Sacrifice and Service

 

 

Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering? (1)

From: Utmost.org
02
05
2015
If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. —Philippians 2:17
Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer—to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others? Or do you say, “I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him. I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice. And I want to have certain people watching me and saying, ‘Well done.’ ”

It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted— not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work while maintaining a saintly attitude, because they feel such service is beneath their dignity.

 

Streams in the Desert

Ye shall not go out with haste (Isaiah 52:12).

I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry–we must be doing–so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us, “Stand still,” or “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us.

Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken? Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us, and that is that we should be like His Son; and in order that this may be so, we must be passive. We hear so much about activity, may be we need to know what it is to be quiet.
–Crumbs

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days–these waiting days–as ill!
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if He waits, ’tis sure He waits to prove
To thee, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord’s will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could’st thou for Him fill?
‘Tis hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
‘Tis hard, ’tis true! But then–He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
–J. D. Smith
FEBRUARY 5, 2015

From: Crosswalk.com

When Your Husband Has Given Up
LYSA TERKEURST
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling.

The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt.

The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations and extremely strong wills.

My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that’s struggling. Many of us have been there.

But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation and help you fix this relationship.

A situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers I could offer here. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand, to stop the panic and balance yourself?

Decide today that you are worthy.

Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God who cares for you. Who loves you. And I’d rather depend on the solid truth of God than the rollercoaster of fickle feelings.

You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I’ve described.

Broken-down relationships can really break down a woman.

And if you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down, those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer regret, shame and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost that girl inside who used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.

Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember: You are worthy because the Creator of the Universe says you are.

Then you can act worthy.

And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some levelheaded decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you, provide godly counsel and will walk this tough journey with you.

Draw some boundaries with your husband, if some are needed.

Pray like crazy for clear discernment. Because Jesus is the best source of help.

Honest cries for help, lifted up to Jesus, will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.

Remember, you can’t control how your husband acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.

Reclaim who you are.

I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn’t, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck, still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.

The Gift

From: Inspirationalarchives.com

Sharon was rich and lived in a large house. Beth was from a poor family and lived in a little house that had thin walls and bare pine floors. Sharon and Beth went to the same school, were in the same class and one day entered the same contest for reading books and writing reports.  At the end of the contest, both girls had completed the exact same number of reports and both girls had done reports of very high quality. The contest was declared a tie and the two girls were asked to draw straws—short straw to win.

An ecstatic Beth won the prize, a music box of bright blue plastic. When the music played, a tiny screen showed a series of different pictures as the wheel revolved. Beth placed her prize next to the front door of her small house so if there was ever a fire she would be able to rescue it on her way out.

Sharon was very disturbed that she had not won the drawing. After all, she had written just as many good book reports as Beth.  She went home and complained loudly to her parents.  The next day her parents came to school and complained loudly.  Before you know it, the contest judges decided to buy another music box for Sharon.

Sharon was pleased to have gotten her own way, but after playing the music box she was not impressed.  She shoved it on a shelf in her closet with many other forgotten toys.

While it was Beth who worried about fire, it was Sharon who suffered that catastrophe.  Early that winter, a fire caused by a careless maid destroyed Sharon’s home.   The family escaped but all their possessions were destroyed.

When Beth heard about the fire, she was dismayed. At school, it was said that all of Sharon’s many toys had burned except for the pony cart that was in the barn. All her clothes had burned.  Many of the little children were not too kind about Sharon’s hardship.  One little girl even said, “It serves her right for being so hoity-toity all the time.”

Beth, however, was sad for Sharon. On the way home after school, she thought and thought.   She was home only a minute before she rushed back out the door carrying a small bag.  She raced to a large brick house—the home of Sharon’s grandmother where Sharon was now staying.  When the maid brought Sharon to the parlor where Beth was waiting, Beth opened the bag and pulled out her cherished music box.  “I’m sorry about your fire,” she said.  “I want you to have this in place of the one you lost.”

“Thank you,” said Sharon.  “I’m sorry I can’t visit now.  Grandma is taking me shopping to get new clothes.”

A few minutes later, the maid closed the door behind Beth as Sharon raced upstairs to the bedroom she had been given in her grandmother’s home the moment she was born. As she pulled out a warm coat to wear on her shopping trip, she took a moment to shove the music box to the back of a shelf.  “It’s a stupid toy,” she thought.  “No wonder Beth gave it to me.”

Sharon went off shopping with Grandma with no understanding of the great gift she had been given while Beth went home to her little house, watched and guarded all the way by a thousand angels.

B. Killebrew

 

The Sacrifice Flower
From: InspirationalArchives.com

My mother, who was a native American, taught me all kinds of wonderful ways to pray when I was a child. A very special one was the Sacrifice Flower prayer, which she adapted from the heritage of her people, the Seneca Iroquois.

She taught me to say this prayer when I was feeling low or had a burden I wanted to lifted. Later, I learned to use it for happy occasions and when I had a special request I wanted to make of God.

Like all mothers, she could always tell when something was bothering me. She’d say to me, “All right, Jo, I think it’s time you went outside and find yourself a Sacrifice Flower. It’s time you get your burden lifted from your heart and give it to God.

So, I’d go looking for a flower. Sometimes Mother would go out with me to help me with my flower or talk about what was bothering me. Sometimes, too, she had something weighing on her heart and she would find a Sacrifice Flower of her own.

The flower was supposed to be special, one that meant a lot to me. As a girl, I picked dandelions, hollyhocks, and daises. So, I usually picked one of them. In addition, Mother said I was to be very careful with the flower because it had been selected for a holy purpose. I lovingly cupped it in my hands so nothing would happen to it.

When I got home, I did as my mother instructed and told the flower what burden I wanted lifted and taken to God. How was the flower to do this? Remember, this was a Sacrifice Flower, one that was going to die. The idea was that as life went out of the flower, it would carry my prayer to God.

That meant, of course, the flower was not to be placed in water. I had a shelf in my room that I liked to use for my Sacrifice Flower because it was sort of private and yet I could see it as I went in and out.

Everytime I saw the flower, I could see it giving its life for me and I could imagine my prayer being carried to the Lord. That was true even when I was elsewhere and was just thinking about the flower. Either way, I had a strong sense my prayer was being heard. My flower and I were in union.

Sometimes it took a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks. When the flower finally died, I would take it outside, say goodbye to it, and thank it for giving its life for me and for delivering my prayer. Then I would bury it so it would have a chance at a new life, and I always hoped it would come back as an even nicer flower.

In this simple, graphic way my mother taught me how uplifting prayer can be. And, in the process, she taught me about life, too–how basic both dying and rising are to living and how important it is that we become Sacrifice Flowers for each other.

–By Jose Hobday

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