Friday, May 22, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
By A.W. Tozer
The Lord said to become children. If we all became children, how beautiful that would be. You could walk up to a man and shake his hand without wondering, "Do I know enough judo to handle him?" He would not hurt you. Christians here are not going to hurt anybody, so just be perfectly candid. This is one passage you can practice no matter who you are or where you are. It touches you right now. "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8).
This passage tells us we are to testify and witness boldly about our Lord Jesus. If some of you would begin to quietly witness where you work, you would find a change coming over you. "Whoever has my commands and obeys them. . . [I will] show myself to him" (John 14:21). You will get out of the rut when the Lord begins to manifest Himself to you. But you would rather go off somewhere and get down on your knees and pray. Now praying is right--I have taught and preached and practiced it since I was converted. But do not try to pray down something that the Lord is telling you to do. Do what you are told, and the Lord will be right with you. . . .
By Oswald Chambers
'No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.'
When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once - will I react on the revelation which God gives - will I come to Him? Discussion on spiritual matters is an impertinence. Never discuss with anyone when God speaks. Belief is not an intellectual act; belief is a moral act whereby I deliberately commit myself. Will I dump myself down absolutely on God and transact on what He says? If I will, I shall find I am based on Reality that is as sure as God's throne.
In preaching the gospel, always push an issue of will. Belief must be the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to persuasive power, a deliberate launching forth on God and on what He says until I am no longer confident in what I have done, I am confident only in God. The hindrance is that I will not trust God, but only my mental understanding. As far as feelings go, I must stake all blindly. I must will to believe, and this can never be done without a violent effort on my part to disassociate myself from my old ways of looking at things, and by putting myself right over on to Him.
Every man is made to reach out beyond his grasp. It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is a personal one, not an intellectual one. I am introduced into the relationship by the miracle of God and my own will to believe, then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
By Oswald Chambers
'They that wait upon the Lord ... shall walk and not faint.'
There is no thrill in walking; it is the test of all the stable qualities. To "walk and not faint" is the highest reach possible for strength. The word "walk" is used in the Bible to express the character - "John looking on Jesus as He walked, said, Behold the Lamb of God!" There is never any thing abstract in the Bible, it is always vivid and real. God does not say - Be spiritual, but - "Walk before Me."
When we are in an unhealthy state physically or emotionally, we always want thrills. In the physical domain this will lead to counterfeiting the Holy Ghost; in the emotional life it leads to in ordinate affection and the destruction of morality; and in the spiritual domain if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality.
The reality of God's presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us. Our problems come when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence. The experience the Psalmist speaks of - "Therefore will we not fear, though . . ." will be ours when once we are based on Reality, not the consciousness of God's presence but the reality of it - Why, He has been here all the time!
At critical moments it is necessary to ask guidance, but it ought to be unnecessary to be saying always - "O Lord, direct me here, and there." Of course He will! If our common-sense decisions are not His order, He will press through them and check; then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.
Brooks by the Traveller's Way
Table of Contents
|› Chapter 1 - Man's Setting and God's Setting - BROOKS BY THE TRAVELLER'S WAY BY J. H. JOWETT, M.A. Author of "APOSTOLIC OPTIMISM" etc. 1902 Foreword . The addresses ...read|
|› Chapter 2 - Things Concealed - "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing"--Prov. xxv. 2. The Lord conceals that He may the more abundantly reveal. He hides a thing in order that ...read|
|› Chapter 3 - "Behind and Before" - "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me."--Psalm cxxxix. 5. "Thou hast beset me behind!" He deals with the enemy in the ...read|
|› Chapter 4 - Spiritual Culture - "Teach me Thy way."--Psalm lxxxvi. 11. "Teach me to do Thy will."--Psalm cxliii. 10. "I delight to do Thy will."--Psalm xl. 8. "Teach me Thy way. ...read|
|› Chapter 5 - The Secret of Hope - "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Ghost."--Romans xv. 13. Wha ...read|
|› Chapter 6 - My Need of Christ, Christ's Need of Me - "I am the vine; ye are the branches."--John xv. 5. The Bible appears to exhaust all available figures in describing the intimate relationship which ...read|
|› Chapter 7 - The Shepherd and the Sheep - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man p ...read|
|› Chapter 8 - Lightening the Burden - "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."--Psalm lv. 22. To whom is this graciou ...read|
|› Chapter 9 - "How Much More!" - "How much more." These words express a mode of reasoning enjoined and commended in the Christian Scriptures. We are permitted to begin on the plane of ...read|
|› Chapter 10 - No Failing! No Forsaking! - "For He Himself hath said He will in no wise fail thee, nor will I in any wise forsake thee, so that with good courage we say the Lord is my Helper, ...read|
|› Chapter 11 - Perilous Sleep - "I think it meet to stir you up by putting you in remembrance."--2 Peter i. 13. "I stir up your minds by way of remembrance."--2 Peter iii. 1. The ...read|
|› Chapter 12 - Beauty in the Heights - "He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains."--Psalm cxlvii. 8. "He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains." Unless we read the words in the right ...read|
|› Chapter 13 - "Dying, We Live" - "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth by itself alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." "Except a grain of ...read|
|› Chapter 14 - Statutes become Songs - "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and pe ...read|
|› Chapter 15 - Unfulfilled Impulse - "Lord, I will follow Thee--but--"--Luke ix. 61. "Lord, I will follow Thee--but--." Then he perceived the beauty of the Christ. He acknowledged His ...read|
|› Chapter 16 - Destruction by Neglect - "Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."--Romans xiii. 14. "Make not provision for the flesh." Let the evil thing die of fa ...read|
|› Chapter 17 - Desiring and Seeking - "One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beaut ...read|
|› Chapter 18 - The Forces of the Kingdom - "Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God."--John iii. 3. "We know that Thou art a teacher come from God." How did he know? Ther ...read|
|› Chapter 19 - Saving the World - "God so loved the world."--John iii. 16. "I pray not for the world."--John xvii. 9. "God so loved the world." "I pray not for the world." We are c ...read|
|› Chapter 20 - The Modesty of Love - "Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own."--1 Cor. xiii. 4, 5. "Love env ...read|
|› Chapter 21 - Feverishness - "Sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her."--Matt. viii. 14. I have no hesitation in interpreting this miracle as symbolic ...read|
|› Chapter 22 - The Fruits of Godly Fear - Psalm xxv. 12-15 "What man is he that feareth the Lord?" "The fear of God" is a familiar expression in the Scriptures. Perhaps our very intimacy wi ...read|
|› Chapter 23 - The Heavy Laden - "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in he ...read|
|› Chapter 24 - Overflowing Sympathies - "A certain centurion."--Luke vii. 2. What are my anticipations respecting the character of this Centurion? He is an educated Roman, and therefore I ...read|
|› Chapter 25 - Strife and Vain Glory - "Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."--Philippians ii. 3. "Let ...read|
|› Chapter 26 - "He Calleth... by Name" - "He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out."--John x. iii. "He calleth His own sheep by name." The unit is not lost in the indiscrimin ...read|
"He that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and
so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth, but a doer that
worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing." James 1:25
OUR question is: What does the Lord mean by the call to be a doer of the word, and how can we be one. Let me ask another question: 'Can you do what the law says?' Perhaps you feel that you can. Saul of Tarsus felt like that, but he found that he did not fulfil the law by doing what the letter of the law said. It is possible to do what the law says without fulfilling it. For [86/87] example, we are commanded to show hospitality. Yes, of course you can do that. If, however, you do it unwillingly or grudgingly, from fear of punishment or to win a reward, this is not the true fulfilment of that law. To be a doer of the Word is to be a person who is blessed in his doing. When Christians do the right things but without their hearts being in what they do, then that cannot be pleasing to God. It savours of pharisaism.
We must look, then, into the mirror of the Word and continue doing so, so that we do not forget what we are like. We forget so quickly because we look so seldom, and in this way have a higher opinion of ourselves than we should. How important that we should keep looking into the Word, for otherwise it is easy for me to take for granted that I am superior because I am doing the right thing, yet I can be as right as rain outwardly and yet out of tune with the Spirit of Christ.
Does anyone really think that He who died on the cross can be served by those who have a bad spirit? Does anyone imagine that he is doing the Lord's will when he only does so to avoid unpleasant consequences or to gain a reward? Is that evangelical Christianity? No, and nor is it really being a doer of the Word. We need to take another look into the perfect law of liberty.
In Romans it is called the law of faith, and this law excludes all glorying. We have our righteousness in the Lord Jesus, and in Him alone. We can add nothing to that righteousness, for it is perfect. If we focus on our beloved Saviour and His life, He is seen in His greatness and we cannot lose sight of what we are and what we are like. Paul constantly did this and so realised that he was "the chief of sinners", with no good thing in his flesh. He never forgot that. He knew that he had not reached perfection. But on the other hand, Jesus was everything to him, the perfect and wonderful Lord. He never let this be a matter of course, but contemplated the glory of Jesus Christ and continued to do so. That is the perfect law of liberty, and that sets a man free in the truest sense.
When a person is entirely free from guilt because Jesus Christ is His perfect righteousness, then he never does anything just to obtain a benefit, for he has all that can possibly be obtained in Christ. In a marriage it would be very sad if the partners were good to each other out of fear; it would take all the radiance away if the man was afraid of what his wife would say, or she were afraid of him. What a degrading basis for doing the right thing! True freedom is surely to be governed solely by the constraint of love.