Thursday, February 26, 2015

Prayer from the depths of our heart

Oh, let it be a prayer from the depths of our heart, that the living Christ may take each one of us and link us close to Himself. Let our prayer be that He, the living Vine, shall so link each of us to Himself that we shall go on our way with our hearts singing: He is my Vine, and I am His branch; I want nothing more,—now I have the everlasting Vine. Then when you get alone with Him, worship and adore Him, praise and trust Him, love Him and wait for His love.

Andrew Murray, Divine Healing: A Series of Addresses (Nyack, NY: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1900), 216–217.

Monday, February 23, 2015

When Up is Down

Clouds Vintage Quote

The Christian saves his own life by losing it and he is in danger of losing it by trying to save it.
It is an interesting thing that when he wants to get up, the Christian always starts down, for God’s way up is always down, even though that is contrary to common sense. It is also contrary to the finest wisdom on the earth, because the foolish things of God are wiser than anything on this earth.

A. W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy!: And Other Timely Topics From First Peter (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1991), 160–161.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Preaching Today

Today as I preached the Lord spoke to me about being willing to suffer and change around things in my life for the sake of Christ. Since the beginning of the year I have been preaching through a series I have titled "Interviews With Men Worth Imitating." I didn't plan to have a theme through the series but clearly as I have worked through several men humility is a key factor in the lives of great men of the faith. They are humble in regards to their abilities and they are bold in their faith toward Christ.

Those Who Are Spirit-Controlled

Blue Bar Quote

  How wonderful it is to study the Scripture and know that I not only have the page in my hand, but I have the Author in my heart. The Author is the Spirit of God who is the teacher. First John 2:20 says, “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” Now just stated by itself that verse may not make a lot of sense, but let me give you the context: John was talking about false teachers—antichrists. The Gnostics, who were a group of people who thought they knew everything (Gk., gnosis, “to know”), said, “We know because we have an anointing.” They thought they had a special anointing that elevated them above everybody else. But John said to the Christians, “You’re the ones with the unction; you’re the ones with the anointing. You don’t have some mystical Gnostic anointing; you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” In verse 27 he elucidates further on the same thought: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you.” What is this anointing that lives in us? It’s the Spirit of God. And since the Spirit of God lives within us, we don’t need human teachers because He teaches us. John said that we don’t need teachers to teach us human wisdom. Why? Because we have an anointing—the Spirit of God.

  It’s obvious then that we need to be born again, be diligent, have a strong desire, live a holy life, and be Spirit-filled—Spirit-controlled because the Spirit is the One who teaches and applies the Word to our lives. But there’s one other thing: all this has to come together in an atmosphere of prayer. So the sixth requirement for who can study the Bible is:

John MacArthur Jr., How to Study the Bible, John MacArthur’s Bible Studies (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What God Chooses, He…

  Generic Creme Quote

          What God chooses, He cleanses.
           What God cleanses, He molds.
           What God molds, He fills.
           What God fills, He uses.
           J. S. Baxter

Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Man at the Pump

Generic Green Quote

A. J. Gordon, one of the founders of Gordon Conwell Divinity School, told of being out walking and looking across a field at a house. There beside the house was what looked like a man pumping furiously at one of those hand pumps. As Gordon watched, the man continued to pump at a tremendous rate; he seemed absolutely tireless, pumping on and on, up and down, without ever slowing in the slightest, much less stopping.
Truly it was a remarkable sight, so Gordon started to walk toward it. As he got closer, he could see it was not a man at the pump, but a wooden figure painted to look like a man. The arm that was pumping so rapidly was hinged at the elbow and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The water was pouring forth, but not because the figure was pumping it. You see, it was an artesian well, and the water was pumping the man!
When you see a man who is at work for God and producing results, recognize that it is the Holy Spirit working through him, not the man’s efforts that are giving results. All he has to do—and all you have to do—is keep your hand on the handle.

Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Grace is the Mother and Nurse of Holiness

Spurgeon Quotes

         “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
         — Romans 3:31

When the believer is adopted into the Lord’s family, his relationship to old Adam and the law ceases at once; but then he is under a new rule, and a new covenant. Believer, you are God’s child; it is your first duty to obey your heavenly Father. A servile spirit you have nothing to do with: you are not a slave, but a child; and now, inasmuch as you are a beloved child, you are bound to obey your Father’s faintest wish, the least intimation of his will. Does he bid you fulfil a sacred ordinance? It is at your peril that you neglect it, for you will be disobeying your Father. Does he command you to seek the image of Jesus? Is it not your joy to do so? Does Jesus tell you, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”? Then not because the law commands, but because your Saviour enjoins, you will labour to be perfect in holiness. Does he bid his saints love one another? Do it, not because the law says, “Love thy neighbour,” but because Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments;” and this is the commandment that he has given unto you, “that ye love one another.” Are you told to distribute to the poor? Do it, not because charity is a burden which you dare not shirk, but because Jesus teaches, “Give to him that asketh of thee.” Does the Word say, “Love God with all your heart”? Look at the commandment and reply, “Ah! commandment, Christ hath fulfilled thee already—I have no need, therefore, to fulfil thee for my salvation, but I rejoice to yield obedience to thee because God is my Father now and he has a claim upon me, which I would not dispute.” May the Holy Ghost make your heart obedient to the constraining power of Christ’s love, that your prayer may be, “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

John Owen’s Comment about John Bunyan

john owen about bunyan

Spurgeon wasn’t the only important admirer of Bunyan. John Owen, probably the most prominent and respected academic leader of Bunyan’s own era, once went to hear Bunyan preach. Charles II, hearing of it, asked the learned doctor of divinity why someone as thoroughly educated as he would want to hear a mere tinker preach. Owen replied, “May it please your Majesty, if I could possess the tinker’s abilities to grip men’s hearts, I would gladly give in exchange all my learning.” (Taken from

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Duty in Relation to the Wife–John Bunyan

John Bunyan Quote

Hast thou a wife? Thou must consider how thou oughtest to behave thyself under that relation: and to do this aright, thou must consider the condition of thy wife, whether she be one that indeed believeth or not.
First, If she believeth, then,
1. Thou art engaged to bless God for her: ‘For her price is far above rubies, and she is the gift of God unto thee, and is for thy adorning and glory’ (Prov 12:4; 31:10; 1 Cor 11:7). ‘Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised’ (Prov 31:30).
2. Thou oughtest to love her, under a double consideration: (1.) As she is thy flesh and thy bone: ‘For no man ever yet hated his own flesh’ (Eph 5:29). (2.) As she is together with thee an heir of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). This, I say, should engage thee to love her with Christian love; to love her, as believing you both are dearly beloved of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and as those that must be together with him in eternal happiness.
3. Thou oughtest so to carry thyself to and before her, as doth Christ to and before his church; as saith the apostle: So ought men to love their wives, ‘even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it’ (Eph 5:25). When husbands behave themselves like husbands indeed, then will they be not only husbands, but such an ordinance of God to the wife, as will preach to her the carriage of Christ to his spouse. There is a sweet scent wrapped up in the relations of husbands and wives, that believe (Eph 4:32); the wife, I say, signifying the church, and the husband the head and saviour thereof, ‘For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church’ (Eph 5:23). and he is the Saviour of the body.
This is one of God’s chief ends in instituting marriage, that Christ and his church, under a figure, might be wherever there is a couple that believe through grace. Wherefore that husband that carrieth it undiscreetly towards his wife, he doth not only behave himself contrary to the rule, but also maketh his wife lose the benefit of such an ordinance, and crosseth the mystery of his relation.
Therefore, I say, ‘So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:’ (Eph 5:8, 29). Christ laid out his life for his church, covereth her infirmities, communicates to her his wisdom, protecteth her, and helpeth her in her employments in this world; and so ought men to do for their wives. Solomon and Pharaoh’s daughter had the art of thus doing, as you may see in the book of Canticles. Wherefore bear with their weaknesses, help their infirmities, and honour them as the weaker vessels, and as being of a frailer constitution (1 Peter 3:7).
In a word, be such a husband to thy believing wife, that she may say, God hath not only given me a husband, but such a husband as preacheth to me every day the carriage of Christ to his church.
Second, If thy wife be unbelieving or carnal, then thou hast also a duty lying before thee, which thou art engaged to perform under a double engagement: 1. For that she lieth liable every moment to eternal damnation. 2. That she is thy wife that is in this evil case.
Oh! how little sense of the worth of souls is there in the heart of some husbands; as is manifest by their unchristian carriage to and before their wives! Now, to qualify thee for a carriage suitable,
1. Labour seriously after a sense of her miserable state, that thy bowels may yearn towards her soul.
2. Beware that she take no occasion from any unseemly carriage of thine, to proceed in evil. And here thou hast need to double thy diligence, for she lieth in thy bosom, and therefore is capable of espying the least miscarriage in thee.
3. If she behave herself unseemly and unruly, as she is subject to do, being Christless and graceless, then labour thou to overcome her evil with thy goodness, her forwardness with thy patience and meekness. It is a shame for thee, who hast another principle, to do as she.
4. Take fit opportunities to convince her. Observe her disposition, and when she is most likely to bear, then speak to her very heart.
5. When thou speakest, speak to purpose. It is no matter for many words, provided they be pertinent. Job in a few words answers his wife, and takes her off from her foolish talking: ‘Thou speakest,’ saith he, ‘as one of the foolish women. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ (Job 2:10).
6. Let all be done without rancour, or the least appearance of anger: ‘In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if—peradventure they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will’ (2 Tim 2:25, 26). ‘And how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife’ (1 Cor 7:16).

John Bunyan, Christian Behaviour, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2006), 557–558.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Four Simple Words–From A.W. Tozer

Blue Angle Quote

This brought a smile to my face today.

Four Simple Words

Now, there has to be some sort of outward adorning and I would summarize it in four familiar words: clean, neat, modest, appropriate.
None can say that they do not understand the word clean. However poor we may be, we may still be clean. Nearly everyone has enough water available for basic cleanliness.
Why can’t we all be neat in our daily contacts? I do not think anyone ever needs to look as though he had gone through a cyclone and had no time since to get “accumulated.”
In our day, some folks seem to think the word modest is a comical word. You can laugh it off if you want to, but it is one of the words that we will face in that great day of coming judgment.
In our Christian lives, we should know the strength of the word appropriate. I think every Christian woman should dress appropriately, properly and suitably to her circumstances and to her income. A Christian woman who tries to give out tracts dressed in loud, flashy apparel or in dirty and disheveled garb will be a poor advertisement for the gospel she is trying to publicly proclaim.
I realize that some women excuse their manner of dress in public by the fact that they have so little money to spend for clothing.
I contend that a woman still doesn’t have to be grotesque in her garb even though she must wrestle with the problems of small income.
You know that I ride the public buses occasionally and for the small price of the fare it is a wonderful place to observe human nature.
When I see some of the inappropriate and grotesque things worn by women boarding the buses I have wondered why others in the family did not protest: “Please, Mama, don’t go out like that! People will think you have escaped.”
I think that there is a great contradiction apparent among us. Many women are working so hard in all kinds of jobs that they are making themselves old in the effort to get money enough to buy the clothes and cosmetics that are supposed to make them look young.
As far as I am concerned, it does not reflect any credit on the common sense or spirituality of any woman who knowingly goes beyond her financial bracket to decorate herself for the sake of appearance!

A. W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy!: And Other Timely Topics From First Peter (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1991), 130–132.

Friday, February 13, 2015

But I don’t Understand the Bible

As a pastor and student of God’s Word I would be very quick to claim that there are many things about the Bible that I don’t understand. I’m constantly learning and that is the way it should be. Very often I hear people say, “I can’t understand the Bible.” Yes, there is much in the Bible that is difficult to understand, but much of the Bible is clear and plain for anyone to understand. Our problem generally rests not in what we don’t understand but rather in what we understand but don’t obey. Even Philo, who was a Jew around the time of Christ, addressed this issue. May our lives be filled with the study of God’s word and the daily living out of what God reveals to us.

Parchment Scroll Quote

(93) But it is right to think that this class of things resembles the body, and the other class the soul; therefore, just as we take care of the body because it is the abode of the soul, so also must we take care of the laws that are enacted in plain terms: for while they are regarded, those other things also will be more clearly understood, of which these laws are the symbols, and in the same way one will escape blame and accusation from men in general. (94) Do you not see that Abraham also says, that both small and great blessings fell to the share of the wise man, and he calls the great things, “all that he had,” and his possessions, which it is allowed to the legitimate son alone to receive as his inheritance; but the small things he calls gifts, of which the illegitimate children and those born of concubines, are also accounted worthy. The one, therefore, resemble those laws which are natural, and the other those which derive their origin from human enactment.

Charles Duke Yonge with Philo of Alexandria, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 262.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sweetness in the Lord in the mists of much toil

Typewriting Quote

Hudson Taylors early missionary experience in China

In addition to working hard at Chinese this summer he was diligently keeping up other studies, medicine and chemistry especially, that he might not lose the benefit of his hospital course. The classics he gave as much time to as possible, and he seems always to have had some useful book on hand dealing with history, biography, or natural science. The following is a typical entry in a journal-letter to his sister:

Before breakfast read Medicine, then Chinese nearly seven hours. After dinner, Greek and Latin exercises, each an hour. After poring over these things till one can scarcely see, it is a comfort to have a fine, clear, large-type Bible, such as Aunt Hardey gave me. It is quite a luxury. Well, all these studies are necessary. Some of them, the classical languages of Europe, ought to have been mastered long ago; so it is now or never with me. But the sweetest duties of the day are those that lead to Jesus—prayer, reading and meditation upon His precious Word.

Summer was now upon them—those hottest months of the year when one lives in a perpetual Turkish bath, and mosquitoes, prickly-heat, and sleeplessness have to be reckoned with, as well as a temperature that for weeks together scarcely falls below 80° F. at night. It is easy to write about it, but who that has not lived through such days and nights can imagine how much grace it takes to bear the discomfort and distress without irritability, and keep on steadily with work when all one’s courage seems needed just to endure.
All through this trying season, however, Hudson Taylor kept up his studies, never falling below his average of five hours at Chinese every day. Once or twice he went into the country with Mr. Burdon, risky as it was to attempt it.

“These are troublous times,” he wrote, “but we must do something.”

And their faith that the Lord would help them was rewarded by the welcome met with from the village people, who were only too glad to see them out again.

“I think I may say I have one friend now,” he added, telling of a happy evening with Mr. and Mrs. Burdon after one such excursion. “But I do not want to go over there too often, as I am only one of his circle and he has a wife for company. I feel the want of a companion very much. The day is spent with my teacher, but my evenings generally alone in writing or study.”

Frederick Howard Taylor and Geraldine Taylor, Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul (Littleton, CO; Mississauga, ON; Kent, TN: OMF Book, 1995), 221–222.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spurgeon’s Thought’s Abut John Bunyan

What a testimony to how Bunyan knew the Word of God. May we be students of the Word like he was.

Spurgeon Quotes

If Mr. Spurgeon were ever prevailed upon to fill up a page of the once-popular Confession Album, I am pretty sure that his answer to the query, “Who is your favorite author?” was, “John Bunyan.” He has spoken of him over and over again as “my great favorite,” and has left it on record that he had read The Pilgrim’s Progress at least one hundred times. The reason for his liking is not far to seek. They both loved “The Book of Books.” Urging the earnest study of the Scriptures, C. H. Spurgeon once said: “Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord. I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems—without continually making us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.”

C. H. Spurgeon, Pictures from Pilgrim’s Progress: A Commentary on Portions of John Bunyan's Immortal Allegory (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 5–6.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Take Your Eyes Off Yourself

If we focus too narrowly on our failures and never take our eyes off ourselves, we can become mired in endless navel-gazing, and, even as Christians, simply looking at ourselves doesn’t have the power to transform us. If we keep our eyes riveted on ourselves, even as we routinely practice confession and repentance, we will stay bogged down with the same old sins. We need to set our eyes on something beyond ourselves or our failures. We need to glimpse something that is more powerful. We need to see Jesus Christ and the transforming glory of God.
Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis E. Johnson, Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009).

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do You Really Believe In God’s Power?

Ancient Column Quote

While it’s easy to pay lip service to the idea that God is all powerful, it’s much more difficult to consistently live out our faith in ways that recognize God’s unlimited ability—His omnipotence. Like other characteristics attributed to God, omnipotence can be a difficult idea to wrap our heads around. The story of Abram and Sarai shows that even the heroes of faith sometimes found it difficult to acknowledge God’s power in their lives.

In Genesis 17 and 18, Sarai and Abram struggled to keep their composure when God delivered the seemingly ridiculous news that Sarai—a 90-year-old woman who had been barren her whole life—would give birth to a son. In response to Sarai’s laughter of disbelief, God raised the issue of His omnipotence, asking, “Is anything too difficult for Yahweh?” (Gen 18:14). The story goes on to show that “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:22), even when we have trouble believing it. God eventually made Sarai a mother, demonstrating His ability to bring life from a previously lifeless womb—and He did so despite the couple’s doubts.

Michael R. Grigoni et al., Abraham: Following God’s Promise (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 17:1–18:15.

What is the application to our life with regard to this abiding communion?

What is the application to our life with regard to this abiding communion? What does it mean? It means close fellowship with Christ in secret prayer. I am sure there are Christians who do long for the higher life, and who sometimes have got a great blessing, and have at times found a great inflow of heavenly joy and a great outflow of heavenly gladness; and yet after a time it has passed away. They have not understood that close personal actual communion with Christ is an absolute necessity for daily life. Take time to be alone with Christ. Nothing in heaven or earth can free you from the necessity for that, if you are to be happy and holy Christians.

Andrew Murray, Divine Healing: A Series of Addresses (Nyack, NY: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1900), 209–210.

Ministry Update for January 2015

A Fresh Start for a New Year

imageIt seems that the time around the New Year is very busy. Tying up loose ends from 2014, preparing yearly financial reports, tax preparation, and more keep it busy. The New Year also seems to be a great time to make a change or start something new. As a church we branched out by starting a book club and I wasn’t sure how many people would be interested but for our first meeting we had eight people show up. We had our first meeting in January and we are currently reading through Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. It is my prayer as we get into Christian books that the faith of our people will be strengthened.
To see what’s going on with the book club visit 


Sound Ministry

In the last update I wrote about starting a sound ministry at our church and as of January 1st it has begun. I had some friends convince me to upload the preaching to as well so we have begun to do that. The whole ministry has already been a blessing to many and we anticipate hearing more feedback about this ministry. If you’re interested in this please visit and click on Audio Recordings.
If you would like to listen please click one of the pictures below

Youth Rally

Every few months we meet together with several other churches in this area, by this area we are talking about a 100 mile radius. The teens will memorize a chapter of Scripture and then compete in a Bible Quiz. These youth rally’s also include some preaching and some sort of teen activity. This time, after the quizzing, the kids went to the nursing home in Wheatland and sang for the seniors. We only have one teen so we join together with Pioneer Baptist Church who also has one teen. At January’s rally our two teens managed to win the competition. It was truly an underdog story.


Thanks so much for your prayers and support,
Jason, Becca, Elizabeth, Andrew, & John Miller
To view/download our monthly updates from the past please use the link below.
Miller Family Updates