A Command to Love

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. – (1 Timothy 1:5, NIV)

 

In this passage, Paul was giving Timothy instruction as to how to stand firm in the faith. Paul’s instruction was received well by Timothy because Paul had proven his heart toward him and his fellow believers over time. Love had been made evident over time, and the instructions were delivered from one with a good conscience, sincere faith and a heart that had been made pure by that which Christ had done. We are called to do likewise. It is our charge – His command to us – to love. The only way that we can truly do this is if we love as He has loved us. When we submit ourselves to Christ, He purifies our hearts, cleanses our conscience from any unrighteousness, and grows us in sincere faith. It is from this space of submission, that we are able to fulfill the goal of the greatest command – to love. May we choose to receive that which He has given unto us, and go forth and do the same to all whom we encounter.

 

The greatest command,Purposeful Prayer

that we have been told;

instructs us to love,

all whom we behold.

Not just those we choose,

but all whom come in;

as Christ’s beloved,

treat all as if kin.

From a heart that’s pure,

and conscience that’s clean;

with a sincere faith,

show all what love means.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us that You do not first demonstrate and then equip us to do. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who came and showed us how to love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Thank You Jesus, for Your sacrifice so that we could become pure and acceptable before God because of what You have done for us. Forgive us for not recognizing the remarkable work that You did on our behalf on the cross to make us acceptable before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive that which we have been freely given, and would then go forth and do likewise in love. Help us to love others well, as You so perfectly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to obey Your call on our lives to love others well from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

 

 

Protecting Our Priorities

Priorities and values matter.  Despite what society would like us to believe, it is not all about us.  Jesus told His disciples, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – (Mark 8:35) This does not mean He wants us to set out to die, but rather to set aside our own selfish ambitions and allow His heart to be heard.

The NIV footnotes for the same verse, explain it this way: “We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, not because our lives are useless, but because nothing – not even life itself – can compare to what we gain with Christ.  Jesus wants us to choose to follow Him, rather than to lead a life of sin and self-satisfaction.  He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let Him direct us.  This makes good sense because, as the Creator, Christ knows better than we do what real life is about.  He asks for submission, not self-hatred; He asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.”

When our priorities are in place, we realize that we need Christ to be in charge.  Without Him, we have nothing.  In Him, light and love, wisdom and strength, and all that we need to navigate this life according to His will, are provided.  Our choice and our charge is to protect our priority in Him.  Is He first in our lives, or is He simply a go-to God when we feel that we need Him?

A hope secure,Protecting Our Priorities

invested in Christ;

chooses to make,

Him first place in life.

Seeks not to save,

temporary things;

gladly gives all,

to honor the King.

Releases reigns,

submits all control;

to One worthy,

our God to extol.

All that is lost,

consider a gain;

eternity –

the promise is plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we freely give our life to You, You give us something far greater in return – a future that is secure forever with You!  Thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son to lay down His life on our behalf, so that we would have a way to come to You.  Thank You that You want us to spend time with You.  Thank You that You consider us worthy, because of what Jesus has already done on our behalf.  Forgive us for not protecting our priorities, for allowing anything or anyone to come before You.  Teach us to keep our priorities in order, and help us to depend on You to be our wisdom and strength.  Guide us in how we are meant to navigate the hectic lives we lead, so that we may be effective for You, and refreshed and renewed in You.  May we live and love as we are loved by You.  May many come to know the provision of Your grace and mercy as they understand who You are and how to make You their priority.  Direct our days, dear Lord.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

The Submission of the Son

image by Mike @ oneyearbibleblog.com

image by Mike @ oneyearbibleblog.com

He suffered trials,

chose to bear our pain;

looked death in the face,

and removed our shame.

His obedience,

despite agony;

reverent submission,

so we might be free.

Although He was Son,

He chose to obey;

Source of salvation,

how He made the way.

Because of His choice,

all hope may be found;

for our great High Priest,

His grace does abound.

Before each of us,

to be made, a choice;

to go our own way,

or obey His voice.

One way is narrow,

the other is broad;

when we choose His way,

the heavens applaud.

(Responding to Hebrews 5:7-10)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us the freedom to choose. Thank You Jesus, for Your sacrifice so that we might spend eternity with You. Thank You that through Your life and death, You showed us the way to live in reverent submission and ongoing obedience. Thank You that as You conquered death, You opened heaven’s doors so that the lost might be found, and the guilty called clean. Forgive us for neglecting to grasp the magnitude of Your sacrifice. Help us to hold the glorious hope that You grant to all who choose You. May many come to know You, as we live and love in reverent submission to You, our Savior. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present