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

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Gems from January 2004

January 1st

"... That in all things HE might have the pre-eminence." (Colossians 1:18)



"Would it not be a wise thing, here at the threshold of the New Year to walk through the rooms of your home, to search the chambers of your soul, and find if there are not things which should be submitted to the flames? God's power, in limitless abundance, is waiting to come into the souls that are willing to accept the fire test by surrendering all to Him. "

A man in India, as he was searching for a book, felt a pain in his finger like the prick of a pin. He took little notice of it; but soon his arm began to swell, and in a short time he was dead. A small but deadly serpent was found among the books. There are many who receive in a book a bad wound that may seem slight but proves fatal to the soul. Be careful what you read! "Somewhere a story is recorded that the walls of a certain student's room were covered with pictures of a low order. The student's mother visited him. Not a word did she say, but placed on the wall Hofmann's 'Christ in the Temple.' On another visit she found the objectionable pictures were all gone! The student explained to his mother, 'When He went up, other things had to come down." (Taken from Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert # 1752


January 2nd


"The Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." (1 Peter 1:23)


"Material interests, the daily struggle for a comfortable livelihood, the well-nigh universal demand for amusements of one kind and another, political agitation, and many other temporal things, are often allowed to intrude and to monopolize the time, part of which at least should be given by every Christian to knowing what the mind of God is. If any words of ours can arouse an interest in the people of God in that amazing and priceless treasure which we have in His word, we shall be thankful." (S. Ridout - The Bible... The True University)


N.J. Hiebert # 1753


January 3rd


"He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
(Job 23:10)
MY PATH

"Strange and difficult indeed We may find it,

But the blessing that we need Is behind it." (Anon)
N.J. Hiebert # 1754


January 4th


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)


"Go as far back in eternity as we will, before ever was a creature, angelic or human, in all the universe of God, we are told, 'the Word was.' It never began to be, for 'the Word was God' -- the Eternal.
" 'In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.' (Genesis 1:1). Now we have divine power speaking worlds into being by the fiat of His will. 'He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast' (Psalm 33:9).
" 'That which was from the beginning' (1 John 1:1), as explained by the writer himself (John 15:27; 2 John 6), takes us no further back than the incarnation of the blessed Son of God. 'The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we have contemplated His glory, a glory as of an only begotten with a father), full of grace and truth'! (JND TRANS.)

"Thus all Scripture is in divine harmony with itself, and calls for out subjection to it, that we may believe and thus understand." (Christian Truth - July 1961 - Vol. 14)

N.J. Hiebert # 1755


January 5th


"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." (Colossians 1:10)


"Here I am called today and tomorrow to walk worthy of the Lord -- nothing that I do, say, or think, which should not be worthy of Christ Himself. Here it is all growth; I have got the life. I say to a child, You go and walk worthy of your family; but if he has no sense of what his family is, it is no use telling him to walk worthy of it. But if he has the sense of the integrity and standing of his family, then he knows how to walk worthy of it. 'In everything commending ourselves as God's ministers.' (2 Corinthians 6:4) (JND Trans.) (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1756


January 6th


"Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14)


"Who ever sinned with Christ before his eyes? When a Christian is drawn aside, another object usurps the place of Christ, and his own will exposes him to the wiles of Satan working on his fleshly nature through the world." (W. Kelly)


N.J. Hiebert # 1757


January 7th


"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11:29)


"How often we are weary and burdened! Perhaps we have often sought rest by simply praying for it. There is One who offers it to us, and tells us how we may find REST. We can only have it on the same principle on which He had it; that is, entire submission to the will of God. What God had ordered, He knew was best for Him; and He rested there. And so when He offers rest to us He says, 'Take my yoke upon you... for I am meek and lowly in heart... ye shall find rest.' 'Meek and lowly in heart' -- here is the secret of all rest." (R.E.)


N.J. Hiebert # 1758


January 8th


"Whatsoever things are pure,... if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)


"When a preacher visited a young couple, the wife said to him, 'We're new Christians, and although I'm saved I've lived a worldly life -- swearing, partying, and all those things. The past keeps coming back to haunt me. It's destroying my peace of mind.'


"The pastor replied, 'When something like that comes to mind, analyze it and recognize its evil source. Then with God's help, reject it and put it out of your life. Finally, replace it by saturating your mind with His truth.'
"She took his advice and learned to control her thoughts. A few months later she testified, 'I'm not being defeated by my past anymore.'


"What we think about is important for our words and actions reflect our personal musings and meditations. The Scripture says, 'For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks' (Matthew 12:34). An evil idea once fixed in the mind may surface without warning. If we allow ungodly thoughts to dominate our minds, our character will become warped.


"When sinful ideas pop into your head, refuse to concentrate on them. Quote a Scripture verse, sing a hymn, or pray. With God's help, you will gradually bring 'every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ' (2 Corinthians 10:5)." (HGB)


Search me, O God, my heart discern; Try me, my inmost thoughts to learn.
Help me to keep from sin, I pray, Guarding my mind throughout this day
. (Anon)

IN PUBLIC, GUARD YOUR TONGUE; IN PRIVATE, YOUR THOUGHTS!

(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1994, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1759


January 9th


"They called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go." (Genesis 24:58)


I've found a friend, O such a friend, He loved me e'er I knew Him,
He drew me with the cords of love, and thus He bound me to Him
.


"This was the moment when all the schemes and plans that Abraham and his servant had conceived came to their consummation. Yet every thing was held in abeyance while one great issue remained -- what decision would Rebekah make? So it is with the gospel that we preach. In the final analysis, the salvation of the soul depends on a personal choice and we must continue to challenge and exhort souls to make this commitment to Christ. We challenge you to make your choice here and now to 'go with this Man.' Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord." (Wm. Burnett)


N.J. Hiebert # 1760


January 10th


"For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted."
(Hebrews 2:18)

"Only one who has actually experienced a certain trial can truly empathize with another who goes through the same tribulation. This passage teaches us that this principle applies fully to our Lord Jesus. Because our merciful High Priest in heaven bore all our sorrows, He is able and willing to give sufficient grace and help in every time of need. Whenever we are in need, He is a Comforter indeed." (E. MacLelland)


N.J. Hiebert # 1761


January 11th


"Oh, how I love Thy Word! it is better than Thousands of gold and silver." (Psalm 119:72)


"Is our glorying in truth? Do we love the Bible, not merely as a text-book from which to collect proofs for our doctrine, and armory from which to select weapons to defeat our opponents, but do we love the Bible as God's revelation, in which our minds are to be molded, by which our hearts are to be influenced? Are there not many portions of Scripture so neglected, that if to-morrow some magic hand were to efface them from our editions, very few of us would miss them? Have we not received it more as a theory than a real and practical belief, that all the books of Moses, and prophets, and apostles are inspired, authoritative, profitable? Let us be really disciples, learners, not selecting, not rejecting, but receiving all our Lord has graciously caused to be written for our instruction." (Dr. Adolph Saphir - Christ and the Scriptures)


N.J. Hiebert # 1762


January 12th


"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of ? "

(Isaiah 2:22)


"How prone we are, in moments of pressure and difficulty, to turn the eye to some creature resource! Our hearts are full of creature confidence, human hopes, and earthly expectations. We know comparatively little of the deep blessedness of simply looking to God. We are ready to look anywhere and everywhere rather than to Him. We turn to any broken cistern and lean on any broken reed, although we have an exhaustless Fountain and Rock of Ages ever near." (C.H.M.)


N.J. Hiebert # 1763


January 13th


"HIM THAT IS ABLE
to do........................all that we ask
to do........................all that we ask or think
to do........................above all that we ask or think
to do........................abundantly above all that we ask or think
to do........................exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us."


N.J. Hiebert # 1764


January 14th


"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity ! " (Psalm 133:1)


"Hermon is the very loftiest peak in all the land of Palestine, and from its snowy cap, when all the surrounding country is parched, the refreshing dew descends upon the mountains of Zion; and this is one of the figures used by the Holy Ghost to illustrate the beauty and pleasantness of brethren dwelling together in unity." 

(C.H. Mackintosh)
N.J. Hiebert # 1765


January 15th


"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16)


"There is nothing in the world for the Christian. All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Is there a single thing there that can help you, that can forward you in your Christian course? If you have God, how thoroughly it makes you independent of the world! All the trials and sorrows that you have on the way should only serve to make you put your confidence in God." (F.C.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1766


January 16th


"Who comforteth us in all our tribulations." (2 Corinthians 1:4)


"Has Christ ever touched the quick of your soul in solitude? Do you know the exquisite tenderness of His touch? He does not tear and lacerate. The necessities and trials of saints down here are created by God in order to show them what Christ is for them.


"If I have taken Him as Lord, I do not expect an easy way. God never meant us to have it as disciples. He takes us into a rough path to show what Christ is, and that in it His grace may be able to vent itself. There is a yearning in His heart up there to let this grace be displayed in a poor, needy people down here - a longing that His strength should be made perfect in their weakness.


"Do you know for yourself the grace of that living Christ? Do you know what Christ has to do with you, and you with Him? Do you know yourself as one of a flock that belongs to Him, and that He is tending and guarding through the wilderness, and carrying on to glory to be forever with Himself?" (G.V. Wigram)


N.J. Hiebert # 1767


January 17th


"And they gathered (manna) every morning." (Exodus 16:21)


"Our first pursuits in the morning generally indicate where our hearts are. The children of Israel had to gather their daily food before sunrise, or they would be too late; and if the believer can rise from his bed and go about the business of this life before he has looked up to the Lord, and turned to the Scriptures which testify of Him, for the renewal of the inward man, it is more than probable that his heart has got away from God. Nothing can possibly make up for a lack of food, for 'Christ is all'; and those who really live upon Him can say:

"Nothing but Christ, as on we tread, The Gift unpriced - God's living bread -
With staff in hand, and feet well shod, Nothing but Christ, the Christ of God
."
(Christian Truth - April 1968 - Vol. 21)


N.J. Hiebert # 1768


January 18th


"For Demas hath forsaken me." (2 Timothy 4:10)


"Three times Demas is mentioned by the Apostle Paul. In Colossians 4:14 he writes, 'Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.' In Philemon he terms him, in company with Marcus, Aristarchus, and Lucas, as a 'fellow laborer'; and in 2 Timothy he has to say, 'Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world' (age).


"Nothing can be more sad than this closing notice of one who had been identified with such a vessel of testimony as the Apostle Paul. The final break with Paul might have been sudden, but we may be sure that he had been long before in a backslidden state of soul. The very way, indeed, in which he is mentioned in Colossians, after Luke, the beloved physician, would seem to indicate that Paul was not ignorant of his condition. An open failure is always preceded by a gradual decline of spiritual life and energy. It is thus the Lord deals with His people. If they have grown cold, and are turned aside in heart from His ways, He permits them sooner or later to be tested, that their state may be discovered." (Edward Dennett)


N.J. Hiebert # 1769


January 19th


"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called." (Ephesians 4:1)


"Law made standing to depend on walk. Grace makes walk to depend on standing. It sets us in heavenly places in Christ, and then urges a walk worthy of the position. This is God's present way, as remote from legalism on the one hand as from antinomianism on the other.... The walk of the individual Christian them must be suited to his calling in Christ. As a member of His body, he must behave consistently. If the body is not of the world, he is not of the world; if the body is heavenly, he is heavenly. As the whole body should manifest its true character, so should each member. Now the Church is separate from the world, united with Christ in heaven, and indwelt by the Spirit. If then the believer is to walk worthy of his vocation, such is the character which he is to exhibit in the world." (T.B.B.)


N.J. Hiebert # 1770


January 20th


"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)


"Our Father's love needs no watching from us. It will be faithful to us while we are asleep. It will wait on us when we neither cry for it, nor labor for it. Jesus intercedes for us, as another once said, not when we ask Him, but when we need Him. We may trust every motion, every word, every purpose behind our back, as it were, or within the veil of the heavens." (J.G. Bellett)


N.J. Hiebert # 1771

January 21st


"In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God." (Philippians 4:6)


"Private communion with God must be kept up, else we shall be fruitless as servants, and defeated as men of war. It is vain for us to bustle about, and run hither and thither in what we call service, or indulge in vapid words about Christian armor and Christian warfare. If we are not keeping our priestly garments unspotted, and if we are not keeping ourselves free from all that would excite nature, we shall assuredly break down." (C.H. Mackintosh)


N.J. Hiebert # 1772


January 22nd


"The Lord of hosts... shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver." (Malachi 3:1,3)


"A blacksmith, about 8 years after he accepted Christ as his Saviour, was approached by an intelligent unbeliever with the question: 'Why is it you have so much trouble? I have been watching you. Since you joined the church and began to "walk square," and seem to love everybody, you have had twice as many trials and accidents as you had before. I thought that when a man gave himself to God, his troubles were over. Isn't that what the parsons tell us?'


"With a thoughtful but glowing face, the blacksmith said, 'Do you see this piece of iron? It is for the springs of a carriage. I have been "tempering" it for some time. To do this I heat it red hot, and then plunge it into a tub of ice cold water. This I do many times. If I find it taking "temper," I heat and hammer it unmercifully. In getting the right piece of iron, I found several that were too brittle. So I threw them in the scrap pile. Those scraps are worth about a cent a pound; this carriage spring is very valuable.'


"He paused, and his listener nodded. The blacksmith continued: 'God saves us for something more than to have a good time - that's the way I see it. We have the good time all right, for God's smile means heaven. But He wants us for service, just as I want this piece of iron. And He has put the "temper" of Christ in us by testing us with trial. Ever since I saw this, I have been saying to Him, 'Test me in any way Thou dost chose, Lord; only don't throw me in the scrap pile.' " (Christian Truth - November 1968 - Vol. 21)


N.J. Hiebert # 1773


January 23rd


"I (Ethiopian) - ('of great authority under Candice Queen of the Ethiopians') believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:27,37)


"We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the Bible, but however old the version may be and in whatever language it might be written, the Word remains one and the same. It transcends all boundaries of empires and all conception of race. It is eternal, and one of the most complete proofs of this can be found in the body of the Bible itself. Gamaliel, one learned in the law, warns Israel of their attitude to the apostles and their teaching. 'Refrain from these men,' he says, 'and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.' (Acts 5:38,39) And so we see today the Bible with its wonderful message reaching the remotest parts of the earth.


"No doubt you all remember reading in The Acts of the Apostles of how Philip baptized the Ethiopian official. He is the first Ethiopian on record to have followed Christ; and from that day onward the Word of God continues to grow in the hearts of Ethiopians. And I might say for myself that from early childhood I was taught to appreciate the Bible, and my love for it increases with the passage of time. All through my troubles I have found it a cause of infinite comfort. 'Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' - who can resist an invitation so full of compassion?


"Because of this personal experience in the goodness of the Bible, I was resolved that all my countrymen should also share its great blessing, and that by reading the Bible they should find truth for themselves. Therefore, in spite of great opposition, I caused a new translation to be made from our own ancient language into the language which the old and young understood and spoke.


"Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not whither he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his refuge, and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man will find the solution of his present difficulties, and guidance for his entire action; and unless he accepts with clear conscience the Bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part, I glory in the Bible." (Emperor Haile Selassie)


N.J. Hiebert # 1774


January 24th


"Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands." (Psalm 92:4)


I'm glad my times are in Thy hand:
It is so sweet to know
That everything by Thee is planned
For me, where're I go.
The hand that holds the ocean depths,
Can hold my small affairs;
The hand that guides the universe
Can carry all my cares
. (Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1775


January 25th


"I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15)


"The silkworm grows to be similar in color to the leaves on which it feeds. The tree-frog takes on the hue of that to which it clings. So the human soul becomes Christlike when Christ is to that soul the bread of life. If we walk with Him, commune with Him, feed on Him, we become satisfied with His likeness, and the world will take note that we have been with Jesus." (Christian Truth - Volume 23 - April 1970)

N.J. Hiebert # 1776


January 26th


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


"Faith is dead to doubt, dumb to discouragements, blind to impossibilities, knows nothing but success. Faith lifts its hands up through the threatened clouds, lays hold of Him who has all power in heaven and on earth. Faith makes the uplook good, the outlook bright, and the future glorious." (Anon)


N.J. Hiebert # 1777


January 27th


"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter
end ! " (Deuteronomy 32:29)

"Satan does not like people, especially those on the threshold of life, to think about death, and offers to all a multitude of varying attractions to keep them from looking ahead. God's words show that He desires that they should be wise with that true wisdom which does not simply take everything at its face value, but weighs it in the light of eternity.


"There are two worlds that claim the attention of all, especially those who are starting the journey of life. The first is the tangible world around us, of which Satan is morally the god and prince, with its alluring tales of ambition and progress, religious and otherwise, but which, in spite of all its fair appearance, is yet spoken of in Scripture as 'this present evil world.' The second is the unseen world of which Christ is the Head and Center, with it glorious and incorruptible future, but involving a pathway of present trial and suffering to reach it." (J.K.)


N.J. Hiebert # 1778


January 28th


"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately." (Luke 12:35,36)


"How does the Lord deliver His own from the power of tradition and every other source of attraction for the heart? He opens out the communications of His own mind, and casts the light of the future on the present. How often worldliness unjudged in a Christian's heart betrays itself by want of relish for God's unfolding of what He is going to do! How can I enjoy the coming of the Lord if it is to throw down much that I am seeking to build up in the world?" (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 1779


January 29th


"A friend loveth at all times." (Proverbs 17:17)


"An entertainer once bragged before the cameras that he had 'millions of friends.' He got buried under an avalanche of mail, complaining that he misused the word 'friend.' He may have had a million fans and several thousand acquaintances, but it's impossible to have a huge number of friends.

"With a certain sarcasm, Solomon said, 'Wealth maketh many friends... every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts' (Proverbs 19:4,6).
"A real friend is someone who will pull you from the ditch when acquaintances look the other way; someone you can lean on when you're weak; someone you can reveal yourself to without being afraid he will vanish." (T.C.N. - November - December 1989)

N.J. Hiebert # 1780


January 30th


"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2,3)


"It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the unity of the Spirit can be kept in a legal way. It must be grace. It must be the fruit of communion with Christ, and living of His life. I cannot take my own yardstick and measure everybody else by that. I cannot lay down my interpretations of Scripture and say every man must walk by this rule. That is to make a law of Scripture and put everybody on legal ground. And this is the worst kind of legalism.

"If our minds are formed by the Word and Spirit of God, others will feel the power...and they will be edified.

"If I am handling the Word of God in a legal way, I will only provoke the flesh, and no good will result. I cannot teach you the Word of God with a sledge hammer. The teaching must be through the operation of the Spirit. And grace characterizes this operation. So I must be gracious, patient, and loving.

"Let brotherly love abound, and bitterness be put away - edifying one another in love." (A.H. Rule)
N.J. Hiebert # 1781


January 31st


"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption."

(Galatians 6:8)

"Whenever a child of God sets his affection on anything in this world, thereby relegating Jesus Christ to a secondary place in his heart, he is in for serious trouble. Do not tamper with God's laws." (L.S.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1782

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