”But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
(The author of the following poem, "Tribute," is not attributed in the book from which I took it: Leaves of Gold, Revised Edition, 1948 by D.G. Releg, Coslett Publishing Company, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.)
One of my favorite poems, “Tribute,” describes true friendship. However, when I read it carefully, meditating on the words, I find it perfectly describes Jesus’ relationship with me and who He is growing me to be as I walk with Him through life. As you read this poem (typed in black), dwell on your Perfect Friend, the One who loves you most!
“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.” Jesus, I love you because you are my God, the One who created me. I love how you chose to leave heaven to come to earth as a babe and voluntarily submit Yourself to Your Father’s will, dying in our place upon the cross. I love how you are growing me more and more into Your image each day…thank You for what you are making of me and for bringing out the best in me because of who I am in You.
“I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things which you cannot help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant belongings, that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.” I love how You search me and know me, that You forgive my sin when I ask, then go on to build up the good things You've placed inside me. You see all I can be, not what I have been. I love You for this!
“I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool and weakling in me, and for laying firm hold on the possibilities of good in me. I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me, and for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.” I love how You turned my heart from evil to good when I accepted You as Savior and how You respectfully listen to my every prayer, answering each according to Your perfect will.
“I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a Temple, and of the words of my every day not a reproach but a song.” Since being saved, I’ve seen You turn my bitterness into joy, my hatred into love, and my depression into song. Indeed, You are building a Temple of my life instead of the tavern it would have been without You; You have given me a beautiful new song to sing, turning a dirge into one of triumph and celebration--all because of who You are!
I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it just be being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.” I love you because nothing could have changed my life as You have done. You are what makes me good, and You are what makes me happy. You have done this by becoming MY God--perfect, loving, giving, merciful, compassionate, and awesome God--the One who died in my place to open Your eternal home to me. What greater gift could a friend give? Nothing! Indeed, You are the truest friend of all time!
Psalm 139:1-6 “O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”
Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand. And when I wake up, You are still with me!”
John 15:13 “ There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
PRAYER: Thank you, Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit for loving me so greatly that You gave Your everything for me, and in so doing, You gave me life—not a life that blows in the wind, but one that is firmly rooted in You and one that will last forever in Your eternal Kingdom of love and peace. Thank You that in saving me, you began a good work that You will see to completion. I can never thank You enough for making of my life, “not a tavern, but a temple.” You are the greatest friend one could ever hope or pray for, and I thank you for being mine.
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.