the wider life

an excerpt by J.R. Miller –

We should never be content with a narrow life. We are made for breadth and fullness, and we rob God when we fail to reach our best. 

Some people assert that Christianity’s ideal for life, is narrow. They say it cramps and limits us. It has no place, for example, for physical or intellectual development. It says nothing about art, music, science, or the many phases of human activity. It presents only the moral side—conscience, obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attainments and achievements.

The answer is that while Christianity may not definitely name the things of the intellect, or distinctly call men to noble achievements in art, in exploration, in invention, in research, in the culture of the beautiful, it really includes in its range everything that will add to the fullness and completeness of life and character. It excludes nothing but what is sinful: disobedience to law, impurity, selfishness, uncharity, and these only narrow and debase, do not broaden and enrich life.”

speak, Lord, in the stillness

The necessity of being still before God

Be still, and know that I am God:
(Psalm 46:10)

Often when our hearts are tossed
here and there by fleshly feelings –
by selfishness, by anger, by discontent –
we cannot hear God.

When we read His Word
with an unsettled heart,
we often mishandle the Scripture,
using it to support our twisted ideas.

*

It is not in the tumult of passions
where we can contemplate who God truly is,
and seek to adore Him for His majesty and meekness.

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
(Psalm 131:2)

Only with a soul as a weaned child
can we even begin to
know that He is GOD,
the eternal and infinite Being –
begin to grasp His infinitude
and gasp in awe at it.

Only then can we hear Him aright,
subjecting our twisted ideas
to the unbending rule of His holy Word.

Be still, my soul.

conquering self-will

As self-will is the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this in children ensures their wretchedness and irreligion: whatever checks and mortifies it, promotes their future happiness and piety. 

This is still more evident if we farther consider that religion is nothing else than doing the will of God and not our own; that the one grand impediment to our temporal and eternal happiness being this self-will, no indulgence of it can be trivial, no denial unprofitable.

Heaven or hell depends on this alone. 

– Susannah Wesley

waiting in anticipation

As I eagerly anticipate
my family’s return
in a few month’s time,
yearning for the warmth a full house can bring,
so do I eagerly anticipate
the day of my departure from this earth,
when my last fight will cease
and I rest in the everlasting
light of God’s presence.

It’s very tough,
but I tell myself
“just a few more months”:
so amidst the sorrowful trials
of this life,
I tell myself
“just a few more years”.

the training school of pain

Every now and then,
Pastor will talk about the differing trials
that God allots to every Christian.
Some face fiery trials in the beginning of their Christian walk,
while others face theirs in the middle,
and yet others only at the end.

A few of them, he says,
face them all throughout.

Inwardly, I cringe a little –
“let it not be me” –
my flesh desiring a smoother,
less rocky
path after 10 long years of
persecution and affliction.

(The start was fiery,
and surely now my rest comes?)

Then,
the Lord reminds me of

the refinement these fiery trials have wrought –
a stedfast conviction of the truth of God.

If the journey does grow easier,
I might grow more afraid
to confess
Take the world, but
give me Jesus,

more afraid to sacrifice all.

lose to win

​Matthew 16:25
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Being infinitely loving and kind,
God can take care of us
better than we can take care
of ourselves.

Being sovereign, omnipotent and all-wise,
God can chart our futures
better than we can chart them ourselves.

So if I save my life,
I’ll lose it.
But if I lose my life,
I’ll find it

for God secures the fullest, widest life for me.