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

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Gems from May 2010

April 29

"As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

"Ye are complete in Him." (Colossians 2:10)

"Accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

The believer is united to Christ. He is complete as to his standing before God. Nor can we ever lose this perfect standing. It is impossible that a single member of Christ's body can ever for one moment be out of that condition of perfect favour in which he has been set by God's free grace in union with a crucified, risen, and glorified Head.

He may lose the sense of it, the comfort of it, the power of it; but the thing itself he cannot lose. It is his unalterable standing in Christ. Clouds may overcast the sun and hide from our view his genial beams; but the sun shines all the while with undiminished luster. The believer is accepted, once and forever, in Christ. He is united to Him by a link that can never be severed.

It is not until we believe that we enter into this blessed position. The foundation of it all was laid in the death and resurrection of Christ; but it is only when we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, receive into our hearts the precious truth of the gospel that we enter into the enjoyment of it. "In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13) (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 -September 1962)

N.J. Hiebert - 4053

April 30

"For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
(Jeremiah 2:13)

"He leadeth me beside the still waters."
(Psalm 23:2)

One should bear it most distinctly before the soul that in anything we are doing we are just going through it with Christ, and the waters will flow freely; no frost ever congeals them, no heat ever dries them up. You may have sorrow, temptation, and everything to try you, but nothing can touch those living waters, and why? Because we are loved with an everlasting love, and it is Christ the fountain of living water who leads us. (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4054

May 1

"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in his temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
(Revelation 7:15)

John and Betty Stam, Moody Bible Institute graduates, were martyred in China on December 8, 1934. On December 6, John Stam wrote, "My wife, baby and myself are today in the hands of communists. All our possessions and stores thy have taken, but we praise God for peace in our hearts and a meal tonight. God grant you wisdom in what you do and us fortitude, courage, and peace of heart. He is able, and a wonderful Friend at such a time." And in closing, he said, "The Lord bless and guide you, and as for us, may God be glorified, whether by life or death."

"A martyr is not a martyr because he dies;
he dies because he is a martyr."

"For me is ordained the red robe of martyrdom," said Girolamo Savonarola 1452-1498 (burned at the stake.)

"A martyr's crown is worth its cost;
To reign with Christ will all repay;
No tongue can tell, no heart conceive
The joys of that celestial day

O ye martyrs, be not impatient; there is another company of martyrs coming on; wait for them!
(A.J. Gordon - Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert - 4055

May 2

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness . . ."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Today more than ever we Christians need to learn how to sanctify the ordinary!

In this cynical generation, people have been overstimulated to the place where their nerves are jaded and their tastes corrupted. Everything is common and almost everything boring. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized and worship converted into a form of entertainment.

Like it or not, that is the world in which we find ourselves and we are charged with the responsibility to live soberly, righteously and godly right in the middle of it!

The danger is that we allow ourselves to be too much affected by the degenerate tastes and low views of the Hittites and Jebusites among whom we dwell and so learn the ways of the nations, to our own undoing, as Israel did before us.

When the whole moral and psychological atmosphere is secular and common how can we escape its deadly effects? How can we sanctify the ordinary and find true spiritual meaning in the common things of life?

The answer is plainly apparent but to some of us it will seem too tame and ordinary. It is to consecrate the whole of life to Christ and begin to do everything in His name and for His sake. That just means that we begin to do for Christ's sake what we had formerly been dong for out own! (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day by Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4056

May 3

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)"
(1 John 1:1-2)

In the course of our Lord's journey on earth, we see Him in the following ways.

1. As the born One - holy, meeting God's mind in the nature of human material.
2. As the circumcised One - perfect under the law, meeting God's mind in it.
3. As the baptized One - meeting God's mind in dispensational order and righteousness.
4. As the anointed One - meeting God's mind as His image or representative.
5. As the devoted One - meeting God's mind in the covenant of grace to sinners.
6. As the risen One - sealed with God's approval in victory for sinners.

Thus He meets all the mind of God while providing for us. All was magnified in Him and by Him, all made honourable. God's proposed delight in man, or glory by Him, has been richly answered in the blessed JESUS. While in His person He was "God manifest in the flesh," in the succession of His stages through the earth He was accomplishing all the divine purpose, delight and glory in man. Nothing unworthy of God was in the man Christ Jesus, His person, experiences or ways. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4057

May 4

"Not without blood." (Hebrews 9:7)

Look at the Roman soldier as he pushed his spear into the very heart of the God-man. What an awful deed! But what was the next thing that took place? Blood covered the spear! Oh, thank God, the blood covers sin! The very crowning act of sin brought out the crowning act of love; the crowning act of wickedness was the crowning act of grace. (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 4058

May 5

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

During World War II, many churches around the country were kept open 24 hours a day so people could come and pray for loved ones on the battlefront. A caretaker in one of those churches noticed a small boy who came in every day for about 10 minutes. One day the boy came in and stayed on his knees much longer. The concerned caretaker spoke to him and asked why he was there so long. He replied, “Each day I came here for a few minutes to ask God to bring my father home safely. This morning he did, so I hurried over here to thank the Lord for answering my prayer.” (Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4059

May 6

"There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tried) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (trial) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

- To get out of difficulty, one usually must go through it.

- It is not enough for the gardener to love flowers - he must also hate weeds.

- Excuses are the nails used to build the house of failure.
(A collection of Wise Sayings - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4060

May 7

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, how can a man be born when he is old? Jesus answered . . . except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot ENTER into the kingdom of God. . . . Art thou a master of Israel,* and knowest not these things?"
(John 3:1-10)

"A new heart also will I give you, and and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." *
(Ezekiel 36:26)

Was not Nicodemus well instructed in the facts and letter of scripture? yet was he not ignorant of the foundation truth that a man * "must be born again" either to "see" or to "enter into the kingdom of God"? And is it not in the present day most appalling, with so many Bibles and so many readers, to find so few who declare with divine certainty, founded on God's Word, their present possession of eternal life; and fewer still who speak of God's Word, because it testifies of Christ, being the daily food of their souls? (H.H.S.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4061

May 8

"Much food is in the tillage (cultivation) of the poor."
(Proverbs 13:23)

Often we are more careful to acquire spiritual ideas and feelings, than we are to see that nothing in our manner of life should hinder their growth and expression. Truly the light is sweet, but I must remember that if I do not protect it and use it, it is literally of no use to me.

What would be the gain of a man filling his garden with rare and valuable plants if, from his neglect, he never derived any benefit from them; but, where he thought he had a treasure, when he looked again, he found his garden waste, and with the bitter, humbling feeling that what he had acquired he had lost by carelessness and inattention - not considering the tenderness and value of the plants. Better for him to have planted his garden with less valuable plants, and to have felt more dependent on it - for "Much food is in the tillage of the poor" (Proverbs 13:23) - than to have acquired with expense what through neglect he had lost. (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - June 1961)

N.J. Hiebert - 4062

May 9

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot."
(Revelation 3:15)

". . . open the door, and I will come in to him . . ."
(Revelation 3:20

"Neither cold nor nor hot." "I read my Bible, but I can take it or leave it; I pray, but I can take it or leave it." The answer to this lukewarmness is to "open the door and let him in" (Revelation 3:20)

It is necessary to remember a fundamental principle in the spiritual life - that God only reveals spiritual truths to meet spiritual needs.

A lack of appreciation of the wonder of a full salvation in Christ opens the door to every kind of overbalance, and spells continual frustration and failure.

Let us be careful that we don't get out of soul rest in seeking further blessing. God cannot work while we are anxious - even about our spiritual experiences. Let us take Him at His Word, and leave the fulfillment of it to Him.

Self revelation precedes divine revelation.

N.J. Hiebert - 4063

May 10

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His MOTHER and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His MOTHER, and the disciples standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His MOTHER, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy MOTHER! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." (John 19:25-27)

We admire the faithfulness, the devotedness of these dear women, and the beloved young disciple, but most - the tender, compassionate love of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ and His consideration for the dear MOTHER that bore Him. He recalls the prophecy, "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also," and He knows that sword is indeed piercing her MOTHER heart as she sees her Son suffering in such awful agony hanging there upon the nails, and He would have her know that He is concerned about her and anxious to relieve her agonies. So He points her to John and says, "Behold thy son!" and to John He says, "Behold thy MOTHER! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." During the last of her sojourn here on earth, John became to her as a tender, loving son, and she to him as a loving MOTHER. (H.A. Ironside - Gospel of John)

N.J. Hiebert - 4064

May 11

"He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. . . . They seek a country. . . . God . . . hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:10,14,16)

Abraham looked for a city and all who follow in his train seek a country. They are self-confessed strangers, pilgrims on the earth. Their quest is not in vain for God has prepared for them a city. Abraham's tent knew no secure foundations, only pegs driven in the desert sand. The gates of God's city are open to those who do His commandments (Revelation 22:14).

We read that the voyagers with Paul deemed that they drew near to some country (Acts 27:27). We are nearing that City and that Country! (Vance Havner - All the Days)

N.J. Hiebert - 4065

May 12

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

“Let my circumstances be what they may, if I can see them ordered for me unfailingly by One in whom infinite wisdom, power, and goodness combine, and whose love toward me I am assured of, my restlessness is gone, my will subjected to that other will in which I can but acquiesce and delight.” (F.W.G.- From a reader)

N.J. Hiebert - 4066

May 13

"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."
(2 Thessalonians 3:5)

I do not believe that a Christian can have his heart scripturally right unless he is looking for God's Son from heaven. There can be no such thing as attempting to set the world right if its sin in rejecting Christ were fully seen; and, moreover, there never will be a correct judgment formed of the character of the world until that crowning sin be apprehended by the soul.

To a Christian who is looking and waiting for Christ to come from heaven, Christ Himself is unspeakably more the object before the soul. It is not only that I shall get to heaven and be happy, but that the Lord Himself is coming from heaven for me and all that are His with me. It is this that gives its character to the joy of the saint.

As Christ Himself says, "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" - when I find My delight, then shall you find yours also, I with you, and you with Me - "forever with the Lord." (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - February 1961)

N.J. Hiebert - 4067

May 14

"And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him . . . and God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
(Genesis 1:26,27,31)

Man is God's completion of creation. All was created for God's delight and man's pleasure. Acceptance of creation brings confidence and contentment - denial brings forth despair and discontent. Man in dictating his own destiny creates his own problems. God has ordained and ordered all as to his ways and wisdom not according to man's. Curiosity when driven by self-importance tends to disguise itself as research and development, technology to aid the ailing and limited resources of man kind. (Meditations in Genesis - B.R.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4068

May 15

"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 3:18)

"And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith."
(Luke 17:5)

Do not expect, when you trust Christ to bring you into a new, healthy prayer life, that you will be able all at once to pray as easily and powerfully and joyfully as you fain would. But just bow quietly before God in your ignorance and weakness. That is the best and truest prayer, to put yourself before God just as you are. "We know not what to pray as we ought;" ignorance, difficulty, struggle marks our prayer all along. But "the Spirit Himself, helpeth our infirmities." How? "The Spirit" deeper down than our thoughts or feelings "maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered," (Romans 8:26) (Andrew Murray)

N.J. Hiebert - 4069

May 16

"He that refraineth (restrains) his lips is wise."
(Proverbs 10:19)

"Thanks a lot," the man behind the postal counter said to the person in front of me. The clerk, Jon, had seen me in line and was hoping I would overhear him. When it was my turn, I said hello to Jon, who had been a student of mine when I taught high school in the 1980s.

"Did you notice what I said to her?" Jon asked. "I told her, 'Thanks a lot.' " Sensing that I was missing his point, he explained, "Remember what you told us about the term a lot? You said a lot was a piece of land, not a phrase to use instead of much."

Astounding! An English lesson from a quarter-century before had stuck with Jon through all those years. That speaks clearly to us of the importance of what we say to others. It also backs up one of my favorite lines by poet Emily Dickenson: "A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day."

The words we say may have long-term consequences. Our comments, our compliments, and even our harsh criticisms may stick with the hearer for decades.

No wonder Scripture says, "He that restrains his lips is wise" (Proverbs 10:19). The words we speak today live on. Let's make sure they come from "The tongue of the just (righteous)" (verse 20). (Dave Branon)

Father, help me live today
With thoughtfulness in what I say,
Confronting wrong with truth and fact,
Expressing gentleness and tact
. - Hess

The tongue is a small organ that creates either discord or harmony.

N.J. Hiebert - 4070

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2008), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

May 17

"And He said unto me, Son of Man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give unto thee. Then did I eat it, and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness."
(Ezekiel 3:3)

"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey." (Revelation 10:8,9)

Both Ezekiel and John were commanded to eat the book which contained the subjects of their future testimonies . . . By eating we understand that the word was to be appropriated. These prophets were to make the messages they were commissioned to deliver their own. . . . Even eating, or appropriating, is not sufficient: there is also the digesting of what we have appropriated. . . . Most of us know from our own experience that the process of digesting the truth we have really received is often a slow operation; and also that the truth is never effective in us, or through us, until it has been digested. There is a great distinction therefore between. . . . Ezekiel having the roll in his mouth and enjoying its sweetness, and eating it with his belly and filling his bowels with it. (Footprints for Pilgrims - Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4071

May 18

"Righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
(Psalm 85:10)

The righteousness of God ousted Adam and Eve from Eden and would have banished us forever from His presence. But He is the God of peace, and desired to re-establish a relationship with mankind. The solution came when these two opposing forces met together at the Cross of Christ. His awesome righteousness was satisfied in Christ's death and now we have peace with God. Because of Christ, He can offer peace to all. (Choice Gleanings - R.E. Harlow)

Mercy and truth unite, Oh, 'tis a wondrous sight
All sights above! Jesus the curse sustains!
Guilt's bitter cup He drains!
Nothing for us remains, nothing but love
(Thomas Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert - 4072

May 19

"They awake Him, and say unto Him, Carest Thou not that we perish?" (Mark 4:38)

What a question! "Carest Thou not?" How it must have wounded the sensitive heart of the Lord! How could they ever think that He was indifferent to their trouble and danger? How completely must they have lost sight of His love, to say nothing of His power, when they could bring themselves to say, "Carest Thou not?"

And yet, have we not in all this a mirror in which to see ourselves reflected? Assuredly we have. How often, in moments of pressure and trial, do our hearts conceive, if our lips do not utter the question, "Carest Thou not?" It may be we are laid on a bed of sickness and pain, and we know that one word from the God of all power and might could chase away the malady and raise us up; and yet the word is withheld. Or perhaps we are in need of temporal supplies, and we know that the silver and gold, and the cattle upon a thousand hills, belong to God (Psalm 50:10) - yea, that the treasures of the universe are under His hand - and yet day after day rolls on, and our need is not supplied.

In a word, we are passing through deep waters, in some way or another; the storm rages, wave after wave rolls over our tiny vessel, we are brought to our extremity, we are at our wits' end, and our hearts often feel ready to send up the terrible question, "Carest Thou not?" The thought of this is deeply humbling. To think of our grieving the loving heart of Jesus by our unbelief and suspicion should fill us with the deepest contrition. (C.H. Macintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4073

May 20

"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication . . . watching thereunto with all perseverance . . ."
(Ephesians 6:18)

During the American Revolutionary war a British soldier - a Scottish Highlander - was brought before his commanding officer who also was a Scotsman. The charge against the young soldier was that he had been communicating with the enemy. If proven guilty the sentence would be immediate execution. Though there was no direct proof against the Highlander of subversion or contact with the enemy, British tempers were riled to a peak due to the previous capture and execution as a spy of Major Andre, a high ranking officer.

The circumstantial evidence against the young Scottish soldier was that he had been seen in the darkening twilight furtively stealing out from a thick clump of bushes and underwood that bordered the dense forests. Though in the immediate neighbourhood of the British, the forests swarmed with the General Washington's troops. The charges brought against the young soldier were based on the conjectures and assumptions of those who saw him.

The Highlander's defense to his commanding officer was given in few words. He claimed that having some 'off duty' time, he had quietly left his fellow soldiers to spend an hour or two in secret prayer.

The Scottish commanding officer sternly asked the young soldier; "Have you been in the habit of spending hours in secret prayer?"

Receiving an affirmative reply he drew out his watch and continued; "Then never in all your life had you more need for prayer than now; kneel down, sir, and pray aloud that we may hear you".

Expecting instant death the young Highlander knelt down and began to earnestly pray. His prayer was obviously uttered by one used to communing with His God. His language, earnestness, reverence and calm demeanor all gave clear testimony to the reality of his Christianity and the reliability of his defense.

When he finished praying his commanding officer quietly said; "You may go, sir. You have not, I dare say, had any contact with the enemy tonight". (CTS - Volume 13 - August 2009)

N.J. Hiebert - 4074

May 21

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." (Philippians 3:10)

If there is a portion so blessed for me, it is because I am to bring glory to Christ: He is to have ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of mirrors to reflect His glory. When He appears, all will be told out that was shut up and hid with Him in God.

He knows where every separate little heap of dust rests - the dust of a Peter and of a Paul - all to be raised in a moment and made glorious bodies like unto His own. Then it will come out in a volume, the whole sum and substance of the gospel of the glory shut up in Him, (Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4075

May 22

"So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, that Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun." (Exodus 17:10-12)

The battle below depended not upon the strength of the warriors, nor even upon the Holy Spirit, but upon the enduring and efficacious intercession of Christ. For when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Hence the necessity of dependence. Apart from it, we may be ready for the conflict; the cause may be a just one, but our failure will be sure and inevitable. But with it, having Christ on high on our behalf, and Christ in the energy of the Spirit as our Leader, "when the wicked, even our enemies and our foes, come against us, they will stumble and fall." Then no foe can stand before the Lord's people. (Typical Teachings of Exodus - Edward Dennett)

"Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident."
(Psalm 27:3)

N.J. Hiebert - 4076

May 23

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20)

What really counts!
When all is said and done and Life is tallied at the end
One thing will make the difference of the destiny I spend
It's Who I know, not what I know, or even what I've done
One name alone will get me in if I know God the Son
(Praise & Prayer - February 4, 2008)

N.J. Hiebert - 4077

May 24

"We beheld His glory. . . ." (John 1:14)

"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory."
(John 17:24)

Glory is all but indefinable. English dictionaries and Greek lexicons alike have problems finding a concise definition. Glory is renown; splendor, magnificence; beauty; majesty, beauty; effulgence; radiance; light. Privileged disciples saw all this in the lowly Man of Galilee. One day we who love Him shall see it too. This is His desire and prayer and it will be be granted. (Jim Flanigan)

In Thee most perfectly expressed,
The Father's glories shine;
Of the full deity possessed,
Eternally divine
(Josiah Conder)

N.J. Hiebert - 4078

May 25

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son; that ye may know that ye have eternal life."
(1 John 5:13)

Countless multitudes will rise this morning and retire tonight hoping that sometime, in some way, they will have that elusive assurance of eternal life when this life is done. Many will base their hopes on doing good works, praying, church activities, baptism, charitable giving, and a sacrificial lifestyle. Believers in Christ, however, can say with confidence, "I KNOW." Why? Because God's Word tells us if we put our trust in Christ alone we have eternal life. Far better to know than to hope. Believe and know today. (R.Steele)

N.J. Hiebert - 4079

May 26

"Thou God seest me."
(Genesis 16:13)

Man sees the fault, but God the heart's contrition;
Man gives the blame, but God the full remission;
Man deems indelible sin's crimson stain;
God views the soul, by blood made white again.

Man can forgive, and yet doth oft remember
The past transgression; but God's heart so tender
Doth cast our sins into the deepest sea,
Nor e'er brings back cleansed guilt to memory.

Man may not feel again love's lost emotion,
Nor yet confide, once wronged, with full devotion;
But God, foreseeing all, loves still the same,
Nor breaks His bond, where He has set His name.

Love wonderful, love vast, love all unmeasured!
Infinite heights and depths in God's heart treasured!
Reveal to us, O Christ, that love transcending
Our highest thought - the love that hath no ending -
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 4080

May 27

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him." (Matthew 14:30-31)

"And beginning to sink." Only four words, but they bring us the certainty that we will never sink, for Peter never sank. It is like that word in Psalm 94:18, "When I said, My foot slippeth" - yes, in that very moment - "Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up."

Sometimes a single word may make all the difference to us, lifting us up, strengthening and refreshing us. Let us be careful not to miss these words of life, which come so suddenly, perhaps in the midst of the day's work.

Samuel Rutherford wrote: "in your temptations, run to the promises: they may be our Lord's branches hanging over the water, that our Lord's silly, half-drowned children may take a grip of them." And those boughs never break. (Whispers of His Power - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4081

May 28

"Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me (Moses); how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?"
(Exodus 6:12)

There is therefore nothing but failure. Pharaoh had rejected the Lord's demand; the children of Israel, stupified by their heavy yoke, will not hearken to the glad tidings of grace, and Moses is unwilling to proceed; for he recalls his old objection, showing that, while he knew something of his own natural incompetency, he had not yet learned that his all-sufficiency was to be found in the Lord. It is ever a fatal mistake when we measure the difficulties of service by what we are. The question is what God is; and the difficulties that appear as mountains, looming through the mists of our unbelief, are nothing to Him but the occasion for the display of His omnipotent power. (Edward Dennet - Typical Teachings of Exodus)

N.J. Hiebert - 4082

May 29

"In the beginning God . . ." (Genesis 1:1)

The very first words of Scripture boldly claim that we are not lost and wandering in a cosmic circle of time and chance, isolated from any meaning beyond consumer preference.

There is One who stood at the foundation of the world, Who with wisdom, majesty, and purpose, caused life and history to begin. There was a first word, and it was uttered by One Who continues to speak - not in detached fragments but in fullness - telling us who we are, where we came from, what is wrong with us, and how we can be made whole. There is a story that emerges from the beginning, and we have a place within the whole: Peter concludes,

"Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers saying unto Abraham, and in thy seeds shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
(Acts 3:24-25)

(A Slice of Infinity - October 15, 2008)

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May 30

"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power. . . . The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."
(Nahum 1:3,7)

When we were children, my brother and I recited this prayer every night before supper: "God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for this food." For years I spoke the words of this prayer without stopping to consider what life would be like if it were not true - if God were not both great and good.

Without His greatness maintaining order in the universe, the galaxies would be a junkyard of banged-up stars and planets. And without His goodness saying "enough" to every evil despot, the earth would be a playground ruled by the biggest bully.

That simple childhood prayer celebrates two profound attributes of God: His transcendence and His immanence. Transcendence means that His greatness is beyond our comprehension. Immanence describes His nearness to us. The greatness of the almighty God sends us to our knees in humility. But the goodness of God lifts us back to our feet in grateful, jubilant praise. The One who is above everything humbled Himself and became one of us (Psalm 135:5; Philippians 2:8).

Thank God that He uses His greatness not to destroy us but to save us, and that He uses His goodness not as a reason to reject us but as a way to reach us. (Julie Ackerman Link)
When you taste God's goodness, His praise will be on you lips.

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

N.J. Hiebert - 4084

May 31

"Let us go on unto perfection." (Hebrews 6:1)

The great thing we need for progress is restfulness of heart. I do not believe that there is simple restfulness of heart until union with Christ is known, not merely as a doctrine, but as the unalterable bond of affection. You are not only assured of His grace in saving you, but you have found Him so necessary to you that you cannot live without Him; then to find out that you are united to Him is absolute solace and divine restfulness. (Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 4085

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16)

Jesus did not say "Shine your light" but "Let it shine." It will not be necessary to flare your goodness to attract attention. Some make a business of trying to be influential, but influence is a by-product, not a business. The fragrance of a flower is not its main business. To produce fruit, results, is your business; your fragrance, your influence, is incidental.

Speaking of business, what a difference there is between busyness men and businessmen! The former just do things the latter get things done. Is your work a business or just a busyness?

My Bible says: "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." Don't bother with the wind and clouds; stick to your farming. Spiritually speaking, don't bother with doubts, fears, appearances, uncertainties; live up to the best you know. Too many Christians watch the elements, looking for suitable intellectual states and pleasant emotional conditions, and there is no harvest. Ours is to trust and obey in season and out of season. There are no ideal farming years, but we usually have crops. Grow the best life you can with the soil you have and don't think too much about the weather. (Vance Havner - In Tune With Heaven - March 16, 1930)

N.J. Hiebert - 4086


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