Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Friday, August 01, 2003

Gems from August 2003

August 1 

"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example..." (1 Peter 2:21)


"As a Man He was our example. He has passed the road we tread, 'leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.' This is beautiful. He could truly say: 'I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.' There is nothing so refreshing as to meet a praising saint. A mourning saint, or a murmuring saint, does not do you any good, but a praiseful saint, full of the goodness of the Lord, and the delight of what the Lord is - if you meet with such a saint - he leaves his impression on you."
(W.T.P Wolston - Handfuls of Purpose)


N.J. Hiebert # 1601
 

August 2 

"But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)


"We do not become Christians by being born of Christian parents, or because our lot has been cast in what is called a Christian country, or because we have been religiously educated, or by attending to any outward ordinances, or by being associated with any who are truly saints of God. No; we only become Christians by having to do with Christ and His atoning blood. Whatever may have been our previous history or character, we are far from God, and enemies to God, till we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son. If I were asked to give, in a few words of Scripture, the true definition of what a Christian is, I do not think I could give a better reply than we find in the latter part of this verse, viz., one who was 'far off,' but is now in Christ 'made nigh' to God by His blood." (H.H. Snell - Streams of Refreshing)


N.J. Hiebert # 1602
 

August 3 

"A little leaveneth the whole lump." (Galatians 5:9)


"Once there was an abbot who desired the use of a piece of ground that lay conveniently near his own, but the owner refused to sell. After much persuasion he was content to lease it. The abbot covenanted only to farm it for one crop. Now his bargain sealed, he planted his field with acorns - a crop that lasted not one year, but three hundred!
"So Satan seeks to get possession of our souls by asking us to permit some small sin to enter, some one wrong that seems of no great account. But when once he has entered and planted the seeds and beginnings of evil, he holds his ground, and sins and evils amazingly multiply." The dangerous thing about a little sin is that it won't stay little." (Mountain Trailways for Youth) 


N.J. Hiebert # 1603
 

August 4

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)


"Christ's coming is to receive the Church to Himself before He appears, as in Thessalonians; and this is the delight of the heart's affections (it is a little different to the appearing with Him in glory); 'so shall we ever be with the Lord.' We get the thought, we are all to be caught up together to meet the Lord. I might say, 'There's one so strong in faith and good works, he will surely go up first.' NO; all distinction fades away in Christ; all is gone in the thought, we all get there together.

When I look back and see the devotedness of Paul, I think of the love of Christ, who takes us all up together, to be with Him for ever. That there may be no difference, all alike are to be conformed to the image of God's own Son." (J.N. Darby - Lectures on the First Epistle of John)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1604
 

August 5

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

(1 Corinthians 15:55)


"The resurrection of Jesus not only makes possible - not only makes probable - but absolutely assures the glorious triumphant resurrection of His own who have fallen asleep: 'Christ the firstfruits, afterward they are Christ's at His coming.' But further, is this 'falling asleep' of the saint to separate him, for a time, from the conscious enjoyment of his Saviour's love? Is the trysting of the saved one with his Saviour to be interrupted for awhile by death? Is his song 'Not all things else are half so dear As is His blissful presence here' to be silenced by death? Then were he a strangely conquered foe, and not stingless, if for one hour he could separate us from the enjoyed love of Christ.

But no, 'blessed be the Victor's name,' not for a moment. 'Death is ours' and 'absent from the body' is only 'present with the Lord.' So that we may answer the preacher's word, 'A man hath no pre-eminence above a beast,' with the challenge, To which of the beasts said He at any time, 'This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise"? (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1605
 

August 6

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path." (Psalm 27:11)


"It is so exceedingly sweet to find ourselves wholly dependent upon One who finds infinite joy in blessing us.
"Praying and planning will never do together. If I plan, I am leaning more or less on my plan; but when I pray, I should lean exclusively upon God."We often feel very well satisfied with ourselves when we add prayer to our arrangement, or when we have used all lawful means, and called upon God to bless them. When this is the case, our prayers are worth about as much as our plans."We can never get to the end of our plans until we have been brought to the end of ourselves."No matter what we may think of ourselves nor yet what man may think about us; the great question is, what does God think about us?" (Selections from Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 1606
 

August 7

"My soul, wait thou only upon God" (Psalm 62:5) -
"My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."
(Psalm 121:2)

"Saul lost the kingdom of Israel through independence - through want of waiting upon God. He saw his people scattered from him, and his enemies pressing hard upon him; and these proofs of his weakness were too much for his heart unsustained by trust in God. He could not in such a trial wait for God. David gained the kingdom by taking the place of dependence, taking for his motto, 'My help cometh from the Lord.' "
(Christian Truth - Vol. 14 - June 1961)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1607
 

August 8

"Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." (Ephesians 4:8)


"What can be more valuable in its place, and for God's ends by it, than Christian ministry? It embraces rule as well as teaching, pastorship as well as preaching. There are those that can teach who have not the power of ruling; there are others who rule well, having great moral weight, who could not teach. Some again have the gift of preaching who themselves need teaching, and are not at all fit to lead on, clear, and establish the Church of God. Nor does a gift for ministry in itself carry moral weight for rule. Thus Scripture teaches, and so we see in the facts of every day.
"Christian ministry was founded by the Lord who died for us; but the spring flowed when He went up to heaven. If He gave gifts to men, it was after He ascended on High (Ephesians 4:8-11)." (W. Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 1608


August 9
 

"We await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to His body of glory, according to the working of the power which He has even to subdue all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20,21; JND translation)
 

"Glorious prospect! How precious for the weary, suffering pilgrim who feels the burden of his poor crumbling tabernacle! The Lord is at hand. The voice of the archangel and the trump of God will soon be heard, and then mortality shall be swallowed up of life. Till then we are sealed with that blessed Spirit of God who is the earnest - not of His love, which we possess, but - of the inheritance for which we wait." (C.H.Mackintosh) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1609
 

August 10 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me." (Psalm 23:4)


"Some saint today may be walking through this dark valley. None of us knows when we will enter it. Death is no respecter of persons. It touches all walks of life and all age brackets. For the believer, the sting of death is gone because we have the assurance that He will walk through it with us. Along with His presence we have His promise, 'He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live' (John 11:25). Take comfort; trust His word." (Jim Paul - Choice Gleanings)
 


There is a plan far greater than the plan you know;
There is a landscape broader than the one you see;
There is a haven where the saints shall go -
Some call it death - we, immortality
.


N.J. Hiebert # 1610
 

August 11 

"... let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:1,2)


"One of the most colorful biblical pictures of the Christian life is that of an athlete competing for a prize at a track meet. To win the race and receive God's approval, the believer must put away all bad habits and worldly distractions that might hinder his spiritual progress. And, he must keep his eyes upon the Lord Jesus.
"The legend is told of an eastern prince whose son was disgracing the family through reckless living. The father reminded him of his high birth and impressed on him the need of setting a good example. The prodigal complained that the straight and narrow path was too restrictive and said it was impossible for him to change his ways. But the prince knew better. So he ordered him to carry a shell filled with oil through the city streets while two slaves walked beside him with drawn swords. He told him that he would be executed if he spilled even one drop.

When the young man successfully completed the long course, his father inquired, 'What did you see?' 'Nothing but that shell of oil!' 'Didn't the great marketplace and the festival attract you?' he asked. The son replied, 'No! I just kept my eyes on the oil. I knew that if I didn't, I might lose my life.'
"Now, our Father does not threaten us, nor are we in danger of losing our standing with Him. But the principle of not being distracted from a high purpose by the world's allurements does apply. Total concentration on Christ must govern our priorities."To live victoriously, set your affections on eternal things. See Jesus only!"
(Our Daily Bread - January 1980) 


N.J. Hiebert #1611

August 12

"And the word of the Lord came to Elijah... go down to meet Ahab... thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? Thus saith the Lord, in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood... And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy... And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thy-self to work evil in the sight of the Lord." (1 Kings 21:17-29)

"The word of God is entrusted to the believer in the midst of a Christendom that has given it up. But he can have no power to accredit the testimony of God before the world except by showing forth in his conduct true separation from the world, humility in his walk, and genuine consecration of his entire life to the Lord. Thus it is that we shall have the right to speak on God's behalf. If this is so, the world will have to hear us, whether it wants to or not; if not, it will turn away and take occasion by our conduct to despise the Word of God." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Kings)

N.J. Hiebert # 1612 

August 15 

"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plains of Jordan, that it was well watered every where... then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan... and pitched his tent toward Sodom." (Genesis 10-12)

"What did Lot choose, when he got his choice? He chose Sodom, - the very place that was about to be judged. But how was this? Why select such a spot? Because he looked at the outward appearance, and not at the intrinsic (true) character and future destiny. The intrinsic character was 'wicked:' its future destiny was 'judgment - to be destroyed by 'fire and brimstone out of heaven.'

But, it may be said, Lot knew nothing of all this. Perhaps not, nor Abraham either; but God did; and had Lot allowed God to 'choose his inheritance for him,' He certainly would not have chosen a spot that He Himself was about to destroy. He did not, however: he judged for himself. Sodom suited him, though it did not suit God. His eye rested on the 'well-watered plains,' and his heart was attracted by them. 'He pitched his tent toward Sodom.'

Such is nature's choice! 'Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.' (2 Timothy 4:10) Lot forsook Abraham for the same reason. He left the place of testimony, and got into the place of judgment."
(C.H. Mackintosh - Notes on Genesis)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1613
 

August 17

"The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity." (Proverbs 10:29)


"We can never be said to have outlived our usefulness, unless we have outlived our spirituality." (R.C.C.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1614


August 18

"That He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6) 

"God's due times! How blessed! He has to wait until the surgings and upheavings of our hearts are over before He can act for us. In the meantime it is the waiting." (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - 1961) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1615
 

August 19

"Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners."

(1 Corinthians 15:33)

"The notion that one can be wittingly associated with evil and be undefiled is an unholy notion - a denial of the nature of holiness. And in the world the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. The character of Christ with Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) is, '... He that is holy, He that is true.' "
(J.N. Darby)


N.J. Hiebert # 1616


August 20


"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:3)


"What wonderful grace! He reckons that nothing could be so comforting to us as that He should come and receive us to Himself - not merely to heaven, but to Himself." (W.T.T.)


N.J. Hiebert # 1617
 


August 21
 

"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." (1 Corinthians 12:18) 

"There is no true Christian that has not something or other given him for service in the body, merely perhaps a little bit of wisdom. Everybody has got something for service to the body, as a hand or foot or eye; but not everybody has a prominent gift as a pastor or evangelist. Everybody has got something according to the measure of what Christ has given him; and if he go beyond that measure, it will be mere human action or no good at all." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1618


August 22 

"... they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist), as they do also all the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16)

"An art enthusiast displayed on the walls of his office a collection of etchings, including one of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Every morning he noticed it was crooked, so he straightened it. Finally one evening he asked the cleaning woman if she was responsible for moving the picture each night. 'Why, yes,' she said, 'I have to hang it crooked to make the tower straight!'

"In a similar way, some people have the habit of twisting the Scriptures to make their imperfect lives look better or to justify their own opinions. The apostle Peter warned his readers about the kind of people who do not approach God's Word with honest motives and respect for its authority, and who distort in message. They will incur God's judgment (2 Peter 3:16-17).


"Unless we read the Bible prayerfully and humbly, we may get a wrong message and be drawn away from our steadfastness in Christ. God gave us His Word as a light to guide our steps. If we obey it each day, we will find it to be an unfailing source of strength and truth.
"Distorting the meaning of the Word of God to fit our preconceived ideas is a dangerous practice and a terrible sin. Let's be careful how we read and interpret the Bible." (Our Daily Bread -December 1994)

N.J. Hiebert # 1619


 August 23

"Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17) 

"The Bible. This majestic Book, well-named, 'The Book of Books,' is not an ordinary book. It is the one, outstanding, unique Book in possession of the entire human race, read by increasing millions in hundreds of languages. It is the Book of glory; for it has a glory which no other book in the wide world has, nor ever can have. It is the Book of eternity for it reveals, what man by searching could never know, the degrees of a Sovereign God made before the foundation of the world. It lifts the veil of eternity to come and reveals the destiny of mankind, and the future manifestation of God as Creator in producing a new heaven and a new earth.

It is the Book in which God comes down to man, even down into the deepest misery, sin and human helplessness, to meet his need, and to bring him back, not into an earthly Eden, but as a member of the family of God, into the Father's House above with its many mansions. It is the Book of power. If what Jeremiah said is done, 'Thy words were found and I did eat them', if that blessed bread come down from heaven is taken and absorbed, it will give strength and power to live, to serve, to suffer, and to die. It will guide and direct; it will wipe our tears away." (A.C. Gaebelein - Listen God Speaks)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1620
 

August 24 

"Let us..." (Hebrews 10:22)
 


"The epistle to the Hebrews does not present Christians as already in heaven, but as on their way to it. It abounds in warning and exhortation to get on. It keeps us continually on the move. It is characterized by such utterances as, 'Let us fear'; 'Let us labor'; 'Let us come boldly'; 'Let us go on to perfection'; Let us draw nigh'; 'Let us hold fast'; 'Let us consider one another'; 'Let us run'; 'Let us go forth.'"The epistle to the Ephesians gives us one grand aspect of Christianity; and the epistle to the Hebrews gives us the other. In the former, the Christian is presented as seated in heaven, and coming down to walk on earth in all the varied relationships of life. In Hebrews the Christian is presented as starting from earth, responsive to the heavenly call, and pressing forward to the rest that remains." (C.H. Mackintosh) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1621
 

August 25

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2)


Mark yon broad and rapid stream! Brilliant though its surface seem,
Mingling in its depths below Poisonous currents surely flow.
Christian parents, pause to think On that treacherous river's brink,
Ere you launch your tiny bark On those waters deep and dark.
Yours the path of Jesus here, Seek it for your children dear.
Though you cannot life impart, Cannot bow the stubborn heart,
Do not help to weave a chain You would gladly break again.
Shall not He who for you died, Food and raiment still provide?
He who has your children given, He can bless for earth and heaven.

Seek then first His holy will, Seek His pleasure to fulfill,
Constant still in faith and prayer That this blessing they may share.
And when by the Spirit's power Comes the gladly welcomed hour,
When the lips you love so well, Of a Saviour's grace shall tell,
They will have no cause to say That you turned their feet astray;
Rather, from their earliest youth, Taught and nurtured in the truth,
May their light unhindered shine, To the praise of grace divine
.
(Author unknown)


N.J. Hiebert # 1622

August 26

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." (Revelation 1:1)

"A question often arises about usefulness. Satan often beguiles by it. He may have suggested to John that he would be more useful if he were to compromise a little, and keep out of trouble for the sake of being free for his service to the saints. Useful to whom? To God or to men? God may be able to show out more of His glory by laying men aside. The eyes of God rested on Paul a prisoner, seemingly useless (not even always allowed to write), as the field for the display of some of the greatest privileges of truth.

The very point when your weakness seems to make you useless, is often the very way in which God shows forth His glory.
"People think it strange that old Christians, useless ones, etc., etc., should be left, and young active ones taken. Do not you be trying to settle God's house for Him; do not say, 'What a pity for John to get to Patmos.' The Lord wanted him there to communicate something that might serve His people to the end of time." (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 1623


August 27 

"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep so shall thy poverty come..." (Proverbs 6:10,11) 

"The adversary gets many an advantage over us through slovenliness. How little equal we are to the occasions that present themselves. Satan works more effectually now with the pillow than he formerly with the stake." (Christian Truth - Volume 23 - 1970)

N.J. Hiebert # 1624
 


August 28
 

"Neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure."
(1 Timothy 5:22)

"As young Christians come in contact with the world there are many things that would induce them to partake of this or that. People say, There is no harm in it; but there is no Christ in it either." (J.W.P.)
 


N.J. Hiebert # 1625

August 29

"Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10)

"Paul preached Christ to the idolatrous Thessalonians, and we are not told that he preached against their idols. No, that would have been worse than useless. But once their hearts were brought by the Spirit into occupation with the Son of God, their idols were let go. When once anyone's heart gets engaged with Christ, all else is displaced or distanced in proportion as Christ has His true place there. He is enough the mind and heart to fill." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 1626

August 30th

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus." (John 11:5)

"It is not by accident that Martha's name is put first! If we were going by what we read in Luke 10, we would have expected to read, 'Now Jesus loved Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus.' But Martha's name comes first. We do not forfeit the Lord's love by our selfishness. We may forfeit the sense of it in our souls, but we cannot forfeit His love. You can sin against the Lord's love, but you cannot sin it away. That is a comfort to the soul. So here the Lord's love is expressed first to Martha and then to her sister and then Lazarus. They were all the subjects of that same gracious affection which filled His heart."
(C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert #1627

August 31st

"This thing is from Me." (1 Kings 12:24)

"The disappointments of life are in reality only the decrees of love. I have a message for you today, My child. I will whisper it softly in your ear, in order that the storm clouds which appear may be gilded with glory, and that the thorns on which you may have to walk may be blunted. The message is short - a tiny sentence - but allow it to sink into the depths of your heart, and be to you as a cushion on which to rest our weary head: 'This thing is from Me.' ... " (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1628

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