It was Jim Elliot, the famous missionary aviator to Ecuador, who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This he said while a relatively young man before he was tragically killed in 1956 by the Auca indians he hoped to introduce to his Lord.
Following his death, Elisabeth, his wife, picked up the mantel of her husband and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. For the next sixty years she carried the cross of Christ around the world. She was a most profitable writer and speaker. And yesterday, June 15, 2015, at the age of 88, she was taken home to glory where she was able to see the faces of her four husbands — Jim, Addison, Lars, and Jesus.
So, heaven has received a truly beautiful woman, but the church has lost an incredible matriarch. Therefore, in an attempt to be one of her children and “call her blessed,” it is fitting to present some of her most famous quotes. As we read, let us thank the Lord for this spiritual helper he provided for us. in addition, let us be taught by her and pray that we might catch some of the sacrificial zeal held by this strong woman of faith. Finally, let us pray that God will supply more mothers and daughters who will be truly beautiful in the eyes of God.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised–Proverbs 31:30
The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.
Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.
I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.
We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.
I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.
God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful — “severe mercies” at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.
God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.
This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.
Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.
There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.
Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ‘ashes.
If we hold tightly to anything given to us unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily “ours” but only ours to offer back to him, ours to relinguish, ours to lose, ours to let go of, if we want to be our true selves. Many deaths must go into reaching our maturity in Christ, many letting goes.
To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.
Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.
The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’ A Christian woman’s true freedom lies on the other side of a very small gate—humble obedience—but that gate leads out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.
Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ”in spirit and in truth.” Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.
God is God. I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice. It is the same spirit that taunted, “If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross.” There is unbelief, there is even rebellion, in the attitude that says, “God has no right to do this to five men unless…
If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!
By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.
The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.
To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity… the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.
You can never lose what you have offered to Christ.
My heart was saying, “Lord, take away this longing, or give me that for which I long.” The Lord was answering, “I must teach you to long for something better.
Joseph A. Franks IV is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is Pastor of Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. This article first appeared on his blog