Posts Tagged ‘love’

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Friday

October 1st, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 3:35 pm

FROM THE WEST WING

  “I am saved by grace. Love abounding, mercy found me. I am saved by grace and I have life and it’s only by Your grace.”  Beautiful words from a 2009 Israel Houghton worship song. We sang it last week in our worship service at Fairview, and I’ve been singing it each day since. It’s got a catching tune and it’s fun to play and sing – really fun. But I stopped this morning and repeated the words, just the words, to myself. It has a powerful message. Allow me to break it down for you with some definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Saved – delivered from sin; rescued from danger or harm; preserved or guarded from injury, destruction or loss.

Grace – unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; approval or favor.

Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another as the fatherly concern of God for humankind.

Abounding – to be present in great quantity.

Mercy – compassion or forbearance shown especially to one subject to one’s power; lenient or compassionate treatment.

Found – came upon by searching or effort; a serious attempt.

Life – spiritual existence transcending physical death.

Only – without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively

    So, let’s rewrite the song. “I am delivered from sin, rescued from harm and guarded from destruction by the unmerited assistance given by God and therefore I find approval and favor with Him. God’s unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for my good is present in great quantity. God’s compassion and forbearance seriously searched for me, which results in His lenient, compassionate treatment of me. I am delivered from sin, rescued from harm and guarded from destruction by the unmerited assistance given by God; and, therefore, I find approval and favor with Him and I have spiritual existence transcending physical death; and it’s solely and exclusively by God’s unmerited assistance.

Obviously not as catchy and certainly it will NOT fit the tune, but it does broaden my understanding of the meaning of the words. And I, for one, am so thankful for the grace, love and mercy of God that reached out to me when I deserved it the least and gave to me the abundant life.

Thursday

February 11th, 2010

posted by Sharilee West

@ 1:51 pm

FROM THE WEST WING

Ever wonder from where The Valentine’s Day celebration came? Or why it is associated with love and romance? Ever heard of Saint Valentine? As I was thinking about what to share this week and since we are approaching Valentine’s Day, I thought I would do a little research. I was rather surprised at what I found.

   It seems that there is some confusion as to who Saint Valentine was. In fact, many sources report that there were probably many priests named Valentine. Most sources agree that whether Saint Valentine was one individual or many, he (or they) was martyred under Roman rule. So, why is Valentine’s Day associated with love?

   Well, there’s confusion on that front too. One source said that Saint Valentine married young couples against the emperor’s wishes. Another reported that when Valentine was in prison,  he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter; and just before he was beheaded he sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine.” Another suggests that the connection comes because Valentine was buried on February 14 which coincides with the pagan Feast of Lupercalia, a festival of love.

   So, I came to the conclusion that the whole thing is just a confusing mess that has survived to this day where we give and receive valentine cards, candy and flowers. Now, I’m not knocking all the sentimentalism surrounding Valentine’s Day – I actually rather enjoy it. But I began thinking that perhaps as Christians we should be working on how we love at all times. Read 1 Corinthians 13 again and see how you measure up. I know that I fall short so often.

   Then I was again reminded of the words of Jesus: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” Seems like a rather simple plan of salvation. And John tells us in 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  So as we think about Valentine’s Day, let’s be reminded that the world will be pointed to the Father through our love.