Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Getting crucified with Christ

Resurrection Power
Galatians 2:20

Look! That’s me on the cross –
selfishness crucified, so
my truest self can now
receive You, Lord.

Now
I can live by You in faith!

Now
I can live in You Who loves me.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, prayer-a-phrased Galatians 2:20 as a poem after reading various translations of today’s Bible verse on Bible Gateway.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Loving like Jesus

Every time I’ve read John 13:34, I’ve been puzzled by Jesus’ words: “I’m giving you a new commandment: love one another.” Since I’ve heard that longer than I can remember, this word of exhortation did not seem new to me. But when I looked up the phrase “love one another” on Bible Gateway, I found no earlier reference.

In the Hebrew Bible, however, God says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,” Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Bringing that love down to earth, Leviticus 19:18 says, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In Matthew 26:37-40, Jesus put those two commands together by saying, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like unto it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

A problem arises, though, when people have trouble loving themselves, much less their neighbors! Nevertheless, God still wants this, and so the New Testament clarifies the concept of the true love to be found in Christ Jesus:

• He spoke healing words.
• He called people by name.
• He showed God’s love.
• He taught the kind attitudes we’re to have.
• He gave His life.
• He brought us life eternal.
• He called us to be brothers and sisters
• He empowered us to be children of God.
• He continues to pray for us now.

In the hours before His death, Jesus told His disciples: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I’ve loved you, so you also must love one another,” John 13:34.

Hopefully, we’ll love and appreciate ourselves and our neighbors. Regardless, we must love one another as conduits of Jesus Christ, Whose love flows in and through us. We can't do this by ourselves, but we can agree to it. We can give Jesus' command our amen.

May the Almighty God our Father help us to allow Christ’s love to pour forth profusely. Let it be! So be it. Amen.


Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, with scriptures from many of the translations on Bible Gateway

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ways of love


Many ways of love exist, but these often come to mind:

Romantic love

Love of friends

Love of country

Love of knowledge or anything else that’s important to us, including

Love of money

Love of power

Obviously those last ways get off track from “real love,” but any way of love can go awry if priorities press or motivations muddle. Even love of church can split into ways that divide “them” and “us.”

To help us avoid splinters with one another and ourselves, the Bible gives a way to examine our motives and realign ourselves with God’s Way of Love:


“And now, O people of God, what does the LORD your God require of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all of God’s ways, to love God, and to serve the LORD your God with all of your heart and all your soul,” Deuteronomy 10:11-13.



Prayer: LORD, God, thank You for showing us Your boundless, pure, unchanging Love through Your living word in the Bible and Your Living Word in Jesus the Christ, The Way.

~~

©2012, Mary Sayler, all rights reserved. For other Bible topics and also articles on poetry and writing, see Blogs by Mary. May God bless you and keep you in The Way of Love.

~~

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Bible defines love


If you have ever been to a church wedding, you have probably heard “the love chapter” that the Apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians in Corinth. This godly love strongly ties the knot to a beautiful marriage and the beautiful church body of Christ. First and foremost, however, this biblical description of Love firmly attaches us to the Almighty God Who empowers us to convey the power of love everywhere we go – in thought, in prayer, and, indeed, in deed.


1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of earth and of angels
but have not love, I am a noisy gong or clanging
cymbal. If I have prophetic powers and understand
all mysteries and all knowledge and have faith to
remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have and deliver up my body to
be burned but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is
patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. Love is
not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way
and is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at
wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures
all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they
will pass away. As for tongues, they will cease. As for
knowledge, it too will pass away. For we know in part
and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes,
the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke
like a child. I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a
child. When I grew up, I gave up childish ways. For now
we see in a mirror dimly but then we shall see face to
face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully as
I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love
abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.




Prayer: Dear Loving God and Heavenly Father of Love, thank You for showing us Your view of true love – a love that does not include false moves or motives! Sometimes the love to which You call us gets hard, Lord, especially when someone treats us in a hurtful way. Keep reminding us to pray for our enemies. Keep reminding us to turn to You to talk over every unloving thing we encounter. Keep reminding us of the love You give us to give, instead of focusing on false notions of romantic love based on feelings. You, O Lord, created love. You are the action verb of true love given to us all in Jesus' Name.


~~

©2017 and 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler

~~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our First Love: God


In Matthew 10:37, Jesus made a puzzling statement: "People who love their father or mother more than Me are not worthy of Me. Those who love a son or daughter more than Me are not worthy of Me."

To keep that hard saying of Jesus in context, however, He showed us a bigger picture in Matthew 22:37-39: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Clearly God wants us to love other people and ourselves very much but not put what they want – or what we want – before anything God wants.

What does God want? Who can know without knowing what God says? And so, Jesus urged His followers to listen to God. Quoting the Torah (Jewish law) He commanded: "Hear, O Israel."

Known as the Shema (Hebrew word for listen), the full commandment in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says: “Hear, oh Israel, listen! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord! Therefore, you must love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Keep these words I am commanding you today in your hearts and on your minds. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit around your house and when you go out, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, and put them on your forehead as a symbol. Write them on the doorposts of your home and on your gates.”

As these Bible verses show, God wants us to use everyday opportunities and experiences to show our children, friends, and neighbors our beliefs. Even strangers who knock on our doors will be able to see that we belong to the Almighty Lord God and Father of Love if we have symbols and signs of God all around our yards and houses. A lawn statue, a Bible verse plaque, a cross on the wall, or a dust-free Bible on a table can openly but quietly attest to our love for God in a way that people can see as soon as they enter our homes. More importantly, those same signs, symbols, or icons also remind us to love God and to put God first and foremost – in our relationships, decisions, daily activities, and even our décor.

Prayer: Dear Lord God, help us to love You more and put You before anyone or anything else at any time. Help us to listen and really hear what You have to say to us. Help us especially to see how You first loved us so much that You gave up Your only Son for us, so we could forever be Your beloved children too. We thank You and praise You, O Lord God, for your ongoing love.
~~

©2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Please do not copy without permission.