Thursday, January 3, 2008


One of my hobbies is collecting old books. Whenever I come across a used-book sale I will go through it looking for discarded hymn books and devotional readings, books which have passed through hands that are now old and wrinkled which may have spent many hours folded in prayer. A book I have recently acquired and just started reading is a devotional called "Come Ye Apart" by J. R. Miller D. D. No publishing date can be found within its pages, but since the truths it contains are timeless, maybe that is appropriate.

The purpose stated in its preface is this:

This volume of a year's readings has been prepared in the hope that it may prove daily food to some earnest children of God in their life of care, struggle, and duty. It is made to cover the earthly life of our Lord, from its beginning to its close...This book has but a single aim ~ to honour and glorify Christ in the eyes of those who follow its pages.

Its first devotional is entitled, "In The Beginning", and follows:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
~John 1:1

Life is full of beginnings. We are now at the beginning of a new year. But here is a beginning that carries our thought back beyond all years, all dates of history, all imaginable periods of time, beyond the beginnings of creation. Then was Christ. What a sublime stretch of being these words give to Him who is our Saviour! We cannot grasp the thought, but we can find security and comfort in it when we think of Christ, and when we rest in Him as our hope and salvation. We trust in human friends, and the comfort is very sweet; yet we can never forget that they are but creatures of a day, and that we cannot be sure of having them even for tomorrow. But we trust in Christ, and know that from eternity to eternity He is the same, and therefore our confidence is for ever sure and strong.

Our trust is still more stable and firm when we read on and find who this Person is in whom we are confiding. "The Word was God." There is nothing doubtful in this language. No kind of exegesis can blot from this brief clause the truth of Christ's divinity. The Saviour, into whose hands you have committed your life, is the eternal God. Earthly trusts are never secure, for everything human is mortal; but those who commit themselves to the keeping of Christ are safe for ever. It is very sweet to think of Christ's humanity. It brings Him nearer to us. He is like one of ourselves. He is our own brother, with tender sympathies and warm affections. We study the gospel and learn the graciousness of His character as seen in His compassion, His tears, His love. Then when we know that behind these qualities are the divine attributes, that He is very God, what glorious confidence it gives us! Let us set this glorious truth at the gate of the New Year ~ it is a shining point from which to start.

Come and hear the grand old story
Story of the ages past;
All earth's annals far surpassing,
Story that shall ever last.

Christ, the Father's Son eternal,
Once was born, a Son of man;
He who never knew beginning
Here on earth a life began...

Hear we then the grand old story,
True as God's all-faithful word,
Best of tidings to the guilty
Of a dead and risen Lord.

Hear we then the grand old story,
And in listening learn the love
Flowing through it to the guilty
From our pardoning God above.

At the start of this new year, I encourage you to begin it by making the Word your priority~ both the written Word, the Bible, and the living Word, God's only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we do any less than follow the example given to us in John 1:1. If we are God's children we will want to follow in His footsteps. May God richly bless you in 2008.


And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;

teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Colossians 3:15-17

1 comment:

Len said...

Hi Bonnie,

A lot of JR Miller's books are online at

Happy reading

Len Jones