Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5560 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Gems from March 2005

March 1

"Why trouble ye the woman (Mary)? for she hath wrought a good work upon me." 

(Matthew 26:10)

It does not matter in the least what men's thoughts may be about any particular piece of work. They may laud a person to the skies for something he is doing; they may parade his name in the public journals of the day; they may make him the subject of discourse in their drawing room circle; he may have a great name as a preacher, a teacher, a writer, a philanthropist, a moral reformer; but if he cannot connect his work with the name of Jesus - if it is not done to Him and to His glory - if it is not the fruit of the constraining love of Christ, it will all be blown away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and sunk into eternal oblivion. (Christian Truth - Vol.20 - 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2175

March 2

"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Powerful testimony! which judges the walk and searches the heart. The world's true character has now been manifested, because it has rejected and crucified the Son of God. Man had already been tried without law, and under law; but after he had shown himself to be wholly evil without law, and had broken the law when he had received it, then God Himself came in grace. He became man in order to bring the love of God home to the heart of man, having taken his nature. It was the final test of man's heart. He came not to impute sin to them, but to reconcile the world to Himself. But the world would not receive Him, and it has shown that it is under the power of Satan and of darkness. It has seen and hated both Him and His Father. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2176

March 3

"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20)

He had not a place here, but He was going to speak to them about heaven, with which He was perfectly acquainted. He knew all that was there, though it was an entirely new revelation to the disciples. Where can you find in Scripture anything before about the Father's house? There had never been anything unfolded about it before, and now we speak about the Father's house as a place we have heard of all our lives! But think of the Lord's going away and leaving these dear ones He had drawn to Himself - ignorant perhaps, but they loved their Master.

Christ has gone to prepare a place for those that are His in this world. It is one thing to have a place prepared outside this world, and another thing to have it prepared inside this world. The gospel of God does not propose to prepare a place for us in this world; there is the unfolding of that which is heavenly, and not the giving us a place or anything down here in this world. Christianity gives us the most wonderful circumstances outside, but it does not propose to give us anything in this world. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2177

March 4

"We glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience." (Romans 5:3)

The man of the world desires nothing better than uninterrupted peace and prosperity. The Christian can "glory in tribulations also," because every fresh difficulty or painful trial sends him to God in prayer; and each new experience of the Lord's unbounded love draws out his heart afresh in thanksgiving to God. Where this is the constant habit of the soul, there will be no intemperate display of either joy or grief before the world. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2178

March 5

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
(Hebrews 2:9)

When a soul is awakened to the realization of his sins, is not his first effort, the natural effort, to turn over a new leaf, forsake his sins, and so get into the presence of God without them? But this can never be done. Whenever one meets God for the first time, he will find himself in his sins in His presence. Nobody ever met Him in any other way.

God picked out the best man on the earth, and that was Job. The Lord said, "Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man?" There was not one like him, and God says it; but when Job finds himself in the presence of God, what does he say? "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Christian Truth - Vol. 13)

N.J. Hiebert # 2179

March 6

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." (Romans 8:35-37)

In verse 31 we read, "What then shall we say to these things," and a series of answers comes through the rest of the chapter. In verse 35 is the final answer to this great question. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. It has been shown that we are absolutely one with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the certainty of our salvation and our union with Him have been manifest. We have been declared united to Christ. We have been looked upon by the Father as being in Christ. "What then shall we say to these things?"

In the face of all that He has done for us through His matchless love, what is there left to say? The love of Christ! What a theme! What is there in literature to compare with this love? What is there in history that can approach the magnitude of that which our Saviour has shown to us of His heart for us? He loves us.

Harold Voelkel went to Korea as a missionary. When the Korean war began he was immediately taken into the US Army as a Chaplain, and assigned to the camps of the prisoners of war. Tens of thousands of North Koreans were imprisoned in great compounds. The communists had infiltrated the camps with their agents and there were riots and rebellion. Then Voelkel came with the truth of God. He entered the first pen where there were several hundred men. When he began to talk to them in their own tongue their resistance faded and they crowded around him and waited for his message. He began by telling them he wanted to teach them a song. It was a rude translation into Korean of the children's hymn "Jesus loves me, this I know," and sung to that tune.

He kept them about an hour and told them he would be back the next day. He then went into the next pen and began all over again. Day after day he continued, entering a dozen or more pens each day and teaching them to sing "Jesus loves me." Weeks passed and then months. By this time there were several thousand of these North Koreans who were professing their faith in Christ as their personal Saviour.

Discipline in the camps became easier. The communists could not find easy followers as they had at first. When the question of repatriation arose, these men insisted that they did not want to go home. They wanted to live in the free world. It was the message of the love of Jesus Christ that had transformed these men, and had given them vision not only of the world to come but of free life here on earth. (Donald Grey Barnhouse)

N.J. Hiebert # 2180

March 7

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty; and before honour is humility." 

(Proverbs 18:12)

It is needful that creatures so given to pride be again and again reminded of its dire result. It is a sure precursor of destruction. Humility, on the other hand, is the forerunner of honour. God delights to exalt the lowly.
The Hindu word of humility is said to be "the dust."; for it is a proverb among them that "you can walk on the dust forever and it never answers back." Humility is self-forgetfulness - the spirit of meekness, that, in the sight of God, is of great price. (H.A. Ironside - Notes on Proverbs)
N.J. Hiebert # 2181

March 8

"Jesus Wept." (John 11:35)

All know that the verses of our Bible are merely a human arrangement, and yet who can doubt that the Spirit of God controlled the one who made it in putting these two words into one verse? They indeed should stand alone, inasmuch as they afford such an inlet into the recesses of the Lord's heart. They have been the comfort of mourners in all ages, and they will continue to minister consolation to His people until God Himself shall wipe away all tears from their faces. (Edward Dennett - Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2182

March 9

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (1 Cor. 3:6)

Do not attempt to do too much. Let quality, not quantity, be the desire of your heart as to your service.
The great secret of all blessing is to come from the Lord.... The Lord draw your heart so to Himself that you may come from Him to do every service. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2183

March 10

"And John answered Him saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbad him, because he followeth not us." (Mark 9:38)

John said, "We forbad him, because he followeth not with us." That tells the whole tale. They were thinking of themselves, not of Christ; of their own importance, and not His honour. If it had been His importance they would have thought how blessed it was to find the effect of His name and rejoiced to know His power was being exercised by man. But no; they were looking at themselves as well as at the Messiah.... And is there not something in us of the same thing - a satisfaction at that which aggrandizes self as well as Christ, instead of seeking the honour of Christ alone. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2184

March 11

"Him whom my soul loveth." (Song of Solomon 3:4)

We do not read scripture with sufficient intimacy of heart. We read it as if we were acquainting ourselves with words and sentences. If I do not get by scripture into nearness to God in heart and conscience I have not learned the lesson it would teach me.
Christ is your lesson as well as your teacher.... Is any book so worthy of reading as the book that we call Jesus?

I am never really in the spirit of service if I do not remember that Christ is an absent and rejected Lord. I am... a servant who has to recognize the sorrowful fact that his Master has been rejected and insulted here. Is it not a tender thought that the very sorrows and insults which have been heaped upon Him here are so many fresh claims on one's affections?

The heart, not the head, is the parent of eloquence. (J.G. Bellett)
N.J. Hiebert # 2185

March 12

"These all . . . confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." 

(Hebrews 11:13)

So immensely are our lives below the mark as nominal Christians that we have next to no idea of the distance at which we walk from God, and when the soul is turned to seek. . . . Him only. . . we discover with amazement how many false props we have had, and how often we have been leaning on the love and approbation of others and not upon a Father's love alone.

I find more and more the value of that word, "Enoch walked with God." I daresay in doing it he had his difficulties; but he did it. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2186

March 13

"My soul thirsteth for God." (Psalm 42:2)

Man seeks rest in his surroundings; God gives rest within. . . . Why those lines of care? Oh, you know it - insubjection to God, and insubjection to His will - it is the source of all the care and unrest around us.
The more your soul apprehends the glory of Christ's person, the more you are delivered from everything else; and so, unconsciously to yourself, you will become superior to everything here.

"Let me now fall into the hands of the Lord; for very great are His mercies." . . . A weak person can tumble. Relinquish yourself into the hands of Christ; those blessed hands have been nailed to the cross; fall into them, and He will give you rest. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2187

March 14

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Luke 12:31)

God will never be a debtor to any one, only let us throw our whole souls into His work, and the end will declare how far we have acted upon sound principles. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2188

March 15

"The Lord knoweth them that are His." (2 Timothy 2:19)

This knowing is no less than an acquaintance of heart with heart, a relation between the Lord and those that are His. The confusion has become so great, believers and unbelievers found in such close association, that, as to the mass, we cannot definitely say who is the Lord's and who is not. In such a condition what a comfort to know that what is of God cannot be set aside, and those that are the Lord's, though hidden in the mass, cannot be ultimately lost. (Hamilton Smith - The Second Epistle of Timothy - An Expository Outline)

N.J. Hiebert # 2189

March 16

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." (Colossians 1:12)

A gathering of friends at an English estate nearly turned to tragedy when one of the children strayed into deep water. The gardener heard the cries for help, plunged in, and rescued the drowning child. That youngster's name was Winston Churchill. His grateful parents asked the gardener what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We'll see to it," Churchill's parents promised.

Years later, while Sir Winston was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. The country's best physician was summoned. His name was Dr. Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered and developed penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved young Winston from drowning. Later Churchill remarked, "Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person."

Churchill's experienced reminds us of our double indebtedness as Christians to God. First, our heavenly
Father gave us the precious gift of physical life. Then through His Son, the Great Physician, He imparted to us the priceless gift of eternal life.
This should motivate us to present our body as a living sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12:1). To Him we are doubly indebted for life. (D.J.D.)

My life, my love, I give to Thee,
Thou Lamb of God who died for me;
O may I ever faithful be,
My Savoir and my God
. (Hudson)

We cannot fully enjoy the gift of Physical life until we have received the gift of eternal life.
(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1990, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted Permission)

N.J. Hiebert # 2190

March 17

"He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." (Luke 22:26)

The sweetest lives are those to duty wed, Whose deeds, both great and small, Are close-knit strands of an unbroken thread where love ennobles all. The world may sound no trumpets, ring no bells, The Book of Life the shining record tells. (From an old calendar)

N.J. Hiebert # 2191

March 18

"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

(Matthew 10:31)

Not long ago I saw a little bird lying still and cold on the ground. This was the bird that the Lord used as an illustration to impress His disciples with the precious lesson of trust. He told them that there was not a single sparrow which falls to the ground without being noticed by God the Father, and not one of them is forgotten by Him. Since the Heavenly Father cares so much for one of these little two-ounce sparrows, is it no wonder that we are of more value than many sparrows? Multiply the infinite care of the Creator of the universe by the word "many," and you have some idea of His care for you. Since He feeds them and clothes them with such warmth and attention, will He not much more feed and clothe you? (M.T.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2192

March 19

"... by our gathering together unto Him." (2 Thessalonians 2:1)

These words have been a continual comfort to me of late. We may be separated now, we may see little of some whom we want to see often. There are many partings in life; never once are we promised the joy of long continuance together here, but "our gathering together unto Him" is a certain joy. Every day as it passes brings us nearer that day when we shall gather together unto Him. If it can be such joy to be together here (and I at least have drunk deep of that joy), what will it be to be gathered There? (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 2193

March 20

"Doth not even nature itself teach you?" (1 Corinthians 11:14)

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 

(Matthew 6:28,29)

I asked myself the question as to why God made the world? The only answer I could give was, Because He chose to do so. I could put a thousand questions to scientists, and the only answer they could rightly give is, Because God chose to do so. We could do without primroses, or stars, or strawberries, or horses, or mosquitoes, or bananas, but God chose to give these gifts to man. Why have we night and day? Because God chose it to be so. Why does fire burn? Because God chose it to be so.

When we come to things spiritual, is it any wonder we have many questions to ask, and can only give the answer, Because God chose it to be so? For instance, man's responsibility and God's sovereignty. How can I reconcile them? One thing is sure. God is sovereign. He who existed from all eternity in the blessedness of His own Being - Father, Son and Spirit, One God - is the Originator of the universe, and creation must have taken place at the fiat of His will. We cannot understand it. (A.J. Pollock - Why I Believe the Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 2194

March 21

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13)

I know there is the Lord's bosom for the reception of every care and every anxiety.

We ought to be patient, for He is the doer of everything; and when we are not patient we really find fault with Him and his doing.

He is a great giver, and if He hides His hand from giving to-day, to-morrow He often gives two-fold.

He is enough for us were the path ten thousand times more sad and difficult.

He that made all things, and upholds all things, is equal to, and a match for, any and every contingency that can befall any between Calvary and the cloud of glory. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2195

March 22

"Come unto ME, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 

(Matthew 11:28)

Untold sorrows characterize the human race, and this invitation is not confined to those who are laden with sin. Jesus addresses any one who is bowed with any possible sorrow, any possible bereavement. Whatever the burden upon you, the Lord speaks to you.

Your whole responsibility at the present moment is to "rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." And what a blessing it is that you may and can rest, whatever your suffering, on the Lord's breast. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2196

March 23

"Jesus held his peace." (Matthew 26:63)

Christ's perfection was not to act, but to suffer; in suffering there was a more entire surrender of Himself. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2197

March 24

". . . higher than the heavens." (Hebrews 7:26)

There is a depth of love which we cannot easily take in in the Lord's desire that we should know His support. Blessed be His name! He likes to be indispensable to us. It is a marvellous time . . . when one has nothing to cling to, no support, but His mighty hand reaching down from ". . . higher than the heavens." (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2198

March 25

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." 

(Matthew 21:22)

Let but faith address the mercy-seat, and the most astounding results will follow. "If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it." Oh! we have but little idea of what our God would do for us did we only honour Him. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2199

March 26

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

How entirely has Christendom refused to lean this lesson of "the little child"! She has consented to forget that it was a poor despised Galilean, a carpenter's Son, that suffered the death of the cross. . . . He did not go to Calvary from kings' courts, or amid the acclamations of the world; but He was the rejected One . . . "a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." (Psalm 22:6) Christendom . . . may boast of Calvary and of the Lamb of God in a certain way, but it has entirely lost sight of Nazareth and of the carpenter's Son. It links the palace with the cross, greatness in the world, wealth and ease with the confession of Jesus and of the gospel. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2200

March 27

"Ye are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14)

"Let your light so shine before men, . . ." (Matthew 5:16)

Twenty-two planes from a naval air station were aloft at dusk participating in manoeuvres when the fog swept in unexpectedly. Eight of them raced immediately to landing fields, but the others were caught in a swiftly forming impenetrable blanket. Four planes crashed, one of them bursting into flames, as twelve pilots dived blindly through the fog.

Two hours later only two planes were aloft. Suddenly there went out over the radio this message, "all automobile owners go to the field outside the city. Two fliers are lost in the fog and you are going to help them to land." Soon the roads approaching the field were crowded with cars creeping through the inky blackness, hardly able to see with their feeble lights. As the cars arrived the authorities lined them up with the cars facing inward around the field. More than 2500 completely surrounded the landing strip. The word was passed around, "All lights on!"

The lights on no single car made much impression upon that night and fog, but the lights of 2500 of them lighted the field so brightly that a transport pilot could go aloft and guide the two aviators down to safety.

Oh, let it not in any port be said
By watchful pilots that some light of thine
Failed on a certain stormy night to shine
Beside the harbor head.

Life's seamen, by whatever coast they fare,
Call out to one another passing by;
"Trim, firm the lamps, raise every beacon light.
There are no lights to spare
." (Frank Walcott Hutt)

(Streams in the Desert - Vol. 2)

N.J. Hiebert # 2201

March 28

"Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret." (Daniel 2:17,18)

Here we have a prayer-meeting in Babylon. These dear men were of one heart and one mind. They were one in their purpose to refuse the king's meat and wine. They were resolved, by the grace of God, to tread the holy path of separation, though captive exiles in Babylon; and they got together for prayer, and received an abundant answer. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2202

March 29

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."
(2 Corinthians 5:19)

There is no sin imputed to us now; it is all put away. But will that make me hard when others fail? No; my seeing that Christ agonized on the cross for me will give me a sense of my freedom, but not indifference about sin. Instead of hardness, it will give us tenderness and softness of spirit. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2203

March 30

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

Not your own forgiveness, but your own salvation. It is said to those who were already forgiven. Salvation, in the sense spoken of there, implies the whole conflict with the power of evil we are passing through. We know that we have to do with the common enemy, but God is at work in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). We know the deep concern and regard which God feels for us, as committed to this conflict. We are fighting under His orders - doing His will in that thing as well as in others. So far is God from leaving us in any way, that He assures our soul He is pledged to see us through to the end, but He will have us have a solemn sense of the war with Satan in which we are engaged. (W. Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 2204

March 31

"Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5)

What could have been more dismal than the plight of Paul and Silas at Philippi? Thrust into the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks; and what were they doing? They "prayed, and sang praises unto God" (Acts 16:25). They were exercising their holy and their royal priesthood in that prison. When they sang praises they were holy priests; when they said to the terrified jailer, "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here," they were royal priests. It is a charming picture! They are as full of joy as they can be, and they get that jailer converted. There was the wonderful result of their bleeding, wounded backs; this sol was saved. Tribulation will come in various ways, but you must make up your minds to it while here - knowing Romans 5:3-5. (Christian Truth - Vol. 13)

N.J. Hiebert # 2205


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