Total Surrender

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Commands of Christ

Basic Life Principles

It was thought by all who knew the Ryle family that young John would follow his father into banking, and maybe even serve in Parliament someday. But during a severe sickness, he thought much of God, eternity, sin, and salvation.
Psalms 22–24 are all strongly Messianic in theme and show an exquisite, complete picture of the coming work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rare are the men of history that are able to rise above their own time and generation and see their own battle in the context of the grand scheme of eternity. The Lion of the North was such a man. Although he himself was a king, his ultimate allegiance was to the King of kings and Lord of lords, and he dedicated himself to advancing the everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Many of us recognize the inspiring title of this famous book of selected Scripture meditations: My Utmost for His Highest. However, fewer people are familiar with the life of the man who made these words his testimony. Although Oswald Chambers lived to be only forty-three years old, his life after his conversion at age fifteen was characterized by a desire to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might.
In Matthew 22:37–38, our Lord Jesus referred to Deuteronomy 6:4–5 as the “first and great commandment” in the Law. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Are you satisfied? Real satisfaction springs from a heart deeply filled with gratitude to God—not only gratitude for what He has provided, but a deeper gratitude for the essence of Who He is. A soul that is truly satisfied with God’s provision is fully content with God’s goodness, resting in His unchanging character even amidst the changing circumstances of life.
Tax collectors were despised by patriotic Jews in the first century. Tax collectors, or “publicans,” were viewed as collaborators with Roman tyrants at best, and merciless parasites or outright thieves at worst!
The obvious implications of the eighth commandment can be easily seen. Burglary and robbery are certainly forbidden by the words, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). But there are more subtle ways to steal than to break a window of a man’s house, enter and empty his gun rack, and clean out any jewelry boxes. As Christians, we are tempted to steal every day in all sorts of ways.
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Each one of us can fulfill five basic roles throughout our lives. We can also help others fulfill these roles in their lives. These life roles include being a mature person, a skilled provider, a loving marriage partner, a wise parent, and an effective proclaimer.
Obedience from the heart requires a great deal of humility. Sometimes we must set aside our own opinions and personal preferences in order to honor our parents. But isn’t this the key to every successful relationship? Doesn’t a husband have to lay aside personal preferences to honor his wife? Doesn’t a wife often make sacrifices for her husband? Doesn’t a good parent set aside pleasures and hobbies to spend time with his children? Learning to honor our parents will yield blessings in every relationship. More importantly, our obedience in this matter of the fifth commandment is “well pleasing unto the Lord.”
God wants each believer to grow in his knowledge of Him and in his understanding of His ways. He will use situations and circumstances to reveal His love for us and our need for Him. God will use disappointments, hindrances, and what seem to be “dead ends” or hopeless situations in life to motivate us to look to Him for His strength and timing for fulfilling a vision. As we wait on Him, God often works in ways that we never would have expected.
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The Biblical principle of ownership involves recognizing that all that we have or will have ultimately belongs to God, and that He has entrusted us with these resources and responsibilities to steward for His glory.
As we look in Scripture, we cannot help but be staggered with the reality that God is calling us to live a life that we could never live. I have seen that striving to be like Christ in my own strength simply leads to more failure. So what is the answer?
When we understand the heart of the matter, the Sabbath Day is not a burden but a blessing! We can willingly lay aside our own ways when we are seeking God’s ways. As we learn to take pleasure in fellowship with God, we can more easily lay aside the lesser pleasures of this world. Filled with God’s Word, our own words no longer seem as important.
The story of Eric’s victory in Paris has been told many times in different ways, with varying degrees of accuracy. The story that is told less often is the story of Eric’s subsequent victories. After his Olympic victory, Eric Liddle spoke all over Scotland at various evangelistic meetings. Crowds flocked to hear the humble man who was bashful about his trophies but bold about his Savior.
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Jesus described eight attributes that receive the blessing of God. These eight qualities—or beatitudes—embody attitudes that are essential for anger resolution. Without these qualities, obtained by God’s grace and the believer’s humility, keeping the spirit of the Law would be impossible.
The year is regulated by the earth’s orbit around the sun. The month is regulated by the moon’s orbit around the earth. The day is regulated by the earth’s rotation on its axis. But the week is regulated only by the pattern set by God Himself.
On a cold, miserable day, a French warship steadily made its way along the Scottish coastline. The warship was powered by human labor — the steady pull of many chained galley slaves. Aboard the ship, performing backbreaking work at the oars, was a feeble man who was very near the point of death. It had been many months since the Scotsman had seen his native land.
Throughout Israel’s history, Jehovah warned the Israelites against trying to repurpose pagan images and holy places. When Moses destroyed the golden calf, he did not melt it down to repurpose the gold for the altar of incense, the golden menorah, or the golden mercy seat that God had commanded him to make.
From the moment he entered the world, Jacob was a man of intense ambition. Jacob had obtained outward prosperity but at tremendous cost. Broken relationships, strained marriages, immorality, and divided affections resulted due to the path that Jacob had chosen: divided loyalty between the Lord God and his own choices.
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