A Sunday Prayer

On this Sabbath Sunday, I am taking a break from the Morning and Evening Prayer series that we began journeying through together a couple of weeks ago. I hope you are being blessed by this intentional focus on prayer and that it is helping you grow in your spiritual walk. Personally, I know delving into this study of prayer has enriched my daily prayer life.

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Have you ever wondered why we, as Christians, observe the holy day on Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes, it’s true. The Sabbath was historically practiced on Saturday prior to the Resurrection. Sometime after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the church began observing the Sabbath on Sunday because Jesus rose from the grave on that first Easter Sunday.

My prayer for you today is simply that you would bask in the glory of God and rejoice in His goodness. He is SO good to each of us. Today, may you be blessed during your special time of worship focused on Him. He LOVES us beyond comprehension. As you prepare for the week ahead, may you be filled with love, joy, and peace. Be a bright shining light wherever the days ahead lead you. Amen.

The Devotional Guy™

This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it!

This is the day of the Lord;

our Savior, Christ, is risen!

He has conquered sin and death,

the power of love has overcome,

and God has given us the victory!

Hallelujah!

An Old Church Prayer based on Psalm 118:24 and 1 Corinthians 15:55-7 

Reference:

Ashwin, Angela (2002) The Book of a Thousand Prayers. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Morning Prayer 9 | Love

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul lists the characteristics that become evident when we allow the Spirit to control us rather than the flesh. The first characteristic Paul lists is love. Love is the great connector. It connects us to God and to others. Love must be present in us if we are to love others. If we are missing the love of God, it is difficult to view ourselves in the way the Lord sees us.

Love can be described as a profoundly tender, passionate affection toward another person. Love is a deep affection for someone. God has a deep, passionate, tender affection for us. We are called to love others with a love similar to how we love ourselves.

LOVE

As an addict, my addictions wove their way into all my loves. My understanding of love was misconstrued and focused on the wrong things. This can happen to all of us. We put our love in things that bind us—like that next promotion, buying that new car, getting our kids into the best school—instead of being free to love unconditionally without bondage. Twisted love punishes us because we aren’t perfect enough and recalls all the ways we have failed or reminds us of the numerous mistakes we’ve made, thus becoming unworthy of love. Rather than resting in God, our love becomes dependent on outside things to affirm our value and worth. Unhealthy love robs us of our dignity and self-respect.

The idea is that when we are healthy in mind, body, and soul we know how to love ourselves and thus know how to love others. It’s hard to love others if we don’t love ourselves. It’s difficult to love others in a godly way if we ourselves don’t know the love of God or how to love God.

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 1 John 4:16b (ESV)

We are created in the image of God. In Scripture, God Himself is described as the very essence of love. God demonstrated His deep, passionate love for us by willingly offering His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our iniquities and waywardness. In the same way, we should strive to model God’s love in our interaction with others. That starts with letting God in our hearts and allowing Him to shower us with His love so that we can learn to love ourselves and therefore demonstrate that love toward others.

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)

LOVE_Slide TDG

PRAYER:

Father God help me love others the way You have loved me. Help me grow a healthy self-image so that I am free to love others in a way that honors You and brings You praise. Father God, I thank you for the love you showered upon me through the atoning sacrifice of Your beloved Son, Jesus. May your Spirit continue to teach me how to love You and others with a deep, passionate affection. Amen.

 

The Devotional Guy™

31 Days of Praise | Day 5 God is Love

We can praise God because He is a loving God, whose very nature is love.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 (ESV)

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), Spanish mystic and priest, and a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, is well-known for his numerous writings. His poetry and spiritual growth studies are held in the highest regard and considered among the pinnacles of Spanish literature. His writings, first published posthumously in 1618, explore the depths of spirituality and gave rise to the term “Dark Night of the Soul.”  His writing was clearly influenced by his study and knowledge of Scripture and Biblical texts. He wrote the following poem expressing his love for the Lord:

O living flame of love,

That wounds my soul so tenderly

In its deepest centre;

Since, by your grace, I can endure your touch,

perfect your work in me

according to your will.

Throughout His-story, God has repeatedly demonstrated His love for us, from the very first moments of Creation, in the Garden and at the Cross at Calvary. There is no doubt that God loves us. None. We can choose to accept and receive that love or we can abandon it. We can be zealous and repent, recognizing that God loves us despite our best efforts to disappoint Him at every turn. But love doesn’t keep score, Scripture tells us. God, through the atoning sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ, has wiped our slate clean. We’ve got a fresh start. And for that, we should be grateful and overflowing with praise for our Lord and God.

May the love of God overwhelm us today and may we sing His praises as a result.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

31 Days of Praise