Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5480 posted here) sent daily for 18 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Gems from April 2018

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river. Isaiah 66:12

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: 
not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
John 14:27

Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also 
hath wrought all our works in us.
Isaiah 26:12

The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.
The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

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April 1

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always.”
(Luke 21:36)

Time must be set apart for prayer.
Prayer is the key for the day, the lock for the night. 
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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April 2

“I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also 
I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:12)

The Apostle Paul, looking back on his experience on the Damascus Road, sees it as an "arrest.” He was immediately and completely under the control of Another.

Doctrinally, it was “out of darkness, into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
Practically, it was to be the bond slave of Jesus Christ, 
to the point of bearing in his body, 
the brand marks of his Master.

We must remember that we, too, who profess His Name, are under arrest, by and to Him who bought us with His own most precious blood.
(Drew Craig)

I belong to Jesus; I am not my own;
All I have and all I am, shall be His alone.
(M. Fraser)
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April 3

“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (1 Timothy 6:13-15) 

In one of his sonnets, the writer Percy Bysshe Shelly tells of a traveler from Egypt who, in a trek across a desert wasteland came upon the remains of a marble statue. 

All that remained on the pedestal were two feet and the lower part of two gigantic legs. Nearby, lying in the sand, was the cracked remnant of what had been the head. The face had a cruel sneer on its lips.

When the traveler rubbed the sand away from the pedestal, he found this inscription:  “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!”

The traveler looked, and as far as the eye could see, there was naught but the sifting sand. Ozyymandias bestowed upon himself the name “king of kings,” but whatever kingdom and glory he once enjoyed had disappeared.     

In contrast, the true King of kings was meek and lowly of mind when he came into Jerusalem riding a donkey’s colt.  Here, riding into town in great humility, was the King of kings and Lord of lords—the king of all creation!

Napoleon observed at St. Helena; Can you conceive of Caesar as the eternal emperor of the Roman Senate and, from the depths of his mausoleum, governing the empire, watching over the destinies of Rome? Such is the history of the invasion and conquest of the world by Christianity; such is the power of the God of the Christians . . .” 

Jesus is the eternal King of kings, the Lord who reigns supreme.
No other has ever been or ever will be greater.
(With Thanks - F. Charters)

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April 4

"Mine eyes are unto Thee, O God the Lord:
in Thee is my trust."
(Psalm 141:8) 

"I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number."
(Job 5:8-9)  

I do not know what may befall of sunshine or of rain;
I do not know what may be mine of pleasure or of pain;

But this i know — my Saviour knows, and whatsoe’er it be,
Still I can trust His love to give what will be best for me.

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April 5

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
(Ephesians 2:4,6) 

We are apprehended of the Lord Jesus distinctly, not for what we are, but for what we shall be.

It is impossible when we come to know Christ, to stand still; we pass on from childhood to manhood and to fatherhood.

Every separate saint is being prepared for a prepared place in the Father’s house.

Seeing this, it becomes impossible to settle down here the question of self and all connected with it as dung and dross— the question of work—the setting Christ before you, pressing on towards the mark of the high calling of God in Him; these questions can only be settled in view of our heavenly position, our life up there.

Are you saying: “Christ loves me, and I must press on till I see Him;
nothing can satisfy me till I can get to Him”?

Christ has seen exactly where I shall be in the glory; the jewel will not be lost  which is to be put into His crown. The believer can walk in this world as one who is apprehended of Christ for glory.
Are your hearts occupied with Him in the glory?  It will be as a stream of
heavenly blessing in all troubles.
(G.V. Wigram)

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April 6

“My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.”
(Psalm 104:34)

“Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green:
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen; 
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauty shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His; and He is mine”.
(G. W. Robinson)

But there is better yet: though there is so much that is truly loveable in the Lord’s own people, and so much that is lovely in His handiwork; we must turn our eyes elsewhere to behold the only One who is ”Altogether lovely (Song of Sol. 5:16).

No flaw or disappointment we will ever find in Him, as we may in all else below; and yet, strange as it may seem, there was a time when we saw in Him “no beauty that we should desire Him”.

But now, through His infinite grace, we may say:
“My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.”
(Psalm 104:34)
(G. Christopher Willis)

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April 7

“Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
(Hebrews 12:2)

UNTO JESUS and not at obstacles which meet us in our path.

As soon as we stop to consider them, they amaze us, 
they confuse us, they overwhelm us, incapable as we are of understanding either the reason why they are permitted, or the means by which we may overcome them. 

The apostle began to sink as soon as he turned to look at the waves tossed by the storm; it was while he was looking at Jesus that he walked on the waters as on a rock.

The more difficult our task, the more terrifying our temptations,
the more essential it is that we look only at Jesus.
(Theodore Monod - Translated from French by Helen Willis)

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April 8

“But do Thou for me, O God the Lord, for Thy name’s sake:
because Thy mercy is good, deliver Thou me.”
(Psalm 109:21)

The psalmist does not say what he wanted God to do for him.  He leaves it open. So this most restful prayer is left open for all perplexed hearts to appropriate ‘according to their several necessities.’
And so we leave it open for God 
to fill up in His own way.

Only a trusting heart can pray this prayer at all: the very utterance of it is an act of faith. We could not ask any one whom we did not know intimately and trust implicitly to ‘do’ for us, without even suggesting what.

Only a self-emptied heart can pray it. It is when we have come to the end of our own resources, or rather, come to see that we never had any at all, that we are willing to accept the fact that we can ‘do nothing,' and to let God do everything for us. 

Only a loving heart can pray it.  For nobody likes another to take them and their affairs in hand, and ‘do’ for them, unless that other is cordially loved.

We might submit to it, but we should not like it, and certainly should not seek it.
(Royal Bounty - F. R. H.)

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April 9

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, less his deeds should be reproved.” 
(John 3:19-20)

Be very sure of this--people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. 

They understand it only too well! They understand that it condemns their own behavior. They understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment! They try to believe it is false and useless--because they don't like to believe it is true.

An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this Holy book. 

Men question the truth of Christianity--because they hate the practice of it!
(J. C. Ryle)

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April 10

A Man Apart

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."  
(Genesis 6:8)

It is hard to be a Christian in days when sin is applauded and righteousness is despised.  We have to determine that we are going to be different. 

We will live by God’s standards and not those promoted in society. 
We will look to the Bible and not to the media for our guidance in matters of daily living.

Noah lived in an evil day. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6.5)He encountered the sins that still abound in the 21st century, for the heart of man has not changed.

Despite the wickedness all around him, Scripture records that 
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” 
(Genesis 6.8)

He was different. 
Before the gaze of heaven, he stood out. 
He was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. 
Noah walked with God.” 
(Genesis 6.9). 

Before God he was righteous, before men he was blameless. 

Take courage in your Christian walk! It is possible to walk with God in the most evil days. 
He will have His eye upon you and will supply necessary grace.
(Christian Living Today)

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April 11

“There shall not any man be able to stand before Thee all the days
of thy life; as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee; 
I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.”
(Joshua 1:5)

We may be called to traverse strange ways, but we shall always have our 
Lord’s company, assistance and provision.

We need not covet money, for we shall always have our God, and He is better than gold;
His favour is better than fortune.

We must imitate Alpine climbers and keep strong hold of the guide 
as we climb toward the top.  Let us take short views.
If we look over precipices, we shall grow dizzy.

If we look too far ahead, we shall grow discouraged.
Let us rather put our weak hands into Christ’s strong loving 
grasp, and all the time listen to His cheering words, “Fear not, only trust!” 
(Theodore L. Cuyler)

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April 12

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
(Matthew 6:11)

THERE ARE SEVERAL ways to get a meal. You can prepare it yourself.  You can go down a cafeteria line and take what you wish. You can sit in a restaurant and wait until it is brought to you.

We need not ask God to do for us those things we can do ourselves by His Spirit.
Other blessings are ours for the taking, any time, always available.

Some things we must ask for and wait until they come. Some things are not provided because they are not good for us and God knows what is best for His children.

A man who waited in a restaurant for his breakfast finally went away leaving on the table a note that read,

Out for lunch”! 

Some of us grow weary waiting.

We should distinguish between what we must wait for, what we may take,
and what we must provide for ourselves.
(Vance Havner)

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April 13

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life.”
(John 3:16)

Sir Harry Lauder, the Scottish singer, told how, when he had just lost his only son in the first world war, a man came to him in New York, and told him of an experience he had just had.

In American towns any household that had given a son to the war was 
entitled to place a star on the windowpane. 

“A few nights before he came to see me,” says Sir Harry, "this man was waking down a street in New York, accompanied by his wee boy.

The lad became very interested in the lighted windows of the houses, and clapped his hands when he saw a star.  As they passed house after house, he would say: 'Oh look, Daddy', there’s another house that has given a son to the war! And there’s another.  There’s one with two stars.  
And look: there’s a house with no star at all.’

"At last they came to a break in the houses.
Through the gap could be seen the evening star, 
shining brightly in the sky.  The little fellow caught his 
breath. ‘Oh look, Daddy, 'he cried: 

'God must have given His
 Son, for He has got a star in His window’.”

That illustrates the first word; and, as we think of it,
we can only say with wonder:

"Oh how great was the love that was shown to us, we can never tell why;
Not to angels but men, let us praise Him again, for the love that gave Jesus to die.”
(In Pastures Green)

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April 14

GOD’S WILL ENERGIZED BY LOVE

“Prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
(Romans 12:2) 

The will of God which has seemed in old far-off days a stern and fateful power, is only love energized; love saying, “I will.” 

And when once we really grasp this (hardly so much by faith as by love itself), the will of God cannot be otherwise than acceptable, for it is no longer a question of trusting that somehow or other there is a hidden element of love in it, but of understanding that it is love; no more to be dissociated from it than the power of the sun’s rays can be dissociated from their light and warmth.

And love recognized must surely be love accepted and reciprocated.

So, as the fancied sternness of God’s will is lost in His love, 
the stubbornness of our will becomes melted in 
that love, and lost in our acceptance of it.

With quivering heart and trembling will the word hath passed thy lips,
Within the shadow, cold and still, of some fair joy’s eclipse.
“Thy will be done!” Thy God hath heard, and He will crown that faith-framed word.

Thy prayer shall be fulfilled: but how?  His thoughts are not as thine;
While thou wouldest only weep and bow, He saith, “Arise and shine!”
Thy thoughts were all of grief and night, but His of boundless joy and light.
(Opened Treasures - Francis Ridley Havergal)

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April 15

Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
(Revelation 19:6)

The times are gloomy—but the Lord reigns! To Him I would refer everything in public or in private life. 
There is political discontent in some hearts, and in some places.
But I ought to be discontented with myself—that I am not filled with wonder and praise, that things are so much better with us than we deserve!

The Lord's people, instead of amusing themselves with politics, may be stirred up to serve their country by prayer. If they sigh and mourn for the abominations in the midst of us, and stand in the breach to avert deserved judgments—then our peace and liberty may be yet prolonged. I rely more upon the prayers of God's people, than upon all our fleets and armies!

It is well both for ministers and private Christians to have as little to do with politics as possible. Politics is a pit that will swallow up the life and spirit, if not the very form of the religion of many professors. The Lord reigns, and every issue will be directed by infinite wisdom and goodness, without our interference. 
And can we wish them under better management? 

From poison and politics--good Lord deliver me!  A heart swallowed up in politics is as hurtful to the life of God in the soul—as poison is to the bodily frame!
(Letters of John Newton  1725-1807)

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April 16

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:26

To lose your wealth is much,
To lose your health is more,
To lose your soul is such a loss
As no man can restore.
(Robert H. Smith) 

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April 17

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and
to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High;
to show forth Thy loving-kindness in the
morning, and Thy faithfulness 
every night.”
(Psalm 92:1-2)

Pray in the early morning for grace throughout the day;
We know not what temptations and trials may cross our way.

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April 18

Jesus' disciples came unto Him, and said, this is a desert place,
and now the time is far passed: send them away, that they may go into the country  round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat
(Mark 6:35-37)

Our Lord’s command must have astonished His disciples.  They had nothing to share with others, and they knew not where or how to obtain it. It was His desire to exercise them as to the need of the people and their responsibility in regard to it, even as He would have us concerned today about the spiritual dearth all about us, and our responsibility to seek to do our part in meeting its demands. 

We are all too apt to attempt to measure God’s ability to meet our need by that which our eyes behold, instead of remembering that we have to do with One who created a universe from nothing and sustains it by the Word of His power.

"How many loaves have ye? . . . five loaves and two fishes . . .” (Luke 5:13Little as it a was, Jesus Christ could use it in a large way. In our emergencies we generally ask “Whence?” and “How?” Forgetting that nothing is too hard for the Lord.

"He commanded them to make all to sit down. . . . by hundreds, and by fifties.”  Our Lord's command to make the men sit down was significant.

Seated on the ground all are practically on one common level.
Distinctions of stature disappear.  It was the “no difference” doctrine acted out.
  
When the Lord Jesus broke the bread and gave to His disciples that they might pass it on to the multitude, no one would be excusable if he went away hungry.

So today, as we offer the living Bread to hungry souls, none need go without eternal blessing.
(H. A. Ironside)

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April 19

But he (certain lawyer), wanting to justify himself, 
said to Jesus, "and who is my neighbour?" 
(Luke 10:29)


WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?

Jesus depicted a victim of vicious robbery, in serious trouble, and needing help. Note the various responses of people who met him—responses which faithfully mirror our own.

To the thieves who robbed him he was a victim to exploit. They did not regard him as a person, but as a thing. To such people (most of whom are not literal thieves) other people exist only to satisfy their own whims and lusts.  They know all the angles about using other people, but know nothing of true friendship. 

To the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side, the needy neighbour was a nuisance to avoid. These men were experts on religion and ritual, but had no time to get involved with the problems of others.

To the lawyer who originally asked the question, the victim presented an interesting case study. His contemporary cousins form committees, hold seminars, and pass resolutions.
Meanwhile, on the Jericho road, the victim remains half-dead.

To the Good Samaritan a neighbour represented a person to love and help regardless of the cost. He came to where the poor wretch was—beaten and bloody.  He loved him, dressed his wounds,  and took him to a place where he could receive further care.  He even put him on his own donkey, which meant that he himself had to walk.

Jesus Christ is that Good Samaritan who came to where we were in desperate need and met that need. His purpose now is to fill the world with people like Himself.  Are we among them?
(Grant Steidl)

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April 20

“To the praise of the glory of His grace,
wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved."
(Ephesians 1:6)

Christians stand in an incomparable position of favour 
before God—“accepted in the beloved”.

The believer need not wonder whether or not he will be cast out of the Almighty’s sight, for his acceptance is dependent on Christ’s position.

Since He is the One in whom is all the Father’s delight,
there is no question as to His standing in glory; it is unassailable.

His glorious grace has brought us into the most favoured position possible.
(Keith Keyser)

So near, so very near to God, I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of His Son, I am as near as He.
So dear, so very dear to God, more dear I cannot be,
The love wherewith He loves the Son: such is His love to me.  
(C. Paget)

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April 21

“Be careful for nothing . . .”
(Philippians 4:6)

Do you cross rivers before you come to them, dread troubles that never come, expect evil from the Lord instead of good?  In other words is your soul full of unnecessary care?
For that is what the word “careful” means — unnecessary care. 

“Do not worry” is a plain and simple command, but it is such a difficult one to follow. Some one has given a few beneficial suggestions for the person who feels defeated because of the common ailment of worry. 

The anxious Christian hurts more than himself; hurts the faith of those who know Him and the good name of his Lord who has promised to supply all his needs.  There is nothing we cannot pray about.                                     
"But in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God.”  

What we can take to God we can trust to God.  What we put our fidelity into, He will perfect by His faithfulness.  While we work for the best, He works the best for us.

We may not succeeds as we hoped; we may have discipline we little expected, but the Father knows what His child needs.

What God has for us to do we can do, or to bear we can bear.
Is there not enough in His ocean to fill our pitcher?

With the need of every day will come His promised supply —  
My grace is sufficient for thee.”
(Thoughts For Every-Day Living)  

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April 22

THE SALT OF THE EARTH

"Ye are the salt of the earth."
(Matthew 5:13)

With these words Jesus Christ describes the essential character of the Christian.

Salt does at least three things

There is first of all the task it fulfills—to prevent decay and corruption.  Just by being what he is, the Christian exercises a restraining influence upon evil. This influence may find expression politically, personally, socially, morally and spiritually, but such an influence there must be!  

There is also the taste it improves
We have all experienced having a bowl of soup and saying to ourselves, "a little more salt would improve this.”  The fact that a person is a Christian should improve and enrich his own life, and the lives of those he meets, not impoverish them.

Every experience, every relationship of life will be finer, richer, 
better because a man is a Christian.

Lastly, there is the thirst it creates.  Salt makes a person thirsty, and to meet a Christian should make other people thirsty for Christ.  

These are three functions that salt performs.  If we are Christians in reality, then we would do well to pause and ask ourselves if these three qualities are found in our lives.
(George Duncan)

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April 23

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but 
the end thereof are the ways of death.”
(Proverbs 16:25)

Self-love and self-will lead into self-deception, 
whatever be the honesty that would oppose a conscious wrong.
We need therefore to look to Him who is greater than our heart, that we 
be guided by a wisdom above ourselves.

How terrible to have trusted what one should have judged, lest, to one 
following a way that seemed right, its end 
should be only a way of death!
   
He that hears and knows and follows the voice of Jesus finds 
Him not only the way but the truth and the life.  

Nor can one be too simple in listening to His words open to all. 
This is the Christian highway, and therefore is peace 
and joy, whatever the suffering and danger.
(William Kelly)

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April 24

“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him. . . . And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” (Matthew 2:13,15)

Was it, then, to save His life that “the young Child” was carried into Egypt?  Did Israel of old leave Egypt to save their lives? Did Shadrach and his companions leave the Chaldean furnace to save their lives? Israel’s life was as safe in Egypt as out of it.  The Jewish children were as little hurt by fire in the furnace as out of it.

Israel left Egypt to witness the glory of Jehovah their Saviour; and so did Israel’s children the Chaldean fires. In like manner, and for the like end, “the young Child” was taken from Judaea, from the wrath of Herod the king.

The Son of God had taken the form of a servant.  He had not come in His own name, but in His Father’s. He had emptied Himself, made Himself of no reputation, and in the fulfilling of that form He began His course while yet but a “young Child”; and He was, among other humiliations, obedient even to a flight into Egypt, as though to save His life from the wrath of the king, for the glory of Him who had sent Him. 
(J. G. Bellett)

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April 25

April 26

April 27

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Gems from March 2018

March 1


"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
(Romans 12:2)

At BAALBEC* in a quarry lies a magnificent column—the largest worked stone in the world — almost detached and ready for transportation.  In the ruined Temple of the Sun nearby is a niche still waiting for it after forgotten centuries.

So large, so good, yet a failure, because it never filled the place for which it was quarried and hewn.

The unused column may represent the possibilities in a human life—the empty niche, the opportunities! How many lives that never fulfilled the bright possibilities before them!

“If you are in the wrong place, the right place is vacant.”

God has just one person to come at the right moment; a place which no one can fill but that person and at that time!

What’er your place, it is not yours alone, but His who sent you there.
(John Oxenham)

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*BAALBEC, Lebanon, where the Roman ruins outstrip Rome. 

March 2

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

You yield your heart to Jesus now, and you will find your sins blotted out, and that you are pardoned and forgiven; yea, built then on the Rock that can never be shaken, because you are built on Him who died and rose again, and you will find that His Name is everything to you now, and will be your joy for ever, the Name of Jesus.   

The Lord give you to know, the power of that Name. God will have that Name to be honoured, the Name of the glorified Saviour. The Lord give you grace to trust Him now, and know that you are saved by Him, and by Him alone, the Chief Corner Stone. 

The only Name “given among men whereby we must be saved” will then be your delight, and you will learn to sing truly and joyfully:—

There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.

Jesus! the name I love so well, the name I love to hear,
No saint on earth its worth can tell, no heart conceive how dear.”
(W. T. P. Wolston)   

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March 3

Hope & Faith

"Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(Hebrews11:1)

The prominence given to faith in the New Testament, and rightly emphasized in Christian experience, should not allow us to forget that Hope is also distinctly brought before us in the 
Holy Scriptures, and should therefore have its due force in our daily life.

As faith is a primal necessity for the very existence of the Christian life, so is hope for the full growth and ripeness of the Christian character.

Faith and Hope are both essential; and, though they have an intimate connection with each other, it is possible to distinguish them so that the precise value and force of Hope may be clearly seen and appreciated.

Faith looks backward and upward - Hope looks onward. Faith is concerned with the Person who promises - Hope, with the things the Person promises.

Faith accepts - Hope expects - Faith appropriates - Hope anticipates.
Faith believes and takes - Hope desires and waits.
Faith comes by hearing - Hope by experience.
Faith is a root of which Hope is a fruit. 

Faith has an attitude towards good and against evil;  
Hope is concerned only with 
that which is good.
(George Henderson)  

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March 4

“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH
is everlasting strength.”
(Isaiah 26:4)

Some older saints may say, “I am sure that I will spend eternity with the Lord, but what about the years until then, when I’m no longer well and strong?  It’s that period I dread.”

The Lord says we can still bring forth fruit in old age for His glory. 
"They shall still bring forth fruit in old age . . .”  
(Psalm 92:14).

He promises that He will never leave nor forsake us. 
(Hebrews 13:5)

Even in times of extreme difficulty, He is with us.
 "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, 
they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt 
not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” 
(Isaiah 43:2).
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.”
(Psalm 138:8)
“. . . He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
(Philippians 1:6)

When we pass through that last valley, it will be bright with His comforting presence.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.”
(Psalm 23:4

May we continue to bear fruit even as heaven nears.
(G. Harlow)  

Until then my heart will go on singing, until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the Saviour, until the day God calls me home.

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March 5

“I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching
forth unto those things which are before.”
(Philippians 3:13)

Our souls know what it is to leave things here behind, and to find Christ excellently precious:
and then some vain trifle comes in, and pulls us down, and makes 
us more intensely interested about the passing trifle than 
all the solid realities which are in Christ Jesus.

God produces desires within us that nothing but the glory can satisfy.
The Holy Ghost produces the power now to enter into these things.
This shows the importance of our minds dwelling there. . . .

Whatsoever is lovely”—or “of good report, think on these things.”

How bright the heart would be!  What growing up to the knowledge and 
preciousness of Christ, if accustomed to be where God dwells.

The secret of real progress is personal attachment to Himself. 
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

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March 6

WITH HIM—ALL THINGS"

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
(Romans 8:32)

How blessed to move from our nothingness to “everything in Jesus”! 
By Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).
The Father has given Him all things 
(John 3:35; 13:3; 16:15).  

All things were made by Him (John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6).  
Jesus has said, “All things are Mine . . . Come” (Matthew 11:27,28).
All things are Mine . . . Believe” (John 3:35,36).
All things are Mine . . . Go” 
(Matthew 28:18-20). 

Your part is to bring Him all your need.  His part is to supply all your need (Philippians 4:19).
If the first step is to realize the nothingness of yourself,
the second is to turn to the Allness of Christ.

“All that I need is Jesus,” because all that I need is in Jesus.
If God spared not His own Son but freely delivered Him up for 
our redemption, He will not give me the greater and fail to give me the  
lesser, but with Him He has given all else that I need, whether great or small.

And if everything is in Jesus, surely Jesus ought 
to be everything to us!
(Vance Havner)

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March 7

Truth From a Shark

Be sure your sin will find you out. 
 (Numbers 32:23)

In 1799, the captain and crew of an American ship named the Nancy were put on trial for smuggling.  Before capture, their illegal cargo and ship’s records were thrown overboard and a faked set of records were substituted. Just when they were about to be acquitted for lack of evidence, another captain walked into the courtroom with the original records that had been thrown into the sea. They had been eaten by a shark that was harpooned that very morning. 

Truth has a way of coming out, even through the belly of a shark. The Shark Papers are still on exhibit in the Institute of Jamaica.  In the Day of Judgment everything you do in secret will be seen in the light.  Those things you thought were hidden will be revealed, because truth comes out in the end. Therefore, live your life in the light. Let God wash away your sins and be pure. 

Take no part in secret things that bring shame.
Live a life that you’d be glad to have lit up with light 
because you never know what could turn up in the belly of a shark.
 Courtesy hopeoftheworld.org - With thanks Dr. F. Charters

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March 8

God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night.
(Job 35:10)

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
(Acts 16:25)

We make our songs in the day of our gladness, when life is all laughter and joy and delight, When never a shadow has clouded our sunshine; But God giveth songs in the night!

God giveth songs in the night of affliction, when earth has no sun and the heavens no star; Like comforting touch in the desolate darkness His voice stealeth in from afar. 

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March 9

“Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
(Hebrews 10:17)

Do you mean to say that my future sins were all atoned for?

All our sins were future when Christ bore them on the cursed tree.
The sins of all believers for the last (twenty) centuries, were future when Christ died for them. Hence, if the idea of future sins present a difficulty in reference to what we may commit, if left here, it presents just as great a difficulty in reference to what we have committed.

But, in truth, all this perplexity about future sins arises very much, from the habit of looking at the Cross from our own point of view, instead of God’s—looking at it from earth instead of from Heaven. Scripture never speaks of future sins.  Past, present, and future are only human and earthly.  All is an eternal now with God.

All our sins were before the eye of infinite Justice at the Cross, and all were laid on the head of Jesus the Sin-bearer, who, by His death, laid the eternal foundation of forgiveness of sins, in order that the believer, at any moment  of his life, at any point in his history, at any stage of his career, from the time at which the hallowed tidings of the Gospel fall upon the ear of faith until the moment in which he steps into the glory, may be able to say, with clearness and decision, without reserve, misgiving or hesitation -

Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back” (Isaiah 38:17).
To say this is but faith’s response to God’s own declaration, when He says,

Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”  
"Jehovah hath made to meet on Him 
the iniquities of us all.”
(Hebrews 10:17)
(C. H. Mackintosh)     

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March 10

NOW I BELONG TO JESUS

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die,
we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, 
or die, we are the Lord’s.”
(Romans 14:8) 

God is FOR us — that is good.
God is WITH us — that is better.
God is IN us — that is best!
(Unknown)

We hear much these days about the problem of homeless people—people 
of the street with no place to go and no one who cares.

Can we really appreciate the terrible state of despair and loneliness experienced by these masses? Man was created by God to enjoy His fellowship and the fellowship of family and friends. All of us have a need to belong to someone and something .

This popular song by Norman J. Clayton speaks so well about this truth of the mystical union that exists between Christ and the believer—Christ in the believer and the believer in Christ.

Who can fathom the mystery of a mortal believer’s spirit being united with the divine Christ—a glorious relationship that begins for the believer at the moment of genuine response to the call of Christ and one that will last for eternity?

Norman Clayton has authored and composed numerous other fine gospel hymns, but “Now I Belong to Jesus” is still his most widely used song.  He writes that one  of his greatest thrills in life was hearing a ten-year old deaf girl 
sing his song at a camp for handicapped children.
(Kenneth W. Osbeck - Hymn Stories)

Jesus my Lord will love me forever, from Him no pow’r of evil can sever;
He gave His life to ransom my soul—now I belong to Him!

Once I ws lost in sin’s degradation, Jesus came down to bring me salvation, lifted me up from sorrow and shame—now I belong to Him!

Joy floods my soul, for Jesus has saved me, freed me from sin that long had enslaved me; His precious blood He gave to redeem—now I belong to Him!

CHORUS:  Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me;
Not for the years of time alone, but for eternity.
  
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March 11

“Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
(Matthew 14:25,27)

The Lord Jesus made it plain from the beginning that there would be trials
of many kinds for all who would follow Him, and He Himself led the way in that path.

Should we be surprised when we find ourselves following in His footsteps?

There is joy too.  He said clearly that sorrow would be turned into joy, joy that would never end. But I think that He wants us all to understood quite definitely that if we follow in the way of the cross we must be prepared to take up the cross.

We must not think of life as a joy-ride.  But there is nothing whatever to be afraid of. “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee.”
is a shining word for us all” (Psalms 84:4).  

No one knows what the next year will bring, but one thing is sure.
He will be with us, and He is enough for every difficulty 
that may arise.  He is enough for today’s difficulty.

Do you sometimes feel like the disciples when they were in the midst of the sea toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them? Then take the lovely words for your comfort.

“Jesus went unto them . . . and spake unto them saying, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”

No matter how much the wind blows, it will be true for us as it was for them, “The wind ceased”.  So let us be of good cheer and go on our way rejoicing.
(Amy Carmichael)

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March 12

"And when his (Joseph's) brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. . . . and his brethren envied him.”
(Genesis 37:4,11)

Of all Old Testament histories none presents a richer or more distinct picture of Christ than the touching story of Joseph.

Other lives may give in greater detail personal experiences, and human failure, teaching many a wholesome lesson; but as the story of Joseph is unfolded we feel that the Spirit of God keeps in view the display of the glory of Christ, and all that pertains to the weakness and failure of a man of like passions with ourselves has little or no place. 

And yet, however rich the picture, we soon recognize that the life of no  single saint could adequately set forth the fulness of Christ. In common with Joseph, other saints of God, as Isaac in his day, and David and Solomon in a later day, have their tale to tell concerning the glories of Christ.

Moreover, there is no mere repetition, each has some special glory to disclose.  Isaac tells of the sufferings and affections of Christ whereby he gains his bride: David of His sufferings and victories where by he gains his kingdom: Joseph of His suffering and supremacy by which he he administers His kingdom. 
Solomon takes us a step further and unfolds the glories of his kingdom when he is supreme.  
(Hamilton Smith)

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March 13


“With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." 
(Matthew 7:2)

“Take good heed therefore unto yourselves.”
(Joshua 23:11)

Let us speak of one another in a gracious, loving way;
Cruel censures we have uttered may return in kind someday.

Let us care for one another—seek their good more than our own;
We will cease to be Christ-centered if we live for self alone.

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March 14


“Know therefore that God exacteth of thee
less than thine iniquity deserveth.”
(Job 11:6)

“My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
(Genesis 4:13)

Though Zophar erred in his speech to Job, the above statement is immensely true. It is not that God exacted from us less judgment than0 our sins deserved, but that He acquired full recompense of our offences from another—His own Son.

Cain minutely understood the consequences of his sin and begged for God’s mercy.
Ponder what God exacted from the Lord Jesus—the full measure of what 
our iniquities deserved, meaning there was nothing left for
Him to exact from us—no wrath for the believer.
Amazing grace!
(Warren Henderson)

Jehovah lifted up His rod, O Christ it fell on Thee!
Thou wast forsaken of Thy God; no distance now for me.
Thy blood beneath that rod has flowed; Thy bruising healeth me.
(Mrs. Cousins)

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March 15

OUR LIPS KEPT FOR JESUS

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
(Psalm 16:11)

We all know there is influence exerted by person’s mere presence, without the utterance of a single word. We are conscious of this every day.

People seem to carry an atmosphere with them, which must be breathed by those whom they approach. Some carry an atmosphere in which all unkind thoughts shrivel up and cannot grow into expression. Others carry one in which thoughts of Christ and things divine never seem able to flourish.

Have you not felt how a happy conversation about the things we love best is checked, or even strangled, by the entrance of one who is not in sympathy?  Outsiders have not a chance of ever really knowing what delightful fellowship we have one with another about these things, because their very presence chills and changes it.

On the other hand, how another person’s incoming freshens and develops it and warms us all up, and seems to give us, without the least conscious effort, a sort of lift. 

If even unconscious and involuntary influence is such a power, 
how much greater must it be when the recognized power of words is added!  
(Kept for the Master’s Use - Frances Ridley Havergal) 

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March 16


Our days upon earth are a shadow.
Job 8:9

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 
Psalm 90:10

To be with Christ; which is far better.
Philippians 1:23

’Tis good, at His word, to be here, yet better e’en now to be gone, And there in His presence appear, and rest where He rests on the throne; Yet, ah! what the joy ’twill afford, when Him we shall see in the air: And enter the joy of the Lord, forever to be with Him there.

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March 17

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:7)

God’s own peace, this becomes ours—a thing that has never been disturbed by anything that has happened, nor can be by anything that may yet happen.

What shocks and rude alarms there have been since the earliest dawn of creation!— the first sin, the angels that left their own habitation, the fall of man, and yet through it all God’s peace remained unshaken.

And He who could be undisturbed by all this offers to “garrison” your heart and mind, that you may be able to meet all that shall come across your own little life.

Yes, He offers nothing less to the trusting and thankful heart than His own peace. It is wonderful to think of such a peace being anywhere, when around us on every hand are the traces of care; but up there in the heart of God is peace, and if it is wonderful that He has it, it is not less wonderful that He gives it.

It can be imparted, and the blessed God is willing to do this, so that poor, troubled, burdened, human hearts may be sharers of God’s own prerogative. 
(Angels in White - Russell Elliott)

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March 18

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble sprit with the lowly 
than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
(Proverbs 16:18-19)

Pride was an archangel’s ruin, as it has been the destruction of myriads of men and women on earth. It is the sure precursor of a fall, for the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity cannot permit self-exaltation, on the part of a creature, to go unchecked.

Far better is it to be little one’s own eyes, and to find happy fellowship with the lowly, than to share the pursuits and treasures of the proud in spirit.

It is when one sees pride in another that its hideousness is clearly revealed. How often we will complacently tolerate in ourselves what, when we behold in someone else fills us with disgust. 

But God takes note of the least beginning of unjudged haughtiness in each heart. What mind can conceive how hateful it must all be to Him.

May we we look to it that this baneful sin be checked in His presence, ere it master us to our lasting sorrow.
(H. A. Ironside)

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March 19

“And Moses said unto the Lord, . . . I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”
(Exodus 4:10)

Nothing is more dishonouring to God, or more dangerous for us, than a mock humility.

When we refuse to occupy a position which the grace of God assigns us,
because of our not possessing certain virtues and qualifications,
this is not humility, for if we could but satisfy our 
own consciences in reference to such virtues 
and qualifications, we should then deem 
ourselves entitled to assume
the position.

If, for instance, Moses had possessed such a measure of eloquence as he deemed needful, we may suppose he would have been ready to go.

Now the question is, how much eloquence would he have needed to furnish him for his mission?

The answer is, without God no amount of human eloquence would have availed; but with God the merest stammerer would have proved an efficient minister. This is a great practical truth.

Unbelief is not humility, but thorough pride.
It refuses to believe God because it does not find in self a 
reason for believing.  This is the very height of presumption. 
(C. H. Macintosh)

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March 20

“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

We are reminded of what an old stone-breaker said,   
as he sat by the roadside during the lunch 
hour, reading his much worn Bible.

A party of tourists came by, and one of them said:
”How can an old fool like you understand that Book?"

With the grace of a Christian gentleman, the old man replied:
"It would not be possible, sir, in the ordinary way;
but you see I happen to know the Author.”
(George Henderson)

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March 21


“Let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
(Galatians 6:9)

The text suggests three ideas: well doing, weariness, and waiting for the certain harvest.

WELL DOING

The context text would include restoring fallen Christians, bearing burdens, sharing income with the Lord’s servants, and doing good to all men, especially those of the household of faith.  In a general sense, well doing would involve all Christian character and service. But in well doing always lurks the danger of weariness.

WEARINESS

Weariness here does not mean physical weakness, but has the idea of losing courage, relaxing one’s strength, or becoming despondent in the task. Weariness may be caused by lack of results as one teaches week after week without apparent impact, by monotony, by lack of cooperation.  

How easily Paul could have been discouraged in his long, arduous travels  and persecutions: beaten, shipwrecked, weak, ill, rejected by "the churches”.  Yet he knew the secret of an unwearied life. Someone has pointed out how frequently he used the word “always”.

“Always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  “Always confident” (2 Corinthians 5:6).
"Always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).  “praying always”  (Ephesians 6:18).
“Giving thanks always” (Ephesians 5:20).  “Always having all 
sufficiency in all things” (2 Corinthians  9:8).

A man gave out tracts for years on a certain street corner.  He saw no results so he gave it up. Returning to the same corner two years later, he saw another man giving out tracts on the same spot. Striking up a conversation, he learned that the man had become a Christian through a tract given to him at that spot just over two years previous.  He added, “Many a time I’ve come back here to thank him, but, he never returned.  So I decided he must have died and gone to his reward.  
That’s why I’ve taken his place.
(Leslie B. Flynn)


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March 22

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
(Deuteronomy 33:25)

The whole force of this scripture depends upon the connection.
The last words of Deuteronomy 33:24 are, 
Let him dip his foot in oil”;
that is, in its christian interpretation, 
let him walk in the power of the Holy Spirit,
and then his shoes should be as iron and brass—
a firm and consistent walk, and his spiritual strength should never decay.
As thy days, thy strength shall be.
(Edward Dennett)

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March 23


The set Of The Sail

“They that go down to the sea in ships . . . He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro . . . and are at their wits end.  Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble . . . He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
(Psalm 107:23-30)

“Oh, set your sail to the heavenly gale,
And then, no matter what winds prevail,

No reef shall wreck you, no calm delay,
No mist shall hinder, no storm shall stay;

Though far you wander and long you roam,
Through salt sea-spray and o’er white sea-foam,

No wind that can blow but shall speed you home.    
Annie Johnson Flint 

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March 24

“ . . . Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word.
. . . Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
(Luke 10:39,42)

It is not to the one who works most, nor to the one who reads most, 
that the Lord confides His mind, but to the one who loves Him most (as Mary Magdalene).

It is only near Himself that the human mind is so in abeyance 
that His mind is in the ascendant.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)

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March 25


“But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him . . .
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified.”
(Luke 23:21,23)  

Jesus was not popular.

The multitude might follow Him for a moment, because 
His ministry stood connected, in their judgment, 
with "the loaves and fishes,” which met their
need; but they were just as ready to
cry,“Away with Him!” as
 "Hosanna to the Son of David.” 

When we are in our proper priestly condition, 
nature is as though it had no existence; then we can feed upon Christ.

We can taste the divine luxury of being wholly at leisure from ourselves, and wholly engrossed with Christ.
(Food for the Desert)

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March 26

”How long halt ye between two opinions?
(1 Kings 18:21)

God is patient; but God is never neutral; and 
neutrality is an abomination to Him.

He bears with us in our weakness and ignorance;
but the danger is that indecision easily becomes indifference,
and indifference is detestable to Him. 

Moreover, indifference does not tend toward discretion, when decision is due.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, 
I will spue thee out of My mouth.”
(Revelation 3:16)
(Morsels - John Kaiser)

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March 27

The Two Wonders

He marvelled . . . so great faith. — Matthew 8:10

He marvelled because of their unbelief. — Mark 6:6

There are two marvels which out-vie 
All other wonders ‘neath the sky;
A faith that seeth but the clearer
As gathering trials press severer;
An unbelief that grows more blind,
The more God shows His mercies kind.
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S. Tait)  

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March 28


The One Indispensable Book
(Continued from Gem # 6960)

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
(Psalm 119:105)

THE BIBLE: sparkles with the fervour and gladness of youth, celebrates the strength and glory of manhood, bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age.

THE BIBLE: Exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, sympathizes with the poor and lowly, lifts up the fallen, delivers the oppressed, and breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life.

THE BIBLE:  Describes with startling clearness . . . the seductions of temptation, the conflicts of doubt and the miseries of skepticism.

THE BIBLE: Searches the secret chambers of the heart, brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief.  

THE BIBLE: Compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire—and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and character and passion.

Thus in the BIBLE, God and man, earth and heaven, time and eternity—
speak with one voice and teach the same truth.

The BIBLE sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths—in the lights
and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters.

Thus the BIBLE is the one indispensable book . . . for all ages—and all nations, for all classes of men—and all states of society, for all capacities of intellect—and all necessities of the soul!
(Daniel March - 1870)

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March 29

“Consider the lilies, how they grow.”
(Matthew 6:28)

Yes, leave it with Him, the lilies all do, and they grow—
They grow in the rain, and they grow in the dew—yes, they grow:
They grow in the darkness, all hid in the night—
They grow in the sunshine, revealed by the light—still they grow.

Yes, leave it with Him, ’tis more dear to His heart, you will know,
Than the lilies that bloom, or the flowers that start ’neath the snow:
Whatever you need, if you seek it in prayer,
You can leave it with Him—for you are His care. 
You, you know.
(Selected)

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March 30


PATIENCE AND HOPE

“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
(Romans 15:4)

HOPE hath an eye that can see heaven in a cloudy day, and an anchor that can find firm land under a weight of waters to hold by; it can expect good out of evil.

True hope is a jewel that no one wears but Christ’s bride; 
a grace with which no one is graced but the believer’s soul.
Christless and hopeless are joined together.
(Ephesians 2:12)

We are directed to “take the helmet of salvation”; and this not for some particular occasion, and then hang it up till another extraordinary strait calls us to take it down, and use it again; but we must take it so as never to lay it aside, till God shall take off this helmet, to put on a crown of glory in the room of it.

Be sober, and hope to the end,“ is the apostle Peter’s counsel (1 Peter 1:13)
(William Gurnall - 1617-1679)  

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March 31


Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river.
Isaiah 66:12

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: 
not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
John 14:27

Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also 
hath wrought all our works in us.
Isaiah 26:12

The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.
The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

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April 1