John 20:21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” (NLT)
The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I have never felt God's call to be a "professional" missionary. The call to go to foreign lands and serve Him in that capacity. I admire them and the work that they do. I simply don't feel God sending me into that kind of service. I believe God wants to reach the people, already in my life, through me and reach others through my writing.
Living the life of a missionary is not limited to those who leave their life and "Go," - somewhere else. God "sends" us where there is need - a need for Him. And we all need Him. We are His ambassadors in our homes and towns, our places of employment and recreation. It may sound like an easier assignment than those who must sleep under mosquito nets in jungles. But sometimes it's harder to reach those who are near us. Those who are not suffering from hunger or poverty. - Those who are part of our family or our circle of friends.
The "dangers" that those of us who don't leave our current homes experience are not those of disease or pestilence or threat of violence in war-torn countries. It is the "danger" of alienating our friends and loved ones with the message we bring.
Our message is one of love and grace. But it is also a message of conviction. It is a message that calls people out of their contentment with the things of the world and reveals our true need. When people are not in need, they may see no need for God at all.
Today Mr. Chambers reminds me of the sole purpose of missionary work. Whether it be at home or otherwise.
We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs, but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ -- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
All nations. That means the work of a missionary may be on another continent. - It may also be in one's own home or community. It's not all about who needs what. It's God's command to "go and teach."
...we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Matthew 28:19 Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
This is the mission of every believer - wherever their mission field may be.
1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak I became as[a] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. (NKJV)
"Being chosen." I've often wondered how that works.
Today Mr. Chambers tells me that I am not to be a "worker" for God by choice. Today, our liberty to choose our own actions and pursue our own happiness is championed. But he says that "Unless we have the right matter in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God." My Utmost for His Highest
He warns of the woe that will be upon me if I turn to the right or to the left, once God has put His call on me. I may not have chosen to be a "worker." But I must choose to obey once I feel God's call to work for His kingdom. I must choose to do and to be whatever God calls me to do, "..that I might by all means save some."
I don't write because I have aspirations of becoming the next best selling author. I don't wake up each morning of my own strength, thinking what great things I can do today. (Or that I can sometimes even manage to find joy in the new day.) I write because it is what I know God has called me to do. He has confirmed it many times in many ways. I wake up with the strength of the Lord, praying that He gives me something great to do for Him. I may not be "happy" about my lot in life. I want things to change and my life to be the way I think it should be and how it would most honor God. God has given me the patience to wait for those changes.
And so I wait - joyously. For what He has already done. And I wait with expectant joy for what He is going to do.
While I wait, however, I will work at those things in which He has called me to do. For some reason, He has chosen me to live this life He's given me.
Why He is doing it, we do not know; He is doing it for one purpose only - that He may be able to say This is My man, My woman. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I will live it out the best way that I can for Him and through the power of His Holy Spirit. Because he called me to tell others about Him.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (NCV)
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)
I bring to life my own interests and prejudices. I get consumed with all the things of this life that are of great importance to me.
When I was born again into a new life with Christ Jesus, that all changed. The Holy Spirit began to work in my heart. My priorities changed. The things of this life are still important to me. They are just re-prioritized.
Mr. Chambers asks the pressing question:
How are we going to get the life that has not lust, not self-interest, no sensitiveness to pokes, the love that is not provoked that thinketh no evil, that is always kind? The only way is by allowing not a bit of the old life to be left; but only simple, perfect trust in God, such that trust we no longer want God's blessings, but only want Himself. ~ My Utmost for His Highest
If I am honest with myself, I must admit I am not "there" yet. I do still ask God's blessing. There are people and things I still care about for which I ask His blessing. He wants me to ask. It's different now, though. I ask and surrender, knowing He knows what is best.
Have we come to the place where God can withdraw His blessings and it does not affect our trust in Him? When once we see God at work, we will never bother our heads about things that happen because we are actually trusting in our Father in Heaven. - Whom the world cannot see. ~ My Utmost for His Highest
Phillipians 1:29 You are not only to put your trust in Him, but you are to suffer for Him also. (NLV)
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)
I don't know what it is that makes us so hesitant to admit when we're wrong. It seems our go-to response is to find out who else caused us to make a mistake. We want to identify the excuse for our mistake. There is one simple reason - we are not perfect. We will make mistakes now and then. And sometimes our mistakes can teach us even more than our successes.
When it comes to sin, however, there is but one remedy - faith in Jesus Christ.
Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. ~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Galatians 1:15 But God chose me before I was born. By His loving-favor He called me to work for Him.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to see my need for a Savior. I can do nothing to improve the condition of my own heart. You, however, can renew it through Jesus because I see my need.
God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the disposition that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it. ~ My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I don't know why You've allowed me to see. But I am so thankful You did.
When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says - "Blessed are you." But I have to get there. ~ My Utmost...
Praying that eyes are opened, that we may see our need for Jesus to renew our hearts.
When sin entered the world through man, we were destined to eternal separation from God. In His mercy, Jesus Christ His Son bridged the divide created by sin. We inherited our sin it is within each and every human soul. There is nothing we can do to erase it, apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:12 This is what happened: Sin came into the world by one man, Adam. Sin brought death with it. Death spread to all men because all have sinned. (NLV)
We can't escape this fact. We-are-sinners. We can do good or not do good. Our activities have no bearing on the penalty of sin - only our faith in Jesus Christ who already paid the penalty for our sins. We can either choose to accept His offer of salvation... or not.
It is my disposition regarding myself that is sinful. My sin is whether or not I believe I need God or if I am my own God. Our sin is rooted in our self-actualization - our selfishness. Ironically, our sinfulness comes from the liberty God has given us. Liberty gives us freedom to disobey and deny to go my own way and fulfill my own desires in my own way, in my own time. It's all about me. What I did. What I do. What I think and want.
Condemnation does not come with sin. It comes when I realize Jesus came to deliver me from it and I refuse to let Him do it. Condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so,..."And this is the judgement" (the critical moment), "that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light." ~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I cannot give my all to God and, at the same time, keep a self-centered, sinful disposition. And God always knows the disposition of my heart.
1 Corinthians 1:2 I write to God’s church in the city of Corinth. I write to those who belong to Christ Jesus and to those who are set apart by Him and made holy. I write to all the Christians everywhere who call on the name of Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and their Lord also. (NLV)
I wonder, is it just me? Is it some flaw in my disposition that makes me stop just short of following through on what I feel God is asking of me? At times, I feel so energized by where I see God leading me. I'm excited. I begin the task and commit to it for a while. Then slowly but surely, I find other activities - (sometimes equally worthy), distracting me from my original task. Then, other times, I'm just too tired from the ordinary things of this life. So I tell myself I "need" to rest. I, "can't let myself get run down." Will I. really? Or is it just the excuse I use.
If I feel God calling me to a "vision," (as Mr. Chambers called it) why fail to trust Him to carry me all the way through it?
We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision, not in ecstasies and conscious contemplation of God, but to live in actualities in the light of the vision until we get to the veritable reality....Let the little "I am" be shrivelled up in God's indignation -- "I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee." He must dominate. ~ Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest
Those who belong to Christ Jesus are to be set apart have seen the vision of what God calls us to do. No matter if I stumble on the way, He will pick me up and help me continue on the way until I reach fulfill His purpose.
..and so, I begin again.
Melinda started her fifth year of her devotions reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. In 2015 she has made the commitment to share what this year's journey. Taking a detour, she began living Every Day With Jesus