The 3 ‘R’s

Redeemed to live for him,
to love his laws that show
how to depart from sin –
immense the debt we owe.

Regenerated, find
our bonds have been cut through,
renewed desires of mind,
enabled good to do.

Now reconciled, with awe
we’re friends with God, agree,
and reverently adore –
from enmity set free.

Tune: 66 66 eg St Cecilia

A friend of God?!

A treasured prize invaluable
– it should seem quite incredible
that God, Creator, holy, pure
could friendship want, desire, endure
with us – but it is so, we’re filled
with awe, and startled hearts are thrilled.

Religions fear a wrath they must
somehow appease if it is just,
and never could conceive, or dare
hope such a Being would, could care
for friendship – that would seem absurd,
until Christ’s victory is heard.

The access he has opened, and
now beckons, calls with love’s command
to all who hide: to come, receive,
repent of sins, draw near, believe.
Have you desired, asked him to be
your special Friend eternally?

For then you’ll taste that friendship warm
enjoyment in the calm and storm
in sharing, comforted – intend
to always please your Father, Friend,
and value friendship of all who
walk with him on this journey new.

James  2: 23 Abraham believed God … he was called God’s friend.

Tune: 88 88 88  eg Sussex Carol (tune of ‘On Christmas Night all Christians Sing’)
or eg Stella (tune of ‘Leave God to order all thy ways’) or Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)

God spoke, from the beginning

For fellowship no longer fit –
see how they tried to hide,
but in that perfect place they now
could not, must not abide.
God spoke – his words were stern, but showed
that he would one day bring
a way of mercy so they could
approach the holy King.

God spoke when Cain, in jealousy
his brother Abel killed;
and when with violent godlessness
and evil, earth was filled,
God spoke to Noah of his grief  –
he’d send a world-wide flood,
but told him how to build a vast
safe vessel out of wood.

God spoke to Abram, so that he
might pass the teaching on
to his descendants, who’d expect,
await the Christ to come.
God spoke through prophets to rebuke
unkindness, pride and greed,
and taught them to turn back, and pray
for mercy, grace in need.

God spoke how he would come one day,
to teach, redeem and save,
foretold Messiah’s birth and death,
and then the empty grave.
And so God spoke by his own Son,
the Priest, the living Word
– himself revealing: will his words
be scorned, repressed, ignored?

DCM eg Noel tune of ‘It came upon a midnight clear’
‘In the past God spoke … at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son …” Hebrews 1:1,2

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

Reconciliation

Adopted and redeemed,
welcomed and embraced,
justified, forgiven –
salvation’s facets traced.

His Spirit will comfort us
through life in this place,
and Christ soon will come for us:
high purpose of grace.

Sanctified, instructed,
chastened and preserved,
guarded and protected,
serving as we’re served.

on Romans 5:8

Jesus died upon a cross.
Why? What for? for who? for us
we had nothing to commend,
no desire to be God’s friend;
sinners unendearing, no
power to change, to better do –
but his love, great grace procured
through this death that he endured.

He who sent his Son for this,
cleanses, draws, receive his kiss –
he’s then able to preserve,
hold us when we slip or swerve,
mould, prepare us for his heaven –
grace continues when once given.
Is our love like his for us
– reaching out to others thus?

(Tune: 77 77D)

Who alone has perfect goodness?

Mark 10: 21–23
Who alone has perfect goodness?
Which commandments have I kept?
All the ten quite fully, always?
Is there anything that’s crept
in my heart to take affection,
and my trust for life’s protection?

Jesus knows and speaks to save us.
He will not speak words of ease
that would leave us as he found us,
– he speaks truth that may not please.
If we would have life eternal,
let Christ view our thoughts internal.

High the cost, but grace is greater:
nothing wasted, heaven won.
All we own is now the Saviour’s
– if we’ve riches, if we’ve none –
he alone can wisely guide us,
and with all we need, provide us.

Though at first we may not like it,
yet we may find grace to turn,
and accept the Word that touched us
‘on the raw’, and made us squirm,
fight, rebel, or slink away,
loving self too much to pray.

If we would escape from danger,
we must pick the idols from there.

Out of Blind Bondage

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14
Bondage in the darkness, under Satan’s sway,
slavery, dominion; – no desire to pray:
gospel light unseen, and all that’s for our good:
blinded to our blindness: truth misunderstood.

Under Satan’s thumb; ‘at peace’ we thought, deceived.
Satan cannot love; his malice unperceived.
No co-operation with the rescue-bid:
willing to remain, content with all we did.

Brought into the kingdom of the Son he loves;
finding freedom, for new sight, delights he gives.
And this freedom is a willing bondage to
what we now appreciate, and want to do!

Tune: 65 65 D

Perfect Rebuilds

He knew they’d crucify, destroy,
foretold he would arise,
his body gloriously rebuilt,
their accusations lies.

And when I realised how corrupt
was all my selfish thought,
I longed he would destroy, rebuild
to love as he had taught.

He’s promised soon he will destroy
this messed-up universe,
and make a world that’s full of joy,
released from evil’s curse.