Your cross (for Keith)

Image: Ruth Kirk


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The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction.
But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God
(1 Corinthians 1:18; NLT).

1. Your cross
Is all that gives me patience:
It’s my peace, my truth,
My guide.

2. Your cross
Is all that gives me comfort,
Showing me
You’re at my side.

3. Your cross
Is all that gives me courage
In my fear, and grief,
And pain.

4. Your cross
Is all that gives me strength
To call upon
Your holy name.

He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus,
just as he did for people everywhere
who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours
(1 Corinthians 1:2; NLT).

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Humility

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Always be humble and gentle
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).

The Bible tells us that God wants us to grow in humility. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who is now a Saint, saw the process of learning to become more humble as a set of specific, concrete measures we can practice every day.

Her advice is easy to understand, but much harder to follow. Over time, though, by embracing her approach and making it our own, we can gradually learn to respond to people and events with greater acceptance and humility.

I first posted these teachings as a series of daily quotations on Twitter and Facebook. When that project was complete, I decided to draw them together, and make them available here.

Each quotation is followed by an illustrative verse from the Bible or few words of clarification. I hope very much that you will find Mother Theresa’s clear, practical advice as helpful as I do.


1. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen
[and] slow to speak
(James 1:19; NLT).



2. Aspire to live quietly,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands
(1 Thessalonians 4:10; RSV).


3. You should mind your own business
(1 Thessalonians 4:11; NIV).



4. They have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things
(2 Timothy 4:3; NET).



5. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).


6. Whoever learns from correction is wise
(Proverbs 15:5; NLT).


7. How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck
from your brother’s eye
(Matthew 7:4-5; NIV).



8. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.
For you will be treated as you treat others.
The standard you use in judging
is the standard by which you will be judged
(Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).


9. He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word
(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


1o. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
yet he never said a word

(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


11. The wisdom from above is first of all pure.
It is also peace-loving,
gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others
(James 3:17; NLT).

NB: This doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you. It means letting others choose, and gladly going along with their choice, rather than insisting on having your own way.



12. He was despised and we did not care
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).



13. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).


14. A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare

(Proverbs 15:1; NLT).



15. They brag loudly about themselves
(Jude 1:16; NLT).

Don’t do your good deeds publicly,
to be admired by others
(Matthew 6:1; NLT).


16. Whoever wants to be first among you
must be the slave of all
(Mark 10:44; NET).



17. Do not be wise in your own opinion
(Romans 12:16; NKJV).


18. Even the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve others,
and to give his life as a ransom for many
(Matthew 20:28; NLT).


Reference

All the quotations used here can be found by doing a Google search for: “Mother Theresa humility list”. I am very grateful to Mother for putting her advice list together, and to all those who circulate various versions of it online.

Always before me

Image: K. Mitch Hodge, Unsplash



You go before me (Psalm 139:5; NLT).

1. Lord,
May your pattern
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my tears.

2. Lord,
May your courage
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my fears.

3. Lord,
May your patience
Be always before me,
Helping me face
All my pain.

4. Lord,
May your Spirit
Be always before me,
Lighting my way
With your flame.

 


References

1. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NLT).

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death (Hebrews 5:7; NLT).

2. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39; NIV).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect me and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

3. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5; NKJV).

Since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too (1 Peter 4:1; NLT).

4. I will pour out my Spirit upon all people (Joel 2:28; NLT).

The Holy One will be a flame (Isaiah 10:17; NLT).

He lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness (Job 29:3; NLT).

Start afresh

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His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

1. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By turning from my selfish ways,
And taking up my cross.

2. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By spreading patience, joy, and love,
Whilst welcoming each loss.

3. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By thanking you for all you send,
And praying without cease.

4. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By seeing you in everyone,
And living in your peace.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past
(Isaiah 43:18; NIV).

 


References

1. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

2. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21; NLT).

Always rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).

I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake (2 Corinthians 12:10; NLT).

3. Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

4. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18; NLT).

Start afresh


His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22; NLT).

1. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By turning from my selfish ways,
And taking up my cross.

2. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By spreading patience, joy, and love,
Whilst welcoming each loss.

3. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By thanking you for all you send
And praying without cease.

4. Lord,
I want to follow you,
So may I start afresh today
By seeing you in everyone,
And living in your peace.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past
(Isaiah 43:18; NIV).


References

1. Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

2. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21; NLT).

Always rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).

I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake (2 Corinthians 12:10; NKJV).

3. Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

4. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18; NLT).

Start afresh

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Lord,

1. May I start afresh today,
And leave my setbacks
Far behind.

2. May I try again, Lord,
To be patient, frank,
And kind.

3. May my heart and mind
Commune with yours, Lord:
Silent, still,

4. As I listen for your quiet voice,
So I may do
Your will.


References

1. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23; NLT).

Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you (Job 11:4; NLT).

2. Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city (Proverbs 16:32; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT).

Love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish (Luke 6:35; RSV).

3. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Be still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37:7; NLT).

4. After the fire came a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12; NIV).

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go” (Isaiah 30:21; NLT).

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing (Psalm 143:10; NLT).

May I serve you

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He has planted eternity in the human heart,
but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work
from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11; NLT).

1. May I serve you
Somehow, Lord, today.
Yet, if I cannot serve,
Help me to pray;
Or, if I cannot pray,
To feel you near.

2. But, if I cannot sense you,
I’ll wait here
As patiently, and calmly
As I can,
For you are God, unchanged
Since time began.


References

1. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

2. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).

I have calmed and quieted myself (Psalm 131:2; NLT).

I am the Lord your God (Hosea 12:9; NKJV).

I am the Lord, and I do not change (Malachi 3:6; NLT)

Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God (Psalm 90:2; NLT). 

All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time (Jude 1:25; NLT).

Draw near

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My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
why are you so far away when I groan for help?
(Psalm 22:1; NLT).

1. Lord,
When I feel far from you,
Please help me to draw near,
For you are waiting patiently
Until I see you’re here.

2. Lord,
When I feel far from you,
Please help me to draw near,
For you are waiting patiently
To help me face each fear.

3. Lord,
When I feel far from you,
Please help me to draw near,
For you are waiting patiently
For me, year after year.


References

1. The Lord must wait for you to come to him (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

2. I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you’ (Isaiah 41:13; NLT).

3. The Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

Listening

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In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

Lord,

1. I’m neither strong,
Nor energetic.

2. There’s very little
I can do for others.

3. But I can listen patiently,
Offering love and comfort,

4. Sharing the load
Of those I meet

5. Who struggle with life’s
Burdens, trials, and sorrows.

References

1,2. He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

3. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble (2 Corinthians 1:4; NIV).

4. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles (Matthew 5:4; NLT).

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus (Luke 23:26; NLT).

Mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15; NRSV).

5. Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).

Thank you

Thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

1. Thank you, Lord,
For your example,
Patience, goodness,
Care.

2. Thank you, Lord,
For your forgiveness,
Kindness, healing,
Prayer.

3. Thank you, Lord,
For your atonement,
Courage, body,
Blood.

4. Thank you, Lord,
For your salvation,
Guidance, comfort,
Love.

References

1. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; NLT).

2. Through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins (Acts 13:38; NLT).

3. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood (Romans 3:25; NIV).

4. He [Jesus] became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him (Hebrews 5:9; NLT).