Generation Cedar

This is what I would call a “Holy Cow” devotion…every line I read to the children evoked a “YES!” and Chamber’s words sank deep and hard, and I knew if anyone needed to hear this it was me.  Oh that we could really get it–really get what it means to be a Christian and let it shape how we do everything.  It would change the world, one person at a time.

“Jesus did not say, “He who believes in Me will realize all the blessings of the fullness of God,” but, in essence, “He who believes in Me will have everything he receives escape out of him.” Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person— His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all.

When Mary of Bethany “broke the flask . . . of very costly oil . . . and poured it on [Jesus’] head,” it was an act for which no one else saw any special occasion; in fact, “. . . there were some who . . . said, ’Why was this fragrant oil wasted?’ ” (Mark 14:3-4 ). But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said, “. . . wherever this gospel is preached . . . what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” ( Mark 14:9 ). Our Lord is filled with overflowing joy whenever He sees any of us doing what Mary did— not being bound by a particular set of rules, but being totally surrendered to Him. God poured out the life of His Son “that the world through Him might be saved” ( John 3:17 ). Are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him?

“He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”— and hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?”     ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

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8 Responses

  1. This is so hard when we are so naturally, sinfully selfish – and when (as you know only too well from comment threads) we pour ourselves out only to be unappreciated, even assaulted.

    Thankfully, every now and then, His grace allows for small glimpses of where the ‘grape juice’ is effective for His glory.

  2. Kelly,

    I also have this same book, and therefore, read the same devotion that you did for September 2nd. I actually read Mark 14:3-9, and realized that NOTHING we do is wasted when we do it for Christ. Yes, the World may feel the things that we do for Christ is a waste, but God doesn’t. However, it’s very difficult not to get caught in this silly trap we create for ourselves. As you stated, if only we could be “real Christians,” and let God work through us instead of us trying to work through God, we would be on the path of living as Christ has called us to live, e.g., a “crucified one.”

  3. Agreed. I see the pertinence of this as it applies to being a stay at home, HS mom. And I need that reminder too frequently. But I would also take it a step further. MY walk, MY realationship with Christ, MY ministry, MY crushing. These are all still self focused. I submit that if we would focus more on following Mathew 10:5-15 and Mark 16:15-18, going out to seek and save the lost bringing Christ to them enstead of expecting them to come to our 4 walls, all of the things the American theology seeks would be fufilled. By going to the lost we would be dying to self, being totally surrendered to Christ and teaching our children to do so to. The sweetness of Christ would be oozing out of us because of our obedience to His commandment. I would think that the living water flowing out of our heart is for the lost, not our fellow believers. Just Thursday morning musings after I got rocked by a meeting last night….

  4. Oh, how the Lord has been speaking to me these last few days through Mr. Chambers. My whole life it seems that almost every day the devotion for the day is spot on for what I need to hear. Notice I didn’t say what I want to hear, or even necessarily what encourages me (though it often does), but what I NEED to hear. Good stuff. It often is convicting, and confirms exactly what I know the Holy Spirit is already speaking to me about.

    This pouring out, daily dying, mothering, homeschooling thing is so hard, yet so worth it. And not even just for the benefits it brings to my children and family (though they be immeasurable.) I know of no better way for the character of Christ to be worked into me so furiously and intensely. And for that, I am thankful.

    Thanks for your encouragement, it’s always nice to know there really others in the same boat :o)

  5. Read the same thing and it really brought me out of a state of self-pity. Wonderful. What good is the fruit just sitting around looking pretty? – it must be eaten or squeezed out to be enjoyed. Praise the Lord.

  6. “Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?”

    AMEN! Full surrender equals our sanctification

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