Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5270 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Gems from July 2010

June 30

"Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?"
(Acts 9:6)

There is one thing which all can do: that is, be "meet for the Master's use" (2 Timothy 2:21); and this is the secret of usefulness. Usefulness is not activity; it is not the merely being used, but it is fitness, cleanness, preparedness, and separation of heart; singleness of eye, the affections set on things above - all in fact that proceeds from the judgment and denial of self, and the dwelling of Christ in the heart by faith.

A true servant is always ready. "Here am I" - "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" express his condition. He does not choose his work, but obeys his Master. If he has nothing given him to do he is quiet and patient; when he gets his Master's order, he does it joyfully without demur. (Thoughts for the Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4115

July 1

". . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised of our iniquities . . ."
(Isaiah 53:5)

The word "iniquity" is not a good word - and God knows how we hate it! But the consequences of iniquity cannot be escaped.

The prophet reminds us clearly that the Saviour was bruised for our iniquities.

We deny it, and say "No!" but the fingerprints of all mankind are plain evidence against us - the fingerprints of man found in every dark cellar and in every alley and in every dimly lighted evil place throughout the world. God knows man from man, and it is impossible to escape our guilt and place our moral responsibility upon someone else.

For our iniquities and our transgressions He was bruised and wounded - and Israel's great burden and amazing blunder was her judgment that this wounded One on the hillside beyond Jerusalem was being punished for His own sin!

The prophet foresaw this historic error or judgement, and he himself was a Jew, saying, "We thought He was smitten of God. We thought that God was punishing Him for His own iniquity for we did not know then that God was punishing Him for our transgressions and our iniquities."

For our sakes, He was profaned by ignorant and unworthy men! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)

N.J. Hiebert - 4116

July 2

"And this I pray . . . that ye may approve things that are excellent." (Philippians 1:9-10)

As a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was skipping stones across the surface of a smooth lake. Inevitably, ripples would flow from the impact of the stone.

It's like that with choices. Every choice we make creates a ripple effect on our lives as well as on the lives of others. The choices we have made throughout life determine where we are and what we are becoming.

Choices are also telling. What we really want, love, and think show up in the choices we make.

It's no wonder then that Paul urged us to make "excellent" choices - choices that emanate from a heart fully committed to Jesus. He stated that when our love abounds in knowledge and discernment, we are able to understand what is best, so that we may "approve the things that are excellent" (Philippians 1:9-10). Excellent choices are the proof of a life that is deeply committed to Jesus and His ways, and they have the ripple effect of filling our lives "with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (verse 11).

As a friend of mine wisely told me, our lives are not made by the dreams we dream but by the choices we make. Let's make excellent ones! (Joe Stowell)

Do a deed of simple kindness,
Though its end you may not see;
It may reach, like widening ripples,
Down a long eternity
.
(Norris)

Make an excellent choice and watch the ripple effect of blessing.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 2007, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 4117

July 3

As John G. Bellet, the gifted Christian author and hymn writer, lay sick and dying in 1864, well meaning friends came to visit and offer words of comfort. Shortly before he departed this scene he said, “They come and talk to me of a crown of glory, bid them cease; of the glories of heaven, bid them stop. I am not wanting crowns, I have Himself…. I am going to be with Himself.”

"“To depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better"
(Philippians 1:23).

"“My beloved is mine, and I am His" (Song Of Solomon 2:16).

Blessed lily of the valley, O how fair is He!
He is mine, I am His;
Sweeter than the angels’ music is His voice to me,
He is mine, I am His!
Where the lilies fair are blooming by the waters calm,
There He leads me and upholds me by His strong right arm;
All the air is love around me, I can feel no harm.
He is mine, I am His.

Though He lead me through the valley of the shade of death,
He is mine, I am His;
Should I fear when, O so tenderly, He whispereth,
He is mine, I am His;
For the sunshine of His presence dot illumine the night,
And He leads me through the valley to the mountain height;
Out of bondage into freedom, into cloudless light,
He is mine, I am His
.
(Submitted by a reader - SL)

N.J. Hiebert - 4118

July 4

"Thou hast known My reproach, and My shame, and My dishonour . . . reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none: and for comforters, but I found none. They also gave me gall for my meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." (Psalm 69:19-21)

To seek a good appearance, or even a religious appearance before the world, is to seek the honour of the world which has dishonoured Christ - not only dishonoured Him, but rejected Him and nailed Him on a cross. That cross is to me salvation. It is the wonderful proof of the love of God, and of the love of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. But that cross was to Him, shame, dishonour, suffering that no tongue can ever tell.

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). Who can ever tell, to all eternity, the unfathomable depths of sorrow in these words? That is the cross. He bore it for me, for you, for the Apostle Paul! "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger" (Lamentations 1:12).

If we have in any small measure entered into that sorrow, surely we must cry with Paul, "By whom the world to me is crucified, and I to (the) world." Or it may be just as truly read: "By it (the cross) the world to me is crucified." (G.C. Willis - Meditations on Galatians)

N.J. Hiebert - 4119

July 5

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be"
(John 12:26).

Take thou our hearts, and let them be
For ever closed to all but Thee;
Thy willing servants, let us wear
The seal of love for ever there.

Ah, Lord! enlarge our scanty thought,
To know the wonders Thou has wrought;
Unloose our stammering tongues to tell
Thy love, immense, unsearchable.
(Deszler)

N.J. Hiebert - 4120

July 6

"When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness."
(Luke 11:34)

When the candle is there we see all around. It shows itself, and thus shows all around. The eye receives the light, single or evil. It is not single or double, but single or evil. If Christ is not the object, there is some evil object. If the eye be single, it is all simple, though there will be difficulties in the path, as with Paul. The light is set on a candlestick that all who come in "may see the light." The man is forced to the question: Do you see it or not? Christ has set up the light in the world. God has displayed Himself in Him, and the effect of that is to show your condition. (The Man of Sorrows - J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4121

July 7

"God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."
(Hebrews 1:1,2)

"Whom He hath appointed heir of all things" - not this poor little puny world only. He is heir of all things - and that is the One we read about in this same verse, who has made purgation for sins. When one stops to contemplate the plan of salvation, he is simply overwhelmed. The grandeur of the plan by which God has been pleased to deal with the question of your sins and mine is beyond all human comprehension.

And it would have taken this same plan with all its marvelous sacrifice and its infinite wisdom, if you were the only sinner that ever lived. It would all have been necessary to take care of Adam's sin, if no other man had ever been born.

Yes, by one man sin entered into the world, and so death passed upon all men. Yet, the One that put away that sin is the One who is heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. (C.H. Brown - Taken from an address given in Toronto, Canada in 1944)

N.J. Hiebert - 4122

July 8

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in MY NAME: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
(John 16:24)

Alexander the Great had a famous, but indigent, philosopher in his court. This adept in science was once particularly straightened in his circumstances. To whom should he apply but to his patron, the conqueror of the world? His request was no sooner made than granted. Alexander gave him a commission to receive of his treasury whatever he wanted. He immediately demanded in his sovereign's name ten thousand pounds.

The treasurer, surprised at so large a demand, refused to comply, but waited upon the king and represented to him the affair, adding withal how unreasonable he thought the petition and how exorbitant the sum. Alexander listened with patience, but as soon as he heard the remonstrance replied, "Let the money be instantly paid. I am delighted with the philosopher's way of thinking; he has done me a singular honour: by the largeness of his request he shows the high idea he has conceived both of my superior wealth and my royal munificence."

Saints have never yet reached the limit to the possibilities of prayer. Whatever has been attained or achieved has touched but the fringe of the garment of a prayer-hearing God. We honour the riches both of His power and love only by large demands." (A.T. Pierson)

You cannot think of prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish that you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches, but for wings. (Phillips Brooks)

N.J. Hiebert - 4123

July 9

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35)

The world today is overwhelmed with developments in the scientific and technical fields. Numerous claims of "new and improved" bombard us daily. All this has led to a boastful self-sufficiency. But one day, earth with all its inventions and dubious progress will cease. In God's Word alone we find hope for a better time and place. Are you ready for it? Take Christ as Saviour and find new life in Him today (Edna M. Dyck - Choice Gleanings)

The Bible stands tho' the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation
For the Bible stands.
(Haldar Lillenas)

N.J. Hiebert - 4124

July 10

"Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god . . ." (Psalm 16:4)

The causes of sorrow are as varied as the hearts that endure it. To some it comes as a consequence of departing from the living God (Psalms 16:4); it reaches others through the wealth which they have spent their strength to acquire (Matthew 19:22; 1 Timothy 6:10); to others it comes through man's inhumanity to man; and to others again through domestic bereavement and trial.

"In this matter man's position is unique. The lower animals are almost exempt from suffering. It is true that they are liable to physical pain, but there is abundant evidence to prove that this pain is much less acute than in human beings, and in their case there is neither anticipation nor retrospection. But man, to whom was given dominion over the brute creation; . . . how different is his lot! He alone has to endure those mental and spiritual griefs compared with which bodily sufferings are as nothing. All his life is leavened with pain, with forebodings, with vain regrets, with unsatisfied longings." (Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 4125

July 11

"All Things"

"All things are of God" (2 Corinthians 5:18).
"All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28).
"All things are for your sakes" (2 Corinthians 4:15).

"All things" - my Saviour can it be
That "all things" reach me but through Thee,
That what most seems to come from man
Is but a part of love's great plan,
And cometh forth from Thee alone,
Whose care is boundless for Thine own?

When gladness shines upon my way,
Ah, then 'tis easy, Lord, to say
That all things come from Thy blest hand,
For feeblest faith can understand
That gifts and blessings scattered free
Are tokens of Thy love to me.

And yet more blessed 'tis to know
Thou sendest all, and grief or woe
Is hallowed by that touch of Thine -
The tender touch of hands divine;
This takes all bitterness away,
And sheddeth sunshine on the way.

Yea, "all things work together," Lord;
I rest upon Thy faithful Word,
Which tells me only good shall be
To those whose love is set on Thee;
What though Thy plan I may not trace,
Love gazes, trusting, in Thy face.

And thus I learn to know that all
Is "for my sake," and Thou dost call
Through joy and pain, through peace and strife,
To fuller knowledge of Thy life,
To deeper proving of Thy grace,
To find in Thee my dwelling-place.
(Submitted by a reader -K.W.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4126

July 12

" . . . choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . "
(Joshua 24:15)

The well-know American missionary to India E. Stanley Jones tells of an experience he once had: "One day I watched an eagle in the Himalayas face a storm. I wondered what the eagle would do as the storm rushed through the narrow valley. Would it fly above the fury of the storm? Would it be dashed to pieces on the rocks below? No! It set its wings in such a way that the air current sent him above the storm with its fury. He used the storm to reach greater heights."

We must learn this lesson of turning all resistance into opportunities of release. Then we shall know how to live. With the eagle it was a setting of wings that made the difference. For us it is saying yes to God. (Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's)

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July 13

"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that one came not near the other all the night."
(Exodus 14:19-20)

Between the circumstance and me a Father's loving hand, is working all things for my good - All moves at His command.

Between the circumstance and me a Father's loving heart, knows all the problems of the path, and bears a Father's part.

Between the circumstance and me, a Father's holy will, is overruling everything with wisdom and with skill.

Behold the Saviour on the cross, in deepest agony, who suffered to atone for sin, in love for you and me.

The love that held Him to that cross to suffer and to die, that love remains the same today, and hears His people's cry.

The power that raised Him from the dead, that resurrection power, is working for His people's good, each moment and each hour.

O why be burdened then with care? The love that set thee free, such love is evermore between the circumstance and thee.

And when above the circumstance, we see God's hand and ways, it comfort, peace, and blessing gives, and cause for endless praise.
(The Lord is Near - 2007)

N.J. Hiebert - 4128

July 14

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble (in desperate hours)."
(Psalm 9:9)

A well known business man would drop into our office every few days. His visits were ever times of spiritual refreshing. His face was always wreathed in smiles. He had an elastic tread. He radiated victory. A few minutes in his presence and one felt the lifting tides of God, for victory acts as a contagion. The old prophets knew this secret when they wrote of the carpenter encouraging the goldsmith, and the goldsmith encouraging those that beat out the tongs, etc.

Recently, this same man shuffled into our office, sank down in a chair, buried his face between his hands, and burst into tears. What had happened to this child of God? He had fainted in the day of adversity. He experienced a great calamity which swept away his home, his business, his money. Then he began to worry, and, in consequence, he lost his health and is now a physical wreck. Here was Satan's opportunity, and he was not slow to avail himself of it. He came with the insidious question. "How are you going to face the world?" He led this once triumphant Christian to the very edge of the precipice, and told him to cast himself down. Everything was dark, pitch dark.

The Father cares when He sees His children in the teeth of a blinding storm, but He knows that faith grows in the tempest. He will hold our hands bidding us not to try to see the next step we are to take. He who knows the paths of a hundred million stars, knows the way through the whirlwind and the storm, and has promised, "I will never let go your hand!"

There is unquestionably a grave danger of many becoming spiritually paralyzed by depression. The forces of darkness are so imminent, the magnitude of the crisis is so great that many are being tempted to cry out with the disciples, "Lord, carest Thou not that we perish?" Yet He who may appear to be "asleep upon a pillow" is riding upon the storm in all His Divine majesty. The great need is for more faith in the omnipotent God. (Streams in the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4129

July 15

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord , and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
(Psalm 55:22)

"And even to your old age I am He; and even to hoary hairs will I carry you: It is I that have made, and I will bear, even I will carry, and will deliver you."
(Isaiah 46:4)

Being Carried

Henry Moorhouse, when engaged in a work that seemed to call upon him for a more than usual exercise of faith, received what seems like a most tender answer from God. His little daughter, who was a paralytic, was sitting in her chair as he entered the house with a package in his hand for his wife. Going up to her and kissing her, he asked, "Where is mother?" "Mother is upstairs." "Well, I have a package for her." "Let me carry the package to mother." "Why, Minnie, dear, how can you carry the package? You cannot carry yourself." With a smile on her face, Minnie said, "Oh, no, papa, but you give me the package, and I will carry the package, and you will carry me." Taking her up in his arms, he carried her upstairs - little Minnie and the package too. And then it came to him that this was just his position in the work in which he was engaged. He was carrying his burden, but was not God carrying him? (Submitted by a reader - K.W.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4130

July 16

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear."
(Isaiah 59:1)

What words of hope and comfort in the sinner far from God and despairing of salvation! Our verse tells us that God is able to save even those who are the farthest from Him, to hear their whispered prayer of repentance and confession, and to save. Should any be lost for eternity, they will never be able to lay charges against God regarding His willingness to save. No! It will only be their own wilfulness and stubborn rebellion that will take them there. Dear soul, far from God, say with the publican as he stood afar off, beating his breast, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13). (Choice Gleanings - Wm. Burnett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4131

July 17

"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
(Luke 22:31,32)

There is no one beyond the reach of the tempter. Keep that in mind. Life may run smoothly for awhile, but the testing time is coming. (Daily Gems - The D.L. Moody Year Book)

N.J. Hiebert - 4132

July 18

"And he [Saul] said, who art Thou, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."
(Acts 9:5)

Saul found himself in the presence of One infinite in power and glory - One he had rejected, hated and persecuted His disciples. The Lord's revelation of Himself marked the turning point of Saul's life - from that point he lived in devoted love and service to the Lord.

As believers today face uncertainty, opposition and trials, how good to ask "who?" - 'who' really is allowing and controlling all that takes place in the world today? "I am Jesus . . . " ought to comfort each discouraged heart. Who? It is Jesus, infinite in glory, who died for us. He who loves us as the Father loves Him with an eternal love that desires only our good and blessing. It is Jesus, who has promised to never leave or forsake those He has redeemed. Blessed Lord Jesus!
(TCS - April 2009)

N.J. Hiebert - 4133

July 19

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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 4:16,17)

When the Lord returns for His people two things will take place - the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the change of living believers; and then both alike will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. This is distinctly taught in the verses quoted above. Our blessed Lord Himself foreshadowed this truth, indeed stated it, though His meaning could scarcely be apprehended without the further light of the epistles.

On His way to Bethany, after the death of Lazarus, He said to Martha, "Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that He shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John 11:23-26).

Here then we have the same two classes - those who believed in Christ, but who should have died ere His return, these should live; and secondly, those who should be then alive, and believed in Him, these should never die - corresponding exactly with the two classes found in 1 Thessalonians 4. (Edward Dennett - The Blessed Hope)

N.J. Hiebert - 4134

July 20

"The love of Christ constraineth (compels) us."
(2 Corinthians 5:14)

In proportion as death works in us, the divine nature is in activity, and God is love.

Love to Christ is the mainspring of holiness.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 4135

July 21

"Not what I will, but what Thou wilt."
(Mark 14:36)

We draw up our little programs and ask God to sign on the dotted line, to endorse, and to bless our plans. We arrange meetings and set up the order of service, then in a set prayer we ask God to set His approval on everything. Should we not rather ask God to set up the program, plan the proceedings, while we sign on the dotted line? True, we must plan ahead, but do we ask God for the plan? We wait until the structure is finished, then "dedicate" it, invoking the divine blessing. Did we begin it by asking God for the blueprints? (Vance Havner - All the Days)

N.J. Hiebert - 4136

July 22

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)

There is a difference between intimacy and familiarity. I may be familiar with the condition and circumstances in which another commonly walks, but have very little real intimacy with himself - as in the case of servants. And this has its strong illustration in the history of the Lord.

The centurion (Matthew 8:5-14), the Syrophenician (Mark 7:24-30), or Mary the sister of Lazarus (John 11:1-44), were comparatively but little with Him. They are not seen in company with Him wherever He goes, but cross His path, to say the most, only occasionally. But when they are brought to deal with Him, they do so with most bright and blessed intelligence. They show that they know Him - who and what He really is. They make no mistakes about Him, while even the apostles who waited on Him day after day betrayed again and again the ignorance and distance of mere nature.

Is there not a lesson in this for us? Is there not a fear lest familiarity with the things of Christ be much more than the soul's real acquaintance with Himself? I may be often, so to speak, handling these things. I may be reading the books which tell of Him. I may be busy in the activities which make His service their object. I may speak or write about Him, while others, like the centurion, may be a good deal withdrawn from all this; but their growth in divine knowledge and living understanding of Him may be far more advancing. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4137

July 23

"We were pressed (crushed) out of measure, above strength, in so much that we despaired even of life . . . that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
(2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.

There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said, "Death worketh in you."

Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves. (A.B. Simpson)

"Out of the pressure of pain,
Cometh the soul's best wine;
And the eyes that have shed no rain,
Can shed but little shine
."

N.J. Hiebert - 4138

July 24

"It was noised that He was in the house."
(Mark 2:1)

The polyps which construct the coral reefs, work away under water, never dreaming that they are building the foundation of a new island on which by-and-by plants and animals will live and children of God be born and fitted for eternal glory as joint-heirs of Christ.

If your place in God's ranks is a hidden and secluded one, beloved, do not murmur, do not complain, do not seek to get out of God's will, if He has placed you there; for without the polyps, the coral reefs would never be built, and God needs some who are willing to be spiritual polyps, and work away out of sight of men, but sustained by the Holy Spirit and in full view of Heaven.

The day will come when Jesus will give the rewards, and He makes no mistakes, although some people may wonder how you came to merit such a reward, as they had never heard of you before. (Selected)

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July 25

"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly."
(Luke 22:61-62)

When Peter cursed and denied his Lord, there was not a waver in the affection of Christ, not a cloud on that brow as He turned round and looked on Peter, and Peter went out with a heart broken under the power of it." (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4140

July 26

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil"
(Ephesians 6:11)

- God provides the armour, but we must put it on.

- Never underestimate the value of a single soul.

- The ultimate Physician can reach you wherever you are.

- To be a healthy Christian, don't treat the Bible as snack food.
(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4141

July 27

"Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly."
(Proverbs 15:21)

Just because the Lord doesn't stop us from something, doesn't mean He wants us to continue. To discern which opportunities to pursue, we need to "approve the things that are excellent" and to be "filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:10-11) (Julie Ackerman Link)

The best way to know God's will is to say "I will" to God.

N.J. Hiebert - 4142

July 28

"Show me a token for good." (Psalm 86:17)

Look for tokens for good, you who are fighting the good fight. The fight is good - no doubtful weapons are we ever called upon to use, thank God. Tokens for good are among the things we may ask and receive, as we fight on and do not allow ourselves to be dismayed or discouraged by the power of the great adversary.

Look out for them and you shall find them. Some will be little private tokens, something just between you and your Lord. Some will be things that you can share with others for their cheer. The great thing is not to miss them in the press of life, for often, very often, by these tokens for good our Lord helps us and comforts us. "Show me a token for good; . . . because Thou, Lord, has holpen (helped) me, and comforted me." (Edges of His ways - Amy Carmichael)

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July 29

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down . . . He leadeth me . . . he restoreth my soul . . . I will fear no evil . . . Thou preparest a table . . . Thou anointest my head with oil. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
(Psalm 23 - abbreviated)

An American wireless operator during his "quiet hour" one morning read the 23rd Psalm; and as his instrument was disengaged at the time, he took the opportunity of signaling it over the water. As soon as he had finished doing so, sixteen ships answered with a wireless AMEN. "This is a psalm for childhood, and old age, and mid time of our days; a psalm for life, and for death; for the day of marriage, and the day of burial; for spirit, soul, and body; for time and for eternity. Round this oasis of truth, tired, hungry, erring, anxious men and women have gathered, and found green pastures, still waters, recovery from their wanderings, gentle light to guide them through the valley of the shadow of death. Here are supplied the great deep, elemental wants of the of the human soul."

There is a depth of meaning in every sentence - a rich variety of experience in every verse - and a fulness of joy from its commencement to its conclusion, which comprehends all that is needed, in all the vicissitudes of life. (In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4144

July 30

"Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee."
(Luke 8:39)

When Professor Drummond visited Africa, he had three "faithfuls" as he called them, and one was named Moola. The professor says that he never saw Moola do an inconsistent thing. He could neither read nor write, but he could be trusted with all his master had. The first night of the camp, after all had gone to rest, the professor was roused by low talking. He looked out of his tent, and there, in the moonlight, he beheld a little group of natives kneeling upon the ground, and Moola in the centre conducting evening prayers. Every night afterwards this service was repeated, no matter how long the march was, nor how tired the men. Moola's life thus gave him a right to minister to his brethren.

A famous atheist once said: "I can stand all the arguing of Christian apologists, but I have a little servant who is a disciple of Jesus; and her good, pure, honest, truthful life, staggers me sometimes."

This is what one covets for oneself, and for one's readers. It is the one argument for the Gospel to which there is no answer. "We want", says someone, "A Christianity that softens the step and turns the voice to melody: that fills the eye with sunshine and checks the harsh rebuke; a Christianity that is polite, deferential to superiors, considerate to friends; a Christianity that goes into the family, and keeps the husband from being cross when the dinner is late, and the wife from fretting when the husband tracks the newly-washed floor with his boots; that cares for the servants, beside paying them promptly; and that makes the family like the Eastern fig-tree, bearing on its bosom at once the tender blossom and the glory of the ripening fruit." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4145

July 31

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
(1 John 3:2)

The sneer at the godly man for his imperfections is ill-judged. A blade is a small thing. At first it grows very near the earth. It is often soiled and crushed and down-trodden. But it is a living thing. The great dead stone beside it is more imposing; only it will never be anything else than a stone. But this small blade - it doth not yet appear what it shall be. (A Thought for Every Day -Henry Drummond)

N.J. Hiebert - 4146

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside . . . some fell upon a rock . . . some fell among thorns . . . and other fell on good ground . . ."
(Luke 8:5-8)

The seed is sown indiscriminately, and although man rejects it because his will is opposed, nevertheless it is sown in his heart, for this parable shows how the Word of God is perfectly adapted to the need of man, meeting his conscience and heart. "Never man spake like this Man" (John 7:46). Christ's Word came with a power that reached the heart and affections; the will is corrupt, and therefore resists it.

It is not abstract grace here, but the condition of man that is recognized, therefore we find the Word so perfectly suited to the need, not claiming righteousness from man, but coming in with power to show him that he is a sinner, and laying open the thoughts and intents of the heart. When the heart is thus detected the Word comes with all gentleness and comfort for healing and rest, because there is grace to meet a soul in whatever state it may be found. The heart is spoken to, and therefore the Gospel leaves man without excuse. (The Man of Sorrows - JND)

N.J. Hiebert - 4147

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