Archive for December 2015

Coping with Ourselves

December 31, 2015

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And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful (Colossians 3:15).

People tend to find difficulty in coping with who they are. Often they mask who they really are with a curtain of perceived or “ideal” nature. Some call this political correctness, but it goes much deeper than politics. Each one of us is born naked, bloody and crying; but as we grow older we do our best to conceal our nakedness (both figurative and literal), our bleeding (both figurative and literal) and our crying (both figurative and literal). Why do we do this? I believe it is because it is in our moments of nakedness, bleeding and tears that our true self shows, and being uncomfortable with ourselves we avoid these moments of transparency and vulnerability at all costs.

As it has been said so often; “life is the path, not the destination.” The beauties of traveling this path all deal with growth in some way. The collection of experience, knowledge, memories and diverse tastes are blessings to each of us. One specific blessing that is visible in the eyes of those who have received it (though few they are) is the blessing of learning to cope with who we are as individuals. The peace that comes with finding our identity and finding comfort in it is a peace that many people discover only as they draw their last few breaths.

My friend has found this blessing early in his life and you can see it so clearly in his eyes. He is at peace with everyone and everything around him. His wife, his children, his grandchildren and his close friends all feel the peace and comfort that radiates from him. He does not fear the transparency and vulnerability of nakedness, bleeding and tears; he counts them as blessings. When you are around someone who is at peace with himself and with the Lord, you know it and you cannot help but enjoy it. You indulge in it. This friend of mine has told me one of the secrets of coping with who I am, because it’s something I struggle with sometimes. This secret is to learn to stop living in past failures – to stop counting your past offenses against yourself. He and I both realize what an unspeakable blessing it is to be justified by our heavenly Father, but this is the obstacle that my friend has learned to get over which I have not yet. Paul mentions this secret in II Corinthians 5:19 by showing how our Father does it. Paul says that God was bringing the world back into peace with Him by not counting their offenses against them.

God has not counted against me the horrible things I’ve done in the past; why do I still count them against myself? When I apologized to the people I have sinned against in the past, fortunately every single one has said “I forgive you.” Some even laughed and said, “What do you mean? I have forgotten all about that.” It seems that it is easier for us to not count bad things against others than it is to do the same for ourselves, but we must. There can be no peace of mind inside a mind at war with itself. This is the part of “coping with myself” that I struggle with the most. From time to time, I still count against myself some things I have done in my past, but each day that I travel this path; I learn and grow. There are some things that I have done that I thought I’d never put away which I have come to terms with. None of these things have I put away on my own. It is God’s example that helps me each day.

Being comfortable with who God made us is something we must all learn to accomplish if we wish to find peace within ourselves. It is an active task which is certainly not easy, but it pays big dividends to yourself and everyone around you. Learn to put away the things of the past that haunt your mind. If God has declared you righteous and isn’t counting your sins against you, you have peace with Him. You must also stop counting against yourself your sins that have passed if you wish to gain peace within yourself. Only then can you see the blessing in being transparent and vulnerable around your loved ones instead of hiding behind the walls of a fortress built with fear and sadness.

Aaron LockerAaron Locker
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Praying in Your Own Gethsemanes

December 18, 2015

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Being in agony – He prayed more earnestly! (Luke 22:44).

This is the record of our Savior’s Gethsemane experience. Like a bright lamp, this Scripture shines amid the olive trees of that garden to show us the path to comfort in our time of sorrow. Never before, nor since, has there been such grief as the Redeemer’s that night; but His agony lessened as He prayed, until at last its bitterness was all gone. There is no other place for true comfort and help. We learn from our Lord’s Gethsemane agony – how to pray in our own Gethsemanes.

God never blames us for asking to have the bitter cup removed, nor for the intensity of our prayers; but we must always pray with submission to His will. When we sincerely pray, “Not my will, but may Your will be done,” comfort comes, and then peace.

JR Miller - YoungerJ.R. Miller (1840-1912)

 

 

 

 

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Best of MillerBest of J.R. Miller

by James Russell Miller

Miller was a prolific author, was born of Irish/Scottish decent to James Alexander Miller and Eleanor Creswell, near Frankfort Springs, Beaver County, PA. He was a graduate of Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA) Allegheny Theological Seminary (Allegheny, PA). Miller pastored churches in New Wilmington, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Rock Island, IL; and was the author of over 60 published books, as well as countless booklets and pamphlets; and also served as supervisor of over two dozen periodicals with a combined annual circulation of over 66 million copies at the time of his death.

80 pages, paperback (#2425) $9.95

Suffering: Our Path to Glory

December 11, 2015

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Just as in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Scriptures are plain on this respect, our path to Glory is through suffering as well.

Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. … But the God of all grace, Who has called us to His age-lasting glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you (I Peter 4:13; 5:10).

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Just as Christ, we must learn to submit ourselves to the wise and loving will of our Father. Father’s answer to us may at times be deliverance from our trials. More often than not, however, as in the case of our Savior, when we approach His gracious throne, what we find is His “grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

When we pray for the cup of our heavy burdens and trials to pass, may we also have the courage of faith to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done.” While deliverance may be in our hearts, may our hearts obediently submit to His wise and loving will; and with Christ we can – “for the joy set before us” – endure our trials.

The knowledge of Father’s wise and loving will can settle the weary heart and bring peace to the troubled mind. Regardless of the situations that we face, Father knows best. Rest in that.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

 

 

 

 

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Suffering_1247_925.inddSuffering: God’s Forgotten Gift

by — Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Two gifts given to the believer are mentioned by Paul in Philippians 1:29. The first is “to believe on Him.” This is a glorious gift. Every believer has been given this gift from God. Those who possess it may not even fully recognize it as a gift from Him; but, indeed, faith is God’s wonderful gift to us. Faith is a rich gift from God, but there is also another gift from God to the believer, mentioned by Paul in Philippians 1:29, that is equally as glorious. The second gift is “also to suffer for His sake.” This, too, is a glorious gift. Every believer has been given this gift from God as well; but those who possess it often do not fully recognize it for what it is. Indeed, suffering for His sake similarly is God’s wonderful gift to us. Paul teaches us to embrace this second gift as well as we do the first!

(#5150) ISBN: 9781934251584 — 100 page PB. $9.95

Suffering: Christ’s Path to Glory

December 9, 2015

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The Scriptures are plain in this respect: Christ’s path to glory was through suffering.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).

But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9).

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow (I Peter 1:11).

This is the divine principle: suffering, then glory. While deliverance may have been in Christ’s heart, He learned obedience to His Father’s wise and loving will; and “for the joy set before Him” endured His trials.

The knowledge of Father’s wise and loving will settled His weary heart and brought peace to His troubled mind. Regardless of His situation He knew that Father knew best. He rested in that.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.


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