Thursdays With Oswald—Working Out God’s Will

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.

Working Out God’s Will

     We do not enter into the life of God by imitation, or by vows, or by ceremonies, or by Church membership; we enter into it by its entering into us at Regeneration. The Cross of Jesus Christ is the gateway into His life. … 

     The world is that system of things which organizes its life without any thought of Jesus Christ. … 

     Nothing blinds in the mind to the claims of Jesus Christ more effectually than a good, clean-living, upright life based on self-realization. For a thing to be satanic does not mean that it is abominable and immoral. The satanically managed man is moral, upright, proud, and individual; he is absolutely self-governed and has no need of God. … 

     When by the Cross of Christ we have entered into the experience of identification with our Lord, then there comes the practical working out of Matthew 11:29, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” … 

     God will bring across our path people who embody the characteristics that we have shown to Him—stubbornness, pride, conceit, opinionatedness, sensuality, a hundred little meannesses. “Now,” He says, “love them as I have loved you.” 

From The Psychology Of Redemption

So God’s will is not something we learn by going to church, or imitating someone we think to be a godly person. God’s will is living like Jesus:

  • Totally abandoned to God’s will
  • Staying linked to Jesus
  • Loving the people that God brings across our path like God loves us

How are you doing?

Thursdays With Oswald—The New Life In Me

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.

The New Life In Me

     Oswald Chambers points out several things which affirms that one has experienced the new birth of salvation.

     “If Christ is formed in us, the great characteristic is that we know Him and perceive Him for ourselves. We do not need anyone to tell us about Him now, He is our Lord and Master.” 

     “Where do we go in a crisis? If we are born from above and Jesus Christ is Lord and Master, we will go direct as a homing pigeon to Him.” 

     “When Christ is formed in us, we are a satisfaction to our Lord and Master wherever He places us. The point of importance is to know that we are just exactly where He has engineered our circumstances. There is no ‘foreign field’ to our Lord.” 

     “Another evidence of new birth is that we see the rule of God. We no longer see the haphazard of chance for fate, but by the experience of new birth we are in able to see the rule of God everywhere. … We all see the common occurrences of our daily life, but who amongst us can perceive the arm of the Lord behind them? The saint recognizes in all the ordinary circumstances of his life the hand of God and the rule of God, and Jesus says we cannot do that unless we are born from above. … Nothing happens by chance to a saint, no matter how haphazard it seems. It is the order of God.” 

     “Do we seek to stop sinning, or have we stopped sinning? We are always inclined to make theoretical what God makes practical. Learned divines and others talk about the sin question, and make it a doctrinal matter of dispute. In the Bible it is never, Should a Christian sin? The Bible puts it emphatically: A Christian must not sin. … 

     “When we are born into the new realm the life of God is born in us, and the life of God in us cannot sin (1 John 3:9). That does not mean that we cannot sin; it means that if we obey the life of God in us, we need not sin. God never takes away our power to disobey; if He did, our obedience would be of no value, for we should cease to be morally responsible. By regeneration God puts in us the power not to sin.” 

From The Psychology Of Redemption

As you read through this list, what do you think? Are you trying to be a Christian, or are you letting this new birth simply do its work in you?

Thursdays With Oswald—Work Out What God Has Worked In

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.

Work Out What God Has Worked In

     If we have experienced regeneration, we must not only talk about the experience, we must exercise it and work out what God has worked in (Philippians 2:12-13). We have to show it in our finger-tips, in our tongue, and in our bodily contact with other people, and as we obey God we find we have a wealth of power on the inside. … 

     The practicing is ours, not God’s. God regenerates us and puts us in contact with all His divine resources, but He cannot make us walk according to His will. If we will obey the Spirit of God and practice through our physical life all that God has put in our hearts by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes we shall find that we have not only God’s grace to stand by us but our own nature also, and the crisis is passed without any disaster, but exactly the opposite happens, the soul is build up into a stronger attitude towards God.

From The Psychology Of Redemption

God doesn’t make us a new person, but He gives us the power to become a new person. The key is our obedience to what the Holy Spirit reveals to us from the Bible. Will we obey what He shows us? If we do, we can expect “a wealth of power on the inside.” If we don’t, people will probably call us hypocrites.

Will you obey? Will you work out what God has worked in?


Links & Quotes

link quote

“When we reflect how prone we are to be drawn into error in our judgments, and into vice in our practice; and how unable, at least how very unwilling, to espy or correct our own miscarriages; when we consider how apt the world is to flatter us in our faults, and how few there are so kind as to tell us the truth; what an inestimable privilege must it be to have a set of true, judicious, hearty friends about us, continually watching over our souls, to inform us where we have fallen, and to warn us that we fall not again for the future.” —George Whitefield

“This was the staple preaching of [George] Whitefield. He was always great upon that which he called the great R—Regeneration. Whenever you heard him, the three Rs came out clearly—Ruin, Regeneration, and Redemption! Man ruined, wholly ruined, hopelessly, helplessly, eternally ruined! Man regenerated by the Spirit of God, and by the Spirit of God alone wholly made a new creature in Christ! Man redeemed by precious blood from all his sins, not by works of righteousness, not by deeds of the law, not by ceremonies, prayers, or resolutions, but by the precious blood of Christ!” —Charles Spurgeon

Here is a cool story about the churches in Cedar Springs making history.

In working on my message for our Aliens and Strangers series, I cam across this great post: Next-Door Strangers.

Thursdays With Oswald—Moral Choices

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.

Oswald Chambers

Moral Choices 

     Jesus Christ revealed what a normal man should be and in so doing showed how we may become all that God wants us to be. … But Jesus did not come to show us what a holy life was like: He came to make us holy by means of His death

     … When we partake of His life through the experience of regeneration we are put into a state of innocence towards God, and we then have to do what Jesus did, that is, transform that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices. 

From Bringing Sons Unto Glory

There’s a song that says, “Now that we’ve found love, what are we going to do with it?” The Holy Spirit asks regenerated Christians the same thing: “Now that you’ve been declared innocent in God Almighty’s sight, how are you going to live?”

Every day you and I are faced with moral choices. Will we try to find the loopholes or the easy way out? Will we justify our ungodly choices? Or will we do what Jesus did and obey God fully?

Now that you’ve been declared innocent, what are you going to do with it?

19 Quotes From “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Who Do You Think You AreWho Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll is an insightful journey through the book of Ephesians. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the passages that especially stood out to me.

“This world’s fundamental problem is that we don’t understand who we truly are—children of God made in His image—and instead define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus. Only by knowing our false identity apart from Christ in relation to our true identity in Him can we rightly deal with and overcome the issues in our lives.”

“What you do doesn’t determine who you are. Rather, who you are in Christ determines what you do.”

“Our worship never starts and stops. It’s not limited to a building in which we attend sacred meetings and sing worship songs. Rather, our entire life is devoted to pouring ourselves into someone or something. Saying it another way, we’re ‘unceasing worshippers.’ We aren’t created to worship, but rather we’re created worshipping.”

“While it’s not a sin to plan and strive for a better tomorrow, it is a sin to set one’s joy and identity on who we will be, what we will do, or what we will have tomorrow in our own efforts rather than on Christ today and who He will make us, what He will have us do, and what He will give to us tomorrow.”

“While it’s true that sin has affected the totality of our persons, including our minds, wills, and emotions, we fail to say all that the Bible does regarding our identity when we place undue focus on our depravity as fallen sinners and ignore our dignity as created image bearers and our new identity as redeemed Christian saints. While a non-Christian is totally depraved, a Christian is in Christ.”

“A saint does sin. But a Christian is one who has saint as their constant identity and sinner as their occasional activity. For the Christian, there is a vital difference between having sin and being sin.”

“Sin may explain some of your activity, but it’s not your identity. Your identity is in Christ, and because of your new identity, by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit’s power, you can change your activity. Because you are a new person positionally in Christ, you can live a new life practically by the power of the Holy Spirit. This truth is deeply helpful and vitally practical.”

“Pride is our enemy and humility is our ally. Pride compares us to other sinners; humility compares us to our sinless Savior. Pride covets the success of others; humility celebrates it. Pride is about me; humility is about Jesus and other people. Pride is about my glory; humility is about God’s glory. Pride causes separation from God; humility causes dependence on God. Pride is pregnant with all sins; humility is pregnant with all joys. Pride leads to arrogance; humility leads to confidence. Pride causes me to do things in my own strength; humility compels me to do things in God’s strength. …None of us, with the exception of Jesus Christ, can ever say we’re truly humble. Instead, all we can say is that we’re proud people pursuing humility by the grace of God.”

“In Christ, you’re graced. You’re chosen by grace, saved by grace, kept by grace, gifted by grace, empowered by grace, matured by grace, and sanctified by grace. You persevere by grace, and one day will see Jesus, the best Friend you’ve ever had, face-to-face, by grace.”

“God is as equally glorified when we praise Him for His unmediated grace as when we’re thankful for those through whom He chooses to deliver it. …We’re to thank God for being faithful to His people and to thank His people for being faithful to Him.”

“Before we can understand and embrace our identity in Christ, we must first accept our identity apart from Christ. Becoming a Christian is not merely accepting the truth about Jesus as our Savior. It’s also accepting the truth about ourselves as needy sinners.”

“Because afflictions cost us so much, they are too precious to waste. Though God may not cause your affliction, He can use your affliction for His glory, others’ good, and your growth, if you are in Christ.”

“Our God didn’t suffer so that we wouldn’t suffer. He suffered so that when we do suffer, we can become more like Him and point more people to Him.”

“Too many Christians pit knowledge against experience and the head against the heart. The truth is, both are needed to grasp God’s love. The love of God is what happens when the truth in our heads captivates the affections of our hearts, which spurs us on to grasp the love of God in our lives. …As the love of God increasingly captivates our hearts and we grasp onto his love, we’re changed and become increasingly mature in Christ because our affections determine our actions.”

“Sometimes, Christians shy away from involvement in a local church because they see faults with the church. Ironically, the fact that they see a lack may indicate that there’s a need for them and their gifts. Rather than complaining, it’s better to humbly start serving to meet a church’s needs and invite others to also help.”

“Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God helps us live holy lives and enables us to obey Him. In this way, regeneration is the opposite of religion, which tragically teaches that if you obey God, He will then love you. The exact opposite is true. Regeneration reveals that because God loves us, we can obey Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. You have new power in Christ.”

“Your Father is perfect, loving, gracious, merciful, patient, holy, helpful, and generous. The more you get to know Him through Scripture, prayer, song, service, and time with your brothers and sisters in Christ, the more you will come to love and enjoy Him. Your desires will change from sin to holiness, and you’ll increasingly want to be like your Dad. You’ll love what He loves and hate what He hates.”

“As Christians, our goal is not to merely experience behavior modification by changing how we act and react. Our primary goal is getting to know, love, and trust God as our Father.”

“The last thing the church needs is cowards that treat the Bible like an artifact more fit for a museum than a weapon for the battlefield.”

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