Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5560 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gems from November 2006

November 1

"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4)

Christ's death was a shameful death. More than the pain they inflicted upon Him, perhaps the shame was the most trying aspect of what man did to the holy Saviour. In Roman executions, the criminals were stripped naked, and inhumanely exposed to public shame. So the Roman soldiers cast lots for His clothes and left Him naked. Scripture tells us, Christ "endured the cross, despising the shame." (Hebrews 12:2) This He did in love for sinners and because of His delight in doing the will of God. What a tragedy it is if we are ashamed of the One who bore such shame for us! (Milton Haack)

N.J. Hiebert # 2783

November 2

"And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on (Stephen), saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." (Acts 6:15)

Never fear persecution; it will make your face shine as an angel's.
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2784

November 3

"When Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw HIM, she fell down at His feet . . ." (John 11:32)

Ah! it is blessed to be at the feet of Jesus in our sorrows, for there divine light shines upon them, and though we may suffer, and even be oppressed with our trials, we shall not, while there, doubt His love. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2785

November 4

"And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." (Acts 23:11)

I am sure it is better for us . . . for divine wisdom and love to sit at the helm and decide for us than for us to have to decide. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2786

November 5

"What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." (Job 2:10)

If we knew the heart of God we would never question any of His dealings with us, nor should we ever desire His hand lifted off us till we had learnt all He would teach us. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2787

November 6

"O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" (Luke 24:25,26)

"O fools, and slow of heart to believe." What? "ALL that the prophets have spoken." Oh, how that should bind round your heart and mine every jot and syllable of God's Word! (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2788

November 7

"And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost." (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
They (Thessalonians) received the Word in much affliction and yet in joy. This sounds paradoxical, and indeed it is; but the Christian may be sorrowful yet always rejoicing. The affliction to which the apostle refers may have been twofold. There was of course deep contrition as they recognized their sinfulness and mourned over their years of ungodliness and idolatry. Then, too, they knew that to decide for Christ would mean, in many instances, separation from loved ones, grievous misunderstandings, and even bitter persecution. But they were prepared for all this. They counted the cost and considered that Christ would mean far more to them than temporal comfort or worldly prosperity, and so they joyfully received the message which told them of sins forgiven and the hope of heaven. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 2789

November 8

"I (Jesus) go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there ye may be also."
(John 14:2,3)

Sometime some ordinary day will come,
A busy day like this - filled to the brim
With ordinary tasks - perhaps so full
That we have little thought or care for Him.
And there will be no hint from silent skies,
No sign, no clash of cymbals, roll of drums;
And yet that ordinary day will be
The very day in which our Lord will come

N.J. Hiebert # 2790

November 9

"While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light."
(John 12:36)

It is said of a blind man that, when asked why he always carried a lantern at night, he replied that, being himself unable to see, the light was not to preserve his own feet but to prevent others from stumbling over him. May the Lord keep us walking as "children of Light"; then only will our feet be kept from stumbling and we shall be no occasion of stumbling to others. (Things to Think About)

N.J. Hiebert # 2791

November 10

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15)
'Tis a true and faithful saying,
Jesus died for sinful men;
Though we've told the story often,
We must tell it yet again;
He has made a full atonement;
Now His saving work is done;
He has glorified the Father,
Who accepts us in His Son

N.J. Hiebert # 2792

November 11

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing." (Mathew 5:13)

A few grains of salt can often make the difference between a delicious, memorable meal and a complete cooking failure. Salt will melt ice to help prevent accidents, will make cut flowers last longer, will act as a cleansing agent, and will accomplish many useful tasks. Are we performing the duties of salt? Are we truly the slat of the earth?

At an informal gathering some young people were discussing the test "Ye are the salt of the earth." One suggestion after another was made as to the meaning of salt in this verse. "Salt imparts a desirable flavour," said one. "Salt preserves from decay," another suggested. Then at last a Chinese Christian girl spoke out of an experience one of the others had. "Salt creates thirst," she said, and there was sudden hush in the room. Everyone was thinking "Have I made anyone thirsty for the Lord Jesus Christ?" (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2793

November 12

"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken." (Psalm 37:25)

They call it going down the hill, when we are growing old,
They say in mournful accents that, "Our tale is told."
They sigh when talking of the past, the days that used to be,
As if the future were not bright with immortality.
But oh, it is not going down, but climbing high and higher,
Until we almost see the mansions that out souls desire.
For if the natural eye grows dim, it is but dim to earth,
While the eye of faith grows keener to perceive the Saviour's worth.

Who would exchange for shooting blade, the waving, golden grain,
Or when the corn is fully ripe, would wish it green again?
And who would wish the hoary head, found in the ways of truth,
To be again encircled with the sunny looks of youth?
For though in truth the outward man must perish and decay,
The inward man shall be renewed by grace, from day to day.
They who are planted by the Lord, unshaken by their root,
E'en in old age shall flourish still, and bring forth fruit.
(Provided by C.H. Krause)

N.J. Hiebert # 2794

November 13

"Those husbandmen said . . . This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours." (Mark 12:7)

The short-sighted pride of these men is astonishing! They thought that by doing away with the heir, they would somehow become the owners of the vineyard. They totally forgot that "the lord of the vineyard . . . will come and destroy the husbandmen." The blind pride of humanist today is even more astonishing. Living in God's creation, they attempt to "do away with" God, making themselves little gods. But one day He will take them to task, and they will answer to "the Heir of all things." (D. Logan)

N.J. Hiebert # 2795

November 14

"He that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:30)

This is true in two ways. You're wise if you win souls and to win souls you must be wise. As we seek to witness and lead others to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we need God's wisdom for what to say and when to say it. If we cannot talk, we need to walk in wisdom. Why not ask the Lord for soul-winning wisdom? This morning pray, "Lord make me winsome that I might win some today." (Rex Trodon)

N.J. Hiebert # 2796

November 15

"I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt
enlarge my heart
." (Psalm 119:32)

- Is fear of man before me, or am I satisfied with the private approval of Christ?
- There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.

- If your life be the most woebegone, the most tempted, the fullest of failure of any person in His Church - you are the one that will probably get more help from God than any one.
- To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge; to find the will of God is the greatest discovery; to do the will of God is the greatest achievement. (Things to Think About)

N.J. Hiebert # 2797

November 16

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

Give me a million dollars, and one reverse of fortune may scatter it all away; but let me have a spiritual hold of this divine assurance, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," and then I am all right, I am set up for life. I cannot break with such stock as this in hand.

I never can be a bankrupt, for I hold this security. "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."

Do not give me ready money now; give me a checkbook, and let me draw what I like.
This is what God does with the believer. He does not immediately transfer His inheritance to him, but lets him draw what he needs out of the riches of His fullness in Christ Jesus. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2798

November 17

"The Lord knoweth that are His." (2 Timothy 2:19)

Is it possible for one to be a believer in Christ, and not bear fruit?

We are glad to see fruit, but fruit is for the Father, and He can see what we cannot see. Fruit makes no noise; it is the life of Christ seen in our behaviour (Galatians 5:22,23). Even Lot is called a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7,8) but he was not a happy saint. (The Christian Newsletter)

N.J. Hiebert # 2799

November 18

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

(2 Timothy 3:16)
Corruption comes in through those who do not openly deny but pare down inspiration, allow errors in history or other (as they call it) secondary matter, and attribute the selection of what is written to the instruments without God. But this is to deceive themselves and others, to say and unsay. It God inspired the writings, He suggested, He selected, He included, He left out. He gave the thoughts and the words; He guided and controlled all. This is scripture. (William Kelly - The Epistles of Peter)

N.J. Hiebert # 2800

November 19

"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 
... God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary. There is no searching of His understanding." (Isaiah 40:12,28)

What can we wish for in an inheritance that is not to be found in God?
- Would we have large possessions? He is immensity;
- Would we have a sure estate? He is immutability;
- Would we have a term of long continuance? He is eternity itself.

Supreme in wisdom as in power the Rock of Ages stands,
Though Him thou canst not see, nor trace the working of His hands.
Mere human power shall fast decay, and youthful vigor cease;
But they who wait upon the Lord in strength shall still increase.
On eagles' wings they mount, they soar-their wings are faith and love -
Till, past the cloudy regions there, they rise to heaven above
.(Isaac Watts)

N.J. Hiebert # 2801

November 20

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

How can I keep in the love of God? Am I responsible to keep God loving me? He says, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." Does it mean that I am to keep loving God? No; "We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) But I am to keep in the realization of His love; the constant enjoyment of it. Suppose my child has been ill, and during dark and murky weather he has to be kept in the house. Then one day the sun shines brightly, and the doctor says, "He can go out today for a few hours, but be sure to warn him to keep in the sunshine." I say to my boy, "Son, you may go out and enjoy yourself, but the doctor says you are to keep in the sunshine." The boy asks, "How can I keep the sun shining?" I explain, "I did not tell you to keep the sun shining; I am telling you to keep in the sunshine."

This makes clear what is meant here - keep in the love of God. "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God." (2 Thessalonians 3:5) As we enjoy His love and learn to rely upon it, we can wait in patience for the day when all our trials will be ended, and the Lord Jesus will come to take us to be forever with Himself. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 2802

November 21

". . . He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until
the day of Jesus Christ
." (Philippians 1:6)

The Christian should be encouraged to know that he is not trapped in the treacherous fist of fate, but is secure in the mighty hand of the Father. Although the purposes of God are not always made clear, he can rest in "the good pleasure of His will."

Dr. Leon Tucker, a gifted preacher and teacher, was a frequent visitor in our home when I was young. Once he told us of a woman who had been broken by a great tragedy in her life. She had been living under the crushing weight of a heavy burden for so long that praise had given way to complaint. Finally she cried out in bitterness of soul, "Oh, I would to God I had never been made!" In response to her rebellious words a friend wisely replied, "Why my dear child, you are not made yet; you are only being made, and you are quarreling with God's process."

The apostle Peter must have had a similar idea in mind when he wrote, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." (1 Peter 4:12) Often we argue with God because He subjects us to hardships in order to accomplish His gracious purposes. The Master Craftsman has a perfect design for each of us. Sharp tools must be employed at times, but every stroke of the Father's hand brings us a little closer to the finished product. How short-sighted to concentrate on the means rather than the end!

Child of God, you are not made yet; you are just being made. The Lord who "hath begun a good work in you" will certainly complete it. Just be patient while He works! (P.R.V.)

When burdens and trial seem heavy,
And troubles are pressing me sore,
I know it's the Master who's trying
To polish His precious stone more
(Beattie, alt.)

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man
perfected without adversity.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 2803

November 22

"I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am." (1 Corinthians 15:9,10)

I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I wish to be.
I am not even what I hope to be.
But by the cross of Christ,
I am not what I was.

(John Newton)

N.J. Hiebert # 2804

November 23

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

(Micah 5:2)

The apostles preached Jesus, not from their own writings, which did not exist then, but from the Scriptures. What was Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost? He announced:

(1) The outpouring of the Spirit according to Joel 2.
(2) The resurrection of Jesus according to Psalm 16.
(3) His ascension according to Psalm 110; and on this basis,
(4) The lordship of Jesus as the Messiah.
(Dr. Adolf Saphir - Christ and the Scriptures)

N.J. Hiebert # 2805

November 24

". . . All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night, His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." (Psalms 42:7,8)

Someone once wrote that the man who can sing, "It is Well With My Soul" at a time in his life when "sorrows like sea billows roll," has learned the secret of the Lord, and can faithfully exclaim with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

Such a man was Horatio Spafford, a lawyer in Chicago. When the great fire swept the city in 1871, he lost all his material possessions. Two years later, he sent his wife and four children to Europe, while he applied himself to retrieving his lost fortune.

They sailed on November 15, 1873, on the "S. S. Ville de Havre." In mid-ocean, one afternoon, six days after they had left New York, the ship collided with a sailing vessel.

Gathering her children on deck, immediately after the collision, Mrs. Spafford knelt in prayer, asking God to save them, or make them willing to die, if that were necessary. In fifteen minutes the boat sank! They were cast into the water and separated. Mrs. Spafford was taken out of the water unconscious by one of the oarsmen on duty in a life-boat, but the children were lost.

Then days later Mrs. Spafford landed in Cardiff, Wales, and cabled to her husband, "Saved Alone."
On receiving this terrible news Attorney Spafford exclaimed: "It is well; the will of the Lord be done!" To give expression to this faith he wrote the hymn which has blessed so many souls in deep trouble:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

A wealthy man ruined in the panic of 1899 was giving himself up in despair, when a friend of his related to him the story of the writing of this hymn. Immediately he responded, "If Spafford could write such a beautiful resignation hymn, I shall never complain again." (Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert # 2806

November 25

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

As long as Christ's grace is at work, if there is only one saint on the earth and everything else failed around, he would find the power of Christ ready to be exercised on his behalf. . . . However dark the dispensation may be, there is exactly the grace that is needed for the position. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2807

November 26

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Ephesians 6:16)

We do not sufficiently reckon on the activity of the foe, and occupied with his instruments we often overlook the hand by which they are wielded. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2808

November 27

"And Jesus said unto them, can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast." (Mark 2:19)

To be near Christ is the great enjoyment of the spiritual life. "Can the children of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them?" As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. In heaven itself you would not be content never to come into contact with Christ; have you come into contact with HIM today? (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2809

November 28

"Him whom my soul loveth." (Song of Solomon 3:4)

Oh, how poorly has the soul learned . . . the living, practical lesson of a scorned and rejected Jesus . . . though the mind and pen can trace the form of it without doubt or difficulty! Lord, give us to know the honour of witnessing Thy rejection in this proud world! (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2810

November 29

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
(1 Corinthians 3:6)

You may find Christians . . . who are really thinking more of themselves than of the Lord, exacting love and consideration instead of truly in the fear of the Lord labouring to confer it. Whenever a soul makes itself the object the Lord is far from it. (James Butler Stoney - 1814 - 1897)

N.J. Hiebert # 2811

November 30

"What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ ?" (Matthew 27:22)

Asked so long ago, this is still one of the greatest questions we can ask ourselves. Here Pontius Pilate asked the question to the unruly crowd as the Lord stood before him. The crowd replied, "Let Him be crucified." Pilate didn't really know what to do, but was swayed by the crowd and rejected Christ. How sad! In 2006, many still reject the Lord but what of you? Ask yourself this question, "What shall I do then with Jesus?" May you receive and accept Him today. (John M. Clegg)

N.J. Hiebert # 2812


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