"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law" (1 Corinthians 15:55-56)
THE FACE OF DEATH
Death wears a strange and dreadful face.
For days and months and years
I would not look, but turned aside
With loathing and with fears.
But now I know that to God's child
Death never comes alone
To fright the soul, for with him walks
My Lord, my Blessed One!
And so when death shall come to me
I need not see his face,
For I shall turn and hide my eyes
Upon His breast whose grace
Abounds beyond my deepest need,
Beyond my latest breath.
And He will gently take me home, and I
Shall never see the face of death.
"Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
"HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US"
You may forget to pray for me, my friend. O shame,
I may forget to pray for you, but praise His name
There ever liveth One who stands before God's throne,
And day and night makes intercession for His own!
Can fear or worry, sin or failure, find a place
Within this guarded life of mine? O matchless grace
Of Him who knows and meets my every need as He,
The wondrous Lord of glory, daily prays for me!
"Go ye to all the world!"
GO YE TO ALL THE WORLD
And have we gone?
Are we unruffled, knowing that the dawn,
in heathen lands means but a day begun,
Another day without the blessed Sun
Of Righteousness and Peace, another day
When souls who have forever lost the way
Sink deeper in the dark morass of sin,
Hopeless and lost, at last to enter in
To an eternal night? . . .
Ah, God of love
And tender pity, from Thy throne above
Beholding them, and willing not that one
Should ever perish, Thou didst send Thy Son,
Who bought them with His blood. But unto us,
To us, Thou didst entrust the glorious
And wondrous news, and into our weak hands
Didst place the torch to lighten heathen lands!
Strengthen our arms, dear Lord, to hold it high!
O ransomed of the Lord, if you and I
Fail in this thing, "Their blood," I hear Him say,
"Will I require of you upon that day!"
"Go ye to all the world! Is it a task
To do for Me this one last thing I ask?"
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19)
THE "MORE SURE WORD"
Though men's hearts fail for fear
Of what is yet to be,
We have a Word more sure,
The Word of prophecy,
Whereunto we do well
That we take heed, for we,
Even His feeblest ones,
Are children of the light
And not of darkness. God
Has touched our eyes with sight
To read signs of His times,
Which if we read right
Our heart grow bold with hope.
For He has said, "The wise,
The wise, shall understand."
Lift up your longing eyes,
O watchers for His dawn,
Behold His daystar rise!
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13)
There's a trembling in my heart
As I watch the year depart,
There's a glory and a light,
And a hope that grows more bright.
Before this coming year has gone,
Some wistful dusk, some misty dawn,
Or burning noon my Lord may come
For me at last, and take me home!
Oh, I've read about my Lord
In the pages of His Word,
And I've learned about His ways
As He ordered all my days;
I have leaned upon His arm
As He shielded me from harm,
And I've even heard Him speak
When I was afraid, or weak.
Yes, my cup is running o'er
Yet I yearn for more and more
Of His riches and His grace . . .
This year I may see His face!
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7)
APART FROM GOD
Pain wrung from Him no cry. The dying Lamb of God
Was mute. Though blow on blow
Fell on His quivering flesh, though He was wrenched
and torn, And from His sacred brow
Dripped blood, His only cry was one of loneliness,
"Thou has forsaken Me,
O God!" . . . For Him a deeper woe than anguish of
The tortured flesh, for He
Who knew no sin was yet made sin for you and me.
Beneath that dreadful load
Of guilt our Lord was dying there as sinners all
Must die -- apart from God.
As you and I would one day die, apart from God
Through all eternity,
Except for Him who bore the wrath of God for us
That day on Calvary!
"And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads" (Revelation 22:4)
ON READING AN ADVERTISEMENT OF A TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND
It would be sweet could I see it,
That land where the Saviour walked,
The quiet roads in the gloaming,
The hills where He sat and talked.
My heart would be ever searching
For some dear trace of Him there,
His footprints in the meadows,
The tones of His voice in the air.
My hand would be ever questing,
With finger tips athrill
For an ancient wall or a rock where
His touch might linger still.
My feet would falter in anguish
At the place where my dear Lord died,
My very soul would be sobbing,
My heart would be crucified.
Yes, it would be sweet could I see it,
But my cup is filled to the brim
With the blessed hope of seeing soon
Not the place where He dwelt -- but Him!
LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS
"Lo, I am with you always."
Softly the promise steals
Like sunlight into my shadows
And brightens and warms and heals.
Heals my anguish of spirit
An horror of loneliness,
Flooding my heart's dark chambers,
Words that comfort and bless.
"Lo, I am with you always."
He, my Saviour and King.
Making my heart His palace!
I, though a broken thing,
Am housing my blessed Master;
Together we sup and dine,
Together we hold sweet converse
Over the bread and wine.
And always He goes before me
On my thorn-strewn paths of pain;
Never will He forsake me
Nor leave me alone again.
Sweet is His voice in the twilight
As the evening shadows blend,
"Lo, I am with you always,
Even unto the end!"
THESE DIE NOT
Loveliness and melody,
Starlight, Smiling flowers,
All sweet winds blowing;
Dreams and wistful dusks
And far horizons --
All things pass.
Life's tangled threads,
And long night watches;
And loneliness --
All things pass.
The Word of God,
His Son's shed blood,
The empty tomb on Easter morn,
Heaven and Hell,
And human souls --
These things shall never pass,
Shall never die!
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalms 23:5-6)
He has given His angels charge over me
To keep me in all my ways,
And goodness and mercy shall follow me
As guardians, all my days.
Though the road be fraught with peril and plague
I shall never tread it alone.
They will bear me up in their gentle hands
Lest I dash my foot on a stone;
They will tenderly guide my steps, and check
My feet when I go astray
I need not fear the terror by night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day.
Though the mountains be moved to the midst of the sea,
They will set me upon a rock.
Yea, goodness and mercy will safely keep
This last least lamb of His flock.
They will bear me on eagles' wings at last
To a City wide and fair,
And goodness and mercy will dwell with me
In the light of His presnce there.
"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it" (Revelation 21:24)
THE KING COMES
Today I heard a king's voice speaking
Through magic of the radio,
With blare of music, and drums beating --
The pomp that only kings may know --
And cheering multitudes to give him
The honour that is but his due.
Yet in my heart a wistful longing
As I wondered if he knew,
If he knew a day is coming
When his ears shall hear the words,
"Every knee must bow before Me,
King of kings and Lord of lords!"
And I breathed a prayer for monarchs,
I, so humble and unknown,
"Touch and teach that king, and make him
Thy servant, Lord, upon his throne!"
When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth; surely every man is vanity. Selah" (Psalms 39:11)
Has its poignancy --
Fading into gray:
Dropping from the trees,
Pearl smoke spirals
Lost upon the breeze;
Quivering last note
Of a violin --
Eve in Eden's garden,
Marred with sin.