This 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.
[These are notes on Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Isaiah 42.]
If you want to know what a servant of God is to be like, read what Isaiah says in this chapter and the following ones about the great Servant, Jesus Christ. The characteristics of the great Servant must be the characteristics of every servant; it is the identification of the servant of God with the immortal characteristics of God Himself.
In service for God we have to be abandoned to Him, let Him put us where He will, whether He blesses us or crushes us with burdens, we have nothing to do with what it costs. … May God make us understand that if we are in His service He will do exactly what He likes with us. We are not saved and sanctified for ourselves, but for God to crush us with burdens if He chooses. … A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the Gospel of God. …
The servant is absorbed in Jesus as He was in God. The mark of false service is the self-conscious pride of striving after of God’s favor. …
The whole conception of the work of a servant of God is to lift up the despairing and the hopeless. Immediately you start work on God’s line He will bring the weak and infirm round you, the surest sign that God is at work is that that is the class who come—the very class we don’t want, with the pain and the distress and limitation. We want the strong and robust, and God gathers round us the feeble-minded, the afflicted and weak. Pain in God’s service always leads to glory. We want success, God wants glory.
From Notes On Isaiah
God calls His followers to be servus servorum Dei: a servant of the servants of God. We don’t seek glory for ourselves, but we seek glory solely for God. We live our lives just as Jesus demonstrated: “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
Are you living as a true servant of God?
… David … Abishai … Sibbechai … Elhanan … Jonathan …
What do these five men have in common? They all killed giants in one-on-one combat.
David went first.
Before he killed Goliath, there are no recorded giant killers in the Bible. But after David, four men followed David’s lead (see 2 Samuel 21:15-21).
What was once considered impossible became possible because David lifted the lid.
In 1954 Roger Bannister broke another “unbreakable” barrier—he ran one mile in under four minutes (3:59.4 to be exact).
As soon as the myth of the “impossible barrier” was broken, the limit was broken again and again and again in the following months.
Twenty-six different men broke the 4-minute mile 66 times in the following months all because Roger Bannister lifted the lid.
What giants are you taking on?
What “impossible” barriers are you breaking?
What lids are you lifting for other potential giant-killers and 4-minute-milers that are just waiting for you to show them the way?
Ever been stumped or confused about something, and then received perfect advice from a friend? Maybe that advice helped you get through that particular time in your life.
But what if, later on, the wise friend from whom you got advice wasn’t following his own advice? What if your friend got off track? And now they were the one needed advice? Would you still go to them for counsel? Or would you look somewhere else?
On the other hand, if we could get advice from someone, and their advice helped us not only in a particular situation, but in every situation we faced. If this friend’s counsel was good all the time, and they always practiced what they preached … if they were able to show us things we would have never seen on our own … and guide us where we may never have gone by ourselves … that would be amazing! And what if this friend’s counsel was not only beneficial for you, but helpful for everyone who chose to follow it?
Those wise words could quite possibly be the greatest words ever spoken!
I invite you to join me this Sunday as we begin a new series called The Greatest Words Ever Spoken. And if you are facing a challenging situation, we might even be able to find the right counsel for you. Others have submitted questions on which they would like to hear the wisest words of counsel, so feel free to comment below with the questions you have.
The news show 60 Minutes described Zig Ziglar as “a legend in the industry—the Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison of enthusiasm.” Truer words were never spoken! Zig is a fabulous motivator (you can read my review of Inspire To Be Great by clicking here). Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book.
“People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either. That’s why I recommend it daily.”
“To avoid procrastination, write your schedule out the night before, including precisely when you are going to start.”
“People with integrity are more successful, because with integrity you do the right thing, and there is no guilt attached to you. With integrity, you have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide.”
“The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them.”
“It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference.”
“Never say anything negative about yourself. If we don’t see ourselves as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ [Psalm 139:14], who will?”
“When your goals are clearly defined and intelligently set, you have, in essence, taken a major step toward programming your left brain. That frees your right brain to be its creative best.”
“Among the things you can give and still keep are: your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”
“Failure is an event, not a person. So regardless of what happens to you along the way, you must keep on going and doing the right thing in the right way. Then the event becomes a reality of a changed life.”
“Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.”
Here are the links to some interesting reading I found today.
“It is right and inevitable that we should be much concerned about the salvation of those we love. But we must be careful not to expect or demand that their salvation should conform to some ready-made pattern of our own.” —C.S. Lewis
Well, this is interesting. Follow your tax dollars to the countries that are enemies of America.
[PHOTOS] An accurate recap of the tragedy in Benghazi, and the cover up of that terrorist attack…
…and here’s why the media is now covering up the cover up of Benghazi: [INFOGRAPHIC] The relationship between the media and the Obama administration.
“What we practice, not (save at rare intervals) what we preach, is usually our great contribution to the conversion of others.” —C.S. Lewis
“What a bondage it is when the child of God is sold under sin, held in chains by satan, deprived of his liberty, robbed of his power in prayer and his delight in the Lord! Let us watch that we come not into such bondage; but if this has already happened to us, let us by no means despair. But we cannot be held in slavery forever. The Lord Jesus has paid too high a price for our redemption to leave us in the enemy’s hand. The way to freedom is, ‘Return unto the Lord your God.’” —Charles Spurgeon
[VIDEO] A good reminder from John Maxwell: Find a friend that you can edify today.
Gift finding trumps gap finding.
Finding where people excel trumps finding where people fall short.
Expecting more of others trumps expecting less of others.
People will always live up (or down) to your expectations of them.
People flock to gift finders, but they run away from gap finders.
Let gifts trump gaps.
I’m leading a fun discussion at the En Gedi Youth Center with a bunch of excited 6th graders. Our class is called “An Elevation, A Mirror, And A Guy Called Bob” which is based on John Maxwell’s book Winning With People.
In Winning With People, Dr. Maxwell shares 25 principles for improving our interpersonal skills. In my class at the youth center, we’ve already covered the lens principle and the elevator principle.
The elevator principle basically says that we can only take people up or take them down in our interactions with them. There are no “neutral” interactions. I’m encouraging our students to always take people up.
One way we do that is by pausing to T.H.I.N.K before we speak. Before speaking, ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to say…
This isn’t just good advice for 6th graders. We all would do well to remember to T.H.I.N.K. As Winston Churchill said,
Check out these words of the Apostle Paul—
When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:5-6)
Paul wasn’t doing so well! No rest … conflicts every direction he turned … battles … fear … discouragement …
But did you see how God encouraged Paul?
God encouraged Paul through Titus. Not through an angel, or a sign in the heavens, or anything dramatic. But through a friend showing up.
God wants to encourage you through others…
are you allowing those encouraging friends into your life?
God wants to encourage others through you…
are you allowing Him to use you to do that?
People are almost always the means of God’s ministry to the world. May you and I always be ready, available, and obedient.