Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Publish to the Perishing

"Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee... be of good courage, and do it" (Ezra 10:4).  "Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight" (Psalm 119:35).  "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction" (Proverbs 31:8).  "A great deal they published it, and were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak" (Mark 7:36,37). 

Arise and publish now the news
As long as God shall give us breath. 
The destiny that souls must choose
Is either life in Christ, or death. 

The Lord has shown to us the path
To preach the Gospel of His grace
And warn the lost of coming wrath
That they might turn to seek His face.

So many have been rendered blind
To things that have eternal weight. 
The deaf and dumb are not inclined  
To warn them of destruction's fate. 

Yet Christ, who gave us ears to hear
And gave to us a tongue to speak,
Has made the Gospel very clear
That we may reach both Jew and Greek.   

The time is late for us to tell
What Christ our Savior came to do.
He died to save our souls from hell;
He rose to show His Word is true! 

O Lord, we see the time is short
As many souls are swept away,
Yet many halt at Your report
Who still would rather go astray. 

Revive us, Lord, to be admonished
When we are slow to reach the lost.  
Should not we rather be astonished
At grace, recalling what it cost?

We thank You, Lord, for cherishing
Our souls so much that You would die
And publish to the perishing
That You will heed the sinner's cry.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sparse Space

"Now for a little space grace hath been showed from the LORD our God... that our God may lighten our eyes" (Ezra 9:8).  "I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32).  "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?... Every word of God is pure:  He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him" (Proverbs 30:4,5).  "He went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased" (Mark 6:51). 

How little is our space of time
Which God has called us to redeem! 
The moments given are sublime,
As jewels more precious than they seem.

May God enlighten now our eyes
And in our heart enlarge the space
Which His dominion occupies
And thus increase in us His grace.

The Lord has gathered with His hand
The wind; He bound the waters too. 
He has established every land;
And every word of God is true. 

Now though the waters may be stirred
And howling winds may be increased,
Our mighty Savior speaks a word,
And at His pleasure they have ceased. 

O Lord, our little ship is small,
Yet You have deigned to enter in. 
Enlarge Your presence in us all
And cast away intruding sin!   

Our space is sparse in which we live,
O Lord, before our days are done.
With every moment that You give,
We look to You for strength to run. 

Lord, with the Gospel that You gave,
We'd run, redeeming every hour.   
The space is sparse before the grave  
In which we show Your saving power. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Designation of our Declaration

"By the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding... The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him" (Ezra 8:18,23).  "When He [Jesus] was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with Him.  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee"(Mark 5:18,19). 

How good the hand is of our God
Who gives to us such understanding
That sends us back home or abroad,
According to His wise commanding. 

The hand of our God is for good
On all who are seeking His face.
How clearly is this understood
By all who are saved by His grace!

How greatly His blessings abound
In those who are anxious to tell
The goodness of God they have found
In Christ who has saved them from hell. 

The story in us God will fashion
Regarding our Lord's saving favor
Shall fit us to speak with compassion
To those who are needing our Savior.

O Lord, as we read of that man
Delivered at last from that "Legion,"
We see thus Your wonderful plan
To reach those in Your chosen region.   

Lord, send us wherever You will
According to Your designation,
With wisdom that You will instill,
Declaring Your wondrous salvation!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Preparing, Practicing, Preaching

"Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments" (Ezra 7:10).  "With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee... With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth" (Psalm 119:10-13).  "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 4:23). 

When Ezra's heart was consecrated
To seek the Law of God and do it,
He taught what he had demonstrated,
So others likewise could pursue it. 

So with our whole heart let us seek
To serve the Lord whom we adore,
That we may model what we speak
With deeds that others may explore. 

The order that we see is clear: 
First seek the Lord to be prepared,
Then come with ready ears to hear,
And likewise do what we've declared. 

O Lord, we thank for Your Word
Providing counsel every day,
So we, like Ezra, may be stirred,
To preach the truth that we obey. 

Let preparation, practice, preaching,
O Lord, in answer to Your call,
Persuade the lost, whom we are reaching,
To turn to You, forsaking all.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day for Diligence

"Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently" (Psalm 119:4).  "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth... My son, be wise, and make My heart glad... Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks" (Proverbs 27:1,11,23). 

There is a day for diligence
(Beware!  It quickly slips away!)
When God calls for obedience: 
That day is simply called "today."

There is a day that may not come,
So from its time we neither borrow
Nor add one moment to its sum;
That day is simply called "tomorrow."

The day for diligence is now
In which God calls us to be wise
With counsel that will show us how
To be found pleasing in His eyes. 

He calls us to be diligent
To know the state of flocks we feed. 
It is the Lord we represent
Who will provide the grace we need. 

How quickly days are passing by
As we approach eternity!   
May we redeem them as they fly
With diligence before they flee.

O Lord, as we recall Your love
That made You suffer in our place,
Our hearts are drawn to You above,
The Author of our saving grace.

So we are prompted, Lord, to live
To please You, not for tedious duty,  
For all due diligence we give
Is motivated by Your beauty.

The day for diligence, O Lord,
Is in the present, serving You. 
Your gladness shall be our reward,
The highest calling we pursue.