(on Isaiah 6)
Lord, show us afresh your vast holiness, might,
revealing anew my great sin in your sight.
Please open our vision to view the stupendous
salvation procured for sinners atrocious.
And help me perceive then the wonder of pardon,
receiving the cleansing, the joy and the freedom
– that freedom to serve and to sense your embrace
empowering, equipping that service by grace.
Remind us to pause, and to contemplate, see
your majesty, love, so our worship will be
revived, stirred and contrite, our hearts overwhelmed,
delighting, rejoicing, luke-warmness dispelled.
eg St Luke 11 11 11 11
1 Corinthians 9:24,27; 10:12
It’s easy to backslide bit by bit from righteousness,
from total love, obedience, submission, faithfulness;
to think oneself much better than sinners all around,
but be sliding from that grace that would abound.
Yes, backsliding is so easy, –
press on, or you will fall;
but it’s far more hard to jog on
through troubles great and small;
but make progress, grow in knowledge,
the Spirit’s graces all; –
for backsliding is not difficult at all.
It’s easy to give something to God, but not give all;
and partly own him Master, but never truly call
for mercy and forgiveness; be stubborn, and so slide,
choosing lust, self-satisfaction, greed and pride.
And pleasures, cares, possessions, like weeds can stifle faith;
if the heart is not committed, and things of self and earth
have more of one’s affection than God and those in need,
then one’s sliding from the heavenly way indeed!
Tune: Irregular ‘Crowning Day’ by J McGranahan
1 Corinthians 1:31
Glory in Jesus, your Saviour from sin,
boast in your knowing a merciful King. –
This be the centre of thinking and speech;
this the profound, simple message we preach.
Subtly the devil will draw us to swerve, –
giving less thought to the One whom we serve,
boasting of eloquence, things we achieve; –
Satan will scheme to divert and deceive.
Do not place trust in your wealth, nor delight
only in seeing spectacular sight.
Do not seek honour, your trust do not place
anywhere other than Christ and his grace.
Christ, and him crucified: this be our theme,
boasting of Jesus who came to redeem,
talking of him and his justice and grace,
glorious fellowship, gospel embrace.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 dactylic eg Slane (Irish Traditional Melody)
(Jonah 1:3,17; 2:1,2,9,10 & 3:1)
If I’m not honest when I fail,
let down my God, I may
cause some to suffer as I hide:
I should seek God and pray.
For salvation can only come from
the Lord and Saviour, and he commanded
the fish that he provided,
to bring Jonah to dry land.
God takes his chosen time to teach,
through darkness he may lead
in love, that I may hear his voice
and feel my guilt and need.
In quietness, distractions gone,
He shows I’m small and weak,
and what a privilege if he
wants me for him to speak.
If God delivers and forgives,
commissions you once more,
don’t take it easy, or presume,
– his Word do not ignore.
Tune: I know whom I have believed.
Revelation 3:3 Luke 4:38,39
Spirit’s ills are easily caught –
gloom spreads quickly around:
feeding neglected and minds untaught;
feverish souls abound.
Spirits revived and restored to health,
strength and health, inward wealth;
sprits revived and restored to health;
Jesus they serve with joy.
Tossing, reckless, minds cannot stay
calm for reading and prayer, –
flicking through pages – thoughts far away:
anxious and full of care.
Patience low, and zeal up and down;
trivial remedies given. –
What brought it on – are there ‘germs’ around?
Yes, ’til we get to heaven.
Sin surrounds us, filth everywhere
can infect everyone.
Turn to the Saviour in humble prayer; –
ask Jesus Christ to come.
Strength is sapped, and beauty is marred,
hope becomes rather dim.
Jesus can help when the way seems hard.
– Put all your trust in him.
Tune: Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Revelation 3: 14-22
Hungry for the wielded sword,
relevant, rebuking Word,
boldly, lovingly applied,
nurturing each needy child.
Are we rich, or wretched, blind?
Preacher, say what’s on your mind:
be specific, make us search
each ourselves, – and as a church.
Searching hearts and thoughts, God’s Word
we must search, and seek our Lord –
buying gold, and salve to see,
growing, changing willingly.
Don’t pretend; we cannot bear
false assessment, hollow prayer.
Minor ailments left alone,
will soon lethally have grown.
You are free to disagree,
if you argue biblically;
but our church must move ahead, –
grow in grace, or soon lie dead.
Dear brothers, in the Saviour,
stand firmly, and take care –
you may not see the dangers,
temptations to beware;
for wealth and worldly standards,
and views against God’s Word
can influence you slyly
from faithfulness to God.
So, have I got complacent?
Get up, and stand to serve!
Or stubborn, and self-centred?
How easily we swerve.
Arise and stand committed
to witness of God’s Way
to those who do not know it:
stand firmly day by day.
And walk with faith in Jesus,
delighting now to learn
his words of light and blessing,
your feet secure and firm.
So, think, and pray, make effort
to persevere and grow
in righteousness, stand firmly,
empowering grace you’ll know.
Tune: 76 76 D
The winds of false teaching, the cunning of men, –
the devil is prowling and lurking again –
he aims to deflect us from God’s narrow way:
unsettled by lies, and with ease puffed astray.
Reborn from our deadness, indifference to sin,
delighting in truth, now alive to begin
to study the Scriptures, and meditate, learn:
and so we’re equipped Satan’s lies to discern.
God’s wisdom you need to perceive what is wrong,
and stop being gullible, carried along;
for youngsters in faith can be tossed by each slight
unhappiness, error, or trivial delight.
Tune: 11 11 11 11 eg Montgomery by S Jarvis
Three times he denied,
three times he replied,
confessing his love,
– for though he was frail,
(no longer self-confident),
Christ’s grace would not fail.
desiring to serve
the loving and living,
forgiving Lord Jesus,
he’ll labour in love,
watch over and feed
Christ’s young new-born sheep
– who constantly need
God’s Word that will keep
them safe in his Way.
Hosea 6:4; 8:2;10:4,12; 14:2,5 Ephesians 5:1,4 Proverbs 25:11
Religious words and ways
can make us feel secure;
but thoughtful inward gaze
will shake, or reassure.
Words, words, words: words worthless or wise,
worthwhile or empty, words pondered, or lies?
Cheap passions soon have passed,
like dew-drops drift away,
for feelings that will last
don’t prattle as they pray:
Words, words, words, words gushing or weighed?
secretive? open? – backsliding displayed.
Is comfort now your goal?
are sacrifices few?
If satisfied of soul,
plough up the soil anew.
Words, words, words: words precious or vain?
rooted in faith, love, or rotting with shame?
Break up the fallow ground,
sow seeds of righteousness,
let kindnesses abound, –
like welcome dew, he’ll bless.
Worthy words, take words that are true;
praying, and praise with the well-chosen few.
Tune: 66 66 + iambic eg ‘Mine’ by R Frank Lehman