Liberty and the Standards of Jesus


Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… —Galatians 5:1

A spiritually-minded person will never come to you with the demand— “Believe this and that”; a spiritually-minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (see John 5:39-40). We are called to present liberty for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts and opinions. And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.

Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you— with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go…and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19), not, “Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.”

from: May 6 – My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers

Today’s thought – The Far-Reaching River of Life

thanksgiving12 - burneyfalls 009“There is a river that flows from God above . . .”

Good Afternnon

He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water —John 7:38

A river reaches places which its source never knows.
And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness,
“rivers of living water” will flow out of us,
reaching in blessing even “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may
appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow—
“This is the work of God, that you believe. . .” (John 6:29).
God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.

A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers.
For a while it goes steadily on its course,
but then comes to an obstacle.
And for a while it is blocked,
yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle.
Or a river will drop out of sight for miles,
only later to emerge again
even broader and greater than ever.
Do you see God using the lives of others,
but an obstacle has come into your life
and you do not seem to be of any use to God?
Then keep paying attention to the Source,
and God will either take you
around the obstacle or remove it.
The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles.
Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty.
The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference
to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will
simply remember to stay focused on the Source.
Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ—
not emotion nor experience—
nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing
and nourishing themselves in our souls!
God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds,
and every point He has opened up is another indication
of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us.
If you believe in Jesus,
you will find that God has developed and nourished
in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessing for others.
My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers

Let the River flow . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Today’s thought – Impulsiveness or Discipleship?

nove trees 002
Good Morning

from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith . . .” Jude 20

There was nothing of the nature of impulse
or thoughtless action about Our Lord,
but only a calm strength that never got into panic.
Most of us develop our Christianity
along the lines of our own nature,
not along the lines of God’s nature.
Impulsiveness is a trait of the natural life,
but Our Lord always ignores it,
because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple.
Watch how the Spirit of God
gives a sense of restraint to impulsiveness,
suddenly bringing us a feeling of self-conscious foolishness
which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves.
Impulsiveness is all right in a child,
but it is disastrous in a man or woman;
an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person.
Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition by discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God.
Walking on the water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness,
but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ
is something altogether different.
Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus,
but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54).
We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises,
human nature and pride are sufficient
for us to face the stress and strain magnificently.
But it does require the supernatural grace of God
to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint,
going through drudgery,
and living an ordinary, unnoticed, ignored existence
as a disciple of Jesus.
It is ingrained in us
that we have to do exceptional things for God;
but we do not.
We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life,
and holy on the ordinary streets,
among ordinary people,
and this is not learned in five minutes.

Be exceptional . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Today’s thought – Undisturbed

apr14 005Violets and Violas

Good Morning
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Are you painfully disturbed just now,
distracted by the waves and billows
of God’s providential permission, and having,
as it were, turned over the boulders of your belief,
are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort;
is all barren?
Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus.
If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you,
you are either disturbed or you have a false security.

Are you looking unto Jesus now,
in the immediate matter
that is pressing and receiving from Him peace?
If so, He will be a gracious benediction
of peace in and through you.
But if you try to worry it out,
you obliterate Him and deserve all you get.
We get disturbed
because we have not been considering Him.
When one confers with Jesus Christ
the perplexity goes,
because He has no perplexity,
and our only concern is to abide in Him.
Lay it all out before Him,
and in the face of difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow,
hear Him say,
“Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.”
Oswald Chambers

With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 5:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today’s thought – Abraham’s Faith

apr11 003Boysenberries vines are loaded this year, Yum, Yum!

apr11 004
Good Morning

He went out, not knowing where he was going —Hebrews 11:8

In the Old Testament, a person’s relationship with God was seen by the degree of separation in that person’s life. This separation is exhibited in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and his family. When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from their viewpoints. This is what Jesus Christ was referring to in Luke 14:26.

Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.

The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character, and we encounter many changes in the process. We feel the presence of God around us when we pray, yet we are only momentarily changed. We tend to keep going back to our everyday ways and the glory vanishes. A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagles’ wings, but is a life of day—in and day—out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31). It is not even a question of the holiness of sanctification, but of something which comes much farther down the road. It is a faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test. Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith—a faith, tested and true, built on the true God. “Abraham believed God. . .” (Romans 4:3)

My Utmost for His Highest– Oswald Chambers

By faith  . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

March 1, Today’s thought – The Working of Sorrow

feb24 013What a bright spot on overcast days, California Poppies

Good Morning

John 12:27
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty
should not be to ask that they be prevented,
but to ask that God protect me
so that I may remain what He created me to be,
in spite of all my fires of sorrow.
Our Lord received Himself,
accepting His position and realizing His purpose,
in the midst of the fire of sorrow.
He was saved not 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 accept and receive ourselves in its fires.
If we try to evade sorrow,
refusing to deal with it,
we are foolish.
Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life,
and there is no use in saying it should not be.
Sin, sorrow, and suffering are,
and it is not for us to say
that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness,
but it does not always make that person better.
Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me.
You cannot find or receive yourself through success,
because you lose your head over pride.
And you cannot receive yourself
through the monotony of your daily life,
because you give in to complaining.
The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow.
Why it should be this way is immaterial.
The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures
and in human experience.
You can always recognize
who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself,
and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble
and find that he has plenty of time for you.
But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow,
he is apt to be contemptuous,
having no respect or time for you,
only turning you away.
If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow,
God will make you nourishment for other people.

My Utmost ofo His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Accept the refining of sorrow . . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on March 1, 2014 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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October 17, Today’s thought – I Have Called You Friends

oct  16  fall lightThis is how the sky looked from my front door last evening.

Good Morning
Jesus said to him, ’Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?’ —John 14:9

These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “. . . I have called you friends . . .” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?

Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away . . .” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).

Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.
from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Learn to know Him . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 10:06 am  Comments (2)  
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August 20, Today’s thought – Clouds and Darkness

Good Morning

Clouds and darkness are round about him:
righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
Psalm 97:2

A person who has not been born again by the Spirit of God will tell you that the teachings of Jesus are simple. But when he is baptized by the Holy Spirit, he finds that “clouds and darkness surround Him . . . .” When we come into close contact with the teachings of Jesus Christ we have our first realization of this. The only possible way to have full understanding of the teachings of Jesus is through the light of the Spirit of God shining inside us. If we have never had the experience of taking our casual, religious shoes off our casual, religious feet— getting rid of all the excessive informality with which we approach God— it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and disrespectful in their approach to God are those who have never been introduced to Jesus Christ. Only after the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable “darkness” of realizing who He is.

Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Once, the Bible was just so many words to us — “clouds and darkness”— then, suddenly, the words become spirit and life because Jesus re-speaks them to us when our circumstances make the words new. That is the way God speaks to us; not by visions and dreams, but by words. When a man gets to God, it is by the most simple way— words.
~~~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

Listen . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on August 20, 2013 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

July 22, Today’s thought – My Utmost for God

July 19 butterfly and signs 006Even Griss was interested in the butterfly.

Good Morning

Philippians 1:20-21 . . . my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

My Utmost for His Highest. “. . .my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed . . ” We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him. It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest–my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point–He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only–my utmost for His highest. I an determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.

My Unstoppable Determination for His Holiness.
“Whether it means life or death–it makes no difference!” (see 1:21). Paul was determined that nothing would stop him for doing exactly what God wanted. But before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him and we begin to debate. He then providentially produces a crisis where we have to decide–for or against. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives. If a crisis has come to you on any front, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocable.
~~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Utmost – greatest possible degree, extent, intensity—unconditional, undiminished, unlimited, unmitigated, unqualified, unreserved.

Absolutely and Irrevocably . . .Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 11:25 am  Comments (2)  
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June 4, Today’s thoughts – The Never-Forsaking God

IMG_5281the Farmer’s father, Howard Crain, used rock for borders in Redding, CA.

Good Afternoon

He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Hebrews 13-5

What line of thinking do my thoughts take?
Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears?
Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says?

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:5-6

“I will never . . forsake you.” –not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.

“I will never . . forsake you.” Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life, but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful–just the everyday activities of life–do I hear God’s assurance even in these?

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing–that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s assurance behind us the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.~~from My Utmost fo His Highest, Oswald Chambers.

Trust what God says. . . Today
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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