Sunday, February 28, 2010

Manifold Ministry

"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:10,11).

Stewards of grace, by which we are saved,
By grace we were gifted with ministry.
No longer hopelessly lost and depraved,
Our God gives us grace with ability.

If any man speak, let him look to the Lord
To give him the word of His grace for that hour.
If any man minister, God will afford
The gift of His grace that will serve with His power.

By manifold grace is our God glorified,
And so we must wait on the grace that He gives
To thus make it manifest why our Lord died,
And now make it plain He triumphantly lives!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Answer

"My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me" (Proverbs 27:11). "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).

There is an answer we should give
By things we wisely say
And also by the way we live
With wisdom everyday.

There is an answer that we know
Has ample evidence,
That we with readiness may show
Provides a sure defense.

There is an answer for each season
For every honest man.
For God has said, "Come, let us reason",
And He will show His plan.

There is an Answer that sufficed;
No other one could save:
The Son of God, our Lord and Christ,
The Lord of heaven gave!

The prophecies that He fulfilled,
His death and resurrection,
All honest opposition stilled,
Accomplished with perfection.

Thus may the Answer of our Savior
In our life sanctified,
In all our words and our behavior
Be wisely testified.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rise to the Rock

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2). "The Lord is gracious.... To whom coming, as unto a living Stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up.... Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a Chief Corner Stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious" (1 Peter 2:3-7).

Led to the Rock that is higher than I,
I find there the joy of eternal salvation!
Christ is that Rock, now exalted and high,
The Chief Corner Stone, our precious Foundation.

Led by the comfort of His staff and rod,
Lifted by Him with a strength not my own,
I rise by the grace of my Savior and God,
To the Rock that is higher, the true Living Stone.

Led by the Hand that will never let go,
Loved by the Heart will not cease to love,
I rise to the Rock and behold earth below,
Revived with affection for things up above.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grace vs. Grass

"Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man" (Psalm 60:11). "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.... For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word by which the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:18-25).

Vain is man's help, his tradition, and power,
All void of the Gospel of grace!
The glory of man, like the grass and its flower
Shall soon be removed from its place.

Corruptible things, such as silver and gold,
Could never accomplish redemption.
The blood of Christ saves us, as prophets foretold,
By grace, and there is no exemption.

Our Lord, as a Lamb without blemish or spot,
By His grace tasted death for each man.
How hopeless the prospect and vain is the thought
Of redemption by some other plan!

Heaven and earth shall very soon pass,
And then we shall stand at God's throne.
All temporal glory shall perish as grass;
We'll stand by Your grace, Lord, alone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going beyond Gold

"You... are kept by the power of God through faith.... though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:4-7).

My faith is a treasure more precious than gold
That manifold trials refine.
Temptations thus teach me to steadfastly hold
To power much greater than mine.

Trials will come, yet not without reason,
As God by His love has decreed.
Joy and faith follow, though yet for a season,
It's heaviness now that I need.

Athletes compete, and we greatly admire
The discipline each one displays.
So may our faith, though it be tried by fire,
Be found to give Jesus Christ praise!

Help us, O God, to achieve that reward
More precious than gold that will perish:
A faith that will magnify Jesus our Lord,
A goal we forever will cherish!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mission in the Midst

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:19,20).

Brethren, in the midst of you,
A soul perhaps that's well behaved,
Who does what he's supposed to do,
May never truly have been saved.

Sometimes things are done or said,
In fellowship or conversation,
Revealing that a soul is dead
Who once was thought to have salvation.

We dare not, for this sinner's sake,
Be timid in the things we ask!
We ought to show him his mistake,
And pray that God removes his mask!

Our Lord will never cast those out
Who truly come to Jesus Christ,
And once we're saved there is no doubt,
That once forever has sufficed!

O Lord, we know it's grace alone
By which we stand forevermore.
Teach us, Lord, to make that known
When error comes we can't ignore.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Devil's Dread

"God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:6-10).

We shouldn't think that it is odd
That Satan will not flee or fear,
Unless we first submit to God,
And in humility draw near.

This is Satan's greatest dread;
He's not afraid of you and me!
Submit to God; do what He said.
Resist the devil; then he'll flee!

We have no power of our own
To put to flight the hosts of hell,
But when we're humbled at God's throne,
The devil flees, and all is well!

O Lord, we thank You for the grace
That to the humble You impart.
So may the devil find no place
Of sinful pride within our heart.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wandering and Weeping

"Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?" (Psalm 56:8).

All of my wanderings, Lord, You have seen.
My tears in Your bottle are fully contained.
All of my sorrows have taught me to lean
Completely on You and be thereby sustained.

Lead me, O Lord, on that singular path
That You have ordained for my ultimate good.
Since You redeemed me from judgment and wrath,
I know You will lead me to walk where I should.

Let now my wanderings, Lord, in the past,
Contained in Your book that You faithfully write,
Reprove and correct me to follow at last
Your will, turning not to the left or the right.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mirror of my Manner

"But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (James 1:22).

Mirror, mirror, here am I,
Meditating on God's Word.
The Word of God I would apply,
As by its truth my heart is stirred.

Your Word is like a mirror, Lord,
Reflecting truth You see within.
By its reproof I am restored,
Confessing and forsaking sin.

So help me, Lord, as in Your mirror,
Which is Your Word to hear and heed,
To be a doer and a hearer
Of Truth that makes me free indeed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Good Gifts

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

Every good and perfect gift
Has come from God above.
Our thanks to Him we rightly lift
And praise Him for His love.

He is the Father of all lights
From whom the darkness flees.
His stars shine brightly through the nights,
Fulfilling His decrees.

His faithfulness continues on;
The "I Am" is His name,
More certain than the morning dawn,
He ever is the same.

The gifts You give are surely good,
O Lord of our salvation!
So help us praise You as we should
In deed and declaration!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shepherd of the Sheep

"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20,21).

How good is the God of our peace,
Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead,
Whose mercies toward us never cease,
As by our great Shepherd we're led.

He's working His will in His own
And leading us on to perfection,
That in us His love may be shown,
By grace and by loving correction.

Great Shepherd, our Lord, and our Savior,
Come, lead us today in Your light,
Perfecting our will and behavior
To do what is right in Your sight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Blood that Blesses

"Ye are come... to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh" (Hebrews 12:22-25).

All who come to Jesus Christ
Shall find in Him their rest.
His life for them was sacrificed,
And by His blood they're blest.

His blood has spoken better things
Than Abel's blood once spilt,
Which cried to God, the King of kings,
Against his brother's guilt.

O see then that you don't refuse
The Savior's invitation!
His blood will cleanse you if choose
To trust Him for salvation!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Focused on the Finisher

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Attentive to the Author of salvation's wondrous grace,
Running with the patience that His faithfulness inspires,
Focused on the Finisher of faith to run this race,
I lift my eyes to see Him whom my longing heart desires.

There He stands amidst the cloud of witnesses above,
Assuring us that He'll complete the work that He began!
Saints and angels lift their praise for His redeeming love
That prompted Him to bear our sins according to His plan!

Here, O Lord, I find Your strength again to see me through,
As I recall that You endured the cross of my disgrace!
So teach me to consider well and fix my faith on You,
Until I cross the finish line and see You face to face!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Cause to Call

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15).

The day of trouble gives us pause
To call upon the Lord that day,
Yet we should not forget the cause:
To glorify Him when we pray.

Deliverance is not the aim
For which we earnestly should call,
But to glorify the name
Of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all.

Lord, we thank You for Your love
That governs every answered prayer,
That intercedes for us above,
And bids us cast on You each care.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Precious Price

"None... can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him, for the redemption their soul is precious.... but God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me" (Psalm 49:6-8,15).

How precious was redemption's price
That ransomed thus my helpless soul:
It was my Savior's sacrifice
Which paid that awful price in full!

Thank you, Lord, for love so vast
That you would pay the price to save
And ransom me from sin at last,
And from the power of the grave.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fellowship's Fire

"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:20). "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24,25).

Walking with wise men will make a man wise;
Companions of fools walk on to destruction.
Let these two extremes clearly open our eyes
And open our ears to receive God's instruction.

Our God has thus purposed to stir our desire,
That we may provoke one another to love,
By fanning the flame of our fellowship's fire
In view of our Savior's return from above.

O Lord, we give thanks for Your presence today
Wherever there gathers a few in Your name.
How good and how pleasant it is when we pray
And worship, recalling why our Savior came.

Teach us, O Lord, in Your own presence first,
To stir our own fires of worship and thanks
To satisfy deeply from You our own thirst,
And thereby encourage our fellowship's ranks!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shouldn't we Shout?

"Shout unto God with the voice triumph…. God is gone up with a shout" (Psalm 47:1,5). “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me…. By the which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:5,10).

God has gone up with a shout;
Shouldn't we be shouting too?
Let His joy now silence doubt
And stir His shout of joy in you!

Let us shout as we recall
The One who came to take our place,
And laid His life down once for all
And once forever by His grace!

Sanctified, as clearly spoken,
By the Lord who bore our sin,
Let the silence now be broken!
Let the shout of joy begin!

Thank You, Lord, for victory!
We share the shout of joy You gave:
"It is finished!" Now we see
Your finished work alone can save!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Strength in Stillness

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth" (Psalm 46:10). "A man of understanding holdeth his peace" (Proverbs 11:12).

Be still and know God will abide,
Our very present Help sublime,
Our Refuge where we safely hide,
Our Strength in trouble every time.

Be still in view of who God is:
The Lord exalted in the earth,
Who gave Himself to make us His
And give to us a second birth.

Be still that you may hear His voice
And know His will for you today,
And therein let your heart rejoice
That you may hear Him and obey.

Be still that you may find His strength
In quietness and confidence,
To know the height, the breadth, and length
Of love in Christ, our strong Defense.

Thank You, Lord, for this great calm
That You have brought by Your command.
We rest with stillness in this Psalm
And in the shadow of Your hand.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Decisive Desire

"Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee" (1 Samuel 20:4). "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him" (Psalm 45:10,11).

Whatever my Lord desires,
Let this be my singular goal.
This is what worship requires,
And this is the joy of my soul.

Let this be my daily decision.
Let nothing distract from this aim.
Let nothing detract from this vision,
That forfeits His beauty for shame.

Let nothing produce hesitation
To do what my Savior commands.
Let worship remove reservation
And purge every hindrance that stands.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Basis for Boasting

"In God we boast all the day long, and praise Thy name forever.... If we have forgotten the name of our God... Shall not God search this out? For He knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Psalm 44:8,20,21).

What is our basis for boasting today?
If not in the Lord, it is sin!
God knows the difference between what we say
And what we are thinking within.

Sometimes a trial our confidence shakes,
Because we have misplaced our trust.
God brings this testing in love for our sakes
That we might not boast in mere dust.

Search us, O Lord, and purify praise
That rightly belongs now to You.
Goodness and mercy for all of our days
Shall follow us as You so do.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Marveling at Melchisedec

"Jesus [is] made an High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the most high God... first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace... made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was" (Hebrews 6:20,7:1-4).

Consider Melchisedec's marvelous name,
Which means "King of righteousness".
How fitting a portrait of Jesus who came
In sinless perfection to bless.

Consider the greatness as well of this King
Of Salem, which is "King of peace",
So Christ for the ransom for our peace would bring
Himself to procure our release!

Mercy and truth in our Savior have met;
His peace and His righteousness kissed.
Deep in Melchisedec these themes are set,
And throughout the Scriptures exist!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Drinking Deeper

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God.... Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts" (Psalm 42:1,2,7). "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.... Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection" (Hebrews 5:12, 6:1).

O Lord, as a deer I am thirsting for You,
Yearning to drink of Your truth deeper still
That I may discover and also may do
All that will move me to Your perfect will.

Deep calls to deep, Lord, from Your waterspouts
To call for surrender to You more and more.
Casting aside vain distractions and doubts,
What glories appear I have yet to explore!

How vast are the treasures, how great is their worth,
Embodied in Jesus our Savior and Lord,
The Maker of all things in heaven and earth,
Our Refuge, Redeemer, our Rock, and Reward.

The noise of Your waterspouts wake me from sleep
And call me to shine for You, Lord, while I may.
I'm searching Your glory, as deep calls to deep,
Amazed at the portraits of Christ on display!

How long I have settled for surface reflection,
Not heeding the call of the deep to my heart!
Now lead me, O Lord, to a deeper perfection;
There's no better time than the present to start!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Talk that Ties

"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Samuel 18:1). "Thy Father's commandment.... shall talk with thee" (Proverbs 6:20,21). "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).

When David's battle had been won
And he had talked with Saul,
His heart was knit to Jonathan,
Who saw and heard it all.

And so it is with us as well
When we have heard God's voice,
Who saved us from eternal hell,
Our hearts in Him rejoice!

Our Savior talks with us today
To knit our hearts with His.
We ought to hear what He will say,
Who tells it like it is.

He tells us we were lost in sin
Till we were rescued thus,
And that He died that He might win
And knit His heart to us.

Since Your speech, O Lord, will soften
And knit our hearts to You,
May we therefore hear You often,
Reviving us anew!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Courageous Coming

"Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I COME to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts" (1 Samuel 17:45). "Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire.... Then said I, Lo, I COME: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God" (Psalm 40:6-8). "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him that appointed Him" (Hebrews 3:1).

Goliath had a spear and sword;
He also had a shield,
But David glorified the Lord
Upon that battle field.

He set aside the armor worn
And went forth with his staff;
He heard Goliath loudly scorn
And arrogantly laugh.

Here we see a glimpse of Christ,
Who set aside His splendor,
And on the cross was sacrificed,
To be our sole Defender!

Lord, we thank you, that You came;
Alas! If You had not,
We would have perished in our shame,
Unless You bravely fought!

Faithful Lord, our great High Priest,
We thank You that You braved
The battle for our souls that ceased
When by You we were saved!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Captivating Captain

"David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight this Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:32). "The Captain of their salvation... through sufferings... took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14,15).

There is no reason now to fear
Or for our hearts to fail;
The Captain of our souls was here
To fight and to prevail!

Praise our Captain of salvation!
Through death He has destroyed
The devil by His confrontation
And suffering He employed!

Our souls were rightly once afraid
As death before us loomed!
Our debt for sin could not be paid;
We were forever doomed!

Our Captain fought to make us free
From judgment sin must bring;
He bore our sin at Calvary
And took away death's sting!

Lord, we thank You that You came
To fight with Your last breath,
To bear away our sin our shame
And all the sting of death.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Man of Majesty

"And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together" (1 Samuel 17:3,4,10). "God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, who... when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:1-3).

"Give me a man that we may fight!"
The Philistine had cried;
Relentlessly, both day and night,
He ceased not to defy.

The valley there that lay between
Would be their battle ground,
But none to fight the Philistine
For forty days was found.

We know that God prepared a man,
A shepherd in his youth,
Not by human strength or plan,
But rather by God's truth.

Another valley we may see,
And in a future time,
A Man who fought for you and me,
To Calvary would climb.

Our God and Savior left His throne,
Descending to this place,
To meet our enemy alone
And purge our sins by grace!

Lord Jesus, crowned with majesty
At God's right hand above,
We thank You for the victory
You won for us in love!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Heart vs. Height

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

The Lord looks on the hearts of all
Who dwell upon the earth.
It matters not if they are tall
Or gifted from their birth.

The Lord sees not as people see,
Upon our outward part,
But looks upon us inwardly,
Examining each heart.

Our hearts are temples, Lord, to purge,
As now You look within,
So let Your Word now be the scourge
That cleanses us from sin.

Then come and take Your rightful place
Of constant adoration,
As we are focused on Your grace
That brought to us salvation!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Vistas of Vastness

"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.... How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.... For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light we see light" (Psalm 36:6-9). "But after that the kindness and love of God toward man appeared... according to His mercy, He saved us" (Titus 3:4,5).

How excellent, O God, we find
The vistas of Your love!
Your mercy's vastness is so kind
From heaven's throne above!

We see Your love, Lord, like a fountain
That springs forevermore
And in Your righteousness a mountain
That lifts us to adore.

Thank You for each illustration,
In which we take delight!
Your kindness manifests salvation;
Your light, Lord, gives us sight.

We cannot fully comprehend
The mercy that sufficed
To cause You, Father God, to send
Our Savior Jesus Christ!

Yet this we know, O King of kings:
We trust You and are blest
Beneath the shadow of Your wings
Where we can safely rest.