Saturday, November 30, 2013

Asking and Ascribing

“Thou hast ascended on high… He that is our God is the God of salvation... Ascribe ye strength unto God” (Psalm 68:18-34).  “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?  Who hath gathered the wind in His fists?  Who hath bound the waters in a garment? 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).

So many in our day ascribe
The origin of life to chance,
And we have heard the diatribe
That argues “just so” circumstance.

Yet God Almighty is the Cause
Of everything with a beginning,
And nature’s God prescribed the laws
Where planets orbit as they’re spinning. 

The questions people should be asking
About their own eternity,
They have dismissed by vainly masking
The facts that they refuse to see. 

Our God has surely made this plain:
Creation must have been designed,
But fools ignore this fact in vain
And by their choice are rendered blind.

God answers seekers well intended
With questions searching information
Like:  “Who descended?  Who ascended?” 
Behold the God of our salvation! 

“What is His name?”  The Scriptures tell: 
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
He came to save our souls from hell
And so for us was sacrificed. 

Ascribe to Jesus Christ our Lord
The glory that is due His name. 
How rightly He should be adored,
And we should spread abroad His fame. 

O Lord our God, our wondrous Savior,
How gladly we ascribe to You
All wisdom, strength, and loving favor
Displayed in everything You do.

We ask, O Lord, that we may live
A life that manifests Your love,
Ascribing strength You freely give
To grace abounding from above.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mirrored by Melchizedek

“And Melchizedek [lit., King of Righteousness] king of Salem [lit., King of Peace] brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18). “That Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations” (Psalm 67:2).  “Thanks be unto God for His Unspeakable Gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). 

Consider this Melchizedek,
The King of righteousness and peace.
We see his attributes reflect
Our Lord who is our great High Priest. 

Behold, he brings forth bread and wine,
The tokens of our Lord and Savior
Which mirror Christ’s own love Divine
Who gave His life to grant us favor. 

There was no righteousness in us,
Or peace with God that we could claim
Apart from grace so marvelous
In Christ through whom salvation came.

His way is known upon the earth,
His saving health in every nation,
In all who have received new birth
When trusting Christ for their salvation. 

We thank You, Lord, for these perfections
Of attributes we see in You. 
Thus mirrored in these great reflections
Which in Melchizedek we view. 

As on these things we meditate,
Your mercies, Lord, are beautiful. 
We thank You as we contemplate
Your Gift of love unspeakable!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Grateful for Grace

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). 

Behold the poverty of Christ
Who set aside His wealth above
In order to be sacrificed
For those on whom He set His love! 

The love of Christ is marvelous! 
He saw our hopeless poverty
And gave His life to ransom us,
Enriching us eternally!

We know the grace of Christ our Lord,
Who laid aside His outward splendor:  
His soul to death was thus outpoured
To give His life as our Defender! 

O Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day
We thank You for Your wondrous grace!
Though we like sheep had gone astray,
You laid Your life down in our place!  

Receive our thanks and adoration
O Lord, for all the things You do,
Yet as we contemplate salvation,
We give thanks MOST of all for YOU!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blessed and a Blessing

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram… I will bless thee… and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1,2).  “O Thou that hearest prayer… blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee” (Psalm 65:2-4).  “My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me… Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend… Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:11-23).  “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). 

As Abram by the Lord was blessed,
And thereby would become a blessing,
We ought to bring this same request
To bless the Lord we are confessing. 

Our God shall surely hear our prayer,
And we shall then be satisfied
With goodness waiting for us there
Procured for us when Jesus died.

How blest are those the Lord shall choose
Who now approach Him by His grace! 
How much the sinner stands to lose
Who will not come to seek His face! 

Among the blessings He imparts
Is this great privilege we have had,
By wisdom granted to our hearts,
To make our Lord and Savior glad. 

Another blessing God extends
To all of us who are the Lord’s
Is that we edify our friends
As iron sharpens iron swords. 

And so we’re called to take great heed,
As we are caring for God’s flock,
To know their state, to meet their need,
And to exhort them in their walk.

Now since these blessings overflow
And all these promises abound,
We should confess the things we know
Have hindered us when sin is found. 

O Lord, how great Your blessings are
As we explore Your great salvation! 
You’ve drawn us near who once were far,
And You removed our condemnation! 

You’ve clothed us in Your righteousness
And given us Your Holy Spirit.
You gave Your Word that we might bless
The hearts of those who need to hear it. 

Lord, cleanse our hearts with holy fear
With grace extended to the lowly.
We thank You as You draw us near,
Perfecting us to make us holy.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Counsel of Confusion

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower… lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth… Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:4,9).  “They encourage themselves in an evil matter… They say, Who shall see them?” (Psalm 65:4).  “The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors” (Proverbs 26:10).  “Behold, now is the day of salvation…. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord… and will be a Father unto you” (2 Corinthians 6:2-18). 

There was a city and a tower
Renowned, at last, for its confusion. 
They called it Babel, for God’s power
Disrupted plans for its conclusion.   

The Lord had given His command
To Noah's later generations
To fill the earth in every land,
As God appointed future nations.

Rebellion was an evil matter,
Yet this is what they had in mind
Before God intervened to scatter
Upon the face of earth mankind. 

The counsels of confusion still
Are surely evident today
As mortal men resist God’s will,
And sinners yet refuse to pray.

Yet “Who shall see them?” they have said.
Though now confused, they won’t be later
When God shall raise them from the dead
To stand before their great Creator.

Yes, every knee at last shall bow,
And every tongue shall call Him Lord.
The time to turn to Him is NOW
To find the grace He will reward! 

Lord, we embrace the separation
Dividing all who trust in You
From those refusing Your salvation,
Which You display now in plain view. 

Lord, thank You for Your saving grace
And for the counsel that You give
To find in You our Hiding Place,
And thus forever with You live!    

Monday, November 25, 2013

Water in the Wilderness

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1).  “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain… As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:14,25).  “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:20,21). 

There’s water in the wilderness
Which many still have never found. 
It comes from heaven as the rain
To satisfy the thirsty ground. 

We see the dryness of the sod
That waits for water all in vain, 
For those who boast (but not in God)
Are like the clouds that have no rain. 

Yet there is good news from afar
Which satisfies us to the full: 
We’re called to come just as we are,
And Christ will quench our thirsty soul! 

The thorny ground which God has cursed
Portrays the sinner’s helpless case.
There’s none to satisfy our thirst
Apart from Christ who saves by grace. 

As rain from heaven He came down;
He came to us by lowly birth,
Upon the cross He wore the crown
With thorns by which He cursed the earth. 

His foes rejoiced that He was dead,
But only for a little while;
He rose in three days, as He said,
And now He lives to reconcile!

There’s water in this barren land
Which God through Christ now freely pours!
The Lord now makes His children stand
In His stead as ambassadors! 

And thus we preach the joyful news
Of reconciliation in our day,   
So thirsty sinners yet may choose
To turn to Christ as yet they may. 

O Lord, it’s hard to take it in
That You gave us Your righteousness,
As on the cross You took our sin
To save us in this wilderness!

Lord, thank You for salvation’s well
Which satisfies our thirst by You,
Which saves us from eternal hell,
And sets us free by what is true. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Established Expectation

“And God spake unto Noah… Behold, I establish My covenant with you" (Psalm 9:8,9).  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5).  “Thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:14).  “As it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak… While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). 

The counsel of God’s covenant
Establishes our expectation,
And so we are not hesitant
To plainly speak of His salvation.

Our expectation comes from God;
We know that we can trust His Word. 
All other hopes are surely flawed;
By God alone we are assured. 

The Word of God has never failed
In every time and every place. 
Behold!  The Lamb of God prevailed
Upon the cross with truth and grace! 

It has been written:  I believed,
And therefore I have spoken too. 
The testimony we received
From God we know is surely true. 

And therefore we have also spoken
Of things about eternity,
Since Scripture never has been broken,
Which God displays through history. 

Eternity is just ahead;
Our days are numbered here below. 
We trust what Jesus Christ has said,
For He is faithful; this we know. 

Our Lord now faithfully redeems
Repentant sinners who will pray. 
Our life is shorter than it seems;
We urge each soul to come TODAY. 

Lord, thank You for Your Word perfected
By truth established evermore
To show eternal things expected
In promises that we explore!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

At Ararat

“God remembered Noah… and the ark rested… upon the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:1-4).  “From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  For Thou hast been a Shelter for me” (Psalm 61:2,3).   “Be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17,18).  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). 

The ark at last had come to rest
At Ararat upon the mountains. 
The waters reached their fullest crest,
Supplied by rain and gushing fountains.

As Noah surely could recall,
The Lord was faithful every day;
He gave protection through it all
And met their needs in every way.

Though sometimes trials overwhelm
The heart, like stormy wind and waves,
In every circumstance and realm,
Our God is sovereign, and He saves.  

He leads us to the Rock that’s higher
Than trials of this earth can rise. 
Our expectation and desire
Shall not be cut off from our eyes. 

For all who have received the Lord
Are thus forever saved by grace. 
How great at last is our reward
To see our Savior face to face! 

Yet in the meantime, God transforms
Our image, and we’ll tell the story
Of how He even used the storms
To thus reflect in us His glory. 

When Noah reached Mount Ararat,
The sight must have been glorious!
Yet heaven’s shore holds more than that,
Where Christ now reigns victorious! 

O Lord, we look with expectation
For brighter vistas at Your throne
Where we shall celebrate salvation
Afforded by Your grace alone! 

We know we’ll see You, Lord, above,
When we have landed on that shore,
Yet as we contemplate Your love,
We thank You now, and we adore. 

Lord, help us show the lost Your favor,
Persuading them to flee from wrath.
Apart from You, there is no Savior,
And heaven has no other path.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Commanded to Come

“The LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark… and Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him… and the LORD shut him in” (Genesis 7:1-16).  “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth” (Psalm 60:4).  “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).  “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ… And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). 

The Lord’s command to come was clear;
The flood would cover all the earth. 
The prudent of the earth would fear;
The simple mocked with mindless mirth.

Along with Noah there were seven:
His wife, his three sons, and their wives.
They heard the call that came from heaven
And, by obeying, saved their lives. 

Now likewise this should be our manner,
To fear the Lord with reverence,
Displaying His triumphant banner
Because of truth with evidence. 

The fossil evidence is plain
That proves the flood’s catastrophe.
Such willful ignorance is vain
In view of Scripture’s certainty! 

It’s time for us to face the facts:
The Scripture never has been broken. 
We see this in historic acts
Fulfilling what the Lord has spoken. 

Give thanks to God for His command
Which calls the sinner now to come! 
The Gospel spread to every land
Extends to all, and not just some!

O Lord, the banner that we hold 
Is ours because of truth displayed. 
We show the prophecies foretold,
And their fulfillment we parade! 

O Lord, You are the Ark of Grace;
To save us You were sacrificed! 
There is no other Hiding Place
But in Your name, Lord Jesus Christ!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Noah's Need

“Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD… All that God commanded him, so did he.” (Genesis 6:8,31).  “Thou hast been my Defense and Refuge in the day of my trouble” (Psalm 59:16).  “A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, He directeth his way...The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD” (Proverbs 21:29-31).  “Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:2). 

To live on earth is dangerous.
To those who ask the reason why,
Statistics make it obvious:
Of ten on earth, all ten shall die. 

Our need, therefore, is clear as well:
We need to find a Hiding Place
To thus escape eternal hell. 
That need is met by saving grace! 

As Noah found this grace from God,
With clouds of judgment drawing near,
It mattered not if none applaud,
For Noah moved with grace and fear. 

The times in which we live are dark,  
And so were they in Noah’s day.
When God told him to build an ark,
He did so, and without delay. 

So Noah’s need was not a horse
Prepared in battle to perform.
Like us, he needed grace, of course,
To shelter him from judgment’s storm.

As grace came with obedience,
By faith he moved with proper action.
He knew that God was his Defense,
And carried on without distraction. 

Today we do not climb aboard
An ark that we are sheltered in,
But rather trust in Christ the Lord
Who bore our punishment for sin!

The grace of God is glorious!
We find our refuge now in Christ,
Who freely gave Himself for us,
And for our souls was sacrificed! 

O Lord, it’s marvelous indeed
That You would go to this extreme
To meet the sinner’s deepest need
And die for those You would redeem! 

We thank You, Lord, for all You gave:
There’s nothing more that You could give! 
We know by grace alone You save,
And that we live because You live. 

Lord, lead us daily on the path
That shows to others Your salvation: 
You are the Ark that saves from wrath
Because You bore our condemnation.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Methuselah - Maranatha

“Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah [Heb. “When he dies, it comes”]… Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years… Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years… And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth” (Genesis 5:22-32).  “The wicked… are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;  which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely” (Psalm 58:3-5).  “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema [cursed]; Maranatha [the Lord comes]” (1 Corinthians 16:22). 

The name Methuselah seems odd,
Until you stop to do the math.
His father Enoch walked with God
And named him this, foretelling wrath. 

The year Methuselah succumbs  
Is at the time God’s judgment came. 
His name means “When he dies, it comes,”
And that’s why Enoch gave that name.

The wickedness in Noah’s day
Would grow in spite of prophecy. 
Refusing God, they turned away,
Unmindful of eternity. 

Like serpents which would stop the ear,
Like adders that could not be charmed,
With judgment ever growing near,
They mocked the warnings, unalarmed.

It is the same today as then;
Our Savior said it would be so.
Our Lord is coming back again,
Though mockery till then will grow. 

If any person loves the Lord,
It is because they found His favor. 
If God by others is abhorred,
They have rejected Christ the Savior. 

The word that the apostle used
Is “Maranatha” which declares
“The Lord will come!”  Be not confused
Or caught up with this world’s cares! 

The day and hour are not known,
But we can surely see His signs. 
Like weather forecasts which are shown,
We see the times His Word defines. 

O Lord, we thank You for Your Word
That many in our day are scorning, 
Though mockers mock it as absurd
And are offended by its warning!

We know Your Word is true, O Lord,
And that these days have been foretold  
When proven truth would be ignored,
As hearts increasingly are cold. 

Lord, till the time of Your return,
We hear the “Maranatha” call
To pray for other souls to yearn
The grace that You extend to all!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Substitute and Savior

“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth [Heb. Substitute]: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Genesis 4:25).  “I will cry unto God Most High; unto God that performeth all things for me.  He shall send from heaven, and save me… God shall send forth His mercy and His truth” (Psalm 57:2,3).  “The counsel of the LORD, that shall stand” (Proverbs 19:21).  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second Man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:22,47). 

They knew the serpent would be slain;
The woman’s Seed was prophesied. 
That Seed, however, was not Cain,
Who murdered Abel; then he lied. 

But God gave Eve another son,
“Another seed” whom God appointed,
And through his line would come the One
Whom God had promised:  His Anointed. 

But centuries were yet ahead
And judgment by the global flood
Before that Seed, as God had said,
Would rescue us with His own blood.

Behold the Promised Seed who came:
The counsel of our God has stood!
Behold the Lamb who bore our shame,
Performing what we never could!

For as in Adam we all die,
In Christ we shall forever live! 
The Lord descended from on high
With grace that He alone could give.

O Lord, You came in lowly birth
To be the Savior of mankind,
For no one else upon the earth
Was qualified or so inclined!

You left Your throne, O Lord, above
To bring to us Your saving grace.
We praise You for amazing love
Which made You take the sinner’s place!

We thank You, Lord, for what You did
To be our Substitute and Savior! 
Your grace and truth have not been hid;
The ends of earth have seen Your favor!