Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5320 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Gems from June 2011

"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all."
(1 Timothy 4:15)

The material for meditation is the Word of God; for that is the only book that is distinctly and exclusively authoritative. It has been said, "people prefer to drink at any other source than the original." There - is a lesson for us! Devotional and expository volumes are of great value - of very great value; but while they are admirable helps, they are miserable substitutes for the Bible itself. The Bible is the one Book wherein, for thousands of years, the spirit of man has found light and nourishment, and a response to whatever was deepest in his heart.

Meditation is the digestive faculty of the soul, which converts the Word into real and proper nourishment, and produces the most happy results. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart" (Jeremiah 15:16). Note the process and results: "finding", which corresponds to the New Testament word "search"; "eating", or "appropriating", which answers to "meditation"; "rejoicing", the inevitable consequence of searching, and reflecting on what is found. (In Pastures Green)

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May 30

"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. . . ."
(2 Corinthians 5:18)

Paul encouraged the Athenians by reminding them that God was not far from any one of them, that it was He in whom they lived and moved and had their being. Yet men think of Him as farther away than the farthest star. The truth is that He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves!

But how can the conscious sinner bridge the mighty gulf that separates him from God in living experience? The answer is that he cannot, but the glory of the Christian message is that Christ did! Through the blood of His cross He made peace that he might reconcile all things unto Himself: "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Colossians 1:21,22).

The new birth makes us partakers of the divine nature. There the work of undoing the dissimilarity between us and God begins. From there it progresses by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit till God is satisfied.

That is the theology of it, but even the regenerated soul may sometimes suffer from the feeling that God is far from him. Put away the evil from you, believe, and the sense of nearness will be restored. God was never away in the first place! (A.W. Tozer)

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May 31

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

When you have a need, instead of worrying and fussing about it, present your need to our Father right away. Stop what you are doing; get on your knees and pour your heart out to the Father. Our loving God and Father is waiting and wants to hear all about it. He will not always say yes, but He will always give us His peace. If we will but trust Him and put our cares before His heart, He will put His peace into ours. (Submitted by a reader- S.L.)

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June 1

"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Set thou a guard before the gate,
Keep thou a warder on the wall,
Yet if there be a foe within
The citadel will fall.

Set thou a seal upon thy lips,
Keep thou a watch upon thy tongue,
Yet there remains the lurking thoughts,
The heart whence they have sprung.

Try us, O God! and know our thoughts,
Cleanse Thou our hearts from secret sin;
So shall our lives be pure without,
Our souls be pure within.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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June 2

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

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."
(Hebrews 10:35)

Alas, we reverse the process: we cast away our confidence and carry all our care! It is His desire that we roll all our burden on Him and be careful (anxious) for nothing. But we are so cumbered with ourselves that our minds are never free to be occupied with Him. If we can let Him take care of our problems while we attend to His work, we shall find our hearts free from that friction that cuts down our service to such a bare minimum. We get so little done for Him, our production is so pitiful, because everything goes into "over-head" and oiling the machinery. Most of our time and energy go into carrying what God asked us to cast on Him. And our confidence, the one thing He said to keep, we cast away.

You keep your confidence: He'll keep your cares!
(Vance Havner - Day by Day)

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June 3

"Then . . . came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them (disciples), Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord."
(John 20:19-20)

In earlier days the Lord said to them, "Because I live, ye shall live also;" and now in risen days, in the days of the risen Man, in possession of victorious life, He imparts that life to them in the most full and perfect measure of it, breathing on them, and saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

The world was not to see Him again, as He had also said to them; but they (disciples) were to see Him. And so it comes to pass. He was seen of them for forty days, and He spake to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. But this was all in secret: the world has not seen Him since the hour of Calvary, nor will they till they see Him in judgment. (J.G. Bellett)

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June 4

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

The biography of Mr. Watts relates that when this man of God was still a child he was one day in the house of a very old woman who asked him to read a motto she had upon the wall. It contained the words of Hagar: "Thou God seest me." The old woman said, "When you are older, my boy, people will tell you that God is always watching to see when you do wrong, in order to punish you. I do not want you to think of it in that way, but I want you to take the text home, and to remember all your life that God loves you so much that He cannot take His eyes off of you!" These words became for Watts the basis of a living creed, an incentive to a useful and beautiful life.

The knowledge that God is watching us should also preserve us from unhallowed thoughts, selfish motives, and insincerity in word and action. Despondency and loneliness fade into oblivion in the light of this truth.

Richard Klick tells the following incident from his own childhood: "As a little tyke I had been invited to a very auspicious birthday party of a school chum. But the heavy blizzard had made our little village streets impassable; therefore, I had been forbidden to leave the house. 'Other parents love their children enough to allow them to go!' I shouted angrily. Father was manifestly stung by my bitter words. Presently, he turned to me, replying softly, 'you may go.' Nonplused but overjoyed, I donned my hardiest wardrobe and plunged into the raging storm. The snow made vision impossible. The drifts almost covered me. The howling winds tossed me down repeatedly. Only by a sheer miracle did I arrive at the birthday house a few blocks away all of half an hour later. As I rang the bell, I turned to look out into the storm. Just then I caught the shadow of a retreating figure. It was my father! He had been following my every step in the storm. How tremendously he really loved me!" God's precious watch-care is the same. He is always sympathetically concerned, yes, even when we press impatiently along our self-willed ways, for "He abideth faithful." (H.G.B.)

We cannot see before us, but our all-seeing Friend
Is always watching o'er us, and loves us to the end.
(F.R. Havergal)

"Never be afraid to entrust an unknown future to a known God!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1962), Grand Rapids MI. Reprinted permission)

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June 5

"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:19)

Depend on it! God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."
(J. Hudson Taylor)

There is a living God: He has spoken in the Bible;
He means what He says and will do all He has promised."
(J. Hudson Taylor)
(Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

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June 6

"He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"
(Ephesians 1:4)

Christians take a certain comfort in knowing that God has chosen them. We are not chosen because we are the most intelligent, but because God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. We are not heirs because we are people of inherent honor, but because God extends to us His glory. We are not His children because we are strong, but because we are weak. Not only do these things prevent us from boasting in anything but Christ, they also offer us a confidence in living out our lives.

The consequences are many. No longer do we need to be achievement-driven; we were not chosen because of some special ability or gifting. No longer do we need to please people for a sense of acceptance; we are the apple of God's eye. No longer do we need to fear the future, for we are held in the arms of One who holds everything in His hands. Despair and defeat need not rule our lives—not because we are go-getters and succeed at all costs—but because we are confident that God is using all that happens in our lives to weave a beautiful tapestry: "And we know that in all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

For the Christian, to live as Christ's own is to live with the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God. And we also live with the reminder that nothing is ever really ordinary. As we go about the seemingly mundane and sometimes frustrating scenes in the drama of life, we are invited to see something greater in every scene. There is the hope of God's grace in all that confronts us. There is the comfort of God's omnipresence throughout the stories of our lives. Even in our shortfalls and bad choices God is still near, going about the gift of redemption, urging us onward toward the prize. And the God who begins a good work will be certain to bring it to completion. (Adapted)

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June 7

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
(Romans 8:1)

This speaks of our salvation.

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."
(Romans 8:28)

This speaks of our preservation.

"Whom He justified, them He also glorified."
(Romans 8:30)

This speaks of our coronation.
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

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June 8

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
(Proverbs 3:6)

What a wonderful promise, yet how often we neglect to take advantage of it. Note that the verse refers to "all" our ways, not just some of them. We often think that the only things we need to take before the Lord are the big issues in life, and that we should manage the rest ourselves. No. There is no matter that is too small, or too big that we cannot bring to Him. The wonderful guarantee is that "He shall direct your paths". Make it a habit, when faced with any decision, to take the matter to the Lord in prayer before making any moves. You are promised His direction. (W.H. Burnett)

Our times are in Thy hand, Father we wish them there,
Our life, our souls, our all we leave, entirely to Thy care.
(W.F. Lloyd)

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June 9

"The prayer of the upright is His delight."
(Proverbs 15:8)

- The value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.

- Dealing in generalities is the death of prayer.

- Don't try to reach God with your understanding; that is impossible. Reach Him in love; that is possible.

- He prays best who does not know he is praying.

- Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.

- Constant prayer quickly straightens out our thoughts.

- When the knees are not often bent, the feet soon slide.

- Those who always pray are necessary to those who never pray.
(A Collection of Wise sayings - R.K.)

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June 10

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some . . . fell on good ground . . . that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
(Luke 8:5,8,15)

There may seem to the world to be fruits bright and blessed, but if people have not got Christ they tire. There will be no enduring unless Christ has possession of the soul; but if He has, there will be an abiding motive, and people will go on, and "bring forth fruit with patience." They that hear and keep go steadily on, having their motive for action in the Lord. Trouble may come into the Church; disappointment may arise, even from brethren; but they go on just the same, because they have got Christ before them. For the Word they have heard and keep connects them with Christ, and He is more than anything else. (J.N. Darby)

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June 11

"We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes."
(Numbers 11:5-6)

Satisfied with Thee, Lord Jesus, I am blest;
Peace which passeth understanding, on Thy breast.
(C.A. Wellesley)

These people were having a problem with God's daily menu. The mixed multitude despised the manna, God's gracious provision. Their minds reflected back to the "good old days" of Egypt when they had fish, melons and other foods to eat. But they had forgotten about the harsh slavery, cruel taskmasters and painful bondage. Sometimes, we too forget where we once were, and get our eyes off Christ. May God deliver us from selective memories. (Jim Comte)

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June 12

"Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island."
(Acts 27:26)

The Lord graciously begins, we might say, a work of restoration with the centurion and those on board his ship. But things were going to be very different from the manner of life and habits that had previously characterized this vessel. They were going to live - Paul's word assured them of that, and he spoke the truth, for he spoke from God. But in order that his message might bring peace and joy, it would have to be received by faith.

God's message to you - if you are going to reap the benefits of joy and peace - must be believed by faith. If your life has met with disasters and storms because of self-will, and you have been brought in God's goodness to repentance - then you may be assured that happy times are ahead. ". . . the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4).

But it will require real faith in the God who loves you and wants to bring you back to Himself where you may afresh enjoy His love. Perhaps in your restoration you too will be cast upon an island. That is, you will find in the path of restoration, that things for you too are going to be different, and you will be placed in circumstances where you have God alone as you resource. With true restoration, things will be different! "He restoreth my soul . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23:6). (The Journey of Life - D.N.)

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June 13

"As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
(Deuteronomy 33:25)

A doctor was once asked by a patient who had met with a serious accident, "Doctor, how long shall I have to lie here?" The answer, "Only a day at a time," taught the patient a precious lesson.

The same lesson God taught His people, and the people of all ages since, through the method of His provision for Israel during their wilderness journey. "The day's portion in its day" (Exodus 16:4), (margin). Day by day the manna fell, enough for each day, and no more and no less.

So God promises us, not "As thy weeks," or "As thy months," but "As the DAYS, so shall thy strength be." And that means Monday's grace for Monday, and Tuesday's grace for Tuesday, and so on. Why, then, borrow trouble for the future? We are especially told by the Lord to "take no thought for tomorrow." The true rule is to live by the day, to live a life of trust.

The law of Divine grace is, "Sufficient unto the day." The law of divine deliverance is, "Step by Step." (Comforted of God - A.J. Pollock)

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June 14

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

There are two or three preliminaries before this committal of care is possible. We must have cast our sins before we can cast our cares; in other words, we must be children in the Father's home. Then also we must be living in God's plan, sure that we are where He would He would have us be, camped under His brooding pillar-cloud. And, in addition, we must have yielded up our lives to Him, for for Him to have His way in them. Nor must we neglect to feed our faith with promise. Without her natural food she pines. But when these conditions are fulfilled, it is not difficult to

"Kneel, and cast our load,
E'en while we pray, upon our God.
Then rise with lightened cheer."

The cup may still have to be drunk,
The discipline borne, The work done; but the weary ache of care will have
Yielded to the anodyne of a child's trust in One who cannot fail.
(F.B. Meyer)

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June 15

"Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
(Mark 9:41)

Frances Ridley Havergal, whose songs have been a benediction
to mankind wrote of the power of little things.

For the memory of a kindly word
For long gone by,
The fragrance of a fading flower
Sent lovingly.

The warm pressure of the hand,
The tone of cheer,
The note that only bears a verse
From God's own Word.
Such tiny things we hardly count
As ministry.
But when the heart is over-wrought
Oh, who can tell
The power of such tiny things
To make it well.

There is nothing small that ministers
to the happiness of a single soul.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

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June 16

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
(1 John 2:1)

Weariness and weakness of body may hinder us from being a witness for Christ here; then the priestly grace of Christ is active to support us in our infirmities. Alas! we may break down and sin, and no longer be fit to witness for Christ; then the Advocate restores the soul. If however the affections have been chilled, though there may be nothing to disturb the conscience, there will be a grave hindrance to communion with Christ, and then the service of feet-washing comes in to remove the hindrance. There is, moreover, the further difference between advocacy and feet-washing, that, whereas advocacy restores our souls in the place where we are, feet-washing restores our spirits to communion with Christ in the place where He is. (The Last Words - Hamilton Smith)

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June 17

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin a mother returned to her seat and discovered that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. To her horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, “Don't quit . . .Keep playing.” Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

This is very much the way it is with our loving Saviour. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful and filled with grace.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

The next time you set out to do something for the Lord, listen carefully and you just may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear,
“Don't quit… keep playing.”

Remember, God doesn’t often call the equipped, rather, He equips the “called.”
(Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

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June 18

"How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord? For ever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?"
(Psalm 13:1)

Perplexed by the continuing pressures of life, four times David cried, "How long?" The absence of an immediate answer from heaven added to the weight of his dilemmas. Undefeated, he counted his blessings and renewed his trust in the Lord. As a result he unconsciously broke into rejoicing and singing. He ends the psalm with this conclusion: "the Lord hath dealt bountifully with me." Are you asking "how long" today? Count your blessings, have faith in Him, and you too will find a song in your heart by day's end. (E. Fesche)

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June 19

"And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught."
(Mark 6:30)

Surely we could not do better than follow the example of the apostles in this respect. How much we should learn if we did so, and how gently He would remind us of many a failure to present the truth, or if we presented it correctly, how much we have failed to preach it in the power of the Spirit. But we have to do with One who loves us, and this gives us confidence in telling Him everything. It is even so in human relationships, for when we are assured of one another's love we do not hesitate to tell everything. Much more should it be so when we speak to the Lord. (Edward Dennett)

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June 20

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
(1 Corinthians 2:14)

The natural life owes all to environment; so must the spiritual. Now, the environment of the spiritual life is God. As nature, therefore, forms the complement of the natural life, God is the complement of the spiritual. (A Thought for Every Day - Henry Drummond)

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June 21

"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. . . ." (Daniel 1:8)

Doubt sees the obstacles - faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night - Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step - Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, "Who believes?" - Faith answers, "I."
(Unknown)

The book of Daniel is really a textbook of instruction and an example of how God's people can live in difficult conditions and come through victoriously. Even as the Jewish people were living in Babylonian captivity, so Christians today are pilgrims and sojourners in a foreign culture. We, like Daniel and his friends, must exercise our implicit faith in God's purposes and leading for our lives. We too must resolve in advance that we will not be defiled by the world. And whether our God delivers us or not from the fiery furnace, we will remain faithful to Him (Daniel 3:17-18).

Daniel and his friends also personify for us Christian courage at its best - not merely a desperate type of courage for some emergency situation, but a quiet steadfast courage that enables us to live in a Christlike manner each day. It takes courage to be an unpopular minority when truth and right are involved. It takes courage to defend God's name when everyone else is using it in blasphemy. It takes courage to be another Daniel in a godless society. (Amazing Grace - Kenneth W. Osbeck)

Standing by a purpose true, heading God's command,
honour them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel's band!

Many mighty men are lost, daring not to stand,
who for God had been a host
by joining Daniel's band!

Many giants, great and tall, stalking thru the land,
headlong to the earth would fall
if met by Daniel's band!

Hold the gospel banner high! On to vict'ry grand!
Satan and his host defy,
and shout for Daniel's band!

Chorus: Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known!
(Philip P. Bliss)

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June 22

"Blessed are ye, when men . . . persecute you."
(Matthew 5:11)

Listen to Paul in the jail at Philippi, "If God wants me to go to Heaven by way of this prion," he says, "it is all the same to me; rejoice and be exceeding glad, Silas. I thank God that I am accounted worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake." And as they sang their praises to God, the other prisoners heard them; but, what was far more important, the Lord heard them, and the old prison shook. Talk about Alexander the Great making the world tremble with his armies! Here is a little tentmaker who makes the world tremble without any army! (D.L. Moody)

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June 23

"I called upon Him, but He gave me no answer."
(Song of Solomon 5:6)

The Lord, when He has given great faith, has been know to try it by long delays. He has suffered His servants' voices to echo in their ears as from a brazen sky. They have knocked at the golden gate, but it has remained unmovable, as though it were rusted upon its hinges. Like Jeremiah, they have cried, "Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through." Thus have true saints continued long in patient waiting without reply, not because their prayers were not vehement, nor because they were unaccepted, but because it so pleased Him who is a Sovereign, and who gives according to His own pleasure. If it pleases Him to bid our patience exercise itself, shall He not do as He will with His own!

No prayer is lost. Praying breath was never spent in vain. There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things that we count refusals or denials are simply delays. (H. Bonar)

Christ sometimes delays His help that He may try our faith and quicken our prayers. The boat may be covered with the waves, and He sleeps on; but He will wake up before it sinks. He sleeps, but He never oversleeps; and there are no "too lates" with Him. (Alexander Maclaren)

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June 24

"Unto Him that loved us . . . be glory and dominion for ever and ever."
(Revelation 1:5-6)

There is no other subject of praise for heaven than for earth; the blood of Christ has the same efficacy on earth as in heaven: that for which they praise God there is equally true for us. Their harps are better tuned than ours, but their song is the same.

Let us be persuaded to praise the Lord alone. He only is worthy of being praised, revered and adored. The song of the blessed (Revelation 5) praises none but Him who redeemed them with His blood. It contains not one word of praise for any of their own number. . . . Let us strive to bring our hearts into unison with that song. . . . This will be our happiness even here below, and contribute to God's glory, which is wronged by the praise that Christians too often bestow on each other. (J.N. Darby)

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June 25

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them."
(Acts 8:5)

Philip, one of the seven deacons had been appointed to help in distributing bread among the Christian converts. We are told that "they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 3:13). Here was a man who used the office of a deacon well! He was set apart to minister in the temporal affairs of the Church but he had been so faithful, true and conscientious in carrying out his responsibilities that the Spirit of God committed to him a greater ministry.

He sent him forth to preach Christ unto the people of Samaria. He did not go to them with what some people call the "Social Gospel"; he did not go to talk to them on political subjects, but he went down to preach Christ.

The message of God's servants today should be the same as his, for "the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). (H.A. Ironside)

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June 26

"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die."
(Ruth 1:16-17)

Commitment! That is what following Christ involves. Not a Sunday morning religion but a wholehearted commitment of my life, my ambitions, my job, my hobbies, my time, my possessions, my home - in fact, all that I have and am - to the Lord Jesus Christ. Commitment to Him may mean that I will need to make changes in many of these areas. Such a commitment is not optional. It is a must, if I am to truly follow Him. (David Croudace)

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June 27

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
(Psalm 119:71)

God, pity those who cannot say;
"Not mine, but Thine"; who can pray
"Let this cup pass," and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
(Unknown)

God seems to ask greater depths of experience of us as we go along the heavenly pathway. First the water of trial is ankle deep, then knee deep, and later loin deep with waters to swim in. Swimming on top of trouble would never be possible in ankle deep waters. How good that the Lord graduates our trials, which though severe all issue well." (W.M. Wadsworth)

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June 28

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
(John 1:1-3)

Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering.

To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for "where" has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made. (A.W. Tozer - The Knowledge of the Holy)

N.J. Hiebert - 4478

June 29

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
(1 John 4:11)

What does He mean when He puts in this little word SO loved us? It carries our minds back to the tenth verse, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for out sins." That is the way God SO loved us. He did not wait for us to love Him before loving us; He did not wait for us to behave ourselves so well that He could look upon us with complacency, but "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God loved us when there was nothing lovable about us, God loved us when we were in enmity against Him and "alienated by wicked works," God loved us when our desires were contrary to His desires, when we were trampling His Word beneath our feet, spurning His grace, breaking His commandments; and now we read, "Beloved, if (since) God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4479

June 30

"Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them."
(Luke 4:40)

I recently read and read Luke 4:40. It was as if I had never seen it before. Those crowds - hot, sticky, clamorous, tiresome probably; but he did not see them as crowds. He laid His hands on every one of them - every one of them. It's the individual touch that tells. He doesn't love in the mass, but in ones. "Not a sparrow . . ." (Matthew 10:29). (Candles in the Dark - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4480

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