Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5320 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gems from April 2009

April 1

"The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether . . . Moreover by them is Thy servant warned."(Psalm 19:9,11)

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings."
(Philippians 2:14)

- We murmur at a thousand things in our lot, just as the Israelites did in the wilderness, and thereby question the care, the love and the wisdom of Him who orders all our path, and lose the blessed sense of His presence with us.

- When people become slaves to a fad they soon become tyrants.

- When knowledge enters the head it exalts me. When knowledge enters the heart it humbles me.

- Nothing has so corrupted Christianity as the acceptance of worldly help for the furtherance of its objects.

- May we never bridge over the chasm between the world and us, and we shall never seek to do so if we can adopt the language of the apostle, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14) (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert # 3660

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

Someone has said, "Life is what you are alive to." A child may come alive when you talk about a baseball game or an ice-cream cone. A teenager may come alive when you mention cars or dates. Paul wrote, "For me to live is Christ." Christ was Paul's life and he was alive to anything that related to Christ. So should it be with every believer.We are raised with Christ. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1) It is possible to be alive and still live in the grave. During World War II, several Jewish refugees hid in a cemetery, and a baby was actually born in one of the graves. However, when Jesus gave us His life, He lifted us out of the grave and set us on the throne in heaven! Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and we are seated there "in Christ." (W.W.W.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3661

April 2

"As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
(1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

In 1 Corinthians 12, we find most clearly established the great practical truth that each member of the body exerts an influence on all the rest; just as, in the human body, if there be anything wrong with the very feeblest and most obscure member, all the members feel it, through the head. If there be a broken nail, a broken tooth, a foot out of joint; any limb, muscle or nerve out of order, it is a hindrance to the whole body. Thus it is in the Church of God, the body of Christ: "If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or if one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." The state of each member affects the whole body. Hence it follows that each member is either a help or a hindrance to all. What a profound truth! Yes, and it is as practical as it is profound. (C.H. Mackintosh - Miscellaneous Writings - Vol. 5)

N.J. Hiebert # 3662

April 3

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

"If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet (sharpen) the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct." (Ecclesiastes 10:10)

Consider the story of two lumberjacks in a tree-cutting contest. Both were strong and determined, hoping to win the prize. But one was hardworking and ambitious, chopping down every tree in his path at the fastest pace possible, while the other appeared to be a little more laid back, methodically felling trees and pacing himself. The go-getter worked all day, skipping his lunch break, expecting that his superior effort would be rewarded.

His opponent, however, took an hour-long lunch, then resumed his steady pace. In the end, the eager beaver was dismayed to lose to his "lazier" competition. Thinking he deserved to win after his hard work, he finally approached his opponent and said, "I just don't understand. I worked longer and harder than you, and went hungry to get ahead. You took a break, and yet you still won. It just doesn't seem fair. Where did I go wrong?" The winner responded, "While I was taking my lunch break, I was sharpening my axe." (H. Mackay)

Are we taking time to pause to give our lives, our ministry, and areas of service a full work-over before the Lord and His Word for greater effectiveness? Not one area of the blade must be left out. The lunch (the Word) is needed for renewed energy. May God lead us to greater spiritual success as He searches and strengthens us, both by His word and His Holy Spirit. (S. Rice)

N.J. Hiebert # 3663

April 4

"Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?" (Matthew 22:41,42)

In this scripture we are confronted with the most important question we'll ever have to answer. Unless we believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born Son of God who came from Heaven to be our Redeemer, we will die in our sin (John 8:23-59).

Paging through the New Testament, we find several replies to the inquiry, "What think ye of Christ?" Ponder a few of them.

"Caiaphas, what's your opinion of Jesus?" "He's a blasphemer because He said, 'Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting oh the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven' " (Matthew 26:64).
"Pilate, what do you say?" 'I find in Him no fault at all' " (John 18:38).
"And you, Judas, who sold your Master for 30 pieces of silver, have you some serious charge to hurl against Him?" 'I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood' " (Matthew 27:4). Although Pilate and Judas were right in what they said, their actions made it clear that they rejected Christ.

Other men took a totally different view of the Saviour.
Note the words of John the Baptist who declared, "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
The apostle Peter said of his Master, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16).
Thomas, who was the doubter among the disciples, ends up with a strong personal testimony, exclaiming with renewed faith, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).

Let me ask with heartfelt concern, "What do YOU think of Christ?" Your eternal destiny depends on your answer to this all-important question. (H.G.B.)

What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking, "What will He do with me?"
(Simpson)

Christ is the unavoidable One; your decision about Him determines your destiny!

N.J. Hiebert # 3664
________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

April 5

"He (Peter) was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." (Matthew 14:30)

Peter's cry of distress is one of the shortest prayers of the Bible. There are three significant thing about it.

- First, it was brief - quite different from some of our prayers in public.
- Then, it was fervent. He desperately asked for a specific thing - not everything in general.
- Finally, it was effective; it reached the Lord's ear and He met Peter's urgent need.

Could those who pray and who lead God's people in prayer profit from this? (R.J. Steele)

N.J. Hiebert # 3665

April 6

"It came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him." (Luke 24:30-31)

Reasoning together of the crucifixion while on the Emmaus road, Jesus Himself drew alongside them. Devastated over the death of their beloved Friend, they must have greatly savoured the exposition of the Scriptures. Sometimes the only comfort after the death of a loved one is to speak of them and to hear of them; we can't get enough. This intriguing guest they invited home unwittingly became the host but only during the breaking of bread were their eyes opened and they recognized Him. He is our host now. (R.M.B.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3666

April 7

"In Gibeon the Lord appeared to (King) Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." (1 Kings 3:5)

"Hitherto ye have asked nothing in My name; ask, and ye shall receive that your joy may be full." (John 16:24)

It is well for us that we are commanded to pray, or else in times of heaviness we might give it up. If God command me, unfit as I may be, I will creep to the footstool of grace; and since He says, "Pray without ceasing," though my words fail me and my heart itself will wander, yet I will still stammer out the wishes of my hungering soul and say, "O God, at least teach me to pray and help me to prevail with Thee." (C.H. Spurgeon)

Satan the Hinderer may build a barrier about us, but he can never roof us in, so that we cannot look up. (J. Hudson Taylor)

Since our God has opened the way to His throne of grace, and bidden us draw near and ask what He shall give us, let us prize the privilege and ask and receive that we may have fullness of joy.

N.J. Hiebert # 3667

April 8

"Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1)

Procrastination is a snare which often results in ruin. Against this error this verse solemnly warns every one.

The present is given man in order that he may act in view of the future. To defer until the morrow what should be attended to today is the sad mistake which has destroyed untold thousands. The Old Spanish proverb says, "The road of by and by leads to the house of never;" while another trite saying reads, "The way to hell is paved with good intentions." The English are fond of quoting, "Procrastination is the thief of time;" and it is likely that every nation has some maxim intended to remind one of the warning of our verse. Yet, alas, how prone we all are to leave for to-morrow matters which should be settled at once! In nothing is this more manifest than in regard to the great question of the salvation of the soul. Again and again Scripture presses upon men the importance of an immediate settlement of this matter of tremendous moment.

"Today if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts."
(Hebrews 3:7,8)
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 1:18) (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 3668

April 9

"Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south, blow upon my garden,that the spices thereof may flow out!"
(Song of Solomon 4:16)

Look at the meaning of this prayer a moment. Its root is found in the fact that, as delicious odours may lie latent in a spice tree, so graces may lie unexercised and undeveloped in a Christian's heart. There is many a plant of profession; but from the ground there breathes forth no fragrance of holy affections or of godly deeds. The same winds blow on the thistle bush and on the spice tree, but it is only one of them which gives out rich odours. Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loves to smell. (Streams in the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert # 3669

April 10

"Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:13,14)

When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the valuableness of your life. Only the people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other people's need. The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensibility. The greatest condemnation that anyone could incur - and it is a danger to guard against - is to be too independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us and we are left uncomfortably alone. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3670

April 11

"And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And he said Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." (Acts 9:4,5)

Just as He said to Saul, "Why persecutest thou Me?" He felt Himself one with His afflicted members on earth. Just as he will say at the last day, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." (Matthew 25:40). He reckons believers a part of Himself; what is done to them is done to Him. So when He carries them to His Father, this is all His argument: "Thou lovedst Me." If Thou lovest Me, love them, for they are part of Me. See how surely Christ's prayer will be answered for you. He does not plead that you are good and holy; He does not plead that you are worthy; He only pleads His own loveliness in the eyes of the Father. Look not on them, He says, but look on Me. "Thou lovedst Me before the foundations of the world" (John 17:24). (Bonar)

N.J. Hiebert # 3671

April 12

"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalm 73:24)

Do you not feel that you need the dependable, guiding counsel of the Lord for your soul? What a day in which to live, with pitfalls on every side! If you are going to escape, the only place to get the needed wisdom is in the Word of God. It gives dependable counsel for your soul. If you want to be happy and to be guided through this scene, saved from many a heartache, heed the Word of God. If you despise it, you will have to reap sorrow. Everything you need to guide you through this world in a moral and spiritual way, blessed, dependable counsel to your soul, is found in the Word of God. The way to be happy is to walk with God; the way to be miserable is to attempt to find your happiness in the world. (From - The Young Christian)

N.J. Hiebert # 3672

April 13

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?" (James 2:14)

The Lord never fails a trusting heart. But He must be trusted in reality. "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say" he trusts God, if he really does not do so? A sham faith will not do. It will not do to trust in word, neither in tongue. It must be in deed and in truth. Of what use is a faith with one eye on the Creator, and another on the creature? Can God and the creature occupy the same platform? Impossible. It must be God - or what? The creature and the curse that ever follows creature confidence. (C.H. Mackintosh)

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7,8)

N.J. Hiebert # 3673

April 14

"We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of God the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)

The sign in the dry cleaning shop read "We dye to live, and live to dye; the more we dye, the more we live; and the more we live, the more we dye." For the child of God, it is also true that the more he dies to the temptations of a sinful world, the more he lives in the exciting joy of a Christ-filled life. Today, may we die to the world and live for the Lord Jesus Christ. (Arnot P. McIntee)

N.J. Hiebert # 3674

April 15

"Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress (hemmed in); have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4:1)

It is a little thing to trust God as far as we can see Him, as far as the way lies open before us; but to trust Him when we are hedged in on every side and can see no way to escape, this is good and acceptable with God. This is the faith of Abraham.

"Who against hope believed in hope." (Romans 4:18)

Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, once said: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day."

The greatest men, without God, are nothing but dismal failures.

The devil may wall you 'round but he cannot roof you in;
He may fetter your feet and tie your hands
and strive to hamper your soul with bands
As his way has ever been; but he cannot hide the face of God

And the Lord shall be your light,
And your eyes and your thoughts can rise to the sky,
Where His clouds and His winds and His birds go by,
and His stars shine out at night.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert # 3675

April 16

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself;but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)

To understand God's Word, one must first of all be born again. Beside this, one must also be spiritual. This means that our thoughts, our feelings, our whole life must be formed by the Spirit. Only then can one read the Word with the consciousness that it is God's Word, given us by revelation of God, and that it can only be understood when God opens it to us. Realizing this, we will read it prayerfully, knowing that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all the truth (John 16:13). We do not understand God's Word primarily by means of our intellect, but by means of our faith and our conscience (Hebrews 11:1,3). (H.L Heijkoop)

N.J. Hiebert # 3676

April 17

"Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings : He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding . . . light dwelleth with Him." (Daniel 2:20-22)

- All error has a particle of truth in it, and that is why it is so dangerous.
- "Wisdom and might are His." A simple utterance, but how profound! For if wisdom and might are God's, they are nowhere else to be found, and it is in vain to turn for them to any but God.
- Philanthropy has man for its objects, religion has God for its object.
- Wherever there is a claim to great spirituality there is a danger.
- Nothing so injures the soul as controversy.

(Edward Dennett - Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert # 3677

April 18

"God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches." (Psalm 104:24)

All the living things in creation are here described by God as being very good. We can still see how true that was in areas where the changes produced by man are minimal.God created nature in balance - everything is recycled! But man has disturbed that balance - Yellow Stone National Park in the USA had that balance - it was created by setting aside an area larger than some nations to preserve nature as it was. Then something happened! The abundant willow trees and aspen trees stopped regenerating, beavers disappeared, food for scavenger birds like eagles and ravens became extremely scarce, and so on.What had happened? Man had decided that he could improve on Yellowstone as God had originally created it - he killed all the wolves! What was good about the wolves? Their predation had kept the elk population in check. But now the elk were eating all the young trees and the vegetation needed by the other species of animals. The balance had been destroyed!

Finally the Park Service decide that letting "nature take its course" in what was a decidedly unnatural situation should not be allowed to continue. Wolves were good! Wolves were reintroduced from Canada and we are now seeing changes that seem to indicate that the reintroduction is achieving its objective.What is the lesson in all this? Man in his arrogance should not think that he can improve on what God has pronounced "very good"!

Man also, to his destruction, tries to "improve" on the Scriptures! God says, "All the day long they wrest My words" (Psalm 56:5) and they also "wrest . . . the Scriptures to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). (A.H. Crosby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3678

April 19

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Yes, the life of faith is profound. But placing full dependence upon God to act upon His Word can be very simple. Beyond all that comes legitimately to our attention in this hurried world, let us keep our lives simple. We are relying on the Lord to be faithful to what He has promised, are we not? Simple faith confounds all the cynicism of an unbelieving world. As C. H. Spurgeon said, "By faith we are already in the 'heavenly places', are we not?" As we wait on the Lord, let us be simply CONTENT. (Mark Fenn)

N.J. Hiebert # 3679

April 20

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for ALL saints; and for me that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
(Ephesians 6:18-20)

The most faithful and advanced Christians feel their dependence upon God, and on all saints. The apostolic gift of Paul depended in one sense on the prayers of the saints: God intended it to be so, in order that the church might be united in its affections; "Ye also helping together by prayer for us . . ." (2 Corinthians 1:11) The apostle was in a prominent position, and perhaps he received power through the prayers of a poor bed-ridden woman; but all hidden fruits will be seen in the last day.

It is an encouraging thing to see that God honours the hidden members which are the least honourable to the eyes of the flesh. This thought encourages us to walk humbly in our place. Frequently there are persons hidden out of sight, who are the means of blessing for those who are in a very prominent place.We ought to think of the praise which God gives, and not of that of men. The only thing in our service is to glorify God. If my heart, which no one sees, does not beat, I cannot run. There are individuals who are truly the heart of the church; it is not often the things that are seen which are the most precious in the sight of God. (Notes on the Epistle to the Ephesians - JND)

N.J. Hiebert # 3680

April 21

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word." (Psalm 119:9)

How can youth keep its way shining through a dark world? How can you reach the goal - Christ? By stepping carefully and guiding your life by what your soul is learning of God in the text of Holy Scripture, and by keeping company with Christ as your best friend - you talk with Him and He talks with you. It means that you have Christ in your heart. (Harold St. John) (from his biography)

N.J. Hiebert # 3681

April 22

"Ye shall find a colt tied . . . the Lord hath need of him."
(Mark 11:2-3)
"The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee."
(1 Corinthians 12:21)

It was only a colt - the foal of an unclean donkey - but it was brought to Jesus because the Lord had need of him, and it was used by Christ. The colt was young, unbroken, and even children who have been redeemed can be used by the Lord; the Lord has need of them. And old people, weak people, even people in wheelchairs can be used by the Lord (I'm one of those!). (R. Sheldrake)

N.J. Hiebert # 3682

April 23

"In whom (Him) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Ephesians 1:7)

A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "That God took our heads out." But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked.The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each prisoner had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar.What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! Ephesians 1:7 states. "In whom (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Jesus died on the cross to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin.Have you put your trust in Jesus as your Redeemer? Let Him take your head our of the enslaving collar of sin and set you free. (VCG)

Redeemed - how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy -
His child, and forever I am.
(Crosby)
___________________________________________________________
Christ was lifted up on the cross that we might be lifted out of our sin.
___________________________________________________________

N.J. Hiebert # 3683

"Our Daily Bread" RBC Ministries, copyright 1999 - Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission

April 24

"And He is before all things." (Colossians 1:17)

Jesus Christ is:

- First in rank,
- First in pre-eminence,
- First in the eternal purposes of God.

The great Apostle saw himself as the "least of all," a "wretched man," (where does that leave us?) and without hope. But, by redeeming grace,the lowly wretch is placed in the One who is before all and higher than all. Now we find our place is in the heavenlies. More than that: we are heirs of God and joint heirs with the Foremost One. This is incomprehensible! Yet, it is pure delight both to Him and to us. Is He not worthy of our worship and adoration? (Doug Kazen)

N.J. Hiebert # 3684

April 25

"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches." (Proverbs 13:7)

Walking in a vain show is natural to man as he is, but it does not always put on the same mask. The most prevailing snare is to pretend to have more than one possesses; but we must be prepared also for some pretending to have less than they have, in order to escape a duty, or from other selfish motives.

The knowledge of Christ who is the Truth is the only sure means of making the believer truthful in deed as in word. But even he has no force beyond the constant dependence of faith. To be content with the fact that one believed is a snare and may be ruinous; faith is unreal, if it be not a living faith and a believing life. (William Kelly - The Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert # 3685

April 26

"Let us walk honestly, as in the day." (Romans 13:13)

- Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.
- You can never lose anything that really belongs to you, and you can't keep that which belongs to someone else.
- The elegance of honesty needs no adornment.
- There is no right way to do something wrong. (A Collection of Wise Sayings - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3686

April 27

"As soon the as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread." (John 21:9)

Peter must be approved before his brethren and re-commissioned. They would remember his boast of superior love, and they ate in silence. The Lord graciously said nothing about his failure. That matter had been settled between them personally. But He had prepared a coal of fire. Why coal, when driftwood, branches and twigs, would be more plentiful to burn? Because the fire where Peter had denied His Lord was a coal fire! Now, the Lord's fire would quietly remind him of what he was, an utterly dependent servant. (Choice Gleanings - J. Boyd Nicholson)

I need Thee every hour,
stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power
when Thou art nigh. (Annie S. Hanks)

N.J. Hiebert # 3687

April 28

"She (Naomi) went forth out of the place where she was."
(Ruth 1:7)

Naomi made a clean break from what she had been engaged with. Not only did she go out from Moab, she came all the way back to Bethlehem , the very place where she went out. "So they two (Naomi and Ruth) went until they came to Bethlehem . . ." (Ruth 1:19) She came right back to the point of departure. A person who wants to be restored to the Lord but won't give up his sin or get out of the circumstances that caused his fall is surely giving an index to his state, that he is not repentant. (Bruce Anstey)

N.J. Hiebert # 3688

April 29

"Serving the Lord with all humility (lowliness) of mind."
(Acts 20:19)

If there is any position, any calling where pride should have no place, it is in connection with the ministry of the Word of God, for, to begin with, the minister of Christ is one who was just a poor, lost, needy sinner, but who has been saved by grace and entrusted with a message to the world and to the people of God. He does not receive this because of any merit of his own. It is all because of the goodness of the Lord. Certainly therefore he has nothing to be proud of.When people used to crowd around George Whitfield and praise him because of his marvelous preaching, he would stop them like this: "The devil told me that just before I came down from the pulpit." Then he would add, "There are many who can preach the gospel better than I can, but none can preach a better gospel." It is the message that counts. The servant is really nothing, and the more we realize this and are willing to take the place of nothingness, the more God delights to come in and work through His servants. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 3689

April 30

"Ye are not under law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

When Moses was in Egypt, to punish Pharaoh God turned the waters into blood. When Christ was on earth He turned the water into wine. That is the difference between law and grace. The law says, "Kill him"; grace says, "Forgive him." Law says, "Condemn him"; grace says, "Love him." When the law came out of Horeb three thousand men were destroyed (Exodus 32:28). At Pentecost, under grace, three thousand men found life (Acts 2:41). What a difference! When Moses came to the burning bush, he was commanded to take the shoes from off his feet. When the prodigal came home after sinning he was given a pair of shoes to put on his feet. How thankful to be under grace rather than under the law. (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert # 3690

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