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As high as possible...     From My Utmost for His Highest
. . . do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheep —John 21

I'd forgotten that there was an actual lesson that ran for book title and won the sash. 

Chambers talks today about folks that do things Jesus did, but stop short of devotion to Jesus. They do the work (and may even love), but skip the belief.

Skipping belief is what the world tells us we can do. It's another way to earn salvation-and let me tell you that's something I know a lot about.

In a discussion of how we would prepare for heaven. . .

. . . consider this excerpt from A Rooster Once Crowed:

If there was dancing, I would learn the steps. I would practice and listen to the music and try to be as great as I could. We’ve talked about these in Chapters 7—Step This Way, 8—Truth Beats Love, and 9—Tune into Life’s Belief, but do you see how each is important? Do you see how they are no more three than one nor one than three?

Let’s look at them, again.

Sacrificial service without love or belief is just a shame. It is a wasted opportunity. Imagine that a man saved a child from drowning, but in the process suffers an injury. Without love or belief, that sacrifice made for a child means everything to the child who is given another chance at life, but nothing to the man who spends the rest of his life nurturing a hatred for himself, the child and the world.

Envision the same scenario, but this time the man has love and no belief. Driven by his love, he continues to serve. He gives of his time and energy and spends his days looking for opportunities to save other children. This, admittedly, is better with love but without belief, his only motivation of love diminishes over time. There’s enough love to go around for a while, but when his love runs low, the service starts to sputter and there’s nothing else to recharge either.

A life lived loving and in sacrificial service without belief eventually is consumed, using its own mechanisms for fuel.

As I’ve said before, true love never exists without sacrifice. It’s just a market transaction where one party exchanges something of worth for a good or a service of similar value.

Consider the love between a mother and a child—either the mother pours herself out for 15 years, giving up her needs or the child is poured out and lives the rest of his life in need. Love without service or belief is just a good start. There’s no action to it—like a can of gasoline without a match or an engine.

Imagine a young girl sitting alone in a cottage in the country with endless love in her heart, but who does nothing about it—she loves, but never shows it to another. She is overflowing with love, and yet has no one to love. Jesus and His brother James warned us about love and belief with no works to show for it.

Every dance starts with the tune—the music—and this one is no different. Scripture affirms that everything hinges on belief and the two without the third are useless. Service and love require belief. In fact, if you have none of the three, begin at belief and from there, nurture love.

Out of this growing belief and love, sacrificial service does seem a burden, but like your first love as a teenager, the opportunity to serve the One you love becomes an absolute pleasure. 

EXCERPTED FROM A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told (without thirteen linked Scripture provided in the book), Chapter 10-The Greatceful Dance (pgs. 181-183). AVAILABLE FORMATS are linked at Full Porch Press.

Imagine belief as that thing that constantly refills your bucket, connects you to your service and means that you can never go too far afield to complete your mission. And when you do, we begin to take on the heart of Christ who served me/you in the most costly way possible. He loved us since the beginning of time. And He believed. Jesus belived in God, for sure, but He believed in you, too. He believed that standing on that porch, you'd know exactly what to do.

I love you.


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