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

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gems from January 2008

January 1

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not." (1 John 3:1)

The young believer revels in this - I was a lost sinner, at enmity with God, and now I am called a son of God, a child in God's family. Here is marvelous love indeed "that brings a poor, vile sinner into His house of wine." It, however, is not only for the young, because the more we mature in the things of the Lord, the more we marvel at the wonders of His love. No matter how old we are in the faith, may we never look on His love in any lesser degree. (Reg L. Jordan)

Behold what love, what boundless love, the Father hath bestowed
On sinners lost, that we should be now called the sons of God. (M.S. Sullivan)

N.J. Hiebert # 3205

January 2

" . . . a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment." (Ecclesiastes 8:5)

It is said that the great cathedral of Milan has a beautiful triple-doored entrance. All three doorways are crowned by splendid arches, artistically carved with thought-provoking inscriptions. Over one is a wreath of roses etched in stone with the legend: "All that which pleases is but a for a moment." Over another is sculptured a cross accompanied by the words: "All that which troubles is but for a moment." On the largest doorway of all, however - the great central entrance to the main circle - there is this most telling of all the inscriptions: "That only is important which is eternal!"

Indeed, as life moves inexorably onward there will come both passing pleasures and bruising sorrows. Only the spiritually wise recognize that all these experiences must be trustfully woven together so that the texture of life which results is well pleasing to God. . . .

Harleigh M. Rosenberger has written most poetically, "Life is like a fine piece of Oriental tapestry, put together with many exquisite strands. It has the gold of success, the crimson of suffering, and the somber hues of sorrow. Through the grace of God, all of these are made into a pattern of beauty. Through every experience, God can help the person weave a fabric of loveliness and wisdom."

The year ahead is untried - it is a beckoning tomorrow fraught with new experiences and possibilities. The wise in heart will enter it with faith, hope, and Scriptural optimism, determine to take advantage of every God-given opportunity.

"It is comforting to know that the God who guides us,
sees tomorrow more clearly than we see yesterday!" (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3206

January 3

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

- I shall not want REST. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures."

- I shall not want DRINK. "He leadeth me beside the still waters."

- I shall not want FORGIVENESS. "He restoreth my soul."

- I shall not want GUIDANCE. "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

- I shall not want COMPANIONSHIP. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me."

- I shall not want COMFORT. "Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."

- I shall not want FOOD. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."

- I shall not want JOY. "Thou anointest my head with oil."

- I shall not want ANYTHING. "My cup runneth over."

- I shall not want ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."

- I shall not want ANYTHING IN ETERNITY. "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

FAITH NEVER YET OUTSTRIPPED THE BOUNTY OF THE LORD
(C.H. Spurgeon)

N.J. Hiebert # 3207

January 4

"The Lord shall count, when HE writeth up the people, that this man was born there." (Psalm 87:6)

"Tychicus. . . a beloved brother, faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. . . Onesimus, a faithful servant and beloved brother . . . Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner. . . Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas . . . Justus . . . Epaphras . . . a servant of Christ . . .Luke, the beloved physician and Demas . . . Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. . . . Archippus . . . The salutations by the hand of me Paul." (Colossians 4:7-18)

We are all going to be written up. That process is going on now. In the close of the epistle to the Colossians we get a little foreshadowing of that kind of thing . . . we are given a few remarks about some of the brethren. These remarks are the estimate that the Apostle Paul by the Spirit of God put upon them. No two of these men are characterized alike. Each one has that that is distinctly his. No two of us are expected to be duplicates. The Spirit of God has been pleased to put these records here that we might pick up a bit of profit from them.

If the Lord tarries and you live for several more years, what kind of a record will God be able to write of you at that time? If the Apostle Paul were going to close one of his epistles and wanted to mention you, what kind of a record would he be able to give?

For example, Tychicus has a nice recommendation. Here is a "beloved brother." There was something about that man that made him very dear to the heart of Paul. He was a beloved brother. There are some brethren whom we can scarcely speak of without using that word. We always think of them as beloved brothers. Perhaps there are others about whom we would not be so ready to speak in that way. Of course, we are all beloved of the Father, but that is not the side of things in the scriptures noted. It is not what we are in Christ, but what is manifested in our practical everyday life. (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 3208

January 5

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen are not made of things which do appear. " (Hebrews 11:3)

Man's mind is a poor and finite thing. The moment we have to do with God we have to do with the Infinite. And so,

1) The enormity of sin in God's sight,
2) The infinite value of the atoning sacrifice of Christ,
3) The immortality of the soul,
4) The eternity of glory for the redeemed, and
5) Of punishment for the despisers of Christ's sacrifice and God's grace -

These are all things which far exceed all power of man's mind to understand. "By faith we understand." (A.H. Barry)

N.J. Hiebert # 3209

January 6

"And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them." (Exodus 3:7,8)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

One thing that is brought before us in Exodus 3 is the compassionate love of God. We find Him coming down; and what has brought Him down? Oh, He has heard some sighs, some groans; He has looked upon some burdened ones, and He has been moved with pity, and has come down to deliver. Well, we know how fully that is seen in God coming down to this poor world - sin-stricken and under the burden and bondage of corruption, where there is a continual groaning going on. We know what led Him to come down; that is, it was the compassion of His love - "God so loved." (W. Potter)

N.J. Hiebert # 3210

January 7

"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the Lord." (Jeremiah 8:7)

The end of the year is near. The swallows are gone; the cold blasts of winter are come; but not one swallow is left behind. We saw them gathered together, and they were seen to fly higher as the time to depart drew nearer. No one saw them go, but they are gone to sunny lands of the south. The frost and the snow, the sleet and piercing winds of winter never reach them there. Very remarkable is this instinct of the birds.

Is there not a lesson for us in this instinct of the birds? It was pleasing to watch the swallows as the winter drew near, gathering in companies, seeming to wait for the wanderers. Then they would fly high, as wanting to be gone. We thought, Is not the Holy Spirit now gathering Christians together in little companies to Christ? Now here, now there, a wanderer is coming in. Should we not fly higher ? We, like the swallows, are about to leave this scene below. Already signs of this world's judgment begin to flit across its autumn sky. And now every swallow soared ready to depart, moved by one common instinct. Oh, that every Christian were seen manifestly ready to depart, moved by the Spirit of God. (Charles Stanley - 1821-1888)

N.J. Hiebert # 3211

January 8

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of (our) faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

In the cross we see Christ humbling Himself - the only One of all greatness stooping low to save my soul - the only One who commands all, becoming the Servant of all. A person cannot receive the truth of the cross without having in measure his walk in accord with the spirit of it. Yet how much saints of God regard the cross, not so much as that by which the world is crucified unto them and they unto the world, but rather as the remedy by which they are set free from fear, to make themselves a comfortable place in the world! The Christian ought to be the happiest of men; but his happiness should consist in what he knows is his portion in and with Christ. Meanwhile our service and obedience are to be formed according to the spirit of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert # 3212

January 9

"Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John 9:3)

A young boy became excessively fearful during the great New York blackout of 1977. When his parents questioned him, he confessed that at the exact moment the lights went out he had kicked a powerline pole. As darkness engulfed the city, he thought he was to blame and would be punished.

That kind of cause-effect thinking must have triggered the disciple's question about the man who had been born blind. "Who sinned?" they asked. "This man or his parents?" Jesus replied, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him."

All sickness, of course, originated when sin entered the world. But our Lord's response reveals that not all disabilities and sicknesses are due to moral failure in a person's life. Sometimes excesses and abuses lead to a breakdown of one's health. But when the cause is not obvious and we have confessed and forsaken our sins, we must accept our situation and ask God to work through it for our good.

God can be glorified in sickness just as He can through a miracle of healing. When we suffer, it's always wise to take spiritual inventory. But when God gives us no answers, we can still trust Him because we know that He is good. - DJD

My prayer is a simple one, Lord:
Whatever is best for me, do;
In sickness and health I desire
What bring the most glory to You
. - Fasick

God's love for us cannot be measured by the degree of our health.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, copyright 1993, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert # 3213

January 10

"I know, O Lord, . . . that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." (Psalm 119:75)

His love for His child is unchanging,
Although it seem veiled in a cloud;
'Tis only with purpose of blessing,
Affliction is ever allowed.
God's instrument oft is affliction,
For molding and training His own;
But all through the trial and testing,
His love and His mercy are shown.
(Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 3214

January 11

"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

We pulled up to the stop sign, aware of the police car waiting some 20 feet away. Cross traffic prevented us from starting again for a full minute. If later that day I had rolled through that same stop sign, the police officer would not have been impressed with the argument that the prolonged stop earlier would more than compensate for the current failure to comply. Likewise a lifetime of good works cannot negate even a single sin in the eyes of God, the righteous Judge. His standards are not relative but absolute. But by grace He offers to save you. Have you come? (David J. Logan)

Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea;
Jesus died for all mankind, and Jesus died for me
.
(P. Doddridge)

N.J. Hiebert # 3215

January 12

"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained." (1 Timothy 4:6)

The seducing spirits, of which the Holy Spirit speaks, sought to exalt man with a sense of religious importance and sanctity. The true servant seeks to exalt Christ by ministering the truth.

To be a good servant of Jesus Christ, it is not enough to know the truth, and hold the truth; we need to be nourished by the truth, and, in practice, to follow up fully the truth. Our own souls must be fed if we are to feed others. We must be nourished, not simply in the words of teachers, however true, but "with the words of the faith" which convey to us "the good teaching" of Christianity and, if followed up, will produce a practical effect in our lives, preserving us from the evils of the latter times. (Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert # 3216

January 13

"Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee."
(Psalm 139:12)

At eighty-four, Amelia Barr was at work on her sixty-sixth book. Her secret for such activity is quiet and darkness. All forms of life need them. The plant cannot bloom continuously; it must lie its time in the earth in quiet and darkness. Trees have their winter rest. All animals must sleep. The human being cannot maintain efficient life unless it retreats daily into death, back to nothingness, cessation, stillness. When we lie down at night in sleep all the invisible workmen of the body set about their task, cleaning, repairing, restoring, adjusting, just as the cleaners go over a locomotive when it comes in from its run. These workers operate only in quiet and darkness.

It is the same with the mind. Keep constantly on the go and your thoughts get clogged, you have confusion, imperfect judgment, awkwardness. Most of the worries that beset us would vanish of themselves if we would take a rest in quietness and darkness. Evil, fevered, extravagant, hurtful ideas and beliefs are bi-products of too much activity; they dissolve in quiet and darkness.

Never mind whether you sleep or not, just be still.
It is in quiet and darkness you hear those still, small voices
your life misses in the hurly-burly. It is there you find God.
(Traveling Towards Sunrise - Mrs. Charles E. Cowman)

N.J. Hiebert # 3217

January 14

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." (Philippians 3:7,8)

How few of us understand anything of this! How few of us grasp the meaning of the words - the real force of the expression, "That I may win Christ."! Most of us rest satisfied with thinking of Christ as God's gift to sinners. We do not aim at winning Him as our prize, by the surrender of all those things which nature loves and values. The two things are quite distinct. As poor, miserable, guilty, hell-deserving sinners, we are not asked to do, or to give, or to surrender anything. We are invited, yes, commanded, to take - take freely - take all. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." "The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." "If thou knewest the gift of God, . . . thou wouldest have asked of Him."

But, then there is the other side of the question. What did Paul mean by winning Christ? He wanted to win Christ as his prize, even at the cost of all beside. He longed to know Him not merely as the One who had put away his sins, but as the One who could satisfy all the longings of his soul, and utterly displace all that earth could offer or nature grasp. (The Young Believer)

N.J. Hiebert # 3218

January 15

"Christ also hath love us, and hath given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." (Ephesians 5:2)

Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour and it brought ultimate pleasure to God (Hebrews 10:6-10). Mary took her very costly spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus and her sacrifice of sweet-smelling savour permeated the whole house (John 12:3). We are exhorted to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name (Hebrews 13:15). What sacrifices of sweet smelling savour are you offering today? (K.C. Ung)

N.J. Hiebert # 3219

January 16

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:13)

Our critics are the unpaid guardians of our soul. If what they say is true, then do something about it. If it is not true, just put it aside and don't let it influence you. (Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's)

N.J. Hiebert # 3220

January 17

"I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

When walking in lowliness we are not likely to wound other people, and when walking in meekness we shall not allow ourselves to be offended should they happen to treat us in an unseemly manner. Is it not just the absence of these graces that cause so much fevered restlessness in our lives? We want to do the work of the man with ten talents when God has gifted us with only one; to occupy a prominent position in public when He intends us to fill a lowly place in private. Let us never forget that "when God intends a creature to fly He always provides it with wings"; that if He has fitted one for publicity and prominence, the gift with which He has endowed that one will inevitably make room for itself. "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." (Proverbs 18:16) And the strong probability is that, did we but know the perils which surround those who occupy high positions and the fierce conflict which those have to wage who lead the van in Christian warfare, we would cease envying them and commence praying for them, and be thankful and content that we are filling, in lowly obscurity, the niche which God intends us to fill.

" . . .
As the storm that makes
The high elm crouch and rends the oak
The humble lily spares - so, a thousand blows
That shake the lofty monarch on his throne
We lesser folk feel not. Keen are the pains
Advancement often brings. To be secure
Be humble; to be happy be content
."

(The Pearl of Psalms - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert # 3221


January 18

"Be it known unto you therefore that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38,39)

What a wonderful declaration! Forgiveness of sins! justification from all things - offered to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! Here are two things absolutely in contrast one to the other. Man could not do what Paul here declares God will do through Christ Jesus. You could not forgive a man and justify him at the same time. If you forgive him he is guilty, and you cannot justify him. If a man is justified he does not need forgiveness.

You can imagine a court scene - you are on trial and the jury decides you are innocent of the charge against you and they bring in the verdict, "Not guilty!" It means you are justified. As you walk out of the courtroom, suppose someone come up and says, "That was an interesting session this morning. I think it was very gracious of the judge to forgive you." You look at him with indignation. "Forgive me! The jury cleared me. I am justified, I am not forgiven, for I did not need pardon for a crime I had not committed."

But it is other wise with God in His dealing with sinners. We are all guilty and have come short of the glory of God; we have all failed again and again, and there is no hope until we come into His presence and acknowledge our sins. Then, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But is that all? No, we are now linked up with divine life by the Christ who died and rose again, and we now stand before God on altogether different and new ground, and God can say, I justified that man; from henceforth I look on him as though he had never committed any sin at all. I hold him clear of every charge. Christ has settled for everything. (H.A. Ironside - Lectures on Acts)

N.J. Hiebert # 3222


January 19

"Consider the lilies of the field. . . ." (Matthew 6:28)

NOT ARTIFICIAL MAN MADE lilies of the hothouse, but lilies of the open field exposed to wind and rain. They may not look as good, sometimes frayed and torn by tempest, too much sun or too much rain, bedraggled maybe, but real lilies. Some Christians who have wrestled long with the powers of darkness and suffered the pressures of this age may not be as elegant as manufactured varieties or sheltered souls who have not been in the thick of the fight. Paul was perhaps not an impressive sight physically. Some of the things he wrote indicate such limitations. Compared to some of the scribes in all their fancy garb, he looked like the itinerant battle-scarred veteran - this Gospel vagabond on the earth - that he was. The list he gives us of what he had been through (2 Corinthians 11:23-28) would make that abundantly clear. We need more lilies of the field out in the wind and weather. (Vance Havner - All the Days)

N.J. Hiebert # 3223

January 20

"It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God." (Luke 4:4)

It is the written Word Jesus ever uses, and Satan is powerless. What amazing importance Jesus gives the Scriptures! God now acts by the Word, and Satan is resisted morally in this way. A man cannot be touched by Satan while the Word is simply used in obedience. "He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth Him not" (1 John 5:18). It was not as an exercise of divine authority He dismissed Satan, but the enemy is proved unable to grapple with obedience to the Word of God. If he cannot take out of the path of obedience, he has no power. What more simple? Every child of God has the Holy Spirit acting by the Word to keep him. (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert # 3224

January 21

"The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God." (Galatians 11:20)

It is by faith that God is honoured.
It is enough for Satan if he succeeds in frightening us away from the pure and simple path of faith.
Faith acts on God's behalf, and reveals Him in the midst of circumstances, instead of being governed by them. Its superiority over that which surrounds it is evident. What repose to witness this amid the mire of this poor world.
It is characteristic of faith to reckon on God, not simply spite of difficulty, but spite of impossibility. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3225

January 22

"Who His Own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

The cross is a low place, a thing that strains all the pride of man. Have you ever known what it is to be brought down to death's door from conflict? I have know what it is - passing week after week and never closing the eyes, simply because I wanted to do something, and Christ had done it all.

Peace came to me in that cross, God saying, "My Son bore all your sin in His own body on that tree." What a thought! that the anointed Saviour, (two thousand years ago), suffered everything for me, and that it was only my own horrid self-will, wanting to do something, which kept me from getting peace in Him.

It was not the suffering earth gave Him, not the nails, the spear - but something deeper far; the wrath of God was born by Him, nailed to that cross, when He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" You cannot find the cross itself on earth now, but the record of it is in heaven. God is constantly reminded of it, by the presence of the Lamb that was slain, at His right hand. (G.V. Wgram)

N.J. Hiebert # 3226

January 23

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee."

(Isaiah 44:22)

To think lightly of sin is an insult to the divine sanctity. Sin is the blot which defiles the glorious works of God; it is the cancer which, if it were permitted to spread unchecked, would consume the beauty of the universe; it is the curse which pierces the life of man with a thousand sorrows, and bows his head in memory of a thousand shames." But it should be clearly understood that while God can never treat sin lightly, and while He may use even the devil's tauntings to increase our horror and hatred of it, He never harasses His people. When He forgives, He forgets; and, having learned the solemn lesson which our failure has taught us, it will be wisdom on our part also to forget. Speaking of the burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34), an old Welsh minister said:
"In that burial, not only was the body buried, but also the grave and the graveyard. This is the way in which God's mercy buries our sins. If anyone should meet Mercy returning from the funeral of our sins, and ask: 'Mercy, where did'st thou bury our sins?' her answer would be: I do not remember'."

The Bible makes a sevenfold declaration of what God has done with the sins of His people. It affirms that they are: Expiated (Isaiah 6:7); Remitted (Luke 24:47); Buried (Micah 7:19); Obliterated (Isaiah 44:22); Forgiven (Ephesians 1:7); Cleansed (1 John 1:7); Forgotten (Hebrews 10:17). (George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert # 3227

January 24

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, COME ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; COME ye, buy, and eat; yea, COME buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1)

Here, every thirsty, needy, penniless one is invited to come. It is the desire of the loving heart of God that he should come - come now - come just as he is and drink at the living fountain of water, so freely opened by the hand of redeeming love. There is no hindrance. Grace has removed every difficulty out of the way. The very fact of God's sending forth the invitation to come, proves that He has taken away every barrier. He would not, He could not say "Come" if the way were not perfectly open - perfectly free. And not only so, but we may rest assured that when God says "Come," He means what He says. He expresses the language of His heart. In a word, not only is the way open, but God earnestly desires that every thirsty, needy, helpless soul that reads these lines should come now and drink - come and draw water out of those wells of salvation which are freely opened to every creature under heaven. (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - September 1970)

N.J. Hiebert # 3228

January 25

"I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way." (Psalm 119:128)

This is a test for us; do we seek to know what the Scriptures say on all subjects, because we know they are right concerning all things? Has the Word of God such authority with us that what it says is final, and is the end of all doubt and questioning? (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3229

January 26

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." (Isaiah 26:3)

The heart is established in peace when it recognizes God's hand. The Lord gets credit through praise for all He has done for us. He controls the monarchs, rising above them in grace and mercy. He provides for His people through all the changes and circumstances of earth during these times when man's strength has failed, yet in weakness has called upon God to help. (B.R. - Meditations in Isaiah)

N.J. Hiebert # 3230

January 27

"He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, 'Peace, be still.' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

(Mark 4:39)

O Lord, the pilot's part perform,
And guard and guide me through the storm;
Defend me from each threatening ill;
Control the waves; "Peace be still."
Amid the roaring of the sea
My soul still hangs her hope on Thee;
Thy constant love, Thy faithful care,
Are all that save me from despair

(Anon)

N.J. Hiebert # 3231

January 28

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Corinthians 4:3,4)

Men did not ignore or refuse God's Word because the facts of life deny HIM or contradict His existence. They deny Him because they are the "enemies in . . . mind by wicked works" (Colossians 1:21). They want a life free from divine restraint.

The question has been asked, "Why are so many educated people unbelievers?" The answer is: "For the same reason that so many uneducated people are unbelievers."

At the cross of Calvary the heart of man was fully exposed, and it has never changed. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ in all its horror was the act of the human heart. All were represented - the whole world - around the cross (compare Acts 4:26, 27). The cross presented man's fullest hatred, and there this was met by God's fullest love.

Why then will men not look at the crucified One and live? Why do they utter the words of the fool, "No God"? Because they are the captives of Satan, the "god" and "prince" of this world (compare 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; John 12:31). (Jim K. - Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - August 1970)

N.J. Hiebert # 3232

January 29

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)

This is the glorious answer of God to the love and obedience of His dear Son. He went down to the lowest depth; now He is raised to the highest possible height. Shall not our hearts exclaim, He is worthy! He is worthy! (E.A.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3233

January 30

"By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." (Psalm 17:4)

As the end approaches, the power of the enemy (Satan) is increasing, and he often seeks to display such by imitation. We are warned of this in 2 Timothy 3:8, where we are told of how the magicians of Egypt, under Satan's power, withstood Moses by imitation. "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."

This is the character of the last days.

The Christian who would be kept in an evil day, must learn the importance of meeting all the attacks of the enemy by the written Word of God. (H.E. Hayhoe)

N.J. Hiebert # 3234

January 31

"Let all things be done decently and in order."

(1 Corinthians 14:40)

Punctuality, Audibility, and Legibility
are three branches of
PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

I owe it to all to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . punctual.
I owe it to my hearers to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . audible.
I owe it to my correspondents to be . . . . . . . . . . . legible.

And

PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS
consists in
the proper discharge of
ALL LEGITIMATE CLAIMS.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 3235

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