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Saturday, March 6, 2010

lessons from Oswald

Lately, I've been trying to read Oswald Chambers' classic devotional My Utmost For His Highest on a more frequent basis. While his thoughts are pretty much right on from day to day, every so often it seems that his words, originally published in 1935, were written with me in mind for that specific day. Today's short devotion was one of them. I hope that it encourages you as it did me...

Taking the Next Step
"...in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses" (2 Corinthians 6:4)

"When you have no vision from God, no enthusiasm left in your life, and no one watching and encouraging you, it requires the grace of Almighty God to take the next step in your devotion to Him, in the reading and studying of His Word, in your family life, or in your duty to Him. It takes much more of the grace of God, and a much greater awareness of drawing upon Him, to take that next step, than it does to preach the Gospel.

"Every Christian must experience the essence of the incarnation by bringing the next step down into flesh-and-blood reality and by working it out with his hands. We lost interest and give up when we have no vision, no encouragement, and no improvement, but only experience our everyday life with it trivial tasks. The thing that really testifies for God and for people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to discourage you. Never allow yourself to think that some tasks are beneath your dignity or too insignificant for you to do, and remind yourself of the example of Christ in John 13:1-17."

This also reminded me of a great quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. - "If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."