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

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Gems from October 2003

September 29th

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

" 'Unto Jesus' and not at our strength. Our strength is good only to glorify ourselves; to glorify God one must have the strength of God.
" 'Unto Jesus' and not at weakness. By lamenting our weakness have we ever become more strong? Let us look to Jesus, and His strength will communicate itself to our hearts, His praise will break forth from our lips." (Translated from the French of Theodore Monod by Helen Willis)

N.J. Hiebert # 1657

September 30th

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

(Hebrews 13:8)

"We forget that Jesus Christ is the same today, sitting on the throne, as He was yesterday, when He trod the pathway of our world. And in this forgetfulness how much we miss! What He was, that He is. What He did, that He does. The Gospels are simply specimens of the life that He is ever living; they are leaves torn out of the diary of His unchangeable Being. Let this fact become the watchword of a blessed life." (F.B. Meyer)

N.J. Hiebert # 1658

September 30th

"Now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly." (Hebrews 11:16)

"There is a great world somewhere, vast beyond imagination, that holds the headquarters of the universe, the homstead of eternity, and the metropolis of deity. It has a population in numbers beyond all statistics and appointments of splendor beyond the capacity of canvass or poem or angel to describe. It is as certain as the Bible is authentic. We spell it with six letters and pronounce it: HEAVEN." (T.D. Talmadge)

N.J. Hiebert # 1659

October 1st

"God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His Name." (Hebrews 6:10)

"Never mind where your work is. Never mind whether it be visible or not. Never mind whether your name is associated with it. You may never see the issues of your toil here. You are working for eternity. If you cannot see results here, remember God does see them, and if you are faithful now, your work will follow you. So do your duty and trust in God." (Alexander Maclaren)

N.J. Hiebert # 1660

October 2nd

"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh." 

(1 Timothy 3:16)

"In a company of literary gentlemen, Daniel Webster was asked if he could comprehend how Christ Jesus could be both God and man. 'No sir,' he replied. Then he added, 'I should be ashamed to acknowledge Him as my Saviour if I could comprehend Him. He then would be no greater than myself. Such is my inability to save myself that I feel I need a superhuman Saviour - One so glorious that I cannot comprehend Him."
We comprehend Him not; Yet earth and heaven tell,
He sits as sovereign on the throne And ruleth all things well
(Choice Sayings-)

N.J. Hiebert # 1661

October 3rd

"He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)

"Our love is often quenched by one act of sin against us; but Christ's love was unquenched by four thousand years of sin against Him, the accumulated floodtide of man's defiance and rebellion. Think of the vicious hatred of man against Him, revealed in the scourging, smiting, spitting, swearing mob that nailed Him to the tree. My sins. Your sins. Our sins - the sins of a world full of sinners, full of sin. Yet for all this, His love was not quenched." (G.M. Landis)

N.J. Hiebert # 1662

October 4th

"Jesus... said, it is finished." (John 19:30)

"There is not a single word that the Lord Jesus wished unuttered, or a single step retraced, or a single duty that had been omitted. He was the only man who walked with a firm, steady and rhythmic step; never faltering, never erring, but going on from strength to strength. He was the Just Man whose path was as a 'shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day' (Proverbs 4:13)." (Adolph Saphir)

N.J. Hiebert # 1663

October 5th

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

"The whole world sped down the ages to its doom. Did the hosts of happy beings in God's presence peer over heaven's battlements and mark with sadness its downward course? Did they shudder as from that world arose groans and curses and ribald laughter? Any help? Any hope? None! none! for who can stop a world cut loose from its God? And yet, as they ponder over this enigma, the Eternal King rises form His throne and, laying aside His mantle splendor, steps down to the door of our dark world. For once in all its history, the door swings INWARDS, and the Lord of Glory enters as a little child." (D. Anderson-Berry)

N.J. Hiebert # 1664

October 6th

"My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." (Psalm 63:1)

"A little mercy may save the soul, but it must be a great deal of mercy that will satisfy the soul. The least glimpse of God's countenance may be a staff to support the soul, an ark to secure the soul, a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide the soul; but it must be much, very much of God that will satisfy the soul." (Thomas Brooks)

N.J. Hiebert # 1666

October 7th

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses." (2 Corinthians 12:10)

" 'Sacrifice?' said David Livingstone. 'Away with the word. It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then, with the forsaking of the common conveniences of this life, may cause the spirit to waver, but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we think of the great sacrifice which He made for us.' "
Not for ease or worldly pleasure,
nor for fame my prayer shall be;
Gladly will I toil and suffer,
only let me walk with Thee
(Choice Sayings)

N.J. Hiebert # 1667

October 8th

"What is thy beloved more than another beloved?" (Song of Solomon 5:9)

"All other greatness has been marred by littleness; all other wisdom has been flawed by folly; all other goodness has been tainted by imperfection. The Lord Jesus remains the only Being of whom, without gross flattery, it could be asserted: 'He is altogether lovely.' " (C.I Scofield)

N.J. Hiebert # 1668

October 9th

"These things have I spoken unto you... that your joy might be full." 

(John 15:11)

"There is nothing in common between the life of Heaven and that of the world. It is not a question of prohibitions as to using this or that, but of having altogether other tastes, desires, and joys. It is on this account that people imagine Christians are sad, for we do not enjoy the same things. The world does not know our joys; no unrenewed person can comprehend what renders the Christian happy." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1669

October 10th

"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

"We look out on a world teetering on the brink of disaster. We hear the raucous cry of the godless, and the philosophical fumblings of those, who, professing themselves to be wise, have become fools. We hear the cry of the cults, the sanctimonious dronings of formal religions. Then above all this comes the plaintive voice of the Saviour, 'Will ye also go away?' Every true believer responds, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ.' (John 6:67-69) " (J. Boyd Nicholson)

N.J. Hiebert # 1670

October 11th

"And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for
they know His voice." (John 10:4)

"After a hijacked plan slammed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, many people inside the building were tapped by a cloud of thick, blinding smoke. Police officer Isaac Hoopi ran into the blackness, searching for survivors, and heard people calling for help. He began shouting back, over and over: 'Head toward my voice! Head toward my voice!'

"Six people, who had lost all sense of direction in a smoke-filled hallway, heard the officer's shouts and followed. Hoopi's voice led them out of the building to safety.

" 'Head toward My voice!' That's also the invitation of Jesus to each of us when we are in danger or when we have lost our way. Jesus described the true spiritual shepherd of the sheep as one who 'calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice;' (John 10:3-4).

"Are we listening for Jesus' voice during our times of prayer and Bible reading? When we're in difficult circumstances, are we walking toward Him instead of groping in the dark?

"Jesus is 'the good shepherd' (v.11). Whatever our need for guidance or protection, He calls us to heed His voice and follow Him." (Our Daily Bread)

N.J. Hiebert # 1671

October 12th

(Please note Gems No 1628 & 1648)

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

"Have you money difficulties? Is it hard to keep within your income? 'This thing is from Me.' For I am He that possesses all things. I wish you to draw everything from Me, and that you depend entirely upon Me. My riches are illimitable. 'But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:19). Put my promise to the proof, so that it may not be said of you, 'Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God.' (Deuteronomy 1:32)
"Are you passing through a night of affliction? 'This thing is from Me.'

I am the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). I have left you without human support, that in turning to Me you might obtain eternal consolation '(But) our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father which hath loved us and hath given, us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.'
(2 Thessalonians 2:16,17)" (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1672

October 13th

"That I may open my mouth boldly." (Ephesians 6:19)

"I have not been like a shepherd after lost sheep, nor like a physician among dying men, nor like a servant bidding you to the marriage, nor like one plucking brands from the burning! How often have I gone to your houses to try and win souls, and you have put me off with a little worldly talk. I dared not tell you that you were perishing. How often have I sat at some of your tables, and my heart yearned for your souls, yet a false shame kept me silent! How often I have gone home crying bitterly, 'Free me from bloodguiltiness, O God!' " (Robert Murray McCheyne)

N.J. Hiebert # 1673

October 14th

"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 8:38).

"If we want to act as the channels of the grace of Christ, we must have to do with Him in the deep secret of our own souls. We must learn of Him; we must feed upon Him; we must know the meaning of communion with His heart; we must be near enough to Him to know the secrets of His mind, and carry out the purposes of His love. If we would reflect Him, we must gaze upon Him. If we would reproduce Him, we must feed upon Him, we must have Him dwelling in our hearts by faith. We may depend upon it, that what is really in our hearts will come out in our lives. We may have a quantity of truth in our heads, and flippantly flowing from our lips, but if we really desire to be channels of communication between His heart and the needy ones in the scene through which we are passing, we must habitually drink into His love. It cannot possibly be in any other way." (Miscellaneous Writings of C.H. Mackintosh - Vol. 5)

N.J. Hiebert # 1674

October 15th

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

"What have you ever done in connection with your inheritance? You enter into it, that is all. That is one of our favorite expressions, we enter into things. It is very real, too, and describes the act exactly - we simply enter into that which was made ready to our hand; not a house to build, not a vineyard to plant, not a well to dig; all is there, and everything that is needed is simply in the obedience of faith to withstand the enemy who would keep us out of it. No matter what form he may take, it is the thing that keeps us out of the practical enjoyment of our inheritance, as given to us in the word of God, as revealed to us there; this enemy is to be cast out by faith and obedience, and everything is ready for us to enjoy." (S. Ridout - Lectures on The Book of Judges)

N.J. Hiebert # 1675

October 16th

"The angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon, and said unto him: The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12).

"Two things are closely united: strength was his (Gideon's) in the Lord Himself. 'Go in this thy might,' said the Lord looking upon him; and he is immediately seized with the sense of his own nothingness: his family was the poorest in Manasseh, and he the least in his father's house. And the Lord said unto him: 'Surely I will be with thee.' " (H.L. Rossier)

N.J. Hiebert # 1676

October 17th

"And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me" (Nehemiah 2:8).

"It is well for us to mark this principle in the ways of God with His people. If he puts within our hearts a desire for any service - a service for His glory - He will surely open out before us the way to it. If it be really His work on which our minds are set, He will enable us to do it in His own way and time. The door may seem to be closed and barred; but if we wait on Him 'who openeth, and no man shutteth,' we shall find that it will suddenly open to us, so that we may enter in without let or hindrance."
(Edward Dennett - Exposition of Nehemiah)

N.J. Hiebert # 1677

October 18th

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

"Man has not the strength to do good. He can only be saved by grace. He does not need the law, but only Christ. There is nothing that is harder for the proud heart to accept than this fact. This is why God had to give the law first. He had to show us that 'by works of law no flesh shall be justified before Him' (Romans 3:20). And when the law had shown that it had no power to save, then grace came - personified and manifested in the Person of the Son of God." (H.L. Heijkoop)

N.J. Hiebert # 1678

October 19th

"Is not thy fear [of God] thy confidence? thy hope, the uprightness of they ways?" (Job 4:6)

"Many people mix up their own personal fidelity with Christ, and what is the effect of it? The mixture of self with Christ has always a disintegrating effect - always injures and darkens the ground of our peace. I must have a peace entirely outside myself. I must have a confidence based upon Him who has no flaw at all, and who has done a work that gives me to be without a flaw before God. That is exactly what Christ has done." (William Kelly - Job)

N.J. Hiebert # 1680

October 20th

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him"

(John 3:36).

"Of all the unintelligent creatures I have known, I believe the chicken is by far the dumbest. Did you ever see one cross the road (or try to cross) in front of you and get halfway, then turn around and go back (only it didn't get back)? Some time ago I found an exceptionally mixed-up bird. She had found a doorknob - the white porcelain kind of antiquity - and had mistaken it for an egg. That's right, she was so ignorant she couldn't tell the difference between an egg and a doorknob! How dumb can a chicken be? She had been sitting on that piece of porcelain for I don't know how long. I missed her from the flock and finally located her in a tuft of grass squatting firmly on her prize. I imagine she might be sitting there yet if I hadn't robbed her of her precious knob.

"Now I am not asking myself, how foolish can a chicken be, but how foolish can a sinner be? The Bible is clear on the subject that mere religion cannot save! It takes a new life, an act of God by regeneration, to bring salvation. Yet there are thousands of people who imagine that they can earn their salvation by good works, religious exercises, church membership, and the keeping of 'sacred ordinances,' instead of by 'pure grace' through faith in Jesus Christ. In a real sense, they are just trying to hatch a 'living chick' out of a 'dead doorknob.' Unless awakened to their mistake by the Spirit of God, they will sit there until death overtakes them and they are eternally lost. The Bible says, 'But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness' (Romans 4:5). Don't let Satan's counterfeit of 'religion' fool you. You need Christ!" (Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1966, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1681

October 21st

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

"God teaches His children, but in general it is through those He has given for the good of the church, and, though never tied down to that order, He does not set aside the wise and gracious arrangement that He has formed and will perpetuate as long as the church endures. Nourishment is ministered by joints and bands, and thus all the body knit together increases with the increase of God. What would enable us to do without one another is a thing that God never gives or sanctions. Supposing a person were cast upon a desert island, God would bless him in his solitary reading of the word with prayer; but where there are other means and opportunities, such as assembling ourselves together for instruction, for reading the scriptures, for public preaching, exhortation, etc., to neglect or despise them is the will of man and not the guidance of the Spirit of God." (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 1682

October 22nd

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

"The spirit in the course of the New Testament is often dragging into light, so to speak, some obscure corners of the old scriptures which might be naturally passed by:

- "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).
- "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you" (Habakkuk 1:5).
- "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publish peace!" (Nahum 1:15)

"But it helps to affirm the precious truth, that 'all scripture is given by inspiration of God.' The stars in that hemisphere of glories may differ in magnitude, but they are all equally the workmanship of one hand. There is, perhaps we may say, no portion of the Old Testament, that is not either expressly cited, or distinctly referred to, or silently glanced at in the New Testament." (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 1683

October 23rd

"He that covereth his transgressions, shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

"It is the greatest mistake a soul can be guilty of, to attempt to cover sin and transgression. Yet men invariably shrink from coming out frankly with a confession of their true state and actions. It seems to be natural to fallen man (ever since the day that our first parents, by fig-leaf aprons, sought to hide their nakedness,) to endeavor to cover his shame, hoping thereby to avoid the just consequences of his sin. But God's word clearly makes known the fact that he who justifies himself can only be condemned at last. It is the one who sides with God, and condemns himself, who is justified from all things....

"Of course, by confession is not meant a general acknowledgment of sinfulness and wickedness of life, uttered as a kind of soul-ease. True confession involves genuine repentance and self-judgment. Therefore we are here told, 'He that confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.' The repentant person no longer hugs the chains that bind him, but longs for full deliverance from them. He comes to God with real concern about his unholy ways and thoughts and words, earnestly seeking grace to cease from them, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. But this he cannot do in himself. It is only when he rests in simple faith in the finished work of Christ, and yields himself unto God as one now alive from the dead, that he is able to rise above the sins that have blighted his life and almost damned his soul."
(H.A. Ironside - Notes on Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert #1684

October 24th

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you..."

(2 Corinthians 9:8).

"There is an inexhaustible source. We may come and come and come again, and never find that fountain lowered by all our drafts upon it. Sooner, far sooner, should the ocean be emptied by a teacup than infinite 'power' and 'love' be impoverished by all that His saints could draw from Him. 'All grace.' " (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

N.J. Hiebert # 1685

October 25th

"I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it" (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

"In the Song of Solomon there is no mention of sin, pardon, or justification. Why is this? These questions had been previously settled, and now the heart is enjoying full and perfect liberty in the Lord's presence. All such questions, in every case, are settled when the sinner is first brought to the feet of Jesus - settled on the solid ground of the Saviour's finished work - never, no never again to be raised, so far as God and faith are concerned. Satan, and the unbelief of our own hearts, may seek to disturb the eternally settled question; but all such thoughts should be treated as coming from such sources. "I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever..." The heart that knows these things is free, happy, and at home in the immediate presence of the Lord, and that, too, in the highest sense." (Andrew Miller - Meditations on the Song of Solomon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1686

October 26th

(Please note Gem # 1628, 1648 & 1672)

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

"Has some friend disappointed you? - one to whom you had opened your heart? 'This thing is from Me.' I have allowed this disappointment that you might learn that the best friend is JESUS. He preserves us from falling, fights for us in our combats; yes, the best friend is JESUS. I long to be your confidant.

"Has someone said false things of you? Leave that, and come closer to Me, under My wings, away from the place of wordy dispute; 'for I will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday' (Psalm 37:6).

"Have your plans been all upset? Are you crushed and weary? 'This thing is from Me.' Have you made plans and then coming, asked Me to bless them? I wish to make your plans for you. I will take the responsibility, for it is 'too heavy for you, and you could not perform it alone' (Exodus 18:18). You are but an instrument and not an agent." (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1687

October 27th

"I will trust and not be afraid" (Isaiah 12:2).

"Two-year old Max was securely buckled in his seat in Grandpa's pickup truck. He was waiting for Dad and Grandpa to stop talking so he could go for a ride. His mother poked her head in the truck and said, 'Where are you going, Max?' 'Not know,' he replied, raising his little arms. " 'What are you going to do?' she asked. 'Not know,' came the answer again. " 'Well,' she asked, 'do you want to come back in the house with me?' " 'No!' came the quick reply as he settled himself more firmly, waiting to begin his adventure. " 'That little boy taught me a lesson I needed right then,' his mother told me later. She was soon to give birth to another baby, and she had reason to be unsure of what was ahead. 'He didn't know where he was going or what he what he was going to do, but he trusted Grandpa completely. Max's confidence in Grandpa is the kind of trust I need in my heavenly Father.' "If you are in one of those periods of life when you don't know what lies ahead, or you don't know what to do about some critical issue, it might help to think about it that way. God wants your to have the confidence in Him to say, like the prophet Isaiah, 'I will trust and not be afraid." 'We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.' (Our Daily Bread - August 1997)

N.J. Hiebert # 1688

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


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