Earth and Heaven

O Lord,
I live here as a fish in a vessel of water,
      only enough to keep me alive,
   but in heaven I shall swim in the ocean.
Here I have a little air in me to keep me breathing,
   but there I shall have sweet and fresh gales;
Here I have a beam of sun to lighten my darkness,
   a warm ray to keep me from freezing;
   yonder I shall live in light and warmth for ever.
My natural desires are corrupt and misguided,
   and it is thy mercy to destroy them;
My spiritual longings are of thy planting,
   and thou wilt water and increase them;
Quicken my hunger and thirst after
     the realm above.
Here I can have the world,
   there I shall have thee in Christ;
Here is a life of longing and prayer,
   there is assurance without suspicion,
     asking without refusal;
Here are gross comforts, more burden
     than benefit,
   there is joy without sorrow,
     comfort without suffering,
     love without inconstancy,
     rest without weariness.
Give me to know that heaven is all love,
   where the eye affects the heart,
     and the continual viewing of thy beauty
     keeps the soul in continual transports
        of delight.
Give me to know that heaven is all peace,
   where error, pride, rebellion, passion
     raise no head.
Give me to know that heaven is all joy,
   the end of believing, fasting, praying,
     mourning, humbling, watching,
        fearing, repining;
And lead me to it soon.

-Valley of Vision, pp. 370-371

Creation Sings the Father’s Song

Creation sings the Father’s song;
He calls the sun to wake the dawn
And run the course of day
Till evening falls in crimson rays.
His fingerprints in flakes of snow,
His breath upon this spinning globe,
He charts the eagle’s flight;
Commands the newborn baby’s cry.

Hallelujah! Let all creation stand and sing,
“Hallelujah!” Fill the earth with songs of worship;
Tell the wonders of creation’s King.

Creation gazed upon His face;
The ageless One in time’s embrace
Unveiled the Father’s plan
Of reconciling God and man.
A second Adam walked the earth,
Whose blameless life would break the curse,
Whose death would set us free
To live with Him eternally.

Creation longs for His return,
When Christ shall reign upon the earth;
The bitter wars that rage
Are birth pains of a coming age.
When He renews the land and sky,
All heav’n will sing and earth reply
With one resplendent theme: The glories of our God and King!

-Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend, 2008

Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For [us] a full atonement made.

Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.

O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

-Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1739. Translated by John Wesley, 1740

1 Thessalonians 2:15-16

1 Thess. 2:14-16 -God deplores those who hinder others from hearing the gospel. Do I render the gospel less palatable through my actions? Or do I illuminate the darkness through my speech?

“For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.”

May the Mind of Christ, My Savior

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

-Kate B. Wilkinson, before 1913

Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!

-Ben­ja­min M. Ram­sey, 1919 //