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About Amy Boucher Pye

Amy Boucher Pye is a writer and speaker who lives in North London. She’s the author of the book The Living Cross: Exploring God’s Gift of Forgiveness and New Life and the award-winning book Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home, and True Identity. She runs the Woman Alive book club in the UK and enjoys life with her family in their English vicarage. Find her at www.amyboucherpye.com or on Facebook or Twitter (@amyboucherpye).

Serving Jesus

By |2024-07-08T02:33:07-04:00July 8th, 2024|

In the early 1800s, Elizabeth Fry was appalled by the conditions in a London women’s prison. Women and their children were crowded together and made to sleep on the cold stone floors. Although they weren’t given bedding, a tap flowed with gin. For years, she visited the prison and ushered in change by providing clothes, opening a school, and teaching the Bible. But many saw her biggest influence as her loving presence and clear messages of hope.

In her actions she followed Jesus’ invitation to serve those in need. For instance, while on the Mount of Olives, Jesus shared several stories about the end of the age, including one about the welcome of “the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). In it the King tells the righteous people that they gave Him something to drink, invited Him in, and visited Him in prison (vv. 35–36). When they couldn’t recall doing so, the King responds: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (v. 40).

What a wonder that when we serve others with the help of the Holy Spirit, we serve Jesus! We can follow Elizabeth Fry’s example, and we can also serve from home, such as through intercessory prayer or writing letters. Jesus welcomes us to love Him as we use our spiritual gifts and talents to assist others.

Humble Jørn

By |2024-06-25T02:33:16-04:00June 25th, 2024|

They didn’t think Jørn, a tenant farming the land, would amount to much. Yet despite his weak vision and other physical limitations, he poured himself out for those in his village in Norway, praying the many nights when his pain kept him awake. In prayer he’d move from house to house, naming each person individually, even the children he hadn’t yet met. People loved his gentle spirit and would seek his wisdom and advice. If he couldn’t help them practically, they’d still feel blessed when they left, having received his love. And when Jørn died, his funeral was the biggest ever in that community, even though he had no family there. His prayers blossomed and brought forth fruit beyond what he could have imagined.

This humble man followed in the example of the apostle Paul, who loved those he served and prayed for them while confined. He wrote to those in Ephesus while he was likely imprisoned in Rome, praying that God would give them “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” and that the eyes of their hearts would be “enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17–18). He yearned that they would know Jesus and live with love and unity through the power of the Spirit.

Jørn and the apostle Paul poured themselves out to God, committing those they loved and served to Him in prayer. May we consider their examples in how we love and serve others today.

Making God Known

By |2024-05-19T02:33:06-04:00May 19th, 2024|

A love for God and for people undergirds Kathryn’s Bible translating work. She rejoices when women in India come to a deeper understanding of Scripture, reading it in their mother tongue. She remarks that when they do, “They often start cheering or clapping. They read about Jesus, and they say, ‘Oh, wonderful!’ ”

Kathryn longs for more people to read the Bible in their own language. In this desire, she holds close to her heart the vision of the aging disciple John on the island of Patmos. Through the Spirit, God ushered him into the throne room of heaven, where he saw “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). All together they worshiped God, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God” (v. 10).

God continues to add to the great number of people praising Him. He uses not only the work of Bible translators and those praying for them, but also those who reach out to their neighbors in love with the good news of Jesus. We can rejoice in this joyful mission, marveling at how God will spark more people to join with the angels in saying, “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever” (v. 12).

Eyes to See

By |2024-05-08T02:33:07-04:00May 8th, 2024|

Joy was concerned for her relative Sandy who for years had struggled with alcoholism and mental-health issues. So Joy went to Sandy’s apartment, but with doors locked it appeared vacant. As she and others planned their search for Sandy, Joy offered up a simple prayer: “God, help me to see what I’m not seeing.” As they were leaving, Joy looked back at Sandy’s apartment and saw the tiniest movement of a curtain. In that moment, she knew that Sandy was alive. Although it took emergency assistance to reach Sandy, Joy rejoiced in this answered prayer.

The prophet Elisha knew the power of asking God to reveal to him His reality. When the Syrian army surrounded their city, Elisha’s servant shivered in fear. Not the man of God, however, for with God’s help he glimpsed the unseen. Elisha prayed that the servant too would see, and “the Lord opened the servant’s eyes” to see “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire” (2 Kings 6:17).

God lifted the veil between the spiritual and physical worlds for Elisha and his servant. Joy believes God helped her see the tiny flicker of the curtain, giving her hope. We too can ask Him to open our eyes to His reality, that we’d be given the spiritual vision to understand what’s happening around us, whether with our loved ones or in our communities. And we too can be agents of His love, truth, and compassion.

Eyes to See

By |2024-04-10T02:33:10-04:00April 10th, 2024|

Genevieve had to be the “eyes” for her three children, each born with congenital cataracts. Whenever she took them into their village in the Republic of Benin, she strapped the baby onto her back and held onto the arm and hand of her older two, always looking for danger. In a culture where blindness was thought to be caused by witchcraft, Genevieve despaired and cried out to God for help.

Then a man from her village told her about Mercy Ships, a ministry that provides vital surgeries to honor Jesus’s model of bringing hope and healing to the poor. Although Genevieve was uncertain if they could help, she approached them. When the children woke up after their surgeries, she waited with bated breath. They could see!

God’s story has always been about coming alongside those shrouded in darkness and bringing His light. The prophet Isaiah declared that God would be “a light for the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:6). He would “open eyes that are blind” (v. 7), restoring not only physical sight but spiritual vision as well. And He promised to “take hold” of His people’s hand (v. 6), which is just what Jesus did. He restored sight to the blind and, more importantly, brought light to those living in the darkness.

If you feel overcome by darkness, cling to hope as you embrace the promises of our loving Father while asking for His light to bring illumination.

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!

By |2024-03-31T02:33:05-04:00March 31st, 2024|

Before Charles Simeon attended university in Cambridge, England, he loved horses and clothes, spending a huge sum on his attire yearly. But because his college required him to attend regular communion services, he started to explore what he believed. After reading books written by believers in Jesus, he experienced a dramatic conversion on Easter day. Awaking early on April 4, 1779, he cried out, “Jesus Christ is risen today! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” As he grew in his faith in God, he devoted himself to Bible study, prayer, and attending chapel services.

On the first Easter day, life changed for the two women who arrived at Jesus’ tomb. There they witnessed a violent earthquake as an angel rolled back the stone. He said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:5–6). Overjoyed, the women worshiped Jesus and ran back to tell their friends the good news.

Encountering the risen Jesus isn’t something reserved for ancient times—He promises to meet us here and now. We might experience a dramatic encounter, such as the women at the tomb or as Charles Simeon did, but we might not. However Jesus reveals Himself to us, we can trust that He loves us.

A New Command to Love

By |2024-03-28T02:33:05-04:00March 28th, 2024|

In a tradition starting as early as the thirteenth century, members of the royal family in the United Kingdom give gifts to people in need on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. The practice is rooted in the meaning of the word maundy, which comes from the Latin mandatum, “command.” The command being commemorated is the new one that Jesus gave to His friends on the night before He died: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

Jesus was a leader who took on the role of a servant as He washed His friends’ feet (v. 5). He then called them to do the same: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (v. 15). And in an even greater act of sacrifice, He lay down His life, dying on the cross (19:30). Out of mercy and love He gave Himself that we might enjoy the fullness of life.

The tradition of the British royal family serving people in need continues as a symbol of following Jesus’ great example. We may not have been born into a place of privilege, but when we place our faith in Jesus, we become members of His family. And we too can show our love by living out His new command. As we depend on God’s Spirit to change us from within, we can reach out to others with care, affirmation, and grace.

Loving Our Enemies

By |2024-02-12T01:33:06-05:00February 12th, 2024|

With the American Civil War spawning many bitter feelings, Abraham Lincoln saw fit to speak a kind word about the South. A shocked bystander asked how he could do so. He replied, “Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Reflecting on those words a century later, Martin Luther King, Jr., commented, “This is the power of redemptive love.”

In calling disciples of Christ to love their enemies, King looked to the teachings of Jesus. He noted that although believers might struggle to love those who persecute them, this love grows out of “a consistent and total surrender to God.” When we love in this way, King continued, we’ll know God and experience the beauty of His holiness.

King referenced Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44–45). Jesus counseled against the conventional wisdom of the day of loving only one’s neighbors and hating one’s enemies. Instead, God the Father gives His children the strength to love those who oppose them.

It might feel impossible to love our enemies, but as we look to God for help, He’ll answer our prayers. He provides the courage to embrace this radical practice of His kingdom, for as Jesus said, “with God all things are possible” (19:26).

God’s Transforming Word

By |2024-02-10T01:33:04-05:00February 10th, 2024|

When Kristin wanted to buy a special book for Xio-Hu, her Chinese husband, the only one she could find in Chinese was a Bible. Although neither of them were believers in Christ, she hoped he would appreciate the gift anyway. At first sight of the Bible, he was angry, but eventually he picked it up. As he read, he became persuaded by the truth in its pages. Upset at this unforeseen development, Kristin started to read the Scriptures in order to refute Xio-Hu. To her surprise, she also came to faith in Jesus through being convinced by what she read.

The apostle Paul knew the transforming nature of Scripture. Writing from prison in Rome, he urged Timothy, whom he mentored, to “continue in what you have learned . . . and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:14–15). In the original language, the Greek for “continuing” has the sense of “abiding” in what the Bible reveals. Knowing that Timothy would face opposition and persecution, Paul wanted him to be equipped for the challenges; he believed his protégé would find strength and wisdom in the Bible as he spent time pondering its truth.

God through His Spirit brings Scripture alive. As we dwell in it, He changes us to be more like Him. Even as He did with Xio-Hu and Kristin.

God’s Worker

By |2024-01-12T01:33:31-05:00January 12th, 2024|

In a refugee camp in the Middle East, when Reza received a Bible, he came to know and believe in Jesus. His first prayer in Christ’s name was, “Use me as your worker.” Later, after he left the camp, God answered that prayer when he unexpectedly secured a job with a relief agency, returning to the camp to serve the people he knew and loved. He set up sports clubs, language classes, and legal advice—“anything that can give people hope.” He sees these programs as a way to serve others and to share God’s wisdom and love.

When reading his Bible, Reza felt an instant connection with the story of Joseph from Genesis. He noticed how God used Joseph to further His work while he was in prison. Because God was with Joseph, He showed him kindness and granted him favor. The prison warden put Joseph in charge and didn’t have to pay attention to matters there because God gave Joseph “success in whatever he did” (Genesis 39:23).

God promises to be with us too. Whether we’re facing imprisonment—literal or figurative—hardship, displacement, heartache, or sorrow, we can trust that God will never leave us. Just as He enabled Reza to serve those in the camp and Joseph to run the prison, He will stay close to us always.

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