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When your entrance into a room is ignored

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and it’s a good thing!

What a beautiful and complete picture we have of the cooperation of the persons of the Trinity in Luke 4:18a.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.”

With a plethora of pronouns, it’s easy to lose track of the roles expressed in this passage from Christ’s first public discourse after the forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness, as recorded by Luke. Here is a simple breakdown of the sentence:

 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Jesus.
The Father has anointed Jesus.
Jesus preaches good news to the poor.
 

 I am here today, an undeserving recipient of God’s grace and mercy, because the Good News, preached by Jesus, who was set apart by the Father and had the Spirit of the Lord resting upon Him, was extended to me, chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world, paid for in the atoning work of the Son, sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternity.  What wondrous love is this?! 

The Spirit upon Jesus enabled Him to preach good news to the poor. Our Lord today still preaches good news to those impoverished in spirit through the Holy Spirit’s abiding work in His followers.  “… The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (I Peter 4:14b). wash-jesus-washing-apostles-feet-christian-art_290281018067The servant is not greater than his Master. Our Lord humbled Himself, taking the place of a servant, wetting washcloths and washing the feet of his disciples. Our Lord did this! What kind of testimony would it be to others to see the gratitude and joy of the servants demonstrated when we serve others, following in the footsteps of our Master, greater than we, functioning perfectly and purposefully under the economy of His role within the Trinity.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good,” says the apostle Peter in his message to Cornelius (Acts 10:38). Nineteenth-century preacher J.R. Miller exhorts us, in our Christ-following service, to do the same:

 “We should strive to perpetuate this Christ-ministry of love in this world. Hearts are breaking with sorrow, men are bowing under burdens too heavy for them. Duty is too large, the battles are too hard. It is our mission to do for these weary, overwrought, defeated, and despairing ones–what Christ Himself would do if He were standing where we stand. He wants us to represent Him; and He fills us with His Spirit, that we may be able to scatter the blessings of helpfulness and gladness all about us. Yet one of the saddest things about life is, that, with so much power to help others by kindliness of word and kindliness of act–many of us pass through the world in silence or with folded hands.”

Miller adds this, should we be blind to the spheres around us where our service is needed:

“There are a few people whom God calls to do great things for Him. The best thing most of us can do in this world, is just to live out a real, simple, consecrated, Christian life in our allotted place. Thus, in our little measure, we shall repeat the life of Christ Himself, showing men some feeble reflection of His sweet and loving face; and doing in our poor way, a few of the beautiful things He would do if He were here Himself.”

My friend, Gina, said much the same on her blog this week, “Much of what we do as parents is never seen or acknowledged. My entrance into a room will never be preceded by an announcement that tells everyone about all I’ve done or felt, how much I’ve prayed or cried, or how much I have served. It is just quietly done before the Lord.”

We are able to serve the Lord through trial and affliction, under extreme circumstances, emptying ourselves into lives of others who would disregard, reject, mock and persecute us, because the Holy Spirit, that untiring, relentless, thorough, creative, enabling Person of the Trinity, gives us His power and His strength to persevere to the end.

homelessness

 

 

This post originally appeared in condensed form as “Spirit-Enabled Service” at Three Rivers Grace Church blog.

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Written by mrsdkmiller

August 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

The only thing that concerns us

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by J.R. Miller

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 

Is not God wise enough to manage the complications of our lives–and to bring order and beauty out of them? Has He not skill enough? Is He not our Father? and will He not always do the very best and wisest thing for us? Should we not trust Him–and cease to be anxious about anything that we have committed to Him? Is not anxiety, doubt? and is not doubt, sin? We are simply to commit our way to the Lord, trust Him, and be at peace.

The only thing that concerns us, is our DUTY. God will weave the complicated web of our lives, into patterns of beauty–unless we mar it by our follies and sins. But His plans are sometimes very long, and our impatience may mar them, as well as our sins. The buds of His purposes, must not be torn open. We must wait until His fingers unfold them.

Commit your way to the LORD. Trust also in Him–and He shall bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:5

via Grace Gems

And more J.R. Miller from Grace Gems:

ladder

Ladder-rungs

All base desires, all bad habits, all longings for ignoble things–which we vanquish and trample down–become ladder-rungs on which we climb upward out of earthliness and sinfulness–into purer and Christlier character. There really is no other way by which we can rise upward. If we are not living victoriously in our little common days–we surely are not making any progress. Only those who climb, are mounting toward the stars. Heaven itself at last, and the heavenly life here on earth–are for those only who overcome.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne!  Revelation 3:21 

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son!   Revelation 21:7

I like that word: Christlier

Written by mrsdkmiller

March 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Doctrine, Quotes

Tagged with , ,

What grace can do for a man!

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by J.R. Miller

“He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, He gave the name Peter” Mark 3:16

by Alberta Rae Richards

In an art gallery in Europe are shown, side by side–the first and the last works of a great artist. The first is very crude and most faulty; the last is a masterpiece. The contrast shows the results of long culture and practice.

These two names–are like those two pictures:

“Simon” shows us the crude fisherman of Galilee, with all his rashness, his ignorance, his imperfectness.

“Peter” shows us the apostle of the Acts and the Epistles; the firm and secure rock; the man of great power, before whose Spirit-filled eloquence, thousands of proud hearts bow; the gentle, tender soul whose words fall like a benediction; the noble martyr witnessing to the death for his Lord.

Study the ‘two pictures’ together–to see what grace can do for a man!

It is not hard to take roses, lilies, fuchsias, and all the rarest flowers–and make forms of exquisite beauty with them. But to take weeds, dead grasses, dried leaves, and trampled and torn and faded flowers–and make lovely things out of such base materials–is the severest test of skill.

It would not be hard to take an angel–and train him into a glorious messenger. But to take such a man as Simon, or as Saul, or as John

by Rembrandt

Newton, or as John Bunyan–and make him into a holy saint or a mighty apostle–that shows great power and ability!

Yet that is exactly what Christ did with Peter–and has been doing ever since. He takes the poorest stuff,

despised, worthless and vile–ofttimes the outcast of men; and when He has finished His gracious transforming work–we behold a saint whiter than snow!

The sculptor beheld an ‘angel’ in the rough, blackened stone, which had been thrown away. And when he was finished–behold! men saw an angel cut from the rejected block!

Just so, Christ can take us, as rough, as unpolished and as vile as we are–and in His hands, our lives shall grow into purity and loveliness, until He presents us at last before the celestial throne, faultless and perfect! “For those God foreknew–He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son!” Romans 8:29

(J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)

via Grace Gems

Written by mrsdkmiller

September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

Posted in Quotes

Tagged with , , ,

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