Thursdays With Oswald—Spiritual Honor

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.

Spiritual Honor

     “I am a debtor to Greeks and to Barbarians” (Romans 1:14). Do I feel this sense of indebtedness to Christ Paul felt with regard to every unsaved soul I meet, every unsaved nation? Is it a point of spiritual honor with me that I do not hoard blessings for myself? The point of spiritual honor in my life as a saint is the realization that I am a debtor to every man on the face of the earth because of the Redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ.” …

     Am I doing anything to enable Jesus Christ to bring His Redemption into actual manifestation in other lives? I can do it only if the Holy Spirit has wrought in me this sense of spiritual honor. When I realize what Jesus Christ has done for me, then I am a debtor to every human being until they know Him too.” …

     Is it my conviction among men that every man can be presented “perfect in Christ Jesus”? Or do I allow men’s sins and wrongs so to obliterate the power of the Redemption that I sink under them?

From So Send I You

Some powerful questions for every Christian to honestly answer:

  • Does my salvation mean enough to me that I am burning with passion for others to know this salvation too?
  • Am I hoarding God’s blessings, or am I passing them on?
  • What am I doing to make sure everyone knows about Jesus?
  • Do I write some people off as “unsavable,” or do I believe Jesus can reach every single person?
  • Am I living like I really believe that?

4 Reasons Why God’s Way Is Better

Notice the contrasts (see the conjunction “but”) in these wise words from King Solomon—

For the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into His confidence.

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous.

He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

The wise inherit honor, but fools He holds up to shame. (Proverbs 3:32-35)

Solomon is inviting us to compare God’s way with our way.

God's way or man's way

Looking at this, it’s not too hard to figure out which way is the better way to live! 

Charles Bridges commented on these verses, “The value of our inheritance is beyond all price; its happiness unspeakable; its security unchangeable; its duration eternity. The wise shall inherit glory. ‘They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament for ever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43).”

(To download a PDF version of the chart above, click here → God’s way or man’s way)

Links & Quotes

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“The test for apostles and teachers is not that they talk wonderful stuff, not that they are able to expound God’s Word, but that they edify the saints (Ephesians 4:12).” —Oswald Chambers

“Does your self-esteem need attention? You need only pause at the base of the Cross and be reminded of this: The Maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you.” —Max Lucado

“Sometimes the enormity of war overwhelms the truth that all great struggles are just the sum of individual stories. Each is more than just the story of one soldier’s service and sacrifice. Their service ripples across their families, friends and their communities. Memorial Day reminds us it is the noble sacrifice of many that makes us who we are.” —James Carafano

“How can we expect to foster a pro-life culture if we hide our beliefs in the shadows? Abortion clinics have flourished by boldly and unapologetically declaring their stance. As a result clinics like Planned Parenthood have become a mainstream part of our culture; being invited into our government’s budget, school systems and communities. Pro-life options have been bullied into a corner where their life affirming options are patronized under a label of intolerance.” I love this: a pro-life pregnancy center is going to open in Georgia just 10 feet away from an abortion clinic.

Here’s another reason I love Cedar Springs: our City has adopted an family escaping war in Africa.

21 Benefits From Doing Things God’s Way

got wisdom?I was reading Proverbs 3 this morning, and the opening words are, “My son, do not forget my teaching….” As if to emphasize why we shouldn’t forget how God tells us to live, Solomon lists at least 21 benefits that come from doing things God’s way―

  • A life worth living
  • Tranquility
  • Favor
  • Good reputation with God and people
  • God will keep you on track
  • Health and strength
  • Overflowing success
  • God’s discipline
  • Wisdom and understanding
  • Better return on investments
  • Riches and honor
  • Peace
  • Blessing
  • Safety
  • Sweet sleep
  • Fearlessness
  • Confidence
  • God’s friendship
  • A blessed home life
  • Grace
  • Honor

Now that’s a list worth having! And it’s all there for the one who will heed God’s Word and obediently live out what He says.

10 Ways Children Can Honor Their Parents

Honor your parentsThe Bible is fairly clear on a child’s relationship with his or her parents:

The Bible also gives some directives for parents:

So children are to honor their parents, and their parents are to behave honorably. This can be a virtuous cycle, if both parent and child are doing this correctly. But what if a parent is not behaving honorably? Does the child still have to honor that parent?

In a word: Yes. The Bible doesn’t give children an option on this command. Nowhere do we read, “Only obey your Christian parents,” or “Honor your father only if he’s godly,” or “Respect your mother only if she is virtuous.” Children are simply called upon to honor and obey.

I like what Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote—

“Honor does not mean unquestioned obedience, we truly honor our parents when we hold them accountable to God’s law. If my parents abandon me, I will honor them by seeking, though not forcing, reconciliation. If my parents abuse me, I will honor them by praying for them, so that they might see their error – and by escaping, if possible, so that they cannot continue to sin upon me. If my parents are unfaithful, I will honor them by calling for righteousness and by being willing to forgive them when they repent. If they are breaking the law, I will honor them by calling the police. Making them accountable to the highest moral order is honoring them in that I esteem them capable of responsible action.

So here are 10 biblical ways children can honor their parents—

  1. Guard your thoughts about them.
  2. Obey their lawful commands.
  3. Submit to their correction.
  4. Hold them accountable to the moral law.
  5. Show appreciation for what they have given you.
  6. Keep them connected to the family (socially, emotionally, financially, physically).
  7. Don’t expect too much of them.
  8. Don’t resent them for what they aren’t, or for what they didn’t do.
  9. Forgive them and seek reconciliation.
  10. Emulate their virtues and reverse their shortcomings.

Not only does this please God, but it opens us up to the blessing He wants to give to children who honor their parents (Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:2-3).

If you are in the Cedar Springs area, I’d love to have you join us next Sunday as we continue our look at The Love In The Law.

Poetry Saturday—Wanted

Josiah G. HollandGod give us men! A time like this demands
    Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
    Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
      Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
    Men who possess opinions and a will;
      Men who have honor—men who will not lie.
    Men who can stand before a demagogue
      And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
    Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
      In public duty and in private thinking;
    For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
    Their large professions and their little deeds,
    Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
    Wrong rules the land, and waiting Justice sleeps. —Josiah Gilbert Holland

 

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“The upright man must never think of depriving another of anything, nor must he ever wish to increase his own advantage to the disadvantage of another. This rule the Apostle gives thee, saying: ‘All things are lawful, all things are not expedient; all things are lawful, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but each another’s.’ That is: Let no man seek his own advantage, but another’s; let no man seek his own honor, but another’s.” —Ambrose

Frank Viola has a challenging word to Christians in the quote he shares from A.W. Tozer: Recovering The Departed Glory.

Claiming Jesus is not what many think it is, says Chilly Chilton in his post: Name It, Claim It, Proclaim It!

When we don’t know that life is a war and satan is the enemy, or forget when we need to know it most, we can’t make sense of our struggles, suffering, and strife.” Read more of Mark Driscoll’s post Spiritual Warfare: Who, What & Why.

The Overview Bible Project always uncovers some cool things in Scripture. Like this post about what Beelzebul really means.

Why is it organizations are not allowed to hire a Christian, but at that same time are encouraged (forced?) to hire homosexuals? The story of David Tyree is a case-in-point.

The fact is, that the same moment which brings the consciousness of sin ought to bring also the confession and the consciousness of forgiveness.” —Hannah Whitall Smith

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