An Invitation

The syllables I share with you are such
As cannot be conceived by mortal men.
These words of wisdom hold a holy touch;
When heeded, hell-bound souls are saved from sin
So that they are no longer bound for hell
But are, before the judge’s throne, redeemed.
Those who are parched are pardoned at the well
By one who was not very much esteemed.
This revelation of the only way
Requires that we would a decision make.
The son that rose to shine the light of day
Has dawned that darkened souls might now awake.
Do not now spurn this love he came to give;
Choose you this day to turn to Christ and live.


The Necessity of Bad News

In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to a congregation in Enfield, Connecticut. He had preached this sermon previously to his own congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts, where the message was received with little response. But when he preached in Enfield, where men of faith had been praying steadfastly, God moved in the building in almost tangible ways. People learned to fear the Lord, and lives were forever changed. But before the good news of the Gospel could take hold, the people had to be broken by the bad news. And the bad news was very bad.
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O Lord, I feel I stand as one alone,
Outnumbered far by fearsome fallacies.
Without, the monsters curse the God they’ve known;
Within, they call the monsters pharisees.
And I, although I know my eyes have seen,
Abandon light to look to darkest gain.
Forsaking wisdom, falling cured and clean
For fetching after fault and loss and stain.
I turn away from love to lovelesness
Inciting sin in spite of forgiveness.

For what I’ve done, I do not dare draw near.
For I, an heir, have spent his air to chase
Salvations proffered by this spinning sphere,
Solutions problematic to my race.
And now, though mind knows truth and heart knows life
And spirit sips the sanctifying stream,
Yet flesh forgets the food and fondles strife,
Yet yearns for filth far more than crossed beam.
Life seems to sit transfixed on sin and death,
Lifegiver laid aside for loss of breath.

So powerless, the weakness of the dust;
So powerful, the tendency to stray.
Surrendered now to sovereignty, I trust
Salvation’s hope, though shrouded in decay.
The King approaches me, the rebel thief,
To lavish love and grace and mercy free.
He answers my despair with his belief.
He kills my death. He gives me eyes to see.
This central theme, this hope, I stand and sing:
This Jesus Christ, my Lord, my everything.

Life, true eternal, only found in one,
Lifts up my soul to seek the things on high.
The holy bread and wine of God the Son
Transforms my appetite for things that die.
Weak, I confess, my faith, my will, my love.
While I desire depth, I stay ashore.
My lack finds his sufficiency above.
My sin, it reaches far; his grace is more.
I have naught but my sin to offer. He
Imputes his holy righteousness to me.

Now I, a vessel salvaged from the deep,
Not on my own behalf, do sail anew.
To save the souls still trapped and fast asleep
To lead them from the many to the few.
And this not by my strength nor will nor word.
All by him, for him, through him, to him – Lord
Of glory, glorified by trials endured –
Obtained by grace through faith all can afford.
My life is lived by light shone from the way.
My soul, he’ll keep to stand upon the day.

For Christ has conquered Satan, sin, and self,
Forsaking for a time his form of light.
Though sold and slain for silver, bloody pelf,
The Son stole from the jaws of death the bite.
He, bruised and crushed, has crushed the serpent’s head.
He, laid to rest, has satisfied the swords.
And he, by resurrection from the dead,
Appropriated us to be the Lord’s.
Division torn asunder in the veil.
Divinity in death did us avail.

Now, more than conquerors, we stand and fight.
No more are we the monsters of the dark.
For he has sparked our souls with his own light.
Filled by his Spirit. Carried in his ark.
Temptations have no power in his wake.
Transfixed are we on holy things above.
Desires of flesh forsaken for his sake.
Designer’s glory – this the greater love.
O blessed Gospel! God has made me free!
O blessed Love of all eternity!