By Faith

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I feel the pain but cannot find the benefit.
The path I would have chosen seemed a better fit.
Yet tests portend the sacrifice. I see my wraith
Point to my cross and call me to walk forth by faith.
Faith does not promise answers, bids me follow still;
Points past my understanding to the Father’s will;
Grounds hope not in the knowing but in being known;
Endures uncertainty certain of heaven’s throne.
Faith fixes focus not on the ephemeral
But finds eternal joy within the temporal.
It lays aside success and loss for higher gain
And trusts the one who gives and takes to justly reign.
Obedience bids me to die to self in this,
To trust the process in this brief parenthesis.
The work you do is good, as it shall always be.
Steadfast unto perfection is the course for me.


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Two Carpenters

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The wood was rough, but it would serve him well.
He chose it not for elegance or style
But for its faithfulness. A little while
(And, too, a little work) and he could sell
It with a workman’s pride. And he could tell,
Though now it lay unstructured in a pile,
That with some nails, a hammer, and a file,
His work would not be broken though it fell.

Its strength would bear its strength one dark noel
(The first of all). And in its content’s smile
Was love born now to one day reconcile
On other wood, the darkness to dispel.
His parents smiled as into sleep he fell.
The wood was rough, but it would serve him well.


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Holy Alteration

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You save us from idolatry
Through disappointment.
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
Divine appointment.

We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
Eternal freeing

From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
Propitiation.

In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
Divine divider.


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Unfailing Faithfulness

Unfailing Faithfulness

The Lord’s unfailing faithfulness to men,
Steadfast in spite of their consistent sin,
Goes far beyond the guilt and shame within.
Grace reaches past the point of no return.
Hope speaks from lips we thought were taciturn.
We hear the Word, and souls begin to burn.
We know what we deserve; we feel our death.
We sense our separation from his life.
Yet though we fail with ev’ry fallen breath,
In Christ, we find salvation from the strife.
Take heart: this world of fear and death will fade.
Rest in the cross’ sanctifying shade.


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Logos

To think a parchment marked by nib and ink
Contain the cautions of a holy curse
And riches rivaled by no ruler’s purse.
The scratches of the quill upon the page
Tell stories of the only perfect sage.
Come to the flowing fountain then and drink,
And find the firm foundation from the flood.
Be buried by the bounty of the blood.
The crossroad of your life is at the cross.
Be brought to life, and lose the life of loss.
The Message of the Maker is the Man.
Find pardon, peace, and purpose in his plan.

Grace

Grace beyond what sinful men deserve
Grace that moves this salvaged soul to serve
Grace that opens eyes to truly see
Grace that works in love to pardon me
Grace that guides my steps toward the goal
Grace that takes the wreck and makes it whole
Grace that reaches further than my sin
Grace that opens fellowship again
Grace that knows the longings of the heart
Grace that causes hearts of stone to start
Grace that this, my life, is not a loss
Grace that gave his life upon a cross

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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