Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Friday, October 01, 2010

Gems from October 2010

"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)

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October 1

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world."
(John 12:46,47)

Are you perplexed by present world conditions; troubled and distressed as you think of the misery and sorrow which are all about you? In doubt and perplexity you are asking continually, "Why, and what, and wherefore?" The answer to all your questions may be found in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;

- When you know Him, He opens everything up,
- He explains everything.
- In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
"Whosever believeth in Me shall not abide in darkness."
- When you put your trust in Him,
- When you receive Him in faith as your own Saviour,
- When you yield yourself to Him, recognizing Him as your Lord,
- When you take Him as your divine Teacher.

He opens up all the mysteries that perplex you.
His light shines upon the darkness and drives it away.

"He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him" (Daniel 2:22).

And when you trust Him, you come into the light and His light makes everything clear.

"The darkness is past and the true light now shineth" (1 John 2:8).
(H.A. Ironside)

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October 2

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another."
(Colossians 3:16)

A man who does not have a combination of an accurate acquaintance with the Bible and a sense of its value to the soul is thoroughly one-sided in his ministry. I may have a profound acquaintance with the contents of the Bible, but if I forget the soul, my ministry will not meet the cravings of the heart or tell upon the conscience - it will be ministry from the Book, but not to the soul.

On the other hand, I may desire to minister to the heart and the conscience, but if I am not well-taught in the Bible, I shall have nothing to give to the soul - my ministry will prove barren and tiresome.

We hardly need to say that we long to see in everyone who stands up to minister both an accurate acquaintance with the Bible and also a due sense of the necessities of the soul. The teaching will not do without the exhortation, or the exhortation without the teaching. (C.H. Mackintosh)

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October 3

"Behold, I have set before thee and open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name."
(Revelation 3:8)

An open door in service is from the Lord and not from man. We may, therefore, be independent of man altogether, and we shall be if we keep our eyes wholly upon the Lord, remembering He always sets an open door before us if we keep His word and do not deny His name. (Edward Dennett)

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October 4

"David said unto [Mephibosheth], fear not: I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father."
(2 Samuel 9:7)

Because of his relationship to Saul, Mephibosheth deserved judgment, but instead he found blessing and fellowship - a place at King David's table continually. It turns our minds to Psalm 69:4, "Then I restored that which I took not away." We had lost everything in Adam, and deserved eternal wrath, but through Christ, what we lost has been restored - and abundantly so. "Thou preparest a table before me . . . my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:5). Only the loving kindness of God could make such a wonder a reality. (Neil Dougal)

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October 5

"Like a shock of corn fully ripe."
(Job 5:26)

A gentleman, writing about the breaking up of old ships, said that it is not the age alone which improves the quality of the fiber in the wood of an old vessel, but the straining and wrenching of the vessel by the sea, the chemical action of the bilge water, and of many kinds of cargoes.

Some planks and veneers made from an oak beam which had been part of a ship eighty years old were exhibited a few years ago at a fashionable furniture store on Broadway, New York, and attracted general notice for the exquisite colouring and beautiful grain.

Equally striking were some beams of mahogany taken from a ship which sailed the seas sixty years ago. The years and the traffic had contracted the pores and deepened the colour, until it looked as superb in its chromatic intensity as an antique Chinese vase. It was made into a cabinet, and has today a place of honour in the drawing-room of a wealthy New York family.

So there is a vast difference between the quality of old people who have lived ineffectual, self-indulgent and useless lives, and the fiber of those who have sailed all seas and carried all cargoes as the servants of God and the helpers of their fellow men.

Not only the wrenching and straining of life, but also something of the sweetness of the cargoes carried get into the very pores and fiber of character. (Louis Albert Banks - 1925)

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October 6

"Serving the Lord with all humility of mind."
(Acts 20:19)

The eye that is most anointed will not be the first to see failure in others, and the soul that knows most of walking under the yoke with the Master will not be the first to undertake the putting right, according to its own mind, of what halts and limps in others.
(G.V. Wigram - Footprints for Pilgrims)

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October 7

Spiritual Fruit Comes Only From Spiritual Life

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
(Matthew 6:21)

Water cannot rise above its own level, and neither can a Christian by any sudden, spasmodic effort rise above the level of his own spiritual life!

I have seen in my own experience how a man of God will let his tongue go all day in light, frivolous conversation; let his interest roam abroad among the idle pleasures of this world; and then under the necessity of preaching at night, seek a last minute reprieve just before the service by cramming desperately in prayer to put himself in a position where the spirit of the prophet will descend upon him as he enters the pulpit.

Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles. The fruit of a tree is determined by the tree, and the fruit of life by the kind of life it is. What a man is interested in to the point of absorption both decides and reveals what kind of man he is; and the kind of man he is by a secret law of the soul decides the kind of fruit he will bear.

The catch is that we are often unable to discover the true quality of our fruit until it is too late!

- Of what do we think when we are free to think of what we will?

- What object gives us inward pleasure as we brood over it?

- Over what do we muse in our free moments?

- To what does our imagination return again and again?

When we have answered these questions honestly we will know what kind of persons we are, and when we have discovered what kind of persons we are, we may deduce the kind of fruit we will bear. If we would do holy deeds we must be holy men and women! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)

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October 8

The Parable of the Sower

"They on the rock are they, which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away."
(Luke 8:13)

This was a proof that the conscience was untouched, for when that is reached it is anything but joy until forgiveness is known. The feelings may be moved for a time, and the Word be listened to with a joy which will give place to sorrow. The reason truth is thus flippantly taken up with joy is because there is not root, and so it is received in joy and given up in trouble. (The Man of Sorrows - J.N. Darby)

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October 9

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; But the honour of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable."
(Proverbs 25:2,3)

More than once is our attention called, in the Bible, to the inscrutableness of God's counsels and designs. (See Deuteronomy 29:29, Romans 11:33:34.) As the heavens are high above the earth, so, we are told, are His thoughts above ours. It therefore becomes Him to conceal from prurient (impure) curiosity His wondrous purposes.

But though He so acts, He would have those in authority search earnestly His word that they may find out His mind and will. This is good and profitable exercise.

As they delve into His hidden things, so He also searches out the secret chambers of their hearts which to their subjects are unknown. He keeps His own secrets, even as they theirs, revealing the same only to a chosen few.

Now all saints are kings unto God. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5,6)." Therefore He would communicate His mind to each one who studies to show himself approved unto Him. May it be ours to be manifestly kings in this happy sense! (Selected)

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October 10

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."
(Isaiah 55:8)

God is in control so we have nothing to fear.

To overcome sin, starve the old nature and feed the new.

As the dishes sit and soak, take your Bible and do the same.

God sometimes puts us in the dark to show us that Jesus is the light.

In His will is our peace.

Jesus removes our sin and rewards our service.

God's love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.

(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K.)

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October 11

"To know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
(Ephesians 3:19)

The love of Christ is beyond human comprehension. Well might the poet write, "O love, thou fathomless abyss!" For us to discern just a glimpse of His love, we need to follow Him from the throne in a past eternity and trace His way into time, to a cross erected in a place called Golgotha. We conclude that Christ's love is indeed measureless and fathomless. We can't measure the height of the glory He had when He was on the throne, nor can we fathom the depth of love He manifested while on the cross. The only thing left is to bow in holy wonder and worship for He is worthy. (Choice Gleanings - Milton Haack)

He grows more precious to my soul each day,
Sweeter as the days go by
.
(James Rowe)

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October 12

Today is Canada's Thanksgiving Day

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

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:23)

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son."
(John 3:16)

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a mem'ry,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy spring-time,
Thanks for dark and dreary fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the way-side,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fire-side,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav'nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks thro' all eternity!

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

(This hymn was sung at the funeral of a Chinese brother in Christ who recently died of brain cancer. He left a wife and four children, ages 11-19)

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October 13

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
(Philippians 1:21)

What is the great difference between the works of man and Christ's works? Christ's were all connected with the Father. He always looked up to the Father with a heart attuned to the mind of God. The works we want as the people of God are works that take in the mind of God. If you want to know what is not "worthy of God," you should ask, "Would the Son of God, if He were in the world, do it?"

Are works connected in your mind with the thought, "I ought to do this because I belong to God?" One who has life in Christ cannot bring forth fruit without its being received by God. It is most important to judge our works - to see whether they are works that are worthy of Christ; good works, not according to man's thoughts but according to the mind and thoughts of God, of such a character that we can say, "to me to live is Christ." (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

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October 14

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
(Luke 2:52)

This was the proper fruit of fulfilling the law. By-and-by he provoked much enmity. But suppose I fulfilled the law, and loved my neighbour as myself; should not I grow in favour with all men? So with the Lord. There is nothing more interesting than this, and I invite you to consider it. One act of complacency waited on Him from the manger to the cross - perfect complacency in the mind of God. The complacency might change its character, but not its quantity. There was not a single flaw in it from first to last. It is delightful to know that One such person has passed before the mind of God. He was equally perfect growing up in subjection to His parents as when the veil was rent. (Notes on the Gospel of Luke - J.G. Bellett)

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October 15

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."
(Psalm 23:4)

It is a great art to learn to walk through the shadowy places. Do not hurry; there are lessons to be learned in the shadow that can never be learned in the light. You will discover something about His ministries you never knew before. His rod and His staff they will comfort you - the one to guide, the other to protect you, and the sheep that are nearest will know the most of both.

When we go into the valley of shadow of death we come so near Him that we look into His face and say, not "He is with me, " - that is too formal, too far away, - but "Thou art with me." The need and the usefulness of Christ is seen best in trials. (Streams in the Desert)

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October 16

"And (Zaccheus) sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. . . . Jesus looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zaccheus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house." (Luke 19:3-5)

Zaccheus had been but a sinner, a child of nature which is, as we know, corrupt in its springs and in its activities. But he had been just at that moment under the drawings of the Father, and his soul was making Jesus its object. He wished to see Him, and that desire being commanding, he had pressed his way through the crowd and climbed up into a sycamore tree, if he might but just see Him as He passed by. The Lord looked up, and at once invited Himself into his house. This is very peculiar, - Jesus is an uninvited, self-invited guest in the house of that publican at Jericho!

The earliest strivings of life in a poor sinner, the desire which had been awakened by the drawings of the Father, were there in that house ready to welcome him; but sweetly and significantly He anticipates the welcome, and goes in - goes in full, consistent, responsive character, to kindle and strengthen the freshly-quickened life, till it break forth in some of its precious virtue, and yield some of it own good fruit. (J.G. Bellett)

"Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." (Luke 19:8)

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October 17

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Romans 5:8)

The Holy Spirit always reasons down from what God is, and this produces a total change in my soul. It is not that I abhor my sins; indeed I may have been walking very well; but it is "I abhor myself." The Holy Spirit shows us what we are, and that is one reason why He often seems to be very hard and does not give peace to the soul, as we are not relieved until we frankly, from our hearts, acknowledge what we are. Until the soul comes to that point He does not give it peace He could not; it would be healing the wound slightly. The soul has to go on until it finds there is nothing to rest on but the Cross-proved goodness of God; and then "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (J.N.D. - submitted by a reader, S.L.)

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October 18

"But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus."
(John 21:4)

After a night of fruitless fishing - it had happened before (Luke 5:5) - the disciples did not recognize the risen Lord upon the shore. How much of our labour is in vain because it is our own poor little expedition (see verse 3)! But our labour is not in vain when it is in the Lord.

There is a beautiful progression in this story. John recognizes the stranger. "It is the Lord!" Peter immediately leaps into the water and heads for shore. He has denied his Lord and has been out of fellowship, but when he heard Jesus was on the shore, he went toward Him, not from Him.

Jesus invited them to a prepared meal, and they knew it was the Lord. He becomes real to all who accept His invitation and take what He offers.

Has it been a fisherman's failure with you? Has your little venture come to nought? See the Lord upon the shore. Heed His instruction, and a night of defeat will give way to a morning of delight. (Day By Day - Vance Havner)

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October 19

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
(Romans 5:6)

What is this "due time"? For four thousand years, from the time that Adam sinned, God was proving man - seeing if any good could be found in the race of the first Adam. Man was weighed in God's balances, and found completely wanting. He was tried without law, and under law. And last, God's Son was presented to the world, to see if they would receive him. But no; they rejected Him! And what did they do? "Crucified the Lord of glory"! What a dreadful crime! How the cross brings out what man is! This was God's due time; and then it was that Christ died for the ungodly. It is important therefore to see that now God is not looking for improvement from man; but that the way of salvation is to take the place of a guilty sinner before Him, and own His grace in giving Christ to die for sinners. (F.K. - Christian Truth - Vol. 20)

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October 20

"Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee."
"Is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee?"
(Daniel 6:16,20)

God asks me to cast my care on Him each day;
He also asks me not to cast my confidence away.
But, oh, how foolishly I act when taken unaware,
I cast away my confidence and carry all my care
.

King Darius said to Daniel that his God would deliver him from the lions; then spent a sleepless night, suggesting that he had serious doubts. Anxiously, he asked, "Is thy God able?" We boldly profess that our God can do anything, Often we bring our petitions to Him, but then continue to worry and fuss, as though doubting whether He is really able to meet our need. He can. He will. (R.J. Steele)

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October 21

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

Look at that. Nine monosyllables, and some of them contain only two letters, "As He is." I could not make that out. I wondered if that were the correct translation. Might it not mean, "As He is, so ought we to be in this world?" I read the context and looked it up in the original. No; that was not it. Could it be that this is to be carried into the future? Could it mean, "As He is, so will we be when we get through with this world?" No; "As He is, so are we in this world." But I am not pure in thought and word and deed as He is. I am not as considerate of the feelings of others as He. I do not love God as He does. I do not love the lost world as He does.

There must be something wrong. Then my attention was directed to the fact that John had just been talking of the day of judgment. I used to to be afraid of the day of judgement. How terrible it would be after many years of service to come to the judgment and find I had failed and might be lost after all! But I read, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world (literal rendering)."

It began to open up to me. My relationship to the coming judgment is the same as His. Is He ever coming into judgment for sin? He has been judged already in my place. Is He to give an account for the sins laid on Him at Calvary's cross? No. Then what about me? "As He is, so are we in this world." "Perfect love casteth out all fear." I had been looking for perfect love in myself, trying to pump it up; looking for perfect love, but never finding it. The Lord led me to look for perfect love in the blessed Lord Jesus Christ. I found it there, the love that brought Him to Calvary's cross. Perfect love is there and only there. It casts out all fear. It was on my behalf he suffered. (H.A. Ironside - Gospel of John)

"Death and judgment are behind me,
Grace and glory are before;
All the billows rolled o'er Jesus,
There they spent their utmost power
."
(Mrs. J.A. Trench)

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October 22

"I . . . beseech you that ye walk worthy . . . with al lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace."
(Ephesians 4:1-3)

Unity comes through lowliness - true humility, genuinely esteeming others better than ourselves. Meekness - gentleness and mildness in my behaviour. Longsuffering - patience in bearing the attacks of others. Forbearing one another in love - making allowance for for others faults and failures. It is God who brings together our differing personalities, abilities and temperaments and it is God who will give us grace to have peace among ourselves by making these attributes a daily reality in our lives. (C. Tempest)

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October 23

"For we are labourers together with God."
(1 Corinthians 3:9)

Frances Havergal was a contemporary of Fanny Crosby (1820-1915). Although these two gifted hymn writers never met, each was an admirer of the other. In a letter sent by Miss Havergal to Fanny Crosby, she wrote:

Dear blind sister over the sea--
An English heart goes forth to thee.
We are linked by a cable of faith and song,
Flashing bright sympathy swift along
One in the East and one in the West,
Singing for Him whom our souls love best.
Singing for Jesus! Telling His love
All the way to our home above,
Where the severing sea, with its restless tide
Never shall hinder and never divide.
Sister, what shall our meeting soon be
When our hearts shall sing and our eyes shall see?

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October 24

"He was withdrawn from them [disciples] about a stones cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him."
(Luke 22:41-43)

He went to the Mount of Olives with His disciples. Then He consciously left them for the presence of His Father and prayed, "Father, if Thou wilt remove this cup from Me." His moral perfection required that He express disapproval of the relative position to God that He was about to enter into on the cross. However, His love made Him a willing, obedient victim and so He says, "Not My will but Thine be done."

How are we to interpret that word "strengthening"? The angel did not strengthen Him spiritually - the Holy Spirit deals with the spirit - but He strengthened Him physically - that is the office of angels. The appearance of an angel from heaven is proof that He was not yet forsaken of God. He had not yet been made an offering for sin and the angel can come and strengthen Him, strengthen Him for the fresh agony to come. There were no strengthening angels in that three hours of darkness on the cross. There He was left in deep unfathomable solitariness - not even a ray of light from the countenance of God gladdened Him there!

After His agony of prayer, He rose and came to His disciples. They were in His thoughts but He was not in theirs - they were sleeping! They could not watch with Him for one hour. So it is with us now. He ever lives to make intercession for us. But do we live ever to love Him - serve Him? He ever lives for you - do you ever live for Him? (J.G. Bellett)

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October 25

"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
(John 14:3)

In announcing that He was going from them, He makes it perfectly clear that the separation was but the first step to abiding reunion. "If I go . . . I will come again." The New Testament gives a threefold testimony to the second coming of Christ:
(1) The testimony of the Master Himself (John 14:1-3).
(2) The testimony of the heavenly messengers (Act 1:9-11)
(3) The testimony of the apostles.

Paul speaks for them all when he says that the commemoration feast - observed by all the historic Christian churches - is to continue, only "till He come" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Observe how these testimonies coincide. "I will come again," said our Saviour; "this same Jesus" shall come again, say the messengers; "The Lord Himself" shall come again, says Paul (1 Thessalonians 4:16). As the departure was visible, corporeal, literal, personal, local, so will be the return. The great hope is the believer's joy in life (Romans 5:2); the mourner's comfort in bereavement (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18); the saint's incentive to holiness (1 John 3:2-3).

Of the loved of the Lord who, one by one, down the long years, have been passing hence, Scripture says that they depart to be with Christ (Philippians 1:23). As the hour of their passing drew near, there is a sense in which it could be said to them individually: "The Master is come and calleth for thee." He comes to such in the same way that He comes to the two or three that are gathered in His name (Matthew 18:20): corporeally absent but spiritually present. (His Last Words - Henry Durbanville)

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October 26

"Seeing, then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech."
(2 Corinthians 3:12)

"Study to show thyself approved unto God."
(2 Timothy 2:15)

Did you notice the first word of each these verses? They open up a fundamental truth about learning and enjoying the Scriptures. If you will study - you will see. Any who have looked at the thoughts of 2 Corinthians chapter 3, would almost laugh to hear Paul say he is using great plainness of speech. But put some study into that passage and you will see stunning truths and you'll admit, for things so deep, he was as plain as he could be. Our lack of Bible knowledge is tragic. We want to see. Are we willing to study? (M.A.)

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October 27

"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

"No condemnation!" - O my soul, 'Tis God that speaks the word;
Perfect in comeliness art Thou, Through Christ, the risen Lord.

"No condemnation!" - precious word! Consider it, my soul;
Thy sins were all on Jesus laid; His stripes have made thee whole.


The first effect of this new and blessed position is "peace with God," into whose presence we have been brought by the risen Jesus. "By whom also we have access by faith." Our sins having been all blotted out by the shedding of His precious blood, we have perfect peace in His holy presence. The finished work of Christ is the only ground of peace; there is no other.

By virtue of the same blessed work, we are brought into a new relationship with God - we stand in grace - in the full enjoyment of His favour. There is nothing between us. We are near, even as Christ is near. "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13). So, even now, we can "rejoice in hope of the glory of God." All that was against us was imputed to Christ, and He made an end of sins.

"Grace and Glory" (Psalm 84:11) characterize our blessed and wondrous standing before God. The cross, the grave, sin, Satan, and "this present evil world," are all past. They are all behind the Christian; he is on heaven's side of the cross, on resurrection ground and in possession of resurrection life, at this present time. Nothing but the bright beams of the glory of God gilds the future. Not a single cloud dims the prospect. All is REST, PEACE, GRACE, AND GLORY. (Christian Truth - Volume 20 - December 1967)

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October 28

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
(Philippians 4:11)

"Content" has been rendered "independent." Paul has learned in any state to be self-sufficient, independent, not in the haughty worldly sense but in that he lives by inner resources . He can do all things through Christ. While he deeply appreciates and rejoices in the love-gift sent to him by the Philippian saints, his sufficiency is not in the Lord's people but in God, who is able to supply every need.

The servant of the Lord who is looking to the Lord's people instead of unto the Lord will be nervous and sometimes disappointed. But the man who is looking unto Jesus about his finances as well as everything else will not worry whether his remuneration be a Philippian love-gift or a puny stipend. Not all may be as generous as the Philippians, but God's riches in glory by Christ Jesus are as abundant as in Paul's day.

Let us be independent of men, dependent on God. (Day by Day with Vance Havner)

N.J. Hiebert - 4235

October 29

The Three Prayers

"For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do." (Philippians 2:13)

"Lord, help me," so we pray,
"Help me my work to do;
I am so ignorant and weak,
Make me more wise and true."

"Lord, help me to do Thy work,"
We pray when wiser grown,
When on the upward way
Our feet have farther gone.

"Lord, do Thy work through me";
So when all self we lose;
His doing and His work, and we
The tools His hand can use.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert - 4236

October 30

"And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee . . . for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? . . . if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
(Genesis 13:8,9)

The man of faith can easily afford to allow the man of sight to take his choice.

Faith lays up its treasure in a place which nature would never dream of examining.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4237

October 31

"But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss."
(Acts 27:21)

As mentioned, the truth hurts. But confessing that it is because you have sinned against God that all now seems so dark and hopeless in your life, is the first and most vitally important step you will take on "restoration road". Do you remember what David said when he repented of his dreadful sin (adultery)? "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest" (Psalm 51:3,4). How it must have grieved dear David to say that - but those are the only words which could open the door to blessing for him.

Notice another thing - it was after a long abstinence that Paul spoke to those whose hope had been taken from them. Why did the apostle wait so long? Why didn't he keep arguing with the centurion and the crew until they listened to his warning? Because they had already rejected what he said - they did not want his advice. (The Journey of life - D.N.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4238

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