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

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gems from October 2006

October 1

"Ye shall not go out with haste." (Isaiah 52:12)

I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry - we must be doing - so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us, "Stand still," or "Sit still," or "Be still," unless He is going to do something.
This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us. Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken?
Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us, and that is that we should be like His Son; and in order that this may be so, we must be passive. We hear so much about activity, May be we need to know what it is to be quiet. (Crumbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 2752

October 2

"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently (agonizing ) for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis." (Colossians 4:12,13)

Such was Epaphras! Would there were hundreds like him in this our day! We are thankful for preachers, thankful for writers, thankful for travelers in the cause of Christ; but we want men of prayer, men of the closet, men like Epaphras. We are happy to see men on their feet preaching Christ; happy to see them able to ply the pen of a ready writer in the noble cause; happy to see them making their way, in the true evangelistic sprit, into "the regions beyond" ; happy to see them, in the true pastoral spirit, going again and again to visit their brethren in every city.

God forbid that we should undervalue or speak disparagingly of such honorable services; yea, we prize them more highly than words could convey. But then, at the back of all we want a spirit of prayer - fervent, agonizing, persevering prayer. Without this, nothing can prosper.- A prayerless man is a sapless man.
- A prayerless preacher is a profitless preacher.
- A prayerless writer will send forth barren pages.
- A prayerless evangelist will do but little good.
- A prayerless pastor will have but little food for the flock.
We want men of prayer, men like Epaphras, men whose closet walls witness their agonizing labors. These are, unquestionably, the men for the present moment. (C.H. Mackintosh - Miscellaneous Writings - Vol. 4)

N.J. Hiebert # 2753

October 3

"It is finished." (John 19:30)
"It is enough" (Genesis 45:28)

Jesus has died and the work is finished. His tomb is empty now and the Saviour is alive and in glory. He Himself has surveyed His labor and says simply and profoundly, "It is finished." Old Jacob rejoiced to see the sure evidence that Joseph was alive and exalted in the Egyptian court. We borrow his words as we look up to see Jesus risen and exalted in the heavens, and we say, simply and gladly, "It is enough!" (Jim Flanigan from Choice Gleanings)

I seek no other argument,
I want no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And rose again for me

N.J. Hiebert # 2754

October 4

"Consider HIM that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:3,4)

The cross, in one aspect, was martyrdom. Jesus was as much a martyr at the hand of man as He was a victim at the hand of God. It is as a martyr we see him here - and as such we are put in company with Him. "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." You have no deeper enemy than your own heart to strive against. It was sin in the Pharisees - sin in the multitude - sin in the chief priests - that carried the Lord Jesus to the cross. But He never had a bit of sin in Himself to strive against. It was sin in others. (J.G. Bellett - Musings on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

N.J. Hiebert # 2755

October 5

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He (Jesus) was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" (Mark 4:37,38)

If a storm arise, and if Christ appear asleep, and insensible to the danger - though "He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" - as disciples we are in the same boat with Him. The Lord give us to rest on that with undivided, undistracted hearts, for Christ is in the boat, as well as the water. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2756

October 6

"The love of Christ constraineth us." (2 Corinthians 5:14)

What was the power that made Levi leave all and follow Christ? Not the command: the power did lie in the word itself, but it was the presentation of Christ Himself to Levi. You cannot get separation apart from the presenting of the Person. This is the reason of failure in separation - it must begin with the heart. If you want to help souls you must present Christ to them. How should I separate a quantity of steel filings from a heap of dust? By picking them out? No, I should only defile my hand. By holding a powerful magnet to them, and all would instantly be attracted and drawn out of the dust. It is Christ revealed to us that detaches us from this world. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2757

October 7

"Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4)

The simpler we are, the more like children, who learn their lesson rather than discuss it . . . the more surely shall we find Him, and reach Him, and know Him. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2758

October 8

"Did not our heart burn within us, when He (JESUS) talked with us by the way?" (Luke 24:32)

Are you walking in the light of the affections of that Lord Jesus who loved you and washed you from your sins in His own blood? Is that name of JESUS causing a vibration in your heart as you walk along the wilderness? (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2759

October 9

"My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day's work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, "My grace is sufficient for thee." I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, "MY grace is sufficient for thee"; and I said,"I should think it is, Lord," and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd.

- It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and the river said, "Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee."

- Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, "Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee."

- Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, "I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere," but the earth might say, "Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee."

Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls. (C.H. Spurgeon)N.J. Hiebert # 2760

October 10

"My soul thirsteth for God." (Psalm 42:2)

We never get on in divine things unless we are content to let self go. Any way or purpose in connection with ourselves is only a barrier to divine blessing. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2761

October 11

"Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ." (1 Peter 1:18-19)

We live in times when many deride what they call "the blood religion." Some evangelists have de-emphasized it in their gospel preaching. Even so, the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, will always be precious to those who have been redeemed by its power. Sin's debt could never be paid by silver or gold. How could we ever reject something which cost God and Christ so very much? (R.J. Steele)

N.J. Hiebert # 2762

October 12

"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Several years ago, some friends of mine drove out East to spend Thanksgiving Day with their relatives. On the way, their car began giving them trouble. Fortunately, they found a gas station open where a mechanic was on duty. But he didn't have the parts to make the necessary repairs, so they were delayed until he could locate them.

They finally arrived late at night at the home where their loved ones were waiting anxiously. But their troubles weren't over. By morning, most of them had the flu! When the time came to return home, they still weren't feeling well. To make matters worse, about halfway home the baby also became ill.

Worn out and discouraged, they continued on in silence. Then one of the little tykes in the back seat piped up, "What ever happened to Thanksgiving?"

That's the way we sometimes react to adversities. When all's well and things are going our way, it's easy to praise the Lord. But when our plans are disrupted, bills pile up, our health fails, or disappointments come, thankfulness seems to disappear. Yet the Bible tells us to give thanks in everything! When we do, we won't ask, "What ever happened to Thanksgiving?" Every day will be thanksgiving! (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2763

October 13

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'." (Acts 20:35)

What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, but never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out. (D.L Moody)

N.J. Hiebert # 2764

October 14

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

He that is down need fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
(John Bunyan)

N.J. Hiebert # 2765

October 15

"In me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." (Romans 7:18)

It is better to be thinking of what God is than of what we are. This looking at ourselves at the bottom is really pride, a want of the thorough consciousness that we are good for nothing. Till we see this we never look quite away from self to God. . . . In looking to Christ, it is our privilege to forget ourselves. True humility does not so much consist in thinking badly of ourselves, as in not thinking of ourselves at all. I am too bad to be worth thinking about. What I want is, to forget myself and to look to God, who is indeed worth all my thoughts. Is there need of being humbled about ourselves? we may be quite sure that will do it.
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2766

October 16

"He being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. . . . they cast him out of the city . . . and they stoned Stephen (who) calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
(Acts 7:55-59)

The question that occupies us is that of the death of Stephen; and we notice that he literally went through death to go to the Son of man standing at God's right hand. His speech began with "the God of glory" and ended with "the glory of God;" and he went through the volleys of stones, superior to all suffering up to his very last breath, seeing with quickened perception the heavens opened and what they contained.

His part was there! But he must go through death to get there. The dying martyr's eyes closed upon the beloved city which had cast him out; the whole earthly scene faded before him as he passed through death. It is no stretch of imagination to see the battlements of Zion and the earthly temple grow dim and vanish, and the spirit freed to rise to the Son of man standing at God's right hand, where the glory of God illuminated the heavenly place. (Edward Lawrence Bevir)

N.J. Hiebert # 2767

October 17

"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor . . . and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing."
(1 Corinthians 13:3)

All our service must be drawn forth by the constraining love of Christ, for it is possible to bestow all our goods to feed the poor and yet be without divine charity and hence without any promptings of the heart of Christ. Christ therefore must be the motive. Christ must be the object and Christ must be expressed in all our service. (The Young Christian - Vol. 37 - February 1947)

N.J. Hiebert # 2768

October 18

"Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth . . .they went backward, and fell to the ground." (John 18:4,6)

The Lord Jesus was fully aware of their intentions, yet He went forth to meet His captors. Because His hour had not yet come, every previous attempt on His life had utterly failed. Even then, when He identified Himself with the noble "I AM" of Deity, His enemies went backward and involuntarily collapsed before Him. The power of this simple statement proved they took Him only because He had voluntarily submitted to their evil purpose. (Garry W. Seale)

N.J. Hiebert # 2769

October 19

"Jesus Knowing . . . all things." (John 13:3)
"Lord, Thou knowest all things." (John 21:17)
"For He knoweth our frame." (Psalm 103:14)

What a wonderful assurance to rest on the truth that our Lord Jesus knows all things. Because of this we can rest confidently knowing that "All things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). We can trust Him knowing His choice for you and me is for our best and for His glory. When we trust in Him, we know nothing happens by chance. We are assured no burden is too great and no problem is too hard. Rest in Him and on this truth today that "Jesus knows all things." (Jim Comte)

N.J. Hiebert # 2770

October 20

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19)

When was the last time that you heard a friend or relative singing or humming some good old hymn? Or, for that matter, when was the last time you lifted yourself up spiritually by doing so? Just try it! See what it does for your day. Even now you may be mulling over a problem or burdened down with little things. Try singing "Amazing Grace," or "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." By getting into the habit of making melody in your heart to the Lord, you will not only lift yourself up in victory, but you also will have a profound godly influence on your little ones or others who may hear you. (The Christian Newsletter - Number 150 January - February, 1993)

N.J. Hiebert # 2771

October 21

"Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)
"But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way."
(1 Corinthians 12:31)

It is a very common error to imagine that we serve the men of this world by mixing ourselves up with them in their associations and ways. The true way to serve them is to stand apart from them in the power of communion with God, and thus show them the pattern of a more excellent way. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2772

October 22

"Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat." (Matthew 26:7)

If we enquire as to this woman's object as she bent her steps to Simon's house, what was it? Was it to display the exquisite perfume of her ointment, or the material and form of her alabaster box? Was it to obtain the praise of men for her act? Was it to get a name for extraordinary devotedness to Christ, in the midst of a little group of personal friends of the Saviour? No, it was none of these things. How do we know? Because, the Most High God, the Creator of all things, who knows the deepest secrets of all hearts, and the true motive spring of every action - He was there in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth - He, the God of knowledge, by whom actions are weighed, was present; and He weighed her action in the balances of the sanctuary, and affixed to it the seal of His approval.

He sent it forth as genuine coin of the realm. He would not, He could not, have done this if there had been any alloy, any admixture of base metal, any false motive, any undercurrent. His holy and all-penetrating eye went right down into the very depths of this woman's soul. He knew not only what she had done, but how and why she had done it; and He declared, "She hath wrought a good work upon Me." (Christian Truth - Vol.20 - February 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2773

October 23

"Whom He justified, them He also glorified." (Romans 8:30)

We may for a time lose the sweet sense of this, but we can never lose our justification. Justification and glorification are inseparably joined together by God Himself. The believer is linked and bound to eternal glory, through his connection by faith with a glorified Christ. Until the Christian has learned to distinguish between communion and justification, he cannot have settled peace.

There is no such thing as being justified today, and condemned tomorrow. But I may be in happy communion today, and practically, out of it tomorrow. There are no degrees in justification, but there are degrees in communion. If I am unwatchful, or indulging in a spirit of unbelief or worldliness, I cannot possibly be enjoying happy communion with my heavenly Father. God is light and God is holy. He cannot look upon sin. He cannot be associated with evil; He must judge it. If, therefore, I am neglecting self-judgment - neglecting to judge my heart and my ways - communion must be interrupted. But the question of justification is not in the least affected by all this. It flows from another source, even the love of God; it rests on another ground, even the work of Christ. "It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?" Then follow four divine reasons for this state of justification and security.

1. "It is Christ that died."
2. "Yea rather, that is risen again."
3. "Who is even at the right hand of God."
4. "Who also maketh intercession for us."

On these four pillars the Christian's position securely rests. They are entirely of God. There is nothing of man's work here. "God . . . for us" is inscribed on each of them. They partake of the stability of Himself. He has done all; there is "no condemnation" and "no separation." (Christian Truth - Vo. 20 - December 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2774

October 24
"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (1 John 2:6)
If all the scriptures which speak of the example of Christ are collected, it will be seen that they are used in a twofold way - either, as John, to point out God's standard for the believer (1 Peter 2:18-25); or to encourage us in following in His steps (Hebrews 12), where Christ is set forth as the Leader and Completer of faith; as a perfect example of dependence from beginning to end; as One who died a martyr's death (though His death was much more than this); and we are exhorted to have His walk before our souls as an encouragement to a like endurance in the path of faith. "Ye," says the Apostle, "have not yet resisted unto blood" (as He did), "striving against sin." (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2775

October 25

"But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me." (Genesis 40:14)

Here we have a threefold request of Joseph - a man who is a wonderful illustration of the Lord. Surely the Lord would have us fulfill these requests for Him as well. Do we think upon Him daily and show kindness in His Name to those we meet? Do we mention Him to others? The butler forgot Joseph for two long years. May we never forget the One who died for us (John M. Clegg)

N.J.Hiebert # 2776

October 26

"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." (1 Peter 2:22)

He did ever those things that pleased God. From the manger of Bethlehem to the cross of Calvary His whole life was in perfect accordance with the will of God. He lived but to glorify God. His every thought, His every word, His every look, His every movement, emitted an odor of ineffable sweetness which ascended to the throne and refreshed the heart of God. Again and again the heavens were opened upon this blessed One; and the voice of the eternal Father bore witness to Him in such accents as these: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I an well pleased." (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J.Hiebert # 2777

October 27

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 

(1 Corinthians 10:31)

If only we are self-emptied, our every act may emit a sweet odor to God. The smallest as well as the greatest services may, by the power of the Holy Ghost, present the fragrance of Christ. The paying of a visit, the writing of a letter, the public ministry of the Word, the giving a cup of cold water to a disciple, giving to the poor, yea, the commonplace acts of eating and drinking - all may emit the sweet perfume of the name and grace of Jesus. (Extract)

N.J.Hiebert # 2778

October 28

"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him (Gideon) and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." (Judges 6:12)

Gideon was not handling a sword, but a flail - a humble instrument. "Thou mighty man of valour." It means ten thousandfold more to God to see you in the courage and energy of faith enjoying your portion in Christ, than to go over to the wars of the world and gain a mighty victory; God is far more interested in your spiritual welfare than in any victory you might achieve in this world. These are spiritual battles, and they are going to endure when all the nations locked in this present conquest have passed off the scene forever. They "are counted as the small dust of the balance" (Isaiah 40:15). That is the way God thinks of the rise and fall of the nations. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2779

October 29

"We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead." (2 Corinthians 1:9)

If ever there were a day in which we need to look entirely to the Lord, and to Him alone, it is the day in which we live; and by faith we look up to Him, the Leader of our salvation, to Him whose arms were once extended upon the cross as He bare our sins, and who ever lives to lead us through every difficulty to the eternal glory. It may be said that the people of God are so dispersed, and many other things; but we know that His arm is not shortened. It may be a severe lesson to learn - that of mistrusting man, and our own selves most of all - but a blessed lesson after all; and we look toward Him in the excellent glory, and to the God of glory who has placed Him at His right hand, praying that we may glorify Him for the rest of the journey in the desert. May we be found walking in true dependence, prayerfully, and with true confidence in Him. (E.L. Bevir)

N.J. Hiebert # 2780

October 30

"We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech (were pleading) you by (through) us." (2 Corinthians 5:20)

In answer to a Roman centurion's earnest pleas to heal his desperately ill slave, Jesus started to go to the man's house. The man, however, said that he was unworthy of such attention. He said, "Only speak a word and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me." (Matthew 8:8-9) If he, an officer in the Roman army, could have things done by a word of command, surely Jesus, the great prophet of God, could do likewise.

A centurion had 100 men under his command. Above him was the senior centurion, and above the senior centurion, the 60 centurions of the Roman legion. Above the 60 centurions were the 6 tribunes, and above the 6 tribunes the 2 counsuls. Above the 2 counsuls was the emperor himself. It was because the Roman centurion stood in this long line of delegated authority that he was able to give orders and have them obeyed. He had authority because he himself was under authority.

Today, those of us who submit to Christ are men and women "under authority." Because of our relationship to Him, we have the authority to speak on His behalf, declaring forgiveness of sins to all who believe in Him.

Do we live and speak as people under authority? (HWR)

Am I a soldier of the cross?
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to won His cause
Or blush to speak His name
? (Watts)

We can speak for Christ only when we listen to Christ.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1993). Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 2781

October 31

"Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come,
and will not tarry." (Hebrews 10:37)

"A little while" - 'twill soon be past,
Why should we shun the promised cross?
O let us in His footsteps haste,
Counting for Him all else but loss!
For how will recompense His smile,
The sufferings of this "little while."
(J.G. Deck)

N.J. Hiebert # 2782


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