The showers of blessings refresh grateful souls
– absorbed like the rain when it onto earth falls,
but hearts that are hardened don’t let blessings in –
like ducks’ backs and rocks that just brush away rain.
Contempt for the blessings God’s goodness supplies
will wither the soul, just as greed will despise
provisions provided for needs and relief,
and crave for the coveted things that bring grief.
The children of Israel were tempted to cry,
forgetting the slavery – the different supply
of food they had left there they longed for – distrust,
impatience, ingratitude filled them with lust.
Tune: 11 11 11 11
To Jesus they brought
this one they had caught
in breaking the law –
Christ came to restore
those sorry for sin,
so they could begin
a new life with Him,
For her they did not
have care, not a jot,
their aim was to trip
make Jesus to slip,
so they could detect
for law disrespect,
and undermine grace
that covers disgrace.
They all crept away,
for no-one could say
he’d never done wrong
through all his life long.
can other sins hide.
The test had spun round –
and what had they found?
He didn’t condone,
nor did he condemn;
his mission to save,
and now can forgive
if guilt we admit
desiring to quit,
rebellion to leave;
repent and receive.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 but can be sung to some 10 10 11 11 tunes eg
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
They wail in anger, misery,
‘God is unjust’, they say,’
‘He does not help, or care for me’,
and yet, they do not pray.
They’ve strayed aside, not turned to him,
their hearts are far away,
have no concern to leave their sin,
self-centred every day.
Trust many things – they flit and fly,
just like a wandering dove,
on various things they lean, rely,
won’t come to God for love.
“Return, return!” ‘Forgive, Receive
us, we’ll no longer trust
the crumbling helps that fail and grieve –
in grace we’ll be so blest.’
(cf Hosea 7:11-14; 14:1-4)
A merry-go-round of monotony,
a chorus of cackling cacophony
– soul’s bellies a-rumbling,
and hungering, grumbling
– life colourless: strife, gloom and acrimony.
The gift that arrived that first Christmas
with promises that it could give us
what really can satisfy
– see God above ratify
– imperishable gift that’s so precious.
Amusements can give us a “sugar-rush”
– our souls need whole food that will nourish us.
We need to receive Him,
His Word to escape this world’s death-curse.
Mission Impossible: go out –
eleven disciples poor, without
administration, scheme and strength
should take, throughout the breadth and length
of all the world, Christ’s words, good news –
though some would hate, falsely accuse,
detest the message. ‘Power I’ll send
to help you do what I intend –
my Holy Spirit will descend,
though to my Father I ascend.’
Men’s pride at Babel brought division,
disunity, folly, confusion.
By miracle, at Pentecost,
that unity that had been lost
began again – God’s wonders told
in every language, soon the world
would hear this gospel of his grace
now brought to all the human race –
not blasted out from megaphone –
minds wake and listen, new life known.
If Santa really watches all,
then every single name would fall
not in the ‘nice’, but ‘naughty’ list –
for everyone the target’s missed.
We won’t succeed even if we start
perfecting life – the whole, not part –
we’re bound to mess up, and can’t pay
to wash past guiltiness away.
So if there is a God who sees,
can anyone his verdict please?
and can we have real happiness,
can he be kind to us and bless?
As no-one can be nice enough,
then Jesus came to take us off
the ‘naughty’ list if we’ll receive
his goodness, niceness and believe. Tune: LM
I liked to drink and mess about,
with no-one to restrain,
I did it my way, soon found out
it led to sadness, pain.
I’m fickle with my friends, don’t want
commitment – free and loose.
– Why is it that decisions haunt
and feel like self-abuse?
I left my home, and took my share,
then squandered it away.
Bankrupt, with no-one left to care
– my ‘pals’ had had their play.
Dare I return, my way now own
was stupid? ask for food?
But look! he’s running, welcomes home
and gives again what’s good!
(cf The parable of the Prodigal Son, recorded in Luke 15)
As you think of provision abundant,
As you thank the Provider omnipotent,
do the things he has sent
grip your heart to prevent
your seeing the things more important?
For all your belongings and money
can’t give your heart rest when you’re lonely,
cannot take your soul on
when your time here is gone:
without God, satisfaction is phoney.
So at least give some thought to such matters
when weary of boastful go-getters,
for our life’s more than food,
seek the One who is good,
who can help when your hopes lie in tatters.
Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. … Be on your guard against all types of greed … “This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards God. … Life is more than food. Luke 12:8, 15, 20,21,23
( 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.