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

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Gems from November 2003

October 28th

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me" (John 12:26).

"If I am following my own will in a matter, taking the lead, I am practically ignoring Him! I am to 'follow' Him; in other words, to obey Him, every day, every hour. This is holding the Head; it is waiting on Him - going therefore according to His Word, His way, His desire - this is fellowship. The Lord is now winning the love of His own to follow Him. It is not mere formal obedience to law, but the obedience of love to Him. 'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' (Acts 9:6) is a question of life and heart and submission. It is the cry of a subject one." (H.B.W.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1689

October 29th

"...truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."
(1 John 1:3)

"The great purpose of God in all His dealings in grace, is to bring us - and to bring us individually, too - into fellowship with Himself. 'Truly our fellowship is with the Father.' Thus we have the full knowledge of God as far as it can be known, and that in full communion with Himself. It is not in the way of creation; that is, not merely as creatures, for we are made partakers of the Holy Ghost that there may be power. 'We dwell in Him and He in us.' There cannot be anything more intimate."
(J.N. Darby -Lectures on the First Epistle of John)

N.J. Hiebert # 1690

October 30th

"If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." (Romans 8:9)

"It is difficult for one who does not walk with God to believe that we can dwell in God, and God in us. But the Word clearly says: 'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.' He dwells in us, and the one who walks in communion with God enjoys this, and rejoices in it with humility and gratitude. The presence of God never makes us proud. He is too great for us to be anything before Him. It was not when Paul was in the third heaven that he was in danger of being exalted above measure, but when he came down to earth again." (See 2 Corinthians 12) (G.C. Willis - Meditations on Galatians)

N.J. Hiebert # 1691

October 31st

"God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son."

(Hebrews 1:1,2)

" 'God hath spoken.' This is the first point. Oh, how little do we think of the grandeur and majesty and all-importance of this simple declaration, 'God hath spoken.' A living God and a loving God must needs speak. The god of the philosophers is a silent god, for he hath neither life not affection; but our God, who created the heavens and the earth, who is and who loves, must speak. Even in the creation, which is an act of the condescension of God, He utters His thoughts; and when He created man as the consummation of the world, it was for this purpose, that man should hear Him and love Him, and should rejoice in His light and in His life." (Adolph Saphir - Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

N.J. Hiebert # 1692

November 1st

"Be careful (anxious) about nothing." (Philippians 4:6)

"We are frequently anxious to get away from present pressure; but if the pressure were removed, the longing would cease. If we longed for the coming of Jesus, and the glory of His blessed presence, circumstances would make no difference; we should then long as ardently to get away from circumstances of ease and sunshine, as from those of pressure and sorrow." (Christian Truth - February 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 1693

November 2nd

"My beloved is gone down into his garden... to gather lilies."
(Song of Solomon 6:2)

" 'Who has taken this flower?' cried the gardener as he walked through the garden and missed his favorite beauty from its place. His fellow servant answered, 'The Master,' and the gardener held his peace. There are many events and circumstances of life that occur, the reason for which we cannot see; but when we believe the truth that they are of the Lord, we hold our peace and say, 'Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.' When that much loved and beautiful flower is missed in your family, and you are told the Master has taken it, hold your peace in sublime submission to His will." (Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1694

November 3rd

"In Thy presence is fullness of joy." (Psalm 16:11)

"Do you want comfort? Nothing can give it so much as the thought of His coming. There may be sorrow in the night, but joy enough - 'fullness of joy' - in that morning when we shall see Him as He is, fullness of joy in being like Him and with Him for evermore." (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 1695

November 4th

"Behold the Lamb of God." (John 1:29)
"And the two disciples heard Him speak, and they followed Jesus."
(John 1:37)

"John gave his testimony of Jesus, and nobody followed Jesus that day. But on the next day, John lost two of his disciples. John's was the right kind of ministry - the ministry of a Person. Such ministry will lead souls to follow Jesus only. Ministry that attracts men to itself is not what is wanted. Ministry that attracts men's heart's to Christ is the finest of all." (W.T.P. Wolston)

N.J. Hiebert # 1696

November 5th

"Sit still... until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished." (Ruth 3:18)

" 'Sit still... until.' Until you know what He has deemed it wise to withhold for the present. Until He clears the clouds. Until He melts the mists. Until He removes the mountains. Until He breaks the barriers. Until He dispels the darkness. Until He solves the problems. Until He brings your wanderers back. Until we see Him face to face. Until the day break and the shadows flee away. Oh, blessed hope, perhaps today! Sit still! Sit still! Thus you shall better know Himself, and knowing Him, be fully satisfied." (Choice Sayings)

Be still, my soul, your best, your heavenly Friend,
Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.

N.J. Hiebert # 1697

November 6th

"This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death." (Psalm 48:14) "

He has kept and folded us from ten thousand ills when we did not know it. In the midst of our security we should have perished every hour, but that He sheltered us 'from the terror by night and from the arrow that flieth by day.' He Has kept us even against ourselves, and saved us from out own undoing. Let us read the traces of His hand in all our ways. It is He that feeds and leads us. Ours is but to follow closely the One who is our guide all the way."

Be still, my soul! Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past;
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake:
All now mysterious shall be bright at last. (J. Borthwick)

N.J. Hiebert # 1698

November 7th

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)

"Advertising is largely based upon the habit of pretense. 'Courses' are offered in this or that field of human learning frankly appealing to the victim's desire to shine at a party. Books are sold, clothes and cosmetics are peddled by playing continually upon this desire to appear what we are not. Artificiality is one curse that will drop away the moment we kneel at Jesus' feet and surrender ourselves to His meekness. Then we will not care what people thing of us so long as God is pleased. Then what we are will be everything; what we appear will take its place far down the scale of interest for us. Apart from sin we have nothing of which to be ashamed. Only an evil desire to shine makes us want to appear other than we are." (A.W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God)

N.J. Hiebert # 1699

November 8th

"Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear." (1 Samuel 9:15)
"What ye hear in the ear, preach ye." (Matthew 10:27)

"It is a specially sweet part of the Lord's dealings with His messengers that He always gives us the message for ourselves first. It is what He has first told us in the darkness - that is, in the secrecy of our own rooms, or at least of our own hearts - that He bids us speak in light. And so the more we sit at His feet and watch to see what He has to say to ourselves, the more we shall have to tell to others. He does not send us out with sealed dispatches, which we know nothing about, and with which we have no concern." (Frances Ridley Havergal)

N.J. Hiebert # 1700

November 9th

"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)

"We believe the Lord's people everywhere need to be thoroughly roused to a sense of how entirely the professing church has departed from the authority of scripture. Here, we may rest assured, lies the real cause of all the confusion, all the error, all the evil in our midst. We have departed from the word of the Lord, and from Himself. Until this is seen, felt and owned, we cannot be right. The Lord looks for true repentance, real brokenness of spirit, in His presence. (C.H. Mackintosh - Deuteronomy)

N.J. Hiebert # 1701

November 10th

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

"The main feature of Adam's sin was sin against God. That of Cain's was sin against his neighbor, and these two make up the sum of all sins." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1702

November 11th

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

"Attaching importance to opinions is a great evil. A soul lives upon truth taught by the Holy Ghost; but this is not opinion. I am saved by believing that Jesus died for sin and sinners - that He died for me - but that is not an opinion." (Christian Truth - Vol. 14 - 1961)

N.J. Hiebert # 1703

November 12th

"Casting all your care upon HIM." (1 Peter 5:7)

"Tell Jesus" - tell Him everything About yourself, and all The daily cares that trouble you - The great ones and the small. None are too large for Him to take; He weighed them all before He gave you them to bring to Him, That you should love Him more. None are too small to take to Him; He listens to a sigh, He knows each wish, He sees each tear, For He is always nigh. "Tell Jesus" - tell Him everything, The past, the present, too; He'll send new strength with every care, And soothe and comfort you. (Author not known)

N.J. Hiebert # 1704

November 13th

"And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete." (Acts 27:13)

"In over 30 years of teaching I have known many students who listened to the enemy's advice, and though still young in years, were already paying a high price for doing so. How often I heard a tearful student say, 'It seemed so right... it seemed like it was everything I had dreamed about, everything I had ever wanted... it felt so good'. "They had left the safe, constraining influences of their Fair Havens and had reached out and taken what looked so attractive and promising. The result was suffering horrible pain and sorrow.

How many promising young lives, have been ruined, marred, soiled, scared because they would not stay within the constraints of Fair Havens. "When those first exciting steps away from Fair Havens were taken, everything did seem wonderful. Freedom, joy, happiness, contentment ...the south wind surely seemed to be blowing softly. Things couldn't be better. That's often the experience of those first few tentative steps away from the safety of Christian homes, assemblies, and the Divine protection of the Word of God. When those things are initially left, seeking a wider more pleasant journey through life, the south wind may very likely blow, lulling you into a false sense of well-being and security. "Self-will never feels wrong at the very first. But there are sad consequences just around the corner when guided by your will." (The Journey of Life [Reflections on Acts 27] - Douglas Nicolet)

N.J. Hiebert # 1705

November 14th

"A man of knowledge increaseth strength." (Proverbs 24:5)

"They might be as wise as a Plato and prudent as Aristotle, but they were not learned in God's will and in the knowledge of His mind. This is the learning that we should value and cultivate - a thing that never can be gleaned in the schools of this world. On the contrary, if a man prosecute human learning as a means of understanding the things of God, he is sure to go astray, because this per se is never from the Holy Ghost. Doubtless he who has got human learning may make use of it for God. But the great point is, that the man of God must make learning and everything that is of man to be his servant; whereas the mind of man, as such, makes learning his master and becomes its slave.

Hence the danger of all such things proving positive hindrances, even to the Christian, save so far as he is led by the Spirit of God. The only possible way of understanding God's word is by subjection to the Holy Ghost; and the test is Christ, because the object of the Spirit is to exalt Him. Therefore it is that you never can separate growth in the things of God from the moral state of the soul. It is true that a man who has learned a great deal of truth may slip into a bad state of soul: but, in general, sound knowledge of the things of God and a wise gracious application of the truth flow from communion with God." (William Kelly - Lectures on the Book of Revelation)

N.J. Hiebert # 1706

November 17th

"Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means."
(2 Thessalonians 3:16)

"This is the only occurrence of this unique title, 'The Lord of Peace.' When Jesus came, He brought peace. While He was here, He bestowed peace. As He left, He bequeathed peace. When He was born, a multitude of angels said, 'On earth peace,' and just prior to His death a multitude of disciples cried, 'Peace in heaven' (Luke 2:14, 19:38). How fittingly is He called the Prince of peace and the Lord of Peace." (Jim Flanigan)

"Peace, peace, sweet peace, Wonderful gift from above;
O wonderful, wonderful peace, Sweet peace, the gift of God's love."
(Peter P. Billhorn)

N.J. Hiebert # 1707

November 19th

"Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us." (Psalm 4:6)

"Does the sun shine in the heavens, does the rain fall, and are the seasons set to give us our daily bread, and yet are the great hungry longings of the soul for goodness to go for ever unsatisfied? Is there no power that can break the force of evil; no whisper of hope; no hand that can lift us up out of the mire and clay and set our feet upon the rock? There must be. Thank God there is! 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.' (Psalm 121:1) And lo, there cometh the very Son of God Himself to be the Saviour of the world. He hath broken the power of evil. He is the all-conquering goodness, stretching out to us His hand that we may find an Almighty help, and learn to cry exultantly, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' (Philippians 4:13)" (Mark Guy Pearse - The Gentleness of Jesus)

N.J. Hiebert # 1708

November 20th

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

"Have you desired fervently to do some great work for Me? Instead of that you have been laid aside on a bed of sickness and suffering. 'This thing is from Me.' I was unable to attract your attention while you were so active. I wish to teach you some of My deep lessons. It is only those who have learned to wait patiently who can serve Me. My greatest workers are sometimes those who are laid aside from active service in order that they may learn to wield the weapon of prayer.

"Are you suddenly called to occupy a difficult position full of responsibilities? Go forward, counting on me. I am giving you the position full of difficulties for the reason that Jehovah your God will bless you in all your works, and in all the business of your hands (Deuteronomy 15:18). This day I place in your hand a pot of holy oil. Draw form it freely, My child, that all the circumstances arising along the pathway, each word that gives you pain, each interruption trying to your patience, each manifestation of your feebleness, may be anointed with this oil. Remember that interruptions are divine instructions. The sting will go in the measure in which you see Me in all things. Therefore set your heart to all the words that I testify among you this day. For it is your life." (Deuteronomy 32:46, 47.) (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1709

November 21st

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."

(Romans 13:12)

" 'Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep... the night is far spent, the day is at hand." What an arousing motive for holiness! Beware of all pretended holiness that has not this intelligence and this motive. What! is the Lord at hand, and we, Christians, asleep? - whether we think of joy to us, for ever with the Lord - how near now our salvation - or the day of wrath and judgment on a rejecting world. 'Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.' If the world is steeped in dishonesty in this dark night, 'Let us walk honestly, as in the day.' What a change there would be in the conduct, even of Christians, if we were really to awake, to expect our Lord, day by day." (Charles Stanley - the Evangelist from Sheffield , England.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1710

November 22nd

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife (rivalry): and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely supposing to add affliction to my bonds." (Philippians 1:15,16)

"Attention has often been called to the striking fact that we have here the Anglicized Latin word 'sincere,' meaning, literally, 'without wax' - used to translate a Greek word meaning 'sun-tested.' It might seem at first as though there is no connection between the two terms. But we are told that the ancients had a very fine porcelain which was greatly valued, and brought a very high price. This ware was so fragile, that it was only with the greatest difficulty it could be fired without being cracked; and dishonest dealers were in the habit of filling in the cracks that appeared with a pearly-white wax, which looked enough like the true porcelain to pass without being readily detected in the shops. If held to the light, however, the wax was at once manifested as a dark seam; and honest Latin dealers marked their wares 'sine cera' (without wax).

Thus the apostle would have the saints tested by the sunlight of God's truth and holiness, and found to be without wax; that is, he would have them straightforward, and honorable in all their dealings. Anything that savors of sham or hypocrisy is as the wax used to hide the imperfection in the porcelain." (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 1711

November 23rd

"He only." (Psalm 62:6)

"Now, it is well to see that as in the matter of salvation, so in all the details of actual life from day to day, God will not share His glory with the creature. From first to last, it must be 'He only,' and this, too, in reality. It will not do to have the language of dependence upon God on our lips, while our hearts are really leaning on some creature resource. God will make all this fully manifest; He will test the heart; He will put faith into the furnace. 'Walk before Me, and be thou perfect.' Thus it is we reach the proper point. When the soul is enabled, by grace, to get rid of all its fondly-cherished creature expectations, then, and only then, it is prepared to let God act; and when He acts, all must be well. He will not leave anything undone. He will perfectly settle everything on behalf of those who simply put their trust in Him. When unerring wisdom, omnipotent power, and infinite love combine, the confiding heart may enjoy unruffled repose. Unless we can find some circumstance too big or too little for 'the almighty God,' we have no proper base on which to found a single anxious thought." (C.H. Mackintosh - The Book of Genesis)

N.J. Hiebert # 1712

November 24th

"He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet." (Psalm 107:25, 29-30)

"Four storms in the Bible involve servants of the Lord in their work. Jonah was in the storm because of disobedience to the Lord; Paul, because others disregarded his advice; Jesus and His disciples because of Satan's designs to thwart the Lord's work; and sometimes the Lord raises a storm to teach His servants to depend more on Him. Are you in a storm? Commit yourself to Him and watch Him rise and say, 'Peace, be still.' " (Adam Ferguson)

N.J. Hiebert # 1713

November 25th

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
(2 Timothy 3:16)

"This is the instrument by which we came into God's family, for we are 'born the word of God' (1 Peter 1:23) and by it we gain assurance of salvation for 'These things have I written... that ye may know ' (1 John 5:13). Here are the principles by which we are to live, for it provides 'doctrine... reproof... correction... instruction' (2 Timothy 3:16) and it is the standard by which all will eventually be measured - 'the word... shall judge... in the last day' (John 12:48). Don't let the attitudes of others determine your response." (C.F. Anderson)

N.J. Hiebert # 1714

November 26th

"And Joshua went unto him and said unto him: Art thou for us or for our adversaries?' (Joshua 5:13)

"It is impossible to be neutral in the fight, and we ought all, like Joshua, to understand this. 'And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.' He who reveals Himself to Joshua as Lord of hosts claims also His character of holiness. It is impossible for those who are called to fight under a divine leader to remain associated, individually or corporately, with evil or defilement in the walk. It was partly on account of having disregarded this principle that the people were defeated before Ai.

To keep unjudged evil in the heart exposes us to the judgment of God and renders us defenseless in the hands of the enemy; it is the same thing with evil in the assembly. If God is holy in redemption, as He showed Himself to be to Moses in the bush (Exodus 3:5) - and where did He make a more brilliant display of His holiness? - let us remember that He is not less holy in the combat, and that we can only engage in it after having loosened the shoes off our feet." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua)

N.J. Hiebert # 1715

November 27th

"Naomi said , turn again my daughters, go your way... Orpah kissed her mother in law (and returned): but Ruth clave unto her..." (Ruth 1:12-14)

"There are three characters, which bring before us and illustrate three entirely distinct states of soul. In Naomi you have the sad and solemn case of a backslider; in Orpah you have the fearful condition of a soul that prefers the world to Christ; and in Ruth you have the beautiful picture of a soul that prefers Christ to everything. "You can easily tell which of these three characters is yours. Are you a backslider? are you one who prefers the world to Christ? or, are you one who prefers Christ to anything and everything? Do not say you do not know; that is not true. You do know. When I was in the world I knew quite well that I preferred the world, and that in my heart there was nothing but enmity to God's beloved Son." (W.T.P. Wolston - Rest for the Weary)

N.J. Hiebert # 1716

November 28th

"Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel but not of me... that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves." (Isaiah 30:1,2)

"Where we often fail is through acting from impulse. If we think to plan, instead of praying in real subjection to God, we need to fear for ourselves. What is rendered in 1 Timothy 2:1 'intersession,' and in 1 Timothy 4:5 'prayer,' means such intercourse with God as admits of confiding appeal to Him. We can thus freely and personally speak to Him about all things, now that through the one Mediator we know Him as a Saviour-God, Who has first spoken to us in grace, and given us the access we have into this grace wherein we stand. Is it not, then, an outrage on the God Who has thus opened His ear to us if we look to fleshly means? And yet who does not know that this is the very thing to which perhaps, more than any other, the wise and prudent are prone?" (William Kelly - An Exposition of the Book of Isaiah)

N.J. Hiebert # 1717

November 29th

"The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you." (Isaiah 54:10)

"During the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a group of social analysts gazed 100 years into the future and tried to forecast what the world would be like in 1993. Some of their predictions were: * Many people will live to be 150. * The government will have grown more simple, as true greatness tends always toward simplicity. * Prisons will decline, and divorce will be considered unnecessary. "They were wrong on all counts! So, what does the future really hold? Two things are certain: Circumstances will change; God will not. "We know these truths from observation. We see them throughout the Bible. Yet, we must prove them for ourselves when our life turns upside down and everything seems our of control. "We can give way to fear and panic, or we can choose to trust God's promise: ' "The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has mercy on you' (Isaiah 54:10). "Although circumstances will change, God will never change. We can be confident that He will always be faithful. Therefore, we can be at peace." (DCM)

Be still my soul; the Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain. (von Schlegel)

(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1996), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1718

November 30th

"Jephthah (God's opener) uttered all the words before the Lord."
(Judges 11:11)

"That is what is needed in meeting false doctrine. We need an opener, we need that sprit of faith which would take our Bibles and open up the truth in the face of any false doctrine, no matter what its name may be. And it is a blessed fact, that no matter whether a heretic holds the Bible in his hand or not (all the better if he does hold it in his hand), you can use the word of God against him, if you are an opener. If you have had your heart opened by the Spirit of God to His truth, you can meet the holder of wicked doctrine, no matter what his profession may be, and you can overthrow him in the power of that Word....

"There is the victory over heresy for us. It is with an open Bible, and an open heart and conscience. We will find that the first thing we have to do is to draw the line between ourselves and the false doctrine. That is why it is an utter impossibility for God's people to allow for one moment anything like alliance with those who hold false doctrine. We may bear with ignorance; we can bear with any failure to grasp fully the scope of divine truth. A fellow-Christian may be ignorant of the truths of prophecy; he may be ignorant of the full extent of redemption in all its blessed results, but I can go on patiently with one who is only ignorant."

(S. Ridout - Lectures on the Book of Judges)

N.J. Hiebert # 1719


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