J.C. Ryle J.C. Ryle (1816 - 1900)
Prayer
To be prayerless is to be without God, without Christ, without grace, without hope, and without heaven. A man's state before God may always be measured by his prayers. No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees.
 
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The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance "Be still, and know that I am God " (Psalm 46:10). Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for-love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men-will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated. If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, "because you have kept My command to persevere " (Revelation 3:10). Continue to persevere spiritually.
 
Oswald Chambers Oswald Chambers sometimes startled audiences with his vigorous thinking and his vivid expression. Even those who disagreed with what he said found his teachings difficult to dismiss and all but impossible to ignore. Often his humor drove home a sensitive point: “Have we ever got into the way of letting God work, or are we so amazingly important that we really wonder in our nerves and ways what the Almighty does before we are up in the morning!”

 

Oswald Chambers was not famous during his lifetime. At the time of his death in 1917 at the age of forty-three, only three books bearing his name had been published. Among a relatively small circle of Christians in Britain and the U.S., Chambers was much appreciated as a teacher of rare insight and expression, but he was not widely known.
 
My Utmost for His Highest has been a close companion to me through most of my Christian life. It was first recommended to me by my pastor, Charles Stanley, who has often expressed his love for its powerful content. It is a work that has endured far beyond the author’s death in 1917.

Oswald Chambers, who died at the age of 43, originally shared these thoughts as lectures at the Bible Training College in Clapham, England, from 1911 to 1915, and as devotional talks while serving with the Young Men’s Christian Association from 1915 to 1917. The YMCA had appointed him to serve in Egypt with the Australian and New Zealand troops who were guarding the Suez Canal during World War I. These lectures and talks were later compiled by Chambers’ wife and published in book form in 1927 in England, and in 1935 in the United States. It has since become the best-selling devotional book of all time.

The idea of a new edition was prompted by the changes in the English language over the last century. As a Christian bookstore owner, I have sold thousands of copies of My Utmost for His Highest through the years. However, because of these language changes, I have had an ever-increasing concern that readers were not gleaning all they could from the book. One morning, after reading the devotional selection for that day, I asked the Lord to impress on someone a burden to write a new edition. Much to my surprise, I immediately sensed God’s directive to write it myself. I began that same day. What you hold in your hand is the culmination of approximately 1800 hours of research and editing. It is not a paraphrase of the original work, but could be considered a translation of it. Thousands of word studies have been done to render an accurate yet readable edition. This edition also includes the reference for every Scripture quotation to allow the reader to further his study of the biblical passage. (Note: Scripture quotations without references are passages that have been referred to earlier in the selection.)