A Poem: “Give Thanks to God, You Mortal Man”

 

Oh, how the grace of God attends the work of every man
     His rain to fields
     All fruit it yields
And revenue therein

Oh, how the love of God attends the air we ever breathe
     He reckons not
     A foolish plot
To call us patiently

Oh, how the strength of God attends the birth of ev’ry saint
     From death to life
     Eternal sight
Of Christ for sure awaits

Oh, how the wrath of God attends the callous heart that strays
     Take heed, my friend
     For willful sin
May prove you void of grace

Oh, how the joy of God attends the plan He bears in time
     What He creates
     He orchestrates
That He be glorified

//

Give thanks to God, you mortal man
The life you love is from His hand!
     Dare not to sleep in pride
     Consider well your lot
That though His wrath is justified
On Christ it has been wrought!

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A Poem: “The Vineyard”

To the Lord’s vineyard
I’ve been granted access
To His sweet grapes that hang from thick vines
Friends bid me onward,
“Better things await us”
Yet the sweet fragrance drew me inside

Here, though a beggar,
I will not go hungry
One needs but take from the branch ripened fruit
This Lord is gen’rous
Abounding in glory,
Who lets hungry men hasten hitherto

//

In the Lord’s vineyard
There grows ripe a portion
Gated and labeled, “Patience for men”
Here grapes amass for
The wicked’s destruction
Pressed into wine and poured in judgment

Yet in this portion
Is portioned another
Gated and labeled, “Given to Christ
For the salvation
Of whom God the Father
Chose and is keeping safe in the vine”

//

‘Side the Lord’s vineyard
I saw His great dwelling
Built with grey stone and snug in the dirt
Turrets look eastward
Their archers repelling
Any who dare to destroy the Lord’s work

Terrible veng’ance
Poured out from the granite
Whene’er a thief would enter the yard
Yet have I witnessed
The hands of a bandit
Snatch any grape put under this guard

//

‘Neath the Lord’s vineyard
A cellar is resting
Filling this day as He has approved
Now and again, I
Glimpse wine He is pressing
And taking within that costliest room

Oh, for the banquet
I’m sure this will open
And what I now ponder, then, fully displayed
Shall be presented
A rich, lasting gladness
And so to that joy I look now by faith

//

What waits in this wine
To make me so happy
Is what drew me first to enter His field:
The glory of Christ,
That awesome aroma
Wherein the Father was pleased I be sealed

Better one dinner
With wine from His barrel
Than hundreds of meals with wines of the world
Here in the vineyard
No heart is in peril
We all are kept glad by the press of our Lord

A Poem: “Sola Gratia”

Can I labor for my righteousness?
Surely favor waits for me in this
Yet as quickly as the question left my lips
I fell into sin

Wayward pilgrim, in His bosom rest
Peace awaits you in His faithfulness
Every work but His will bear you emptiness
Sola Gratia

Revel in Messiah’s broad effect
Works imputed unto God’s elect
There abides no child His blood does not protect
Sola Gratia

Christ upon an altar is your plea
Make His blood an everlasting creed
Leave no room for any other vein of peace
Sola Gratia

As the fig will grow upon the branch
So your works come from His righteousness
Careful to distinguish fruit from nutrient
Sola Gratia

Bark and timber make a sturdy tree
See it stand in winter without leaves
So this work, of human hands, has not a need
Sola Gratia

“Grace Alone” is where your hope abides
That the Lord has mercied you to life
Let this gospel peace dwell ever in your mind:
Sola Gratia

A Poem: “I Have Wondered”

I have wondered, Lord, what glory
Shall I enter on high
Will Your gladness, bright as morning
Be the lid of mine eye
Or shall I be left wanting
‘side something else?
Surely e’er my only blessing
Is the gift of Yourself

Crowds of people, shim’ring pavements
Even Mount Zion’s crest
Walls of em’rald, flaming chariots
Even great Seraphim
Could not make me so happy
As when You draw nigh
If you shall not journey with me
Then, my God, let me die

Were it not that You had chose me
I would hate Your good name
On my lips, Your tender mercies
Were a bare, bitter taste
But a sweet resurrection
Has made me rejoice
Holy Shepherd, lend inspection
To my need of Your voice

All my sin heaped as a mountain
I could never traverse
All the vices that I cherished
Were, of men, surely worst
But a fount called, “Salvation”
Burst from the rock
To my soul bringing fruition
From a preordained crop

Mangled, martyred, crushed assunder
By an infinite wrath
Branded, beaten, quickly plundered
On the eve of Sabbath
But a Lamb for my doorframe
There was endued
And a new Sabbath was entered
When His death was approved

While I feel my body ailing
And my cab’nets run dry
I can’t find one promise failing
That I’m given in Christ
For as many as are the
Promises of God
In Christ, ne’er vacillating,
They are ‘yes’ – every one!

Fair and fierce, I see Him coming
As I look now by faith
Hear the wicked’s callous moaning
As the earth is laid waste
Not one sin shall be covered
Lest on the cross
And His judgment will be suffered
And His glory will boast

With the serpent cast in darkness
Our new Adam will rule
Through that Word, new realms appointed
Where His wonders are new
And no shadow will prosper
To make second heist
As our vision e’er is captured
By the glory of Christ!

A Poem: “Has There Ever Been a Time”

Has there ever been a time
When You did not love me, Lord?
When the choice You made to save my life
Waned as cent’ries wore?
Such a long, long time to love,
To remember who I’d be
Oh in light of all Your better sons,
It seems You’d forget me

Has there ever been a time
When you did not love me, Lord?
When the choice You made in view of Christ
Lost the worth it bore?
Does His merit have such worth
That one life of righteousness
Could be treasure still as years on earth
Slowly trickle passed?

Has there ever been a time
When You did not love me Lord?
When the choice You made to glorify
Was changed once I was born?
For how greatly I have sinned!
Don’t You ever change your mind?
I don’t understand or comprehend
The patience that I find

Amazed am I by this:
Not one blessing He secured
Have You failed to keep within the grip
Of mercy yet procured
All the riches of the cross
That you promised me thro’ faith
Not a single one is torn or lost
But kept in sov’reign grace

A Poem: “Wrath upon the Head of Christ”

Wrath upon the head of Christ
Not a drop shall touch me
How the bloody sacrifice
Looks to me so lovely
Never would I wish Him pain
Yet I need His suff’ring
Lamb for certain sinners slain
Knit for me a cov’ring

Tide of wrath upon His chest
Condemnation muted
As I surely enter rest
He was surely wounded
Stream of mercy from the cross:
Bathe me richly in it!
Bitter with the righteous cost
Sweetened by His merit

Blade of God upon His brow
Anger there abiding
Drawn to take His life, and now
Mine is there presiding
Severed from the root of peace
Cut away from Heaven
The Lamb of God was robbed of fleece
The Bread of Life, unleavened

See the hammer born of God:
Jesus in its pathway
Made an anvil for that rod
Beaten, yet not crumb’ling
Yes, my Savior bore the load
Yes, my Savior perished
Yet upon the final blow
Death was made impoverished

Jesus – O how dear the name!
For when I was naked
Jesus dressed my feeble frame
With His righteous garment
Then He took my muddy shirt
Draped it on His glory
As if He had wrought the dirt!
As if He weren’t holy!

A Poem: “I Hail the Happy Morn”

I hail the happy morn
Which ends a dreadful night
Where sin and shadow deem forlorn
The hope for morning light

I long to see the sun
Right now the foot-hills glow
The biting rays have yet begun
To melt the world of snow

I hail the quickened East
The blind may call me, “Fool!”
But I would rather humbly feast
Than proudly nibble stool

Dear friend, I bid you, look
Though it may hide below
The trick’ling waters of a brook
Oft’ tread a path in snow

A bitter herb is flesh
I hate my dying form
But ever does the heart refresh
When gazing at the Lord

Ten hundred worlds of gold
A thousand dearest friends
Look vain beside what I behold:
The risen Son of Man

I hail the crist’ned Lord –
My soul, ’tis well to shake
The King is nigh – those ill adorned
Shall face a sulphur lake

By mercy shall I thrive
On this I rest my head:
Had not the Lord made me alive
I’d curse the hands that bled

His Triune work, applaud
My hope is nothing less
Elected, pardoned, sealed by God
For glory in His bliss

I see these things by faith
And treasure them by night –
All joy is mine when morning breaks
And darkness turns to light!

A Poem: “Mercy from the High Priest”

Great God, have mercy – pity me
Return the righteous hand
Extend the one of sympathy
Which wrought a Promise Land

My stony heart was comf’rtable
While I perceived You dead
Your glory finds me vulner’ble
And fills my heart with dread

Oh God, my Judge! a quiv’ring lip
Is all I can avail
Lest You abate the cup I sip
I’ll die within the veil

Yet surely as my sin is grave
I do not pay the price
The wrath that would against me rave
Was flung upon the Christ

There in the bush I see a ram:
Dear Abram, stay your knife!
Let Isaac down, the Son of Man
Has come to give His life

Now in the veil I have a priest
Who mediates my debt
For there upon the mercy seat
His blood is dripping wet

Though great is my iniquity
My heart is glad and full
For as I suffer leprosy
The river makes me whole

His intercession makes me well
Because His blood is good
My Priest is worthy e’er to dwell
Where sinners never could

Before, today, until my death
This Advocate remains
That I would bear His righteousness
Through imputated veins