At a recent pastor/leader conference where both Chuck Smith and I were speaking, I handed him one of our “Others” bumper stickers. He smiled and launched into a poem whose memorization was required for membership in the Hi-Y in his high school. (Hi-Y was a high school YMCA program that I, too, had been a member of in Greenwood, Mississippi).
As a gift of his memory, here is the poem:
Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Help me in all the things I do,
To ever be sincerely true,
And know that all I do for you
Must needs be done for others.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this, my motto be.
Help me to live for others
That I might live for thee.
In these difficult economic times, true wealth resides in the understanding of that one word – Others. As a contrast, our current economy was produced by unbridled greed – self-centeredness.
Keep in mind that the opposite of others – self-centeredness, also known as pride – was the event that split Heaven and formed Hell. That split continues to divide the universe.
Keep in mind that Jesus lived that heavenly faithfulness by serving others and giving of himself. When Jesus said, “Satan has nothing in me,” it was a statement of a total others-centered life. Pride and selfishness had been conquered.
Keep in mind that Jesus declares that he did not come to be served (selfishness), but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many (others-centered).
Keep in mind that Jesus requires those who follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross (the constant knowledge that they belong on one) and follow him.
Keep in mind that he finally sums up the achievement of all things good by declaring that whoever loses (gives away) his life for Christ’s sake shall find it.
Think of all the problems solved by simply blessing others: When I am blessing others, I am not sinning. When I am self-centered, all manner of sin expresses itself. When I am blessing others, my life is filled with joy. When I am thinking of myself, I reap misery, depression, mental illness, fear, etc.
When Jesus confronted Peter with those famous questions, “Do you love me?” he knew that Peter’s redemption did not lie in self-thought or self-examination, but in the giving away of himself – the very thing he was called to do originally. “Feed my sheep,” rose to apostolic level as therapy. Health is still wrapped up in blessing others and doing so by choice and not by manipulation.
When depressed people ask me for help, I direct them to simple things. Write letters of thanks to people who don’t usually get them – such as city officials. Walk around your block every morning and pray for the people in each house you pass. Start a prayer list for the needs of others. So begins their redemptive recovery.
Marriage (a gift of God) falls to misery when described by such statements as “He (or she) doesn’t meet my needs,” or “He (or she) doesn’t make me happy or satisfy my emotions.”
Happiness in marriage is not the result of getting the other to meet my needs, but for two people to give 100% in making life better for the other one. That is called Paradise.
Does the power of “others” sound too simple? It is! However, that makes it sound so divine, since the kingdom is designed to be understood by children. Oh, that this was the first word we taught them.
— Gayle Erwin
As you know, the power of this word moved me to make a bumper sticker – Others. At this time, we have distributed more than 8,000 of them. We will continue to make them available as long as we can. Self-centeredness creeps back into my life so easily. This flesh loves attention. Only one cure – others. I need every reminder.
Interested in seeing more prayer answered in your life? TV evangelists urge you with great emotion to send them money so God will answer you. Do you really think that is true? Sometimes we think answered prayer depends on how many people we can get to pray for us, perhaps thus overwhelming God. Often we believe that if we could just be a little more “holy” it will move God.
Might there be a simpler way? I think so.
Ask a child to pray for you. Why? A child knows only to believe. Their prayers are unaffected and simple. We know that a child has God’s attention and a representative in Heaven. Plus, you will greatly affirm that child in his relationship with God. It all sounds good to me.
— Gayle Erwin
I read Not Many Mighty on a trip to visit family. Thanks for your labor in that. Of course, much of it we know by heart, because God has blessed us with many in-the-flesh remedial sessions with His peculiar messenger – no, I didn't mean it that way! – more like especially trained messenger on that particular subject.
It occurred to me, as I finished the last few pages, my house was ripe for a course in The Jesus Style. In the next few days, my goal will be to find out if they are willing to take an assignment from me. All indications are they would be very willing. It became clear to me that encouragement for us to read portions of The Jesus Style and then Not Many Fighty, I mean Mighty! to the family and then invite discussion, followed by prayer for each other, would be a discipline that would bring much fruit at this particular stage of our lives.
That would be a no-brainer for any household, but it seemed the LORD pressed this issue specifically for us.
You are hearing this because I feel this is a joint project and would appreciate your intercession for them and for myself as I express this venture.
I just finished reading “No Barking” and am contacting you to let you know how much I appreciate your heart on this matter. Indeed, why would we expect unbelievers to behave as believers do? Or, perhaps, we should be grateful they don't behave the way we do. Sometimes, Gayle, I think we should just scrap our whole “church model” that we've become fine-tuned at performing and just become people helping people with no “church growth” strings attached. Wouldn't that be refreshing? Well, anyway ... thank you!
Because of you two, I now associate love with Thanksgiving rather than Valentine’s Day. But then, isn’t that appropriate? The greatest love of all, God’s love for us, is a thing we can never repay but can only be thankful for. I pray that your wonderful marriage will be an encouragement to other couples everywhere your ministry reaches.
How touched and blessed I was when you came to share God’s Word with us. There was unforgiveness and bitterness I didn’t even know I had in my heart. When you asked us to pray for the people that came to our minds during the message, that was when I realized there were people in my life I needed to forgive. Since that day, I make it a point every morning on my drive to work to sincerely pray for those people that God has allowed in my life to mold and shape my heart. Again, thank you for your honesty and openness.
I just received a newsletter addressed to my mother. She passed away in October. It was an interesting season for me. Over the last four years, God changed my heart from bitterness and near hatred for my mother to complete grace and compassion for her in spite of myself. Many interesting and joyous things came out of this season. And she really enjoyed hearing you teach. I truly believe her health trial was part of her salvation.
Thanks for making it so unbelievably simple. Not long ago, I entered a very dry period in my walk with the Lord. I didn’t even “feel” like I was His child. Out of mere curiosity, I picked up The Father Style and took it to work with me. (I work at a call center and get to read between calls.) Within the first fifty pages, I became very discouraged. You were talking about God showing Moses His glory and promising to go with him, etc. I felt like God saw me as an Israelite – not permitted to go on the mountain with Moses.
It has been a long few months. I look back now and see that God was wanting me to grow up and, in my stubbornness, he had to make me so desperate to hear from Him that I didn’t care what he said as long as he said it. Through His Word, and friends, and your books, things started to change. I know you are just a tool in God’s hands, but I still wanted to say “thank you,” even though sometimes what you said wasn’t fun to hear.
I prayed this morning again for wisdom and strength – and a continued determination to take one positive step each day, in a relentless unstoppable attempt to make lemonade from lemons.
And as I hung out my laundry to dry, an idea formed and snowballed at an other-worldly pace – A Web site for militant mommas like me willing to stand up and say “no” to today’s morals – MommaBearGrowl.org! Haha!
I’m just a lowly engineer who likes to write and I’m not sure what God has in mind here, but, to get to my point:
As I went about my business of the morning driving to get groceries and do my errands, I listened to a Christian radio station. As it happened today, every single program, every single word, every single song, was directed at me. Last up was your program – which happened to be #35 today – “Guaranteed Happiness.” I have to say I have never laughed so hard or felt so uniquely touched as by your words today.
I feel like a lightning rod right now, but your words remind me and reinforce that being called out in a trial (while painful) is a reward in a twisted way that probably we human beings just plain aren’t going to understand. Regardless, we’re called to stand up, and stand up I will! Who am I? One God-powered Momma Bear, that’s who!
Thanks for the shot in the arm. You knew just where it hurt. You have a wonderful way with words that I absolutely love.
If you received this newsletter by regular mail, you received it weeks after those who get it by e-mail. If you thought you were supposed to get it and didn’t (and how would you know?), perhaps you moved and didn’t tell us. Returns cost us hundreds of dollars each time we send this out. This is not a plea for contributions, simply a renewed request for you to switch to e-mail to receive your copy.
It is so simple. E-mail us at email@example.com and let us know. We will adjust your address. Important! You will receive an e-mail from us asking you to verify that you want the letter by e-mail. Why do we do this? So our internet server (as well as your computer) will know that our mailing is requested and is not spam. Please also note that the e-mail address from which you will receive our newsletter is different from my personal address listed in this newsletter; however, it is a valid address which is monitored.
Occasionally, some people (including myself) get e-mail that purports to come from firstname.lastname@example.org and contains material that is very embarrassing to me and might cause you to wonder if we sold or distributed your e-mail address or if my mind had become warped. Although I can’t always defend my mind, here is what is actually happening:
My e-mail address is in many address books out there. If someone gets hit by a virus from which they are unprotected, the virus harvests addresses and uses them to send out these inappropriate mailings. We protect your address if it is on our mailing list and never distribute it or use it for anything except sending the newsletter.
We are so sorry that these inappropriate mailings occur using my personal address, but we don’t actually have a defense except for the improving anti-virus programs that people have.
You can go to our Web site – servant.org – and read all of our prior newsletters, listen to and download all our published messages and watch all of our videos completely free. You can still get CD or DVD copies from us with a simple phone call 1-888-321-0077.
I received a phone call from someone recently who was shocked because he didn’t think we still existed. Uh, we do!
Even the first mail-out for the 50-year reunion of my high school class asked beside my name, “Isn’t he deceased?” Uh, no! Still here.
We have received a number of prayer requests from people who have lost their jobs or whose businesses and suffering during this economic downturn. We do pray for you and believe that God will take care of his own.
That doesn’t mean that we will not face difficulties, but it does mean that God is faithful to us. Sometimes that means accepting a lesser level of living for a while, but one great benefit is that it can make us more compassionate toward our brothers and sisters in places where being a Christian means persecution and deprivation. I trust we will come out of this experience more generous to the spreading of the Gospel than we have ever been before.
Has it affected Servant Quarters? Yes, it has, but we have been able to make adjustments that keep the ministry moving along as effectively as ever. We are so grateful to God.
Servant Quarters is funded by honoraria from speaking, sales of materials and by contributions from people and churches that have been moved by God to do so. By now, I hope you have observed that we do not solicit contributions and I am uncomfortable even talking about it here.
But I do want to say to any contributor reading this who might be in difficult straits and conflicted about continuing contributions to Servant Quarters that you should not be embarrassed if you cannot continue. We understand and will simply increase our prayer for you.
In the meantime, we are going straight ahead and are viewing this time as an opportunity to get people’s attention as we speak and to watch God do his miracles.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17–18)
Jesus made it clear: “I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Jesus wanted all to know that He had authority apart from the Law of Moses, but not in contradiction to it. Jesus added nothing to the law except one thing that no man had ever added to the law: perfect obedience. Though He often challenged man's interpretations of the law (especially Sabbath regulations), Jesus never broke the law of God. This is certainly one way Jesus came to fulfill the law.
— Jesus fulfilled the doctrinal teachings of the Law and the Prophets in that He brought full revelation.
— Jesus fulfilled the predictive prophecy of the Law and the Prophets in that He is the Promised One, showing the reality behind the shadows.
— Jesus fulfilled the moral and legal demands of the Law and the Prophets in that He fully obeyed them and He reinterpreted them in their truth.
— Jesus fulfilled the penalty of the Law and the Prophets for us by His death on the cross, taking the penalty we deserved.
It is as if Jesus says, “Not one dot of an ‘I’ or not one cross of a ‘t’ will pass away till all is fulfilled.” And indeed, Jesus did perfectly fulfill the law.
The Apostle Paul wrote on this theme: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). It is complete in Him. This is especially appropriate in the context of this Sermon on the Mount, which shows us the character of Kingdom Citizens. It presents to us a high standard – higher than any of us can reach.
If our salvation depended on the measure of our obedience to the Sermon on the Mount, each one of us would be doomed. Yet knowing that Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes relieves us of the need to earn our salvation by our own fulfillment of the law, and gives us by faith the gift Jesus earned for us.
Today, thank Jesus for fulfilling the law for us, and, by faith, receive it.
— By David Guzik
Men at work.
Women work all the time.
Men have to put up a sign when they work.
Did you hear about the 82-year-old lady who talked her way out of a ticket for speeding by explaining to the officer that she had to hurry to her destination before she forgot where she was going?
The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper.
“Is your daddy home?” he asked.
“Yes,” whispered the small voice.
“May I talk with him?”
The child whispered, “No.”
Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, “Is your mommy there?”
May I talk with her?”
Again, the small voice whispered, “No.”
Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, “Is there anybody else there?”
“Yes,” whispered the child, “a Policeman.”
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, “May I speak with the policeman?”
“No, he’s busy,” whispered the child.
“Busy doing what?”
“Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman,” came the whispered answer.
Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, “What is that noise?”
“A helicopter,” answered the whispering voice.
“What is going on there?” demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.
Again, whispering, the child answered, “The search teams just landed a helicopter.”
Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated, the boss asked, “What are they searching for?”
Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle, “Me.”
Servant Quarters, Vol. 29, #1
Available on request by e-mail or by post
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
Web site: www.servant.org