A frightened world needs a fearless church.
– AW Tozer –
A frightened world needs a fearless church.
– AW Tozer –
Temptations and occasions put nothing into man, but only draw out what was in him before.
– John Owen –
The goldsmith never leaves his crucible once it has entered the fire. He periodically lifts out the gold, lets it cool, rubs it between his fingers, and if not satisfied puts it back … This time he blows the fire hotter than it was before, and each time he puts the gold back into the crucible, the heat of the fire is increased, “It could not bear it so hot at first, but it can bear it now; what would have destroyed it then helps it now.” “How do you know when the gold is purified?” we asked, and he answered, “When I can see my face in it, then it is pure.”
– Amy Carmichael –
from Gold Cord
Loneliness itself is material for sacrifice. The very longings themselves can be offered to Him who understands perfectly. The transformation into something He can use for the good of others takes place only when the offering is put into his hands. Loneliness is a required course for leadership.
– Elisabeth Elliot –
It was a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife,
And all the needful discipline of life.
And while I thought on these, as given to me,
My trial-tests of faith and love to be,
It seemed as if I never could be sure
That faithful to the end I should endure.
And thus, no longer trusting to his might
Who says, “We walk by faith and not by sight,”
Doubting, and almost yielding to despair,
The thought arose, “My cross I cannot bear.
“Far heavier its weight must surely be
Than those of others which I daily see;
Oh! if I might another burden choose,
Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose.”
A solemn silence reigned on all around,
E’en Nature’s voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.
A moment’s pause,—and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angels’ music thrilled the balmy air.
Then One, more fair than all the rest to see,
One to whom all the others bowed the knee,
Came gently to me, as I trembling lay,
And, “Follow me,” he said; “I am the Way.”
Then, speaking thus, he led me far above,
And there, beneath a canopy of love,
Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
Larger and smaller than my own had been.
And one there was, most beauteous to behold,—
A little one, with jewels set in gold.
“Ah! this,” methought, “I can with comfort wear,
For it will be an easy one to bear.”
And so the little cross I quickly took,
But all at once my frame beneath it shook;
The sparkling jewels, fair were they to see,
But far too heavy was their weight for me.
“This may not be,” I cried, and looked again,
To see if there was any here could ease my pain;
But, one by one, I passed them slowly by,
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.
Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined,
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined.
Wondering, I gazed,—and still I wondered more,
To think so many should have passed it o’er.
But oh! that form so beautiful to see
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colors fair;
Sorrowing, I said, “This cross I may not bear.”
And so it was with each and all around,—
Not one to suit my need could there be found;
Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
As my Guide gently said, “No cross,—no crown.”
At length to him I raised my saddened heart;
He knew its sorrows, bade its doubts depart;
“Be not afraid,” he said, “but trust in me;
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.”
And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
Again I turned my earthly cross to meet;
With forward footsteps, turning not aside,
For fear some hidden evil might betide;
And there—in the prepared, appointed way,
Listening to hear, and ready to obey—
A cross I quickly found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.
With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And joyfully acknowledged it the best,—
The only one, of all the many there,
That I could feel was good for me to bear.
And, while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
And as I bent, my burden to sustain,
I recognized my own old cross again.
But oh! how different did it seem to be,
Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
No longer could I unbelieving say
“Perhaps another is a better way.”
Ah, no! henceforth my one desire shall be,
That he who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, whate’er his love sees good to send,
I ’ll trust it ’s best,—because he knows the end.
– Mrs. Charles Hobart –
The Changed Cross
The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-bye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.
– AW Tozer –
The cross which my Lord bids me take up and carry may assume different shapes. I may have to content myself with a lowly and narrow sphere, when I feel that I have capacities for much higher work. I may have to go on cultivating year after year, a field which seems to yield me no harvests whatsoever. I may be bidden to cherish kind and loving thoughts about someone who has wronged me—be bidden speak to him tenderly, and take his part against all who oppose him, and crown him with sympathy and succor. I may have to confess my Master amongst those who do not wish to be reminded of Him and His claims. I may be called to “move among my race, and show a glorious morning face,” when my heart is breaking.
There are many crosses, and every one of them is sore and heavy. None of them is likely to be sought out by me of my own accord. But never is Jesus so near me as when I lift my cross, and lay it submissively on my shoulder, and give it the welcome of a patient and unmurmuring spirit.
He draws close, to ripen my wisdom, to deepen my peace, to increase my courage, to augment my power to be of use to others, through the very experience which is so grievous and distressing, and then—as I read on the seal of one of those Scottish Covenanters whom Claverhouse imprisoned on the lonely Bass, with the sea surging and sobbing round—I grow under the load.
– Alexander Smellie –
Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.
– Lettie Cowman –
From the journals of John Wesley:
– John Wesley –