First off, let me apologize and explain my most recent absence from posting my thoughts. I’m highly involved in my high schools drama department and have been working on the play all week and the shows were this weekend which was in turn getting me home really late and falling asleep while doing my homework.
I have kept up in the scripture but let Chambers in the dust by not reading the devotional. I caught up on that this evening and am going to be back to posting nightly.
Chambers always hits me hard with what he has to say. In today’s devotional he writes, “A servant of Christ is on who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the Gospel of God.”
A million things pop into my head when i mediate on this statement. It makes me think of a lot of things and conversations I had. One in particular that was recent was with my girlfriend. She, who is raised Catholic, asked me about Heaven and how she is to get there. I asked her about her thoughts and after giving me the answer that I expected, I told her that all it took was faith that Christ died for her and God poured out all His wrath on Jesus when He was hanging on the cross. I proceeded to tell her that when Christ said, “It is finished” He meant it. All sins, past, present, and future, were wiped clean. Forgiveness was available to all who were willing to accept it. That’s when you are truly a Christian.
When she asked me if that was really all it took and if it was really that simple I told her, “Sort of.” I told her you have made your way onto the train to Heaven at that point, but being a Christian means there is follow up to that belief. You do your best to live and love like Christ does and that you must love God more than myself. I lastly told her that it also meant that you were willing to die for that belief. You must be willing to carry your cross, a device or torture, humiliation, and death, and if bad goes worse, die because you are a Christian and want to spread the Gospel.
She was speechless. But she said she wants to do that.
I think I’ve posted before that if the situation came, I’m not sure if I would be willing to die for Christ. It’s something that I can’t answer until I’m at that situation. But I like to believe that I would die for Him, like He died for me.
This evening, my thoughts are on Kiev and the rest of Ukraine.
Is it wrong to support the protesters/revolutionaries who have needed to result to violence to earn what they think is better for their country? Christianity is about peace, but I find myself supporting them even if they do result to violent acts.
The anarchist in me enjoys seeing news about my generation rising up against a corrupt government to fix a problem. “V for Vendetta” isn’t one of my favorite movies for no reason. The line from the man himself, V, holds true in my heart. “The people shouldn’t fear their government. The government should fear their people.”
It makes me think if something like this happened in the U.S.A. A lot of people even our own government support these rebel causes that go out against their government. But when you stop and think about it, you know that our own government would forcefully thwart any uprising. And I specifically think that is because out people do fear their government.
"My Utmost, for His Highest." In a more simple vernacular, "Giving my all, so that He is first." A theme that continues in this devotional aptly named "My Utmost, for His Highest." I realize that’s what the entire devotional is about, but something about today’s entry really clicked.
You can’t truly follow Christ, unless you are 100 percent ready to give up everything. A House, Car, Food, Clothes, Family, and even relationships. I don’t think God will ever really tell you to give up all these luxuries, but you should be expected to give them up lest they be torn from your grasp. They aren’t as important as God. Solomon did say once (or quite a few times) that everything under the sun is vanity.
First off, I must apologize for my absence of journals the past few days. The things I wanted to write about were a little to personal for a public display.
“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” -Isaiah 45:22
Although I’m a strongly anti-Prosperity Gospel and highly caution against it, this is just another example of the good that God DOES promise us. He says in your time of distress, if you even just look to Him, He will surely see and save you from your troubles. This doesn’t necessarily mean that He will give you an abundance of money when you toil in poverty, but He will bring you out of that poverty if you look to Him with faith.
It always seems to be the nights I spend with my girlfriend that in the scripture that I read or in Chamber’s devotional that I’m told not to put things before God. I admit, I text her a little bit in Church when my pastor loses me on one of his anecdotes, but I’m trying as hard as I can.
Excuse my absence of a post yesterday. I didn’t understand anything that Chambers was saying. I have also come across it today.
My prayer is that God teaches me to understand.
Baptism. What is it? From my point of view, and from what Chambers said, it is a “white funeral”. It is you dying with Christ but being raised again in His resurrection.
Today’s devotional sparked a lot of thoughts in my head. The line towards the end of the last paragraph that says, “Do you agree with Him that this is your last day on Earth?” unraveled my mind a little bit. Although not your literal last day on Earth, it did make me think about something related to it. Do I agree that I am ready for my last day on Earth because of Christ? Do I really love Him and am prepared to die for His name? I would like to believe that I am, but dwelling upon the thought, I don’t think that is something I can actually answer until I’m on the spot.
The other thing that got me to think was that Baptism IS dying. As a truth, why then do some denominations Baptize babies? An infant can’t understand this concept, and how then can we let them (specifically Catholics for my example) live without that knowledge and then only when they are about 14 years old can the officially accept that belief when they are confirmed?
What are your thoughts on infant Baptism?
God doesn’t call specifically to people for His mission! He made the call out into the air and it’s up to us to be able to hear it and say, “Here am I, send me.”
One of the things that Chambers made me think of form today’s entry from “My Utmost for His Highest” is that Jesus can make you, and He can also bring you to your knees when you least expect it. Christ reveals himself through the creation and destruction of friendships and can work through you in a way you can least expect it.
2013 was a really crazy year for me. I gained great relationships with four other guys that I meet with every Monday this past year. Christ revealed so much to be through our weekly Bible study about each of them and the lives that they live and just how manly and Christ like they are with their significant others. It made really want to strive to be like them in their relationships with girls and being single all year and alone really helped me grow and realize the man of God I have become. He then revealed himself to me further as I started talking to my current girlfriend. She told me so much about how close to God I was and that I was such a man of God that she enjoyed being around. I never really realized it until she told me these things. Christ revealed Himself to be through her and I really learned how to forgive and forget past mistakes.
I’ve also repaired a relationship through my girlfriend already. She never had the best relationship with her mother, but since we started being together, she and her mother has grown closer. It’s amazing to think that Christ was working through me to repair the bond of a mother and daughter.
While reading scripture today, I came across Genesis 28:16 and it says, “And he (Jacob) was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.’”
This place that God has put me in in my life is truly awesome. I’m excited to see where he leads me throughout the rest of the year.
It doesn’t really come from Chambers today, but honor your father and mother. You truly will live longer and have a happy life.
Today’s entry from Chambers was one I’m a champion for, but as of recent have a hard time wanting to hear it. He talks about that us following Christ cost OTHER people.
This is tough on my ears because of my new relationship that I have with my girlfriend. I’d hate to see my relationship with Christ cost her something, but I know that that is what it comes to. Christ said we would be hated because of His Name and persecuted for it.
I really don’t know where I was going with that…but not only does it cost us, it costs others that we interact with.
I just find it interesting that the day that I don’t understand a lick of anything that Chambers wrote even though I read it multiple times, the opening first just happens to be from Acts 26:18 and says, “To open their eyes……..that the may receive.”
God’s surprises never cease to amaze me.
"[The] Cleansing from sin is to the very heights and depths of our spirit if we will keep in the light as God is in the light and the very spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirits." -Oswald Chambers
This couldn’t be worded any better for the believer (new or old) who is distraught about all the sin in their life. For example, I recently gave my girlfriend as crash course in God forgiveness through Christ. The other night she opened up to me about all the mistakes that she has made in previous relationships and the sin she committed. She was in tears because she felt like she wasn’t “good enough” or “pure” for me. I really wish I would have had the words of Chambers that night, but I simply told her that it was fine. God doesn’t dwell on our past. When Christ was hanging on the cross and said, “It is finished”, the meant it. At the moment, all sins, past, present, and future were forgiven.
I told he about Hebrews 10:10 and that it says, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (ESV) She was no longer considered a sinner when she put her faith in Christ. At that moment, she became a holy and purified soul and she was now a saint. She didn’t have dwell on her past
We can’t fathom just how deep the forgiveness of our sins goes. And don’t forget that last bit of what Chambers said. “… if we will keep in the light as God is in the light and the very spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirits.”
It’s just like the scripture says. If we abide in Christ, He will abide in us. Can you just imagine the having the same spirit that fed Christ feed you? Think of what that would be like!
Sacrifice is tough. But, it’s a test that God puts us through. He tests our strengths and our faith in Him when it comes down to sacrificing things to be with Him. The thing about it though, God is never going to ask you to sacrifice everything. And things He does tell you to sacrifice will be Him proving what you do and do not need and will certainly glorify Him.
The only thing I’ve learned today is what my girlfriend taught me to do. Love. Forgive. Continue Loving.