Hunger for His Word

When He comes to us in the garb of pain or sorrow

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“He came unto His own–but His own did not receive Him.” John 1:11

We say that the Jews, “His own,” were very ungrateful to treat their Messiah in this way; and also that their rejection was a terrible wrong to themselves, for they thrust away in Christ, the most glorious things of Heaven and eternity!

But how is it with ourselves? Christ comes to us. He is continually coming. His hands are full of blessings. Do we really take from the hand of Christ–all that He offers to us? Do we not daily grieve Him and rob ourselves of blessings–by declining what He brings?

Especially do we reject Christ often–when He comes to us in the garb of pain or sorrow. Many times the blessings which He brings to us then–are the very richest and the most precious in all His treasury of grace!

But how many of us receive Christ as gladly, and take the gifts from His hand as cheerfully and gratefully, when He comes in grief or suffering–as when He comes in the garb of joy or worldly prosperity?

Why should we not do so? Can we not trust His love and wisdom?

He never sends pain–unless pain is best for us.

He never chastens us–unless there is a blessing in the chastening.

Thanks Grace Gems! (J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)

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It is finished!

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

It is finished!” John 19:30

Let us turn from the story of the crucifixion, every time we read it–with hearts full of praise.

Let us praise God for the confidence it gives us, as to the ground of our hope of pardon. Our sins may be many and great–but the payment made by our Great Substitute far outweighs them all!

Let us praise God for the view it given us of the love of our Father in heaven. He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all–will surely with Him give us all things!

Not least, let us praise God for the view it gives us of the sympathy of Jesus with all His believing people. He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows what suffering is. Jesus is just the Savior that an infirm body, with a weak heart, in an evil world, requires!

(J. C. Ryle)

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How much did he leave?

Posted by on Mar 29, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:5

People are badly cheated in this world. They imagine that the things they can see are the real things–that the gold, lands, and stocks are the true treasures. So they toil for those things and gather them into their possession, piling up what they suppose to be wealth. Thus they live in pomp, with their fine houses, and all their brilliant show. But one day their supposed riches sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Or they may keep their wealth, perchance, and die at last in the midst of it, and have a great funeral; but they find that they cannot carry a penny of it with them. “How much did he leave?” was asked about a rich man who had died. “All of it!” was the answer.

If only people knew that there are things which will never fly away–they would no longer live for fleeting worldly wealth. They would pass by the glittering unrealities, to lay hold of the true riches. He who is rich toward God–is the truly wealthy man.

(J. R. Miller, “Counsel and Help” 1907)

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Our words and deeds are irrevocable

Posted by on Mar 4, 2010 in Grace Gems, J. R. Miller | 0 comments

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken!” Matthew 12:36

We cannot recall any word we have spoken. It may be a false word or an unkind word–a word which will blast and burn! Instantly after it has been spoken–we may wish it back and may rush after it and try to stop it–but there is no power in the world that can unsay the hurtful word–or blot it out of our life!

It is just so with our acts. A moment after we have done a wicked thing, we may bitterly repent it. We may be willing to give all we have in the world to undo it, to make it as though it never had been. But in vain. A deed done takes its place in the universe as a fact–and never can be recalled.

We should be sure before we speak a word or do an act–that it is right, that we shall never desire to have it recalled–for when once we have opened our lips, or lifted our hand–there will be no unsaying or undoing possible.

Our words and deeds are irrevocable. We cannot recall anything we have done, neither can we change it. But by other words and deeds, we may in some measure modify the effect of that which we cannot blot out. Paul could not undo his persecutions of Christians–but by a life to devotion to Christ’s cause–he could in a sense make reparation for the terrible harm he had done.

Just so, we cannot undo the wrong things we have done–but we should strive to set in motion other influences which may at least compensate in some sense for the harm they have wrought. We cannot unsay the sharp word which wounds our friend’s heart–but we can by kindness and loyal devotion–yet bring good and blessing to his life.

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

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We do not have to be crucified on pieces of wood!

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

“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1

The godly life is not one of ease, pleasure and self-indulgence.

We are taught to present our bodies, as a living sacrifice unto God. Ancient offerings were brought to the altar, and presented dead. But the Christian sacrifice, instead of being poured out in a bloody oblation, is to be a living sacrifice–of service, of love, of devotion.

The great sacrifice of Christ is both the model for all Christian life, and also its inspiration. We look at His six hours on the cross–as if that were its only act and expression. But the cross was not endured by Christ merely during those six hours on Calvary; it was in all His life, in every day and hour of it. Everything He did was in love, and love is always a living sacrifice. He was always sacrificing Himself. On Calvary, He only wrote the word out in capital letters!

The cross stands not merely for the sufferings of Christ endured in redeeming sinners–but also for the law of love and of sacrifice in every department of Christian living. It is not enough to have the cross on our churches, as a symbol of redemption; or to wear crucifixes as ornaments; the cross and the crucifix must be in the heart–and manifested in the life!

We talk a great deal about the love of Christ–but we must strive to illustrate it and reproduce in our own lives, in our own measure–the sweetness, the charity, the kindness and the helpfulness of Jesus Christ. The cross is everywhere. The more of the ‘sacrificial’ quality we get into our life–the diviner and the lovelier our life will be.

We do not have to be crucified on pieces of wood–to bear a cross, and make a living sacrifice. The cross must be in the lives of those who follow Christ; not branded on their bodies–but wrought into their character, their disposition, their conduct, their spirit! We cannot live a Christian life for a day, without coming to points of sacrifice. The cross of Christ does not take our own cross from us–Christ does not bear our cross for us. His cross becomes the law of our life, and makes it all sacrificial. Every sacrificial thing we do, reveals the cross. The Beatitudes are all sacrificial. No one can live the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and not crucify self continually.

All sacrifice at length blossoms into Christlike beauty, sweetness and joy.

(J. R. Miller, “The Wider Life” 1908)

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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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