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Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers (1874 - 1917)

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.

While there are more than 30 books that bear his name, he only penned one book, Baffled to Fight Better. His wife, Biddy, was a stenographer and could take dictation at a rate of 150 words per minute. During his time teaching at the Bible College and at various sites in Egypt, Biddy kept verbatim records of his lessons. She spent the remaining 30 years of her life compiling her records into the bulk of his published works. His daily devotional: "Utmost For His Highest" has sold millions of copies and is well known in modern evangelicalism today.

Oswald Chambers was born July 24, 1874, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Converted in his teen years under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he studied art and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh before answering a call from God to the Christian ministry. He then studied theology at Dunoon College. From 1906-1910 he conducted an itinerant Bible-teaching ministry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In 1910, Chambers married Gertrude Hobbs. They had one daughter, Kathleen.

In 1911 he founded and became principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham, London, where he lectured until the school was closed in 1915 because of World War I. In October 1915 he sailed for Zeitoun, Egypt (near Cairo), where he ministered to troops from Australia and New Zealand as a YMCA chaplain. He died there November 15, 1917, following surgery for a ruptured appendix.

Although Oswald Chambers wrote only one book, Baffled to Fight Better, more than thirty titles bear his name. With this one exception, published works were compiled by Mrs. Chambers, a court stenographer, from her verbatim shorthand notes of his messages taken during their seven years of marriage. For half a century following her husband's death she labored to give his words to the world.

My Utmost For His Highest, his best-known book, has been continuously in print in the United States since 1935 and remains in the top ten titles of the religious book bestseller list with millions of copies in print. It has become a Christian classic.

      Oswald Chambers was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on July 24th, 1874, to Clarence and Hannah Chambers, the seventh of seven children. Years earlier, Hannah converted to Christ under the dynamic preaching of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Both she and Clarence were baptized by Spurgeon; and Clarence was one of the first students to enroll at Spurgeon’s Pastor’s College at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

      After accompanying his father to hear C.H. Spurgeon preach, Oswald surrendered his life to Christ, and was duly baptized by Rev. Briscoe. At Rye Lane Baptist, he faithfully attended Bible classes and prayer meetings. Anxious to apply his newly-acquired knowledge, he engaged in street evangelism and preached at missions.

      In 1895 he received an Art’s Master’s Certificate. Thereafter he pursued his education at the University of Edinburgh, where he excelled in rigorous classwork as well as successfully maintaining a balanced devotional life. Attending a gathering of the Christian Union, he heard Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, preach winningly on the faithfulness of God, nudging Chambers yet further toward ministry. After much prayer, he surrendered to missionary service.

      On October 29th, 1917, Chambers, suffering severe pains in his abdomen, was rushed to a Red Cross hospital in Cairo where an emergency appendectomy was performed. Recovering somewhat, he relapsed from a blood clot, and died on November 15th, 1917.

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Oswald Chambers


1. Our true character comes out in the way we pray. 2. Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint. 3. Prayer is the answer to every problem there is. 4. Never make the blunder of trying to forecast the way God is going to answer your prayer. 5. Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not th... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Absoluteness of Jesus Christ

"He shall glorify Me. John 16:14. "The pietistic [or emergent, universalist, mystical] movements of to-day have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them.... This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, it did not cost the passion of God, it is not dyed in the blood o... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Are You Going on With Jesus

It is true that Jesus Christ is with us through our temptations, but are we going on with Him through His temptations? Many of us turn back from going on with Jesus from the very moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God changes your circumstances to see whether you are going on... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Bearing our cross

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23 The test of our spiritual life is our understanding of the cross. The cross of Jesus is often wrongly taken as a type of the cross we have to carry. Jesus did not say, 'If anyone will... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Cultural Christianity

1. Missing it "And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, 'Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and he... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Darkness that brings true Light

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." Matthew 10:27. "At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. 'What I tell you in darkness...' Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances,... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Faith in the midst of Perverseness

"A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Isaiah 53:3. Oswald Chambers: "The reason the experience of redemption is so easy is because it cost God so much... It is men like Job and the apostle Paul who bring us to the basis of things, not the average Christian among us, who knows mo more why the... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Focusing our hearts

"I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.“ Philippians 3:13-14 "When Paul says, 'forgetting those thi... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Following the Shepherd

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself." Acts 20:24 "You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a call from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goa... Read More
Oswald Chambers


"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, . . . tarry ye here, and watch with Me." Matthew 26:36, 38. "We can never fathom the agony in Gethsemane, but at least we need not misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and Man in one, face to face with sin... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Giving your best

"Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.'” Acts 3:6 "Give to him who asks you.' Why do we always make this mean money? Our Lord makes no mention of money. ... We enthrone common senses as God and say,... Read More
Oswald Chambers

God's Love & Human Sentiment

"A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3. Oswald Chambers: "We are not acquainted with grief in the way in which Our Lord was acquainted with it; we endure it, we get through it, but we do not become intimate with it. "At the beginning of life we do not reconcile ourselves to the fac... Read More
Oswald Chambers

God's Moral Law

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. The moral law... takes no account of our heredity and infirmities, it demands that we be absolutely moral. The moral law never alters, either for the noblest or for the weakest, it is eternally an... Read More
Oswald Chambers

God's Will? Or mine?

"If any man will do His will, he shall know...." John 7:17 "The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience... Read More
Oswald Chambers

His Propitiation

"And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2. "The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. ... The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, a... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Knowing & Doing God's will

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23 "Our Lord never insists upon obedience; He tells us very emphatically what we ought to do, but He never takes means to make us do it. ... That is why when Our Lord talked about discip... Read More
Oswald Chambers

More than conquerors

“Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37 Paul is speaking of the things that might seem likely to separate or wedge in between the saint and the love of God; but the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the sa... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Our God-given Purpose

" ...that we  who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." Eph 1:12 "The joy of anything... is to fulfill its created purpose: 'that we  who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.' (Eph 1:12) "We are not here to win souls, to do good to others. That... Read More
Oswald Chambers


"Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen... disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. "Then they secretly induced men to say, ... Read More
Oswald Chambers

Quotes by Oswald Chambers

“We say, sorrow, disaster, calamity. God says, chastening and it sounds sweet to him though it is a discord to our ears. Don't faint when you are rebuked, and don't despise the chastening of the Lord. In your patience possess your souls.” “We look upon the enemy of our souls as a conquered foe, so h... Read More

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