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’)

Will you commit yourself to …?

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.

God’s Gracious Call

‘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.

(Isaiah 1:18)

Tune: 87 87+ ‘Showers of Blessing’ by J McGranahan

The sailors in Jonah’s boat

(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’)

A Fountain in the Desert

“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

For all

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’

Urgently Grasp

Matthew 11:12

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.

What will last?

Present needs can fill the mind:
Jesus says what’s best to find
is himself, and life he’ll give
evermore with him to live.

Life-transforming offer this!
on-call service do not miss!
help in struggles is at hand –
soon we’ll reach the glorious land!

Don’t just ask for daily bread,
him receive, and so be fed
in your soul with what will last
when these present needs are past.

So with thinking realigned,
following in deed and mind
fully his direction wholly
for all else is failing folly.

Tune: 77 77+ eg tune of ‘See amid the winter snow’  or 77 77 eg Nottingham, tune of ‘Take my life, and let it be’

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. … I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry … “ John 6:27, 35

 

Wanting things heavenly

Wanting life heavenly, feeling it hell,
stress and frustration – nothing goes well:
take short vacation, leave hurt behind,
new sights and feasting – brief pleasure find.

Jesus brings heaven to those who seek him,
and who will break with selfishness, sin;
soon there’ll be fullness, and even now,
heavenly foretaste here we can know.

Do others see it shown in the love
of those receiving grace from above?
wonderful life that Jesus can give
– may more be longing with him to live.

54 54 D eg Thine own way, Lord

Gifts Unvalued

Gifts “exchanged” and gifts “expected”,
grudging giving – price inspected:
some thus hope to buy esteem,
which they later can redeem;
some just want to give a token
as a sign of love unspoken.

God is not obliged to gifting
those forgetting him and drifting,
and we can’t placate, persuade
by a few good deeds displayed;
previous gifts have lain unused
or discarded, mocked, abused.

If we value love so great,
sense our very needy state,
long to live with souls repaired,
fellowship, much anguish spared,
then for ever with him live –
oh, receive what he can give!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Tune: 77 77 77 eg England’s Lane, tune of ‘For the beauty of the earth’, or Dix, tune of ‘As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold’