( 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’)
How can we worship One unseen?
No man-made idol-image
can ever nourish true esteem –
distortion is an outrage:
it does not show his skill,
his wisdom, mighty will,
unable to define
his attributes divine –
misleads us and insults him.
His image once on earth was known,
whose words made men astonished,
his power, and rule and kindness shown –
in death his love was lavished.
He’s jealous of his right
to make us his delight,
and those who hate his name
will bring their children shame,
but some return to love him.
John, persecuted, exiled on
the isle of Patmos, saw him –
the risen Jesus, glorious Son
the holy Saviour reigning
to teach his people, keep,
give comfort when they weep:
we worship him we know,
though have no aid to show –
the scriptures well describe him.
Tune: 87 87 66 66 7 eg Ein Feste Burg by Martin Luther (tune of ‘A Safe stronghold our God is still’
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them …” Exodus 20:4,5”
Implanted in our heart
an awareness of infinity,
of unseen things, eternity
we cannot contemplate completely
but the skill that us constructed
has its image, glimpse imparted
though shaded by conceitedness,
masking unacknowledged ignorance
of such dimensions supernatural,
omniscience and power
beyond our finite sphere,
but a clear direction came
a revelation to explain
from the Ruler of the spirits
to everyone who here inhabits
to lift the shading shadow, show
our place in the eternity
and spiritual prosperity,
felt peace experience with transcendent Judge.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:12
Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … Romans 1:20
Christ Jesus – human and divine;
his Father, God above.
When Jesus Christ returned, he sent
his Spirit, gift of love.
So, on that day called Pentecost
the nervous little throng
of those who followed Christ, received
th’empowering Spirit strong.
For God is supernatural –
one God who is triune
– three persons, one amazing God:
we’ll bow before him soon!
Whoever could expect that God
to our created mind
be fully understandable?
– our thoughts are too confined
“In a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit. …you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses …” Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. (Acts 1:5,8; 2:33)
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 One and only God, so holy,
Creator of the universe;
but evil spirits stir up hatred
and foster strife, make quarrels worse.
They trouble beings God created
to be his friends, take care of earth,
and keep them running from his friendship,
as independent slaves of death.
But then their biggest plan was thwarted
– they’d schemed – God’s Son was crucified,
but when he rose to life they realised
that this had pardon now supplied.
So now those rebels could be welcomed,
and see God’s love and mercy sweet,
return to fellowship so lovely,
despite the evil ones’ deceit.
Those spirits know their days are numbered
for soon the Son will come again,
He’ll send them packing to their prison,
no longer will they trouble men.
Tune: 98 98 eg tunes of ‘O Breath of life, come sweeping through us’ or ‘The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended’
‘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