Super Surfers?

Utmost


No, in all these things we are

more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 ESV

 I think it was C. S.Lewis who pointed out that the necessity for monsters (ogres, trolls, dragons, witches and the like) in fairy stories, rests in the opportunities they present for our heroes to reveal themselves to us. Surely this is sound thinking, based as it likely is, in the truth that all our troubles and trials (all our sins) have been the opportunity for God to reveal Himself to us; not only His love for us, but His great Grace and overwhelming Power to deliver us from and in ALL these things. This second brief post on the t
heme of all things also comes from Oswald Chambers…

Oswald Chambers writes… “Paul is speaking of the things that might seem likely to separate or wedge in between the saint and the love of God; but the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the saint. These things can and do come in between the devotional exercises of the soul and God and separate individual life from God; but none of them is able to wedge in between the love of God and the soul of the saint.

“The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit.
Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

“The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it.
Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things – tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight.

“We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them but in the midst of them. The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation,” says Paul.

“Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter. The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

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ALL things?

Utmost
28 
And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
Romans 8:28, 35, 37 ESV

John Stott and F. F. Bruce remind us that, ‘all things do not work themselves into a pattern for good; it is God who works all things together for good….in the case of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose’ (RSV), and that the Holy Spirit especially, ‘pleads for God’s own people in God’s own way; and in everything, as we know, he co-operates for good with those who love God.’ (NEB). This first of three brief posts on the theme of All Things comes from Oswald Chambers….

Oswald Chambers writes… “God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says – “I will be with him in trouble.” It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man’s life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to God. “We are “more than conquerors in all these things.”

Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says we are super-victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, or by our courage, or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ.

“Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there.

“Shall tribulation…?” Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may – exhausting, galling, fatiguing, it is not able to separate us from the love of God. Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you.

“Shall anguish…?” – can God’s love hold when everything says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

“Shall famine….?” – can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?

“Either Jesus is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God’s character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it – the love of God in Christ Jesus. Out of the wreck I rise’ every time.”

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

Knowing God (better)?

Knowing God cover
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18 ESV

Christian people seeking holiness have become self-centred, small-minded and conceited, through thinking too much about themselves and too little about God”, writes J I Packer in God’s Words – Studies of key Bible themes.  As Christians, our holiness, our sanctification, is both a settled position (by Grace, through faith) and an ongoing progression (by Grace, through faith) – a growth in Grace, and in the knowledge of God. This final brief post on the theme of knowing God also comes from J I Packer…

 

J I Packer writes  – “….knowing God involves, first, listening to God’s Word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it, in application to oneself; second, noting God’s nature and character, as his Word and works reveal it; third, accepting his invitations and doing what he commands; fourth, recognizing and rejoicing in the love that he has shown in thus approaching you and drawing you into this divine fellowship.”

From J I Packer in Knowing God

Meditate much?

Knowing God cover

I have never belonged to the school of thought that suggests we, as Christians at worship, may ‘just as well leave our heads at the door, with our hats/coats/umbrellas, because we will have no use for them for the next hour’. Not just with our hearts, our arms, hands and feet, and not just with our voices, may we worship, praise and glorify God, and not just with our intellects either, but with our whole lives; and our imaginations too are gifts God has given us for learning better to Know Him, and Love Him, and Praise, Worship, and Serve Him. This second brief post on the theme of knowing God, also comes from J I Packer…

J I Packer writes… “How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.

We have some idea, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation?


Well may we ask, for meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice.

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.”
From J I Packer in Knowing God