Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What is the best way of reading the Scriptures?

Jehovah Magnified“Does any one ask me, What is the best way of reading the Scriptures? I may say a little about this, because in my experience in pastoral labour I have found how deeply important it is to know how to read the Scriptures; and because, after forty years’ blessed experience, I can confidently recommend the plan I have adopted. In the first place, in order to have a deeper acquaintance with the Scriptures, it is absolutely needful that you read the whole in course, regularly through,—not as some perhaps do, take the Bible, and where it opens there begin to read. If it opens on Psalm 103, they read Psalm 103; if at John 14 or Romans 8, they read John 14 or Romans 8. By degrees the Bible opens naturally on such portions of Scripture. Let me affectionately say that it ill becomes the child of God thus to treat the Father’s book; it ill becomes the disciples of the Lord Jesus thus to treat their blessed Master. Let me affectionately urge those who have not done so, to begin the Old Testament from the beginning, and the New Testament from the beginning; at one time reading in the Old, and at another time in the New Testament; keeping a mark in their Bible to show how far they have proceeded. Why is it important to do this? There is a special purpose in the arrangement of the Scriptures. They begin with the creation of the world, and close with the end of the world. As you read a book of biography or history, commencing at the beginning and reading through to the end, so should you read the revelation of God’s will; and when you get to the end, begin again and again. But this is not all that is necessary. When you come to this blessed Book, the great point is to come with a deep consciousness of your own ignorance, seeking on your knees the help of God, that by His Spirit He may graciously instruct you. I remember when I thus began to read the Scriptures. I had been a student of divinity in the university of Halle, and had written many a long manuscript at the lectures of the professors of divinity; but I had not come to this blessed Book in the right spirit. At length I came to it as I had never done before. I said, “The Holy Ghost is the Teacher now in the Church of Christ; the Holy Scriptures are now the rule given by God; from them I must learn His mind,—I will now prove it.” I locked my door. I put my Bible on the chair. I fell down before the chair, and spent three hours prayerfully reading the word of God; and I unhesitatingly say that in those three hours I learned more than in any previous three, six, or twelve months’ period of my life. This was not all. I not only increased in knowledge, but there came with that knowledge a peace and joy in the Holy Ghost of which I had known little before. Since that time, for more than forty years, I have been in the habit of regularly reading the Scriptures; and I can therefore affectionately and confidently recommend to my beloved younger fellow-disciples to read them carefully, with an humble mind, comparing Scripture with Scripture, bringing the more difficult passages to the easy ones, and letting them interpret one another. If you do not understand some portions, be not discouraged, but come again and again to God, and He will guide you by little and little, and further instruct you in the knowledge of His will. But this is not all; for with an increasing knowledge of God, obtained in a prayerful, humble way, you will receive, not something which simply fills the head, but something which exercises the heart, and cheers, comforts, and strengthens you, and will therefore be of real good to you.”
http://ref.ly/o/jehvahmagnfd/84825 via the Logos Bible Android app.

Ministry Update for September–December


Snowballing Into Winterimage

It seems like since the beginning of fall everything has had a snowball effect. Business has dominated our time and unfortunately our updates have not been published. I think next year we will endeavor to put an update out quarterly instead of every other month.




Getting Wet Before Winter Comes

imageWe were very excited to begin the first Sunday of September with a baptism. Alberta Busking from Fort Laramie was baptized on the first Sunday of September. It was a precious event for my wife and I because we had the privilege of leading her to the Lord when we came out to candidate at Oregon Trail Baptist Church in the fall of 2011. Another precious aspect was the testimony of Alberta’s sister Dori. Alberta had told us that she has obviously known Dori her whole life and has seen the various health struggles that have plagued her family in recent years. Alberta has notice that since Dori became a believer and started attending church her life has changed and she [Alberta] wanted to experience the change that Dori had. What a wonderful testimony of the change that God works in our hearts.




Hunting Season Has Begunimage

You may be wondering why hunting would be part of a ministry update, so I had better explain. My wife and I enjoy hunting and to be honest she probably enjoys it more than I do. The hunting season lasts a few months out here and we know a believer in town who enjoys guiding and outfitting our hunt. Almost every time we go hunting we are introduced to new people who live in the area. It has been a great way to strike up conversations, make new contacts, and yes fill our freezer with meat. Please pray that the Lord would work on the hearts of those we encounter and open up more witnessing opportunities.


Home Missions Conference

In October we were with Pastor David Chavez at Calvary Baptist Church in Thornton, CO. Pastor David Chavez invited us to come down and speak at their Home Missions Conference. We had a wonderful time at the conference and left very encouraged.


Harvest Dinner

Last year we had a Harvest Dinner for the community that packed out our building. This year Pioneer Baptist Church joined us and we held the dinner at Guernsey’s Senior Center. Our attendance was about the same as last year however this year we had much more people from the community show up. At least two specific attendees were direct answers to prayer and heard a clear gospel message presented by Pastor Jason Crossman.


imageCaroling Indoors

December 8th we had a night of carols at the Auction Barn in town. Faith Bible Baptist Church from Greeley, Co brought part of their choir as well as many members to sing for us. We held the event at the Auction Barn so there would be plenty of room and everything went very well. There were somewhere between 60 and 70 people who showed up for the event. Please pray that the truth from the hymns and preaching will impact their hearts.


Home For Christmas

This year we are traveling home to Iowa and Minnesota for Christmas. Please pray for safety as we travel and for Pastor Driskell as he and his family fills in for us while we are gone.


Please Pray

Everything written in this letter as well as what is on our blog is fairly generic. If you would like more details so you can pray more accurately please contact me. I don’t like personal details about other people being posted on the internet.

For a more detailed updates please visit our www.OTBChuto rch.com and click on “Pastor’s Page”

or visit www.jasonandbeccamiller.blogspot.com.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support,

Jason, Becca, Elizabeth, Andrew, & John Miller

For older updates please visit https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzTKeQwG4r_2ZFZiRjZBcG9aV28&usp=sharing

Monday, December 30, 2013

James Montgomery Boice Notes On The Sixth Commandment


Matthew 5:21–47


Murder: The Sixth Commandment

The way Jesus handles this material is by contrasts (“You have heard that it was said … but I tell you …”), and the point at which these contrasts begin is the sixth commandment. Ever since Sinai, the Jews had known “you shall not murder”; it was part of God’s law. But the leaders of the people had joined that commandment (found in Exod. 20:13) to Numbers 35:30, which demanded death for murderers, implying that the sixth commandment referred only to the specific act of killing.
Is that all murder is? asked Jesus. Is it nothing but killing? Suppose a man wants to kill his enemy but is stopped by some unexpected circumstance. Is he innocent just because he didn’t get a chance to follow through on his desire? Suppose he is too cowardly to kill but would like to do it. Or suppose he is just afraid of getting caught. What if he only hates his enemy? Or insults him? Is he still innocent of breaking this commandment?
No, says Jesus. In a human court the only acts that can be judged and punished are external acts, because human beings can look only on outward things. They cannot see the heart. But in God’s court “anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment,” and anyone who merely says, “ ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (v. 22).
This is not earth-shatteringly new, of course. The Pharisees and other teachers of the law should have discovered this deeper meaning of the sixth commandment by themselves. William Hendriksen observed rightly,

  There was no excuse for the fact that in their interpretation of the sixth commandment the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, in agreement with the men of long ago, were omitting the main lesson. Moses had emphasized love for God (Deut. 6:5) and for man (Lev. 19:18). Not only that but the very first domestic quarrel narrative, the story of Cain and Abel, had in a very impressive manner pointed up the evil of jealous anger, as being the root of murder (Gen. 4:1–16). … Accordingly Jesus, in interpreting the sixth commandment as he does, far from annulling it, is showing what it had meant from the very beginning.

There is something else in these verses. It is true that they interpret the sixth commandment definitively. We now know exactly what the words “you shall not murder” mean. But in addition to that, Jesus also tells us what to do when we do become angry or when we know we have done something wrong to someone else. (1) We must make the wrong right, being reconciled to our brother (vv. 24–25); and (2) we must make things right immediately, even before we worship God (vv. 23–24).
The reason God comes into the picture is because the sin of anger, like all sins, is ultimately against God and must be made right before him. This is why Jesus talks about being “thrown into prison” until “you have paid the last penny” (vv. 25–26). It is not just a human prison he is thinking of. It is hell, which brings the end of the section (v. 26) back to what Jesus warned his hearers of at the beginning (v. 22).

James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001), 88–89.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Churches Get In Ruts Only because…

“Churches get in ruts only because individuals get in ruts. It is impossible that the church should do anything that individuals do not do. It is impossible that we should make any progress except as made by individuals. It is impossible there should be any regress unless individual Christians go backward.
Think about people who find themselves in religious ruts. They discover a number of things about themselves. They will find that they are getting older but not getting any holier. Time is their enemy, not their friend. The time they trusted and looked to is betraying them, for they often said to themselves, “The passing of time will help me. I know some good old saints, so as I get older I’ll get holier and better. Time will help me, purify me and revive me.” They said that the year before last, but they were not helped any last year. Time betrayed them. They were not any better last year than they had been the year before.”

http://ref.ly/o/rutrotrev/42800 via the Logos Bible Android app.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Pictures

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