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

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Gems from May 2003

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

May 18

"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they 
know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:5)  

"The great and important matter is that 'they know His voice.' Beautiful and divine order is here; and a necessary effect of this is that they do not know the voice of strangers. What then? This is not all that is said, for (first), they will not follow the stranger; and (second), they will flee from him.
"No animal is more foolish, as well as more feeble, it has been said, than the sheep. And thus the Lord by this figure would show us ourselves, and, blessed be His name, Himself too."They only know it is not His voice; and thus everything is settled for them. They do not argue about the claims or the statements the voice makes. If it waxes louder and louder, it only makes them flee the farther and the faster from it. It is their wisdom to hear the Shepherd's voice; no path for them but what it points out; no food for them but what He gives; no love for them like His." (H.C.A.) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1526

May 19 

"And he (Boaz) said, I will redeem it ... Moreover Ruth the Moabites, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife..." (Ruth 4:5,10)

"Boaz did not only purchase the inheritance; he purchased Ruth as well. And he did not purchase her that she might be his slave. No, she was to be his wife. Her place was close to His heart. She was no longer a poor Moabitish widow, or even a humble gleaner in his field or a reverent supplicant. No, her place was to be at his side, in his home, and in his heart. Before, the young men had dropped handfuls for her, and these handfuls had been precious. But now the entire harvest was hers. And more than that - she now possessed not only the inheritance of Elimelech and Chilion and Mahlon, but all the wealth of Boaz." (H.L. Heijkoop - The Book of Ruth)

N.J. Hiebert # 1527

May 20 

"The almighty will be your gold," (Job 22:25)

"A rich man named Carl loved to ride his horse through his vast estate to congratulate himself on his wealth. One day on such a ride, he came on Hans, an old tenant farmer who had sat down to eat his lunch in the shade of a great oak tree.
Hans' head was bowed in prayer. When he looked up, he said, 'Oh excuse me, Sir. I didn't see you. I was giving thanks for my food.''Humph!' snorted Carl, noticing the coarse dark bread and cheese constituting the old man's lunch. 'If that were all I had to eat, I don't think I would feel like giving thanks.''Oh,' replied Hans, 'it is quite sufficient. But it is remarkable that you should come by today, Sir. I ... I feel I should tell you, I had a strange dream just before waking this morning.''And what did you dream?' Carl asked with an amused smile.

'It seemed there was beauty and peace all around, and yet I could hear a vice saying, 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight,'
'Dreams!' cried the landowner. 'Nonsense!' And he turned and galloped away.
'Lord, have mercy on his soul if he really is to die so soon,' Hans prayed as he watched horse and rider disappear.

Die tonight, mused Carl. It was ridiculous, of course! No use his going into a panic. The best thing to do about the old man's dream was to forget it.
But he could not forget it. He had felt fine, at least until Hans described his stupid dream. Now he didn't feel too well.That evening he called his doctor, who was also a personal friend. 'Could you come over?' he asked. 'I need to talk to you.'When the doctor arrived, Carl told him the whole story. 'Sounds like poppycock to me,' the doctor said, 'but for your peace of mind, let's examine you.'A little later, his examination complete, the doctor was full of assurances. 'Carl, you're as strong and healthy as that horse of yours. There's no way you're going to die tonight.' Carl thanked his friend and told him how foolish he felt for being upset by an old man's dream. 

It was a bout 9 A.M. when a messenger arrived at Carl's door. 'It's old Hans,' the messenger said. 'He died last night in his sleep.'
The richest man was not among those who trusted in earthly possessions. It was the one who, although bereft of all worldly goods, held on to his integrity and faith in God." (Henry Gariepy - Portraits of Perseverance) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1528

May 21 

"Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you." (Joshua 1:3)

In verse 2 the Jordan is mentioned, a barrier between the people and the promised land which they must cross under the guidance of Joshua to enter Canaan. Their inheritance was a pure gift of the grace of God: 'the land which I do give... to the children of Israel.' They were entitled to it by God, but it was a question for the people not only of possession, but of entering into possession.
So it is with us spiritually: we have all these things, but we cannot enter into them except as having passed through death with Christ, and entering by the power of His Spirit where He is. In short, it is as we occupy ourselves with these things, and enter into them diligently and personally, that we lay hold of each one of our blessings, and prove their heavenly reality. In one word, the Christian must himself appropriate them by faith in order to enjoy them; otherwise he would be like a poor king, ill and living abroad, who had never traveled in his own kingdom." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1529

May 22 

"Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

"Paul did not linger with the pains of memory. His former bigotry and blasphemy; his persecution of the saints of the Cross -- these things he laboured to forget, and pressed after nobler being."

(George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1530

May 23 

"Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form (nature) of God thought it not robbery (something to be grasped) to be equal with God."

(Philippians 5,6) 

"Jesus was everything, consciously equal with God, yet made Himself nothing, and emptied Himself. The person He assumed -- the form of a servant; the station He filled on earth -- a carpenter's son; His life, His ways, His testimony -- all was the full contradiction of him whose departure from God in pride has fashioned the course of 'this present evil world.'

He was ever hiding, ever emptying Himself. He could have commanded legions of angels, but He was the silent captive of His wicked persecutors. If He taught, and the people wondered, He would say, 'My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.' If He worked miracles He would say, 'The Son can do nothing of Himself.' (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1531

May 24 

"But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we."

(Hebrews 3:6)"The church is precious to God. Everything that Christ has, I have; the same life, the same righteousness, the same glory. If my hand is hurt, I say it is I who am hurt. Paul was converted by this truth, 'Why persecutest thou me?'

It shows what grace has done for us -- taken us our of ourselves."
(J.N. Darby - Notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1532

May 25

"And the angel of the Lord came the second time, and touched (Elijah), and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee."

(1 Kings 19:7) " 'The journey is too great for thee.' He who cares for us has provided the sustenance. He who alone knows the need of the way meets it. Be assured there is the 'cake baked on the coals' and the cruse of water for the depressed servant, and as we partake we gain strength. Cannot the servant who reads this bear witness? And so it ever is. 'And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.' " (H.C.A.) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1533

May 26 

"Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16)
"It is important to remark that worldliness, or any allowance of what is not of God, by a godly man, gives the weight of his godliness to the evil he allows." (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - August 1961) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1534

May 27 

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:1)
"The Gospel is established upon the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby He accomplished redemption. The blessings that flow from this were promised in Christ, before the foundation of the world -- 'according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus'; 'in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.' (Titus 1:2)

"... Herein is the goodness of God, that while He has had many thousands who have proclaimed the glad tidings since the days of the Apostles, yet He has given us in the Holy Scriptures what the Apostles themselves preached, so that there should be no uncertain sound, and that all might be judged according to the standard that God gave at the beginning." (W.M. Sibthorpe - the Ways of God With Man)

N.J. Hiebert # 1535

May 28

"And he (Stephen) kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge." (Acts 7:60)

"Stephen was thrust out of the city Jerusalem, and put to death by those who represented the religion, the theology, and the civil rights of the day. His Lord had been unjustly slain before him; the Just One had been cast out of the city and put to death. At the death of Stephen, a messenger was sent to the glorified Messiah; the man himself whose face reflected the glory of Jesus was dispatched to heaven by the stones of the Jews, to bear the message of refusal. This time it could not be said: 'They know not what they do;' otherwise Stephen's prayer resembles our Lord's prayer for His persecutors." (E.L.B. - Helps From the Poor of the Flock)

N.J. Hiebert # 1536

May 29

"If righteousness is by law, then Christ has died for nothing."

(Galatians 2:21 - JNDV)

"It cost God His only begotten Son to bring us this great salvation, and He will not allow false teachers to take it from us. Do you think God could allow a doctrine which meant that Christ had died for nothing?
"Many men today think it is wrong to oppose error. They say, 'Preach the truth, but do not strive with anybody.' One of the most popular teachers of our day says, 'Let the truth of God suffer, but let not love suffer.' This is the devil's teaching, not God's word. God says, 'It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.' (Jude 3.)

This is exactly what Paul is doing in Galatians.
"From the days of Cain to the present day, men have always been trying to substitute salvation by their own works, for salvation by blood -- by the death of a substitute. Cain knew that sin meant death: but he came to God by means of a sacrifice without blood -- without death. Abel's sacrifice was a lamb, -- a lamb that died instead of him. In the world today there truly are only two ways of salvation: God's way, and man's way. God's way is salvation through the death of the Lord Jesus instead of us sinners. It is free, without works. There may be many forms to man's way, but they are all alike in this: they all teach salvation by works. All works of man are useless. All alike end in hell." (G.C. Willis - Beautiful Grace) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1537

May 30 

"Looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:2)

"UNTO JESUS and not at the interests of our cause, of our party, of our church, -- still less at our personal interests. The single object of out life is the glory of God; if we do not make it the supreme goal of our efforts, we must deprive ourselves of His help, for His grace is only at the service of His glory. If, on the contrary, it is His glory that we seek above all, we can always count on His grace.

"UNTO JESUS and not at the sincerity of our intentions, and at the strength of our resolutions. Alas! how often the most excellent intentions have only prepared the way for the most humiliating falls. Let us stay ourselves, not on our intentions, but on His love; not on our resolutions, but on His promise." (Translated from the French of THEODORE MONOD by Helen Willis)  

N.J. Hiebert # 1538

May 31 

"Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom." (Psalm 51:6)

"Ordinances are resorted to by a convicted soul often, as a good heart or a good life would be trusted in by a mere moralist. But it is only another, though more subtle, form of self-righteousness." (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms.)

N.J. Hiebert #1539

June 1 

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou (disturbed) within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalms 43:5)

 "Cheerfulness -- the bright weather of the heart -- consists in that happy frame of mind which is best described by its negation of all that pertains to what is morbid, somber, and morose. Its perfection is displayed in general good tempter, united to much kindliness of heart. A life without it is a Lapland winter without a sun."It would seem that cheerfulness among Christians is regarded by some folk as a very rare thing. Some years ago an advertisement appeared in an English paper reading as follows: 'Wanted: an elderly man to live indoors; must be a Christian; cheerful if possible!' But surely, surely, Alexander Raleigh is nearer the truth when he says: 'When I know that I have a Father in heaven Who watches over me, Who forgives my sin, Who strengthens every holy purpose in me, provides for all may needs, cares for me in all my cares, supports and guides me ... and draws me towards His heart and home, why should I not be cheerful as my life is long?' " (Henry Durbinville - Winsome Christianity)

N.J. Hiebert # 1540

June 2

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)

"If we would wisely reprove the flesh in our brethren, we must first, after the Lord's example, remember and commend the grace in them.
"Those who are much acquainted with the cross of Christ, and with their own hearts, will be slow to take the reprover's office: if they do reprove, they will make it a solemn matter, knowing how much evil comes of the unwise handling of a fault."Let us begin by searching ourselves, if we would be profitable reprovers of others."Much self-judgment makes a man slow to judge others; and the very gentleness of such an one gives a keen edge to his rebukes."In reproving sin in others, we should remember the ways of the Holy Spirit of God towards us. He comes as the Spirit of Love; and whatever His rebukes, He wins the heart by mercy and forgiveness through Christ. 

"To forgive without upbraiding even by manner or look, is a high exercise of grace -- it is imitation of Christ.
"If I have been injured by another, let me think to myself -- how much better to be the sufferer than the wrongdoer!"The flesh would punish to prevent a repetition of wrongs; but Grace teaches us to defend ourselves without weapons. The man who 'seventy times seven' forgives injuries, is he who best knows how to protect himself."If one does me a wrong, let me with the compassion of Christ seek after him, and entreat God to move him to repentance."If our tongue has been betrayed into speaking contemptuously or even slightingly of an absent brother, let us quickly say, Alas! We have wounded Christ."If in love I speak to a brother of his fault, it is because I hate the sin. If I speak of it with backbiting tongue, it is self-pleasing that moves me."
(Robert C. Chapman 1803-1902)

N.J. Hiebert # 1541

June 3

"Behold a Sower went forth to sow." (Matthew 13:3)

"Israel has been set aside because they utterly failed to produce any fruit towards God. This introduces us to an entirely new order of things: God now takes the character of a Sower. Man had proved himself to be fruitless, and now probation had ceased, and God became a Giver. This makes the parable of the Sower a sort of key-parable.
Our Lord said to His disciples, 'Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?' (Mark 4:13) 

And it is strange that to this day this is a point that many professing Christians do not see. They are busily looking for something in man, something that can be cultivated and improved and made fit for God. All a grievous mistake! Man had been tried in innocence; without law; under law; under the prophets; under Christ; but all ended in failure, and now a Sower must go out to sow His seed, and His servants sow it in the wide world." (The Parables of Our Lord)

N.J. Hiebert # 1543

June 4 

"He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets." (Matthew 12:19)

If the gentleness of Jesus be such that the very fierceness of His foes could not provoke Him to anger or strife but moved Him only to pity, like the rough wind of autumn that shakes down the golden fruit from the bough which it assails -- what gentleness hath He for those who fain would come to Him and know Him as their Lord and Saviour. "A bruised reed will He not break.' (Matthew 12:20) " (The Gentleness of Jesus -Mark-Guy Pearse)

N.J. Hiebert # 1544

June 5

"I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:10)

"The world cannot endure the very thought of the presence of God. We see this from the very moment of the fall, in Genesis 3. Man fled away from God before God drove him out of Eden. He could not endure the divine presence." (C.H. Mackintosh - God's Fulness for an Empty Vessel - Volume 6 - Miscellaneous Writings)N.J. Hiebert # 1545

June 6

"From a child thou hast know the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

(2 Timothy 3:15)

The Word of God is our means of defense against the temptations and wiles of Satan; hence it is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). We thus see in the temptation of out blessed Lord that it was His only weapon. To all the allurements which Satan presented to His soul -- and he assailed Him through every avenue of approach, and in every character -- He replied, 'It is written.' From first to last, He never expressed a thought of His own, but rested for His defense entirely and alone upon the Word of God. Satan consequently was utterly powerless; he could not advance a single step; but, defeated at every point, he had to retire baffled and overcome. And he is as powerless today as then, when encountered in the same way. He cannot touch an obedient, dependent man. Would that every young believer, indeed all, whether young or old, might always bear it in mind!" (Edward Dennett - Twelve Letters to Young Believers) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1546

June 7

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him."
(Psalm 62:5)

"Do not let us reserve God's promises for some far future time. In connection with chastening the Lord did not say, 'a long while afterward' and do not let us gratuitously insert it. It rather implies that as soon as the chastening is over, the peaceable fruit shall appear 'unto the glory and praise of God.' So let us look out for the afterward as soon as the pressure is past. This immediate expectation will bring its own blessing if we can say, 'My expectation is from Him,' and not from any fruit-bearing qualities of our own, for only 'from Me is Thy fruit found.' Fruit from Him will also be fruit unto Him." (Frances Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1547

June 8

"A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) 

"Is the beast better, that has two or three mountains to graze on, than a little bee, that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every morning from the storehouse of heaven, clouds, and providence?" (Jeremy Taylor)

"Every lot is happy to a person who bears it with tranquility." (Boethus)
(Taken from "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" 1907 - Selected by Mary W. Tileston)

N.J. Hiebert # 1548

June 9

"That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed."
(Romans 15:32) 

"Not many of us love to be under a roof between walls, without being able to go out into the open air. Think what it must have meant to Paul to be not only indoors but never once alone. Think of being chained to a Roman soldier at all hours of the day and night. There was not much natural joy and refreshment in coming as a chained prisoner.
"Nothing was explained. Paul and the men and women of Rome were trusted to accept the unexplained and, like John the Baptist, not to be offended in their Lord.

"Do you not think that a great deal of what we call faith is not worth the name? It is too flimsy to be called by so strong a word. Faith is the steel of the soul." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 1549


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