Oswald Chambers

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What Is the Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount?

Posted by on 04 Feb 2017 | Tagged as: F.B. Meyer, Jesus Christ, Oswald Chambers, Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:3 ESV

What is the Sermon the Mount really about? Is the Sermon a new set of commandments for Christians? Or just a re-interpretation of the Ten Commandments? Or as some say, a Divine directive for U. S. government policy? Or, nice teaching from the Great Teacher?

In reality, the Sermon on the Mount is about the interior life of the Christian. The Sermon on the Mount is what our lives will look like when the Holy Spirit is having his way in us.

Beware of placing our Lord as Teacher first instead of Saviour. That tendency is prevalent to-day, and it is a dangerous tendency. We must know Him first as Saviour before His teaching can have any meaning for us, or before it can have any meaning other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. Fancy coming to men and women with defective lives and defiled hearts and wrong mainsprings, and telling them to be pure in heart! What is the use of giving us an ideal we cannot possibly attain? We are happier without it.

If Jesus is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalise us by erecting a standard we cannot come anywhere near. But if by being “born again from above” we know Him first as Saviour, we know that He did not come to teach us only: He came to make us what He teaches we should be. The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His way with us (emphasis mine).

Oswald Chambers, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Hants, UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1960).

Listen to Him; learn of Him; be like Him; receive Him into thine heart; let Him be revealed within thee, so shalt thou also be conformed to these qualities, and participate in this bliss.

F. B. Meyer, Blessed Are Ye: Talks on the Beatitudes

The Grip of Fear

Posted by on 22 Aug 2012 | Tagged as: Faith, Oswald Chambers

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

Fear is overwhelming anxiety and worry which immobilizes our spirits into believing that our circumstances are bigger than God’s provision.  The sin of fear fails to trust God: fear declares that God is not adequate to met our daily needs. Fear causes us to freeze in our tracks preventing us from going on with God. The resurrected Jesus can and will overcome our greatest difficulties. He is greater than our fears.

Fearful feelings is not the same thing as the sin of unbelief. One may feel extremely afraid, yet choose to stand on God’s promises. Rather than sink into the pit of despair, we can reach out in faith believing that God will be faithful.  Focusing on the power of the resurrected Christ gives us the confidence and certainty that the things we dread are not bigger than God’s almighty strength and faithful promises.

Fear resides in the heart. Take it physically, if you take a deep breath, you cause your heart to pump the blood faster through your veins, and physical fear goes; and it is the same with the spirit. God expels the old fear by putting in a new Spirit and a new concern. What is that concern? The fear lest we grieve Him.

Oswald Chambers, Biblical Psychology: A Treasure Chest for Christian Counselors (London: Simpkin Marshall, 1996).

The Peace of Christ

Posted by on 21 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: Oswald Chambers

 

 

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 NLT

The Peace of Christ is a rest and repose of the heart that knocks out all disturbing and disruptive forces which would steal our fulfillment in Christ. Peace is an deep, inner sense of contentment supplied by God that transcends our everyday troubles.

Christ’s peace pervades our beings when we hold steady trusting the faithfulness of our heavenly Father. Peace is the fruit of faith: the serenity of heart that comes in trusting God irrespective of struggles and temptations of this life. The world, the flesh, and devil are our soul’s enemies trying to steal our contentment in Christ, but Christ is greater.

We can receive Christ’s peace for he is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6) into the deepest recesses of our spirits. We have peace with God through faith in his shed blood (Rom. 5:1), which establishes peace with others (Eph. 2:14), while freeing us to trust his peace (Isa. 26:3), and as a result, we can now walk in peace in the midst of our greatest needs (Phil. 4:7).

In all the rush of life, in working for our living, in all conditions of bodily life, wherever God engineers our circumstances—“My peace”; the imperturbable, inviolable peace of Jesus imparted to us in every detail of our lives. “Your life is hid with Christ in God.” Have we allowed the wonder of it to enwrap us round and soak us through until we begin to realise the ample room there is to grow there? “The secret place of the Most High,” absolutely secure and safe.

Oswald Chambers, Our Brilliant Heritage (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1965).

 

 

A Prayer for Pentecost Sunday

Posted by on 24 May 2012 | Tagged as: Holy Spirit, Oswald Chambers

 

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20:22 ESV

O’ Heavenly Father, the Triune God of grace, be pleased to visit us this day with the personal presence and power of your Holy Spirit. Renew the day of Pentecost in our midst, may there come a powerful downfall of holy fire and a wonderful uprising of heavenly wind.

Wash away the impurity of our sins that we might worship your Holy Name in sincerity and truth. Let the oil of your presence bathe our wounds with love that we may be healed of our inward waywardness. Come and set us free from besetting sins that we might serve you in purity and holiness. Fill us afresh that our hearts might burn with the living flame of love.

Let your family likeness be found in us, O’ Lord. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The business of faith is to convert Truth into reality. What do you really believe? take time and catalogue it up; are you converting your belief into reality? You say, “I believe God has sanctified me”—does your actual life prove He has? “I believe God has baptised me with the Holy Ghost”—why? Because you had cold shivers and visions and marvellous times of prayer? The proof that we are baptised with the Holy Ghost is that we bear a strong family likeness to Jesus, and men take knowledge of us, as they did of the disciples after Pentecost, that we have been with Jesus, they recognise the family likeness at once.

Oswald Chambers, Conformed to His Image (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996).

 

 

Wholehearted Devotion

Posted by on 04 May 2012 | Tagged as: Holy Spirit, Oswald Chambers, Surrender

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.

Col. 3:16 NLT

Wholehearted devotion toward the Lord Jesus Christ is to be filled with intense passionate love for our precious Savior. This Spirit-empowered dedication involves a love that cannot be explained, a passion that cannot be squelched, and a service that will not cease. To be wholehearted is to desire God’s heart, be fervent for God’s will, and be possessed by God’s Spirit. Wholeheartedness is the mind, will, and emotions on fire for the living God. In turn, our motivation is to please Christ, our ambition is to serve him, and our commitment is to love him.

Our natural heart does not love God; the Holy Ghost is the only Lover of God, and immediately He comes in, He will make our hearts the centre of love for God, the centre of personal, passionate, overwhelming devotion to Jesus Christ. (God and Jesus Christ are synonymous terms in practical experience.) When the Holy Spirit comes in and sin and self-interest are in the road, He will instantly detect them and clear them out as soon as we give our consent, until we become incandescent with the very love of God.

Oswald Chambers, Biblical Psychology: A Treasure Chest for Christian Counselors (London: Marshall, 1996), 189.

A Life Shot Through with the Holy Spirit

Posted by on 25 Apr 2012 | Tagged as: Holy Spirit, Oswald Chambers

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:4

The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life: fully God working in the world bestowing life, empowering for service, purifying hearts, providing God’s presence, and guiding God’s people. Personally, the Holy Spirit does in us what Christ did for us on the cross. The Spirit makes Christ known by allowing Christ’s life to flow in and through us. We no longer have to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” for all believers can know will of God by the personal presence, purity, and power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has been given; Jesus has been glorified; the waiting depends upon our fitness, not upon God’s providence. The reception of the Holy Ghost depends entirely upon moral preparation. I must abide in the light which the Holy Ghost sheds and be obedient to the word of God; then when the power of God comes upon such obedience there will be the manifestation of a strong family likeness to Jesus.

It is easier to be swayed by emotions than to live a life shot through with the Holy Spirit, a life in which Jesus is glorified. The Holy Spirit is absolutely honest, He indicates the things that are right and the things that are wrong.

Oswald Chambers, The Love of God (Hants UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996) [paragraphing mine].

The Great Act of God

Posted by on 18 Dec 2011 | Tagged as: Christmas, Oswald Chambers

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 ESV

Incarnation means enfleshment: Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. The great act of God: the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, took upon himself our human nature. Incarnation means that God is with us, near us, transforming us. The incarnation means that God cared and came among us to deliver us from ourselves.

Jesus Christ is God-Man. God in Essence cannot come anywhere near us. Almighty God does not matter to me, He is in the clouds. To be of any use to me, He must come down to the domain in which I live; and I do not live in the clouds but on the earth. The doctrine of the Incarnation is that God did come down into our domain.

The Wisdom of God, the Word of God, the exact expression of God, was manifest in the flesh. That is the great doctrine of the New Testament—dust and Deity made one. The pure gold of Deity is of no use to us unless it is amalgamated in the right alloy, viz. the pure Divine working on the basis of the pure human: God and humanity one, as in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Oswald Chambers, Shade of His Hand: Talks on the Book of Ecclesiastes (Hants UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1936).

Walking in the Spirit

Posted by on 01 Nov 2011 | Tagged as: Holy Spirit, Oswald Chambers

 

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Gal. 5:25 ESV

“To keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25 NIV) means being so satisfied in God’s great grace and unfathomable love that we are freed from the idols of self. Walking in the Spirit is preferring God’s will over and against the fleeting, false promises of this life. Eternity is valued higher than the passing pleasures of this life as we are led by the Spirit.

According to the Apostle Paul, walking in the Spirit is to led by the Spirit which is an attitude of yielding to where he is going, listening to the his direction, discerning his will, and obeying his guidance.

When we walk in the Spirit . . .

The Holy Spirit changes our motivation: we yearn for holiness instead of demanding our wants and desires to be met now and always.

The Holy Spirit frees our hearts from the fear of retribution for our sins.  In its place, the Spirit gives us hearts that yearn to please our heavenly Father.

The Holy Spirit renews our hearts to prefer and refer everything in our lives to the power of God and his holiness.

The Holy Spirit leads our hearts to obey him. We recognize his Lordship and submit all our hopes, dreams, and desires to his will.

The Holy Spirit empowers our wills to defeat the flesh. The Spirit enables us to say, “yes,” to righteousness and, “no,” to ungodliness.

The great thing that the Holy Spirit reveals is that the supernatural power of God is ours through Jesus Christ, and if we will receive the Holy Spirit He will teach us how to think as well as how to live. Always refer back to the receiving of the Holy Spirit, we receive Him to do His work in us. Just as Jesus glorified God, so the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus; He makes us written epistles not only in living, but in thinking.

Oswald Chambers, Biblical Ethics (Hants, UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996), 97.

A Strong Calm Sanity

Posted by on 24 Oct 2011 | Tagged as: Abiding in Christ, Oswald Chambers

You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Luke 7:45-46 ESV

To be intimate with Jesus is to never abandon him for another love, but to abide in an on-going, loving, conscious union with our living resurrected Lord.

When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic. The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature has been satisfied by Him. The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for Highest (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992), January 7.

The Wilderness of God

Posted by on 19 Aug 2011 | Tagged as: Oswald Chambers, Trials

The Trial of Faith

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes.

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 30:20-21 NLT

The wilderness, or desert, is the lonely place where we think that God is rejecting us. This wilderness of soul is where the silence of God allows our demons of fear, worry, anxiety, anger, and self-rejection to be exposed. The wilderness is a trial of faith where God uses the stress in our lives to drive us to him for comfort, love, healing, forgiveness, and discipline.

The wilderness is the ordained place of training for the man or woman of God who desires to be used by God as a discipler of other Christians. A clear pattern emerges from scripture, God sovereignly uses the desert places to develop Christ-like character in the lives of his leaders: Joseph in prison, Moses in the Sinai, David with the sheep, and Paul in the Arabian desert, etc.

In the modern world, our desert is the jungle called day-to-day living in a stress-filled and an anxiety-ridden world: the pressures of work, school, family and finance are the tools God uses to teach us to trust him. In the desert, God seems far away, yet he is as near as the air that we breathe. Initially, the desert is a place of dread, but in the passing of time, it becomes a place remembrance of God’s grace and goodness.

Faith must be tried, and it is the trial of faith that is precious. If you are faint-hearted, it is a sign you won’t play the game, you are fit for neither God nor man because you will face nothing.

Oswald Chambers, Not Knowing Where [electronic ed.] (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1996), 36.

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