Stephen’s Diagnosis (Acts 7)

Our father Abraham did hear in faith,
And from his pagan home-land walked away.
And Moses, though rejected by his kin,
God strengthened to confront a king in sin.
And David conquered demons with his harp,
Rebuilding worship slowly, heart by heart.
The Word empowered them in soul and mind,
Through faith, and strength, and worship intertwined.
Apposed to faith, the flesh builds callousness,
Enclosed in apathy for its defense.
The Spirit’s strength, the devil counterfeits,
And seeks through vitriol to discomfit.
The world, abhorring worship, turns to schemes,
And more totalitarian regimes.

The Deer (Psalm 42)

I’m as a roebuck in a desert clime,
For safety from the hunting wolves I pine,
For water but to cool my panting tongue,
So thirsts my soul to see the Holy One.
I sorely long to meet the living Lord;
When will the fellowship be once restored?
My enemies still taunt and hound my way:
“Where is this fruitless god to which you pray?”
They torment, too, my brothers in the faith,
I weep o’er all the tortures that they face.
They steal our joy, devouring as beef,
And so my soul is all-consumed in grief.
But I remember how we led the praise,
Wholehearted worship to the Lord of Days.
Why am I overcast and, groaning, weep?
No, I will hope. For I’ve a faith to keep.
For once again I’ll give Jehovah praise,
As He has promised me to show me grace.
This time of trial, drought, and distantness,
Will build my trust in God’s great faithfulness.

The Shaking (Hebrews 12:25-29)

But once the Lord spoke by His prophet-seers,
And now He speaks through His incarnate Son.
But once the Israelites refused to hear,
And still some doubt, although the Lord has come.
But once God judged by plague and tumult here,
And now full hell will take the rebel-ones.

Do not defer or slacken from the Lord,
Come to attention when His word is read.
Whose very voice has shaken this whole world,
Obliterating kingdoms, leveled in their dread.
Both earth and heaven He will shake once more,
When He returns to judge the quick and dead.

The Lord is by my side, what shall I fear?
For I will not be shaken from His love.
No tumult negates that the Lord is near,
Nor sunders my salvation in His blood.
His shaking makes his kingdom to appear,
Which will withstand all shaking, fire, or flood.

So let us serve Jehovah as is fit,
Receiving here this kingdom by His hand,
With thankfulness o’erflowing from our lips,
And full devotion to His word’s command,
With reverence and with awe at who He is;
For God is a consuming fire-brand.