Friday, October 2, 2009

Mountains and Valleys

After every time of exaltation we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley we have to live for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mount, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the sphere of humiliation that we find our true worth in God. That is where our faithfulness is revealed....

When you were on the mount, you could believe anything, but what about the time you were up against the facts in the valley? You may be able to give a testimony to sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you just now? The last time you were on the mount with God, you saw that all power in Heaven and in earth belonged to Jesus - will you be skeptical now in the valley of humiliation?

- Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest", October 2

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Relationship Between Prayer and Living

"There is a two way relationship between prayer and life. Prayer can be seen as the focusing and redirecting of an attitude to God and to our fellow [human beings] that runs through all that we do. On the other hand we can see our daily life as something which prayer purifies, directs and consecrates. This interrelationship of prayer and life was expressed by William Temple in his well known saying "It is not that conduct is the end of life and worship helps it but that worship is the end of life and conducts tests it." Temple is here using worship in a broad sense to include all of life. For in worship, as the derivation of the work from worth implies, we declare what we value most. If in prayer I declare that I value God above all things and in my life I show that my own selfish interests come first I am making a nonsense of my praying. We declare how we value God as much by our actions, by the way we treat other people, by the manner in which we do our work, as by anything we say. If my actions are wrong or wrongly motivated prayer cannot make them right. If however, despite my failures and inconsistencies, I do on the whole want to put God above all things then prayer will help to purify my motives and clarify my judgment."

- Christopher Bryant, "The River Within"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Things Ought Not To Be So

James 3:10
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rivers of Living Water

'A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow - "This is the work that ye believe." God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.

Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up marvelous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished you in mighty torrents of blessing for others.'

- Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest", September 6

It seems so much of my life I have been asking, "What legacy will I leave to future generations? What purpose does my life serve? How will I be remembered? Does my life really matter in the grand scheme of things?"

This comment gives me hope that, though I may never know it, I can (and will) make someone's life better simply by getting as close to God as possible. It also challenges me. For if I want to truly make a mark on this rock that will last, I must remember from where that change comes and must be open for that changing force in my life as well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fellowship and Solitude

This quote from a sermon by Mike Bullmore is worth meditating upon:

We need fellowship with others to be alone safely.
We need solitude to be with others meaningfully.

HT: Between Two Worlds

No Sin Too Small

"Your misdeeds and mine are nonetheless repellent because our opportunities for doing damage are less spectacular than those of some other people. Do you suggest that your doings and mine are too trivial for God to bother about? That cuts both ways; for, in that case, it would make precious little difference to His creation if he wiped us both out tomorrow."

Dorothy L. Sayers in Creed or Chaos?

Monday, August 31, 2009

The joy of Jesus Christ

What was the joy that Jesus had? It is an insult to use the word happiness in connection with Jesus Christ. The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do...

The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God's work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had.... All that God has done for us is the mere threshold. He wants to get us to the place where we will be His witness and proclaim who Jesus is.

Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a center for Jesus Christ to pour living water through.... The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of the most blessing to you are those who were unconscious of it.

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 31