Author Archives: Vince Miller

Greater Than It Than All

Greater-Than-It-All-a-daily-devotional-by-Vince-Miller

Greater Than It Than All

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.—1 John 4:4

Sometimes the reality that God knows and the reality that we observe are different. And by the way, someone is wrong.

Jesus understands that the man who places his faith, trust, and hope in God has a life outcome that is different than those who do not. Yet what is interesting is that both the man who knows Christ and the man who doesn't know Him still live in this world and encounter many of the same difficulties. The greatest distinction is not the struggles we face; the great distinction is that Christ is greater than all of them. It is Christ that is greater, and he lives in you—and because of this, you have overcome the world.

DO THIS: Say this to your unbelief today, "You are greater than it all."

PRAY THIS: God, receive the sacrifice of my unbelief. Show me your greatest in me. Bring me to worship only you.

HEAR THIS: iEC Live: Greater Than It All

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The Old Rugged Cross

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The Old Rugged Cross

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:2

It's the symbol of our faith. And it's not made for wearing; it was made for dying. It comes with painful suffering and public shame. And Jesus knew from the moment he was born into this world that death in this manner was his destiny. And Jesus invites all men to the same quest, a life of perpetual dying in order to find our eventual destiny—life with him who sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Embrace the cross today and its temporal suffering for eternal joy.

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.—Matthew 10:38

DO THIS: Embrace the suffering of your cross, as Jesus did for you.

PRAY THIS: God, I am often irritated by my suffering, and therefore I miss the joy in the suffering. Help me to cling to the same cross that you bore with the same enthusiasm, and may I become a little more like you today.

HEAR THIS: Alan Jackson: The Old Rugged Cross

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You Are Not A Failure | A Letter To My Son

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You Are Not A Failure

"Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be "—John Wooden.

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."—Johnny Cash

Son, you will fail; this happens. But this does not mean you are a failure. The assumption that "you are a failure" is a powerful and defeating thought that can paralyze a man. It's a recording that sometimes plays in the mind that men struggle to silence. It's one of the five powerful voices I believe all men hear (if you remember my previous letter on this subject). I think this is partially because many men falsely believe that to be a man, we must "man-up" by appearing strong, confident, and courageous, even when we feel weak, confused, and lost. This false belief thus devastates men in moments of failure. Which is why when we fail, we sometimes believe we are a failure.

Please note, experiencing failure and feeling the impact is a good thing for all men. The last thing we need is insensitivity to this pain. Appropriate levels of pain, in the form of regret and guilt, are good for all men. And why? Well, because pain is an indication of pending danger. Insensitivity to pain will only lead to callousness and other, more harmful decisions to self and others. Yet, inflicting needless suffering on ourselves by allowing a failure to convince us that we are a failure is also not helpful. While you and I are both sinners, we are redeemed by Christ and given a new identity as sons of God. Your identity is marked permanently not by your failure but by His grace, and your identity is forever changed. Accepting this is sometimes too good to be true, so it's easy for men to go back to the perpetual failure of the former life and the old yoke of slavery.

"...and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."—Galatians 5:1

As men, we live in this great tension, and here is how I describe it. First, our former identity is marked entirely by sin. In fact, the Bible calls us "sinners." Yes, God's Word is clear; our identities before Christ are marked by perpetual sin. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) So in one sense, and at one time, all men were perpetual failures. We were, (notice the use of the past tense of the verb,) a complete and total failure. Second, yet we also know that "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) And this gift results in us having the opportunity to believe in his name, giving us "the right to become children of God." (John 1:12) Jesus also says, "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15) So your identity has changed from sinner to son, from failure to friend. Third, we must choose to live in this new identity as sons and friends. Yet we know, the voice of the past will call to us. In moments of failure, we will be tempted to listen to the voice of the former man and the old identity. It will call to you and say, "I am a failure." Its call will be compelling and clear because only you will hear its voice within your mind. This voice will present evidence to you from your own life to support your incorrect perceptions. Do not doubt my words, son, the courtroom of your mind will offer a convincing case. And yet, the tension between a former identity and your new identity has a present reality. 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.—2 Corinthians 5:21

Think about that and ponder on it for a second—you are the "righteousness of God." Let that set in. That's your identity. You are not a failure. You are instead a son of righteousness

So the next time you fail your response should be to understand the pain, accept it, learn from it, and then before the failure begins to poison your thinking about your identity, bring to mind that Scripture says, you a "son of righteousness" saved by God's grace. You are not a failure. Do not let that thought preach to you, rather let the truth preach to you. And why should you do this? Because the most important thought about you is not what others think about you, what you think about you, but what God thinks about you. This is the only thought that matters.

As you learn to do this, you will discover something about the fails in your life—that God is up to something. That he is working out something magnificent in you every time you fail. He is teaching you to trust more and more in him. Notice what the apostle Paul says about his perpetual failing.

But [God] said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Do you see it? Failure gives way to opportunity—the opportunity to trust less in self and more in God. With failure, we encounter grace, discover perfect power, contentment, and the paradox of strength in weakness. For the man who is strong in himself is not strong; he is only pretending to be strong. Instead, the man who embraces his weakness (through failure) is genuinely strong because he is strong in God.

I love you, son, and remember you are not a failure. Dad.

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org. See his latest book and small group study Called to Act: 5 Uncomplicated Disciplines for Men.

Think Sober

Think-Sober-a-daily-devotional-by-Vince-Miller

Think Sober

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.—Roman 12:3

It's a sobering thought; that we men have to give constant attention to how we think about ourselves. But how quickly we are intoxicated with me, myself, and I. Intoxication sometimes comes from a big win or other times from something as little as a private pat on the back. For some reason, we are only one "atta' boy" away from becoming drunk on self. But when a man is sober he understands that it is God who assigns all things—including the faith he measures to each of us.

DO THIS: Sober up, be humble.

PRAY THIS: God, give me a humble heart and a sober mind.

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I Will Follow

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I Will Follow

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.—Matthew 9:9

Notice how easy it was for Matthew to follow. It's like Matthew was waiting for something and someone. But why does he respond so quickly? Was his job satisfaction was at an all-time low? Did his lack of female companionship leave him wanting? Maybe he just lacked a friend, a brother, or a mentor? These all might be the case, but they are only circumstantial and temporary solutions to a more deep-rooted problem in all men. No job, marriage, or brother will give us permanent soul satisfaction when a man is looking for meaning. These are temporal and provide limited solutions. I believe Matthew knew he was looking for meaning, purpose, and satisfaction that went beyond the things of this life—and in Jesus, he saw a glimpse of this. Now, this is just speculation until you continue to read how following Jesus gave his life meaning. Read his story in the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. It's the story of a man's search for significance found in the following of the Son of all Man.

DO THIS: Follow Jesus willingly today.

PRAY THIS: God, I resist following a little each day, and on some days more. Help me to stop resisting.

HEAR THIS: Chris Tomlin: I Will Follow

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Break Every Chain

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Break Every Chain

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.—Galatians 5:1

If Christ's sets us free for the sake of spiritual freedom, why are so many men still bearing the yoke of a former life? Are the behaviors and the pattern still too familiar? Are the desires of our old life too hard to disregard? Or is freedom simply too unbelievable? If you feel defeated by sins of a former life, while yet redeemed by Christ, maybe it's time to hurl the yoke? Don't submit to it. It's oppressive. It's imprisoning. It's the way of old. With this yoke comes guilt, shame, and regret that weigh heavily on all men. Instead, choose freedom, it's free to choose, but you must surrender the yoke.

DO THIS: Surrender the whole the yoke. Start enjoying your freedom.

PRAY THIS: God, today I choose to live in freedom from sin and the guilt, shame, and regret that weigh me down. I believe you have forgiven me, and today I will joyfully live in that freedom.

HEAR THIS: Elevation Worship: Break Every Chain

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There Will Be A Day

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There Will Be A Day

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.—Revelation 21:4

In this life, Jesus promises suffering (John 16:33). In fact, if you are a godly man, there's guaranteed persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). But in affliction, there is the hope and promise of deliverance (Psalm 34:19). And while yet we live in a world of tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain there will be a day our Father will kneel down and take his thumb to wipe away the tears that fall from our eyes. At this moment, everything we've suffered will be a faint memory, for nothing will compare to this moment and this day when the former has passed away.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.—Romans 8:18

DO THIS: Look to the day, have hope.

PRAY THIS: God, all I see is the present. Give me a glimpse of the future and increase my joy and decrease my sadness.

HEAR THIS: Jeremy Camp: There Will Be A Day

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Sex Porn & Desire | A Letter To My Son

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Sex, Porn, & Desire

Son, I have met so many men who are compulsively viewing pornography that I must write this letter. While many of the notes I write to you, I look forward to writing; this one was difficult to write as the subject matter is sexual, and the challenge for men is hard to describe.

You already know much of this, but I think it is essential that you hear it from me, your father—not your friends and not a teacher—but from me, as I see the world through the lens of God's Word. The reality is that most young men have viewed pornography by the age of 13, if not younger. And about 60% of students will use porn to learn more about sex and fill in the gaps in their sex education. And I get it—it's everywhere. But pornography is not an instruction for your sex education, and there are a plethora of reasons why. But in this letter, I want to focus on what I believe is important for you to know.

We have to be honest. Honest with ourselves as men. Men look at porn for five basic reasons, and sometimes for all of them. We desire arousal, education, companionship, entertainment, or we feel pressured by peers. That's it! But this is nothing new. Every man has these desires, but often they don't admit it. I mean, think about it, when is the last time some guy admitted to you that he watches porn to learn more about sex? Or when is the last time a guy confessed to you that he goes to porn because he is in desperate need of companionship? Men don't do that. At least I have never met a man who has, probably because many men have trouble being honest with themselves and even more about the feelings and desires they have. But let's face it, men have these desires. And men turn to porn because it is both a prolific and private delivery system to explore those five things: physical arousal, visual education, fantasy companionship, personal entertainment in moments they feel pressured to participate. So men think, why confess them to another man when I can figure it out on my own? And this thinking is fatal for a follower of Christ. Getting our desires fulfilled in this way, gives our desires to vices that are evil and insidious. We could spend all day talking about the ills of the pornography industry, and yet we would only touch the surface of the depth of the evils. There are better people with which to discuss sex and better ways to understand our male desires.

I believe the best place to go to for a great understanding of this subject is God's Word. And why? God is the designer of man, sex, and desire. And since he is the designer of all this, why not turn to him?

If I were were to pick from only a few verses in the bible on this topic, I would go straight to Jesus's teaching. In the New Testament, Jesus addresses these topics in the greatest sermon ever preached the Sermon on the Mount. Listen to what Jesus says:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.—Matthew 5:27-30

Now stay with me. There are a few things we can learn from this text.

First, Jesus knows that sex is not the issue. Sex is something God created for us, and he wants us to enjoy it, but it should be done in a way that aligns with his moral will. (I am not going to address all that here maybe in another letter). Second, Jesus teaches that the act of adultery, (sex outside of marriage with another woman,) while wrong is not where the line is drawn on biblical infidelity. Third, Jesus teaches that adultery is a manifestation of the core issue. And what is the core issue? It is what Jesus calls the "lustful intent." The core problem is what happens in our hearts before we act. Now please note, the action is wrong, but it's the misguided desire in a man that leads to misdirected action. And we discover that we are perpetually fulfilling our desires our way to feed our selfishness. And all mankind must come to terms with the fact that our desires are perpetually misaligned and we need Jesus Christ, his grace, and His Spirit to redeem, restore, and realign them.

Do you know what real men do—men of God? They understand that the desires of their heart only find the satisfaction they desire in God alone. Men who submit their desires to God and are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and daily respond to the conviction of God by redirecting their desires toward something more holy—these men are real men. However, men who are led about by their wild desires controlled by visual stimulation combined with a physical release are not real men. Great men recognize their desires, confess them to trusted brothers, and attempt to find practical ways to find satisfaction in God on a daily basis when those desires, urges, and compulsions arise. If you can start now, while you are still young, to address these desires you may keep yourself from unhealthy compulsions that could lead to a life of relational devastation.

There are three things I want you to hear today, and this is not exhaustive on this subject. First, get to know what triggers your wayward desires. Only you will know this. Is it loneliness? Need for arousal? Desperation to understand? Lack of companionship? A need to fit in? And know the trigger specifically. What triggers my desires will differ from yours, but nonetheless, get to know them. Second, when this trigger strikes decide in advance what you need to do to act in a way that is honoring to God. While the desire is wrong, you do not have to feed the desire with a wrong action. Halt the process. If you act, you will only reward the desire. For example, if in loneliness you go to porn you are rewarding your loneliness. If you couple this with masturbation, you are only feeding the process with a more powerful reward. So decide now what you will do when the ungodly desire arises. Third, feed the desire something more satisfying. For example, if you feel lonely, find another means of companionship. If you feel a need to understand, find another way to discuss your curiosity. But don't feed the core desire with actions that are not honoring that lead to compulsions that dishonor God.

I believe one of the great responsibilities that we have as men of God is the stewardship and leadership of our desires. While this is impossible for man, the Holy Spirit can convict and guide. 

Let me know if you want to talk about this more. I love you son, Dad.

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org. See his latest book and small group study Called to Act: 5 Uncomplicated Disciplines for Men.

In Christ Alone

In-Christ-Alone-by-Vince-Miller

In Christ Alone

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.—Acts 4:12

Do you seek salvation? If so, it matters where you look. Where you search will determine your success. But the key is to search not only in the right location but from the right person. Who you seek it from determines your ultimate success. There is no political candidate, health-care professional, financial investor, or government legislator that provides real, lasting, ongoing salvation. It is found in no other name than Jesus. It's in Christ alone.

DO THIS: Go to Christ today.

PRAY THIS: God, while I want my circumstance to change, I don't put my faith in changing circumstances, but in you, the founder and perfector of my faith.

HEAR THIS: Kristin Stanfill: In Christ Alone

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