Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5320 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Gems from March 2006

March 1

"Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation."
(2 Corinthians 6:2)

A little girl who intended to be a Christian when she grew older, came home one day bringing a beautiful bouquet of fresh carnations for her sick mother. The nurse spoke of their loveliness, and then said: "We will not take them to mother now; they are too fresh and beautiful: we will wait a few days until they have begun to fade and wither."

The little girl was surprised and vexed, and sought an explanation. "Is not this what you are doing to the Saviour?" said the nurse. "Are you not reserving for yourself the freshness and beauty of your young life, and waiting to offer Him the faded blossoms from which all the lovely beauty and fragrance have departed?" The message went home, and another young life was won for the Lord Jesus. (George Henderson - In Pastures Green)

N.J. Hiebert # 2538

March 2

"I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)
"To be with Christ; which is far better." (Philippians 1:23)

As to heaven, all is right, ready for us, and happier they that are there than we that are here. The good Lord settle for us the times of our going thither, and keep us while here ready and willing to slip in at any moment. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2539

March 3

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2)

Let me put you a simple question: How many of you have said to-day in your hearts, "The Lord Jesus Christ may be here before the day closes"?
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2540

March 4

"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels." (Proverbs 1:5)

There are no people so hard to teach as those who imagine that they are more advanced than they are. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2541

March 5

"And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God." (Luke 9:43)

It is very humbling to see how amazed they were about this power. They did not wonder at the power of evil. But they ought so to have counted on His power as to have been amazed if the power were not exerted. (J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2542

March 6

"That I may know HIM, and the power of HIS resurrection, and the fellowship of HIS sufferings, being made conformable unto HIS death." (Philippians 3:10)

Would that we knew our God as He is to be known, for His praise and our comfort! Love delights to be used. Love is wearied with ceremoniousness. . . . The intimacy of faith is according to His grace, and ceremony is but a weariness to Him. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2543

March 7

"Whose adorning . . . let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (1 Peter 3:3,4)

Some of us have been hasty . . . as we learn of Him the hastiness goes back, the impetuosity retires, and we take in that which is of Himself - "meekness and lowliness." (E.P Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2544

March 8

"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
(2 Timothy 2:1)

Every believer is a child of God. We are not children of God by natural birth. I know there is a teaching abroad that all men are God's children. All men are God's creatures: He is the Creator of them all. But only those who are born again are spoken of as children of God, and they alone are entitled to look up into the face of God and say, "Our Father." (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 2545

March 9

"From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2)

"Overwhelmed"! Does this word describe your present state of mind? Have fears, sorrows, and disappointments so assailed you that you feel totally crushed? To add to your problems, Satan targets you, causing you to question the love and wisdom of your Heavenly Father. In your extremity, take fresh hold upon the fact that however "low" you may be, "the Rock that is higher" stands unchanged. In Him you will find the stability and the support you need. (G. Hall)

Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee
.
(Wm. O. Cushing)

N.J. Hiebert # 2546


March 10

"The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was." (Proverbs 8:22-23)

Nothing more effectually baffles the mind of man than the concept of eternity before the world began. Man can know nothing at all concerning it except what God has revealed. Scripture is comparatively silent about the eternal past. Even in the New Testament, where the clearest and fullest light of God's revelation shines, very few passages reach backward further than the foundation of the world and the beginning of the ages of time. But these few allusions of choicest worth unveil to us a little of God's secret purposes formed by Him before He launched the universe into being by His omnipotent word and furnished it by His omniscient wisdom.


The "foundation of the world" is frequently mentioned in Scripture as the extreme borderline of the past from which human history is reckoned. The names found in the book of life were written "from the foundation of the world," the Revelation declares. The divine record of these elect persons began at that point.


But what lies beyond that borderline of creation's beginning, when God was all? What took place when the Deity was Absolute, and unrelated to the nonexistent universe? From the disclosures God has been pleased to make in His Word, we learn of His love, of His foreknowledge, of His election, and of His promise of eternal life; and we know, therefore, that these plannings of infinite love were formulated before the foundation of the world. The counsels of grace existed in the Godhead from eternity, but the fact of their existence then was necessarily revealed to man in time. (W.J. Hocking)

N.J. Hiebert # 2547


March 11

"The BLOOD of Jesus Christ His (God's) Son cleanseth us
from all sins
." (1 John 1:7)

Let us beware how we trifle with sin. Let us remember that before one stain of guilt of sin - even the very smallest could be removed, the blessed Lord Jesus Christ had to pass through all the unutterable horrors of Calvary. That intensely bitter cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" is the only thing that can give us any proper idea of what sin is; and into the profound depths of that cry no mortal or angel can ever enter. But though we can never fathom the mysterious depths of the sufferings of Christ, we should at least seek to meditate more habitually upon His cross and passion, and, in this way, reach a much deeper view of the awfulness of sin in the sight of God. If, indeed, sin was so dreadful, so abhorrent to a holy God, that He was constrained to turn away the light of His countenance from that blessed One who had dwelt in His bosom from all eternity; if He had to forsake Him because He was bearing sin in His own body on the tree, then what must sin be?


How lightly, at times, do we think of that which cost the Lord Jesus every thing - not only life, but that which is better and dearer than life, even the light of God's countenance! May we have a far deeper sense of the hatefulness of sin. May we most sedulously watch against the bare movement of the eye in a wrong direction; for we may rest assured that the heart will follow the eye, and the feet will follow the heart, and thus we get away from the Lord, lose the sense of His presence and His love, and become miserable, or, if not miserable, what is far worse, dead, cold, and callous - "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2548


March 12

"He gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called
the saints and widows, presented her
(Dorcas) alive." (Acts 9:41)

Dorcas is one of the most amazing women in scripture. She was always doing good and helping the poor. She then received her reward - to be taken to be with the Saviour. What a shock for her to have to return for the sake of the saints. There were no complaints. She just continued serving. Thank God for insignificant, hardworking sisters, whose whole aim is to serve Christ and the saints. We do not read of any man who was raised again following Pentecost, apart from Eutichus - and he had fallen asleep!
(Brian Russell - Choice Gleanings)


N.J. Hiebert # 2549

March 13

"And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea." (Acts 27:38)

Strange that having eaten nothing for 14 days, those on board did not seem to value the life giving food they were finally able to enjoy. Stranger still that once filled they would so quickly throw overboard the very thing needed to preserve their life. How swiftly we too - after the precious Word of God has satisfied and helped us through some trial - can lose our taste of its life-giving riches.

Having freshly received the sense of God's wonderful forgiveness, do not thoughtlessly throw out all the rich and boundless truth (wheat) found in its pages. It is possible that even a newly restored soul can quickly lose the appetite for and sense of need of the Bible. (The Journey of Life)

N.J. Hiebert # 2550

March 14

"Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. No, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. If one man sin against another, God will judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him?" (1 Samuel 2:23-25)

You ask, What was this man of God (Eli, the high priest) lacking? Just this: He judged the evil, but he did not separate himself from it. It is a sad and humiliating thing to state: this is the situation of the majority of God's children in Christendom. Their bonds, their relationships, their affections, and their customs to which they are more attached than to the Lord's glory prevent them from recognizing that one is liable for an evil which one judges but from which one does not separate oneself. (H.L. Rossier - 1 Samuel)

N.J. Hiebert # 2551

March 15

"The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." (Psalm 121:8)

The soul that looks to the Lord for his help can count upon the unfailing care of the Lord in all circumstances. "Going" and "coming" speak of the changing circumstances that mark a world of unrest. The Lord could say to His disciples, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a little. For those coming and those going were many, and they had not leisure even to eat" (Mark 6:31).


In His compassionate care the Lord will give us times of rest apart from the busy world; but, down here it will only be "Rest a little" - words that indicate we must be again in movement. For the eternal rest we must look on: "There remaineth . . . a rest to the people of God." Of the one that enters into that blessed rest we read, "He shall go no more out" (Revelation 3:12). In the meantime, in all the busy round of a life of toil in a world of need, the one that looks to the Lord for his help can count on the Lord to keep him in every circumstance. (H. Smith)

N.J. Hiebert # 2552

March 16

"The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." (Psalm 121: 8)

In heavenly love abiding, / No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding, / For nothing changes here;
The storm may roar without me, / My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, / And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me, / No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me, / And nothing can I lack;
His wisdom ever waketh, / His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh, / And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me, / Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me, / Where the dark clouds have been:
My hope I cannot measure, / My path to life is free,
My Savior has my treasure, / And He will walk with me
.
(A.L. Waring)

N.J. Hiebert # 2553

March 17

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

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

N.J. Hiebert # 2554

March 18

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10)

If believers settle down in the world, mind earthly things, become "dwellers on earth" - using this phrase in its moral sense - Satan will let them alone; but the moment wrought upon by the Spirit of God . . . they go forth in living testimony, the adversary will seek to turn them aside by any art or device which is likely to accomplish his purpose. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2555


March 19

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)

God must be worshipped in "spirit and in truth," for He is a Spirit; but it is as "the Father" that He "Seeketh such to worship him." . . . Love seeks worshippers, but it seeks them under the gentle name of Father. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2556

March 20

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)

The soul that gives up God must find out other masters and other resources.

(J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2557

March 21

"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom."
(1 Corinthians 1:30)

Christ is made unto us wisdom. . . . We have to travel through this world - wisdom we need; well, I thank God we shall never lack it. CHRIST is our wisdom. . . . Whatever the case, there is unfailing wisdom for you in Christ at God's right hand. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2558

March 22

"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." (Luke 9:58)

Christ never had a home down here: it was a wilderness to Him, it did not bear the stamp of His Father's heart. If there is a strange place to me, it ought to be the place where my Lord was crucified. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2559


March 23

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 1:18)

For a saint to have solitude is of the deepest importance, because it is then the heart renews its acquaintance with Him who only has entrance into our most solitary retreats. When we are thoroughly alone and apart He loves to be our visitor. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2560


March 24

"Let us make here three tabernacles. . . . While he (Peter) yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, 'This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.' and when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, 'Arise, and be not afraid.' And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." (Matthew 17:4-8)

More and more, it seems that Christ does not have His proper place among the children of God. He is not the object. It is either a doctrine, a dogma, a party, or our experience - something besides Christ. We seem possessed with very much the same spirit that actuated Peter on the mount. . . .
Have you ever been in the "cloud,"? Have you ever heard the "voice"? Have you been on your "face"? Have you felt the "touch"? Then, have you heard His voice, "Arise"? Do your eyes see "no man save Jesus only"? Many, perhaps, have reached the top of the mount; but few, very few . . . have risen to see "Jesus only."

"Christ is all." (Colossians 3:2). Do we make Him this?

-Is it a question of my salvation? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31)
-Is it a question of relationship with God? "Ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26)
-Is it a question of experience? "For to me to live is Christ." (Philippians 1:21)
-Is it a question of service? "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13).
-Is it a question of my path? "I am the way." (John 14:6)
-Is it a question of heaven or the place to which my path leads? He would define it as "where I am." (John 14:3)

"O, let us know more of that rich blessedness which comes of making Christ all," of seeing "Jesus only." Our cry should be - "O, to know Him!" (Philippians 3:10) In our selfishness we cry and beg for blessings. It is the Blesser we need, HIMSELF. HE is the joy of the Father's heart. Let us taste with Him the delight He takes in His Son. Christ is infinitely higher than doctrine or experience. Experience we shall have, but only with Him can our hearts be ravished and raptured. (F.C. Blount)


N.J. Hiebert # 2561

March 25

"Because He laid down His life for us . . . we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16)

What does it mean to "lay down our lives"? It does not mean to be willing in a crisis to die for our brethren, but it speaks of something we have the opportunity to do continually. Our "opinions," "preferences," "traditions," "comforts," "pleasures," "time," and "material goods" are all included in "our lives" which we ought to lay down out of love for one another. Our "rights" came to an end in the cross of Christ!

In first Corinthians 13, we see this love acting as the perfect antidote, to all the attitudes and actions of our sinful flesh which all destroy the harmony among God's children and bring dishonor upon the Lord:

FLESHLY ATTITUDES................. LOVE
impatience.............................. has long patience
malice.....................................is kind
envy.......................................envieth not
pride......................................is not puffed up
selfishness...............................does not seek what is its own
anger.....................................is not quickly provoked
criticism, suspicion....................does not impute evil
hatred....................................does not rejoice at iniquity
dishonesty...............................rejoices with the truth
resentment..............................bears all things
unbelief...................................believes all things
discouragement.........................hopes all things
bitterness...............................endures all things

We should take note: fleshly attitudes repel - divine love attracts!
(C.C. Gibb)

N.J. Hiebert # 2562

March 26

"Fear not." (Luke 2:10)

We see the glory coming out of the opened heaven, and not one angel, but a host of them. When the poor shepherds tremble at the sight, we hear that word unchanged on the lips of heaven, "fear not." Again, and again, and again, heaven echoes its own words in speaking to trembling sinners. Do not pass them by as commonplace, unnecessary words, but drink them in. What title had the poor shepherds to them that you and I have not? They were poor sinners. Faith entitled them to it.

And the angel said, "Unto you is born . . . a Saviour." Not a judge , not a lawgiver. The grace of God, as the apostle tells us, brings salvation. The angel talked of salvation. From beginning to end of the book - from the woman's seed down to "Whosoever will, let him come" - salvation is the burden. So here - "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." Though very easy to us, it cost Christ everything. It brought the Son from the Father, to be made flesh; and the beginning of the story of His sorrows is here. The poor weak Infant, lying in a manger! The moment He touched the flesh, the story of what His days were to be, began to tell itself out. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2563

March 27

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24,25)

Spurgeon once said, "every new man is TWO men." When a person is saved God does not fix up the "old man," but He puts within him a "NEW man." The old nature is still there, but must ultimately yield to the new. The old man is potentially dead, but we must still "carry" him around.

It was the custom of ancient conquerors, in order to prevent their prisoners from escaping, to tie upon their backs the dead body of one of the slain. With such gruesome burdens on their backs these poor wretches then could not run away. Paul may have had this in mind -- "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this dead body?"

Every believer experiences to some degree a struggle within him between these two natures. Paul admitted that he felt such a "warring" in his members (Romans 7:23). Victory consists in yielding to the Holy Spirit.

An Indian once bought some supplies from a white man. Arriving home he found a sum of money had accidentally been included in his goods. That night he could not sleep as he thought about it, so early the next day he went to the white man and explained how he had found the misplaced cash. "Why didn't you keep it?" asked the man. Pointing to his breast, the Indian replied, "In here two men. One say keep money, the other say no. So I don't know what to do; but the longer I keep, the badder I feel, so I bring back. Now I feel good. Thank you!" Christian victory is like that. It depends on which voice we heed: the voice of the flesh, or the voice of the Spirit. Victory is easy if we let Christ, the VICTOR, take over! (M.D.R.)

Oh, touch my heart, that it may be
Alive to nothing else but Thee;
Oh, may my soul cry out to know
The way that Thou wouldst have me go!

(G.W. Roberts)
If you take care of the "DO'S" of sanctification, the "DON'TS" will take care of themselves!

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1966), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 2564


March 28

"If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31,32)

"That which is true will only gain its hold on us by every fresh examination."

There is no gain but by a loss,
You cannot save but by a cross.
The corn of wheat to multiply,
Must fall into the ground and die.

Where ever you ripe fields behold,
Waving to God their sheaves of gold,
Be sure some corn of wheat has died,
Some soul there has been crucified.
Someone has wrestled, wept and prayed,
And fought hells legions undismayed
!

(By William Kelly, Bible Treasury, vol 7 New Series - E-Mail from Walt Porter - January 30, 2004 -compiled by Dick Gorgas in Gems for the Singing Pilgrim)

N.J. Hiebert # 2565


March 29

"Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find." (Matthew 7:7)

"Seek, and ye shall find." The remedy is not so simple as it seems. The command to ask seems simple enough. "Ye have not, because ye ask not," (James 4:2) What could be simpler than that? And yet the Scripture speaks of it as toil and labour. Prayer demands earnestness of mind and heart. Our Lord Jesus wrought many mighty works without any sign of effort. There was in His marvelous works the ease of omnipotence, but of His prayers it is said, He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears." There was no visible strain in healing diseases, in raising the dead, and stilling the tempest; but in prayer we read of real labour and agony.

Nowadays, in the open life of the Church, and in the fellowship of believers there is seemingly little power in prayer. There is a marked absence of travail. There is much phrasing, but little pleading. The powerlessness of the Church needs no other explanation, and we need seek no other cause. To be prayerless is to be both passionless and powerless. (Believer's Bookshelf Inc.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2566

March 30

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour."

(Ephesians 5:2)

It is easy to love those that love us. But what if someone doesn't love us, do we still love them? It was this very type of love that Christ walked in. He loved us when we hated Him. He loved us without condition. It was a love that comes only from above. This is what this Scripture means when it calls for you and me to walk in love. Is there someone today that you are finding very hard to love? Ask the Lord to give you this love, the love that He had. (Paul Robertson)

Love is good wishes for the gain of another,
Love suffers long with the fault of a brother
.
(Choice Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert # 2567

March 31

"He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." (Colossians 1:17)

Three unlimited things which are the privilege of every believer:
- The inexhaustible resources of God to draw upon.
- The infinite glories of the Lord Jesus Christ to gaze upon.
- The unfathomable depths of the Word of God to feed upon.

(From "Singing pilgrim" by Dick Gorgas, February 12, 2004)

N.J. Hiebert # 2568



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