This 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.
Christianity In The Actual And Real Life
A man cannot take in anything he has not begun to think about, consequently until a man is born again what Jesus says does not mean anything to him. The Bible is a universe of revelation facts have no meaning for us until we are born from above; when we are born again we see in it what we never saw before. We are lifted into the realm where Jesus lives and we begin to see what He sees (John 3:3).
By “Actual” is meant the things we come in contact with by our senses, and by “Real” that which lies behind, that which we cannot get at by our senses (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:18). The fanatic sees the real only and ignores the actual; the materialist looks at the actual only and ignores the real. The only sane Being whoever trod this earth was Jesus Christ, because in Him the actual and the real world one. …
When we are born from above we begin to see the actual things in the light of the real. …
Deliverance from sin is not deliverance from conscious sin only, it is deliverance from sin in God’s sight, and He can see down into a region I know nothing about. By the marvelous Atonement of Jesus Christ applied to me by the Holy Spirit, God can purify the springs of my unconscious life until the temper of my mind is unblameable in His sight. …
Everything Jesus says is impossible unless He can put His Spirit into me and remake me from within…. When a man is born from above, he does not need to pretend to be a saint, he cannot help being one. …
There is only one way in which as a disciple you will know that Jesus has altered your disposition, and that is by trying circumstances. … The proof that God has altered our disposition is not that we persuade ourselves He has, but that we prove He has when circumstances put us to the test.
The truths that the Bible declares are real truths, but they need to be lived out in the actual life of a Christian. Jesus is the only One who has ever done this, but by His Atonement applied to our actual lives by the Holy Spirit, we can begin to live this way as well.
In order to live out real truths in actual life, we have to experience actual life—all of the ups and downs, the victories and defeats, the temptations succumbed to and the temptations overcome—in light of real truth. In every experience, the Holy Spirit can sanctify us. I like to think of that word sanctification like this: saint-ification. If I will allow Him, the Holy Spirit can bring out actual saintly qualities in my life.
The more I allow Him to do this, the more saintliness is seen in my actual life. As Chambers reminds us, then we don’t have to pretend to be a saint, but we cannot help but be an actual one!
[Each chapter in the Book of Proverbs contains thoughts that fit into a theme; they are not just random thoughts gathered together. In this “Saturday In The Proverbs” series, I will share a theme that I see in each chapter. But the cool thing about God’s Word is that you may see an entirely different theme. That’s great! If you do, I would love for you to share it in the comments below.]
If… (Proverbs 6:1).
You should—because your life may be at stake!
Although written over 100 years ago, Workmen Of God is still a treasure-trove for anyone in pastoral ministry today. I have shared longer passages from this book in my weekly series called “Thursdays With Oswald,” but here are a few other gems from this book. You can read my full book review of Workmen Of God by clicking here.
“We must keep ourselves in touch, not with theories, but with people, and never get out of touch with human beings, if we are going to use the Word of God amongst them, and if the Holy Spirit is to apply the Word of God through us as workmen meeting not to be ashamed.”
“Men’s minds will always assent that Jesus Christ is right—why? Because Jesus Christ is Incarnate Reason. There is something in Jesus Christ that appeals to every man, no matter what condition he is in. If once Jesus Christ is brought into contact with the man, let that man seem to us dead and indifferent, destitute of anything like goodness—let him come in contact with Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, and you will instantly see that he can grasp something about Him in a way we cannot understand unless we know the Holy Spirit.”
“Unless your religion will go to the lowest and the worst and the most desperate case you know of, your religion is of no use.”
“Intercessory prayer for a backslider is a most instructive but most trying work for God, it will teach the worker that prayer is not only making petitions, but that prayer is breathing and atmosphere.”
“When the message you have to deliver, brother preacher, strikes straight home, don’t water it down just a little. Go straight for God if you come from Him. Neither for fear nor favor alter the message.”
“Love for men as men will never stand the strain. In order to catch men for the Lord Jesus Christ, you must love Jesus Christ absolutely, beyond all others. You must have a consuming passion of love, then He will flow through you in a passion of love and yearning and draw all men to Himself.”
“We need to live steadfastly in the presence of God so that when we are praised we don’t arouse the spirit of envy, the spirit that makes a man want to do something, not because he loves God, but because he wants to emulate us. … God grant we may see that the great need of every worker is a first-hand acquaintance with Jesus Christ which puts to death the spirit of ambition.”
“You cannot have holiness without a chaste physical life. Oh, the sapping power of God because of unchaste men and women who preached His Gospel.”
Dad, your involvement in the life of your kids and grandkids is vital! Please check out my review of 10 Commitments For Dads and then get a copy for yourself.
“Studies show that even until your child reaches 25 years of age, the greatest influence on his or her behavior will be the loving, close relationship with you, the father.”
“What our kids need to see is that our rules are out of a heart of love and are actually good for them, just as the instructions and commands that come from God. We as dads need to learn how to place God’s truth and family rules squarely within the context of our loving relationships. … The truth is, God designed us to follow the rules because of the relationship. There are do’s and don’ts in life, but they are there to provide for our well-being and protect us from harm. That’s what a person within a loving relationship wants to do—protect those they love and provide for their best.”
“God disciplines us with a purpose—it is to lead us to become more like Him. … When we hold our kids accountable for their benefit, not ours, it too fulfills their sense of purpose and reinforces their sense of responsibility.”
“Tell your kids repeatedly that because God’s nature is holy He will never asked them to do anything that would not be right and good for them. It is out of this pure goodness that He wants to protect them from those things that would harm them and provide for their very best. It is from His holy nature of goodness that He gives unselfishly and makes the security, happiness, and welfare of your kids as important as His own.”
“God has uniquely shaped and molded you and your kids to bring honor to Him. It is only proper and right to love what He has done. Teaching your kids to love what He has uniquely designed isn’t being self-centered. We need to be proud of Him for what He has created and humbly celebrate our uniqueness for His glory, ‘For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him for ever! Amen’ (Romans 11:36).”
“What our kids hear and see in today’s culture is rarely a representation of healthy love. Selfish, lustful, and even abusive behavior is passed off as a love relationship. That is why, in a real sense, we must redefine to our kids what such a relationship actually is from a biblical perspective.”
“The best sex education is 30 seconds here, one minute there, 10 seconds here, two minutes in 45 seconds there, and so on, starting as young as possible. When something comes up, step in, addressed it, and step back. Don’t make a big deal out of it.”
“Because true love’s priority is to protect and provide for the one being loved, God’s kind of love will not do things that are harmful to the security, happiness, and welfare of another person.”
I will be sharing more quotes from 10 Commitments soon. You can subscribe to my blog to be notified as soon as they quotes are shared. You can also follow me on Twitter and Tumblr to see the healthy quotes I share every day.
Here are my book reviews for 2011.
Here are my book reviews for 2012.
Here are my book reviews for 2013.
Here are my book reviews for 2014.
Here are my book reviews for 2015.
As I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are the pure in heart (Matthew 5:8)…
“The word pure is used of clothing that has been washed, of grain from which all chaff has been removed, and of gold that has been refined until all impurities have been removed. A pure heart, then, is one from which all sinful desires have been removed. Positively it means to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). It means to live all of my life to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).”
“Once we acknowledge God’s ownership of us, our responsibility becomes clear: Whatever we do must serve God’s purposes. And central among God’s purposes, as demonstrated throughout the Scriptures, is God’s glory.”
“To present our bodies (and our hearts also) is to recognize Christ as the ‘Owner’ of our lives [Romans 12:1]. It is the subjective, experiential response to the objective truth that we are His own possession.”
“Our minds can only be transformed as they are regularly exposed to the Word of God. This means we need to regularly read and study our Bibles and apply what we find there to our daily lives.”
“To be—or better, to seek to be—pure in heart produces humility in action as we become more God-focused in our daily lives.”
“To acknowledge how far short we fall from purity of heart will send us back to the first Beatitudes: to be poor in spirit and to mourn because our hearts are so often divided. That is humbling. But that honest humility should drive us back to the gospel, where we see ourselves united to the One Who had the only perfectly pure heart in all of history. This will motivate us and empower us to see what we can never fully attain: to be pure in heart.”
I have previously shared quotes on:
Quotes on the next Beatitude will be posted soon. Stay tuned…
“God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God [1 Corinthians 6:20]. You young men who come to London amidst its vices, shun everything that is akin to lewdness or leads on to unchasity, for your bodies were bought with your Lord’s lifeblood, and they are not yours to trifle with. Shun the strange woman, her company, her wine, her glances, her house, her songs, her resorts. Your bodies are not yours to injure by self-indulgence of any sort. Keep them pure and chaste for that heavenly Bridegroom who has bought them with His blood. And then your soul is bought too.
“I was obliged to mention the body, because it is mentioned here, and it is so needful it should be kept pure. But keep the soul pure. Christ has not bought these eyes that they should read novels calculated to lead me into vanity and vice, such as are published nowadays. Christ has not bought this brain of mine that I may revel in the perusal of works of blasphemy and filthiness. He has not given me a mind that I may drag it through the mire with the hope of washing it clean again.…
“Your whole manhood belongs to God if you are a Christian. Every faculty, every natural power, every talent, every possibility of your being, every capacity of your spirit.… It is all bought with blood. Therefore keep the whole for Jesus, for it belongs to Him.”
“When you bounce your eyes away from a sexual image, immediately pull from your memory a pure image. Maybe a wedding picture, or a vacation experience with your family, or your buddies. There are thousands of positive images you can pull from your memory within seconds to replace the sexual images you’re tempted with.” —Steve Arterburn
“satan shows the best, but hides the worst, because his best will not [counterbalance] his worst; but Christ’s will abundantly.” —Matthew Henry
William Wilberforce said something about slavery that could just as easily apply to abortion today: “It naturally suggested itself to me, how strange it was that providence, however mysterious in its ways, should so have constituted the world as to make one part of it depend on its existence for the depopulation and devastation of another.” Check out this Live Action post: Lessons From Wilberforce.
“But do you want to get better? It seems like a stupid question. Of course we want our organization, our work and our health to improve. But often, we don’t. Better means change and change means risk and risk means fear.” —Seth Godin
Our worldview makes a huge difference in the way we live. Check out this post from Stand To Reason on how Christianity improved the lives of women.
A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that the number of people in America identifying themselves as Christians has dropped. Check out the results of the survey here, and then listen to what John MacArthur has to say in this video—
Yesterday I shared with you about the 30-day dare to starve your eyes (if you missed that post, please click here).
Steve Arterburn has written about how exactly we go about doing this. He writes that it means things like:
Please join me in taking this 30-day challenge.