I am thankful for men and women long ago who had the foresight to record sermons and protect manuscripts so future generations could benefit from the godly wisdom, insight, and passion that spurred men like J. R. Miller to seek hard after God day by day.
Their testimonies inspire me, challenge me, convict me, and push me to seek God the same way - with intention and passion.
I stumbled across one of his written gems and wanted to share it here.
I pray it will encourage you as much as it encouraged me!
"Losing SELF in Christ" by J. R. Miller, 1903 (adaptions mine)
Yet only as we learn to die to self, do we become like Christ. Unrenewed nature seeks all for self—and none for Christ. Becoming a Christian is the taking of Christ into the life—in the place of self. Then all is changed. Life has a new center, a new aim. Christ comes first. His plan for our lives is accepted, instead of our own. It is no more what we would like to do—but "What does the Master want us to do?" It is no longer the pressing of our own will—but "May Your will, not mine, be done." This is the foundation of all Christian living—the dying of self—and the growing of Christ in the heart. So long as there remains any self-will, any unsubmission, any spirit of disobedience, any unconquered self, asserting its authority against the will of Christ—just so long, is our consecration incomplete.
This law of the dying of SELF, and the magnifying of Christ—is the only way to true usefulness. Not until self has been renounced, is anyone ready for true Christian service.
While we are thinking how this or that will affect us, whether it will pay us to make this sacrifice or that self-denial; while we are consulting our own ease, our own comfort, our own interest or advantage in any form—we have not yet learned fully what the love of Christ means.
We need to learn the true meaning of Christ's love, for He never asks whether we are worthy or not, nor does He keep account of the number of times He has forgiven us. The law of love, which is the one law of all Christian life, does not follow the world's maxims. It asks not if there will be a return. It does not keep account of treatment received—and strike a balance for the governance of its future actions. It gives and serves and helps regardless of what it has received or may receive.
Then the life of friction and worry is changed into quietness and peace. When the glory of Christ streams over this little, cramped, fretted, broken life of ours—peace comes, and the love of Christ brightens every spot and sweetens all bitterness. Trials are easy to bear when self is small—and Christ is large.