#15


Ok, while I was home, I couldn’t send out e-mails so I’ve got about four new e-mails to send to ya’ll. Instead of sending them all to you at once, I’m going to send one each day.

I’m not sending them in order or at least I don’t think so. Anyway, enjoy the e-mails…
Hey, I thought I’d take a week off and send ya’ll something not written by me. This is from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest rewritten for modern day readers. Anyway, there are two different days so please don’t read this all in one sitting. Also, don’t read this when you are distracted because it will most likely be a waste of time. But enough from me…

January 4
Why Can’t I Follow You Now?
“Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You now?’ ” (John 13:37).
There are times when you can’t understand why you cannot do what you want
to do. When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive,
don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. The time of waiting may come to
teach you the meaning of sanctification — to be set apart from sin and
made holy — or it may come after the process of sanctification has begun
to teach you what service means. Never run before God gives you His
direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding.
Whenever there is doubt — wait.
At first you may see clearly what God’s will is — the severance of a
friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, or something else
you feel is distinctly God’s will for you to do. But never act on the
impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will cause difficult situations to
arise which will take years to untangle. Wait for God’s timing and He will
do it without any heartache or disappointment. When it is a question of the
providential will of God, wait for God to move.
Peter did not wait for God. He predicted in his own mind where the test
would come, and it came where he did not expect it. “I will lay down my
life for Your sake.” Peter’s statement was honest but ignorant. “Jesus
answered him, ‘ . . . the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me
three times’ ” (13:38). This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than
Peter had of himself. He could not follow Jesus because he did not know
himself or his own capabilities well enough. Natural devotion may be enough
to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His irresistible charm, but it will
never make us disciples. Natural devotion will deny Jesus, always falling
short of what it means to truly follow Him.

January 10
The Opened Sight
“I now send you, to open their eyes . . . that they may receive forgiveness
of sins . . .” (Acts 26:1718).

This verse is the greatest example of the true essence of the message of a
disciple of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament.
God’s first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, “. . . that
they may receive forgiveness of sins . . . .” When a person fails in his
personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received
anything. The only sign that a person is saved is that he has received
something from Jesus Christ. Our job as workers for God is to open people’s
eyes so that they may turn themselves from darkness to light. But that is
not salvation; it is conversion-only the effort of an awakened human being.
I do not think it is too broad a statement to say that the majority of
so-called Christians are like this. Their eyes are open, but they have
received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is a neglected fact
in our preaching today. When a person is born again, he knows that it is
because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not
because of his own decision. People may make vows and promises, and may be
determined to follow through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation
means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive
something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of
sins.

This is followed by God’s second mighty work of grace: “. . . an
inheritance among those who are sanctified . . . .” In sanctification, the
one who has been born again deliberately gives up his right to himself to
Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s ministry to others