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’)

Frustrating present

On Ecclesiastes chapter

Birth and death, and peace and war
– life on earth flows back and for’,
laughter, weeping, hatred sad,
love and kindness making glad,
times of useful, skilled production,
times of damage and destruction.

Ups and downs, life circles, swings:
joy and anguish this world brings,
want to see what’s futile, wrong
all expelled before too long.
Can’t quite grasp a sense of meaning
‘til a promised purpose gleaning.

For the Maker’s spoken Word,
says he’ll deal with what’s absurd
– unjust ‘justice’ swept away,
judgement fair he’ll bring one day.
We were made for somewhere better
and can find it with the Saviour.

So we can enjoy our life,
even though there’s war and strife,
trouble, hurt, but much that’s good
– trust, enjoy your work and food.
All you can achieve gives pleasure,
but await full perfect treasure.

Out of the overflow of the heart …

… the mouth speaks*

Life flows from the heart,
guiding lips and eyes –
do they help you do things
that are good and wise?

Purify your heart,
guard it well each day,
let it cleanse your lips, be
kind in what you say.

Take it to the fount,
cleansed by water, blood.
God can wash it clean, and
give delight in good.
*Mathew 12:34

Proverbs 4:20-27

 

Tune: This is 55. 55. but can be sung to Gott ein Vater by F Silcher arr W Tschirsch which is 55 65

New church, devoting themselves to …

They (those converted at the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached) devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

New life, a fledgling church
in love, together bound.
They’d seen their guilt, rebellion, sin,
then God’s forgiveness found.

Baptized, they joined his church,
adopted, with new kin,
devoted to their Saviour’s Word
to grow in pleasing him.

Blest fellowship with all
who know Him, old and young,
the rich, the poor: all care and share –
God values everyone.

They love to meet to keep
remembrance of his death,
break bread his cov’nant to proclaim
‘til he returns to earth.

Delight to meet to pray
requests together raise,
the whole church asking God to bless,
unitedly they praise.

Devotion’s strength may lapse –
distracted by your cares?
or in your busyness, your love,
grown cooler, unawares?

Give thought to how you came
to be reborn, made new,
devotion rouse to Him who has
done wondrous things for you.

Tune: SM eg tune of ‘Blest be the tie that binds’

Deep Happiness (on Psalm 1)

Who tastes real happiness?
supported, blessed and strong
to stand against the throng
enticing to do wrong.

Who tastes real happiness?
He will delight to read
each day in God’s Word feed,
and meditate, take heed.

Who tastes real happiness?
he will bring forth good fruit,
in God himself his root,
established, prosperous shoot.

Who tastes real happiness?
not those like dry dust blown,
no Saviour sought, alone
they come before God’s throne.

Who tastes real happiness?
those Jesus washes white
through faith, now counted right,
kept safe within his sight.
Tune: 66 66 iambic eg St Cecilia by Leighton G Hayne

Reminders

(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

on 1 Peter 2:1-3

1. Tasting riches of salvation,
see God’s goodness more and more,
blessèd fellowship experience –
life unknown when dead before.

Taste and see our Saviour’s goodness,
rid yourselves of all that’s wrong,
feeding in the Bible daily –
newborn babies growing strong.

2. Quit the poison that will weaken –
malice, slander and deceit;
shun emaciating envy,
hypocritical conceit.

3. Crave the milk of God, his scriptures,
that mature and make us grow
strong and healthy, firmly founded
to delight this Lord we know.

(tune of ‘All that thrills my soul is Jesus’)

Romans 12:1,2

When you have seen how very great
his love and mercy contemplate
and so observe how much you owe,
your life to him you must bestow
in sacrifice, his rule to know;

and thus your mind and life transformed
to live no longer squeezed, conformed
by such surrounding worldly pressure,
renewed to know, delight and treasure
the perfect will of God with pleasure.

And so, we read and mine his Word,
are thrilled, rebuked, taught by our Lord,
appreciate this clean, new way
that gives us strength, and helps us pray
and leads us heavenwards day by day.
Tune: 88 888