Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5500 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Gems from April 2003

"The Lord is with thee (Gideon) thou mighty man of valour... Oh my Lord wherewith shall I save Israel? behold my family is poor...I am the least in my father's house." (Judges 6:12,15)

"Gideon, like Moses and many other servants of God, has got to get fully to the end of himself. He must be done with his humility as well as his pride. Gideon had been assured that the Lord was with him, and he asks, 'Wherewith shall I save Israel?' He has himself before his eyes, for the time. He speaks of the poverty of his family, of his own insignificance in his father's house. But what have these to do with the living God? Did he think it was his own strength that was going to overthrow Midian? Ah, he was forgetting the lessons of his own faith, for the time.

"But Gideon is not alone in this. How common it is to find those who have done with boasting and thinking they are great, now occupied with their littleness. But little 'I' is as great hindrance as great 'I.' It looks very humble to depreciate one's self, to keep in the back ground, but there is often a very subtle pride that wears this garb of humility. It is not self, good or bad, that is to be before us; weak or strong 'I' are to be alike refused, that God alone may have the glory." (S. Ridout)

N.J. Hiebert # 1489

April 12

"And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel." (Ruth 4:14)

"How dark and hopeless the case had been when Naomi and Ruth had left Moab. When Naomi had spoken to Orpah and Ruth then, her words had been based on the impossibility of ever raising up a seed for the deceased or of redeeming the inheritance. But the word impossible should never be used in connection with God. Nothing is impossible with Him except that He could lie or act unworthily. Oh, it is essential that we be convinced of our own utter inabilities. But at the same time it is inadmissible and impertinent to limit God's power and love." (H.L. Heijkoop - The Book of Ruth)

N.J. Hiebert # 1490

April 13

"And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses."
(1 Samuel 9:3)

"In his difficulty, Saul had apparently no notion of inquiring of God. It is delightful to us to know that our God is interested in small natters as well as in great. The true child of faith to-day, if he lost his donkeys, would not consider the thing too trivial for the divine notice, for are we not invited in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to make our requests know to God? (Philippians 4:6). But Saul was favoured with an excellent servant, who told him there was a man of God in the city to which they were approaching, and he suggested that they should consult him about their journey. Servants played an important part in the blessing of Naaman, the Syrian (2 Kings 5), from which we may learn never to despise the counsel and ministry of even the humblest messengers." (W.W. Fereday - Samuel God's Emergency Man)

N.J. Hiebert # 1491

April 14

"And when the woman saw... she took of the fruit... and did eat and gave also unto her husband... and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

"When Adam fell he obtained the conscious knowledge of 'good and evil' and he knew that he must be condemned by God. This is manifested by Adam and Eve hiding among the trees of the garden. When God came, He had to say, 'Where art thou?' And Adam said, 'I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.' (Genesis 3:9,10) Thus, we find man forsakes God, and hides himself from Him, and this has been going on ever since. God did not forsake man; for, notwithstanding that sin has come in, and a positive breach and separation between God and man has been made, yet God has only inflicted temporal punishment. The eternal judgment still awaits its accomplishment.

" 'God is slow to anger.' He pronounces temporal punishment upon Adam and Eve, and then through death clothes them with coats of skins suitable to Himself, and drives them out of the garden. It is manifest that man has tried to make the best of it; but it is also manifested that sin is in the world, and death follows. 'It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.' (Hebrews 9:27) The eternal judgment, has not yet been executed. That is God's long-suffering mercy and grace." (W.M. Sibthorpe - The Ways of God With Man)

N.J. Hiebert # 1492

April 15

"Shamgar... slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an oxgoad: and he also delivered Israel." (Judges 3:31)

"God often works His wonders through small numbers. By using minorities the Lord demonstrates that the triumphant victories of His people can be credited exclusively to the power and guidance of His Spirit. Joshua had predicted that in the strength of God one man in Israel would be able to put a thousand to flight. So Shamgar was not afraid when he had to face 600 Philistine warriors with only an oxgoad as a weapon. He didn't shrink back and say that his tools were insufficient for what appeared to be an impossible job. Instead, he went forward valiantly with all his might. Relying upon God's indispensable aid, he single-handedly won a tremendous victory.

"Someone has written: 'When Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers, he was all alone, but in the end he won. When Samson, blinded by the enemies of God, stood gripping the two middle pillars of the temple of Dagon, he seemed a pathetic and defeated man. Yet, with the power of God energizing him, he succeeded in pulling down the great building, killing thousands of Philistines -- and thus he won. When Elijah prayed down fire from Heaven and put the prophets of Baal to shame, he stood alone -- but he won. When David went out to meet Goliath, in size he was a notable minority -- but he won!'

"You too are only an individual, but you can be a mighty power for good. You may not have an oxgoad or a sling, but what do you have in your hand? A pen? A needle? A shovel? God can make use of it if you will yield yourself wholeheartedly to His will and spirit. One with God can be a mighty majority!" (Selected)

Shamgar had an oxgoad, David had a sling;
Dorcas had a needle, Rahab had a string.
Samson had a jawbone, Aaron had a rod;
Mary had some ointment, but all were used for God
! (Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1493

April 16

"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (Acts 20:31)

"The greatest need to-day is for every true servant of Christ, everyone who cherishes the truth and to whom Christ's interests are dear, to remember the exhortation as well as the example of the Apostle, and to feed the Church of God and warn the flock."Evidently every other kind of method was accompanied and supported by prayer, for at the close of the address this great servant of God 'Kneeled down and prayed with them all.' " (Russell Elliott - Break of Day)

N.J. Hiebert # 1494

April 17

"Wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey?" (Numbers 14:3)

"Such is the line along which a soul out of communion will travel. It first loses the sense of being in God's hand for good, and finally begins to deem itself in His hands for evil -- melancholy progress this!""If those who are redeemed from this present world do not walk with God in thankfulness of heart, satisfied with His provision for the redeemed in the wilderness, they are in danger of falling into the snare of Babylonish influence." (Taken from "Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 1495

April 18

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

"Conscience must be exercised unhinderdly; and so must faith also. Grace provides for both in the believers heart. It is excellent thus to look onward, the eye filled with the glory of the Lord Jesus and the heart resting on His grace. But there should also be the unsparing judgment of ourselves in the light, and consequently due and suited confession. Where this is, there will be the lowliness that becomes men who have no standing-place but in grace. God forbid that this should be wanting in any Christian. It is hard to preserve the balance of truth; but at least it is well to desire it.
"Let us beware of having the appearance of one-sidedness. To be cast down with the constant sense of shame because of what we are, to hang our heads as bulrushes, is a poor testimony to the love of Christ, and to the victory God gives us through Him. But it is a worse state where the recognition of His grace is misused to enfeeble conscience and destroy sensibility as to sin, above all as to our own sins.

"It is well that we should know that the path of faith is far removed from either of these two things. For we are entitled to enjoy the brightness of what Christ is and has done for us; but there is also the unfailing and never-to-be-forgotten sense of what it cost Him so to suffer for us." (William Kelly - Lectures Introductory to Earlier Historical Books)

N.J. Hiebert # 1496

April 19

"Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; And discover (betray) not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, And thine infamy turn not away." (Proverbs 25:9-10)

"Much trouble and mischief might be avoided if people were careful to keep their differences to themselves, in place of spreading abroad information as to their shameful quarrels. If the simple scriptural rule, 'Tell him his fault between thee and him alone,' were more generally acted upon, how many misunderstandings might be put right at once, in place of dragging on for long seasons and involving an ever-increasing circle of persons who should properly never even have heard of the case.
"To go direct to one with whom there is danger of a quarrel, and debate the matter in a gracious spirit with him in secret, carefully keeping the matter from sharp ears and prying eyes, -- this is what the proverb commends. Nor is it only something commended. It is directly commanded by God Himself. Happy shall His people be when it is taken to heart and conscientiously acted upon!" (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 1497

April 20

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

"It was lunchtime as the UPS (United Parcel Service) delivery truck pulled into the parking lot of a local sports bar. The driver, though hungry, had another reason for stopping. His favorite college basketball team was competing in the NCAA post-season basketball tournament and the game was being televised there.

"Entering the bar, Joe (not his real name) spent his lunch break watching the game, though he didn't consume any alcoholic beverage. When his break was over, Joe returned to his truck.
"There he was met by his immediate supervisor.
" 'Joe, I'm suspending you from work for five days.'
" 'But why'? Joe protested. 'I finished my lunch break. I wasn't doing anything wrong.'
" 'We received a call from someone who said they observed a UPS delivery man entering a bar.'
" 'Hey, I didn't order or drink any alcohol; I just watched the game. I follow the company rules.'
" 'I believe you, Joe. But when you wear a UPS uniform and drive a UPS truck, you represent UPS. The public's opinion of UPS is based on the actions of its employees. Stopping in a bar, even to watch a game, isn't consistent with the image of dependability UPS wants to project to our customers.'

"For Christians, this true story strikingly illustrates the importance of obeying 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (quoted above).
"Too often, those who profess to be Christians assume they represent a particular denomination with certain ecclesiastical rules. But such thinking sets aside the real meaning of Christian -- one who follows Christ and, we may add, one who represents Christ and His interests in this world. "Ye are our epistle ... known and read of all men.' (2 Corinthians 3:2)

"Saints are not called to defend man-made theologies and doctrines. But as members of the one body of Christ, the assembly, which is 'the pillar and the base of the truth' (JNDV), we are to hold fast the 'form of sound words' (2 Timothy 1:13)" (The Editor - The Christian Shepherd - December 2001)

N.J. Hiebert # 1498

April 21

"The meekness and gentleness (self-forgetfulness) of Christ."

(2 Corinthians 10:1)

"I cannot tell you how often these words have helped me when I had a difficult letter to write -- Paul was in the middle of that sort of letter then; or when I had to explain something to someone who seemed unable to understand -- his position at that moment."It is so easy to let the 'I' slip in, so easy to be hard in spirit, if one is up against unfairness, misrepresentation, misunderstanding of any sort, as Paul was then. But there is the thought of the gentleness of the Lord Jesus, and His self-forgetfulness."May He remind us of Himself in moments of temptation, and may we be near enough to be reminded." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 1499

April 22

"And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." (Job 19:26)

"Job once again took a quantum leap of faith as he exclaimed, 'In my flesh I will see God; whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.' This text is the greatest testimony on immortality in the Old Testament.

"In the United States, the highest and lowest elevations are in remarkably close proximity -- Death Valley (282' below sea level) and Mount McKinley (20, 320' above sea level). The same God who created the lowest and highest points on this hemisphere almost next to each other also gave us man's lowest and highest points in the Bible right next to each other here in the Book of Job. Man's loftiest testimony on life after death comes right after his lowest depths of despair. How like God to plumb man's most radiant testimony from the depths of his sorrow and tragedy.

"It boggles the mind to contemplate what it will be like to see the Lord. The majesty, magnificence, and the awesomeness of that experience defies any possible description. It will be the quintessence of all human experience, an event nonpareil in the range of human experience

Face to face with Christ, my Saviour, Face to face, what will it be?
When with rapture I behold Him, JESUS CHRIST who died for me.
"Face to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by
!" (Grant Tullar)

"They will see His face" (Revelation 22:4)
"When He appears ... we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)
"The tabernacle (dwelling) of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

"There is nothing in all Scripture that parallels this glorious blessing to be bestowed by God on men." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 1500

April 23

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer." (Acts 3:1)

"Peter and John, evidently bosom friends, and peculiarly linked together all through the gospels, went up together at the ninth hour of the day to pray. They had been partners in business in olden times, had caught fish together on the Sea of Galilee, and now they were partners in a new business, and go out together, not to catch fish, but men.

"These two men were the complement one of the other. What Peter lacked John possessed. The latter was in the main as calm as the former was impulsive. John was evidently a quiet, restful, meditative man, with deep affection, resembling Mary of Bethany, while Peter was the counterpart of Martha, among the apostles. That John could thunder was evident, for the Lord, when he called him and his brother James, 'surnamed them Bonarges, which is, The sons of thunder' (Mark 3:17). Peter was always thundering, his torrential character carrying him resistlessly along, and sweeping all before it. Nevertheless in John was the greater moral power.

Real power is always quiet. But the two were evidently devoted to each other, as to their common Master, and we never read of a hitch between them. Theirs manifestly was a friendship with a holy, and consequently an abiding basis, and well would it be for us if all our friendships had a substratum of a similar nature." (W.T.P Wolston - Simon Peter)

N.J. Hiebert # 1501

April 24

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

"The Preacher, like a good workman, takes account of what material he has to work with. 'Have I,' he says 'any thing that others have not had, or can I hope to find any thing that has not been before?' At once he is struck with that 'law of circuit' That is stamped on every thing: generation follows generation; but no new earth, that remains ever the same; the sun wheels ceaselessly in its one course; the winds circle from point to point, but whirl about to their starting-place; the waters, too, follow the same law, and keep up one unbroken circuit.

Where can rest be found in such a scene? While there is unceasing change, nothing is new; it is but a repetition of what has been before, and which again soon passes, leaving the heart empty and hungry still. Again, then, let us use this dark background to throw forward another scene. See, even, now, 'above the sun' Him who is the Head and perfect Exponent of the creation called the new. Is there any law of constant unsatisfying circuit in Him? No, indeed, every sight we get of Him is new; each revelation of Himself perfectly satisfies, and yet awakens appetite for further views." (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

N.J. Hiebert # 1502

April 25

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)

"Among the many different names which Peter uses for believers in his first epistle are these two; namely, 'strangers and pilgrims.' God wants us ever to remember that since we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ we have no home here -- we are 'strangers'. But we do have a home there -- we are 'pilgrims'. We are pressing on to glory; we have a better country, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called our God.

"We are, however, going through the wilderness. But our God provides for every need and is able to give us power and grace to overcome and triumph in every difficulty and danger. We have not passed this way heretofore, but our Lord has. (A.V.R.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1503

April 26

"Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep your's also." (John 15:20)

"John 15 gives us the necessary way in which life is seen in believers -- abiding in Christ. All the trials and sorrows in this life are allowed for this end. We need to judge all in the sight of God's presence.

"Never look at second causes. Never look at the men who block your course. We should take all our circumstances from the Lord, and our difficulties to the Lord, whether they are a worm, a gourd, or a caterpillar.
"If you will read your Bible, you will find that God is behind the scenes, and moves all the scenes He is behind." (Christian Truth - January 1966 - Volume 19)

N.J. Hiebert # 1504

April 27

"Who shall change our (body of humiliation), that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself."
(Philippians 3:21)

"The Greek word translated 'transform' in this verse means to change the outward appearance of that which itself remains the same. It is used of Saul and of Jeroboam's wife, when they disguised themselves. (1 Samuel 28:8; 1 Kings 14:2) Their outward appearance was changed, but they remained the same. 'The butterfly, prophetic type of man's resurrection, is immeasurably more beautiful than the grub, yet has been unfolded from it.' (Trench) The outward form of the grub has been changed: it has been 'unclothed' (2 Corinthians 5:4) from its grub-body; and it has 'put on' (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54) its beautiful garments; but it is still the very same creature, the same life, that was in the grub. Our Lord was 'found in fashion as a man.' This word 'fashion' is the word from which the expression 'change-the-fashion' is made. When men saw Him, saw His outward appearance, 'there was no beauty that we should desire Him.' To man's eye, He was only 'the carpenter.' (Mark 6:3). It tells of the outward form only, but not of the inner Being. In His inner Being, He was 'in the form of God.' This is an entirely different word, telling of the 'specific character, the inward and essential.' Men found Him only 'the carpenter,' for they judged by outward appearances: but all the time He was very God." (G. Christopher Willis - Sacrifices of Joy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1505

April 28

"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it." (Mark 4:20)

"A man may receive a tract and tear it up, and throw it away; or if he reads it, he may treat the truth the same." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1506

April 29

"Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" (Numbers 14:3)

"These sad words were spoken by a separated people, who had forgotten that they had been delivered from the house of bondage in Egypt. They remembered only what seemed to be the good things of that cruel place. Egypt in Scripture is often typical of this old world - the world that the Christian should be passing through as a stranger. We deny our pilgrim character when we 'return' again to the worldly attractions from which we have been delivered. Surely we journey to a much better place than this! Why are we wasting our time trying to get back to Egypt?" (R.J. Steele)

N.J. Hiebert # 1507

April 30

"The Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land ... thou shalt not lack any thing."
(Deuteronomy 8:7-9)

"In one sense we have, like Abraham, not a single foot of land to call out own. Who are poorer than the children of God? All our precious things are invisible to sight. The things of greatest value to us, the world says do not exist: all the inheritance of God's people is a future inheritance. But where do we find that inheritance described? where do we have it spread before us in all its beauty, fertility, and perfection? In the precious Word of God. And so these scriptures are our present inheritance, into which we can enter now by faith, and already enjoy the reality which is there unfolded to us." (Samuel Ridout - Genesis to Revelation)

N.J. Hiebert # 1508

May 1

"Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do." (Deuteronomy 29:9)

"Simple obedience to the Word of God ever has been, is now, and ever shall be the deep and real secret of all true prosperity. To the Christian, of course, the prosperity is not in earthly or material things, but in heavenly and spiritual; and we must never forget that it is the very height of folly to think of prospering or making progress in the divine life if we are not yielding an implicit obedience to all the commandments of our blessed and adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 'If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I love you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.' Here is true Christian prosperity. May we earnestly long after it, and diligently pursue the proper method of attaining it." (C.H. Macintosh - Book of Deuteronomy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1509

May 2

"Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it." (Isaiah 38:17)
"Therefore we will sing my songs." (Isaiah 38:20)

When the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and returned to Noah because the waters were on the face of the whole earth, "then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in' (margin, 'caused her to come') 'unto him in the Ark.' What a beautiful picture is this little helpless, tired dove of out helplessness and weariness, and the kind hand, strong and tender, which does not leave us to flutter and beat against a closed window, but takes us, and pulls us 'unto Him, into the Ark!' So we have the willingness of the Father in one part of the type, and the willingness of the Son in another part -- willingness to receive you into safety and rest." (Francis Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

N.J. Hiebert # 1510

May 3

"He leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:2)

"God never gives guidance for two steps at a time. I must take one step, and then I get light for the next."
"If the eye, instead of resting on our sins and sorrows, could rest only on Christ, it would sweeten many a bitter cup, and enlighten many a gloomy hour.""One finds constantly that nine-tenths of our trials and sorrows are made up of anticipated or imaginary evils, which only exist in our own disordered, because unbelieving, minds.""We can never sing with real spiritual intelligence and power when we are looking at ourselves."
-- Taken from Food for the Desert

N.J. Hiebert # 1511

May 4

"Made Himself of no reputation." (Philippians 2:7)

"Nothing can be more worthless than seeking a place for oneself. It is sure to end in disappointment and confusion. The grand thing for each one is to be found filling his appointed place and doing his appointed work; and the more humbly, quietly, and unpretendingly, the better." (Christian Truth - January 1968 - Volume 21)

N.J. Hiebert # 1512

May 5

"For there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
(Romans 3:22,23)

"The shedding of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest crime ever perpetrated on the face of this earth. It involved the awful sin of deicide. When a man murders another, he is held responsible for taking the life of his fellow-man, but when a man stretches forth his hand against God incarnate, what can be said about his guilt! Yet that is the awful crime in which Jews and Gentiles participated. When the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed to Calvary's tree and His blood poured forth, it was the manifestation of the world's greatest sin, but it also became the greatest possible manifestation of the infinite love and grace of God. That which declares the enormity of man's sin and the corruption of his heart is that which manifests the love of God to the greatest extent. All this was foreseen." (H.A. Ironside - In the Heavenlies)

N.J. Hiebert # 1513

May 6

"Spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention." (Habakkuk 1:3)

"Contention is uncomfortable, with whomsoever we fall out: neighbours or friends, wife or husband, children or servants; but worst of all with God.

"Consider the unhappy contentions and divisions that are found among the people of God. Contentions ever portend ill. Christ sets up the light of His gospel to walk and work by, not to fight and wrangle; and therefore, it were no wonder at all if He should put it out, and so end the dispute. If these storms which have been of late years upon us, and are not yet off, had but made Christians, as that did the disciples (Mark 6:48), ply their oars, and lovingly row all one way, it had been happy; we might then have expected Christ to come walking toward us in mercy, and help us safe to land; but when we throw away the oar, and fall to strife in the ship, while the wind continues loud about us, truly we are more likely to drive Christ from us, than to invite Him to us; we are in a more probable way of sinking than saving of the ship and ourselves in it.

"There is nothing (next to Christ and heaven) that the devil grudges believers more than their peace and mutual love: if he cannot rend them from Christ, stop them from getting heaven, yet he takes some pleasure to see them go thither in a storm, like a shattered fleet severed from one another, that they may have no assistance from, nor comfort of each other's company al the way. One ship is easier taken than a squadron."
(William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - 1665)

N.J. Hiebert # 1514

May 7

"The Lord shall be thy confidence." (Proverbs 3:26)

"What the devil did was to undo our confidence in God: what Jesus did is to show us that we may trust Him. And when the believer sees not this, he is looking to the devil and his temptations more than to the love and power of Christ, who has conquered all his enemies for him; but when our eyes are off all other objects, and on Christ, then, and then only, we can have peace." (J.N. Darby - Pilgrims Portions for the Day of Rest)

N.J. Hiebert # 1515

May 8

"Yea, and all that will love godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. ... but continue thou in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou has learned them."

(2 Timothy 3:12, 14)

"The Apostle indeed guards Timothy, and all, from two common and pressing dangers: first, from the snare of resting our confidence, of having the foundation of our faith, in anything short of the divine Word; and, second from being decoyed from off this foundation by pretended developments, or by the progress of modern thought. We are to abide in that which we have received from the Word of God, and thus to refuse to be carried about with divers and strange doctrines; and for this reason we are to accept nothing short of God's own Word -- no human opinions, however venerated, or however commended by the sanctity of their authors -- as the basis of our beliefs." (Edward Dennett -Exposition of Second Timothy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1516

May 9

"That which is was long ago, and that which is to be hath already been; and God bringeth back again that which is past." (Ecclesiastes 3:15) (JNDV)

"Life itself emphasizes the truth that nothing is at one stay here; -- all moves. There is naught abiding, like the winds and waters ... man's life is but a wheel that turns: death follows birth, and all the experiences between are but ever varying shades of good and evil, evil and good. (Let us bear in mind this is not faith's view, but simply that of human wisdom. Faith sings a song amidst the whirl of life:

'With mercy and with judgment, My web of time He wove;
And aye the dews of sorrow Were lustred with His love

"But then if nothing thus rests as it is, it becomes a necessary deduction that, if wisdom has collected, and labored, and built, folly will follow to possess and scatter, what profit then in toiling? For he sees that this constant travail is of God who, in wisdom inscrutable, and not to be penetrated by human reasoning, would have men exercised by these constant changes, while their hearts can be really satisfied with no one of these things, beautiful as each may be in its time. So boundless are its desires that he says, 'Eternity' has been place in that heart of man, and naught in all these 'time-changes' can fill it. Still he can see nothing better for man, than that he should make the best of the present, for he cannot alter or change what God does or purposes, and everything he sees, speaks of His purpose to a constant 'round' a recurrence of that which is past." (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

N.J. Hiebert # 1517

May 10

"Feed the church of God which HE hath purchased with HIS own blood." (Acts 20:28)

"Sin is taken away. What a wonderful thing is this! When once you see that Jesus the Son of God died upon the cross, and purged your sins, and that because of His obedience unto death God hath exalted Him at His right hand, that, having effected by Himself this purification, He entered into heavenly glory, you have no more conscience of sin. You do not require day by day, as it were, to receive the forgiveness of your sins. You have been washed, you have been made clean, you have received full absolution and remission. Nay, more. In the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus is, sin no more can rise; and as you were crucified and buried with Him, so you are raised with Him, and seated together with Him in heavenly places." (Adolph Saphir - Hebrews)

N.J. Hiebert # 1518

May 11

"Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills ... call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." (Psalm 50:10,15)

"Man in his religion treats God as one who is to be ministered to and to be appeased, instead of as the blessed giver and reconciler Himself. This is the grand difference between human and divine religion. God's religion is grace, man's religion is works. Israel had loaded the altar with offerings, but did not use God as a deliverer. Such is the first charge read out of the books when the judgment is set. The second is then moved against them. It concerns their practical life and conversation, as the former did their religion and worship. It condemns their conduct as astray also. Religious they were, but unrighteous also." (J.G. Bellett - Short meditations on the Psalms)

N.J. Hiebert # 1519

May 12

"Love vaunteth not itself." (1 Corinthians 13:4)

"If envy is the vice to which life's unsuccessful ones are specially prone, to act vauntingly, boastfully, is the temptation of the rich. It was said of a prominent personage of last century that he was a self-made man and that he adored his maker. But 'love has no trumpeter in her train to proclaim her virtues: the Sermon on the Mound has abolished that time-honoured official' (Matthew 6:2)" (George Henderson - A Trinity of Christian Graces)

N.J. Hiebert # 1520

May 13

"I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

"Years ago there was an old German professor whose beautiful life was a marvel to his students. Some of them resolved to know the secret of it; so one of their number hid in the study where the old professor spent his evenings.

"It was late when the teacher came in. He was very tired, but he sat down and spent an hour with his Bible. Then he bowed his head in secret prayer; and finally closing the Book of books, he said, 'Well Lord Jesus, we're on the same old terms.'"To know Him is life's highest attainment; and at all costs, every Christian should strive to be 'on the same old terms with Him.'"The reality of Jesus comes as a result of secret prayer, and a personal study of the Bible that is devotional and sympathetic. Christ becomes more real to the one who persists in the cultivation of His presence." (Streams in the Desert)N.J. Hiebert # 1521

May 14

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
(Romans 10:17)

"God alone is the teacher of the knowledge of Himself, and he who would know God must needs go to God's school to be taught. Natural science is acquired by toil and search, but the knowledge of God is gained by faith in His Word. God's ways are not man's. The first lesson learned in God's school is faith, and all must enter this school at the infant class; for except a man be converted and become as a little child, he shall fail to know God." (Christian Truth - Volume 21 - February 1968)

N.J. Hiebert # 1522

May 15

"For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)

"We do not think there is harm in a thing we like; the front of it is pleasure, but the back of it is sin." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1523

May 16

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

"We should all solemnly weigh them in the presence of God, as he will then be able to compare them with the moral features of the present day. We cannot, however, forbear to add the following striking remarks of another: 'If we compare the list of sins and abominations which Paul gives at the beginning of Romans, as characterizing heathen life, and the moral degradation of men during those times of darkness and demon-worship, with the catalogue of sins that characterize those who having the form of godliness, we shall find that it is nearly the same, and morally quite the same, only that some of the open sins which mark the man who has no outward restraint are wanting here, the form of godliness precluding them and taking their place. It is a solemn thought, that the same degradation which existed among heathens is reproduced under Christianity, covering itself with that name, and even assuming the form of godliness. But in fact it is the same nature, the same passions, the same power of the enemy, with but the addition of hypocrisy.' " (Edward Dennett - Exposition of Second Timothy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1524

May 17

"...Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. ...but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." (Psalm 66:10,12)

"When God tests us, He has more sympathetic care and thought in His wise designs than we have faith to see. The Lord knows we cannot do without the refining furnace if the dross of our carnality is to be burned away. He may send us through the 'fire'; but if we accept adversity with spiritual discernment, we have the joyous promise that the experience will lead to the 'wealthy place' of a more abundant life.

"An unknown poet has written: 'I'm thankful for the bitter things; they've been a 'friend to grace.' They've driven me from paths of ease to storm the secret place. I thank Him for the friends who failed to fill my heart's deep need; they've led me to the Savior's feet, upon His love to feed. I'm grateful too, through all life's way, no one could satisfy; and so I've found in Christ alone my rich, my full supply.'"A friend relates this story: 'When I was a child, we had a neighbor who was fond of canaries. I recall seeing him train the birds while their cages were almost completely covered. Experience had taught him that they would learn best when they were secluded. Likewise, when God trains His saints to raise the sweetest notes of praise, He often darkens their lives by sickness and hardships. Many a soul, shut our from the glitter and glare of the world with its luring pleasures, has thus been taught to sing more sweetly and to render more acceptable service.'

"If the distressing circumstances of life bring to your heart new holiness and obedience, thank God. Your trials are leading to glorious triumphs! "A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without adversity." (Our Daily Bread - June 1974)

N.J. Hiebert # 1525


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