Devotionals

In the Spirit of Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers ministered in Cairo, Egypt. He died and is, in fact, buried there. Many of the writings included in his My Utmost for His Highest are condensed versions of talks he gave to British soldiers, stationed in Cairo during and after World War I.

Dick Brogden serves with a Live Dead Arab World team. In the spirit of Oswald Chambers, he is writing daily devotionals over the course of this year – from January 1 to December 31.

The daily meditations are summaries of his daily abiding time while living in Cairo, Egypt. Each day includes readings from three chapters of the Old Testament, one chapter from Psalms, one chapter from the Gospels, and one chapter from Acts or the Epistles of the New Testament. The meditations will be most helpful if you follow the suggested readings.

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Abiding in Jesus: December 31

READ: Malachi 4, Matthew 28, Mark 16, Acts 28, Revelation 22 BEGINNINGS The Alpha is the Omega. God does not change and He who ends things starts things, He who is the end is the beginning. God is humanity’s end. When we long for His salvation (Psalm 119:174), we are in reality longing for Himself. God is humanity’s eternal beginning. At the re-creation of all things, we shall see His face (Rev. 22:4). Bounded history is in fact quite unimportant in the grand scope of things, for eternity is what matters. God was from eternity past and He offers us the…

Abiding in Jesus: December 30

READ: Zechariah 14, Acts 15, Revelation 21 MYTH BUSTER Currently there is an inordinate emphasis on size and speed when it comes to the development of the church. Church history soberly shows that orthodoxy tends not to spread as swiftly as heresy and that bad teaching outpaces good. It is the slow, steady repeated truth of God that builds the enduring church. The largest church at the end of the first century was found in Rome, thought by most scholars to be around two hundred members. The churches in Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica (among others) were most probably…

Abiding in Jesus: December 29

READ: Zechariah 13, Acts 14, Revelation 20 TO FLEE OR NOT TO FLEE God’s Word is both a comfort in affliction (Psalm 119:50) and a source of persecution. Revelation 20:4 tells of the souls who were “beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God.” The Word of God both gets us into trouble and takes us through it. In these last days it is imperative that we continually point to Jesus as God and Savior, and that we continually stand on the Word of God. Neither one of these actions will endear us to our world;…

Abiding in Jesus: December 28

READ: Zechariah 12, Acts 12-13, Jude PIERCING WORDS God is continually pierced by the foolish things that come out of our mouths. Rather than grace and supplication (Zech. 12:10), we tend to speak the words of Herod–eloquent arrogance (Acts 12:23). We fall in love with the sound of our own voice and believe the flatterers who tell us we speak like a god. He who perseveres in his own words for his own glory ends up getting eaten by worms, as happened to Herod.  By contrast “the word of God grew and multiplied” (v. 24). Men are fools and God alone is wise (Jude 25)….

Abiding in Jesus: December 27

READ: Zechariah 11, Acts 10-11, 3 John BEAUTY AND BONDS Generosity of heart is a prayer that God answers (Acts 10:2, 4). A gracious heart takes the greatest joy when others walk and grow in the truth (3 John 4). A stingy heart restricts the ministry of others and seeks to minimize their influence. Barnabas is a classic example of the generous heart God blesses (Acts 11:23), while Diotrephes “who loves to have the preeminence” is an example of a stingy shepherd (3 John 9). Zechariah reveals what qualities make up the wise, generous shepherd: He cares for the cut off,…

Abiding in Jesus: December 26

READ: Zechariah 10, Acts 7-9, 2 John LEAVING HOME We have made Christmas about coming home and being comfortable. Jesus’ approach to Christmas was to leave home and be uncomfortable. Christmas has become safe and cozy, a time to relax and give gifts to one another. The original Christmas involved God leaving the comfort of heaven to give a most precious gift to those who would largely reject it. Zechariah reminds us that God does indeed visit His flock (Zech. 10:3) and comfort them, but with the intention of “sowing them among the nations” (v. 9). Christmas is Christ’s invitation to us to…

Abiding in Jesus: December 25

READ: Zechariah 9, Acts 5-6, 1 John 5 GOD WITH US There are certain things we know. We know these things because God came near and lived with us, because He lives in us by His Spirit, because His Word is our counselor (Psalm 119:24). John tells us that we know we have eternal life, we know we are of God, and we know the Spirit of God has come and given us understanding (1 John 5:13-20). We have the advantage of seeing these things from this side of Bethlehem. Zechariah saw these things from the dark. He too knew…

Abiding in Jesus: December 24

READ: Zechariah 8, Acts 3-4, 1 John 4 TONGUES OF MEN AND ANGELS  The filling of the Spirit always affects the tongue. First Corinthians 13 does not urge us to silence but to speak from love. Love in fact compels us to speak of Jesus. The most common hate crime committed by Christians is to not speak. Our silence is indicative of lesser love for Jesus, for if we really love Him and experience Him, we are unable to contain or restrain our mouths. When the presence of Jesus is real, the human vessel cannot contain Him, and love for…

Abiding in Jesus: December 23

READ: Zechariah 7, Acts 1-2, 1 John 3 NOT FOR YOU TO KNOW Followers of Jesus love His promise of empowerment. Facing overwhelming odds with underwhelming strength, we cling to the lifeline of God’s promised power: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). We are well versed with the purpose of power-bearing witness to the glory of God among every ethno-linguistic people. We are not so well acquainted with the preposition on the front end of the sentence: But. But what? “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons BUT…

Abiding in Jesus: December 22

READ: Zechariah 6, John 21, 1 John 2 SIGNS AND WONDERS OF GOD In the mad rush of ministry that puts its hope in dramatic signs and wonders, we are in danger of missing the wonder of the great signs of God. There is no healing or miracle that can match the awesome and sequential surprises of Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and triumphant return to rule and reign. Each of these magnificent signs stuns us, and just as we reel and rock to comprehension, another sign smashes into our spirit. God scandalizes the cosmos by becoming man and in…