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

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Gems from May 2004

May 1

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another"

(1 John 4:11).

"We have never known a single instance of anyone complaining of the want of love in others, who was not failing in love himself. The best way to get water out of a dry pump is to pour a little in." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20)

N.J. Hiebert # 1871

May 2

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established" (Proverbs 16:3)

"The word 'commit' might be rendered 'roll'. He who rolls his affairs over upon the Lord, will find Him ever ready to take charge of them all, and to carry them on to a proper completion and establishment. But it must be borne in mind that if I thus commit all to Him, I no longer choose for myself as to what the outcome should be, but say with confidence, 'Thy will be done.' He would have every desire told out in His ear, and then left in faith that He may act according to His love and unerring wisdom." (H.A. Ironside - Notes on the Book of Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 1872

May 3

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage." (Joshua 1:9)

"What power the assurance of God's mind gives! All indecision as to the path, all terror, all fear of the enemy disappear. Satan cannot harm us; has not God commanded us? Such then are the principles which should govern the heart that would enjoy heavenly things and fight the battles of the Lord. It is blessed to see them stated quite at the beginning of the book of Joshua, before Israel has taken a single step, in such a way as to place him in possession of well furbished weapons wherewith to obtain the victory." (H.L. Rossier - Joshua)

N.J. Hiebert # 1873

May 4

"And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in OPHRAH... and the angle of the Lord appeared unto Gideon..."

(Judges 6:11-13)

"Ophrah means 'dust,' and one who truly realizes the shame of the people of God being in subjection to the world will abide in the dust; he will, like Daniel, pour out his heart in shame at the disgrace to the name of God that such a thing is possible. The mark of a truly spiritual mind is not criticism of the sins of the professing church, but sorrow and shame at such a state. The man who judges does not realize the common sin and shame, which has brought such reproach upon the testimony of God's truth. Such can never be used to deliver the saints from their bondage. Rome was full of satirists, who held up the vices and follies of the luxurious capital to the scorn of all; but all the scorn was ineffectual to break one bond, or to turn one soul to God. The reason is evident; criticism does not bring in God, not does it mourn. If we are ourselves to be individually set free from the world, we must dwell at Ophrah, and there, at least , we can receive the message that will emancipate others also." (S. Ridout - Judges)

N.J. Hiebert # 1874

May 5

"And they (Ruth & Orpah) said unto her, surely we will return with thee unto they people. And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters... go your way..." (Ruth 1:10-13)

" 'Go back!' where? Go back to hell? Go back to the lake of fire and brimstone? Go back to Moab and its gods, and to hell at the end? for that is the real meaning of it. And this is the advice of one who knew the living God. Get all you can in the world, and everlasting ruin at the end. Even the world holds Christians, who act in such a way, in contempt. ...Beware of in any wise ceding the truth one bit; by so doing you lose everything and you gain nothing.

"Yet Naomi's words seem kind and plausible. 'The Lord deal kindly...' (verse 8) ; 'The Lord grant you that ye may find rest' (verse 9). What mockery! Turn your back on Him, and look for rest! What might they have answered her? 'We had everything, and it has all been swept away by death. Our cup was full, but it has been dashed to the ground, and we are empty and desolate in the world; we want something living and abiding.' Just suited are such souls for God to come in, and fill, and comfort, and satisfy. And they seem in earnest, too, and say, 'Surely we will return with thee.' They appear so interested, so engaged about it, like a heart almost decided for Christ. But Naomi says, 'Turn again.' How could she? Turn from God! Turn back to the world; the world that had failed to satisfy them! Naomi was the very picture of some crooked, cross grained people, who have no expectation of other people being saved; it is as much as they know they are saved themselves." (W.T.P. Wolston - Rest for the Weary)

N.J. Hiebert # 1875

May 6

"They have not wholly (wholeheartedly) followed the Lord."
(Numbers 32:12)

"World-bordering is perilous for out souls in this age. It exposes us unnecessarily to the enemy. We are only safe as we take our place definitely outside everything here, as dead to it. When our minds are really set upon things above, with the risen Christ as our sole object, we are proof against the seductions of the world and the devil. A position of compromise, once accepted, lays us open to trouble at every turn." (W.W. Farady - Samuel - God's Emergency Man)

N.J. Hiebert # 1876

May 7

"Sir, if thou have borne HIM hence, tell me where thou hast laid HIM."

(John 20:15)

"Jesus was first and last in Mary Magdalene's mind, no one else was in her heart from whom to distinguish Him, and there was none with whom she could compare Him. She knew of no one else to be thought of, or cared for. Nothing could satisfy her heart but the Person of her Lord, dead or alive. Wondrous affection! Oh, that He had such a place in our hearts!" (Andrew Miller - Song of Solomon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1877

May 8

"Draw me, we will run after Thee." (Song of Solomon 1:4)

"The more we know of Christ, the more shall we desire to know of Him. The nearer we are to Him, the more shall we desire to be drawn nearer still. As Paul says, 'That I may know Him,' yet none on earth knew Him so well. And, again, 'That I may win Christ,' yet never was saint more sure of his prize than Paul. He could say in truth, though a prisoner in Rome, and in want, 'For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' What rich experience - what quiet confidence - what boundless joy, shines in his letter to the Philippians!

"There is such an infinity of blessing for us in Christ, that the more we apprehend it, the less we have apprehended it. The more we taste of the reality and fullness of His love, we shall be able the more truly to say, It passes knowledge. There are breadths and lengths, and depths and heights, which we can never comprehend. And there is such joy in His presence, that even while we are enjoying it, the heart so yearns for greater nearness, that it feels, comparatively, as at a distance." (Andrew Miller)

N.J. Hiebert # 1878

May 9

"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (1 John 2:6)

"We may be weak, but that is no hindrance to our walking as He walked, for His strength is made perfect in weakness; but He cannot be the strength of our will. One born (again) only yesterday may follow Christ as much as an old Christian, and Christ is as much for him. There may not be so much wisdom, but in the child there is often more singleness of eye, and more of undividedness of heart. The great thing is, that the will does not work. There again we see where Christ was so perfect." (J.N. Darby - First Epistle of John)

N.J. Hiebert # 1879

May 10

"Put on as the elect of God, kindness." (Colossians 3:12)

"There is a story of an old man who carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and if he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. And thus he passed through life lubricating all hard places and making it easier for those who came after him.

"People called him eccentric, queer, and cranky; but the old man went steadily on refilling his can of oil when it became empty, and oiled the hard places he found.

"There are many lives that creak and grate harshly as they live day by day. Nothing goes right with them. They need lubricating with the oil of gladness, gentleness, or thoughtfulness. Have you your own can of oil with you? Be ready with your oil of helpfulness in the early morning to the one nearest you. It may lubricate the whole day for him. The oil of good cheer to the downhearted one - how much it may mean! The word of courage to the despairing. Speak it!

"Our lives touch others but once, perhaps, on the road of life; and then, mayhap, our ways diverge, never to meet again. The oil of kindness has worn the sharp, hard edges off of many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable and ready for the redeeming grace of the Saviour.

"A word spoken pleasantly is a large spot of sunshine on a sad heart. Therefore, 'Give others the sunshine, tell Jesus the rest.' " (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 1880

May 11

"And Jesus answering said unto them, suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
(Luke 12:4,5)

"Some Christians are quick to declare that a public disaster (such as a terrorist attack, an earthquake, or a flood) is the result of divine judgment. In reality, a complex array of actors lie behind most disasters.
"In Luke 13, Jesus was asked about some people who were cruelly murdered, and about 18 people who died when a tower collapsed on them. The people asking the questions were wondering if those who died were worse sinners than others. 'I tell you, no.' said Jesus, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'"Instead of reading divine judgment into tragedies, we should see them as a call to personal repentance. This is especially true for unbelievers, but it is also true for Christians. Acts of terrorism, for example, challenge us to learn about the injustices that in part motivate people to commit such horrible atrocities. And we can pray earnestly for the conversion and the good of the desperate people who commit such acts.

"Calamities in themselves are never good, but they fulfill God's purposes when they serve as a wake-up call to believers, and when they bring unbelievers to repentance and faith in Jesus. Let's not ask, 'Who's to blame?' but 'Lord, what are You saying to me?' " (Herb Vander Lugt)

When great calamity befalls, We wonder why it's sent;
But God says, 'Ask not who has sinned - Just hear My call, 'REPENT!'
(D. de Haan)


N.J. Hiebert # 1881

May 12

"This is MY commandment that, ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

"If we keep that commandment, everything else will be all right. You will never grieve the heart of God if ye love one another. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Oh, if we would only test ourselves more. If we would ask ourselves, 'Now am I doing this because I love my brother? Would I say that because I love my brother, or am I allowing myself to do things that are incompatible with love?" Love covers a multitude of sins we are told.

If I really love my brother I shall never want to hurt him, or to shame and disgrace him. Even if he has been guilty of what is wrong, I will go to him and seek to restore him in tender love. We forget this so much, and deal with each other in such a reckless way. If God dealt with us as we deal with each other, it would go very hard with us. But, ah, His abounding love! - love that covers, love that, in grace, has overlooked so much in our life!" "Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life, for his friends." (John 15:13) (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 1882

May 13

"The words of a tale-bearer [are] as wounds, and they go down to the chambers of the belly." (Proverbs 18:8)

"Even if the words were strictly true, which is rarely the case, they are in every respect injurious, and fall under the censure of evil speaking. They wholly lack a moral object or a loving way. It is at best gossip, and for the most part the mere indulgence of talking of things which right feeling would rather conceal. The issue is to inflict wounds which pierce very deep, and where they are least curable." (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 1883

May 14

"Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us."
(2 Corinthians 1:10)

"With regard to fresh attacks of the enemy in opposing the truth, it is needful for us to remember God's dealings in the past, that we may take courage for the present and the future. When David had to meet Goliath, he said, 'The Lord that delivered me our of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.' (1 Samuel 17:37)" (Christian Truth - Vol. 19 - 1966)

N.J. Hiebert # 1884

May 15

"Forgetting Those things which are behind..." (Philippians 3:13)
"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelid look straight before thee." (Proverbs 4:25)

"If I were running in a race, I should not stop to see how I was getting on, or somebody else would soon out-distance me. There will be time enough to reckon up victories when I have reached the goal." (J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1885

May 16

"In the last days perilous times shall come." (2 Timothy 3:1)

When man launches a new enterprise of any kind, perhaps a stock company, he gets out a prospectus, perhaps a very lovely brochure, and tells the investors what a wonderful success it is going to be, how they can buy this stock at $10 a share, and perhaps in a short time it will jump to $100 a share. They demonstrate by figures and arguments and statistics that it cannot possibly fail. It is going to be what they call a success. When we come to the introduction of Christianity into the world, we have the promise of the Church, the promise of the reception it was to have in this world, the promise of the progress that the truth was to make, and then the final consummation of all at the end of the age. We find that exactly the opposite kind of prophecy is made.

As we trace the history of the Church - as we follow it in the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 - we find the downgrade, with rare exceptions, the thing ending in that which is so nauseous to Christ that it has to be spewed out of the mouth as a thing hateful to Him. The Apostle's writings abound with warnings that in the last days things are going to be bad, that it is going to be a difficult time. We learn that toward the end it is going to be hard to find real, genuine faith on the earth. We find that the love of many is going to wax cold, truth is going to be surrendered, people are going to refuse to have ears to hear the Word of God." (Taken from a lecture by C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 1886

May 17

"Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4:16)
"Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God." (2 Corinthians 5:5)
"For we are His workmanship." (Ephesians 2:10)

"George MacDonald put these words into the mouth of one who had been buffeted by severe and inexplicable circumstances, and who, complaining to a friend about the hardness of her life, said in anger: 'I would to God I had never been made!' 'Why,' replied her friend, 'My dear child, you are not yet made; you are only being made, and you are quarreling with God's wonderful process." (J.S.H.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1887

May 18

"He hath filled the hungry with good things..." (Luke 1:53)

"We must either be gathering with Christ or scattering abroad. If we are not engaged for Christ, we are engaged against Him - to do nothing for Christ is something for Satan. (C.H.M.)

"Let us... in all our difficulties, honour the Lord by bringing Him into them. ... His power can reach the greatest. His love will stoop to the smallest." (C.H.M.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1888

May 19

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up."

(James 4:10)

"God demands a complete submission to His revealed will. He demands that the world should submit to Jesus: all those who will not shall be forced to do so when judgment comes, and then to their own confusion and endless sorrow. God presents His Son in humiliation in order to save the world, but without submission to Jesus all is useless, because this is what God requires and values.... God will have a surrender of the heart to Jesus as Saviour and Lord." (J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1889

May 20

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts." (Jeremiah 15:16)

"There are only two channels of testimony - the lip and the life, and the lip should be but the expression of what has been first produced in the life. What we should all desire is intense reality, to be possessed and controlled by the truth we profess to hold, and thus to shun the use of phrases and sentences which we have never eaten, digested and found true in our souls." (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 1890

May 21

"... the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

"God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus."
(2 Corinthians 7:6)

"God provides the comfort of a Saviour for the relief of the sinner, the comfort of the Spirit for the needs of His children, the comfort of the Scriptures for the help of the pilgrims on the journey. However, there are times when what we need is an arm around us, a hand to hold us, a sympathetic eye to weep, and an opened ear to listen. That takes a real, living, breathing friend. So Paul was comforted in trouble by 'the coming of Titus.' May we be available today to 'comfort them which are in any trouble.' " (J. Boyd Nicholson)

N.J. Hiebert # 1891

May 22

"And being let go, they went to their own company." (Acts 4:23)

"This is a fine word. There was a separated people, who all knew each other, and to them the liberated apostles went. When set free from earthly toil, or bonds, do we each know what it is to find out this company day by day? They did so in Peter's day, and had a prayer-meeting with great results." (W.T.P. Wolston - Simon Peter - His life and letters)

N.J. Hiebert # 1892

May 23

"An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin." (Proverbs 21:4)

"God judges the deeds of men according to what they are in relation to Himself, and not according to how they conduct themselves toward the world round about them. Should we conclude that an atheist is any less guilty before God because he has devoted himself to humanitarian causes? In no wise. Men will be judged according to what they have thought of God and His Christ, and if their works do not have the Father and the Son for their object, their works are evil. Such was the case with Cain who attempted to acquire merit for himself by the abundant fruits of his labor, while hating his brother Abel." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Kings)

N.J. Hiebert # 1893

May 24

"Come and see." (Revelation 6:1)

"We must beware lest the study of prophecy serve only to amuse the intellect. This is man's way of abusing God's revelation of the future. Unfolded to us by the Spirit, the knowledge of the future sheds an important light on the present, and we see all in connection with our Lord Jesus. This separates us unto God. It draws the affections and desires to heaven - to Christ. As the Cross of Christ is the outflowing of all blessing from God to man, so Christ exalted and coming again is the center of all prophetic teaching. Prophecy is connected with Christ, and therefore concerns us, for we are His. They who know this see all prophecy in relation to Christ. We are only happy in tracing the prophetic word step by step in companionship with Him to whom all must bow, and thus the affections and desires are attracted to the Lord Himself. Watchfulness, then, is needed, as well as prayerfulness, lest we tread these holy paths with the mind of a politician, rather than with the heart of an adoring worshipper of our blessed Lord Jesus." (H.H. Snell - Notes on the Revelation)

N.J. Hiebert # 1894

May 25

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out (cultivate) your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (His) good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12)

"How quickly the things of this world make the ground hard, so that the genial warmth of the Love of God does not get down to our roots; and the refreshing rain (Isaiah 55:10,11) runs off the hardened crust, and we get little or no good from it. Then, beloved, we need to 'cultivate our own salvation.' We need to get out the hoe and break up that crust, get down deep, too, perhaps; so the roots will feel the sunshine and the fresh air and the sweet showers." (G. Christopher Willis - Sacrifices of Joy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1895

May 26

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

"This psalm has sometimes been called the Psalm of the Crook. It lies between the Psalm of the Cross and the Psalm of the Crown. If the twenty-second tells of the Good Shepherd, who died, and if the Twenty-fourth tells of the Chief Shepherd, who is coming again, the Twenty-third tells of the Great Shepherd, who keeps His flock with unerring sagacity and untiring devotion. No hireling is He. He asks no wages; He takes no reward. He counts not the cost. The sheep are His own. And in these sweet words we learn what He is toward them to-day, in all His shepherd tenderness and love." (F.B. Meyer - The Shepherd Psalm)

N.J. Hiebert # 1896

May 27

"And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling (furniture - JND trans.) of the ship."
(Acts 27:19)

"The storm not only claimed the cargo carried on the ship, it also claimed the furniture of the ship. Besides the precious cargo which God graciously and lovingly has given you, He also has equipped you with the furniture necessary to carry you through life's journey. Perhaps we might think of the ship's furniture as your health, mental abilities, personality, and talents. Thus, the storms that assail one who has moved in direct disobedience to the Word of God, may quickly claim health, emotional stability - all those things needed in order that you might enjoy a happy and fulfilled journey. The price of self-will exacted in life's journey is terrible to consider." (Douglas Nicolet - Practical Precepts for Christians)

N.J. Hiebert # 1897

May 28

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price went and sold all that he had, and bought it." (Matthew 13:45,46)

"The Lord Jesus is the Merchantman - the seeker of goodly pearls. How frequently is He spoken of as a Seeker! No sooner had Satan achieved his malignant triumph in the garden of Eden, and the fallen pair hidden themselves behind the trees, than we behold God fulfilling this gracious mission. 'Adam... where art thou?' is a cry that reveals a seeking God; and in those 'coats of skin' with which He afterward clad the guilty pair, we see the earliest emblems of a guilty sinner being clothed suitably for the paradise of God on high, in the midst of which blooms the tree of life (Revelation 2:7)." (Christian Truth - May 1961)

N.J. Hiebert # 1898

May 29

"...and the king kissed Absolom." (2 Samuel 14:33)

"Yes, the king kissed the murderer, instead of allowing the law of the God of Israel to take its course. What then? 'It came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.' This was the next step. David's inordinate tenderness only paved the way for Absalom's open rebellion.

Terrible warning! Deal tenderly with evil, and it will assuredly rise to a head, and crush you in the end. On the other hand, meet evil in the name of the Lord, and your victory is sure. Sport not with the serpent, but at once crush it beneath your foot. Plain, unflinching decision is, after all, the safest and happiest path. It may be trying at first, but the end is peaceful." (C.H. Mackintosh - Misc. Writings - Vol. 6)

N.J. Hiebert # 1899

May 30

"Pray for them which despitefully use you." (Luke 6:28)

"If a brother treats you coldly, if a sister speaks against you, do you make it your habit to pray for them? How different we would be, if we thus bare one another up before the Lord." (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 1900

May 31

"...there arose a murmuring ... because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.... And there arose certain of the synagogue... disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, we have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up the people..." (Acts 6:1,9-12)

"Satan's two master methods by which, throughout the centuries, he has endeavored to hinder the progress of the work of God are vividly shown out. In the first half of the chapter we see him endeavoring to hinder by inward dissention; in the other half by outward persecution. In the Epistle to the Philippians Paul, in urging the believers to go on together in the unity of the Spirit, tells them that as long as they work together in love and unity they need never be afraid of the attitude from without. Even their adversaries realize it is impossible to hinder those who stand together in Christian harmony; but if that inward peace is destroyed, then the church becomes very, very weak when it has to face a godless world." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 1901


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