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

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gems from April 2007

April 1

"A certain man made a great supper, and bade many. . . . Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. Then the Master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. . .it is done . . . yet there is room. . . go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:16-23)

Are we in the power of this compelling urgency of grace in dealing with those who are not saved. For it should never be forgotten, that every believer is intended to be the expression of the heart of God to the world.

Another question might be put; that is, whether the feeble results of the preaching of the gospel in may places may not be traced to a want of apprehension of the nature of the grace that is now going forth toward sinners. This once understood, there would be no expectation from earnestness or appeals, or from anything whatever, save from the power of the Spirit of God. He alone can compel sinners to come in. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2933

April 2

"Go to My brethren and say unto them, I (Jesus) ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord." (John 20:17,18)

Deep and varied as are the necessities of the soul, they are all met by the death and resurrection of Christ. If it be a question of sin that affects the soul, the resurrection is the glorious proof of the complete putting away of it. The moment I see Jesus at the right hand of God, I see an end of sin; for I know He could not be there if sin was not fully atoned for. He "was delivered for our offenses"; He stood as our representative; He took upon Him our iniquities and went down into the grave under the weight thereof.

But God "raised Him from the dead," and by so doing expressed His full approbation of the work of redemption. Hence we read, He "was raised again for our justification." Resurrection, therefore, meets the need of the soul as it regards the question of sin. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2934

April 3

"Mary . . . sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word." (Luke 10:39)

Do you have a regular time when you read God's Word in the home? I believe we need to emphasize the need for the "family altar." It is the time when we gather the family around the Word of God and read it leisurely, not hastily; meditate upon it, and get a message for our own souls; daily sit there at the feet of Jesus, as it were, and the kneel in prayer. It is a wholesome thing for our souls. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 2935

April 4

"Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night." (Nehemiah 4:9)

"Here," said George Muller, "is the greatest secret of success; work with all your might but trust not in your own power to achieve. Pray with all your might for God's guidance and blessing. Pray, then work, work and pray; and again pray and work. Whether you see much fruit or little fruit, remember that God delights to bestow real blessing. This comes generally in answer to earnest, believing prayer." (Choice Gleanings)

While working for my Saviour here, the devil tries me hard;
He uses all his mighty power, my service to retard;
He's up to every move, and yet through all I prove,
A little talk with Jesus makes it right, all right

N.J. Hiebert # 2936

April 5

"And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him (David): for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: FOR THIS IS HE. " (1 Samuel 16:11)

Surely he could not be the elect one, thought Jesse. Man cannot understand the ways of God. The very instrument which God is about to make us of is overlooked or despised by man. "Arise, anoint him: for this is he," is God's perfect reply to the thoughts of Jesse and Samuel.

And how happy it is to note David's occupation. "Behold, he keepeth the sheep." This was afterwards referred to by the Lord, when He said to David, "I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel." Nothing can more sweetly illustrate God's thoughts of the kingly office than the work of a shepherd. Indeed, when it is not executed in the spirit of a shepherd, it fails of its end. King David fully entered into this, as may be seen in those touching words, "These sheep, what have they done?"

The people were the Lord's sheep, and he, as the Lord's shepherd, kept them on the mountains of Israel, just as he had keep his father's sheep in the retirement of Bethlehem. He did not alter his character when he came from the sheep-cote to the throne, and exchanged the crook for the sceptre. No; he was the shepherd still, and he felt himself responsible to protect the Lord's flock form the lions and bears which ever prowled around the fold. (C.H.M)

N.J. Hiebert # 2937

April 6

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13)

He loves you and wants His will to be all your satisfaction; wants you to find your all in Him and in His Son . . . He thinks that if all His pleasure is found in the Son of His love He can make that Son of His love enough for you when all else is gone. He so loves you in Him that He is making every affection in you, every thought in you, to find the Lord Jesus as its centre. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2938

April 7

"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" (Song of Solomon 8:5)

Every hour is an hour of difficulty with us while we are here, and if we do not keep our eye on Him in the little difficulties we shall not be able to find Him in the great ones. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 2939

April 8

"He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27)

A Jesus dying on the cross for the vilest meets the wants and burdens of the vilest. . . . If His sins are a burden to him he may see Christ bearing them, that he may be free and have peace. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 2940

April 9

"His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." (Psalm 112:7)

It is well for us all when we are grounded upon what has been termed the impregnable rock of scripture. Resting on this foundation opinions may come and opinions may go, but they will never be able to disturb the divine certainty of the soul that is able to say, "Thus it is written." (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2941

April 10

"My son, if thou wilt receive my sayings, and lay up my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thy heart to understanding; yea , if thou criest after knowledge; and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasure; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5)

It is no careless reading of the Scriptures that is here indicated. The soul is exhorted to "receive" these sayings. This is something more than a cursory examination of them. The sayings of God must be received into the heart. And there they are to be "laid up," or " hidden." The ear must be inclined to wisdom; the heart applied to understanding; while the mouth cries after knowledge, and the voice is lifted up for that which will give spiritual intelligence.

The whole being is thus devoted to the search for the truth. As men dig deep for silver and make diligent effort to locate hidden treasure, so the earnest seeker must dig into the word of God, and be not content with surface findings. When thus esteeming the words of His mouth as more than one's necessary food, the result is certain: "Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." (H.A. Ironside - Notes on Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 2942

April 11

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

Believe me, you can only plead with God as you know Christ. He alone is the channel by which God can bless. . . . The power of intercession is a great thing to the servant of God. (G.V.Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2943

April 12

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you . . . rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven." (Luke 6:22-23)

If you can make yourselves happy and comfortable in this world which has rejected Jesus, count not on His blessing. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 2944

April 13

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

It is hard to believe that God is doing your business in this world. It is much easier to us to do Christ's work than to believe He has done ours. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 2945

April 14

"He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9)

None but the Son of the Father could make such a claim. He alone, who dwelt in the bosom of the Father, could fully declare - though in human form - the heart and the character of God. All that He said, all that He did, and all that He was, was a revelation of God to men. Well might His disciples exclaim, "What manner of Man is this?" (Jim Flanigan)

N.J. Hiebert # 2946

April 15

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)

I have to take God's side against myself, and to refuse myself once and for ever in God's presence. (E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert # 2947

April 16

"After the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it . . . there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here ?" (1 Kings 19:12,13)

- Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.
- You cannot unsay a cruel word.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
(A "Collection of Wise Sayings" - Submitted by RK)

N.J. Hiebert # 2948

April 17

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."

(Philippians 4:4)

Christians should not be a glum lot. When we groan and complain about the weather, our health, the inflation rate, the lack of jobs, the present government and world conditions, the world is not impressed. Unbelievers are looking for hope, not doom. Does not Christ's presence with you, God's people around you, and eternal glory ahead of you, give you joy? Paul says, "Rejoice!" (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2949

April 18

"If Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." (John 11:32)

Martha and Mary had sent a hurry call to Jesus, "He whom Thou lovest is sick." (John 11:3) Instead of rushing to Bethany, our Lord abode two days where He was. Have you felt like complaining when God did not come speedily to your help in time of need? "If Thou hadst been here, this wouldn't have happened." But if Jesus had hurried to Bethany, He would only have healed Lazarus. By waiting, He raised him from the dead! God's delay may bring a greater miracle than if He had answered our first prayer. Accept God's slow response. He is always on time - HIS time. (Vance Havener - All the Days)

N.J. Hiebert # 2950

April 19

"Unless Thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in my affliction." (Psalm 119:92)

The Bible is that to which we instinctively turn in the sorrows of life. It is not possible to imagine any circumstance in life for which the Word of the Lord has not a message of comfort or of help. Scarcely can we fix out eyes upon a single passage in this wonderful Book, which has not afforded comfort or instruction to thousands, and been wet with tears of penitential sorrows or great joy, drawn from eyes that will weep no more. I mention seven forms of human sorrow and need, together with God's antidotes for them, which go to show that earth has no sorrow which heaven cannot heal:

AFFLICTION - Isaiah 43:2 - ". . . I will be with thee. . ."
FEAR - Isaiah 41:10 - "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed."
DISCOURAGEMENT - Romans 8:28 - "All things work together for good to them that love God."
LONELINESS - Hebrews 13:5 - "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
UNREST - Matthew 11:28-30 - ". . .ye shall find rest unto your souls."
DISSATISFACTION - Psalm 107:9 - "He satisfieth the longing soul."
DEATH - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 - ". . .the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which. . . remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

(George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 2951

April 20

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,

He it is that loveth Me." (John 14:21)
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you:" (John 14:27)
"As the Father hath love Me, so have I loved you:

Continue ye in My love." (John 15:9)
"That your joy might be full." (John 15:11)
"That they may behold My glory." (John 17:24)

In these chapters the Lord speaks of five personal things:
- My commandments (14:21) - which we are to obey.
- My peace (14:27) - which we are to appropriate.
- My love (15:9) - which we are to enjoy.
- My joy (15:11) - which we are to experience.
- My glory (17:24) - which we shall one day behold.

(Henry Durbanville - His Last Words)
N.J. Hiebert # 2952

April 21

"They crucified HIM . . . and sitting down they watched HIM there." (Matthew 27:35,36)

We are very prone to judge of the world according to its treatment of ourselves. We speak of its hollowness, its faithlessness, its baseness, its deceitfulness, and such like; but we are too apt to make self the measure in all this, and hence we fall short of the real mark. In order to reach a just conclusion, we must judge by a perfect standard, and this can only be found in the cross. The cross is the only perfect measure of man, of the world, of sin. If we really want to know what the world is, we must remember that it preferred a robber to Christ, and crucified between two thieves the only perfect man that ever lived.

Such is the world in which you live. Such its true state as proved by its own deliberately planned and determinedly perpetrated act. And therefore we need not marvel at aught that we hear or see of the world's wickedness, seeing that in crucifying the Lord of glory, it gave the strongest proof that could be given of wickedness and guilt. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 2953

April 22

"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." (Hebrews 11:7)

Now Noah's was a very distinguished life. Faith laid hold on the warning. Faith does not wait for the day of glory or the day of judgment to see glory or judgment. Faith in the prophet did not ask for his eyes to be opened. Faith here for 120 years seemed to be a fool. Noah was building a ship for dry ground; and he may well have been the mockery of his neighbours; but he saw the thing that was invisible. How rebuking to us! Supposing you and I lived under the authority of coming glory, what fools we should be!

"He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."!

. . .The faith of a saint is an intensely working thing. Will God be a debtor to any man? No; He will pay to those who sow bountifully. (J.G. Bellett - Musings on the Epistle to the Hebrews)
N.J. Hiebert # 2954

April 23

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." (Revelation 5:12)

What is the first sweet word we shall hear as we enter heaven? The worthiness of the Lamb, and the blood of the Lamb, and we, there, because cleansed by the blood of that Lamb. What must sin be, to need the blood of God's own Son! Up there, in the presence of God, I learn something of the infinitude of sin, and nothing can fetch out its stain but the blood of God's own Son, and that has done it entirely. (G.V. Wigram - Gleanings From The Teaching of G.V.W.)

N.J. Hiebert # 2955

April 24

"I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5,6)

- Tough times can teach us to trust.
- A Christian's life is a window through which others can see Jesus.
- The Bible is old, but its truths are always new.
- Hold tightly to what is eternal and loosely to what is temporal.
- A grudge is one thing that does not get better when it is nursed.

(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K)N.J. Hiebert # 2956

April 25

"He that hath seen me (Jesus) hath seen the Father." (John 14:9)

In Hebrews we read that He (Jesus) is the express image of the Father. The real meaning of this is that He is the exact expression of His character. All that God is, is told out in Jesus. Jesus walked this world for a brief period of thirty three and one-half years, and during that time God was manifest, God was seen on the earth, in the person of His blessed Son. And when He went back to heaven from which He came, was God left without any manifestation down here? We read, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abideth in us, and His love is perfected in us." It is not merely that God dwells in us, for God dwells in all believers, but the Greek word for dwelleth is different from that for abideth. If we love one another, we manifest the new and divine nature; if we walk in love, then men can see God in us, for God abideth in us. That is, if we are living in fellowship with God, we are manifesting God, making God known. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 2957

April 26

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." (1 John 4:12)

You are writing a Gospel, a chapter a day,
By deeds that you do, by words that you say.
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel according to you?"

A great many men never read the Gospel according to Matthew, they never put in any time on the Gospel according to Luke, they never look into the Gospel according to Mark, never weigh the Gospel according to John, but they are reading the gospel according to you, and weighing you; they are watching you, listening to what you say, observing what you do, and getting their ideas of Christ and their ideas of God from what they see in you. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 2958

April 27

"I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

There is a legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage.
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. it would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God, our Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to HIM. (Submitted by a reader of the "Gems")

N.J. Hiebert # 2959

April 28

"And he (prodigal son) arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:20-24)

The extent of Christ's love for those given Him by the Father, the Father alone can understand. Look at the prodigal - what a pitiable object! and yet there he is in the father's arms, all the expression of the father's love put on him, all the joy of the house flowing out in response to the gladness of the father's heart. What did the prodigal bring? Nothing save the marks of misery. Starvation and rags. The angels did not understand God's mercy till then. They could not know it till Christ became man. When they saw the Babe lying in the manger, they knew that Babe to be the eternal God from off the throne. And it was only by the church that they learnt the manifold wisdom of God. (Gleanings - G.V.Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert # 2960

April 29

"A merry hear doeth good like a medicine." (Proverbs 17:22)
"A time to weep and a time to laugh." (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

God means us to be happy; His fills the short-lived years
With loving, tender mercies - With smiles as well as tears.

A close friend of mine, who is now with the Lord, was endowed with a great sense of humor. We know that humor used ill-advisedly can hurt and be counter-productive. However, my friend used it to alleviate many a problem between the Lord's people, often at the expense of himself.

A little smile and laugh can be such a blessing, an uplift to the heart, not to mention the testimony of joy it witnesses to the world. How many of the saints miss that God-given medicine? Try to pass on a smile today. (Brian Russell)

N.J. Hiebert # 2961

April 30

"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth."
(Isaiah 40:25,26)

A businessman with a keen mind once wrote, "It takes a girl in our factory about two days to learn to put the seventeen parts of a meat chopper together. There may be those who say that these millions of worlds, each with its separate orbit, all balanced so wonderfully in space, just happened - that by a billion years of tumbling about they finally arranged themselves. I am merely a manufacturer of cutlery, but this I know, that you can shake the seventeen parts of a meat chopper around in a washtub for the next seventeen billion years, and you will never have a meat chopper." (Dr. J.M. - TCN - July/ August 1990)

N.J. Hiebert # 2962


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