Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Thought for the Day

I read this today in my devotions, and I wanted to share it with you as it challenged me deeply. It is by Oswald Chambers in the book, "My Utmost for His Highest."
"There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." Luke 18:22
"Have you ever heard the Master say a hard word? If you have not, I questions whether you have heard Him say anything. Jesus Christ says a great deal that we listen to, but do not hear; when we do hear, His words are amazingly hard.
"Jesus did not seem in the least solicitous that this man should do what He told him, He made no attempt to keep him with Him. He simply said - Sell all you have, and come, follow Me. Our Lord never pleaded, He never cajoled, He never entrapped; He simply spoke the sternest words mortal ears ever listened to, and then left it alone.
"This man did understand what Jesus said, he heard it and he sized up what it meant, and it broke his heart. He did not go away defiant; he went away sorrowful, thoroughly discouraged. He had come to Jesus full of the fire of earnest desire, and the word of Jesus simply froze him; instead of producing an enthusiastic devotion, it produced a heart-breaking discouragement. And Jesus did not go after him, He let him go.
"Our Lord knows perfectly that when once His word is heard, it will bear fruit sooner or later."
So this is my challenge today: do I want to bear fruit for God in my life now, or later? And if later, when will be the opportune time? And what guarantee do I have that I will do it then if I put it off now? What excuses am I making for not being and doing all that God is asking of me?
Now I remember a song I learned as a child, and as I wait in the presence of God, this song occurs to me once more:
O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide.

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.

O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou Guardian of my soul.

(If you wish to listen to this song, Click here: O Jesus, I Have Promised)

"Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart."
Psalm 119:33-34

Pastor Kenneth Q. James

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