I have found a great book, it has been around for at least forty years or more. It is called ‘The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’ What is the flame of Love in Mary’s Heart, it can be no other than Jesus her Son’s flame of Love in her. God is Love. Love is a Spirit and that Spirit is the Holy Spirit. So when we admire somebody, because of the greatness of their fellowship with God, we really are admiring God’s work in them. So there is never anything we can boast about ourselves at all. We can only boast in what Jesus has done for us. This book is a spiritual diary, easy to read and understand. Jesus teachers her how to grow in His likeness. So it is for the serious student of holy love, who genuinely wants to serve God on His terms. It is very encouraging, because she does stumble sometimes and Jesus gives her encouraging words when she does.
Luke 9:23 – 24. Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
The problem is many Christians think, to be saved, God is not asking them to be His disciple. Jesus has made it clear, you are either for Him or against Him. There is no grey. It is black and white. The problem becomes clear when we look at ourselves, we immediately see how impossible it is for us to be as generous as to give up everything for God. That is because you are not looking at what God can do. You still think you have to do everything by your own strength. I do not know why we have such a problem realising only God is God. We are totally helpless without Him. He told Gabrielle Bossis that desire is a bud and we all know plants cannot bear fruit without it being a bud first. God will work on us if we let Him.
If we get a promotion at work it always acquires more responsibilities and more of our time and a great many sacrifices. Many people will make strenuous sacrifices for money, but not for God. I believe some promotions are not worth it. Especially if it is going to distance you from your family. People need love more than material goods. Making sacrifices does not always feel like a sacrifice if it is done out of true love. When you love somebody you are not thinking about yourself at all, it is all about the other person. When God is calling us for promotions in being more like Him, it always means more sacrifice. And God loves a generous giver, who will give Him everything with a smile. The more you give to God without counting the cost, the more joy you receive. You have learnt to put your complete trust in God and love and faith just grows as a result of sacrificing yourself to Him.
I remember reading about a contemplative that spent hours of her time contemplating, because she enjoyed the presence of the Lord so much that she neglected her family needs. In other words she was not serving God but herself. God wants us to serve others, especially the people God has placed in our lives. So you have to watch yourself all the time and ask yourself ‘am I doing this sacrifice for my own glory or for God’s glory.’ We fall many times, we have such a problem with the spirit of pride and it used against us by Satan all the time. So keep asking God to for wisdom and discernment in what He is calling you to do, and He will open your eyes, if you pray in faith.
Luke 23: 26. As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Simon from Cyrene
I imagine Simon complaining ‘why me.’ And all the time if he only knew how privileged he was and that he would even go down in history as the man that helped Jesus carry His cross. Wouldn’t you like to go down in history for doing that? Can you imagine the holy pride he now feels in heaven, now that he understands who the man was that he helped carry the cross. It would not be a secret in heaven. I believe there would be holy jealousy in heaven over it. Well Jesus did say how we treat the least we have treated Him. It is not poetry either, because Jesus lives in those who have surrender to Him. The more we have surrender to Him the more we become Christlike, because Jesus truly lives in us.