitious place!
The prophets spoke of God the Son,
And God displayed His grace!

Though some regard it as insane,
Our God is not mistaken!
We preach the Gospel not in vain:
His truth cannot be shaken.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reasonableness of the Resurrection

"Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" (Acts 26:8).

Why should it be thought so odd
That God will raise again the dead?
Why do nations limit God
And think He won't do as He said?

How darkened is such human thought
That will not see, upon reflection,
The wonders that our Savior wrought,
Including His own resurrection!

A day is coming, just the same,
When sinners, though not now inclined,
Shall bow the knee, confess His name,
And to their judgment be assigned.

The thing incredible indeed,
With all our Savior's evidence,
Is how the lost don't see their need
And do not fear the consequence!

Our Savior is alive and well,
And lives forevermore to save
The souls that He redeemed from hell
And from the power of the grave!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Purity on Purpose

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me" (Psalm 101:3).

Decisions I will make today
May purify or hinder me:
The things I add or take away
May help or halt my purity.

So I would set no wicked thing
Before my eyes to cause distraction.
I'd make my life an offering
Of purity in thought and action.

I hate the things that turn my heart
Away from Christ, my Lord and Savior,
So I will bid these things depart
To cleanse my heart and my behavior.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Curse of Convenience

"And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25).

There is a curse in one's perception,
When Christ is standing at the door,
That's led by pride by self-deception:
To turn away still one day more.

He says to "Go away this time,
Until a more convenient season,"
Exchanging blessings so sublime,
For lies that bring eternal treason.

No wonder Scripture clearly warns
To seek the Lord while yet you may.
The fool may boast, the sinner scorns,
But soon they die, and fly away!

Judgment comes! How quickly flies
The season of God's invitation.
Convenience mocks the one who dies
Without receiving God's salvation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Conscience Cleanser

"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6). "So worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets, and have hope toward God... that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men" (Acts 24:14-16).

The mercy and the truth of God
Have purged us from iniquity,
For on our Savior fell His rod
That judged our sin at Calvary.

So how can we continue in
Iniquity that caused such pain,
And worship Him who bore our sin,
Who died to thus remove its stain?

Believing all the prophets said
Regarding Jesus Christ our Lord,
The resurrection of the dead
We look expectantly toward.

So since that day approaches when
We'll stand before our risen Savior,
Let us live toward God and men,
To cleanse our conscience and behavior.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Treading in Triumph

"Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I give unto you, as I said unto Moses.... Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mightest observe to according to all the law... turn not to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:3-9).

The promises that God conveyed
In Joshua chapter one
Are true for all who have obeyed
And trust in God the Son.

Yes, this is true prosperity
From which we should not turn.
God's promise here of victory
Is ours to live and learn!

The Word of God will plainly show,
So we may understand,
What we should do and where to go
To follow God's command.

And in that path we cannot fail
Through God's prosperity.
The gates of hell shall not prevail;
His truth shall make us free.

Turn neither to the left nor right
Of all our God has said,
For then we'll triumph in His light
Wherever we shall tread.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hope and Holiness

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness" (Psalm 97:11,12). "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.... The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death" (Proverbs 14:26,32).

Rejoice, you righteous, for God's Son;
Give thanks as you recall
That none were righteous, no not one,
When God looked on us all.

But God by grace can now afford
To justify all those
Who find their refuge in our Lord,
Who died for us and rose!

This is all our confidence;
We hope in Jesus Christ,
For He became our strong Defense,
When He was sacrificed.

In Christ our hope and holiness
In life and death are given.
The wicked shall have great distress,
When from Him they are driven.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stretch of our Strength

"As thy days, so shall thy strength be....The eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Psalm 33:25,27). "Show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.... Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength" (Psalm 96:2,3,6,7).

As our days are, so our strength
Shall be provided for our needs.
God, who knows our journey's length,
Imparts His strength to those He leads.

The Refuge in our God we find
Protects our souls from all that harms.
He gives us strength and peace of mind;
We rest on everlasting arms.

Thus we show from day to day
The great salvation our God gives
To sinners who repent and pray,
Receiving Christ, because He lives.

We need Your strength, Lord, from above;
Uphold us by Your mighty hand
To now declare Your wondrous love
And shine Your light in every land.

We come into Your sanctuary;
Your strength and beauty there abound,
And as we in Your presence tarry,
Our strength and joy and peace are found.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Harm in Hardening

"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Psalms 95:6-8).

There's always harm in hardening
Against the Lord our hearts.
Though God continues pardoning,
There's damage this imparts.

A hardened heart cannot respond
To worship's invitation.
It rarely ever looks beyond
Its own preoccupation.

A hardened heart provokes the Lord
By pride that seeks its own.
It forfeits blessings that are stored
For humble hearts alone.

Harden not your heart today,
But heed the Savior's voice!
Cast your stubbornness away
While yet you have a choice!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Senseless Sayings

"They say, the Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not He correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not He know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity" (Psalm 94:7-11).

We hear such senseless words today
From those denying God!
And many, hearing what they say,
Will foolishly applaud.

They say the Lord shall never see;
They say He cannot hear.
How can they speak so foolishly?
How is it they don't fear?

He that made our ears and eyes
Can hear and see as well.
Those refusing to be wise
Consign themselves to hell.

God, who knows the thoughts of man,
Can see their vanity.
They foolishly dismiss God's plan,
Who died to set them free!

Teach us, Lord, in these last days
To make the Gospel known
That you may thus receive the praise
You ought to from Your own.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weeping with the Waves

"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 93:3,4). "The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.... And when they heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done" (Acts 20:22-24, 21:12-14).

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The noise of threatening waves!
Yet there is peace that You afford,
With grace that mightily saves!

Those floods had no effect on Paul
With all their promised strife.
He knew that God was working all
For good throughout his life.

Yet Paul had friends beset with sorrow
Beseeching him with tears,
Who saw the dangers of tomorrow
And warned him of their fears.

The vision Paul then clearly shared,
Was filled with God the Son.
Above all other things he cared
That God's will would be done.

Lord, give us such a mind as this,
To trust You with our soul,
And find the joy we would not miss
By giving You control.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Remember the Rock

"I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.... Remember the days of old.... Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee" (Deuteronomy 32:3,4,7,18). "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.... To show that the Lord is upright: He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him" (Psalm 92:1,15). "Come, eat of My bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled" (Proverbs 9:5).

O God, Your greatness we proclaim,
And of Your perfect work we talk!
We publish our Redeemer's name:
Our Lord and Savior and our Rock!

We now remember days of old,
When at the cross our need was met.
O spare us, Lord, from hearts so cold
That we would carelessly forget!

Dear Lord, we come to join the ranks
Of those who contemplate Your love,
For it is good to give You thanks
And praise Your name with saints above!

Yet while below we take the bread,
Remembering Your body slain,
And in the cup, the blood You shed,
By tokens so profound, yet plain.

Just and right, Lord, are Your ways;
Your truth and mercy made us free!
Receive, O God, our heartfelt praise,
For now and all eternity!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Wrong thus Wrought

"For 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).

How vast the riches are we find
Of wisdom in the Savior!
His life, His love, and peace of mind
Surround us with His favor!

How great the wrong which shall be wrought
By those who will not choose
The Lord who loved them and Who bought
The favor they refuse!

This spiritual insanity,
This self-inflicted wrong,
Shall vex their souls eternally
With lamentation's song!

Arise, O sinner! Turn to God!
Forsake procrastination!
Why, O why, would you defraud
Your soul of God's salvation?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pressed to Pray

"The days of our years are... soon cut off, and we fly away.... So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.... 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 90:10,12,17).

Our days and years so quickly fly!
We hasten now to pray:
So teach our hearts, Lord, to apply
Your wisdom while we may!

And let the beauty of our Lord
Be resting on us too,
And shine in us to point toward
The peace we have in You.

And let our worship, Lord, be shown,
Established in our hands,
To make Your way on earth be known
By doing Your commands.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fame of His Faithfulness

"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.... Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.... in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted" (Psalm 89:1,14-16).

For time and all eternity
We'll celebrate the fame
Of Jesus and His victory
That washed away our shame!

We'll sing about His faithfulness
And make His mercies known
That dressed us in His righteousness
That went before His throne.

His justice and His judgment reigned
And could not compromise
The judgment that His throne ordained,
Before His holy eyes.

The Son of God was therefore sent
To go before His face
And thereby bear our punishment
That we might have His grace.

How blest indeed are those who know
The faithful love of Christ,
Who even to the cross would go,
And there be sacrificed.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Reason for Revealing

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The secret things remain concealed
Belonging to the Lord,
But many things He has revealed,
Which promise great reward.

There's so much more that we may know
That God would yet display.
How great those things are God will show
To those who will obey!

Eternity will yet unfold
More things we never knew,
But God would have us NOW behold
Those things we ought to do.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Glorious Gates

"The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.... The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.... All my springs are in thee" (Psalm 87:2-7). "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18).

How glorious are those gates above
In Zion's city bright
Where God has set His faithful love,
To watch them day and night.

Why would God esteem the worth
Of Zion's gates much more
That all the dwellings on the earth
That Jacob had before?

How wondrously they represent
The entrance God will give
For all who truly will repent,
Then look to Christ, and live!

This is where the sinner finds
The springs of wondrous grace.
More and more our pathway shines
With light from Jesus' face.

How glorious are those gates we see
That sinners enter in,
Who trust the Lord to make them free,
And save their soul from sin!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Still Stirring

"Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.... Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens.... as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare unto you" (Acts 17:16,22,23).

Paul was in his spirit stirred
Looking out on Athens’ city,
Longing then to share God's Word,
To show to them His love and pity.

Athens was with darkness filled,
Infested with idolatry.
Paul stood then upon Mars' hill
To shed light on eternity.

An altar found with this description
Was quite fitting, yet was odd:
The altar bore this plain inscription,

Paul laid hold of this admission
That they didn't know the Lord,
And then advanced the great commission,
Unveiling Christ, whom they ignored.

So may our God now likewise stir
And fill our hearts with holy zeal,
Remembering how lost we were,
And His compassion for them feel.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Readiness to Receive

"I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people" (Psalm 85:8). "My son, if Thou wilt receive My words.... then shalt thou understand.... for the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:1,5,6). "And Paul, as his manner was... reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.... They received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:2,11).

If we are ready to hear the Lord speak,
If we will reason from God's point of view,
If it is His will, and not ours, we seek,
God will then show us what we ought to do.

If we will seek Him with all of our heart,
If for His counsel we earnestly pray,
God has assured us that He will impart
The wisdom and knowledge we need to obey.

As those in Berea were ready in mind
To search and receive then the truth of God's Word,
So may our Lord look upon us to find
Our readiness likewise to do as we've heard.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Midnight Melody

"Blessed are they... still praising Thee.... who passing through the valley of Baca [lit., weeping] make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength; every one of them in Zion appeareth before God" (Psalm 84:4,6,7). "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them" (Acts 16:25).

Who are these still singing praises,
Yet in their midnight hour of pain,
In that prison (of all places!)
With joy like a refreshing rain?

Who invited joy to stay
Within that prison house of sadness?
God did, putting on display
His truth that fills the heart with gladness!

Who gave these a midnight song,
Where solace only came with sleeping?
How were these, so weak, made strong
Within that valley filled with weeping?

God alone gives joy and peace
That rests upon His truth and grace.
The captive finds in Him release,
And sorrow flees before His face.