Thursdays With Oswald—No Fear Of Death

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.

No Fear Of Death

     Death means extinction of life as we understand it; our dead are gone and have left an aching void behind them. They do not talk to us, we do not feel their touch, and when the bereaved heart cries out, nothing comes back but the hollow echo of its own cry. The heart is raw, no pious chatter, no scientific cant can touch it. It is the physical calamity of death plus the thing behind which no man can grasp, that makes death so terrible. …

     Every attempt to comfort a bereaved soul apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ brings a vain speculation. We know nothing about the mystery of death apart from what Jesus Christ tells us; but blessed be the Name of God, what He tells us makes us more than conquerors, so that we can shout the victory through the darkest valley of the shadow that ever a human being can go through. … 

     Jesus Christ can deliver from the dread of death—“that through death He might bring to naught him that had the power of death, that is the devil” [Hebrews 2:14]. Death has no terror for the man who is rightly related to God through Jesus Christ. … 

     It is not within the power of human tongue or archangel’s tongue to state what an awful fact death is, and what a still more awful fact life is. But thank God, there is the greatest deliverance conceivable from all that life may bring and from all that death may bring. Jesus Christ has destroyed the dominion of death, and He can make us fit to face every problem of life, more than conqueror all along the line.

From The Fighting Chance 

Through His death on the Cross and bodily resurrection from the grave, Jesus Christ has defeated Death for all who place their faith in this victory He won for us (see 1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

The Apostle Paul tells us that Christians grieve when a loved one dies, but we don’t grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). When one who knows Jesus as their Savior dies, we have a rock-solid, unshakable hope that they are fully alive with Christ in Heaven, and that we who also know Jesus as Lord and Savior will one day be reunited with them.

So for the Christian, death brings absolutely no fear! 

Links & Quotes

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“People who suffer the loss of a loved one will tell you that your presence is comforting, not your answers. In his first sermon after losing his son to suicide, Pastor Rick Warren advised his congregants that if they were unsure about what to say in a tragedy, say nothing. Just be there. Job’s friends initially did that. It was only after they began to speak that they made matters worse. If you’re hurting right now, I risk making matters worse by giving intellectual answers to emotional pain.” —Frank Turek

“Men may as well build their houses upon the sand and expect to see them stand, when the rains fall, and the winds blow, and the floods come, as to found free institutions upon any other basis than that of morality and virtue, of which the Word of God is the only authoritative rule, and the only adequate sanction. All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent state government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. It may do for other countries and other governments to talk about the state supporting religion. Here, under our own free institutions, it is religion which must support the state.” —Robert Winthrop, speaker of the US House of Representatives (1847–1849)

Some wonderful quotes from Maya Angelou.

“Anything which you have in this world, which you do not consecrate to Christ’s cause, you do rob the Lord of.” —Charles Spurgeon

“If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. But we can’t deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask ‘How holy can I be?’ we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.” —Steve Arterburn

[VIDEO] So are Christian scientists biased in their research? Yes! Any scientist is, but that is why there are controls—

Charles Spurgeon On Grieving The Holy Spirit

C.H. Spurgeon“Grieve the Holy Spirit, and you will lose all Christian joy; the light shall be taken from you, and you shall stumble in darkness; those very means of grace which once were such a delight, shall have no music in your ear. Your soul shall be no longer as a watered garden, but as a howling wilderness. Grieve the Spirit of God, and you will lose all power; if you pray, it will be a very weak prayer—you will not prevail with God. When you read the Scriptures, you shall not be able to lift the latch and force your way into the inner mysteries of truth. When you go up to the house of God, there shall be none of that devout exhilaration, that running without weariness, that walking without fainting. You shall feel yourself like Samson when his hair was lost, weak, captive, and blinded. Let the Holy Spirit depart, and assurance is gone, doubts follow, questionings and suspicions are aroused. Grieve the Spirit of God, and usefulness will cease: the ministry shall yield no fruit….” —Charles Spurgeon

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from this weekend…

“I do not agree with a big way of doing things. What matters is the individual. If we wait till we get numbers, then we will be lost in the numbers and we will never be able to show that love and respect for the person.” —Mother Teresa

For anyone struggling with an addiction to pornography, this sounds like a helpful book: 10 Lies Men Believe About Pornography.

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, if you are pro-life political candidate you are automatically disqualified from getting support from any “enlightened” woman.

Obama & ISIS[INFOGRAPHIC] This is scary … do you know how much money ISIS makes every day from selling the oil they have captured?

“It is right to pour out our whole soul before Him that careth for us. But it is good, likewise, to unbosom ourselves to a friend, in whom we can confide.” —John Wesley

“That is always the way with a truly healthy Christian; God’s grace is externally manifested. There is the inner life within, it is active, and by and by when it is in a right state, it saturates everything. You talk with the gracious man, he cannot help talking about Christ; you go into his house, you will soon see that a Christian lives there; you notice his actions and you will soon see he has been with Jesus. He is so full of sap [Psalm 104:16] that the sap must come out. He has so much of the divine life within, that the holy oil and divine balsam must flow from him.” —Charles Spurgeon

“O God, of Thy goodness give me Thyself, for Thou art enough for me, and I may ask nothing that is less and find any full honors to Thee. God give me Thyself!” —Lady Julian

“Yes—at first one is sort of concussed and ‘life has no taste and no direction.’ One soon discovers, however, that grief is not a state but a process—like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend.” —C.S. Lewis

A great post from Dave Barringer for married couples: Faking Your Death.

“Christianity is the only world religion whose primary source documents are in a language other than the founder of the religion. In other words, the New Testament texts are not in Aramaic, but in Koine Greek. … This makes a vitally important theological statement which so dramatically contrasts, for example, with Muslims who maintain that the Qur’an is untranslatable and that the Word of Allah can be conveyed truly and fully only in Arabic. For, at the very outset of the Christian message, the translatability of the gospel is enshrined in our primary source documents.” —Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary, The Translatability Of The Gospel

You Do Not Make Use Of Christ As You Ought To Do…

Believer, you do not make use of Christ as you ought to do. When you are in trouble, why do you not tell Him all your grief? Has He not a sympathizing heart, and can He not comfort and relieve you? No, you are going about to all your friends, save your best Friend, and telling your tale everywhere except into the bosom of your Lord. …There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to make a show-thing of Him, and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. The more burdens we put on His shoulders, the more precious will He be to us.Charles Spurgeon

Lamenting Over The Fallen

How The Mighty Have Fallen! Long before Jim Collins entitled his latest book with this phrase, David said this when King Saul and Prince Jonathan were killed in battle. In fact, he said it not once, but three times in just eight verses.

It is understandable that David would lament the death of his friend Jonathan. They were covenant brothers, they shared the same heartbeat for God and for Israel, and they stood by each other through thick and thin.

But Saul… why would David lament the death of Saul? This is the man who was jealous of David. So jealous that he did everything he could to trip David up. Including trying to kill him. Saul chased David from his home, his family, his wife, even his country.

Why would David lament Saul’s death? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to rejoice over it?

But David still saw Saul as “the Lord’s anointed.” David recognized the good in Saul. He called him…

  • The glory of Israel,
  • A successful warrior,
  • Gracious,
  • Lovable,
  • Strong, and
  • Israel’s provider

When David heard Saul had been killed, he lamented, Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

When I see the mighty, God-anointed leader fall, do I lament?

I may shake my head … I may feel vindicated … I may be disgusted … but I don’t know that I have ever lamented or grieved when one of these mighty brothers has fallen. Or if I have, my lament has been short-circuited by other less appropriate emotions.

Despite their sin, they are still God’s anointed. Who am I to sit in judgment? Who am I to do anything but lament their fall?

Lord, forgive me! Father, help me to see Your anointed in the proper perspective: as Your anointed. Holy Spirit, remind me of the tragedy of even one mighty one who falls. May my response be one of lament, and mercy, and prayer.

Just keepin’ it real, folks. This is me, but I’m trying to get better.

It’s A Love-Hate Thing

Are there things you love to do, but hate to do at the same time? Ah, yes, that wonderful love-hate relationship. I spent most of the first part of this week in a love-hate thing, and I discovered yet again that love outweighs hate. To rediscover this, all I had to do was agree to walk through a funeral with a grieving family again.

I hate seeing families grieving. I love being able to share hope with them.

I hate how drained I feel after funerals. I love seeing the flicker of encouragement grow in others.

I hate tearful goodbyes. I love the knowledge of joyful reunions.

I hate preparing funeral messages that remind people of eternity. I love sharing that Jesus is the Promise of an eternity in heaven.

I hate having every eye in the room on me. I love seeing God speak His truth through me.

Yup, it’s true: walking through a funeral with a grieving family is — hands down — the one thing that drains me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually more than anything else I do. But I wouldn’t trade this privilege to step into hurting people’s lives for anything. Yes, love triumphs over hate!

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