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Are You A Diamond Or A Pebble?

Lillias Trotter (1853-1928) was a missionary to the Muslims in Algeria, North Africa. A tract she wrote entitled “Focused” became the inspiration for the hymn we know today as “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

I first read about Lillias Trotter in Noel Piper’s book Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God (Crossway: 2005). I would encourage you to pick up that book and read it, because we too often overlook the way God has used women throughout the history of his church to advance the gospel.

As I was preparing to preach on Luke 5:1-11 this week, I was reminded of one of Lillias Trotter’s statements that casts a vision for the kind of Christian I want to be, and the kind of church I hope God will make of New Covenant. She said,

And we ourselves are ‘saved to save’—we are made to give—to let everything go if only we may have more to give.

The pebble takes in all the rays of light that fall on it, but the diamond flashes them out again; every little facet is a means, not simply of drinking more in, but of giving more out.

Sometimes we Christians can act like pebbles. We approach the church as consumers: “feed me, fill me, satisfy me.” And make no mistake about it, it is essential for us to be fed, filled, and satisfied with God’s Word. It’s not wrong to come to church hungry for fellowship with God and his people. But it is short-sighted and misguided if we seek only our own satisfaction.

Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And the wisdom of Proverbs reminds us, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Prov. 11:25).

Let us seek to be Spirit-filled diamonds, not simply drinking more and more of God’s Word and God’s goodness in, but giving more out. And in the economy of God’s grace, the more we give, the more we will receive!

Praise God for the radiant example he gave us this past Lord’s Day in Ruth Doughterty. Ever since we met her, Ruth has been a diamond in our lives, flashing out rays of light to everyone she meets. I’m so grateful that the church we love will now be able to participate in God’s work through his diamond in a dark, dark place.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).

May the light of Jesus shine in you and through you this week,

Pastor David Sunday