Thursdays With Oswald—The Honor Of A Saint

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Honor Of A Saint 

     It is up to us to live the life of a saint in order to show our gratitude to God for His amazing salvation, a salvation which cost us nothing but which cost God everything. In this passage [Galatians 2:20] Paul describes how this point of honor was reached in his life—“I have been crucified with Christ…and that life which I now live in the flesh….” The word “now” is very annoying, if only Paul had said “hereafter”—“This is the kind of life I am going to live after I am dead and in heaven; down here I am compassed about with infirmities and am a miserable sinner.” But he did not, he said “now,” “that life which I now live in the flesh…” i.e., the life men could see, “… I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God.” … 

     When the Spirit of God is in us He gives us intuitive discernment, we know exactly what He wants; then the point is, are we going through identification with our Lord in order that that intuitive light may become the discipline of our lives? It is this practical aspect that has been ignored. We have not sufficiently emphasized the fact that we have to live as saints, and that in our lives the honor at stake is not our personal honor, but the honor of Jesus Christ.

From Our Place Of Help

One question comes to my mind when I read this: Is Jesus Christ being honored by the way I live now?

8 Quotes From “Light & Truth—Acts and the Larger Epistles”

Light & Truth [Acts]Horatius Bonar had great insight into the application of Scriptures. Check out my review of this commentary from Dr. Bonar by clicking here. Below are a few quotes that caught my attention. The reference in brackets after the quote is the biblical passage on which Bonar is commenting.

“Our Bible is of God; yet it is also of man. It is both divine and human. It comes to us from God’s Spirit; it comes also from man’s spirit. It is written in the language of the earth, yet its words are the words of him ‘Who speaketh it from heaven.’ Natural, yet supernatural; simple, yet profound; undogmatical, yet authoritative; very like a common book, yet very unlike also; dealing often with seeming incredibilities and contradictions, yet never assuming any need for apology, or explanation, or retraction; a book for humanity at large, yet minutely special in its fitnesses for every case of every soul; throughout its pages, from first to last, one unchanging estimate of sin as an infinite evil, get always bringing out God’s gracious mind toward the sinner, even in his condemnation of the guilt; such is the great Book with which man has to do, which man has to study, out of which man has to gather wisdom for eternity.” [Acts 1:1

“One of the great characteristics of the whole interval between Christ’s first and second coming is the world’s rage, secret and open, against the Father and the Son. … It is very useless anger. It accomplishes nothing. It is like an angry child striking a huge rock with its fist. It is the mere display of impotent hatred, or the temporary gratification of their dislike of God, and their rejection of His purpose regarding His Son. … It calls light darkness, and darkness light; good evil, and evil good; but the light and the darkness, the good and evil, still remain as they were. All the enlightenment of the age, all the appliances of modern progress, are impotent against God and His Christ, against His truth, and His church, and His Word.” [Acts 4:25]

“This is one of the many repetitions of the Pentecostal scene which occurred in early days. Most unscriptural is the statement of some that the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost was a thing done once for all, not to be repeated, and that we are not to pray for or expect such things again. The whole of the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ is a direct refutation of this piece of human fancy. Wherever the apostles went there was a repetition of Pentecost, whether at Jerusalem, or Samaria, or Antioch, or Corinth. Every conversion is the repetition of Pentecost; it is doing the same thing for an individual soul as was done for three thousand then, by a similar process, and by the same power—the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the heritage of the church. The Old Testament saints possessed Him; and still more the New. This is our heritage, the heritage of every believing man.” [Acts 11:15

“Beware of seeking anything less than the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Our whole life is to be a reception of the Spirit. He is to be continually coming down on us, and filling us. Let us open our mouth wide that He may fill it. Let us beware of anything that would present itself as a substitute for the living Spirit. Many such things may we expect in these last days from satan as an angel of light.” [Acts 11:15]

“We are tempted in our day to be ashamed of the gospel. It is thought to be bare, unintellectual, almost childish by many. Hence, they would overlay it with argument and eloquence, to make it more respectable and more attractive. Every such attempt to add to it is being ashamed of it.” [Romans 1:16

“We must have a righteousness, else we cannot stand before God; we cannot have merely a religion.” [Romans 4:6-8]

“The prodigal did not work for the ‘best robe,’ but got it all ready-made from his father’s hands; Joseph did not work for his coat of many colors, but received it as the gift of his father’s love; Adam did not work for the skins with which the Lord God clothed him: so it is with the sinner in his approach to God, and in God’s approaches to him. ‘Righteousness without works’ is given him; nay, put upon him as a raiment, a divine raiment, to fit him for drawing near to God.” [Romans 4:6-8

“When the night is darkest, and the stars are hidden, and the clouds are black, then we think most of the clear fair day, and long for its dawn. When the storm is roughest, with the waves and wind roaring around the laboring vessel, then we are troubled, and look eagerly out for the glad and sunny calm. When winter binds the earth in its chain of frost, and wraps it in snow and ice, then we begin to ask for spring, with its flowers, and songs, and verdure. So with the saint, as represented by the apostle here. This is night, and storm, and winter to him; he is ever thinking of the day, and the calm, and the spring.” [Romans 8:19-23]

More quotes coming soon…

Week Of Prayer—Tuesday

WOP_2016_Slide_TueOur week of prayer continues today with this prayer focus for Tuesday—

Seek God for strength to keep moving forward even in the midst of discouragement or suffering, knowing that faith to persevere strengthens character and kindles hope.

I love to pray God’s Word. Perhaps today you could pray something like this:

Heavenly Father, this time of life I’m in right now is tough. But I trust You. In fact, I also glory in my suffering, because I know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope. And hope does not put me to shame, because Your love has been poured out into my heart through Your Holy Spirit [Romans 5:3-5]

So I trust in You entirely, the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You will never grow tired or weary, and Your understanding is higher than mine. You give strength to me when I’m weary and You increase my power when I’m weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young people stumble and fall; but when my hope is in You, You will renew my strength. In You, I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint [Isaiah 40:28-31]

While I’m in this difficult time, Father, I place my trust and my hope in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Links & Quotes

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“Ah, what a thing is prayer! The simplest form of speech—such as even a child could utter—yet the highest and divinest of all utterances; such as the Holy Spirit alone can enable us to give fourth.” —Horatius Bonar

“When God feels distant, remember the Christmas story. When you feel alone, unloved, or unlovable, remember that God loves you. And He travelled a great distance to be close to you. Why? Because He loves to be with the ones He loves!” —Max Lucado

“Do you ever take a moment to pray but feel like you stumble out of the gate? Do you have trouble finding the words when it comes time to bow your head? Remember, the One who hears your prayers is your Daddy. You don’t need to wow him with eloquence. Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite. The more words the better. The better words the better. … Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray.” —Max Lucado

J.Warner Wallace answers a good question: Why doesn’t the birth record of Jesus appear in every Gospel?

Dan Reiland has some good words for those in leadership positions in ministry.

Far too many school administrators and teachers think they are limited by the so-called “separation of church and state.” Here’s a post from Eric Buehrer you should share with any of your friends who work in the public school system.

John Stonestreet says, “Remember when people laughed about ‘death panels’?” Check out Who decides to end a life?

Frank Turek asks, “How do we fix a world filled with murder, rape, betrayal, adultery, fraud, theft, sexual exploitation, pornography, bullying, abortion, terrorism, cheating, lying, child abuse, racism, assault, drugs, robbery, and countless other evils?” He says we may not like the answer.

Links & Quotes

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“Foretastes are good. Unless they become substitutes. O, don’t let all the sweet things of this season become substitutes of the final great, all-satisfying Sweetness. Let every loss and every delight send your hearts a-homing after heaven.” —John Piper

“Are you in a season of winter?  A lost job… A doctor’s report… A broken marriage? Maybe you feel stuck in winter, like Christmas may never come. As scripture says, God rewards those who diligently seek Him. So just like the wise men of the Christmas story…search for the Lord. Look for Him in the midst of your darkest nights and coldest winters. Hope may seem as distant as a star, but if the Christmas story tells us anything…God is still present. God is still working. And in this very moment, God is near.” —Max Lucado

“If there had been no prophet like Nathan—no piercing, prophetic word—David could have ended up like Saul: spiritually dead, with no Holy Ghost guidance, having lost all intimacy with God. … If you are being probed by God’s Word—if His Spirit isn’t letting you sit comfortably in your sin—then you are being shown mercy. It is the deep love of God at work, wooing you out of death and into life.” —David Wilkerson

“If regrets about yesterday’s decisions and actions help you do better work today, then they’ve served a useful purpose. … Most of the time, though, we use regrets to keep us from moving forward. They paralyze us in the face of possibility. We don’t want to do something if it reminds us of that black hole we have in our past. It’s useful if you can forgive yourself, because the regrets you’re carrying around are keeping you from holding onto the possibility that you can contribute even more tomorrow.” —Seth Godin

Live Action shares an important post: Abortion and the church—what can we do?

Nature shares some science myths that won’t die.

Ty Cobb is my all-time favorite Detroit Tiger. Here is a cool timeline of his life.

[VIDEO] Excellent word from Bobby Conway: How should a Christian vote?—

6 Quotes From Billy Graham On Faith

BillyGrahamI recently read The Quotable Billy Graham (you can read my book review here), and I was struck by how relevant his words are, even 50 years after they were spoken. Here are a few quotes on faith.

“I wonder if the church has not failed this generation of young people by failing to make the Christian faith the thrilling, joyful, triumphant experience that it really is.”

“You best demonstrate your faith in a bank by putting your money in it. You best show your faith in the doctor by trusting him in times of illness. You best prove your faith in a boat by getting aboard. You best demonstrate your faith in Christ by trusting Him with your life and receiving Him unconditionally as your Savior.”

“One of the differences I have with some theologians is that they try to reduce the whole content of the Christian faith to an intellectual gymnastic exercise. Christianity cannot be reduced to reason alone.”

“We are rich in the things that perish, but poor and the things of the spirit. We are rich in gadgets, but poor in faith. We are rich in goods, but poor in grace. We are rich in know-how, but poor in character. We are rich in words, but poor in deeds.”

“If you are a Christian, there is no excuse for not having daily victory in your life by renouncing sin and by faith letting the Spirit of God have control of your life.”

“Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I am reminded of the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a very fine day for kite flying, the wind was brisk and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds.
‘What are you doing?’ a man asked the little boy.
‘I’m flying a kite,’ he replied.
‘Flying a kite, are you?’ the man said. ‘How can you be sure? You can’t see your kite.’
‘No,’ said the boy, ‘I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!’
“Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself, and then you too will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstrings that He is there for sure.”

Links & Quotes

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“One of the greatest mercies God bestows upon us is His not permitting our inclinations and opportunities to meet. Have you not sometimes noticed that when you had the inclination to a sin there has been no opportunity, and when the opportunity has presented itself you have had no inclination towards it? satan’s principal aim with believers is to bring their appetites and his temptations together….” —Charles Spurgeon

“In a very real sense, we are what we love. … What we treasure in our heart will be what we seek in life and what we become in fact. … What we most love, therefore, tells us something about the condition of our hearts. If the best part of our spiritual and physical energies are invested in making a good living—if being materially well-off is the treasure we seek—then this will be evidence of a heart which believes it can only be satisfied by the enjoyment of things and the realization of every whim.” —T.M. Moore

“Let us make war, not with other people, but with our own unbelief. It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins. So let us turn our eyes fixed on the precious and very great promises of God. Take up the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and fight the good fight—to live by faith in future grace.” —John Piper

“This third Person is called, in technical language, the Holy Ghost or the ‘spirit’ of God. Do not be worried or surprised if you find it (or Him) rather vaguer or more shadowy in your mind than the other two [Father and Son]. I think there is a reason why that must be so. In the Christian life you are not usually looking at Him: He is always acting through you. If you think of the Father as something ‘out there,’ in front of you, and of the Son as someone standing at your side, helping you to pray, trying to turn you into another son, then you have to think of the third Person as something inside you, or behind you. Perhaps some people might find it easier to begin with the third Person and work backwards. God is love, and that love works through men—especially through the whole community of Christians. But this spirit of love is, from all eternity, a love going on between the Father and Son.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Max Lucado reminds us of the original terrorist.

Lenny Esposito shares 3 problems for atheism.

Good reminders: 5 things married couples should do every day.

[VIDEO] George Will explains campaign finance “reform” in a way I haven’t heard anyone else say it—

 

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