“THE WARNING AGAINST DESIRING SPIRITUAL SUCCESS”

As many of you know I am a huge fan of the writings of Oswald Chambers. From time to time there is a daily reading that really resonates with me and I just have to share. If you serve in ministry I beg of you to take heart his words, as you have been placed in a position which effects so many lives. May our uttmost desire be to be more like Jesus and to please solely Him. 

“Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you . . . .

LUKE 10:20

    Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view—we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God“ One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God, we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and those lives will be God’s testimony to us as His workers. God brings us up to a standard of life through His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that same standard in others.

    Unless the worker lives a life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others, instead of an active, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups. But Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an “if,” never with the forceful or dogmatic statement—“You must.” Discipleship carries with it an option.”
Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” (April 24) Discovery House Publishers.

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My Friendly Reminder

  

The first time I saw him, he was sitting stately at our veterinarian’s office. He looked so regal that I didn’t notice his missing leg. When the vet brought it to my attention that he was an amputee, I actually had to count his legs to discover which one was missing. 

I knew immediately there was a girl who would love him. And when I told Genesis about him, she couldn’t wait to meet this unique dog. In fact she begged her daddy for days to take her to the veterinarian’s office to meet him. After a week passed my husband stopped one morning as he was walking out the door. He turned around and asked, “How much trouble am I going to be in if I bring home a three-legged dog?” With that one question this gentle giant became part of our family. 

Each day when I look at him I smile. I do not see a three-legged dog, instead I see his grand personality coupled with the gratitude and compassion in his eyes.

The book of James talks about judging between rich and poor and how we should not show partiality between the two. It doesn’t matter if a person is a begger or a rich man we should treat both with the same respect. This sweet dog reminds me daily how often we judge people by their outward appearance and how necessary it is to form opinions about others based, not on their looks, but rather their character. 

This concept is much easier said than done. Just the other day I had an opportunity to put this into practice. Our family had gone with some friends to get ice cream. When we came outside there were two small benches; one empty and the other occupied by a shabby looking man. All the girls piled on top of one another on the empty bench and as I stood the man on the second bench scooted over and motioned for me to sit down. After I sat, I found myself with a lack of words. I wasn’t sure what to say to this man. And I wondered….. “if” he had been clean cut and looked more “normal” would I have been able to talk with him more freely. At that moment I knew the sad truth….. I am still learning not to judge people based on their outward appearance! I guess this is a lesson I really need to learn because God in His providential plan has brought a friendly three-legged reminder into my life to teach me.