Month: November 2015

“Do You Now Believe?”

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

’By this we believe . . . .’ Jesus answered them, ’Do you now believe?’ —John 16:30-31

Now we believe. . . .” But Jesus asks, “Do you . . . ? Indeed the hour is coming . . . that you . . . will leave Me alone” (John 16:31-32). Many Christian workers have left Jesus Christ alone and yet tried to serve Him out of a sense of duty, or because they sense a need as a result of their own discernment. The reason for this is actually the absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. Our soul has gotten out of intimate contact with God by leaning on our own religious understanding (see Proverbs 3:5-6). This is not deliberate sin and there is no punishment attached to it. But once a person realizes how he has hindered his understanding of Jesus Christ, and caused uncertainties, sorrows, and difficulties for himself, it is with shame and remorse that he has to return.

We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus on a much deeper level than we do now. We should get in the habit of continually seeking His counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense decisions and then asking Him to bless them. He cannot bless them; it is not in His realm to do so, and those decisions are severed from reality. If we do something simply out of a sense of duty, we are trying to live up to a standard that competes with Jesus Christ. We become a prideful, arrogant person, thinking we know what to do in every situation. We have put our sense of duty on the throne of our life, instead of enthroning the resurrection life of Jesus. We are not told to “walk in the light” of our conscience or in the light of a sense of duty, but to “walk in the light as He is in the light. . .” (1 John 1:7). When we do something out of a sense of duty, it is easy to explain the reasons for our actions to others. But when we do something out of obedience to the Lord, there can be no other explanation-just obedience. That is why a saint can be so easily ridiculed and misunderstood.

by Oswald Chambers

How Will You Focus Today?

George Whittenby George Whitten

Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

In the 1970s when the Alaskan Pipeline was being constructed many Texans went to Alaska to work on the pipeline alongside the Eskimos, native Alaskans. However the Texans could only work a few hours in the frigid weather, while the Eskimos could easily work for hours on end.

Some scientists decided to do a study to find out why the Eskimos could withstand the weather, while the Texans flagged. The study concluded there were no physiological differences between the Eskimos and the Texans. Then the scientists conducted a psychological study and discovered the difference. The Eskimos experienced the cold, but clearly understood that a job needed to be done. With that mindset, they focused intently on obtaining results rather than how the weather was affecting them. The Texans, on the other hand, were so focused on the cold weather it became their overriding experience of the situation, monopolizing their attention and energy and crippling their capacity to work.

When the Apostle Paul penned these words in Philippians 4:8, exhorting us to meditate on those things which are good etc. — he was in prison. Yet he clearly had been training himself not to focus on his external circumstances, but on everything good, noble and praiseworthy, and especially the Lord Himself! Paul was no stranger to discomfort or the temptation it brings. But he’d learned well that his inward attitude toward difficult external circumstances could dramatically affect the way he experienced them and also his capacity to function in spite of them.

Focus on how bad things are – the trials, temptations, the circumstances that surround you – and you will be crippled by the amount of attention you give to them. Focus on the Lord, His Word, His promises, His deliverance, and everything good He is, has done, and will do, and you will work like an Eskimo in frigid air.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten