Thursdays With Oswald—Philanthropy, Prayer, And Penance

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.

Philanthropy, Prayer, And Penance 

     In chapter Matthew 5, our Lord demands that our disposition be right with Him in our ordinary natural life lived to men; in chapter 6, He deals with the domain of our life lived to God before men. The main idea in the region of religion is: Your eyes on God, not on men. …  

     Briefly summed up these verses [6:1-4] mean: Have no other motive in giving than to please God. In modern philanthropy we are ‘egged on’ with other motives—It will do them good; they need the help; they deserve it. Jesus Christ never brings out that aspect in His teaching; He allows no other motive in the giving than to please God. … It is a very penetrating thing to ask ourselves this question—“What was my motive in doing that kind act?” … 

     But when you give it to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” That means do good until it is an unconscious habit of the life and you do not know you are doing it…. 

     Have no other motive in prayer than to know Him [6:5-15]. … Call a halt one moment and ask yourself—“Why do I pray? What is my motive? Is it because I have a personal secret relationship to God known to no one but myself?” … 

     It is impossible to live the life of a disciple without definite times of secret prayer. You will find that the place to enter in is in your business, as you walk along the streets, in the ordinary ways of life, when no one dreams you are praying, and the reward comes openly, a revival here, a blessing there. …  

     In verse 8 Jesus goes to the root of all prayer—“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Common sense says, “Then why ask Him?” Prayer is not getting things from God, that is a most initial stage; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God; I tell him what I know He knows in order that I may get to know it as He does. …  

     Penance [6:16-18] means putting ourselves into a straitjacket for the sake of disciplining our spiritual character. Physical sloth will upset spiritual devotion quicker than anything else. If the devil cannot get at us by enticing to sin, he will get at us by sleeping-sickness spiritually…. Penance means doing a hardship to the body for the sake of developing the spiritual life. … Jeremy Taylor said that men hang out the sign of the devil; to prove there is an angel within; that is, they wear sad countenances and look tremendously severe in order to prove they are holy. 

From Studies In The Sermon On The Mount

Good questions from Oswald Chambers:

  • Philanthropy—What was my motive in doing that kind act?
  • Prayer—Why do I pray? What is my motive? Is it because I have a personal secret relationship to God known to no one but myself?
  • Penance—Am I “hanging out a sign” just to let other people know that I’m discipling myself? 

9 More Quotes From “Mentoring 101”

The Complete 101 SeriesJohn Maxwell always includes the best quotes from other authors in his books. Here are some of the quotes he shared in Mentoring 101.

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” —Douglas M. Lawson

“When people are made to feel secure and important and appreciated, it will no longer be necessary for them to whittle down others in order to seem bigger in comparison.” —Virginia Arcastle

“Some of us tend to think, ‘I could have been a success, but I never had the opportunity. I wasn’t born into the right family, or I didn’t have the money to go to the best school.’ But when we measure success by the extent were using what we’ve received, it eliminates that frustration.” —Fred Smith

“A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success.” —Cullen Hightower

“Always help people increase their own self-esteem. Develop your skills in making other people feel important. There is hardly a higher compliment you can pay an individual than helping him be useful and to find satisfaction from his usefulness.” —Donald Laird

“There are a lot of coaches with a good ball clubs who know the fundamentals and have plenty of discipline but still don’t win the game. Then you come to the third ingredient: If you’re going to play together as a team, you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy and saying to himself: ‘If I don’t block that man, Paul is going to get his legs broken. I have to do my job well in order that he can do his.’ The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other.” —Vince Lombardi

“There is no future in any job. The future lies in the person who holds the job.” —Dr. George W. Crane

“The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.” —Walter P. Chrysler

“The greatest leader is willing to train people and develop them to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.” —Fred A. Manske, Jr.

To read the quotes from John Maxwell that I shared from this book, please click here.

6 More Quotes From “Teamwork 101”

Teamwork 101As always, John Maxwell includes a whole bunch of great quotes from other sources to make his case. In Teamwork 101, here are a few of the quotes I enjoyed.

“Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” —Albert Einstein

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” —Niccolo Machiavelli

“In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity. Every player must put the team first ahead of personal glory.” —Paul Bear Bryant

“The freedom to do your own thing ends when you have obligations and responsibilities. If you want to fail yourself—you can—but you cannot do your own thing if you have responsibilities to team members.” —Lou Holtz

“All getting separates you from others; all giving unites to others.” —Francis of Assisi

“No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage. You must live for others if you wish to live for yourself.” —Seneca

If you would like to read some of the original John Maxwell quotes from Teamwork 101, please click here.

Links & Quotes

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“With such prayer it is an absolute certainty that I must succeed with God in prayer. If my prayer were my own prayer, I might not be so sure of it, but if the prayer which I utter be God’s own prayer written on my soul, God is always one with Himself, and what He writes on the heart is only written there because it is written in His purposes.” —Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Jude 20

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them.” —C.S. Lewis

Dr. James Dobson has 8 reminders for stressed parents.

“We must stand on every promise and pray in faith, effectually, fervently, without doubt, and then wait and rest, trusting the Lord to do what is right, in His time and His way. Few Christians today wait with patience for God to work in His time. The more it is delayed, the angrier some get. Some finally give up, thinking God doesn’t answer.” —David Wilkerson

A university scientist is fired for publishing a peer-reviewed paper in a respected scientific journal that dares (gasp!) to mention that the biblical Flood might account for a specific finding he had made. The scientific community is becoming more and more touchy about anything that disproves their tenuous beliefs in an Earth that is anything less than billions of years old.

Continue to pray for Asia Bibi, who is appealing her death sentence in Pakistan. Her crime? She is a Christian. Also please consider supporting the American Center for Law & Justice who is helping Asia, and many others like her.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Have I mentioned that I am a huge fan of The Overview Bible Project? I love this infographic and insight into the biblical authors.

 

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading and watching from today…

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says the joy-ratio of giving-to-receiving is 10-to-1.

“Faith never knows where it is being led, it knows and loves the One Who is leading. … Faith is not resignation to a power we do not know; faith is committal to One Whose character we do know because it has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ.” —Oswald Chambers

“The devil’s master strategy for us Christians then is not to kill us physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. And how well he has succeeded. The average Christian these days is a harmless enough thing. God knows.” —A.W. Tozer

Some have argued that aborting a baby diagnosed with cystic fibrosis is humane and ethical. This kid proves them wrong.

Seth Godin with a really good reason why you should vote tomorrow.

…and The Gospel Coalition reminds Christians why they should vote.

 

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“Let there be a method in our giving, so that the poor may not go away empty nor the subsistence of the needy be done away and become the spoil of the dishonest.” —Ambrose

“Passion for the glory of the Lord is the key to making a difference all out of proportion to who we are. It is not the prerogative of old or young, intelligent or simple, men or women. This passion can flame up in the heart of any saint. Do we want it enough to seek it?” —John Piper

“Of one thing we are very sure. There will be a full restoration of the apostolic gifts and the full power of Pentecost before the coming of the Lord….” Read more of this quote from Dr. Charles S. Price from over 75 years ago.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A very cool timeline of the book of Acts.

Dr. Tim Elmore shares One Antidote To Male Disillusionment. Very helpful for anyone working with young men.

Links & Quotes

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These are links to articles and quotes I found interesting today.

[VIDEO] Disgusting! Child Sex Trafficking Coverup At Planned Parenthood

“Don’t imagine I doubt for a moment that what God sends us must be sent in love and will all be for the best if we have grace to use it so. My mind doesn’t waver on this point; my feelings sometimes do. That’s why it does me good to hear what I believe repeated in your voice—it being the rule of the universe that others can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and one can paddle every canoe except one’s own. That is why Christ’s suffering for us is not a mere theological dodge but the supreme case of the law that governs the whole world; and when they mocked Him by saying, ‘He saved others, Himself He cannot save,’ they were really uttering, little as they knew it, the ultimate law of the spiritual world.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christianity is the greatest intellectual system the mind of man has ever touched.” —Francis Schaeffer

[PHOTOS] Funny Doodles Of A Bored Commuter

Tim Elmore has a good word for parents: The Fine Line Between Commitment & Obsession

“Give so often and so much as a matter of course that you know more take note that you have helped the poor than that you have eaten your regular meals.” —Charles Spurgeon

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