Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yearend Yearning

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen" (Jude 20-25).

How gracious God has daily been
Throughout this passing year!
He answered prayers, time and again,
And made His counsel clear.

How precious was the truth He taught!
How needful His correction!
How great His comfort which we sought!
How perfect His direction!

And as the current year expires
To usher in the new,
We bring to God our hearts' desires
We prayerfully pursue:

Lord, build in us a faith that's strong,
More ready to obey,
And by Your Spirit led along,
Lord, teach us how to pray.

Lord, keep us always in Your love,
Expressing Your compassion
That brought salvation from above,
In humble, human fashion.

Lord, keep us yearning for the lost
To show them Your salvation,
While yet the gulf may still be crossed,
Escaping condemnation.

Now unto You eternally
And through these fleeting days,
Be glory, power, majesty,
And joyful, loving praise!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Washed Whiter

"Pharaoh... said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.... And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants" (Exodus 9:27,34). "Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me know wisdom.... Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.... Create in me a clean heart, O God" (Psalm 51:6,7,10). "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness" (Proverbs 30:12). "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 4).

How great is the darkness deceiving our hearts!
How deeply our motives are buried within!
But God will send light to our most inward parts,
That we may be truthfully cleansed from our sin.

Confessions like Pharaoh's may seem to be true:
He said the right words, and he sounded sincere.
How soon was his hardness of heart then in view:
When trouble had ceased, his rebellion was clear!

The Scripture sheds light on our own generation:
Though not washed from sin, they are pure in their eyes.
How great is their danger, so blind to salvation,
Esteeming themselves to be guiltless and wise!

Lord, wash us that we may be whiter than snow;
Expose the intentions we foolishly hide.
Create in us clean hearts with wisdom to know
That truth makes us free as You cleanse us inside.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Self-Sufficient Savior

"I am God, even Thy God.... If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof.... Offer unto God thanksgiving: and pay thy vows unto the most High: and call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me" (Psalm 50:7-15).

There's nothing we can give to God,
As if He had a need,
Though other people may applaud
An altruistic deed.

We have a self-sufficient Savior
Who is our sovereign King.
We shouldn't think that it's a favor
To give Him anything.

There's never hunger, neither thirst,
With God upon His throne.
But if there was, He'd have it first
From that which is His own.

And yet the Lord makes this request:
To offer Him thanksgiving,
To call on Him through every test
With consecrated living.

O Lord, we hear in Your command
To offer things we should
The truth that helps us understand:
These things are for OUR good!

Your grace is our sufficiency,
And we would not forget
Our greatest need at Calvary
By Jesus Christ was met!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Record of Redemption

"They that trust in their wealth.... none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of their soul is precious.... But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for He shall receive me" (Psalm 49:6-15). "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and He that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:11,12).

The record is clear with respect to redemption:
We don't have the means for redeeming our brother
Or paying our ransom; there is no exemption:
Redemption is precious and comes from Another!

How fearful it is when we first realize
We're void of the power to rescue our soul!
Praise God for His prompting that we may wise
By trusting the Lord who redeems us in full!

Praise God for the riches in Christ that He gave,
Above all the wealth that this earth could afford,
With power to ransom our soul from the grave
When we have received Him as Savior and Lord.

O Lord, we give thanks that the battle is won
By Christ our Redeemer, victorious in strife!
And this is the record: when we have Your Son,
We have Your eternal redemption and life!

p.s. Today marks 38 years since that fearful and wonderful night in Yokosuka, Japan, on the USS Midway. "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved! How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Real Reason

"God is love.... We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:8,19).

Knowing the reason we really love God
Does not offer language that flatters,
For hearts that are sinful are hopelessly flawed;
That He first loved us is what matters!

Yes, this is the reason for love to our Lord:
That He loved us first in our sin,
And only His great love could ever afford
A cause for our love to begin.

O Lord, we are debtors to infinite Love,
That saved us by grace You impart!
How can we but set our affections above
And love You with all of our heart?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sensible Singing

"Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding" (Psalm 47:6,7). "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1).

Sing praises to God! Sing praises with sense!
Consider the judgment from which you were saved!
Sing praises to Christ who became our Defense,
When we were so hopelessly lost and depraved.

Sing praises to God! Behold now what love
Our Father in heaven has freely bestowed,
That we have been called as His children above,
Since Christ paid the debt for our sin that we owed.

O Lord, we give thanks for our reasons to sing:
Receive from our hearts our sincere adoration!
With more understanding we'd praise You, our King,
And gratefully worship, O Lord of salvation!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Searching for the Savior

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.... As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Proverbs 25:2,25). "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him" (Matthew 2:1,2).

The glory of God will conceal a thing:
That we may called out to search for His treasure
To show us the honor afforded a king:
The riches of grace in the Lord's fullest measure.

As cold waters offered to satisfy thirst
To souls that are longing for God's perfect peace,
The Lord draws our souls out to come to Him first
To find satisfaction that never will cease.

O Lord, we have found out, as wise men of old,
The mercies discovered in Jesus our Savior.
The half of His glories have never been told!
We're searching His Gift of unsearchable favor.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Behold the Babe

"The daughter of Pharaoh... saw the ark... and when she had opened it, she saw the child: and behold, the babe wept" (Exodus 2:5,6). "The Word was God.... and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14). "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 John 1:1).

A baby born in Egypt's land
Was weeping in the water,
Whom God protected with His hand
By Pharaoh's tender daughter.

He grew to be God's chosen man
That no one had expected
Would carry out His saving plan,
Though first he was rejected.

We see the patterns here of Christ
And of redemption's story.
God's precious Son was sacrificed,
And we beheld his glory.

Behold, the Babe of Bethlehem!
The Word made flesh appears,
Rejected by Jerusalem
For whom He shed His tears!

O Lord, as we behold Your Son,
His joy, His tears, and strife,
We thank You, Lord, for what He's done
To grant eternal life!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gracious Growth

"My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways" (Proverbs 23:26). "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

How great is the privilege that God now imparts
To grow in the knowledge and grace of our Savior!
He gives us more grace as we give Him our hearts,
And by that proportion increases His favor.

How great is our loss when we will not release
The throne of our hearts to our heavenly Father,
For thus by our pride we shall forfeit His peace,
Our hearts shall be cold, and our duties a bother.

O Lord, we give thanks for Your great invitation
To give You our hearts and attend to Your ways.
How rich are the blessings observed in salvation
As grace then empowers what knowledge conveys!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guided for Good

"I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.... But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 49:18, 50:20). "O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me" (Psalm 43:3). "That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known unto thee this day, even to thee" (Proverbs 22:19). "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations" (2 Peter 2:9).

Our God knows the reason why trials are sent,
Though often His purpose is misunderstood.
Whatever may be in another's intent,
Our God is still guiding His plan for our good.

As children who need to be guided in youth,
So we are dependent on God's higher ways
To send out His light and His marvelous truth,
That we may be guided to live for His praise.

The Lord surely knows how to rescue our souls
And how to deliver in time of temptation.
Throughout every trial He wisely controls
And teaches us thereby to trust His salvation.

O Lord, we give thanks for Your mercies so great
We see in the guidance You daily impart.
Through trials You've taught us upon You to wait,
And trust You completely with all of our heart.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Refreshing our Remembrance

"They continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me.... Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance" (Psalm 42:3-5). "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things.... We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.... We also have a more sure word of prophecy" (2 Peter 1:12-19).

We ought to often think about
The reasons we believe,
That we may thus dispel the doubt
Forgetfulness can weave.

On every side we hear the chants:
"Where is your God?" they say.
Be careful in this circumstance
To not be led astray!

We shouldn't be found negligent
By failing to recall
The facts which are so evident
Displayed before us all!

Among this evidence we see
The witnesses we know
Who clearly saw Christ's majesty,
Both friend as well as foe!

The EMPTY tomb, we call to mind,
Attended by the guard,
Is hard to miss unless you're blind,
And even then it's hard!

We shouldn't pass by prophecy,
God's "more sure" Word of grace
Wherein was written history
Before events took place!

Then why now, O my downcast soul,
Should you be now depressed?
Remember God is in control,
As witnesses attest!

Lord, thank You for Your holy Word
In which we hear Your voice
That renders every doubt absurd,
And calls us to rejoice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Confident in His Care

"By this I know that Thou favorest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, Thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before Thy face forever" (Psalm 41:11,12). "Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24). "Casting all your care on Him, for He careth for you. Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:7,8).

By this I know I have God's favor
For time and for eternity:
He took my place and did not waver
To stand against my enemy.

By this I know my Savior's love:
He now upholds me by His grace,
And I shall dwell with Him above,
And there I'll see Him face to face.

By this I know and understand
That God determines what is best:
He holds me firmly in His hand,
He cares for me, and I am blest.

By this I know God's saving power:
The devil lurks on every side
And as a lion would devour,
If not for Christ, in whom we hide.

By this I know, O Lord, You care:
You heard my humble supplication,
You answered me in my despair,
And clothed me in Your great salvation!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Believe the Book

"Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required. 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: yea, Thy law is written within my heart" (Psalm 40:6-8). "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.... The counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.... Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge" (Proverbs 19:20,21,27).

How firmly we may now believe
God's Book with confidence
With counsel therein we receive
Confirmed with evidence!

The greatest evidence of all,
Which God has placed therein,
Is Christ responding to the call
To take away our sin.

The search is vain upon all shelves,
No matter where we look,
For prophecies that prove themselves,
Except in God's great Book!

In prophecies He would fulfill,
We hear our Savior's voice
Declare that He would do God's will,
And in that will rejoice.

The sacrifices offered then
Were shadows of the Christ,
But these could never ransom men,
Though often sacrificed.

How rightly then we're told to cease
To hear the false instruction
By which the soul rejects God's peace
Through Satan's cruel seduction.

Your Book, O Lord, is truly light
On which our souls depend.
We know Your counsels there are right,
Both now and in the end.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reasoning with Reality

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). "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).

The death and life of souls are in
The power of the tongue:
For by the word of God we win
The souls of old and young.

We reason with reality:
The truth is on our side!
It is the truth that makes us free,
As Christ has testified.

The Scriptures that we now behold
Are filled with evidence:
Consider prophecies foretold,
Fulfilled in their defense.

Consider too, the empty tomb,
In which our Lord had lain.
The evidence now leaves no room
For doubt now rendered vain.

O Lord, we thank You for Your Word,
Equipping us with reason
That validates the truth we've heard
In every place and season.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Priesthood Privileges

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Unto you, therefore, which believe, He is precious.... Ye are a chosen generation, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:5-9).

The Lord ordains us each a priest
When we have put our trust in Christ.
There is no sacrificial beast
Nor blood on altars sacrificed.

We are a holy priesthood now
To offer praise and adoration.
Before our precious Lord we bow
To thank Him for so great salvation.

We are a royal priesthood too
Ordained to show our Savior's praise,
Declaring what we know is true:
The Gospel light His Word displays.

Our privileges are great indeed,
And so our duties are as well,
To shine the light that others need
To show them their escape from hell.

O Lord, You've granted us this place
As priests, who once were lost in sin.
So may we minister Your grace
That saves the souls that You would win.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Delightful Desire

"Delight thyself also in the LORD, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4). "Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:3-8).

How great is the privilege to place our delight
In Jesus our Savior, beholding His grace.
We see Him by faith now, yet one day by sight,
When we shall behold then our Lord face to face.

How good is our Savior, beyond contemplation,
Who laid down His life as our judgment required.
In view of His love which provided salvation,
Our Lord far exceeds all our heart has desired!

O Lord, we rejoice as we ponder Your love
With joy inexpressibly full of Your glory,
And thus as we set our affections above,
Our cup overflows as we tell Your love story!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bearing our Blame

"And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me.... I will be a SURETY for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me BEAR THE BLAME forever" (Genesis 43:8,9). "He that is SURETY for a stranger shall smart for it.... Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?" (Proverbs 11:15, 15:11). "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 5:20).

How clearly did Judah's commitment portray
The Lord as our Surety, bearing our blame!
Our Lord knew the price for our souls He would pay,
And knowing all this, He courageously came!

When hell and destruction, that horrible sight,
Were looming before Him as our destination,
With matchless compassion He left heaven's height
And came to our rescue to purchase salvation.

Lord, how can we thank You for what You have done?
You looked down, beholding our hearts from above,
And saw no one righteous; no, not even one,
Yet still You were moved to redeem us with love!

We praise You, Lord Jesus, as we contemplate
Our burden of sins on the cross that You bore.
Astonishing mercy! Compassion so great!
The more we remember, the more we adore!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Solace of our Souls

"All these things are against me.... then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave" (Genesis 42:36,38). "Say unto my soul, I am thy Salvation.... and my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in His salvation" (Psalm 35:3,9). "The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy" (Proverbs 14:10). "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8).

In seasons when bitterness comes to our hearts
And all of our prospects seem dim,
The solace that Jesus our Lord then imparts
Is found as we draw near to Him.

We find not our solace in strangers who come,
Or even the closest of friends.
In Christ we discover where true peace is from:
On Him all our welfare depends.

We dare not find solace in temporal things
Which flee just as fast as they came,
For riches, we know, fly away as with wings,
And temporal joys are the same.

Our comfort is found in the words of our Lord,
Though in a small voice He may whisper:
"I am your Salvation." Ah! This will afford
A sweetness though all else is bitter!

O Lord, we rejoice in so great a salvation
That robs even death of its fear!
We're finding our solace in Your exhortation
To come as Your love draws us near.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Every Knee shall Eventually Kneel

"And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand... and they cried before him, BOW THE KNEE: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and with thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt" (Genesis 41:42-44). "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.... unto Me every knee SHALL BOW" (Isaiah 45:22,23). "At the name of Jesus every knee SHOULD BOW" (Philippians 2:10).

We see in this dramatic story
Of Joseph's rising up in power
A portrait of our Savior's glory
In His prophetic coming hour.

We know that every knee shall bow,
As God has sworn by His decree.
Yet even those who will not now,
When Christ returns, shall bow the knee!

We bow our heart and knee to Christ,
Exalted to the highest place,
Who for our souls was sacrificed
To justify us by His grace!

O Lord, we see Your beauty here,
And gladly bow the knee to You!
And as Your day is drawing near,
We pray that many more will too!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Resting in the Right

"Do not interpretations belong to God?" (Genesis 40:8). "The Word of the LORD is right, and all His works are done in truth.... The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:4,11). "The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.... The way of the fool is right in his own eyes" (Proverbs 12:5,15).

We rest in the knowledge that God's Word is right,
And all of His works have been truthfully done.
In darkness around us His Word is our light,
And none of His prophecies failed; not one!

How great is the peace and our confidence then,
Since God has revealed the thoughts of His heart!
Though fools will profess themselves wise among men,
The counsel of God is what sets us apart.

The counsel of Joseph was right in the prison
Who said what would happen when three days had passed.
It mattered not then who would scorn with derision,
The Word of the Lord was still standing at last.

The promise of Jesus to rise in the three days
Was met by the guards at His sepulcher's door.
But all of their efforts just added more praise
When Christ rose the third day, as stated before!

We thank You today, Lord, for what You have said,
To give us a light in this day of confusion.
We trust in our Savior, now raised from the dead;
We rest in the Word He will bring to conclusion.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shameless Shouting

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.... Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice... and shout for joy!" (Psalm 32:1,11). "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.... Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth" (James 1:17,18).

Be glad, rejoice, and shout for joy!
Let shallow thinking be reproved!
Let all within us now employ
Our songs of praise for sins removed!

Give thanks for every perfect gift
Which comes down from our Lord above
Through Christ who bore our sins to lift
Our souls from danger by His love.

No love like His was ever heard
Or ever seen upon the earth,
But we behold it in His Word
By which He gives us second birth.

We shouldn't think it too extreme
To shout for joy with heartfelt praise,
Since God was moved to thus redeem
And save us whom He yet will raise!

When we recall, Lord, what You've done
And yet will do without a doubt,
We find our thrill has just begun!
How can we help but sing and shout?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Times to Trust

"But I trusted in Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand" (Psalm 31:14,15). "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper.... 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" (Hebrews 13:5-21).

Our times are in our Savior's hand;
We know He's on the throne.
Our days are few, like grains of sand:
Each grain to Him is known.

The Lord, we know, makes no mistake.
We rest in Him forever.
Our souls, we know, He won't forsake,
And He will leave us never.

We're trusting in our risen Lord
To work in us His pleasure
To find eternity's reward
In Christ, our fullest treasure.

We thank You, Lord! You paid the cost
To ransom us, Your sheep,
And for the promise, none are lost
That You have sworn to keep!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Better Blood

"Wisdom hath... killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine, she hath also furnished her table.... As for him that wanteth understanding, she saith unto him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live, and go in the way of understanding" (Proverbs 9:1-6). "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" (Hebrews 12:22-24).

Now wisdom is calling to all who will hear
To come the feast that is spread on her table.
The beasts have been slain, and yet it is clear,
There's blood that is better than these and of Abel.

The blood of such beasts have foreshadowed the Christ,
And Abel's blood cried from the ground against Cain.
Yet neither the blood of these beasts has sufficed
Nor Abel's to take away sin's guilty stain.

But now we have come to our Savior and Lord
Whose blood is sufficient to wash sins away!
The blood of His cross that He shed will afford
The ransom we need that no other could pay!

We thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your mediation
With blood that You shed on the cross when You died.
In Your precious blood we have found our salvation,
Our cleansing, redemption, and place where we hide.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Faith's Foundation

"Those that seek Me early shall find me.... and I will fill their treasures.... For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD" (Proverbs 8:17,21,35). "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.... Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.... Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:1-6).

Our faith is built on evidence
Which honesty demands,
As reason makes the strong defense
That logic understands.

There is no way the things we see
Were made by natural cause!
Behold the earth's complexity,
Its order, and its laws!

Alas, this evidence ignored
Has rendered many blind,
For all who have refused the Lord,
Have darkened their own mind.

But God can give the blind their sight
If only they are turned,
And He will manifest His light
That faith may be discerned.

Though many yet will stand aloof,
We ought to make our case
To those who yet will hear the proof
Of God's amazing grace!

We thank You for our faith's foundation
And for the great reward
Discovered in so great salvation
By those who seek You, Lord!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sorrow and Sovereignty

"Rachel travailed, and she had hard labor.... And it came to pass, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Benoni (lit., son of my sorrow): but His father called him Benjamin (lit., son of my right hand)." (Genesis 35:16-18). "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12).

Benoni was titled, when Rachel travailed,
The "son of my sorrow," as life from her passed.
His father renamed him, and so he was hailed
As Benjamin, "son of my right hand" at last.

The son of my sorrow: reflect on that name
Portraying the beauty of Jesus our Lord!
The son of my right hand he later became:
What marvelous portraits these titles afford!

O Lord, we give thanks for the sweet meditation
In names where Your sorrow and glory are shown!
You humbled Yourself to accomplish salvation,
And now You're exalted upon heaven's throne!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fading Fears

"The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the Strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).

The Lord forever is my Light;
In view of this, whom should I fear?
He is my Strength and saving Might,
And He has promised to be near.

My enemies may boldly talk
And blindly say I am forsaken.
It doesn't matter if they mock,
For nonetheless they are mistaken!

Of whom then shall I be afraid,
Since Christ is Lord of all dominions?
He rules the universe He made;
He is not moved by vain opinions!

We thank You, Lord, for confidence
Which we may have in every hour,
For You have been our strong Defense,
And You will keep us by Your power.

Monday, December 05, 2011

New Name

"And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob (lit., he held the heel; supplanter), but Israel (prince with God): for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.... And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (Turn Thou, God).... And Jacob came to Shalem (at peace).... and he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel (God, the God of Israel)" (Genesis 32:28-30, 33:18-20). "I will make a new covenant.... and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.... and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 8:8-12).

When Israel's identity
Was found in his new name,
The Lord had turned then graciously
To take away his shame.

For he who held his brother's heel
Could also hold God's heart
Who turned to him and would reveal
The blessings He'd impart.

There was a blessing far above
All others Jacob found:
The peace extended by God's love
Where grace and truth abound.

And in the place he came to dwell
He named his altar there
As "God, the God of Israel",
To celebrate His care.

Lord, thank that you likewise changed
Our horrible condition
Who once had been from You estranged
And destined for perdition.

And thus, O Lord, we celebrate
Our newfound reputation,
Since You were pleased to elevate
Our souls with Your salvation!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Manifested to the Meek

"And Jacob said... I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which Thou has showed unto Thy servant" (Genesis 32:10). "Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way" (Psalm 25:9).

How good the Lord is to the meek
To guide and teach them in His way.
How good it is to hear Him speak
And also do what He will say.

The meek are sinners who have known
They're neither worthy of the least
Of all the truth that God has shown
Nor all the mercies He increased.

With Jacob we must take our place
To own our true unworthiness,
That God may thereby show His grace
To sinners He would teach and bless.

We thank You, Lord, for heaven's love
Where humble sinners find their rest
And for Your mercies from above
Which to the meek You manifest.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Doors of His Dominion

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in" (Psalm 24:7). "Trust in the LORD with all Thine heart.... He blesseth the habitation of the just.... He giveth grace to the lowly" (Proverbs 3:5,33,34). "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" (Revelation 3:20).

The door for Christ who came to earth,
Which ancient prophets saw afar,
Was opened through His humble birth,
Announced by Scripture and His star.

The doors of earth not opened now
Shall open when the King comes in,
And every knee shall surely bow
To Him who washed us from our sin!

The doors at which our Lord will knock
Are found at every heart today.
Though many in these days will mock,
He enters those who humbly pray.

O Lord, we thank You that You came
To make our hearts Your habitation.
Now come, exalt in us Your name;
Enlarge our hearts with Your salvation.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Appetite for Application

"The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.... Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:1,5). "My son, if thou wilt apply thine heart to understanding... then thou shalt understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:1-5). "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye... are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

The Lord is my Shepherd who feeds me so well;
He spreads out a table abundantly full.
Though enemies watch from the powers of hell
They tremble before Him who comforts my soul.

With all this abundance before me now spread,
There's more than just milk here for which I am reaching:
I ought to be hungry for strong meat instead,
And exercised thereby, I ought to be teaching!

O Lord, You have taught me to trust and obey,
That I may between good and evil discern.
How faithful You've been to my soul everyday
To grant me the strength to apply what I learn!

Lord, cause to come to Your freshly spread table
Each day with an appetite for application,
And thereby discover through Christ I am able
To do what will please You in each situation.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Remaining Rest

"They have pierced My hands and My feet.... I will declare Thy name unto My brethren.... They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done this" (Psalm 22:16,22,31). "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His" (Hebrews 4:9,10).

The work that saves and gives us rest
Is now forever done,
As words upon the cross attest
Declared by God the Son!

The work "is finished!" He declared,
And nothing more remains!
Our rest in heaven He's prepared
Was purchased by His pains.

He calls us brethren, unashamed!
His work is thus complete!
The serpent's head, as God proclaimed,
Is crushed beneath His feet.

We thank You, Lord, for what You did
That left no sin behind.
They are removed, not merely hid;
What rest this gives our mind!