Fellowship with Christ in Service
24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
It is a beautiful privilege to work along with Christ, but we shall not serve in that blessed apprenticeship long without learning this lesson: He has no pleasure in service rendered to Himself or others that does not cost us blood! This is characteristic to His own service to the world, and you will find that He will soon drop you out unless you are prepared, in your measure, to surrender yourself to the blood-letting, which alone counts in the service of humanity.
As we look out on society today we can understand why so many lives are unhappy. They have never learned that the one secret of happiness is to give to the point of self-denial and self-sacrifice. As Phillips Brooks has put it,
“They need something to happen which shall force them out on the open ocean of complete self-sacrifice. If only a slow quiet tide or a furious storm would come and break every rope that binds them to the wooden wharves of their own interests and carry them out to sea! The soul that trifles and toys with self-sacrifice can achieve neither its true joy nor power. Only the soul that gives itself up forever to the life of others can know the delight and peace which surrender gives.”
This trace of blood in our actions is a matter that we can never talk about. When it is being shed, we must anoint our head and wash our face, that men may have no inkling of what is happening. Neither the right hand nor the left hand must know, nor divulge the secret. It should be remembered, also, that we have no right to deprive wife or child of whatever is necessary. It must be a personal act, affecting no one but yourself. You must be the one who gives the blood, not they! Keep happy and smiling! When Jesus was performing this miracle, there was no strain or effort, no wrinkle on his forehead, no cloud upon His smile. He drew no attention to Himself, needed no thanks, and stole away unrecognized, at least for the moment, as the giver.
Of course, there is no merit in such actions. The blood we shed cannot atone, cannot save, cannot cleanse. Only His blood can do that. But, also, it is true that the great soul-winners of the world have faced the blood of martyrdom and counted not their lives dear to themselves.—F. B. Meyer
Father, it is a joy and privilege that You allow me to do any kingdom work at all. Forgive me for taking this honor and turning it into a burden. Create in me an attitude, Lord, that is joyful to serve you as a humble servant should—just happy to have any part in the amazing plan You have for Your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.