YOU'LL NEVER BE A TRULY GREAT LEADER--YOU'LL NEVER BE A TRULY GREAT SHEPHERD UNTIL YOU LEARN TO HAVE COMPASSION ON THE SHEEP--UNTIL YOU LEARN TO HAVE GREAT LOVE AND GREAT MERCY. Sometimes we feel we can't stand it or we'll weep. We feel we can't be so tender-hearted, so we feel we have to harden our hearts in order to bear it! But that's not the solution! But rather, cast thy burden on the Lord and He shall sustain thee!
GETTING HARD AND TYRANNICAL IS A FLESHLY COMPENSATION. IT'S NOT THE LORD'S SOLUTION. Nurses get that way! They can't stand the suffering. They don't have the Lord to cast their burden on. No one person can stand all the suffering and pain they have to constantly see, so they have to callous their hearts until they've become almost butchers of mankind!
FOR GOD'S SAKE, WE'RE SOUL DOCTORS! DON'T ALLOW YOURSELF TO BECOME A BUTCHER WHO ENJOYS SEEING OTHERS SUFFER, just because you can't stand to see pain and problems. You're going to have to ask God to give you a tender heart!
PRAYER: JESUS, JESUS! WE NEED YOU, JESUS! GENTLE LOVING JESUS WHO WEPT FOR THE MULTITUDE, who was so weary, and yet He came forth and looked upon the multitude and had compassion on them and healed them; as exhausted as He was, He didn't harden His heart!
YOU DIDN'T HARDEN YOUR HEART, LORD, BUT YOU HAD COMPASSION UPON THE MULTITUDE. YOU STAYED TENDER, QUIET AND HUMBLE. YOU WEPT OVER THEM TIME AND AGAIN. YOU WEPT OVER THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS. What grieved You more than anything else was their hard hearts--even those whom You would have gathered unto You. You didn't want to see them suffer and You wept for them. Help us not to get hard. We're so used to seeing problems and difficulties. Because we're in a hurry, the quick way is to harden our heart. We don't take time to soften and melt and love and care for them. We want to break them right away quick, instead of gentling them. We want to lay them flat instead of dealing with them and probing and gently trying to heal. We want to delve in and slice and cut and enjoy the bleeding, instead of being like the osteopath, who tries to find natural means to cure the disease, and tries to find the root of the problem. We slice away at the symptom and cut away the cancer and quickly try to chop off the arm or the leg without trying to find a way to heal the wound. We just cauterise with the sword heated in the fire, and we burn and injure even more sometimes. Help us, O God, not to get hard!
YOU HAD SO MUCH TO SAY AGAINST THE HARDNESS OF HEARTS: "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Who will render to every man according to his deeds..." Help us not to judge them with harshness, Lord. I'm so guilty, I don't want to be judged harshly, so it's not hard for me to have mercy! You're so good to me, Lord, when I've been so wicked and such a failure, so I understand how You can help me to be merciful and patient and long-suffering and kind. All these things take time! Chopping off an arm in a sudden operation--that doesn't take time, and it sometimes kills the patient! But natural ways take time: A change of diet, a change of scenery, the encouragement to exercise, trying to coordinate. Such gentle leading of the blind, such tender understanding of the feeble-minded--these things take such time! You could slap them in a padded cell and put them in a straight-jacket and let them go mad through such harsh treatment, or we could put our arms around them and encourage and inspire and show we have faith in them.
THIS TAKES TIME! WE'RE IN TOO BIG A HURRY SOMETIMES. IT'S LIKE GETTING ANGRY AT A LITTLE TINY BABY. How many years it takes to grow up and for parents to teach and to train them to feed themselves and go to the bathroom--years of love and patience; yet the parents don't give up and get angry and throw them out just because the children can't do everything themselves! Help us to have patience, help us to have love. Help us to be easier on the spiritually and physically handicapped! It takes time to change the diet, establish the exercise, to realise they have to have more rest than normal people--that we can't push them so hard. It takes time--on our most uncomely parts we do bestow the greater care! Comfort the feeble-minded. Harden not your hearts! Help us to be willing to take time! This being in a hurry is a lack of faith--that it's got to be done right now, or it won't be done. We're trying to do it in our own strength!
IT TOOK TIME TO TEACH AND TRAIN ME TO GET WHERE WE ARE NOW--AND THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM! We couldn't get any lower! If anything's to be done, You have to do it, Lord! We have to just wait on You, and know You're the One! Not by might, nor by power, but by Thy Spirit! Help us to have the patience to take the time with you and with others, with those who are handicapped, and those who are weak and cripple and babes--even our own leaders! Sometimes we've taken days to deal with some of our very top ones at great danger and expense and trouble! We could have just lopped them off, but You wanted to preserve them, Lord. We ask that You will teach Thy sons and daughters patience and faith--which takes time--teach them never to get in such a hurry;--not to push themselves so hard, as though they had to do it in their own strength! Help them to learn how to lean on You, and to know that You're going to take care of it somehow--to trust You! Carrying the burdens ourselves would just drive us insane--and this harshness that some people have is a form of insanity! It can become extreme; this unmercifulness comes from getting our eyes off You. You said You would keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in Thee!
FORGIVE ME, LORD, FOR THE TIMES I'VE BECOME IMPATIENT, BECAUSE I DIDN'T KEEP MY EYES ON YOU. Sometimes I get so upset, I just want to wipe the floor up with some people, and beat them the way I want to, instead of letting You discipline them the way You know best!
THANK YOU, LORD, FOR ALL OF YOUR PATIENCE--AND FOR SHOWING US THAT THE BEST HEALING TAKES TIME. It can't be done overnight, but we have to get at the root of the trouble; we have to correct the cause. These outward manifestations are just symptoms of an inner disease. We could try to get rid of them just by slicing them off, but we have to get at the root, which takes love and probing and massaging and gentle feeling, which takes hands of love and hands of mercy, and hands of gentleness!
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN BE PATIENT WITH OTHERS IS TO KNOW WHAT A HOPELESS CASE WE ARE OURSELVES! You've been so gentle with us--not rewarding us according to our iniquities. You've been so patient and loving!
IF THERE'S ANYTHING WE SHOW THESE KIDS, HELP US TO SHOW THEM TENDERNESS AND GENTLENESS--THAT THEY ARE SO DEAR TO OUR HEARTS--that You've gone so far out of Your way--Your hands are torn by the rocks and thistles in rescuing these little lost lambs. Help us to take them in our arms and hold them close to our bosoms and nurse them back to strength and health and wholeness! Help us, O Jesus!
THANK YOU, LORD! O, THANK YOU, JESUS! LORD, IF YOU'RE ANYTHING, AS WE SEE YOU THERE, YOU'RE THE PICTURE OF PATIENCE, CALMNESS, LOVE, AND GENTLENESS, LONG-SUFFERING--THE PICTURE OF TENDERNESS, GENTLY WOOING LIKE THE DOVE, cooing like a dove--easily frightened away if met with hardness and resistance. You don't try to force anybody, Lord. Your Holy Spirit gently descends, and can be easily shooed away. It doesn't land where it's not wanted.
HELP US NOT TO BE LIKE THE EAGLE WHO POUNCES UPON ITS PREY and sinks its talons in it, and devours its prey. Help us to be like the gentle dove of Thy Spirit!
LORD, YOU'RE PICTURED AS A LITTLE LAMB--YOU'RE A GENTLE, TENDER LAMB--A LITTLE, TINY LAMB--not a beast of prey, not a ravenous, merciless, cruel monster, but a gentle, harmless lamb, who allows itself to be eaten to bring life and strength--who allows itself to be devoured to bring life and nourishment to others--who lays itself on the altar of sacrifice, and who allows itself to die that others may live! Help us to be like Thee, O gentle Lamb of God! Give us Thy Wisdom, Thy Patience, Thy Mercy!
THY HOLY SPIRITS IS LIKE A MOTHER--TENDER AND GENTLE, WITH THE LITTLE BABY. Not even the father has so much patience. But Thou art like a mother, hovering over, waiting, comforting, nursing, nurturing!
IF THERE IS ANYTHING WE'VE BEEN KNOWN FOR, IT'S LOVE. They look up with such trust and such faith, such hope that we have the Answer--that we can help them, because You're in us! We're like the shepherd with wooing voice and gentle tone and deft and gentle fingers! We heal the broken-hearted, bind up the wounds and set the captives free--not with violence, but with gentleness--to win the world with Love! If You could only teach us this lesson--it's greater than faith: Though we have faith and wisdom, tongues and interpretation, though we have a sacrificial spirit--our service is nothing without our love!
YOU SAID, I WILL HAVE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE. WE MUST SPEND TIME ALONE WITH THEE TO LEARN WHAT THIS MEANETH! THE GREATEST GUIDE IS THE ONE THAT SHOWS THE WAY! We're samples! Help us to be like You, Lord Jesus! Help us not to be like the Enemy--the Accuser of the Saints, the harsh, the cruel, the devourer--but like the little gentle Lamb of God! With all of our discipline, sometimes we've been too harsh. We've not had the patience with these little lambs we should have. Help us to be forgiving and patient and to have mercy as we want mercy, and to treat them in their errors as we want You to treat us in ours!
TAKE NOT THY SPIRIT FROM US! Cut us not off! In Thy tender loving kindness, have mercy. Deliver us by Thy Mercy. Not that we deserve it, but because You're so gentle and tender and loving and patient--so faithful!
HE THAT WOULD BE GREATEST AMONG YOU MUST BE SERVANT OF ALL. The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister--to be a servant! Help us to minister, not just expect to be ministered unto, and to have them jump when we snap our fingers! We have to be their servants.
LORD, WE FEEL TOTALLY UNWORTHY EVEN OF THE MINISTRATION OF THESE LITTLE ONES. We look with wonder on them as they minister to us in all these little things that are so important to our health and well-being and especially Thy Work. We don't feel worthy even of the tender loving service of these little lambs.
WHAT A SURPRISE WE'RE GOING TO GET WHEN THE LORD HANDS OUT THE REWARDS!--AS TO WHO WAS REALLY GREATEST. Many of these little ones whom we sometimes have trampled on in our damnable hastiness are going to be so rewarded and shine so brightly with the purity of their humility. We'll be ashamed; they shall outshine us, Lord! We don't think we could ourselves have done these things the kids do. They're greater than we are. They have more faith--more humility--more courage--more long-suffering--more faithfulness! we're the least! We're the least amongst many brethren. We don't know how You could even use us, Lord. Every one is greater than we are, Lord! Such saints, the little ones! Their saintliness amazes us! Their humility dumbfounds us! Their sacrifice astounds us! Surely every one of them is greater than we are! We are but their servants--unworthy servants doing only that which is our duty to do!
WE'RE NOTHING, LORD! IF THERE'S ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT US, IT'S ONLY YOU!--NOTHING OF OURSELVES, OUR ONLY HOPE--YOU IN US, LORD! Help us, Lord! Help us not to be of the Scribes and Pharisees who laid upon the people burdens more than they were able to bear! Help us not to be as they were, who said, but did not! Help us not to be guilty of the very things we accuse the Church of! Help us not to be lifted up in pride about what we accomplish: It's just that You put us there at the right time and the right place!--No credit to us: Great was the company of them that published it! You've taken these great broadcasting companies to become our servants and wait on us hand and foot. It was because You sent them and it was Thy Will and You want them to see a sample of love and humility! You knew they would see it in these children! Even if they haven't seen it in the leaders, we thank You, Lord, that they've seen it in these little lambs who follow the Shepherd whithersoever He goest--these undefiled, these poor. (Tongues and Weeping!) "Nothing in our hands we bring!--Simply to Thy Cross we cling!" We are absolutely nothing!
THEY ARE THE DIAMONDS OF DUST, THE SMALLEST OF ALL CREATURES! THEY ARE SO SMALL AND SO LIGHT THAT THEY FLOAT UPON THY AIR! They are the ones that catch Thy sunlight! They are so small and so tiny--so light and so nothing! They are the ones that shine! We are like lumps of unwieldy clay, and rocks and stones that cannot rise above the floor! We are like the dirt on the floor which will catch them, and on which they can rest until Thy breath catches them and they float again into the sunlight! We are the carpet on the floor from which You lift them to shine! We dwell in darkness, but we are there to give them a place to land. We are to be as nothing, and out of sight! But to let these little ones shine, not to rise from the floor and make fools of ourselves, but as clods of dull clay, pieces of dirt--pebbles--the ground upon which they rest again. But help us not to fail them. Help us to be there for them to rest upon. But help us to stand back and let them shine--let them turn and twist and tumble in that utmost yieldedness to the Breath of Thy Spirit--that total lack of will, or anything of their own--just floating on Thy air--tumbling, rolling, scintillating, shining, exhilarating--so beautiful! Help us to stay out of the limelight--help us just to be there to catch them when they fall--just to be there to give them a place to land! They're Thy stars--these little ones are Thy stars--they are the ones that are shining! They're the ones You're using! We are just lumpy clods of clay, but we have to be here to give them a place to rest--to hold them until You're ready to use them again! They come up from the ground--from the floor--they rise in the air at the Breath of Thy Spirit! They turn, they shine, then fall again! Help us, Lord, to be willing to catch them when they fall. Help us not to scold them and try to blow upon them ourselves. Help us not to try to stir them up ourselves, but to wait for the Breath of Thy Spirit. Help us just to be there, Lord!--just to be their servants--just to be there where You want us to be, Lord!
THEY'RE THY CHILDREN! THEY'RE THY EXALTED ONES! WE'RE THEIR SERVANTS--THEIR SLAVES--THEIR HANDMAIDENS, TO WAIT UPON THEM, AND SERVE THEM! THEY ARE THY STARS. THEY ARE THE STARS OF THIS THY SHOW. We just provide the crash pads. You use us so mundanely--just to provide the places--Thank You for using us, Lord, for helping us to be willing to receive them--not to exalt ourselves against them--not to try to jump up and leap into the light ourselves--but to stay there hidden and out of sight, and let them shine. If we only knew how nothing we are. He that thinketh he is something, is nothing at all. If any man thinketh he standeth, let him take heed lest he fall. He that is exalted shall be abased--for the first shall be last, and the last first!
WE ARE NOT EVEN EQUAL--WE ARE THE LOWEST OF THE LOW! WE ARE THE SERVANTS--THE SLAVES! HELP US TO WAIT UPON THEM! What is a mother but a slave to the child? What is a wife but a slave to her husband--a helpmeet! What is a shepherd but a servant unto his flock! The farmer kneels by the cow and serves her, and the cow is like a queen with the farmer at her feet--a mere servant. A teacher is the servant of the class. A leader is servant of the follower! May we be servants of the flock, Lord, slaves of Thy Children.--In honour preferring one another. You are our Servant, Lord, waiting upon us all--ministering rather than being ministered unto! You are the greatest Sample of all!--the Greatest of all Samples of Humility and Mercy.
LORD, I SENT THEM OUT WITH A SPANKING THIS MORNING. I DIDN'T FEED THEM! YOU FEED THEM LORD! YOU COMFORT THEM! That's the trouble with being in a hurry! Whenever I spank them. I have to have time to love them, Lord--otherwise, they get discouraged! Forgive me, Lord! Help them! I failed, but You encourage them, Lord!--By Thy Holy Spirit, like a Mother who encourages and comforts them after Daddy spanks them. In Jesus' Name. I'm sorry, Lord. Help me to do better! Encourage, inspire, instruct, and lead them by Thy own Hand, Lord! Thank you, Father! Help me to be a better Shepherd, Lord!
THEY'VE DONE SO MUCH. THEY'VE WORKED SO HARD, AND DONE SO WELL--MORE THAN EVEN THEY SHOULD HAVE. (The Shepherd falls upon his face and weeps): Forgive me for scolding them, Lord. We know they needed it, but forgive me for not comforting them afterwards. Help me to have more concern and love and thoughtfulness. Help me to lift them up, not just beat them down--a lifter up of their heads, Jesus, help me not to add to their burdens, but to share and bear their burdens! Help them, strengthen them, give them mercy and love and joy! O Jesus, we need You so much, Lord! (The Shepherd weeps) How can I scold anybody else when I myself am such a failure. Have mercy, Lord; have mercy! Help me to be more loving, more kind, more merciful, more patient! Forgive me for getting upset. We find Thy servants have not obeyed, and have left Thy work undone, and we get so upset. Somewhere it must be my fault. I'm the leader. Forgive me, Lord; I must not have made it plain. Help me to make it more simple, so they can understand it. Lord, I don't know anything. I'm an unprofitable servant. Forgive and help me. I don't want to be like that! Keep me humble and broken and dependent upon Thee, Lord! Help me to strengthen Thy children, feed Thy flock, guide thy little ones. May these Letters be an encouragement to them. We thank Thee for them! But my bodily presence is weak and my speech contemptible. But this is Thy Word that You give through me! Bless this food, Lord. Help it to feed them! Help it to lift them up and heal the wounds. Help them to seek Thy face and find sweet fellowship with Thee. Thou art the Great Shepherd by Thy Spirit. Help us not to be hard, but tender and gentle, like You, precious Lord! Give us strength now to finish the task; wisdom and love--that they may feel Thy Love--that it may lift up their heads and make them happy and give them joy and inspiration and strength! In Jesus' precious name I pray! Amen.
I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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