Thursdays With Oswald—Second Mile Christianity

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.

Second Mile Christianity

     To go the second mile means always do your duty, and a great deal more than your duty, in a spirit of loving devotion that does not even know you have done it. … The supreme difficulty is to go the second mile with God, because no one understands why you are being such a fool. The summing up of Our Lord’s teaching is that it is impossible to carry it out unless He has done a supernatural work in us. … 

     The interests of the Son of God and of the disciple are to be identical. How long it takes to manifest that identity depends on the private history of the disciple and his Lord. … 

     We do not need the grace of God to stand crises; human nature and pride will do it. We can buck up and face the music of a crisis magnificently, but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of the day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a saint, to go through poverty as a saint, to go through an ordinary, unobtrusive, ignored existence as a saint, unnoted and unnoticeable. The “show business,” which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from Our Lord’s conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes. 

From So Send I You

Jesus calls His disciples to go the second mile. Others won’t understand us, and few (if any) people will applaud us for doing so.

Like a novice runner, maybe we can’t go the whole second mile the first time out. Maybe not even the second or third time. But can we go a bit further the second time than we did the first? And a bit further the third time than we did the second? That’s what discipleship is all about: Letting Jesus help us go a bit further each time.

If you stick with it, soon you will be going the second mile and not even realize it. Other may not realize it either, but God always sees when we do, and He is pleased!

Advertisements

10 Quotes From “Shaken”

shakenTim Tebow explores what happens when your nice, neat world is shaken by the unexpected. It’s a phenomenally encouraging book! Check out my book review by clicking here. Then enjoy these quotes from Shaken.

“Sure, God loves the world, but He also loves each one of us individually. With billions of people on the planet, I know it can be hard to comprehend His love for us personally. God is infinite and focuses all of His love on you and me. He can’t spread Himself too thin. He cannot exhaust Himself. He cannot overextend Himself. And so every single person on the planet is the object of His love.”

“God can do a lot with what we think is a little. He can take something that can be described as ‘insignificant’ or ‘not enough’ or ‘small’ or ‘meaningless’ and use it to perform a miracle.”

“There will always be people in your life who will underestimate your potential, saying that you’ll never reach your dream or make that goal, or try to hold you back in some way. … Here’s the good news. What God knows about us is more important than what others think.”

“Being normal is safe. And easy. It doesn’t require much work or effort or change on our part. But it always leads to mediocrity. When we strive to be just like everyone else, we never have a chance to be special. When you start to embrace and even celebrate how special and different God made you, you can begin to do extraordinary things. You can begin to see yourself through His eyes. You can begin to live in the uniqueness with which you were created. You can be motivated and inspired to go against the grain. What does that mean? When everyone around you is picking on someone, stand up for that person. When everyone around you is using foul language, say kind things. When you see injustice and everyone else turns a blind eye, try to make it right.”

“Don’t get beat down by the stares, whispers, or obnoxious opinions of others who points out how different you are, look, or act. They don’t know God’s plan for your life. They don’t know how God can use what they may view as a weakness. If you focus on how much you hate those scars or those burns, you might missed the opportunity to encourage or inspire someone else who is going through a similar journey. … When you begin to accept how God purposely created you, you can begin to appreciate your uniqueness and allow Him to use those gifts.”

“While self-confidence is important and we should believe we can achieve great things, there must be a balance. We must be proud of our accomplishments without letting them define us.”

“When is the last time you did something different? Something beyond your comfort zone? Something that wasn’t familiar but could do a world of good in the life of another? When you stay put in your comfort zone, you don’t grow. You don’t stretch. You’re not challenged. You stay the same.”

“The stand you take may not be the biggest deal to the entire world, but it can be a big deal for one person. … A stand doesn’t always mean doing something radical. Sometimes God will use something you’ve always done in a way that’s bigger than you can imagine. Sometimes He’ll use something He puts on your heart, or maybe He’ll use your convictions, your search for the truth, your desire to do the right thing for a greater purpose.”

“We don’t have to feel led into full-time ministry before we can help the homeless or share a message of hope to someone who may need it. The only qualification necessary is willingness. I know not everyone has the opportunity to visit hospitals or prisons or make wishes come true. But there is always something you can do, even when you’re in a busy season in life. Give someone a hug. Send a text with an inspiring quote. Mail someone a heartfelt card. Donate blood. Tell someone how much you appreciate him or her. If we open our eyes, each day presents us with opportunities to do something kind or nice for someone else.”

“Don’t limit what God can do based on how you limit yourself. Be you, and let God be God.”

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

[VIDEO] John Maxwell gives us a good reminder of what mercy is.

“There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry ‘masculine’ when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them to describe a man’s sensitiveness or tact or tenderness as ‘feminine.’ But also what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human. ‘In the image of God created He them.’ Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes.” —C.S. Lewis

“The highest kind of liberality is, to redeem captives, to save them from the hands of their enemies, to snatch men from death, and, most of all, women from shame, to restore children to their parents, parents to their children, and to give back a citizen to his country.” —Ambrose

John Piper says, “We are supposed to let our light shine before others that they give glory to our Father. But in my experience shining with supernatural, divine light from another world is the very essence of non-regular.” Read the rest of his post: I Do Not Aspire To Be A “Regular Guy.”

It nauseates me when I think that my tax dollars are funding this sort of irresponsible, atrocious behavior at Planned Parenthood! Read more about the latest lawsuit against Planned Parenthood.

Praying for the peace of Israel in light of the newest Hamas attacks.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Research into the lifespans of biblical people in Did Adam Really Live 930 Years?

Greater (book review)

If you are a Christian, God never intends for you to have a merely okay life. Jesus said that He wanted to give us abundant life! Sadly, far too many people settle for merely getting by. If they ever do dream about a greater life, it usually stays right there as an unfulfilled dream. That’s why I love Steven Furtick’s newest book Greater. Not only does he tell us about the greater life God has in mind for us, but he shows us the pattern to follow from the life of Elisha.

I have four (4) FREE copies of Greater to give away, compliments of Multnomah publishers. Take a look at this short review I posted about this book, and then read below how to enter to win.

UPDATE 1: If you would like to read some of my favorite quotes from Greater, click here.

UPDATE 2: The drawing is now closed, and the four winners have been notified.

If you would like to score a free copy of Greater, here’s what you must do:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me that you want to be in the drawing.
  2. Share this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+ (using the share buttons below).
  3. Leave another comment telling me where you shared. You can be entered multiple times for each time you share this post.

The drawing will end at 6pm EDT this Saturday, August 18. Winners will be notified via email.

I am a Multnomah book reviewer.

Abandon The Ordinary (book review)

Ordinary. Plain. Generic. Non-descript. Boring. According to Richard S. Lytle in Abandon The Ordinary, these words should never be the descriptors for those who want to create a distinctive brand of leadership for their business, family, or church. And they should never, ever be used to describe Christians.

Dr. Lytle is a business professor, so he comes at this topic from a distinctly business paradigm. But make no mistake: this is not a dry academic treatise. Abandon The Ordinary is an exciting and practical way to develop a distinct, unique brand for your life. In the opening chapter, Dr. Lytle quotes —

To make ordinary that which God calls life and use your gifts and capacities for nothing is to prostitute great potential. Jesus Christ came into the world to convict us not so much of our transgressions but of our possibilities and to deliver us from an empty way of life. …God must become ill at times when He sees us so trivial, so paltry, thinking such little things, when such great and honorable and glorious things are there in front of us. — Jim McGuiggan

This is such a refreshing viewpoint for so many people who have bought-in to the “cookie cutter” mentality that says every business should operate like this, or every family should look this way, or every Christian must behave like such-and-such.

To help aide the reader in developing a distinctive, far-from-the-ordinary brand, Dr. Lytle has included several worksheets at the back of the book, which will help you apply the methods about which he teaches. I’m looking forward to utilizing this helpful tool.

If you’re tired of ordinary, Abandon The Ordinary will be a welcomed book for your library.

I am an ACU Press book reviewer.

%d bloggers like this: