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nChrist
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2019, 02:34:41 PM »

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

         

        January 16

        "I am God Almighty; walk before Me and be perfect." Genesis 17:1

        "Perfection is impossible!" we are in the habit of saying; and therefore we do not try to reach perfection. It is better for us always to keep our aim high, although we cannot hope to reach it. If we have low ideals and aims—our attainments will be low. We cannot look with approval upon anything lower than the perfect beauty of God Himself, and not have the beauty of our own life dimmed thereby. We should always keep perfection before us—as our aim. We should keep our eyes ever fixed upon the perfect model, Jesus Christ!

        Jesus taught, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48. We are always to seek to model our life upon the divine pattern. Of course we cannot reach this lofty standard in a day—but the way to Christlikeness, is to strive toward it.

        When a child begins to write, his scrawling lines fall far short of the beauty of the original at the top of the page. Book after book he fills with his scribbling—but if he is diligent, each new page shows a little improvement, and by and by his writing rivals the original. We can learn to live holy and sweetly, only in the same way. Begin where you can, no matter how imperfect or faulty your life—but strive always toward perfection, and at last you shall be like Christ! That is the hope which shines before us—when we shall see Him as He is—and shall be like Him!
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2019, 02:35:59 PM »

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

         

        January 17

        "Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things!" Psalm 103:2-5

        What an enumeration of divine blessings this is! Any one of them is worth more than all earth's treasures combined!

        If we are not forgiven—we must rest forever under the burden of sin, a weight greater than all the Alps! But God forgives—and forgives all our sins—and forgives freely, fully and forever!

        If we are not healed—we must be sick forever, sick with the plague and leprosy of sin! But God heals—and heals all our evils, and heals completely!

        If we are not saved from the dangers of this ensnaring world—we never can reach heaven! But God keeps, rescues, and saves our life from all impending destructions!

        Earth's crowns are made of thorns, and at the best are only what the children call, 'play-crowns', for they are but of leaves that wither, or of gold and gems that will not last. But God crowns His people with crowns of love and compassion, which are real and radiant, which shall never fade—but shall shine forever, becoming crowns of eternal life and glory in heaven!

        This world cannot satisfy a heart's deepest cravings. Its possessions only make the hunger more intense! But God satisfies the souls of His people, and meets all their cravings and hungers with truly good and eternal realities!
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2019, 02:37:10 PM »

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

         

        January 18.

        "Cast your burden upon the Lord—and He shall sustain you!" Psalm 45:22

        There are some mistaken notions current concerning the ways in which God would help us. People think that whenever they have a little trouble, a bit of hard path to go over, a load to carry, a sorrow to endure—all they have to do is to call upon God, and He will at once take away their sorrow, or free them from the trouble. But this is not the way God helps us! His purpose of love concerning us is—not to make all things easy for us—but to make something of us!

        When we ask God to save us from our trouble, to take the struggles out of our life, to make the paths mossy, to lift off every heavy load—He will not do it! It would be most unloving in Him to accommodate us. We must carry the burden ourselves! All God promises is, to sustain us—as we carry it! He wants us to learn life's lessons, and to do this—we must be left to work out the problems for ourselves.

        There are rich blessings which can be gotten, only in sorrow. It would be short-sighted love indeed—which would heed our cries, and spare us from sorrow—and thus deprive us of the wonderful blessings which can be gotten only in sorrow! God is too good to us to answer our prayers—which would save us from pain, cost, and sacrifice today—at the price of holier, better, truer life in the end. He would not rob us of the blessing that is in the burden—which we can get only by carrying it!
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2019, 02:38:15 PM »

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

         

        January 19.

        "He knows our frame; He remembers that we are but dust!" Psalm 103:14

        God does not treat us as if we were strong, holy, and unfallen angels! He does not forget that we are weak, that it is hard for us to live right, that we are easily tempted and overcome. He is very patient and gentle with us when we have sinned—binding up our wounds, restoring our soul. He does not lay upon us loads too great for us—for He knows how weak we are! He gives us help, too, with our burdens—that we need not faint under them.

        We ought to get a great deal of comfort out of these words.

        You say you are so weak that you cannot resist temptation. Does not God know it? Will He not help you to overcome?

        You are weary through trouble or burden-bearing—but God knows all about it! You find your work hard, and cannot see how you are ever to get through with it; but God understands. He knows how frail you are; He remembers that you are only dust. He is pitiful, and gives always needed help!
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2019, 02:40:11 PM »

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

         

        January 20.

        "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart—and you will find rest for your souls!" Matthew 11:29

        We have to learn to live—if ever we are to live worthily. No one becomes a fine musician, without much learning. Nor can anyone take a piece of canvas, with palette, paints, and brushes—and at once paint a masterpiece.

        Learning to live beautifully—is harder than learning music or art. We must learn to live—and the lessons are hard, requiring long years of patience and practice. But we ought to learn the art of living, whatever the cost may be!

        Life is a sacred trust. We are accountable for it to God, who gave it to us. We are required to make the most of our abilities, training them to their best capacity. By self-discipline, we are to get the perfect mastery of our being—and then do the things which we were made to do.

        Yet many people never seriously try to learn to live! This is unworthy a being endowed with immortality, and sent forth on a divine errand. We should live in a way, which will not shame us when we come to the end.
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2019, 02:38:48 PM »

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


         

        January 21.

        "Whoever wants to become great among you—must be your servant; and whoever wants to be first—must be your slave." Matthew 20:26-27

        There are some people with a little measure of "position" who seem to accept all favors shown to them, and all services rendered to them by others, as due to them because of their exalted rank, or their exceeding importance among men. They stand upon their dignity, and in effect demand attention, and a degree of subserviency from their plain, ordinary fellow-men. They complain, if by any accident they appear not to receive their due quota of honor. They seem to feel that their high place among men—entitles them to a great deal of consideration; and they are offended if they do not get it!

        It would seem, however, in the light of our Lord's teaching, that the truly greatest among men—are those who are most ready to serve. The haughty spirit described above, is scarcely, therefore, a mark of real greatness in Christ's eye—but really, a mark of littleness. All self-seeking is littleness. The law of service is taken from the very heart of God; nothing else is truly great.
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2019, 02:39:49 PM »

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


         

        January 22.

         

        "The Son of Man did not come to be served—but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many!" Matthew 20:28

        The art of photography is now so perfect, that the whole picture of a large newspaper can be taken in miniature so small, as to be carried in a little pendant—and yet every letter and point be perfect.

        Just so, the whole life of Christ is photographed in one little phrase, "not to be served—but to serve." He came not to be served; if this had been His aim—He would never have left heaven's glory, where He lacked nothing, where angels praised Him and ministered unto Him. He came to serve. He went about doing good. He altogether forgot Himself. He served all he met—who would receive His service. At last He gave His life in uttermost service—giving it as a sin-atoning ransom for others. He came not to be served—but to serve.

        You say you want to be like Christ. You ask Him to print His own image on your heart. Here, then is the image! It is no vague dream of perfection that we are to think of—when we ask to be made like Christ. The Catholic monks thought that they were becoming like Christ—when they went into the wilderness, away from men, to live in cold cells. But that is not the what this picture suggests. "To serve"—that is the Christlike thing! Instead of fleeing away from the world—we are to live among men, to serve them, to seek to bless them, to do them good, to give our life for them!
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2019, 02:41:03 PM »

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

         

        January 23.

        "No longer do I call you servants . . . I have called you friends." John 15:15.

        If we ask, "What is the best that Christ's friendship can be to any soul?" We may answer, "It is shelter, comfort, rest, inmost refreshment, guidance, and far more. Christ is an atmosphere about us—an atmosphere of love, warm with all tender influences, all healthful inspirations, all holy impulses. Christ comes into all our life—as our friend—so really, so fully, that he becomes "an unconscious part of every true beat of our heart." As the summer sunbeams enter into the flowers, and reappear in their lovely hues and sweet fragrance—so does Christ enter into the lives of his people, and permeate and transform them, until they become like him in spirit, in character, in disposition, in every feature. "Christ, who is our life." Colossians 3:4. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27. "Until Christ is formed in you." Galatians 4:19

        We know what Christ's friendship was to his disciples. He found them crude—and left them refined. He found Matthew a publican, unjust, grasping, an outcast—and made him an apostle, then a writer of a Gospel. He found Peter profane, rough in manner, impetuous—and made him an eloquent preacher, a man of marvelous power, whose influence lives today wherever the Christian church has gone. He found John a son of thunder, with a strong, fiery temper—and made him the apostle of love, the human embodiment of all the sweet, gentle, tender graces of his own life. The friendship of Christ, can do the same for us!
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2019, 02:42:09 PM »

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

         

        January 24.

        "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." Luke 10:28

        That is just the trouble with a great many people—they can answer correctly. They know all about their duty. They can repeat with glib tongue, text after text of Scripture. They can recite catechism and creed without missing a word, and like to boast of their thorough familiarity with these sacred formularies. But it is the doing that they fall short in.

        They know the commandments—but they fail to keep them. They can quote any number of Bible texts about honesty and truthfulness—yet they are neither honest nor truthful. They like to talk about the love of Christ, which is meek, gentle, patient, and compassionate—but they do not think of getting any of this spirit into their own life!

        They recite texts about sending the gospel to the heathen, and make speeches about saving the lost—but neither give money nor make any personal effort to save others!

        If doing were as easy as knowing—how blessed we would all be! Would it not be a beautiful thing for us—to try to live all the duty we know?

        "Now that you know these things—you will be blessed if you do them!" John 13:17
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 02:43:20 PM »

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

         

        January 25.

        "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father—I have made known to you." John 15:15

        One of the marks of a noble nature, is open-heartedness. Jesus gave it as the chief privilege of friendship with him that he would make known to his friends—all that his Father had taught him. That is, full, trusting confidence is the deepest, truest thing—in the highest and best possible friendship. Soul and soul should be thoroughly united in two friends.

        Two gentlemen lived in houses adjoining each other. Their back yards were separated by a fence. A warm friendship grew up between the two families; and soon that fence came down, and the children played together alike in both yards. True friendship pulls down the fences between lives.

        Therefore a secretive man can never be a friend—nor have a friend at more than a few points. He is afraid to let his friend know what he knows, what he has been doing, what he is intending to do. Secretiveness is narrow, hindering, cramping. It is like living in a closed cell. It robs one's own life of sweet blessings which it might get from others—and it robs others of pleasures and benefits which it might give to them. The secretive man has not yet learned the meaning of the sweet word about the open-heartedness of the Master toward his friends, which he would have them repeat toward other Christians.
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« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2019, 02:43:33 PM »

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

         

        January 26.

        "Unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!" Ephesians 3:20

        God often does better for us—than we ask.

        We go to Him—with our little requests.

        We are in need—and ask for temporal relief.

        We are suffering—and ask that our pain may cease.

        We are poor—and ask Him for more money.

        We are just like the beggar, holding out our hands for paltry alms to eke out the day's need. Then God looks down upon us and says, "My child, are these little trifles all you want Me to give to you—daily bread, clothing, fuel for your fire, medicine for your sickness, comfort for your grief? The small things to supply your common needs—are these the only gifts and blessings you want and ask from the hand of your heavenly Father, who has infinite treasures to give to you?"

        Yet thousands never get beyond just such requests in their praying! Bowing daily before a God of infinite power and love, in whose hands are unsearchable riches—they never ask for anything, but fleeting earthly comforts and worldly trinkets! They ask only for things for their bodies, or to beautify their homes—making no requests for the heavenly and spiritual gifts God has for their souls! We should learn to ask for the best things in all God's treasure house!

        "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
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« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2019, 02:45:45 PM »

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

         

        January 27.

        "Happy is the man who finds wisdom!" Proverbs 3:13

        It is worth our while to study what the Bible says about happiness, and how to get it. All people want to be happy—but most miss the mark.

        Yet those who follow the Bible rules for happiness, will never be disappointed. "Happy is the man who finds wisdom."

        WISDOM is a large word. It is not merely knowledge. A man may know so much, that he is a walking encyclopedia, and yet not be happy. He may pursue knowledge into all its nooks and hiding-places, dig it out of the rocks, extract it from the minerals, gather it from flower and plant, draw it down from among the stars—and yet not find happiness. Knowing a great many things—does not make one wise!

        Wisdom is knowledge applied to life. He has found wisdom—who has learned to live well. To live well—is to live according to God's laws, which are summed up in one word, love—love to God and love to man. No one is happy who does not recognize God and do His will. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

        Likewise, no one can be really happy who does not love his fellow-men. Happiness never is found in selfishness. Those who seek happiness in thinking, toiling, and striving only for themselves—will have a vain quest! It never lies that way. He only has found wisdom—who has found rest in Christ.
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« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2019, 02:48:03 PM »

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

         

        January 28.

        "The angel of God . . . went before the camp of Israel." Exodus 14:19.

        This angel was revealed in the form of cloud and fire. It was wonderful guidance which God gave to his people in their marches. By day the pillar of cloud sheltered them—and then by night the same cloud was light. By day it was shelter—by night it was light. And always it was guidance. When they were to move, it lifted and went in advance, to lead them. When they were to halt and rest, it settled down, thus giving them the signal to pitch their tents.

        This was miraculous guidance; but we have God's presence just as really, though without a visible 'pillar' to lead us. God guides his people by his Word, by his providence, by his Spirit. If we are willing to follow unquestioningly, we shall never be left long in perplexity, as to the way we should take. Our guidance is given to us only as we will accept it and shape our course by it.

        Nor is the guidance given in maps and charts, showing us miles and miles of the road; it is given only step by step as we go on.
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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2019, 02:50:33 PM »

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

         

        January 29.

        "And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off, and stand up in a heap." Joshua 3:13

        There must be faith first. The priests must take up the ark and walk with it down into the flowing stream—before the waters would be cut off. They did not see a path across the river before they started. They broke up their camps and began their march while there was no sign of any crossing-place. If they had walked down to the edge, and then stopped to wait for the path to be opened, it would not have been opened. If they had lifted their feet and held them over the water, waiting for its flow to cease, they would have waited in vain. They must take one step into the water—before the current would be cut off. They must move on as if the way were open, believing that it would be open.

        Likewise, we must learn to take God at his Word and go forward in duty, though we see no way by which we can go forward. The reason we are so often balked by difficulties, is because we expect to see them removed before we venture to pass through them. If we would move right on in faith, as soon as our feet touch the brim, the waters would flow away and leave a path. A great many people stand on the edge of the Christian life, waiting for feelings, before they will begin to follow Christ. If they would but begin to follow him, the way would open before them.
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2019, 02:52:48 PM »

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

         

        January 30.

        "All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created." John 1:3

        We like to look at a beautiful piece of workmanship, and remember that some beloved friend of ours fashioned it. This makes it more precious and sacred.

        Some orphan children had been received into an institution, and were exchanging their old garments for new ones. One poor boy was seen picking up the wretched cap he had been wearing, and tearing out of it a piece of faded silk that had been sewed into it. He was asked why he wanted to keep the patch; and he said, his eyes full of tears, that his mother had sewed it into his old cap with her thin frail fingers when she was on her death-bed, and he wanted to keep it in remembrance of her.

        Men prize old paintings, and pay large prices for them, because they were painted by some famous master. All the works of nature would be sacred to us—if we but remembered that our Savior made them. The sweet flowers in the field would be all the sweeter—if we only thought as we look upon them, "The hands of Christ painted these!"
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