Thursdays With Oswald—Jeremiah 25-26

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 25-26

[These are notes from Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Jeremiah 25-26.] 

     The prophets were holy men, not mechanisms; they were “moved by the Holy Ghost” [2 Peter 1:21] to say what they did. Each prophet had a distinct characteristic of his own, they were not all “moved” in the same way. We are not meant to be “channels only,” we are infinitely more responsible than “channels.” …

     Jeremiah continually warned the people that if they did not repent and come up to God’s standard for them, He would blight all that they possessed, including Jerusalem and the Temple. That was what enraged them against Jeremiah. They said he used his prophetic right to tell an untruth; for, they argued, God would never destroy His own holy city or the Temple in which He was worshiped (26:11). Any position before God based on a foundation other than living in the light of God and depending upon Him, is doomed to destruction.

From Notes On Jeremiah

God’s Word is still as viable and applicable to us today as it was in the days that Jeremiah and the other prophets spoke, and in the days the New Testament authors penned their words. 

J.C. Ryle issued this warning to us, “Let us beware of despising the Old Testament under any pretense whatever. Let us never listen to those who bid us throw it aside as an obsolete, antiquated, useless book. The religion of the Old Testament is the embryo of Christianity. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the bud. The New Testament is the Gospel in full flower. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the blade. The New Testament is the Gospel in full ear.” 

God’s Word IS speaking to us today. The question is—are you and I willing to obey what God says to us, or are we more interested in making arguments about its relevance? 

3 Quotes About Bible Studies

New Bible study toolsYesterday I shared 7 must-have Bible study tools. Here are three powerful quotes on how and why we should make studying our Bibles an ongoing, lifelong pursuit.

“Search the Scriptures. Do not merely read them—search them; look up the parallel passages; collate them; try to get the meaning of the Spirit upon any one truth by looking to all the texts which refer to it. Read the Bible consecutively: do not merely read a verse here and there—that is not fair.” —Charles Spurgeon

“One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Let us resolve to read the Bible more and more every year we live. Let us try to get it rooted in our memories, and engraved into our hearts. … Let us resolve to be more watchful over our Bible reading every year that we live. Let us be jealously careful about the time we give to it, and the manner that time is spent. Let us be aware of omitting our daily reading without sufficient cause. Let us not be gaping, and yawning and dozing over our book, while we read. … Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes! … Let us resolve to talk more to believers about the Bible when we meet them. Sorry to say, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune.” —J.C. Ryle

Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

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“The busyness of duties will knock us out of relationship to God more quickly than the devil.” —Oswald Chambers

“The moment I come into possession of something which my neighbor or my fellow man has not, I become a debtor to that fellow man! … It is to God, then, that in the first place Paul feels himself an infinite debtor in the fullest sense [Romans 1:14]. To God Himself he cannot pay this debt directly, but he can indirectly, by pouring out the God-given treasure upon others.” —Horatius Bonar

“To lose temper, and call names, is a common sign of a defeated cause. … The true Christian in the present day must never be surprised to find that he has constant trials to endure from this quarter. Sinful human nature never changes. So long as he serves the world, and walks in the broad way, little perhaps will be said against him. Once let him take up the cross and follow Christ, and there is no lie too monstrous, and no story too absurd, for some to tell against him, and for others to believe. But let him take comfort in the thought that he is only drinking the cup which his blessed Master drank before him. The lies of his enemies do him no injury in heaven, whatever they may on earth. Let him bear them patiently, and not fret, or lose his temper. When Christ was reviled, ‘He reviled not again’ (1 Peter 2:23). Let the Christian do likewise.” —J.C. Ryle

I like hearing this: Senator Ted Cruz points out how Congress can end abortion without the Supreme Court.

Rev. Tim Dilena shares a video message of how to finish well: Fighting The Reprehensible Thing.

Are you infringing on someone’s copyright? Check out this infographic from ChurchMag.

Links & Quotes

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“satan is real and may have a hand in our calamities, but not the final hand, and not the decisive hand. James makes clear that God had a good purpose in all Job’s afflictions: ‘You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful’ [James 5:11]. So satan may have been involved, but the ultimate purpose was God’s, and it was ‘compassionate and merciful.’” —John Piper

“God’s will is determined by His wisdom which always perceives, and His goodness which always embraces, the intrinsically good.” —C.S. Lewis

“Let us never suppose that there is any lack of charity in speaking of hell. Let us rather maintain that it is the highest love to warn men plainly of danger, and to beseech them to ‘flee from the wrath to come.’ It was satan, the deceiver, murderer, and liar, who said to Eve in the beginning, ‘You shall not surely die.’ (Genesis 3:4.) To shrink from telling men, that except they believe they will ‘die in their sins,’ may please the devil, but surely it cannot please God.” —J.C. Ryle

“You aren’t the only person with your skill. But you are the only person with your version of your skill.” —Max Lucado

“There is nothing natural about the Christian life. It is all supernatural. It’s a life dependent upon miracles from the very beginning (including your conversion). And it simply can’t be lived without faith in the supernatural.” —David Wilkerson

It is time for science to detach itself from an atheistic worldview. Douglas Rushkoff states, “By starting with Godlessness as a foundational principle of scientific reasoning, we make ourselves unnecessarily resistant to the novelty of human consciousness, its potential continuity over time, and the possibility that it has a purpose.”

Detroit Tigers fans (like me!) will love this: an interactive map that shows where every Tiger has been born.

John Stonestreet asks, “Why is pop music so angry?” Check out his answer in Bad Blood.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell challenges us to find someone we can inspire this weekend—

 

Diary Of A Jackwagon (book review)

Diary of a JackwagonI’m a huge Tim Hawkins fan! He proves time and time again that you don’t have to be crass to be funny, but that intelligent insights are perhaps a bigger laugh than the base stuff. So I was really looking forward to reading Diary Of A Jackwagon.

This book, Tim explains, is like his personal journal of observations. So you get a little insight into his craft. Indeed it was fascinating to read some of the seed thoughts that became a bit in his public comedic routine.

When J.C. Ryle was writing a biography on George Whitefield, he noted that there was a huge difference between hearing a sermon and reading a sermon. I felt the same about this book. Tim Hawkins uses his voice inflections, facial expressions, singing and musical abilities, and body contortions to create a full comedic experience for the viewer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate over very well to the reader. So if you already know who Tim Hawkins is, please read this book and enjoy. However, if you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing Tim’s comedy routine, please pull up some YouTube videos before reading this book. Trust me: it will be much more enjoyable this way.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

11 Quotes From “A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield”

A Sketch of the Life and Labors of George WhitefieldYesterday I tweeted…

And that’s definitely true in the book J.C. Ryle wrote: A Sketch Of The Life And Labors Of George Whitefield. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I highlighted in this interesting biography.

“Informing your opinion of the comparative merits of Christian men, never forget the old rule: ‘distinguish between times.’ Place yourself in each man’s position. Do not judge what was a right course of action in other times, by what seems a right course of action in your own.”

“In the thirty-four years of his ministry, it is reckoned that [Whitefield] preached publicly eighteen thousand times. … No preacher has ever retained his hold on his hearers so entirely as he did for thirty-four years.”

“He seemed to live for only two objects—the glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls. He raised no party of followers who took his name. He established no system, like Wesley, of which his own writings should be cardinal elements. A frequent expression of his is most characteristic of the man: ‘Let the name of George Whitefield perish, so long as Christ only is exalted.’” 

“He was a man of extraordinary catholicity and liberality in his religion. He knew nothing of that narrow-minded policy which prompts a man to fancy that every thing must be barren outside his own camp, and that his party has got a monopoly of truth on heaven. He loved all who loved the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. He measured all by the measure which the angels of God use —‘Did they possess repentance towards God, faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, holiness of conversation?’ If they did, they were as his brethren. His soul was with such men, by whatever name they were called.”

“Whitefield preached a singularly pure gospel. Few men ever gave their hearers so much wheat and so little chaff. … This, you may be sure, is the corner-stone of all preaching that God honors. It must be predominantly a manifestation of truth.”

“To make easy things seem hard is easy, but to make hard things easy is the office of a great preacher.” —Archbishop Usher

“He is the best orator who can turn men’s ears into eyes.” —Arabian Proverb

“It was no uncommon thing with him to weep profusely in the pulpit. Cornelius Winter goes so far as to say that he hardly ever knew him to get through a sermon without tears.”

“Once become satisfied that a man loves you, and you will listen gladly to anything he has got to say. And this was just one grand secret of Whitefield’s success.”

“He founded no denomination among whom his name was embalmed, and his every act recorded, as did John Wesley. He headed know mighty movement against a Church which openly professed false doctrines, as Luther did against Rome. He wrote no books which were to be the religious classics of the millions, like John Bunyan. He was a simple, guileless man, who lived for one thing only, and that was to preach Christ. If he succeeded in doing that effectually, he cared for nothing else. He did nothing to preserve the memory of his usefulness. He left his work with the Lord.”

“The truth, I believe, is, that the direct good Whitefield did to immortal souls was enormous. I will go farther. I believe it is incalculable.” 

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