Thursday, December 29, 2016

The writings of Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

A few books penned by Andrew Murray

“Whosoever would be greatest among you, shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11)
Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all. Humility means the giving up of self and becoming perfect nothingness before God.
Gleanings from Humility by Andrew Murray

   “Whosoever would be greatest among you, shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). Jesus simply taught us the blessed truth that there is nothing so divine and heavenly as being the servant and helper of all. The faithful servant who recognized his position finds a real pleasure in supplying the wants of the master or his guests. When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition, and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that it is our true nobility. We will begin to understand that being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God. (pg. 7)
   Our purpose for being…”…Thou has created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11) (pg 9)
   Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is, from the very nature of things, the first duty and the highest virtue of man. It is the root of every virtue.
   And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil. (pg 10) …evil can have no beginning but from pride, and no end but from humility. (pg 97)
   Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others, it is the root of all, because it alone assumes the right attitude before God and allows Him as God to do all…. It is simply the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all. (pg 12)
   …the first and chief mark of the relationship of man with God, the secret of his blessedness, is the humility and nothingness which leaves God free to be all. (pg 13)
   It is from our pride we need, above everything, to be redeemed. (pg 16)
   Even as we need to look to the first Adam and his fall to know the power of the sin within us, we need to know well the Second Adam and His power to give within us a life of humility as real and abiding and overmastering as has been that of pride. We have our life from and in Christ…(pg 17)
   Christ found this life of entire self-renunciation, of absolute submission and dependence upon the Father’s will, to be one of perfect peace and joy. He lost nothing by giving everything to God…And because Christ had thus humbled Himself before God, and God was ever before Him, He found it possible to humble himself before men, too. He was able to be the Servant of all. His humility was simply the surrender of Himself to God, to allow the Father to do in Him what He pleased, no matter what men around might say of Him, or do to Him. (pg 23)
   He teaches us where true humility takes its rise and finds its strength-in the knowledge that it is God who works all in all, that our place is to yield to Him in perfect resignation and dependence, in full consent to be and to do nothing of ourselves. This is the life Christ came to reveal and to imparta life in God that comes through death to sin and self. (pg 24)
   “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” God wants us to believe that Jesus means this! We all know what the character of a faithful servant or slave implies. Devotion to the master’s interests, thoughtful study and care to please him, delight in his prosperity and honor and happiness. There are servants on earth in whom these dispositions have been seen, and to whom the name of servant has never been anything but a glory.
   To many of us it has been a new joy in the Christian life to know that we may yield ourselves as servants, as slaves to God, and to find that His service is our highest liberty, the liberty from sin and self. (pg 31)

   “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20)
   The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct. The insignificances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity because they prove what spirit really possesses us. (pg 44)
   The humble man seeks at all times to act on the rule, “In honor preferring one another; Serve one another; Each esteeming others better than himself; Submitting yourselves one to another.(pg 46)
   Amid what are considered the temptations to impatience and touchiness, to hard thoughts and sharp words-which come from the failings and sins of fellow-Christians-the humble man carries the often repeated injunction in his heart, and shows it in his life: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). He has learned that in putting on the Lord Jesus he has put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and long-suffering (Colossians 3:12). Jesus has taken the place of self, and it is not an Impossibility to forgive as Jesus forgave. (pg 47)
   May God teach us that our thoughts and words and feelings concerning our fellow-men are His test of our humility toward Him. May He teach us that our humility before Him is the only power that can enable us to be always humble with our fellow-men. Our humility must be the life of Christ, the Lamb of God, within us. (pg 56)
   It is not sin, but God’s grace showing a man and constantly reminding him what a sinner he was, that will keep him truly humble. (pg 64)
   Being occupied with self, even amid the deepest self-abhorrence, can never free us from self. It is the revelation of God, not only by the law condemning sin, but by His grace delivering from it, that will make us humble. (pg 65)
   Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust. And every, even the most secret breathing of pride-in self-seeking, self-will, self-confidence, or self-exaltation-is just the strengthening of that self which cannot enter into the Kingdom or possess the things of the Kingdom, because it refuses to allow God to be what He is and must be-the all in all. (pg 68)
   “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death: (Philippians 2:8)
   Humility is the path to death, because in death it gives the highest proof of its perfection. Humility is the blossom of which death to self is the perfect fruit. Jesus humbled Himself unto death and opened the path in which we too must walk. As there was no way for Him to prove His surrender to God to the very uttermost, or to give up and rise out of His human nature to the glory of the Father, but through death, so it is with us, too. Humility must lead us to die to self. We must prove how wholly we have given ourselves up to it and to God. Only thus are we freed from fallen nature and find the path that leads to life in God, to that full birth of the new nature of which humility is the breath and the joy. (pg 73)
   The death of Jesus, once and forever, is our death to self. And the ascension of Jesus, His entering once and forever into the Holiest, has given us the Holy Spirit to communicate to us in power, and make the power of the death-life our very own. (pg 77)
   Accept with gratitude everything that God allows from within or without, from friend or enemy, in nature or in grace, to rind you of your need of humbling, and to help you to it. (pg 90)
   May God teach us to believe that to be humble, to be nothing in His presence, is the highest attainment and the fullest blessing of the Christian life. He speaks to us: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit” (Isaiah 57:15) Be this our destiny!


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