Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Utmost for His Highest - The Destitution of Service


February 25, 2010


Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I beloved.
2Corinthians 12:15

Natural love expects some return, but Paul says - I do not carewhether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myselfcompletely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God."For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He wasrich, yet for your sakes He became poor." Paul's idea of service isexactly along that line - I do not care with what extravagance Ispend myself, and I will do it gladly. It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ'sidea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of othermen. Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. He says that in HisKingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. The realtest of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples'feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actualestimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God. Pauldelighted to spend him self out for God's interests in other people,and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economicalnotions - "Suppose God wants me to go there - what about the salary?What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man mustconsider these things." All that is an indication that we are servingGod with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focusesJesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint in his life, viz.: notone who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken breadand poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives.

If he can paint without sight...

Before you read this note, please take a moment and watch this video:

Blind Painter

This story, at first, struck me as unbelievable and truly a miracle! But, as I thought about it, I was challenged. This young man did not allow physical limitations to stop him from using the gift God had given him. He did not allow himself to remain in self-pity, but pressed through the trouble to see what he could make of it.

There are things in my life that sometimes I think are too hard. There are dreams I have that seem unattainable and completely out of reach.

But, if this young man can learn to paint so beautifully without the gift of sight...why the heck am I letting things hold me back from what God has ordained for me?

Lord, may I have Your vision and not let my eyes fall upon my trouble. May I walk in the confidence of Your calling and fall on Your grace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

God's Valentine Gift

Yesterday, Pastor Greg, as part of his message, gave us a Valentine Card. I loved it and wanted to share it here:

God's Valentine Gift

God's Valentine gift of love to us
Was not a bunch of flowers.
It wasn't candy or a book
To while away the hours.
His gift was to become a man
So He could freely give
His sacrificed love for us
So you and I could live.
He gave us sweet salvation and
Instruction good and true-
To love our friends and enemies
And love our Savior too.
So as we give our Valentines
Let's thank our Lord and King;
The reason we have love to give
Is that He gave everything.

Biblical Wisdom for Better Relationships:

Proverbs 17:27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.

Proverbs 12:18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

Matthew 7:3 And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own?

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

Colossians 3:19 and you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly.

Ephesians 4:26 and " don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Proverbs 14:29 Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes.

Proverbs 17:14 Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Don't be quick tempered, for anger is the friend of fools.

I Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Romans 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

Malachi 2:16 "For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of Israel. "It is as cruel as putting on a victim's bloodstained coat," says the LORD Almighty. "So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife."

Proverbs 27:9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm.

Luke 16:13 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Proverbs 3:7-8 Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Matthew 7:12 Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

I Peter 4:8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

John 13:14, 15 And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

Galatians 6:9 So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Romans 12:9,10 Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Romans 12:20,21 Instead, do what the Scriptures say: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you." Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Matthew 19:4-6 "Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And Jesus said, 'This explains why a man leave his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together."

Proverbs 31:10,11 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

I Peter 3:7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.

Matthew 18:19 "I also tell you this - if two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask for, my Father in heaven will do it for you."

Amos 3:3 Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

Proverbs 12:22 The Lord hates those who don't keep their word, but He delights in those who do.

Proverbs 25:19 Putting confidence in an unreliable person is like chewing with a toothache or walking on a broken foot.

Proverbs 12:25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.

Proverbs 25:15 Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can crush strong opposition.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.

Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.

Proverbs 25:11 Timely advise is as lovely as golden apples in a silver basket.

I Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Proverbs 25:28 A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls.

Galatians 5:22-23 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

II Peter 1:5,6 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.