A Reminder: God is faithful

Hebrews_6-10

The Verse of the Day for May 18, 2015 is found in Hebrews 6:10 (NIV):

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

While reflecting upon this particular verse, I recall a poem that I had written inspired by verse 10 of Hebrews 6. As I was preparing to send a framed copy of the poem to two of my cousins, I realized that I had also written poems inspired by Hebrews 6:11-12 as well.

These three poems formed what is called a “triptych,” which OxfordDictionaries.com defines as, “a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.” WordNet 3.6 provides this definition of triptych art, as “art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together).” Here is an example of one panel of a triptych carved from wood with three sections on each leaf.

triptych altar

Each of the three poems that form my triptych is also accompanied by a musical selection related to that work.

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10

The good deeds that you have done may not be extolled

When the fervor of God’s love has long since grown cold.

Some quickly forget all the good that you have done

And fail to recall that you were the only one

To answer the call, seek the Lord and intercede.

Time after time you were the one to meet the need.

When others were busy and chose to walk away,

You were there and remained in the thick of the fray.

In dark times when words of thanks are distant memories,

Recall that God knows all things, for He alone sees

Your labor and saves all the tears that you have shed.

Our Father is ever mindful of how you serve,

And He shall reward you beyond all you deserve.

As you strive to finish your course, have no regret:

Our God is faithful–He will never forget.

Here is a graphic illustration of Hebrews 6:10:

Growing up in the 1950s in Gary, IN, I have fond musical memories from the “Golden Age of Gospel Music.” One of the most popular songs of this period was “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” a selection often used a processional for morning services at countless black churches across the country. The opening line of the renowned gospel favorite is part of the inspiration for this poem:

This Far by Faith

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence  

to the full assurance of hope until the end,                                                    

Hebrews 6:11

“We have come this far by faith.”  

Traditional Black Gospel Song

 

Though we see truth, there is still the rest of the story,

As we strive to be all that God called us to be,

Created to be to the praise of His glory,

We walk by faith and not by what we can see.

We now rise above to view life from God’s grand scope:

Each day our faith will increase and not diminish.

With diligence to the full assurance of hope,

We will complete our course, striving toward the finish.

A great cloud of witnesses surround us to cheer

Us on from faith to faith and victory to victory.

The mighty hand of our gracious God brought us here,

For such a time as this—behold our destiny.

As we press toward the mark, we must not lose our gait.

Lyrics remind us “We have come this far by faith.”

Voices of Hope, a choir from Los Angeles under the direction of Thurston Frazier, offer a rendition of one of the most popular gospel songs of the Fifties and Sixties.

While working on a teaching related to patience as an illustration of the fruit that was in season at that particular time of my life, I read about an apple orchard that was run by Farmer Johnson in Washington State. Reading about the apples produced by this individual also inspired the following poem:

Farmer Johnson

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who

through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:12

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Lyrics by Joseph H. Gilmore

Farmer Johnson owns orchards in Washington State.

His apples are renowned and said to be the best.

As scriptures remind us to labor and to rest,

This Farmer Johnson is patient and learns to wait

For the bountiful fruit of his harvest season.

Patience now abounds to complete and perfect me,

As I walk by faith, despite all that I may see.

I assess my times and unfold the real reason

For all the trials and seeming setbacks that came.

At times I felt as though being torn asunder

But like Job, I still abide and bear up under.

God yet delivers those who call upon His name.

Committed to go wherever the Lord shall send,

A faithful follower, I endure to the end.

As a youngster I recall singing this hymn “He Leadeth Me” countless times, performed here by the Michael Curb Congregation.

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