Sunday, August 17, 2008

A word fitly spoken

A sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. (Phil. 4:18.)

"The living sacrifice is 'acceptable to God.' It ought to be a wondrous inspiration to know this, that even the lowliest things we do for Christ are pleasing to Him. We ought to be able to do better, truer work, when we think of His gracious acceptance of it.

"It is told of Leonardo da Vinci, that while still a pupil, before his genius burst into brilliancy, he received a special inspiration in this way: His old and famous master, because of his growing infirmities of age, felt obliged to give up his own work, and one day bade da Vinci finish for him a picture which he had begun. The young man had such a reverence for his master's skill that he shrank from the task. The old artist, however, would not accept any excuse, but persisted in his command, saying simply, 'Do your best.'

"Da Vinci at last tremblingly seized the brush and kneeling before the easel prayed: 'It is for the sake of my beloved master that I implore skill and power for this undertaking.' As he proceeded, his hand grew steady, his eye awoke with slumbering genius. He forgot himself and was filled with enthusiasm for his work. When the painting was finished, the old master was carried into the studio to pass judgment on the result. His eye rested on a triumph of art. Throwing his arms about the young artist, he exclaimed, 'My son, I paint no more!'

"There are some who shrink from undertaking the work which the Master gives them to do. They are not worthy; they have no skill or power for the delicate duty. But to all their timid shrinking and withdrawing, the Master's gentle yet urgent word is, 'Do you best.' They have only to kneel in lowly reverence and pray, for the beloved Master's sake, for skill and strength for the task assigned, and they will be inspired and helped to do it well.

"The power of Christ will rest upon them and the love of Christ will be in their heart. And all work done under this blessed inspiration will be acceptable unto God. We have but truly to lay the living sacrifice on the altar; then God will send fire."
J.R. Miller, (from Making the Most of Life.)

Streams in the Desert, Vol 2, Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1966, August 17

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