29 May 2012

How Jack Miller Came to Love Sonship

Jack Miller helped a generation recover the significance of what it means to be adopted into God's own family so that God is now our Father and we his sons and daughters. The curriculum that spun off of Jack's ministry in Philadelphia is itself entitled 'Sonship.'

In a 1982 letter to a wife of a pastor who had been asked to resign, Jack describes how the New Testament reality of sonship came home to him personally.
My life's whole strength lies in that God has kindly imparted a confident knowledge of His Fatherhood.
I may have a better knowledge of the Father than do other people. But would you believe that this knowledge really began with the death of my own father? He was killed in a hunting accident when I was two years old. A senseless hunting accident. A piece of foolishness. Yet I am not bitter, and am grateful to God for the perfection of the plan.

The emptiness, the dark nights when I was afraid as a small child to go to bed for fear I too might disappear, led me By God's grace to seek God as Father, to know what Fatherhood meant, to give up self-pity and self-awareness and walk in the confident knowledge of my heavenly Father's love. . . . I love my Father in heaven and trust one day to see my earthly father and to join him in praising God for the marvel of a plan that is sound beyond ordinary human understanding. 
--The Heart of a Servant-Leader: Letters from Jack Miller (P&R, 2004), 276-77


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for sharing Jack's thoughts with us. Because of your blogging, I decided to purchase Jack's book. That may end up being one of the best decisions I'll ever make. His words have been salve to my soul because they drip with Jesus. The Lord has used Jack to stir up my heart to repent and believe and pray. This has led me to make a shift in the emphasis in the ministry. Our church had too long neglected corporate, kingdom-centered prayer. We're stumbling forward, but by God's grace we're beginning to earnestly seek the Lord's face together for things other than sicknesses. Last Sunday evening I met with a group of leaders and we prayed together for 1 hour. It felt like 5 minutes! The Spirit's presence was very powerful as we gave ourselves to confession and longing and intercession and praise. I am very humbled by the Lord's grace and patience in all of this. And I just want to express my appreciation to you. Thank you brother!

Dane Ortlund said...

Thanks so much for this very meaningful note, Jeremy. This book has become very precious to me.