Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Walk of Faith

Leather Quote

The metaphor of a walk or journey developed from the lives of the patriarchs, particularly from Abraham. It refers not only to his actual movement from place to place, but also to his journey with God. His life is retold around his “walk”—his life of sojourning where God led him and, at times, where He did not. When Abraham lived confidently in full assurance of God’s promises, things went well for him. When He attempted to supplement those promises or work toward them in his own creativity and timing, things went poorly. These truths are as real for us today as they were for Abraham thousands of years ago.

Michael R. Grigoni, Miles Custis, et al., Abraham: Following God’s Promise (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 20:1–21:34.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Abiding Prepares for Enabling

India Mountains Quote

Many believers pray and long very earnestly for the filling of the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ, and wonder that they do not make more progress. The reason is often this, the “I in you” cannot come because the “Abide in Me” is not maintained. “There is one body and one spirit;” before the Spirit can fill, there must be a body prepared. The graft must have grown into the stem, and be abiding in it before the sap can flow through to bring forth fruit. It is as in lowly obedience we follow Christ, even in external things, denying ourselves, forsaking the world, and even in the body seeking to be conformable to Him, as we thus seek to abide in Him, that we shall be able to receive and enjoy the “I in you.” The work enjoined on us: “Abide in Me,” will prepare us for the work undertaken by Him: “I in you.”

Andrew Murray, The Mystery of the True Vine: Meditations for a Month (London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1898), 51–52.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Projects

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Spring Time Fun

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Pray in Jesus’ Name

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The significance of the name of Jesus in relation to prayer deserves special notice. To pray in the name of Jesus, to ask anything in His name (Jn. 14:13; cf. v 14; 15:16; 16:23f.; etc.), is not merely to add to one’s prayers a meaningless formula, but it is to ask something from God as Christ’s representatives on earth, in His mission and stead, in His spirit, and with His aim. Such a phrase, correctly understood, cannot help but govern the kind and quality of the prayers Christians pray.

C. Conclusion The importance of a name to the biblical writers cannot be overstated. Their fondness for names and their understanding of the significance of names is everywhere observable—from their noting that God knows Moses by name (Ex. 33:17) and calls Cyrus by name (Isa. 45:3) to simply filling whole pages with names (see Gen. 5; Nu. 1–3; Mt. 1:1–17; Lk. 3:23–37; etc.). These writers thus articulate in a quiet but emphatic way what has been called “the personalism of the Bible.” The Bible presents people not as a mass, nor as a fraction of a mass, or as cases to be studied, but as persons. The proper name in the Bible is the symbol of the person, and to address a person by name is to give to that person significance, meaning, dignity, and worth.

G. F. Hawthorne, “Name,” ed. Geoffrey W Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 483.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Biblical Faith is…

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…no man can truly have the Lord for his God, except he have chosen him for his portion; and no man can truly choose the Lord for his portion, before he truly know him; and he that does truly know God, does truly believe both his threatenings and his promises; and he that does truly believe the Lord’s threatenings, must needs fear and tremble at them; and he that does believe the Lord’s promises, must needs truly love him, for faith always produces and brings forth love; and whosoever does truly love God, must needs desire near communion with him; yea, and rejoice in communion with him; yea, and fear to offend him; yea, and sorrow for offending him; yea, and be zealous for his glory.

Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 275–276.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Abiding and Prayer

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You cannot experience joy, love, and all the fruit of the Spirit apart from Christ, and you cannot abide in Christ apart from prayer. Prayer as a priority. Prayer as passion. Prayer as one’s portion. Andrew Murray writes:

How greatly the power to spend a day aright, to abide all the day in Jesus, depends on the morning hour. If the first-fruits be holy, the lump is holy. During the day there come hours of intense occupation in the rush of business or the throng of men, when only the Father’s keeping can maintain the connection with Jesus unbroken. The morning manna fed all day; it is only when the believer in the morning secures his quiet time in secret to renew distinctly and effectually loving fellowship with his Saviour, that the abiding can be kept up all the day. But what cause for thanksgiving that it may be done! In the morning, with its freshness and quiet, the believer can look out upon the day. He can consider its duties and its temptations, and pass them through beforehand, as it were, with his Saviour, throwing all upon Him who has undertaken to be everything to him. Christ is his manna, his nourishment, his strength, his life: he can take the day’s portion for the day, Christ as his for all the needs the day may bring, and go on in the assurance that the day will be one of blessing and of growth…. And so, each day separately, all the day continually, day by day successively, we abide in Jesus. (Murray, Abide in Christ, 85-86)

Bob Hostetler, The Red Letter Life: 17 Words from Jesus to Inspire Simple, Practical, Purposeful Living (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour, 2014).

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One Step at a Time

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“The future is a ravelled maze,” he wrote to his mother early in September, “but my path has always been made plain just one step at a time. I must wait on God and trust in Him, and all will be well. I think I do love Him more than ever, and long increasingly to serve Him as He directs. I have had some wonderful seasons of soul-refreshing lately, unworthy of them as I have been.”

And to his sister a few days later:

The love of God is indeed wonderful to contemplate. His long-suffering how unbounded! If ever there was one who deserved eternal banishment from His presence, it is I; and yet I have had such melting seasons in prayer, such manifestations of His love, and such strong faith and confidence in Him of late that I have been quite astonished at His abounding grace to one so lukewarm and unfaithful. His grace even exceeds our unworthiness. Can we say more than this? What a happy day it will be when, seeing Him as He is, we shall be made like Him—free from sin and perfect in purity!

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), 321.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I Still Need The Gospel Today

Leather Quote

We so often think that once we have believed the message we don’t really need to hear it again. But we couldn’t be more wrong. It is the glorious message of God’s love for us in Christ that engenders the faith and perseverance that will enable us to grow in godliness.

Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis E. Johnson, Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009).

Miller Family Update for February

February 2015

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My wife and I went to a conference in Colorado this month and were surprised to see Chaplin Joe Willis. His daughter Christi was in college with Becca and I and we were very excited to see him as well as listen to him preach. It looks as if he may be able to pay us a visit this summer and present his ministry.


Book Club

Our book club has completed Pilgrim’s Progress this month and we are now beginning to read the second part where Christian’s wife Christiana goes on her own pilgrimage with the children. John Bunyan’s books are packed with references to Scripture and every page has some truth to be learned. It is our prayer that through the reading of these books we will be drawn closer to the Savior.


Interviews with Men worth ImitatingPreaching

I don’t normally write about what I have been preaching, however in January I began a series titled, “Interviews with Men Worth Imitating.” The only reason any of these men are worth imitating is because they were good imitators of Christ. We have looked at many of the Apostles and a few other figures in Scripture but a consistent thread has been the humility it takes to be a follower of Christ. If you had asked me if there would be a theme to the series beyond the character studies I would have told you no. But I have now seen that those men who are worth imitating are humble.

In today’s society self-promotion is common and to be humble is a sign of weakness. Men like Barnabas who trained Paul were willing to step to the side as their pupil took the center stage. Andrew, who was the first to be called by Christ, stood in the background as his brother Peter preached at Pentecost. I’ve been challenged as I prepare and preach to be humble and recognize that anything good in my life is because of Christ.

For a more pictures please visit our www.OTBChurch.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