Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Gems from September 2009

September 1

"The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
(1 Corinthians 2:10)

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
(Psalm 139:23,24)

If there is a corner of my heart that Christ has not searched down to the very bottom, I am undone. Would I have a blind Christ, one whom I should not like to search out every part of my heart? Ah! I would rather have Christ pointing out everything, than friends praising. I adore God that gave Him to me. Who am I, that my Lord should so condescend to search me? And where there is evil in me, that is just where God lets His streams flow into me. He sees everything that hinders and chokes - would I stay His hand? (GLEANINGS of G.V. WIGRAM)

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September 2

"Spread the sail." (Isaiah 33:23)

Picture a vessel lying becalmed on a glassy sea - not a breath of air stirs a sail. But, presently, the little pennant far up on the masthead begins to stir and lift! There is not a ripple on the water; not the slightest movement of the air on deck, but there is a current stirring in the upper air! At once the sails are spread to catch it!

"So in life," says Dr Miller, "there are higher and lower currents. Too many of us use only the lower sails, and catch only the winds blowing along earthly levels. It would be an unspeakable gain to us all were we to let our life fall under the influence of these upper currents." (SPRINGS in the VALLEY)

Spread your sails to catch the upper currents!

N.J. Hiebert - 3815

September 3

"In My Father's house are many mansions."
(John 14:2)

Spoken to His disciples . . . their earthly sun was sinking, but the stars were coming out in the sky to tell of a greater and a grander universe. Somewhere in that great universe, in the infinite realms of space, God has a place which He calls His "Home"; a house of many mansions, to which, one by one, He welcomes His children; and to which, sooner or later, He shall conduct all who are His.

"My Father's House! No strange and foreign land;
No wonderful new world, too coldly grand;
But Home - and a Father's outstretched, welcoming hand
."

Those whose experiences in this world have made them conscious of homelessness and loneliness, can look forward to mansions of eternal abode, to couches of eternal rest, to the board of an eternal festival. Meantime, they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth: strangers because they are from Home; pilgrims because they are going Home. (HIS LAST WORDS - HENRY DURBANVILLE)

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September 4

"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."
(1 Peter 2:20)

Anyone can endure reproof when he knows it is deserved. It takes grace to enable one to accept undeserved blame without complaining; but to God it is acceptable, or well-pleasing, for this is to follow Christ's blessed example. "It is hard to be blamed for what you did not do!" So said a troubled young Christian lately. But in this portion of God's Word we are bidden to take our blessed, adorable Lord Himself as our example in this as in all else.

He was falsely accused and bitterly persecuted for wrongs He had never done. As He left everything in the Father's hands, so should we. Nature will rebel when we have to say, as He did, "They laid to My charge things that I knew not." (Psalm 35:11). But grace will enable us to triumph and to rejoice when men speak evil of us and persecute us (Matthew 5:11).

If we endure patiently, as seeing Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27), we shall be vindicated in His own way and time, and reward will be sure at His judgment-seat (1 Corinthians 4:5). (SELECTED)

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September 5

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God."
 (Psalm 42:1)

The body craves for material things, so we buy food and clothes and houses and cars - things for the body. But the body eventually dies. The mind cries for intellectual things, so we build schools and buy books. We read and study and cultivate friendships. But toward the end the mind fails. The spirit calls for spiritual things. It needs God. "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God." The spirit craves for something that material things can never supply. It craves after God. There is an emptiness in each human life that only God can fill.

"Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
(SELECTED)

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September 6

The Best System

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
(Proverbs 15:1)

"Do you think it wrong for me to learn the art of self-defense?" asked a young man of an an older brother.

"Certainly not," he answered. I learned it in youth myself, and I have found it of great value during my life."

"Indeed, sir! Did you learn the old English system or Sullivan's system?"

"Neither. I learned Solomon's system."

"Solomon's system?"

"Yes; you will find it laid down in Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turneth away wrath." It is the best system of self-defense of which I know."

(TCNL)

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September 7

" . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1,2)

"Lay aside," he says, "these useless and hurtful things; leave them behind." It is easy, when we look unto Jesus; but impossible unless our thoughts and affections are centered in Christ - unless we behold Him as our Lord and Bridegroom, our strength and joy. This is the only method of the new covenant. We are not under the law, but under grace. It is not by introspection, by self-discipline, by attempting first to lay aside our weight and our sin, that we gain the victory. These things do not precede the look unto Jesus.

- It is the light which dispels the darkness;
- It is the love of Jesus which separates us from the world;
- It is the grace of Christ that delivers us from all fear and doubt.
(EPISTLE to the HEBREWS - ADOLPH SAPHIR)

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September 8

"And the serpent said unto the woman (Eve - in the garden of Eden), ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4,5)

Wretched man thought that God did not wish to give him something through jealousy of his happiness, but this was the lie of Satan. God who seemed to refuse a fruit to man, innocent, has given His Son to man a sinner. And the heart of man is so perverted that he has no confidence though God has given His Son. The effect of the death of Jesus is to inspire us with perfect confidence. The death of Jesus puts us in relationship with God without fear and without difficulty, because it clothes us when we are naked and miserable. This confidence give us peace and obedience, because nothing is more precious than the love of God; and this love makes us prefer obedience and its consequences in spit of all the difficulties. (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 15 - APRIL 1962)

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September 9

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
(Acts 16:31)

God does not call upon a sinner to believe in anything that Christ did, but to believe in Christ. He knows what He did, and accepts the sinner who believes in Him according to His own knowledge of the value of Christ's work, and not according to the knowledge the sinner possesses of it; still it deepens and strengthens the believer in the knowledge of God and His grace, as the soul comprehends how the judgment of God for sin has been borne by the Son of God - how He ended in Himself that to which the judgment attached - and, rising out of the dead, is the One in whom every one believing in Him lives. (F.G. PATTERSON)

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September 10

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and a smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory."
(Matthew 12:20)

A bruised shall He not break: the poorest shepherd boy on our South Indian hills is careful to choose, for the making of his flute, a reed that is straight and fine and quite unbruised. But our Heavenly Shepherd often takes the broken and the bruised, and of such He makes His flutes. But life, like His book, is full of parables of tenderness; and one of these has often come into this room of late. For he whose name means God's Peace has brought his autoharp to play to me, and has first tuned it while I expectantly waited for the music which I knew would follow the tuning.

Is music to come from our harp? music of prayer, of praise, of consolation? The strings are relaxed, or perhaps too tensely stretched. Illness can cause either condition. But we have a Tuner.

Tune Thou my harp;
There is not, Lord, could never be,
The skill in me.

Tune Thou my harp,
That it may play Thy melody,
Thy harmony.

Tune Thou my harp;
The Spirit, breathe Thy thought through me,
As pleases Thee
.
(AMY CARMICHAEL - ROSE FROM BRIAR)

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September 11

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
(1 Timothy 6:11)

On June 15, 1957, a brand-new car was buried in a concrete vault under the courthouse lawn in Tulsa. In June 2007, the car was unearthed as the city celebrated Oklahoma's 100th year of statehood. Writing in the Tulsa World, Randy Krehbiel said: "Now we know what 50 years in a hole does to a Plymouth Belvedere." Water seeping into the vault had turned the once shiny car into a rusted monument to the past. A hot-rod expert hired to start the engine pronounced it "hopeless."

Spiritual inactivity corrodes the soul like moisture acting on metal. Paul urged Timothy, his young protege, to "follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:11) This command had no expiration date attached to it. The spiritual disciplines require continued attention throughout our lives. If rest becomes our goal, then rust is right behind.

Oswald Chambers said: "The intellect works with the greatest intensity when it works continuously; the more you do, the more you can do. We must work hard to keep in trim for God. Clean off the rust and keep bright by use."

Our capabilities may vary with age, but pursuing the righteous life to which God has called us should never end. Don't rust out! (DAVID MCCASLAND)

Spiritual inactivity corrodes the soul.

N.J. Hiebert - 3824
_____________________________________________________________
"Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (August 2008), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission."

September 12

"He was moved with compassion."
(Matthew 9:36)

"The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
(James 5:11)

Jesus . . . could say, "I have glorified Thee." The more evil there was done here, the more the Father was glorified. Never did irritation enter into Him; no contradiction ever prevented His having the same heart for man and for God.

When we study Christ's life down here, and what His heart and motives were, how shallow we are, . . . and how deep and far beyond our view the sufferings of His soul down here!

A broken heart is suited to a heart-healing God.
Whatever produces a care in us produces God's care for us.

There is much more reality in a living loving care of us than we are aware of. The Lord takes pains to assure us of His love, to persuade us of His love.

"Ye are of more value than many sparrows."
(PILGRIM PORTION FOR THE DAY OF REST - J.N.D.)

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September 13

"This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13,14)

I shall never forget Dr. R.A. Torrey saying to me as a young preacher, "Young man, make up your mind on one thing and stick to it." The Christian life should be like a sword with one point, not like a broom ending in many straws. Such a single purpose forgets the past, reaches toward the future, and presses on. There is no time or place for side issues, diversions to the right or to the left. There is no place for hands on the plow with eyes looking back. Paul was a one-track man, but you can go a long way on one track! (VANCE HAVNER - ALL THE DAYS)

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September 14

"Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame."
(Hebrews 12:2)

For us the Lord "endured" the cross. He deliberately and consciously persevered through the anguish of Golgotha. For us he "despised" the shame. He thought little of all the cruel beatings, and mockery and judgment that He would bear for our redemption. What have we endured for Him? What shame have we received for the name of Christ? It is shameful how shameless we are. The joy that motivated the Lord was the knowledge that one day we would be with Him, and this made the cross worth bearing. What is it that will motivate us today? (SAJU MATHEW)

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September 15

" . . . I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, . . . that I may win Christ." (Philippians 3:8)

When Mahoud, the conqueror of India, had taken the city of Gujarat, he proceeded, as was his custom, to destroy the idols. There was one, fifteen feet high, which its priests and devotees begged him to spare. He was deaf to their entreaties, and seizing a hammer he struck it one blow when, to his amazement, from the shattered image there rained down at his feet a shower of gems - pearls and diamonds - a treasure of fabulous value, which had been hidden within it! Had he spared the idol, he would have lost all this wealth. Let us not spare our idols. It is to our interest to demolish them. If we shatter them, there will rain about our hearts the very treasures of heaven, the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; but if we spare our idols, we miss the riches unsearchable.

If you do not crown Him Lord of all, you do not crown Him Lord at all.
(JOHN MAC NEIL)

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September 16

"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him (Moses) in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." (Exodus 3:2)

What a sight as the Lord appeared to Moses in the midst of the burning bush! When you feel the fire of trial and temptation, don't forget that God is in the midst of that fire. In the heat of your trial, keep trusting, for you will not be overcome by it. Remember God's faithfulness. He said, "I have surely seen the affliction . . . and I am come down to deliver them" (Exodus 3:7-8) (JAMES COMTE)

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided -
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
!

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September 17

"Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
(2 Corinthians 4:16)

The old house is breaking down; with some of us the roof is thatched now with white hair, and we are reminded that day by day we shall soon move out unless Christ Himself returns. But we are not disheartened, we are not discouraged, for "though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." My hope is brighter now than it ever was; my joy in Christ is greater than it has ever been; the world means less to me today than it has ever meant, and the applause of men means less. But the approval of the Lord means more than it has ever meant. (EXTRACT)

Heaven is commenced already for the heart that is in the joy of resurrection,
and in association with Christ
.

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September 18

"Come up in the morning . . . and present thyself unto Me in the top of the mount."
(Exodus 34:2)

The morning is the time fixed for my meeting the Lord. The very word morning is a cluster of rich grapes. Let us crush them, and drink the sacred wine. In the morning! Then God means me to be at my best in strength and hope. I have not to climb in my weakness. In the night I have buried yesterday's fatigue, and in the morning take a new lease of energy. Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified! Successful is the day whose first victory was won in prayer! Holy is the day whose dawn finds thee on the top of the mount! (STREAMS IN THE DESERT)

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September 19

"Blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . . in Christ."
(Ephesians 1:3)

It is easy to be earthly minded, caught up in those things that depress and distress. Instead of thinking about the mundane, try a different view today. Think of these spiritual blessings.

- We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:19);
- Regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5); and,
- Reconciled by the Father (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).

We who were by nature rebels, reprobates, and condemned, are now cleansed, forgiven, and fit for heaven. Truly we are a blessed people, with much to be thankful for. Have you blessed Him for how He has blessed you? (FRANK BURGESS)

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September 20

"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)

- The plan of deliverance was divine,
- The provision of the sacrifice was divine,
- The shedding of the blood was divine,
- The sprinkling of the blood was divine,
- The record as to the result was divine:
- In short it was all divine.

It is not that we should undervalue realization, or, to speak more correctly, communion, through the Holy Spirit, with all the precious results of Christ's work for us. But then, we are no more saved by realization, than the leper was cleansed by it. The gospel, by which we are saved, is that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3,4) There is nothing about realization here. No doubt, it is happy to realize. It is a very happy thing for one, who was just on the point of being drowned, to realize himself in a life-boat; but, clearly, he is saved by the boat and not by his realization.

So it is with the sinner that believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is saved by death and resurrection. Is it because he realizes it? No, but because God says it. it is "according to the Scriptures." Christ died and rose again; and, on that ground, God pronounces him clean. (C.H. MACINTOSH)

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September 21

"He was despised and rejected of men."
(Isaiah 53:3)

Jesus of Nazareth was hated by the world - the very people He came to save. The lowly man of Sorrows was persecuted and treated as an outcast. His disciples were martyred for His name's sake. Christians throughout the ages have also been hated and persecuted by the world. Because of our association with the rejected Christ, we live in a foreign environment. As ambassadors of Christ we are here to minister the gospel. We should have no part with the world who crucified our Lord. When we sense the world's animosity and disdain, we will know that we are walking as He walked (E. MAC-LELLAND)

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September 22

"And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel." (Luke 2:34)

Do you know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ proves either a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death? You sometimes hear people say: "We will go and hear this man preach. If it does us no good, it will do us no harm." Don't you believe it! Every time one hears the Gospel and rejects it, the hardening process goes on. The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay. The message that would have moved to action a few years ago makes no impression now.

There is not a true minister of the Gospel who will not say that the hardest people to reach are those who have been impressed, and whose impressions have worn away. It is a good deal easier to commit a sin the second time than it was to commit it the first time, but it is a good deal harder to repent the second time than the first. (D.L.MOODY)

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September 23

"And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of One speaking unto him from off the mercy seat."
(Numbers 7:89)

In prayer we speak to Him; by His Word He speaks to us; and both are necessary for the maintenance of heart communion with the Lord. God fades out of the life of the man who ceases to use them. He may retain a vocabulary; but to living experience of the power and presence of God he will be a stranger, and his heart and life will become a spiritual Sahara (desert). On he other hand, "How much God has to speak into the stilled and waiting heart - precious secrets that will set the joy-chords vibrating throughout the entire being. There is nothing selfish in the gladness which throbs at the heart of Jehovah - He longs to pour of its wealth into the hearts of His people; but it is only as they come into utmost union with His plan for their lives that this can be. How wonderful are those moment of communion." (HEAVEN'S CURE FOR EARTH'S CARE)

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September 24

"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 4:17)

As the whole mind of Christ, when down here, was set on showing His delight in the Father, so now in heaven it is the whole pleasure of God's mind to show out His delight in the Christ, seated at His own right hand, as the accepted sacrifice. He wants our hearts to be filled with nothing else, and when occupied with that, no question can come in as to our perfect acceptance.

To meet the Lord in the air -- What a volume in those words! Nothing can give cheerfulness in the thought of treading a path never trod before, but the Lord Himself being there --- meeting Him there. (G.V.W. - THY PRECEPTS - V2 - P9 - As submitted by K.W. --- Tasmania)

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September 25

"Hatred stirreth up strifes: But love covereth all sins."
(Proverbs 10:12)

In 1 Peter 4:8, it is written, ". . . and above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins." It is not, as some have foolishly supposed, that kindliness and benevolence, on the part of one otherwise guilty before God, will atone for his transgressions, thus covering them in the day of judgment. Other's faults, not my own, I am called upon to cover. Not by indifference to evil, but by faithfully, in love and grace, showing my brother his sin, and seeking to exercise his conscience in the presence of God, that confession may be made, and thus the sin be covered. Where love is lacking, it is a common practice to play the part of a talebearer, which only tends to add to the evil; for the repeating of sin is defiling, and often leads to life-long unhappiness and misunderstandings. (H.A. IRONSIDE - NOTES ON PROVERBS)

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September 26

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort (encouragement)."
(2 Corinthians 1:3)

- Faith is never too bold to please Him. In the days of His flesh He often rebuked the reserves and suspicions of little faith, but never the strength and decision of faith that aimed as at everything and would no go without a blessing.

- Would that we knew our God as He is to be known, for His praise and our comfort! Love delights to be used. Love is wearied with ceremoniousness. . . . The intimacy of faith is according to His grace, and ceremony is but a weariness to Him.

- The hand of God can do the business of God, though it have but a sling and a stone, or the jaw bone of a donkey, or lamps and pitchers; and the Spirit of God can do the business of God with souls, though He use but a word, or a look, or a groan.

- The simpler we are, the more like children, who learn their lesson rather than discuss it . . . the more surely shall we find Him, and reach Him, and know Him.

- It is hard to believe that God is doing your business in this world. It is much easier to us to do Christ's work than to believe He has done ours. (J.G. BELLETT)

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September 27

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

An important part of praying is a willingness to become part of the answer.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Let another man man praise thee and not thine own mouth; a stranger and not thine own lips." (Proverbs 27:2)

You can't push yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
(James 3:5)

The tongue - being a wet spot, is very apt to slip.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
(SELECTED)

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September 28

"Behold the Man!" (John 19:5)
"Behold your king!" (John 19:14)

It is a remarkable instance of the sovereignty of God that a pagan Roman governor should be compelled to quote Scripture twice on that sad morning of the crucifixion. Little did Pilate know, when he called their attention to the lowly Man with the purple robe, and to the King with the thorn crown, that he was quoting from Zechariah 6:12 and 9:9. How true the word of that word of the psalmist, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee" (Psalm 76:19). (JIM FLANIGAN).

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Them anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah What a Saviour
!
(PHILIP P. BLISS)

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September 29

"Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me . . . Go unto the vessels, and drink . . ."
(Ruth 1:20; 2:9)

Naomi felt that God had stopped the flow of blessing in her life. But the word bitterly here is expressed in the Hebrew as a "trickle" or a "drop." Instead of a fountain springing up within her, she was down to a drop-by-drop experience in her life. But Ruth responded to those drops, meager though they were, and was abundantly blessed, for when she arrived in the land of blessing, she was encouraged to drink deeply. The Gentile woman in Matthew 15:21-28 asked only for the crumbs. What blessing is waiting for those who seek after God, even though they know little of Him! (L. NICHOLSON)

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September 30

"Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:18)

Every so often when I walk into my office in the morning, I find a surprise on my desk. Not long ago the item was a sunflower coffee mug dropped off by a fellow employee. She had seen it in a shop and knew it would cheer up my wife - so she bought it and left it on my desk with an encouraging note.

It was my pleasure to take that gift home to my wife Sue and give it to her in the name of the woman who wanted to encourage her.

This person could have simply thought about my wife. She could have talked to someone about her in a positive way. But those things don't come close to providing the encouragement that comes from taking action.

In 1 John 3:18, John talked about what we are to do when we see others in need. He told us to have active compassion: "Let us not love in word neither, in tongue, but in deed." When we see a need, it's good to talk about it, but we must also do something about it. We are instructed: "Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22).

Ask the Lord to place someone on your heart to help in Jesus' name. Then take action. Make a difference today. Send a card. Give a gift. Offer a ride. Make a call. Love in deed is love indeed. (DAVE BRANON)

Lord, when I learn that someone is hurting,
Help me know what to do and to say;
Speak to my heart and give me compassion,
Let Your great love flow through me today
.
(K. DE HAAN)
____________________________________________________________
Compassion is love in action.
____________________________________________________________

(Our daily Bread, RBC Ministries, copyright (2007), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)

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