With Ease & Joy

“If each year should see one fault rooted out from us, we should go quickly on to perfection. But on the contrary, we often feel that we were better and holier in the beginning of our conversion than after many years of profession. Zeal and progress ought to increase day by day; yet now it seemeth a great thing if one is able to retain some portion of his first ardour. If we would put some slight stress on ourselves at the beginning, then afterwards we should be able to do all things with ease and joy.”

~ Thomas a’ Kempis

But To Serve

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

~ Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus was to serve others. Jesus came to serve, and to be an example of what it means to live a life serving, loving and helping others. Though Jesus was, and is, God in heaven, in coming to the earth, He took on the form of a servant. He came not with pomp and glory, but as a man in humble life. He practiced self-denial on their account, and for them was about to lay down his life.

Jesus came to us in the form of a servant in order not only to show us the importance of serving others, but also ultimately to give His life for us – the greatest act of sacrifice and servitude. We have to choose this day whom we are going to serve. The Lord or ourselves? Jesus wants us to take on the heart of the servant. To find fulfillment, peace and joy in serving others just as He did during this ministry. Pray to the Lord to grant you a servant’s heart. A pure desire to see the needs of others even above your own. To think and esteem others before yourself. To humble yourself before God and man that you might better others through your acts of service. For, in the final analysis, when we really let our heart dwell upon it, is this not what Christ has already done for you?

~ apl

Cease Not To Rejoice

It is, indeed, certain, that all the senses of our nature are so formed, that every trial produces in us grief and sorrow; and no one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve and be sorrowful whenever he feels any evil. But this does not prevent the children of God to rise, by the guidance of the Spirit, above the sorrow of the flesh. Hence it is, that in the midst of trouble they cease not to rejoice.

~ John Calvin (1509-1564)

Good Cheer

Be of good cheer! It is I…

~ Mark 6:50 (NKJV)

What a pronouncement! Such a blessed introduction! ‘It is I, thy Lord and Savior!’ Whenever Jesus comes to us, it should illicit cheer. His near presence in our lives is the only true source of peace, comfort and joy. The disciples feared the winds that had arose against them that night on the sea, but the Lord’s voice in a time of trouble brought calm to their souls. May we remember those wonderful words apply just as much today as they did when Christ first spoke them. He desires to be our delight and to bring serenity to our soul. Christ Jesus aspires for His presence in our lives to be the most celebrated thing about us. So be of good cheer, Jesus is here!

~ apl