Is This True of Me?

None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself… —Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires. Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide. You may be more prosperous and successful from the world’s perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God. But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.

What do I count in my life as “dear to myself”? If I have not been seized by Jesus Christ and have not surrendered myself to Him, I will consider the time I decide to give God and my own ideas of service as dear. I will also consider my own life as “dear to myself.” But Paul said he considered his life dear so that he might fulfill the ministry he had received, and he refused to use his energy on anything else. This verse shows an almost noble annoyance by Paul at being asked to consider himself. He was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received.

Our ordinary and reasonable service to God may actually compete against our total surrender to Him. Our reasonable work is based on the following argument which we say to ourselves, “Remember how useful you are here, and think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.” That attitude chooses our own judgment, instead of Jesus Christ, to be our guide as to where we should go and where we could be used the most. Never consider whether or not you are of use— but always consider that “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are His.

by Oswald Chambers

The Process of Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:30-32

At some point, no doubt, you have been hurt. Probably, a person you loved and trusted did something unthinkable—something so devastating it changed your whole perspective on that individual. When this happens, we have a choice either to wallow in self-pity or to forgive.

Forgiveness is the act of giving up both the resentment we have toward someone and the desire to retaliate. It involves three important steps.

First, we must release the general feeling of resentment. That is, we must decide not to languish in our pain. This can be hard. Many people seem to enjoy harboring self-pity or an overarching sense of martyrdom. They sigh, “Oh, it’s just my lot in life to suffer.” No, it is not! You can choose to move past the hurt.

Second, we must surrender specific feelings of resentment toward the individual. That means we’re to give up our anger at being hurt and also seek to restore the broken relationship.

Third, we lay down all claims to retribution. You cannot forgive someone with your words while secretly wishing him or her harm. True forgiveness seeks the other person’s good, not punishment.

Forgiveness says, “Though you hurt me, I choose to pardon you. I won’t dwell on this, nor will I allow it to destroy my life or attitude. I won’t spend one minute plotting revenge. You are God’s precious child, and I love you.”

Truly, forgiving another person carries a price, but the rewards are worth it. Unleash the power of forgiveness in your life today.

God My Personal Savior

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:47)

One of the most wonderful titles of the Lord Jesus Christ is that of Savior. This word (Greek soter, from which is derived our theological term “soteriology,” the study of salvation) occurs 24 times in the New Testament and is applied only to Christ, “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

It occurs first of all on the lips of the virgin Mary in our text above, when she realized that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Savior. It is significant that this first use of soter recognizes that our Savior can be none other than God Himself—“God my Savior”—and also that this fact should cause our spirits to rejoice, as Mary’s did. He becomes our personal Savior when we believe on Him, as did Mary.

He is also “the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14) and the “Saviour of all men” in the sense that His work on the cross is sufficient to save all who will receive Him.

There are eight other verses in the New Testament in which “Savior” is taken as synonymous with “God.” The final occurrence of “Savior” is one of these, and it is in one of the greatest doxologies of the Bible. “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 25).

There are many today who see the man Jesus as a great teacher and example, but who reject His deity. There are many others who believe in a cosmic deity of some kind, but are unwilling to believe that He could become uniquely incarnate in a perfect man. How urgent it is that we believe and teach that our Creator must also become our Savior if we are ever to be saved. We must “trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). Then we can rejoice with Mary in “God my Saviour.” HMM

Worthy to Lead

Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.) —Galatians 1:1

Conformity to the Word of God is always right, but obedience to religious leaders is good only if those leaders prove themselves worthy to lead. Leadership in the church of Christ is a spiritual thing and should be so understood by everyone. It takes more than a ballot to make a leader….

If the church is to prosper spiritually she must have spiritual leadership, not leadership by majority vote. It is highly significant that when the apostle Paul found it necessary to ask for obedience among the young churches he never appealed to them on the grounds that he had been duly elected to office. He asserted his authority as an apostle appointed by the Head of the church. He held
his position by right of sheer spiritual ascendancy, the only earthly right that should be honored among the children of the new creation.

Renew within me, even today, a sense of my divine call. Then help me to live a holy life, exemplary in faithfulness, so that I might indeed be a leader worthy to lead. Amen.

Sinful Man: Uncomfortable in God’s Presence

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? Genesis 3:9

Sin never feels comfortable in the divine presence!

Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden. Their fear and chagrin for the moment overcame their conscious need of God. Jonah, in his determined refusal to obey God’s command, rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Peter, with a sudden acute consciousness of personal guilt, sought not to flee from the Lord’s presence but begged the Lord instead to depart from him! Men need God above everything else, yet are uncomfortable in His presence.

This is the self-contradictory moral situation sin has brought us into.

The notion that there is a God but that He is comfortably far away is not embodied in the doctrinal statement of any Christian church. Anyone who dared admit that he held such a creed would be considered a heretic and avoided by respectable religious people; but our actions, and especially our spontaneous utterances, reveal our true beliefs better than any conventional creed can do.

If we are to judge by these, I think it can hardly be denied that the average Christian thinks of God as being at a safe distance, looking the other way!

Preach a Whole Christ

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:9

I reject the human insistence among us that Christ may sustain a divided relationship toward us in this life.

I am aware that this is now so commonly preached that to oppose it or object to it means that you are sticking your neck out and you had best be prepared for what comes.

But, I am forced to ask: How can we insist and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ can be our Savior without being our Lord?

How can so many continue to teach that we can be saved without any thought of obedience to our Sovereign Lord?

I am satisfied in my own heart that when a man or a woman believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he or she must believe on the whole Lord Jesus Christ—not making any reservation! How can a teaching be justified when it encourages sinners to use Jesus as a Savior in their time of need, without owing Him obedience and allegiance?

I believe we need to return to preaching a whole Christ to our needy world!

Heavenly Father, I humbly acknowledge Your saving grace in my life, and it is an honor to obey and serve You.