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

Friday, October 01, 2004

Gems from October 2004

October 1

"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" (Deuteronomy 32:29)

The following lines were found among the papers of the late Professor B---, at the close of a life of devotion to the quest of honour and fame, a life which would, no doubt, be highly commended by the children of the world. The lines speak for themselves with a seriousness and intensity which cannot be overstated, and stand as a solemn warning to all who would walk ambition's glittering highway.

Why labour for honour? Why seek after fame?
Why toil to establish a popular name?
Fame! aye, what is fame? a bubble - a word,
A sound, that's worth nothing, a hope that's deferred;
A heartsickening hope that's too often denied
Or withheld from the worthy, to pander to pride.

Then out upon fame! let her guerdon be riven,
Nay - hold - let me strive as I always have striven.
Out, out upon fame! too late will she come,
Her wreath mocks my brow, will it hang on my tomb?
Too much have I laboured, too willingly gave
My thoughts to the world AND HAVE EARNED BUT A GRAVE

(J.K. - Christian Truth - Vol. 23)

N.J. Hiebert # 2024

October 2

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

Remember that your lamps are to be kept well trimmed and brightly burning. What is more dangerous than a lamppost with no light at the top on a dark night? The very thing which ought to be a guide, proves a stumbling block; so a Christian who is not letting his light shine, always proves a real hindrance to others. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2025

October 3

"Their sins and iniquity will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)

The moment you get the living God expanded in the Epistle to the Hebrews you find that everything He touches He communicates life for eternity to it. 

His throne is for ever and ever - Chapter 1. His house is forever and ever - Chapter 3. 
His salvation is eternal - Chapter 5. His priesthood is unchangeable - Chapter 7. 
His covenant is everlasting - Chapter 9. His kingdom cannot be moved - Chapter 12. 

There is nothing He touches that He does not impart eternity to. To entitle the Epistle to the Hebrews in a word, we might say it is "the loaded altar and the empty sepulchre." 
(J.G. Bellett - Musing on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

N.J. Hiebert # 2026

October 4

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 14:11)

The only thing which can enable me to go on is to have Christ the object before me, and just in proportion as it is so can I be happy. There may be a thousand and one things to vex me if self is of importance; they will not vex me at all if self is no there to be vexed. The passions of the flesh will not harass us if we are walking with God. What trials we get when not walking with God and thinking only of self! There is no such deliverance as that of having no importance in one's own eyes. Then one may be happy indeed before God. (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert # 2027

October 5

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
(Proverbs 4:23)
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

It is not what I do, or what I say with my lips, but what I really am, what my heart is, what the affections are occupied with. I believe we are in a day when intelligence goes very far ahead of the heart. The secret of the want of a great deal of spiritual power is pride of heart. Hence I would say before God, let us beware of backsliding in heart. God must have reality. (W.T.P. Wolston)

N.J. Hiebert # 2028

October 6

"The blood of Jesus Christ (God's) Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

When the day of judgment comes, who shall be able to stand? Who? The great, the mighty, the noble of the earth? Who? The well-disposed, the upright, the moral? They, and they only, who are redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (H.F.W.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2029

October 7

"He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." (John 3:33)

The important, practical question is, How do we treat the Bible? Do we honour it because it is the Word of God? Are we guided by its counsels? Have we proved its sufficiency? Do we, when we read it, meditate on it, and mix faith with it, and realize the personal enjoyment of it soul-comforting ministrations? Do we habitually rely on the holy Spirit to enable us to discern, receive, and communicate its precious mysteries? (H.H.S.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2030

October 8

"It is a good thing. . . to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning." (Psalm 92:1,2)

I am a physician, and I find my patients get a great deal of help from one of my rules. I tell them not to go out of their rooms in the morning until they are physically satisfied; and I say to you, do not go out of your bedroom in the morning until you are spiritually satisfied; until you heart is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord; and then you will show it forth at the breakfast table and all the day long. (A.T.S.)

Praise shall employ these tongues of ours,
Till we, with all the saints above,
Extol His name with nobler powers,
And see the ocean of His love:
Then, while we look, and wondering gaze,
We'll fill the heavens with endless praise

N.J. Hiebert # 2031

October 9

"The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." (Psalm 119:130)

After a woman sued a fast-food restaurant for being burned by coffee, companies started changing their manuals and warning labels. Check out these instructions:

- On a frozen dinner: DEFROST BEFORE EATING


- On a peanut butter jar: MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS

- On a milk bottlecap: AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT

If some people need these obvious guidelines on household items, think about how much more we need God's direction. Psalm 119 tells of the importance of His instruction manual - the Bible. On the pages of Scripture we find what God wants us to believe, to be, and to do.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

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

"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

Ask the Lord to teach you His statues and to direct your step according to His Word (Psalm 119:133,135). Then read it often and follow the instructions. (Anne Cetas)
Give us, O Lord, a strong desire
To look within Thy Word each day;
Help us to hide it in our heart,
Lest from its truth our feet would stray
. --Branon

Scripture is meant to give us protection, correction, and direction.


N.J. Hiebert # 2032

October 10

"...Saul of Tarsus - behold he prayeth." (Acts 9:11)

It is hard to imagine how any one, with the word of God in his hand, could presume to detract from the value of prayer. It is one of the very highest functions, and most important privileges of the Christian life. No sooner has the new nature been communicated by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ, than it expresses itself in the sweet accents of prayer.

Prayer is the earnest breathing of the new man, drawn forth by the operation of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all true believers. Hence, to find any one praying is to find him manifesting divine life in one of its most touching and beauteous characteristics, namely, DEPENDENCE. There may be a vast amount of ignorance displayed in the prayer, both in its character and object; but the spirit of prayer is, unquestionably, divine.

A child may ask for a great many foolish things; but, clearly, he could not ask for anything if he had not life. The ability and desire to ask are the infallible proofs of life.

No sooner had Saul of Tarsus passed from death unto life, than the Lord says of him, "Behold he prayeth!" Doubtless he had, as "a Pharisee of the Pharisees," said many "long prayers;" but not until he "saw that Just One, and heard the voice of His mouth," could it be said of him, "behold, he prayeth." (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2033

October 11

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." (Ezra 7:10)

Often nothing is more fatal to souls than a superficial and limited knowledge of the Word. How many divisions and disputes would be avoided among God's children if they would consider the Scriptures in their various facets. Separating one truth from other related truths without taking these related truths into consideration, is generally a proof of ignorance and self-will, if not the fruit of proud self-satisfaction that desires to teach others and refuses to be taught of God. Almost all false doctrines have their starting point in a truth taken out of context, and therefore poorly understood, which thus becomes the very root of error." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on Ezra, Nehemia, Esther)

N.J. Hiebert # 2034

October 12

"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." 

(Ephesians 5:14)


All the SLEEPING would wake up,

All the LUKEWARM would warm up,

All the DISGRUNTLED would sweeten up,

All the DISCOURAGED would cheer up,

All the DEPRESSED would look up,

All the GOSSIPERS would shut up,

All the WITNESSES would speak up,

All the BELIEVERS would stand up!

(Taken from CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 3)

N. J. Hiebert # 2035

October 13

"Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand which could keep rank: they were not of double heart." (1 Chronicles 12:33)

That is a good lesson to learn - to "keep rank." If you are going to keep rank, you will have to be with those who are marching under the commands of the great "Head-general"; you won't be keeping rank with the "stragglers," but with those in the battle line.

Isn't it a sad thing to find Christians dropping out of the ranks? lagging behind? joining the stragglers? getting out of step?

Fellow-Christian, are you in your local gathering, keeping rank? keeping step with those who are going on with God, or are you a hindrance? Are you lagging behind? Are you, by your example, discouraging those that would keep rank? Thank God! here are some that were men of war that could keep rank. They didn't learn to do it all in a moment. They learned that by careful, energetic effort and experience; they set themselves to it; they learned to keep rank.

There is something wrong when we cannot keep rank with our brethren - when we find ourselves superior to all the rest of our brethren. There is something wrong with a condition like that. God expects us to go on with our brethren - not of course in what is wrong - never - but there is such a thing as being found going on with the saints of God. When we find ourselves going off to ourselves, taking the ground of superior holiness - all our brethren are wrong, and we alone are right - there is something fundamentally wrong with US. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2036

October 14

"Not he that commeneth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." (2 Corinthians 10:18)

Men who run unsent, break down, in one way or another, and find their way back to that which they professed to have left.

Many a vessel has sailed out of harbour, in gallant style, with all its canvas spread, amid cheering and shouting, and with many fair promises of a first-rate passage; but alas! storms, waves, shoals, rocks, and quicksands have changed the aspect of things; and the voyage that commenced with hope, has ended in disaster.

If we run unsent, we shall not only be left to learn our folly, but to exhibit it. (Food for the desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 2037

October 15

"I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word." (John 17:6)

"God can never forget one particle of what His Son suffered to bring us into that place; and Christ can never forget one of those whom the Father has given Him: not one will be wanting. Our life is in Him, and whatever we may have to pass through down here, that life is incorruptible and unchanged. The vessel may be marred, but the life is preserved, it is eternal. And this eternal life is something that Christ has given you, to be the power of union between yourself and the Father and the Son." (G.V. Wigram - Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert # 2038

October 16

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)

There could be no finer test than this. (Matthew 7:20)

The fruit of the Bible is good and only good. Earl Baldwin, the famous statesman, once Prime Minister of Great Britain, speaking at an annual meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society, said, "No living man can tell or know how The Book in it journeyings through the world has startled the individual soul in ten thousand different places into a new life, a new world, a new belief, a new conception, and a new faith." Millions of lives can testify to the truth of this.

A striking example of good and bad fruit is seen in the following incident. An uncle and nephew were travelling with a large sum of money over a wild and very thinly populated prairie land of America. Nightfall came on, and the travellers had to look for a shelter. They discovered a log cabin, and knocked at the door. An old man with long shaggy beard and unkempt appearance answered their call. They asked for accommodation, which was willingly accorded. They were shown into a room where they could sleep on the floor. It was arranged that the uncle should lie down to rest, and the nephew should sit up with loaded revolver to make sure that their treasure was safe. Presently the uncle saw the nephew preparing to sleep. He reminded him of the vigil he had promised to keep.

The nephew replied, "There is no need to sit up with loaded revolver. We are perfectly safe here. I looked through the keyhole to see what the old man was doing. I saw him take a Bible down from the shelf, and read a chapter to his wife. I then heard him pray for the blessing of God to rest on the travellers under his roof." (A.J. Pollock - Why I believe the Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 2039

October 17

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowls and mercies (love's comforting power)..." (Philippians 2:1)

Love knows how to do without what it naturally wants. Love knows how to say, "What it does matter?"

"And it is my prayer that your love may be more and more rich in knowledge and in all manner of insight, enabling you to have a sense of what is vital". A moment later he has to refer to something trying to the spirit, but Love which enables to "a sense of what is vital" comes to the rescue at once. He does not brood over it or worry, for "What does it matter?"

"Some indeed actually for envy and strife... are proclaiming the Christ... from motives of faction... thinking to raise up tribulation for me in my bonds. Shall I give way to the trial and lose patience and peace? ... Nay; what matters it? Is not the fiery arrow quenched in Christ for me?" (Moule.) It will not touch the glory of God, the ultimate victory of truth. Love accepts the trying things of life without asking for explanations. It trusts and is at rest. "Love's comforting power." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 2040

October 18

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

"I shall not want." This conclusion flows, not from what we are to Him, but from what He is to us. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2041

October 19

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

If I examine my own heart I cannot find it out. I know more of God's heart than I do of my own; for my own is so subtle I cannot get to the bottom of it; "desperately wicked: who can know it" and the best man upon earth will be the first to confess this. (JND)

N.J. Hiebert # 2042

October 20

"...the trying of your faith worketh patience." (James 1:3)

By nature we are inclined to be fretful and impatient. Even Christians sometimes rebel against the ways of God when these go contrary to their own desires. But he who learns to be submissive to whatever God permits glorifies Him who orders all things according to the counsel of His own will.

David said his soul had quieted itself as a weaned child (Psalm 131:2). This is patience exemplified. When natural nourishment is taken from a babe, and it is fed on other food more suitable for its age, it becomes peevish and fretful. But when actually weaned all this is ended, and it accepts gratefully the proffered refreshment. (H.A. Ironside - Notes on James)

N.J. Hiebert # 2043

October 21

"And He (Jesus) said unto them, Come... and rest a while." (Mark 6:31)


The great Composer writes the theme
And gives us each a part to play.
To some a sweet and flowing air,
Smooth and unbroken all the way

They pour their full hearts gladness out
In notes of joy and service blent;
But some He gives long bars of rests
With idle voice and instrument

He who directs the singing spheres,
The music of the morning stars,
Needs, for His full creation's hymn,
The quiet of those soundless bars

Be silent unto God, my soul,
If this the score He writes for thee,
And "hold the rest"; play no false note
To mar His perfect harmony

Yet be thou watchful for thy turn;
Strike on the instant, true and clear,
Lest from the grand, melodious whole
Thy note be missing to His ear
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert # 2044

October 22

"And when they had taken up the anchors , they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands..." (Acts 27:40)

It is the word of God which provides direction for out lives. The Bible is like those rudder bands that kept the ship steady and unwavering in the midst of those terrible waves, wind and storm. How important to keep our eyes steadily focused, through the Bible's Divine direction, on the end of the path of faith (he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - Hebrews 11:10). How we need this Divide rudder to guide us along the journey of life! (Doug Nicolet - The Journey of Life)

N.J. Hiebert # 2045

October 23

"When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door..."
(Luke 13:25)

The gospel is not always going to be preached. God will not always send forth the message of peace. He is the God of judgement as well as the God of peace, and Christ is a Judge as well as a Saviour. He is now seated on the right hand of God, but He will ere long rise up and shut to the door. The preaching of the cross will then cease; the seeker will not find, the knocker will be disappointed, the asker will be refused; the gospel testimony will close, the church (all those redeemed by the precious blood of Christ) be removed to glory, and the hypocrite and unbeliever left for judgment.

Men will discover their mistake then. The folly of putting off salvation will be made manifest. The door will be shut, and man's doom eternally settled. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still." (Revelation 22:11) How imperative, then, is the necessity to "strive to enter in at the strait gate." (Luke 13:24) (H.H. Snell - Steams of Refreshing)

N.J. Hiebert # 2046

October 24

"And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not." (Jeremiah 45:5)

Our corporate society has successfully infected out thinking that climbing to heights of promotion is most desirable. Or do we say that we want to be like some respected teacher or evangelist? When does a lump of pliable clay ever tell the Potter what vessel it wishes to be? The Potter Himself has the sovereign right to determine the clay's purpose, either lofty or lowly; and O glorious truth - He desires that we be conformed to the image of His Son, not to another mortal. "As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you" (Jeremiah 26:14). (Rick Morse)

Through me, Thou gentle Master Thy purposes fulfill:
I yield myself forever to Thy most holy will

(Theodore Monod)
N.J. Hiebert # 2047

October 25

"Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8)

We cannot know what it meant for the Son of God to step down from His throne, humbling Himself to behold the things in heaven (Psalm 113:6) and to pass through the myriad galaxies and place His foot on the dust of this microscopic planet, stained with sin. Just to become a man was a sorrow. The inhabitor of Eternity submitting to the process of time, sunset and sunrise; the Creator of all things to become the carpenter in Nazareth. God manifest in human flesh! Why this infinite stoop? "The death of the cross." Only thus could divine justice and man's need be satisfied. (J. Boyd Nicholson)

From the highest heights of glory, to the cross of deepest shame,
Thus accomplishing redemption, Jesus in His pity came
. (De Matos)

N.J. Hiebert # 2048

October 26

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Ephesians 1:7)

One of the Christian's greatest blessings is the forgiveness of sin. Without it, we could never know true joy or peace. In fact, without forgiveness we would be forever separated from a holy God and barred from heaven and all of its glories.

In his book Dare to Believe, Dan Baumann told of a man named Fred Blom. Although he was converted as a child, as he grew older he chose the wrong friends. Becoming involved with them in a serious crime, he was arrested and sent to prison. During his confinement, he recalled the blessed relationship he had once enjoyed with the heavenly Father. So, confessing his sins to the Lord, he experienced His forgiveness and was restored to fellowship with Him.

When his case came up for review by the parole board, Fred hoped for an early release. But the decision went against him. Although he was discouraged, he was not despondent. Rather, he fixed his hope on something more wonderful than walking out of a prison's iron gates. He began joyfully anticipating the pearly gates of heaven. With that glowing prospect, Fredrick Blom penned these words: "He the pearly gates will open, so that I may enter in; for He purchased my redemption and forgave me all my sin."

How wonderful to be forgiven! It gives us joy, peace, and hope. And all who experience it find the words of Mr. Blom a fitting expression of their own heart's gratitude to God. (R.W.D.)

Love divine, so great and wondrous!
All my sins He then forgave!
I will sing His praise forever,
For His blood, His power to save
. (Blom)

(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1987), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission)

N.J. Hiebert # 2049

October 27

"Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1)

Every day spent in procrastination is adding to the terrible number of things you can never undo. It is often forgotten by the young that even though saved and forgiven at last, there are consequences of their sins which will never be blotted out. We have an influence on others, for good or ill, that a future change of ways can never utterly destroy. Then, sin leaves its effect upon our minds and bodies - an effect that lasts through all time.

It was this a father meant to impress upon his son when he bade him drive a handful of nails part way into a clean, smooth post. With great delight the lad did as he was bidden. "Now, my boy," said the father, "draw them out." This was soon successfully accomplished. "Now take out the holes," was the next command. "Why, father," exclaimed the child, "that is impossible!" So we may think of the forgiveness of our sins as a drawing out of the nails; but, let us never forget, the marks remain. Therefore the wisdom of ceasing at once to do what can never be undone." (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 2050

October 28

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

For those who say, "I don't see any harm in it."

1) Is the dust of worldliness in your eyes?
2) Are you willing to see any harm in it?
3) Will you see any harm in it on a dying bed?
4) Would you like Christ to see you in the act?
5) Do the best Christians you know see harm in it?
6) Is it consistent with "The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world"?
7) Can you commune with God as freely after it?
8) Can you look to God for blessing in the midst of it?
9) How will it look at the judgment seat of Christ? (Christian Truth - Vol. 23)

N.J. Hiebert # 2051

October 29

"A beloved brother, and a faithful minister." (Colossians 4:7)

Wouldn't we all like to be that? I believe our hearts ought to long for that kind of thing. You would like to be that some day. That kind of thing is made up of a lot of very small threads. It is like one of the great hawsers that they use on the ships. They are as big as your arm; but if you were to examine that great rope, you would find that it is made up of lesser ropes, and these are made up of still lesser ropes; and finally you get down to the fibres. Our Christian character is like that. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2052

October 30

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God..." (Psalm 42:1,2.)

An eastern caravan was once overtaken in the desert with the failure of the supply of water. The accustomed fountains were all dried, the oasis was a desert, and they halted an hour before sunset after a day of scorching heat, to find that they were perishing for want of water. Vainly they explored the usual wells, for they were all dry. Dismay was upon all faces and despair in all hearts, when one of the ancient men approached the sheik and counselled him to unloose two beautiful harts that he was conveying home as a present to his bride, and let them scour the desert in search of water. Their tongues were protruding with thirst , and their bosoms heaving with distress. But as they were led our to the borders of the camp and set free on the boundless plain, they lifted up their heads on high and sniffed the air with distended nostrils, and then with unerring instinct, with speed as swift as the wind, they darted off across the desert. Swift horsemen followed close behind; an hour or two later they hastened back with the glad tidings that water had been found, and the camp moved with shouts of rejoicing to the happily discovered fountains.

No instinct can be put in you by the Holy Spirit but one He purposes to fulfill. He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope will not deceive nor fail us when we press forward to its realization.

Are you panting for a draught from some cool spring? Follow the "scent of water"! It will lead you to the heavenly springs. (Mountains Trailways for Youth)
N.J. Hiebert # 2053

October 31

"What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

The cross, as the means by which sins were put away, is of course valued by all real believers, and in this sense they can and do glory in it. But Paul gloried in it for another reason, and saw in the death of Christ another aspect. To him that death was not only deliverance from sins, but deliverance "from this present evil world." To him that cross was not only the place where sin had been judged, but the means by which "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." He saw in the death of Christ the death of all, "and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again." 

What complete separation from the world, what complete devotedness to Christ, do we see here! And yet this is only what becomes one who, in the light of Christ's own words , realizes the place he is responsible to occupy in this world. For must there not be a complete separation of heart and feeling between the servant who is truly occupying for Christ, and the world which has rejected Him? (T.B.B.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2054


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