Reflection on Psalm 50

At the word of the Maker, the earth
Is brought forth to revolve round the sun
To the praise and the glory of one
Who possesses an infinite worth.
He shines forth from perfection’s high’st form,
From great Zion, with sounds of a choir.
Ev’ry step is preceded by fire;
When he walks, he is shrouded in storm.
His salvation is given, not bought,
For he owns all that we could present.
Sacrifices for vices are spent,
Yet they profit the Almighty naught.
So walk not in the pathways of death.
Ponder life ‘fore your lips claim his pow’r.
Let the fear of the Lord fill each hour,
And let thanksgiving fill ev’ry breath. 

Insecurity

Insecurity.jpg

The mini-fridge in the hotel room made a sound like a Geiger-counter in Chernobyl. That strange detail stood out to me as I tried to fall asleep in Pocahontas, Arkansas; that, and insecurity. I was preparing to represent my school at a college seminary day, and I kept wondering if I’d be able to answer student questions, if I’d be overdressed (or underdressed), if I’d do a good job. The event went well, and I had some great conversations with prospective students. Still, in the back of my mind, insecurity loomed, evaluating everything I did. Continue reading

Wisdom and Gain

Wisdom and Gain picture

Is it not gain to sacrifice
When giving to the Lord?
Since he has paid the ransom price,
Can we not love afford?
Is it not wise to lay aside
The things that pass away
And in the light of love abide,
For this alone will stay?
Is it not loss to grasp and cling
For what can never fill,
And follow after hopes that bring
Destruction to the will?
Is it not foolishness to prize
What only will decay,
And feed the fault before our eyes
Which on our souls does prey?

Romans 12:1-2

I bid you by God’s mercies to
Present yourselves as sacrifice,
A living offering unto
The One who paid your ransom price.
Be wholly pleasing to your Lord,
Be holy in your heart and soul,
For Christ is now your great reward,
And God in Christ will make you whole.
Do not adopt this earthy mold,
But be renewed in mind and will.
You now belong to heaven’s fold;
Embrace the Shepherd and be still.
Put to the test so to discern
What is the perfect will of God,
And learn to love, and love to learn,
As you with your Creator trod.

The Humble Ruler

The humble ruler born to die did come
Desiring not the trappings of a king.
Far greater than all earthly glory’s sum,
He entered his own world through suffering.
Presuming not to take the place of prince,
He lived instead a life of sacrifice.
His poverty did make the wealthy wince,
Yet he was fit to pay the ransom price.
So well acquainted was he with our grief,
Afflicted by the wrath of God above.
The silent, slaughtered lamb has won relief,
And, by his wounds, he heals our hearts in love.
In service did the Master live and die
And rise to rescue lost ones from the lie.

To Worship and to Fight

I feel temptation’s throes around me now.
My heart is being beaten by the brute.
This flesh would see me finished with my vow.
Cry vengeance, God, and cut it at the root.
Too long have I now struggled just to breathe.
Too long have I imagined life is jest.
The holy Sword of God I must unsheathe,
And drive the blade into my very chest.
Cut out the heart of stone, O Lord of hosts,
And bring the dead to life by sacrifice,
For Christ has come to walk among the ghosts.
He paid with his own blood the ransom price.
O resurrected Warrior of light,
Raise me now up to worship and to fight.

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The Example

Inspired by John 13


Creator of the universe
Inhabiting our little earth
Fulfilling ev’ry holy verse
The highest name of heaven’s worth
His glory he has laid aside
To grant a gaze to sinners’ eyes
The Savior stooped to now abide
To die for justice and to rise
He has the right to claim the throne
He need not face our fallen throes
But still he comes to call his own
To bear the cross his Father chose
His place as Lord is clearly seen
His praises, many men repeat
And yet he comes to make us clean
Our God is washing dirty feet
Humility in sacrifice
Messiah meeting man in plight
Our God has paid the highest price
Salvation springs from dying Light
His victory is now proclaimed
Exalted over ev’ry name
His standard, too, has now been framed
“Go now,” He says, “And do the same.”

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Jesus

Laying down to make atonement
Rising up to his enthronement
Humble condescension
Glorious ascension
God in flesh in place of sinner
Holy, sacrificial dinner
Blood and body broken
Word of God now spoken
Cross of wood for man’s salvation
Gift of God: propitiation
Work of Christ completed
Curse of sin deleted
Christ the fount of life eternal
Author of the church fraternal
God of highest glory
Hero of the story

A Prayer that Led to Death

Have you ever read something that made you second guess your level of devotion to the Lord? I recently started reading through The Journals of Jim Elliot, and I’ve started wondering if I even know the Lord at all. Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration. But Elliot’s heart for God, his concern for holiness, and his bold prayers challenge my weak faith. He follows a simple model in journaling: he simply reads a chapter in Scripture, finds a point of application, and then prays for growth in godliness. His method isn’t complicated. Even the youngest Christian can follow his format. And yet, by his simple faith and obedience, Elliot models a vibrant walk with the Lord. I’m currently reading through his thoughts on Exodus (which have been incredibly sobering), and I’ve found myself speechless before his testimony. As I was reading through his journal entries, one entry in particular struck me.
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