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

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Gems from February 2008

February 1

"Restore unto me the joy of salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit." (Psalm 51:12)

There may be many things ahead that look difficult (and are difficult). We want to be willing for them and perhaps do not see quite how we can be, or we fear to fail in inward willingness. But the Lord will not fail. "Uphold me with Thy free (willing) Spirit." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert # 3236

February 2

"Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)

It is recorded in history that some years ago a man was condemned to be put to death. When he came to lay his head on the block, the prince who had charge of the execution asked him if there was any one petition that he could grant him. All that the condemned man asked for was a glass of water. They went and got him a tumbler of water, but his hand trembled so that he could not get it to his mouth.

The prince said to him, "Your life is safe until you drink that water."

He took the prince at his word, and dashed the water to the ground. They could not gather it up, and so he saved his life. My friend, you can be saved now by taking God at His Word. The water of life is offered to "whosoever will." Take it now, and live. (Moody's Anecdotes - D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert # 3237

February 3

"But He (Jesus) answered and said, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

If I were a doctor, and someone came to me and said this: "Doc, I have absolutely no appetite for food. I don't mean once in a while; I mean ever": I would immediately know there's something wrong with this man. Fluctuations in appetite are normal, but absolutely no appetite is a sign of sickness, and I would try to find out what it is! And that's exactly the way I respond to a Christian who tells me that he has no desire at all to read the Bible - or that he has no desire to pray or assemble with other believers. That's not normal; that's abnormal - a sign of bondage brought about by error. So I would try to identify the error and replace it with truth from the Word of God.

Just like my physical appetite, my spiritual appetite ebbs and flows. It isn't perfectly consistent, and I don't worry about it if the fluctuations aren't extreme. But there are times, physically, when I get the flu and have no appetite for food at all. Then I'll often have to force myself to eat, knowing that I need to keep my strength up. In the same way, there are times when I might not have a desire for God's Word, and the reason is because I have started believing the lie of legalism and the accusations of the Accuser (Satan). At those times, even though I don't have the desire, I'll make myself get into the Bible simply because I know I need to renew my mind with truth. But don't forget, those times are still the abnormal, not the normal state of my spiritual life. My assumption is that when a man understands the fullness of God's love and acceptance, he'll want to read God's Word; he'll want to spend time with God his Father in prayer; and he'll want to gather with other believers for worship and encouragement. (B. George)

N.J. Hiebert # 3238

February 4

"God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
(Psalm 73:26)

Has the year brought sadness? Joy is yet in store.
Has it given gladness? Next year giveth more.
Let your Father measure All your pain and care,
Let Him weigh the burden That your heart must bear,
Sending light or shadow As He deemeth best,
For in His sure wisdom You can safely rest.
Peace for all the morrows, Strength for all the days,
These shall be your portion Through the New Year's ways
.
(Annie Johnson Flint - Best Loved Poems)

N.J. Hiebert # 3239

February 5

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

The Bible is our unerring chart as we journey to the heavenly land. Robert Pollock speaks of it as "the star of eternity, the only star by which the barque of man could navigate the sea of life, and gain the coast of bliss securely." It tells of the dangers which beset us on every hand; of the rocks on which so many gallant ships have foundered; and, best of all, it directs us how to launch on that swelling tide which bears us to Immanuel's Land. Be sure that you consult it daily. A man called upon an old lady to enquire if she owned a Bible. "Certainly I own a Bible ," she replied with a degree of pride. He asked her if she read the Bible. "Indeed I do," she answered, calling a little girl to bring her Bible from the bureau drawer. When she opened the Bible her glasses fell out, and before she thought she exclaimed: "Oh, here are my glasses which have been lost for three months!" O Grandma! (George Henderson - In Pastures Green)

N.J. Hiebert # 3240

February 6

"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED." (Romans 10:9)

I do not know of any more important truth to bring before an unconverted person than the answer to the question - "What must I do to be saved?" - because that is the beginning of everything with regard to the divine life. A man must know he is saved before there is any peace, or joy, or comfort. The answer is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

The question that comes right after that from almost every one is, "What is it to believe?" I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; I believe that He came into the world to save sinners. Well, so do the devils. The devils not only believe, but they tremble. I can believe intellectually that Jesus Christ is able and willing to save, and yet be as far from the kingdom of God as any man who never heard about Jesus Christ. To be saved I must believe in IN MY HEART, and TRUST in His atoning work. (Daily Gems - The D.L. Moody Year Book)

N.J. Hiebert # 3241

February 7

"It is I (Jesus) ; be not afraid." (Mark 6:50)

The realization of Christ's presence is the antidote to every possible fear, and the way to comfort people is the ministry of Christ in the power of the Spirit, to so present Him that they shall apprehend His presence. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 3242

February 8

"Then Jesus . . . came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him." (John 12:1,2)

Bethany receives Jesus for the last time; the blessed but momentary retreat of a heart which has given us, in His relations with this beloved family, the example of an affection perfect, yet human, which found sweetness in being responded to and appreciated. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3243

February 9

"Him whom my soul loveth." (Song of Solomon 3:4)

It is worth a world to have an intimate eternity with Christ. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert # 3244

February 10

"Our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:13,14)

God has put our sin out of His sight for ever. Though it be in us, it is not the object on which His eye rests. He sees only the blood; and, therefore, He can go on with us, and allow us the most unhindered fellowship with Him. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 3245

February 11

"Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God."
(Psalm 50:23)

Others are affected by what I am, and say, and do. And these others have also their sphere of influence. So that a single act of mine may spread in widening circles through influencing others. (Stopford Brooke - 1902)

N.J. Hiebert # 3246

February 12

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
(Philippians 2:12)

Just a word about "your own salvation." The farmer very likely gets the hired man to cultivate his corn and soybeans for him. But you and I cannot do that. We must each cultivate our own salvation. It is like the shield of faith: each must carry his own shield. You remember Goliath had a man that went before him to carry his shield (1 Samuel 17:41): and it cost him his life. So, in the same way, self-judgment and communion are terribly individual things, into which another can scarcely enter. (G. Christopher Willis - Sacrifices of Joy Being Meditations on Philippians)

N.J. Hiebert # 3247

February 13

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:1-3)

I was in a slimy pit and needed help. It was impossible to pull myself out. But through His work on the cross, the Lord Jesus pulled me from that horrible pit. He paid the debt of my sins and He has become the Rock on which I stand. He has given me a new heart and a new song. What He has done for me, He can do for you. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. (V. Gaynier - Choice Gleanings)

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the Rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love
And covers me there with His hand
. - F.Crosby

N.J. Hiebert # 3248

February 14

"Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him (Jesus): and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead. . . and Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him." (Luke 9:7,9)

Tell me, do you think you have done with sin, when you have committed it? One thing is certain: It has not done with you. The charm of sin is gone the moment it is perpetrated. That is your way of disposing of sin, but conscience which makes cowards of us all, lets you know that it has not done with you. Herod had beheaded John long before, but now it was said of some that John was risen from the dead, and he is perplexed. Here the worm that never dies was doing its business. I am not of course determining its eternity, but the Lord in such cases lifts the veil from hell and shows us the worm at its work. Herod could not rest. How could he? - the murderer of the greatest witness of God in the world at that moment! (J.G. Bellett - Notes on the Gospel of Luke)

N.J. Hiebert # 3249

February 15

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified HIM, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Thensaid Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots." (Luke 23:33,34)

What a prayer! What a word! Truly it stands unique. Let us consider: we hear no reproach and no accusation from the One who was on the cross, and until He uttered that "loud cry" at the ninth hour, there was also no word of complaint. As He opened His mouth here, it was only in new, incomprehensible grace. There was no raging of divine wrath, no call for vengeance or divine judgment. "Father, forgive them" - this was His response to the last, most terrible unfolding of human wickedness. It would have been something great even if the Lord had prayed at this time for the pagan soldiers, for the ignorant executioners. But He prayed for His people. He prayed for those who had cried, "Hosanna," and so soon afterwards had cried, "Crucify Him." He prayed for those who had rewarded His many acts of kindness with the blackest ingratitude. (Fritz Von Kietzell - Behold the Lamb of God)

N.J. Hiebert # 3250

February 16

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)



What Really Counts!



When all is said and done and Life is tallied at the end
One thing will make the difference of the destiny I spend
Its Who I know, not what I know, or even what I've done
One name alone will get me in if I know God the Son
Chorus: What really counts is Jesus Christ as Saviour and as Friend
What works in life is Jesus Christ and nothing else will win
a life that really satisfies or even counts at all
a little put in Jesus hands is never ever small
When weighed within the balances in Jesus all transcends
to perfect balance, full and sweet, and Joy that cannot end!
But oh what horror waits the soul found wanting at the call
don't wait a moment longer and into His arms now fall.
What really counts on this old earth is what will Jesus say!
Not VIP's of Hollywood or Educations sway
Knowledge simply puffs men up and money can betray!
but think on Jesus Christ and have a mind by heaven stayed!

(Jonathan A LaBenne - Morning Star Camp - February 2, 2007) (Permission granted)

N.J. Hiebert # 3251

February 17

"Whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . of good report ; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

- The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks from it.
- We have never known a single instance of anyone complaining of want of love in others who was not failing in love himself. The best way to get water our of a dry pump is to pour a little in.- Faith never makes light of danger, for it knows what we are. On the other hand, faith never faints at danger, for it knows what God is.
- We have to learn that we are not agents to act for the Lord as much as instruments by which He acts - pipes through which He waters. When we learn our nothingness, that we are only instruments which He takes up as and when He pleases, and for what He pleases, we shall be content to work on simply. (T.C.N.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3252

February 18

"For me to live is Christ." (Philippians 1:21)
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Romans 8:16)
"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
(John 13:17)

Happy are they who are too rich to care for gold, too happy to hunt for joy, too exalted to be proud, too high to be lifted up. Who are these? They who know, "To live is Christ." (Submitted by T.R., a reader of "Gems.")

N.J. Hiebert # 3253

February 19

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

We need an opener, we need that spirit of faith which would take our Bibles and open up the truth in the face of any false doctrine, no matter what its name may be. And it is a blessed fact, that no matter whether a heretic holds the Bible in his hand or not (all the better if he does hold it in his hand), you can use the word of God against him, if you are an opener. If you have had your heart opened by the Spirit of God to His truth, you can meet the holder of wicked doctrine, no matter what his profession may be, and you can overthrow him in the power of that Word. (Ridout)

N.J. Hiebert # 3254

February 20

"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." (Colossians 3:21)

"Father's should be gentle in order that the children's affections may not be estranged from them, and that they may not be induced to seek that happiness in the world which they ought to find in the domestic circle which God has formed as a safeguard for those who are growing up in weakness." (JND)

It is most important that warm affections be cultivated and intimacy maintained between fathers and their children, especially as the children grow up and become exposed to the influences of the world and distance easily comes in between the hearts of children and the parents. While not neglecting firm discipline, parents, especially fathers, should embrace every opportunity of showing love to their children and thus win their filial affections and confidence. Impress upon them by deeds that they are loved, but at the same time that parental authority must be obeyed. These two things are most important. (R.K. Campbell - The Christian Home)

N.J. Hiebert # 3255

February 21

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16)

God's love for us is expressed in how He has given us His Son as a sacrifice. He has not only expressed His love in this manner but has given the Son to take up residence within us. By the miracle of the Spirit (the person of God) we are indwelt with all He is, the result should be on our part the same style of heart and mind, selfless. So much are we personally indwelt that God Himself cannot separate us from Christ so that where He is we are now and will be and how He is we are now and will be in perfect union.

Love makes for actions towards others. God set forth the perfect example in giving His Son and He the perfect example of sacrifice towards us. Until we are endued with Their love we cannot attempt to love others in our own feeble strength. True love is unconditional and always has the object of affection in mind. (B.R. - Meditations on 1 John)

N.J. Hiebert # 3256

February 22

"Go and wash in Jordan seven times." (2 Kings 5:10)

Naaman was an able captain in the Syrian army, in good standing with King Ben-hadad, but he was a leper. When he took off his decorations at night and looked at his decaying body, his military glory departed. He came to Elisha to be healed and that man of God did not even come out to meet him but simply commanded, "Go and wash in Jordan seven times." Naaman lost his temper, "Dip in Jordan, that dirty creek! We have Abana and Pharpar in Syria" (5:12) His companions persuaded him to give it a try, but when he had gone down and up six times there was no sign of a miracle. They might have begun to wonder whether their captain had been "taken" by a false prophet. But on the seventh dip Naaman's flesh became as the flesh of a child!

The miracle happened at the end of compete obedience. If the blind man sent by Jesus to the pool of Siloam, his eyes covered with mud, had not felt his way down the street in simple obedience, he would have died a blind man. John MacNeill preached about this incident and shouted to his congregation, "Aye, and some of you have had the mud applied again and again, you have heard the gospel again and again, but you've never done the next thing and you're blinder than you ever were before!" Faith must be followed by obedience. (Vance Havner - Don't Miss Your Miracle)

N.J. Hiebert #3257

February 23

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

The WORD never had a beginning. The SON is as truly eternal as the FATHER. To teach otherwise is to deny the very foundations of our faith. HE could not have beginning, for HE HIMSELF is the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13)

But it is not merely that HE was eternally in the Godhead. Scripture is equally insistent regarding His distinct Personality. This is implied in the expression "The WORD was with GOD." We are told of Wisdom, in Proverbs 8:27, "When He prepared the heavens I was there." And again in verse 30, "I was by Him as One brought up with Him." The Eternal Wisdom and the Eternal Word are one and the same. Throughout all the ages of the past CHRIST was a distinct Personality in the Godhead. There was communion between the FATHER and the SON.
But this does not imply the inferiority of the SON. Full Deity was HIS: "The WORD was GOD." Just as truly as the FATHER was GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT was GOD, so the WORD was GOD. More than this could not be said. (H.A. Ironside - Gospel of John)

N.J. Hiebert # 3258

February 24

"With me thou shalt be in safeguard." (1 Samuel 22:23)
"Come thou and all thy house into the ark." (Genesis 7:1)

"Come thou!" We are either inside or outside the Ark. There is no half-way in this. Outside is death, inside is life. Outside is certain, inevitable, utter destruction. Inside is certain and complete safety. Where are you at this moment? Perhaps you dare not say confidently and happily, "I am inside "; and yet you do not like to look the alarming alternative in the face, and say, "I am outside!" And you prefer trying to persuade yourself that you do not exactly know, and can't be expected to answer such a question. And you say, perhaps with a shade of annoyance, "How am I to know?" God's infallible Word tells you very plainly, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (Francis Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

N.J. Hiebert # 3259

February 25

"Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed." (Nehemiah 7:1)

For Nehemiah and the people of God, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was an exhausting task. But when they finished, the sweat and fatigue were all forgotten. Now it was time for the singers to praise and the Levites to lead the worship. We by faith recall another greater work that was realized through the sorrow and suffering of Golgotha. Our Lord cried in triumph, "It is finished," and now with full salvation, we can take our place and sing with a new song in our mouths, even praise unto our God (Psalm 40). (Neil Dougal)

N.J. Hiebert # 3260

February 26

"And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full'."
(John 16:23,24)

These verses present a cluster of jewels.
- Questioning ended - "In that day ye shall ask Me nothing."
- Desires satisfied - "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you."
- Joy completed - "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
That promise is large in its scope, clear in its terms, unfailing in its issues. (Henry Durbanville - His Last Words)

N.J. Hiebert # 3261

February 27

"Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side." (Psalm 65:11,12)

Dry times are in a way trusted times. My word this morning was in Psalm 65:12, about the drops of His blessing falling on the pastures of the wilderness. It is a most comforting word.
Life, any life, can be stifled by the pettiness of the daily round. But yours won't be. One quick look up in the dullest moment and you are with Him whom your heart loves, your Life, your All.
All sorts of days come and go - they go, that's the best of them. Don't let the dull days pass without giving you what only dullness ever can give. It isn't the days of high tension that try us most, and so give us most; it's the days that seem all grey and dull. They test the quality of the gold. They prove it. 'Salute Apelles, the approved in Christ.' 'God knows, not we, the test he stood' is Moule's note on Romans 16:10, "Salute Apelles approved in Christ." I shall think of you as Apelles. (Amy Carmichael - Candles in the Dark)

N.J. Hiebert # 3262

February 28

". . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5)

Jesus said, "Repent," or, in other words, judge yourself in the presence of God. You have perhaps measured yourself with your fellows and found yourself better than they. This may be possible and probable; but have you measured yourself with God? Have you ever thought how these little sins that are as nothing in the eye of man are glaring and flagrant in the eye of the One who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13)? Comeliness before man is but corruption in the presence of God (Daniel 10:8); and even the one that was perfect and upright, so that there was none like him in all the earth, abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes, confessing himself vile when he came to measure himself with God (Job 42:5,6). Can you hold fast your uprightness in the presence of the light of the glory of God? Job, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter and Paul could not. Surely you too must take a sinner's place in the presence of the "Holy, holy, holy" God. (D.T.G.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3263

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