Thursdays With Oswald—What Does It Mean To ‘Confess’ Christ?

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.

What Does It Mean To ‘Confess’ Christ? 

     We receive the Spirit of Christ as a gift, but we do not receive His mind, we have to construct that [see Philippians 2:5], and this is done in the same way that we construct the natural mind, viz., by the way our disposition reacts when we come in contact with external things. …  

     “You call Me Master and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am”; but does it mean any more to us than the mere saying of it? “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should do as I have done for you” and we cannot do it by sentiment. It was in the hour when Jesus knew “that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God” that He began to wash the disciples’ feet; and it is when we realize our union with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master that we shall follow His example. [see John 13:1-4, 12-15] … 

     To “confess” Christ means to say, not only with the tongue, but with every bit of our life, that Jesus has come into our flesh.

From So Send I You

It’s one thing to say, “I am a Christian,” and it’s a completely different thing to live like Christ.

The Holy Spirit will continually bring a Christian into situations where we had the opportunity to develop the mind of Christ. As we develop His mind in us, it will naturally mean that we will “confess” Christ with our thoughts, words, and actions.

My prayer is that we will continually be focused on our Christ-like “confession.”

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Poetry Saturday—Diary Of An Old Soul

Lord, I have fallen again—a human clod!
Selfish I was, and heedless to offend;
Stood on my rights. Thy own child would not send
Away his shreds of nothing for the whole God! 
Wretched, to Thee Who savest, low I bend:
Give me the power to let my rag-rights go
In the great wind that from Thy gulf doth blow. 

Keep me from wrath, let it seem ever so right:
My wrath will never work Thy righteousness.
Up, up the hill, to the whiter than snow-shine,
Help me to climb, and dwell in pardon’s light.
I must be pure as Thou, or ever less
Than the design of me—therefore incline
My heart to take men’s wrongs as Thou tak’st mine. —George MacDonald

Poetry Saturday—A Good Confession

For years I have borne about hell in my breast;
When I thought of my God it was nothing but gloom;
Day brought me no pleasure, night gave me no rest,
There was still the grim shadow of horrible doom.

It seemed as if nothing less likely could be
Than that light should break in on a dungeon so deep;
To create a new world were less hard than to free
The slave from his bondage, the soul from its sleep.

But the Word had gone forth, and said, Let there be light,
And it flashed through my soul like a sharp passing smart;
One look to my Savior, and all that dark night,
Like a dream scarce remembered, was gone from my heart.

I cried out for mercy, and fell on my knees,
And confessed, while my heart with keen sorrow was wrung;
’Twas the labor of minutes, and years of disease
Fell as fast from my soul as the words from my tongue. —Frederick William Faber

A Godly Leader’s “We”

When Nehemiah heard about the devastation in Jerusalem, the first thing he did was a very good thing: “I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).

An important mark of a godly leader is one who exchanges “you” and “me” for “we.”

Godly leaders identify themselves with their people; they don’t think of themselves more highly nor look down on others.

Nehemiah said in his prayer, “BOTH my father’s house and I have sinned. WE have acted corruptly against You” (vv. 6, 7). Given the fact that this is 70 years after Judah went into captivity, it is doubtful that Nehemiah was captured in Jerusalem, but he was probably born in exile. Yet he said WE sinned against God.

He also asks God to “be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, AND to the prayer of Your servantS” (v. 11). Once again Nehemiah identifies himself with all the people by not claiming that his prayer carries any more weight than anyone else’s prayer. Every prayer, in Nehemiah’s mind, was equally as pleasant to God’s ears.

My prayer—Help me to be a “we” leader.

This is Part 23 in my series on godly leadership. To read my other posts, please click here.

Poetry Saturday—Confession

Horatius BonarNo, not despairingly 
Come I to Thee; 
No, not distrustingly 
Bend I the knee; 
Sin hath gone over me, 
Yet is this still my plea, 
Jesus hath died. 
Ah, mine iniquity 
Crimson has been; 
Infinite, infinite, 
Sin upon sin; 
Sin of not loving Thee, 
Sin of not trusting Thee. 
Infinite sin. 
Lord, I confess to Thee 
Sadly my sin; 
All I am, tell I Thee, 
All I have been. 
Purge Thou my sin away, 
Wash Thou my soul this day; 
Lord, make me clean! —Horatius Bonar

Thursdays With Oswald—Making Saints

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.

Making Saints 

     It is not sufficient for a Christian to walk in the light of his conscience; he must walk in a sterner light, in the Light of the Lord. … 

     I am not judged by the light I have, but by the light I have refused to accept. … This is the condemnation, that the Light, Jesus Christ, has come into the world, and I preferred darkness, i.e., my own point of view. The characteristic of a man who begins to walk in the light is that he drags himself into the light all the time. He does not make excuses for things done in the dark, he brings everything to the light, and says, “This is to be condemned; this does not belong to Jesus Christ,” and so keeps in the light. … 

     The New Testament view of a saint is a more rugged type. You and I are a mixture of dust and Deity, and God takes that sordid human stuff and turns it into a saint by Regeneration. A saint does not mean a man who has not enough sin to be bad, but a man who has received from Jesus Christ a new heredity that turns him into another man. … 

     Conscience and character in the saint, then, means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested.

From The Shadow Of An Agony 

In order to become the saints God intends for us to be, Oswald Chambers says one big thing is required of Christians: Constantly bringing our thoughts and actions into the Light of Jesus.

I think this is what Paul means when he tells us to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And this is certainly what David invited when he prayed, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

I pray we will always be bringing our thoughts and actions into the Light, and never preferring the darkness of our own point of view!

10 Quotes From “Our Portrait In Genesis”

The Complete Works Of Oswald ChambersOswald Chambers has given us another valuable resource in Our Portrait In Genesis, as he walks through the first book of the Bible with us. You can read my full book review here. As usual, there are just way too many good quotes to share all at once, so here is the first batch of quotes from this book.

“It is not my faith laying hold of the Word, but the life in the Word laying hold on me.”

“We transgress a law of God and expect an experience akin to death, but exactly the opposite happens, we feel enlarged, more broad-minded, more tolerant of evil, but we are more powerless; knowledge which comes from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, instead of instigating to action, paralyzes.”

“No man can murder his brother who has not first murdered God in himself.” 

“It is ingrained in our thinking that competition and rivalry are essential to the carrying on of civilized life; that is why Jesus Christ’s statements seem wild and ridiculous. They are the statements either of a man or of God Incarnate. To carry out the Sermon on the Mount is frankly impossible to anyone but a fool, and who is the fool? The man who has been born again and who dares to carry out in his individual life the teaching of Jesus. And what will happen? The inevitable result, not the success he would otherwise have. A hard saying, but true.”

“Grace is the overflowing immeasurable favor of God; God cannot withhold, the only thing that keeps back His grace and favor is our sin and perversity.” 

“Faith un-tried has no character value for the individual. … Spiritual character is only made by standing loyal to God’s character no matter what distress the trial of faith brings.”

“We must be careful never to compromise over any promise of God when by reason of human limitation there has been only a partial fulfillment. Such a compromise is easily detected whenever you feel, ‘Oh well, I suppose that is all God meant.’ Every word God has spoken will be absolutely fulfilled; to climb down from that confidence is to be disloyal to God.”

“There is always the danger of becoming a fanatical adherent to what God has said instead of adhering to God who said it.”

“The only way to wait for the Second Coming is to watch that you do what you should do so that when He comes is a matter of indifference.” 

“It is a question of faith in God, the rarest thing, we have faith only in our feelings. I don’t believe God unless He will give me something in my hand whereby I may know I have it, then I say, ‘Now I believe.’ There is no faith there.”

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