Category: Surrender

The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

Where then do You get that living water? —John 4:11

“The well is deep” — and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! (John 4:11). Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life? Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct. Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature— He brings them down from above. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering only what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and also by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” The thing that approaches the very limits of His power is the very thing we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. The impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God.

The reason some of us are such poor examples of Christianity is that we have failed to recognize that Christ is almighty. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment or surrender to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying, “Of course, He can’t do anything about this.” We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him.

by Oswald Chambers

Are You Truly Saved?

by Marianne Bernard

In Christ alone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

We are told in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that we must, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless of course, you fail the test?”

Being saved is not a matter of repeating a prayer and claiming salvation. True salvation is a radical heart change. In Ezekiel 11: 19 God tells us that when we are saved, “I will give them an undivided heart and will put a new spirit in them: I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” It is a process of learning to follow in those ways because our flesh is constantly battling with our spirit, but it is the power to overcome our sinful nature and to choose to do right. When you are truly saved, you have been set free from the prison of sin. The bible tells us in 2 Corinthian 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” As a new creation, you are in Christ and his power is moving in your to do good and to choose righteousness. You have a new relationship with sin. You now see it as a detriment to your relationship with Christ. You seek after the light instead of following in the ways of darkness.

Jesus told us in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Only a few find it! Why is that? The reason is that many people want to get to heaven their own way. They feel that if they are “good” most of the time that they are saved. Others believe that they can continue to sin as they did before and that God will just understand that they are only “human”. Those people are wrong! It doesn’t matter your weakness or how good you think you are; the only thing that matters is have you made Christ your Lord and Savior? Have you surrendered your life to him? No other way will save you. You can’t be half saved. You cannot live with one foot on earth and one in heaven. You must give it all to live in Christ. Even when you fall into sin, a truly saved person will repent and turn from that sin and let God’s power lift them up. When you are saved, the love of Christ compels you to love others and to do what is right. In 2 Peter 2:19-21, we are told that “…for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” Finally, we are told in 1 John 3:6 that “No one who lives in him (Christ) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” And in verse 9-10 of I John it continues, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God. This is how we know that we are children of God and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

We all have sinned against God and are deserving of hell. Jesus came to give us life and to set us free from our bondage to sin. For that reason, those who follow Christ have been made new. They have been given a future with hope. Their sins have been washed by the blood of Christ and God will remember them no more.

Is Christ living in you? Have you surrendered to him and made his Lord and Savior of your life? In Psalm 139, David prays, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts.” Examine yourself! Ask God to search your heart and to lead you to him. That is a prayer He always answers.

by Marianne Bernard