Many years ago, I was in a foul mood and thought of all the things I didn’t have. Later, I realized what an unhealthy mindset this was and set out to think of everything I’ve been blessed with in my life; this poem is the results.
“The blessings You’ve given me” (#12)
Dear Lord, all that is good comes from You,
Your word and my life show that this is true.
Everything that is mine is a gift
From my Heavenly Father, whose name I am to lift
Up to the sky-and this is why:
He gave me my clothing, my food and bed,
My belongings and the roof over my head.
He gave me my family, talents, and life,
And I pray He will someday give me a Christian wife
To know and love like He does me from above.
But, above all these things and more,
He gave me His love, and a door
To know Him personally through the death of His Son,
Who died for all people-every one.
Of all gifts, this is the greatest of all-
A new life in which for God we stand tall
Against the world’s oppression in humility
And trusting God to use us as utility
Tools to touch the people lost in sin,
And into the fold of God’s love, bring them in.
May this, Lord, be our rule:
To always be available to be your tool.
This one I remember with slight sorrow; I was thinking of three great friends I knew back when I was in 5th/6th grade, who didn’t know the Lord at the time. Unfortunately, two of them are no longer among the living, and I questioned why I didn’t try sharing more with them – even over Facebook, email, or the phone. Now, whenever I think of them – and this poem – I am encouraged to share my faith while I still have the chance, because once you cross into eternity, the opportunities end.
“A Christian remembering his unsaved friends” (#11)
Oh Lord God, use me to reach the people I know,
Near or far, wherever they are;
Let your living waters through me flow,
And touch their lives, opening their eyes
To the Jesus living in me;
So that they may see your truth,
And this, too, do I plea:
Give them open ears and hearts
To hear and receive the message from above;
Let me be an example to them
Of your everlasting love.
“A Song of Praise” (#10)
O Lord, I pray that you would give unto me
The power and abilities to raise
Up your Name so holy
In a righteous life of praise.
To you alone, my Savior and Lord,
Will I give my everything,
And I will hold nothing back from You-
Not even the smallest belonging.
For you gave me all that I have,
And you gave even more
Upon the tree of Golgotha,
That I could have life all the more.
So can I refuse to give You back
The life that you shed to give,
And honor you in all I do?
In every situation that I live
I pray that You would be my strength
And my path and guide to my reward above;
So be with me always, my Heavenly Father,
And let my voice be to you as pleasing as the song of a dove.
One of my biggest struggles as a Christian (and as a man) has been in my mind; controlling my thoughts has always been challenging. The key to continuing the fight is the reminder that God is always there to catch me when I fall, help me get back on my feet, and give me strength to carry on anew.
“A Christian’s Struggle against the Flesh” (#9)
Dear Lord, please be near me in my times of strife,
And give me strength to endure the battles in my life.
As a Christian, two personalities now lurk within
My body and mind-and only one can win.
The one is my old nature-strong, sinful, and selfish, too;
The other is my new self-the man who reflects you.
Yet the old man is not gone-no, this man only leaves
When starved-until then, he battles the one who believes
That God will provide for his every need;
And this, Lord, I plead:
I know you wish for me to have self-control, and to be patient, humble, and meek;
But, though my spirit is willing, my body is weak.
I keep falling back to the same old sin;
Without you as my strength, Lord Jesus, I cannot win.
I pray, therefore, that you would cleanse me
Of everything sinful, and carve
Away the lustful flesh in me
So that it will soon be starved.
This, Lord, I pray in your holy name,
That this would (if it be Your will) come to be:
That, as I mature, my balance would tip in favor of you
And that I would become dead to the sinful me.
One of the hardest things for us to admit as people is when we cannot handle something; yet, as Christians we must acknowledge that without God’s sustaining power, we have no hope of living the lifestyle He calls us to. The equation of spiritual victory is always “1 + GOD;” because of His promise, we can face anything confident in the knowledge that He is with us always.
“Cleanse me, Jesus” (#8)
Cleanse me, Jesus, purify my soul;
Come into my life and make me whole.
Without You, against Satan I cannot win;
I can’t resist the sin, Lord-I just let it walk in.
So clean me, Jesus, and make me new,
As You say in Your Word, every bit of which is true.
Help me, Lord, to put on the full armor of God,
So that I might, more ably, give You laud.
And I pray that when I face Satan and my sin,
That You would be with me, Jesus, and, through me, win.
Pride over accomplishment is a thing of the world;
I pray that Your value to me would be greater than a pearl.
I pray also that I would never see You as a dispensable tool,
For to give You up, Lord, is to truly become a fool.
So cleanse me, Jesus, and hold on to me tight,
So that I will never choose darkness, because in doing so, I give up Your light.
Be glorified through me in all things, Lord Jesus;
Make me salt and a lamp of light;
So that, for Your glory alone
I might be for the lost world a bright and guiding light.
One Scripture reference for this poem is 1st Peter 5:8-9, in which Peter exhorts the Church to remain mindful of their conduct in the midst of the spiritual battle. Another good reference is Ephesians 6:18; following the famous “Armor of God” verses, it reminds us of an all-important aspect of Christian life: prayer. Among other things, it is our means of communicating with God, keeping our relationship with Him fresh and up-to-date.
I’ll admit, some of the rhymes in this poem are probably not the best, but what remains most important is the message behind them.
“Be Watchful and Pray” (#7)
Thus says the Lord God on high,
“I beseech you, my children, in this way:
That in all things you say and do,
Be watchful and earnestly pray.
For the devil is cunning and wicked,
And will deceive at every chance he can get;
He’ll often come when you least expect him,
Or during times when you are blest.
Yet I say to you, those whom I have saved from sin,
Trust in me, and do not fret,
For though Satan may seem to have the victory now,
MY time is coming yet.
There may still seem to be a battle in the world,
But the ultimate victory is won.
So cling to me, and do not doubt
Your Lord, who is both three and one.
The world may seem tall and mighty,
Eager to conquer with its proud banner unfurled,
But I tell you the truth: greater is He that is in you
Than he that is ruler of the world.
So stand tall and be strong, you warriors of God,
Be always steadfast and pray.
The credit for this poem really goes to my sister Leah. She came to me with the first three lines, asking if it might be something I could use. After careful (and prayerful) pondering, I finished what she began.
“A Chance to meet Jesus” (#6)
If one day you came walking
Towards me down the street,
Would I recognize you?
Or would I miss a chance to meet
The greatest of all friends,
Savior of my soul;
You, who made me who I am,
And the One who makes me whole.
How I pray that would not be;
The slight possibility I’d miss
A chance to see the author
And finisher of eternal bliss.
No matter how many movie stars,
Or millionaires there may be,
No one else can take the place
Of Jesus Christ in me.
So pray, my friend, that you, likewise
Would not fail to meet Him; contemplate
How little time there is to accept Him as Lord and Savior
Before it is too late.
In my walk as a Christian, I have found waiting to be by far one of the hardest things to do. As humans we have an innate drive to be doing something; GOD gave us that drive right at the beginning with Adam and Eve. For us to do the work GOD has planned, though, we need to be ready, and sometimes the preparation process seems a bit tedious. The best way to smooth it out: trust GOD with the present/future and always be on the lookout for ways to grow.
“Waiting on the Lord” (#5)
Has your faith been backsliding;
Is your walk full of strife?
Do you find yourself wondering,
“Why isn’t God working in my life?”
The fly in the ointment of your faith
May actually lie quite near.
Sometimes it is found in people around you,
Other times, by looking in the mirror.
In times of doubt, pray to God for faith,
and wait patiently for His word;
the curing answer that comes, my friend,
may be the greatest you’ve ever heard.
Whatever the fault, give it up to the Lord,
And trust He will use it for the best.
The peace of God will come then,
And like water, swell up in your chest.
The Lord is faithful, kind, and just
To all who serve under Him;
This you will find if you seek it,
So go and wait on Him.
My inspiring thoughts for this poem were Isaiah 6:8 (God calling Isaiah) and Matthew 9:37-38 (Jesus calling for “laborers” to be sent into His “harvest”).
“Keepers of the Faith” (#4)
Where are the faithful messengers?
They are, sadly, the faithful few;
Those who are willing to go beyond
What even they think they can do.
Before them is a harvest of souls,
People ripe to be saved;
How can they possibly touch them all?
The lost in a land depraved
Of morality, faith and love;
Replaced by lust and greed,
Their one hope is from above,
But who will bring them God’s decree?
We have the chance to change
The destiny of all;
But who among all we that believe
Will answer the mighty call?
The Church has seemingly gone away,
Yet not, at last, gone above;
We have, as John said of Ephesus,
Abandoned our first love.
So let us go to the Lord, and in His blood be cleansed,
And then we may, more ably, bring to Jesus our friends.
When writing this poem, I thought of a famous picture in which Jesus is standing at the door of a house, knocking to be let in. It is my firm belief that everyone, at some time or another in our lives, has at least one encounter with Jesus, and the decision we make regarding Him is the most important of all. What strikes me is how loving and respectful GOD is; He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and capable of reaching everywhere at any time, and yet He also gave us free will (knowing that many would choose to reject Him) and respects the decisions we make with it. Why would GOD do so? The same reason He told Adam and Eve about the forbidden fruit; He wants us to fellowship with Him and love Him by choice. Which way will you choose?
“When Jesus came knocking” (#3)
When Jesus came to town, He knocked on every door,
No one was left out-neither rich nor poor.
He even went to the outcasts-the drunkard and the whore,
Everyone who listened to Him- these and more.
They came in great crowds, young, mature and old,
Most of them eager to listen to the message that He told.
Some answered instantly, in numbers like droplets in a cloud.
Others, mostly religious leaders, just yelled out loud
“Get out of here! I’ve no use for you; the Law causes enough strife
Inside me, without giving it up with the rest of my life!”
These rejected Him, and then He had to leave
Sadly knowing that many of them would never believe.
But of those that believed He freed from their fleshly strife,
And gave to them the eternal gift of renewed-and everlasting-life.
So how will you react to Jesus when He comes to your heart’s door?
When He knocks, will you let Him in and cleanse you of your sinful life before?
Or will you shrink back, not wanting the gift that can be yours today,
And out of stubborn pride, send the Savior away?
I pray that you will accept Him, and the hope that He brings,
The cleansing and renewing of everything.
Because, my friend, though all mankind took part in the Fall,
Jesus is the One who can cleanse us all.