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.

The beginning and end of tears

This world, when all was brought to be –
the beauty, wonder we still see
was not yet marred in any way,
with no frustration, till fall’s day.
He who had mutinied, and lost
his place among the heavenly host,
became God’s enemy, until
an end to all his plans of ill.

So when God made the universe,
this Satan schemed, earned judgement’s curse;
he tempted Eve to doubt, rebel,
and so to sin and hurt she fell.
Could not for ever live like this,
their world and they were now amiss,
though still supported, all would groan
until salvation wrought, made known.

Christ came to pay the debt,  he will,
soon come again, and all fulfil,
and meanwhile hear now, heed his call
and friendship, like before the fall,
you can enjoy with God, and when
he comes, returns, a world that then
will have no damage, and no fears,
with happy work, no death, no tears.

Tune: LM or DLM ‘Ye banks and braes’

The Allegory of Aslan’s Sacrifice

As Aslan died instead
of Edmund, who’d betrayed,
so only Jesus could redeem
each one who’d disobeyed.

Only the King himself,
the perfect one alone,
who had no wrong thing ever done,
could take my place, atone.

The temple showed how God
is separate from sin,
and all that is not pure and good:
we could not come to him.

The curtain barred the way,
to the most holy place,
but when Christ died, it broke in two –
he reconciled by grace

His body broken meant
the barrier’s broken down,
so through his bearing punishment
we can approach God’s throne.

What awesome thing is this?
to now be welcomed in
to friendship with the Holy One,
the Sovereign God, our King!

tune: DSM

Certain Hope Reliable

Unfounded hope,
a rotted rope,
to hold in stormy sea,
a cobweb frail
to no avail –
a hope as weak as me.

Oh, why deny
a God on high,
the God his Son disclosed?
a God who’ll teach,
and all can reach,
before whom all’s exposed.

His power clothed earth,
and conquered death –
only the meek reach out
who know their need
to trust and plead:
of hope secure they shout!

Tune: CM eg ‘Amazing Grace’

“We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”*

Imprisoned by mere men,
God brought them out of jail
to tell the way of life to all
in public, without fail.

They’re bidden back for trial,
and nearly sent to death,
but flogged and once more told to stop
telling the gospel’s worth.

Joy, sharing Jesus’ shame,
but can’t keep silent, must
continue teaching news so good,
that Jesus is the Christ.

Tune: SM (6686)

on Acts 5:17-42 ‘… an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts, “ he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” …’ verses19,20 [*Acts 4:20]

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

The favourite Psalm

Psalm 23 – the testimony, and the offer

My Lord is the King of the universe,
a Shepherd who’s caring and true,
Protecting in dangers both subtle and fierce;
and he will be good to you too,
if you ask for his care, and will take him to be
your King and your Shepherd, his goodness you’ll see.

Green pastures around, by his Word well fed,
restoring my soul when I slide,
refreshed by still waters, in righteousness led
to honour my Teacher and Guide.
If you ask for his care, and will take him to be
your King and your Shepherd, his goodness you’ll see.

When death’s shadow is near me, I will not fear
any evil, – I travel with God.
When mortal life fails me, his power avails,
and daily his staff and his rod
rebuke me, and comfort, encourage, mature:
you too could discover this Comforter sure.

My enemies notice my feast prepared.
My joy overflows, and you too
can enjoy every day goodness, mercy, love shared,
with assurance of heaven now in view
if you ask for his care, and will take him to be
your King and your Shepherd, his goodness you’ll see.

Objectively considering the gospel

(Acts 4:10-17)
How hard to admit that you may be wrong
in the claims that you’ve lived by and held so long,
and fairly examine a reasoned case
for things you don’t really now want to embrace.

For the issue is not whether or not it is true,
but would it mean change in the things that you do.

the unmerciful servant . . .

Matthew 18:21-35
Massively in debt: we’ve squandered
so much, and abused
grace, and negligently wandered,
– gifts and skills misused.

We can’t pay what’s owing, fully,
but by faith we know
debt is cancelled, – all our folly,
everything we owe.

And we need to be forgiving,
bitterness must cease;
those who harbour grudges, brooding,
cannot find God’s peace.

Love and justice meet

The ark to hold the words of law
was covered by the mercy seat.
Jehovah must all sin abhor,
– can love and justice ever meet?
Our God triune a plan agreed,
the covenant to meet man’s need.

Each year the blood was sprinkled there,
shed life of sacrifice was shown,
and pointed forward to prepare
for One whose life-blood could atone.
Exquisite grace: our Saviour came,
with righteousness to cover shame.

The veil was torn when Jesus died;
he entered heaven, most holy place;
now sinners can be justified,
and reconciled to God by grace:
propitiating blood supplied, –
the law’s demands all satisfied.

Receive this mercy, come to pray,
drink of such grace, rejoice, adore,
delight in freedom to obey,
enjoy his presence evermore.
The Lord whose mercies can be known,
invites us to approach his throne.

Tune: 88 88 88 ‘Solid Rock’ by W B Bradbury