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

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gems from September 2006

September 1

"Thy love is better than wine." (Song of Solomon 1:2)
"The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." (Ephesians 3:19)

David says, "Wine maketh glad the heart" - it exhilarates. To the believer there is no more exhilarating joy than Christ's love, no cordial so sweet to his weary, fainting spirit. Christ's love captivates the affections of the heart - "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love. . ." (Ephesians 3:17), calms the apprehensions of the mind "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ?. . ." (Romans 8:35), and claims the activities of the life "For the love of Christ constraineth us." (2 Corinthians 5:14). Such love is better than any natural joy. (Adam Ferguson)

N.J. Hiebert # 2722

September 2

"Lord, all my desire is before Thee." (Psalm 38:9)

Only a simple word. This afternoon, words would not come when I tried to pray, and this troubled me; and then it was as if He, Who is never far away, said, What does it matter about words, when all thy desire is before Me? Perhaps you, too, find that words will not come when you wish they would. So I pass on my comfort. In St. Augustine's words: "To Him Who is everywhere, men come, not by traveling, but by loving." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 2723

September 3

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

It was much more than a lesson in humility that the Lord Jesus sought to impart to His disciples when He arose from the last supper and proceeded to wash all their feet. The condescension on His part, as the Father's well-beloved Son into whose hands all things had been given, was amazing, and the lesson in lowliness and loving care was indeed profound; but there was immeasurably more than this in the act. His words to Peter in verse 7 indicate another meaning than that which was apparent at the moment. "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."

The key to this remarkable incident is found in verse 3. "Jesus . . . knowing that He was come from God and went to God." A heavenly Person has thus been here, and has returned again to His glory on high, but one great object of His coming was to fit a company of sinful men to have part with Himself in His own blest abode for ever. His washing of the disciples' feet has thus a moral connection with the Father's eternal purpose of love concerning them. (W.W. Fereday - Peter the Apostle)

N.J. Hiebert # 2724

September 4

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles* of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11) (*A "wile" is something that looks fair and innocent.)

Throughout the ages the saints have needed the armour of God, but in these closing days when "the darkness of this world" deepens "the wiles of the devil" increase, and Christendom is returning to paganism and philosophy, how deeply important it is to put on the whole armour of God to "withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand." Let us then stand; Having our loins girt about with truth, and thus be kept inwardly right in thought and affection; Having on the breastplate of righteousness, so that we are consistent in all our practice; Having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, so that we walk in peace in the midst of a world of discord, strife and confusion.

Taking the shield of faith, so that we walk in daily confidence in God; Taking the helmet of salvation, and thus realizing that God is making all things work together for our good and salvation; Taking the sword of the Spirit, whereby we can meet every subtle attack of the enemy; Lastly, "praying always", so that we can use the armour in the spirit of constant dependence upon God. (Hamilton Smith - The Epistle to the Ephesians)

N.J. Hiebert # 2725

September 5
"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23)

"Daily" - this is the trial. A man might heroically do it once for all, and he would have plenty of people to honour him, and books written about him, but it is terribly difficult to go on every day denying oneself, and no one knowing anything about it. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2726

September 6

"To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Romans 7:18,19)

If souls would be honest, many would confess that this has been their condition for years - a condition which brings no glory to God and no happiness to themselves. What is the cause? Simply the mistake of thinking that all depends upon their own efforts instead of accepting the truth that they are utterly without strength, and that, therefore, everything depends upon God. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2727

September 7

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort (encouragement)." (2 Corinthians 1:3)

If we find our souls under pressure of the spirit of fear or bondage or uncertainty we may be sure that they have let go the gentle hand of faith. . . . This ought not to be so. We are to know that we have ever to do with love! (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2728

September 8

"The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The disfigured face of Jesus Christ radiated forth the essential glories of a God whose very essence is love and grace. Men spat upon that face (Matthew 26:67). Men struck that face (Luke 22:64). Men tore the beard from that face (Isaiah 50:6). Their abuse only made the glory glisten brighter. Some day in heaven we are going to gaze on that face and fall down in wonder and worship. What a prospect is ours! It could be today. If it is not, may we, through the eyes of faith, see that face and worship Him in spirit and truth. (John M. Clegg)

N.J. Hiebert # 2729

September 9

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

I recall walking along a Texas creek many years ago with my brother-in-law, Ed and his 3 - year old son David. David had been collecting smooth, round stones from the stream while we walked. He called them "piggies," because their rounded shape reminded him of little pigs.

David had stuffed a number of "piggies" in his pockets, and after running out of pockets he began carrying them in his arms. After a while he began to stagger under the load and lag behind. It was obvious he would never make it back to the house without help, so Ed said, "Here, David, let me carry your piggies."

Reluctance clouded David's face for a moment, and then it lit up. "I know," he said. "You carry me and I'll carry my piggies!"
I've often thought of that incident and my own childish insistence that I must carry my own load. Jesus offers to take all of my burdens but I resist out of stubbornness and pride. "You carry me," I say, "but I'll carry my 'piggies.' "

How foolish it is to try to carry all your burdens on your own when Jesus asks you to cast "all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."
Have you put all of your "piggies" in Jesus' strong arms today? (David Roper)

I would tell the Lord my longings,
Roll on Him my every care,
Cast upon Him all my burdens,
Burdens that I cannot bear
. (Weigle)

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2004), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.
N.J. Hiebert # 2730

September 10

"The Lord said unto Joshua . . . ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. . . . the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times . . . make a long blast with the ram's horn . . . all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat . . ." (Joshua 6:2-5)

It may be said, why not simplify the path? Why all these complications? Why go around the city every day, and seven times the seventh day? Why this procession with the ark and trumpets? Faith does not ask why? It does not reason as to the means God chooses to employ; it accepts them, enters into them, and obtains the victory instead of being beaten by the enemy. It was thus at the Passover and at the Red Sea. Do you say: Then faith is without intelligence? Not at all; it first submits and then understands. Faith will tell you the reason of the seven days, the ark, the procession, the trumpets, and the shouts of joy, but it will only tell you after submission to them, otherwise it would be intelligence and not faith. (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua)

N.J. Hiebert # 2731

September 11

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come." (Revelation 22:17)

Every "come" in the Bible is the call of the Spirit. For "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God," and the "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." And every time that a still small voice in your heart says "Come," it is the call of the Spirit. Every time the remembrance of the Saviour's sweetest spoken word floats across your mind, it the Holy Spirit's fulfillment of our Lord's promise that "He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
The last time those words, "Come unto Me," came into your mind, whether in some wakeful night hour, or suddenly and unaccountably amid the stir of the day, did you think that it was the very voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart? Or did you let other voices drown it, not knowing that the goodness of God was leading you by it? (Francis Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

N.J. Hiebert # 2732

September 12

"The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Simon (Peter)." (Luke 24:34) "I (Judas) have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." (Matthew 27:4)

Two men in the apostolic band sinned deeply - Peter and Judas; but how vastly different were the issues that flowed from their sins. Peter was a backslider; Judas was an apostate. The enemy tripped Peter; but he trapped Judas. Later on, the broken-hearted fisherman wept tears of repentance, and sobbed out his sorrow on the bosom of the Master Whom he so deeply revered. Judas, in the bitterness of remorse, hanged himself.
However deeply you may have fallen - despair not. If God were strict to mark iniquities, not one of us could stand; but there is forgiveness with Him that He may be feared and loved (Psalm 130:3-4). "Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out," John 6:37) says our Saviour. He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He frankly forgives (Luke 7:42). He abundantly pardons (Isaiah 55:7). Whitfield summed it up in one tremendous statement, when he said that God will receive even the devil's castaways. (Henry Durbanville - His Last Words)

N.J. Hiebert # 2733

September 13

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you . . . being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all" (Philippians 1:3,6,7)

"The Lord always looks at His people as they will be when they are done." And it is well for us if we can learn to look at them in the same way. An incident is told of an artist who had conceived in his mind a great picture, which he meant to be the masterpiece of his life. He was working on a large canvas, putting in the drabs and grays that were to compose the background, when a friend entered, unnoticed. The artist worked on with enthusiasm, not aware of the onlooker's presence. But, finally happening to turn, he saw him, and exclaimed, "What do you think of this? I intend it to be the greatest work I have ever done." His friend burst into a laugh, and exclaimed, "Why, to be frank, I don't think much of it. It seems to me to be only a great daub." "Ah," replied the artist, at once sensing the situation, "you cannot see what is going to be there. I can."

And so it is with God our Father. He sees in every believer that which will be fully brought out at the judgment-seat of Christ, and He is working now toward that end. We too often see the present imperfection and forget the future glory. But, in the day of Jesus Christ, when all shall be manifested, every believer will be conformed to the image of God's blessed Son. (H.A. Ironside - Notes on Philippians)

N.J. Hiebert # 2734

September 14

"Mary, (which) also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha
was cumbered about much serving
." (Luke 10:39,40)

Service is good when He asks it,
Labour is right in its place,
But there is one thing better -
Looking up into His face:
There is so much He would tell us,
Truths that are precious and deep;
This is the place where He wants us,
These are the things we can keep. (Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 2735

September 15

"He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)
"He is able to save them to the uttermost." (Hebrews 7:25)

Truly our Lord loved His own to the end. He loved us as far as love could go. When the cross was required for out justification, He voluntarily laid down His life in order that we might be saved. But what good would it be if He was willing to save us, but unable? Let us thank God that His love not only moved Him to save us, but His power was able to carry out His redemptive plan, so that all who "come unto God by Him" can be forgiven. (C. Mark Hogan)

N.J. Hiebert # 2736

September 16

"These things have I WRITTEN unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God."
(1 John 5: 13)

ONE POUND BANK OF IRELAND NOTE.)This piece of paper in your hand,
Declares to you that on demand,
You twenty shillings shall receive:
This simple promise you believe,
It sets your mind as much at rest,
As though the money you possessed.
So Christ who died but now doth live,
Doth unto you this promise give:
That if on Him you will believe,
Eternal life you shall receive.
Upon the first you calmly rest:
Which is the safer? Which the best?
The Bank may break, Heaven never can;
'Tis safer trusting God than man."
(In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert # 2737

September 17

" . . . they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. . . . "
(Isaiah 40:31)

Looking unto Jesus in prayer is a blessed training. Prayer without listening is like going to a person, asking questions, and leaving without waiting for an answer.
We need some practice. We have prayed so much without listening that we do not always hear the answer immediately. Then we must wait upon the Lord. This waiting upon Him is a blessing in itself. (Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's)

N.J. Hiebert # 2738

September 18

"It is God that justifieth." (Romans 8:33)

Certainly the believer is the last man to justify himself. God justifies, instead of laying anything to the charge of His elect, who abhor themselves before Him, owning not only their sins but their nature as vile and corrupt. They are, " . . . justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". (Romans 3:24) (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 2739

September 19

"Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. . . . meditate upon these things." (1 Timothy 4:13 - 15)

MEDITATION is to the sermon what the harrow is to the seed, it covers those truths which else might have been picked or washed away.

An affectionate hearer will not be a forgetful hearer. Love helps the memory: Can a woman forget her child, or a maid her ornaments, or a bride her attire? No, they love them too well; were the truths of God thus precious to thee, thou wouldst with David think of them day and night.
Even when the Christian, through weakness of memory, cannot remember the very words he hears, to repeat them; yea, then he keeps the power and savour of them in his spirit, . . . when meat is eaten and digested, it is not to be found as it was received, but the man is cheered and strengthened by it, more able to walk and work than before, by which you may know it is not lost: so you may taste the truths the Christian heard, in his spirit, see them in his life. (William Gurnall - 1665)

N.J. Hiebert # 2740

September 20

"I pray for them: I pray not for the world but for them which Thou hast given Me: for they are Thine." (John 17:9)

Each believing intercessor has his own immediate circle for whom he first prays. Parents have their children; teachers, their pupils; all workers their special charge, all believers those whose care lies upon their hearts. It is of great consequence that intercession should be personal, pointed and definite, and then our first prayer must always be that they may receive the Word. But this prayer will not avail unless with our Lord we say, "I have given them Thy Word": it is this gives us liberty and power in intercession for souls. Not only pray for them but speak to them. And when they have received the Word let us pray much for their being kept from the evil one for their being sanctified through that Word. (Andrew Murray)
It is important that we speak to men about God: but it is vastly more important that we speak to God about men. (C.I Scofield)

N.J. Hiebert # 2741

September 21

". . . whatsoever things are pure . . ." (Philippians 4:8)

Our school motto was: "Beati Mundo Corde:" the Latin for, "Blessed are the pure in heart." It would be hard to find a more suitable, or a more beautiful, motto for a boy's school. How did we measure up to it, bearing in mind that purity begins with our thoughts? How do we today measure up to it, when we think of it in this way? As we look around on all the filth about us in this filthy world, through which we must pass, we might be utterly discouraged, and say that God had set before us an impossible standard, that He does not expect us to meet. Let not such a thought find lodgment with us.
In the days of old there were various creatures which the people of Israel might not eat, for they were unclean: there were others that were clean. There were two marks by which a clean fish was known: it must have both fins and scales. The fins let it swim against the stream. There is a spot on the Columbia River where you may stand and watch the great fish leap up rapids, or small falls, several feet high. Similarly God has provided a power whereby you and I may "swim against the stream." But there are times when a fish must swim through filthy water: and to protect it, God has given it scales: which I suppose are 'shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together that they cannot be sundered.' (Job 41:15-17). And, fitted with this armour, the fish can pass in safety through the filth. So God has provided a way for His Own to pass unscathed through all the filth around us: as well as the power to go against the stream. (G. Christopher Willis -Sacrifices of Joy)

N.J. Hiebert # 2742

September 22

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. . . ." (Philippians 2:5)

"Kenosis." This title comes from the Greek expression, rendered in our Authorized Version, "made Himself of no reputation" - an expression which really means "emptied Himself," or "divested Himself."
Doctrines are never presented in Scripture merely as dogmas to be accepted by the faithful on pain of expulsion from the Christian company. The most important doctrines are brought in by the Holy Spirit in what we might call an exceedingly natural way. I do not use the word "natural" here in contrast to "spiritual," but rather in the sense simply of sequence to the subject, introduced without special emphasis. In this particular instance before us, the doctrine of our Lord's self-emptying comes in simply as the supreme illustration of that lowliness of mind which should characterize all who profess to be followers of the Saviour.
(H.A. Ironside in Notes on Philippians)

N.J. Hiebert # 2743

September 23

"Come now therefore, and I will send thee (Moses) unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh . . ." (Exodus 3:10,11)

When God tells me to do a thing, do I have to turn around for human help? When God told Moses that he should go down and deliver His people, was it an honour to God or obedience to God for Moses to plead and plead until He gave him Aaron as his helper? Did it not show weakness in Moses? And wherever you find that the Word of God commands your obedience, and you turn to human support, you may know at once that the seed of weakness has been introduced, and it will develop into more manifest failure. (S. Ridout - Overcoming in Days of Ruin - Lectures on the Book of Judges)

N.J. Hiebert # 2744

September 24

"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)

I have been told that the deeper the water the larger the pearl. I don't know how that is, but I do know that from the greatest depths of sin the Lord Jesus Christ sometime gathers up His brightest jewels. PAUL was a persecutor, BUNYAN was a blasphemer, JOHN NEWTON was a libertine, the EARL OF ROCHESTER was an infidel; and yet the grace of God went plunging down through the fathoms of their abominations, until it found them and brought them up to the light. (T. De Witt Talmage)

N.J. Hiebert # 2745

September 25

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

What a wonderful statement! It is not a question merely of what will be the justification of the believer when manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, but "now" there is nothing to condemn to those who are in Christ Jesus. If I look at myself in the flesh, it is, "O wretched man that I am!" If I look at what I am in Christ Jesus, there is now no condemnation. Dead to all that I am, as a child of Adam - dead to sin, dead to law, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Thus, being in and to another, to Christ Jesus raised from the dead, it is not only to bring forth fruit unto God, but "there is therefore now no condemnation." Do you get hold of this? Is there any condemnation possible to that risen Christ in the glory of God? Then, if you are in Him, how can there be condemnation to you? (Charles Stanley - Epistle to the Romans - 1885)

N.J. Hiebert # 2746

September 26

"Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger." (John 6:35)

Field Marshal William Slim was leading the British forces during the Burma campaign of World War 2. Concerned about the men under his command, he learned that one soldier was extremely despondent over bad news from home. So the commander asked his senior chaplain to have a member of his staff talk to the soldier.
Shortly afterward, the field marshal sent for the senior chaplain. Keenly dissatisfied and upset, he said, "One of your chaplains went to see the man. He was very nice and they drank a cup of tea together, but he never showed the soldier what he needed to see." "And what was that?" the surprised chaplain asked. Field Marshal Slim answered, "The Man on the cross."

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35) When we interact with needy people, it's important to remember that Jesus is the answer to their loneliness, depression, and heartache. It's true that we must be pleasant and sociable, but we must also point them to the Man on the cross, the sin-bearing Saviour in whom there is forgiveness, strength, grace, and hope.
Yes, Jesus is the only answer to our basic need. (VCG)

I need Jesus, my need I now confess,
No friend like Him in times of deep distress;
I need Jesus, the need I gladly own.
Though some may bear their load alone,
Yet I need Jesus
. (Webster)

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1999), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 2747

September 27

"Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

- We never enter upon any service rightly unless we expect to encounter the opposition of Satan.
- The preacher has to learn that liberty is not power. The temptation is to rest satisfied in speaking with ease and freedom. Whenever this is the case it is Satan's opportunity, and thus we ought to be on our guard.
- There is nothing like boldness in the face of the adversary - "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
- Satan cannot touch the obedient believer. As long as he is kept in dependence and obedience all Satan's assaults are foiled.
- It is easier to keep the enemy out than it is to expel him after he has effected an entrance. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2748

September 28

"Take heed how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given." Luke 8:18)
If on hearing, I possess that which I hear . . . then it becomes a part of the substance of my soul, and I shall get more, for when the truth has become a substance in my soul, there is a capacity for receiving more. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2749

September 29

"He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth . . . As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." (Isaiah 53:7)

The Lord Jesus was uncomplaining in the acceptance of unjust suffering. Had He protested, it would have been to deny the vountariness of His offering of Himself. He was dumb even though, being innocent, He was charged as one who was guilty. Had Jesus uttered a word of sorrow or protest or anger or threat of reprisal, the whole work of atonement would have been in jeopardy. Never was silence so eloquent! (Adam Ferguson)

N.J. Hiebert # 2750

September 30

"The fulness of the blessing of Christ." (Romans 15:29)

Being alone with Jesus is the sinner's first position, it is the beginning of his joy, and no one has a right to meddle with it. . . . Sin casts us upon God alone. . . . We must not surrender to any the right of God to talk with us alone about our sins. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2751


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