SAVIOR, TEACH ME, DAY BY DAY
Jane E. Leeson, 1807–1882
If anyone loves Me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
It is wonderful to have experienced God’s gift of love in days past, but the real challenge of victorious Christian living is knowing God in a new and fresh way each day. This is what gives our lives zest and enables us to face any new challenge. But this daily learning about our Savior is more than merely pursuing theological knowledge. Biblical knowledge must always be joined with a loving relationship with Christ, since knowledge in itself can easily develop into a false spiritual pride. For many of us, our greatest need is simply to be reminded of what we already know and to translate our knowledge into loving action. Our love for God is not really genuine until we have learned to share it with others.
There are numerous laws on the statute books of our land that attempt to teach us to be better people. The Christian, however, is also governed by two other basic commands: “Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind … thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). And even beyond this, we are to treat one another with the same tender spirit that we have experienced from our Lord (Philippians 2:5).
“Savior, Teach Me, Day by Day,” which was originally written for children, spurs us on to the kind of service our Lord was talking about. Its basic theme—learning to love Christ who first loved us—involves a response of action: obedience (stanza 1); “prompt to serve” (stanza 2); “strong to follow” (stanza 3); and living joyously (stanza 4). The hymn was first published in 1842.
The author, Jane Eliza Leeson, was a rather unknown English writer of religious verse. She was a member of a strange and spurious sect known as the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. In later life Miss Leeson became a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet her one enduring hymn still speaks to each of us of every age:
Savior, teach me, day by day, love’s sweet lesson to obey; sweeter lesson cannot be, loving Him who first loved me.
With a child’s glad heart of love, at Thy bidding may I move, prompt to serve and follow Thee, loving Him who first loved me.
Teach me thus Thy steps to trace, strong to follow in Thy grace, learning how to love from Thee, loving Him who first loved me.
Love in loving finds employ, in obedience all her joy; ever new that joy will be, loving Him who first loved me.
For Today: Psalm 18:1; 2 Corinthians 10:17; Philippians 1:9; 1 John 3:18
Ask the question, “What have I learned about God during the past few days?” Also, “What new insights do I wish to learn this day?”
Osbeck, K. W.
- I will love thee dearly, O Lord my strength. (Psalm 18:1)
- But let him that rejoiceth, rejoice in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 10:17)
- And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment, (Philippians 1:9)
- My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue only, but in deed and in truth. 1 (John 3:18)