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

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gems from September 2010

September 1

"He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."
(Mark 7:37)

This glowing tribute was made to our Lord, following the healing of a man who had both hearing and speech problems. How good it is to find that the whole of Scripture endorses this verdict! Indeed, there is no other person of whom it may truthfully be said, "He has done all things well." In this happy assurance our hearts find deep peace. Our eternal security is in the hands of One who cannot fail! (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4177

"It is I; be not afraid."
(Mark 6:50)

"It is I," therefore let His people not be afraid. The omnipotent God walks on the waves. Human reasoning judges things in other ways, saying that blind chance or unforeseen circumstances regulate the destiny of man; but the Christian knows it is not thus. "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters." Having seated Himself near the rudder, He guides the small boat, tossed around on the waves, and conducts it in safety to the harbor.

Has He not come to us many times "in the fourth watch of the night" when it seemed that all was lost? When like the apostle Paul we were on the point of being shipwrecked, the tempest so violent that we lost any hope of escape - in that very instant did we not hear the word of Jesus, rising above the noise of the waves, saying to us: "It is I; be not afraid!" (The Lord is Near)

N.J. Hiebert - 4178

September 2

"He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
(James 4:6)

- The sweetest experience of God's love can be found in times of sorrow.

- With practice anyone can master the art of thankfulness.

- Loving others requires a heart of obedience to God.

- God claims by grace those who have no claim to grace.

- Grace is infinite love expressing itself in infinite goodness.

- The power of Christ within you is greater than the power of evil around you.
(Some Thoughts to Consider - RK)

N.J. Hiebert - 4179

September 3

"In My Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so I would have told you."
(John 14:2)

"If it were not so I would have told you." When God wants to carry a point with the human race, He places His argument in the instincts of the heart. One of the deepest of those instincts is the conviction of our immortality. To the instincts of the heart, the Lord Jesus added many disclosures of the unseen world. He brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:10): and by doing so, had raised many joyful hopes in the hearts of the men who had companied with Him, for the three years of His earthly ministry.

He now says of the one great hope that includes them all: "If it were not so I would have told you." If, out beyond the shades of death there awaited us any experience of loneliness or homelessness, He would have told us all about it. If, in that blaze of mystery and pageant of wonder, upon which mortal eyes have never gazed, there were anything to startle or affright us, He would have mentioned it. Had there been a shadow of uncertainty as to our felicity in that new life, He would have warned us.

Since all is well, there is nothing to be said. We must trust His silence as well as His speech; for, when we make our superb adventure into the infinitudes that lie within the veil, we shall find every thing to be beyond our highest expectation. (His Last Words - Henry Durbanville)

N.J. Hiebert - 4180

September 4

"Come unto Me . . . and I will give you rest."
(Matthew 11:28)

We . . . look to our state and our fruit and our feelings to know if we are His . . . which cannot give rest, and ought not. Jesus does not say, Find out your state and you shall have rest, but "Come unto ME all ye that labour, and are heavy laden," as you are, "and I will give you rest." Our rest comes not from our being what He wants, but His being what we want.

It is Jesus who gives abiding rest to our souls, and not what our thoughts about ourselves may be. Faith never thinks about that which is in ourselves as its ground of rest; it receives, loves and apprehends what God has revealed, and what are God's thoughts about Jesus, in whom is His rest. (Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest)

N.J. Hiebert - 4181

September 5

"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine (teaching), whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself."
(John 7:17)

It may be easier understood if we say, "If any man (willeth) to do His will." That is, if a man settles it in his heart that he wants to know God's will, and if he comes to God in repentance and says, "I want to be delivered from my sins and I want to do the will of God" - If a man takes that attitude you have the word of the Son of God for it that you will not be left in doubt as to what that will is. This is a test that any honest man may apply, and find out for himself whether the teaching of Jesus is true or not. (H.A. Ironside - Gospel of John)

N.J. Hiebert - 4182

September 6

"Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good."
(Proverbs 20:23)

Cheating is sin and is severely condemned in the Scriptures. So common is the practice of "snitching" a little here and a little there, that the government maintains a large force of men to inspect the scales of merchants and shopkeepers, to see that they conform to the requirements of the U.S. Department of Standard Weights and Measures.

Many a man would not think of robbing a bank or stealing a dollar outright, but will think nothing of being a "sharper" in business and driving a hard bargain or being guilty of short weight or measure. It costs the government millions of dollars to keep an eye on the "chiselers." In the eyes of God stealing is stealing, no matter what form it takes. Honesty is one of the surest tests of character.

A certain grocer said to one of his former customers before a group of friends, "Mary, I don't believe you are saved and I am going to ask these people to pray for your salvation. I am greatly burdened for you." Mary was shocked and asked why the grocer thought she was not saved. He replied, "If you were, you would not try to cheat me on the butter you sell me. For several weeks now I have detected that every pound of your butter is two ounces short." Mary thought for a minute and then said, "Oh, I know why that is. Several weeks ago I lost my pound weight - and I have been using for a weight instead, a one-pound bag of sugar which I purchased from you!" Deep silence - and a red-faced grocer!

Can all your business dealings stand inspection? Jesus said, "He that is unjust in that which is least is unjust also in much." (M.R.D)

Ever be honest, good, and sincere;
Dare to be upright, never know fear;
Stand firm for justice, hold to the true
God then will bless you, all the way through

Only by being on the level with men can we climb to the heights with God!

"Our Daily Bread" -"Bread for Each Day", RBC Ministries, Copyright 1962, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 4183

September 7

"If a man desire the office of a bishop (overseer) he desireth a good work.. . . not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil . . . he must have a good report. . . ."
(1 Timothy 3: 1-7 quoted in part)

- When God educates, He educates in a manner worthy of Himself and His most holy service. He will not have a novice do His work. The servant of Christ has to learn many a lesson, to undergo many an exercise, to pass through many a conflict, in secret, before he is really qualified to act in public.

- Moses "looked this way and that way." There is no need of this when a man is acting with and for God.

- Whenever we look around to shun a mortal's frown or catch his smile, we may rest assured there is something wrong; we are off the proper ground of divine service. (Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4184

September 8

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:37,38)

It is one thing for the living water to descend from Christ into the heart, and another thing how - when it has descended - it moves the heart to worship. All power of worship in the soul, is the result of the waters flowing into it, and their flowing back again to God.

Can you draw near to the Lord, saying, "nothing can satisfy me save coming before Thee, and speaking of Thy glory, standing as a testimony of Thy love in the world, to tell of thy glory and to praise Thee?" (Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4185

September 9

"WHEN I fall, I shall arise; When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."
(Micah 7:8)

This verse begins with "when" not "if". We are to strive each day to live without sin. This is without question. But the Lord knows that his people will stumble and fall in their life-walk and He has made a provision, so that we can continually be lifted up - Christ is our righteousness. We do not stand on our own merit. This verse speaks with certainty; the Lord will lift me up from my falls; the Lord will shed light on my darkness. He'll do it today! (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4186

September 10

Journeying Safely in the 7th Millennium

"And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died."
(Genesis 5:27)

"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years . . ." (Psalm 90:10)

The Word of God contains the accounts of many life journeys. The longest journey of life that God has recorded in His word is Methuselah's - 969 years. Our years are 70 to 80 years! The age of a mere child in Methuselah's lifetime! Yet today the majority of the world's population seldom reach even that age. The average life expectancy in many lands is barely 40 years, and every day, millions of infants and little children end their journey of life after but a a few hours, weeks or short years.

God alone knows the exact amount of time that each soul born in this world will spend traveling on their journey. What each of us knows for sure is stated in these words from James 4:14; "For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Life's journey, whether one has been traveling for three years or 93 years, is soon over.

Because it is so short (though when you are young it may seem as though it will be virtually endless), it is vitally important to get all your moral and spiritual instruction and guidance from God's Word. Then your journey - which is taken only once, never to be repeated - will not experience sorrowful wrecks that end in tragedy here, and worse yet, perhaps in hopeless despair for all eternity. (The Journey of Life - D.N.)

N.J.Hiebert - 4187

September 11

"But the mercy of the Lord is . . . upon them that fear Him, and is righteousness . . . to those that remember His commandments to do them."
(Psalms 103:17,18)

There are two sorts of failures: those that think and do not do, and those that do and do not think. This may seem an exaggeration, yet both kinds of people exist. Are you one of them? If so, ask the Lord to show you how to combine the thinking and the doing so that there are no contradictions in your life. Don't forget: people watch you, and they want to see Jesus. (This Day is the Lord's - Corrie Ten Boom)

N.J. Hiebert - 4188

September 12

"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
(Genesis 32:28)

Napoleon was once reviewing his troops near Paris. The horse on which he sat was restless, and the Emperor having thoughtlessly dropped the reins from his hand in the eagerness of giving a command, the spirited animal bounded away. The rider was in danger of being hurled to the ground. A young private standing in the lines leaped forward and, seizing the bridle, saved his beloved Commander from a fall. The Emperor glancing at him said in his quick abrupt way, "Thank you, Captain." The private looked up with a smile and asked, "Of which regiment, Sir?" "Of my guards," answered Napoleon, and instantly galloped to another part of the field.

The young soldier laid down his musket with the remark, "Whoever will may carry that gun; I am done with it," and proceeded at once to join a group of officers who stood conversing at a little distance. One of them, a General, observing his self-possessed approach, angrily said, "What is this insolent fellow doing here?"

"This insolent fellow," answered the young soldier looking the other steadily in the eye, "is a Captain of the Guards." "Why, man" responded this officer, "you are insane; why do you speak thus?" "HE SAID IT," replied the soldier, pointing to the Emperor, who was far down the lines. "I beg your pardon Captain," politely returned the General, "I was not aware of your promotion."

To those looking on he was still a private, dressed in the coarse rough garb of a common soldier; but in the bold assertion of his dignity, he could meet all the jeers of his comrades and all the scoffs of his superiors with the ready reply, "HE SAID IT." (Springs in the Valley)

N.J. Hiebert - 4189

September 13

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
(Matthew 6:34)

David Livingstone said:

"Leave tomorrow's troubles for tomorrow's strength;

Tomorrow's work for tomorrow's time;

Tomorrow's trial for tomorrow's grace - and tomorrow's God

N.J. Hiebert - 4190

September 14

"Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth."
(Matthew 5:5)

The miser does not possess gold;
Gold possesses him.
But the meek possess it.
"The meek," said Christ, "inherit the earth."
They do not buy it;
They do not conquer it;
But they inherit it.
(Henry Drummond 1851-1897)

N.J. Hiebert - 4191

September 15

"Things not seen . . ." (Hebrews 11:1)

"As seeing Him . . ." (Hebrews 11:27)

The chief thought with me is the power that the UNSEEN had on the lives of those mentioned in Hebrews 11. They heard the voice of their God, or in some way not told us, were caused to know what He wanted done. There was nothing visible to help them, and nearly always there was much to go through that must have been very hard for flesh to bear; but to each it was given to go on, to endure, as seeing Him Who is invisible.

They were caused to hear, and caused to know, and taught how to do the will of their God. Things not seen mattered more to them than things seen. So in this chapter we have battle stories, pilgrim stories, martyr stories and stories of long walks with God; and each one who fought the fight, lived the pilgrim life, and walked the patient walk, began by looking, not at the seen, but at the Unseen. "For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not see are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18), and does not the Eternal matter more than anything of time ever can? (Edges of His Way - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4192

September 16

"A woman having an issue of blood twelve years . . . came behind Jesus, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately the issue of her blood stanched (bleeding stopped) . . . and Jesus said, who touched Me? . . . And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling . . . and He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace."
(Luke 8:43-48)

"But she could not be hid." The heart always shirks from opening itself when within itself, but when it looks at Christ it is open to Him, for that is always the effect of being in the presence of Jesus. Shame, reputation, character, all give way before the sense of what He is. When grace gets to the bottom of the heart all all else is easily set aside. A link was formed between this woman's soul and Christ. "Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." He brings perfect peace and comfort into her heart, for His way is not only to heal, but to make Himself known. She is not only to be cured, but to have the assurance of peace from His own mouth. (The Man of Sorrows - JND)

N.J. Hiebert - 4193

September 17

"We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
(1 John 2:1)

The Father is always willing to give what Christ asks. The Spirit of Christ always teaches and influences us to offer the petitions which Christ ratifies and presents to the Father. To pray in Christ's name is therefore to be identified with Christ as to our righteousness, and to be identified with Christ in our desires by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. The Father Himself loveth us, and is willing to hear us: two intercessors, Christ, the advocate above, and the Holy Ghost, the Advocate within, are the gifts of His love. (Adolph Saphir)

N.J. Hiebert - 4194

September 18

"Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward."
(Job 5:7)

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the supreme comfort of knowing that they are not pieces of driftwood tossing aimlessly on the sea of time; but that they are the objects of divine watchfulness (". . . the fowls of the air . . . Your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they?" Matthew 6:26); and of angelic care ("Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13,14). Of these, His people, God definitely affirms that He knows their sorrows ("The Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction . . ." (Exodus 3:7); and that each of these sorrows has its own divinely purposed end ("All things work together for good . . ." Romans 8:28). The centre of our faith, the darkness of the Cross, is our key to this, as to everything else in our lives.

What a bitter agony was there; what a joy sprang out of it. Christ's death saves us from sin, but does not exempt us from sorrow. In the midst of sorrow, the Psalms comfort us - the expressions of desolations in them are signs of life on our road. There have been sufferers before us, and God puts their tears in His book and lets us see that they have been brought to perceive a purpose in it all. (Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 4195

September 19

The Lord is Good

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
(Hebrews 12:11)

It is one of the greatest triumphs of God that He has given the knowledge of His perfect goodness to many a frail man, so that the most untoward circumstances, the deepest bereavement or sorrow or suffering, cannot shake his confidence. Even Job said, "Though He slay me, yet Will I trust in Him." But we are permitted to go a step further. We know that whatever is brought upon the believer by God is not merely the product of divine goodness, but the positive plannings of divine love.

However severe the trial and deep the pain and trying the exercise, it does but the more convince us of that clear, warm love that makes no mistakes - a love, which is so deeply concerned that the divine purpose should be worked out in us, that it will not shrink from adopting means that may at the moment bring the tear to the eye and make the whole frame wince and quiver. (Comforted of God - Compiled by A.J. Pollock)

N.J. Hiebert - 4196

September 20

"As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man."
(Proverbs 27:19)

Reflections can be seen even in rough water sometimes though distorted and unable to determine the details. So men are alike in their thoughts and actions though some have been distorted by the storms of their lives, yet they still have the same heart. Having this likeness it becomes a struggle for the righteous to remain so, realizing their true condition as they look round and see themselves, in other's words and actions. At the same time they want to help them realize their own need for redemption, repentance and restoration toward God. They come to a greater thankfulness for the grace of God who has not only saved them but changed them to reflect Himself within them. (Meditations in Proverbs - B.R.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4197

September 21

". . . Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour."
(Ephesians 5:2)

In Sargodha, India, there grows a shrub with exquisite perfume. Sometimes, on summer evenings I had occasion to pass that way. Nothing in the surroundings was attractive, only barrenness and ugliness, mud walls that emitted heat. But when I could get a whiff of this plant's fragrance, I would seem to be cooled and refreshed.

This fragrance is for us to receive and pass on to others. God is ready to make manifest through us the savour of His knowledge in every place we go.

No matter how little natural winsomeness and attractiveness we may have, if we abide in the presence of our Lord, we shall manifest His beauty and His fragrance.

Mary, doubtless, anointed the Lord's feet quietly and inconspicuously, but the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert - 4198

September 22

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
(Isaiah 52:7)

One-fourth of all bones in your body are in your feet, making them one of nature's most complicated structures. Each of your feet contains 26 bones, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. In your lifetime, your feet will carry you about 65,000 miles - more than 2.5 times around the world. Our Saviour's feet were pierced as He purchased our salvation. What more beautiful use for our feet - to use them to bring the news of His salvation to those who are lost. (Les Rainey - Choice Gleanings)

At the feet of Jesus is the place for me,
There a humble learner would I choose to be
(Philip P. Bliss)

N.J. Hiebert - 4199

September 23

"We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old."
(Psalm 44:1)

Many there are who seem to live in the past. They can tell you thrilling tales of wonderful deeds done in the days of their early life. There were giants in those days! Mind and memory cling to those scenes of bygone years and find their favorite theme in the powers and prowess of the persons who lived and laboured then.

But this psalm continues: "Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us" (Psalm 44:4,5). Now faith does not view the past through rose-coloured spectacles! She derives comfort and courage from her knowledge of what God has been to His people of old, but she is well aware that no miller can grind his corn with water that has already gone down the stream. She therefore lays hold of her present resources and uses them in view of present emergencies.

Faith thrives in an atmosphere of conflict. Is the enemy calling up his reserves, and marshalling his armies in battle array? Faith thinks of her great Leader, arms herself with God-given weapons, and rushes to victory!

Do discouragements multiply? Faith borrows the wings of the eagle and soars above them into the blue of heaven.

Does the love of many wax cold? Faith cleaves to Him whose love is as true and warm and faithful as ever it was, and finds herself strong in the knowledge of that love. (J.H. Yates)

N.J. Hiebert - 4200

September 24

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

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

"Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as We are" (John 17:11). He puts them under the shelter of the name "Holy Father." He looked for them to be kept with all the Father's tenderness.

Let us trust Him more; let us seek to get more from Him; we cannot look for too much of His favour who has not spared His Son for us.

Christ will be a sure friend, and even if we begin to sink in the water, will stretch out His hand and lift us up. It is sweet to have His hand in any case, even if our failing foot has led Him to stretch it out. (Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest)

N.J. Hiebert - 4201

September 25

"They that go down to the sea in ships . . . these see the works of the Lord . . . for He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves . . . they mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths . . . they reel to and fro . . . then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."
(Psalm 107:23-30)

The Set of the Sails

I stood on the shore beside the sea;
The wind from the West blew fresh and free,
While past the rocks at the harbour's mouth
The ships went North and the ships went South,
And some sailed out on an unknown quest,
And some sailed in to the harbour's rest;
Yet ever the wind blew out of the West.

I said to one who had sailed the sea
That this was a marvel unto me;
For how can the ships go safely forth,
Some to the South and some to the North,
Far out to sea on their golden quest,
Or in to harbour's calm and rest,
And ever the wind blow out of the West?

The sailor smiled as he answered me,
"Go where you will when you're on the sea,
Though head winds baffle and flaws delay,
You can keep the the course by night and day,
Drive with the breeze or against the gale;
It will not matter what winds prevail,
For all depends on the set of the sail."
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert - 4202

September 26

". . . all are your's; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
(1 Corinthians 3:22,23)

What can harm me when I am upon Christ's heart? A ruined one like me and a Saviour like Himself go together; my name is upon His breast.

I was a child of Satan once, under the curse of a broken law, and nothing would do but for some One to come in and say, "That Saviour is given to this sinner, and this chief of sinners is given to that Saviour, belongs to Him." Yes, blessed be His name, we can say that we do know this, that the one resting place of our souls is Jesus.

I cannot keep my salvation - God keeps it, and He has turned my eyes to it, where it is at His own right hand in heaven. We cannot get away from the blessedness of saying, "That great salvation, that Saviour, belongs to us, and we belong to Him." (G.V. Wigram - Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert - 4203

September 27

"For ye know the grace of our Lords Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
(2 Corinthians 8:9)

The subject here is our giving. Paul motivates us with these considerations. As you give, consider:

- His grace - all we have is undeserved.
- His glory - He is rich beyond our greatest imagination of wealth.
- His grief - He became poor, abjectly poor, a humble servant, obedient unto death for our sakes.

- Our gain - We are rich, wondrously rich, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, glorified together through our Saviour's gracious giving. Should we not then give to Him heart and soul, all we have and are?
(Kong Fui Lee)

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be,
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee

N.J. Hiebert - 4204

September 28

"And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord . . . O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."
(2 Samuel 24:10)

Here is a task that too often quails even the stoutest Christian heart - to admit we have acted foolishly. Yet here is the thin line that separates a person who has done something foolish from one who is an outright fool. How hard it is to humble ourselves and admit, "I was wrong; I have sinned," yet what relief and release comes from such a confession. Is your heart "smiting" you today? Take it to the Lord, confess and enjoy the liberty of His forgiveness. No person is a fool when he acknowledges his own foolishness. (S. McEachern)

N.J. Hiebert - 4205

September 29

"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass."
(Psalm 72:6)

How grateful the soft rain must feel to the mown grass, all cut as it is, and, as we imagine it, so sore! But the rain is healing: and so God says He will come to His people, "Like rain upon the mown grass."

There is so much in life that is like the cutting-machine, and the heart becomes sore and needs the healing influences that come from God. No matter what we may call that which is healing to us it is God coming "like rain upon the mown grass." And may it not be with us as with the beautiful lawns we admire: the more cutting and the more rain, the more beautiful we shall be; but it must not be one, but both. (Selected)

The absence of joy does not mean the absence of God.

The pruned vine does not suggest an absent vine-dresser, and even if the vine be bleeding it does not mean that he has gone away.

N.J. Hiebert - 4206

September 30

"Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread."
(John 6:34)

I cannot but believe that the reason for the standard of Christian life being so low is that we are living on stale manna. You know what I mean by that. So many people are living on their past experience-thinking of the grand times they had twenty years ago, perhaps when they were converted. It is a sure sign that we are out of communion with God if we are talking more of the joy and peace and power we had in the past than of what we have today. We are told to "grow in grace"; but a great many are growing the wrong way. The Israelites used to gather the manna fresh every day: they were not allowed to store it up.

There is a lesson here for us. If we would be strong and vigorous, we must go to God daily. A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at once to sustain life for a week to come. We must draw upon God's boundless stores of grace from day to day, as we need it. (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 4207


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