Doing God’s Will
Doing God’s will builds character in a person. Doing God’s will builds up inside of us something which can never be torn down, because the person who does the will of God’s abides forever — Jesus said that.
Every true thing we do in Christ’s name, though it may not be seen in the world, leaves an imperishable mark on our own life. Every deed of kindness or unselfishness that we perform, with love in our hearts for Christ, though it may bless no other soul in the world, leaves its benediction on ourselves. When we do the will of God, and are obedient to Christ, though we may not give any good to another person, we will receive a blessing on our self.
Be A Happiness-Maker
Stay at the feet of Christ until your heart overflows with love for everyone — even people whom you do not like. Then begin to think about them and live for them. Christ was always making people happy. You too can scatter happiness and grace as a flower scatters fragrance. It is a wonderful thing to put gladness and joy into the heart of another person.
Appreciation Too Late
We should not need night to come before we see how wonderful the day was. We should not need sorrow to fall upon us before coming to appreciate the joy in our lives. But it is true that too often we come to learn the true values in our lives only after they have been lost. Too often an empty chair teaches the worth of friendship. O that we could learn to appreciate our good things while we have them. Then we could have joy, and not just the dull pain of regret while looking back at blessings which are gone.
Comfort In Prayer
Though many Biblical editors choose to leave out the sentence, it is one which teaches us better than any the depths of human sorrow, and how to find comfort in times of deep sorrow and pain. There was a tremendous amount of “grief” which lay upon Jesus the night of his arrest. As he prayed in Gethsemane, we watch his agony and bitterness leave, and peace take their place.
What we learn from watching this is that there is no other place to go but prayer. Then, what is more, we also learn how to pray. God will never blame us for asking to have the cup removed, nor will he get defensive over the intensity of our asking. But what we must do is always pray with submission. It is when we finally say: “Not my will, but yours…” that comfort comes and the blessings of peace descend upon us.
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.” -Luke 22:44
Love’s Pure Moments
Love, in its best moments, does not stop at doing a little. It does not calculate what it will get back; it does not analyze the pros and the cons; it does not measure what it gives against what it receives. It simply thinks the highest and works for the best of another.
If our love for Christ was stronger, deeper, richer, and truer, we would not calculate so closely how much we can afford to give or do. Neither would we consider what we get out of the relationship.
“Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair;…But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples…said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’” (John 12:3-4) Those who do not love also do not get it…
People are tempted to be jealous and upset when viewing what other people have, as compared to themselves. If you tend to do that, think of Jesus. With all of his great power and his rich life, he never lived anywhere, or possessed anything which fit his “exalted character.”
If you can do nothing but live a true Christian life — patient, gentle, kind, pure; whether in your family, out in society, or at your work, you will perform a great service to the world and leave behind many blessings. Such a life is the Gospel, telling in sermons without words, the wonderful story or Jesus.
Living The Life
“How do we win others for Christ?” is an old question. The answer is surprisingly simple — by being Christ to them. By showing others Christ in ourselves; by living so that others may be attracted to Christ; by carrying self in such a way that someone else may be attracted to Christ by what they see in you. Words are powerful, but what is seen speaks louder still.
People can lose their health, their money, their social standing, and even their friends through no fault of their own. But when they lose the best within themselves — truth, honor, integrity, principles — then they have lost the best themselves. These virtues are never taken, but always surrendered. What happens then to self-respect?
Every thought which flies through the mind is heard in heaven. God hears wishes, yearnings, aspirations, hungers, and desires. Don’t worry if the words to tell God something are not found. Don’t be concerned if hungers of the heart are not spoken in well defined phrases. When words, and even thoughts fail, pray in silent yearnings, in unutterable longing, and God will understand just as well as if spoken in a known language. Much of our best praying is done when we sit at God’s feet and do not speak at all — just letting our hearts do the talking.
Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: To glorify God and enjoy him forever. -Question 1 of the Shorter Catechism
The central law of the Christian life is ministry — serving others; blessing them, loving them, doing good toward them. We are in debt to Christ, therefore we owe grace toward other people. He loves us, so we owe love toward others; he served us, so we must serve those around us.
We are not to ask to be served, rather we are to do the serving. As Christ did unto us, so we do unto others.
“The Son of man came not to be served but to serve” -Matthew 20:28