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Grace Gems

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

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http://www.gracegems.org/

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A picture of what every Christian life should be!

(J.R. Miller)

A writer tells of going with a group of visitors, down into a coal mine. On the side of the passageway grew a flower which was perfectly white. The visitors were astonished, that there, where the coal dust was continually flying--this little flower would be so pure and white. A miner, who was with them, took a handful of black coal dust and threw it upon the plant, but not a particle adhered. Every atom of the black dust rolled off. The visitors themselves repeated the experiment, but the coal dust would not cling. There was a wonderful enamel on the folds of the white flower to which no speck could adhere. Living there amid clouds of black dust--nothing could stain its snowy white!

This is a picture of what every Christian life should be. We live in an evil world. We go among the ungodly continually in our daily walk and work. Unholy influences breathe all around us; but it is our mission to be pure amid all this vileness--undefiled, unspotted from the world.

If God can make a little flower, so that no black dust can stain its whiteness--can He not by His grace so transform your heart and life, that no sin can cling to you? If God can keep a little flower stainless, as white as snow, amid clouds of black coal dust--can He not keep hearts of His people in like purity, in this world of sin?

"So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe!" Philippians 2:15

"Religion that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this . . . to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world!" James 1:27

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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God knows best what cross we need to bear!

(J.R. Miller)

There is a poem called "The Changed Cross." It represents a weary one who thought that her cross was surely heavier than those of others whom she saw around her, and wished that she might choose another cross instead of her own.

She slept, and in her dream she was led to a place where many crosses lay--crosses of various types, shapes and sizes.

There was a little cross most beauteous to behold, set in jewels and gold. "Ah, this I can wear with comfort," she said. So she took it up, but her weak form shook beneath it. The jewels and the gold were beautiful, but they were far too heavy for her.

Next she saw a lovely cross with fair flowers entwined around its sculptured form. Surely that was the one for her. She lifted it, but beneath the flowers were piercing thorns which tore her flesh.

At last, as she went on, she came to a plain cross, without jewels, without ornate carving, with only a few words of love inscribed upon it. This she took up, and it proved the best of all, the easiest to be borne. And as she looked upon it, bathed in the radiance which fell from Heaven--she recognized her own old cross. She had found it again, and it was the best of all, and lightest for her!

God knows best what cross we need to bear!

We do not know how heavy other people's crosses are.

We envy one who is rich--his is a golden cross set with jewels. But we do not know how heavy it is.

Here is another whose life seems very lovely. She bears a cross entwined with flowers. But we do not know what sharp thorns are hidden beneath the flowers.

If we could try all the other crosses which we think are lighter than ours, we would at last find that not one of them suited us as well as our own!

"I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right and righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me!" Psalm 119:75

"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it!" Hebrews 12:10-11

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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The crosses we make

(J.R. Miller)

A cross is composed of two pieces of wood. The shorter piece represents your will--and the longer piece represents God's will. Lay the two pieces side by side--and there is no cross; but lay the shorter piece across the longer one--and you have a cross.

Just so, whenever our will falls across God's will--there is a cross in our life. We make a cross for ourselves . . .

every time we do not accept Christ's way,

every time we murmur at anything He sends,

every time we will not do what He commands.

But when we quietly accept what He gives, when we yield in sweet acquiescence to His will, though it shatters our fairest hopes, when we let our will lie alongside His--there are no crosses in our life, and we have found the peace of Christ.

"My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done." Matthew 26:42

"I delight to do Your will, O my God!" Psalm 40:8

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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Are you seeking great things for yourself?

(J.R. Miller)

"Are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them!" Jeremiah 45:5

This lesson is not an easy one to learn, for we all want to erect our work for God on the summit of a mountain, where it will be seen by all the world. We easily forget that sometimes the greatest work we can perform for Him, is to do the little things He gives us to do, quietly and sweetly.

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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The power of habit!

(J.R. Miller, 1893)

A California stagecoach driver had held the leather reins for so many years, that when he began to grow old, his hands were crooked into hooks, and his fingers were so stiffened into that shape--that they could not be straightened out.

There is a similar process that goes on in men's minds and souls, when they continue to do the same things over and over. If you are trained, and train yourself, from childhood . . .

to be gentle and patient,

to control your temper,

to resist all wrong--

your life will grow into moral beauty, and the peacefulness of your heart will at length shine upon your very face.

If, on the other hand, you give way from childhood . . .

to all ugly tempers,

to resentful feelings,

to all bitterness and anger--

your life will grow into permanent moral disfigurement.

One who accustoms himself to think of pure and holy things, who sets his affections on things above, and strives to reach for things which are true, things which are honorable, things which are lovely--will grow heavenward toward the things which he loves and thinks upon.

But one who lets his mind turn habitually . . .

to debasing things,

to unholy things,

to impure things,

to earthly things--

will find his whole soul bending downward, and growing sinful, corrupt, and evil.

"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise!" Philippians 4:8

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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The flowers are growing to strew on their graves

(J.R. Miller)

There is a great host of weary men and women, toiling on through life, toward the grave--who most sorely need, just now, the cheering words and helpful ministries which we can give.

You are gathering incense of affection to scatter about their coffins; but why should it not be scattered in the hard paths on which their feet today are treading?

The kind words are lying in men's hearts unexpressed, trembling on their tongues unvoiced--which will be spoken by and by, when these weary ones are sleeping in their graves. But why should they not be spoken now, when they are needed so much, and when the kind words would give such cheer and hope?

The flowers are growing to strew on their graves; but why not cut them now to brighten their dreary lives and dark paths.

Many a godly man goes plodding through life, living obscurely--yet living a true Christian life, doing many a quiet kindness to his neighbors and friends--yet seldom hearing a word of appreciation or praise. The vases, filled with the incense of affection, are kept sealed. The flowers are not cut from the stems. One day you stand by his coffin, and there are enough kind things said to have brightened every hour of his life--if only they had been said at the right time. There are enough flowers piled upon his casket, to have kept his chamber filled with fragrance all through his years--if only they had been sent day by day. How his heavy heart would have thanked God, if, in the midst of his toils, burdens, and struggles--he could have heard a few of the words of affection and appreciation which are now wasted on ears that hear them not! How much happier he would have been in his weary days--if he had known how many kind friends he had!

But, poor man! he had to die before the appreciation could express itself. Then he could not hear the gentle words spoken over his cold lifeless body. The love blossomed out too late!

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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Their blessings fall upon us as perpetually, in a gentle rain of grace

(J.R. Miller)

We need Jesus just as much in our bright, prosperous, comfortable days--as in the days of darkness, adversity, and affliction. We are quite in danger of thinking that religion is only for sickrooms and funerals, and for times of great sorrow and trial . . .

as a lamp to shine at night,

as a staff to help when the road is rough,

as a friendly hand to hold us up when we are stumbling.

This is not true. Jesus went to the marriage feast--as well as to the home of sorrow. His religion is just as much for our hours of joy--as for our days of grief. There are just as many stars in the sky at noon, as at midnight--although we cannot see them in the sun's glare. And there are just as many comforts, promises, divine encouragements, and blessings for us--when we are in the sunshine of our human gladness and earthly success--as when we are in our nights of pain and shadow. We may not see them in the brightness about us, but they are there, and their blessings fall upon us as perpetually, in a gentle rain of grace.

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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A boy growing up in a home of poverty

(J.R. Miller)

A good many years ago, there was a boy growing up in a home of poverty, with no advantages. He was long and lanky--a most clumsy boy. He would lie on the earthen floor at night, when the day's work was done, reading by the dim firelight. There seemed little hope that the boy would ever be a man of influence. But the years pass, and we see him as President of the United States. One day we see him taking a pen and signing a paper which frees millions of slaves, and writes the name of Abraham Lincoln among the immortal names.

Just so, we should all just go on with our daily tasks, doing the best we can in our circumstances--and wait for God's timing. It takes months for the apple to grow mellow and sweet on the tree. If you are a disciple of Christ--He is going to make something very beautiful, very noble out of your life, when His work on you is finished. You will not always be struggling with faults, fainting under infirmities, bowing beneath burdens, striving in vain against difficulties. It does not yet appear what you will be; but there is glory in reserve for every faithful follower of Jesus!

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

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The infallible umpire

(J.R. Miller)

The throne of Russia was once occupied by two boy princes. They sat side by side and gave their decisions on the gravest questions. Their judgments were so wise and just, that men marveled that princes so young and inexperienced, could know so much of statecraft, or speak with such discretion on questions so difficult. But the secret was that close behind the throne where they sat, hidden by a thin veil, was the Princess Sophia. She heard the cases which were brought to them, and she gave the decisions which they delivered. They referred every question to her, and waited until she had whispered to them the wise answer, which they gave out.

In like manner, the Word of Christ should dwell richly in our heart. We are to refer every matter to the Holy Spirit, and wait for His decision. Then what He bids us to do--we are to do. Thus Christ will rule every thought, every feeling and every affection. He will settle every point of duty. He will sit as the infallible umpire in all questions of daily living--of duty, of relationships, of recreations, of business.

"I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation!" Psalm 119:99

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word." Psalm 119:9

"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom." Colossians 3:16

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From Grace Gems:

Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

FREE E-mail Subscription:

http://www.gracegems.org/

___________________________________________

The volcano

(J.R. Miller)

The volcano is quiet and silent for years. No fires and lava pour forth from its crater. Meanwhile, people venture up its slopes, and lay out their gardens, and build their villas, and plant their vineyards. And flowers bloom, and fruits hang in purple clusters, and beauty covers the once fire-swept, lava-furrowed mountain slopes. But has the volcano really been tamed? Have its fires been put out? Is all permanently peaceful in the volcano's heart?

Just so is the heart of a man, who has merely trained himself into good moral and ethical habits. What the best mere self-culture can do for a life--is no more than the planting of flowers and vineyards on the volcano's sides--while all its fires still burn within, ready to break forth again any day in all their old fury! Good manners are not saving religion. The heart must be changed. The heart of stone, must be made a heart of flesh. The heart that hates God, and holiness and purity--must become a heart that loves God, His holy ways, and His holy Word.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances." Ezekiel 36:26-27

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