Our words divide. They rend each other’s souls.
The Word rends our division, offers peace
To war-torn hearts that long for true release
From slavery, from talk’s eternal tolls.
Our words deceive. They prove our father well.
The Word destroys deception in his wake
And takes e’en death’s ability to take
That souls may surely hope to ‘scape from hell.
Our words decay. They cannot help but fade.
The Word will never not be, shall endure
Should sea and sky be shaken. He is sure,
Salvation for the burdened and afraid.
Lord, teach our tongues, if e’er we speak, to be
Tamed by the Truth, to ever echo thee.
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Beware the traps of trappings.
Beware the lies of looks.
Appearances may not reflect the heart.
‘Neath many modest wrappings
Lie hearts ensnared by hooks.
Deception is a most devilish art.
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You save us from idolatry
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
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
From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
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,
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When I read that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), I often focus on the “desperately sick” aspect, recognizing the darkness of the human heart. But I don’t always consider the rest of the verse. Jeremiah also writes that the heart is deceitful above all things, asking, “Who can understand it?” The heart defies understanding by men. We do not know ourselves like we think we do. Thankfully, as Jeremiah shows, God searches the hearts and tests the minds of men, knowing us better than we know ourselves (Jeremiah 17:10).
The master of deception posed a question:
“How best can I befuddle Adam’s race?”
He chose to replicate God’s holy bastion
With subtle changes only few would trace.
He called the son of God a moral teacher
Whose lessons help us all live better lives.
The serpent thus can sabotage a preacher
And turn a church into a teeming hive
Of people bent on earning their salvation
By feeble works of their polluted hands.
Grace is avoided by the “able” nation
As death under the law engulfs all lands.
Or else the serpent says the Christ will save us
From any consequences from our sins.
Asserting this, the serpent can enslave us
To think that pain-free living now begins.
He whispers that if difficulty tarries,
We must not be believing well enough.
He in this way ensures the Christian carries
A heart of fear or a self-righteous bluff.
So listen well, my fellows, to the Scriptures
And flee the lying words which tempt the ear,
For catchy lines, which make for pretty pictures,
Are laced with hooks to kill, so learn to fear
All forms of “almost truth,” and seek the certain.
Be on your guard no matter where you trod.
Trust in the Spirit, see beyond the curtain,
And walk in wisdom by the truth of God.
The Tempter set before the man a game.
“Three tries to name your greatest enemy.
If you succeed, this lion will be tame,
But if you fail, you never will be free.”
The man thought for a moment then agreed.
“You are a devil, sir, and most unwise,
So I will take advantage and be freed.”
From lips which grinned, the devil said, “Two tries.”
Taken aback, the man said, “Satan, then.”
And Satan, snickering, said, “Last attempt.”
“Then Lucifer I name thee, lord of sin!”
“Then you, sir, from sin’s rule are not exempt.”
This captive man will have to face God’s thresh
Unless he will perceive his guilty flesh.
There is a depth of darkness that, when found,
Appears to the observer to be light,
A light so strange, so buried, yet so bright:
Illumination hidden in the ground.
The world to this observer all around
Appears as filtered through his altered sight,
Assures that he alone is in the right.
In time, his voice will be to him the sound
Of truth amidst a mass of ignorance.
His earth will seem to him a world of slaves
In need of him, the savior of mankind.
In truth, the darkness robbed him of his sense.
He cannot tell he walks among the graves
Of others who, like him, have been made blind.