Seek peace with all, but not with sin
or evil conversation;
respect and friendship try to win,
but don’t condone corruption.
Seek holiness in all your life
or God you will be grieving:
avoid censoriousness and strife –
be courteous, none deceiving.
Be resolute for right, but meek –
without his aid you’ll fail him,
but with his help, though frail and weak,
good will succeed, prevailing.
Christ died upon the cross to pay
our debts for all our failures,
now our delight is in his Way,
he mends our flawed behaviours.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord”. Hebrews 12:14
Tune: 87 87 iambic eg Dominuw Regit me (tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’)
They wail in anger, misery,
‘God is unjust’, they say,’
‘He does not help, or care for me’,
and yet, they do not pray.
They’ve strayed aside, not turned to him,
their hearts are far away,
have no concern to leave their sin,
self-centred every day.
Trust many things – they flit and fly,
just like a wandering dove,
on various things they lean, rely,
won’t come to God for love.
“Return, return!” ‘Forgive, Receive
us, we’ll no longer trust
the crumbling helps that fail and grieve –
in grace we’ll be so blest.’
(cf Hosea 7:11-14; 14:1-4)
To whom to go if leaving You?
who else to know, who else can do
the needed things to wipe away
our guilt and sins so that we may
have God as Friend and Father wise
to love, defend, and wipe our eyes.
They came to see You feed and heal.
You came to be our Saviour real.
They want a King to free the land,
and do their ‘thing’ and make them grand:
not keen to hear rebukes to guide,
Your truth so clear, serve at Your side.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69
Tune 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father strong to save’ or Motzart (Isaac) (tune of ‘We have not known Thee as we ought’) or ‘Solid rock’ (tune of ‘My hope is built on nothing less’
Adverts suggest that we never could be
happy without some new gadget we see,
kitchen transformed, or a new swell settee:
thrilling, exciting us briefly, maybe.
Day after day we enjoy tasty food,
pleasure in countryside, friends do us good.
Yes, there are troubles, but still much to cheer –
life in God’s world is not grey or austere.
Perfect the joy in God’s fellowship sweet,
dressed for His presence, protection complete,
beauty adorning, accepted, embraced –
in Jesus’ righteousness fully encased.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10
Tune: 10 10 10 10 eg Slane (tune of ‘Be thou my vision’)
The factories would close
on Saturday –
and so no smoke arose
the furnaces shut down,
the atmosphere cleared,
and they could see that far-off tower
as smuts and smoke,
our ears surround
which clog and choke
a day of rest and worship
can still provide
for mist and murk
to clear, subside
from mind and soul,
and we can view afresh
our aims and far-off goal.
A merry-go-round of monotony,
a chorus of cackling cacophony
– soul’s bellies a-rumbling,
and hungering, grumbling
– life colourless: strife, gloom and acrimony.
The gift that arrived that first Christmas
with promises that it could give us
what really can satisfy
– see God above ratify
– imperishable gift that’s so precious.
Amusements can give us a “sugar-rush”
– our souls need whole food that will nourish us.
We need to receive Him,
His Word to escape this world’s death-curse.
Our Father in heaven so holy,
may many more honour you wholly,
your good kingdom come,
your perfect will done
on earth, as in heaven, more fully.
We pray for our needs that are daily
so varied and sometimes our folly
brings need of your grace,
and tender embrace
– please pardon, for sins we are sorry.
We will not ourselves be unwilling
to exercise mercy, forgiving
each other, we need
that you wisely lead,
upheld in the troubles of living.
So help us the pitfalls, temptation
to see and avoid, give protection
from Satan’s designs,
his malice and crimes,
his subtle, perverting intention.
To God, Source of hope, gladly singing
– he promises, capably bringing
real hope for the hopeless, releasing
from fear – peace through all, never ceasing.
Believing his word of salvation
from sickness and sin’s condemnation,
believing that Jesus procured thus
by death this solution assured us.
We’ve joy from this hope that’s abounding,
though Satan sows doubts, but the grounding
of hope is secure in our Saviour,
his Spirit walks with us for ever.
Still troubled by illness and sinning –
we know that their end you are bringing,
enjoying your grace, contemplating,
bright future we’re patiently waiting.
A happy home with honour, love,
will strengthen all who in it live,
obedience to wise Mum and Dad,
and neighbours for such peace are glad.
But it will not arise by chance,
by apathy or negligence,
nor from indulgence – being blind
to disobedience is not kind.
No heavy-handed, harsh regime,
but patient teaching, discipline
that’s firm, but loving, gains respect,
and from life’s pitfalls will protect.
And when we’ve failed, and faults confess,
there is such grace, he still can bless,
and help us wisely show we care,
and try, his love with others share.
And then in age, reversal comes –
care for the parents by the sons
and daughters, as the Lord commands,
let’s caring be, as he intends.
“Honour your father and mother” — which is the first commandment with a promise —”that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead , bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:2-4
Mission Impossible: go out –
eleven disciples poor, without
administration, scheme and strength
should take, throughout the breadth and length
of all the world, Christ’s words, good news –
though some would hate, falsely accuse,
detest the message. ‘Power I’ll send
to help you do what I intend –
my Holy Spirit will descend,
though to my Father I ascend.’
Men’s pride at Babel brought division,
disunity, folly, confusion.
By miracle, at Pentecost,
that unity that had been lost
began again – God’s wonders told
in every language, soon the world
would hear this gospel of his grace
now brought to all the human race –
not blasted out from megaphone –
minds wake and listen, new life known.