Tag Archives: Christian Living

The power of habit!

(J.R. Miller, 1893)

A California stagecoach driver had held the leather reins for so many years, that when he began to grow old, his hands were crooked into hooks, and his fingers were so stiffened into that shape–that they could not be straightened out.

There is a similar process that goes on in men’s minds and souls, when they continue to do the same things over and over. If you are trained, and train yourself, from childhood . . .
to be gentle and patient,
to control your temper,
to resist all wrong–
your life will grow into moral beauty, and the peacefulness of your heart will at length shine upon your very face.

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You have only just begun!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

Dear friend,

You say that you cannot live up to the things you read in the Bible and in Christian books. I know of no one who can do so. The Bible sets before us very lofty ideals–so lofty that we cannot reach them in a day or a month or in twenty-five years. So long as you may live, and if you spend every year in striving toward the best things–you will still find that you have not fully attained them.

Paul was a great deal better Christian than most of us, and he said, when he was quite an old man, that he was not yet perfect–but was still striving after the things which he wished to attain. We never measure up to our ideals. We never are so holy any day, as we intend to be in the morning when we set out.

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Steep, craggy, and beset with foes!

(Newman Hall, “Follow Jesus”)

There are many variations in the Christian’s path. Sometimes it is smooth and flowery, with sunny slopes, and sylvan shades, and prospects which entrance the soul with loveliness. There are seasons when no doubts perplex the spirit, and when our circumstances in life are in harmony with duty, so that the right path is an easy path.

But this is the exception.

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A silent personal influence

(J. R. Miller, “In Green Pastures”)

There is a silent personal influence, like a shadow, which goes out from everyone–and this influence is always leaving results and impressions wherever it touches. You cannot live a day–and not touch some other life. Wherever you go–your shadow falls on others, and they are either better or worse for your presence.

Our influence depends upon what we are–more than upon what we do. It is by living a beautiful life–that we bless the world. I do not under-estimate holy activities. Good deeds must characterize every true life. Our hands must do holy works. But if the life itself is noble, beautiful, holy, Christ-like, one that is itself a blessing and an inspiration–the worth of the influence is many times multiplied.

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photo credit: Pixabay.com

The goal of living in this world

(J.R. Miller, “Things That Endure”)
The goal of living in this world, is ever to grow into more and more radiant and lovely Christ-like character–whatever our conditions or experiences may be.

We cannot escape temptations–but we are so to meet them and pass through them, as not to be hurt by them–to come out of them with new strength and new radiancy of soul.

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It will be hard to remove the scar!

(Charles Orr, “Divine Realities”)
“Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity!” 1 Timothy 4:12
It is a serious thing to live!

The book of our life is not the making of our own character and destiny only–but it is also helping to make that of others.
There is a wondrous power in personal influence. Your life is helping to mold some other life–and often the one that is dearest to you. What we are–goes to help make another what they are. What we are–engraves itself upon the life of our friend or family. The conduct of the parents–is being written in the lives of the children!

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They play with fire-and wonder why they are burned!

(J. R. Miller, “The Way of Safety“, 1912)

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12, 13

Here the Psalmist prays to be kept from committing presumptuous sins. He knows the danger there is in such sins–and so pleads to be held back from them, that is, from willful, conscious, high-handed sins.

Mark the teaching, too, that these presumptuous sins spring out of the minute hidden faults. From hidden, obscure, undiscovered faults–come presumptuous sins.

A slight moral weakness–grows into an evil tendency;
and the evil tendency indulged–develops into a loathsome vice;
and the loathsome vice–ripens into a presumptuous sin!

We need to guard against carelessness concerning ‘little sins’. The hidden fault lurking in the nature–may grow into a presumptuous sin!

Sow a thought–and you will reap an act;
sow an act–and you will reap a habit;
sow a habit–and you will reap a character;
sow character–and you will reap a destiny!

The course of sin is terrible! The little beginnings of sin–grow into appalling consequences! Be afraid of little sins and temptations.

There are some people who are always courting danger. Sin seems to have a fascination for them. One of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer is, “Lead us not into temptation.” To expose ourselves needlessly to temptation, is presumption! Yet there are many who do this. They play with fire–and wonder why they are burned! They dally with ‘little sins’, and end in shameful degradation at the last! They pay the penalty in moral and spiritual ruin.

Photo:  Christian Photos

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