Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5500 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Monday, May 01, 2006

Gems from May 2006

May 1

"These things saith the AMEN, the faithful and true witness." (Revelation 3:14)

The "AMEN" is one of the many titles of our Lord Jesus. It means, "so be it; surely; verily; trustworthy." What an appropriate title for our Lord, as all that He is and does is firmly established, entirely secure and utterly certain. Every promise He has ever made has been perfectly fulfilled. He constantly proves Himself the Friend who sticks closer than a brother; the Shepherd who goes with us through the valley of the shadow of death; the Great High Priest who sympathizes with us in all our weaknesses and sorrows. What a Saviour and what a Lord! Can we not all say "AMEN" to that? (Milton Haack)

N.J. Hiebert # 2599

May 2

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen (tested) thee in the furnace of affliction." (Isaiah 48:10)

There is a necessary hardening process that our all wise God allows each of His children to pass through in order that we may be strengthened in the path of faith. In perfect wisdom and love, He knows exactly when to allow the heat of trials - and He knows too just how fierce the heat must be to strengthen the vessel for its intended service. Few believers are allowed to pass through this "wilderness journey" without experiencing at one time or another (perhaps at many different times) the vitally important, but often uncomfortable heat of the "furnace (kiln) of affliction". (In the Potter's Hand)

N.J. Hiebert # 2600

May 3

"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt." (Genesis 41:41)

The brother they had hated and sold into slavery had gone from pit to prison to palace and finally to the pinnacle of Egypt's power and prestige. Our beloved Lord trod the same path, but in the reverse order. He went from the pinnacle of universal power to the miry pit (Psalm 40:2) of Calvary's awful shame and suffering to find you and me. On the Lord's Day, may we gratefully remember the One whom God has highly exalted and has given the name which is above every name, our Lord Jesus Christ. (Arnot P. McIntee)

The storm that bowed Thy blessed head
Is hushed forever now,
And rest divine is ours instead,
While glory crowns Thy brow

N.J. Hiebert # 2601

May 4

"For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:5)

In the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) we have the FIGURES (or types) of the sufferings of Christ.

In the Psalms we have the FEELINGS of the sufferings of Christ.

In the prophets we have the FORECASTS of the sufferings of Christ.

In the gospels we have the FACTS of the sufferings of Christ.

In the epistles we have the FRUITS of the sufferings of Christ.
(Christian Truth -Vol. 20 - October 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2602

May 5

"Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3)

The truly devoted heart sees the dark shadow of the cross looming over all the glitter and glare, the pomp and fashion of this world. Why are we so slow to urge upon one another the separating power of the cross of Christ?

If my heart loves Jesus, I shall not seek a place, a portion, or a name where He found only a malefactor's cross. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2603

May 6

"The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:8)

Keep a watch on your words, dear Christian, for words are wonderful things;
They are sweet, like bees' fresh honey - Like bees they have terrible stings!
They can bless like the warm, glad sunshine, and brighten a lonely life;
They can cut in the strife of anger, Like an open two-edged knife.

Let them pass through the lips unchallenged if their errand is true and kind -
If they come to support the weary, To comfort and help the blind;
If a bitter, revengeful spirit prompt the words, let them be unsaid;
They may flash through a brain like lightning or fall on the heart like lead.

Keep them back if they are cold and cruel, under bar and lock and seal;
The wounds they make, dear Christian, are always slow to heal.
God guard your lips, and ever, from the time of your early youth,
May the words that you daily utter be the words of beautiful truth
(R. Cecil)

N.J. Hiebert # 2604

May 7

"One thing have I desired . . . to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)

Jesus! Thou art enough
The heart and mind to fill;
Thy patient life - to calm the soul,
Thy love - its fear dispel.

O fix our earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord, on Thee,
That, with Thy beauty occupied,
We elsewhere none may see

- The perfection of the Christian life is to lose sight of oneself completely and to make everything of Christ.

- The sign of a good state of soul is enjoyment of the presence of Christ. Everything that takes your eye off Christ is a snare of the devil. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2605

May 8

"Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest." (Mark 10:21)

I heard a minister make a startling statement. He said that a servant of God should be as diligent in preparing his heart for a counseling interview with one person as he would be in preparing to preach to a great multitude. He pointed out that Jesus devoted much time to individuals when He was here on this earth. The Master was never too busy to show loving concern, whether it was to a prominent Jewish teacher like Nicodemus (John 3) or to a despised Samaritan woman (John 4). He took time to minister to their specific needs. How different from the majority of "successful" people in the world today! Men and women are so accustomed to thinking in terms of large numbers that the welfare of individuals is of little concern to them.

The American writer and reformer Julia Ward Howe told of her experience with this type of person. On one occasion she asked Senator Charles Summer if she could introduce him to an actor named Edwin Booth. Mr. Summer refused, saying, "I've outlived my interest in individuals." As the author recalled this incident, she remarked, "Fortunately, God Almighty has not gotten that far."

One of the greatest sources of joy for believers is the realization that the Maker and Sustainer of the universe takes a personal interest in each of His children. As a loving Father, He hears us when we pray. And His Son, the Lord Jesus, is interceding for us in Heaven. His heart goes out in love to us just as it did to that rich young ruler long ago. Let's follow Christ's example by always showing concern for the individual. (H.V.L.)

Lead me to some soul today, O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Melt my heart and fill my life, Give me one soul today

He who is too big to help the individual is too small to serve the multitude.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1980, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission

N.J. Hiebert # 2606

May 9

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)

Our power in drawing others after the Lord mainly rests in our joy and communion with Him ourselves. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2607

May 10

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?" (Psalm 22:1)

The Lord Jesus was always in perfect, sweet intimacy with God. The Lord was the One over whom God had opened the heavens and openly declared: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." He was always in fellowship with God. Even in the first three hours on the cross, when most around Him hurled abuse and mockery at Him, He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. What must it have been for Him in those three hours of darkness when God hid His face! On the cross He bore all our sins. He who knew no sin, in whom was no sin, who never sinned, was made sin for us, forsaken by a Holy and Righteous God. Never before had He stooped to such depths. No wonder there was darkness over all the earth!

None can enter into the depth of suffering Christ endured in those three hours of darkness. It's wholly beyond out comprehension. Yet we stand in awe with hearts bowed in praise, adoration, and worship. He is worthy. (A. Blok)

N.J. Hiebert # 2608

May 11

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

(Proverbs 3:6)

Be assured that God knows how to manage His own affairs. He has shown it. (JND)

N.J. Hiebert # 2609

May 12

"Casting all your care upon HIM; for HE careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Can you spread out no wants before Christ, the Giver, the Healer? Believers grieve the Spirit by not using Christ, and then God must compel them to do it. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2610

May 13

"Let us go on unto perfection." (Hebrews 6:1)

It is as I increase in divine growth that I the more need Christ, and find Christ for everything. The more I grow the more I seek Him, because I want more; and the more I find the more I seek: hence seeking Him is the real mark of growth. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2611

May 14

"But Jesus said unto Him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48)
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." (Proverbs 27:6)

There is a danger that the enemy (world) will try to betray us with a kiss. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the flattery of the strange woman (Proverbs 6:24). Beware! The enemy is very subtle and attractive to the old nature, but that pathway leads to misery. Cheer up ye saints of God, there is victory! By God's grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit, "the much fair speech" of the world should have no attraction or effect upon us. (Milton Haack)

Take the world, but give me Jesus, all its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever, thro' eternal years the same
. (F. Crosby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2612

May 15

"I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat . . . He took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to His disciples to set before them . . . so they did eat, and were filled." (Mark 8:2,6,8)

The foregoing passage presents a very striking and beautiful illustration of one special feature of the Christian's mission to this world, which we do well to ponder. It is of immense importance, and of universal application. It concerns every child of God. We have each one to remember that we are sent into this world to be a channel of communication between the heart of Christ and every form of need that may cross our path from day to day. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2613

May 16

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)

When Christ begins with you He will never leave off till He has you with Himself in heaven - it must be everything or nothing. He does it according to His own heart, and are you to dictate to Christ how much He shall bless you? Let Christ have His way with you. Why do we miss blessing? Is it possible to miss blessing? Yes, by not allowing the Lord Jesus to have His own way with you. He wants to bless you, but there must be rest and quietness and subjection on your side. All the resources of Christ are then placed at your disposal. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2614

May 17

"When they were come to the place, which is called Calvary . . ."

(Luke 23:33)

I wonder what Calvary means to you? To the crowd on that occasion it was a place of crucifixion and the end (or so they thought) of Jesus. To the believer, however, Calvary is the highest point of love displayed. Calvary was not the end, but rather the starting point in relation to salvation, for it was "at the cross, at the cross, where we first saw the light and the burden of our heart rolled away." Tell me, what does Calvary mean to you today? (John M. Clegg)

N.J. Hiebert # 2615

May 18

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son . " (Hebrews 1:1,2)
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." (Colossians 1:15)
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

(John 1:1,14)

Human pens have never written before such marvelous, deep and unfathomable words like these. Nor will, nor can, the hand of man write anything that surpasses these passages of Holy Scripture. Here we are face to face with the most glorious inspired revelation. Inasmuch as these revelations transcend the human mind they cannot be the product of man's mind. God the Holy Spirit gives in them the revelation of all revelations, the supremest and as such inexhaustible. The quoted passages lay bare the secrets of creation and redemption. They contain the mystery "hidden throughout the ages in God, Who has created all things by Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 3:9)

The Person prominent in these statements of Scripture was known to His contemporaries by the name of "Jesus of Nazareth." Certain infidels of the past claimed that such a person never lived, they denied the historicity of His person, and taught that all about Him is fictitious, the product of some imaginative minds. This generation of fools seems to have died and left no offspring. (A.C. Gaebelein)

N.J. Hiebert # 2616

May 19

"Hold that fast which thou hast." (Revelation 3:11)

In a day when vague questions and still more uncertain answers abound, it is often asked, what is to be held fast? and I quite admit that one must have a treasure of some kind before being able to hold it fast.

Let us endeaour to get a clear and distinct answer to the question as to what our Lord alludes when He says: "Hold that fast which thou hast." What is it?

It is the power and joy of His own blessed presence and approval. It is not merely a correct form of doctrine, though this will go with it; it is more than this, for the Lord's words to the remnant, that has little strength, denote intimacy and the knowledge of Himself in the hearts of those to whom He is speaking. (Edward Lawrence Bevir)

N.J. Hiebert # 2617

May 20

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

In the life of a man of purpose, everything takes its coloring from the end to be attained. And if this is so in the natural life, so surely should it be in the exercise of the divine life. Hope - that is, something beyond - is the spring of human life from the cradle to the grave, even when a man's view is limited to this world. True hope has to do with God and His purpose. (H.C.A.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2618

May 21

"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)

We are not to be occupied with present things that we see, but we should seek to be occupied with the things that are not seen, for they are, after all, the real things, the eternal things. The things that no human eye has seen are the things that are lasting. When everything that the eye looks upon will have vanished, we shall have Christ, we shall have Heaven, we shall have the Holy Spirit, we shall have the love of the Father, we shall have communion with the people of God for all eternity, when earth's vain shadows have passed away. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 2619

May 22

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

I do not ask that I may steer My bark by peaceful shores alone,
Nor that I linger, harbor-bound, And sail no stormy seas unknown;
I only ask this boon of Thee: Be ever in the ship with me.

I do not ask that I may dwell From din of battle far removed,
Nor ever feel temptation's force, Nor ever know mine armor proved;
I only ask, through Life's long fight, Grant me the power of Thy might.

I do not ask, that I may walk
Only on smoothly trodden grass,
Nor ever climb the mountain's height
And trembling, through its dangers pass;
I only ask, on rocks or sand,
The sure upholding of Thy hand.

I dare not pray for any gift Upon my pilgrim path to Heaven;
I only ask one thing of Thee: Give Thou Thyself and all is given.
I am not strong not brave nor wise; Be Thou with me - it shall suffice
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert # 2620

May 23

"Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10,11)

The simplicity of the Gospel. If bread were as hard to come by as sweetmeats, or water as scarce as wine, the greatest part of men must needs famish; so if truths necessary to salvation were as hard to be understood, and cleared from Scriptures, as some others, many poor weak-hearted Christians would certainly perish without a miracle to help them. But the saving truths of the gospel lie plain, and run clear to all but those who muddy the streams with their own corrupt minds. (William Gurnall - Gleanings from the complete work published in 1665)

N.J. Hiebert # 2621

May 24

"My son, give Me thy heart and let thine eyes delight in My ways."

(Proverbs 23:26)

No sooner is a soul converted to Jesus than it should forget and turn away from everything contrary to His will; everything that would hinder us in carrying out His will should be given up. Surely, this is a fair demand from Him who gave Himself for us. His devotedness to us is complete. He kept nothing back; He gave all. He loved us and gave Himself for us. Not only His life, true and blessed as that is, but He gave Himself. Of course, the cross is the strongest expression of His love that we can ever have.

Observe especially the greatness of that gift - He gave Himself! All His qualities, all His excellencies, are given in this gift. This is love - this is devotedness - this is consecration. He keeps nothing back from us; His love is perfect. (A. Miller)

N.J. Hiebert # 2622

May 25

"No servant 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." (Luke 16:13)

The most splendid intellect, the most commanding genius, the most indomitable energy, if not under the direct control of the Spirit of God, are but so many instruments in Satan's hand to carry forward his dark designs. No man is his own master; he is either governed by Christ or governed by Satan. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 2623

May 26

"O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Luke 3:7)

When we read the words "generation of vipers," we are unable to understand their real import, and are in danger of viewing them as the expressions of an unrestrained anger and abhorrence, except by referring to Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." and Psalm 91:13 "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." and other scriptures; where we are taught that there are two seeds, two generations; that of the serpent and the children of God, the seed of the woman. (Dr. Adolph Saphir - Christ and the Scriptures)

N.J. Hiebert # 2624

May 27

"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalm 73:24)

One of the offices which our Lord Jesus sustains is "Counsellor." (Isaiah.9:6) Now there are numberless things before us continually in our earthly pilgrimage regarding which we need counsel, we need advice; and then under these circumstances we should go to our Lord Jesus Christ and say to Him: "My Lord, I am ignorant; now what am I to do? Thou art my Counsellor, now show me clearly and distinctly how to act under these circumstances." And what will be the result? We shall be taught!

You need never take a step in the dark. If you do, you are sure to make a mistake. Wait! Wait till you have light. Remind the Lord Jesus that as He is Counsellor to the Church of God, He will be, in your particular case, Counsellor and Guide, and will direct you, and if you patiently wait, believingly, expectantly, you will find that the waiting is not in vain, and that the Lord will prove Himself a Counsellor both wise and good. (George Mueller, of Bristol)

N.J. Hiebert # 2625

May 28

" . . . Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:13)

How beautiful, and yet how rare, is forgiveness! Christ taught His disciples to forgive their enemies, and He is our great example. He said amid the agonies of the crucifixion, "Father, forgive them!"

A custom away out in the African bush which has no equivalent in this part of the world is "Forgiveness Week." Fixed in the dry season, when the weather itself is smiling, this is a week when every man and woman pledges himself or herself to forgive any neighbour any wrong, real or fancied, that may be a cause for misunderstanding, coldness, or quarrel between the parties.

A deaf mute, being asked, "What is forgiveness?" took a pencil and wrote, "It is the odour which a flower yields when trampled upon," and the Persian poet, Sadi, has given us these lines:

"The sandal tree perfumes, when riven,
The axe that laid it low;
Let man, who hopes to be forgiven,
Forgive and bless his foe

(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert # 2626

May 29

". . . Ye ought to be quiet, . . ." (Acts 19:36)

In all the departments of life it is the quiet forces that effect most. The sunbeams fall all day long, silently, unheard by human ear; yet there is in them a wondrous energy and a great power for blessing and good. Gravitation is a silent force, with no rattle of machinery, no noise of engines, no clanking of chains, and yet it holds all the stars and worlds in their orbits and swings them through space with unvarying precision. The dew falls silently at night when men sleep, yet it touches every plant and leaf and flower with a new life and beauty. It is in the lightning, not in the thunderpeal, that the electric energy resides. Thus even in nature, strength lies in quietness, and the mightiest energies move noiselessly. (Dr. J.R. Miller)

Nature's greatest miracles are wrought in silence. The wheels of the universe do not creak. Confusion and noise are man-made. In a jangling age such as this there must daily be found a place of solitude if we are to keep our sanity. The admonition of Christ, "Enter into thy closet and shut thy door," was faithfully followed in His own life. If the quiet hour was such a necessity in Christ's life, how much more so in our own! (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2627

May 30

". . . In the selfsame day, as God had said unto him." (Genesis 17:23)

Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Every time God calls us to any duty He is offering to make a covenant with us; doing the duty is our part, and He will do His part in special blessing.

The only way we can obey is to obey "in the selfsame day," as Abraham did. To be sure, we often postpone a duty and then later on do it as fully as we can. It is better to do this than not to do it at all. But it is then, at the best, only a crippled disfigured, halfway sort of duty-doing; and a postponed duty never can bring the full blessing that God, intended, and that it would have brought if done at the earliest possible moment.
It is a pity to rob ourselves, along with robbing God and others, by procrastination. "In the selfsame day" is the Genesis way of saying, "Do it now." (Messages for the Morning Watch)

N.J. Hiebert # 2628

May 31

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

If God has commended His love toward us, it is when we were sinners; but I learn it all in joy in God. He loved me when there was nothing in me to love; and the grand testimony of absolutely divine love is that God loved sinners. So the grace of Christ to me is not my highest place, but it is the highest place of Christ. It makes me little and Christ great. To be put into Christ makes me great; to find Christ going the same path as myself, that He might understand every feeling I have, makes His grace great. And this is most precious. (Christian Truth - Volume 20 - April 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2629


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