( He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:2,3)
Boys in Thailand deep inside a cave –
needing rescuers who can save
coming in from far to find each boy
– welcomed gratefully, with joy.
Stuck in bog of sin, we can’t break free,
burst from chained captivity;
needing someone wise with rescue plan
who’ll fulfil it – Saviour-man.
When he comes you must respond, and grasp,
call, his help then firmly clasp,
and when lifted from lust’s powerful pull,
follow him, your Lord, joy-full.
The God who is and ever was
knew well before creation
that those he made would fall to sin
and sadness through temptation.
He knew the only way would be
to rescue through redemption. –
for One untaintable to take
their sin’s full condemnation.
So they could be washed and set free,
procured grace receiving
when told what had been done for them,
It was the Son of God himself
who took the task upon him,
and came to Bethlem, gave himself
upon the cross atoning.
‘What must I do?’ the lawyer asked,
‘eternal life to have?’
– the most important question – will
I live beyond the grave?
If fact, he felt he had some chance,
thought he was good enough
– but Jesus challenged him to think
– he saw beyond his bluff.
He sets the standard very high,
and when we realise
how much we fail, we then may ask
his grace – and that is wise.
Do you reject this news that’s really good
because of me?
D’you feel I’m hypocritical, and should
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’)
A ‘Leap of Faith’ they called the ride –
an almost vertical water-slide:
no foolish leap or gambling drop,
partakers knew they’d safely stop,
they trusted those who had designed
and tested, built, the check-sheets signed
when they were absolutely sure
its safety really was secure –
with faith in that, the tourists leapt,
on to the scary slide they stepped.
And faith in One you cannot see
is not a ‘hope’ that maybe he
will be a real trustworthy prop
who won’t forget, neglect or flop.
Real faith trusts One who’s shown his worth
in records of his time on earth,
his skill observed in flower and sky
now love and comfort will supply
– their faith’s no folly, gambler’s bet –
well-founded faith in One they’ve met.
‘Come, let us reason together!’
– See, he is willing to talk.
Will you be reasonable, wanting
constantly with him to walk?
‘Come, let us reason,
reason together’, says God,
– sins that are horribly scarlet
can be as white as the snow.
Has your behaviour been pleasing?
Is your religion a sham,
hiding your sin, and pretending,
lying to God and to man?
Sins unconfessed tend to fester,
hindering fellowship sweet,
but when admitted, forgiven,
Jesus brings joy as you meet.
Sin stains like splashes of crimson,
cleansed out as white as the snow.
All now desiring his pardon,
mercy and comfort will know.
Tune: 87 87+ ‘Showers of Blessing’ by J McGranahan
(Jonah chapter 1)
The sailors, frightened in the storm,
found idol-gods dead, deaf to cries.
The real, true God they had not known,
and guilty Jonah sleeping lies.
What God d’you worship? – Jonah speak!
– his God, he told them was not weak.
His God, he said, had made the sea,
the land, the sky, and taught his Word,
but disobedient Jonah, he
his God’s chastisement had incurred.
They from the storm would be set free
by throwing Jonah in the sea.
A God who speaks? A powerful God?
who teaches, judges, rules the waves?
Must they throw Jonah overboard?
– surprising will of One who saves.
They had to trust he would not blame,
and great their reverence for his name.
Their boat to land they’d tried to bring,
but could not, for the storm increased.
So now they called, and sought this King
to be from any guilt released.
At once the raging sea was calm,
and God saved Jonah too from harm.
Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita by J B Dykes (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
of Savina by (tune of ‘And can it be that I should gain’)
“Come , all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?”
Pleasures and philosophies,
cannot last or deeply please.
Life is dark, a desert drought
– Christ brings hope – the light shines out.
Come for water, come for life,
easing conscience, help in strife,
adequate for all your need,
for God’s friendship cleansed and freed.
Come, your poverty admit,
don’t pretend that you are fit
to receive this grace immense,
all his free beneficence.
Come– available milk, wine
– full abundance can be mine –
children coming to his throne,
every day his grace is known.
If you’re thirsty, come and drink
from the Source no longer shrink.
Come and ask and trust his Word
– offer free of Christ, the Lord.
Tune: 77 77
The young, the old, cash-strapped, work-stressed:
all everywhere aware
of void within, a cry, a quest
for God who is somewhere.
All see the beauty and design
in flower, bird-song, love,
and some reach out for help divine,
revering One above.
And when they hear the simple tale
of him who taught on earth
and showed his power, and helped the frail,
and clearly conquered death
they find he offers wonder gift
for each who struggle now
of pardon, strength, a real life-lift,
and purpose sure to know.
Tune: CMD eg Forest Green or Christmas Carol, tunes of ‘O little town of Bethlehem’
Seeking grace half-heartedly?
Value it appropriately,
appropriate it urgently:
famished, dying, parched.
None like that are turned away,
only those who want to, stay,
none but desperate people pray
– earnest, forceful, cling.
He will listen if you throw
questions hard and want to know –
grasp, and do not let him go
he will not reject.