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OSWALD CHAMBERS ON CONVICTION OF SIN
Oswald Chambers: "Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God."
Conviction of sin is the unbearable burden of all of your sin and filthiness before a holy and righteous God. The word in the Greek carries the idea of exposing your sin. When the Spirit of God brings this type of conviction it reveals your total bankruptcy before God. The burden of that sin can only be overcome by realizing God’s blessing of salvation. The verses tell us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. When does salvation take place when we stop disagreeing with the truth of our rebellion against God. At this point we no longer have the pride or arrogance to say "I'm good."
(From a sermon by Billy Ricks, The ministry of the Holy Spirit, 1/22/2011)
British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. "Do you call this a garden?" the visitor exclaimed. "There are nothing but weeds here!"
"Well, you see," Coleridge replied, "I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself."
Daily Walk, March 28, 1992
- Marquis de Lafayette was a French general and politician who helped George Washington in the American Revolution. After the war was over, he returned to France and resumed his life as a farmer of many estates. In 1783, the harvest was a terrible one, and there were many who suffered as a result. However, Lafayettes farms were still able to fill their barns with wheat and were unaffected by the devastating harvest. One of his workers, offered what seemed to be good advice to Lafayette, "The bad harvest has raised the price of wheat. This is the time to sell." After thinking about the hungry peasants in the surrounding villages, Lafayette disagreed by saying, "No, this is the time to give."
Barna research shows:
That divorce in the church is just as commonas outside the church. In the church 33%, outside the church 34%.
Also, the south is second in the nation in divorce. The south has a divorce rate of 35%, just behind the west (38%), and leading the Midwest (32%) and Northeast (28%).
Another striking percentage for us as Baptists is that we lead the nation’s major denominations in divorce rates at 29%. Protestant churches overall is at 25%.
The divorce rate amongst the generations is also a bit of surprise:
Seniors (73+) = 18%
Builders (53-72) = 37%
Boomers = 34%
Busters = 7% (Most of these are not old enough to
What does this say about marriage in America? Is it old fashioned. One scholar said that long term marriage commitment isn’t good for mode...
John Wesley and George Whitefield - the two great preachers of the 18th Century Evangelical Revival - were both great men of God.
Sadly having been great friends at Oxford, they fell out over the Arminian/Calvinist debate.
There was quite a bit of animosity between their followers.
Once one of Whitefield’s followers said to him:
"We won’t see John Wesley in the heaven, will we?"
To which Whitefield humbly replied "Yes, you’re right, we won’t see him in heaven. He will be so close to the Throne of God and we will be so far away, that we won’t be able to see him. !" .
What a lovely attitude Whitefield had.
Despite profoundly disagreeing with Wesley, Whitefield recognized John Wesley as being a man of God.
Indeed the respect for the other was so great that when Whitefield died in The USA, John Wesley preached at George Whitefield’s memorial service in London.
His name is Roger Crawford … he’s about forty years old. He makes his living as a consultant and public speaker. He has written two books and travels all across the country working for Fortune 500 companies, national and state associations, and school districts.
Those aren’t bad credentials. But if they don’t impress you, how about this? Before becoming a consultant, he was a varsity tennis player for Loyola Marymount University and later became a professional tennis player certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association. Still not impressed? Would you change your opinion if I told you roger has no hands and only one foot?
Roger Crawford was born with a condition called ectrodactylism. When he emerged from his mother’s womb, the doctors saw that he had a thumblike projection extending out of his right forearm, and a thumb and finger growing out of his left forearm. He had no palms. His legs and arms were shortened. And his left leg possessed a shrunken foot with only three toes. (The foot was amputated when he was five).
… Roger’s parents were determined to give him the best chance possible for living a normal life. They raised him to feel loved, to be strong, and to develop independence. "You’re only as handicapped as you want to be," his father used to tell him.
When he was old enough, they sent him to regular public schools. They involved him in sports. They encouraged him to do everything his heart desired. And they taught him to think positively.
"Something my parents never did was to allow me to feel sorry for myself, or to take advantage of people because of my handicap," observes Roger.
Roger appreciated the encouragement and training he received from his parents, but I don’t think he really understood the significance or the extent of his achievements until he was in college and he interacted with someone who wanted to meet him. He had received a phone call from a man who had read about his tennis victories, and Roger agreed to meet him at a nearby restaurant. When Roger stood to shake hands with the man, he discovered that the other guy had hands that were almost identical to his. Roger became excited because he thought he had found someone similar to him but older who could act as a mentor. But after talking with the stranger for a few minutes, he realized he was wrong. Roger explains,
"Instead, what I found was someone with a bitter, pessimistic attitude who blamed all of life’s disappointments and failures on his anatomy.
I soon recognized that our lives and attitudes couldn’t have been more different … He had never held a job for long, and he was sure this was because of ’discrimination’ - certainly no because (as he admitted) he was constantly late, frequently absent, and failed to take any responsibility for his work. His attitude was, "The world owes me," and his problem was that the world disagreed. He was even angry with me because I didn’t share his despair.
We kept in touch for several years, until it dawned on me that even if some miracle were suddenly to give him a perfect body, his unhappiness and lack of success wouldn’t change. He would still be at the same place in his life."
Roger maintains, "Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. This is true not only of physical challenges, but of emotional and intellectual ones as well … I believe that real and lasting limitations are created in our minds, not our bodies."
John Maxwell, Failing Forward pp. 68-71
The story has been told of a church in the Pacific Northwest, which participates in the
"sharing of the peace" during worship. When they share the peace, they are exuberant
and enthusiastic. They leave their pews to embrace one another. Newcomers are warmly
welcomed with a kind word, a handshake, or a hug.
"Nobody in this church thought much about the weekly
ritual of passing the peace until the pastor received a
letter from a man who had recently joined the congregation.
This man was a promising young lawyer from a prestigious
downtown law firm. He drafted a brief but pointed letter
on his firm’s letterhead. "I am writing to complain about
the congregational ritual known as ’passing the peace,’"
he wrote. "I disagree with it, both personally and
professionally, and I am prepared to take legal action to
cause this practice to cease."
When the pastor phoned to talk with the lawyer about the
letter, he asked why the man was so disturbed. The lawyer
said, "The passing of the peace is an invasion of my privacy."
The pastor’s response to the lawyer was right on target.
He said, "Like it or not, when you joined the church you gave
up some of your privacy, for we believe in a risen Lord who
will never leave us alone." Then he added, "You never know
when Jesus Christ will intrude on us with a word of peace."
(William G. Carter, Water Won’t Quench the Fire, CSS Publishing Company.)
In the film The Shawshank Redemption, Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)—a young, successful banker wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in 1947 and sentenced to two consecutive life terms at Shawshank Prison.
Halfway through the film, an old con, Brooks Hadlin, becomes enraged and threatens to take another inmate’s life—holding a makeshift knife at the inmate’s throat. A few tense moments later, Red and Andy persuade Brooks to lay down his knife. That’s when they discover that Hadlin had just received word that his parole was finally approved. The mere thought of freedom outside the prison walls was enough to send Brooks over the edge.
Later, discussing it in the prison yard, an inmate concludes that Brooks had "bugged out," gone mad. Red quickly disagrees:
Brooks ain’t no bug! He’s just…institutionalized. The man’s been in here 50 years—50 years! This is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man. He’s an educated man. Outside, he’s nothing...
In 1995 Nathan Frederick Klimosko, 21, was sentenced to two years’ probation in Kelowna, British Columbia, for hitting and choking his girlfriend into unconsciousness. The fight started in a car when the two disagreed over his interpretation of a certain passage from the Bible, and he reached over and smacked her in the face, blackening her eye.
News of the Weird
"… we all have adversaries or opponents toward whom we feel animosity.
He may be the owner of a competing business who’s stealing your best customers, and if you’re honest, you’ll admit that you hate him for putting your livelihood in jeopardy. She may be a colleague who’s fighting against you - all too successfully - for bonuses and advancement. He may be a midlevel executive who’s firmly entrenched above you in the corporate structure, and you resent him because he’s blocking your way to the top.
If you’re management, your adversary may be the union, or vice versa. Your enemy might be people who hold opposing views on abortion or homosexuality, and you’ve gone beyond disagreeing with their opinions to despising them as people. It might be a teacher who refuses to cut you any slack. Or the girlfriend who broke your heart. Or the father who stunted your self-esteem. Or a former friend who broke your confidence and spilled your secrets to the world. Ot the ex-spouse who trashed your marriage. Or the recalcitrant employee who just won’t get on board with your policies. Or the classmate whose popularity eclipses yours. Or the colleague who is reaping all the recognition that you deserve."
Lee Strobel, God’s Outrageous Claims, pp. 10-11