James Smith, “The Way of Salvation Set Forth”
“Then Agrippa said to Paul: You almost persuade me to become a Christian!” Acts 26:28
There are many who conclude that they are Christians, because they have been enlightened to see something of their state, danger, and deserved doom. But many are only lighted to Hell, for light in the mind–is not life in the soul. Hebrews 6:4, 10:20.
A person may be awakened to feel, to tremble, to desire salvation–as did Felix and Balaam, Acts 24:25, Numbers 23:10.
He may be reformed, and turn from open profanity to strict morality–as did some in Peter’s day, 2 Peter 2:20.
A minister lay dying in Scotland. A fellow-minister called to see him, and inquired, “Well, my brother, what are you doing?”
“Doing?” answered the dying servant of God. “Doing? I will tell you: I am gathering together all my prayers and sermons, all my good deeds and bad deeds–and am going to throw them all overboard together, and swim to glory on the plank of free grace!“
“We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved!” Acts 15:11
“It is by God’s grace that you have been saved!” Ephesians 2:5
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“My Beloved is mine–and I am His!” Song of Solomon 2:16
“My Beloved is mine!” He is . . .
- the Savior in whom I believe and trust;
- the Husband whom I reverence and love;
- the Lord whom I adore and obey;
- the portion on which I live; and
- the beloved One upon whom my heart and affections are set.
“And I am His!”
(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.