Tag Archive | serve

I Know Nothing of Calvary Love

“…live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5:2

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”  I John 3:16

 

The older I get, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize I know nothing of love.  Not romantic, friendship, or familial love (though some may doubt my understanding of those too :-)), but the unconditional, sacrificial, uncomfortable, painful, patient, serving, suffering and unselfish kind of love.  Calvary Love.

Amy Carmichael, lifetime missionary, author, hymn writer and courageous servant of the Lord, made this observation in her book, If:

If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choices..

if I give more room to my private likes and dislikes…

if I am soft on myself and slide easily and comfortable into the vice of self-pity and eliciting sympathy…

if I do not, by the grace of God, build a fortress around my inner man to protect it from my own soulish-ness…

if the praise of others elates me…

if the blame of others depresses me…

if I cannot rest when I am misunderstood, without defending myself…

if I love to be loved, more than to give love…

if I love to be served, more than serving…

            then I know nothing of Calvary love.

 

Amy Carmichael, You Are My Hiding Place, Devotional readings arranged by David Hazard.  Bethany House. Minneapolis. 1991. pps. 34, 36

The Way Up is Down

 Starting a new year and remembering what really matters…

 

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.   Mark 10:43

 

So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:16

 

For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”  Matthew 16:25

 

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 

 

“As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”  2 Corinthians 6:9, 10 

 

“‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 

 

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”  Phillipians 3:7 

 

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley. 

 

Arthur Bennett, Ed.  The Valley of VisionA Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.  Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA.  2003

Serve and Surprise

We often look for tangible ways to serve others, those in our family, church, or community, but C.J. Mahaney discusses how we can take that a step further by surprising others (in a good way!) as we serve.

C.J. starts by identifying the roles he fills, such as Christian, husband, father, etc,.  He then studies the needs of those he serves, so he can learn how to bless and surprise them.  Read more of his post here, which is just part of CJ’s series on Biblical Productivity

      http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Blog/post/Goals-(Part-4).aspx