Thursdays With Oswald—Jeremiah 2-3

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.

Jeremiah 2-3

[These are notes from Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Jeremiah 2-3.]

     God is the “adornment” of His people; but God says, “My people have forgotten Me days without number”; the dead set of their life has been away from God (Jeremiah 2:32). Forgetting as an infirmity of mere consciousness is one thing; but forgetting by steadfastly refusing to recognize is another thing. These people had deliberately turned out of God’s way. They were wantoning after some other god than the God Who was holy (2:33). …  

     The thing that shocks us most is not the thing that shocked Jesus most. Social immorality shocks us till we don’t know where we are; but what struck the heart of Jesus Christ with horror was immorality against God, pride against Himself (see Luke 16:15). …  

     The innocence arising from evil is always like this—“I’ve done nothing.” It is the innocence we are all born with; sooner or later it takes its stand with evil and only knows good by contrast; whereas the innocence arising from the presence of the Spirit of God takes its stand with good and knows evil only by contrast. If we hand our hearts over to God we need never know in experience what Jesus Christ says of the human heart is true (see Mark 7:20-23). 

From Notes On Jeremiah

This is a tough concept that takes some quiet introspection in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christians should ask themselves: Do I know the difference between good and evil because I’m doing evil and the opposite of what I’m doing is good, or because I’m doing good and the opposite of what I’m doing is evil? 

Originally, Eve knew evil only as the opposite of how she was living. But when satan tempted her to take the forbidden fruit, Eve now knew evil as something she was doing. Jesus said evil is what would naturally come out of our heart, unless “we hand our hearts over to God” and allow His Spirit to supernaturally bring out of us the Christlike fruit He produces. Is this happening in your life? 

George Whitefield On Developing Godly Attributes

George Whitefield“The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) do not automatically become evident in our lives. If we are not discerning enough to recognize their availability to us, to desire them, and then to nourish them in our thoughts, they will never become embedded in our nature or behavior. Every further step of spiritual growth in God’s grace must be preceded by acknowledging our lack of a godly attribute and then by exhibiting a prayerful determination to obtain it. …

“Today many people are attempting to use their mental capacity and logical thinking to obtain sanctification, yet this is nothing but a religious fabrication. They believe that if they just mentally put themselves on the altar and believe the altar provides the gift of sanctification, they can then logically conclude they are fully sanctified. Then they go happily on their way, expressing their flippant, theological babble about the ‘deep’ things of God.

“Yet the heartstrings of their old nature have not been broken, and their unyielding character, which they inherited from Adam, has not been ground to powder. Their soul has not throbbed with the lonely, gushing groans of Gethsemane. Having no scars from their death on Calvary, they will exhibit nothing of the soft, sweet, gentle, restful, victorious, overflowing, and triumphant life that flows like a spring morning from an empty tomb.” —George Whitefield

7 Quotes For Leaders Who Love The Church

Catalyst devotionsI recently completed an excellent reading plan on YouVersion called Catalyst: Devotions For Leaders Who Love The Church. Here are some quotes I especially liked…

“Too often we view leadership as purely outward, thinking only of how we will climb the next mountain, or overcome the next obstacle without considering who we will be when we do. But true leadership, great leadership, starts within.” 

“Your capacity for life changing leadership is directly related to your willingness to be led, not your eagerness to perform. Lean in to the promises of God, allow Him to mature you in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and love; true hallmarks of a leader worth following.”

“The more we look, act, love, and lead like Jesus, the more impactful our leadership will be to the world around us.” 

“There is no choosing to lead through the Spirit of God without choosing to be changed by the Spirit. … What is not cultivated in secret cannot be called upon in public. We have to pray for the transformative power of the Spirit to work His way in our hearts and minds, changing us forever, so our leadership is not a facade, but a reflection of His power at work within us.”

“Jesus calls us further, calls us to more, and through His power we have to change the landscape of leadership in our world. We must demonstrate that leadership through Christ speaks life and value into people’s hearts. That the way we treat the Father’s children matters, and is our greatest end.” 

“Father, help me to see Your children the way You do. Give me eyes to look beyond what my flesh sees, and to focus on how to affirm, love, and care for those You’ve entrusted me to lead. Create in me a compassionate heart, one that turns first to You in worship and then towards Your children with love.”

“God, this world is Yours, everything in it is Yours. I am Yours, do with my life what You will. Help me to release the things of my flesh, so that I may be transformed according to Your Spirit. Give me a heart for those around me, a burden for my community that compels me to fulfill the mission You have may give me. Teach me to clothe myself in You, to speak Your words and offer Your hands. May my leadership radiate You, and draw people towards Jesus.”

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