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Author Topic: Elizabeth Elliot Devotions  (Read 83808 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #495 on: March 13, 2007, 09:39:42 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Psalm 119:32 Hebrews 12:2
The Path of Lonliness


Running the Course

Today there are just too many things to do. My natural response is to fret and fear. Both are forbidden: Fret not. Fear not. That tells me what not to do. What, then, should I do?

"I will run the course set out in thy commandments, for they gladden my heart'' (Ps 119:32 NEB).

There will be both time and strength today to run that course, for it is always possible to do the will of God. The course He sets for us in his commandments is not an obstacle course, but one carefully planned to suit our qualifications--that is, not too rigorous for our limitations, not too lenient for our strengths.

The plan of God for me, for this one day, is meant not to trouble but to gladden my heart. Christ's yoke, according to his own promise, is not hard but easy--if we bear it together with Him and if we bear it as Christ bore it, in meekness and lowliness of heart.

"We must run with resolution the race for which we are entered, our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom faith depends from start to finish" (Heb 12:2 NEB).

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« Reply #496 on: March 13, 2007, 09:40:47 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Luke 22:43-44
The Path of Lonliness


The Answer Is Always Enough

We often hope to be spared trouble or suffering, and surely it is legitimate to pray that we may be ("Lead us not into temptation" is a prayer Jesus taught us to pray). Jesus Himself asked the Father to take away the "cup"; Paul prayed for the removal of his "thorn." In both cases, the answer was no. But God did not give a mere no--He sent what had not been asked: strength to endure. An angel was immediately dispatched to Gethsemane, "bringing him strength" (Lk 22:43 NEB). His suffering did not cease--in fact, "in anguish of spirit He prayed the more urgently and his sweat was like clots of blood" {Lk 22:44).

The apostle was suffering in some physical way, it seems. The thing was called "a messenger of Satan," and he did well to ask for its removal. The answer was no--but something unasked was given: grace. There was plenteous grace to enable Paul to endure. What God gives in answer to our prayers will always be the thing we most urgently need, and it will always be sufficient.

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« Reply #497 on: March 13, 2007, 09:42:08 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Colossians 1:9-12
The Path of Lonliness


Power to Meet and to Give Thanks

Often I pray for someone whose circumstances or needs are unknown to me. There are many prayers in Paul's letters which may be used for almost anyone. One of my favorites is in Colossians 1:9-12. A part of this prayer asks "May He strengthen you, in His glorious might, with ample power to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience and joy, and to give thanks to the Father" (NEB).

That seems to cover every possibility. It does not ask for instant solutions or reversals. It does not call on God for miraculous deliverance out of any trouble that might come. It asks for a truly Christian response, by the sufficient power of God: to meet whatever comes as a true Christian should meet it, with the Holy Spirit's gifts of fortitude, patience, and joy. It asks for the power to give thanks. It takes power, doesn't it, to thank the Father when everything in us protests? But we find in Him (not always in what happens to us) plenty of reason to thank Him and plenty of power.

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« Reply #498 on: March 13, 2007, 09:43:38 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture:
The Path of Lonliness


My Own Canoe

"The rule of the universe," wrote C.S. Lewis to his friend Arthur Greeves, is "that others can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and one can paddle every canoe except one's own" (They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, p. 514).

This is grace--God graciously doing for us what we cannot do and so constructing human life that we are allowed to help--i.e., to give life to others. In our pride we try to save ourselves, but it is impossible. We can only lose by trying. It is when we stop straining to paddle our own canoe and let Another paddle it for us, or give ourselves to paddle someone else's ("bearing his burdens") that we fulfill the law of Christ. The wind carries the seed, the bee the pollen, the mother the child. So life is borne and born.

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« Reply #499 on: March 13, 2007, 09:44:44 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Philippians 1:29
The Path of Lonliness


Exchange

This morning I was thinking of a friend who is gravely ill. She is greatly loved by many and has had a unique ministry because of her gifts of friendship and hospitality. Must she suffer?

The answer is yes. For the Lord who loves her suffered and wants her to fellowship with Himself. The joy of thus knowing Him comes not in spite of but because of suffering, just as resurrection comes out of death. I have a Savior because I am a sinner, and beauty is given the child of God in exchange for ashes.

We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others.

How can one's illness help another? By being offered to Him who can transform it into blessing.

"You have been granted the privilege not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Him" (Phil 1:29 NEB).

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« Reply #500 on: March 13, 2007, 09:45:59 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: John 12:25
The Path of Lonliness


Hour of Glory

The miracle of Lazarus being raised from the grave brought the crowds waving palms to Jesus, proclaiming Him King. Even foreigners (some Greeks) heard of Him and asked his disciple Philip if they might see Him. This, surely, was his hour of glory.

Heaven's definition of glory, however, is a very different thing from earth's. "The hour has come," Jesus said to Philip and Andrew, "for the Son of Man to be glorified" (Jn 12:23 NEB). Then He illustrated his meaning: a grain of wheat is merely a solitary grain until it dies. It is death that brings glory, the glory of the rich harvest. It was not popular acclaim but popular rejection and his own suffering and death that constituted his "hour of glory," and He prayed to be spared that hour.

The one who would serve Him must understand the conditions. He must follow--into death--that is, he must "lose himself." Then, the promise is that he will be "kept safe for eternal life" (Jn 12:25) and honored by the Father. The hour of glory is the hour of suffering--seen from heaven's side.

Lord, be near us in our pain and grant us the clear eye of faith to see it from heaven's perspective. Jesus walked this road. Help us to follow him gladly.

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« Reply #501 on: March 13, 2007, 09:47:08 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:20
The Path of Lonliness


A Fine Thing

Most of us have never been anyone's slave in the literal sense, so we can hardly enter into Peter's meaning when he writes to servants who have suffered under perverse masters. But we know unkindness. We have been pained by someone's lack of consideration or unjust criticism.

Why is this happening to me? is a question most of us occasionally ask. If we ask it petulantly, there is nothing particularly creditable about our attitude. The apostle Peter wrote to those slaves who were at the mercy of abusive masters.

"When you have behaved well and suffer for it, your fortitude is a fine thing in the sight of God. To that you were called, because Christ suffered on your behalf" (1 Pt 2:20 NEB), was his encouragement to them. His answer to the "why" is just this: to that you were called. If we endure merely because we savor the notion of being martyrs, there is nothing fine in that. There is nothing fine in brooding on the pain itself and how sorely we have been put upon. The fine thing is for God so to occupy our thoughts that it is really nothing to us whether others treat us well or ill. Think on Christ: how was He treated? How do your sufferings compare with his? that will give a different perspective, I think.

Let's not be surprised at our difficulties, even if--no, especially if--we encounter them when we are truly seeking to obey the Lord. There are two kingdoms in deadly opposition to each other. If we do anything to further the kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road--abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called. In Latin America someone who feels sorry for himself is said to look like a donkey in a downpour. If we think of the glorious fact that we are on the same path with Jesus, we might see a rainbow.

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« Reply #502 on: March 13, 2007, 09:48:21 PM »

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: Exodus 16:6
The Path of Lonliness


Who is in Charge?

The people of Israel complained loudly against Moses for having brought them out into a wilderness where there was nothing to their liking. "Better to have died in Egypt!" they said.

"It was the Lord who brought you out," Moses told them(Ex 16:6-8 ). "It is against the Lord that you bring your complaints, and not against us."

When we are angry or offended, let us be careful to note where our real complaint lies. This person who insults me at the office or on the bus, this husband who rides roughshod over my feelings, this insensitive individual who does not understand or appreciate me--is he not one whom God has put in my life for my good? Who, after all, is really in charge?

Let us beware of rebellion against the Lord. Circumstances are of his choosing, because He wants to bless us, to lead us (even through the wilderness) out of Egypt, that is, out of ourselves. Settle the complaint with God, and it will settle other things. Be offended with God, and you will be offended with everyone who crosses your path.

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