Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gems from March 2007

March 1

"The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine." (John 10:13,14)

Nothing reaches the heart but what is from the heart, or pierces the conscience but what comes from a living conscience. (William Penn)

In the morning I was more engaged in preparing the head than the heart. This has been frequently my error, and I have always felt the evil of it, especially in prayer. Reform it, Oh Lord! Enlarge my heart, and I shall preach. (Robert Murray McCheyne)

A sermon that has more head infused into it than heart will not come home with efficacy to hearers. (Richard Cecil)

The heart makes the preacher. Men of great hearts are great preachers. Men of bad hearts may do a measure of good, but this is rare. The hireling and the stranger may help the sheep at some points, but it is the good shepherd with the good shepherd's heart who will bless the sheep and answer the full measure of the shepherd's place. (E.M. Bounds)

N.J. Hiebert # 2902

March 2

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
(Jeremiah 17:5-8)

Let nothing shake your confidence in the unalterable love of your Lord. Come what may - let the furnace be ever so hot; let the waters be ever so deep; let the shadows be ever so dark; let the path be ever so rough; let the pressure be ever so great - still hold fast your confidence in the perfect love and sympathy of the One who has proved His love by going down into the dust of death - down under the dark and heavy billows and waves of the wrath of God, in order to save your soul from everlasting burnings.

Be not afraid to trust Him fully - to commit yourself, without a shadow of reserve or misgiving, to Him. Do not measure His love by your circumstances. If you do, you must, of necessity, reach a false conclusion. Judge not according to the outward appearance. Never reason from your surroundings. Get to the heart of Christ, and reason out from that blessed centre. Never interpret Hs love by your circumstances; but always interpret your circumstances by His love.

Let the beams of His everlasting favor shine upon your darkest surroundings, and then you will be able to answer every infidel thought, no matter whence it comes. (C.H. Mackintosh - Bethany - Misc. Writings - Vol. 6)

N.J. Hiebert # 2903

March 3

"It is finished" (John 19:30)

What a wonderful resounding cry left the Saviour's lips at Calvary! It is hard to imagine what was contained in those precious words. The Father's work was completed to His eternal satisfaction. His sufferings on the cruel cross were finished. The mighty battle with the enemy of souls was over in glorious victory. All the ritual of religious ceremony came to an end. The one sacrifice for sins was offered and God provided salvation, cleansing and forgiveness to all who will put their trust in Him. Have you trusted this wonderful Saviour? If not, why not do so today before it is too late! (Jim Paul)

Here we rest in wonder viewing while upon the cross we gaze,
See our trespasses forgiven and our songs of triumph raise
.
(Fanny J. Crosby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2904

March 4

"We rejoice in hope of the glory of God; and not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in out hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us."
(Romans 5:3-5)

When the love of God is known, and the will broken, there is confidence in God. We know that all comes from Him, and that He makes all work together for our greatest blessing. Thus the trying of our faith works patience. But patience must have her perfect work: otherwise the will revives, also confidence in self, instead of having it in God. We act without God, and apart from His will, we do not wait upon Him, or in any case impatience and the flesh show themselves in us.

Job was subject for a long time, but patience did not have her perfect work. Saul waited long for Samuel, but he could not wait quietly till Samuel came, and he lost the kingdom. He did not wait for the Lord, conscious that he could do nothing of his own will, and apart from God: Patience had not her perfect work. (J.N. Darby - Brief Exposition of the Epistle of James)

N.J. Hiebert # 2905

March 5

"I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." (Psalm 23:8)

FOR ALL ETERNITY. In the clear light of the New Testament we can assert that every child of God will infallibly dwell in "the House of the Lord" for all eternity; "In My Father's House," said the Lord Jesus, "are many mansions. . . I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). And, after He accomplished redemption, we find Him linking us with Himself in the unspeakably blessed relationship which this verse sets forth: "I ascend unto My Father and your Father" (John 20:17; Galatians 3:26).

"And if I go," He continues, "I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also" (John 14:3). This is confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, where the apostle, describing the events which will take place at the second coming of our Lord, declares that we "shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord".

What a strong and sure hope; what a grand and glorious destiny! The hope is strong and sure because the anchor will never drag (Hebrews 6:19); and the cable will never snap (John 10:35); and the destiny is grand and glorious because when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2)

Then HE shall be satisfied, for He shall see of the travail of His soul (Isaiah 53:11); and then WE shall be satisfied, for we shall awake with His likeness (Psalm 17:15) (George Henderson - The Pearl of Psalms)

He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share,
Mine to be forever with Him,
His that I am there
.

N.J. Hiebert # 2907

March 6

"Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are His delight."
(Proverbs 12:22)

He that guardeth his mouth keepeth his soul. As a good man said, one should think twice before speaking once. If any offend not in word, he is a perfect man (of thorough integrity), able to bridle the whole body also. How much of sorrow and shame he spares himself, and others who avenge a little folly by despising the wisdom they themselves lack! On the other hand, he that goes about blatant, opening his lips wide to tell al he thinks, feels, or hears of others, shall have the destruction which his malicious folly deserves. (William Kelly - The Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 2908

March 7

"For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 1:10,11)

Is not that a glorious entrance? That is the privilege of every Christian. It is not a question of endowment, gift, or ability, but it is a question of the heart being occupied with the Christ of God - living in the enjoyment of what we have as God's people, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

I believe each one of us is privileged to have an abundant entrance. It is put into our own hands. We all know that the ability must come from Him. We know it is a matter of grace from first to last, and none of us are going to take any credit in the matter; but may we not rather trust ourselves unreservedly to Him and claim the grace He so gladly gives that we may have the joy of an abundant entrance "into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2909

March 8

"Come on, let us deal wisely with them." (Exodus 1:10)
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."
(1 Corinthians 3:19)

Pharaoh thought he was "acting wisely" in trying to destroy the Israelites, but he was actually fulfilling the sovereign purposes of God. He was feeding, housing, educating, and providing for Israel's future leader, Moses! Nothing can stop the purposes of God. His will must be accomplished. His purposes are unchangeable. His power is evident and working in spite of opposition. We have nothing to fear in this world that is "acting wisely" without God. Our God is still sovereign and still on the throne. (James Comte)

N.J. Hiebert # 2910

March 9

"We indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss." (Luke 23:41)

The Lord Jesus was not charged with ordinary crimes. He was accused of laying claim to deity, which amounted, in the eyes of the religious Jews, to blasphemy. "He made Himself the Son of God," they said. They were slightly in error when they accused Him of this, because He never made Himself the Son of God - He was the Son of God. In this He did nothing amiss. And on the cross He would do nothing amiss either. In love, the Son of God promised paradise to this believing thief, a token of the mighty harvest of unjust ones, who by faith in Him, would be brought to God. (D. Craig)

And when I reach the pearly gate, this still will be my plea:
My sins deserved eternal death, but Jesus died for me
.

N.J. Hiebert # 2911

March 10

"Be not deceived: evil communications (bad company) corrupt good
manners
(character)." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep: for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter. (Paxton Hood - Being & Doing)

N.J. Hiebert # 2912

March 11

"Let all things be done decently and in order."
(1 Corinthians 14:40)

In your occupations try to possess your soul in peace. It is not a good plan to be in haste to perform any action that it may be the sooner over. On the contrary, you should accustom yourself to do whatever you have to do with tranquility, in order that you may retain the possession of yourself and of settled peace. (Madam Guyon)

N.J. Hiebert # 2913

March 12

"Watch that ye enter not into temptation." (Matthew 26:41)

"Watch and pray," saith our Saviour, "that ye enter not into temptation." They, not keeping this pass, gave the enemy, Satan, a fair occasion to come in upon them; and as they were led into temptation by neglect of prayer, so they were rescued and led out of it again by Christ's prayer, which He mercifully laid in beforehand for them: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." (Luke 22:32) (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - 1665)

N.J. Hiebert # 2914

March 13

"And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoisted up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore."
(Acts 27:40)

Don't Give Up and Don't Give in


They had already thrown overboard the rest of the food (v.38) - they gave up their source of strength. Now the anchors that secured them in the storm are released - they gave up their stability. Next the bands which held the rudder firm were released - they gave up their source of direction. After that the sail is raised, allowing the stormy wind to drive then - they gave up all control. While hoping that the ship would somehow gain the shore's safety, they gave up every means needed to assure them of a safe and successful arrival! (The Journey of life)

N.J. Hiebert # 2915

March 14

"And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." (John 5:40)


The battle is fought on that one word of the WILL; the door hangs on that one hinge of the WILL. Will you obey? That is the question! Will you obey the voice of God and do as He commands you? No man can obey for you any more than he can eat and drink for you. You must eat and drink for yourself, and you must obey God for yourself. (D.L. Moody - Daily Gems)

N.J. Hiebert # 2916

March 15

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light." (Revelation 22:5)


The LIGHT of heaven is the face of JESUS;
The JOY of heaven is the presence of JESUS;
The MELODY of heaven is the Name of JESUS;
The HARMONY of heaven is the praise of JESUS;
The THEME of heaven is the work of JESUS;
The EMPLOYMENT of heaven is the service of JESUS;
The FULLNESS of heaven is the Person of JESUS HIMSELF.
(Author Unknown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2917

March 16

"Lord, teach us to pray!" (Luke 11:1)


The Power of Prayer


There is an eye that never sleeps
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts,
When sink the beams of light.
There is an arm that never tires,
When human strength gives way;
There is a love that never fails,
When earthly loves decay.
That eye is fixed on seraph throngs.
That arm upholds the sky.
That ear is filled with heavenly songs,
That love is throned on high.

But there's a power which faith can wield,
When mortal aid is vain,
That eye, that arm, that love to reach,
That listening ear to gain.
That power is prayer, which soars on high.
Through Jesus to the throne,
And moves the hand which moves the world
To bring deliverance down.
(Selected)

PRAYER : The earnest, sincere expression of a felt need.N.J. Hiebert # 2918

March 18

"Think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

- While we are praying for sinners to come to Christ,
He is pleading for us to go to sinners.
- Prayer offers God an opportunity to speak to us,
to give to us, and to work through us.
- The Christian who has no appointed time for prayer
may soon have no time at all for prayer.
- Freedom does not give us the right to do as we please,
but liberty to do as we ought.
- The Christian who pulls on the oars has no time to rock the boat.
- God does not shield us from life's storms;
He shelters us in life's storms.
- Love adapts itself to the wants of those loved. (T.C.N. March 1992)

N.J. Hiebert # 2919

March 19

"Beloved if God SO loved us, we ought also to love one another."
(1 John 4:11)

I was meditating on the mighty love of God and drinking in a little of the measureless supply, while seated near a large tank of water. A little wasp flew along and stopped to drink out of that tank - perhaps it was only the tenth part of a drop, but it flew away satisfied. And I thought to myself, I am that wasp. I cannot understand that "SO" of God's love (1 John 4:11); it cannot be measured; but like the little wasp, I can drink to my full. And there, alone with Him, I drank and my soul was satisfied! I went on my way, seeking to show the love of God to others. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2920

March 20

"And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil." (Deuteronomy 33:24)

An American oil executive went to Israel and explored for oil. He found none and returned to America. A friend of his pointed out to him that there was an Old Testament prophecy in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:24, where it is prophesied that the Tribe of Asher would have abundance of oil. The American oil executive got curious, found a map of Israel showing where the 12 tribes of Israel would be located long ago and noticed Haifa was in the old land for Asher, the only spot in Israel he hadn't bothered to check for oil.

He went back to Israel and checked the area around Haifa for oil. To his shock, the tests indicate this is probably the largest single reservoir of oil in the entire Middle East. Israel may have trillions of dollars in oil reserves in Haifa, Israel which would never have been spotted except an ancient prophecy given by Moses recorded in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:24 told exactly where it would be located. Believe the prophecies of the Bible. They are given from God and are true. (The Midnight Cry)

N.J. Hiebert # 2921

March 21

"God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

(1 Peter 5:5)
How one does long to know more of this! "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace unto the humble." What a difference between the two attitudes! God must resist the proud; but when man takes his true place, God has nothing to resist; every barrier is removed, and the full tide of divine goodness can flow into the lowly heart. God can dwell with a lowly heart. There may be great weakness, great poverty, nothing attractive; but God can dwell there, and that is enough. It is a great point to be able to ascertain what God can go along with. He cannot go on with pride, with assumption, with pretension, with bustling self-importance. Whenever you see these things in a man, you may be quite sure that he is not enjoying the precious privilege of having God making His abode with him. It is this which constitutes the moral security of a lowly path. Oh! that we may know it in this day of pretension! (Things New and Old - 1863)
N.J. Hiebert # 2922

March 22

"My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:2-4)

We often make this great mistake: we expect in the kingdom of patience what is only promised in the kingdom of glory, and we ask God rather for deliverance from the warfare than grace for it as long as He is pleased that it shall last. Our impatience for victory often increases the heat of the battle. (Robert Cleaver Chapman)

N.J. Hiebert # 2923

March 23

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24)


The blessing is all prepared; He is not only willing but most anxious to give them what they ask; everlasting love burns with the longing desire to reveal itself fully to its beloved, and to satisfy their needs. God will not delay one moment longer than is absolutely necessary. He will do all in His power to hasten and speed the answer. (Andrew Murray)
N.J. Hiebert # 2924

March 24

"Pray to thy Father." (Matthew 6:6)
"So I prayed to the God of heaven." (Nehemiah 2:4)


Much so-called prayer is not to God. There is very little thought of God in it. We think of the audience, we think it may be of our need, but there is not a clear, deep sense that we have come into the presence of the all-holy, almighty, all-loving One, and are laying hold upon Him for His help. This is one of the most frequent causes of failure in prayer. We do not really pray to God. The first thing to do when we pray is to actually come into God's presence, to dismiss from our minds, as far as possible, all thought of our surroundings and look by the Spirit to present God to our minds and make Him real to us. It is possible by the Holy Spirit's aid to have God so really present that it almost seems as if we could see and touch Him. (R.A. Torrey)

How true it is that our need, our weakness, our surroundings, our thoughts are often more to us in the time of prayer than God is. Let us seek a deeper consciousness of God in prayer.

N.J. Hiebert # 2925


March 25

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22)

"Thy burden" or what thy God lays upon thee lay thou it "upon the Lord." His wisdom casts it upon thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it upon Him. He cast thy lot for thee, cast thy lot on Him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to Him by thine assured confidence. He shall sustain thee! Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labours and trials.
"As thy days so shall thy strength be." (C.H. Spurgeon)

Be sure, however, dear child of God, that when by prayer you cast your burden on the Lord, you leave it there, and do not go back to take up and carry thyself the load you have given to God to carry. In prayer learn to commit things to God. The definite promise that He will sustain us and that He will never suffer the righteous to be moved should greatly encourage us to cast all our care upon Him.

N.J. Hiebert # 2926

March 26

"And the King's servants said unto the King, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the King shall appoint."
(2 Samuel 15:15)

Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about to-morrow; one day at a time is enough. Try it to-day, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when tomorrow comes, to ask Him to take it also, - till it will become a blessed habit to hold yourself simply and "wholly at Thy commandment for any manner of service." . . . "Ready" implies something of preparation, - not being taken by surprise. Let us ask Him to prepare us for all that He is preparing for us. (Francis Ridley Havergal)

N.J. Hiebert # 2927

March 27

"So Hannah rose up, after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. . . . And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore." (1 Samuel 1:9,10)

God inspires her prayer, and then answers it, dictates the language, and then satisfies the petition. So that persons who are asking for what may be called a little ordinary daily blessing, may, in reality, be asking for a gift the influence of which shall reach through ages, shall palpitate through eternity. Hannah says, Give me a man child! She knows not the destinies that are involved in that prayer. (Joseph Parker)

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without end . Amen." (Ephesians 3:20,21)

N.J. Hiebert # 2928

March 28

"Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king (Nebuchadnezzar), True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:24,25)

God's presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial. The sympathy of His heart with us is sweeter far than the power of His hand for us. The Master's presence with His faithful servants, while passing through the furnace, was better far than the display of His power to keep them out of it. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 2929

March 29

"He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephesians 1:4)

There is a great comfort in knowing that God has chosen us. We are not His redeemed because we are the most intelligent, but because He has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. We are not heirs because we are people of inherent honour, but because He extends to us His glory. We are not His children because we are strong, but because we are weak. Not only do these things prevent us from boasting in anything but Christ, they also offer us a confidence in living out our lives.

No longer do we need to be achievement-driven; we were not chosen because of some special ability or gifting. No longer do we need to please people for a sense of acceptance; we are the apple of His eye. No longer do we need to fear the future, for we are held in the arms of One who holds everything in His hands. Defeat need not be a word in our vocabulary - not because we are go-getters and succeed at all costs - but because we are confident that God is using all that happens in our lives to weave a beautiful tapestry. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Living as Christ's own, we live with the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God. And we live with the reminder that nothing is ordinary in the life of those who are called according to God's purposes. As we go about the seemingly mundane and sometimes frustrating scenes in the drama of life, there is still value in it because we know that God is at work in every scene. There is the hope of God's sovereignty in all that confronts us. There is the comfort of God's omnipresence throughout the stories of our lives. Even in our shortfalls and bad choices God is still at work, going about the process of sanctification, urging us onward toward the prize. And He who began a good work in us will be certain to bring it to completion. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2930

March 30

"Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24)

Dependence on God alone secures a clean or righteous walk. So it was of old; so it is now. Man needs direction from above, and grace too, that in this world of pitfalls and confusion his ways may please the Lord. (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 2931

March 31

"Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain."
(Zechariah 4:7)

Whatever mountains of difficulty may appear, God can remove them, or make a way round about them, as He sees good and fitting. We need more simple and childlike faith as we read in Zechariah 4:7.

Our true Zerubbabel can and will meet all our difficulties. In trusting Him we can be at rest. (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - February 1967)

N.J. Hiebert # 2932

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