Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5320 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Gems from November 2017

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”
(Psalm 37:23)

We have the fullest assurance that our God can and does guide His children in all things. He can signify His mind to us as to this or that particular act or movement. If not, where are we? How are we to get on?  

How are we to regulate our movements? Are we to drift hither and thither by the tide of circumstances? Are we left to blind chance, or to the mere impulse of our own will?  

We thank God it is not so.  He can, in His own perfect way, give us the certainty of His mind in any given case; and, without that certainty, we should never move.  

Our Lord Jesus Christ (all homage to His peerless name!) can intimate His mind to His servant as to where He would have him go, and what He would have him to do; and no true servant will ever think of moving or acting without such intimation.

We should never move in uncertainty.  If we are not sure, let us be quiet and wait! Very often it happens that we harass and fret ourselves about movements that God would not have us make at all.

A person once said to a friend, “I am quite at a loss to know which way to turn.” 
'Then don’t turn at all," was the friend’s wise reply . . .  But it is the meek He will guide in judgment and teach His way! We must never forget this. 
(C. H. Mackintosh)

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“. . . Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life, or by death.”
(Philippians 1:20)

Many years ago at the opening of a Disarmament Conference, in the midst of a speech King George was making,  some one tripped over the wires of the Columbia Broadcasting Company, 
tearing them loose and interrupting the service.

The chief operator quickly grasped the loose wires in his bare hands, holding them in contact, and for twenty minutes the current passed through while repairs were being made.  His hands were slightly burned, but through them the words of the King passed on to the millions of listeners and were heard distinctly.  Without his courage and endurance the King’s message would have failed to reach its destination.

The KING of heaven has chosen to send His message to a lost world through human wires. Every faithful missionary and every Christian who gives his or her support is a human wire through which the KING’S voice is reaching the lost with a message of peace, vastly more important than the message from London, England.

For the missionary, it is often a costly business. Some men and women must suffer the loss of every earthly thing, stoop with weariness, waste away with fevers in far-off places, even die—but it pays to HOLD ON.

Only thus can men hear the voice of the KING.
God’s church needs more men who are willing to TAKE HOLD 
and HOLD ON.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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November 1

"I find in Him no fault at all"  (John 18:38, 19:4, 6).
“This man hath done  nothing amiss"  (Luke 23:41).
“Truly this was the Son of God”  (Matthew 27:54).

Certainly this was a righteous Man (Luke 23:47).
Here are three independent testimonies from people 
who were outside the Lord’s circle.

Pilate, the political man; the centurion, a military man;
and the thief, a common criminal.

Yet despite the distance that separated these men socially and morally,  
on one thing they were all agreed — the sinless 
perfection of the Lord Jesus.

Not even his enemies could establish a fault in Him. Ah yes.  
The Lord Jesus was “Holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).
(W. H. Burnett)

But spotless, undefiled, and pure, the great Redeemer stood,
While Satan’s fiery darts He bore, and did resist to blood.
(Isaac Watts)

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November 2

“. . . I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, HIM declare I unto you.”
(Acts 17:22-23)

Three-fourth of the profession in our 
day is merely worshipping 
an "unknown God.”
If the heart begins to approve itself because 
of its intelligence, the sense of need
lessens, and piety diminishes.
(Hunt’s sayings)

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November 3

“I can do all things through Christ which 
strengtheneth me.”
(Philippians 4:13)

Paul . . . could do all things through Him who strengthened him.
Sweet and precious experience! not only because it gives ability to meet all circumstances, which is of great price, but because the Lord is known, the constant, faithful, mighty friend of the heart.

It is not “I can do all things,“ but ”I can do all though Him who strengtheneth me.” It is a strength which continually flows from a relationship with Christ, a connection with Him maintained in the heart.

Neither is it only “one can do all things.”  This is true; but Paul had learned it practically.
He knew what he could . . . reckon on.

Christ had always been faithful to him, had brought him through so many difficulties, and through so many seasons of prosperity, that he had learned to trust in Him, and not in circumstances.
And Christ was the same ever.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest)  

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November 4

“Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them.
And He laid His hands on them.”
(Matthew 19:13,15)

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 18:3)


Those who are young, O God, 
Make them Thine own;
Now in their early days—
Turn them to Thy blest ways.

Those who are older too,
Make them Thine own;
Now in salvation’s time—
To Thee their hearts incline. 

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November 5

“Break forth into singing.”
(Isaiah 49:13)

There is a beautiful story which tells of songbirds being brought over the sea. There were thirty-six thousand, mostly canaries.

The sea was very calm when the ship first sailed, and the little birds were silent.
They kept their little heads under their wings and not a note was heard.
But the third day out at sea, the ship struck a furious gale.
The passengers were terrified.  Children wept.  

Then a strange thing happened.
As the tempest reached its height, the birds began to sing, first one, then another, until the thirty-six thousand were singing as if their little throats would burst.

When the storm rises in its fury, do we then begin to sing?
Should not our song break forth in tenfold joy when the tempest begins?  
Try singing!  Singing in the storm!
(Springs in the Valley)

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November 6

Strength in Looking Up


“Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who
for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and is set down at the right 
hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:2)

There is always strength in looking to God; but if the mind rest  
upon the weakness otherwise than to cast it upon God it becomes unbelief.
Difficulties may come in.

God may allow many things to arise to prove our weakness; but the simple path of faith is to go on, not looking beforehand at what we have to do, but reckoning upon the help that we shall need and find when the time arrives.

The sense that we are nothing makes us glad to forget ourselves,
and then it is that Christ becomes everything to the soul.
(Comforted of God - A. J. Pollock)

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November 7

“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”
(Acts 17:28)

Distractions in prayer are often because we have let ourselves wander too far from the things that matter most at common times, and so we have slipped into an easily interrupted, easily distracted,
frame of mind.

We need to live more at home.

"In Him we live, and move, and have our being
means simply this: “God is our Home”.  

Home of our hearts, lest we forget what our redemption meant to Thee,
Let our most reverent thought be set upon Thy Calvary.

These words speak of something that I find I cannot drop out of my day without loss.
I believe that a few minutes given daily to an earnest look at Calvary,
would do more to help our prayer than we imagine.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, 
be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength,
and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).  
 (Amy Carmichael) 

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November 8

“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
(John 14:1-3)  

Here we have set before us the prospects of all believers in Christ—young and old: the Father’s house, the many mansions, the prepared place, the return of our Saviour, our going to meet Him,
and our eternal felicity in His presence.

Our strong conviction is that the coming of the Lord Jesus is on the very eve of becoming an accomplished fact; and that, old as some of us are, we shall not see death.

While, however, the Word of the Lord declares the certainty of the Saviour’s second coming, and the signs of the times, its imminence, there is nothing so uncertain as the hour of its fulfilment. 

Of that hour knoweth no man” (Mark 13:32); and hence it is possible that we may have to pass through the valley of the shadow which, equally with our being caught up to meet Him in the air, will prove to be an avenue to God. 

And since all the things which we know about our Saviour make us trust Him in the things which we do not know, we should face the possibility of death peacefully and with an untroubled heart.
(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care)

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November 9

“I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task-masters; for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them.”
(Exodus 3:7-8)

Which particular form of trial is yours at the present moment?
Is it one which everybody can see? 
Is it some serious illness?

Has death come to your household, and are the blinds drawn? Or is it some commercial disaster?
Well remember this, God sees it: “He that formed the eye, shall He not see?”
I have surely seen the affliction of My people.”
And is He not the same as ever?

Will He not do for you what He did for His people long ago?
"I am come down to deliver them.”

As surely as Christ of old touched the hand of Peter’s wife’s mother and the fever left her;
as certainly as He brought comfort to the bereaved home at Bethany; 
as effectually as He fed the hungry multitude by multiplying the 
loaves and fishes, so surely can He comfort you, and,
if deliverance is necessary, in due time 
deliver you, if you trust Him.  
(Angels in White - Russel Elliot)

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November 10

“O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me;
let them bring me unto Thy holy hill.”
(Psalm 43:3)

I am a creature of a day. I want to know one thing—
the way to heaven; how to land safely on that happy shore.

God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came down from Heaven.
He hath written it down in a book.  O give me this Book!  at any price, 
give me the Book of God! I have it; here is 
knowledge enough for me.

Let me be a man of one Book.  Here, then, I am, far from the busy ways 
of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, 
I read His book; for this end— to find the way to Heaven.    

There is a chart whose tracings show the onward course when tempest blow—
’Tis God’s own Word!  There, there is found directions for the homeward bound.  (H.J.B)

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November 11


“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:
for I am God, and there is none else.”
(Isaiah 45:22)

The whole question of sin is settled by the death of Christ.
He went into death, and annulled it.  He destroyed him who had the power of death.

He took sin upon Him, and put it away; and now at the right hand of God, 
He says, “Look unto me, come unto Me.”  If you come, 
He will give you eternal life on the spot,
and make you a living stone.

Peter then, that day, had life communicated to him from the Son of God.
he "passed from death unto life” as he stood before the Son
of God that day; his soul was forever linked 
with the Lord from that day.
(John 1:42)

I do not say that he followed the Lord then,
but here you get the moment of Peter’s conversion,
he is quickened with the very life of Jesus, and becomes a "living stone.”

This then is the account of his conversion.
(Simon Peter - W. T. P. Wolston)

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November 12

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.”
(2 Chronicles 16:9)

God is not waiting to show us strong in His behalf but Himself strong in our behalf.  That makes a lot of difference.

He is not out to demonstrate what we can do but what He can do.
But God is on the lookout for candidates with hearts perfect toward Him.
He is not a a talent scout looking for somebody strong enough or good enough.

He is looking for someone with a heart set on pleasing 
Him and an eye single to His glory.
He will do the rest.

What a wonder that God will use our lives to demonstrate Himself!
But we like to demonstrate ourselves and do great exploits in God’s behalf.
That reverses the process and God does not get the glory.

We have seen enough of what men can do for God;
we need to see more of what God can do through men.

He has shown Himself strong in our behalf many a time.
And what He has done for others, 
He will do for you.
(Vance Havner)

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November 13


“A bruised reed will He not break . . . “
(Matthew 12:20)

After he found himself no longer able to render active Christian service, Austin Phelps wrote, 
“One thought has assumed a new reality in my mind of late, 
as an offshoot of my useless life.

When a man can do nothing else, he can add his little rill to the great river of intercessory prayer which is always rolling up to the throne of God.

The river is made up of such rills as the ocean is of drops.
A praying man can never be a useless man.”

Make use of me, my God! Let me not be forgot;
A broken vessel cast aside, one whom Thou needest not.

All things do serve Thee here, all creatures, great and small;
Make use of me, of me, my God—the meanest of them all.
(Dr. Horatius Bonar)

When a man enlists with God, he lets Him choose his rank and uniform.

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November 14

November 15

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Gems from October 2017

“. . . Their strength is to sit still.”
(Isaiah 30:7)

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; in ev’ry change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly, Friend thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below.
(Katharina von Schlegel)

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

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September 30

“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar . . . bought him. . . . Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: . . .”
(Genesis 39:1,4) 

Cut off from his (Joseph's) own people in a strange land he becomes a slave in the house of the Egyptian; falsely accused by a wicked woman, and under the stigma of a great sin, he is cast into prison.

There treated with base ingratitude, he is left to languish, a forgotten man.  Suffering dishonour upon dishonour, his path is ever downward. The clouds gather round him and his way grows darker, until apparently his sun has set in hopeless gloom.

But behind all that is apparent to nature, faith can discern the purpose of God to exalt Joseph to a position of supremacy and glory.  If God is set upon the fulfilment of His purpose, Satan will put forth every effort to thwart God’s purpose.

Satan uses the wickedness of the brethren to banish Joseph from house and home; he uses Potiphar’s wicked wife to bring Joseph into prison; and he uses Pharaoh’s ungrateful butler to keep him there.

Every step in the downward path is an apparent triumph for Satan, and would seem to make the fulfillment of God’s purpose more remote.

To the natural view Satan’s plans appear to prosper, and God’s purposes suffer apparent defeat.  Faith, however, can discern the hand of God behind the wiles of Satan.  If Satan is using man to hinder God’s purposes, God is using Satan to carry them out.  Every kind of agent is at God’s disposal.

Angels and archangels, saints and sinners, the devil and his demons, all serve to carry out God’s plans.  The very elements—fire and hail, snow and vapours, and stormy wind—are "fulfilling His word”  (Psalm 148:8).

Nor is it otherwise with the circumstances of life, as we see in the story of Joseph.  
(Hamilton Smith)

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October 1

"The shipmaster came to him [Jonah], and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”
(Jonah 1:6)

Good, sensible shipmaster!  He well knew what Jonah ought to be doing, surely not sleeping at such a time! Arise, call upon thy God!  It is a message from the heathen about us that we all would do well to hear.

We cannot all go out to the heathen, but we all can arise and call upon our God.  Was not this just the point? Jonah could not arise and call upon his God nor do we hear that he even tried to do as the shipmaster commanded him.

How could Jonah call on the name of the very One from whose presence he was even then fleeing?
No, dear fellow-Christian, you and I know very well that sin and prayer do not go together: we must give up one or the other.  Sad to say, Jonah had chosen sin, and he could not pray. He knew perfectly well what was the cause of that storm, and he knew equally well the remedy. 

This was not a time for prayer, but a time for confession, and bowing to the just punishment that he so rightly merited for his sin against his God.  Though indeed confession and prayer might, and should have been found together in the same breath.

Jonah had not yet come to the point were he was willing to humble himself to do this.  Therefore, God allowed these heathen sailors to force him to do what he would not do of his own will.
(G. C. Willis)

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October 2

“Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he . . . gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”
(Luke 15:12-13)

We may be tempted to criticize the father’s haste in complying with the demands of a wayward son.

But the father knew he had lost the boy’s heart and there was little point in trying  to keep him against his will.

He also knew that the educative process of the far country was a necessary though painful experience to produce in him repentance and restoration.

Many a parent sees in this a comforting precedent and yearns for the day when their loved one will return from the far country.
Perhaps it will be today.
(Drew Craig)   

Back to my Father and home, back to my Father and home;
I will arise and go now, back to my Father and home.
(Thomas Chisholm)

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October 3

THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE

“Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but 
holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
(2 Peter 1:21) 

There are two kinds of unity.  There is a unity that is merely mechanical, such as that of a watch or a building, and there is a unity that is organic, such as that of a plant or a flower. The former are put together from without; the later grow together from within.

The laws of organic unity have been expounded by Cuvier, the great comparative anatomist, and, summarized, are three in number:

(1) That each and every part is essential to the whole.
(2) That each part is related to, and corresponds with, all other parts, as in the human body, hand corresponds to hand, and eye to eye.
(3) That all the parts of such an organism must be pervaded by the spirit of life.
Tested by these criteria, the Bible must stand confessed, as a miracle of literary unity.

This unity becomes the more amazing when we recall the wonder of its formation.  Parts of it were written by Kings, statesmen, soldiers, philosophers, priests, scholars, poets, physicians, prophets, tentmakers, herdsmen, and fishermen.

Sections of it were written in the desert of Sinai, in the wilderness of Judea, by the river of Babylon, in a dungeon at Rome, and on the rock-bound isle of Patmos.  

Between Moses, its first writer, and John, its last, lies a period of1600 years.  Its contents include history, biography, legislation, poetry, philosophy, doctrine, ethics, and perfect guidance for personal, civic, and national life. 

And yet, amid all this diversity of writers, places of composition, and contents, there is a harmony which is the fruit of perfect unity, and which can be accounted for only by the explanation give by Peter: 
2 Peter 1:21 quoted above.
(The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

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October 4

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. 
Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
(Revelation 22:20)

That Day

That morn shall break as others break; the stars shall pale, the shadows flee; Across the misty mountain-tops the sun shall gild the sleeping sea;
The busy world shall wake once more with smiles or sighs to greet the day, To eat and drink, to buy and sell, to scheme and toil, to sin and pray.

That morn shall break as others break; but ere the day its course has run,
Full many a watching, waiting soul shall know the waiting-time is done.
They see a sign no others see, and hail the long-expected day; 
They hear a voice no others hear—“Haste, my beloved, come away.”

That morn shall break as others break; but, ere another day shall dawn,
Where two were grinding, one is left; where two were sleeping, one is gone.
Behold, He comes,” the Spirit saith; O Earth, Earth, Earth! the message hear,
O blind and deaf! the sign discern; redeem the hours, the time is near.
(Flint’s Best-Loved Poems

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October 5

“And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. . . .  And when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! . . . I will arise and go to my father . . .”
(Luke 15:14,17, 18)

The prodigal may wander, and squander,
and come to poverty; but it must ever hold good 
that “in my father’s house is bread enough and to spare.”
(Food for the Desert)

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October 6

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.”
(Luke 18:1)

“Go to the ant.” (Proverbs 6:6)

Tammerlane used to relate to his friends an anecdote of his early life.

“I once,” he said, “was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a ruined 
building, where I sat alone many hours. 

Desiring to divert my mind from my hopeless condition, I fixed my eye on an ant that was carrying a grain of corn larger than itself up a high wall.

I numbered the efforts it made to accomplish this object.
The grain fell sixty-nine times to the ground; but the insect persevered, 
and the seventieth time it reached the top.

This sight gave me courage at the moment, 
and I never forgot the lesson.
(The King’s Business)

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October 7

Sin has introduced great misery and universal disorder into the world!

Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, 
neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the
sparks fly upward.” 
Job 5:6-7 

In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 
John 16:33 

Whoever considers the manifold calamities to which mankind are exposed in the present state, must feel some emotion of sorrow. 

Sin has introduced great misery and universal disorder into the world! No person, however obscure, or eminent or educated—can stand invulnerable against the arrows of adversity. 

It is, however, the peculiar privilege of a godly man, that though, alike with others, he partakes of the sufferings of humanity—yet he sees a wise hand directing every event, and rendering all subservient to a grand and glorious end. 

He desires to learn the noble lessons of patience and submission, while his heart glows  with gratitude to Him to whom he is indebted for every comfort he enjoys, and without whose permission he knows no evil can transpire!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,  to them who are the called according to His purpose.” 
(Romans 8:28).
(Charles Buck, 1771-1815 - R.L.)

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October 8

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to 
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
(Ephesians 6:16)

However necessary it is to have the thoughts and affections held in order by the girdle of truth,
and our conduct preserved in righteousness by the breastplate,
and to be walking in peace through this world, 
something else is needed for the conflict.

We need “above all”, or “over all”, the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy.
Here faith is not the reception of God’s testimony concerning Christ by which we are saved, but the daily faith and trust in God which give us the assurance that God is for us.

In the pressure of the manifold trials that come upon us, whether from circumstances, ill-health, bereavement, or in connection with the many difficulties that constantly arise among the people of God, the enemy may seek to cloud our souls with the horrible suggestion that after all God is indifferent and not for us. 

On that dark night when the disciples had to face the storm on the lake,
and the waves beat into the ship, Jesus was with them,
though asleep as one indifferent to their danger. 
This was a test for faith.

Alas! unprotected by the shield of faith, a fiery dart pieced their armour, and the terrible thought arose that, after all, the Lord did not care for them, for they awoke Him and said,
Carest though not that we perish?” (Mark 4:37, 38)
(Hamilton Smith)

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October 9

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to 
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."  
(Ephesians 6:16)

Satan is never so completely defeated as in his apparent victories.

We do not sufficiently reckon on the activity of the foe, 
and occupied with his instruments we often overlook the hand by which they are wielded.

Happy is he . . . who has learned to look beyond the actions of men to the power that controls them all, and to receive all, favour or persecution, aids or hindrances, from the Lord. 

That soul has acquired the secret of perfect peace amid the confusion and turmoil of the world, as well as in the presence of Satan’s power.

If believers settle down in the world, mind earthly things, become “dwellers on earth” (Revelation 3:10)  —using this phrase in its moral sense—Satan will let them alone; but the moment wrought upon by the Spirit of God . . . they go forth in living testimony, the adversary will seek to turn 
them aside by any art or device which is likely to accomplish his purpose.
(Edward Dennett)

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October 10

“And they remembered His words.”
(Luke 24:8)

How much mischief do we get into by not remembering God’s words!

When the Lord Jesus was tempted He had the word of God at hand, 
and by that simple word He could claim the
victory in the battle.
(J.G. Bellett)

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October 11

”Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:
and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you.”
(Philippians 3:15)

We are responsible for the way our minds work: and this is a serious matter, for  
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7).

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)    

If only we would obey this single injunction, we would all be be of one mind: our strife and our quarrels would all disappear.

You remember Christ said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.”
That tells us the mind of Christ.

Another has said,—“Meekness never takes offence, and lowliness never gives offence.” 

It is “only by prIde cometh contention.”
Notice the big “I” in the centre of that word.  That is the one who causes the trouble.

So the Apostle after saying:
Let us be thus minded,continues: "and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, 
God shall reveal even this unto you.”  
(Christopher Willis)

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October 12

“Take My yoke upon you.”
(Matthew 11:29)

There is nothing that forms the heart, breaking down the will in us,
like the delight that we have in Christ in 
fellowship with the Father.

Whenever I act in my own will in anything, I am wronging God of His own title through the blood of Christ.

The breaking of the will is a great means of opening the understanding.

It is only when the will mixes itself up with the sorrow that there is any bitterness in it, or a pain in which Christ is not.

So it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matthew 11:26).
was the hinge of the Lord’s comfort.

Liberty of will is just slavery to the devil.
(J. N. Darby)

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October 13

I MUST DECREASE

"THE JEWS . . . ASKED HIM, WHO ART THOU?
(John 1:19)

“And he [John] confessed, and denied not; but confessed", 
"I AM NOT THE CHRIST.”
(John 1:20)   

“Art thou Elias?”
I AM NOT."

“. . . Art thou that prophet?  And he answered", 
NO".

Careless of human praise or blame
Eschewing self-display;
The more men asked him of himself
The less he had to say.
(Bells & Pomegranates)

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October 14

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We believe that the Bible, as written in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, is the very word of the only wise and the only true God, with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, who saw the end from the beginning, and not only the end, but every stage of the way.

We therefore hold it to be nothing short of positive blasphemy to assert that we have arrived at a stage of our career in which the Bible is not sufficient, or that we are compelled to travel outside its covers to find ample guidance and instruction for the present moment, and for every moment of our earthly pilgrimage.

The Bible is a perfect chart, in which every exigency of the Christian mariner has been anticipated. Every rock, every sand-bank, every shoal, every strand, every island, has been carefully noted down.

All the need of the Church of God, its members, and its ministers, has been most fully provided for.
How could it be otherwise, if we admit the Bible to be the Word of God?

Could the mind of God have devised, or His finger sketched an imperfect chart?  Impossible.
We must either deny the divinity or admit the sufficiency of THE BOOK. We are absolutely shut up to this alternative. There is not so much as a single point between these two positions.

If the book is incomplete, it cannot be of God; if it be of God it must be perfect.  But if we are compelled to betake ourselves to other sources for guidance and instruction, as to the path of the Church of God, its members or its ministers, then is the the Bible incomplete, and, being such, it cannot be of God at all.
(C. H. Macintosh)

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October 15

“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
(Colossians 1:11)

There are two great forces at work in the world today:
the unlimited power of God and the
limited power of Satan.

So when we have surrendered our lives and hearts to Jesus Christ,
we need never be overcome.
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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October 16

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
(1 Corinthians 12:3)

The hypocrite seems hot in prayer, but you will find him cold enough at work; he prays very fiercely against his sins, as if he desired them to be all slain upon the place; but doth he set himself upon the work of mortification? Doth he withdraw the fuel that feeds them?

Hypocrisy in religion springs from the bitter fruit of some carnal affection unmortified. So long as thy prey lie below, thy eye will be on the earth, when thou seemest, like an eagle, to mount in thy prayers to heaven.

God is in the hypocrite’s mouth, but the world is in his heart, which he expects to gain through his good reputation. . . .  No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
(1 Corinthians 12:3)    

A man may say the words, without any special work of the Spirit, and so may a parrot: but to say Christ is Lord believingly, with thoughts and affections comporting with the greatness and sweetness thereof, requires the Spirit of God to be in his heart.
(The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall)
1617-1679

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October 17

“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”
(Matthew 3:8)

A friend had come to Christ and wished to consecrate himself and his wealth to God. He had formerly had transactions with the government and had taken advantage of them.

This thing came up when he was converted, and his conscience troubled him. He said, “ I want to consecrate my wealth, but it seems as if God will not take it.”

He had a terrible struggle; his conscience kept rising up and smiting him. At last he drew a cheque for fifteen hundred dollars and sent it to the United States Treasury. He told me he received such a blessing when he had done it!

That was bringing forth “fruits meet for repentance.”

I believe a great many men are crying to God for light, and they are not getting it because they are not honest with themselves.
(D. L. Moody)

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October 18

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now 
live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the 
Son of God who loved me, and
gave Himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

Paul was not as a vessel broken, and another formed by the potter out of the same clay.
No; it was a new thing altogether.  He was a new creature in Christ;
old things had passed away.

Nothing as regards the flesh was changed in Paul, but the mastery of flesh was. 
The law of sin and death is not taken out of the flesh, 
but I am delivered from it, brought out of the 
position where all is death into that 
where all is life.

I have eternal life in me to give me power to live unto Christ.
“I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;
is that not a blessed truth?

Are you walking in the power of that life, in the light of eternity?
(Gleanings From The Teaching of G. V. Wigram)

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October 19

SHARPENING THE AXE

“If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge,
then must he put to more strength. . . .”
(Ecclesiastes 10:10)

A dull axe means harder work and we lose no time when we sharpen the edge.

The Christian in particular and the Church in general both need 
to stop chopping wood long enough to whet the blade.

Hours spent reading the Word and in prayer and a week out from 
regular work to revive the saints is a wise investment.
We save time that might be spent in a hospital
later if we had a check up now.

It is poor business to add more wheels to the machinery and
increase the work load when the power is low.

When we are too busy to sharpen the axe, we are too busy!
(All the Days - Vance Havner)

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October 20

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all . . . my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
(Joshua 1:7)

I could not do without Thee! I cannot stand alone;
I have no strength or goodness, no wisdom of my own;

But Thou, beloved Saviour, are all in all to me;
And weakness will be power, if leaning hard on Thee.
(Anon)

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October 21

Unity in Gospel Testimony

“Only let your conversation (or, behaviour) be as 
it becometh the gospel of Christ . . .”
(Philippians 1:27)

The word, “conversation,” as ordinarily employed by our forefathers, 
was of far wider scope than as generally used by us today.  It 
meant not only the talk of the lips, though it included
that, but it took in the entire behaviour.

The apostle’s exhortation is to the effect that the whole manner of life of the people of God should be in accordance with the gospel of Christ.

No more important message was ever committed to man than the word of reconciliation, which God has graciously entrusted to His people in this present dispensation of His mercy to a lost world.

That gospel tells of the divine means of deliverance from the guilt and power of sin. How incongruous, then, if the testimonies of those who undertake to proclaim it with their mouths deny its power in their lives!

A walk worthy of the gospel is a walk in the energy of the Holy Spirit; it is a life surrendered to Him, whose Lordship that gospel declares.
(H. A. Ironside)

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October 22

THE EVIL OF JUDGING OTHERS

“Judge not that ye be not judged."
(Matthew 7:1)

For the loyal-hearted Christian that is an all-sufficient reason why we should not indulge in it.

If His Word has its rightful place in our hearts and lives, we shall resolutely refrain from this unholy thing,
which has broken so many hearts, and wrought havoc in so many homes.

But there is another reason why we should not do it, 
and that is that 
We are totally unfitted to judge any man.
By sitting on the judgment seat we are taking the place of God.
For it is impossible for us to enter into the hidden circle of motive and feeling in the life of another.

Before we are fitted to judge anyone who has gone wrong, we ought to know the circumstances of their lives, the temptations by which they were beset, the bitter conflict between passion and inclination, the handicap of their heredity and environment, the tears of penitence and shame which they have shed.

Because of our beclouded judgement, our imperfect or erroneous information, and our biased minds,
we should not undertake to do what our Lord, with His perfect knowledge alone can do.

“For the father judgeth no man, 
but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”
(John 5:22
(In Pastures Green)

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October 23


“A new heart also will I give you.”
(Ezekiel 36:26)

“I will give them one heart."
(Jeremiah 32:39)

Why does God promise this?
Because our old hearts are so evil that they cannot be made 
any better; and so nothing will do any good but giving us a new heart.

Because we cannot make a new heart for ourselves; the more we try, 
the more we shall find we cannot do it; so God, in His great pity and kindness says He will give it 
to us. Because, unless we have a new heart we cannot enter the kingdom of God, we cannot even see it! Without this gift we must be left outside in the terrible darkness when the door is shut.

There is a great difference between the old heart and the new one.
The old heart is afraid of God, and does not love Him, and would much rather He were not always seeing us. The new heart loves God and trusts what He says, and loves to think that He is always watching it.

Oh, how happy and blessed to have this new heart!  All God’s children receive it, for He has said,
I will give them one heart” (Jeremiah 32:39); that is, all the same new heart.

Do you not want to have it too?
You must come to Him for it, for He hath said, 
A new heart also will I give you!
(Frances Ridley Havergal)

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October 24

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!”
(Philippians 1:21)


True Christianity!

True Christianity is not merely the believing a certain set of theological propositions.
It is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living Person--Jesus the Son of God!

"The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me!” 
(Galatians 2:20)
(J. C. Ryle

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October 25


“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.”
(Psalm 119:9)

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible.

His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.  One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book.  What good does reading the Bible do?"

The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”  The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house.

The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home.  Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water.  You can do this.  You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all.  The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.
Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, its useless!”

"So you think it is useless?”  The old man said, “Look at the basket.”  The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different.  Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible.  You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out."  That is the work of God in our lives: to change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His Son.

Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day.  Pray that He will use it to turn your heart and mind to Him.

“ . . . that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. . . .” (Ephesians 5:26).
(With thanks - Donald Paldino)

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October 26

“If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought,
put that on mine account.”
(Philemon 18)

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care
who gets the credit” - - Harry Truman.

Likewise, it is wonderful what further damage may be 
prevented if we are willing to accept
responsibility (including blame)
for damage already done.
(Nuggets - John Kaiser)

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October 27

“Without shedding of blood is no remission.”
(Hebrews 9:22)

Robert Lowry was a popular preacher throughout the East.  In later life he became interested in writing and publishing gospel songs.  “Nothing but the blood” was published in 1876. This gospel song has had an important place in ministry in teaching both young and old the absolute necessity of trusting implicitly in the precious blood of Christ for this life and for eternity.

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
what can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon this I see—nothing but the blood of Jesus;
for my cleansing, this my plea—nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone—nothing but the blood of Jesus;
naught of good that I have done—nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace—nothing but the blood of Jesus;
this is all my righteousness—nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus:  O! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow;
no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(Robert Lowry - 1826-1899)

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October 28

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.”
(1 Corinthians 15:39)

Following the same classifications as Genesis 1, our Creator God reminds us that He has implanted an immutable genetic code dividing all living things.

Thousands of years later, men are still men, beasts are still beasts, fish are still fish, and birds are still birds.

Evolutionary thinking would have us believe that one group led to another,
yet when we see the grotesque acts man is capable of, that’s an insult to the beasts, fish, and birds!

We were the ones who needed a Saviour, and how glad we are God provided One!
(Rick Morse)

Man of sorrows what a name, for the Son of Man who came,
Ruined sinners to reclaim; Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!
(Philip Bliss)

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October 29

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”
(Psalm 37:23)

We have the fullest assurance that our God can and does guide His children in all things. He can signify His mind to us as to this or that particular act or movement. If not, where are we? How are we to get on?  

How are we to regulate our movements? Are we to drift hither and thither by the tide of circumstances? Are we left to blind chance, or to the mere impulse of our own will?  

We thank God it is not so.  He can, in His own perfect way, give us the certainty of His mind in any given case; and, without that certainty, we should never move.  

Our Lord Jesus Christ (all homage to His peerless name!) can intimate His mind to His servant as to where He would have him go, and what He would have him to do; and no true servant will ever think of moving or acting without such intimation.

We should never move in uncertainty.  If we are not sure, let us be quiet and wait! Very often it happens that we harass and fret ourselves about movements that God would not have us make at all.

A person once said to a friend, “I am quite at a loss to know which way to turn.” 
'Then don’t turn at all," was the friend’s wise reply . . .  But it is the meek He will guide in judgment and teach His way! We must never forget this. 
(C. H. Mackintosh)

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October 30

“. . . Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life, or by death.”
(Philippians 1:20)

Many years ago at the opening of a Disarmament Conference, in the midst of a speech King George was making,  some one tripped over the wires of the Columbia Broadcasting Company, 
tearing them loose and interrupting the service.

The chief operator quickly grasped the loose wires in his bare hands, holding them in contact, and for twenty minutes the current passed through while repairs were being made.  His hands were slightly burned, but through them the words of the King passed on to the millions of listeners and were heard distinctly.  Without his courage and endurance the King’s message would have failed to reach its destination.

The KING of heaven has chosen to send His message to a lost world through human wires.
Every faithful missionary and every Christian who gives his or her support is a human 
wire through which the KING’S voice is reaching the lost with a message of 
peace, vastly more important than the message from London, England.

For the missionary, it is often a costly business.
Some men and women must suffer the loss of every earthly thing, stoop with 
weariness, waste away with fevers in far-off places, even die—but it pays to HOLD ON.

Only thus can men hear the voice of the KING.
God’s church needs more men who are willing to TAKE HOLD 
and HOLD ON.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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October 31

"I find in Him no fault at all"  (John 18:38, 19:4, 6).
“This man hath done  nothing amiss"  (Luke 23:41).
“Truly this was the Son of God”  (Matthew 27:54).

Certainly this was a righteous Man (Luke 23:47).
Here are three independent testimonies from people 
who were outside the Lord’s circle.

Pilate, the political man; the centurion, a military man;
and the thief, a common criminal.

Yet despite the distance that separated these men socially and morally,  
on one thing they were all agreed — the sinless 
perfection of the Lord Jesus.

Not even his enemies could establish a fault in Him. Ah yes.  
The Lord Jesus was “Holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).
(W. H. Burnett)

But spotless, undefiled, and pure, the great Redeemer stood,
While Satan’s fiery darts He bore, and did resist to blood.
(Isaac Watts)

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