Supreme Climb

He said, “Take now your son…” —Genesis 22:2

God’s command is, “Take now,” not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later— it must be done now. And the sacrifice must be worked through our will before we actually perform it.

“So Abraham rose early in the morning…and went to the place of which God had told him” (Genesis 22:3). Oh, the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not “confer with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:16). Beware when you want to “confer with flesh and blood” or even your own thoughts, insights, or understandings— anything that is not based on your personal relationship with God. These are all things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.

Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, “I will only go to there, but no farther.” God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. You must go through the trial before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because by going through the trial you learn to know God better. God is working in us to reach His highest goals until His purpose and our purpose become one.

by Oswald Chambers

The Breaking of Peter

Luke 22:54-62

Peter’s pride in his own cleverness and strength got in the way of God’s purposes. Christ sought a servant-leader to guide believers after He returned to heaven. The former fisherman was an impulsive know-it-all, but the Lord saw Peter’s potential, despite the disciple’s arrogance. So the master Craftsman used a sharp tool—humiliation—to break him.

When the Lord’s words conflicted with Peter’s opinions, the disciple boldly rebuked Jesus. The Savior responded with pointed reprimands meant both to silence and to teach (Matt. 16:21-23; John 13:5-8). In fact, Jesus needed to correct the disciple in front of his peers on several occasions.

Ultimately, Peter failed in an area where he’d once felt great confidence—his commitment to die for the Lord. Instead, he ended up denying Christ three times before the rooster crowed. This final humiliation, witnessed by a group of strangers, shattered his self-assurance. It was a painful but necessary development, as Peter’s pride had distorted his view of Christ’s mission. He needed to see that Jesus came not as Israel’s deliverer from Roman oppression but as mankind’s Savior from the power and penalty of sin. Thanks to his newfound humility, Peter was now ready for the role Christ intended for him, as servant-leader (1 Pet. 5:5-6).

How are you hindering God’s work in your life? Be aware that He is determined to break you, when necessary for your good and His glory. The Lord restored Peter as a more humble yet much greater man than before. He does the same for every believer who yields to His will.

Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace

“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

This indictment by the prophet Jeremiah of the false prophets of his day could easily find a parallel today. The charge was repeated (8:11), so Jeremiah evidently considered it important. The prophet Ezekiel later leveled almost the same indictment against the false prophets of his time: “They have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace” (Ezekiel 13:10).

Almost every person would prefer to live in peace, of course. The word itself has become almost an ironic cliché. Our annual observance of Veterans Day (originally called Armistice Day) wistfully expresses the hope that when the current war is settled, it will be the final war, and thenceforth there will be “peace, peace.” The word “armistice” is from the Latin and means “arms standing still.”

But there is no real peace; there were numerous wars back during Babylonian times and Roman times and medieval times and all times! Even today there are dozens of small “wars and rumours of wars” going on in any given year (Matthew 24:6) and will continue to be so until Christ, the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), comes back to “speak peace unto the heathen” and to establish His kingdom of peace “even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).

In the meantime, James reminds us of our personal guilt: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1). And Paul exhorts: “Finally, brethren, . . . be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). HMM

I have learned in whatsoever state I am therein to be content

I have learned in whatsoever state I am therein to be content.— Philippians 4:11 (R. V.).

FORGIVE us, Lord, our little faith,
And help us all, from morn till e’en,
Still to believe that lot the best
Which is, not that which might have been.
GEORGE ZABRISKE GRAY.

THOU givest within and without precisely what the soul needs for its advancement in a life of faith and self-renunciation. I have then only to receive this bread, and to accept, in the spirit of self-sacrifice, whatever Thou shalt ordain, of bitterness in my external circumstances, or within my heart. For whatever happens to me each day is my daily bread, provided I do not refuse to take it from Thy hand, and to feed upon it. FRANCOIS DE LA MOTHE FÉNELON.

Judge that only necessary which God, in His eternal wisdom and love, proportions out unto us. And when thou comest hither, thou wilt come to thy rest; and as thou abidest here, thou wilt abide in thy soul’s true rest, and know the preciousness, of that lesson, and of whom thou art to learn it, even, in every state to be content. ISAAC PENINGTON.

Ye are washed, … ye are sanctified, … ye are justified

Ye are washed, … ye are sanctified, … ye are justified. 1 Corinthians 6:11

The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. — The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Christ … loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. —To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. — Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. — Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

1 John 1:7. Isaiah 53:5. Ephesians 5:25-27. Revelation 19:8. Hebrews 10:22. Romans 8:33. Psalm 32:1,2.

He led them on safely

He led them on safely. Psalm 78:53

I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment. Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. — In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. —So didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. —O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Proverbs 8:20. Exodus 23:20. Isaiah 63:9. Psalm 44:3. Isaiah 63:14. Psalm 5:8. Psalm 43:3,4.