Poetry Saturday—Before Jehovah’s Awesome Throne

Before Jehovah’s awesome throne,
O nations, bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone,
He can create, and He can destroy.

His sovereign power without our aid
Made us of clay and formed us men;
And when like wandering sheep we strayed,
He brought us to His fold again.

We are His people, we His care,
Our souls and all our mortal frame.
What lasting honors shall we rear,
Almighty Maker, to Your name?

We’ll crowd your gates with thankful songs,
High as the heavens our voices raise;
And earth with all its thousand tongues
Shall fill Your courts with sounding praise.

Wide as the world is Your command,
Vast as eternity Your love;
Firm as a rock Your truth shall stand
When rolling years shall cease to move. —Isaac Watts

Poetry Saturday—I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor,
and none shall find God’s promise vain.

The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widowed and the parentless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release. —Isaac Watts

Poetry Saturday—An Acrostic

I am a vile polluted lump of earth;
So I’ve continued ever since my birth;
Although Jehovah grace does daily give me,
As sure as this monster satan will deceive me.
Come therefore, Lord, from satan’s claws relieve me.
Wash me in Thy blood, O Christ,
And grace divine impart;
Then search and try the corners of my heart,
That I in all things may be fit to do
Service to Thee, and sing Thy praises too. —Isaac Watts (written at age 7)

Poetry Saturday—Our Sins The Cause Of Christ’s Death

Infinite grief! amazing woe!
Behold my bleeding Lord!
Hell and the Jews conspired His death,
And us’d the Roman sword.

O the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips, and ragged thorns,
His sacred body tore!

But knotty whips, and ragged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.

‘Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear.

It was you that pulled the vengeance down
Upon His guiltless head;
Break, break, my heart! O burst mine eyes!
And let my sorrows bleed.

Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
Till melting waters flow,
And deep repentance drown mine eyes
In undissembled woe. —Isaac Watts

Poetry Saturday—The Monster Death

Break off your tears, ye saints, and tell
How high your great Deliverer reigns;
Sing how He spoiled the hosts of hell,
And led the monster death in chains:
Say, Live forever, wondrous King!
Born to redeem, and strong to save;
Then ask the monster, Where’s thy sting?
And, Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? —Isaac Watts

7 Passages From “The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse”

A.W. Tozer had a great ear for poetry that would help Christians better glimpse the heart of God. In his collection called The Christian Book Of Mystical Verse he shares dozens of these poems. Check out my review of this collection by clicking here, and then enjoy these short passages I have highlighted.

If you enjoy poetry, I post a new poem every Saturday. Enter your email address in the box to the right, and click “Sign me up!” to be notified whenever a new poem is posted.

We from Thy oneness come,
Beyond it cannot roam,
And in Thy oneness find our one eternal home. —Frederick William Faber

Break off your tears, ye saints, and tell
How high your great Deliverer reigns;
Sing how He spoiled the hosts of hell,
And led the monster death in chains:
Say, Live forever, wondrous King!
Born to redeem, and strong to save;
Then ask the monster, Where’s thy sting?
And, Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? —Isaac Watts

Thus doth Thy grandeur make us grand ourselves;
’Tis goodness bids us fear;
Thy greatness makes as brave as children are,
When those they love are near. —Frederick William Faber

My sins, my sins, my Savior!
They take such hold on me,
I am not able to look up,
Save only Christ to Thee;
In Thee is all forgiveness,
In Thee is abundant grace,
My shadow and my sunshine
The brightness of Thy face. —John S.B. Monsell

Then, my soul, in every strait,
To thy Father come, and wait;
He will answer every prayer:
God is present everywhere. —Oliver Holden

O Love Divine! that stoop’st to share
Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear,
On Thee we cast each earth-born care,
We smile at pain while Thou art near. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

My heart is at the secret source
Of every precious thing.
Now the frail vessel Thou hast made
No hand but Thine shall fill;
For the waters of the earth have failed,
And I am thirsty still. —Anna Laetitia Waring

The Non-Christmas Christmas Carol

No more tearsImagine that I invited you to my house for a Christmas party. When you arrived, I greeted you at the door with a cheerful hello and warmly welcomed you into my home. But as you hung out with the other guests, you might begin to wonder if we were truly celebrating Christmas. After all, when you looked around my house, you saw no Christmas tree, no ornaments, no wrapped gifts, no mistletoe, no Christmas stockings, no manger scene. You might be tempted to say that you were invited to a non-Christmas Christmas party! (By the way: my house IS fully decorated for the season!)

One of our 300-year-old Christmas carols sounds remarkably like my make-believe party. Joy To The World has no mention of angels, no wisemen, no manger, no nativity scene, no virgin birth, no star in the east. It seems like a non-Christmas Christmas carol! 

That’s because at this time of year, Christians aren’t celebrating Christmas, but we’re celebrating Advent. Actually we’re celebrating both Advents. 

Jesus was born in a Bethlehem manger (His First Advent), but He is also coming again to bring all of earth’s history to a close (His Second Advent). So we celebrate the First Advent, and then look with hopeful anticipation to the Second Advent. That’s exactly what Joy To The World does!

Each of the stanzas of this well-known hymn looks forward with joy to Christ’s ultimate fulfillment of all the prophesies of the Bible. The final joy comes when He reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But we can still live with joy right now!

The third stanza of this hymn says that Christ has come to make His blessings known far as the curse is found. The Apostle Paul says the same thing—sin used to reign, but the grace of God far exceeds the thorns of sin (see Romans 5:19-21; 6:8-12).

Our ultimate joy comes at the Second Advent of Christ when “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

So the next time you hear the non-Christmas Christmas carol Joy To The World, be reminded that it’s not Christmas we are celebrating, but Christ’s First Advent. And it’s not some shapeless, indefinable future that awaits us, but we can live in the joy of anticipating Christ’s Second Advent.

Check this out—

We’ll be looking at another Carol of Christmas this Sunday, and I’d love to have you join us!

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