Sunday, September 2, 2012
A Life of Pure and Holy Sacrifice
There's that verse again...the Lord must have really been bringing that message home to Oswald Chambers many years ago. I wonder what that man's Bible looked like in that passage. Was it like my own Father's Bible on some pages...underlined with all sorts of notes and symbols in the margin?
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.
All of my life I have been hoping to gain some things...a nice home, enough material possessions to make me comfortable...enough money to pay for all the things that we supposedly need in this life. A nice backyard so that we can enjoy it with friends. I keep going back to these desires and being frustrated because we are on a stationary bike in life. It seems like everyone around us is moving on down the road and we are still spinning our wheels in the same place. What is God trying to teach me in all of this? I've figured out that I am not seeing things from His perspective...I've figured this out and am trying to gain a new insight from Him...but how do I keep from looking back and then falling into the same ditch?
Chambers also mentions the scripture in Mark 14 where Mary pours the expensive perfume on Jesus' head. Some people sitting there thought it was a terrible waste. They were thinking about what could have been done with that money on earth. I admit that I probably would have been sitting there thinking...,"that could have been used to pay for my tuition bill, or pay for _______." I can fill that blank up with a lot of things.
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.” Are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him?
Dear Lord, after all of these years, I'm still not getting it. I don't see things the way you do. I see perfume dripping onto the floor. I'm spinning my wheels spiritually too...not just in the worldly sense. What do you want from me? Where do you want me to go?
“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?
I don't know how much longer I can keep reading these Chambers devotionals. They are all so convicting. (Realize this is said "tongue in cheek")
Photo: I took this one at Sonnenburg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY.