Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5560 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gems from July 2009

July 1

"Let us (Christians) draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)

An evil conscience is the result of persistence in sin. If men continue to defile themselves, the time will come when the conscience becomes thoroughly evil, and sin is no longer dreaded.

When we come to Christ our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience. If men do not come to Him but insist on sinning against the light and refusing to heed the invitation which God has extended to all men to turn to Him in repentance and be saved, then eventually the conscience ceases to be active: it becomes seared.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their consciences seared with a hot iron."
(1 Timothy 4:1,2)

This is most solemn. Sin hardens. The conscience becomes like flesh which has been seared with a hot iron; it no longer responds; it can no longer be depended upon. In this state men may commit the most wicked and abominable things, and apparently there is not the least exercise of conscience. It is because they have gone so far in disobeying that which they knew to be right that they no longer have any concern whatever. They are given up to a seared conscience and a reprobate mind, and with that goes utter hardness of heart. But if men are willing to turn to God; if they realize they have an evil conscience, and they long for a pure and a cleansed conscience, they may obtain it through the work of the cross. (HARRY A. IRONSIDE)

N.J. Hiebert # 3752

July 2

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling."
(2 Timothy 1:9)

Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed, and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised and enjoyed now. The Christian is perfectly saved in God's purpose: God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price which has been paid for him; "It is finished" was the cry of the Saviour before He died. . . .

Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: and what motive but grace could move Him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is for ever excluded. Such is the believer's privilege - a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it - - a holy life. (C.H. SPURGEON - MORNING & EVENING DAILY READINGS)

N.J. Hiebert # 3753

July 3

"We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Not merely in the words you say,
Not only in you deeds confessed,
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ expressed.

Is it a beatific smile?
A holy light upon your brow?
Oh, no: I felt His presence while
You laughed just now.

For me 'twas not the truth you taught,
To you so clear, to me still dim;
But when you came to me, you brought
A sense of Him.

And from your eyes He beckons me,
And from your heart His love is shed,
Till I lose sight of you and see,
The Christ instead.


N.J. Hiebert # 3754

July 4

"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I (Jesus) have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Cheerful Confidence

The word means "take heart", "be confident". It is both an exhortation and a promise. The word has been reserved to the last moment. Jesus spoke nothing prematurely. Only when the end comes, does He conclude His teaching in the flesh with a final saying, which might breathe courage and confidence into the disciples whom He leaves, and into those who, in all generations, should believe on Him through their testimony. So it is provided that the last word of the last discourse shall sound the note of victory for ever: "Be of Good Cheer; I have Overcome the World." (H.D. - HIS LAST WORDS)

N.J. Hiebert # 3755

July 5

"As in Adam all die . . ." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin . . . by one man's offense death reigned . . . " (Romans 5:12,17)

We see how sin entered the world, because of the open rebellion by disobedience of the first of the race. Now comes the very important question. How was sin transmitted from generation to generation until it reached its present situation in the world to-day? The Word of God gives us definite information about this matter. God tells us that sin entered into the world by Adam. He also declares that sin entered the race because of Adam's sin. Some have attempted to argue that it was not just for God to call one man to account for the sins of another. Let no man mistake the facts. We are sinners by choice, every one of us, and there would be enough in that alone to hold us accountable before the bar of perfect of justice and to condemn us as guilty.

But God does not deal with symptoms; He deals with the real causes. He knows, and has declared, that men are not sinners merely because they sin, but that they sin because they are sinners.

God looks at the problem from a perspective quite different from that which must of necessity control man's viewpoint. In man's way of looking at things, one is not a thief until he has stolen; one is not a murderer until he has killed. God sees the heart and knows how the natural law of inheritance has operated so that we inherit two arms instead of one and one head instead of two. The same laws hold good in the spiritual realm, and the very nature of sin comes down the race from generation to generation.

He knows and has told us that a man steals because he has a heart with the roots of of sin. He knows and has told us that a man kills because he has a heart with the roots of sin. In some cases through those restrictions that society and environments build around an individual some of these fruits of sin are not seen, but the roots are there nevertheless. If you are honest with yourself you must admit that you have within you the possibilities of every kind of lawlessness. (DONALD GREY BARNHOUSE - HAPPY THOUGH POOR)

N.J. Hiebert # 3756

July 6

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

Settle this in your minds so that you will not have to settle it again; there is no promise of ease for any soldier on any field. Search the New Testament; you will not find one such promise. It is made quite clear that things are not going to be made easy. So to be surprised and troubled when they are difficult is foolish and unreasonable too. Why is there so much inward stress, sometimes sharp trial, or what the New Testament calls tribulation? We are not told; but we are told that there will be this sort of thing, and that it is "not worthy to be compared with the glory" -- not worthy to be compared. (AMY CARMICHAEL - EDGES OF HIS WAYS)

N.J. Hiebert # 3757

July 7

"Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives." (Acts 27:10)

The ship in which you take the journey of life is carrying precious lading (cargo). Think of that cargo as being those things which your loving God and Father, who delights to bless, has entrusted to you - faith, hope, love, purity of mind and body . . . oh! such precious cargo! But if you disregard the warnings of God's Word through His servants, all of this cargo may be lost in the coming storms of life. The sad results of a course of self-willed disregard for God's Word can very likely cause you to lose your physical purity, mental abilities - can even overthrow your faith, cause your love to grow cold, or extinguish the bright hope which properly belongs to a believer. Though it is certainly true that a real believer can never lose his (or her) eternal salvation, what a terrible price to pay for self will! Listen to the loving warnings God has graciously given, no matter what vessel (person or manner) He uses to send them to you. (THE JOURNEY OF LIFE - DOUG NICOLET)

N.J. Hiebert # 3758

July 8

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My (Jesus) word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not comeinto condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. . . . the hour is coming, and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
(John 5:24,25)

Mordecai Ham used to say that the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was God's object lesson to America, but we never learned it. Many ships have gone down, but that this "unsinkable" masterpiece of ship building should go down on its first trip and that simply by encountering a massive hunk of ice, still seems uncanny - not just an accident but an event accompanied by strange and sinister circumstances that allow no explanation.

We are living in an hour when we seem to be on a toboggan slide out of control, worshipers of ourselves in the putridity of this age of humanism. "Judgment Day" and "end of the world" have disappeared from our vocabulary. The remedies for the world's troubles proposed by experts are pitiful. Recently I heard the observation that the remedies offered for our malignancy are about as sensible as changing the chairs on the deck of a sinking Titanic!

One day each man has to face death whether he likes it or not, unless he has accepted God's offer of salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The Scriptures envision judgment day and heaven and hell. We have a date with destiny and an appointment with the Almighty. Every person has such an hour in God's book whether he has noted it or not. We are nearing that time. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
Any effort to arrange for eternal life otherwise is like changing deck chairs on a sinking Titanic. (VANCE HAVNER - DON'T MISS YOUR MIRACLE)

N.J. Hiebert # 3759

July 9

"And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in Thee." (Psalm 39:7)

This is a searching question for the heart; but it is oft-times a most salutary (beneficial) one, inasmuch as we may constantly detect ourselves in an attitude of waiting for things which, when they come, prove not to be worth waiting for. The human heart is very much like the poor lame man at the gate of the temple, in Acts 3. He was looking at every passer by, "expecting to receive something"; and the heart will ever be looking for some relief, some comfort, or some enjoyment in passing circumstances. It may ever and anon be found sitting by the side of some creature stream, vainly expecting that some refreshment will flow along its channel. It is amazing to think of the trifles on which nature will, at times, fix its expectant gaze,

- A change of circumstances.
- Change of scene.
- Change of air.
- A journey.
- A visit.
- A letter.
- A book.

Anything, in short, is sufficient to raise expectations in a poor heart which is not finding its center, its spring, its all, in Christ. Hence the practical importance of frequently searching our hearts with the question "What wait I for?" Doubtless the true answer to this enquiry would, at times, furnish the most advanced Christian with matter for deep humiliation and self judgment before the Lord. (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 21 - MARCH 1968)

N.J. Hiebert # 3760

July 10

"Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me,and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."
(Jeremiah 29:12-13)

What a precious promise these verses contain: "You pray, and I will hearken; you seek, and you will find Me." But we must notice the phrase, "For ye shall search for Me with all your heart." The lips can often say very much while the heart is somewhere else completely. The Lord has said of Israel before through Isaiah: "This people draw near with their mouth . . . but their heart is removed far from Me" (Isaiah 29:13). True prayer must come from the heart. One of the reasons the Lord allows us to go through difficulties is to learn how to pray to Him from the heart. We see often in God's Word that when people go through severe trials they cry to the Lord and He hears them; this crying to the Lord is a prayer truly from the heart.

But the heart also must be searched before it can pray. We read in Psalm 66:18, "Had I regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not hear."To pray from the heart and to have a cleansed heart are two "musts" before we can expect answers to our prayers. So we read in Hebrews 10:19,22, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesu . . . let us draw near with a true heart . . . having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience."

Thus we must learn to pray with perseverance, and to pray from clean hearts with a true sense of need. it is only then that we may expect answers to our prayers . (A.M. BEHNAM)

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from ev'ry sin and set me free. (J.E. ORR)

N.J. Hiebert # 3761

July 11

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35)

An interesting study reports that only 15% of one's success at work depends on job knowledge and technical skill. It goes on to say that 85% of a person's success at work is determined by his attitude and ability to relate to others. There is a spiritual lesson in this for us all. Christian fruitfulness depends not only on what we believe, but also on how we live it out.In the upper room the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples at least five time s to love one another. He told them this would mark them as His disciples. True Christian love is not a feeling that comes and goes. It is an act of the will. It should be the motivation of our daily lives. The instruction to love one another is given at least sixteen times in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus said that all the law and Prophets hang on two commandments: Loving God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbour as ourselves. Romans 13:8 instructs us to "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Genuine love should be the controlling principle in every Christian's life.

Loving one another is not only the law of Christ, but is also something that God Himself teaches us (1 Thessalonians 4:9). His love toward us has been demonstrated when He gave his only-begotten Son while we were still in rebellion against Him (Romans 5:8). His love has now been poured out into the heart of every believer (Romans 5:5). God is love, and since He has shed His love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit we too ought to love one another. In fact, love is evidence that the Spirit of God is at work in and through us. May loving one another mark each of us today! (T.P. HADLEY)

N.J. Hiebert # 3762

July 12

"Feed (shepherd) the flock of God which is among you."
(1 Peter 5:2)

One of the main thoughts in relation to shepherding is that of feeding. This is why the verb "shepherd" is often translated "feed." We learn some very important lessons from this. First of all, no one will feed others if he himself is starving. One must first be well nourished with the Word of God in order to be of help to others. The flock of God has suffered much throughout history because of "shepherds" who themselves were badly nourished. A shepherd must also be familiar with the pastures in order to lead the flock to them. David was very happy because his Shepherd made him to lie down in green pastures and led him beside still waters.

Then shepherding also involves restoring the sheep that go astray. There is a natural tendency with sheep to go astray. Isaiah said: "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way." And Peter said: "For ye were as sheep going astray but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer) of your souls." (1 Peter 2:25) But most beautiful of all are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "What man of you having an hundred sheep, if he loose one of them, doth not . . . go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when He hath found it, He layeth it on His shoulders, rejoicing." (Luke 15:3,4)

Shepherding then requires concern, compassion, and commitment. It requires love for the sheep in spite of their tendency to wander away from the right path. David was a shepherd and knew much about sheep. But he also knew about himself as a sheep among the flock of God, and thus spoke of his Shepherd and said: "He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." May we learn lessons from our Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep. (A.M BEHNAM)

N.J. Hiebert # 3763

July 13

"If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." (John 14:23)

We have in this portion two things, the proof of love first, in having and keeping our Lord's commandments; and next, in keeping His words. . . . the more we weigh the words, the more evident and all-important is their truth. It is clear our Lord was not speaking here simply of what is moral, or the ten commandments. A man might be found most rigorous in that, like Saul of Tarsus, and yet not have a particle of love to Christ. . . .

This touches upon what is more closely personal. We know that in ordinary life if there is any one we care for or love in a special way, a word from such a one will have immense weight on the spirit. Where there is love, there is amazing quickness in knowing what the will is, what the desire is, - and bearing it in mind. But on the other hand if there is frivolity of spirit, there will be carelessness and forgetfulness of what is desired; and this is true of us with the Lord. . .

Love to Christ will make us delight in His commandments. Confidence in His love will make us not afraid of examining them; but on the contrary search into them as a light to our path. But that is not enough. (John 14:21) In the keeping of His commandments, there will be further manifestations of the Lord to the soul. It is only as we walk in obedience that there is communion with the Lord. . . . Then you get the fullness of love in return. "I will manifest Myself unto Him." Not only My will, but "Myself." . . .

He looks for love. Warm expressions are not enough - they may not always be trusted - maybe rather a proof of want of reverence. But He looks for our love. And suppose the soul does love, how will it show itself? Will there not be the desire to ponder every word, in whatever way the Lord Jesus shows His will? Will there not be delight to be near Him, His love filling our hearts? (The Bible Treasury - W.F.B.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3764

July 14

"I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known:I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16)

What a thought for me, a poor vessel carrying the incorruptible seed, that Christ is watching to lift me over every difficulty, to enable me to overcome. The only way to be an overcomer is just to have faith in that Christ of God. God can trust Christ to get us over all difficulties and extremities. God is using the wilderness as the place where every step leaves traces of His mercies. The whole place recalls to God the way He led each believer on to His paradise; the very difficulties being an occasion of nearer association with His Christ.

N.J. Hiebert # 3765

July 15

"Then they said one to another, we do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace." (2 Kings 7:9)

Four starving lepers (2 Kings 7:3-11) who had just found food, raiment, and riches in abundance, reminded themselves that others were also starving all around them: "This day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace." So, they spread this good news to others. God's people have even greater news to tell; how perishing sinners can have His gift of eternal life. If we keep silence, then truly we do not well. May God give us grace to open our mouths today. (R.J. STEELE)

"Freely ye have received, so give,"
He bade, who hath given us all.
How shall the soul in us longer live,
deaf to their starving call ? (A. ALEXANDER)

N.J. Hiebert # 3766

July 16

July 17

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height,nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39)

When the apostle Paul wrote that nothing shall separate us from the love of God - "neither trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword" -- he was referring to struggles that were dangerously real to him and the people to whom he was writing. And he said we are more than conquerors in the midst of such hardship, not because it isn't all that painful or because God will remove it form us, but because none of these things can take away our relationship with God in Jesus Christ. His love is more enduring than famine or suffering. It is stronger than death, as unyielding as the grave. How do we put this in to words without trembling?

In the midst of a despair greater than most have know, one hymnist made an attempt. In fear and trembling, he prayed:

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

When I find myself stumbling over words to describe the hope I profess, I am broken again by the mystery of it and my frequent misplacing of it. I have been stopped by my loss of its realness, my overlooking of the immensity of Christ, the immovability of His love, the assurance of truth as a person. In the silence of my tangled thoughts, the one behind the creeds I profess bids me again to follow.

- He has died;
- He has risen;
- He is coming again.

N.J. Hiebert # 3768

July 18

Perfect Love . . . Is it Mine?

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matthew 7:12)

Slow to suspect Quick to trust
Slow to condemn Quick to justify
Slow to offend Quick to defend
Slow to expose Quick to shield
Slow to reprimand Quick to forbear
Slow to belittle Quick to appreciate
Slow to demand Quick to give
Slow to provoke Quick to soothe
Slow to hinder Quick to help
Slow to resent Quick to forgive

N.J. Hiebert # 3769

July 19

"So are ye in Mine hand." (Jeremiah 18:6)

Ole Bull, the world's most noted violinist, was ever wandering about. One day he became lost in the interminable forests. In the dark of the night he stumbled against a log hut, the home of a hermit. The old man took him in, fed and warmed him; after the supper they sat in front of a blazing fireplace, and the old hermit picked some crude tunes on his screechy, battered violin. Ole Bull said to the hermit, "Do you think I could play on that?" "I don't think so; It took me years to learn," the old hermit replied. Ole Bull said, "Let me try it."

He took the old marred violin and drew the bow across the strings, and suddenly the hermit's hut was filled with music divine; and, according to the story, the hermit sobbed like a child.
We are battered instruments; life's strings have been snapped; life's bow has been bent. Yet, if we will only let Him take us and touch us, from this old battered, broken, shattered, marred instrument, He will bring forth music fit for the angels. (SPRINGS in the VALLEY)

I never knew the old, brown violin,
That was so long in some dark corner thrust,
It strings broken or loose, its pegs run down,
Could ever be of use again. The dust
Of years lay on its shabby case, until
One day a Master took the instrument,
And with caressing fingers touched the wood,
Adjusted pegs and strings; his mind intent
On making music as he drew his bow.
Then from the violin, long silent, sprang
Once more arpeggios, runs, trills.
The wood Quivered, leapt into life, and joyous sang.

I now believe that any broken life,
Jangling with discords, unadjusted, tossed
In some far corner, wasted, thrown aside,
Can yet be of some use; need not be lost
From Heaven's orchestra. A Master's Hand
Scarred with old wounds, can mend the broken thing
If yielded to Him wholly; and can make
The dumb life speak again, and joyous sing
In praise of One who gave His life that none Need perish.
And this message, glad, most blest,I now believe; for placing in His Hand My life, I find my world is now at rest. (Dorothy M. Barter - Snow)

N.J. Hiebert # 3770

July 20

"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus . . ." (John 12:3)

The Cost of Following God

It cost Abraham the willingness to yield his only son.
It cost Esther the risk of her life.
It cost Daniel being cast into the den of lions.
It cost Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being put in a fiery furnace.
It cost Stephen death by stoning. It cost Peter a martyr's death.
It cost Jesus His life.

Does it cost you anything? (SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert # 3771

July 21

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side . . . some fell upon a rock . . . some fell among thorns . . . other fell on good ground . . ." (Luke 8:4-8)

The seed is sown indiscriminately, and although man rejects it because his will is opposed, nevertheless it is sown in his heart, for this parable shows how the Word of God is perfectly adapted to the need of man, meeting his conscience and heart. "Never man spake like this Man" (John 7:46). Christ's Word came with a power that reached the heart and affections; the will is corrupt, and therefore resists it. It is not abstract grace here, but the condition of man that is recognized, therefore we find the Word so perfectly suited to the need, not claiming righteousness from man, but coming in with power to show him that he is a sinner, and laying open the thoughts and intents of the heart. When the heart is thus detected the Word comes with all gentleness and comfort for healing and rest, because there is grace to meet a soul in whatever state it may be found. The heart is spoken to, and therefore the Gospel leaves man without excuse. (J.N. DARBY - THE MAN of SORROWS)

N.J. Hiebert # 3772

July 22

"Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:25)

A dead and risen Christ is the groundwork of salvation. To see Jesus by the eye of faith nailed to the cross, and seated on the throne, must give solid peace to the conscience, and perfect liberty to the heart.We can look into the tomb and see it empty; we can look up to the throne and see it occupied, and go on our way rejoicing. The Lord Jesus settled everything on the cross on behalf of His people; and the proof of this settlement is that He is now at the right hand of God. A risen Christ is the eternal proof of an accomplished redemption; and if redemption is an accomplished fact, the believer's peace is a settled reality. (C.H. MACINTOSH)

N.J. Hiebert # 3773

July 23

"The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11)

Remember, if we are in entire dependance, the temptation does not meet us at all. Jesus does not say, "Shall I not go through all these trails?" but "The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" He does not see Pilate or Judas or Satan, but His Father. When the trial actually comes, it is already gone through with God. He presents Himself before them - His captors - saying, "Whom seek ye?" (John 18:7) as calmly as if going to work a miracle. (SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert # 3774

July 24

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:5,6)

We can never be too careful
What the seed our hands shall sow;
Love from love is sure to ripen,
Hate from hate is sure to grow.
Seeds of good or ill we scatter
Heedlessly along our way;
But a glad or grievous fruitage
Waits us at the harvest day. (ANON)

N.J. Hiebert # 3775

July 25

"Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also,whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." (John 12:9-11)

Today we are in danger of putting the emphasis on guarding the truth, but down playing living the truth. One of the best ways to guard the truth is to put it into practice. It is good to be defenders of the faith, but we must not forget to be demonstrators of the faith. Lazarus did not have to give lectures on the resurrection. People had only to look at him and they believed. (THE CHRISTIAN NEWSLETTER)

N.J. Hiebert # 3776

July 26

"The word of the Lord came unto Jonah, saying, Arise go to Nineveh . . . but Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish . . ." (Jonah 1:1-3)

Jonah was commissioned to go with a message to Nineveh, but instead of going east across the desert, he fled westward to the seacoast and there boarded a ship going farther west. At the seaport of Joppa he found everything convenient; a ship was there ready to sail; and so sometimes our enemy makes things very convenient for us to go in the wrong direction and even gets us to plead that circumstances indicated we should do this or that instead of obeying the Lord. (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 21 - DECEMBER 1968)

N.J. Hiebert # 3777

July 27

"If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13)
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

The Word of God is "living" and "abiding." It has ever an unchanged freshness and living power for the heart of the Christian. This must be so, for it reveals:

- God in all His infiniteness,
- His love,
- His grace,
- His near and blessed relationship as Father.

It gives us, by inspiration, the life, the very words of Jesus Himself, Who, as the living Word, tabernacled (dwelt) among men, full of grace and truth. (F.G.B.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3778

July 28

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

"Tempted in all points" means of course that appeals were made to Him by Satan from the three standpoints whereby alone any of us can be tempted: " . . . the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Tempted on these three points, Eve capitulated completely.

"She saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food" - the appeal to the lust of the flesh;
"It was pleasant to the eye" - the appeal to the lust of the eye;
"and a tree to be desired to make one wise" - the appeal to the pride of life.

She failed on every point. To our Lord in the wilderness the same appeals were made.
"make these stones bread" - an appeal to fleshly desire;
"he showed Him all the kingdoms of earth in a moment of time" - the lust of the eye;

then in the suggestion that our Lord should cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple to be borne up by angels before the wondering eyes of the populace, we have the appeal to the pride of life. But He met every suggestion of evil by the Word of God. And now as the enthroned Conqueror, He sits exalted on the right hand of the Majesty on high, interceding for us, and we are bidden to come boldly unto the throne of grace there to obtain mercy because of failure, and find suited grace for seasonable help when exposed to temptation. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert # 3779

July 29

"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

A Christian once said to John Wesley, "My talent is to speak my mind." "Well, brother," replied the great preacher, "The Lord would not mind if you buried that talent." "Speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) is much better. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3780

July 30

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Whenever the subject of blame or fault comes about in any sector of life, whether economic, societal, or individual, scapegoating is a far more common reaction than confessing. Most of us are most comfortable when blame is placed as far away from us as possible. Even the word "confession," the definition of which is concerned with owning a fault or belief, is now often associated with the sins of others, which an outspoken soul happens to be willing to share with the world. Responding to the question of a newspaper seeking opinions, G.K.C. answered the question, "What's wrong with the world?" in one sentence. "Dear Sirs," he replied, "I am." In our confessions of dark realities, can our own hearts really be excluded? It was with visions of war and brokenness around him that David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." This is the cry of humanity's best confession. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3781

July 31

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15)

We have been given God's inspired Word. Its work is to bring us to spiritual maturity (2 Timothy 3:17). Our responsibility is:

- To diligently study it;
- Read it the way it has been given (in its context);
- Spend time meditating on what it says;
- Compare it with the rest of Scripture.

In this way, we will "rightly divide" it so that we can apply it to ourselves and teach it to others. Such diligent working on our part will mean we will not be ashamed when we see Him - the Author of it all. (David Croudace)

N.J. Hiebert # 3782


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