(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.
(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
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.
Posted in Devotionals, J.R. Miller
Tagged Bible, Christian, Christian Living, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Life, obedience, Redemption, Savior, World
(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.
(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
(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.