Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5530 posted here) sent daily for 18 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Friday, June 01, 2018

Gems from June 2018


May 31


"Having loved His own which were in the world,  
He loved them unto the end.”
(John 13:1)

Oh, how sweet this experience of Christ’s love in this cold world!
When the heart is chilled, and yearning for a little warmth,
how sweet to turn to the Lord Jesus and
feel the warmth of His love! 

Ah, looking up to Him, the heart is always warmed.

If you see any beauty in Christ, and say,
“I desire to have that,” God will work it in you.

Can you spread out no wants before Christ, the Giver, the Healer
Believers grieve the Spirit by not using Christ, 
and then God must compel them to do it.
(G.V. Wigram)

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June 1


“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.”
(John 17:17)

By Thy truth and Spirit guiding, earnest He of what’s to come,
And with daily strength providing, Thou dost lead Thy children home.
(Tregelles)

The more you nourish your own soul by feeding on the word of God
the more likely is He to use you.

The sight of the eyes is constantly tending to dim the estimate which 
faith forms; and if faith is not nourished by the word, 
it sinks down and fades away.

If I am not feeding on the word, faith is not fed, for it
cannot be fed by sight of things all around.
(J. N. Darby)

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June 2


“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable unto men.”
(Titus 3:8)

We may be doing a great deal, 
but it will not be service to Christ.

We may be saying a great deal; 
but it will not be testimony to Christ.

We may exhibit a great deal of piety and devotion; 
but it will not be spiritual and true worship.

The moment the soul hesitates, the enemy has the advantage; 
but there is blessing in every act of obedience.

It is of the utmost importance to see that what really stamps man’s 
character and condition is his ignorance or knowledge of God.
(Food for the Desert)

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June 3


“And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a script; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”
(1 Samuel 17:40) 

Young David chose five smooth stones from the brook.
To slay Goliath just one stone he took.
So he who seemed so ill-equipped before,
Has weapons now enough, and four times more.

Thus is it ever; God’s resources still
Surpass the needs of all who wait His will.
Nor when His last proud foe is overthrown,
Will half His strength exhaustless yet be known.
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S. Tait)

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June 4


"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
(Philippians 1:28)

When Luther was summoned to stand before the council at Worms: and his friends did their utmost to persuade him not to go, as they were sure it meant death; he replied, “Even although there were as many devils at Worms as there are tiles upon the roofs, I would enter it."

Zwingli, in Switzerland, when threatened by all the Civilian and Ecclesiastical wrath, was asked if he was not frightened, and he replied, with noble scorn, "I dread them . . . as the rock-bound shore dreads the threatening billows . . . — with God!” 

"How depressing to the enemy is the endurance of the saints."

It is of the utmost importance ”that we should keep in our souls good courage in face of the foe, and confidence in God, not only for our own sake but for others.  There is no testimony more gracious, nor more solemn to our adversaries.” (W.K)

Do you not think it was the courage and grace of Stephen that were the first links of the chain that won that terrible “opposer”, Saul of Tarsus?

There are many today who are opposed to the Gospel.  Don’t be scared of them! Don’t be frightened!  When they see you are not frightened, it will be clear evidence, absolute proof, to them of destruction: but for you of the final triumph of the gospel over all the opposing ones, and over all that the opposing ones can do: and this triumph is of God, not by us.

It may mean suffering . . . but remember there is power that can make even suffering sweet.
(G. Christopher Willis)

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.”
(Martin Luther)  

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June 5


“Arise . . . for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and are ye still? Be not slothful to go, and enter to possess the land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth.”
(Judges 18:9,10)

Arise!  Then there is something definite for us to do.  Nothing is ours unless we take it.  “The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephriam, took their inheritance” (Joshua 16:4). “The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions” (Obadiah 17). “The upright shall have good things in possession.”

We need to have appropriating faith in regard to God’s promises.  We must make God’s Word our own personal possession.

A child was asked once what appropriating faith was, and the answer was, “it is taking a pencil and underscoring all the me’s and mine’s and my’s in the Bible.” 

Take any word you please that He has spoken and say, “That word is my word.” Put your finger on this promise and say, “It is mine.” 

How much of the Word has been endorsed and receipted and said “It is done.” How many promises can you subscribe and say, “fulfilled to me.”

Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” 
Don’t let your inheritance go by default.

When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.”
(Streams in the Desert)

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June 6


“But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.”
(Genesis 40:14)

Joseph is a wonderful picture of the Lord, especially here.
A butler with a cup, baker with bread, and a request, “Remember Me.”

The Lord Jesus took bread and a cup and instituted a feast of remembrance. “Remember Me” was His request.

He used emblems that were a part of everyday life, yet how easily we forget. That’s what the butler did.  He forgot!  When he remembered he said, “I remember my faults this day.”

How much better had he remembered Joseph.
What a privilege to remember the Lord as He requested.
(Rex Trogdon)

According to Thy gracious Word, in meek humility,
This would I do, O Christ my Lord, I would remember Thee.
( — J. M.)

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June 7


“And take the helmet of salvation . . .”
(Ephesians 6:17) 

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 1:13The Christian in complete Armour - William Gurnall (1617- 1679)

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June 8


“. . . come; for all things are now ready.
and they all with one consent began to make excuse.”
(Luke 14:17-18)

Excuse: The thin skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.
An excuse is an attempt to avoid an issue and to escape responsibility.
A man who lives by excuses endorses conditional obedience and is an excuse for a man.

We may make excuses or we may make progress, but not both at the same time. David faced Goliath before he killed him.

Beware excuses!  An excuse is the symptom of the secret presence of an idol (Genesis 31:31-35).
God provides an escape, not an excuse (1 Corinthians 10:7-13)
Multiplied excuses amount to insult. 

 Excuses cheapen apologies and their users.
They are the maggots which suck the life from an apology.

They are the opposite of repentance.
(Morsel’s for Meditation - J. Kaiser)

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June 9


"He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea,
driven with the wind and tossed."
(James 1:6)

The sea when agitated by the wind has visible motions:
to and from  (fluctuation) and another, up and down (undulation).

James in his inimitable words says a sea-wave cannot stay anywhere;
if it is propelled forward, it recedes backward; 
if lifted up, it sinks downward.

So a half-believing soul; whatever onward or upward impulse he gets, he cannot retain. He has no staying qualities and like the surging sea is frothy and flighty.

I wonder, is my testimony, and particularly my prayer life constant, 
consistent and day-by-day continual?
Keep praying!
(Les Rainey)

Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord.
(Charles Wesley)

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June 10


“Let not your heart be troubled . . .”
(John 14:1)

“. . . I will trust, and not be afraid . . .”
(Isaiah 12:2)

Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.
But God does not want His children to be fearful, and the best
 way to overcome fear is through the Word of God.
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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June 11


"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come.   And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

"Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
(Revelation 22:17,20)

As soon as we are in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ we have got GodGod has introduced Himself as a living person to the soul, and all our associations are connected with God.

When He separates any one to Himself,
He plants the blood of Christ right behind them. 
(Gleanings - G. V. Wigram)

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June 12


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

UNTO JESUS and it is from Him and  in Him that we learn 
to know, not only without danger, but for the wellbeing of our 
souls, what it is good for us to know about the world and about 
ourselves, our sorrows and our dangers, our resources and our victories: seeing everything in its true light, because it is He Who shows them to us, and that only at the time and in the proportion in which this knowledge will produce in us the fruits of humility and wisdom, gratitude and courage, watchfulness and prayer.

All that it is desirable for us to know, the Lord Jesus will 
teach us; all that we do not learn from Him,
it is better for us not to know. 
(Theodore Monod)

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June 13


“I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”
(Luke 12:22,23) 

“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: How much more are ye better than the fowls?”
(Luke 12:24

He was not advocating thriftlessness, nor was He inculcating idleness, nor unconcern as to one’s future responsibilities.  The admonition was that His disciples should avoid anxious thought.

It is not becoming for a child of God to worry about food and clothing, and how to meet the various needs that arise from day to day. If you worry, you do not trust; if you trust, you do not worry.” 
It was just this that the Lord sought to impress upon His disciples.

Faith can count upon God to meet each need as it arises, provided one is walking in obedience to the Word.

Jesus directed attention to the ravens, which were generally in evidence in Palestine.  Unable to either sow or reap they were provided for by their benevolent Creator. It is unthinkable that He should have more concern for the fowls of the air than for His own children. 

Besides, what is accomplished by worrying?  Can one by anxious thought add to his stature? We grow in height from childhood to maturity as ordered of God. Why not trust Him for the rest.
(H. A. Ironside)

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June 14


"Salvation is of the Lord.”
(Jonah 2:9)

What followed this grand and joyful exclamation?
What followed when the lesson was learned, and the 
eye was off self, off man, and turned to Jehovah alone?

“And Jehovah commanded the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” As soon as Jonah really learned that salvation is of Jehovah, then Jehovah, brought salvation.  And how did he accomplish this salvation? By a word.  He spoke and the fish obeyed.

We have already seen the stormy wind obeying His Word (Jonah 1:15), both in rising, and in being still.  Now we find the great fish equally obedient. The only disobedient one in this book was Jonah, a man, God’s highest creation, a man who was God’s servant and His prophet; and yet he ventured to disobey.

Now Jehovah commanded the fish, and it obeyed.  It all reminds us of when Jehovah, as a Man upon earth, could say to the storm, “Peace, be still,”  or could bring an abundance of fish into Peter’s net or one fish with a piece of money in its mouth, onto Peter’s hook.

His glories shine forth in the Old Testament and New, alike.  
He is the same—wondrous grace that HE whose glories are 
 so bright and so great, should stoop so low for us!
(G. Christopher Willis)

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June 15


“The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure.”
(Deuteronomy 28:12)

The Opened Treasure

When the wise men “opened their treasures,” they brought out gold and frankincense and myrrh. When the Lord opens unto us His good treasure, we shall see greater things than these.

The context of this rich promise seems to make the heaven the treasure-house; and in its primary and literal sense, the fertilizing rain is the first outpouring of the opened treasure, soon after expanded into beautiful details of the "precious things of heaven  and . . . the precious things of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 33:13-16)

But the spiritual blessings are closely interwoven with the temporal in the whole passage, and the faithful Israelites who did not look only for transitory promises may well have claimed the opening of heavenly treasures through this promise.

What shall He open unto you? 

 In a word, “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8)

In Him, "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3) but the Lord shall open them unto you. “all are yours” (1 Corinthians 3:22)
(Royal Bounty - F. R. Havergal)

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June 16


GOD’S ECOLOGY

“The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)

MAN HAS BECOME alarmed over the pollution and the deterioration of our environment and ecology became a familiar word.

God spelled it out long ago when He called it “The bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21) wrought by sin and Satan.

He has told us furthermore that all creation will one day be redeemed from the curse when our Lord reigns here with His people.

He will send His angels to clean up the mess as no modern experts can ever do it.

"The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and cast them into a furnace of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
(Matthew 13:41,42)  

As with everything else, God has the true ecology.
(All the Days - Vance Havner - 1901- 1986)

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June 17


“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
(Isaiah 53:2) 

He was a tender plant growing up before the Lord, an exotic, a plant from another land. He was native to another climate.  He had been always admired and worshiped in heaven.  Here He was unknown and unnoticed. “The world knew Him not.” 

There was a renown all His own in those tender years because He was content to be lowly and silent without renown in the world His hands had fashioned.  It was a matter of new renown to Him that He who had been so honoured and renowned in heaven should be altogether without renown in this cold, barren world.

Lovely lowliness was never so altogether lovely as when the King of kings was a carpenter in Nazareth.  He whose glory had flooded the heavens walked unknown along the lanes of a despised village in Galilee.

He who had been on the throne of God sat now on a rude bench in a cottage of the poorest of the people.  He whose hand had arranged the stars in the firmament worked hard with saw and hammer to provide that coarse and scanty livelihood that fed the hungry mouths of the labouring poor.  

He in whom God found all His delight was never once recognized or known by those nearest to Him, His kinsman according to the flesh.

He is altogether lovely to the anointed eyes of His people and raptures the heart of God till He opens heaven to exclaim,  This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” 
(Leonard Sheldrake - The Plant of Renown)

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June 18


“And He led them forth by the right way . . .”
(Psalm 107:7)

Is this the right way home, O Lord?  The clouds are dark and still, The stony path is hard to tread.  Each step brings some fresh ill.

I thought the way would brighter grow, and that the sun with warmth would glow, And joyous songs from free hearts flow.  Is this the right road home?

Yes, child, this very path I trod, the clouds were dark for me, The stony path was sharp and hard.  No sight, but faith could see

That at the end, the sun shines bright, forever where there is no night, And glad hearts rest from earth’s fierce fight.  It is the right road home! 
(A. B. Simpson)  

The Way of the Cross Leads Home   .

I must needs go home by the way of the cross, there’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light, if the way of the cross I miss.

Chorus
The way of the cross leads home, the way of the cross leads home;
It is sweet to know as I onward go, the way of the cross leads home.

I must needs go on in the blood sprinkled way, the path that the Saviour trod,
If I ever climb to the heights sublime, where the soul is at home with God.

Then I bid farewell to the way of the world, to walk in it nevermore,
For the Lord says, “Come”, and I seek my home where He waits at the open door.
(Jessie Brown Pounds  1861-1921)

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June 19


“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)

This is the joyful message which the Evangelist carries to the sons and daughters of men everywhere. God’s messenger can assure them that by His redemptive sacrifice, the Saviour and the Friend of man has secured for them a full and free salvation.

1 Timothy 1:15; that repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, bring them into possession of this wondrous gift of God—Acts 20:21Ephesians 2:8-9; and he can definitely affirm that none that come to our Saviour will be turned away—John 6:37.
(In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

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June 20


STUCK IN DISCOURAGEMENT?

“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.”
(Habakuk 2:1)

Do you feel stuck in discouragement?  If so, you are not alone.  Even the prophet Habakkuk was deeply discouraged over the state of God’s people, and had many complaints.  At some point everyone experiences dashed hopes.

Disappointment—an emotional response to a failed expectation—is the normal initial reaction. But allowed to linger, it can turn into discouragement, which hovers like a dense cloud. When that’s the case, there is no sense of joy or contentment, no matter what you do.

The circumstances that trigger these emotions may be unavoidable, but the way we respond is a choice. We can either let sadness overwhelm our souls, or face the situation with courage and bring it before the One who can help us.

Living in discouragement will divide the mind, making it hard to focus on anything besides our pain. Then as anger becomes habitual we will look for someone to blame—whether God, people around us, or ourselves.

Frustration that is not handled well may develop into depression, which in turn can estrange us from others—
people do not enjoy the company of someone who is bitter and defeated.  This isolation leads to a low self-esteem. Finally, in a fog of discouragement, we can make poor decisions based on crushed emotions instead of truth.  Obviously, choosing this self-destructive path is not God’s best for our lives.
Habakkuk eventually took his questions to God and waited for His answer.

Though we will all face disappointment from time to time, believers are not to wallow in it.  Instead,  God wants us to trust Him with everything—even our unmet expectations and our deepest sorrows. There is divine purpose for everything He allows to touch our lives. (Romans 8:28)
(Tim Hadley, Sr.)

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June 21


ACTIONS SPEAK LOUD

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.” (Romans 6:13)

Quick, angry motions of the heart will sometimes force themselves into expression by the hand, though the tongue may be restrained.

The very way in which we close a door or lay down a book may be a victory or a defeat, a witness to Christ’s keeping or a witness that we are not truly being kept.How can we expect that God will use our hand as an instrument of righteousness unto Him, if we yield it thus as an instrument of unrighteousness unto sin?

Therefore, let us see to it, that it is at once yielded to Him whose right it is; and let our sorrow that it should have ever been for an instant desecrated to Satan’s use, lead us to entrust it henceforth to our Lord, to be kept by the power of God through faith “for the Master’s use.” For when the gentleness of Christ dwells in us, He can use the merest touch of a finger. 

Have we not heard of one gentle touch on a wayward shoulder being the turning-point of a life? I have known a case in which the Master made use of less than that—only the quiver of a little finger being made the means of touching a wayward heart.
(Opened Treasures - Francis Ridley Havergal)

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June 22


“We hanged our harps upon the willows . . . 
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
(Psalm 137:2,4)

A thousand full-stringed harp is man, and each cord gives a jarring sound,
Till God, the mighty harmonist, the proper note for each has found. 

By no small work can all be tuned how skilled and patient He must be
To bring the thousand jangling notes in sweetest heavenly harmony.

Count not our Father’s chastening sore, but yield thine all to His kind hand;
The strains and tests and pulls and turns in heaven’s song we’ll understand.

No human power can master all the compass vast of harp so fine;
The pierced hand of Christ and God alone can make its praise divine.  
(C. H. P.)

I lived in an old house in the country once, where the wind would sometimes whistle around so that I thought I would have some music if it must blow like that.

So I made a rude Aeolian harp of mere sewing-silk strung acros a board, and placed it under the slightly lifted sash of a north window, and the music was so sweet through all the house when the wild storms came!

Is there any north window in your life?  Could you not so arrange the three wires of faith, hope, and love that the storms of life should only bring more music into this sad world? Many are doing it, and perhaps more music that we dream of comes this way. God has many an Aeolian harp.
(Crumbs)

If you hung your harp upon the willow, take it down and let the Lord blow blessings across its strings — even though you be in a strange land.
(Streams in the Desert - Volume 2)

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June 23

June 24

June 25

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Gems from May 2018

April 30

“Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we
 look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Philippians 3:20)

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead 
shall be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:52

Our earthen vessels break; the world itself grows old;
But Christ our precious dust will take and freshly mould:

He’ll give these bodies vile a fashion like His own;
He’ll bid the whole creation smile, and hush its groan.
(Mary Bowley)

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Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

I shall not want REST.  “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.”
I shall not want REFRESHMENT.  “He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
I shall not want REVIVING.  “He restoreth my soul.”

I shall not want GUIDANCE.  “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” 
I shall not want COMPANIONSHIP.  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.”

I shall not want COMFORT. “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” 
I shall not want SUSTENANCE.  “Thou preparest a table before me in the the presence of mine enemies.”

I shall not want JOY.  “Thou anointest my head with oil.”
I shall not want ANYTHING.  “My cup runneth over.” 
I shall not want ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
I shall not want ANYTHING IN ETERNITY.  And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
(Comforted of God -  A. J. Pollock)

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May 1


“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, 
and he shall go no more out.”
(Revelation 3:12)

Let our Lord’s sweet hand square us and hammer us,
and strike off the knots of pride, self-love and world-worship, and
infidelity, that He may make us stones and pillars in His Father’s house.
(Revelation 3:12)  

Think ye much to follow the Heir of the crown, 
Who had experience of sorrows and was acquainted with grief. 
(Isaiah 53:3)
(Samuel Rutherford  1600-1661)

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May 2

“All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by 
 Jesus Christ . . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world 
unto Himself . . . we pray you in Christ’s stead, 
be ye reconciled to God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

The Cross was the termination of the probation of man.
God’s eternal “So be it” is Christ, "the Amen.”

The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the basis of
all God’s dealings, with even unconverted men.

He approaches them in grace, recognizing their enmity,
and says, “Be ye reconciled.
(Hunt’s Sayings)

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May 3

“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”
(Colossians 3:15)

If we open the shutters in the morning the light will pour in.
We do not need to beseech it to pour in.
It will pour in if we will let it.

If we open the sluice in flood-time the water will flow through.
We do not plead with it to flow.  It will flow if we will let it.

It is so with the peace of God.  It will rule in our hearts if only we will let it.

If a heart that is disturbed about anything will “let the peace of God rule
(instead of its own desires), that heart may 
this very day prove this truth.

Let not your heart be troubled - John 14:1
Let the peace of God rule in your hearts - Colossians 3:15

(Amy Carmichael - Edges of His ways)

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May 4

THE WORK HAS BEEN DONE

“It is finished . . .” (John 19:30)

We need to be delivered from the power of the devil, we need death and the grave to be conquered—
and our Lord Jesus Christ has done it all.  And beyond all that, we need a new nature, because we need not only forgiveness of sins, but to be made fit to have communion and fellowship with God.

We need to have a nature that can stand before God, for 
God is light,  and in Him is no darkness at all"(1 John 1:5).  

And Christ has come and given Himself, His own nature, the eternal life  of which he speaks in John 17:1-5. So here, looking at it all, Jesus can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.” (verse 4)  

He has done everything that is necessary for man to be reconciled to God.  Have you realized that this work is finished, as far as you are concerned?  You are asked whether you are a Christian, and you reply that you are hoping to be, but you need to do this, that, and the other. No!

Christ says, "I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do."  The work has been done, and what proves whether we are truly Christians or not is whether we know and realize that the work has been done and that we then rest, and rest only, upon the finished work of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  If we see it all in Him and the work done and completed in Him, it means we are Christians.

The way for you to know God and to be reconciled to Him is wide-open in the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect work on your behalf.  If you have never entered in before, enter in now, rest upon the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and begin to rejoice, immediately, in your great salvation.
(Martin Lloyd Jones)

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May 5


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

A dying soldier asked the hospital chaplain to send a message to his Sunday school teacher:
“Tell her I die a Christian and that I have never forgotten her teaching.”

A few weeks later the chaplain received this reply from the teacher: “May God have mercy on me! Only last month I resigned my Sunday school class for I felt my teaching had done no good through the years.  I am  going back to my pastor at once to tell him that I will try again in Christ’s name, and that I will be steadfast to the end.” 

We should learn a lesson from the farmer.  He plantswaits, but though discouragement abounds, the reaping finally comes.  Just as the farmer is supported by the hope of a sure harvest, so every Christian worker should sow, weep, pray,  and labour in the hope of reaping fruit in God’s appointed time. 
~~~~~~~~~

The least promising lad in a lady’s class was a raggedly dressed boy named Bob.  The superintendent gave him a new suit of clothes.  After three Sundays Bob was missing.  The teacher visited him to discover that his new clothes were torn and dirty.  The superintendent gave him a second new suit. He returned to Sunday school.  This time he came twice.

Again the teacher learned that the second suit had gone the same way as the first.  Utterly discouraged, she told the superintendent she must give him up.  “Please don’t do that," urged the superintendent.  “I’ll give him a third suit if he’ll promise to attend regularly.”  Bob did promise. He became an earnest Christian, attended church, then studied for the ministry.
  
The ragged little boy became Dr. Robert Morrison, honoured missionary to China who translated the Bible into the Chinese language and opened the gate to millions in that country.

Keep on keeping on.  In due season you will reap if you faint not,
for your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
(Leslie B. Flynn)

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May 6


“Come unto me . . . I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28)

Why, in a time when there are so many “things” to make life easier, 
do we struggle and stress to get through a day.

From vocations to vacations, has there ever been such a time of plenty? Yet so often the child of God is caught on the treadmill of life, ever running with no apparent progress.

Busy-ness in our work is encouraged in 2 Thessalonians 3:10
and responsibility to family essential in Ephesians 6:4, 
but in it all, rest is available in Jesus Christ.

Come," He says, “unto Me”.
Coming will take time, effort and perhaps sacrifice, 
but it will be worth it. 

Are you burdened and weary today, then “come”.  
He will give you rest.
(C. Tempest)

Come unto Me, ye weary, and I will give your rest.”
O blessed voice of Jesus, which comes to hearts oppressed!—
(W. C. Dix)

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May 7


“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:20)

There is immense power in this charge, “Speak to the people all the words of this life.” The gospel was, and is, the power of God.  It alone can meet man’s necessity.All other agencies are really futile.

We live in a day when education, equalization, social elevation, and temperance reformation have each and all their many advocates.  They all fail to meet the case.

Man’s condition as a sinner away from God, and sunk under sin, and the power of Satan, is alone met by the gospel of Christ, which quickens him out of death, gives him a new nature, a new life, a new power, and a new object.  To attempt to patch up, improve, mend, or reform the old nature is a hopeless, and God-forbidden task. 

“Go, stand and speak to the people all the words of this life” is the divine commission now. This is God’s panacea for the hopeless ruin, and moral pravity in which the whole human family is sunk.
A dead man needs life.

Dead in trespasses and sins” exactly describes man’s condition. How sweetly suited to his state is the remedy the servants of God are to use, “the words of this life.”  Let us see to it that we use only this divine remedy. It is all powerful.  Like Goliath’s sword, “there is none like it.” The Lord’s command is plain.

Ring out the Gospel.  Preach it “In season and out of season.” It alone will lift man up to God, as, in it, God has come down to man.
(W. T. P. Wolston)

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May 8


“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
(Isaiah 26:3,4)

INEVITABLE

It is necessary to utter this truism about old age, because many think of its approach only with regret and misgiving.  But just as in Nature we have springsummerautumnwinter, and everything belonging to these seasons is beautiful in its time, so, in the story of man there are the clearly defined stages of infancyyouthmanhoodage, and each has its own peculiar advantages and joys. 

In the natural world we usually associate with winter the ideas of sunless skies and dreary days; but the moral equivalents of these things are not at all necessary in the corresponding period of the life of the believer.

His head may be white with the snows of many winters; in his heart there may be eternal spring.  

And so the lengthening of the shadows and the deepening of the twilight should have in then no cause for sorrow.

Looked at hopefully, grey hairs are the streaks of the dawn of the eternal day. (Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care)

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May 9


God Willing

"If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."  
(James 4.15)

Life is so full of variables. 
There are many things over which we have no control. 
Plans have to be changed because of ill health, accidents or even the weather!

The Christian understands that the variables of life are not out of control. 
God is on the throne and that means that nothing that happens on 
Earth or in Heaven can take place unless He allows it. 

It is something that we can easily lose sight of in the frustrations that arise in our lives when things just don’t go to plan. The question is - whose plan do we expect to come to pass; ours or God's? The God who controls the weather and actually holds our breath in His hand is the God whose plan never fails.

It is good to make plans. If we never plan then we will probably never accomplish much for God.
When making our plans we should have in our hearts and express with our mouths that our plans are "if the Lord will".
(Christian Living Today - B. L.)

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May 10


“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.” (John 14:16)

There is a guide in the deserts of Arabia who is said never to lose his way. They call him “The Dove Man.”

He carries in his breast a homing pigeon with a very fine cord attached from the pigeon to one of his arms. When in any doubt as to which path to take, the guide throws the bird in the air.  The pigeon quickly strains at the cord to fly in the direction of home and so leads his master unerringly.

They call that guide "The Dove Man.” The Holy Spirit, the heavenly Dove, is willing and able to lead us if we will only allow Him to do so. 

“The Holy Spirit is our indwelling Partner.”
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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May 11


IN THE NAME OF CHRIST

“Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do.  
If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it. 
I have appointed you, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My NameHe may give it you.

Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

At that day ye shall ask in My Name
(John 14:13-16  16:23,24,26)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IN MY NAMErepeated six times over.  
Our Lord knew how slow our hearts would be to take it in,
and He so longed that we should really believe that His Name is 
the power in which every knee should bow, and in which every prayer
could be heard, that He did not weary of saying it over and over: 
In My Name!

Between the wonderful whatsoever ye shall ask, and the Divine I will do itthe Father will give it, this one word is the simple link.
In My Name.

Our asking and the Father’s giving are to be equally in the Name of Christ.

Everything in prayer depends upon our apprehending this—
In My Name.  
(Andrew Murray)

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May 12


LET IT SHINE!

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:16)

Some hide their light under bushel or bed (Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16), being busy or lazy, so that it fails to shine.

Some go to the other extreme, like the Pharisees (Matthew 6:1,2,16who wanted to impress people with their piety.  It is not a glare but a glow, and we are simply to let it shine.

Some saints remind us of a man with a high-powered flashlight trying to dazzle people with a blinding display.  God prefers stars to comets. His figure is a candle, not a firecracker.

Between the saints who hide their light and those who display it we have hard going these days. We learn more and more to appreciate those who just let it shine.

We are too aware of the “men” in our text and not aware enough of our Father. Our sole business is to glorify Him and so let our light shine that others will glorify Him too.
(Vance Havner)

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May 13


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

I know no word more settling to the soul than, “Be careful for nothing.”
How often have I found it so . . . "for nothing.”

How little we gain by the prudence of unbelief;
 it gives occasion to the power and attacks of the enemy.

Never can unbelief—however good its intentions in joining 
the work of faith—do anything except spoil it.

How far the child of God may go astray when he puts himself under
the protection of unbelievers, instead of relying on the help of 
God in all the difficulties which beset the path of faith!
(J. N. Darby)

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May 14


“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 3:20)

The standing of the Christian is to be found in Christ; The object of the Christian is to know Christand the hope of the Christian is to be like Christ.

How beautifully perfect is the connection between these three things.No sooner do I find myself in Christ as my righteousness, than I long to know Him as my object, and the more I know Him, the more ardently shall I long to be like Him, which hope can only be realized when I see Him as He is.

Having a perfect righteousness, and a perfect object, I just want one thing more, and that is to be done with every thing that hinders my enjoyment of that object. 
(Note Philippians 3:20 quoted above.)  

Now putting all these things together, we get a very complete view of true Christianity. We cannot attempt to elaborate any one of the three points above referred to; for, it may be truly said, each point would demand a volume to treat it fully.  

Let us rise above all the imperfections and inconsistencies of Christians, and gaze upon the moral grandeur of Christianity as exemplified in the life and character of the model Man presented to our view.  

May the language of the heart be, “Let others do as they will, as for me, nothing short of this lovely model shall ever satisfy my heart.  Let me turn away my eye from men altogether, and fix it intently upon Christ Himself, and find all my delight in Him as my righteousness, my object, my hope.” 
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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May 15


"When we were yet without strength . . . while we were yet sinners . . . when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” 
(Romans 5:6-10)

The love of God is such that it goes over and beyond what we deserve or can hope for. We can’t earn it, for we are “without strength.” We can’t be good enough to deserve it.  No, we are sinners, committing atrocities, little and large, that build a wall between us and God.

But God’s love is still demonstrated towards us.  Even in direct opposition, His love is directed to you and to me, feeble, sinning enemies of God.  There is no greater love than this.

Have you experienced it?
(Jason Bechtel)

And can it be, that I should gain, an interest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?  For me, who Him to death pursued?
(Charles Wesley)

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May 16


“In whom [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
(Ephesians 1:7)

Creature mind can never know all Thy sufferings here below;
Mortal tongue can ne’er express Thy vast love and matchless grace.

Then for sinners Thou didst die, by Thy blood to bring them nigh;
Sovereign mercy without bound! God alone its depth can sound.

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May 17


COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING

"O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."
(Isaiah 25:1)

During his early teen years, Robert Robinson lived in London, where he mixed with a notorious gang of hoodlums and led a life of debauchery.  At the age of seventeen he attended a meeting where the noted evangelist George Whitfield was preaching.

Robinson went for the purpose of “scoffing" and ended up professing faith in Christ as his Saviour. Soon he felt called to preach the gospel.  Despite his young age, Robinson became known as an able minister and scholar, as well composing several hymns, including these words written when he was just twenty-three years of age.
(Kenneth W. Osbeck)

Come Thou fount of ev’ry blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.  Teach me some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above; praise the mount—I’m fixed upon it—mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer—hither by Thy help I’m come; and I know by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home.  Jesus sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God; He to rescue me from danger interposed His precious blood.   

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!  Let Thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee.  Prone to wander—Lord, I feel it—prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart—O take and seal it seal it for Thy courts above.  
(Robert Robinson)


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May 18


"Then shall the man bring . . . an offering of memorial, bringing 
iniquity to remembrance."
(Numbers 5:15)

"But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again 
made of sins every year."
(Hebrews 10:3)

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

The memory of past failures can haunt us.
It is good for us to remember that although we are failures 
because of Christ we can leave those sins at the cross—under the blood.

May God give us grace to enjoy the fact that our sins are GONE.
(William H. Gustafson)

Gone, gone, gone, gone, yes, my sins are gone.
Now my soul is free and in my heart’s a song.
Buried in the deepest sea, yes, that’s good enough for me;
I shall live eternally—praise God, My sins are G-O-N-E.
(Helen Griggs)


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May 19


“And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
(Genesis 45:7)

Joseph had saved their lives with a great deliverance  (Genesis 45:7);
he had put them in possession of “the best of the land” of Egypt, 
and he nourished them with bread.  (Genesis 47:12).

For 17 years they had been the recipients of Joseph’s bounty, and the special objects of his loving care, and yet—when a crisis arises—it becomes manifest that they have no personal knowledge of Joseph.

They know something of his greatness and glory; they know the great work he has accomplished, they know that every blessing they enjoy is owing to his position and work, but they had no personal acquaintance with his mind and heart.

It is as if they said, “WE know what he has done for us, 
but we do not know how he feels about us." 

And not knowing his mind, when the crisis arises it becomes manifest that they have no confidence in him, with the result that they conclude that he will think and act towards them according to the way they had thought and acted towards him. 
(Hamilton Smith)

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May 20


“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature."
(James 3:6) 

It wasn’t as simple as crossing another river. By law, no Roman general could lead armed troops into Rome.
So when Julius Caesar led his Thirteenth Legion across the Rubicon River and into Italy in 49 BC, it was an act of treason.  The impact of Caesar’s decision was irreversible, generating years of civil war before Rome’s great general became absolute ruler. Still today, the the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor for “passing the point of no return.”

Sometimes we can cross a relational Rubicon with the words we say to others. Once spoken, words can’t be taken back.  They can can either offer help and comfort or do damage that feels just as irreversible as Caesar’s march on Rome. 

James gives us another word picture about words when he wrote the scripture above. When we fear we have crossed a Rubicon with someone, we can seek their forgiveness—and God’s (Matthew 5:23-24; 1 John 1:9).

But even better is to daily rest in God’s Spirit, hearing Paul’s challenge,  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:6), so that our words will not only honour our Lord, but lift up and encourage those around us.
(Bill Crowder)

When the words become weapons, 
our relationships soon become casualties. 
  (Our Daily bread)

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_____________________________________________________

(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2018), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission)

May 21


“A certain man made a GREAT supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at suppertime to say to them that were bidden, come; for all things are now ready.”
(Luke 14:16-17)

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so GREAT salvation."
(Hebrews 2:3)

"Between us and you there is a GREAT gulf fixed.”
(Luke 16:26) 

Oh! the love that drew salvation’s plan; 
Oh! the grace that brought it down to man; 
Oh! the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary. 
(William R. Newell - 1895)

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May 22


“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
(Matthew 4:19)

I do not suppose that the Lord Jesus says exactly those words to everybody.

He does not call everybody to give up their temporal employment, and go forth in the ministry of the gospel, or to go out as missionaries to distant lands.  

But He does call everybody to be devoted to Himself.  If devoted to Him, whatsoever your calling in life, whatsoever your station, however you may be occupied, you will be enabled to glorify Him. 
And though it may not be for you to do the work of an evangelist, though it may not be for you to go out as an apostle as Peter did, you will be able to influence others by your life, a life lived for God, which is the best testimony anyone can give to the saving grace of God.

Fear not.  It is true you are a sinner in yourself, but if your trust is in Christ and you are resting in Him who died to save you, in Him who shed His blood to put away your guilt, you can go forth in confidence to serve.

From henceforth thou shalt catch men".
(H. A. Ironside)

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May 23


“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to Me I will
in no wise cast out.”
(John 6:37)

An offered gift must be either accepted or refused.
Can he have refused it when He has said,

Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out”?

If not, then it must have been accepted. 
It is just the same process as when we came to Him first of all,
with the intolerable burden of our sins.  

There was no help for it but to come with them to Him,
 and take His word for it that He would not and did not cast us out.

And so coming, so believing, we found rest to our souls;
we found that His word was true, and that his
taking away our sins was a reality.
(Kept for the Master’s Use - Francis Ridley Havergal)

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May 24


“I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the
 cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm,
my great army which I sent among you.”
(Joel 2:25)

My days are in the yellow leaf, the flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm the canker, and the grief are mine alone.”
(Lord Byron)

How few there are into whose life the locusts have not come at some time or other. You may have had to spend years in pain and weariness; a burden to yourself and to others.

Or, constant failure may have dogged your efforts as to some pursuit in life in which you have striven for success.  Your expenditure of toil, and, it may be, of treasure has brought you no reward.  Or, you may be one who has to look back over years of doubt and barren speculation.

You cast off your first faith, and since then you have followed one ‘will o’ the wisp’ after another only to find yourself in deeper darkness.

One view after another has had to be abandoned, and there is nothing left for it now except an utter blank or a return to simple faith in the Bible, and to a refuge in the atoning work of Christ.

How cruelly the locusts of unbelief have wasted the years!
Years of of useless thought in which you have wandered in a hopeless maze, where you have arrived at nothing, and, indeed, are less assured of anything than when you set out.  

In all these cases, and others too numerous to mention, the promise holds good,
"I will restore to you the years that the locust have eaten.”  
(Angels in White - Russell Elliott)

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May 25


“The mountains melted from before the Lord."
(Judges 5:5)

“Ah Lord God!  Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and 
earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, 
and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”
(Jeremiah 32:17)

The dust of earth He measures out; He numbers all the stars of space; 
His mighty scales the mountains weigh, but what can weigh His grace?

His fingers spread the heavens forth; He cups the seas within His hand,
But who His mercies can compute, unnumbered as the sand?

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May 26


“Ye have compassed this mountain long enough:
turn . . . northward.”
(Deuteronomy 2:3)

Last summer a party of us lost our way among the lakes of Ontario.
A violent storm came up, but we found shelter under a great rock till the storm raged past. Then we resumed our hunt dispiritedly until one said, “Let us climb this rock; we may spy the trail from the top.”

It was a hard climb, but the challenge of the rock restored our courage. As we conquered the heights we gained confidence and mastery, and the hill top gave us a vision of our way out.

Get high enough up, you will be above the fog; and while the men down in it, are squabbling as to whether there is anything outside the mist, you from your sunny station will see the far off coasts, and 
haply catch some whiff of perfume from their shores, 
or see some glinting of glory upon the shining 
turrets of “the city that hath foundations.”

The soul which hath launched itself forth upon God is in a free place,
filled with the fresh air of the hills of God.
(Springs in the Valley)

Oh, there are heavenly heights to reach in many a fearful place,
While the poor, timid heir of God lies blindly on his face;
Lies languishing for light Divine that he shall never see
’Till he goes forward at Thy sign, and trusts himself to Thee.
(C. A. Fox)

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May 27


Mary of Bethany

This woman is mentioned three times in the New Testament 
and on each occasion she is found at the 
same place—at Jesus' feet.
We find her there:

As a Learner:

“Mary . . . 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) 

As a Mourner:

When Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, 
she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, 
Lord, if Thou hadst been here, 
my brother had not died.”
(John 11:32)

AS a Worshipper

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, 
very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His 
feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”
(John 12:3)
(The Wonderful Word - G. Henderson)

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May 28


"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust."
(Psalm 103:13-14)

He knoweth the need of my life for shelter and raiment and food;
In each trifling care of the day the word of His promise is good;
He knoweth my thoughts from afar, the wish that I never have told,
And every unspoken desire His wisdom doth grant or withhold.

He knoweth me—yet He can love, can wait with love’s patience divine,
My stubborn and arrogant heart its will to His own to resign;
He knoweth my frame is but dust;
 He knoweth how much it can bear;
I rest in that knowledge supreme; I trust in His power and care.
(Flint’s Best-loved Poems)

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May 29


"The LORD is good: His mercy is everlasting; and
His truth endureth to all generations.”
(Psalm 100:5)

The Lord is the very essence of goodness.  All His works are acts of love. His mercy flows on like a river.

Goodness and mercy are attributes of God that bring man to repentance toward God. When they come they find that His truth unswervingly endures.

Some may deny truth; but they can never change it.
Now that we have tasted His goodness and mercy,
it is needful that our ideas conform to God’s reality; because
He will never alter truth to suit our ideas.
(Doug Kazen)

Every joy or trial falleth from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of love. We may trust Him fully, all for us to do, they who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true.
(Frances Ridley Havergal)  

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May 30


“That in all things He might have the pre-eminence.”
(Colossians 1:18)

If I am not giving Christ the first place in my heart 
I am not in accord with the mind of God.

The most miserable man on the face of the earth is the
Christian who is trying to enjoy both worlds.
(Edward Dennett)

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May 31


"Having loved His own which were in the world,  
He loved them unto the end.”
(John 13:1)

Oh, how sweet this experience of Christ’s love in this cold world!
When the heart is chilled, and yearning for a little warmth,
how sweet to turn to the Lord Jesus and
feel the warmth of His love! 

Ah, looking up to Him, the heart is always warmed.

If you see any beauty in Christ, and say,
“I desire to have that,” God will work it in you.

Can you spread out no wants before Christ, the Giver, the Healer
Believers grieve the Spirit by not using Christ, 
and then God must compel them to do it.
(G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 7099

June 1