Joseph Alleine Joseph Alleine (1634 - 1668)
Conversion
"Conversion is a work above man's power. We are 'born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:13). Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Ephesians 2:1), a new creation (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Ephesians 1:19). Are not these out of the reach of human power? ... This is a supernatural work ... 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but of mercy he saved us' ... 'Of his own will he begat us' (James 1:18). We are chosen and called unto sanctification, not for it (Ephesians 1:4). God finds nothing in man to turn His heart, but enough to turn His stomach; He finds enough to provoke His loathing, but nothing to excite His love. Look back upon yourself, O Christian! Reflect upon your swinish nature, your filthy swill, your once beloved mire (2 Peter 2). Behold your slime and corruption ... How then should holiness and purity love you? ... Who but must needs cry, Grace! Grace! ... What but free grace could move God to love you."
 
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Can a Saint Falsely Accuse God? "All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen " (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus' parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14–30 was a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacities. This parable has nothing to do with natural gifts and abilities, but relates to the gift of the Holy Spirit as He was first given at Pentecost. We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, we will falsely accuse Him as the servant falsely accused his master when he said, "You expect more of me than you gave me the power to do. You demand too much of me, and I cannot stand true to you here where you have placed me." When it is a question of God’s Almighty Spirit, never say, "I can’t." Never allow the limitation of your own natural ability to enter into the matter. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be exhibited in us. The servant justified himself, while condemning his lord on every point, as if to say, "Your demand on me is way out of proportion to what you gave to me." Have we been falsely accusing God by daring to worry after He has said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"? (Matthew 6:33). Worrying means exactly what this servant implied-"I know your intent is to leave me unprotected and vulnerable." A person who is lazy in the natural realm is always critical, saying, "I haven’t had a decent chance," and someone who is lazy in the spiritual realm is critical of God. Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.  Never forget that our capacity and capability in spiritual matters is measured by, and based on, the promises of God. Is God able to fulfill His promises? Our answer depends on whether or not we have received the Holy Spirit.
 
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.)