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To Many People–Life Is Very Hard – by J.R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerTo Many People–Life Is Very Hard

(J. R. Miller, “Life’s Byways and Waysides”)

For the Christian, all of life’s conditions and circumstances are transformed.
 
Take the matter of CARE. Every life has ‘cares’. There are cares in business. There are cares in home-life. There are cares of poverty–but no less has the rich man his cares. Childhood has its anxieties; young faces sometimes appear careworn. No one can escape care!

To many people–life is very hard. But Christian faith transfigures care, for those who are Christ’s and have learned how to live as He teaches us to live. He tells us not to worry about anything, because our Father is caring for us. He tells us that life is a school, and that all our cares are parts of lessons which He has set for us. That means that every care has hidden in it–a secret of blessing–a gift of love which our Father has sent to us. Every time you come to a hard point in your life–an obstacle, a difficulty, a perplexity–God is giving you a new opportunity to grow stronger, wiser, or richer-hearted.

We try to make life easy for our children–but God is wiser than we are. He wants His children to have struggles–that they may grow strong, holy and noble!

Thus it is that common care is transfigured by the grace of Christ! It enfolds blessings for us. It carries in its ‘dreary form’ secrets of blessing for us. Even our ‘drudgeries’ have blessings in their wearisome routine; we get many of our best lessons out of them.

All we need to learn is how to meet our worries, and they are transfigured for us! Paul tells us in a wonderful passage how to get this transformation of care: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. God’s peace will then shine through all life’s frets. Thus care is transfigured, by the love of Christ in the heart.

With permission from Grace Gems

let nothing be wasted! by J. R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerLET NOTHING BE WASTED!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“Gather the fragments that are left over. Let nothing be wasted!” John 6:12

It seems remarkable, that He who so easily could multiply the five loaves into an abundant meal for thousands, should be so particular about ‘saving the fragments’. But Jesus would teach us economy. No matter how great our abundance, we should take care of the ‘fragments’. After we have eaten at our tables, there are hungry people who would be glad for the pieces that are left over.

This applies also to the fragments of time. Many busy people waste whole years of time in their life–in the minutes which they lose every day! If at the end of a year they could gather up all these ‘fragments’, they would have many basketfuls of golden time in which they might do much good!

Likewise, we should not waste our strength. Many people waste their bodily energy, using it in play, or useless amusements, when it belongs to God–and ought to be employed to its last particle for His glory!

Likewise, we should not waste our affections by allowing them to be given to unworthy objects or people.

There is no limit to the application of this principle. We must give account of everything we have, even the minutes of time, the little fractions of strength, and the smallest bits of bread on our tables!

“Gather the fragments that are left over. Let nothing be wasted!” John 6:12

With permission from Grace Gems

Would you see what sin is? – by J. R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerWOULD YOU SEE WHAT SIN IS?

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)
It was sin that nailed Jesus on the cross!

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46

There is a picture which represents the after-scenes on that day of the crucifixion.

It is all over. The crowds have gone away. The evening sun is shining out again on Calvary. The body of the Savior has been borne to the sepulcher. The cross has been taken down, and lies on the ground. A company of little children, bright with the glow of childhood’s innocence, led to the place by accident or curiosity, are seen bending over the signs of the day’s terrible work. One of the children holds in his hand, a nail which a little time before, had pierced a hand or a foot of the patient Sufferer, and stands spellbound with horror as he gazes at it. His gentle heart is shocked at sin’s dreadful work! On all the children’s faces, the same expression of horror is depicted.

No one with pure and gentle heart, can ever look at the death of Christ on the cross–with any but feelings of amazement and horror at sin’s awfulness!

It was sin that wreathed the circlet of thorns for His brow!

We say the Jews crucified Christ; yes–but WE helped to do it!

Our sins drove the nails!

Would you see what sin is? Stand by the cross and ponder its terrible work, there in the death of the Redeemer. See what it cost the Lamb of God, to take away sin!

With permission from Grace Gems

Nothingless than a living Christ will do for us! by J.R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerNOTHING LESS THAN A LIVING CHRIST WILL DO FOR US!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:4

If your faith stops at the cross–it misses the blessing of the fullest revealing of Christ!

You need a Savior who not merely two thousand years ago went to death to redeem you–but one who also is alive to walk by your side in loving companionship.

You need a Savior who can hear your prayers, to whose feet you can creep in penitence when you have sinned, to whom you can call for help when the battle is going against you.

You need a Savior who is interested in all the affairs of your common life, and who can assist you in every time of need.

You need a Christ who can be a real friend–loving you, keeping close beside you, able to sympathize with your weaknesses.

You need a Savior who will come into your life, and will save you, not by one great act of centuries past–but by a life warm and throbbing with love today, and living again in you.

A DYING Christ alone, will not satisfy our heart. We must have the living One for our friend! Nothing less than a LIVING Christ will do for us! And that is the Christ the gospel brings to us: one who was dead–and is now alive for ever and ever!

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God!” cried the psalmist, and cries every redeemed soul. It is only as we realize the truth of a living Christ–that our hearts are satisfied. We crave love–a bosom to lean upon, a hand to touch ours, a heart whose beatings we can feel, a personal friendship that will come into our life with its sympathy, its inspiration, its companionship, its shelter, its life, its comfort. All this, the living Christ is to us!

“I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” Revelation 1:18

With permission from Grace Gems

When I grumble about the weather – by J.R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerWHEN I GRUMBLE ABOUT THE WEATHER

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!” Exodus 16:8

Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .
  about the hard winter,
  about the late spring,
  about the dry summer,
  about the wet harvest?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
  about the frosts,
  about the drought,
  about the high winds,
  about the storms?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
  about my circumstances,
  about the hardness of my lot,
  about my losses and disappointments?

If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speak–would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

“I tell you this–that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!” Matthew 12:36

“He who complains of the weather–complains of the God who ordains the weather!” William Law

With permission from Grace Gems

We must hew our agags to pieces – by J.R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerWE MUST HEW OUR AGAGS TO PIECES!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“Since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head!” 1 Samuel 17:50-51

If he had not cut off the giant’s head
–the old Philistine champion would have gotten up by and by, and walked away; for he was only stunned, not killed, by the stone. David made sure work of his victory!

A great many of our attacks upon sin in our own hearts, and in the world–only stun, and do not kill the evil. We walk away, thinking we have done a fine thing. But shortly, we meet the ‘old giant’ again, stalking abroad as before! He soon recovers from our blow, and we have to fight the battle over; and perhaps we fight it again in the same half-hearted way–and thus on and on, to the end of our life!

Most of us have had just such experience as this, with our own evil lusts and passions. We overcome them very often, and think each time that we are through with them–but soon again they are as active as ever.

We need to learn a lesson from David–and finish our victories by cutting off the head of every giant we strike down!

There is no other way of killing sins!

The life is in the head–and the head must be struck off–or the enemy will be facing us again in a day or two, with but a scar on his forehead!

The only way to get a real victory over vices–is to decapitate them! Bruises and wounds are not enough. There must be thorough work done, in the name of the Lord. Half-way measures will not avail.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

“Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord.” 1 Samuel 15:33. Like Samuel, we must hew our Agags to pieces!

With permission from Grace Gems

He saw that they were in serious trouble! by J. R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerHE SAW THAT THEY WERE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side. After leaving them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning He came to them, walking on the water.” Mark 6:45, 46, 48

Jesus did not come immediately; indeed, it was almost morning when He came, and the disciples had been struggling all night in the storm. Yet He had not been indifferent to them meanwhile. From the mountainside where He was praying–He kept His eye upon them. “He saw that they were in serious trouble.” All that dark night, He kept a watch upon that little boat that bore His disciples in the midst of the waves.

There is something very suggestive in the narrative. This ‘boat in the storm’, is a picture of ‘Christ’s friends in this world, in the storms of life’. Sometimes we think we are forgotten–but from His place in glory, Christ’s eye is always on us! He sees us struggling, battling with the waves, beaten, and distressed. He has full sympathy with us in all our struggles. It ought to be a great strength and comfort to us in trial, to know this. Jesus intercedes for us in our distresses!

It may not be best always to deliver us immediately–but His prayer continually ascends, that our faith may not fail in the struggle. This also should encourage us.

Then, He always comes in time. He may delay long–but it is never too long. If we call upon Him in trouble–we may be sure that He hears and sees us, and knows just how hard it is for us to endure; that He prays for us that we may not fail, and that He will come at the right time for our deliverance!

With permission from Grace Gems

There are Jebusites in every Christian heart! by J.R. Miller

Friday, December 4th, 2009

j-r-millerTHERE ARE ‘JEBUSITES’ IN EVERY CHRISTIAN HEART!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“The king and his men marched to Jerusalem, to fight against the Jebusites who inhabited the land.” 2 Samuel 5:6

The Jebusites still held a stronghold in the heart of the country, never having been dislodged. Just so, there are ‘Jebusites’ in every Christian heart!

In every heart, there are little ‘Jebusite strongholds’, which it seems impossible for us to conquer. Sometimes it is a secret sin which lives on, unconquered, amid the general holiness of a life. Sometimes it is a remnant of the old nature–such as pride, worldliness, selfishness, lust, or bitterness. There are many other such citadels of evil, which rear their proud towers and defy conquest.

“We all have our faults!” we say, and under this ‘cloak’ we manage to tuck away a large number of dear idols that we do not want to give up!

We ought to give attention to these unsubdued parts of our life–that every thought, feeling, and temper may be brought into subjection to Christ. It is perilous to leave even one such unconquered stronghold in our heart!

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ!” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Permission from Grace Gems

Quotes by J.R. Miller

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-miller1.      It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it.J.R. Miller

I found this wonderful site but it went off the air to my surprise on J.R. Miller called JR Miller Archives – I think you will enjoy visiting and searching the wonderful works on this site: http://www.jr-miller.com/ That is if it comes back up.

Need a Revealer of Love (In Green Pastures) 

2.      Whatever makes us forget ourselves and think of others lifts us upward. This is one reason that God permits suffering. We would never know the best and richest of human love if there were no pain, no distress, no appeal of grief or of need. The best and holiest of mother-love would never be brought out if the child never suffered. The same is true of God’s love. God would have loved his children unfallen just as much as he loves them fallen, but the world would never have known so much of God’s love had not man fallen. Our sore need called out all that was richest, holiest, and divinest in our Father’s heart. If no night came we should never know there are stars. Darkness is a revealer.

Dedication (Meditation on the 23rd Psalm)

3.      Whoever lets loose a sunbeam in this world starts a benediction among men. Whoever sets a little lamp where its beam may shine on even a few feet of some one’s path has done that which is worth while. God made the sunbeam, and the candle was lighted a great while ago; but if in my little book I can bring the light nearer to some who will be blessed and cheered by it, that will be enough. J.R.M.

Choosing a Wife (The Marriage Altar)

4.      On no other subject do young people need wise, loving counsel more than in choosing for marriage. One reason is that it is possible to make a mistake. Not every marriage is happy. Of all mistakes this is one of the saddest, for it is irretrievable. If a man does not like his house, he can move out of it. If your companions are not congenial, you can drop them. But when you have taken the marriage vows there is no honorable release.

A wise marriage leads a man to the noblest, truest, fullest, and best life. Thousands of men owe all their success and prosperity to their choice of a wife. She has been the good angel of their destiny. There is a fable of a lump of common clay which was made fragrant by the rose which rested beside it. Countless men of common mould have been transformed into rare beauty, refinement, and grace of character, by the gentle woman whom they were so blessed as to find for a wife. A wise man wants a wife who will make something of him, whose influence will ever inspire him to do his best. J.R.M.

Choosing a Husband (The Marriage Altar) 

5.      Someone may say, “But a woman does not choose her husband. She waits to be chosen, and can do no more than accept or refuse.” Yet the woman is to be pitied who marries a man whom her heart does not choose from among all men. If she is doubtful upon this point, she is not ready to marry.

There is something very sacred, almost awe inspiring, in the act by which a woman, at her entrance into the marriage state, confides all the interests of her life to the hands of him whom she accepts as her husband. She leaves father and mother and the home of her childhood; she severs all the ties that bind her to her old life; she gives up the friends and friendships of her youth; she cuts herself off from the sources of happiness to which all through her years she has been accustomed to turn; she looks up into the face of him who has asked her to be his wife, and with trembling heart, and yet with quiet confidence, entrusts to him and his keeping all the sacred interests of her life.

It is a holy trust which a man receives when a noble woman thus commits herself to his keeping. It is the life long happiness and well being of a gentle heart, capable of ineffable joy or of unmeasured misery. It is the whole earthly future of a life which may be fashioned into the beauty of Christ, or marred, its beauty forever shattered. J.R.M.

Secrets of Wedded Happiness (The Marriage Altar) 

6.      The happy day has come. The man and the woman who have chosen each other as wife and as husband stand at the altar. Taking the woman’s hand, the man says to her, “I take thee to my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.” Taking the man’s hand the woman says to him, with slight variations, the same words. Then they twain, pronounced one, go forth, to begin their wedded life together.

How can they make their marriage a truly happy one? It can be done; it ought to be done; it will be done, unless one or the other or both shall fail in keeping the sacred covenant. How can it be done?

One suggestion is that the love and the loving ways of the wooing days must be carried over into the life of the wedded days. Why is it that so many married people, when the honeymoon is over, drop all the arts of love by which they won and held each other in affection’s thrall before marriage? The young husband comes in tired, and leaves at the door his affectionateness, sometimes even his good manners. He takes no pains to be agreeable, much less tender. A husband should be as affectionate to his wife, even when both are gray headed, as he was to the girl when he was trying to win her.

This rule applies also to a wife. You remember how you used to watch for your lover, how cordially you always greeted him, how charming you made his stay. Do you watch now for his steps when he comes home? Do you greet him with the old tenderness?

The Wedding Ring (The Marriage Altar) 

7.      The wedding ring, given and received, is the token or pledge of faithfulness. The man in giving the ring binds himself by all that is holy and sacred to be a true husband to the woman to whom he gives it, until death shall separate them. The woman who receives the ring in the like manner binds herself to be a true and faithful wife to the man from whom she accepts it. The ring is to both of them the seal of the holy covenant. Every woman who wears a wedding ring is by this token set apart from all other women. Every time she sees the golden circlet upon her hand, if she is a true woman, she will remember the holy covenant into which she has entered.

There is danger that too often the sacredness of marriage is not understood by those who enter it. The words of the ceremony declare that marriage is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Not all who take upon themselves the solemn vows do it in this serious way. Too many marry without one sober thought about what they are doing. Two young persons meet, are attracted the one to the other, go together a longer or shorter times, “fall in love,” become engaged. Then in a little while they are united in marriage. They have never thought the matter through seriously. They have not asked whether they are suited to each other or not. They have gone blindly into marriage. Is it any wonder that ofttimes such marriages are sad failures?

Miscellaneous Audio Messages

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

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Beautiful Old Age – 11 minutes – Audio

A Gentle Heart – 39 minutes - Audio

It will help us greatly in our Christian life – 5 minutes – Audio

With permission from Sermon Audio

The Ministry of Comfort – J. R. Miller, 1898

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerSection 1

Glimpses of Immortality

Why Trouble Comes

“But He for our Profit”

Love in Taking Away

Trouble as a Trust

Some Blessings of Sorrow

Comfort in God’s Will


Section 2

Jesus as a Comforter

God Himself the Best Comfort

The Duty of Forgetting Sorrow

Effectual Prayer

The Effacement of Self

One Day

The Culture of the Spirit


Section 3

The Secret of Serving

The Habit of Happiness

Thinking Soberly

Stumbling at the Disagreeable

The Duty of Thanksgiving

Manners

Things Which Discourage Kindness

Putting Away Childish Things

 

A theological professor used to say to his students, “Never fail in any service, to have at least a word of comfort. No congregation, however small, ever assembles, but there is in it a person in sorrow, who will go away unhelped, if in scripture lesson, hymn or prayer, there is nothing to lift up a heavy heart.”

No book for devotional reading would be complete, however full of other lessons, if it contained nothing for those who are in sorrow. In this little volume special prominence is given to the ministry of comfort, in the hope that the book may make some hearts braver and stronger in the hard and painful ways of life. It is affectionately dedicated to those who are called to pass through trial.

With permission from Grace Gems

The Hidden Life – J. R. Miller, 1895

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerThe Chapters in this little volume may have their message to some who are striving to live near the heart of Christ. It is the hidden life which makes the character. What we are in the depths of our being, where no human eye can penetrate, that we are actually, as God sees us. Then this inner life will ultimately work its way through to the surface, transforming the character into its own quality. Nothing can be more important, therefore, than that the hidden life be true, pure, beautiful, and Christ-like. “Man looks at the outward appearance—but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

The Hidden Life

The Outer and Inner Life

Satisfaction—Not Repression

Comfort in Christ’s Knowledge of Us

A condition of Divine Blessing

Secrets of Contentment

Our Unanswered Prayers

For the People Who Fail

The Sin of Not Praying for Others

On Growing Old Successfully

With permission from Grace Gems

The Every Day of Life – J. R. Miller, 1892

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerIt’s never too late to begin the journey of the every-day of life to awaken and strengthen your soul.
 

Section 1

The every-day of life

Our Debt to the Past

The Beatitude for the Unsuccessful

The Blessing of Quietness

On Being a Discourager

Making Life a Song

Life-Music in Chorus


Section 2

Loving the Unseen Friend

The Secret of Peace

 In Time of Loneliness

The Blessedness of Not Knowing

Words about Consecration

The Duty of Speaking Out

Learning by Doing


Section 3

The Blessing of Patience

Hurting the Lives of Others

The Cost of Being a Friend

Our Unsuspected Perils

The Bearing of Our Burdens

The Influence of Companionship

As it is in Heaven

The Ending of the Day

 

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to those who want to grow more holy. If you are satisfied with yourself—you would better not read it, for it might spoil your contentment.

It is sent out with the hope that it may be helpful to some, first in showing glimpses of better things, and then in leading toward them. It is written for people who have common human experiences, in the heart of the world’s toil and care; one who is a fellow-pilgrim with like experiences would lend a brother’s hand.

Perhaps a discouraged one—may take heart again after reading some of these simple chapters; or one who has not thought seriously of life—may grow a little more earnest; or one who has fallen by the way—may rise and face toward the light and begin to live victoriously; or a fainting robin may be helped back into the nest again. That will be blessing enough.
J. R. Miller

With permission from Grace Gems

The Building of Character – J. R. Miller, 1894

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerPart 1

The Building of Character

Our Undiscovered Faults

Life’s Second Chance

Getting Help From Criticism

Fellow-workers with God

Our Debt to Others


Part 2

The Responsibility of Greatness

The Ability of faith

Sources of Strength

The Blessing of Weakness

Living Victoriously

Interpreters for God


Part 3

Some Secrets of a Beautiful Life

Helping by Prayer

The Cost of Praying

Making Friendship Hard

Give Them Something to Eat

On Judging Others


Part 4

Christ’s Withheld Lessons

For the Days of Darkness

Hidden Words in the Bible

Getting the Joy of Christ

The Need of the Afterlook
 

Nothing else we can do or make in this world is so important as that which we build along the years in ourselves. What we are at the end is a great deal truer test of living—than what we have or what we have done.

It is hoped that these chapters may give helpful suggestions to thoughtful readers toward the attaining of the things in life which are more excellent. The author is exceedingly grateful to the many who have written him of the strength, comfort, encouragement, guidance, or inspiration received from his former books, and sends out this new volume in the hope that it, too, may have a ministry of helpfulness.

With permission from Grace Gems

The Book of Comfort – by J. R. Miller, 1912

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerSection 1

Speak Tenderly

The Ministry Of Comport

How Christ Comports His Friends

Be Op Good Cheer

Does God Care?

You Will Not Mind the Roughness

Why Does No One Ever See God?

The One Who Stands by
 

Section 2

After Bereavement—what?

Comfort Through Personal Helpfulness

Christ and I Are Friends

More than Conquerors

Reaching for the Mountain Splendors

Life’s Open Doors

Some Lessons on Spiritual Growth

The Thanksgiving Lesson

The Indispensable Christ
 

Section 3

In That Which Is Least

The Master and the Children

Portions for Those Who Lack

Slow and Steady Advance the Best

What to Do with Our Unequal Chance

“If Two of You Shall Agree

When We Are Laid Aside

Face to Face with One’s Own Life

The Meaning of Immortality

With permission from Grace Gems