Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creator and Counselor

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth… Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.  For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect.  The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:6-11). 

The heavens were made by the Word of the Lord,
And all of the universe thus had its birth.
Let God by His creatures be greatly adored
In all of the heavens and all of the earth!

Let all of the earth fear the Lord and give praise:
Our God is the Author of “natural law.”
He spoke and created all things in six days:
Let all those in heaven and earth stand in awe!

Let all of the earth hear the counsel of God;
The Lord brings to nothing the counsel of nations.
His counsel shall stand; let creation applaud!
The thoughts of His heart are to all generations.

O Lord, our Creator and Counselor too,
How rightly we tremble in awe of Your power,
And yet by Your counsel we draw near to You
To find grace and truth to sustain us each hour.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day of Decision

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).  “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep… The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 3:11,12). 

There’s only two choices the day will afford:
Now whom will we serve?  We must choose.
We’ll serve our own interests or follow the Lord.
The time undecided we lose.

And if it seem evil to serve God alone
Because we are still undecided,
The Lord has discerned it, and it shall be shown
That we have a heart that’s divided.

The night is far spent; the day is at hand.
Let’s put on the armor of light!
Recalling the boldness of Joshua’s stand,
We know that he surely was right.

How bold is the chapter of Joshua’s conclusion;
How clear his conviction was then!
There wasn’t a hint of the slightest confusion
In what he declared before men.

O Lord, we give thanks for the clearest of vision,
As we and our house may discern,
That now it is high time to make our decision
To serve You until You return.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sensible Sacrifice

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2).

There’s only one path we can take that makes sense
In view of redemption’s great price:
The sinner once hopelessly lost who repents
Surrenders in self sacrifice.

What else should we do with a life that was lost
But now is redeemed by the Savior?
We cannot repay Him that infinite cost,
Nor can we return Him the favor.

But we can obey Him with worship and love,
And find that surrender is sweet,
And whatever crowns are rewarded above,
We gladly can cast at His feet.

And what will we miss if we do not conform
To standards this age will applaud,
Where mocking our Lord is considered the norm,
And nations have turned against God?

O Lord, by Your grace and Your power You call
Your children to break from the hold
Of things in this earth that will cause us to fall,
Conforming our souls to its mold.

And so as a sensible sacrifice, Lord,
Surrendered with true consecration,
We’d live by the power Your grace will afford,
Transforming us by Your salvation.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Glorious Gladness

“I will extol Thee, O LORD, for Thou hast lifted me up… Thou hast healed me… Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent.  O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever” (Psalm 30:1,2,11,12).  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!... For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:35,36). 

The glorious gladness that God has revealed
In Christ through His Gospel is shown,
For by Him we’re lifted from sin and are healed:
To Him be the glory alone!

This glorious gladness that lifts up our soul  
And heals us all of our days
Is found as we worship with joy and extol
Our Lord with thanksgiving and praise.

The glorious gladness in Jesus our Lord
Exceeds every temporal measure.
The depths of God’s wisdom and knowledge are stored
In Christ with unsearchable treasure!

A ransom was paid for this glorious gladness
That girds us with infinite favor.
Gone is the sackcloth of sin and of sadness,
Which Christ wore Himself as our Savior.

Lord, You are the Center of our celebration
Where glorious gladness is found,
For of You and through You we have our salvation,
And to You our praises abound.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Majesty and Mercy

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty… The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King forever” (Psalm 29:3,4,10).  “My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me” (Proverbs 27:11).  “But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:21). 

O come and hear the voice of God:
He thunders with His majesty.
His scepter and His judgment rod
Upon the global flood we see.

His majesty is glorious,
He sits as King upon the waters,
And yet He speaks at last to us
As tender sons and cherished daughters.

“My son, be wise,” we hear Him say:
Is this that same majestic voice
That thundered loud in Noah’s day
To those rejecting Him by choice?

And does our wisdom make Him glad
When we’re obeying His commands?
Is this the mercy Noah had
When God, with grace, stretched out His hands?

The Lord is High, yet merciful
To those who humbly seek His face.
He tasted death for every soul,
And thus extends to all His grace.

Yet even now with hands stretched out,
He speaks to those who disobey.
He calls to those who choose to doubt
And with gainsaying, turn away.

O Lord, Your majesty above
In judgment has been clearly shown,
Yet mercy manifests Your love
And gives salvation to Your own.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lamentable Likeness

“O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit... They regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands” (Psalm 28:1-5).  “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him” (Proverbs 26:4).

Speak to our hearts, Lord, again and again!
We need to be hearing from You every day.
How soon we’re inclined to our foolishness when
We fail to hear what You graciously say!

If You would be silent to us, precious Lord,
We soon would become like the ungodly are,
Who turn from Your truth and the grace You afford,
Like those who have strayed from You’re mercy so far.

If You did not give us Your righteous commands,
Then how could we answer the fool who is scorning,
Who heeds neither You nor the work of Your hands
And does not give ear to Your merciful warning?

Lamentable likeness!  O Lord, hear our prayer,
Lest we be like those who refuse what is right.
How dark is their path!  How great their despair!
Lord, help us to rather be shining Your light.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Failing Foes

“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).  “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:32-37).

The Lord is our Light and the Strength of our life;
He promised to always be near.
The Lord gives His peace in the midst of our strife,
Removing our reason to fear.

In light of these things, brethren, what shall we say,
Since God is our great Confidence?
Now who is the foe that would thrust us away
From Christ, who is now our Defense?

The Lord Jesus Christ has become our Salvation;
There shouldn’t be any more doubt:
Our foes have no power to cause separation
From Christ, who will not cast us out.

O Lord, we rejoice that You’re reigning supreme,
Ensuring from Your throne above
That no foe can conquer the souls You redeem
Or sever them from Your great love!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slipping into Slackness

“And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?” (Joshua 18:3).  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  so shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 24:33,34). 

Our poverty is never planned;
It comes more like a thief.
Our faith is like a promised land;
Our slackness, unbelief.

As Joshua questioned Israel
When much land yet remained,
The question falls to us as well
When faith in us has waned.

Should not our borders be enlarged
In terms of faith in action?
O must we be with slackness charged
Because of vain distraction?

O help us, Lord, to not be slack,
But rather to prevail,
As You supply the strength we lack
With grace that cannot fail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Which Wages?

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The work of our sin and the work of our Savior
Have wages deciding our last destination.
The wages of sin demand death with no favor;
The wages Christ earned will provide His salvation.

We ought to be careful in weighing these things:
Salvation is free, but it had to be earned!
How costly this gift is that Jesus Christ brings;
Our ransom is precious, which many have spurned!

We’re given a choice now between gain and loss
By how we respond to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus labored for us on the cross,
And His work alone for salvation sufficed.

The wages of sin are eternal as well:
The payment is death which will thrust those away
Who forfeit God’s offer to save them from hell,
And lightly esteem what our Lord had to pay.

O Lord, we consider Your marvelous love,
Which caused You to suffer and die in our place.
Our right to be with You forever above
Was bought by Your wages affording us grace!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Triumphant Traits

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up His soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of His salvation” (Psalm 24:3-5).  “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Who shall ascend to the hill of the LORD?
Who can approach to that most holy place?
Who has the character traits that afford
A claim to God’s righteousness, blessing, and grace?

No one but Christ had the qualification
Of clean hands, a pure heart, a soul without sin,
Who died on the cross to receive our salvation
And for us His blessing and righteousness win!

We ponder the qualifications here claimed
And quickly we see that we surely fall short!
There’s no other name on the earth that is named
But Christ with the character traits of this sort!

O Lord, we were hopeless, for how could we stand
When judgment required such character traits?
We thank You that for us You met this demand:
How great is the love that Your cross demonstrates!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Persuasive Performance

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).  “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 4:20,21).

When God makes a promise, be fully persuaded
That He will perform what He said He will do.
His goodness and mercy have surely not faded:
Indeed, everyday they are faithfully new!

How good is the promise of Psalm twenty-three,
That we have a Shepherd in all of our seasons
Who leads us through life and in death will not flee:
How rightly we trust Him!  How great are the reasons!

As Abraham likewise was filled with persuasion
That what God had promised He’d surely perform,
We have no less reason in every occasion
When led by still waters, yet also the storm. 

O Lord, we give thanks for this firm confidence,
As we are persuaded for all of our days
That goodness and mercy shall be our defense
And then in Your house we shall give endless praise!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Redeeming, Risen, Reigning

“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?... They pierced My hands and My feet… I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee… All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee.  For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and He is the Governor among the nations” (Psalm 22:1-28).

Redeeming, Risen, Reigning Lord,
We see these portraits here of You,
In these prophetic scenes explored
Displayed throughout Psalm twenty-two!

Redeeming Lord, we hear Your cry,
And here at Calvary’s cross we meet,
As thus we’re called to ponder why
You let them pierce Your hands and feet!

O Risen Lord, with jubilation,
You now declare Your Father’s name
Amidst the joyful congregation
You call as brethren without shame!

O Reigning Lord, that day is shown
When You will reign on earth as God,
And we shall see You on Your throne
Then rule all nations with Your rod.

Lord, thank You for these views sublime
That manifest You through the ages,
As You transport our faith through time
By this great Psalm in Scripture’s pages.