Archive for the ‘Oswald Chambers’ Category

Are You Discouraged in Devotion

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Verse: “Yet lackest thou one thing; sell all that thou hast…and come, follow Me.
– Luke 18:22

Quote: “Our Lord never pleaded, He never cajoled, He never entrapped; He simply spoke the sternest words mortal ears ever listened to, and then left it alone.”

God wants to give you every opportunity possible to live the life He has designed for you, but He is not going to force you to; that does Him no good. He also isn’t going to promise you that everything will be easy for you, because it more than likely is not going to be. God lays out the truth, and lets you decide what to do with it.

Chambers says that if Christ’s words have never pierced you the way they did the rich man from the above verse, then you have probably never heard Christ speak. That is to say that until you are completely His, there is always something in your life that you don’t want to be reminded of, and when a rebuke comes with the undeniable authority of the voice of Christ, it penetrates deep down and shakes you to the core.

The rich man heard the penetrating voice and left discouraged, but Christ knows that His Word never returns void, so He allowed the man to leave. When you feel discouraged, remember that no one lives the life of Christ on their own strength. Give to God all that He asks, and trust that He will get you to where He wants you to be.

Signs of the New Birth

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Verse: “Ye must be born again.
– John 3:7

Quote: “The effective working of the new birth in us is that we do not commit sin, not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have stopped sinning.”

Not the immediate reaction to the new birth, but the “effective working” will produce in us the functioning life of Christ Jesus. 1 John 3:4-9 paints a detailed portrait of sin’s role in the life of a Christian: “No one who is born of God will continue to sin.”

Does this mean that if you sin you have never received the saving grace of Jesus Christ? No, what it means is that if you truly accepted God’s free gift of salvation and committed your life to Him, then you would pursue the life of Christ until you are living it out in actuality. God has given us the power over sin, and He commands us not to sin, so it is up to us to act out what God freely gives in the form of redemption.

If we have been born of God, sin is not in our nature; we have been given a new nature where sin has no place. When you sin, you are putting on your old, rotting flesh and parading around like a sheep in wolves clothing. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that “God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” This means that when you sin, it is a deliberate act of separating yourself from God and refusing His help.

To live a sinless life after your new birth is commanded, not suggested.

My 5 (almost 6) year old nephew understands this, so it cannot be too difficult to grasp. I wish I could remember the verbatim conversation he had with my brother where he decided he wanted to tell everyone to stop sinning, because it’s what God wants. Great story. Maybe he’ll post it on his blog before long.


Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Verse: “Despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.
– Hebrews 12:5

Quote: “Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me…”

We have to let go of the idea that God simply wants to give us the desires of our heart, and learn that God wants to shape our heart so our desires match His. God has a specific plan for our lives, and as soon as we learn that His plan is better than ours, the sooner we will live a fulfilled life.

It is not that we are helpless, thoughtless creatures; it is that He is the Almighty Creator, and His ways are far greater than ours. We are not changing our lives to allow room for Him; God sacrificed everything to allow room for us.

Quench Not the Spirit

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Verse: “Quench not the Spirit.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Quote: “Whenever the Spirit checks, call a halt and get the thing right, or you will go on grieving Him without knowing it.”

No on who has tasted the saving grace of Christ Jesus would ever want to intentionally grieve His Spirit, but when we ignore His leading, that’s exactly what we are doing. The checks don’t only come in the obvious places. You may be avoiding every major sin in your life, but when God told you to write that thank you letter, you put it off. Or when He asked you to volunteer your time at church, something “more important” came up.

God allows us to govern our lives with common sense, and the more time you spend in communication with Him, the more your natural, common sense decisions will reflect His will and nature. But there are times when you get off course, or He wants to take you down a different road, and His Spirit simply checks. Waste no time answering the call of the Holy Spirit, He is the messenger of the Father’s voice.

The Theology of Rest

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Verse: “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”
– Matthew 8:26

Quote: “What a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead.”

Sometimes the most painful truth is not that you’ve done something to hurt Jesus, but that you’ve robbed Him of a joy. This quote shoots straight to my heart and reveals an area of my life that needs improvement.

We should have an unwavering confidence in our Lord, and He has a right to expect that from us, especially in prayer. We have to remain sure of God in our trials, or our prayers become quick and panicky like the prayers of the ones who do not know God.

When a crisis arises, you will reveal where your trust lies. Learn to worship God through trust, and rely on Him until the crisis is over.

This Experience Must Come

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Verse: “And he saw him no more.
– 2 Kings 2:12

Quote: “If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.”

The reference to “your Jordan” is from the story that today’s verse is taken out of. In verse 12, Elisha, Elijah’s student, has just witnessed his master being taken up into heaven by fiery chariots and horses. Elisha had witnessed countless miracles during his ministry, but up until now they had all been called upon by Elijah.

Back just a few verses in verse 8, Elijah parted the Jordan so the two of them could pass to the other side. Now Elisha is at the bank of the river without his master, needing to cross. Without hesitating, Elisha calls on the God of his master to part the Jordan and crosses it alone.

It is good to study under strong, Godly people in your life, but there will come a time when you have to face obstacles on your own. Only then will you truly put your faith in God’s omnipotence to the test. If God is the God He claims to be, then you can go through any trial with Him alone. Learn to rely completely on God’s goodness, and nothing this world throws can shake you.

The Sacrament of the Saint

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Verse: “Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing.
– 1 Peter 4:19

Quote: “To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing.

Suffering by itself is never a good thing—it is the result of the evil that man brought into this world. However, remaining patient during your suffering and continuing to trust God through every situation is a blessed opportunity to glorify the Father.

God doesn’t want to see any of His children suffer, but He does want to see them remain loyal to them in the inevitable darknesses of this life. Don’t look for suffering, but do look for God in your suffering.

Prayer in the Father’s Hearing

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Verse: “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.
– John 11:41

Quote: “God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God is formed in me the Father will always hear my prayers.”

What an amazing promise! It is easy for us to take the effects Christ’s sacrifice for granted because it’s all we’ve ever known, but through His death on the cross, Jesus opened up a direct line of communication between us and the Father. God hears and answers our prayers because we pray on behalf of the life of Christ hid within us. This is an enormous blessing that we should daily take full advantage of.

Prayer in the Father’s Honour

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Verse: “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
– Luke 1:35

Quote: “Am I continually saying with amazement to my common-sense life—why do you want to turn me off here? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

That quote doesn’t really go with either the title or the verse for today’s devotion, but it struck a chord with me. I often find myself struggling with what seems like my natural instinct to behave a certain way, and I usually just try to deal with it. But I like the picture of actually rebuking my flesh when it tries to lead me away from where God has me.

That thing that was born in you when you submitted yourself to Jesus Christ was the life of the Son of God. You must act accordingly now to the new life that is in you, letting nothing interfere with you being face to face with your Father.

The Cross in Prayer

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Verse: “At that day ye shall ask in My name.
– John 16:26

Quote: “We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.”

Prayer is about communication with God, not having our wishes granted us. God promises to give the desires of our heart, but He also promises to change our hearts to line up with His if we will pursue Him. Focus on talking to God in prayer, not on the answers. The answers will come, but not always in the way we hoped for.