Saturday, August 31, 2013

Victorious vs. Vain

“Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).  “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us” (Daniel 3:17).  “They found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments, and… said unto them, Why seek ye the Living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you… And they remembered His words” (Luke 24:2-8). 

Those watchmen in vain had expected
To find Christ in three days entombed.
His promise to rise was perfected,
No matter what fools had assumed.  

Our God whom we serve is now able
To keep every promise He made. 
How vainly men trust in a fable
Instead of the truth God displayed!  

The principle surely is plain: 
Our God will perform what He said.
All other assumptions are vain,
Relying on falsehood instead. 

Remember the words Christ has spoken,
And study what prophets proclaimed.
Not one word has ever be broken;
Be ready, and be not ashamed!

The choices could not be more clear! 
Come, visit the tomb once again,
As angels say “He is not here,”
Despite the vain efforts of men!

The options come down to just two: 
Believe our victorious Lord,
Or vainly trust what is untrue
As God’s evidence ignored.

O Lord, we give thanks for the stone
That You rolled away from the door,
By which You so clearly made known
That You were not there anymore! 

We thank You, victorious Savior,
For triumphant truth that You give,
Replacing vain falsehood with favor,
Triumphantly proving You live! 

O Lord, send us forth with Your love
By which You so deeply were moved
To show why You came from above,
Displaying Your prophecies proved.

Victorious Savior, today
We go forth to show Your compassion,
That sinners persuaded may pray,
Escaping this world’s vain fashion.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Greatness of our Gospel

“The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).  “Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell?  Every word of God is pure: He is a Shield unto them that put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:4,5).  “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His… He revealeth the deep and secret things” (Daniel 2:20,22).  “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:42,43). 

How great are the things God has shown
Through mercy and truth He revealed!
The Gospel which He has made known
Should not be a secret concealed.

The Gospel unveils Christ’s love:
He went to the greatest extreme,
Descending from heaven above
To ransom the souls He’d redeem.

The Maker of heaven and earth
Exalted in all of creation,
Was humbled through His lowly birth
To shield our souls with salvation.

There’s no one with Christ to compare,
For whoever heard of such things?
How great is the love we declare
Thus found in our great King of kings!

Draw near to the cross of our Savior
As there to the thief He replies,   
“Today,” He declared by His favor,
With Him he would see paradise.

How great is the Gospel Christ gave
That calls us to echo the same,
Declaring that Christ will now save
By grace all who call on His name!

The depths of Your mercy, O Lord,
Have filled us with wonder and praise,
And yet we have barely explored
The greatness Your Gospel conveys! 

O Lord, we would never forget
The price that You paid on the cross
To satisfy all of our debt
And spare us from infinite loss!

O Lord, send us forth with Your power
With feet by Your Gospel now shod,
For great is the need of this hour
To show forth Your greatness, O God. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Purity Purposed

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even forever” (Psalm 125:2).  “Whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).  “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).  “Why sleep ye?  Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” (Luke 22:46). 

The Lord is surrounding His own,
As mountains surrounding His city. 
His care for our souls has been shown
By how He has saved us with pity. 

Temptations may often draw near
With problems we daily must face,
But God makes it perfectly clear
That He will protect us with grace. 

As Daniel who purposed in heart
To make no agreement with sin,
We also are called to depart
From all that defiles within. 

We dare not be sleeping today
And caught by surprise with temptation,
When we should be rising to pray
And purified thus with salvation. 

O Lord, how we need Your protection
That You may preserve us in trials! 
We find, as we pray, Your correction
The purges from sin that defiles. 

Lord, thank You today for Your voice
Conversing with us in Your Word
With counsel that purifies choice
And grace to obey what is heard. 

Thus guided by Your staff and rod
With purified purpose You give,
We show forth Your Gospel, O God;
There’s no greater purpose to live! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Snatched from the Snare

“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side… then they had swallowed us up quick… Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.  Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:2-8).  “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).  “The LORD is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).  “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33).

To whom shall we credit salvation?
We were not delivered by chance!
If not for the Lord of creation,
We’d perish in our circumstance!

Our soul has been snatched from the snare
By mercy and truth on our path: 
We cried, and we found the Lord there,
Who rescued our soul out of wrath.

The one who submits to God’s rule
Is rescued by God out of strife.
The one who does not is a fool,  
Opposing his very own life.

Our soul is escaped as a bird
By not any strength of our own!
The Gospel of God’s holy Word
Has made His deliverance known! 

When heaven and earth pass away
And God has made everything new,
Our hearts shall rejoice in that day,
That His precious words remain true.

Lord, thank You for marvelous love,
For You took the snare in our place
To fit us for heaven above
And rescue our souls by Your grace!

O Lord, there is no other name
But Yours with the power to save,   
And so we go forth to proclaim
This wonderful Gospel You gave!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lifting our Looking

“Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens… Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud” (Psalm 123:1-4).  “My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me” (Proverbs 27:11).  “Son of man, hast thou seen this?” (Ezekiel 47:6).  “David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Luke 20:42,43).

There is a place to lift our eyes
Above this world’s loud derision
To hear God say, “My son, be wise,”
And let Him only fill our vision. 

We know that we are not exempt
From difficulty and from trial,
Yet we should see our foe’s contempt
Eclipsed by Christ to view His smile. 

Have not we seen the prophecies
That Christ upon His throne shall rule,
Until, at last, His enemies
Beneath His feet shall be His stool?

We need to lift our eyes to Him
And let contempt evaporate!
He fills our cup beyond the brim
With love that leaves no room for hate.

We look now on the harvest field
With vision Christ has clarified 
To see the treasures there concealed
In precious souls for which He died.

We see the longing of His heart
By meditating on His Word,
And with His longing we take part
With love that makes His Gospel heard.

O Lord, we thank You for this view
That fills our vision with Your love!
We lift our eyes, at last, to You
And fix our hearts on things above. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Consider the Curse

“The curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2).  “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost… And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!  But now they are hid from thine eyes… because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:10,41-44). 

Consider the Lord Jesus Christ:
His life was laid down for the cursed.
Behold Him for us sacrificed,
Exchanging His Best for our worst!

Consider the reasons He came:
For seeking and saving the lost,  
For taking away sin and shame,
And giving Himself for the cost.

Consider His wonderful grace:
The curse that we earned had a cause!
He willingly died in the place
Of those who had broken His laws!

Consider His heart’s lamentation
As for His tormentors He cries!
The day of the Lord’s visitation
Was hidden from sin-blinded eyes.

Consider the cost of our peace: 
It was for this cause that Christ died,
And thus He secured our release
And rendered the curse satisfied. 

O Lord, we’ve considered Your love
As You contemplated our loss:
You left heaven’s glory above
To purchase our peace on the cross!

O Lord, as we think of the curse
Demanding the payment of wrath,
Our prospects could not have been worse
Apart from Your one saving path!

We thank You, O Lord, our Defender,
For love which redemption has proved
And judgments by which You now render
As causeless the curse You removed! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Height of my Help

“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).  “The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable” (Proverbs 25:3).  “He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint... The publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:1,13,14). 

The needs of my heart are much greater
That mere mortal helpers can give.
My help comes from God my Creator;
By Him, and Him only, I live.  

My Help came from heaven above
Descending in due time to earth.
The height of His infinite love
Was seen in my Lord’s lowly birth.

Behold here the infinite price
That Jesus was willing to pay,
Becoming the great Sacrifice,
So I could be saved when I pray! 

Recalling that day when I prayed,
Reminds me to call on Him still. 
I know I shall not be dismayed;
His promises He shall fulfill.

Unsearchable still are my needs,
As Jesus my Lord surely knows.
I rest in the knowledge He leads,
And great is the grace He bestows.

My heart, Lord, rejoices in You,
The Maker of all of creation.
How great are the things that You do,
And marvelous is Your salvation!

The help that You give, precious Lord,
Is greater than searching can tell! 
No other but You could afford
The ransom that saved me from hell. 

In view, Lord, of grace You have shown
That meets every need of my heart,
I would, as You send me, make known
The height of this help You impart.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Different than Noah's Day

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27). 

The days of Noah were the same
As in these days in which we live.
In our day sinners just rename
The sin they call “alternative.” 

They eat and drink without concern
For what they soon must surely face;  
The day will come when sinners learn
The great mistake of spurning grace! 

They build their homes and marry wives
(The normal things that people do),
Yet God has no place in their lives
In all the goals that they pursue. 

The Scriptures which have been fulfilled
Have made us all accountable,
As foolish voices thus are stilled
Which have no answer for the soul!

Despite the proofs that God has given
So many walk on in the dark!
It is by choice that they are driven
From Christ (who is as Noah’s ark)!

We see the day approaching, Lord,
When every knee to You shall bow.
The only Refuge You afford
Is found by trusting in You now.  

As Noah found in You salvation  
By finding grace, Lord, in Your eyes,
So may we show Your invitation
To souls persuaded to be wise.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Straying Stewards

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandments” (Psalm 119:176).  “Surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.  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 23:18-26).  “Give an account of thy stewardship” (Luke 16:2). 

We know the tendency of sheep,
For all we, like them, once have strayed. 
Yet now as stewards we must keep
Account of gifts upon us laid.

In honesty we find that still
We’re prone to stray from faithfulness. 
We strangely wander from God’s will
To our confusion and distress.

Now since we know there is an end,
And we’ll account for our behavior,
We ought to run to our best Friend,
To Jesus Christ, our loving Savior. 

Our Father calls us now to give
Our hearts to Him in full surrender,
For then abundantly we’ll live
And find Him as our heart’s Defender.

The time to give account is now,
And from our straying thereby cease! 
Our Savior waits to show us how,
That we may find in Him our peace. 

We thank You, Lord, for patient love  
And for Your Shepherd’s care each day!
Now fix our hearts on things above,
And seek us early when we stray.

Then send us, Lord, into Your field,
To seek the sheep yet lost in sin! 
Restore us so that we may yield
The fruit of souls that You will win.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rejoicing at the Repentance

“I rejoice at thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).  “That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Proverbs  22:19-21).  “Rejoice with Me… There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:6-10). 

Rejoice with me at what I’ve found:
The treasures of God’s Word are full!
Triumphant spoils here abound
At the repentance of the soul!

Rejoice, for counsels God has written
Shall stand for all eternity, 
Declaring why our Lord was smitten:
He gave Himself for you and me!

Rejoice with answers we can give
To every soul whom God has sent!
Though they are dead, they too shall live,
When they shall trust Him and repent. 

Rejoice with certainty to know
God’s Word is proven by the Lord: 
His prophecies fulfilled now show
A sureness that can be explored.

Rejoice that we can show what’s real,
Inviting close examination!
It’s not about how we may feel,
Though we have cause for celebration.

Rejoice, though others count it strange;
We surely have a cause to sing!
As butterflies exhibit change,
Repentance changes everything!

Rejoice, for Christ rejoices too!
“Rejoice with Me!” we hear Him say.
Participate, as angels do
With joy, when even one shall pray.

O Lord, we thank You for Your love
That gives us reason to rejoice
As do angelic hosts above
At one repentant sinner’s choice!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Place of our Pleader

“Plead my cause, and deliver me… according to Thy judgments… according to Thy lovingkindness” (Psalm 119:154-159).   “He brought me to the temple… made with cherubim and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces; so that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about… on the wall of the temple” (Ezekiel 41:1-20).  “Give this Man place” (Luke 14:9). 

How eloquent is Christ our Pleader
Who pleads our cause with truth and grace!
He is our Champion and Leader:
Behold the beauty of His face! 

We cannot plead our innocence;
For we are sinners, as are all,
But God is pleading our defense,
As seen upon His temple wall!

The faces of the cherubim
Upon the temple walls engraved
Display the attributes of Him
Who justifies each one He saved.

The lion’s face depicts Him holy
With judgment He has satisfied. 
The human face displays Him lowly,
The Man who in our place has died. 

The palm tree stands between these two
Throughout the temple thus repeated. 
Our adversary knows it’s true:
Our Pleader cannot be defeated!

We are the palm tree that is flanked  
By grace and truth from Jesus Christ.
He shall forevermore be thanked,
Since He for us was sacrificed!

Shall not these portraits give us pause
To ponder thus our Savior’s plan, 
And since He pleaded thus our cause,
Shall not we “give place to this Man?”

O come, Lord, take the place that’s first
That You may be preeminent!
You rescued us who once were cursed,
And our defense was Your intent.

Lord, thank You these portraits shown
On temple walls of Your salvation.
Now take the place You rightly own,
Enthroned in hearts of adoration!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Value of Volition

“I cried with my whole heart... save me, and I shall keep Thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:145,146).  “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).  “Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall show thee” (Ezekiel 40:4).  “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish… How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:3,34). 

Created things without volition  
Shall do whatever God commands. 
Creation acts on one condition:
The counsel of its Maker stands.

How different is humanity
With hearing ears and seeing eyes,
Yet so inclined to vanity
With hearts refusing to be wise! 

Volition daily is abused
By hearts that will not flee from wrath.
The will of God is thus refused
As many choose their sinful path.

The value of volition is
That we may trust in Christ the Lord.
Our Savior knows those who are His;  
He knows who willfully ignored. 

With eyes of faith, we see His love;  
With ears to hear, we heed His voice.
With hearts now set on things above,
We gladly exercise our choice!

Into this world we are sent
To plead with souls that God has cherished,
Yet warning those who won’t repent
As Noah did before they perished.   

How many times our Savior would
Have gathered those who yet rebel! 
It is by choice they have withstood
The Lord who saves our souls from hell. 

Lord Jesus Christ, in love You came
To bear our judgment on the cross. 
We know there is no other name
That saves a soul from endless loss!

So teach us, Lord, what we should do,
That hearts may wisely be reproved
And thereby put their trust in You
Before volition is removed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Despite being Despised

“Thy word is very pure… I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts… Thy law is the truth” (Psalm 119:140-142).  “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end… the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand” (Proverbs 19:20,21).  “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them… All the heathen shall see My judgment that I have executed” (Ezekiel 33:33, 39:21).  “Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:57).

Today we shouldn’t be surprised
That those who rightly preach God’s Word
Will be derided and despised
By those who hate what they have heard. 

The Word of God is very pure,
Inspired and preserved today. 
Its counsel stands and shall endure
When earth and heaven pass away. 

It doesn’t matter that we’re small
And souls are few that will applaud;
We’re here to answer heaven’s call
As stewards of the Word of God. 

What matters is the latter end
Eternally beyond the grave!
Behold the sinner’s greatest Friend:
There is no other who can save!

That gracious Friend is Jesus Christ; 
He came as prophets said He would.
Despised, rejected, sacrificed,
He paid the price no other could.

He promised He would rise again
In three days after He had died. 
The soldiers waited until then;
His empty tomb was verified!

So many yet despise our Savior,
Despite all He has done for us!
In view of God’s abundant favor,
Antipathy is ludicrous!

In view of all the evidence,
There’s neither an excuse to find
Nor valid reason in defense
Of why some choose to be so blind.

Lord, thank You for Your Word we trust
Because You proved it to be true,
Despite the choice of those who thrust
Your truth from them, despising You!

Lord, send us forth to reach the lost
Whose hearts Your Spirit yet may touch,  
Though others may not count the cost,
Despite the fact You loved so much!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Keep the Key

“The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).  “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe… The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge” (Proverbs 18:10,15).  “When ye pray, say… Thy will be done… Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you… Woe unto you, lawyers!  For ye have taken away the KEY of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered” (Luke 11:2,9,52). 

There is a KEY we’re called to keep
Which is extended by the Lord
To access riches that are deep
Where knowledge from our God is stored. 

The entrance of the words of God
Give understanding to the heart.
In contrast, words of men are flawed:
The KEY is telling them apart. 

The words of God will shed His light
And thereby will reprove our sin.
The KEY is that God’s Word is right,
And we are wise to walk therein.

There is no cause for us to fear
Who found the KEY and learned to run
Into God’s Tower that was near:
The name of Christ, no other one!

The will of God is now conveyed;
We find it in the Scriptures still.
We use this KEY when we have prayed
To ask according to His will. 

We ask, we seek, and knock by prayer,
And God will answer with His grace.
The KEY is knowing God is there
Inviting us to seek His face.

Beware of those who in their pride
Will rest in self-sufficiency,
Ignoring why Christ Jesus died,
And thus would take away the KEY. 

O Lord, we trust in You alone!
You have the KEY that opens doors
To make Your great salvation known
At home and on the distant shores.

Lord, thank You for this invitation
To  KEEP the Gospel KEY You gave
Unlocking truths of Your salvation
With liberating grace to save.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Telling Time

It is time for Thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void Thy law… Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:126,128).  “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.  Go your ways: behold, I send you forth” (Luke 10:2,3). 

The time has come for us to tell
The Gospel truth that Christ has spoken. 
The prophets spoke of Christ as well,
And not one promise has been broken. 

In darkness God has shined His light
As Scriptures tested have endured. 
We thus determine what is right
By what is written in God’s Word.

It comes, therefore, as no surprise
That there are those who are annoyed,
Professing they themselves are wise
As they declare God’s Word is void.

The harvest still is truly great. 
The Lord has called, yet there are few
Who seem to know the time is late
To labor for the souls they view. 

So how should we respond today
In view of what our Lord revealed?
We’re called to go, yet also pray
For yet more workers in His field.

We have the calling now to go
With heaven’s love and feet well shod,
Prepared with grace and truth we know
Declare the counsel of our God. 

O Lord, for such a time as this
Revive our hearts with heaven’s love
So by Your grace we will not miss
Your calling for us from above!

Lord, we have heard Your great commission
To tell the wonders of Your grace.
Prepare the hearts of those who listen
To trust You in their time and place.