Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5500 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Gems from January 2011

January 1

"How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!"
(Proverbs 16:16)

The hardest part of any job is getting started.

Crisis presents danger and opportunity.

We win by tenderness; we conquer by forgiveness.

Not everything that counts can be counted.

A ton of regret never made an ounce of difference.

Lost time is never found again.

Most entanglements are caused by vocal cords.

(A Collection of Wise Sayings - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4299

"My strength is made perfect in weakness."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

"Not My will, but Thine, be done."
(Luke 22:42)

Weakness . . . what weakness? Do I have to be in a state of physical weakness to know His strength made perfect? Sometimes the Lord uses that to help us realize we can't do without Him, but even if we feel strong, we cannot do His will without His help. How often when we feel strong physically, we think we can handle things on our own. We must put ourselves in a place of weakness, relinquishing of our wills and asking for an exchange for His will, with which comes His strength that perfects us. (Louis Nicholson - Choice Gleanings)

When your days on earth are past,
Christ shall call you home at last,
His redeeming love to praise,
Who has strengthened all your days

N.J. Hiebert - 4300

January 2

"She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
(Luke 2:7)

A prince is normally born amid pomp and ceremony into a palace - but not so the King of kings. There wasn't any room for Him in the inn that night. The tremendous event of His birth took place amid rejection, poverty, and obscurity. Mary wrapped her Son in strips of cloth. We cannot begin to fully understand the stoop of humility when He left the mansions above for the manger below. But are you not glad that He came? (John M. Clegg)

N.J. Hiebert - 4301

January 3

"(He) made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
(Philippians 2:7,8)

Christ Jesus was born in a stable -
A birthplace of humblest degree,
So that no one could say, "I am poorer,
More lacking in comforts, than He."

His mother in swaddling bands wrapped Him,
The wardrobe of One, the Divine,
That no one could say of His raiment,
"Christ's garments were better than mine."

His home and His comforts were borrowed -
No pillow for resting His head!
But He lived, and He suffered and sorrowed,
To give us true comforts instead.

In glory His wealth had been boundless!
He laid all those riches aside,
That we might have riches eternal,
And with Him forever abide.
(Mrs. F.A. Breck)

N.J. Hiebert - 4302

January 4

"I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil."
(Psalm 119:162)

Do you know the joy that lies hidden in these neglected pages, the honey that you might eat from this garden of the Lord, these blossoms of truth and promise? Oh, take your Bibles as the living love letters of His heart to you, and ask Him to speak it to you in joy and faith and spiritual illumination, as the sweet manna of your spirit's life and the honey out of the Rock of Ages! (Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert - 4303

January 5

" . . . he (Goliath) hath defied the armies of the living God . . . He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."
(1 Samuel 17:36,37)

"And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of (King) Saul . . ."
(1 Samuel 27:1)

David . . . when a stripling in the fight could say even to a giant, "This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand" (verse 46), but afterwards said in his heart, "I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul." . . . Saul's hand which David feared was not so big as Goliath's hand which David despised; but then Christ was not so large and full before the eye of David's faith afterwards as He had been before in the valley of Elah. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4304

January 6

"Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
(Luke 14:34-35)

Flavourless Salt

"Salt" is grace in spiritual energy. That is, the saints being witnesses in the world of the power of holy love instead of selfishness. Salt is the consecrating principle of grace. If that is gone, what is to preserve? Salt is rather grace in the aspect of holy separateness unto God than in that of kindness and meekness, though, of course, these are also inseparable from grace. If the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? If I have meat without salt I can salt it, but if there is no saltness in salt, what can I do? What a character we have here of an unspiritual church or an unspiritual saint! Like the vine which represented Israel, good for nothing at all but to dishonour the Lord, its owner, and be destroyed.

Mercy, it is true, may recover us, but as saints we should have the savour of Christ. Whatever enfeebles attachment to Christ destroys power. It is not gross sin that does it, which, of course, will be met and judged, but it is the little things of everyday life which are apt to be chosen before Christ. When the world creeps in the salt has lost its savour, and we show that a rejected Christ has little power in our eyes.

The Lord keep us in the path with Christ, where all is bright an blessed. If the film of this world has been drawn over out spiritual vision, hiding Christ from us, He alone can remove it. (The Man of Sorrows - J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4305

January 7

Philip's Request

"Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us."
(John 14:7)

Philip's motto was: "Seeing is believing." He wanted a visible manifestaion of God, such as was granted to Moses (Exodus 24); and to Isaiah (Chapter 6). Our Lord answers in a statement which forms one of the greatest assertions of the Gospel, and which is incomprehensible apart from the claim to deity. "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." All other means of knowing God, are like the fragmentary syllables of a great word. He - the Logos - perfectly expressed God (John 1:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:1-3).

The Father is just like Jesus. The deep yearning which expresses itself in Philip's request, is the great cry of universal humanity. He Himself is the ground of belief; but if the disciples could not rise to such belief, then let the works which they had seen with their eyes, convince them (John 14:9-11). (The Last Words - Henry Durbanville)

N.J. Hiebert - 4306

January 8

"I know thy works, that thou are neither cold or hot: I would that thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
(Revelation 3:15-16)

The snare in lukewarmness is this, that there is nothing exactly to offend the conscience - there is no denial of, or opposition to, the truth; but, on the contrary, an apparent reception of it - a going along with it; but in such a partial, imperfect way, that a great deal is permitted which would have been refused, if one had been walking earnestly in the truth.

There is an admission of truth. And there is an acceptance in general of the place in which the truth sets one, but there is no testimony to its power and control. The lukewarm one accepts the truth, and the position which the truth prescribes; but in such a loose way, that the sound is uncertain, and the distinctness and peculiarity, which would necessarily flow from an honest, earnest maintenance of the truth, is lost and frustrated. "If the trumpet give and uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8)

Hence, there is is more damage done to the truth than if it never had been accepted at all. If it had not been accepted, there it would have remained; and it might be said, If it were, it would produce such and such effects; but when it has been accepted, and there is no true effect, because of the looseness or lukewarmness with which it is held, then the truth is compromised, and its value and efficacy practically denied. (Thoughts For This Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4307

January 9

"He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." (John 15:5)

If kept in the enjoyment of the Lord's love, it flows out; you cannot help it, there is no effort. No apple tree tries to grow apples. Do not try to be anything. You keep yourself in the love of God, and you will be like the Son of God; you cannot help it. The atmosphere we live in will tell upon us, just as the ointment on Aaron's head went down to the skirts of his garment and diffused an odour wherever he went. If we get near to the Lord, we shall carry away some of the savour of His presence. We always become like the thing we are occupied with. (W. Wolston)

'Tis the treasure I've found in His love,
That has made me a pilgrim below;
And 'tis there, when I reach Him above,
As I'm know, all His fullness I'll know
(John Nelson Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4308

January 10

"And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt, three days:
They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings
(Exodus 10:22-23)

Just as the light that was in the dwelling of every Israelite in Goshen, was not a mere earthly light (such as the light of fire or of a candle), but light from heaven, which shone into every chamber and every corner of the house, and filled not only the house, but the hearts of its inmates with its assuring and cheerful influence, while darkness lay upon, and filled the houses and hearts of the Egyptians in Goshen with its awful weight and foretaste of a still greater darkness and judgment to come: so will be the light, shining in a godly Christian family and household. It is heavenly in its origin and character.

It has nothing in common with the earthly light of mere natural fairness, kindness and amiability. Most thankful we are to a merciful creator God, for having given to man a conscience (though in consequence of man's fall) i.e. the knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, and for having implanted in man's heart natural affections, without which life (especially family-life) in this world of sin and sorrow would be unbearable. Far be it from me to utter one single word, that might, even in the remotest way, appear to slight natural affections, often so painfully dormant in many a Christian family, and the absence of which is one of the characteristics of apostasy. But such an earthly light is no divine, no heavenly light in a Christian sense. All that is divine, is also truly moral, but not everything that is moral is also divine. The sun is a light, but not every light is sunlight. (Light in Our Dwelling - J. von Poseck)

N.J. Hiebert - 4309

January 11

" . . . repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21)

Repentance is just the sick man's acknowledgment of his illness. It is simply the sinner recognizing his guilt and confessing his need of deliverance. Do not confound repentance with penitence. Penitence is sorrow for sin, and "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of" (2 Corinthians 7:10). Do not confound repentance with remorse. Remorse generally consists in grieving because you are found out. How many a man in prison is filled with remorse, because he got caught!

Remorse is not real repentance. Judas was deeply remorseful when he saw how things were going with Jesus, and he brought the thirty pieces of silver and threw them down in the office of the high priest, but he was not truly repentant before God. The words translated, "Judas repented," more properly should be "Judas was remorseful, and he went out and hanged himself." That is the sorrow of the world that results in death, but godly sorrow leads to repentance.

Repentance is not penance. It is not trying in some way or other to make up for the wrong things of the past. Repentance is far more than that. It is judging oneself in the presence of God; turning right about face, turning to God with a sincere, earnest desire to be completely delivered from sin. And when a man takes that attitude toward God and puts his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he finds salvation; for apart from that, faith will never be real. The two things go together - repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4310

January 12

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers." (Psalm 37:1)
"Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way."
(Psalm 37:7)
"Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil." (Psalm 37:8)

The adversary delights to make us fret. Then we're of no value to the Lord and of no encouragement to His people. David surely had cause to fret because of circumstances in his life, yet instructs us three times in this psalm not to do so. If I don't fret, how am I to occupy my heart and mind? Again David helps us:

- Trust in the Lord (verse 3).
- Delight in the Lord (verse 4).
- Commit thy way unto the Lord (verse 5).
- Rest in the Lord (verse 7).
- Wait on the Lord (verse 9).

Keeping our mind on the Lord totally changes our outlook! (W. Ross Rainey)

N.J. Hiebert - 4311

January 13

"I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day."
(2 Timothy 1:12)

Colonel Ingersoll, one of the most highly cultured infidels of modern times, peering wistfully into the future, asks these questions:

"Is there beyond the silent night, a day?
Is death a door that leads to light?
We cannot say.
The tongueless secret locked in fate
We do not know. We hope, and wait."

John Sterling on his death bed wrote to Thomas Carlyle: "I tread the common road into the great darkness without any thought of fear, and with very much of hope. Certainty, indeed, I have none." Touching and trustful as the later declaration is, it lacks the ring of confidence that characterized the closing words of Michael Farady. When this great scientist was dying someone asked: "What are your speculations now, Mr Farady?" "Speculations!" he answered: "speculations - I have none. I am resting on certainties now. I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day."

When we turn to the Word of the Lord, which alone can impart certainty on this great matter, we find that its message regarding Assurance is of a twofold character.
There are Scriptures that unfold God's testimony regarding the atoning work of the Redeemer; and there are Scriptures that convey absolute assurance to the Redeemed. Reception of the first of these puts us in possession of a security which nothing can disturb; reception of the latter imparts a confidence which nothing can destroy. (In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4312

January 14

". . . predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."
(Ephesians 1:5)

The believer must know where the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ have forever set him, ere he can be an intelligent worshipper, an acceptable servant, or an effectual witness.

Every doubt in the heart of a Christian is a dishonour done to the word of God and the sacrifice of Christ.

A risen Christ is the eternal proof of an accomplished redemption; and if redemption is an accomplished fact, the believer's peace is a settled reality.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4313

January 15

"He that spared not His own Son . . . shall He not freely give us all things?"
(Romans 8:32)

"All things are yours." (1 Corinthians 3:21)

Oh, wonderful love that takes me,
Though wretched and stained with sin!
Oh, marvelous grace that makes me
All holy and pure within!

Oh, mighty power that holds me,
A helper forever near!
Oh, perfect peace that folds me
In danger and storm and fear!

Oh, jubilant joy sustaining
My faltering steps to the last!
Oh, rapturous rest remaining
When toiling and tears are past!

Oh, matchless mercy that rates me
Joint-heir with the sinless Son!
Oh, golden glory that waits me
When tempests and clouds are done!

All things are mine, for I am His;
Oh, infinite gifts divine!
He gave His Son, His only one;
And all that He has is mine.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert - 4314

January 16

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
(Proverbs 16 :25)

Self-love and self-will lead into self-deception, whatever be the honesty that would oppose a conscious wrong. We need therefore to look to Him who is greater than our heart, that we be guided by a wisdom above ourselves. How terrible to have trusted what one should have judged, lest, to one following a way that seemed right, its end should be only a way of death! He that hears and knows and follows the voice of Jesus finds Him not only the way but the truth and the life. Nor can one be too simple in listening to His words open to all. This is the Christian highway, and therefore is peace and joy, whatever the suffering and danger. (William Kelly)

N.J. Hiebert - 4315

January 17

"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs."
(Psalm 69:30,31)

The ox is known for strength and hard labour. Thus a symbol of our service to God. The bullock for sacrifice - our gifts to Him. But more pleasing to God is a song of praise and thanksgiving from our heart to His holy name. (Choice Gleanings - E. MacLelland)

Praise the Saviour, O my soul!
He has drunk the bitter gall.
Paid the ransom, set thee free;
Praise Him, praise Him cheerfully

N.J. Hiebert - 4316

January 18

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
(2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

Unless the sorrows that come to us as we journey through life, leave us holier, kindlier, tenderer, more sensitive to human grief, more responsive to the needs of the dear men and women who are our fellow pilgrims to the land where there is no sorrow, if our sorrows fail to produce these effects on us, then are they lost sorrows; they have failed of the purpose for which our Father sent them to us.

Verily, in this, as in the other things of life, we need the wisdom which is so freely promised to us (James 1:5). Be it ours to prove in our individual lives that every grief that reaches us has purposes of blessing and enrichment for ourselves, and is intended to lead us out to deeds of beneficence and kindness to others. (Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 4317

January 19

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place . . . and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
(Acts 2:1,4)

"For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us."
(Ephesians 2:14)

Many years ago I was standing on the pier at Kobe, Japan, waiting to board a ship for Shanghai. A beloved Japanese brother had come to see me off. There was another great ship at the other side of the pier about to leave for San Francisco. High up on the very top deck of this liner was a gentleman, evidently a man of importance, who was leaving for America. A large number of persons had come to say farewell to him. They had a nice custom in Japan at that time, that every person saying farewell would bring a roll of coloured paper ribbon. The friend on the ship would hold the end of each ribbon, and each person on the pier, saying farewell, would hold a roll of ribbon.

My friend and I watched this scene for some time. There might have been a hundred persons on the pier, each with a roll of ribbon, while the gentleman on the top deck, had the ends of the ribbons all in his hand. Suddenly, my friend turned to me, and remarked: "There is a picture of Christ and His church. He is the Head in heaven: we are the members down here. The ribbons represent the Holy Spirit: and every member is linked to the Head by the Holy Spirit; and every member, through the Head in Heaven, is linked to every other member on earth." it was a sweet lesson that I have never forgotten. At the Feast of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given, Who links every believer to the Head, and to each other, making "one body," the Church. (G. Christopher Willis - About 1937)

N.J. Hiebert - 4318

January 20

"Despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
(Romans 2:4)

- Praise has the power to lighten our heaviest burden.

- Jesus took our sin so that we might have His salvation.

- Jesus took our place that we might have His peace.

- If God doesn't remove an obstacle, He'll help you around it.

- Earth changes, but God and His Word stand sure!
(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4319

January 21

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the LILY of the valleys. As the LILY among the thorns, so is My love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
(Song of Solomon 2:1-3)

A lily has beauty and fragrance but no refreshment or sustenance whereas an apple tree provides shelter, shade and fruit. A lily needs care and protection from storms, being fragile, yet a tree can withstand storms. A tree among trees is in its place but a lily is foreign among thorns. It is pleasure and passion in His company, comfort and confidence in His presence and power almost as in a dream, so far from the reality of the world, is time spent with Him. (Meditations in the Song of Solomon - B.R.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4320

January 22

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9)

If we are going to cleave to the Lord, we should cultivate Christian fellowship - seek the association of those of like precious faith. None of us are strong in ourselves, and we need one another. We are to exhort one another, to be helpers of one another in the faith. Then let us be unsparing in self-judgment. We need to keep account with God. When conscious of failure, of sin, when we have yielded in any sense to temptation, let us not go on getting deeper and deeper into things that are wrong, drifting farther and farther from God; but turn at once to the Lord, face the matter in His presence; and remember, "If we confess out sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is what is meant by cleaving to the Lord with purpose of heart, recognizing His authority over our lives and His ownership of all we have and are. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4321

January 23

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
(Romans 12:21)

A bad disposition has been called "the vice of the virtuous," which brings us directly to the conclusion that it is time we Christians stop trying to excuse our un-Christlike dispositions and frankly admit our failure to live as we should!

Wesley said that we will not injure the cause of Christ by admitting our sins, but that we are sure to do so by denying them.

Dispositional sins are as many as the various facets of human nature. Just so there be no misunderstanding let us list a few of them: Sensitiveness, irritability, churlishness, faultfinding, peevishness, temper, resentfulness, cruelty, uncharitable attitudes; and of course there are many more.

These kill the spirit of the church and slow down any progress which the gospel may be making in the community. Many persons who had been secretly longing to find Christ have been turned away and embittered by manifestations of ugly dispositional flaws in the lives of the very persons who were trying to win them!

Unsaintly saints are the tragedy of Christianity. The low state of religion in our day is largely due to the lack of public confidence in religious people.

There is a remedy for inward evil. The power of Christ can enable the worst of us to live lives of purity and love. We have but to seek it and to lay hold of it in faith. God will not disappoint us! (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4322

January 24

Preachers Urgently Needed

". . . if any (husbands) obey not the Word, they also may without the Word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
(1 Peter 3:1,2)

"How long have you been converted?" I asked a young man the other day.

"About fifteen months."

"How did it come about? Was it through any special evangelistic service, or how?"

"No, it was by means of a young lady - a personal friend - that I was brought to know the Lord."

"Any particular passage of scripture used?"

"It was not so much what she said that first arrested me, as her consistent, godly life. I was powerfully impressed by it, and that was how the work began in my soul."

Precious and beautiful testimony!

Preachers of that school are everywhere needed, and such preaching will be signally blessed of God. Aspire to be a preacher of that sort. No great gift is needed, no rich intellectual endowment, and you may begin at once. Now preaching with the tongue has its necessary limits, but this kind has none. A godly, consistent life is a continual sermon full of unction and power.

It is this kind of testimony that the Apostle Peter alludes to in the third chapter of his first epistle. He supposes a believing wife having an unbelieving husband. She cannot bring the Word before him with her voice. He will not stand it; and she, knowing this, says nothing. But her life is in itself powerful preaching - so wise, so discreet, with so much of Christ interwoven with it. And the unconverted husband is won by this - not driven, but won.

Christian men and women, boys and girls, in every station of life, who by God's grace will preach such sermons from January to December, are needed. (Christian Truth - Volume 13 - December 1960)

N.J. Hiebert - 4323

January 25

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
(1 Timothy 1:15)

One of the great wonders of our salvation is that the heart of God determined that it would be by direct substitution - a total "Christ for me" salvation. It would be:

- His death for my life.
- His sinlessness for my sinfulness.
- His righteousness for my unrighteousness.
- His holiness for my unholiness.
- His purity for my impurity.
- All that He is for all that I was.

He literally took my place, assumed my sin, paid its penalty, and now I go free! What a Saviour we have! May our worship honour Him today! (Drew Craig)

N.J. Hiebert - 4324

January 26

"Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you."
(1 Peter 5:7)

The heart of Christ is with us in the very least thing that is trying us, but all is to be received at the hand of the Father, and discipline shows us what that hand is in the correction of evil as we pass on.

Until our heart gets broken, and we see the folly of our own wisdom, we do not care for the sympathy of Christ. When we find wave upon wave, sorrow upon sorrow, then our hearts look out for some anchor. It is a horrid discovery we have to make of the slowness there is about us to take out place under the yoke with Christ. He lets all things roll in upon us, and our souls cannot get away. He touches us to the very quick, because He must teach us the lesson we have to learn. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4325

January 27

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

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7). It is fear of God that causes sinners to humble themselves and receive His solution for sin - the Lord Jesus. How can you identify those who truly fear the Lord? They shun evil and pursue righteousness. They exhibit a spirit of humility. They learn to hate the things that God loathes. There are no degrees of holiness with God. He hates all that opposes His character. May believers adopt this mindset and make no excuses for engaging in what God hates. (Warren Henderson)

Take time to be holy,
Be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive,
Beneath God's control
(W. Longstaff)

N.J. Hiebert - 4326

January 28

"But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country."
(Acts 27:27)

After 14 days of hopelessness in the violent storm, they finally had hope, for the sailors realized they were drawing near to some country. However they didn't know what country they were nearing. In that wonderful faith chapter, Hebrews 11, we read of those who by faith plainly said that they were looking for a country. The country they had left could not satisfy them, and they now "desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city". That is what the Lord wants to bring you to. He wants you to have a desire in your heart for something better than what led you away from Him - a desire for the heavenly country where He is and where He has prepared your eternal dwelling. Nothing in this world can compare with the peace and beauty of that paradise. The more we desire to be there, the safer and happier will be our journey here. (The Journey of Life - D. Nicolet)

N.J. Hiebert - 4327

January 29

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
(Luke 14:11)

Real lowliness is being ready to serve any and everybody; and though it may to the eye of man look low it is in reality very high, being the fruit of divine love working in our hearts. God operating in our hearts makes us unselfish. The only thing worth doing in the world is this service, except it be enjoying God. We should be ready to serve one's enemies. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted." This is not only being humbled, but humbling oneself, and not doing it before those who would honour us all the more for being humble. Paul could say of himself and others, "Ourselves your servants for Christ's sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5). He felt they had a title to serve in grace, and in proportion as he took the humble place he will be exalted in that day that is coming. (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert - 4328

January 30

"There be . . . things which are little upon the earth, BUT. . . ."
(Proverbs 30:24)

Little things are much more important than we often imagine; they have been known to turn the course of event for hundreds of years. For instance, a great king once noticed that his soldiers were using their sleeves instead of handkerchiefs, and - that's how we all got buttons on our cuffs! Another monarch was bald and had his servants make him a fancy toupee; immediately judges and courtiers took up the style and for hundreds of years men of importance shaved off their own locks , and wore flowing wigs of artificial curls! So too, for good or evil, each of us has his own widening circle of influence.

Someone once complained, "What I say or do doesn't matter. My influence is like a drop in the bucket!" "Ah, but a drop can be very important," said another. "It all depends on what it is made of, and what's already in the bucket. One little drop of water falling into a container of acid may cause an explosion. One drop of germ culture introduced into a container of milk can make the liquid dangerous to drink; while one drop of cleansing disinfectant can neutralize a whole pail full of contaminated water." Yes, even a "drop in a bucket" can make a tremendous difference. Our influence is greater than we suspect. In fact, those whom the world considers "insignificant" are probably the ones whose lives are making the greatest impact for eternity!

Have you ever thought of it, that after all, it's only the small birds that sing? You never heard a note from the eagle in all your life, nor from the turkey, nor from the ostrich. But you have heard thrilling melody from the throat of a canary, and bright, happy trills of praise from the robin, and the lark. My how they can sing! So too, the sweetest music often comes from those Christians who are small in their own estimation but great in the eyes of the Lord. Indeed, "there be . . . things which are little upon the earth, BUT!!" (H.G.B.)

Little crosses bravely carried,
Little duties daily done,
To the heart of God are precious,
And He counts them one by one

He who is a Christian in small things, is not a small Christian!"

N.J. Hiebert - 4329

January 31

"Ye ask, and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume if upon your lusts."
(James 4:3)

Here is, in my judgment, the explanation of all unanswered prayer. When prayer is the voice of the self-life, the lust of the flesh, the lust of avarice (greed), of ambition, of self-advantage, coming into the front, God does not heed it, for to heed it would be the worst thing for you and me. But, as I grow into Christ and come to know His thought, and as He grows into me and comes to subdue and control my thought, His will becomes my will, and the words of my prayer become the expression of His will and His word through me, and the Father hears the Son in the supplication of His disciple. (A.T. Pierson)

The prayer life is not the self-life, but the Christ-life within the soul.
What we need therefore for the fullest development of the prayer-life is,
"None of self and all of Jesus." The question, "Am I asking for this to gratify my own pleasure" will help us decide whether we are praying amiss.

N.J. Hiebert - 4330


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