Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Guest blogger:
Oswald Chambers

So God has been all over me about the issues of obedience, holiness, doing the "difficult thing" once again when I can't see it's current worth, yada yada yada. And as happens so many times I opened my My Utmost for His Highest devotional yesterday and it sent a zinger through my heart. Oswald will break it down for you, I'm tellin' you. That guy reads my mail time and again. I rarely print somebody else's entire devo for somebody else to read, but you just have to see yesterday's entry...

All Efforts of Worth and Excellence are Difficult

by Oswald Chambers

If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but it difficulty does not make us faint and cave in—it stirs us up to overcome. Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His highest—our best for His glory?

God saves people by His sovereign grace through the atonement of Jesus, and "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" ( Philippians 2:13 ). But we have to "work out" that salvation in our everyday, practical living (Philippians 2:12). If we will only start on the basis of His redemption to do what He commands, then we will find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not yet put into practice what God has placed within us. But a crisis will reveal whether or not we have been putting it into practice. If we will obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has placed within us by His Spirit, then when a crisis does come we will find that our own nature, as well as the grace of God, will stand by us.

Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is "bringing many sons to glory" (Hebrews 2:10 , and God will not shield us from the requirements of sonship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life. And it is always necessary for us to make an effort to live a life of worth and excellence.

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