JULY 15

 

Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor … and have not love, it profiteth me nothing—1 Cor. 13: 3.

 

In our ministrations to others we are not to forget that money is not the only thing of which people are sorely in need—some need love and sympathy who do not need money. Our Lord was one of these; His own heart, full of love, found comparatively little companionship in the more or less sordid minds of even the noblest of the fallen race represented among His Apostles. In Mary He seemed to find the depth of love and devotion which was to Him an odor of sweet incense, of refreshment, of reinvigoration, a tonic; and Mary apparently appreciated, more than did others, the lengths and breadths of the Master's character. She not only delighted to sit at His feet to learn of Him but also delighted, at great cost, to give Him some manifestation of her devotion, her love.

 

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The Apostle's words imply the possibility of giving without charity and as we think of the matter, we recognize the truth of his statement from the fact that some give for vainglory, some for show, some for profit and some from envy and strife. Instead of such giving benefiting, it positively depraves character. In order to bless both him who gives and him who receives, giving must flow from Divine love.

 

Parallel passages: John 13: 34; 1Cor. 13: 1, 2, 4-13; 16: 14; 2Cor. 9: 7; Matt. 6:   1-4; 7: 22, 23; Prov. 17: 9; Gal. 5: 6; 1Thes. 4: 9; 2Thes. 1: 3; 1Tim. 1: 5; 1Pet. 4: 8; 1John 3: 14-18.

 

Questions: From what motives did I do good this week? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the circumstances and results?

 

I WAS LONGING TO SERVE MY MASTER

 

I WAS longing to serve my Master,

But, alas! I was laid aside

From the busy and happy workers,

Who toiled in the field so wide.

They were few, yes, few in number,

And I could not understand

Why I should be kept inactive,—

It was not as I had planned.

 

I was longing to serve my Master,

I knew that the work was great,

 For me it was easy to labor,

But, oh, it was hard to wait;

To lie quite still and be silent,

While the song was borne to mine ear

Of the reapers with whom I had mingled

In the work to my heart so dear.

 

I was longing to serve my Master,

Oh, this was my one fond thought,

For this I was ever pleading,

When His footstool in prayer I sought;

And the seasons of sweet communion

Were few and far apart,—

Not of Him so much as His service,

Were the thoughts that filled my heart.

 

I was longing to serve my master,—

He led to a desert place

And there as we stopped and rested

His eyes looked down in my face,

So full of tender reproaching,

That filled me with sad surprise.

Did He think I had grudged my service

And counted it sacrifice?

 

"Oh, Master, I long to serve Thee,

The time is so short at best,

Let me go to the field," I pleaded,

"I care not to stay and rest!"

I knelt at His feet, imploring,

I gazed in His face above;

"My child," He said gently, "your service

Is nothing without your love."

 

I was longing to serve my Master,

I thought that His greatest care

Was to keep all His workers busy

In reaping the sheaves so fair.

But there on the lonely desert,

Afar from the busy scene,

It dawned on me slowly and sadly

Where the great mistake had been:

 

My mind was so full of service,

I had drifted from Him apart,

And he longed for the old confiding,

 The union of heart with heart.

I sought and received forgiveness,

While mine eyes with tears were dim,

And now tho' the work is still precious,

The first place is kept for Him.

 

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