Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Eyes on the Prize (Part 1-15)




1.
 Oh, what a prize on which to fix our eyes
While lesser gods appeal with pleasure’s trance
And wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing cover lies
With what seems satisfying at first glance
Oh, what a prize for us to press toward
Where Heaven waits beyond this finish line
The High Calling of Jesus Christ our Lord
Will make each earthy sacrifice divine
Oh, what a Prize when all is said and done
If we have fought the fight, finished the race
And kept the faith, then triumph has begun
Henceforth, a crown of righteousness awaits
Oh, what a prize prayer warriors march toward
To hear ‘well done’ from Jesus Christ, the Lord

2.

To hear ‘well done’ from Jesus Christ the Lord
Ah, let this be our hunger and our thirst
To recognize love’s ultimate reward
Makes worth all battles we must suffer first
This day of grace, someday will cease its pleas
The glory of the Lord will dim the sun
The stars will fall like unripe figs from trees
Tossed in the wind; then judgement has begun
Ah, pray we do not wait to bow the knee
And confess with our tongues that He is Lord
Too late; consider now what Then will be
Eternity… who can God’s wrath afford
Then call on Him, the Giver of the Prize
Believe on Him, Author of paradise

3.

Believe on Him, author of paradise
The Way, The Truth, The Life, He came to brave
The horrors only Mercy justifies
On Calv’ry’s cross He died each soul to save
Thus, there is no excuse that will withstand
When grace has sealed the Door to Safety’s Ark
As in the days of Noah, once again
He beckons ‘Come’ before the day grows dark
When everyone will wail because of Him
Yes, even those who pierced Him will behold
Who IS, Who WAS, Who IS TO COME, amen
The Almighty death’s mys’try will unfold
Where keys to hell and Heaven crown the sword
Listen; this is too grave to be ignored

4.

Listen, this is too grave to be ignored
Forbid we jeer or scorn the King of kings
Or turn a deaf ear to His earnest Word
And thus deserve the verdict Judgement brings
When all who have repented and believed
Will witness what faith could not visualize
Hope’s inheritance of endless life received
In Heaven; the unveiling of the Prize
So lift your head, if any suffer, pray
If any receive comfort, praise His name
No one is exempt from Reckoning Day
Will we live for his glory or our shame?
This is no glib, loud-laughing matter, love
No works of man can ever be enough

5.

No works of man can ever be enough
To earn the right to by-pass Calvary
No head-knowledge or vantage-point can prove
Faith’s Rock of Ages and trust’s guarantee
Will we accept His gift; will we refuse
We are creations of free will, not bound
Love never forces but He lets us choose
Who we will serve; there is no middle ground
No, no, oh, do not turn away and laugh
As if this is some scheme that fool’s inspire
For God will clear The Threshing Floor of chaff
And it will feed an unquenchable fire
The wheat He gathers up; it will not burn
Will we be wheat or chaff at His return?

6.

Will we be wheat or chaff at His return?
The Crux of mortal kernel never dies
Will we believe or join the proud who spurn
The gift of God and exchange truth for lies
Come, let us reason while there is still time
There must be more to life than dust-to-dust
There must be more to these moments that chime
Than wish and whim and selfish wanderlust
Where joy would a pitiful prelude
To sorrow’s empty, awful agony
Surely even a poor fool must conclude
There must be more to this than you and me
Aha, small wonder the greatest gifts none can prove
Where now abide these three; faith, hope and love

7.

Where now abide these three; faith, hope and love
The greatest of these, love; God’s All in all
As we who love and have been loved thus prove
What atheistic views seek to annul
For God is love; His Authenticity
In every tear, smile, wave, hug, cuddle, kiss
So we have glimpses of Him whether we
Believe in Him or deny who He IS
His divine essence no one can escape
No skin is thick enough all love to shun
For no one thirsts and hungers after hate
Love made us in His image; every one
Far more we are than a flesh and blood urn
Love is the common quaff for which we yearn


8.
Love is the common quaff for which we yearn
Its second miles and smiles are not in vain
God sent His Son for only He could earn
What only Love’s perfection could attain
Eternal life; for it is not love’s will
That any perish when time’s grace expires
But that all would believe while there is still
Redemption and exemption from hell’s fires
And whosoever calls on Him in truth
His perfect love will, in no wise, cast out
From aged patriarch to tender youth
He beckons come, believe and do not doubt
Love groans and longs to flings wide Heaven’s gates
But too many still wander…so He waits

9.

But, too many still wander so He waits
A Groom eager to meet His precious bride
Where the table has room for far more plates
It is His will that no one is denied
Entrance into the grandest Banquet Hall
But there is just one Way to enter in
Through Jesus’ blood that flowed for one and all
And frees us from the curse of death through sin
Oh, pray that glorious cleansing we have borne
A seat reserved in Heaven for that day
So when the Bridegroom comes we will not mourn
And be at last forever turned away
Doomed to the place each graceless Outcast goes
Rejection for the rejection we chose

10.

Rejection for the rejection we chose
God, rich in mercy, therefore lingers on
The devil rages, roaring to and fro
Knowing his numbered days are almost done
He tackles us, whoever we may be
Deception has no vice it will try
And if we do not stand on guard then we
Might fall prey to some sumptuous little lie
But if we ask of Him it will be giv’n
And if we seek from Him then we will find
And if we knock He, the door will open
No excuses for we, still sound of mind
If we choose to refuse, knowing the stakes
To disregard the love that mediates

11.

…to disregard the love that mediates
Twixt God and man is then to worship sin
Look, here is He whose workmanship creates
The wonders of the world and all therein
Where oft we stand amazed and gaze on He
Who wows us with His Everlasting care
See how the morning unveils land and sea
How spring returns to clothe limbs stark and bare
How rain falls on the just and unjust too
How hope is rekindled in human breast
After the storm of sorrow has passed through
See how, after day’s toil comes slumber’s rest
Then, to disdain what no man can compose
  Justly, befits us for Denial’s woes

12.

Justly befits us for Denial’s Woes
For God so loves the world His kind heart breaks
His Hand that hung the stars and overthrows
The enemy must wonder what it takes
To wake the one who slumbers without fear
When Judgement Day is too near to ignore
And Time, for all its tokens we revere
Will disappear like mist and be no more
He does not shake us to make us believe
We have His Word; ah, what more do we need
What else save His Appearing would achieve
Reaction that more than a few will heed
Oh bow your head, believers, gather where
The devil cannot thwart love’s humble prayer

13.

The devil cannot thwart love’s humble prayer
Here is a bulwark, safe from evil’s darts
And here the hope of nations feels the flare
That finds its way into man’s heart of hearts
Do not grow weary, saints-in-waiting, pray
There is no barrier prayer cannot scale
No prayer of love will ever lose its way
For God is love and love will never fail
Then do not faint or doubt in love’s reward
Remember, Jesus said, blessed are the meek
Know this, that if you labour in the Lord
Then He will make you strong when you are weak
Lift up your weary head, do not despair
God never gives us more than He can bear

14.

God never gives us more than He can bear
Nor will He leave us half-way through the race
His forgiveness, is a thorough affair
Then lean on Him; trust his sufficient grace
Press on; Triumph does not precede the Goal
The prize waits when the finish line is crossed
For all are athletes with a Living Soul
God’s love desires not one ‘runner’ lost
So He keeps vigil over one and all
Counts cups of water given in his name
He hears us call, He helps us when we fall
A friend who does not change; always the Same
Where Heaven is for real; no compromise
Oh, what a Prize on which to fix our eyes

15.
Master Sonnet
(first line of each preceding sonnet)

Oh, what a prize on which to fix our eyes
To hear ‘well done’ from Jesus Christ the Lord
Believe on Him, author of paradise
Listen, this is too grave to be ignored
No works of man can ever be enough
Will we be wheat or chaff at His return?
Where now abide these three; faith, hope and love
Love is the common quaff for which we yearn
But, too many still wander so He waits
Rejection for the rejection we chose
…to disregard the love that mediates
Justly befits us for Denial’s Woes
The devil cannot thwart love’s humble prayer
God never gives us more than He can bear

© Janet Martin


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