Three poems from Hebrews 6

Recently a blog entry featured three poems focusing on a single theme which I called a “Triptych on the Will of God.” The entry went on to explain the term “triptych” as “a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.” In this case, the three poems, two original works and a third by an anonymous author, all touched upon “The Will of God.” Most remarkably, I looked closely at the Verse of the Day for May 18, 2018, and I recalled another “Triptych from Hebrews 6” begin with verse 10:

Hebrews 6:10

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.

As believers we endeavor to serve God and minister to one another, but we must remember this: Our efforts may not always be recognized nor appreciated. Those whom we serve in love may not always remember what we say and do, but we are assured that God never forgets. Not only is God, our Father, faithful and just, but He is also a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

The Verse of the Day also inspired this response:

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love,
which you have shown toward his name,
in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

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.

Hebrews 6:11 goes on to offer these words of encouragement:

11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

Believers are encouraged to demonstrate or put forth the same diligent effort that will be reward if we do not faint. The Scriptures also remind us to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Hebrews 6:11 along with lyrics from the traditional gospel song heard countless times in my formative years, “We’ve Come this Far by Faith,” introduce the second piece in the “triptych”:

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,

“We have come this far by faith.”

Traditional Black Gospel Song

 

Though we see truth, there is 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.”

In a previous blog post on patience as a fruit of the spirit that seemed to be in season during this season of my life, I thought of apples as I was discussing the reference to the farmer waiting patiently for the harvest described in James chapter 5. In my research on apples and harvesting them in their season, most remarkably, I also came across an endorsement from someone who had sampled apples from, of all places, “Farmer Johnson Apple Orchards” in Washington State.

Just as apples were at that time in season in the natural at “Farmer Johnson’s Apple Orchards”, so in the spirit, patience is the fruit I am endeavoring to perfect in this my season. Moreover, I personally identify with “Farmer Johnson,” as revealed in the third poem of the “triptych” from Hebrews 6:12:

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 we close the “Triptych from Hebrews 6,” we are strengthened and reassured by the lyrics from the hymn composed by Charles Gabriel: “Sweet is the promise. I will not forget thee.”

 

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