Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5330 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Monday, March 01, 2010

Gems from March 2010

March 1

"And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met Him."
(Luke 9:37)

It's great to be on the mountain top, but we cannot remain there. The valley is filled with trouble and it needs the help and power of God. However, we need the mount, since it is the inspiration for our work in the valley. Life is made up of mountain and valley experiences, and the former prepares us for the latter. Observe that gloom and glory are never far apart. But some day there will be no gloom. Until then let us be faithful in bringing the glory of the mount to the gloom of the valley. (W.Ross Rainey - Choice Gleanings)

O Master. let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear,
The strain, of toil, the fret of care
.
(Washington Gladden)

N.J. Hiebert - 3995

March 2

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord."
(Psalm 92:1)

I have a friend in England who is in her mid-eighties. Although she's housebound and frail, she has an attitude of gratitude every time we talk on the telephone. One of her favorite hymns has always been, "Count Your Blessings." So I was concerned when she remarked one day, "I've stopped naming my blessings one by one." But then she continued cheerfully, "My blessings are so many, I'm weighing them ton by ton!"

Years ago when I was struggling with restless sleep, I started a new habit. Throughout each day I tried to notice every blessing, large or small, that came my way. Each night in bed I named them one by one and thanked God for them all. Not only did this practice change my attitude from negative to positive, but I often fell into a peaceful sleep before finishing my list. God used a time of struggle in my life to help me to develop an attitude of thanksgiving.

Donald Grey Barnhouse said, "How strange that the Lord must plead with those whom He has saved from the pit to show gratitude to Him!" Is the Lord using a tough trial to plead with you to praise Him more? If so, start counting your blessings and discover how good it is to give thanks to the Lord (Pslam 92:1). (JEY)

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings - every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by
.
(Oatman)

Praise to God comes naturally when you count your blessings.

N.J. Hiebert - 3996
__________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1999), Grand Rapids, MI, Reprinted by permission.

March 3

"As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever."
(Psalm 48:8)

Perhaps we are sad because of what seems a lost battle. But "a lost battle is one which one believes lost". The battle is the Lord's, not ours. The words "as we have heard, so have we seen" have heartened me again and again to believe to see the goodness of the Lord, when all that was happening seemed to say, You shall not see.

We have heard of Thy victories, O Lord our Captain, we shall see them again. As we have heard, so shall we see. The day will come when we shall say, As we have heard, so have we seen. (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

N.J. Hiebert - 3997

March 4

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." (Joshua 1:8)

The motto of Bengel was: "Apply thyself wholly to the Scriptures, and apply the Scriptures wholly to thyself". A man owns as much of the Bible as he obeys. When we discover that God's commandments are just Love speaking in the imperative mood; that His commandments are not grievous; then, "Thou shalt," will be instantly transmuted by faith and love into, "I will". (George Henderson - In Pastures Green)

N.J. Hiebert - 3998

March 5

"We shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
(1 John 3:2)

Many a heart Christ has dealt with, many a soul He has comforted and strengthened, will almost selfishly say, "I long to be out of this scene, I long to be where all sorrow will be over." Nay, I long for the hour to come when I shall behold Himself in His glory that day. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 3999

March 6

"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:12,13)

It is the living Word of God that reaches down into the conscience of men. There is nothing like it! It penetrates and judges all before it. It carries its own credentials. Men may seek to defend the Word of God, but their puny efforts are not needed. It has stood all the assaults of generations and remains the same living and operative Word of God as before. It has power to touch the inner being of a man today as much as it had a thousand years ago. It is sharp - it cuts. How do you know it? Sit down quietly and read it, allowing it to do its work, and you will find out.

If a man were to cut you with a knife, would you need any proof that the knife would cut? No, you would have it. Just so, the Word of God proves itself and brings a person consciously into God's presence, for behind the Word of God is God. He is the One with whom we have to do. No human being can escape having to do with the living God. How good it is then to have His Word search us and by its action bring us before Him. (Paul Wilson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4000

March 7

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
(Jeremiah 33:3)

Often God does not immediately give us a clear answer. Then we must learn to wait for Him. This waiting upon God is a blessing in itself, because we know, confidently and joyfully, that the answer will come at the time our loving Father things right. (Corrie Ten Boom - The Day is the Lord's)

N.J. Hiebert - 4001

March 8

"Let us therefore, as many as be perfect (mature) be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you."
(Philippians 3:15)

Never be lazy, or you will be touchy. Busy people have no time to be touchy. Touchiness is catching - at times it becomes epidemic, and only the divine Physician can heal it. He will, if you let Him. Faultfinding is easy, and dangerous. Anyone can grumble, criticize, or censure, but it takes a great soul to go on working faithfully and lovingly, and rising superior to it all. (TCNL - March/April 1992)

N.J. Hiebert - 4002

March 9

"Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel."
(Exodus 17:6)

"Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this waters shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
(John 4:13,14)

Water was in the rock, but until smitten, it did not give forth water - so it was with Christ. And now He is revealed to us, in heaven, as the eternal Son of God, who was smitten for us, and we can turn to Him and say, "There is our spring of living water, He is ours. We have got eternal life in him as a well of water springing up." All the way through the wilderness, the water flowed, to slake their thirst, to refresh them; all the way, and it spoke blessedly of Christ. (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4003

March 10

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
(Isaiah 6:8)

Do you long to be used by the Lord? God desires to use you, too, but His standards are high. He is looking for men and women of character and integrity. See how you compare to Isaiah. He drew near to God and had a reverential awe of His holiness. He was broken before God over his sin and knew what it was to be cleansed by the grace of God. He was willing to preach an unpopular message and to faithfully keep going even when his message was rejected and he saw very little fruit. God still calls such people today. Are you within calling distance? (David Croudace)

N.J. Hiebert - 4004

March 11

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)

Profitable for doctrine, This tells us what is right.
For reproof, This tells us what is not right.
For correction, How to get right.
For instruction in righteousness, How to stay right
(Submitted by a reader - Christian's Daily)

N.J. Hiebert - 4005

March 12

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises . . ." (2 Peter 1:4)

Promises cover the whole period of human life. . . . You cannot bring yourselves unto a condition for which you cannot find in God's Word some promise. Therefore, there are promises of God; to the ignorant; to the poor; to the neglected; to the burdened; to the oppressed; to the discouraged; to the solitary; to the imprisoned; to the sick; to the heart-broken; to the remorseful; to the weak; to the strong; to the timid; to the brave; to every affliction; to every one of its exigencies; to every sphere of duty; to all perils; to every temptation that waylays good men in their journey.

There are promises for joy; for sorrow; for victory; for defeat; for adversity; for prosperity; for those who run; for those who walk; for those who can only stand still. Old age has its garlands as full and fragrant as youth. The sick, the dying - all men, everywhere and always, have their promises of God. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4006

March 13

"Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." (Psalm 119:11)

And should my soul be torn with grief
Upon my shelf I find
A little volume, torn and thumbed,
For comfort just designed.
I take my little Bible down
And read its pages o'er,
And when I part from it I find
Im stronger than before
(Edgar A Guest)

N.J. Hiebert - 4007

March 14

"We trusted." (Luke 24:21)

I have always felt so sorry that in that walk to Emmaus the disciples had not said to Jesus, "We still trust"; instead of "We trusted." That is so sad - something that is all over.

If thy had only said, "Everything is against our hope; it looks as if our trust was vain, but we do not give up; we believe we shall see Him again." But no, they walked by His side declaring their lost faith, and He had to say to them "O fools, and slow of heart to believe!"

Are we not in the same danger of having these words said to us? We can afford to lose anything and everything if we do not lose our faith in the God of truth and love.

Let us never put our faith, as these disciples did, in a past tense - "We trusted." But let us ever say, "I am trusting." (Crumbs)

N.J. Hiebert - 4008

March 15

"Look from the top." (Song of Solomon 4:8)

Crushing weights give the Christian wings. It seems like a contradiction in terms, but it is a blessed truth. David out of some bitter experience cried: "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! Then would I fly away, and be at rest" (Psalm 55:6). But before he finished this meditation he seems to have realized that his wish for wings was a realizable one. For he says, "Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and He will sustain thee."

The word "burden" is translated in the Bible margin, "what He (Jehovah) hath given thee." The saints' burdens are God-given; they lead him to "wait upon Jehovah," and when that is done, in the magic of trust, the "burden" is metamorphosed into a pair of wings, and the weighted one "mounts up with wings as eagles." (Sunday School Times)

N.J. Hiebert - 4009

March 16

"When I am weak, then am I strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

God can bring down to the dust the stoutest character. He knows how to touch the spring of nature's strength, and write the sentence of death thoroughly upon it; and until this is done, there can be no real "power with God or man." We must be "weak" ere we can be "strong." "The power of Christ" can only "rest on us" in connection with the knowledge of our infirmities. Christ cannot put the seal of His approval upon nature's strength, its wisdom, or its glory: All these must sink that He may rise. Nature can never form, in any one way, a pedestal on which to display the grace or power of Christ; for if it could, then might flesh glory in His presence; but this, we know, can never be. (C.H. Macintosh - Notes on Genesis)

N.J. Hiebert - 4010

March 17

". . . Jesus only." (Matthew 17:8)

One solitary Figure in all human history stands majestically alone. As man He is alone in His deity, the only One who is "God . . . in flesh." Alone in His birth, for no one else chose to enter this fallen world. Alone in His life, for only He did "those things that please the Father." And He is unique in death and resurrection for, as he said, "I lay it down of Myself that I might take it again." (J. Boyd Nicholson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4011

March 18

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
(Psalm 27:1)

You have fought with your foes again and again with undaunted courage, but you have never gained the victory. Pause, for a moment, and ask this simple question. What am I to learn by this sorrowful experiment? . . . it is that the enemy is too strong for you, that you cannot cope with his power. . . . If you continue upon the present line of effort it is only to court defeat in the future as in the past. Your case is, as far as your own strength is concerned, hopeless. If, on the other hand, you . . . come to the end of your own strength, it will bring rest to your soul, because . . . you will understand that your help, strength and succour come from . . . Christ and not from yourselves. Oh, the unspeakable blessedness of such a discovery! Ceasing henceforward to struggle, you will know what it is to rest in Another, and be able to take up the song of David, "The Lord is my light and my salvation." (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4012

March 19

"Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth . . ." (Isaiah 41:15)

As servants of Christ we also need to be "sharp threshing instruments with teeth." A great deal of preaching has very few "teeth." We should be faithful in pointing out the wickedness of mankind and the exceeding sinfulness of sin that men may realize where they stand before God. So preaching needs to have "teeth," else it may be absolutely powerless and colourless, and saved or unsaved can sit and listen to it and enjoy it. (H.A. Ironside- Isaiah)

N.J. Hiebert - 4013

March 20

"And Peter answer Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:28,29)

This walk has no other foundation than, "if it be Thou"; that is to say, Jesus Himself. There is no support, no possibility of walking, if Christ be lost sight of. All depends on Him. (J.N. Darby - Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 4014

March 21

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
(Hebrews 11:6)

Pleasing God is the highest service. This was Enoch's service. It is a healthy sign when saints are zealous of good works, but I believe there is nothing so likely to sap the soul as the satisfaction one derives from feeling that one is useful. . . . When you have been much in active service you need to go to the "desert to rest awhile" with the Lord. The soul who does not seek this, and long for it, is the soul that needs it most. (J.B.S - Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 4015

March 22

"The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: PRIDE, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
(Proverbs 8:13)

- Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.

- At every trifle take offense, that always shows great pride or little sense.

- Pride perceiving humility honourable, often borrows her cloak.

- Pride defeats its own end, by bringing the man who seeks esteem and reverence into contempt.
(A Collection of Wise Sayings - From a reader - R.K)

N.J. Hiebert - 4016

March 23

"I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
(1 Timothy 2:8)

You can pray for any need - for lengthened life, as Hezekiah did;
- For help, as Daniel did;
- For mercy, as David did;
- For rain, as Elijah did;
- For a son, as Hannah did;
- For grace, as Paul did.

You can pray, too, anywhere - In the deep, like Jonah;
- On the sea or housetop, like Peter;
- On your bed, like Hezekiah;
- In the mountain, like Jesus;
- In the wilderness, like Hagar;
- In the street, like Jairus;
- In a cave, like David;
- On the cross, like the dying thief.

You can pray, too, anyhow - Short, as Peter and the Publican did;
- Long, like Moses at the consecration of the Tabernacle,
- Or Solomon at the dedication of the temple.

You can pray in your secret thoughts, as Nehemiah did before Darius;
- Or aloud, as did the Syro-Phoenician woman;
- In tears, as Magdalene did;
- In groans or songs, as David did.

You can pray any time - In the morning, as David did;
- At noon, as Daniel did;
- At midnight, as Silas did;
- In childhood, as Samuel did;
- In youth, as Timothy did;
- In manhood, as the Centurion did;
- In age, as Simeon did;
-In sickness, as Job did;
- Or in death, as did Jacob and the dying Christ.
(Robert G. Lee)

Careless prayer is presumption; commanded prayer is obedience.

N.J. Hiebert - 4017

March 24

"For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5

Yesterday He helped me,
Today I'll praise His name.
Because I know tomorrow,
He'll help me just the same.

"O wondrous grace, O joy sublime,
I've Jesus with me all the time
."

No. 21 of the "GOLDEN SERIES".
Sent by K.W. - Tasmania

N.J. Hiebert - 4018

March 25

"The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."
(Isaiah 50:4)

O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
Thy precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart
.
(Francis R. Havergal)

A "word in season" suggests that of all the comments one might make, your statement fits the situation precisely. The possession of a tongue of such unerring accuracy requires a perceptive spiritual ear which considers a word from the Lord to be a daily priority. Are your words "in season"? (Garry W. Seale)

N.J. Hiebert - 4019

March 26

"A certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him (Jesus), saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
(Luke 10:25)

This "certain lawyer", doubtless was filled with himself, and thinking to tempt Christ, said, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

What should he do?

The law had promised life to as many as continued doing all its requirements. It was holy, just, and good, asking nothing from man but what was right and equitable. It contained two tables - one in regard to God, the other in regard to man - and each must be lived up to the full standard; God, with all the heart and soul and strength; Man, our neighbour, as ourselves.

How simple the announcement! But, how about obedience to it? The lawyer evidently had little conscience as to loving God, and, no doubt, thought that his untested feelings toward God would pass for obedience. Indeed, many are unconscious of the deep hatred to God that is in them, while the very low estimate they form of what is due to Him is the very result and token of it. (From Sound Words _ Christian Truth - Vol 22 - November 1969)

N.J. Hiebert - 4020

March 27

"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6,7)

How apt we are we to limit thanksgiving to things that we can understand to be good, but we have to give thanks for all things. If we are within the veil and living there, we shall know what it is to give thanks for all that is most contrary to what we should naturally choose. Are there any who have one thing they cannot give thanks for? Whatever that particular thing may be, they have not got into the light of God's presence. If they had, they would know what cause they had to thank God for that very thing, as for all else. (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4021

March 28

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
(John 14:27)

The words indicate that our Lord's desire is that we should journey through life with untroubled hearts, and in the enjoyment of unbroken peace. His ideal for us is that, because of the wondrous salvation with which He has endowed us, we shall have no stings of conscience dipped in the poison of past failures; no unsatisfied desire in our present experience no foreboding anxiety as we face future uncertainties.

The words before us now show how we may come into possession of these priceless boons of heaven. The tranquility which the Saviour here promises is both a legacy - "Peace I leave with you"; and a gift - "My peace I give unto you"; and the personal pronoun "My" clearly suggests that it is inward peace. For, as has been said: "Christ's life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived; tempest and tumult, tumult and tempest, the waves breaking over it all the time till the worn body was laid in the grave. But the inner life was like a sea of glass. The great calm was always there. At any moment you might have gone to Him and found rest." (HIS Last Words - Henry Durbanville)

N.J. Hiebert - 4022

March 29

"And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Genesis 3:11)

"Who am I?" It is quite right that we should have the sense of our own utter nothingness; for we surely are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves. But it is also right that we should think much of God. For when He sends it is not a question of what we are, but of what He is - and it is no small thing to be invested with His authority and power. (Edward Dennett - Typical Teachings of Exodus)

N.J. Hiebert - 4023

March 30

"Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
(2 Corinthians 8:9)

The poorest man that ever walked the dirt roads of earth! Born in poverty, reared in obscurity, yet He enriched all mankind! For twenty years He worked as a carpenter in that village which bore the scorn of men: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" As far as we know He never possessed the value of one penny. In the wilderness without food, by Jacob's well without water, in the crowded city without a home - thus He lived, and loved and died!

The foxes find rest, / And the birds have their nests
In the shade of the forest tree, / But Thy couch was the sod,
O Thou Son of God, / In the desert of Galilee
.

He preached without price, and wrought miracles without money. His parish was the world. He sought breakfast from a leafing fig tree. He ate grain as He walked through the fields of corn. Without money, He sent Peter to the sea for the fish that they might have money for the tax! He had no cornfields or fisheries, yet He could spread a table for 5000 and have bread and fish to spare! No beautiful carpets to walk on, yet the waters supported Him!

So poor was He that He must needs bear His own cross through the city, till fainting He fell. His value was 30 pieces of silver - the price of a slave, the lowest estimate of human life. But, on God's side, no lower price than His infinite agony could have made possible our Redemption! When He died, few men mourned; but a black crepe was hung over the sun. His crucifixion was the crime of crimes! (Springs in the Valley)

N.J. Hiebert - 4024

March 31

"'Master, carest Thou not that we perish?' And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, 'Peace be still'. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
(Mark 4:38)

There is something perfectly beautiful in the way in which our blessed Lord rises, without an effort, from the repose of perfect humanity into the activity of essential deity. As man, wearied with His work, He slept on a pillow; as God, He rises and, with His almighty voice, hushes the storm and calms the sea.

Such was Jesus - very God and very man. And such He is now, ever ready to meet His people's need, to hush their anxieties, and remove their fears. Would that we could only trust Him more simply. We have little idea of how much we lose by not leaning more on the arm of Jesus day by day. We are so easily terrified. Every breath of wind, every wave, every cloud, agitates and depresses us. Instead of calmly lying down and reposing beside our Lord, we are full of terror and perplexity. Instead of using the storm as an occasion for trusting Him, we make it an occasion for doubting Him. No sooner does some trifling trouble arise than we think we are going to perish, although He assures us that not a hair of our head can ever be touched. Well may He say to us, as He said to His disciples, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40) (Christian Truth - Vol. 22 - December 1969)

N.J. Hiebert - 4025

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