Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5330 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gems from April 2008

April 1

"He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee." (Luke 24:6)

They found the donkey as "He had said". They found the man bearing the pitcher, "as He had said". If they had remembered what He had said in Galilee, they would not have brought the spices to anoint His body. Nor would they have been surprised at the empty tomb. The question is not, would we have remembered? But, do we remember Him now? (Drew Craig)

And when, Oh Lord, Thou comest again,
And I Thy glory see;
Forever as the Lamb once slain,
Would I remember Thee

(James Montgomery)

N.J. Hiebert # 3295

April 2

"This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears." (Luke 4:21)

Within this ample volume lies
The mystery of mysteries;
The happpiest of the human race
To whom their God has given grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch and find the way
.
(Sir Walter Scott)

Our Lord never apologized for the Word of God. He spoke as One having authority and quoted the Scriptures in the same way. We should learn from His example. The mighty prophet Ezekiel was told, "Thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear" (Ezekiel 2:7). Use God's Word and leave the results with Him. (Carter F. Bundy)

N.J. Hiebert # 3296

April 3

"A word spoken in due season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23)

If we who believe on Him were not justified and made like Him, He would not see of the fruit and travail of His soul. . . A redeemer without the redeemed would have lost the reward of His work and sufferings. We form part of the glory of Christ, and it is a deep source of joy to our souls that we by our likeness to Him in eternity shall be the proof of the value of the work of Christ. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3297

April 4

"If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. . . . we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

God provides hope to all. We as believers face a win win situation. If we die we go to heaven, if we live we go to heaven, the only difference being the mode of our transportation, death or rapture. We are encouraged, by the Holy Spirit of God, upon the death of fellow believers, as we rejoice in their present condition as being with Christ as we wait the same for us. The dread and power of death has been broken by this hope for which we wait eagerly, not so much to end our life but to begin our life there. (B.R. - Meditations in 1 Thessalonians)

N.J. Hiebert # 3298

April 5

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

- How consistently we see in the history of God's people that those who were great in their littleness became little in their greatness.
- The minute the words of our lips are beyond our spiritual condition, we are in the place of danger.
- If personal communion be not diligently maintained, the higher our position, the greater our danger and the more disastrous our fall. (C.H. Mackintosh)
- Beware of a half truth. It may be the wrong half.
- Everyone of us gets as much of Christ as we want, and our lives show how much we want. (H.E. Hayhoe)
- John did not draw near to get the Lord's mind, but because he was leaning on His bosom, he got the mind of the Lord.
(T.C.N. - Things to Think About)

N.J. Hiebert # 3299

April 6

"God said, let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3)

How simple! and yet how Godlike! He spake, and it was done: He commanded, and it stood fast. Infidelity may ask, How? where? when? The answer is, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3) This satisfies the teachable spirit. (C.H. Macintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 3300

April 7

"Take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where withal shall we be clothed? . . . for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)

In other words, Put God first and self last, and God will see that you are honoured in His own time. The Lord Jesus made this the object of His life - to seek to glorify the One who sent Him. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 3301

April 8

"And he (Mephibosheth) bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shoudest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
(2 Samuel 9:8)

When Mephibosheth was five years old, an unfortunate accident caused him to become lame on both feet. Today we would extend every effort to make such a one have a quality of life as normal as possible. But Mephibosheth's estimation of himself was "a dead dog" as he stood before the king. Are we any different as we stand before the King of kings? We come dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2) and the Lord gives us life. But more! David made Mephibosheth sit at his table and enjoy the bounty of the king. Our Lord makes the same offer. May we accept His invitation today. (Charlie Tempest)

N.J. Hiebert # 3302

April 9

"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I (Jesus) am MEEK and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11:29)

Theodore Roosevelt said once, "I hate a meek man." He probably did not realize that the boldest man, the most utterly unafraid man ever seen on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, was in the fullest sense a meek man. Meekness is not inconsistent with bravery, and enables one to suffer and be strong when the world would "turn aside the way of the meek." (Amos 2:7) (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3303

April 10

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:20)

In childhood days parents stand in relation to their children as God Himself in relation to the parents. Children who do not obey their parents when young will not obey God when older. The natural heart is ever rebellious against authority, and perhaps never more strikingly has this been manifested than in these democratic days in which we live. But Christian children should be examples of godly submission to father and mother or whoever may be in authority over them, and parents are responsible to instill into their hearts the divine requirement of obedience. For young people professing piety, to ignore this principle of obedience is to manifest utter insubjection to the One they own as Lord. (TCNL)

N.J. Hiebert # 3304

April 11

"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." (Psalm 25:14)
"Show me now, that I may know Thy way." (Exodus 33:13)
"I will guide thee with Mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)

God's Word gives us the great principles. God's Spirit forms our hearts in these principles; and the little details fall into line with them. We exercise our judgment; but it is the judgment of a "sound mind"; that is, a mind formed in its workings by the Word of God. Then "I have set the Lord always before Me." This Object forms and governs the motives. It is akin to "the fear of the Lord." He gets His rightful place in the soul, and He forms our thoughts and desires, and we act for Him. (A.H. Rule)

N.J. Hiebert # 3305

April 12

"Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
(Hebrews 12:3)

I once heard a marathoner tell how there comes a point in a race when the runner "hits the wall," meaning that his body cannot go on, and every muscle is crying out to give up. He said that at that point it is the mind that will determine if the race will continue. So it is spiritually. If our minds have not been disciplined and directed by the Word of God on an ongoing basis, when we "hit the wall' in our spiritual life, we will fail. May we determine to fill our minds with His Word, and so to discipline our thought life in such a way that we will have victory in the crises of life. (Wm. Burnett)

N.J. Hiebert # 3306

April 13

"Joy unspeakable." (1 Peter 1:8)

The thing that hinders our rejoicing is not trouble, but being half and half. If in the world his conscience reproaches the Christian, if he meets spiritual Christians he is unhappy there; in fact, he is happy nowhere.

Ours ought not to be a religion of regrets, but a rejoicing of heart continually.

"Rejoice evermore: pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) There is a closer connection between these three than our souls are willing to acknowledge. Joy will ever rise in proportion to prayer and thanksgiving.

Where His will is there is happiness. . . . Christ is my happiness . . . but it is in the path of His will that we find the enjoyment of His love. . . . Thus I find in Him a source of profound and ineffable joy . . . our treasure is Himself. (Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

N.J. Hiebert # 3307

April 14

"O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." (Psalm 63:1)

Christian, see carefully to it, that you are not only saved by Christ, but also living on Him. Make Him the daily portion of your soul. Seek Him "early," seek Him "only." When anything solicits your attention, ask the question, "Will this bring Christ to my heart? Will it unfold Him to my affections, or draw me near to His Person?" If not, reject it at once. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 3308

April 15

"It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the Ghost." (John 19:30)

"It is finished." These three words signal the completion of the great act of redemption. The Word "finished" was taken from Greek commercial life and indicated the completion of a transaction when a debt had been discharged. In that victorious moment, "He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever." (Hebrews 10:12) Today may we worship Him with grateful hearts, as we recall our great debt has been paid and we are bound for Glory to see Him seated at God's right hand. (Arnot P. McIntee)

N.J. Hiebert # 3309

April 16

"I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Remember in speaking to any one you wish to help, that the more earnest and unconscious of self you are, the better you will help them. Probably the words you think most telling will affect them least, while those you think nothing of, God will use for their good. Leave all results with God. You are not always digging up the seeds in your garden to see how they are growing. Trust all to God, and He will bless your work. . . .
Remember, God always works, very slowly and very surely; the bud is formed slowly, opens slowly. We must work as God works, not with great strides self-love would like to work with. (H. Monsell)

N.J. Hiebert # 3310

April 17

"Whosoever will come after me (Jesus Christ), let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." (Mark 8:34)

We need as much the cross we bear
As air we breathe, as light we see;
It draws us to Thy side in prayer,
It binds us to our strength in Thee.
(A.L. Waring)

N.J. Hiebert # 3311

April 18

"For the love of Christ constraineth us." (2 Corinthians 5:14)

There cannot be a secret Christian. Grace is like ointment in the hand, it betrays itself. If you truly feel the sweetness of the Cross of Christ, you will feel constrained to confess Christ before men. (Christian Life)

N.J. Hiebert # 3312

April 19

"The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious." (Proverbs 12:27)

The mark of a slothful man is that he ". . . roasteth not that which he took in hunting." He may associate with God's people, hear the Word ministered with freshness and power, and may even be struck with its blessedness and suitability to himself; but when he retires, he is so absorbed with earthly things that he takes no further interest in it. Like the huntsman's prize, it is of no real benefit to him, because he is too indolent to occupy himself with it by meditating on the truth for his present profit. How strikingly this describes the state of many today! To read or to hear the Word is one thing, but to "meditate on it day and night" (Psalm 1:2) for our souls profit is another thing. (H.H.S.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3313

April 20

"Beware . . . Lest when thou hast eaten and art full . . . and all that thou hast is multiplied; then thine heart be lifted up." (Deuteronomy 8:11-14)

The times of marvelous help are times of danger. Unclasp the ivy from the elm and it is prostrate at once. Thank God if He keeps us realizing amid the busiest work and the pleasantest success that we have no power at all of ourselves to help ourselves. Then there will be nothing to hinder His continual help. As long as we say quite unreservedly, "My help cometh from the Lord," the help will come. As long as we are saying, "Thou art my help," He is our help - a very present help. Then we shall not be helped with a little help, which is too often all we really expect from our Omnipotent Helper, just because we do not feel that we have no might. Peter was a good swimmer but he did not say, "Lord, help me to swim." He said, "Lord, save me." And so the Master's help was instant and complete. "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (Francis Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

N.J. Hiebert # 3314

April 21

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed." (Hebrews 11:8)

Whither he went, he knew not; it was enough for him to know that he went with God. He leaned not so much upon the promises as upon the Promiser. He looked not on the difficulties of his lot, but on the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, who had deigned to appoint his course, and would certainly vindicate Himself. O glorious faith! This is thy work, these are thy possibilities; contentment to sail with sealed orders, because of unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the Lord; willing to rise up, leave all, and follow Christ, because of the glad assurance that earth's best cannot bear comparison with Heaven's least. (F.B. Meyer)

N.J. Hiebert # 3315

April 22

"There they crucified Him . . . Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:33-34)

There! And then! He had come to the place, and the time had come for Him to die. There as He was bleeding, He was also interceding, praying for those who put Him to death. True, they did not know what they were doing, but He knew. He also knew what He Himself was doing, suffering for our sakes and dying for our sins. So He has both prayed for our forgiveness, and also paid for it with His own life. (W.P.W. McVey)

The blood that purchased our release,
And purged our crimson stains
We challenge earth and hell to show
A sin it cannot cleanse
.
(A.M. Toplady)

N.J. Hiebert # 3316

April 23

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

Christ in us! Who can reach the depth and height,
The length and breadth, of such a gift as this?
In weakness He is strength, in darkness light;
Amid the world's distress, and untold bliss;
Treasures of wisdom to a simple mind;
Riches of grace, the contrite heart to bless;
A clear and open vision to the blind;
And to the naked soul, a comely dress.
Compared with this, all other gifts are dim:
Poor in ourselves, yet we have all in Him
.
(In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert # 3317

April 24

"And God said unto Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fled from the face of Esau thy brother." (Genesis 35:1)

Walking in obedience and sanctification brings protection causing fear and respect by enemies. God does His part but expects responsibility on the part of the believer to "clean up his act". Jacob returns to the place of his first revelation and God rehearses the blessing He gives through the patriarchs. Jacob repeats all that he did previously including calling the place Bethel. We often must return to where we left off with God to continue after straying away from the path. (B.R. - Meditations in Genesis)

N.J. Hiebert # 3318

April 25

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
(Romans 12:21)

"Overcoming evil with good" is the greatest moral victory that can ever be upon the earth.
I remember being in a group of about a dozen miners around a small mine. One of then was an older man of about sixty. He worked around the surface of the mine. He was very religious and often mentioned the Lord and salvation to the men. But I noticed that they did not make fun of him or show any disrespect for him at any time. They were about the usual type of worldly men commonly found at such places, and showed in their ordinary speech but little respect for God or Christians in general.

Puzzled, I asked one of the men why it was that they never showed any resentment toward the old man. I was told that about a year before he had done something that had offended one of the men, who struck him in the face and knocked him down to the ground. He arose and turned the other side of his face to his attacker, who walked away in disgust, mumbling something about being an old fool.

From that time on, no one ever made fun of him, and all showed great respect for him. He won the battle with a victory far greater than one won by sword or gun. It was patterned after his Lord. When the Lord gets the right place in the Christian's soul, He forms the thoughts and desires, and the Christian acts for Him. (J.B.S.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3319

April 26

"Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." (Psalm 119:11)

The word of God should not only be a check on our thoughts, but the source of them, which is a far deeper thing. We see it in Christ, the only perfect one. He only could say, "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the path of the destroyer." "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." There is preserving power in the word, to keep the feet from sliding, which those only know who receive the truth in the love of it. Merely having the word hid in the memory and mind will not do. There must be the action of the truth on the heart and conscience, separating from all defilement, otherwise its preserving power cannot be experienced.
* * *
There is nothing more dangerous than to use the Word when it has not touched my conscience. I put myself into Satan's hands if I go beyond what I have from God, handling the Word apart from the guidance of the Spirit. I know of nothing that separates more from God than truth spoken out of communion with God. (J.N.Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3320

April 27

"Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher." (John 20:11)

When Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) sought her Lord at the sepulcher, she saw "two angels in white" sitting in the tomb where Jesus had lain. After telling them of her sorrow and search, she "turned herself back" - back from the angels. They could not satisfy the heart of one who was seeking the object of her affections. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3321

April 28

"And say to Archippus, take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it." (Colossians 4:17)

Are you fulfilling the place where the Lord has put you? Are you walking before His eye? Are you taking heed to fulfill what has been committed to you? It is possible for us to have received a distinct commission from the Lord for a certain work we are to do for Him. It is possible to receive that, and not do it. Archippus was in danger of becoming careless and giving up. Perhaps he was thinking, "This little work I am doing is not very important after all." He was slipping, and the Apostle by the Spirit says, "Archippus, take heed." (C.H. Brown)

N.J. Hiebert # 3322

April 29

"Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together." (Genesis 22:8)

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)

Abraham and Isaac were united as they made their trek to the altar on the top of Mount Moriah. So too, in that long walk from heaven to Calvary, that place of divine sacrifice for our sin, God the Father and God the Son were in perfect harmony and total agreement in the great plan of salvation. Who were the objects of this unified, unsurpassed, and undeserved love? You and me! How much we owe! (D. Logan)

Lest I forget Gethsemane; lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary
.
(J.E. Hussey)

N.J. Hiebert # 3323

April 30

"God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God." (Psalm 62:11)

The Bible is the only book that gives me certain information as to God, as to the creation, as to how man comes to be in the state of sin and misery in which he is found today. It is the only book that makes known to me God's remedy for sin - a remedy which no man could ever have invented or dared to propose - but which nevertheless the whole moral being recognizes as altogether worthy of God.

But what is man to say, " the only God I would accept is a God of love, and not a God of vengeance"? Imagine a prisoner saying this in open court, "the only judge I will accept, etc." Such a one would very soon learn that government has authority and power. And is God, the source of all supreme power, to be dictated to by His creatures? It is absurd. "Power belongeth unto God." (A.H. Barry)

N.J. Hiebert # 3324

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