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nChrist
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« on: July 17, 2019, 05:36:10 AM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

     

        A verse of Scripture in the morning, may become a blessing for all the day. It may sing in the heart as a sweet song, from morning until evening. It may become a liturgy of prayer in which the soul shall voice its deepest needs and hungers—amid toils, struggles, and cares. It may be a guide through perplexing tangles, 'God's voice' whispering cheer, a comforter breathing peace in sorrow.

        January 1.

        "May the Lord bless you and protect you.
         May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
         May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace."
            Numbers 6:24-26

        In the first days of a new year, we all say to our friends and neighbors, "Happy New Year!" Our hearts are full of generous feelings and wishes for all we meet. But what can we do to give them a happy new year? We cannot compel their circumstances into fortunate adjustments, so as to produce happiness. Besides, we cannot know what would be the truest and best blessings for our friends.

        After all, the only really safe thing is to pray that God may be with them through the year, and may bless them in his own best and truest way. He knows better than we do—what is the best blessing.
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 05:38:23 AM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

         

        January 2.

        "You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north." Deuteronomy 2:3

        We ought never to be willing to live any year—just as we lived the last one. No one is striving after the best things—who is not intent on an upward and a forward movement continually. The circular movement is essential too, the going around and around in the old grooves, routine work, daily tasks; yet, even in this treadmill round, there should be constant progress. We ought to do the same things, better each day. Then in the midst of the outward routine—our inner life ought to be growing in earnestness, in force, in strength, in depth.

        Yet there are some people whose life year by year is only a going around and around in the old beaten paths, with no onward movement. They are like men who walk in a circular course for a prize, covering a thousand miles, perhaps, but ending just where they began. Rather, our daily walk should be like one whose path goes around a mountain, but climbs a little higher with each circuit, until at last he gains the clear summit, and looks into the face of God. While we must do in a measure the same things every day—we should do them a little better with each repetition.
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 05:39:53 AM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

         

        January 3.

        "The jar of flour was not used up—and the jug of oil did not run dry." 1 Kings 17:16

        There was always just a little flour and a little oil—but the supply never grew any less. After each day's food had been taken out—there was another day's left. There was never a month's supply ahead, nor even two days' supply. The added provision came—only as there was need. Thus there was in that household, a continuous lesson in faith. But the food of no day failed.

        The lesson is, that God wants us to live by the day. The same truth is taught us in the prayer Christ gave: "Give us this day, our daily bread." Enough for the day is all we are to ask. God does not promise supplies in advance. If we have only bread for today, and are doing our duty faithfully, we may trust him until tomorrow, for tomorrow's food. And it will surely come, for God's Word fails not.

        It is well that we get this lesson fixed in our heart at the beginning of the year. As the days come, each one will bring with it its own little basket, carrying a day's supplies—but no more!
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 03:04:38 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 4.

        "If you continue in My Word, then you really are My disciples." John 8:31

        It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Mere enrollment will not make one a scholar; the pupil must continue in the school through all the long course, until he has mastered every branch. One who has observed the course of men for many years, says that success in life depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases—is lack of perseverance. Men get tired and give up. There are thousands who begin to follow Christ—but who, when discouragements come, faint and drop out.

        To continue in Christ's word—is to obey him. We must do it continuously too; not today only—but tomorrow as well, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, unto the end.

        There is another way of abiding in the word of Christ. Many of his words are promises. The forests in summer days are full of bird-nests. They are hidden among the leaves. The little birds know where they are; and when a storm arises, or when night draws on, they fly each to his own nest. So the promises of God are hidden in the Bible, like nests in the great forests; and there we should fly in any danger or alarm, hiding there in our soul's nest until the storm be over and past. There are no castles in this world so impregnable, as the words of Christ.
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 03:06:20 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 5.

        "We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work." John 9:4

        We are all in this world on divine missions, are all sent from God to take some specific part in blessing the world. To do this—we have just a day of time. A day is a brief time. It is a fixed time. When the sun comes to his going down, no power in the universe can prolong his stay for one minute.

        Yet the day is long enough for God's plan. The sun never sets too soon for his purpose. Each life is long enough for the little part of the world's work allotted to it. This is true even of the infant that lives only an hour, merely coming into this world, smiling its blessing, and flying away. It is true of the child, of the young man or young woman, of him who dies in the maturity of his powers with his hands yet full of unfinished tasks. No one can ever offer as an excuse for an unfinished life-work, that the time given to him was too short. It is always long enough, if only every moment of it is filled with simple faithfulness.

        To have our work completed at the end, we must do it while the day lasts, for there will be no opportunity afterward. If we are living earnestly, we shall live all the time under the pressure of the consciousness, that the time is short. We must not waste nor lose a moment. Soon it will be night—when we cannot work!
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 03:08:24 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 6.

        "The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them." Exodus 14:19

        It is not always guidance that we most need. Sometimes we must stand still, with danger all around us, and then God goes behind us to shelter us. He always suits himself to our need. When we require guidance—he leads us. But when we need protection—he puts himself between us and the danger.

        There is something very striking in this picture the divine presence moving from before, and becoming a wall between Israel and their enemies. There are some mother-birds, storks for instance,

        which cover their young with their own body in time of peril, to shield them, receiving the dart themselves. Human love often interposes itself as a shield to protect its own. On the cross, Jesus bared his bosom to receive the storm of wrath—that on his people no blast of the awful tempest might strike!

        But not only does Christ put himself between us and our sins; he puts himself also between us and danger. The Lord God is our shield. Many of our dangers come upon us from behind. They are stealthy, insidious, assaulting us when we are unaware of their nearness. The tempter is cunning and shrewd. He does not meet us full-front. It is a comfort to know that Christ comes behind us—when it is there we need the protection.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 03:17:20 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        January 7.

        "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:20

        Saving, in order to "lay up for a rainy day", is universally commended. By just so much more as the object is higher, is it commendable to economize in order to "lay up treasures in heaven." We really have—only what we have used well for Christ. When one has learned this secret of banking in heaven, one has the true philosopher's stone which turns everything to gold. The simplest possessions, are transformed into eternal treasures. A threadbare coat becomes a robe of righteousness, a last year's bonnet a crown of glory, when worn in self-denying economy for Christ's sake. We should live always for the highest and best things!
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2019, 03:18:31 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 8.

        "You are my friends—if you do whatever I command you." John 15:14

        There is something very sweet in the thought, that we may be Christ's friends, and that he opens all his heart to us. "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear him." This means that if we are Christ's friends—he takes us into the closest intimacy. Not many of us realize all that is possible, in the way of companionship with Christ. If we are on terms of unhindered friendship with him—we can indeed talk with him freely, intimately, as friend with friend.

        "How does he talk with us?" some one asks. A heathen convert said, "When I pray—I talk to Christ! When I read my Bible—Christ speaks to me!" If we live close to Christ—the words of Scripture are very plain to us; Christ himself indeed speaks to us in them.

        There was a godly man in Germany, named Bengel, who was noted for his intimacy with Christ. A friend desired to watch the saintly man at his devotions. So he concealed himself one night in his room. Bengel sat long at his table reading his New Testament. The hours passed. At length the clock struck midnight, and the old man spread out his hands, and said with great joy, "Dear Lord Jesus, we are on the same old terms." Then closing his book he was soon in bed and asleep. He had learned the secret of friendship with Christ.
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2019, 03:20:00 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 9.

        "So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'" Luke 19:13

        We are doing business in this world for Christ. Each one of us has something of His—a pound which He has entrusted to us to trade with as his agent. Our life itself, with all its powers, its endowments, its opportunities, its privileges, its blessings, its possibilities—is our pound. Our life is not our own. We are not in this world merely to have a good time for a few years. Life is a trust. We are not done with it either, when we have lived it through to its last day. We must render an account of it to him who gave it to us. Our business is to gather gains through our trading with our Lord's money. We are required to make the most that is possible of our life!

        People often speak of the solemnity of dying. It is a grave and serious matter—but it is a great deal more solemn thing to live. Dying is but giving back into God's hand his own gift—life. If we have lived well, dying is victory, glory, the trampling of life's fragile vanities to fragments, as our soul bursts into real and full life and blessedness.

        It is living then, which is serious and solemn. Life to its last particle is our Lord's property, entrusted to us to be used so that it shall grow. Then comes the judgment. We shall have to look up into our Lord's face, and tell him what we have done with his pound. We shall be expected to return our trust, not , only kept safe—but enhanced in value!
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2019, 03:22:30 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 10.

        "The first came forward and said—Master, your pound has earned ten more pounds!" Luke 19:16

        We always find these ten-pound servants among the followers of Christ. They are those Christians who, from the very beginning, strive to reach the best things attainable in life—through divine grace. They are not content with being merely saved from sin's guilt, with being mere members of the church. They make their consecration to Christ complete, keeping nothing back. They set their ideal of obedience to their Lord at the mark of perfectness, and are not slack in their striving, until they reach the mark in heaven. They seek to follow Christ wholly, fully, with their whole heart. They accept every duty—without regard to its cost. They seek to be like Christ, imitating him in all the elements of his character. They give their whole energy to the work and service of Christ. They lie, like John, on the Master's bosom, and their souls are struck through, as it were, with the Master's loving spirit.

        So these men and women grow at last into a saintliness, a spiritual beauty, and a power of usefulness and influence, by which they are set apart among Christians, shining with brighter luster than other stars in the galaxy of the church. Their one pound has made ten pounds more! Their high spiritual attainment has been won by their diligent and wise use of the pound with which they began!
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2019, 03:23:49 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 11.

        "The second came and said—Master, your pound has earned five pounds!" Luke 19:18

        Christ gives into no man's hand at the beginning of his life—a finely trained, fully developed mind. The great poets and writers of the world, began with only one pound. There was capacity for growth—but that was all. Christ gives to no one at the start a noble, full-statured, rich, transfigured Christian character, with spiritual graces all blossoming out. The most saintly Christians began with very little saintliness, very little spiritual power. The most useful men in the church, began with a very small and imperfect sort of usefulness.

        Those whose influence for good now touches thousands of lives, and extends over whole communities, or fills an entire country—had nothing to begin with—but one little pound of capacity which the Master entrusted to them. This is the principle on which all our Lord's gifts are distributed. He puts into our hands a little at first; and as we use what we have, and gain experience, and show ability, and prove faithful to our trust—he adds more and more, giving us all we can use well, and as fast as we can use it!
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 03:25:15 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 12.

        "Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!" Isaiah 40:31

        The source of strength in any life—must be God. It is only when we are co-workers with him—that we are unconquerable. If we would be strong, therefore, able to resist sin, able to do valiant battle for the truth, able to touch other lives with healing, uplifting influences—we must abide in Christ. Then his strength shall be in our heart and in our arm.

        It is told of General Gordon, that each morning, during his journey in the Soudan country, for half an hour there lay outside his tent a white handkerchief. The whole camp knew well what it meant, and looked upon the little signal with the utmost respect; no foot dared cross the threshold of that tent while the little guard lay there. No message, however pressing, was to be delivered. Matters of life and death must wait until the white signal was taken away. Everybody in the camp knew that God and Gordon were communing together. Sweet is the communion of the spirit—which obtains nearness to its God. Powerful is the influence of the soul that hourly longs to draw near to its God and drink in the inspiring draughts of his presence.
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2019, 02:24:37 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 13.

        "Whoever is fearful and trembling—let him return!" Judges 7:3

        Through God wanted only a few men—he wanted the best. So the first thing was to weed out the incompetent. The army would be stronger with all these sent home—rather than with them all straggling along. There were twenty thousand cowards; and the ten thousand brave men would be stronger alone than the thirty thousand, having the timid thousands among them.

        Timidity is infectious. Many a church would be stronger if it were weeded out—just as Gideon's army was. Its weakness lies in its great numbers, not because numbers necessarily weaken—but because there are so many half-hearted people on the church roll. They have lost their interest, if they ever had any, and are indifferent, without thorough consecration. They add no strength—but only hinder the other members and dampen their zeal.
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2019, 02:26:14 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


         

        January 14.

        "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth." Genesis 9:9-10

        It is strange how God's care extends even to animals. This covenant was not with man only—but with all the animal creation as well. Think of God making a covenant with the cattle that roam in the valleys, the sheep that graze in the meadows, the birds that fly in the air, and even with the insects that chirp in the fields. Yet that is what he did! We know, too, that this divine care is real. There are other promises which contain the same assurances.

        "He feeds the wild animals, and the young ravens cry to him for food." Psalm 147:9. Our Lord said, "Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns—because your heavenly Father feeds them!" Matthew 6:26. God cares for birds. There is a promise, too, for the flowers, "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are!" Jesus says.

        Of course the lesson for us from all this, is the one which Jesus taught. If God cares for the birds and flowers—how much more will he care for his own children! Therefore we ought to trust him without fear!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:31:51 PM by nChrist » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2019, 02:33:16 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

         

        January 15.

        "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:13

        There can be no rainbow—unless it is raining. So we cannot see the brightest glory of God's grace, without entering into the experiences of trial. We can learn the full preciousness of the divine promises, only in the circumstances of need for which they were given.

        A young friend told me that she had seen richer revealings of the love of Christ in the weeks she had been in her sick-room, than in all the former years of her life. Words of God which she had known from childhood, had flashed out then for the first time in the rich splendor of their meaning! There had been no clouds in her life before—all was health and happiness, and she had not seen the rainbow hues.

        The same is true of all the divine comforts; we never can know the best of their meaning—until the sorrow comes in which they are meant to give strength. A beatitude reads: "Blessed are those who mourn—for they shall be comforted." We cannot receive the comfort—until we mourn. Every Christian who has passed through sorrow understands this. In the deepening darkness—the lights in the heavenly promises flashed out bright and clear, showing him for the first time—the fullness of their blessed comfort.
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