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

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Gems from October 2009

October 1

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
(Nehemiah 8:10)

The story is told about a man who was invited to become a Christian by someone with a very unhappy countenance. The man replied that he had enough worries of his own without becoming involved with the Christian's! What message do we give to the world around us by our demeanor? Do they see us as sour, ill- pleased, discontented, pessimistic, depressed sorts? Or do we reflect the joy that should belong to those who know their sins forgiven, and their heaven secure? Take a look in the mirror. What do you see? May the Lord enable us to show the joy of the Lord in our daily lives, and thereby attract others to Christ.

N.J. Hiebert - 3844

October 2

"But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
(Luke 15:20)

Compassion is what makes a person feel pain when somebody else hurts.

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed of God."
(James 1:25)

Freedom is not the right to do what we want - but the power to do what we ought.

"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
(Proverbs 27:9)

Everything is nicer when shared with a friend.

N.J. Hiebert - 3845

October 3

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world . . ."
(2 Timothy 4:10)

The want of a distinct apprehension of the difference between the flesh and the Spirit, keeps people in a very low state. They may be safe for eternity, and yet may grieve and quench the Spirit. If you have got salvation but have worldly notions and a worldly walk, you will be incessantly grieving the Spirit, accrediting something in your walk which God wants to strip off. God cannot accredit Demas's love of present things. He cannot accredit anything of the flesh in Christians. If the Spirit of Christ is in me, all that is of myself must be judged.

In a cup of water, how could you displace the water? By putting something heavier into the cup. If you have a heart full of lusts and vanities, how are you to give them all up? By the precious gold of God poured into the vessel - all there will be displaced by it. (GLEANINGS - G.V. WIGRAM)

N.J. Hiebert - 3846

October 4

"That it may bring forth more fruit."
(John 15:2)

Two years ago I set out a rosebush in the corner of my garden. It was to bear yellow roses. And it was to bear them profusely. Yet, during these two years, it has not produced a blossom!

I asked the florist from whom I bought the bush why it was so barren of flowers. I had cultivated it carefully; had watered it often; had made the soil around it as rich as possible. And it had grown well.

"That's just why," said the florist. "That kind of rose needs the poorest soil in the garden. Sandy soil would be best, and never a bit of fertilizer. Take away the rich soil and put gravelly earth in its place. Cut the bush back severely. Then it will bloom."

I did - and the bush blossomed forth in the most gorgeous yellow know to nature. Then I moralized: that yellow rose is just like many lives. Hardships develop beauty in the soul; they thrive on troubles; trials bring out all the best in them; ease and comfort and applause only leave them barren.

The finest of flowers bloom in the sandiest of deserts as well as in the hothouses. God is the same Gardener.

N.J. Hiebert - 3847

October 5

"We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6)

All that I know of the world's path, spirit, affections, and conduct is, that it has crucified my Lord; not in its affections and lusts merely, but by wicked hands it has crucified my Master. Suppose it were but yesterday that you had seen Pontius Pilate the governor, and the chief priests, and the elders, putting Christ to death, would you feel happy to-day in holding communion with them? The stain of Christ's blood is as fresh in God's sight as if it had been done but yesterday; the time which has elapsed since them makes no difference in its moral guilt. (J.N. DARBY)

N.J. Hiebert - 3848

October 6

"Put on as the elect of God, kindness."
(Colossians 3:12)

There is a story of an old man who carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and if he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. And thus he passed through life lubricating all hard places and making it easier for those who came after him.

People called him eccentric, queer, and cranky; but the old man went steadily on refilling his can of oil when it became empty, and oiled the hard places he found.

There are many lives that creak and grate harshly as they live day by day. Nothing goes right with them. They need lubricating with the oil of gladness, gentleness, or thoughtfulness. Have you your own can of oil with you? Be ready with your oil of helpfulness in the early morning to the one nearest you. It may lubricate the whole day for him. The oil of good cheer to the downhearted one - Oh, how much it may mean! The word of courage to the despairing. Speak it.

Our lives touch others but once, perhaps, on the road of life; and then, mayhap, our ways diverge, never to meet again. The oil of kindness has worn the sharp, hard edges off of many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable and ready for the redeeming grace of the Saviour.

A word spoken pleasantly is a large spot of sunshine on a sad heart. Therefore, "Give others the sunshine, tell Jesus the rest." (STREAMS IN THE DESERT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3849

October 7

"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Hm which died for them, and rose again." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

What are we living for? A weighty question, I need not say; and it is of moment to our souls that we should not shrink from answering it, and that we should answer it in the fear of God. "He died for all, that they which live"; that is, the believers, "should not henceforth live unto themselves . . ." All were dead, believers and unbelievers alike, all were ruined men before God. And the death of Christ is the proof of the condition of every soul naturally; that is, all are lost, all lifeless toward God; that even the Son of God, who is everlasting life, should need to suffer, should find no portion but death in this world, is the proof that there is no life in it. Everything lay so irretrievable in death, that for Him to die is the only door of deliverance out of it. And, "He died for all." (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - DECEMBER 1962 - VOL. 15)

N.J. Hiebert - 3850

October 8

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: . . . He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
(Hebrews 11:6)

If you want your faith to grow, there are four rules that you must adopt.

1. Be willing to have a great faith. When men say they cannot believe, ask, "Are you willing to believe?" because if the will is toward faith, the Holy Spirit will produce a great faith.

2. Use the faith you have; the child with its slender arm muscles, will not be able to wield the sledgehammer unless he begins step by step to use them. Do not, therefore, stand on the boat's edge and wait to be able to swim a mile, but throw yourself out from its side into the water and swim a yard or two; for it is in these smaller efforts that you are to be prepared for the greater and mightier exploits.

3. Be sure to put God between yourself and circumstances. Everything depends on where you put God.

4. Live a life of daily obedience to God's will.

Observe these rules and your faith will grow. (F.B. MEYER)

Faith cannot grow in the atmosphere of doubt.

Our unbelief ties the hands of His omnipotence.

"All the scholastic scaffolding falls, as a ruined edifice, before one single word - faith!" - Napoleon

N.J. Hiebert - 3851

October 9

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?"
(Luke 12:6)

As far as man is concerned, the sparrow is a worthless, useless bird. In New Testament times, two sold for a farthing (half a cent), and five for a cent, (one was thrown in for free). It is neither a singer nor beautiful to look at, yet God remembers the sparrow and even more than that, He cares for each one individually. Not one of them is forgotten before God. Did you ever see a thin sparrow? (LEONARD SHELDRAKE)

He chirps through his little life's daytime -
I'll praise for eternity,
And love, for His marvelous kindness
The God of the sparrow and me

N.J. Hiebert - 3852

October 10

"Peace . . . which passeth all understanding."
(Philippians 4:7)

One great evidence of my abiding in Christ is quietness. I have my portion elsewhere, and I go on. . . . No matter what it may be, we bring quietness of spirit into all circumstances while dwelling in God. The soul is not only happy in God for itself, but it will bring the tone of that place out with it.

Does all trouble find your heart so resting on God as your Father, that when it is multiplied, it leaves your spirit at rest, your sleep sweet, lying down sleeping, and rising as if all was peace around you, because you know God is, and disposes of all things? Is He thus between you and your troubles and troublers? And if He is, what can reach you?

The soul in communion with God will live in the spirit of peace. There is nothing more important, to meet the turmoil of the world, than getting into this spirit of peace.

Nothing keeps the soul in such peace as a settled confidence in God. Without this a person will be continually excited, in haste, and full of anxiety. If the peace of God keep your hearts, you will have the triumph of it; nothing can be heard that is distinctive from it and that does not perfectly harmonize with it. (PILGRIM PORTIONS FOR THE DAY OF REST - J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert - 3853

October 11

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

I am not what I was, (Ephesians 2:12,13)
I am not what I shall be. (1 John 3:2)
I am not what I should be. (Ephesians 4:1)
I am not what I would be. (Philippians 2:12,13)
But by the grace of God, I am, what I am. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

When I trace the way He's led me
In the many years gone by,
Kept us thru the many trials,
Sent us succour from on high,
Kept us in the sore temptations,
When the tempter's voice was heard,
In my soul I hear Him whisper;
Child of God, Hold fast my word.

When I look into the future,
Think of what I yet may meet,
And of how the subtle tempter,
Spreads his snares to catch my feet.
Then my eyes will turn to Jesus
Seated on the Father's throne,
See Him there my intercessor
Pleading for His feeble one.

N.J. Hiebert - 3854

October 12

"He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him."
(Isaiah 59:16)

"The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." (Isaiah 52:10)

Some seek to demonstrate their strength by rolling up their shirt-sleeves and arm wrestling another. Likewise, Isaiah metaphorically uses the arm eleven times to speak of God's delivering strength - Calvary being the greatest display. At Calvary, God's bare arm hung between heaven and earth, took the nails I deserved and brought deliverance to my soul. What strength! (WARREN HENDERSON - CHOICE GLEANINGS)

Jehovah lifted up His rod - O Christ, it fell on Thee!
Thou wast forsaken of Thy God; no distance now for me

N.J. Hiebert - 3855

October 13

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:7)

What a change from Judaism! - the free favour of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and peace to all the beloved of God in Rome. Do our souls enter into this? Instead of law justly requiring perfect obedience from man, now we have perfect peace with God, on the principle of free, unmerited favour. Israel, if faithful, could only have known God as Jehovah; we know Him as Father. (Romans - CHARLES STANLEY -The Evangelist from Sheffield England - 1800)

N.J. Hiebert - 3856

October 14

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35)

It seems to me that some people must confuse a grave facial expression with spirituality. Most of us will never look handsome, but there's no reason we can't look happy. The Saviour who puts a new song in our mouths also puts a smile on our lips. The type of Christianity that thrives on stern looks, arched eyebrows, and disapproving glances is not likely to attract young people to Christ - and it isn't going to impress people at all who are at least temporarily happy in their sins.

Man would fain make God a receiver instead of a giver; but this cannot be, for "It is more blessed to give than to receive"; and assuredly God must have the more blessed place. (SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert - 3857

October 15

"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."
(2 Corinthians 9:15)

- People with a heart for God have a heart for people.

- The joy of living comes from a heart of thanksgiving.

- In the desert of grief, God provides an oasis of grace.

- Selfish gratification will lead to spiritual stagnation.

- Running with patience is perseverance in the "long run."

N.J. Hiebert - 3858

October 16

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
(John 15:13)

Love That Exceeds

The ascending affections are never equal to the descending. A child never loves a parent with the intenseness with which a parent loves his child. Yes, and more than this - the parent is satisfied to have it so. A father is satisfied to know that his love will never get its "recompense in the same" from the bosom of the child.

Our heavenly Father knows that His love will ever be the larger. He will ever be the One to "exceed" - as David with Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:41). For He is in the higher place; and that place will maintain its rights and attributes. And it is among the attributes of the descending affection (which comes out of the higher place), to flow with the richer and more generous current; and all that faith has to do is to allow this, and to rejoice that it is so. Faith ascends to God, and makes that journey in silence. (TCNL)

N.J. Hiebert - 3859

October 17

"This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

D.L Moody pointed out, the words which delineate the lovely traits of character set forth in Galatians 5, are but various forms of love.

- Joy is love exulting;
- Peace is love in repose;
- Long-suffering is love enduring;
- Kindness is love in society;
- Goodness is love in action;
- Faithfulness is love on the battlefield;
- Meekness is love at school;
- Self-control is love in training.

N.J. Hiebert - 3860

October 18

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
(Psalm 119:105)

The Bible is all for the Christian, but not all about him. God in government, or Messiah and the kingdom, might express the general character of the Old Testament, while God in grace, or Christ and the Church, would characterize the New Testament. Moses, by inspiration of God, opened the canon of divine revelation; Paul completed the subjects of which it treats -

"I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God." (Colossians 1:25).

John closed it with the Revelation. This blessed Book is assailed on every hand - its inspiration is openly denied, its divine authority unblushingly called in question, and its heavenly doctrines made the sport of an unbelieving world. Yet its subjects are grand, momentous, and divine; its themes are heavenly and eternal. It is the Word of God, and therefore it lives and abides forever. (W. SCOTT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3861

October 19

"Like a lamb dumb . . . so opened he not His mouth."
(Acts 8:32)

"Philip opened his mouth . . . and preached . . . Jesus."
(Acts 8:35)

Philip was able to open his mouth as the result of the Lord remaining mute at His trial. "When He was reviled, he reviled not again" (1 Peter 2:23). He was about to die an atoning death for a world of sinners who stood with their mouths stopped and guilty before God. How thrilled must Philip have been that day to open his mouth and make known the gospel, especially to one whose ear and heart were wide open to receive it. Is your mouth open? (W.P.W. MCVEY)

N.J. Hiebert - 3862

October 20

" . . . the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys."
(Exodus 40:36)

Spend and be spent would we,
While lasts life's brief day;
No turning back in coward fear,
No lingering by the way.
Onward we press in haste,
Upward our journey still;
Ours is the path the Master trod,
Through good report and ill.
The way may rougher grow,
The weariness increase;
We gird our loins and hasten on,
The end, the end is peace

N.J. Hiebert - 3863

October 21

"God is faithful" - 1 Corinthians 1:9
"God is faithful." - 1 Corinthians 10:13

This short, yet profound, phrase occurs twice in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. The first time in chapter 1 reminds us that God was faithful in calling us. But, lest we get discouraged by the hardships of the Christian life, we are later encouraged by the fact that He remains faithful throughout all of life's trials. He has not abandoned us, nor will He allow any trial to become "too difficult." Let us thank Him today for His continued interest and faithfulness in each of our lives. (CHOICE GLEANINGS - C. MARK HOGAN)

Oh, you that are sad, take heart again!
You are not alone in your hour of pain;
The Father stoops from His throne above
to sooth and comfort us with His love

N.J. Hiebert - 3864

October 22

"And Jesus, which is called Justus . . . these only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me." (Colossians 4:11)

Jesus, or Justus. Paul gave him his full title - Justus the just one. That man's outstanding characteristic was that he was a just man. That is not to be despised. We should all seek to be just. If there is anything that should characterize a Christian, it is moral integrity.

- Downright honesty,
- By the grace of God to speak the truth and be men of our word,
- To be those that can be trusted,
- Those upon whom our neighbours can look as honest men,
- Men who pay their debts,
- Men who have no unfulfilled obligations.

N.J. Hiebert - 3865

October 23

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
(Romans 15:1)

Pleasing our selves, directly condemned in Romans 15:1, is a common form of seeking our own. It is seen in great and little things - in our choice of work for the Lord, in our choice of residence, of companions, of dress, of occupation, and in many petty ways in which we daily indulge, instead of denying ourselves. Oh, how ashamed we feel when we just sit awhile and think of our dreadful self-pleasing in little things - always looking out for number one. So contrary are we in spirit to our beloved Lord. (PLAIN PAPERS FOR YOUNG BELIEVERS - A.T. SCHOFIELD)

N.J. Hiebert - 3866

October 24

"Them that honour Me I will honour."
(1 Samuel 2:30)

Every breathing of our hearts by the Spirit of God is precious in His ear; every cup of cold water given in His name; every service rendered to His saints; every sigh over that which grieves Him; every thrill of joy for what brings glory to Him; every step trodden, or word spoken in furtherance of interests dear to His heart is written with an eternal pen and treasured in the archives of heaven; nor will He fail to requite even those who think upon His name (Malachi 3:16)

Children of sorrow we may indeed be, of whom the world has no record, and knows neither whence we come nor whither we are bound; but if our hearts be in the secret of the Lord, we are not only of the royal line, like Jabez, but, like Jabez, also of the line of faith; our requests are answered, our record is on high for eternity, heavenly resources are ours in their richest plentitude, and an opened heaven will soon receive us into its bosom. Then shall be fully displayed what only faith accepts now - the immutability of that word, "Them that honour Me I will honour." (W.R.)

N.J. Hiebert - 3867

October 25

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart." (Deuteronomy 6:6)

Check Your Blind Spots

When I was in high school, I had a driving instructor who gave me some sound advice. "You think by looking in the rearview mirror you know what is on your left side, but your vision is limited," he said. "Always look over your shoulder before changing lanes. There may be another car in your blind spot." His wise instruction has kept me out of more potential wrecks than I care to think about.

Moses had some wise instruction for the people of Israel. They were to make the study and contemplation of God's commandments an integral part of life. Moses said, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:7). In short, God's words were to permeate every aspect of their lives.

The Bible is our instruction manual from God for navigating life's journey. But merely owning a copy is not enough. It must be studied, applied, and passed on to others.

Just as checking our blind spot should become an automatic response while we drive, applying God's Word should be our natural response as we encounter the hazards of life. It will help us avoid a spiritual crash. (DENNIS FISHER)

The bible will transform our lives
And turn us from our sin,
If we will read it and obey
God's principles within
. (SPER)
The Bible will tell you what is wrong before you have done it! (MOODY)

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2005), Grand Rapids, MI. Printed permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 3868

October 26

"For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God."
(John 10:33)

So men thought. But actually, the reality was just the opposite. He was eternally God (John 1:1), yet became a Man (John 1:14).

- It was as a Man that He was born at Bethlehem,
- That He passed through youth and young manhood.
- It was as a Man that He was condemned to death on Calvary.
- And as a Man that He died for our sins and was acknowledged as righteous by the centurion (Luke 23:47).
- It is as a Man that He now mediates with the Father (1 Timothy 2:5) (GARRY W. SEALE)

Jesus is God! The glorious bands of golden angels sing,
Songs of adoring praise to Him, their Maker and their King.
He was true God in Bethlehem's crib, on Calvary's cross true God,
He who is heaven eternal reigned, in time on earth abode

N.J. Hiebert - 3869

October 27

"Ye are the salt of the earth."
(Matthew 5:13)

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt."
(Colossians 4:6)

With Grace

I have just read a statement of a Christian writer to the effect that the salt of the earth needs to be applied - even if it smarts.

I have heard and read many developments of this same theme. The outline usually runs the same course: salt seasons, purifies and preserves. But somebody ought to remind us that salt also irritates. Real living Christianity rubs this world the wrong way. "The world hath hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world" (John 15:19). Godly living is in itself a rebuke to this age, and this world resents the light that exposes its corruption.

We are going to a lot of trouble these days developing a brand of Christianity that will not irritate this world. The only salt that will not irritate is "salt without savour," and our Lord said such salt, whether table salt or spiritual salt is "good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men." (SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert - 3870

October 28

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:7)

When you have a need, instead of worrying and fussing about it, you need to present your need to our Father right away. Stop what you are doing; get on your knees and pour your heart out to the Father. Our loving God and Father is waiting and wants to hear all about it. He will not always say yes, but He will always give us His peace. If we will but trust Him and put our cares before His heart, He will put His peace into ours.

"It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus' company, that we can be tranquil about everything. You will often find that it is the one of the most anxious temperament who finds most in Him, when such an one begins to know Him. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, 'I will fear no evil,' 'my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.' In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. We all say that He is enough, but it is quite a different thing to know it practically. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent on him." -J.B.S.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding"
(Proverbs 3:5).
(Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 3871

October 29

"What is in thine hand?"
(Exodus 4:2)

Let us examine honestly whether it is something which He can use for His glory or not. If not, do not let us hesitate an instant about dropping it. It may be something we do not like to part with; but "the Lord is able to give thee much more than this," and the first glimpse of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord will enable us to count those things loss which were gain to us.

But if it is something which He can use, He will make us do ever so much more with it than before. Moses little thought what the Lord was going to make him do with that rod in his hand! The first thing he had to do with it was to cast it on the ground, and see it pass through a startling change. After this he was commanded to take it up again, hard and terrifying as it was to do so. But when it became again a rod in his hand, it was no longer what it was before, the simple rod of a wandering desert shepherd.

Henceforth it was "the rod of God in his hand" (Exodus 4:20), wherewith he should do signs, and by which God Himself would do marvelous things (Psalm 78:12).

N.J. Hiebert - 3872

October 30

"How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth and thy want as an armed man."
(Proverbs 6:9-11)

You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
(Galatians 6:2)

Test your strength by lifting a burden from another's shoulder.

"We spend our days as a tale that is told---for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
(Psalm 90:9,10)

A minute is a little thing, but minutes make a day. So crowd in some kind deeds before it slips away.

"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself" (Proverbs 11:25)

No man can be good to others without being good to himself.

N.J. Hiebert - 3873

October 31

"For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better . . ."  (Philippians 1:23)

The last for which the first was made - that was Paul's highest aspiration, to be with Christ. But do not forget that Christ is with us now. We are hampered by our limitations and not as aware of Him as we should be. There, no longer blinded by our eyes, we shall know as we are known and we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. But He is with us all the days when we see through a glass as in a riddle and to know Hm better now is our chief business. Tomorrow can wait and we have only today. (ALL THE DAYS - VANCE HAVNER)

N.J. Hiebert - 3874


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home