THE WORD: The true and beautiful life

“The Gleaners” by Jean-François Millet (1857) is a painting in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Public Domain) 

While God’s gifts are in our hands, they are to be employed not for ourselves alone, or at all, primarily — but to give help, comfort, joy, light, and cheer, to others. This is the law of the heavenly kingdom. Nothing whatever is given to us — to be kept for ourselves alone.  

Everything that is ours — is ours to use and then pass to others. If we but carried out this teaching and fulfilled this law of Christ’s kingdom in every particular, it would make this earth a Heaven. Yet that is just what we should aim to do. 

The true and the beautiful life, is the one which seeks to be a blessing to every other life it touches. 

It is not easy to live a life of perpetual blessing to people. Jesus did it, but it was very expensive living for him. He gave out something of Himself to everyone He touched. Christian love gives and serves and sacrifices unto the uttermost. 

While we are serving men — we are also and primarily serving Christ. ” And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40  

A life does not need to be great to be beautiful. There may be as much beauty in a tiny flower as in a majestic tree, in a little gem as in a great mountain, in the smallest creature as in a massive one. 

“The greatest among you will be your servant!” Matthew 23:11  

J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.