Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Monday, July 03, 2006

Gems from July 2006

July 1
"He that believeth shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16)
"The king's business requireth haste." (1 Samuel 21:8)

He that believeth shall not make haste
In useless hurry his strength to waste;
Who walks with God can afford to wait,
For he can never arrive too late.

He that believeth shall not delay;
Who carries the word of the King on its way
Keeps pace with the Pleiades' marching tune,
And he can never arrive too soon.

He that believeth shall walk serene,
With ordered steppings and leisured mien;
He dwells in the midst of eternities,
And the timeless ages of God are his.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert # 2660


July 2

"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." (1 Corinthians 12:18)

Why should one envy another? It would be quite as reasonable to charge the sun, moon, and stars, with taking too much upon them, when they shine in their appointed spheres, as to charge any gifted servant of Christ therewith, when he seeks to discharge the responsibility which his gift most surely imposes upon him. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 2661


July 3

"What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." (Mark 13:37)

What marked those three hundred men which Gideon selected? When they stooped to drink, they did not put their mouths to the surface of the water, but scooped up the water and lapped, putting their hand to their mouth. Why? They could not be very watchful with their heads down and lips to the surface of the water; they would not know much about what was going on around them. These men were on the watch, and while refreshing themselves their eyes were scanning the horizon, ready for any surprise the enemy might seek to bring upon them. "Watch" is the word for us. (From an address by C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2662


July 4

"Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few." (2 Kings 4:3)

These words were uttered by the prophet Elisha in the ear of a distressed widow who had come to him with her tale of sorrow. And, assuredly, the words of God's prophet did but express the grace of the prophet's God. He knew well on whose behalf he was speaking - on whose grace he was counting - on whose treasury he was drawing. He did not say, Take care you do not borrow too many. He knew this was impossible. Faith never yet overdrew its account on God's bank. It has "unsearchable riches" to its credit there. Faith never yet brought an empty vessel to God that He had not oil to fill. In the case of this widow, the oil only ceased to flow when there was no longer an empty vessel to receive it. The source was exhaustless; it was faith's promise to keep the channel open. It is the business of faith to "open thy mouth wide." God's part is to "fill it." We cannot expect too largely from God. (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2663


July 5

"He (Jesus) riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with a towel wherewith He was girded." (John 13:4,5)

Jesus rose from the table, laid aside His garments, and girded Himself with a towel, knowing as the beloved apostle has said, that the Father had given all things into His hands, that He had come from God, and was going to God. He then went round as the servant of them all to wash their feet. Was not this a sight to move their hearts? The Lord of glory whom angels delighted to serve was there meekly serving twelve men of humble birth - Peter, James, John . . . and Judas too. The Son of God had come down to serve them all! "I am among you as He that serveth." (W.J. Hocking)

N.J. Hiebert # 2664


July 6

"He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6)

It is as we use what we receive that more will be given. The path of the believer is to be a practical one; and here it is that so many of us come short. (Extract)

N.J. Hiebert # 2665


July 7
"Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine . . . meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
(1 Timothy 4:13-16)

Have you ever thought much of the exercise of meditation, and how frequently it is spoken of in Scripture?

Perhaps it may be from the want of this holy exercise, and really comprehending it, that the Church of the living God is wanting in unity of doctrine, and in spirituality of mind.
The study of God's Word may be concentrated, deep, constant, like searching for a vein of gold; and memory may marvelously retain and bring forth what study has discovered. But meditation is not the discovery of more or of new things, but a calm sitting down with God to enrich itself with what study has discovered, and feeding with Him upon the stores which memory has laid up.

Study and memory make the ready and admired speaker; meditation, the sweet, living exhibition of Jesus everywhere, whether speaking or silent. The former hunts for something new; the latter finds renewed life, strength, and refreshment from the old, which are never old to meditation. Truths from an infinite, all-wise God - they have in them more than the best meditative faculty has ever or can ever exhaust. (The Christian Truth - Vol. 13 - 1966)
N.J. Hiebert # 2666

July 8

"Oh that I knew where I might find Him!" (Job 23:3)

"When he hath found it," (Luke 15:5) was the blessed word of the Lord Jesus. And, truly, when the heart deeply feels its need, it is not far from meeting with Him whose joy it is to meet that need. (S.H.H.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2667


July 9

"Get thee (Elijah) hence . . . and hide thyself by the brook Cherith."

(1 Kings 17:3)

Leave such words alone as how, when, why; they are not for a Christian. If we are walking in the path of obedience, we need have no anxieties about the future; for God is above all difficulties.

How beautifully this is illustrated in the life of Elijah. (1 Kings 17:3) quoted above. Elijah implicitly obeyed the command. At that moment his path was a thorny one, his very life was in danger.

How wonderful the care God takes over one solitary servant of His; none are too obscure for His intense interest. He does not test Elijah's faith too far, but comforts him by telling him exactly how his daily needs are going to be supplied, and even works a miracle to send the necessary food to His servant. "I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there." (1 Kings 17:4) Who but God could command birds and be obeyed! Thus God uses one of the least of His creatures to fulfill His will; He is never without resource.

How often have we felt anxious about some event in our pathway, and doubts have arisen in our minds as to what the result of it will be. Why these cares with such a God as ours? If, like Elijah, we have listened to God's voice and have taken a step in faith in obedience to it, we can surely trust Him with the result. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2668

July 10

"I will build My church; and the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

We find ourselves in the end of the Christian dispensation, if we can call it dispensation. We are faced with the problem of finding a clean path through the confusion Satan has brought in. Who can look out over Christendom today and not recognize what a Babel it is? We cannot wonder that people stumble about hopelessly, something like in the days when Israel was without a king, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Men have come to the cynical conclusion that all that is left to do is to do the best they can and go with the confusion. In the case of Israel, there was no king; and everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.


You and I cannot say that in reference to the Church of God. No! We cannot rob Him of His headship of the Church. He did not jeopardize that headship by making it dependent upon the faithfulness of man. He did not put the keeping of the body of Christ in the hands of man and make it man's responsibility. No, it is in His keeping. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2669


July 11

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path." (Psalm 27:11)

Dear Master, for this current year
This one request I bring;
I do not pray for happiness,
Or any earthly thing.
I do not ask to understand
The way Thou leadest me;
But this I ask, "Teach me to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee."

A quiet lot in life is mine,
Made up of little things;
Teach me to do as unto Thee
The duties each day brings.
Faithful in that which is the least,
Dear Master, I would be;
Thus making all my daily work
"The thing that pleaseth Thee."
(Author unknown)
N.J. Hiebert # 2670


July 12

"These things therefore the soldiers did." (John 19:24)

They mocked Him and scourged Him. They stripped Him and spat on Him. They robed Him in purple and crowned Him with thorns. They smote Him on His thorn-crowned head, and they buffeted Him, and, without finding fault in Him, they crucified Him. These things the soldiers did, and like a lamb led to the slaughter, the Saviour endured it all silently, and uttered not one word of complaint. (Jim Flanigan)

N.J. Hiebert # 2671


July 13

"Keep yourselves in the love of God." (Jude 21)

A compromise is fatal. The devil, who is a liar, tells you that a little bit of "yes, but . . ." is so much easier than "yes, Jesus." That is a lie! Every day with Jesus is better than the day before, but He is not willing for you to be only a member of a spiritual insurance company. He is our Saviour. He has bought you with His blood - a very high price. he is the King of kings, the Son of God. (Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's)

N.J. Hiebert # 2672


July 14

"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4)

What do we mean by falling from grace? Here we have the expression in Scripture, "Ye are fallen from grace." - Really, a better translation is, "Ye are fallen away from grace" - you have turned away from grace. Does this mean that if a man is once a Christian but falls into some kind of sin, he loses his salvation and is no longer a Christian? If it meant that, every believer ceases to be a Christian every day, because there is not a person anywhere that does not fall into some kind of sin every day - sins of thought, of word, or of deed. But falling from grace is not sinking into sin, into immorality or other evil-doing, but it is turning from the full, clear, high Christian standard of salvation by grace alone to the low level of attempting to keep one's salvation by human effort. Therefore, a man who says, "I am saved by grace, but now my continuance depends on my own effort," has fallen from grace. that is what it is to "fall from grace." (H.A. Ironside - Epistle to the Galatians)

N.J. Hiebert # 2673


July 15

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words
shall not pass away
." (Matthew 24:35)

Generations follow generations - yet it lives.
Nations rise and fall - yet it lives.
Kings, dictators, presidents come and go - yet it lives.
Torn, condemned, burned - yet it lives.
Hated, despised, cursed - yet it lives.
Doubted, suspected, criticized - yet it lives.
Damned by atheists - yet it lives.
Exaggerated by fanatics - yet it lives.
Misconstrued and misstated - yet it lives.
Ranted and raved about - yet it lives.
Its inspiration denied - yet it lives.
Yet it lives - as a lamp to our feet.
Yet it lives - as a light to our paths.
Yet it lives - as a standard for childhood.
Yet it lives - as a guide for youth.
Yet it lives - as an inspiration for the matured.
Yet it lives - as a comfort for the aged.
Yet it lives - as food for the hungry.
Yet it lives - as water for the thirsty.
Yet it lives - as rest for the weary.
Yet it lives - as light for the heathen.
Yet it lives - as salvation for the sinner.
Yet it lives - as grace for the Christian.
To know it is to love it.
To love it is to accept it.
To accept it means Life eternal.
(Author Unknown)




N.J. Hiebert # 2674
July 16
"Who (Christ) gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver (rescue) us from this present evil world (wicked age)." (Galatians 1:4)

"The present age" means the age in which you and I are living. We say it is the age of progress. It is the age of airplanes, of radios, and of the atomic bomb. (Written in 1948) It is the age of war and jealousy among the nations. It is an age of fear and perplexity, when nobody knows what will happen next, and "men's hearts are failing them for fear." (Luke 21:26) "The present age" means all the opinions, the hopes, the fears, the aims and aspirations at any time in the world. These make a very great power, they are like the air we breathe, for they are all around us, and even unconsciously they affect our lives. As we read the newspaper, we breathe in, or drink in, the spirit of the present age, and how often our hearts are filled with fear and dread after reading it. That is the power of the "present age." Thanks be to God, Christ gave Himself for our sins, so that He might rescue us from the present age and all its wickedness. (G. Christopher Willis - Meditations on Galatians)

N.J. Hiebert # 2675


July 17

"And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel." (2 Chronicles 17:1)

The reign of Jehoshophat offers many instructive details. First, like his predecessors, he "strengthened himself against Israel." The true means of being at peace with the adversary is by organizing resistance against him in an efficient way. From that moment on, Satan leaves us in peace, but we must never treat him as anything other than an adversary. (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Chronicles)

N.J. Hiebert # 2676


July 18

"As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." (John 20:21)

A preacher has never to be anxious about results; that is God's concern. He has only to be anxious about three things: (1) the state of his own soul; (2) being in communion with the mind of God as to those to whom he is speaking; and (3) fidelity in delivering the message. (E. Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2677


July 19

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

(2 Corinthians 3:6)

If we cannot overcome where we are, we could not overcome anywhere.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2678


July 20

"We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1)

The higher our privileges, the richer our blessings, the nearer our relationship, the more does it become us, the more solemnly are we bound, to be faithful, and to seek in all things to carry ourselves in such a way as to be well-pleasing to Him who has called us into the very highest and most blessed place that even His perfect love could bestow. The Lord, in His great goodness, grant that we may, in true purpose of heart, ponder these things in His holy presence, and earnestly seek to serve Him with reverence and godly fear. (C.H. Mackintosh - Notes on Deuteronomy)

N.J. Hiebert # 2679


July 21

"God requires that which is past." (Ecclesiastes 3:15)

When the Lord judges, He always goes back to the first sin. This is much to be noticed. It is not otherwise when grace works in our souls. Suppose a Christian, for instance, to have been walking practically at a distance from God. To begin merely with what he was doing today or yesterday is not enough; we must go back to the beginning. The Lord will have him to look well and judge, and see what was the root of fruits so evidently bad. Thus even a fall is used by grace as the means of rousing the conscience by the Spirit of God. One is thus made to feel the low point to which one may have come. But the object of God in permitting it is to lead to a retracing of the steps to the first point of departure from Himself. (W. Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 2680


July 22

"Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds
of a friend
." (Proverbs 27:5,6)

A true friend will rebuke you when he thinks it's necessary, but he'll always be sensitive to the fact that his words are going to cause some pain. He'll give you a "faithful" wound, but he'll do everything possible to keep it from becoming a crippling injury.


A shepherd who finds one of his sheep bloated form eating wet young clover must take drastic action to save its life. First he looks for a certain spot on the animal's flank, pierces through it into the ruminating stomach, and immediately inserts a tube into the opening. If he does it carefully, the trapped air will escape and the animal will live. But if the operation isn't done right, the sheep may sustain permanent physical damage.

So, too, when we criticize a friend, we must be very gentle and tactful. This means we must speak with humility and compassion. We should ask God to help us experience as much pain in giving the criticism as our friend will feel in receiving it. Beware of saying, "I'm telling you this for your own good." Such words reflect a haughty and insensitive spirit.

A "faithful" wound will be aimed at uplifting the person, never in crushing his spirit. I like what an older man wrote to a younger man at the close of a letter in which he had given some constructive criticism. He said, "Please remember that I would not criticize you if I did not think you were worth it."

To be a true friend to someone, you must show your love by sometimes giving a rebuke. But be sure you inflict a faithful wound - not a crippling injury! (H.V.L.)

When you feel disposed to criticize a friend,
Just remember, the beginning's not the end;
These three questions bring to mind:
Is it true? Is it needful? Is it kind
?
(Robinson)

Treat others' faults as graciously as you would your own.

(Our Daily Bread RBC Ministries, Copyright 1979, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission)
N.J. Hiebert # 2681


July 23

"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

You may pile up your sins till they rise like a dark mountain, and then multiply them by ten thousand for those you cannot think of: and after you have tried to enumerate all the sins you have ever committed, just let me bring this one verse in, and that mountain will melt away. (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert # 2682


July 24

"They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn and grow as the vine." (Hosea 14:7)

The day closed with heavy showers. The plants in my garden were beaten down before the pelting storm, and I saw one flower that I had admired for its beauty and loved for its fragrance exposed to the pitiless storm. The flower fell, shut up its petals, dropped its head; and I saw that all its glory was gone. "I must wait till next year," I said, "before I see that beautiful thing again."


That night passed, and morning came; the sun shone again, and the morning brought strength to the flower. The light looked at it, and the flower looked at the light. There was contact and communion, and power passed into the flower. It held up its head, opened its petals, regained its glory, and seemed fairer than before. I wonder how it took place - this feeble thing coming into contact with the strong thing, and gaining strength!
I cannot tell how it is that I should be able to receive into my being a power to do and to bear by communion with God, but I know it is a fact.
Are you in peril through some crushing, heavy trial? Seek this communion with Christ, and you will receive strength and be able to conquer. "I will strengthen thee."
The rain fell a-yesterday is ruby on the roses,
Silver on the poplar leaf, and gold on willow stem;
The grief that chanced a-yesterday is silence that incloses
Holy loves when time and change shall never trouble them.

The rain that fell a-yesterday makes all the hillsides glisten,
Coral on the laurel and beryl on the grass;
The grief that chanced a-yesterday has taught the soul to listen
For whispers of eternity in all the winds that pass.

O faint-of-heart, storm-beaten, this rain will gleam tomorrow,
Flame within the columbine and jewels on the thorn,
Heaven in the forget-me-not; though sorrow now be sorrow,
Yet sorrow shall be beauty in the magic of the morn

(Katherine Lee Bates)
N.J. Hiebert # 2683


July 25

". . . some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16)

A plain farmer said to a skeptic, "The mysteries of the Bible do not bother me. I read the Bible as I eat fish. In eating fish, when I come across a bone, I do not try to swallow it, but I lay it on one side. When, in reading the prophecies, I come across that which is inexplicable, I say, 'There is a bone,' and I lay it on one side. When I find something in a doctrine that staggers my reason, I say, "That is a bone," and I lay it on one side." Alas! that men should choke themselves to death with bones of mystery, when there is so much meat in this Bible on which the soul may get strong for eternity. (T. De Witt Talmage - Born in 1832)

N.J. Hiebert # 2684


July 26

"I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring." (Isaiah 44:3)

We must keep on praying and waiting upon the Lord, until the sound of a mighty rain is heard. There is no reason why we should not ask for large things. And without doubt we shall get large things if we ask in faith, and have the courage to wait with patient perseverance upon Him, meantime doing those things which lie within our power to do. We cannot create the wind or set it in motion, but we can set our sails to catch it when it comes; we cannot make the electricity, but we can stretch the wire along upon which it is to run and do its work; we cannot in a word, control the spirit, but we can so place ourselves before the Lord, and so do the things He has bidden us do that we will come under the influence and power of His mighty breath. (Daily Meditation for Prayer)

N.J. Hiebert # 2685


July 27

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God."
(Acts 16:25)

Let all lovers of souls, and all workers in the service of the gospel, take courage. Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work, as God's messengers, be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us. (Andrew Murray)

N.J. Hiebert # 2686


July 28

"Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life." (John 6:35)

Our Lord's life, death and resurrection were undertaken to reconcile sinners to God, to make us companions with Him. The beautiful word "companion" comes from the Latin cum panis, meaning "with bread." Companions are those who share bread with one another. C.H. Spurgeon used to say that Christians and non-Christians were just the same, like beggars after bread, the only difference being that Christians have found the bakery. (W.R. Rainey)

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.
Break Thou the bread of life, O Lord, to me
That hid within my heart Thy Word may be
.
(Mary A. Lothbury)

N.J. Hiebert # 2687


July 29

"Thy Word is truth." (John 17:17)

The moment I require anything to establish the authority of the Word, I take the authority of the Word away; for the thing rested on is, of course, that which is supposed to establish the Word, and not the Word itself. If I take anything as proving the Word of God, and so believe it, that is not believing the Word. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2688


July 30

"Now is the accepted time. . . ." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Do not live in yesterday for it is past. Learn its lessons, then forget the things which are behind. Do not live in tomorrow for you cannot spend time you do not have. God is the Great I Am and so is His Son, the same yesterday and forever indeed but also the same today. We tend to dwell in the bygone and feed on its memories or keep going in the anticipation that tomorrow will be better. All you really have is this moment, this breath, this heartbeat. You cannot recall any hour that is past - how you wish you might! You cannot borrow a breath or a heartbeat from whatever supply the future holds. The only spending currency of time that you have is what you are spending while the seconds tick away as you read these words. All you have is NOW! (Vance Havner - All The Days)

N.J. Hiebert # 2689


July 31

"In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving . . ."

(Philippians 4:6)

Happy moments - Praise God
Difficult moments - Seek God
Quiet moments - Worship God
Painful moments - Trust God
Every moment - Thank God

(From "Singingpilgrim" by Dick Gorgas, 30/July/2003)

N.J. Hiebert # 2690

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