Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Memories of Mercies

“Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.  When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.  In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:17-19).

How many are those memories
When mercy held us up,
When lovingkindness calmed our seas,
And blessings filled our cup!

It didn’t always look that way
When mercies were disguised,
But trials prompted us to pray,
And grace was realized.

O Lord, we thank You for Your grace
Which comforts us through life
With mercies we delight to trace
In peace as well as strife.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Word vs. 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.  Thy testimonies are very sure… forever” (Psalm 93:3-5).  “Who hath bound the waters in a garment?... Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:4,5).

The floods have lifted up their voice,
The sea has lifted mighty waves
Against the Lord, yet we rejoice: 
Our God is greater and He saves!

The raging sea of opposition
Against the Lord is loud and clear,
Yet these secure their own perdition,
Unless by grace they learn to fear.

Your testimonies, Lord, are sure.
The noisy waves shall soon recede.
Your precious Word is very pure.
Our trust in You is all we need.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Factual Faith

“If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).  “Pray for us, that… we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:1,2).

Though wisdom has perfectly pleaded her case
And faith has received all the evidence needed,
Alas, many still are refusing God’s grace
Because His persuasion, in fact, is unheeded.

The fool disregards the abundance of facts;
He turns a deaf ear to the clearest of reason.    
He will not consider the Lord’s mighty acts
Or prophecies that were fulfilled in their season. 

O Lord, we give thanks that the facts are not hidden:
How clearly You’ve spoken on history’s page!
So may we persuade and invite those You’ve bidden
To come to a factual faith in this age.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Heavenly Hope

“Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling” (Psalm 91:9,10).  “Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us… hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thessalonians 2:16,17). 

Because we have found such a safe habitation
And refuge in Him who has loved us so well,
No evil can part us from His great salvation
Or spoil His resting place wherein we dwell.

Because we have fled to our refuge in Christ,
We’ve found consolation enduring forever,
For God has declared that His cross has sufficed
To give us assurance that no one can sever.

O Lord, we are debtors to Your wondrous love
Extending Your comfort and good hope through grace.
How sweet is this heavenly hope from above
Which holds us in Your everlasting embrace!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Teaching on Time

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).  “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth… My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me” (Proverbs 27:1,11).

Our time marches on.
We hold “now” alone.
Our yesterday’s gone.
Tomorrow’s unknown.

We have a short while
Received from the Lord
To live for His smile,
Our greatest reward.

Lord, help us be wise
With time that You give.
How quickly it flies!
Lord, teach us to live.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Calling for Comparison

“For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?... O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee?... 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: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance. In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted” (Psalm 89:6-16).

Calling for comparison: 
Now who is like the Lord?
Heaven says that there are none:
He only is adored!

Who among the men of might
With Him can we compare?
None but Christ could fight our fight,
And none but Him would dare!

Who, like Him, would leave His throne,
His holy habitation,
With truth and mercy for His own
To thus provide salvation?

Who, like Him, would enter strife
To save our sinful race
By laying down His sinless life,
That we might have His grace?

None like Christ our Lord is found,
The heavens now proclaim,
And we who know the joyful sound,
Are echoing the same!

Lord, we see there’s none like You
With such heroic love.
This is what You had to do
To fit us for above:

Savior, You became a Man,
Your hands and feet were nailed.
This, Your bold, heroic plan,
Has for our souls prevailed!

Lord, thank You for this exercise
Which thus compares Your worth:
There’s none like You (that’s no surprise!)
In heaven or  the earth!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Comfort of His Coming

“Wilt Thou show wonders to the dead?  Shall the dead arise and praise Thee?  Selah.  Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave?” (Psalm 88:10,11).  “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope... them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him… Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Will God show wonders to the dead?
Shall those once dead arise with praise?
When questions come, what should be said
To those who see their end of days?

Is there salvation in the grave?
Will God extend His comfort there?
Yes!  All who come to Christ, He’ll save,
And we shall join them in the air!

But there’s no comfort for the lost
Who will not come to Jesus Christ,
Who disregard redemption’s cost,
And scorn the Savior sacrificed.  

But O, the Word of comfort stands
To all who come to Christ in time,
For they are safely in His hands,
And theirs is peace that is sublime.

The Lord is coming, as He said,
And those who “sleep” in Him He’ll bring,
For Christ, who rose up from the dead,
Shall raise His own and be their King.

O Lord, we thank You for this Word
With which we comfort one another.
Your shout from heaven shall be heard:
We look for Christ!  We need no other.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Direction for the Distressed

“And David was greatly distressed… but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).  “All my springs are in Thee” (Psalm 87:7).   “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:  for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Proverbs 24:15,16). 

When we are distressed, God gives us direction
If we will encourage ourselves in the Lord. 
Such trials are used by the Lord for perfection,
To mold a Christ-likeness as we are restored.

There’s grace to refresh us which we may now find
In Christ as we boldly draw near to His throne.
All of our springs for the heart, soul, and mind
Are found in the Savior reserved for His own.

Though many may see such distress and surmise
That there is no hope in this weakened condition,
The Lord is still able to cause us to rise,
To strengthen our hearts, and renew His commission.

Lord, You are the Fountain abounding with grace,
Where we are encouraged, as David was too.
Distressed and exhausted, we come to the place
Where all of our springs are replenished by You.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Faithful Father

“My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine… Hear thou, My son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way… My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways” (Proverbs 23:15,19,26).  “Ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children” (1 Thessalonians 2:11).

How faithful God our Father is,
Who by redemption claims His own.
He watches over all of His,
Beholding us from heaven’s throne.

He counsels with a Father’s voice;
He looks on us with loving eyes.
We know it makes His heart rejoice
Whenever He has found us wise.

He calls us now to guide our hearts
As children who obey His Word,
To buy the truth that He imparts,
And not depart from what we’ve heard.

He bids us give our hearts to Him
And let our eyes observe His ways  
To miss the consequences grim
Afflicting every soul who strays.

As we are in our Father’s care,
We find that we’re equipped to show
To souls who now are in despair
Our Father’s love they too may know.

We thank You, Father, for Your love
Which has become our resting place,
Which sets our hearts on things above,
And guides us daily by Your grace.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trilogy of Trust

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father… Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10). 

The work of our faith, the labor of love,
And patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Continues until we are dwelling above
With Christ our Redeemer, for us sacrificed.

The work of our faith had begun when we turned
To God from the idols we served in our mind.
We found in the Savior the ransom He earned,
And trusting in Him, left the idols behind.

Our labor of love had its logical start
When we learned to love Him who first had loved us,
And this was the joy and delight of our heart,
A labor expressing our worship and trust.

Our patience of hope is our great expectation;
We know that our Savior is coming again.
We wait for God’s Son who obtained our salvation,
And we shall be with Him forever, amen!

O Lord, as we ponder this trilogy’s theme
Of faith, love, and hope that are flowing from You,
We thank You for blessings in those You redeem
As we stand amazed at the riches we view!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Walking in Wisdom

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:5,6). 

We’re still in this world till God takes us out,
So let us be walking in order to show
That there is an answer that puts away doubt,
And there is a Savior in Christ they can know.

May we walk in wisdom in our given place,
Redeeming the time to reveal God’s love.
Let all of our speech now be seasoned with grace,
As we look for Christ to return from above.

So that we may know how to answer each man,
We ought to be searching the Scriptures each day,
Showing the wisdom and love of God’s plan,
And warning the lost as they’re turning away.

There’s no valid reason for sinners to halt,
Since now is the day they may find their salvation.
So may we be graciously seasoned with salt,
That sinners may thirst to escape condemnation.

O Lord, we are living in perilous days!
How great is the need now to show what is true!
The danger is great to the soul who delays
To earnestly seek now the Refuge in You.

Uphold us, O Lord, in Your wisdom to walk,
To hear Your own voice as we study Your Word,
To answer the seekers with whom we may talk,
And pray that their hearts by Your grace may be stirred.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Heartily for Him

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God... And let the peace of God rule in your hearts… Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom… And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him…  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:1-23). 

Whatever we’re doing in a word or in deed,
We ought to do all in the name of our Savior. 
There’s no higher calling or motive we need
To challenge our hearts and to change our behavior.

Let this be the calling to which we aspire.
Let this be the peace that will rule in our hearts.
Let this be the Word that will lift us still higher,
So we may be strengthened by grace He imparts.

Now all that we do, we should heartily do
For Him who has laid down His life for our souls.
Let this be the singular prize we pursue;
Let this be our purpose of heart that controls.

It’s not to please others or bolster our pride
That prompts us to set our affections above.
It’s calling to mind why our Lord Jesus died
And living a life in response to His love.

Revive us, O Lord, yet again and again,
To live with a passion exceeding mere duty.
We wouldn’t be living to merely please men:
How dull are these objects compared to Your beauty!

So lift us, O Lord, with a pure motivation,
With hearts that are full of thanksgiving and praise
As we are revived with renewed consecration,
Constrained by Your love for the rest of our days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Convincing Counsel

“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.  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.  Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools” (Proverbs 19:20-29).  “This I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words” (Colossians 2:4).

Consider the counsel that you are receiving;
We cannot afford to be wrong in the end.
The counsel of scorners would have us believing
That there is no standard that we can defend.

The counsel of God shall undoubtedly stand;
Instruction that differs from His is a lie.
No one is wise who has otherwise planned,
And no other standard prepares us to die.

This is what God has so urgently said
With counsel He sent by the Gospel to warn:  
Judgment is coming!  Do not be misled
By those who would cause you to err by their scorn!

There’s simply no reason to be thus enticed,
Since God has made public the proof of salvation: 
His prophets have spoken so clearly of Christ,
And perfect fulfillment provides confirmation.

O Lord, we’re surrounded by those who are saying,
“Now where is your God?” in our markets and schools.
Yet judgment, which You are by mercy delaying,
Is surely prepared for the scorners and fools.

We thank You, O Lord, for Your counsel of peace,
Extending salvation at so great a cost!
So teach us to speak so that others may cease
From hearing the counsel deceiving the lost.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yearning of Yahweh

“Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me!... The haters of the LORD (Yahweh) should have submitted themselves unto Him: but their time should have endured forever” (Psalm 81:13-15).  “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).   

Think of the longing of God that we see:
What more could He do, or what more could He say?
“Oh that My people had hearkened to Me!”
How great is the yearning of Yahweh today! 

The haters of Yahweh have hardened their hearts;
They will not consider what He sacrificed.
Rejecting the grace that He freely imparts,
They’re spurning the love of the LORD and His Christ.

This love that we ponder in Yahweh’s great yearning,
The riches of glory which God would make known,
The hope of His glory, and of His returning
Are found in the Christ who now dwells in His own.

There surely is more than our hearts can take in:
The yearning of Yahweh had counted the cost
To rescue our souls and to take away sin:
How great was His longing to ransom the lost!

O Lord, we are vessels of marvelous grace,
Displaying the yearning of Your great desire.
So teach us to glorify You in this place,
Exalting our Savior still higher and higher.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pinnacle of Peace

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).

We reach the pinnacle of peace
When we embrace our Lord with prayer.
Though tribulations may not cease,
We rest in His unfailing care.

It’s not that we ignore the facts,
For troubles come as part of living,
But God still waits before He acts
For prayer, petition, and thanksgiving.

Yet, even in our prayerless state
(That’s when we need to be restored),
He moves in us to thus create
A heart renewed to seek the Lord.

The peace that passes understanding
Cannot be found in pharmacies,
In vented anger, or demanding
That things on earth are as we please.

For truest peace comes from above
As God confirms He’s in control,
Who manifested perfect love
By sending Christ to save our soul.

O Lord, how foolish we must look
From heaven’s vantage point today,
As we are slow to read Your Book,
And even slower yet to pray!

We thank You, Lord, that even so,
You call us forth to now ascend
To peace that passes all we know,
Communing with You to this end.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Confident Commitment

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established… A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:3,9).  “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

If we commit our works to God,
Our thoughts by Him shall be perfected,
For though our planning may be flawed,
Our way by Him shall be directed.

Our times are surely in God’s hand,
And He leaves nothing up to “chance.”
Our purposes by Him are planned,
And He controls our circumstance.

In Him we find our confidence,
And this is where our thoughts can rest,
Since God Himself is our Defense,
And by His sovereign will we’re blest.

Forgetting, then, those things behind
And reaching forth to this one thing,
We find our perfect peace of mind
In living for our God and King.

With confidence our heart obeys,
As we are led by Christ our Savior
To love Him and observe His ways,
As He extends to us His favor.

O Lord, we thank You that You give
This gracious calling to Your own
Who with this firm commitment live:  
To know You and to make You known.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Like our Lord

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ… For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain… Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6,21, 2:5). 

There is a work that God begins
When we receive Him as our Savior: 
He, first of all, will purge our sins, 
And then He works on our behavior. 

There is a mark we press toward;
There is a likeness we pursue:
To grow to be more like our Lord
In all we think, and say, and do.

There is a life above our norm,
Which is by Jesus Christ defined.
This is the work God will perform:
To mold in us His humble mind.

There is a standard very plain:
For me to live is Christ alone,
And then for me to die is gain.
O may this standard be our own!

Lord, all our purpose hence to live
Is focused now on things above,
As You transform our life to give
A truer likeness of Your love.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lamentable Laughter

“Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness” (Proverbs 14:13). 

Even in laughter the heart may have sorrow,
And heaviness comes at the end of that mirth,
But O, there’s unspeakable joy on the morrow
For all who have tasted the joy of new birth!

Even in laughter the sorrow abides,
For no earthly remedy heals the heart.
Only the Savior of sinners provides
The healing and joy He alone can impart.

There’s joy that replaces lamentable laughter; 
It comes with salvation that God freely gives.
There’s blessing extended in life ever after
Because our Lord Jesus eternally lives.

O Lord, we give thanks for the joy of salvation
That never will fade with the passing of time.
Lamentable laughter, so brief in duration,
Can never compete with Your joy so sublime.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Troubled Transgressors

“Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). 

How troubled indeed is the transgressor's way,
Refusing to come to the Savior,
Who will not give heed to what God has to say,
Rejecting His marvelous favor.

How good is the Lord who will give understanding
Regarding why Jesus Christ came,
That we may perceive what His law is demanding
And why we should trust in His name.

How kind is the Savior whose visage was marred
In order to bear our transgressions,
Whose hands, feet, and side for transgressors were scarred
For judgment that gave no concessions.

How hard is the transgressor’s heart that is hardened,
Refusing God's wonderful grace
By which our transgressions are thus fully pardoned
And hidden from God’s holy face!

O Lord, we’re astounded by what You have done
In order to grant us salvation!
You purged our transgressions; behold, there are none
Demanding our soul’s condemnation!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cup of our Curse

“I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked… God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup… the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall… drink them” (Psalm 75:4-8). “Then said Jesus… the cup which my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11).

Our God is the Judge who puts down and sets up;
He’s warning the fools to depart from their pride,
For in the Lord’s hand is a most dreadful cup:
His wrath for our sins is the mixture inside.

Our God is the Judge, and yet He’s the Savior
Who knew all the grief in that cup He was served.  
How great is His mercy extending His favor
By drinking the cup of our curse we deserved!

Our God is the Judge, yet He offers a choice: 
His cup of salvation replaces the cursed,
And all who respond to the call of His voice
Shall drink of His blessing that satisfies thirst.

O Lord, we are living in times that are strange,
For wide is the gate and the pathway is broad
Of those who insanely refuse to exchange
The cup of our curse for the blessing of God!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Battling the Blasphemy

“And David said… Is there not a cause?... Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts… The LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S” (1 Samuel 17:29-47).  “Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name forever?... Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily… the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually” (Psalm 74:10,22,23).  “He that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

Is there not a cause today
To battle against blasphemy?
Is there nothing we should say
As mockers mock increasingly?

Do not we have the Lord’s command
To study that we might reply
To help another understand
The truth that scorners will defy?

As David stood against the giant,
He knew that God was his Defense.
Prepare to battle the defiant!
Should not we have this confidence?

It’s not to win an argument
That we prepare a word in season,
But to deny perceived consent,
That we refute their scorn with reason.

O Lord, You see the tumult rise
Of those blaspheming without fear,
So for Your name’s sake make us wise
To answer those who yet will hear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Almighty's Assessment

“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 memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot… The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:7,22).

Though man looks on the outward part  
To judge a person’s moral worth,
The Lord is looking on the heart;
His eye is searching all the earth.

The judgment of the Lord shall come,
And character shall be assessed:
He’ll curse the memory of some,
But those who trust Him shall be blest.

The blessing of the Lord depends  
On what we do with Christ or not: 
Without the blessing that He sends
The sinner’s name shall surely rot.  

Your case against us, Lord, is closed;
You’ve told us all what You have seen.
Our evil hearts have been exposed:
Alas!  Not even one is clean!

It’s by Your grace we are called just,
Since by Your grace we’re justified,
And by Your grace we’re led to trust
In You, O Lord, in whom we hide.

So may with live with this in view:
Our memories shall suffer loss
Unless we give our hearts to You
And glory only in Your cross.