I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning … so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1,4 and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. Acts 1:3
The soldiers checked that he was really dead,
secured the tomb with stone, and seal, and guard; (Mtt.27:65,66)
the tomb was empty (undisputed), none
discovered where the body could have gone.
His friends were sad, confused when Jesus died,
transformed with courage when they testified
that they had seen him eat, his voice they’d heard,
and once, five hundred met the risen Word.
These men and women, simple, and respected
could not deny the facts, though persecuted.
No smooth, invented tale schemers devised;
– reports that tumbled out from those surprised,
– authentic tone; and Luke with care compiled,
convincing proofs on which we have relied,
and know his Spirit coming to subdue
our stubborness, give life and love anew.
Some die to save their friends,
or in attempt some evil tide to turn.
The Saviour knew no other death could make amends
for my neglect and folly, disobedience time and time again.
He knew though that his death would pay the debt,
and recreate, empower with new desire.
He rose to live and lead us in his Way,
and by his Spirit strengthen, holiness inspire.
His death that should have brought disgrace and shame,
has brought such honour, glory to his name.
His depth of pain and anguish was far more
than those who for their own crimes suffering bore.
What we had earned – God’s righteous judgement just,
he fully took, to save all those who trust.
And when they choose to hurt, oppress, and kill
those Christians who don’t hate or do them ill,
it will not bring the victims lasting shame,
but glory, honour to their Saviour’s name –
whose cause and mercy cannot be denied,
whose justice fair to all will be applied.
Just once he showed his awesome majesty,
unveiling of his shining deity;
with Moses talked of what he’d soon fulfil
– the sacrificial Lamb would let them kill
himself: as Rescuer soon he would depart,
and lead to freedom, blessings great impart.
The Father spoke from heaven, awesome sound,
– announcement of the Son’s authority,
acknowledging his full divinity,
– one greater than Elijah here was found,
whom we should listen to attentively
our Maker, Saviour heed delightedly.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 10 1 0 eg Finlandia by Sibelius (tune of ‘Be still my soul, the Lord is on Thy side’)
or Yorkshire by John Wainwright (tune of ‘Christians awake, salute the happy morn’)
Recreated by God’s Holy Spirit to be
to the praise of his glorious grace;
and the fruit of true praise should be borne from those lips
which confess him and know his embrace.
Sacrificially giving God praise,
praise for all that he is and his ways;
will you give time and thought
to give praise as you ought?
through Christ Jesus continually praise.
And this fruit is produced when we study his Word,
when we meditate, realise, agree
with the facts there recorded to teach us that God
great and glorious always will be.
And the names of our God and his Christ teach us much
of his attributes, nature and ways.
He is holy, and loving, and just, and so good;
– for his wise, gracious actions give praise.
God almighty deserves all the effort we can
give to offering thanks, giving praise.
We can never atone for our sins, but receive
his salvation, and grace all our days.
Tune: tune of ‘When I come’ (words by T Ramsey) by C E Durham 135 Youth Praise
Do not long to live in plenty,
finest clothes, or worldly fame;
do not ask a life that’s easy,
pray for grace in Jesu’s name.
Pray to grow in faith and goodness,
pure, heart-fellowship with God,
mortifying sin with gladness,
pressing onward in the Lord.
If he gives us wealth that’s passing
soon it flies, or wastes away;
but the profit, pleasure’s lasting,
when for purity we pray.
So each day, God’s grace be seeking,
that, what he has formed may grow;
give him praise for all he’s giving,
daily more he will bestow!
This is based on the Welsh words of ‘Calon Lân’ by Mr Daniel James (Gwyrosydd)
Tune: Calon Lân by John Hughes
(Proverbs 1:10; 7:10)
Satan slyly tempts into danger’s way,
and the fool is taken in,
for he drifts and dreams, he’s an easy prey, –
soon enticed, engulfed by sin.
Follow wisdom: listen and be wise.
Fear God, and turn from sin.
Fools will follow after foolishness and lies.
Turn to Christ, and follow him.
Lacking aim and purpose, without concern
for what’s past, or is to come.
Blind to snares around, no desire to learn,
just enjoying lots of fun.
Quick to quarrel, cocky, inclined to spite,
quick to air their foolish views,
making others sin, they neglect the Light,
and God’s wise advice refuse.
One day God will not turn his gracious ear
to their anguished call and plight;
for the calls of wisdom they would not hear,
and in folly took delight.
Tune: 10 7 10 7+ Submission by W H Doane (tune of ‘Draw me nearer ‘) 677 Grace
Proverbs 1:20,22,23,32,33; 3:13,14 & Jas.4:8
Wisdom calls for all to hear, –
precious warnings loud and clear.
Would you rather turn away, –
follow folly day by day?
Foolish friends will draw you on,
try to carry you along.
Word of God alone is true:
listen! for it calls to you.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
full of wisdom, living Word;
Prophet who reveals God’s truth;
Guide and Counsellor of youth.
Wisdom’s Source, before all time,
with the Father, and divine.
See his power and skill displayed
in the wonders God has made.
Greatest wonder, gracious plan:
truth incarnate saving man.
Jesus Christ was crucified:
Life in him, the Lamb who died.
Wisdom calls and offers grace,
loudly calls in every place.
Do you hear Christ? Will you heed?
One day he’ll no longer plead.
If God’s Holy Spirit has made you an heir,
a son by adoption, Christ’s glory to share;
if justified, welcomed, forgiven all sin, –
your sanctification by God will begin.
Glorious work! Glorious work! God’s omnipotent plan!
Glorious work! Glorious work! God redeems sinful man!
So do not lose heart when God’s dealings seem hard,
we would not be sons if his training were spared.
It truly you’re his, then chastisement expect,
for God must instruct and rebuke to perfect;
and such will be painful, the purging is sore,
but leaves us more gentle and meek than before.
God is not inflicting the due for our sins,
for Christ paid that penalty – mercy he brings;
but God will correct, and will train, and will test,
preparing a people to enter his rest.
And do not be cross, do not criticize God,
whenever you wince at the sting of his rod,
for wise is his providence, perfect his plan,
and he will complete what in us he began.
And learn what he’s teaching, and pray, and submit;
you must be made ready for heaven, made fit;
you’ll grow through affliction your Father provides,
accept what his love and his wisdom decides.
But still we can pray that he give what we need
to serve him, and witness; may ask to be freed
from pain that would hinder, or things that prevent
our efforts to tackle the work we’ve been sent.
Tune: 11 11 11 11 + (‘To God be the glory’ by W H Doane)
Through Jesus Christ I can
get strength for doing good; –
since life anew began
I can do what I should.
Why do I fail?
His power you’ll see
help one so frail.
When circumstances rise
that I don’t want to be,
I first must recognise
the conflict that I see;
to God return,
the clash admit,
pray help to learn
his will, submit.
And if you cannot cope
with pressures on your way,
don’t grumble, shout, or mope,
draw near to God, and pray.
Christ’s Spirit lives
with power within:
at sin he grieves, –
keep peace with him.
Tune: 6666 88 eg Millenium