A few years ago I picked up a small book by Amy Carmichael called If. I had been introduced to the writings of Amy Carmichael through the ministry of Elisabeth Elliot who had been greatly influenced by her. She wrote an excellent biography about Amy and her 55-year ministry in Dohnavur, India, called A Chance to Die. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
But the book I want to tell you about is If. It is only 94 pages long, but it is one of the most powerful and convicting 94 pages you will ever read. Each page begins with the statement “If I. . .” and ends with the statement, “. . . then I know nothing of Calvary love.” She cuts to the motives of the heart with each statement testing the true depth of our love and comparing it to the love of Christ – the love which led Him to give His life at Calvary.
Here’s one: “If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” That convicted this Navy wife on more than one occasion when faced with orders to change locations. How about this one: “If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Ouch. That hurts.
If you want a better understanding of Calvary love. . . If you want to hold your heart up to a mirror. . . If you aren’t afraid of the ugliness you may see there. . . If you want to love like Christ. . . then get If. Read one page per week. Contemplate it. Meditate on it. Then love with a Calvary kind of love.