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.”
The necessity of being still before God
Be still, and know that I am God:
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.
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.
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”.
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,
path after 10 long years of
persecution and affliction.
(The start was fiery,
and surely now my rest comes?)
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
Take the world, but
give me Jesus,
more afraid to sacrifice all.
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
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.