God’s Providence

An able Creator protects and upholds
the stars, and the bud which so neatly unfolds,
the rocks of the mountain, the tit in the tree,
the beautiful lily, the robin, and me.
Give praise to God most high for all his supply,
for food and for clothing, – so rich a supply.
Give praise to God most high for all his supply,
and trust in his mercy, and wisdom, for ever, Amen.

An able Creator was saddened to see:
when tempted, Eve took of the fruit of the tree.
She tasted God’s judgement – the ‘curse’ had begun,
yet still he protected, and sent us his Son.

There’s much in this world that man can’t understand,
the grief and the troubles allowed by God’s hand;
like Job we may wonder, may pray, and may cry,
God’s constant provision we cannot deny.

God does not delight in men dying in sin;
and Jesus bore judgement, there’s freedom in him,
but all who refuse will themselves have to pay,
for them God’s provision will finish one day.

God knows all about every sheep on the hill;
in life and in death always tends to them still;
so do not refuse all the grace he supplies:
forgiveness, adoption, and providence wise.

Whatever we have should be used to his praise,
and we can help others in numberless ways;
Forgiving our foes, for by mercy we live:
we freely receive, so we freely should give.

(inspired by the Welsh hymn ‘Mae’r Arglwydd yn cofio y Dryw yn y drain’ by Gomer M Roberts, – the chorus is basically a translation;
and can be sung to the same tune, ‘Mair’ by D E Williams, Treforys)

and for children

He glances through the galaxy,
he scans me through and through.
He watches fishes in the sea,
and calls to me and you
to learn his ways,
and sing his praise,
and tell him of our fears.
Although he knows,
he helps all those
who pray and ask, – he hears.

He sees through all the dark of night,
and through the fog and haze.
No danger’s hidden from his sight,
no secret from his gaze.
Our need he knows,
so let’s be those
who tell him of our fears,
and always pray
his help all day
– he watches and, he hears.
Tune: CM+ God Sees by S W Straub

Standing against Satan’s schemeing

(Ephesians 6:10-13)
In Jesus Christ be strong,
stand firm in his great might,
well-armed, for all day long
with Satan we must fight.
Defeated foe,
doomed enemy,
now hates to see
God’s kingdom grow.

He’s for a while allowed
to trouble, and with skill
he schemes to make us proud,
displease our God, do ill;
and knowing where
we’re weak, he tries
by clever lies
to tempt or scare.

The fellowship of saints
refines away their dross,
but Satan spreads complaints, –
he likes us to be cross.
He sets a snare
to make us trip,
from prayer to slip,
and doubt God’s care
[Tune: Millennium 6666 88]

and for children

Quietly, cleverly,
sweet and sly,
hear him lie,
tempt you into sins so small,
so to big ones soon to fall. –
Shun the tempter’s way,
read God’s Word and pray.

All the day, all you say,
all you do, should be true.
Don’t deceive, be cross, unkind,
careful how you use your mind:
watch, take care, and pray,
walk the narrow way.

What a fool, when at school,
giving in, doing sin.
Other children haven’t heard
clear teaching from God’s Word.
Think what’s right to do, –
some may copy you!

and for children

Heaven is full of love and happiness,
nothing evil, and no sinfulness.
Trust in Jesus, then he’ll welcome us:
heaven – wonderful home !

Jesus lives there – if you trust in him
now, you’ll pray, and try to live like him,
glad one day to go to be with him –
heaven – wonderful home !
[Tune of ‘Jesus’ love is very wonderful’]

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them’

Some fear to teach a child to pray.
Some tell them words to bow and say.
But I would rather always try
to show them ‘how’ to pray, and ‘why’.

The ‘how’’s the same in age and youth:
I must explain the gospel truth
in phrases simple, faithful, clear –
not hindering them in drawing near.

And help them understand that all
who truly come to God, to call
and thank, will have those lives which show
they love this One they claim to know.

They’ll know if from the heart they pray,
and want to please God, and obey;
for though still sinful, muddled, young, –
has Life eternal, new, begun?

If so, they’ll long to know him more, –
but please remember that their store
of knowledge still is very small, –
they need your help to learn it all.

They still have sinful thoughts to fight,
need help to learn God’s will, what’s right,
accept rebukes, keep in the Way
where Christ is with them, and they pray.

I wont insist they pray, or press
that Jesus Christ they must confess;
but urge, invite, – for so I may
stir up a strong desire to pray!

So may they think and test their state,
and really pray, not shrug, and wait
uncaring whether they have come
to know this God and his dear Son.

and for children

(Job chapters 38–41)
Could you fish a crocodile,
or hook a dinosaur?
tell a shark to ‘wait awhile’,
and shake a lion’s paw?

Have you told the sun to rise,
explored through all the earth,
flown through space to check the skies,
watched mountain goats give birth?

Can you care for, and protect
the birds, and find their food?
Show me how you would direct
the thunder, for our good.

Can you talk to leopards wild,
tame rhinos, put a lead
on a cheetah for a child –
a pet of super speed! – ?

No! you’re not as strong as God:
the King who understands
all that happens in our world,
and rules with kind commands.

Do you ever grumble, whine, –
and pester, sulk or moan,
feeling bored most of the time,
for nothing’s really fun?

Friends can let you down, – who cares?
who’s always near by?
and loves to help and answer prayers,
and never tells a lie?

Division of labour in marriage

Marriage needs co-operation;
each needs wisdom, love and grace;
full support, not competition:
home can be a happy place.
Neither role will be soft option:
yoked – no mutiny or friction.

Leadership in marriage never
lordly tyranny unkind.
Loving God, love for each other,
– teamwork’s rich rewards we find.
Wife’s assistance is far-reaching,
– task demanding, talents-stretching.

People are so very varied
– mothers are not all the same!
but the pattern God created
gives each family a frame:
working steadily through life,
husband helped by gracious wife.

Loving Redemption applied

(1 John 3:1)
With love amazing, – quite beyond
my power to comprehend, –
he took me from my foolish ways,
and made me his dear friend!

Behold! and look what kind of love –
astonished as we see –
what love he’s lavished on vile souls –
immense and rich and free!

To be adopted, children dear,
though once at enmity,
awaiting great and glorious days –
that blest eternity.

The world may think we’re fools, deceived, –
they do not see how great
the humble, suffering, risen Christ, –
nor know how good our state.

We know we are his children now
though hard may be our path.
In love he sent his only Son
to save us from just wrath.

For deep the change that he has wrought
within our sinful hearts;
we hate ensnaring sin, and love
the grace that Christ imparts.

He has not promised easy ways: –
he wants his sons to grow
in faith and godliness, – his love
ourselves to others show.

But he has promised he will work
our good, and not allow
except what trials he thinks fit, –
his grace we’ll always know.

The Son of God we soon will see,
for Jesus will appear,
and take us to our Father’s throne,
removing every tear.

What love amazing! for he gave
the Son he loved so well,
and what atonement cost the Son
and Father, who can tell?

The beginning of trouble

How grim that day with sin first known,
God’s righteousness and judgement shown,
the pair aware of loss and shame,
and knowing they deserved the blame.
Was there no glimmer in the gloom?
Only if God would save from doom.

God spoke: but mixed with justice see
a glimmer of the victory,
the saving plan he has – her seed
will one day crush the devil’s head.
A glimpse of light for faith to hold,
and wait until the plan unfold.

God showed inadequate their cover
for shame: sewn leaves of their endeavour.
Guilt called for death, – God would supply
a substitute instead to die.
A glimpse …

Did they believe? It seems they did,
and trusted him from whom they’d hid, –
though long the wait for full fulfilment,
they tasted grace in midst of judgement.
The glimmer would one day be bright,
for Christ himself will banish night.