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

Monday, September 01, 2003

Gems from September 2003

"Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10)

"Paul preached Christ to the idolatrous Thessalonians, and we are not told that he preached against their idols. No, that would have been worse than useless. But once their hearts were brought by the Spirit into occupation with the Son of God, their idols were let go. When once anyone's heart gets engaged with Christ, all else is displaced or distanced in proportion as Christ has His true place there. He is enough the mind and heart to fill." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 1626

August 30th

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus." (John 11:5)

"It is not by accident that Martha's name is put first! If we were going by what we read in Luke 10, we would have expected to read, 'Now Jesus loved Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus.' But Martha's name comes first. We do not forfeit the Lord's love by our selfishness. We may forfeit the sense of it in our souls, but we cannot forfeit His love. You can sin against the Lord's love, but you cannot sin it away. That is a comfort to the soul. So here the Lord's love is expressed first to Martha and then to her sister and then Lazarus. They were all the subjects of that same gracious affection which filled His heart." (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert #1627

August 31st

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

"The disappointments of life are in reality only the decrees of love. I have a message for you today, My child. I will whisper it softly in your ear, in order that the storm clouds which appear may be gilded with glory, and that the thorns on which you may have to walk may be blunted. The message is short - a tiny sentence - but allow it to sink into the depths of your heart, and be to you as a cushion on which to rest our weary head: 'This thing is from Me.' ... " (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1628

September 1st

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)

"If a man, in the vanity of his mind, thrust himself forward and take a burden upon his shoulders, which God never intended him to bear, and, therefore, never fitted him to bear, we may then, surely, expect to see him crushed beneath the weight; but if God lays it upon him, He will qualify and strengthen him to carry it." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20)

N.J. Hiebert # 1629

September 2nd

"The words of the wise are as goads..." (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

"Wisdom's words are not known by quantity, but quality. Not many books, with the consequent weary study; but the right word - like a 'goad': sharp, pointed, effective - and on which may hang, as on a 'nail,' much quiet meditation. 'Given, too, from one shepherd,' hence not self-contradictory and confusing to the listeners. In this way Ecclesiastes would evidently direct our most earnest attention to what follows: 'the conclusion of the whole matter.' Here is absolutely the highest counsel of true human wisdom - the climax of her reasonings - the high-water-mark of her attainments - the limit to which she can lead us: 'Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.' (Ecclesiastes 12:14) (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

N.J. Hiebert # 1630

September 3rd

"How many loaves have ye?" (Mark 6:38)

"The Lord uses what the disciples had. It was but little - nothing for such a multitude. But when blessed and broken by Jesus, it goes a long way. The God who gave life could sustain it, independent of means, or multiply the means to make them adequate to the need. So now it is what 'we have' that Christ uses. Use what we have in faith, and He will make it meet the need of all present.
"It is the power of God giving efficacy to His word, that makes much or little a blessing; and without that, plenty is in vain. In ministry of the Word, the grand end is getting the soul, through the presentation of Christ, brought into living connection with God. True ministry does this for the poor in spirit; the rich go away empty." (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - September 1970)

N.J. Hiebert #1631

September 4th

"Every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it (serpent of brass), shall live." (Numbers 21:8)
"Escape for thy life; look not behind thee... but his (Lot's) wife looked back... and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:17,26)

"We read of two 'looks' in Scripture - one saving, the other destroying. The bitten Israelite looked at the brazen serpent, and was healed. Lot's wife looked back on the cities of the plain, and was turned into a pillar of salt." (J.D.S.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1632

September 5th

"King Solomon prayed, "Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me

(1 Kings 8:25)

"Under a system of responsibility in order to obtain anything from the Lord, we are condemned from the outset. It goes without saying that grace also brings with it responsibility for those under its rule, but this responsibility is completely different. It can be put into these words: 'Let us be that which we are,' whereas legal responsibility says: 'Let us become that which we should be.' " (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 1 Kings)

N.J. Hiebert # 1633

September 6th

"And even to your old age I am HE; and even to hoar hairs I will carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and (I) will deliver you."  (Isaiah 46:4)

"Henry Moorhouse, the 19th-century English evangelist, was feeling loaded down with the burdens of his ministry. Then the Lord gave him a tender reminder of His care.

"When he came home one day, his young daughter, Minnie, whose legs were paralyzed, was sitting in her wheelchair. He was going to take a package upstairs to his wife when his daughter asked if she could carry it. Moorhouse said, 'Minnie dear, how can you possibly carry the package? You cannot even carry yourself.'

"With a smile on her face, Minnie said, 'I know, Papa. But if you will give me the package, I will hold it while you carry me.'
"Moorhouse saw this as a picture of his relationship to God and the burdens of ministry he was carrying. But praise God, he could proceed with confidence, knowing that the Lord was carrying him.

"God, who promised to carry Israel (Isaiah 46:4), is the One who can carry us. Even though we must fulfill our responsibilities, we have the assurance of His never-failing support. We need not sink beneath the weight of our burdens.

"Ask the Savior to Help you. He will carry your burdens - and you." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 1634

September 7th

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

"There is a beautiful connection between the Lord's drawing, and our running. 'We will run,' but carefully note the last two words - 'after Thee.' There is more, much more, in these words than can here be noted. They are all-important. 'After Thee,' not after our own notions, or even after the best of men on earth, but 'after Thee.' As it is said in that beautiful Psalm 16, 'I have set the Lord always before me.' Not at times, merely, but 'always.' Oh! what a path ours on earth would be were this the case! How separated would it be from everything that is not Christ. And surely, in all fairness, when we pray, 'draw me,' we should be ready to add, like the spouse and her companions, 'we will run after Thee.' " (Andrew Miller - Meditations on the Song of Solomon)

N.J. Hiebert # 1635

September 8th

"The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; but the words of the pure are pleasant words." (Proverbs 15:26)

"Christians are bound in all conscience to discourage the reading of subversive literature and to promote as fully as possible the circulation of good books and magazines.
"Just what part evil literature has played in the present moral breakdown throughout the world will never be known till men are called forth to answer to a holy God for their unholy deeds, but it must be very great indeed!"For thousands of young people the first doubt about God and the bible came with the reading of some evil book. We must respect the power of ideas, and printed ideas are as powerful as spoken ones. They may have a longer fuse but their explosive power is just as great.

"Our Christian faith teaches us to expect to answer for every idle word; how much more severely shall we be held to account for every evil word, whether printed or spoken.
"The desire to appear broad-minded is one not easy to overcome, for it is rooted in our ego and is simply a none-too-subtle form of pride. In the name of broad-mindedness many a Christian home has been opened to literature that sprang not from a broad mind, but from a mind little and dirty and polluted with evil!

"We require our children to wipe their feet before entering the house. Dare we demand less of the literature that comes into our home?"
(A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

N.J. Hiebert #1636

September 9th

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."
(Deuteronomy 29:29)

"Carlyle compares man in his present stage to the minnow to whom every cranny and pebble of its native creek is familiar; but he asks: 'Does the minnow understand the ocean tides, the trade winds and moon's eclipses, by all of which the conditions of its little creek are regulated?' And as to the recently-founded 'University for the Propagation of Atheism' in which it will be taught that there is no God and that we are the victims of blind chance, an American journalist says: 'It suggests a colony of ants on a rail-road right of way, organizing a university to prove that there is no such thing as an engineer.'
" 'Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known' (1 Corinthians 13:12). 'What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter' (John 13:7)." (George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert # 1637

September 10th

"But now..." (Job 30:1)

"The Chinese combine two characters for the word crisis. One character means 'danger' and the other 'opportunity.' These two possibilities are inherent in every crisis. A crisis is a crossroads, and the outcome is determined by which path is taken. When a person is described as 'critical' in medical terms it means he can move either toward life or death. Just so, the crises of life present not only danger but also opportunity.

"Our extremity is God's opportunity." (Henry Gariepy - Portraits of Perseverance)

N.J. Hiebert # 1638

September 11th

"And when they had this done (let down the nets), they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake." (Luke 5:6)

" 'And they beckoned unto their partners, ... and they came and filed both the ships, so that they began to sink.' There was not even strength to receive of themselves. 'When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' If the Word of Jesus had not reached Peter's heart he would merely have obeyed it as a means of temporal help; but he owns Him as Lord, hearing far more in the words spoken. His conscience was reached. The Lord Himself is revealed to Peter, and that shows Peter himself. When the eye of God is consciously upon us we see in ourselves what He saw. This was Peter's case. He, when brought into God's presence, feels that he has been deceiving himself." (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert # 1639

September 12th

"I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument." (Isaiah 41:15)

1925 -- "A bar of steel worth $5, when wrought into horseshoes, is worth $10. If made into needles, it is worth $350; if into penknife blades, it is worth $32,000; if into springs for watches its worth $250,000. What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.

"May this parable help us to be silent, still, and longsuffering. Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most; and it is through pain that God is getting the most out of us, for His glory and the blessing of others.

"The turning-lathe that has the sharpest knives produces the finest work."
(Selected - Streams in the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 1640

September 14th

"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST."
(1 Corinthians 3:11)

"It is one thing to believe what is said about the Word of God, but quite another to believe what GOD HIMSELF says. The latter brings the soul into direct contact with God, the former only with man. By believing the Word of God, we 'set to our seal that GOD is true.' But it must be taken up according to our responsibility. First, as sinners, we must believe what God says about ourselves as lost, guilty sinners. We may not like this, and it may bring out the enmity of our hearts against God, because God speaks very plainly in His Word about man, and what He says of one is true of all as to our standing before God. 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' This is man's heart. It is awful, but true; yet God is greater than the heart, and can meet all the difficulties for out blessing and His own glory." (W.M. Sibthorpe - The Ways of God With Man)

N.J. Hiebert # 1642

September 15th

"And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (2 Kings 6:17)

"Have you tried God in little things? If you have not, you do not know Him: He will meet the little needs even more magnificently than the great ones. He will care for the smallest and most delicate feelings, but he will show it in His own way. Elisha had his way of restoring the borrowed axe, and God has His way too; and if the man of God could save in days of old, meeting alike the greatest need and the least, cannot He whom the man of God typified do the same now in a new and a higher way? If you have not tried Him you have not known Him, and if you have not known Him you cannot trust Him in the hour of your fear. (2 Kings 6:17). But if you nave, you will prove that greater is he that is for us than he that is against us. (J.B.S. - Helps for the Poor of the Flock)

N.J. Hiebert # 1643

September 16th

"Seek ye MY face; ... Thy face, Lord, will I seek." (Psalm 27:8)

"In prayer I have not only to ask for things, but to realize the presence of Him to whom I speak. The power of prayer is gone if I lose the sense of seeing Him by faith. Prayer is not only asking right things, but having the sense of the Person there. If I have not that, I lose the sense of His love, and of being heard." (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 1644

September 17th

"What seek ye?" (John 1:38)

"Searching question! Is it fame you are seeking, knowledge, power, or riches? The Lord asks you this from the glory today. Can you answer Him as these two did? 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' i.e., We only want you, we want to know where we can be always sure of finding you.
"'They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour,' that is, there were two hours of the day left. Oh those two hours with Jesus! Have you ever spent two hours with Jesus? I am sure if you have, you have come out, and tried to take somebody else back to enjoy what you enjoyed. These disciples did. There comes out at once individual testimony, and let me tell you that quiet personal testimony is often worth far more than public preaching."
(Simon Peter - W.T.P. Wolston, M.D.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1645

September 18th

"In all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct thy paths."

(Proverbs 3:6)

"He is willing to be our guide in the smallest things of life. Before writing an article, answering a letter, having an interview, or dealing with any problem, we need to look up to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Look at the promise that follows:
" 'He shall direct thy paths.'"By day and by night. He went before His people in the wilderness. He will not do less for those who today acknowledge Him in all their ways." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - August 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 1646

September 19th

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench." (Matthew 12:20)

"When the Lord Jesus was here it was said of Him, 'A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench.' Isn't that lovely? A bruised reed - of what account is it? He will not break it. That blessed, gentle Man would not break that bruised reed. And 'smoking flax' - that is a lamp with a flaxen wick. It is smoking - not giving much light. He will not quench it - not put it out. He will tenderly remove the crust and coax it back until it gives light. God does not despise weakness. Saints of God, do not surrender and give yourselves up to indifference because you have little gift, or because there are only a few. Numbers do not count with God; they do not.

"Go through the life of the blessed Lord Jesus and see how often you find His ministry to one individual; He was not too busy to sit down and spend an hour with some lone individual man or woman. He was not too big a Man to listen to little children. That blessed Man went up and down the pathways of Galilee and, except for that little trip up around Tyre and Sidon, so far as I know, He was never out of that country, save as a Babe in His mother's arms. He was not too busy for the small things of life." (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 1647

September 20th

(Please see Gem # 1628) 

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

Have you never thought that all which concerns you, concerns ME also? 'He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.' (Zechariah 2:8) You have been precious in My eyes; that is why I take a special interest in your upbringing. When temptation assails you, and the 'enemy comes in like a flood,' I would wish you to know that 'This thing is from ME.' I am the God of circumstances. You have not been placed where you are by chance, but because it is the place I have chosen for you. Did you not ask to become humble? Behold, I have placed you in the very place where this lesson is to be learned. It is by your surroundings and your companions that the working of My will is to come about." (Part 2 - Found in J.N. Darby's Bible)

N.J. Hiebert # 1648

September 21st

"Who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10:29)

"Some have hastily concluded in reading the parable of the certain Samaritan that the Lord answered the question, 'Who is my neighbour?' by pointing our that wherever there is need we should do our duty toward our neighbour. But it should be observed that the man who fell among thieves is not mentioned as a neigbour toward whom the other acts, but the Samaritan was neighbour unto him. This is another principle altogether to what was in the lawyer's mind when he said, 'Who is my neighbour?' and stands out in contrast with it, because the lawyer merely wished to justify himself; that is, to have clearly defined those who had any claim upon him, that he might have no outstanding debts.

We know for ourselves the satisfaction in being able to say, I owe nothing. Thus what prompted that question was really love to himself, and not love to his neighbour. Where love is in exercise, it asks not, Who? but has its own delight in acting apart from the question of who deserves it. And this is the principle of grace which is here shown out in contrast to the principle of law, which was fulfilling of duty toward one's neighbour. The one is meeting claim; the other is meeting need apart from the question of claim altogether." (W.T.M.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1649

September 22nd

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
"Too often we reserve this precept, and let our works shine that our light may be seen to our own glory. Hence the danger of speaking or writing about our won activities. The intention may be good, but it is seldom done without leading - even if unconsciously - to the exaltation of self. If, on the other hand, we are careful to let our light shine before men, our works, like our blessed Lord, cannot be hid." (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - March 1962)

N.J. Hiebert # 1650

September 23rd

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34)

"A Christian is one who has God as his Father in heaven. The anxiety that dreads an evil thing on the morrow is nothing but unbelief."When the morrow comes, the evil may not be there; if it comes, God will be there too. He may allow us to taste what it is to indulge our own wills; but, if our souls are subject to Him, how often the dreaded evil never appears. When the heart bows to the will of God about some sorrow that we dread, how often the sorrow is taken away; and the Lord meets us with unexpected kindness and goodness."He is able to make even the sorrow to be all blessing. Whatever be His will, it is good." (Unknown Author)

N.J. Hiebert # 1651

September 24th

"When the woman saw that the tree was good for food,... she took of its fruit... and did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

"Imagine this scene: You like to fish, so you crank up the motor on your old boat and head out into lake Ontario. You get several nice walleyes and clean them right away. That night you have a wonderful fish dinner complete with fried potatoes and cole slaw. 'It doesn't get any better than this,' you say to your satisfied self."Wrong! At least according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Although the fish were delicious, eating them increased your risk of getting cancer. New tests show high levels of Mirex, a poison used to control fire ants. (No fish from there are sold commercially.)

"This illustrates an important spiritual point. What appears so inviting and satisfying may contain destructive elements. It may be something we are looking at on TV or in a magazine, or listening to on tape or on a CD. It may be something we're inclined to eat or drink. Satan sometimes uses pleasurable things to bring about our downfall. But in the pleasure he hides the poison."We need to be extremely careful about what we take into our bodies and into our minds. What seems the most pleasant may be the most harmful. Adam and Eve discovered that in the Garden of Eden."

(Our Daily Bread - 1993)

N.J. Hiebert # 1652

September 25th

"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples whom Jesus loved." (John 13:23)

" 'That disciple whom Jesus loved.' It is far from intimating that one is more interested than another in the grace or salvation of God, or loved with a more faithful and enduring love. But it does intimate that there may be a more personal attachment between the Master and some of His disciples, than between Him and others. All, I may say, sat at supper with Him, while only one leaned then on His bosom. All continued with Him in His temptations, and are to receive the kingdom together; but only three were in the garden or on the holy hill with Him. For there is more personal oneness of thought and feeling in some than in others - more of that which, as among ourselves, draws the willing heart along." (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 1653

September 26th

"Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die." (Isaiah 22:13)

"What remains at the end of all this scene of commercial excitement, political strife and ambition, money-making and pleasure-hunting? Why, then the man has to face death! 'It is appointed unto man once to die...' Death must be looked at straight in the face. It stands full in front of every unconverted man, woman, and child beneath the canopy of heaven..."Men would fain reply according to their own vain notions. They would have us believe that after death comes annihilation. 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'

Empty conceit! Vain delusion! Foolish dream of the human imagination blinded by the god of this world! How could an immortal soul be annihilated? Man, in the garden of Eden, became the possessor of a never-dying spirit. 'The Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul' - not a dying soul. The soul must live forever. Converted or unconverted, it has eternity before it. Oh, the overpowering weight of this consideration to every thoughtful spirit! No human mind can grasp its immensity. It is beyond our comprehension, but not beyond our belief." (C.H. Mackintosh - The Great Commission - Vol. 4)

N.J. Hiebert # 1654

September 27th

"Gentiles, which have not the law... show the work of the law written in their hearts."

(Romans 2:14-15)

"People who reject absolute standards of right and wrong are often inconsistent. When they think they are being treated unfairly, they appeal to a standard of justice that they expect everyone to adhere to."A philosophy professor began each new term by asking his class, 'Do you believe it can be shown that there are absolute values like justice?' The free-thinking students all argued that everything is relative and no single law can be applied universally. Before the end of the semester, the professor devoted one class period to debate the issue.

At the end, he concluded, 'Regardless of what you think, I want you to know that absolute values can be demonstrated. And if you don't accept what I say, I'll flunk you!' One angry student got up and insisted, 'That's not fair!' 'You've just proved my point,' replied the professor. 'You've appealed to a higher standard of fairness.'"God's moral standards are in the Bible, and He has given us a conscience to tell us right from wrong (Romans 2:14-15). Every time we use the words good and bad, we imply a standard by which we make such judgments. Biblical values are not outdated. They are good for any age because they originate with an eternal, unchanging God." (Our Daily Bread)

N.J. Hiebert # 1655

September 28th

"Fear Not." (Luke 12:32)

"To those who are shepherded, who are loved, and who will eventually be enthroned, comes the exhortation, 'FEAR NOT.'It is of peculiar value to-day; for physicians and psychologists assure us that fear is the greatest enemy of the human race. It so often proves to be groundless, that someone has said that, if any friend of ours had told us one hundredth part of the lies our fears have told us, we would never allow them to speak to us again. Henry Moorhouse, the Evangelist, says that he had counted the 'Fear Nots' of the Bible, and found that they numbered fifty-two, one for each week of the year." (Henry Durbanville)

N.J. Hiebert # 1656

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

"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


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