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

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gems from December 2006

December 1

"When we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." (Isaiah 53:2)

That is the One who grew up in this world before God as "a root out of a dry ground," as a "tender plant." In Him God saw every beauty; in Him from first to last, God had delight, and from Him continually a sweet savor rose up. It was a savor of obedience - not a legal obedience, but the obedience of love. How is it that in this poor world, this vast world, there are those who do see beauty in Him, and who do desire Him, whom the beauty of the Lord attracts? What has made it to be thus with you and with me and with every believer far and near? Who gave us the anointed eye, the opened ear? Who gave us the receiving and understanding heart? We sing it in a hymn: "To Thee our all we owe; The precious Saviour, and the power That makes Him precious too."

N.J. Hiebert # 2813

December 2

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed." (Psalms 103:2-5)

Whether an atheist denying the existence of God, or a believer overlooking the blessings of God, the contradiction is obvious, even as it is unabashedly ignored. To overlook the good in our lives is to state that there is no one to thank. To grumble is to emphatically declare that there is someone to hold responsible. But which will it be? The countless hints or kindness that surround us in moments of beauty, glimpses of order, and felt provision are rumors that tell us we are not alone. We are not orphans or nomads roaming the earth. A grateful soul is widened to wonder as it follows the sunbeam up to the sun. It is possible, with practice, to see only the beam of light and not the source that offers it. Matthew Henry who at an old age was mugged on the street corner wrote in his diary, "Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2814

December 3

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
(Psalms 119:11)

I would, in earnest affection, and in the deep sense of personal responsibility to my reader, exhort him to give diligent heed to the importance of close - I had almost said severe - adherence and reverent subjection to the Word of God. Let him try everything by that standard, and reject all that comes not up to it; let him weight everything in that balance, and cast aside all that is not full weight - let him measure everything by that rule, and refuse all deviation. If I could only be the means of awakening one soul to a proper sense of the place which belongs to the Word of God, I should feel I had not written for naught or in vain. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2815

December 4

"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." (1 Timothy 6:20)

Science is knowledge arranged in an orderly way. It is not mere theory unsupported by facts. When people talk about the science of Evolution they misuse the word, for evolution is not a science, because it is contrary to fact. When they talk of certain other sciences which deny the truth of the Bible, they are using the word in a wrong way. An hypothesis is one thing; science is another. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith." These false theories turn people away from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ and leave them in error and confusion of mind. It was never more important to give heed to such admonitions than in this day when science is glorified and revelation is denied. (H. A Ironside)
N.J. Hiebert # 2816

December 5

"Ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Jesus values each redeemed one,
And their praise and worship too;
Every service that they render,
Precious is in heaven's view.
Be not weary, faint not, fear not,
God assures in language plain,
Any service done for Jesus,
Never will be done in vain.

(Grace Wills -Taken from "Gems for the Singing Pilgrims")

N.J. Hiebert # 2817

December 6

"He (Andrew) first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, 'We have found the Messias,' which is, being interpreted, the Christ." (John 1:41)

I once read about a pen that had unusually good sales success in its first year on the market. And it was accomplished with very little paid advertising. Its success was due to word-of-mouth approval. Business men, office workers, and housewives used the pen, liked it, and told others about it.

Some years ago, a car manufacturer used a motto in its advertising that stressed the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations. It simply said, "Ask the man who owns one." There's nothing quite like a personal testimony from a satisfied customer.

In the gospel of John, we read about Andrew, who went to his brother Peter (Simon) and exclaimed, "We have found the Messiah." He then "brought him to Jesus." (1:41-42) Andrew's personal encounter with Christ and the realization that He was the Messiah prompted him to introduce Peter to the Saviour.

When we witness to unsaved people and tell them what God says about their lost condition and need of a Saviour, we should personally recommend the Lord Jesus to them. We have the opportunity to tell them what He has done for us and how He has satisfied our deepest spiritual need.

That's the best advertising of all. (RWD)

When witnessing, if people ask,
"How do you know it's true?"
Remember that they can't deny
What Christ has done for you. (Sper)
We are Christ's "Letters of Recommendation" to a lost world.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1993), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 2818

December 7

"At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34)

In this fourth cry of our Lord from the cross, there is a solemn warning. The awful death that He died opens a window on the terrible consequences of eternal death. Since there came forth from Him this terrible, agonizing cry of utter desolation, what must it portend for those who, for their own sin, fully and justly suffer what the Apostle Paul calls, "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord?" (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
(W. Ross Rainey)

N.J. Hiebert # 2819

December 8

"He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind." (Isaiah 27:8)

"His rough wind." These words were a comfort to me this morning as I thought of all who are in pain, or any trial of the flesh. By the time that wind reaches any child of the Father it is His wind.
And "He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind." Things will never be too hard to bear. "We are troubled on every side yet not distressed; we are perplexed but not in despair". I have been finding much food in 2 Corinthians 4, strong food, and as I think of all who are out in the rough wind, His rough wind, I am comforted. (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 2820

December 9

"The words of the wise are as goads." (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

"Pray." But how? "Without ceasing."
"Rejoice." But when? "evermore."
"Give thanks." For what? "In everything."
(William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - 1665)

N.J. Hiebert # 2821

December 10

"Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

(1 John 1:3)

As you enjoy Christ for yourself saints will find it out, and that will be your testimony to them. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2822

December 11

"The house was filled with the odour of the ointment." (John 12:3)

This was a matter of fact, but underlying the fact is the teaching that nothing is so fragrant to the heart of God, or to the hearts of the saints when in communion with Him, as an act of absorbing devotedness to Christ. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2823

December 12

"I will arise and go to my father. . . his father saw him and had compassion." (Luke 15:18,20)

"Father" - a name that may give abiding calmness and strength and liberty to the soul. (J.G. Bellett)
N.J. Hiebert # 2824

December 13

"Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for His mercies are great."

(2 Samuel 24:14)
A weak person can tumble. Relinquish yourself into the hands of Christ; those blessed hands have been nailed to the cross; fall into them, and He will give you rest. (E.P. Corrin)
N.J. Hiebert # 2825

December 14

"They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink." (Matthew 27:34)

Today's medical technology offers a variety of pain relievers to ease pain and suffering. In Genesis 2:21 we read of God placing a deep sleep on Adam when He took a rib to form Eve, Adam's bride. It was God's anaesthetic. But think of Christ on the cross and the magnitude of His physical suffering. When offered this pain killing concoction He refused it and bore fully the physical pain and beyond that, the greater pain of humanity's sin burden. He endured it to purchase a bride for Himself. Being a part of that costly purchased bride should cause our praise to flow freely. (E. Dyck)
N.J. Hiebert # 2826

December 15

"For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Great events often spring from seemingly small and unexpected causes, and from what seem to us trivial and commonplace things. When we "know as we are known," and understand fully the working of God in the lives of those who trust Him, we shall be filled with wonder to know how constantly He was present, though often unknown to ourselves, and how much and how continually we were indebted to Him. There is great truth in the words of the poet:

He everywhere hath sway
And all things serve His might

(Christian Truth - Vol. 21 - 1968)

N.J. Hiebert # 2827

December 16

"I have set the Lord always before Me." (Psalms 16:8)

This gives quietness and peace; and, the Lord Jesus was never put out by circumstances; and at the end of His journey He could say, "My peace I give unto you." It was the peace that possessed His own heart, even when things disappointed Him. He was in perfect peace; He was never put out by these things. Why not? Because He always looked up. Take that remarkable scene in Matthew 11. He sees nothing but rejection. The children of the world would have nothing of God, and nothing but rejection was before Him. He could say, "I have laboured in vain."

It looked as if His mission was a failure; and yet He could say, "I thank Thee, O Father." Perfect submission to His Father's will; and let the circumstances be what they might, He was calm, and had peace amid them all. If it was according to the Father's will, He was happy and content. In Luke we get, "Jesus rejoiced in spirit." (F.C.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2828

December 17

"Attend to know understanding." (Proverbs 4:1)
"Attend to My words." (Proverbs 4:20)
"Attend unto My wisdom." (Proverbs 5:1)
"Attend to the words of My mouth." (Proverbs 7:24)
"Attend upon the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:35)
"Attended unto the things which were spoken." (Acts 16:14)
"Attentive to hear Him." (Luke 19:48)

N.J. Hiebert # 2829

December 18

"Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet , and a light unto my path." (Psalms 119:105)

This book (The Bible) contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter.

Here Paradise is gained, Heaven opened, and Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It shall fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a Paradise of Glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, promises the highest reward for labour, and condemns all who trifle with its sacred contents. (Author unknown)
N.J. Hiebert # 2830

December 19

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2:2)

In proportion as we desire the sincere milk of the Word, we grow thereby.

There needs to be the constant drawing from the source of life - the blessed fountain of God's truth. We shall find in it the cordial, the balm, or the medicine suited to our need, and daily food. Its power on the heart brings forth the expression in the life.

Until the Word has its proper place in the believer's heart, there is no stability - we are led by feelings, and when these fail, dearth and barrenness come in because we have failed thus to cultivate our strength, drinking in the sincere milk of the God's Word. However, truth does not keep us - dependence only on Him who is the author of it can keep our souls alive today. It is a trying day for God's people, so little energy and zeal, and, worst of all, too much neglect of the study of His precious Word. It only is life and marrow to the soul, a lamp to guide, milk to nurse, and meat to strengthen. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2831

December 20

"Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where . . . as the garden of the Lord. . . . Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan . . . and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom." (Genesis 13:10-12)

Satan tempts the saints to imitate Lot when they ought to imitate Abraham - to have earthly affections in place of heavenly affections.

People say, What harm is there in the well-watered plains of Jordan? Are not they also a gift of Providence? I answer, The devil planted Sodom in their midst.

What is done in the flesh is not to the glory of God; it may, thanks to His powerful intervention, turn in the end to His glory; but so far as concerns us it is worth absolutely nothing.

A Christian is a being purchased at a great price, and who has nothing else to do than to glorify God. (Extract)
N.J. Hiebert # 2832

December 21

"What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation." (Psalm 116:12-13)

If someone is very wealthy - in fact owns everything - whatever could you give him? This was the Psalmist's dilemma with the Lord. He concluded that the only thing he could do was to enjoy - and to be thankful for - His generosity (J.B.N., Jr.)

He drew me out, He bade me live,
When I had nothing in return to give -
What shall I render unto Him?
From Him salvation's cup I'll take,
And serve Him gladly for His own dear sake,
This will I render unto Him.
(Wm. Blane)
N.J. Hiebert # 2832

December 22

"Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere. . . then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan. . . Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent towards Sodom." (Genesis 13:10-12)

Satan tempts the saints to imitate Lot when they ought to imitate Abraham - to have earthly affections in place of heavenly affections.

People say, "What harm is there in the well-watered plains of Jordan? Are not they also a gift of Providence?" I answer, "The devil planted Sodom in their midst."

What is done in the flesh is not to the glory of God; it may, thanks to His powerful intervention, turn in the end to His glory; but so far as concerns us it is worth absolutely nothing.

A Christian is a being purchased at a great price, and who has nothing else to do than to glorify God. (Christian Truth - Vol. 21 - June 1986)
N.J. Hiebert # 2833

December 23

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2)

Sorrow............... Looks back.
Worry................ Looks around.
Faith.................. Looks up.
(From "Truth For Young Christian")

N.J. Hiebert # 2834

December 24
"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint." (Luke 18:1)

Pray like Samuel in childhood.
Pray like Timothy in youth.
Pray like Simeon when old.
Pray like David in the early morning.
Pray like Daniel at noon.
Pray like Paul & Silas at midnight.
Pray like Peter in danger.
Pray like Hannah in sorrow.
Pray like Job in suffering & sickness.
Pray like Stephen while dying.
Pray like Eliezer when you start any work.
Pray like Solomon when you finish any work.
Pray like Jesus at all times.

(Taken from "Gems for the Singing Pilgrim" - Dick Gorgas)N.J. Hiebert # 2835

December 25

"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and, there a little." (Isaiah 28:10)

"Little foxes" (Song of Solomon 2:15) that "spoil the vines." (fruitfulness for the Lord and our joy in Christ - John 15:1-5)
Lot wanted to stay at "a little city" (Zoar) - a little bit of the world. (Genesis 19:20,22)
Sometimes we are guilty of "a little folly." (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
We need to be careful with the "little member." (The tongue - James 3:5)
We need to be careful of "a little leaven." (1 Corinthians 5:6, Galatians 5:9)

(Contributed by Bill Brockmeier)N.J. Hiebert # 2836

December 26

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (or, "every good work"). (Timothy 3:16,17)

All or every scripture is then divinely inspired, given by the operation of the Holy Ghost through human vessels as a revelation of the divine mind (see 2 Peter 1:21), and the Apostle in another place claims this inspiration for the words in which he delivered his message: "Which things also we speak," he says, "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which [in those which] the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Corinthians 2:13).

It is not only therefore that the Scriptures contain, but they also are the truth; and they are thus absolutely infallible and, as such, have attached to them God's authority because they are the expression of His own mind. They are therefore to be received, unquestioningly received, as the voice of the living God to our souls; and thus the only proper attitude to be taken up when they are read is that of Samuel, who said, "Speak, for thy servant heareth." (Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert # 2837

December 27

"The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I am the Lord: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?" (Exodus 6:29,30)

The man who shrinks from responsibility on the ground of his own feebleness, is in great danger of calling in question the fullness and sufficiency of God's resources. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2838

December 28

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18)

In his book The Call, Os Guinness tells a story about Arthur Burns, chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board during the 1970s. Burns, who was Jewish, became part of a Bible study held at the White House at that time. One day, those in the group listened in surprise as Burns prayed, "O God, may the day come when all Jews will come to know Jesus." But an even bigger surprise came when he prayed for the time "when all Christians will come to know Jesus."

Burns hit on a profound truth we all need to wrestle with. Even if we claim the name of Jesus Christ, it may not be evident to others that we really know Him. Do we have a personal relationship with Him? If so, are we striving, praying, and working to know Jesus more intimately each day?

Peter, a man who knew Jesus well, said that "the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" will bring us multiplied "grace and peace" (2 Peter 1:2). Knowing Jesus gives us "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (v.3). And knowledge of Jesus will help us develop character traits that show the world that we are connected to Him (vv.5-8).

Can you and I honestly say, "I know Jesus better today that I did yesterday"? (Dave Branon)

No knowledge gained through arduous quest
Has made my heart so free
As this great fact of time and space -
That Jesus died for me! (D. De Haan)
The better you know Jesus in your heart, the more the world
will see Jesus in your life.
(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright, 2005, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2839

December 29

"A Lamb as it had been slain." (Revelation 5:6)

So wondrous is the Person of the Lord Jesus that every device of human language is used to describe Him. He is presented as everything from the Lily for purity and beauty, to the Lion for power and authority. But it seems that, before our wondering eyes, Christ will be seen as the Lamb forever. As the Lamb He will be remembered as having washed us from our sins and be worshiped by every creature. As the Lamb He will illumine the capital city of Heaven and the beneficent rays of His shadowless light will ever remind us of the price He paid to redeem us. (J. Boyd Nicholson)
Every knee in Heaven is bending to the Lamb for sinners slain;
Every voice and harp is swelling, "Worthy is the Lamb to reign

N.J. Hiebert # 2840

December 30

"They presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11)

These gifts pictured wonderfully our Saviour. GOLD speaks of Kingship; He was born King of the Jews. The FRANKINCENSE was used in worship, reminding us that He would minister as a priest. The MYRRH, used for embalming the dead, reminds us that He was born to fulfill the words of the prophets, to die that we might live. His birth brought God to man, but it was His cross that brought man to God. On this day, can we give Him the gold of untarnished love; the frankincense of unmixed devotion; the myrrh of unfailing consecration? Come let us worship at His feet. (Les Rainey)

The wise men worship, shepherds come, and shall I silent be?
I, who have been redeemed by blood, to bring no gift to Thee
(Choice Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert # 2841

December 31

"Jesus. . . having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end."

(John 13:1)

Most of us know that "to the end" there means on and on, through every day. That is, He has loved and loves us with a love that nothing can stop; nothing can make Him cease to love us. We are loved with a love that will never cease to love us!

It is a little remarkable too, right in that connection, we find a passage in Hebrews 13 which says, "Let brotherly love continue." What does that mean? Just exactly what it says: that it is to continue - to never cease. Our brethren cannot act worse toward us, nor we toward them, than the disciples did toward the Lord. "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12) This means that we are to love our brethren in the same way - the same manner - on and on - through and through - in spite of everything. (W.P.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2842


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