Thursdays With Oswald—Isaiah 30

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.

Isaiah 30 

[These are the notes on Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Isaiah 30.] 

     The test of true religion is the knowledge of the character of God. As long as you think of God in the quietness of a religious meeting you will never know God—what kind of God have you got when you are in touch with the wrong, bad, evil things? God’s Book reveals that it is right in the midst of the very opposite of God that His blessings occur. The very things which seem to be making for destruction become the revealers of God. It is an easy business to preach peace when you are in health and have everything you want, but the Bible preaches peace when things are in a howling tumult of passion and sin and iniquity; it is in the midst of anguish and terror that we realize Who God is and the marvel of what He can do. …  

     God makes His people sing where in the eyes of the world it seems ironical to sing—in a besieged city where things are going to ruin, in the suburbs of hell, in the valley of the shadow of death. When you see lives in the midst of turmoil and anguish full of amazing brightness and uncrushable elasticity of faith in God, if you do not know God you will say, “However can they go through it? how is it that they remain undiscouraged and undismayed?” The explanation is the presence of God made real in His promises.” 

From Notes On Isaiah 

When you go through a “howling tumult” there are some things to remember:

  1. God is with you
  2. God is in control 
  3. God will help you sing through the storm
  4. Others are watching you
  5. God can be glorified in your undismayed faith in His presence through the tumult 

Thursdays With Oswald—Isaiah 24-29

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.

Isaiah 24-29

[These are notes on Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Isaiah 24-29.] 

     The Bible reveals that the material world has been blighted by reason of man’s sin. … Man was intended by God to govern Nature (see Genesis 1:26); instead, he has infected it with his sin and it has become a partaker of the curse with him, so that “the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.”

     Men say “We are going to build a holy city on this earth”—you cannot; the earth is infected, it is a diseased chamber, and the holy city will never be on it until God has purged it with fire and taken the epidemic out of it. … God cannot bring in the Millennium by moral renovation, but only by cremation…. 

     The great note of the Bible revelation is not immortality but Resurrection. The doctrine of the Resurrection is that something comes from God Himself direct into the dust of death. … He has swallowed up death forever, the sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation’ (Isaiah 25:8-9). … 

     The judgments of God are for another purpose than the vindictive spirit of man would like to make out. … You never find that spirit in the prophets; if there is destruction and death it is for one purpose only—deliverance. God is on the line of salvation, not of damnation; He only damns the damnable things. … 

     In our own day we seem to have come to the conclusion that God has made a number of blunders and we have to put them right; we have private notions of our own which if put down in black and white would prove that we do not believe God is intelligent in allowing the history of the world to go on as it has, in allowing sin and war. … We won’t see that behind the whole thing is the wisdom of God, that neither bad men nor the devil himself can do one thing without the direct permission of God. … 

     The devil likes to make us believe that we are in a losing battle. Nothing of the sort! We have to overcome all the things that try to obscure God. The rugged truths of Isaiah point out not only the appalling state of the world as it is, but that we have to live a holy life in it by the power of God, not a sequestered life in particular temples or rituals, but real genuine magnificent men and women of God, no matter what the devil or the world or the flesh may do.

From Notes On Isaiah 

Are you letting God be God? Are you letting God resurrect you and make you holy? Are you giving in to the lie of the devil that you are losing the battle, or are you letting God speak to your mind that you are one of the real genuine magnificent men and women of God who are shining His light and love in a diseased world? 

Thursdays With Oswald—Isaiah 13-23

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.

Isaiah 13-23

[These are the notes on Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Isaiah 13-23.]

     Isaiah’s message needs to come home to us today—that God is behind the devil, not the devil behind God; all the great world forces are in front of God, and they cannot do a thing without His permission. Today we are so emphasizing the freedom of the human will that we are forgetting the sovereignty of God, consequently when we come up against the forces at work in the world we are paralyzed by fear and get into despair, which we need never have done if we had been built up in faith in God. … Stand strong in faith in God—“I don’t understand this, but I know God is behind it.” … 

     There is no cowardice about Isaiah or about his message. He never lost his faith in God or got discouraged, and when the things he foretold happened, he did not desert the people. …  

     Behind everything stands God; behind the tumult and the confusion God is bringing out everything according to His will. The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance. … All the forces outside you are futile because they are less powerful than the indwelling of God (see 1 John 4:4). … Discouragement comes when we say what God will do—that God will always keep me healthy, that He will always be bringing me into the land of Canaan where I will eat honey; well, He won’t. God is concerned about only one thing—getting me into a personal relationship with Himself. There is no possibility of discouragement if we will only remember that this is the relationship, not God’s blessings, but Himself.

From Notes On Isaiah

When the news of the day, or events in the world, or even what’s happening in your personal life starts to rattle you, consider how Isaiah handled himself. Isaiah knew enemies were closing in, and that the day of God’s judgment was fast approaching too, but he never got fretful. Why? He kept his eyes on God.

God is sovereign. He is in control. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise. Keep your eyes on Him. And remember: “All the forces outside you are futile because they are less powerful than the indwelling of God.”

Thursdays With Oswald—Isaiah 8-11

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.

Isaiah 8-11

[These are notes from Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Isaiah 8-11.]

     God did not give a progressive revelation of Himself through the Old Testament: the people progressively grasped the revelation, which is very different. …

     The remarkable thing is that when Jesus Christ comes, every one of the things the prophets have been saying fit in with one Personality, the Being whom we know as the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah never saw Jesus Christ, he could not have imagined Him, then what inspired him? The very Mind of God (see 2 Peter 1:20). … 

     Fear is apt to make us atheistic and in our outlook we enthrone the devil, not God. God is behind it all, not a thing happens but He knows all about it. …

     If we try to draw our breath from any other source we instantly get diseased. By prayer and communion with God we live out in God’s moral open air, consequently we can live in the cities and amongst the places of men and maintain the life which is in accordance with the Messiah’s life…. The enemy of our souls goes for all he is worth against our praying, against our solitudes with God, he tries to prevent us drawing our breath in the fear of the Lord. The great need is to bring every thought and imagination into captivity to the obedience of Christ until every bit of our nature is reconstructed. 

From Notes On Isaiah

In these four chapters of Isaiah, the kings of Judah are facing enemies closing in from all sides and fear is mounting. Isaiah keeps speaking a word from the Lord that amounts to God saying this: Stop focusing on your troubles and focus on Me instead!

It’s a good reminder for us still today. God is in control. Let me say that again: God is in control! Let His perfect love and His perfect power drive out fear from your heart. Keep your eyes on Him, not on the problems coming against you. Let your thoughts be captivated by Jesus, and you will be reconstructed from the inside out with the nature of Christ.

8 Quotes From Horatius Bonar

Horatius BonarThere is a series of book by Horatius Bonar called Light And Truth. I am currently reading one of the books in the series as I read through the New Testament in my personal devotional time. Typically I post a book review after I’ve finished a book (which I will do with Light And Truth [update: the review is posted here]), and then I share some quotes from that book. In this case I’m mixing things up a bit: I’m sharing some quotes from the first half of this book today, and then I’ll post a review and more quotes after I finish the book. Enjoy!

(Note: Scripture references appearing in brackets following the quote reflects the passage or verse on which Bonar was commenting.)

“What is at the bottom of all the persecutions of various ages? It is Christ troubling the world. If He would let it alone, it would let Him alone. What means the outcry, and alarm, and misrepresentation, and anger, in days of revival? It is Christ troubling the world. What means the resistance to a fully preached gospel? It is Christ troubling the world. A fettered gospel, a circuitous gospel, a conditional gospel—a gospel that does not truly represent Christ—troubles no man; for in such cases it is another Christ that is announced, and not the Christ, the King of the Jews, that troubled Jerusalem. But a large, free, happy, unconditional gospel, that fully represents Jesus and His grace, Jesus and His completeness, does trouble men. It troubles all to whom it comes, in some measure. Some it troubles and then converts; some it only troubles. … The world’s only hope is to be ‘troubled’ by Christ. … Yet all this troubling is in love. He sounds His trumpet to awake the sleepers.” [Matthew 2:3]

“The Lord ends speaking and begins working; He comes down from the pulpit and enters the hospital. Such is His whole life: words and deeds intermingled; words of health and deeds of health. His lips breathe fragrance, and in His hand is the balm of Gilead. … [The leper] wants to be made clean, and he casts himself on Christ for this. He is the hyssop, the water, the blood, the ashes, the priest, the physician, all in one. Thus we still come, doubting neither the willingness nor the power, yet casting ourselves on the will of the Lord; not presuming to dictate, yet appealing to His sovereign Grace. As the needy, the sick, the unclean, we come; for the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” [Matthew 8:1-3]

“It is the voice of authority. It reminds us of Genesis 1:2-3. He speaks as one who knew that He could cure. Not hesitatingly. Nor are the words a prayer, but a command. He speaks, and it is done. … Thus love, authority, and power are all conjoined. It is the voice of Omnipotence. … He is the same Christ still; with the same love, and authority, and power. He is still a Healer, and the worst of diseases fly from His touch and voice. Let us go to Him with all that afflicts us. He calls and He will heal us of all. … Be persuaded to present thyself to Him, just as thou art give this divine Healer thy simple confidence. Take Him for what He is, and He will take thee for what thou art. Thus shalt thou meet in love; thou to be healed, and He to heal; thou to have the joy of being healed, and He to have the joy of healing thee, and to announce to heaven, in the presence of the angels of God, that another leper has been healed!” [Matthew 8:1-3]

“And is not this oftentimes the very point of the difficulty we experience in believing? We cling to the visible, the palpable prop—the human rope which we hold in our hand, unwilling to let go. We speak of our inability to believe; but what is this save our tenacity in holding on to the very things which God asks us to quit? We say that we ‘cannot lay hold’; should we not rather say that we ‘cannot let go’? We complain that we have no power to cling and grasp; whereas it should be that we have no will to let go.”

“As iniquity increases, faith decreases. … As iniquity increases, truth decreases. … As iniquity increases, righteousness and holiness decrease. … As iniquity increases, religion decreases. … As iniquity increases, delight in the things of God decreases. … But the special thing of which Our Lord predicts the decrease is love—love to God, love to himself, love to one another.” [Matthew 24:12]

“Our Lord will come! This is one of the great certainties of the unknown future. He may tarry, but He will come at last. Many obstacles made seem to rise up, but He will come. Men may not desire Him, but He will come. The Church may be cold, but He will come. Earth may think she has no need of Him, but He will come! The scoffer may say, where is the promise of His coming? but He will come. satan may do His utmost to oppose; but He will come. This is the great future certainty which Christ and His apostles have proclaimed to us. Our Lord will come! … The hour is, no doubt, fixed in God’s purpose, but the knowledge of that time is kept from us. They do wrong, then, who try to fix the hour, thus seeking to extract a secret from God. They do wrong who neglect the whole subject because this secret is connected with it. They do wrong who scoff at the whole subject because of the rash attempts or wretched failures of some pretended interpreters of prophecy. Thus, ‘we know,’ and ‘we know not’: we know that He will come, we do not when. … Beware of falling under any influences that would make you indifferent to the Lord’s appearing. Beware of worldly arguments; beware of pretended spiritual arguments; beware of confounding death and Christ’s coming; beware of the errors and seductions of the age.” [Matthew 22:42, 44]

“Ah, does not our faith often thus fail just at this point? We can go to Him for a little thing; we cannot go to Him for a great thing. We count it presumption to expect much. Instead of feeling that the worse the case, the greater the glory to His power and love, we stop short, and cease to expect anything from Him at all. I need not trouble the Master, we say, my case is so desperate; instead of saying, because my case is so desperate, I will trouble Him, I will give Him this opportunity of magnifying His skill and grace.” [Mark 5:36]

“Understand what is passing day by day; interpret events; connect them with the coming of the Son of Man. You see false Christs; you hear a Babel of opinions; you mark the new forms of immorality and infidelity; you are startled with the bold assaults made on Scripture, and on the Christ of God, on His blood, and Cross, and righteousness—connect all these with the coming of the Lord; interpret them as signs of the last days; do not treat them as common things; do not close your eyes upon them; do not be indifferent to them; do not admire them as tokens of intellectual development and human progress. Understand them all according to God’s purpose and mind. Examine them in the light of apostolic teachings and warnings. Be not deceived concerning them. Beware of the strong delusion. … Pray, then, for a needy church, that in all these respects God would visit her; raising her up; reviving her; rekindling her light; reinvigorating her strength; re-adorning her with all gifts and graces; reclothing her in apostolic raiment, and sending her forth to do His work with the old power and success of primitive days. Pray for a needy world. It is blind, and knows it not; poor, and thinks itself rich; foolish, and thinks itself wise. It is doubly needy. It is not aware of the extent of its ruin, and alienation, and depravity; not alive to its danger and hopeless prospects; not anticipating its doom. There is a hardening, and searing, and blinding process going on in connection with ‘modern progress.’” [Mark 13:33]

Links & Quotes

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“Puffery in doctrine leads to its dishonor.” —Charles Spurgeon

“In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.” —Dr. James Stewart

“Don’t bother about the idea that God ‘has known for millions of years exactly what you are about to pray.’ That isn’t what it’s like. God is hearing you now, just as simply as a mother hears a child. The difference His timelessness makes is that this now (which slips away from you even as you say the word now) is for Him infinite. If you must think of His timelessness at all, don’t think of Him having looked forward to this moment for millions of years: think that to Him you are always praying this prayer. But there’s really no need to bring it in. You have gone into the Temple (‘one day in Thy court is better than a thousand’) and found Him, as always, there. That is all you need to bother about.” ―C.S. Lewis

“The itch of self-regard craves the scratch of self-approval. That is, if we are getting our pleasure from feeling self-sufficient, we will not be satisfied without others seeing and applauding our self-sufficiency.” —John Piper

Some godly women on the front lines of the war against the sex industry.

Links & Quotes

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“There is a burden of care in getting riches; fear in keeping them; temptation in using them; guilt in abusing them; sorrow in losing them; and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them.” —Matthew Henry

“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….” ―C.S. Lewis

“Our comfort comes not from the powerlessness of our enemies, but from our Father’s sovereign rule over their power.” —John Piper

Have you seen all the videos of one of Obamacare’s architects, Jonathan Gruber? Here is the story behind the man, Rich Weinstein, who unearthed all of these clips and exposed the outright lies and hypocrisy. And this video compilation is just a sampling of the lies—

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