Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5270 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Monday, January 01, 2007

Gems from January 2007

January 1

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
(Colossians 3:2)

Until we are at home in the glory, we must look above our path to be able to walk in it.


A Christian who has heaven before him, and a Saviour in glory as the Object of his affections, will walk well upon the earth. He who has only the earthly path for his rule, will fail in the intelligence and motives needed to walk in it; he will become a prey to worldliness, and his Christian walk in the world will be more or less on a level with the world in which he walks.


The eyes upward on Jesus will keep the heart and steps in a path conformable to Jesus, and which, consequently, will glorify Him and make Him known in the world.

Seeing what we are, we must have a motive above our path to be able to walk in it. This does not prevent our needing also for our path the fear of the Lord to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear, knowing that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. (Christian Truth - Vol. 21 - September 1968)


N.J. Hiebert # 2843


January 2

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22,23)


Yea, "new every morning," though we may awake,
Our hearts with old sorrow beginning to ache;
With old work unfinished when night stayed our hand,
With new duties waiting, unknown and unplanned;
With old care still pressing, to fret and to vex,
With new problems rising, our minds to perplex;
In ways long familiar, in paths yet untrod,
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
His faithfulness fails not; it meets each new day
With guidance for every new step of the way;
New grace for new trials, new trust for old fears,
New patience for bearing the wrongs of the years,
New strength for new burdens, new courage for old,
New faith for whatever the day may unfold;
As fresh for each need as the dew on the sod;
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert # 2844

January 3


"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck." (1 Timothy 1:19)


There were those who had turned from the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and were living in ways displeasing to God; they had put away a good conscience. They knew what God's Word required of them, but they went against their own consciences; and little by little they got to the place where they were no longer very much exercised. The conscience is like a rubber band. You pull it, and it snaps back; you pull it again, and it snaps back; but if you keep on pulling it by-and-by it loses its elasticity, and finally it does not snap back at all. It is very dangerous to trifle with conscience, for if we act contrary to this inward monitor we find the reaction becomes less and less, until eventually there is no reaction at all. Then we are likely to make shipwreck of the faith.
It is easy to lose the truth of God if we do not live in obedience to the Word. We do not hold the truth simply in the mind; we learn it through the heart and the conscience, and we hold it by keeping a conscience that is void of offence. (H.A. Ironside)
N.J. Hiebert # 2845


January 4

"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name."

(Malachi 3:16)

Whenever we speak to one another of Christ He will always be one of the company. Do our hearts long for His presence? Then let us speak together of Him more. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2846


January 5

"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20)

The Lord Jesus began in a manger and ended on the cross, and along the way He had not where to lay His head. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 2847


January 6

"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17)


No sin the believer brings to God but when it comes to be weighed is not outweighed by the blood. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2848

January 7

"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

(Proverbs 26:12)

Of all fools the conceited fool is the worst. Pride makes a man incapable of receiving counsel.
(William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour) (1616-1679)
N.J. Hiebert # 2849

January 8

"I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." (Psalms 104:33)


A little boy was watching the birds in a field. At length a little songster perched itself on the limb of a tree. As the boy prepared to throw a stone, the little bird began to sing.

Slowly the boy dropped the stone. He listened till the song had ceased, and watched the bird fly away.
"Why did you not stone him?" asked a gentleman.
"Couldn't," was the brief reply. "couldn't, cos he sung so."


Thus the enemy of our soul is on the lookout to fire some poisonous dart of doubt or fear. Sing, sing in the warfare. The trial may be fiery, the march may seem long; let the glory in your soul sing His praise. The devil will flee. He does not like songs of praise. The joy of the Lord is excellent equipment for the conflict.
Uncertainty is unfavourable to song. (Travelling Toward Sunrise)
N.J. Hiebert # 2850


January 9

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."
(Psalms 103:12)


Not some of them; He takes them all away. You may pile up your sins till they rise like a dark mountain, and then multiply them by ten thousand for those you cannot think of; and after you have tried to enumerate all the sins you have ever committed, just let me bring one verse in, and that mountain will melt away: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) (D.L. Moody)
N.J. Hiebert # 2851


January 10

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
(Romans 11:33)

I thank God there is a height in the Bible I do not know anything about, a depth I have never been able to fathom, and it makes the Book all the more fascinating. If I could take that Book up and read it as I can any other book and understand it at one reading, I should have lost faith in it years ago. it is one of the strongest proofs that it must have come from God, that the acutest men who have dug for fifty years have laid down their pens and said, "There is a depth we know nothing of." "No Scripture," said Spurgeon, "is exhausted by a single explanation. The flowers of God's garden bloom, not only double, but sevenfold: they are continually pouring forth fresh fragrance." (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2852


January 11


"But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon." (Acts 27:14)

The tempestuous wind - no doubt what we would term a hurricane - hit the Centurion's ship suddenly and unexpectedly. One moment all was calm and sunny with the south wind blowing gently. No indication of impending doom. Then, without warning the storm hit in all its fury. There was no slow build up of raging waves and winds - it was calm, clear and gentle one moment, and raging storm was upon them the next. There were no more warnings, for thy had refused to listen to the warnings of Paul.

This is exactly what you will face in your life's journey, if you disregard the truth of God. He has warned you through His chosen servants - the Word of God, the circumstances of life, or parents or Christian friends. To disregard God's loving and solemn warnings is to, without fail, end up in a disastrous storm. "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." (Proverbs 29:1) Consider well and soberly the awful consequences of having and doing your own will, in direct opposition and disobedience to the will and Word of God. (The Journey of Life - Reflections on Acts 27)
N.J. Hiebert # 2853


January 12

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (intelligent) service."

(Romans 12:1)


This morning my son and I read Romans 12. It is a very good chapter for daily life. Every verse is a lesson, and the apostle does not begin with "I command you" but rather "I BESEECH YOU" It is the love of God and not the command of God that makes us want to do what pleases Him. What a wonderful Saviour we have! (Ruth Smith - Gems for the Singing Pilgrims)
N.J. Hiebert # 2854


January 13

"If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty. . . ."
(Job 8:5)

"I would if I could." So said Moses and so said Jeremiah in a humility which God did not accept. God was saying, "You could if you would." Moses lamented that he was not eloquent, was slow of speech and of a slow tongue (Exodus 4:10). Jeremiah said, "I cannot speak: for I am a child" (Jeremiah 1:6). Humility is not thinking meanly of oneself, but rather it means not thinking of one's self at all. Get our of the "woulds"! We can do whatever God wants us to do as He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Vance Havner - All the Days)
N.J. Hiebert # 2855


January 14

"Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk." (Psalm 143:8)


To ascertain the Lord's will we ought to use scriptural means. Prayer, the Word of God, and His Spirit should be united together. We should go to God repeatedly in prayer, and ask Him to teach us by His Spirit through His Word. For if we should think that His Spirit led us to do so and so, because certain facts are said to be so and so, and yet His Word is opposed to the step which we are going to take, we should be deceiving ourselves. . . . No situation, no business will be given me by God in which I have not time enough to care about my soul. Therefore however outward circumstances may appear, it can only be considered as permitted of God, to prove the genuineness of my love, faith, and obedience, but by no means as the leading of the His providence to induce me to act contrary to His will. (George Mueller)


God's voice in His Word, and His voice in the leadings of His providence never contradict each other. If the event points one way and the Word another we may be assured God is not speaking in the event.

N.J. Hiebert # 2856

January 15

"God SO loved the world." (John 3:16)


Standing on the top of a high hill with his little son's hand grasped in his, a father sought to teach the message of the measureless love of God. He pointed northward, eastward, westward, and southward; and then sweeping his hand round the circling horizon, said: "Johnny, my boy, God's love is as big as all that." "Why, father, "replied the lad with sparkling eyes, "then we must be in the middle of it." Observe that word "so." It is one of the smallest words in the Bible; in a very real sense it is the greatest. It reaches from heaven to earth, and through time right into eternity. It speaks of compassion that embraces the peasant among the hills, and the wise men of the schools; the fisherman by the seaside, and the soldier on the battle field; great and small, rich and poor, learned and illiterate.

The love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind,
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind
.
(George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 2857

January 16

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature . . . for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

(1 Samuel 16:7)

This world offers different types of beauty. King Saul was "choice and comely; and there was not among the children of Israel a comelier person that he." Eliab also had a handsome appearance that captivated Samuel's eyes, but such beauty alone is of no value except in men's eyes. There is another kind of beauty that may be joined with outward beauty in men of faith, but that God esteems as being the refection (remake, refresh) of character: the beauty of a pure soul or of simple faith, the outshining of a heart from which evil and sin are excluded, of a guileless heart. This is the beauty of the little child Moses of whom the Word says: He "was exceedingly lovely," literally, "fair to God" (Acts 7:20) This is the beauty of Joseph, "of a beautiful form and of a beautiful countenance," but a Nazarite among his brothers (Genesis 39:6); this is the beauty of Daniel (Daniel 1:4), humbly cleaving to his God in order to guard himself from the world's defilement; and lastly, this is the beauty of David developed in the wilderness by the pastures for the sheep where in secret he experienced the strength and the glory of His God.
(H.L. Rossier)

N.J. Hiebert # 2858


January 17

"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." (Romans 6:11, 12)

It would be out of character to tell us not to let sin reign, if it were not actually dwelling in us. There is a great difference between dwelling and reigning: it dwells in a believer, but it reigns in an unbeliever. (Food for the Desert)


N.J. Hiebert # 2859


January 18

"I (Moses) am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. . . . And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people . . . that they may stand there with thee. . . . And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone." (Numbers 11:14-17)


God will not force people to abide in a place of honour if they cannot trust Him to sustain them there. Thus it was with Moses. He complained of the burden, and the burden was speedily removed, but with it the high honour of being allowed to carry it.

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.

Where the Holy Spirit is working, one instrument is as good and efficient as seventy; and where He is not working, seventy are of no more value than one. It all depends upon the energy of the Holy Spirit. With Him one man can do all, endure all, sustain all. Without Him seventy men can do nothing. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2860


January 19

"He giveth more grace." (James 4:6)


We need not be discouraged, so long as we see such a motto inscribed on the door of our Father's treasury, "He giveth more grace." It has no limit. It is bottomless and boundless.
No doubt it is a very happy thing to realize, to feel, and to experience; but if we put these things in the place of Christ, we shall neither have them nor the Christ that yields them.
A condition of doubt is a condition of torture. (Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 2861


January 20

". . . So that I cannot come down: . . ." (Nehemiah 6:3)


We can't afford to win the gain that means another's loss;
We can't afford to miss the crown by stumbling at the cross.
We can't afford the heedless jest that robs us of a friend;
We can't afford the laugh that finds in bitter tears an end.
We can't afford the feast today that brings tomorrow's fast;
We can't afford the race that comes to tragedy at last.
We can't afford to play with fire, or tempt a serpent's bite;
We can't afford to think that sin brings any true delight.
We can't afford with serious heed to treat the cynic's sneer;
We can't afford to wise men's words to turn a careless ear.
We can't afford for hate to give like hatred in return;
We can't afford to feed a flame and make it fiercer burn.
We can't afford to lose the soul for this world's fleeting breath;
We can't afford to barter life in mad exchange for death.
But blind to good are we apart from THEE, all-seeing Lord;
Oh, grant us light that we may know the things we can't afford!
(Author Unknown)
N.J. Hiebert # 2862


January 21

"Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now
is our salvation nearer than when we believed
." (Romans 13:11)


We do a lot of funny things with time. We watch it, guard it, keep it, take it, spend it, pass it, lose it, steal it, waste it, kill it, fill it, and beat it, when all the while the Bible says we should redeem the time! Time in turn drags on, passes by, slips away, moves fast, marches on, runs out, and flies - when you're having fun! God, the Creator of time and eternity, works precisely. Christ was born, moved, and died at just the right time. Have you taken the time to thank Him? Are you redeeming the time? (Rex Trogdon)

N.J. Hiebert # 2863

January 22

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men . . ." (1 Corinthians 1:25)

"Buy the truth [for yourself] and sell it not . . ." (Proverbs 23:23)


Having a hard time assimilating the things of God? Making sense of and remembering the things of the Bible? Kind of like having a car with a broken ignition that you have to jump-start every single time? It can come from riding in the slipstream of someone else's enthusiasm or feeding on popular "ministry" that theologizes common sense rather than giving a better appetite for the Word of God. (Provided by a reader of the Gems)
N.J. Hiebert # 2864


January 23

"I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple."
(Isaiah 6:1)
"The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham." (Acts 7:2)


Is this just another Sunday or is this the Lord's Day when we come with our hearts prepared to worship? What caused Isaiah to worship? What caused Abraham to worship? They both experienced the joy of seeing the Lord. Throughout this past week, have you been taking time to "see the Lord" as He is revealed in His Word? Have you been preparing your heart daily for this awesome and glorious privilege to worship? May we see the Lord Jesus in all His glory as we worship today. (James Comte)
We worship Thee, all glorious Lord;
Forever be Thy name adored.N.J. Hiebert # 2865

January 24

"The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." (Isaiah 1:5,6)

Reading of a biographical character is always interesting, and it is frequently profitable. But the Spirit of God, when recording the life-stories of men, differs from all others in the line that He pursues. Human biographers aim at presenting the commendable side of the characters with which they deal, and they either draw a veil over their ugly features, or touch them lightly or apologetically. But the Spirit of God tells us the whole truth about the men whose lives He is pleased to record. It could not be otherwise. The Bible is the revelation of God Himself - all that He is is told out there; and the same Book must needs also show us man as he really is. The goodness of God and the badness of man are there presented side by side for our instruction and blessing. (W.W. Faraday - Peter the Apostle)

N.J. Hiebert # 2866

January 25


"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:19,20)

It is very surprising to many people to discover that the purpose of the law was never to make a man right with God. All the law can do is to declare a standard and condemn a person for failure. It's just like a mirror. A mirror can show you that your face is dirty, but it cannot wash your face for you.
The law is like those pass/fail tests that I can remember having in school. Back then, I thought it was good news to have a pass/fail test - anything above a 70 was passing. But in regard to the law of God, the only acceptable grade is an unblemished 100 percent! It's pass/fail all right. You just have to be perfect, or you have failed, and are doomed to judgment. (Selected)


"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment."

(Matthew 5:21,22)

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
(Romans 3:23)

N.J. Hiebert # 2867


January 26


"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God believe
also in Me
. " (John 14:1)


Many can say with Job (chapter 5:7) that man is born unto trouble; for their passage through life is marked by a succession of happenings that have turned existence into one long-drawn-out catastrophe. They tread a path that is beset with difficulties; it is "through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God". To us all, therefore, the words in the opening verses of John 14 come laden with comfort, with healing, and with uplifting power. They are words that have consoled the prisoner in his lonely dungeon, the slave in his little cabin, the pilgrim on his weary journey, the martyr marching to his painful death. For heart trouble there is but one remedy, and it is prescribed by the Good Physician.
 

"Let not your heart be troubled." The italicized word includes the entire personality - intellect, emotion, and will. "Let not your heart be troubled." The word means, to be agitated, to be disturbed, or thrown into confusion, as its use in John 5:7 indicates. To counter-act the sorrows which were filling their hearts, the Master imparts to His disciples consolations appropriate to their griefs, and encouragements adapted to their fears. He claims their faith, strengthens their hope, deepens their love. (Henry Durbanville - His last Words)
N.J. Hiebert # 2868

January 27

"How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father." (Luke 15:17,18)

How can I progress, unless I accept the place God has put me in? How can I progress, unless I am in the Father's house. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 2869

January 28

"I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

Faith is, at once, the power of ministry, the power of testimony, and the power of worship. If we are not living "by faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave Himself for us," we shall neither be effectual servants, faithful witnesses, nor true worshippers. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2870

January 29

"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." (1 Corinthians 14:19)

Our care should ever be, not to suffer ourselves to proceed for a single moment beyond the energy of the Spirit, as the time for the Spirit will always keep us directly occupied with Christ. If the Holy Spirit produces "five words" of worship or thanksgiving, let us utter the five and have done. If we proceed further, we are eating the flesh of our sacrifice beyond the time; and so far from its being "accepted," it is really"an abomination." (Adapted)

N.J. Hiebert # 2871

January 30

"And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron." (Deuteronomy 28:23)

Mysterious providences in the lives of God's people abound. Why must some pass from deep unto deep, from sorrow unto sorrow, from loss unto loss? Why are others, so promisingly endowed with gifts for great service to God and humanity, suddenly cut off? Why do tragedies of a shocking character overtake the most saintly of the household of faith? And so we could continue. There is no answer. True faith bows in trusting submission; faith looks up and knows "He does all things well," and hope awaits that day, when the mists have rolled away, when our all-wise Lord will answer every "why" and unravel to our eternal joy and glory His ways with His own, which down here are past finding out. (Arno Clemens Gaebelein - Listen! - God Speaks)

N.J. Hiebert # 2872

January 31

"Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this Man's disciples? He saith, I am not. . . .they said therefore unto him, art thou not also one of His disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. . . . Did not I see thee in the garden with Him (Jesus)? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew." (John 18:17,25,26,27)

We never know what is in our hearts until circumstances arise to draw it out. Peter did not imagine that he could deny his Lord, but when he got into circumstances which were calculated to act upon his peculiar weakness (self-confidence), he showed that the weakness was there. (C.H. Mackintosh - The Lord's Coming - The Call of God)

N.J. Hiebert # 2873

"He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." (Isaiah 53:11)

One of the greatest blessings the soul can have is the power of entering into the refreshment the Lord Jesus Christ had while He was on the earth, and it is that which makes the scene between Himself and the dying thief so precious; not only that poor thing finding light through an open door, but the thought is so exceedingly precious, that He who saved that thief saw in him one of the fruits of the travail of his soul; so precious, that He should there see fruit of His travail, before he could turn and crave a blessing; and to hear Him speak of blessing to that poor thing before he cried out with a loud voice and gave up the ghost. (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2874

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