A Brand New Series from Set Apart Girl
By LESLIE LUDY
One of the most powerful, convicting, and inspiring messages I’ve ever encountered is found in the pages of a little booklet called If written by Amy Carmichael — a missionary to India in the early 1900s. In the introduction to the book, she explains how a difficult situation in her life caused her to ask the question, “What do I know of Calvary love?” She began to see the weakness of her own human ability to love others in comparison with the supernatural, sacrificial, unfailing love that Christ demonstrated at Calvary.
Amy recognized that it was not merely human love and kindness that her life was meant to demonstrate, but that she must become a yielded vessel through which Christ could shine His Calvary love in every detail of her daily life and decisions. She wrote If as a personal challenge of the specific ways in which God was challenging and convicting her to exchange her own feeble love for His powerful, victorious love. The words were then shared with a few of her fellow workers. Later, when Amy and her friends were asked to turn the “Ifs” into a book, their immediate reaction was “No, it is far too private for that.” But then they decided, “If it can help any to understand what the life of love means and to live that life, then it is not ours to refuse.”
The “Ifs” present a series of very personal challenges to the Christian soul, saying in essence, “If I am behaving in this particular way, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” By the phrase, “I know nothing of Calvary love,” Amy does not intend to imply that a Christian who stumbles in these areas has no real relationship with Christ. Rather, she clarifies, “…the soul, suddenly illuminated by some fresh outshining of the knowledge of the love of God shown forth on Calvary, does not stop to measure how much or how little it knew of that love before. Penetrated, melted, broken before that vision of love, it feels that indeed all it ever knew was nothing, less than nothing.”
No matter how much of Christ’s nature we have already encountered or experienced, there is always a deeper, richer, more beautiful aspect of His love to discover!
THERE IS ALWAYS A DEEPER, RICHER, MORE
BEAUTIFUL ASPECT OF HIS LOVE TO DISCOVER
In this new series on Calvary love, we will be exploring several of the “Ifs” from Amy’s book that have personally and deeply challenged us as a team. I hope you will be blessed and inspired by these simple, yet profound, attributes of Christ’s amazing love, just as we have been.