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

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gems from September 2008

August 29

"And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, 'here am I; for thou didst call me'. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, 'Go, lie down: and it shall be, if He call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth'."
(1 Samuel 3:8,9)
Sometimes a person, especially a younger person, brings a problem to someone that they can reply upon, and a true friend will be able to see their viewpoint and, without rebuking, unless it was necessary. I believe that this is quite often the case, that one who wants to be a help, especially to younger ones, that they try to see their viewpoint, because if you are judging from your own viewpoint, you are not helping them at all.
You may have to bring the truth before them in a way that is necessary, but its necessary that you try to see the problem that they have, and that's real true friendship. (From a note from Clarence Lunden - October 1980)
N.J. Hiebert # 3446

August 30

"For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth." (1 Kings 17:14)
The weather always interests us, particularly the farmer whose livelihood depends on it. It is easy to become distressed and worry about "too little rain" or "too much rain." The Bible tells us that "rain control" for the earth is God's jurisdiction and God doeth all things well. The Divine Creator and Sustainer of all things is in control. Let's be thankful for every drop that comes down from above and bless Him for the weather today. (Sam Thorpe)
This is the day the Lord hath made; He calls the hours His own;
Let heaven rejoice, let earth be glad, and praise surround the throne.
(Isaac Watts)
N.J. Hiebert # 3447

August 31

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding." (Isaiah 40:28)
Philosophers have descanted (to discourse at length) on the immeasurable greatness of God, and on the infinitesimal littleness of man; and have scorned the idea that friendship or fellowship can exist between the two. But in the book of God, where alone we can learn anything about these matters, we are told that:
- He Who telleth the number of the stars, healeth the broken in heart (Psalm 147:3,4);
- He Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and weighs the mountains in scales, feeds His flock like a shepherd and gathers the lambs in His arm (Isaiah 40:11);
- The One Who brought the universe into being, and Who guides the planets in their lonely way, is touched with the feeling of our infirmities and comforts those that mourn (Hebrews 1:2,3; 4:15; Isaiah 61:2).
His hand is as manifest:
- In the feathers of a butterfly's wing,
- In the eye of an insect,
- In the folding and packing of a blossom,
- In curious aqueducts by which a leaf is nourished,
As in the creation of a world and in the laws by which the planets move. (George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)
N.J. Hiebert # 3448

September 1

In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2,3)
Have you ever thought of being in the
domestic atmosphere of the Father's house -
To be the companion of Jesus,
To be loved of the Father and
To have the Holy Spirit
Fill your heart
With the love of Christ?
We will live in the very home
That Jesus has lived in
For the past eternity.
. . .
In this world the bride discovers
The elements of the heavenly glory
In which she will soon participate.
(C.E. Lunden)
N.J. Hiebert # 3449

September 2

The Lord's Exchanges
"The Lord hath sent me . . . to give . . . beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for
the spirit of heaviness." (Isaiah 61:1,3)
We cannot buy God's treasures
Our poverty to bless,
But Christ exchangeth with us
And giveth more for less;
The oil of joy for mourning
And praise for heaviness,
More grace for little thorn pricks,
Much fruit for purging light,
For earth's brief tribulation
Eternal glory bright.
So when affliction's furnace,
Is heated sevenfold,
Grieve not because its burning
Leaves ashes gray and cold;
Why shouldest thou shrink from trials
That bring such wealth untold?
When mirrored in thy spirit
His lovely face shall be,
His beauty for thine ashes
The Lord will give to thee.
N.J. Hiebert # 3450

September 3

"O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:25-27)
How patient God is! How considerate! Do you remember what the Lord said to the two doubting disciples as they took that never-to-be-forgotten journey to Emmaus? They were dubious of His divine mission. They did not know of His resurrection, and their eyes were holden as He walked by their side. He said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."
It is a very big thing indeed that we are called upon to believe in the Scriptures.
- The record is inspired.
- Jesus is the Son of God; who became Man.
- He died on the cross to be the world's Redeemer.
- He is risen from the dead.
- He is ascended to glory.
- He is coming again to reign over the earth.
I am profoundly thankful for the patience of God in teaching us these wonderful things. For about four thousand years He was patiently preparing the minds of men to receive the revelation of Himself in Christ, and the necessity and meaning of Christ's sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary. (A.J. Pollock - Why I Believe the Bible)
N.J. Hiebert # 3451
September 4
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." (James 2:14-18)
A rich farmer, during his prayer at family worship one day, petitioned God long and earnestly that help for their bodily needs might be sent to a poor family living nearby. His small son was observed to be in deep thought afterwards, and at last he ran to his father with a bright face. "Daddy," said the child, "you can answer your prayer for the poor Smiths, yourself, can't you?" That is a modern interpretation and a very pungent application of the great passage quoted above. "My little children," says the loving-hearted John, "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18). From this we learn that emotional fervour and eloquent expressions are of little value; but, that practical deeds are of vital importance. (Henry Durbanville - Winsome Christianity)
N.J. Hiebert # 3452
September 5
"Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed . . . by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true." (2 Corinthians 6:3,8)
Paul says, "Through evil report and good report," he did not stop to explain; a true servant of God has not time for that, and to defend yourself only leads to further charges. We are never to seek to vindicate ourselves when it is a personal matter, but when the Lord's name is dishonoured for His glory we may speak. You never find the Lord defending Himself. Your character may not be vindicated down here. Jesus died under a cloud. He was never cleared in this world of the false accusations that had been made against Him. The will of God was the only law of Christ's life. He was never governed by human considerations or affections. Are we set upon this - that the will of God should be our only law? A soul who is in the secret of the divine mind must be content to be unappreciated and to walk alone. If we are not in the path of God's will we are not in the path of power. Our true wisdom is in subjection to the will of our Lord. To human eyes no plan of taking Jericho could have been more foolish than that which Joshua adopted; but it was God's plan, and hence its complete success. (Edward Dennett - Footprints for Pilgrims)
N.J. Hiebert # 3453
September 6
"Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children."
(Deuteronomy 6:7)
O happy house whose little ones are given early to Thee, in faith and prayer -To Thee, their Friend, who from the heights of heaven guards them with more than mother's care.O happy house where little voices their glad hosannas love to raise,And childhood's lisping tongue rejoices to bring new songs of love and praise.(Karl J. Spitta)
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old ,he will not depart from it."(Proverbs 22:6)
N.J. Hiebert # 3454
September 7
"Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
(Romans 12:19)
"Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." You cannot turn a lamb into a wolf to defend itself. . . . The testimony is brighter . . . when I take things quietly and submit, not desiring to be a wolf among wolves. It is exceedingly difficult for one's heart to bow and say, "I will be nothing but a lamb," but that is our place, for the Lord says, "Vengeance is Mine." (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 3455
September 8
"There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise." (Proverbs 30:24)
A group of men were carrying on a friendly conversation. One of the men remarked that he had learned not to pay much attention to little things. "Little things," he said, "don't bother me." One of the men smiled. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Would you believe that a little thing, just a pair of socks I wore once, changed the course of my entire life?" I can hardly believe that," was the reply. "It is true though," continued the man. "It happened this way. One day I expected to take a trip with some of my friends on a canal boat. Two days before we intended to leave, I was chopping wood. The axe I was using slipped and injured my foot. The blue dye in the homemade socks I wore poisoned the wound, and I was compelled to stay at home, while my friends went on the trip. While they were on their journey, a powerful preacher came to our town to hold some meetings. Since I didn't have anything else to do, I decided to attend. The message the preacher brought touched me deeply. He spoke to my heart. As a result of it, I surrendered to the Lord. Truly converted, I saw that my life needed a real change. New desires and purposes took hold of me. I determined to seek an education that would enable me to live more usefully for my Lord."
The man who told the story - James A. Garfield (November 19, 1831 - September 19, 1881) was the twentieth President of the United States.
Little things often have far-reaching consequences. On the one hand, we should beware of coddling "little sins," for often they grow into great tragedies; on the other, we should not neglect little duties and small kindnesses that await our attention on the road of life, for by tending them with care we will find many jewels of true reward sparkling our future. Big things are obvious; it is the little things that often cause us to stumble. (Selected)
God sees the little sparrow fall,
It meets His tender view;
If God so watches little things,
I know He loves me too.(M. Staub)
N.J. Hiebert # 3456
September 9
". . . I will uphold thee with the RIGHT hand of My righteousness."(Isaiah 41:10)
"Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble." (Proverbs 3:23)
Fear of falling is wholesome. To be venturesome is no sign of wisdom. Times come to us when we feel we must go down unless we have very special support. God's right hand is a grand thing to lean upon. It is not only His hand but His RIGHT hand; His power united with skill, His power where it is most dexterous! Fearful is our danger, but joyful is our security. The youth whom God upholds, devils cannot throw down. He will hold me fast! Our worst peril is in our own carelessness, but against this the Lord Jesus has put us on our guard saying, "Watch and pray." Oh, for grace to walk this day without a single stumble! It is not enough that we do not actually fall; our cry should be that we may not make the smallest slip with our feet, but may at the last adore Him "Who is able to keep us from stumbling." (C.H. Spurgeon)
He holdeth the waters in the hollow of His hand,
This mighty restless seething sea
In His had. Oh, hand so sure, so safe, so strong
That it can hold the sea,
Mid the storm-tossed waves of the sea of lifeIt can, it will, hold me.(M. Slattery)
N.J. Hiebert # 3457
September 10
"Little children, yet a little while I am with you. . . ." (John 13:33)
In John 13:33 the Lord for the first time addresses His disciples as "children," viewing them as those who had been introduced into the family of God. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1:12) We enter the Divine family by being born of God, and the very life of the family is love, for God is love. The Lord makes it plain that while He is in the hidden glory of heaven, the children, left in the world of darkness and hatred, are to prove their discipleship by manifesting love. Glory there, and love here, was the Divine thought. The former is perfect, but, alas! how imperfect the latter! (F.B.H.)
N.J. Hiebert # 3458
September 11
"For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer." (Psalm 109:4)
It's painful experience, when in return for love and help, some believers not only do not reciprocate the kindness, but become your accusers. What is the answer? Tell it to the Lord, and treat them as before. We can defend ourselves and complain bitterly, but, at the end of the day the accusers will remember your complaints rather than feel shame for their actions. (Brian Russell)
When your heart was filled with anger,
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother,
That you might forgive another,
Who had crossed your way?(Mary Ann Kidder)
N.J. Hiebert # 3459
September 12
"And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, what mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, it is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover." (Exodus 12:26,27)
The Word of God has power as enacted by the Spirit of God to affect our lives. The practical side must be worked out by those who will apply it and do it making it a part of their lives. Sin, pictured as leaven, is always present around us and must be done away with to provide a clean vessel fit for the Master's use. What we do according to His Word stands as a question in the hearts of those who do not participate. Our children must not only know we stand for what we believe but they must see us standing and walking in the truth as we know it. (B.R. - Meditations in Exodus)
N.J. Hiebert # 3460
September 13
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures."
(1 Corinthians 15:3)
"Christ died for out sins." That is the brief record of the greatest and most wonderful event in God's moral universe. The patriot dies for his country; the martyr dies for his faith; the loving and devoted mother would willingly die for her suffering child; and "peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die." (Romans 5:7) Self-sacrifice is common enough, and it is noble, beautiful. But, the self-sacrifice of Christ! Is there anything to compare with it? Comparison is impossible. It has no parallel, and can have none. It is altogether exceptional and unique. "Christ died for OUR SINS." Of no one else can that be said in the sense in which it is it said of Him. Of no one is it said. Of no other being in the universe could it be said. And it could not have been said of Him if He had not been God as well as man. And now, "Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified." (Acts 13:38) (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - May 1962)
N.J. Hiebert # 3461
September 14
"For as he thinketh in his heart so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)
- Duties are more apt to lead the soul from God than open sin. Many a Christian has been ensnared by duties, whose heart would have shrunk from open sin. But we have only one duty in all the varying circumstances of life: to serve HIM.
- Hypocrisy is the pretension to be what I am not. Guile is the attempt to cloak what I really am.
- Love is the spring of obedience. Any obedience that does not spring from love is legality, servility and selfishness.(TCN)
N.J. Hiebert # 3462
September 15
"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)
When the people of God are feeding upon Christ, they are getting a sword for the enemy. God can use even feeble and partial apprehensions of Christ as a most effective weapon. The lad had but five barley loaves of bread, yet these were enough in the Lord's hand to feed the multitude. So it is ever. Will we not learn the simple lesson? Weakness, helplessness, nothingness - in Christ's hands will win the day against all the power of the world. The Lord grant that we may know more of this practically, for the sake of Christ our Lord, and the help of His church. (Ridout)
N.J. Hiebert # 3463
September 16
"I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)
One time a Christian man was walking with John Wesley. Rehearsing his many troubles, he said he did not know what to do. They approached a stone fence, over which a cow was looking. "Why is that cow looking over the wall?" Wesley asked. "I don't know," replied the man. "I'll tell you," said Wesley: "because she can't look through it. That is what you must do with your troubles - look over them." In Christ we can look over our troubles. We cannot see through many of the things we are called upon to bear in life; but trusting the Lord, we can look over them, for has He not proven his infinite love and care for us! (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3464
September 17
"Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." (Exodus 14:13)
"Sit still . . . until thou know how the matter will fall." (Ruth 3:18)
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
How difficult, yet how essential it is, to be still. How we tend to be impatient, to be restless, and to be always hurrying. But whether for salvation, for guidance, or for comfort, we must learn to be still and wait for Him who, in His own time, will graciously come to our aid and meet our need. (Jim Flanigan)
Be still, my soul - the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide,
In every change He faithful will remain.
(Katherina von Schlegel)
N.J. Hiebert # 3465
September 18
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven . . . and the dead in Christ shallrise first: then we which are alive . . . shall be caught up together with them . . . to meet the Lord in the air."
(1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)
Many years ago there was a beautiful custom in Sicily. When fishermen went to sea, their wives, children and sweethearts accompanied them to the shore. As they embarked, all raised their voices in a hymn of supplication to God for His protection. This was followed by a hymn of praise. Those in the receding boats and those on shore blended their voices in an antiphony of trust and devotion until the voices of the fishermen faded away.
As we say goodbye to our loved ones who have died in the Lord, we are comforted in knowing that the separation is only temporary. When we awaken with the likeness of Christ in glory we'll see them again and be forever with the Lord. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3466
September 19
"Ye shall do my judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 18:4)
The Word of God must settle every question and govern every conscience. There must be no appeal from its solemn and weighty decision. When God speaks, every heart must bow. Men may form and hold their opinions; they may adopt and defend their practices; but one of the finest traits in the character of "the Israel of God" is profound reverence for, and implicit subjection to, "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord." The exhibition of this valuable feature may, perhaps, lay them open to the charge of dogmatism (positive or arrogant assertions, as of belief, without proof), superciliousness (haughty, contempt or indifference), and self-sufficiency, on the part of those who have never duly weighed the matter; but, in truth, nothing can be more unlike dogmatism than simple subjection to the plain truth of God; nothing more unlike superciliousness than reverence for the statements of inspiration; nothing more unlike self-sufficiency than subjection to the divine authority of Holy Scripture. (C.H. Mackintosh - Notes on Leviticus)
N.J. Hiebert # 3467
September 20
"And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." (Revelation 5:8)
That last clause is very peculiar, as connected with the grace of God in His own proper nature. There are things His people suffer from, and that He never forgets. All their prayers are treasured up before God - their tears are put in His bottle, and treasured up. What! the sorrow I have forgotten, has God put that down? Is that one of the things that will shine? He can use all for His glory; but can the prayers and groans of a saint be kept and have a special place, be an odour of a sweet savour to God? The sinner does not know this; but a poor broken one can say, "Not only does God remember my prayers, but He puts it by on His throne, like the pot of manna which He wanted to be laid up, to be remembered as a trophy of the way He carried His people through the wilderness." And so will their prayers tell there what their special need of His presence was here. "Golden vials." Gold marks the divine character of that by which they are kept; the odour, a fragrant incense going up; the fragrance ever the same. Is that said of the prayers of the saints? Yes; not one of them is lost. The Lord Jesus knew them all; they were ever before God. (G.V. Wigram)
N.J. Hiebert # 3468
September 21
"If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." (Romans 4:2-4)
To earn salvation by works would be to put God in man's debt. He would owe it to the successful worker to save him. This is the very opposite of grace, which is mercy shown "to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly." (Romans 4:5) It is his faith that is counted for righteousness. To this then Abraham bears testimony. And David too is heard singing the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works, when he cries in Psalm 32: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." In the Psalm the Hebrew word for "covered" means "atoned for." This is the gospel. Atonement has been made. Therefore God does not impute sin to the believer in His Son, but imputes righteousness instead. (H.A. Ironside - Lectures on Romans)
N.J. Hiebert # 3469
September 22
"I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way." (Psalm 119:128)
Three boys went down to a spring to fetch a pail of water. One carried a pail that was brown inside and out, and another likewise a green pail, and the third a blue. Upon looking into the pails the boys discovered that the water in each pail appeared brown, green and blue respectively. Each boy might be convinced that the true water colour is what is found in his pail until, of course, the water is poured out and the truth becomes evident. So it is often with us and the Word of God. The 'truth' sometimes takes on the 'colours' of the bearer and, if it isn't 'poured out' for all to see, we can become convinced that the truth IS only as I see it. (Submitted by a reader of the Gems - D.M.)
N.J. Hiebert # 3470
September 23
New Hearts Need Careful Tongues
"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." (James 1:26)
We know that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) but here, it is deceived. A true believer with a new heart can deceive that heart by not being careful with his tongue. How often we speak unseemly things about others, even passing false reports about friends or brethren which we may not even realize we are doing. Sadly often this happens when preceded by these words, "We need to pray for..." and then we repeat an unkind or even untrue thing about that person. Thus an unruly tongue is cloaked in the guise of religion and care for that person, when in reality we have but deceived our own hearts. May we earnestly pray to the Lord "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:30) Do we not often have to hang our heads in shame for what we unwisely, unkindly, and unguardedly have spoken against someone. May the Lord help us to judge a careless tongue that presents itself in a "religious" form, but in reality is an unjudged tongue. How much pain, sorrow and tears an unruly tongue can cause to others and ourselves. (TCS - July 2005)
N.J. Hiebert # 3471
September 24
"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) 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.(Fanny Crosby)
N.J. Hiebert # 3472
September 25
"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." (Colossians 4:12)
It is only where divine affections for the people of God exist in the heart, as so markedly exemplified in Moses and in Paul, as well as in Daniel and Ezra, that there can be power in intercession on their behalf. And may it not be suggested that the urgent need of to-day is that of intercessors? holy men and women who, divinely taught and filled with the Spirit, shall be enabled, like Epaphras, to labour fervently for the saints in prayer. (Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert # 3473
September 26
"Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." (Job 22:21)
You are called to know God. That was always true, but you are now called to know God in Christ. Oh that the world may not get into our hearts in such sort as to make us incapable of enjoying God! He is leading us from circumstances by the communication of the divine nature to the knowledge and enjoyment of God. If I am in sorrow, God is my comfort; if I have suffered loss, Christ is everything to me. We are to cast all our cares upon Him, great and small; and so "The peace of God shall keep our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus." Is His throne shaken by our cares, because they are so many, and so great? No; His throne is unaffected by them all. Thus, while it is applicable to the commonest cares, all these things but bring us into the knowledge of God. May our communion and fellowship be such as that we may know His peace; not peace with Him, but the peace in which He dwells; to know that His throne is not disturbed by all our cares, and thus to know Him, and find our joy in Him, and wait to be like Him, "purifying ourselves even as He is pure!" (1 John 3:3) (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 3474
September 27
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8)
Those of us who have watched in sadness as someone close to us has died may wonder about their new existence. Our hearts ache to know what they are doing or where they are. If they had trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour, we know they are in heaven. But, for now, a veil separates us from our loved ones and we cannot see behind it. We do have a few clues about this mystery, though. We know that our departed loved ones are enjoying God's presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We also know that they are recognizable and conscious of their surroundings - just like the rich man and the beggar Jesus spoke of in Luke 16:22-23. And we know that they haven't yet received the perfect body that will be theirs when Christ returns to snatch up all the redeemed ones. "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 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." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
Beyond that, we are left with this truth: God, in His matchless love and power, is planning a glorious reunion. Then, our eternal rejoicing will begin. The last page of this great mystery has a happy ending. (Selected)
The Lord has promised to prepare
A place in heaven above
A home where we will always be
With Him and those we love.
N.J. Hiebert # 3475
September 28
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)
- It is one thing to rest in God's blessings, and another thing to rest in Himself.
- It is one thing to trust God, when I have before my eyes the channel through which the blessing is to flow; and quite another thing to trust Him when that channel is entirely stopped up.
- God looks for reality, and honours it where He sees it.
- Without trial we can be but theorists, and God would not have us such; He would have us entering into the living depths that are in Himself.- Faith can do without every one and everything but God. (Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 3476
September 29
"Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." (Judges 5:23)
The word about the inhabitants of Meroz, has a stirring message for us all.
- "Curse ye Meroz", said the Lord.
- What has Meroz done? "Nothing."
- Why then is Meroz to be cursed?
- Because Meroz did nothing!
- What ought Meroz to have done?
- Gone to the help of the Lord.
- Could not the Lord do without Meroz?
- The Lord did do without Meroz.
- Did the Lord sustain any loss?
- No, but Meroz did.
- Is then Meroz to be cursed?
- Yes, and that bitterly.
- Is it right that a man should be cursed for doing nothing?
- Yes, when he ought to be doing something. In contrast to the people of Meroz:
- We ought to do all the good we can,
- By all the means we can,
- In all the ways we can,
- In all the places we can,
- At all the times we can,
- To all the people we can,
- As long as ever we can.
And let us remember that now is the accepted time for the exercise of these sacred ministries. (Winsome Christianity - Henry Durbanville)
N.J. Hiebert # 3477
September 30
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16)
If the Bible had been written by one individual, or even two, the argument we are about to adduce would not be so powerful, but when we reflect that the Bible is not one consecutive Book, but is composed of sixty-six books, and that in spite of that fact it is indeed one Book, each contribution fitting like stones shaped and polished into a symmetrical whole, each contribution complementary of the rest, we are obliged to believe that there is a Master mind behind it, in short that the Bible is God-breathed, inspired, that God Himself is its Author. Bind together sixty-six medical works, or political works, or even theological works, and you would find one writer affirming what another denies; one writer praising what another blames; one writer stating what he believes to be exalted truth, another denouncing it as utter folly. (Why I Believe the Bible - A.J Pollock)
N.J. Hiebert # 3478


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