Serving by Giving, Loving, and Sacrificing
Saturday - September 4th
Scripture to Read Today: John 15:9-17
"Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one's life for one's friends." -Jesus
You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving. -Amy Carmichael
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) served as an Irish missionary to India from 1895 until her death in 1951. She is known for opening a safe house called Dohnavur Fellowship after rescuing children, especially young girls, from being trafficked in the Hindu temples. She served in India for fifty-five years without taking a break to return home to Ireland.
For the last twenty years of her life, after a horrific accident, she was bedridden. Nevertheless, Carmichael continued to guide the Dohnavur Fellowship until her death and wrote several books and poems about her deep love for Christ. Her dedication to serving God has inspired many Christians to become missionaries and many others to remain steadfast in their faith.
To the children she rescued from the temples' violent and immoral rituals, Amy Carmichael simply became known as "Momma Amy." She risked everything, even her very life, to rescue those kids. She lived out her statement that "You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving." She knew the cost of loving and giving her life in service of Christ and others. Yet, she chose to spend her entire life in loving service to children easily overlooked and forgotten.
After demonstrating to His disciples His love for them by washing their feet, Jesus had much to say about how they should love and serve each other. In expressing the depth of His love, Jesus told them, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13). Within less than 24 hours of saying this to His disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus' followers would see that level of love from Him as his lifeless body was taken from the cross.
Just as her Savior had done, Amy Carmichael gave her life for others. She served sacrificially. We don't have to travel to Southeast Asia to serve others. God may call some of us to go and serve Him in other parts of the world. But, He calls all of us to invest our lives in others right now, right where we are.
Look around today at the people that will cross your path. Ask God to show you their needs. Ask Him to open channels for you to love others in practical ways. Then, keep your eyes open and your heart ready. Look for moments when God moves you to serve someone else - to love them, give to them, and sacrifice for them.
When we truly give to others as Christ has given to us, we actually love them as He has loved us!