January 31, 2010
"Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number of them who had been practicing magic brought their books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars!" Acts 19:18-19
(J. R. Miller, "Paul's Message for Today" 1904)
Taken from the Grace Gem: The burning of these old Ephesian books!
January 16, 2010
Ugly corners made beautiful
(J. R. Miller, "Christian Manliness" 1909)
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . ." Philippians 4:8
Beauty is another quality of true manliness. It is not enough for a man to be true, to live honorably, to be just, to be pure and clean--he must also have in his life, whatever is lovely.
All God's works are beautiful. He never made anything that was not beautiful. It is sin which spoils everything!
There are many lives that are not lovely in every feature. You see things in others which you cannot admire--things which are not beautiful.
Fretting is not beautiful.
Bad temper is unlovely.
Discontent, jealousy, irritability, unkindness, selfishness are unattractive.
It is the work of God's grace--to make lives beautiful. All that grace does in us--is toward the fashioning of beautiful Christian character in us.
On a florist's signboard are the words, "Ugly corners made beautiful". The florist had reference to what he could do to beautify an ugly spot or a piece of landscape. He would trim out the weeds, plant flowers and shrubs, and transform a wilderness into a garden.
That is what grace can do in our lives. Some men seem to think that the fine and graceful things are only for women, not for men. But Christ was a man--a perfect, complete man--and there was not a single unlovely thing in His life.
He was strong--but also gentle.
He was just--but kindly.
He was firm--but patient.
He was righteous, and his indignation burned like fire against all hypocrisy and injustice--but his tenderness never failed.
Fine manliness is beautiful, like Christ. "Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16
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We have posted J. R. Miller's insightful article, "Christian Manliness".