Who do we believe?

God tests our love and loyalty by seeing whether we believe God’s Word – or not.

Deuteronomy 13:3,6: “Do not listen to the words of false prophets or the false hopes of dreamers for the LORD your God is testing your love and loyalty.”

Prayer:

Holy Father,
I don’t want any God but You.
You alone do I want to follow.

Then a friend comes along
with what sounds like a good idea
that isn’t scriptural!

All sorts of issues have come up
since Bible days when some peoples
worshiped the moon
but never expected us to land on it!

Pontius Pilate once said,
“What is truth?”
which seems harder to discern today
since people think that whatever they think
is true.

But You, LORD,
didn’t keep us guessing.
You knew we would want to know
what You want,
for the truth can only be found in You.

Help us neither to be led astray
nor lead others away from You.

Thank You for giving us Your word
in the Bible
and Your Word in Christ.

Give us now a strong desire
to read the Bible, cover to cover,
again and again,
so we can get to know You better
and know – without a doubt –
the truth of Your love for us.

Thoughts: Listening to God means listening to what the Bible says and shows. Loving God means caring enough to follow the Lord into the truth that only God can bring.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016

Bible Reviewer: Holman NKJV Giant Print Reference Bible

Having trouble seeing the too-small print that most Bible publishers have been using? The new giant print reference Bible from Holman comes in an easy-to-read 14-point font on nice paper with a long-lasting leather cover.

Source: Bible Reviewer: Holman NKJV Giant Print Reference Bible

Bible Reviewer: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

Time traveling into the Bible becomes imaginable, thanks to the new NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, which Zondervan kindly sent me to review.

Source: Bible Reviewer: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

Praise Poems: Thumbs don’t seem important, Lord

May God help us to accept, embrace, and appreciate ourselves and one another in the Body of Christ in Jesus’ Name.

Source: Praise Poems: Thumbs don’t seem important, Lord

What God requires

Serving God serves fairness. Loving God means loving other people and treating everyone fairly.

Deuteronomy 10:12: “People of God, what does the LORD God require of you but to revere the LORD your God and hold Him in awe as you walk in His ways and as you love and serve the LORD your God with your whole heart and being.”

Prayer:

Lord, we hear the word
“awesome!” so often,
it doesn’t mean much,
and yet to You alone
it applies.

Of You alone
are we in awe,
but, Lord, some people
think You’re awful!
They say Your way
of justice is unjust
or mean as You permit
an eye for an eye.

What they don’t get
is that justice rests in
fairness, impartiality,
equality – even if
the maximum punishment
to the taker of an eye
is an eye – but one eye only.

It’s like hearing another ruling
on the Golden Rule:
Whatever you do to others
eventually will be done to you.

LORD, please help my whole being
align with Your golden measures.

Help me to be aware
of the goodness in You
and Your children
who hold You in Most Highest
esteem.

Thoughts: Life may not be fair, but God is! Serving the LORD serves fairness, huge portions of love, and maybe a golden glimmer of the awesomeness we reflect as we are made – and remade – in the image of God.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016

On one condition – or two

IF we listen AND obey, God will love and bless us and our children!

Deuteronomy 7:12-14: “If you listen and keep God’s laws, the LORD your God will keep His covenant as promised. He will love and bless you and your descendants.”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
what an amazing inheritance
You have given me
to pass on to my children
and my children’s children
and my church family!

When it comes to money, though,
or possessions
or even lush efforts at gardening,
I often have little produce
to play with and share.

In some ways, I feel
no more blessed
than anyone else,
so sometimes I find myself
complaining –
or wishing I had more.

Forgive me, Lord, for mumbling.

Forgive me for envying others
for Your good gifts to them.

Thank You for Your generosity!

Thank You that Your promises
can be trusted forever.

Help me to be aware of Your blessings
and to become a blessing to others
as Your very own child – Your descendant
in Jesus’ Name.

Thoughts: God’s love is not conditional, but God’s promises are.

 

by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016

Hear, O people of God

May we love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6: “Hear, O Israel! Only the LORD God is our LORD. Therefore, you shall love the LORD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all the strength of all your being. So, keep these words in mind – always.”

Prayer:

Almighty God, You alone
are holy.
You are The One
to Whom all worship
and honor
and glory are due.

Nothing else can compare to You.

Nothing else can bless us like You
or love us like You
or redeem us like You
or forgive us like You can and do.

Help us to hear You.

Help us to remember You’re
the one and only God
Who reveals Yourself to us
as Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit.

In that Trinity of Self, You made us
in Your image – triune
in body, mind, and spirit,

and in Your great “Shema” to Israel,
You still call us to love You
with our whole selves,
made complete
only in You.

 

Thoughts: Can I love God with my whole being – with my body by embracing, with my mind by remembering God’s forever goodness, with my spirit by soaring often into praise?

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016