Tag Archives: Women

Cut it off!

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Cut it off!

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

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“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled–than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire!” Matthew 18:8

Our life is so full of temptation and peril, that even its best things may become stumbling-blocks. Our very qualities of strength, may become fatal forces driving us to eternal ruin. 

Human beauty
 is a blessing from God–and yet beauty has proved a snare to many a woman, drawing her away from God. 

Ability to make money is a perilous gift, which has led many a man to spiritual ruin. It is better to altogether throw away the money-making ability, and go poor through life with the talent wasted and shriveled, and reach Heaven–than to exercise the ability and grow rich, and be lost forever! These are illustrations of our Lord’s meaning when He speaks of ‘cutting off’ the hand or the foot which causes us to sin.

The appetites, desires, and affections–are part of the glory of humanity; and yet, when they are unbridledthey have whirled many a noble life to eternal destruction!

A steam-boat came into port which had long been out on the sea. An accident had happened which caused delay. The coal gave out; then all that would burn–cargo, stores, furniture–had to be burned up, in order to bring the vessel home. At last she gained the shore, but stripped of everything of value. Yet it was better to burn up all her cargo and storesthan perish at sea.

Just so, some men can get to Heaven, only by sacrificing every earthly pleasure and crucifying every sinful desire; but who will say that the prize is not worth the sacrifice? 
The hand would be better chopped off
than steal or strike down another. 
The foot would be better cut off
than carry one into crime or sin. 
The eye would be better plucked-out
than by its lustful gazing set the soul on fire. 
A man on a wrecked vessel had better throw his bags of gold into the sea and have his life saved–than hold on to the gold and sink into the waves!

 

You shall love him!

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You shall love him!

(J. R. Miller, “Loving Your Neighbor”)

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“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31

What is it to love our neighbor? It is the loving that is hard. We could do almost anything else, short of loving unpleasant neighbors.

But love is the word–and no revised version changes it. No matter how disagreeable, unlovely, unworthy, our neighbors may be–still the commandment persistently and relentlessly says to us, “You shall love him!

Our neighbors are around us all the time, needing our love. Indeed, they touch our lives so continually, that we must guard our every look, word, and act–lest we hurt some sensitive spirit. 

Some people seem to forget that other people have feelings. They are constantly saying words and doing things which give pain. True love is thoughtful. We ought to train our hearts to the most delicate sense of kindness, that we may never, even jokingly, give pain to any other human being.

Our neighbors have hearts, and we owe to every one of them–the beggar we meet on the street, thedegraded wretch we find crawling in the mire of sin’s debasement, the enemy who flings his insults in our face–to every one, we owe the love that is thoughtful, gentle, and gives no hurt.

Our love ought also to be patient. Our neighbor will have his faults. But we are taught to bear with one another’s infirmities. 

If we knew the story of men’s lives, the hidden burdens they are often carrying, the unhealed woundsin their heart–we would have most gentle patience with them. Life is hard for most people, certainly hard enough without our adding to its burdens–by our criticisms, our jeering and contempt, and our lack of love.

A great and noble army of holy women

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A great and noble army of holy women

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

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(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)

“And many women were there beholding from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him” Matthew 27:55

These were the earliest of a great and noble army of holy women–attached to Christ by deep, personal love, following and ministering unto Him. 

In all the ages since, Christian women have shown similar devotion and constancy to Christ–and similar heroic love in serving Him. The record of women’s ministry to Christ, is one of the brightest in all the world’s history!

Women owe an incalculable debt to Christ. He has lifted them up from base thraldom and from degradation. Women have always been grateful too, and have served Christ with great devotion. 

Women are found in every sickroom, bending over the sufferer with unwearying solicitude, with matchless tenderness ministering to bodily comfort, and pouring the warmth of affection upon feverish spirits. They are found in the wards of hospitals, and upon battlefields, moving like God’s angels in blessed, loving ministry.

Faithful Christian mothers are following the Master and doing work which will shine forever in glorious luster! 

Faithful Christian Sunday school teachers are doing quiet service in lowly paths–which in God’s sight, is nobler than that of many of earth’s famous ones!

Everywhere, too, there is an open field for woman’s ministry. Christ is no longer here in person to be served, as He was served by these women who followed Him from Galilee; but in His needy and suffering followers, He is ever present; and whoever will, may minister unto Him! For He said that in doing acts of kindness to the least of His people, we do them unto Him.

Much practical teaching is in this picture, which is here held up before every woman, inspiring her to wholeheartedly follow Christ. 

Why do so many young Christian girls choose a life . . .
  of idleness,
  of love of pleasure,
  of aimless, purposeless existence,
  of mere dressing, promenading, and trifling–
when such a life of glorious service is open to them?

 


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