Reconciled, then fostering peace

So vast the chasm, huge the rift
between pure goodness, love, and they
who on his earth carelessly drift
and no respect or rental pay.

He gave them much, and often spared
though few gave thought to make request;
their folly grieved him, for he cared
and knew their loss, they lacked the best.

What could he do? the rift was great.
Could they be healed and reconciled,
brought into such a holy state
that each could be his friend, his child?

He spoke, he came, he took their place
to pay the price for all their sin;
his Spirit moved their hearts in grace
to humbly turn, return to him.

And those who did, shunned squabbling
and malice, selfishness and greed,
all hatred, and proud babbling:
to foster peace they’d now been freed!
Tune: LM

Growing

May I while given these new days
more fully follow Jesus,
more faithfully reflect his ways,
his grace and love that frees us.

I do desire above all to
each day more fully know him,
and be transformed in all I do,
more like him daily growing.

Tune: 87 87 iambic eg Dominus Regit Me by J Dykes (tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’)

Cared For

They know their Master’s voice
– that voice has safely led
each one aware he knows their name,
and by him they are fed,

They follow at his call,
and heed his every word,
they know he knows the way ahead,
and all their prayers are heard.

He glances round the stars,
far mightier is he,
and yet he cares for foolish sheep
and comforts lovingly.
Tune: SM

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
John  10:14

Troubles Rock

When your life is shaken,
feeling bruised and broken,
never lost, forsaken,
though your life is shaken.

From despair you’re lifted
though by Satan sifted,
faith, by God is gifted:
from despair you’re lifted.

Jesus says he’s praying
when he sees you straying,
tempted, disobeying,
Jesus still is praying.

Let him succour, leading
in his shelter feeding,
as he’s interceding,
let him succour, leading.

Tune: 66 66 trochaic eg Ravenshaw (tune of ‘Lord, Thy word abideth’)

Peace as far as possible

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’)

Vital

There’s nothing on earth as important
as closely to walk with your God.
For so many things can distract us,
forgetting the words he has said.
Take heart, take heed!
when feeble and fearful, be strong –
our Saviour is Sovereign,
with joy we’ll be home before long!

Each word he has said is important
– the way of his kindness and grace,
but also his warning of judgement
if scorning a pardoning embrace.

So when you’re discouraged, remember
his promises, fixing your eyes
upon him the God who is Saviour,
and walk in the way that is wise.

Then clearing your life of the litter
of sin, choosing holiness pure,
and aiming towards the bright future
of joy in his promises sure.

Tune: 98 98+ eg ‘Redeemed ‘by William J Kirkpatrick (tune of ‘Redeemed how I love to proclaim it’)

Freed to …

Galatians 3:13-1

Free to follow rule of love
– we’ve received love far above
all that we dared think to pray
– now he helps us love his way.

We’ve been freed to break from sin,
so our service can begin.
As the Father loves the Son,
selfish malice we now shun.

Even though the way be hard,
loved by God we sin discard,
try to love those who annoy,
helped by grace, supplied with joy.

Tune: 77 77 eg Monkland, tune of ‘Let us with a gladsome mind’

Learning from the Rain

‘ He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven …’ Acts 14:17

A gift of God sustaining life,
refreshment after thirst and drought
to fill the rivers, reservoirs,
and moisten earth so plants can sprout.
But rain falls inconveniently
and interrupts warm sunny days:
we cannot organise these things,
need God to order well our ways.

We should do well to take account
that once he sent a world-wide flood
because of wickedness so great,
and though he said he never would
again so flood the earth, there will
be surely judgement day to come,
and that is why the rainbow speaks
of mercy coming through God’s Son.

For like a refuge in the rain,
we shelter from what we are due
for all offence to judgment right,
we gain instead that comfort true.
And then we drink, refreshed, awake,
the Holy Spirit quenches thirst,
he quickens, nurtures and he fills
us, in his love we are immersed.

Tune: DLM eg ‘Ye banks and braes’

Reward for the persecuted

Disciples listened to his word –
soon they’d be proving what they heard –
for insult, accusation, lie
would come, and maybe they would die
from persecution they’d receive
because in Jesus they believe.

Though peaceful, making peace, they seek
to show God’s way, with grace to speak
of mercy, love, be wise and kind,
hatred of righteousness they’d find,
but blessed in heart because they own
God’s kingdom, perfect love have known.

God knows what scorn his people face,
remembers all they bear, his grace
supports and will give honour due
one day when all own what is true
– and sometimes viewing persecution
will shake, move some to seek salvation.

Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for their is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me …” Matthew 5:10,11

Is God your problem or ‘Christians’?

Do you reject this news that’s really good
because of me?
D’you feel I’m hypocritical, and should
more selflessly
be living, do I seem a shallow lie?
Don’t judge me hastily, I truly try.

Maybe you’ve others met who tell this news
who’ve let you down,
and so you shut your ears, their words refuse
– don’t shun a crown,
if messengers are poor, still ponder well
the things they shared, important news we tell.

Or is it rather that your anger strong
is with this God?
for, if he’s true, why is there here such wrong
not perfect good?
he hasn’t taken out all evil yet,
so answers seek from him – ‘don’t ask, won’t get.’

Tune: 10 4 10 4 10 10 eg Sandon by Charles Purday (tune of ‘Unto the hills around do I lift up’)