The Life of Oswald Chambers
Friday, November 2, 2012
Supplies needed for an election polling station - voting booths and ballots, pens, "I voted stickers", and candles? Super Storm Sandy has left millions on the East Coast without power. If electricity is not turned on in time for the election this Tuesday, will voters be voting by candlelight?
As people recover from the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many are asking will they be ready for the national election on Tuesday? The constitution mandates that the election must take place the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. But what do you do if there's no power? Ironically, when the constitution was written, there were no electric lights. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said that his county election officials are working directly with utility companies to make sure they have electricity on Election Day. Psalm 62:11 declares that “the power belongs to God”. He controls elections and he protects his people. Are you trusting in the powerful name of Jesus? If you are feeling powerless, call upon Jesus. In Matthew 11 he says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” If you’re tired of doing it your own way. If you’re burdened by your sins. If you feel powerless to live life – then call upon the powerful name of Jesus . . . and you can do this by simply praying to Him.
Welcome to Haven Today. I’m Charles Morris telling the great story that’s all about Jesus and a program called, “The Life of Oswald Chambers”. In the next few minutes I want you to meet this amazing Christian and how God has used him to encourage the Christian Church. Today it seems more Christians are sensing a need to pray. Whether the storms we face in life are literal or spiritual, Christians can call upon the mighty name of God through prayer. It was Oswald Chambers who pointed out that we look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves. The Bibles idea of prayer is that we need to know God. So how do we get to know God? We need to pray. Known for his pithy lines and uncanny knack for saying just the right thing on just the right day, Oswald Chambers in his famous “My Utmost for His Highest” speaks even today. In fact, if you’re like most listeners to Haven Today you need answers from on high right now. Here are 50 words to hang on to from Oswald Chambers. “The prayer of the feeblest saint on earth who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds buzzing in active work until we cannot think in prayer.”
Oswald Chamber’s book is one of the most widely read devotions in the Christian faith. It has encouraged millions of Christians through the years. It reminds me of how God has used John Bunyan’s PP in the same way. PP was written over three centuries ago and yet it is the best selling book in the English language next to the bible. That’s no small feat. I’d like you to be encouraged by this epic story of a man named Christian as he travels towards the Celestial City. His trials and temptations will remind you of the one’s that you have and are facing in life. But the underlying and amazing truth is that God is with him throughout the story. We have PP in today’s English for you as a thank you for your gift to Haven Ministries. This is the last time we will be offering the book, so please call us toll free at 1-800-654-2836. That’s 800-65 Haven. Or you an go online to haventoday.org.
And I want to say a special thank you to Galen and Norma in CA, Jomy in MD, and Eva in TX who recently signed up as monthly givers to Haven Today. Your regular gifts will help us keep proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We open today with a song . . .
Performed by: Darlene Zschech
From her “Kiss of Heaven” album, Darlene Zschech opening this Haven Today with her song called, “Pray”. Haven Today and “the Life of Oswald Chambers”.
Remember, the 50 words of Oswald Chambers, “The prayer of the feeblest saint on earth who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds buzzing in active work until we cannot think in prayer.” I believe the Lord can speak to you today through the life of Oswald Chambers who also said, “You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.” You may have read “My Utmost for His Highest” but let me tell you a little bit about him. Oswald Chambers was a Baptist preacher born in 1874. He was born in Scotland and gave up a university degree to study in Dunoon Bible Training College. A follower of Jesus since a youngster, he wanted to know his Savior in a closer way. He says, “I was in Dunoon College as a tutor in philosophy when an already famous pastor, F.B. Meyer came and spoke about our need for the Holy Spirit”. Oswald also preached and taught for a time in the USA and Japan. He founded the Bible Training College in London in 1911. Early in his young years of ministry in a small English village his preaching was highly popular for miles around but his reputation and career were temporarily smashed by a lie. A young woman to whom he had ministered later came forward and charged Chambers with sexual assault. He was forced out of that church but refused to become embittered, laying the situation before God in prayer. In July 1915 he was appointed to the YMCA overseas duty with the British troops in Egypt where he later died after his appendix burst. He was buried in Old Cairo Cemetery in 1917 and that’s where the marker is today. His most popular book, “My Utmost for His Highest” is a collection of talks transcribed from notes taken by his wife who went by the name “Bitty”. She once observed that the devotional collection seemed most popular with those who took their relationship with God seriously. Out of an initial scandalous tragedy God raised up a man whose interpretive words regarding Christianity would endure. If you don’t remember anything about Oswald, remember his famous lines, “We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves. The Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself.” Right now many Haven Today listeners are hurting and don’t know where to turn. Just last week I got a note from a listener in Illinois. Katie wrote to say, “My husband was laid off last November. Today in the mail we received his final severance check. I was listening to your program and felt led to give. I would love for you to pray for us that he would find a meaningful job that would provide for our family of 4 but more than that I ask you to pray,” and she mentions by name members of her family, “that they would know Jesus more and follow him more closely because of our circumstances. I realized tonight that of all the shows I listen to, this one draws me to Christ the most often, so I hope this helps. It isn’t much but thank you for what you do.” Katie, I just want you to know that we will continue to pray for you and your family. So what do we do? Well, let’s listen again to Oswald Chambers, “Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day. But swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.”
Song: Have Your Way
Performed by: Andrew Peterson
Andrew Peterson with a prayer from his “Resurrection Letters” album, “Have Your Way”. This is Haven Today, “the life of Oswald Chambers” who wrote, “When you are at your wits end it is not a cowardly thing to pray. It is the only way you can get in touch with reality.” The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” How do we pray? We go to Jesus. What does Jesus teach us about prayer? Our Lord’s instructions on prayer are so simple we can all follow them. Matthew 7:7, you’ve heard it before, “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.” In the very next verse Jesus gives us this promise, “Everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” There is no such thing as unanswered prayer if only we will ask, seek and knock. Note the procession. A child asks for his mother’s help but he cannot find her so he goes and seeks her. He still cannot find her so he knocks at her bedroom door until she opens and answers. So it is with us. We ask but when it seems he does not hear we seek him. When it seems he is not to be found we knock. It may seem that the door is closed but it is not. Your Father will always open to you. We’re told in Isaiah 30:18, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion for the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” God wants to hear your prayers even more than you want to pray. So first go to Jesus. Second, pray with urgency. In the original Greek of the Gospels Jesus’ words are imperatives, not options but commands. Charles Spurgeon advised, “He who prays without fervency does not pray at all.” We cannot commune with God, who is a consuming fire, if there is no fire in our prayers. So pray urgently, pray continually. Jesus’ words are in the present tense, pray, keep on praying. Next, how do we continue with urgency? Well, you have to begin. Make an appointment to meet with God. A person put on his calendar, “7-7:30 pray” but he kept missing his appointment. Then he changed it to say, “7-7:30 God”, that’s harder to neglect. Keep a specific prayer list and note the ways God answers your prayer requests. But then we need to pray in Jesus’ name. You may recall John 14:13 and 14, “I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask for anything in my name and I will do it.” To pray in Jesus’ name is to ask, by his merit, to draw on his account, not yours. If I write a million dollar check and sign it with my name, well the check is going to bounce. If I sign a billionaire’s name the check is good. To pray in Jesus’ name is to ask the Father’s help by the merit of his Son. He never refuses such a request. In fact, you can’t even put the word billion on his name. He’s worth so much more than that, so much more than any money amount this world has ever known. And then we need to pray according to God’s will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we ask of him. 1 John 5:14 and 15, “He will give us what we ask or something even better.” And then we need to ask for God’s glory, something we don’t normally do. John 14:13 and 14, “I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” Do you seek your glory or do you seek his? And then we need to always pray with a clean heart. Psalm 66:18 and 19, “If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened but God has surely listened and heard my prayer.” Is anything blocking your fellowship with your Holy Lord? If you’re not sure, you may ask him. Now, just a few special words, let’s say you’re already a Christian, you’ve gone to the cross. You’ve let him know that you’re a sinner and you need Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior but God may seem silent today. If that is the case, check yourself by these biblical standards: Just begin, then pray in Jesus’ name. Pray according to God’s will, not yours. Pray for God’s glory. Pray with a clean heart, but know that your Father wants to hear you even more than you want to be heard. So pray. Let nothing stop you. Meet with him today. God does some things in answer to prayer that he will not do for any other reason. We talk about prayer, read about prayer, we attend seminars about prayer however few of us learn to pray effectively. We spend too much time discussing how to pray and too little time praying. Prayer isn’t a spiritual function reserved for early morning or a specific time and place. It is a way of life. It is constantly acknowledging that I can do nothing without the Lord’s help. It is an unconditional, ongoing surrender to his will and a moment by moment desire for his presence, purity and power.
A little earlier I shared Jesus’ words on praying from the great Sermon on the Mount. In that same sermon Jesus spoke of worrying and said in Matthew 6 these words that you no doubt, have heard before, but we need to hear them again, especially now. Matthew 6:33 and 34, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 50 words from Oswald Chambers, “The prayer of the feeblest saint on earth who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds buzzing in active work until we cannot think in prayer.” We’ve talked a lot about our needs relating to jobs, to income. Last weekend I heard from another Haven listener in Virginia who we’ve prayed for a long time at this ministry. Her husband abused her but she wrote in to report, “My marriage is getting better. I still need prayer for the hurts but also, would you pray for my husband’s salvation?” Isn’t that amazing? God does hear our prayers and answers our prayers when we live a life of prayer. If we can pray for you I’ll give you our contact information in just a minute.
I think you’ll agree with me that God has used Oswald Chambers to encourage many Christians over the years. His book My Utmost for the Highest has become a Christian classic. But did you know that John Bunyan’s PP has sold even more copies? In fact, it’s the best selling Christian book in the English language next to the bible. It was written during the same century as the KJV bible was written. Bunyan wrote while he was in jail for not compromising the gospel and he wanted to encourage Christians as they faced trials in life. You will identify with the main character Christian, as he makes his way to the Celestial City. Along the way, he encounters all sorts of troubles and temptations. It’s an epic adventure that your entire family will enjoy reading. And we have it here in our warehouse for you this one last time. We ask for your gift to the ministry and we’ll send you a copy of PP in modern English. You can call us on our toll free number at 1-800-654-2836, 1-800-654-2836. That’s how you can also send us your prayer request. Or visit us at haventoday.org. That’s h-a-v-e-n-t-o-d-a-y.org.
You can also sign up to be come a monthly giver. I’d like to thank
Oscar in AZ
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Richard in CA
who have already joined us with a monthly commitment to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you.
I’m Charles Morris and thanks for being with me. Would you come back next time when we’ll be sharing another Christian you should know and we’ll also be sharing the great story. It’s all about Jesus here on Haven Today.
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Millions of Christians have cherished John Bunyan's allegorical tale of the journey Christian and Christina made to the Celestial City. Written in the 1600s, this immortal classic is now available in a modern-day, understandable text, making it clearer and more forceful to the modern reader. Join Christian and his...
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