Hunger for His Word

A most valuable lesson for every Christian to learn

Posted by on Feb 10, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.” Ex. 16:4

They were not to lay up in store–but were taught to live simply by the day. When night came, they did not have a supply of food left over for the next day–but were entirely dependent upon God’s new supply to come in the morning.

In this method of providing, God was teaching all future generations a lesson. When the Master gave the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He put this same thought of life into it, for He taught us to say: “Give us this day–our daily bread.”

This is a most valuable lesson for every Christian to learn. We should make a little fence of trust around each day, and never allow any past or future care or anxiety to break in. God does not provide in advance for our needs. We cannot get grace today–for tomorrow’s duties; and if we try to bear tomorrow’s cares and burdens today–we shall break down in the attempt.

TIME comes to us, not in years, not even in weeks–but in little days. We have nothing to do with ‘life in the aggregate’ –that great bulk of duties, anxieties, struggles, trials and needs, which belong to a year or even to a month. We really have nothing to do even with tomorrow.

Our sole business is with the one little day now passing, and the one day’s burdens will never crush us; we can easily carry them until the sun goes down. We can always get along for one short day–and that is really, all we ever have.

(J. R. Miller, “Devotional Hours with the Bible” 1908)

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A secret of victorious living

Posted by on Feb 2, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

There is a secret of victorious living which, if people knew it, would make all of life easier for them. It may be stated thus: that as we take up any duty and go forward with it, we shall receive the strength we need to do it. There are several Divine promises that give this assurance.

One reads, “As your days–so shall your strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25. This seems to mean that the help which God gives, varies according to the necessity of the particular day. God fits His blessing–to our days.
When we are faint–He increases strength.
When we are sorrowful–He gives comfort.
When we are in danger–He grants protection.
When we are weary–He gives rest.
“As your days–so shall your strength be.”

Another of Christ’s promises reads, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Every word of this assurance shines with radiant light.

My grace is sufficient for you.” It is Christ’s grace that is sufficient. We know that He has all Divine fullness, and therefore we are sure that no human need can ever exhaust His power to give help!

My grace is sufficient for you.” It is Christ’s grace that is sufficient. If it were anything else but grace, it might not give us such comfort. Grace is undeserved favor, goodness shown to the unworthy. We deserve nothing, for we are sinners. But it is Christ’s grace which is sufficient, and so we can claim it.

“My grace is sufficient for you.”
It is present tense–IS sufficient. Christ is always speaking personally to the one who is in any need, and saying, “My grace IS sufficient for you.”

“My grace is sufficient for you.” The word “sufficient” is one whose meaning expands and amplifies with the measure of the need. No necessity is so small as not to be included; and none is so great as to go beyond the capacity of the blessing that is promised.

My grace is sufficient for you.” The grace is sufficient for each of His redeemed children–“for you” the promise runs.

Life lies before us, with . . .
its burdens,
its duties,
its responsibilities,
its struggles,
its perplexities.
It does not come to us all in one piece. God breaks our years–into months and weeks and days, and never gives us more than just a little at a time–never more than we can bear or do for the day.

If we take up the present duty or burden–we shall always have strength to do it. If we do not have strength of our own sufficient for the work or struggle, we need not falter–but should go on, just as if we had omnipotence in our arm; for as we obey God, though the task is impossible to our ability–He will sustain us by giving us all the help we need.

(J. R. Miller, “Thread for a Web Begun” 1894)

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The burning of these old Ephesian books!

Posted by on Feb 1, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number of them who had been practicing magic brought their books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars!” Acts 19:18-19

One proof of the power of Christianity, was in the way these new believers at Ephesus renounced their evil ways and gave up their profitable sins. They saw the emptiness and folly of the things in which they had been trusting, and openly confessed the sinful deeds they had been doing. Many of them who had been engaged in the practice of magic arts, brought their books together and made a bonfire of them in the public square.

Always, those who follow Christ should be ready to part with whatever is sinful in their life and work, that Christ may be honored above all. Sins kept in the heart–poison the life, hide God’s face, and shut out blessing. No matter what it may cost, our sins must be sacrificed, or they will destroy us!

The burning of these old Ephesian books suggests that we should have bonfires of our evil books. There are many books which ought to be burned! They carry in them Satan’s poison! To read them is to debauch our own souls. To put them into the hands of others–is to ruin them.

In India, a man took down a book from the shelf–and a viper came out of the book and stung him to death! Just so, there are many books in which deadly vipers lie hidden! We should be most careful in choosing the books we read. A good book is a great blessing–but a bad book is a curse!

(J. R. Miller, “Paul’s Message for Today” 1904)

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Look up!

Posted by on Jan 13, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

It is good always to look up. Thousands of people dwarf their lives, and hinder the possibilities of growth in their souls–by looking downward. They keep their eyes ever entangled in mere earthly sights, and miss the glories of the hills that pierce the clouds, and of the heavens that bend over them!

A story is told of a boy who one day found a gold coin on the street. Ever after this–he kept his eyes on the ground as he walked, watching for coins. During a long lifetime, he found a good number of coins–but meanwhile he never saw the flowers and the trees which grew in such wondrous beauty everywhere; he never saw the hills, the mountains, the sweet valleys, the picturesque landscapes; he never saw the blue sky. To him, this lovely world meant only a dusty road, dreary and unbeautiful, merely a place in which to look for coins.

This really is the story of the life of most people. They never lift their eyes off the earth! They live only to gather money, to add field to field, to scheme for power or to find pleasure. Or, if their quest is a little higher, it is still only forearthly things. They never lift up their eyes to God! There is no blue sky in their picture. They cherish no heavenly visions. They are without God in the world.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

(J. R. Miller, “Unto the Hills!” A Meditation on Psalm 121)

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Our conception of Christian living

Posted by on Jan 10, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

True religion is intensely practical. Only so far as it dominates one’s life–is it real. We must get the commandments out of God’s Word–and give them a place in the hard, dusty paths of our earthly toil and struggle. We must get them off the tables of stone–and have them written on the walls of our own hearts! We must bring the Golden Rule–into our daily, actual life.

We are too apt to imagine, that holiness consists in mere good feeling toward God. It does not! It consists in obedience in heart and life to the divine requirements. To be holy is, first, to be set apart for God and devoted to God’s service, and it necessarily follows that we must live for God.

Our hands are God’s–and can fitly be used only in doing His work; our feet are God’s–and may be employed only in walking in His ways and running His errands; our lips are God’s–and should speak words only that honor Him and bless others; our hearts are God’s–and must not be profaned by thoughts and affections that are not pure.

True holiness is no vague sentiment–it is intensely practical. It is nothing less than the bringing of every thought and feeling and act–into obedience to Christ! We are quite in danger of leaving out the element of obedience, in our conception of Christian living. If we do this, our religion loses its strength and grandeur–and becomes weak, nerveless and forceless.

Our religion must touch every part of our life–and transform it all into the beauty of holiness.

(J. R. Miller, “Being Christians on Weekdays” 1888)

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The art of living a Christian life

Posted by on Jan 3, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“Whoever claims to live in Him–must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

We have only successfully acquired the art of living a Christian life–when we have learned to apply the principles of true religion, and enjoy its help and comfort in our daily life.

It is easy to join in devotional exercises, to quote Bible promises, to extol the beauty of the Scriptures. But there are many who do these things–whose religion utterly fails them in the very places and at the very times–when it ought to prove their staff and stay!

All of us must go out from the sweet services of the Sunday–into a week of very real and very commonplace life. We must mingle with people who are not angels! We must pass through experiences, that will naturally worry and vex us. Those about us, either wittingly or unwittingly, annoy and try us! We will meet many troubles and worries in ordinary week-day life. There are continual irritations and annoyances!

The problem is to live a beautiful Christian life–in the face of all these hindrances! How can we get through the tangled briers which grow along our path–without having our hands and feet torn by them? How can we live sweetly–amid the vexing and irritating things, and the multitude of little worries and frets which infest our way, and which we cannot evade?

It is not enough merely to ‘get along in any sort of way’, to drag to the close of each long, wearisome day–happy when night comes to end the strife. Life should be a joy–and not a burden. We should live victoriously, ever master of our experiences, and not tossed by them like a leaf on the dashing waves. Every earnest Christian wants to live a truly beautiful life, whatever the circumstances may be.

A little child, when asked ‘what it was to be a Christian,’ replied, “For me, to be a Christian is to live as Jesus would live–and behave as Jesus would behave–if He were a little girl and lived at our house.”

No better definition of the Christian life could be given. Each one of us is to live just as Jesus would–if He were living out our little life in the midst of its actual environment, mingling with the same people with whom we must mingle, and exposed to the very annoyances, trials and provocations to which we are exposed. We want to live a life that will please God, and that will bear witness to the genuineness of our piety.

“Leaving you an example–so that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

(J. R. Miller, “How to Live a Beautiful Christian Life” 1880)

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