Arguments or Obedience

. . . the simplicity that is in Christ. —2 Corinthians 11:3

Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly. A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring all your “arguments and . . . every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (2 Corinthians 10:5). Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing (see Matthew 11:25).

Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still never make it clear. Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment. This is humiliating, because when we are confused we know that the reason lies in the state of our mind. But when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our entire life is kept in simplicity.

by Oswald Chambers

Caring for Your Conscience

1 Timothy 1:5

All of us at times face decisions that test our character. When a choice conflicts with our value system, the “first responder” is our conscience. However, even this divine gift has been exposed to the world’s programming, which means we must not only reorient but also fortify our “inner compass.”

The strength of our conscience depends on both truth and tradition, and these, in turn, are impacted by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

• Truth. Since Jesus declared that He is the truth, then maintaining a close relationship with Him through prayer and obedience strengthens our conscience. Both the Holy Spirit and the Word of God play vital roles in this growth process. The Spirit of Truth, as Jesus identified the third Person of the Trinity, is also known as “the Helper.” The Spirit doesn’t just assist us in distinguishing righteousness from sin; He also teaches us and guides us into all truth (John 14:17, 26; 16:8, 13).

• Tradition. Joseph and David both set godly examples for us to follow when we face temptation—they let their conscience guide them in honoring God. At great personal cost, Joseph rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39). And David, though presented with an opportunity to kill or humiliate Saul, chose instead to leave the matter in the Lord’s hands (1 Sam. 24:5-7).

We can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us develop a better conscience. He has given us everything we need for the task, which is essential if we are to live a godly life.

Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)

We possess a special place in God’s heart. Many uplifting hymns have been written over the centuries that can lead us into a deeper love for and greater understanding of our Savior. One such hymn, “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him,” introduces many important concepts and reasons to praise.

Praise the Savior, ye who know Him!
Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have.

Those who know the Savior are bidden to join together in praising Him. As Christians, we not only “know” Him as Savior, He calls us His friends. He identifies His friends by their obedience to His loving commands: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). He proves His friendship through His own sacrifice: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (v. 13). How could we ever repay Him? We cannot.

We can, however, praise Him for all that He is to us and has done for us. We have the privilege of declaring “with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell[ing] of all thy wondrous works” (Psalm 26:7), and “speak[ing] of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works” (Psalm 145:5). “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). JDM

Click to access Praise%20The%20Savior%20Ye%20Who%20Know%20Him.pdf

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it, and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render unto every man according to his works?—Proverbs 24:11, 12.

WHAT we value for ourselves we must seek to spread to others; and what we shrink from ourselves—lowering surroundings, a tainted atmosphere—what we shrink to think of those nearest and dearest to us being exposed to—let us do all we can to remove from others. “Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil.” Do what you can to sweeten the mental and moral atmosphere that surrounds you. ARTHUR C.A. HALL.

We have a more or less true ideal of what our own human life ought to be—of what opportunities we ought to have for the development of our faculties—of what home and school and college, youth and married life and old age, work and rest, ought to mean for ourselves and our families. We are to be as truly zealous and active for other classes or other individuals as we are for our own class or our own family or ourselves. CHARLES GORE.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. —Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. — What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive: but speaking the truth in love, … grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ.

Abide in me. — Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Luke 9:62. Hebrews 11:6. James 1:6,7. Mark 11:24. Ephesians 4:14,15. John 15:4. 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace

Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. — My brethren, ye … are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. —Being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ. — The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. — Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. — If the Son … shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Romans 6:15. Romans 7:4. 1 Corinthians 9:21. 1 Corinthians 15:56,57. Romans 8:2. John 8:34. John 8:36. Galatians 5:1.