VIDEO Missionary’s Master and Teacher

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am ….I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master… —John 13:13, 16

To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and is able to satisfy them fully. It means having someone who has made me secure in the knowledge that he has met and solved all the doubts, uncertainties, and problems in my mind. To have a master and teacher is this and nothing less— “…for One is your Teacher, the Christ…” (Matthew 23:8).

Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.

“You call Me Teacher and Lord…”— but is He? Teacher, Master, and Lord have little place in our vocabulary. We prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer. The only word that truly describes the experience of being mastered is love, and we know little about love as God reveals it in His Word. The way we use the word obey is proof of this. In the Bible, obedience is based on a relationship between equals; for example, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not simply God’s servant— He was His Son. “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience…” (Hebrews 5:8). If we are consciously aware that we are being mastered, that idea itself is proof that we have no master. If that is our attitude toward Jesus, we are far away from having the relationship He wants with us. He wants us in a relationship where He is so easily our Master and Teacher that we have no conscious awareness of it— a relationship where all we know is that we are His to obey.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1465 R


The Humble Love of Christ (John 13:1–17)

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Growing to Know

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

“You’re going to be an exchange student!” I was seventeen and thrilled to hear I was approved to study in Germany. But it was only three months before my departure, and I had never taken a class in German.

The days that followed found me cramming—studying for hours and even writing words on my hands to memorize them.

Months later I was in a classroom in Germany, discouraged because I didn’t know more of the language. That day a teacher gave me wise advice. “Learning a language is like climbing a sand dune. Sometimes you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But just keep going and you will.”

Sometimes I reflect on that insight when I consider what it means to grow as a follower of Jesus. The apostle Paul recalled, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” Even for Paul, personal peace didn’t happen overnight. It was something he grew into. Paul shares the secret of his progress: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12–13).

Life has its challenges. But as we turn to the One who has “overcome the world” (John 16:33), we discover not only that He’s faithful to get us through but also that nothing matters more than closeness to Him. He gives us His peace, helps us to trust, and empowers us to go the distance as we walk with Him.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

In what ways will you focus on Jesus today? How can you encourage others to draw near to Him?

Thank You for the peace You give me as I turn to You, Jesus. Help me to stay very close to You today!

Seeing Obstacles Through God’s Eyes

Joshua 2:1-24

Jericho was the first city the Israelites needed to conquer in their quest for the land of Canaan. When sending a pair of spies to check it out, Joshua probably didn’t realize that he would receive a glimpse of the Lord’s impressive behind-the-scenes activity.

We must remember to look at every obstacle through the lens of God’s unlimited strength and resources. Anything that appears to block His plans is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His sovereign power. Just because we don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean He’s inactive. God is at work on the other side of our obstacles, arranging the details and bringing His plans to fruition.

When the spies returned to Joshua, they reported that the people of Jericho were scared to death. Having heard about the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, they were gripped by fear of the Lord. The stage was set for the conquest, though by that point, Joshua hadn’t done a thing. Sometimes we think we need to be involved in the solution to our problem, but God is not limited with regard to whom or what He can use to accomplish His will. In this case, He worked in the hearts of the opposition by instilling demoralizing fear.

For the Christian, great obstacles need not be reasons for discouragement. Although much of the Lord’s activity is silent and invisible, we can be sure He is dynamically working out His will for our life. When the pieces of His plan are in place, He will move us on to victory.

Really Ready and Able

“That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17)

The word “perfect” in this verse is artios, and it is used only this one time in the Bible. Its basic meaning seems to be “fitted,” or “fresh.” Then, the words “thoroughly furnished” are one word, exartizo, in the original, which—interestingly enough—is essentially this same rare word (artios) with the prefix ex (meaning “out of”) added. It is only used one other time, where it is translated “accomplished” (Acts 21:5).

Putting these concepts together, Paul seems to be saying that the “man of God” is not necessarily a man who is sinlessly perfect but one who is both fresh (ready to meet present needs) and fully equipped (able to meet present needs).

And, of course, it is significant that this splendid testimony to what a man of God can be—and should be—follows immediately upon Paul’s grand testimony to the inspiration and power of the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures, first of all, “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Then, they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (v. 16).

“Doctrine,” more specifically, is teaching. “Reproof” is evidence or conviction. “Correction” is a word used only this one time, and it means setting straight. “Instruction” is chastening. Then, the end result of the perfect teachings, the convicting evidences, the correcting influences, and the chastening cleansing of the Holy Scriptures is to produce men and women of God who are both ready and able to meet the critical needs of the times in which they live.

By the same token, the large numbers of nominal Christians who do not diligently study, obey, and apply the Holy Scriptures in their lives are not either ready or able to face the awful challenges (vv. 1-14) of these last days. HMM

Unity Precedes Blessings

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

—Ephesians 4:2-3

Unity of mind on the part of the people of God precedes the blessing. I have often heard people pray, “Oh Lord, send the Holy Spirit that we may become a united people.” That is all right except it is precisely backward. The Holy Spirit comes because we are a united people; He does not come to make us a united people. Our prayer should be more like, “Lord, help us to get united in order that the blessing might flow and there might be an outpouring of oil and dew and life.”…

This teaches us that unity is necessary to the outpouring of the Spirit of God. If you have 120 volts of electricity coming into your house but you have broken wiring, you may turn the switch, but nothing works—no lights come on, the stove doesn’t warm, your radio doesn’t turn on. Why? Because you have broken wiring. The power is ready to do its work with all the appliances in your home, but where there is broken wiring, you have no power. Unity is necessary among the children of God if we are going to know the flow of power.   SAT086-087

Lord, help us to get united in order that the blessings might flow. Amen.

 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.—1 Peter 4:12,13.

 

Not more than I can bear I know

Thou, dearest Lord, wilt on me lay,

And I can learn of Thee to go

Unfearing on my way.

Harriet McEwen Kimball.

 

It is a tremendous moment when first one is called upon to join the great army of those who suffer. That vast world of love and pain opens suddenly to admit us one by one within its fortress. We are afraid to enter into the land, yet you will, I know, feel how high is the call. It is as a trumpet speaking to us, that cries aloud, “It is your turn—endure.” Play your part, As they endured before you, so now, close up the ranks—be patient and strong as they were, Since Christ, this world of pain is no accident untoward or sinister, but a lawful department of life, with experiences, interests, adventures, hopes, delights, secrets of its own. These are all thrown open to us as we pass within the gates—things that we could never learn or know or see, so long as we were well. God help you to walk through this world now opened to you, as through a kingdom, royal, and wide and glorious.

Henry Scott Holland.

 

Broad Rivers Without Galleys With Oars

“But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.” Isa. 33:21

The Lord will be to us the greatest good without any of the drawbacks which seem necessarily to attend the best earthly things. If a city is favored with broad rivers, it is liable to be attacked by galleys with oars, and other ships of war. But when the Lord represents the abundance of His bounty under this figure, He takes care expressly to shut out the fear which the metaphor might suggest. Blessed be His perfect love!

Lord, if thou send me wealth like broad rivers, do not let the galley with oars come up in the shape of worldliness or pride. If thou grant me abundant health and happy spirits, do not let “the gallant ship” of carnal ease come sailing up the flowing flood. If I have success in holy service, broad as the German Rhine, yet let me never find the galley of self-conceit and self-confidence floating on the waves of my usefulness. Should I be so supremely happy as to enjoy the light of thy countenance year after year, yet let me never despise thy feeble saints, nor allow the vain notion of my own perfection to sail up the broad rivers of my full assurance. Lord, give me that blessing which maketh rich, and neither addeth sorrow, nor addeth sin.

 

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