Praise the Lord, who never fails to answer prayers.
Praise the Lord, whose mercy is endless.
For He knows and listens to all your cares.
His steadfast love is boundless.
for God gives justice to those who cry out day and night.
God is never inattentive or distant.
He never fails to care for his chosen or do what’s right.
He has heard my pleas.
He has answered my heart’s calls.
His generosity brings me to my knees.
His power has raised up kings and thrown down walls.
I’m not worthy to receive such kindness,
so I offer my praise with a heart full of gladness.
The Other Brother
What did he serve for?
Was it because his heart longed to do good?
Or did he hope his work would earn him more?
Was his anger over not getting what he thought he should?
Does correct behavior make a good son,
or is it the heart that brings truth to light?
No amount of good deeds lead to God’s heart being won.
Service offered in love is the practice that is right.
How much better was the one than the other?
One demanded then while the other hoped for more later.
But desire led one to be jealous of his brother.
Wouldn’t it be better to set one’s eyes on something greater?
Don’t become envious of those who return to your Father’s door,
for you are with Him always, and all He has is yours.
Compared to other men,
I may seem righteous.
Compared to other men,
I might be considered pious.
Compare to a killer,
I am peaceful.
Compared to an adulterer.
I may not seem lustful.
But compared to our perfect, holy God,
I am filthy.
Compared to a perfect, just God,
I am guilty.
Rather than glorify yourself with your comparison to humanity,
Look up to the LORD and see the need for humility.
His Gentle Rebukes
Praise God for the guilt I feel,
for I know this is how His spirit speaks to me.
One way to know my salvation is real
is how detestable sins grow to be.
I feel remorse when I realize
how empty sin really is.
Fear of His wrath is what begins to make me wise.
Each sin I turn from helps me know that I am His.
When I feel convicted,
I know he is calling me back.
His rules no longer make me feel restricted.
His gentle rebukes are what keep me on track.
I pray to always avoid temptation’s seduction.
Instead help me to listen for His Spirit’s instruction.
And 70 Times More
Time after time, I’ve stumbled.
Time after time, You’ve forgiven me.
Your mercy has me humbled.
Your grace has changed the man I used to be.
Time after time, I’ve been sinned against.
Let me reflect the patience you have shown.
Why should I become incensed,
for my sins prevent me from casting a single stone.
Let me forgive regardless of the offense.
Let me forget any amount owed.
For my debt to you was so immense,
but still, from You, forgiveness flowed.
If I’ve forgiven my brother 70 time before,
let me forgive him still 70 times more.
His Love For Us
We break every rule He has set.
We only call to Him when we have a want or are in need.
We demand of Him anything we can get.
We’ve no interest in His will, only our own greed.
If we were treated thus?
Would we not feel frustration?
Would we say such people love us?
Would we not demand compensation?
Even as we committed these acts,
Christ died for us.
Even as our sins are piled in high stacks,
Christ paid the price for us.
His love for us is shown in this:
Despite our wrongs, Christ gave himself up for those He calls His.
Who Will Be Exalted
Sit at the lowest table seat.
Let the host come move you to a higher place.
Pray as if Heaven’s place your eyes can’t meet.
Let the loving finger of God lift up your face.
Kneel and pray for forgiveness.
Do not stand and justify yourself with comparisons to man.
Let your Father, who sees in secret, offer you his kindness.
Let your Father, who hears in secret, lift you up, for only He can.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who seek,
for they shall find Christ, and receive more than their worth.
Those who humble themselves will be raised high.
Those who exalt themselves will be cast down by their own pride.