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.
Living In The Now
Jesus did not use figurative language in talking about the Hereafter. He said: “Let not your heart be troubled”—“My Business is with the Hereafter.” Our business is to live a godly life in the present order of things, and not to push out beyond the durations God has placed as limits. …
I have no power to choose whether or not I will take the consequences of my choice; no power to say whether or not I will be born…but I have power to choose which way I will use the times as they come. …
Jesus Christ taught a reasonable life on the basis of faith in God—“Be carefully careless about everything saving your relationship to Me. Don’t be disturbed today by thoughts about tomorrow, leave tomorrow alone, and bank in confidence on God’s organization of what you do not see. Yesterday is past, there is no road back to it, tomorrow is not; live in the immediate present, and yours is the life of a child.” …
Jesus Christ deliberately chose “the long, long trail”; we choose “the short cut,” and continually go wrong until we understand the meaning of the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd, He leads me in the right paths.”
From Shade Of His Hand
In Shade Of His Hand, Oswald Chambers is taking an in-depth look at the book of Ecclesiastes. In chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says there is a time for everything.
Chambers reminds us that we don’t choose the time we will be born, and we don’t choose the time we will die—God alone chooses those. But everything between birth and death is our choice. Jesus taught us that our choices and our level of joy in the moment will be much better if we seek God’s wisdom for all of those choices we make.
Joseph Alleine was very concerned about using every moment of his time to honor God. He wrote, “Give me a Christian that counts his time more precious than gold.” To help him do this, he built in reminders to his weekly journaling and prayer times.
At the beginning of each week he wrote in his journal—“Another week is now before us, let us spend this week for God.”
And each morning he wrote in his journal—“Let us live this one day well!”
The Bible instructs us to:
What can you do this week to make sure that you spend this week for God?
“It has pleased God to give each one of us the same amount of time each day, week, month, and year. Time is a gift of God, and He expects us to use it wisely, in ways that overcome the foolishness of living apart from God and glorify Him in all the details of our lives (Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15-17; 1 Corinthians 10:31). … The challenge of the spiritual life is to claim all our time and construct all our activities in order to pursue what we desire as the life of following Jesus. Anything that doesn’t contribute to that objective distracts from it. … What do the time and activities of your life reveal about what you desire in life and what you’re depending on to give your life purpose and joy?” —T.M. Moore
If you haven’t checked out The Bible Project videos lately, please visit their YouTube channel. They have some really cool stuff that give you an overview of a book of the Bible, and some of the major themes in the Bible. Each video is only 5-7 minutes long, but there is a ton of good insight packed into that time.
“If God did not love us unconditionally, He would not penetrate our unattractive lives, bring us to faith, unite us to Christ, give us His Spirit, and make us progressively like Jesus.” —John Piper
“The Word of God is an expansive Word; ever widening its dimensions; growing upon us; never old, ever new; in which we make continual discoveries; the same tree, but ever putting forth new branches and leaves; the same river, but ever swelling and widening; losing none of its old water, yet ever receiving accessions.” —Horatius Bonar
The Federalist shares 10 reasons it makes zero sense to support abortion.
Parents & teachers, check out what Tim Elmore says we often forget when we are helping our students solve problems.
Max Lucado told this story―A man was bitten by a dog. When he learned the dog had rabies, he began a list. The doctor said, “There’s no need to make a will—you’ll be fine.” “Oh, I’m not making a will,” he said, “I’m making a list of all the people I want to bite!”
“There is a problem in the church of North America today. The problem is, for the most part, she isn’t hungry for God.” Read more in A Burning Church Is The Only Hope For America.
Evolutionists cannot agree on the mutation rate that holds their theory together.
“You can do two things with pumpkin seeds. Eat them, an excellent source of protein, or plant them, and watch a successful seed bring back 100 more. The farmer who plants the seeds aggressively, without regard for, ‘hey, be careful, I could have eaten that seed,’ often ends up with many more pumpkins and many more seeds. On the other hand, the person who guards all the seeds and then eats them ends up with not much. And of course, money works the same way. Time, too.” —Seth Godin
“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” ―C.S. Lewis
John Stonestreet said, “One reason to stand for religious freedom in America is so that we can speak for our persecuted brethren elsewhere. But turning religion in the U.S. into a purely private matter makes coming to the aid of our persecuted brethren less, not more, likely.” Read the rest of his commentary here.
“The Cross was the place of your spiritual birth; it must ever be the spot for renewing your health, for it is the sanatorium of every sin-sick soul. The blood is the true balm of Gilead; it is the only catholicon [remedy] which heals every spiritual disease.” —Charles Spurgeon
“One way to be humble is to cast all your anxieties on God [1 Peter 5:6-7]. Which means that one hindrance to casting your anxieties on God is pride. Which means that undue worry is a form of pride.” —John Piper
“Where there is no Christian Sabbath, there is no Christian morality, and without these our free institutions cannot long be sustained.” —John MacLean, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court
Albert Einstein probably wasn’t a Christian, but he certainly did believe in God. Here are 10 Einstein Quotes Linked To Biblical Principles.
Are you struggling with losing an hour of sleep after daylight savings time kicked in? Perhaps you can relate to this from Truth Facts―
As I mentioned in my book review of Andrew Murray’s A Prayerful Life, this book was written as a response to pastors who were concerned about the lack of effectiveness in their ministry. Pastor Murray called out the sin of prayerlessness as the main factor in their struggles. Here are some quotes from this book specifically to pastors.
“The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian—and above all, the minister—to neglect prayer. satan knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected.”
“The pastor’s highest calling is not preaching, or speaking, or church visitation, but it is to cultivate the life of God in himself daily, and to be a witness of what the Lord teaches him and accomplishes in him.”
“Here on earth I may expend my time in exchange for money or learning. The minister exchanges his time for divine power and the spiritual blessings to be obtained from heaven. That, and nothing else, makes him a man of God and ensures that his preaching will be in the demonstration of the Spirit and power.”
“Many pray for the Spirit that they may make use of Him and His power for their work. This is an entirely wrong concept. It is He Who must use you. Your relationship toward Him must be one of deep dependence and utter submission. The Spirit must have you completely and always and in all things under His power.”
“When the Lord promised the apostles that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and commanded them to wait for Him, it was as though He said: ‘Do not dare to preach without this power. It is the indispensable preparation for your work. Everything depends on it.’”
“Little time in the Word together with little prayer is death to the spiritual life. Much of the Word but little prayer yields a less than healthy spiritual life. Time spent in prayer with little time in the Word yields life, but without steadfastness. A full measure of the Word and much prayer each day produces a healthy and powerful life.”
“The preacher must come to see that his preaching is comparatively powerless to bring new life until he begins to take time for prayer.”
“All you who long for blessing in your ministry, He calls you to abide in Him. Let it be the greatest delight of your life to spend time with God; it will be the surest preparation for fruitful service.”
“As a minister of the gospel, have you ever considered why you have a salary and a place to live, and so are freed from the need of holding a regular job? The reason is so that you can continue in prayer and the ministry of the Word. These will give you the necessary wisdom and anointing for your work. And that is the secret of a fruitful ministry. No wonder there are often complaints about the ineffective spiritual life of a minister and his congregation. That which is of prime importance—perseverance in prayer—does not occupy its rightful place.”
“The great question is: Shall we earnestly set ourselves to win back again the weapon of believing prayer that satan has, at least in a measure, taken away from us? Let us set before ourselves the serious importance of this conflict. As far as each minister is concerned, everything depends on whether or not he is a man of prayer—one who in the inner room is clothed each day with power from on high.”
When Paul was writing to his young protege Timothy he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I was so proud of a couple of young people who did this for us at Calvary Assembly of God yesterday!
Savannah has been raising money for childhood cancer research. She shared with us how this is the least-funded form of cancer research, and that every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. “That is unacceptable,” Savannah said. So in an amazing example-setting move for all of us, Savannah and two of her coworkers worked to bring in over $3000 in donations for childhood cancer research, and they shaved their heads as a sign of solidarity with the children undergoing cancer treatments. By the way, you can still donate to this noble cause by clicking here.
Then Josh brought us a challenging message entitled Are You Growing? Taking his text from 1 Corinthians 3:6, Josh reminded us that God makes things grow, but we can put ourselves in a place for Him to do that. Just as with a plant, our spiritual growth requires:
I am so proud of Josh and Savannah for setting an example for us to follow!
“Behold, Lord, and empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in You.”
“Almighty God, grant us grace to hear Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Bread, preached throughout the world and truly to understand Him. May all evil, heretical and human doctrines be cut off, while Your Word as the Living Bread be distributed.”
“Lord God, You have placed me in Your church. You know how unsuitable I am. Were not for Your guidance I would long since have brought everything to destruction. I wish to give my heart and mouth to Your service. I desire to teach your people, and long to be taught Your work. Use me as Your work man, dear Lord. Do not for sake me; for if I am alone I show bring all to naught.”
“I have to hurry all day to get time to pray.”