Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.