Not I, but Christ Be Honored, Loved, and Exalted

Brother Liu Zhanxiang’s approach to serving the Lord can be summarized in one powerful statement: “I am a slave.” A slave, in his understanding, possessed no autonomy; even his life belonged to his master. The master provided him with a wife and children, but they too belonged to the master. He often repeated the phrase, “The children of a slave are still slaves.” As a result, his children grew up understanding that loving and serving the Lord was not merely an option, but a generational calling.

He led his children to know and appreciate Christ, emphasizing the principle of “No longer I, but Christ.” Hymn 591 beautifully captures this sentiment: ” Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted, Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard.” These words echo the inscription on the cover of Brother Watchman Nee’s book, “The Normal Christian Life”: “No longer I, but Christ.”

Brother Liu was a shining example of diligence, humility, and resistance to exaltation. To encounter him was to encounter someone overflowing with the Lord’s abundant life. In today’s spiritual word, he would be considered a “God-man.” Meeting him was akin to encountering the Lord’s meekness and lowliness.

Reflecting on his life, several key aspects stand out: 1. He not only loved and served the Lord himself, but also encouraged his children to do the same. 2. In his service, he was willing to break the alabaster jar and pour out everything for the Lord, venturing into the most challenging regions. 3. In his work, he completely submitted himself to the leading brothers, leaving no room for personal preference. 4. In perfecting and shepherding the saints, he spared no effort, visiting and caring for them family by family.

Even when hospitalized with stomach cancer, Brother Liu’s spirit remained strong. Though physically weakened, memories of his past vibrancy remained vivid: the solemn reverence with which he carried his well-worn Bible to meetings, the spirit and life that flowed from his every word as he ministered, and the tireless dedication with which he served brothers and sisters in remote and impoverished areas. His love for the Lord ran deep, and so did his suffering. We testify that he was a faithful servant of the Lord, one who only knew how to pour out the wine, not drink it; one who only desired to break the bread, not keep it for himself.

After the 1995 Summer Training, Brother Lee invited some younger brothers and sisters to fellowship at his home in Anaheim. He specifically mentioned, “Brother Zhanxiang was a faithful brother.”

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