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My Utmost for His Highest: Devotionals by Oswald Chambers

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by Ajax 777, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Uncritical Temper
    June 17






































    "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
    Matthew 7:1


    Jesus says regarding judging - Don't. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person's place.

    There's no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
     
  2. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Don't Think Now, Take the Road
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    "And Peter...
    walked on the water to go to Jesus.
    But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid."
    Matthew 14:29-30


    The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.

    We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognize Jesus, and the rebuke comes: "Wherefore didst thou doubt?" Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.

    If you debate for a second when God has spoken, it is all up. Never begin to say - "Well, I wonder if He did speak?" Be reckless immediately, fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization comes in the faintest way imaginable, recklessly abandon. It is only by abandon that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.
     
  3. REPHAIAHPEDAHEL

    REPHAIAHPEDAHEL Newbie

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    Please describe Oswald Chambers in one sentence.
     
  4. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Service of Passionate Devotion
    June 19








































    "Lovest thou Me?...Feed my sheep."
    John 21:16


    Jesus did not say - Make converts to your way of thinking, but look after My sheep, see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Me. We count as a service what we do in the way of Christian work; Jesus Christ calls service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on adherence to a belief or a creed. "If any man come to Me and hate not..., he cannot be My disciple." There is not argument and no compulsion, but simply - If you would be My disciple, you must be devoted to Me. A man touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says - "Now I see Who Jesus is," and that is the source of devotion.

    Today we have substituted credal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many are devoted to causes and so few devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not want to be deovted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is a source of deep offense to the educated mind of today that does not want Him in any other way than as a Comrade. Our Lord's first obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter; but if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a doormat. The secret of a disciple's life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of the life is its unobtrusiveness. It is like a corn of wheat, which falls into the ground and dies, but presently it will spring up and alter the whole landscape (John 12:24).
     
  5. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Have You Come to "When" Yet?
    June 20









































    "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
    when he prayed for his friends."
    Job 42:10


    The plaintive, morbid, self-centered kind of prayer, a dead-set that I want to be right, is never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is a sign that I am rebelling against the Atonement. "Lord, I will purify my heart if You will answer my prayer; I will walk rightly if You help me." I cannot make myself right with God, I cannot make my life perfect; I can only be right with God if I accept the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it? I have to resign every kind of claim and cease from every effort, and leave myself entirely alone in His hands, and then begin to pour out in the priestly work of intercession. There is much prayer that arises from real disbelief in the Atonement. Jesus is not beginning to save us, He has saved us, the thing is done, and it is an insult to ask Him to do it.

    If you are not getting the hundredfold more, not getting insight into God's word, then start praying for your friends, enter into the ministry of the interior. "The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends." The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer. Whenever God puts you in circumstances, pray immediately, pray that His Atonement may be realized in other lives as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now; pray for those with whom you come in contact now.
     
  6. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Ministry of the Interior
    June 21










































    "But ye are...a royal priesthood."
    1 Peter 2:9


    By what right do we become "a royal priesthood"? By the right of the Atonement. Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centered, morbid type of Christianity, not the robust, simple life of the child of God. Until we get into a right relationship with God, it is a case of hanging on by the skin of our teeth, and we say - What a wonderful victory I have got! There is nothing indicative of the miracle of Redemption in that. Launch out in reckless belief that the Redemption is complete, and then bother no more about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ said - pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints, pray for all men. Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Christ Jesus, not on this plea - "O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me."

    How long is it going to take God to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves? We must get sick unto death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves. There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus. When we are there, then we have to pour out for all we are worth in this ministry of the interior.
     
  7. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Undeviating Test
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    "For with what judgment ye judge,
    ye shall be judged;
    and with what measure ye mete,
    it shall be measured to you again."
    Matthew 7:2


    This statement is not a haphazard guess, it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give, it is measured to you again. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus says that the basis of life is retribution - "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." If you have been shrewd in finding out the defects in others, remember that it will be exactly the measure given to you. Life serves back in the coin you pay. This law works from God's throne downwards (cf. Psalm 18:25-26).

    Romans 2 applies it in a still more definite way, and says that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act, He looks at the possibility. We do not believe the statements of the Bible to begin with. For instance, do we believe this statement, that the things we criticize in others we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The great characteristic of a saint is humility - Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge.

    Jesus says - "Judge not, that ye be not judged"; if you do judge, it will be measured to you exactly as you have judged. Who of us would dare to stand before God and say - "My God, judge me as I have judged my fellow men?" We have judged our fellow men as sinners; if God should judge us like that we would be in Hell. God judges us through the marvelous Atonement of Jesus Christ.
     
  8. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Acquaintance with Grief
    June 23












































    "A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."
    Isaiah 53:3


    We are not acquainted with grief in the way in which Our Lord was acquainted with it; we endure it, we get through it, but we do not become intimate with it. At the beginning of life we do not reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin. We take a rational view of life and say that a man by controlling his instincts, and by educating himself, can produce a life which will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we go on, we find the presence of something which we have not taken into consideration, viz., sin, and it upsets all our calculations. Sin has made the basis of things wild and not rational.

    We have to recognize that sin is a fact, not a defect; sin is red-handed mutiny against God. Either God or sin must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue. If sin rules in me, God's life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is no possible ultimate but that. The climax of sin is that it crucified Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will be true in your history and in mine. In our mental outlook we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin as the only explanation as to why Jesus Christ came, and as the explanation of the grief and sorrow in life.
     
  9. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Reconciling One's Self
    to the Fact of Sin
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    "This is your hour; and the power of darkness."
    Luke 22:53


    It is not being reconciled to the fact of sin that produces all the disasters in life. You may talk about the nobility of human nature, but there is something in human nature which will laugh in the face of every ideal you have. If you refuse to agree with the fact that there is vice and self-seeking, something downright wrong and spiteful in human beings, instead of reconciling yourself to it, when it strikes your life, you will compromise with it and say it is of no use to battle against it. Have you made allowance for this hour and the power of darkness, or do you take a recognition of yourself that misses out sin? In your bodily relationships and friendships do you reconcile yourself to the fact of sin? If not, you will be caught 'round the next corner and you will compromise with it. If you reconcile yourself to the fact of sin, you will realize the danger at once - Yes, I see what that would mean. The recognition of sin does not destroy the basis of friendship; it establishes a mutual regard for the fact that the basis of life is tragic. Always beware of an estimate of life which does not recognize the fact that there is sin.

    Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical, because He trusted absolutely in what He could do for human nature. The pure man or woman, not the innocent, is the safeguarded man or woman. You are never safe with an innocent man or woman. Men and women have no business to be innocent; God demands that they be pure and virtuous. Innocence is the characteristic of a child; it is a blameworthy thing for a man or woman not to be reconciled to the fact of sin.
     
  10. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Receiving One's Self
    in the Fires of Sorrow
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    "What shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour?
    But for this cause came I unto this hour.
    Father, glorify Thy name."
    John 12:27-28 (RV)


    My attitude as a saint to sorrow and diffculty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself in the fire of sorrow, He was not saved from the hour, but out of the hour.

    We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to receive ourselves in its fires. If we try and evade sorrow, refuse to lay our account with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life; it is no use saying sorrow ought not to be. Sin and suffering and sorrow are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

    Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness, but it does not always make a man better. Suffering either gives me my self or it destroys my self. You cannot receive yourself in success, you lose your head; you cannot receive yourself in monotony, you grouse. The way to find your self is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You always know the man who has been through the fries of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.
     
  11. mourningdove~

    mourningdove~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart"

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    Oswald Chambers wrote with such wisdom.
    I've needed to come back several times now to re-read today's devotional ... it's amazingly rich with truth.
     
  12. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    I'm glad it's helpful to you. :) Daily devotionals are a great way
    to begin and end each day with lovely and pure thoughts, and
    to fill the time between with sound things to meditate upon.
    It's why I share them.
     
  13. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Always Now
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    "We...beseech you that ye receive not
    the grace of God in vain."
    2 Corinthians 6:1


    The grace you had yesterday will not do for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon. "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses" - that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are you saying - Oh, well, I won't count this time? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don't say - I will endure this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God's grace.

    "In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors" - in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now. Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

    "Having nothing...." Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.
     
  14. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Overshadowing Personal Deliverance
    June 27















































    "I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord."
    Jeremiah 1:8


    God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally - "Thy life will I give unto thee for a prey." That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are a matter of indifference, we have to sit loosely to all those things; if we do not, there will be panic and heartbreak and distress. That is the inwardness of the overshadowing of personal deliverance.

    The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on Jesus Christ's errands, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, Do not be bothered with whether you are being justly dealt with or not. To look for justice is a sign of deflection from devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will begin to grouse and to indulge in the discontent of self-pity - Why should I be treated like this? If we are devoted to Jesus Christ we have nothing to do with what we meet, whether it is just or unjust. Jesus says - Go steadily on with what I have told you to do and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance. The most devout among us become atheistic in this connection; we do not believe God, we enthrone common sense and tack the name of God on to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts.
     
  15. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Apprehended by God
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    "If that I may apprehend that
    for which also I am apprehended."
    Philippians 3:12


    Never choose to be a worker; but when once God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us. There is never any thought of - "Oh, well, I am not fitted for this." What you are to preach is determined by God, not by your own natural inclinations, Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not to bear testimony only, but to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God's hand on you, your life is in the grip of God for that one thing. How many of us are held like that?

    Never water down the word of God, preach it in its undiluted sternness; there must be unflinching loyalty to the word of God; but when you come to personal dealing with your fellow men, remember who you are - not a special being made up in Heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.

    "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do...."
     
  16. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Direction of Discipline
    June 29
















































    "And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off,
    and cast it from thee:
    for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish,
    and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
    Matthew 5:30


    Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but - If your right hand hand offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off. There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but, says Jesus, if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off. This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind.

    When God alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of the life to begin with is that it is maimed. There a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that to you and in the eyes of the world that knows you are as your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says - Whatever is wrong in that? How absurd you are! There never has been a saint yet who did not have to live a maimed life to start with. But it is better to enter into life maimed and lovely in God's sight than to be lovely in man's sight and lame in God's. In the beginning Jesus Christ by His Spirit has to check you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everyone else but not right for you. See that you do not use your limitations to criticize someone else.

    It is a maimed life to begin with, but in v. 48 Jesus gives the picture a perfectly full-orbed life - "Ye shall be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect."
     
  17. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Do It Now
    June 30















































    "Agree with thine adversary quickly."
    Matthew 5:25


    Jesus Christ is laying down this principle - Do what you know you must do, now, and do it quickly; if you do not, the inevitable process will begin to work and you will have to pay to the last farthing in pain and agony and distress. God's laws are unalterable; there is no escape from them. The teaching of Jesus goes straight to the way we are made up.

    To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but Jesus says that it is a matter of eternal and imperative importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord's standpoint it does not matter whether I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud. Am I insisting on my rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ's standpoint?

    Do the thing quickly, bring yourself to judgment now. In moral and spiritual matters, you must do it at once; if you do not, the inexorable process will begin to work. God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit. Our insistence in proving that we are right is nearly always an indication that there has been some point of disobedience. No wonder the Spirit so strongly urges to keep steadfastly in the light!

    "Agree with thine adversary quickly." Have you suddenly turned a corner in any relationship and found that you had anger in your heart? Confess it quickly, quickly put it right before God, be reconciled to that one - do it now.
     
  18. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Inevitable Penalty
    July 1















































    "Verily I say unto thee,
    Thou shalt by no means come out thence,
    till thou have paid the uttermost farthing."
    Matthew 5:26


    There is no Heaven with a little corner of Hell in it. God is determined to make you pure and holy and right; He will not allow you to escape for one moment from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. He urged you to come to judgment right away when He convicted you, but you did not; the inevitable process began to work and now you are in prison, and you will only get out when yuou have paid the uttermost farthing. "Is this a God of mercy, and of love?" you say. Seen from God's side, it is a glorious ministry of love. God is going to bring you out pure and spotless and undefiled; but He wants you to recognize the disposition you were showing - the disposition of your right to yourself. The moment you are willing that God should alter your disposition, His re-creating forces will begin to work. The moment you realize God's purpose, which is to get you rightly related to Himself and then to your fellow men, He will tax the last limit of the universe to help you take the right road. Decide it now - "Yes, Lord, I will write that letter tonight"; "I will be reconciled to that man now."

    These messages of Jesus Christ are for the will and the conscience, not for the head. If you dispute the Sermon on the Mount with your head, you will blunt the appeal to your heart.

    "I wonder why I don't go on with God?" Are you paying your debts from God's standpoint? Do now what you will have to do some day. Every moral call has an "ought" behind it.
     
  19. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Conditions of Discipleship
    July 2















































    "If any man come to Me, and hate not...
    he cannot be My disciple."
    Luke 14:26


    If the closest relationships of life clash with the claims of Jesus Christ, He says it must be instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person, our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a difference between devotion to a Person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause; He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jesus Christ. No man on earth has this passionate love to the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Ghost has imparted it to him. We may admire Him, we may respect and reverence Him, but we cannot love Him. The only Lover of the Lord Jesus is the Holy Ghost, and He sheds abroad the very love of God in our hearts. Whenever the Holy Ghost sees a chance of glorifying Jesus, He will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and simply make you blaze and glow with devotion to Jesus Christ.

    The Christian life is stamped by "moral spontaneous originality," consequently the disciple is open to the same charge that Jesus Christ was, viz., that of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent to God, and the Christian must be consistent to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to hard and fast creeds. Men pour themselves into creeds, and God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.
     
  20. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    The Concentration of Personal Sin
    July 3















































    "Woe is me! for I am undone;
    because I am a man of unclean lips."
    Isaiah 6:5


    When I get into the presence of God, I do not realize that I am a sinner in an indefinite sense; I realize the concentration of sin in a particular feature of my life. A man will say easily - "Oh, yes, I know I am a sinner"; but when he gets into the presence of God he cannot get off with that statement. The conviction is concentrated on - I am this, or that, or the other. This is always the sign that a man or woman is in the presence of God. There is never any vague sense of sin, but the concentation of sin in some personal particular. God begins by convicting us of the one thing fixed on in the mind that is prompted by His Spirit; if we will yield to His conviction on that point, He will lead us down to the great disposition of sin underneath. That is the way God always deals with us when we are consciously in His presence.

    This experience of the concentration of sin is true in the greatest and the least of saints as well as in the greatest and the least of sinners. When a man is on the first rung of the ladder of experience, he may say - I do not know where I have gone wrong; but the Spirit of God will point out some particular definite thing. The effect of the vision of the holiness of the Lord on Isaiah was to bring home to him that he was a man of unclean lips. "And he laid it upon my mouth, and said Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." The cleansing fire had to be applied where the sin had been concentrated.
     
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