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

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Gems from September 2011

August 30

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
(Psalm 19:1)

In this new age of video technology, it might be hard to believe that some teachers still feel the best way to depict Bible stories is the low-tech flannelgraph board. I recall that my childhood Sunday School teachers used those flat boards covered with flannel, which enabled them to display cutouts of David, Daniel, Jonah, and all the other characters. The flannelgraphs helped my teachers capture the essence of the Bible story in an artistic way.

Those old-school flannelgraphs aren't the oldest graphic teaching devices, however. God has long had a kind of "flannelgraph" of His own, and and it is called creation. God uses the marvel of creation to instruct us and to display His power.

In Psalm 19:1, David wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork." In creation, God has revealed Himself so clearly that Paul declared, "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen." Those who have the witness of creation are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Why? On the flannelgraph of God's creation, we see God's order and design. We see His power and glory. This should lead us to worship. "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1). (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4541

August 31

"Then took he (Simeon) Him (Jesus) up in his arms and blessed God." (Luke 2:28)

"And Simeon blessed them."
(Luke 2:34)

When you bless God you will be able to bless other people, for all service must be carried on in the spirit of worship.
No service is effective that is not the overflowing of the heart.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4542

September 1

“Joy Unspeakable”

"Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
(1 Peter 1:7-8)

“I bear my testimony that there is no joy to be found in all this world like that of sweet communion with Christ.
I would barter all else there is of heaven for that. Indeed, that is heaven.
As for the harps of gold and the gold streets like clear glass and the songs of seraphs and the shouts of the redeemed,
one could very well give all these up, counting them as a drop in a bucket,
if we might forever live in fellowship and communion with Jesus.”
(C.H. Spurgeon)

Awake, each saint, in joyful lays,
To sing the great Redeemer's praise;
He justly claims a song from thee;
His loving-kindness, oh how free!

Soon shall we mount and soar away
To the bright realms of endless day,
And sing with rapture and surprise
His loving-kindness in the skies.”
(Medley - 1785)
....................................................................................
(From a reader of the "Gems" - S.L)

N.J. Hiebert - 4543

September 2

" . . . I know who I have believed . . . "
(2 Timothy 1:12)

God loves an uttermost confidence in Himself - to be wholly trusted!
This is the sublimest of all the characteristics of a true Christian - the basis of all character.

Is there anything that pleases you more than to be trusted - to have even a little child look up into your face, and put out its hand to meet yours, and come to you confidingly? By so much as God is better than you are, by so much more does He love to be trusted.

There is a Hand stretched out to you; a Hand with a wound in the palm of it. Reach out the hand of your faith to clasp it, and cling to it, for "without faith it is impossible to please God."
(Henry Van Dyke)

N.J. Hiebert - 4544

September 3

"Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God."
(Hebrews 10:7)

We have only to find His will and we shall find Him in it.

Whenever God has made His will known to us, we are not to allow any after-influence whatever to call it in question, even although the latter may take the form of the word of God.
If we were morally nearer to the Lord we should feel that the only true and right position is to follow that which He told us at first.

We may lose God's purpose of blessing to our own souls, by not seeing His mind in that which grieves us.

The law of God's mouth is precious above all, the expression of His own perfect mind and will, and of His will about us.
We live by it, but we live on it too, and with delight as from Him and perfect for us.
(Pilgrims Portions for the day of Rest)

N.J. Hiebert - 4545

September 4

"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

God shall wipe away all tears, some bright, golden morning,
When the journey's ended, and the course is run;
No more crying, pain or death, in that home of gladness,
Trials cease, all is peace, when we see His face.
(Norman J. Clayton)

No curse; no sea; no pain; no sorrow; no crying; no tears; no death; no night; no sun; no moon; no candle; no temple.
A land alight with the glory of Christ and filled with the fragrance of His presence.
How beautiful heaven must be!
(Jim Flanigan)

N.J. Hiebert - 4546

September 5

"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flames kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour."
(Isaiah 43:1-3)

What God has done for anyone He will do for anybody else. Let us get a hold of this and not write the lives of our fathers and gild the sepulchers of the ones who have gone before, imagining that we live in a vacuum, void of those who have experienced God. Anything God ever did for anyone in faith He will do for anyone else who meets His condition.

The voice of unbelief says, "Yes, I'm a believer. I believe the Bible. I don't like those modernists, liberals and modern scientists who deny the Bible. I would not do that for the world. I believe in God, and I believe that God will bless." That is, He will bless at some other time, in some other place and some other people. Those are three sleepers that bring the work of God to a halt. We are believers and we can quote the creed with approval. We believe it, but we believe that God will bless some other people, some other place, some other time - but not now, not here and not us.

Here is the problem: We have to have faith if God is going to do anything for us. Faith is the vitamin that makes all we take from the Bible digestible and makes us able to receive it and assimilate it. If we do not have faith, we cannot get anything. If we allow the gloomy voice of unbelief to whisper to us that God will bless some other time but not now, some other place but not here, some other people but not us, we might as well turn off the lights because nobody will get anywhere. (A.W. Tozer - Rut, Rot or Revival)

N.J. Hiebert - 4547

September 6

"I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad."
(Acts 2:25,26)

What is it that renders a man superior to circumstances, and makes him behave rightly (i.e. according to God) in the midst of them?
Nothing, but a right object before him, and a right motive within him.
(J.A. von Poseck)

N.J. Hiebert - 4548

September 7

"The trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and and entire, wanting nothing."
(James 1:3-4)

Patience is one character trait that we cannot manufacture on our own. Our nature is so self-centered that we often fail to see or understand that the world and its affairs have their own timetable. Each new trial brings its own individual difficulty but all require our "waiting upon God" to deliver or at least enlighten as to the reason or remedy for this trial. The more we suffer the more we learn and grow in faith, realizing all is in His perfect control. (Meditations in James - Bry'n Ross)

N.J. Hiebert - 4549

September 8

"Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."
(Deuteronomy 8:3)

There is something more important than bread to sustain the body, and that is the Word that sustains the spirit. So the Lord Jesus repudiated the suggestion of the Devil. He had no word from the Father commanding Him to change stones into bread. He would not put forth such power in obedience to Satan.

Alas, how often have we who profess His name failed in similar circumstances. We have reached the place of grave extremity in some experience of life. Satan presents an opportunity to prosper through doing something that is a little bit off-color and that is not quite in keeping with the full Christian profession. How many a child of God has failed right there and has allowed himself to take up with something which even the world recognizes as shady or crooked, in order that he might procure more of the bread that perishes, only to find out at last that he breaks his teeth upon the very stones which he attempted thus to change into food.

That is not God's way. He does not call upon His people to make bread out of stones. He feeds us both naturally and spiritually as we labour day by day for that which is for our blessing. There is something more important than bread, and that is to do the will of God. (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert - 4550

September 9

"My (Jesus) yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
(Matthew 11:30)

"God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

If a man, in the vanity of his mind, thrust himself forward and take a burden upon his shoulders, which God never intended him to bear, and, therefore, never fitted him to bear, we may then, surely, expect to see him crushed beneath the weight; but if God lays it upon him, He will qualify and strengthen him it carry it.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4551

September 10

"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."
(Exodus 14:15)

Imagine, O child of God, if you can, that triumphal march! The excited children restrained from ejaculations of wonder by the perpetual hush of their parents; the most uncontrollable excitement of the women as they found themselves suddenly saved from a fate worse than death; while the men followed or accompanied them ashamed or confounded that they had ever mistrusted God or murmured against Moses; and as you see those mighty walls of water piled by the outstretched hand of the Eternal, in response to the faith of a single man, learn what God will do for His own.

Dread not any result of implicit obedience to his command;
fear not the angry waters which, in their proud insolence, forbid your progress.
Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, "the Lord sitteth King for ever."
A storm is only as the outskirts of his robe,
the symptom of his advent,
the environment of His presence.
Dare to trust Him; dare to follow Him!
And discover that the very forces which barred your progress and threatened your life, at His bidding become the materials of which an avenue is made to liberty.
(F.B. Meyer)

N.J. Hiebert - 4552

September 11

"Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come."
(Revelation 1:4)

In this verse we see the effects of the gospel on the heart, and the enjoyment of its privileges by John.
He stands with his eyes turned upward, contemplating the glory of God and seeing in each of the three Persons of the Godhead severally grace and peace.
This grace and peace come in varied forms, according to the varied circumstances of the people of God.

Grace and peace would come differently to John at Patmos,
and to Paul traveling about in busy service,
and to you in your connection with things here - your own
internal conflict with self and Satan, your want of faith, etc.
Well, for each there is grace and peace, according to each individual need.
(G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4553

September 12

"When they had laid many stripes upon them (Paul & Silas), they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."
(Acts 16:23-25)

Years ago, I had the great privilege to be in Shanghai in the home of the famed Chinese evangelist Wang Mingdao.
He had served twenty-two years in prison for his faith, under the order of Mao Tse Tung. He told us that every day in prison he woke up and sang a hymn:

All the way my Saviour leads me -
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know what'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know what'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

At first the guards tried to silence him.
When they weren't able to succeed, they reluctantly put up with his singing.
Gradually, as the years went by, they would gather near the opening to his cell to listen as he sang of God's faithfulness to him.
Eventually, they began to ask him to sing to them and to teach them the words of the song.
Such is the impact of one who understands and walks with God.
(Ravi Zacharias)

N.J. Hiebert - 4554

September 13

"Being let go, they went to their own company."
(Acts 4:23)

Many of God's people serve a corporation every working day.
The atmosphere, conversation and general attitudes are hardly conducive to spiritual growth.
What do we do when we are let free?
Do we seek the joy, comfort and blessing of our own fellowship of believers?
When my mind is free, do I turn like a compass needle to the center of attraction for the whole universe, my Lord Jesus Christ?

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
We share our mutual woes; our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows a sympathizing tear.
(Choice Gleanings)

N.J. Hiebert - 4555

September 14

The Necessity of Meditation

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
(Joshua 1:8)

All stringed instruments quickly get out of tune. The action of the atmosphere, and the constant vibration in playing, relax the strings so that they need to be retuned frequently. No matter how good the violin is, it needs to be tuned daily; and often, many times a day. It is even so with the Christian heart - the most delicate instrument in the world. And, just as before a concert takes place all instruments are harmonized, so that the audience may get only the concord and the melody; so, if the music of the Evangel is to be heard in our lives, we must be continually adjusted in the presence of the Lord. (In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4556

September 15

Capacity to Think: God Wants You to Understand

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee."
(Isaiah 26:3)

The Book of Proverbs tells us about the man who lies on his bed, turning like a door on its hinges, while the weeds grow up in his garden, choking and killing his crop. Then, when harvest has come, he has nothing and is reduced to begging for help.

Now, staying in bed when he should be cultivating his garden may not be overly sinful - but I think there is no argument but what a willfully lazy man is a sinful man!

It follows, then, in my estimation, that a person who is intellectually lazy is a sinful person. God had a reason for giving us our heads with intellectual capacity for thinking and reasoning and considering. But what a great company of humans there are who refuse to use their heads and many of these are Christians, we must confess.

Many a preacher would like to challenge the intellectual and thinking capacity of his congregation, but he has been warned about preaching over the people's heads.

As a preacher, I deny that any of the truths of God which I teach and expound are over the heads of the people. I deny it!

I say to my Christian brother: "You ought to take that head of yours, oil it and rub the dust off and begin to use it as God has always expected you would. God expects you to understand and have a grasp of His truth because you need it from day to day!" (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day by Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4557

September 16

"The living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
(1 Timothy 6:17)

The Lord was continually giving, but He was rarely assenting.
He made great communications where He found but little communion.
This magnifies or illustrates His goodness.
There was, as it were, nothing to draw Him forth, and yet He was ever imparting.
He was as the Father in heaven, of whom He Himself spoke, making His sun to rise on the evil
and on the good, and and sending His rain on the just and the unjust.
This tells us what He is, to His praise - what we are, to our shame.
(J.G. Bellett - The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4558

September 17

"Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?"
(John 14:9)

"And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David (Jesus)? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils."
(Matthew 12:23-24)

The Difference Between What is Recorded and what is Taught

For instance: Scripture plainly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ was God manifested in human form (John 14:9); it inculcates loyalty on the part of all who name the name of Christ; and it expressly condemns untruthfulness. And yet you will find in its pages a statement by the enemies of Christ to the effect that He was demon-possessed (Matthew 12:24); you will find there the story of the disloyalty of one who truly loved the Master (Matthew 26:69-70); you will find recounted there the history of the lie by which our first mother was deceived (Genesis 3:4).

These illustrate the difference which I would have you note. The enemies of the Master were not inspired to say of Him what they did say, but the record of their statement is inspired. Peter was not inspired to deny his Lord, but the record of his denial is inspired. Satan was not inspired to tell the falsehood which he uttered, but the record of it is inspired. In each case you have the true account of a false statement; the inspired record of uninspired words. (The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4559

September 18

"Bending Low"

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow."
Philippians 2:10

Servants resist stubbornness. Ulrich Zwingli manifested such a spirit.
He promoted unity during Europe's Great Reformation.
At one point he found himself at odds with Martin Luther.
Zwingli did not know what to do. He found his answer one morning on the side of a Swiss mountain.
He watched two goats traversing a narrow path from opposite directions, one ascending, the other descending.
At one point the narrow trail prevented them from passing each other.
When they saw each other, they backed up and lowered their heads, as though ready to lunge.
But then a wonderful thing happened. The ascending goat lay down on the path.
The other stepped over his back.
The first animal then arose and continued on his climb to the top.
Zwingli observed that the goat made it higher because he was willing to bend lower.

Didn't the same happen to Jesus?
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow."

Bending Low
(With thanks to D.H.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4560

September 19

"Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation."
(Hebrews 9:28)

The salvation which is ready to be revealed is at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this we are taught, as Christians, to look for at any moment. There is literally nothing so far as God is concerned, nothing so far as the work of Christ is concerned, nothing so far as the testimony of the Holy Spirit is concerned, to hinder our hearing "the shout of the archangel and the trump of God" this very night, this very hour. All is done that needed to be done. Atonement is made, redemption is accomplished, God has been glorified by the work of Christ, as is proved by the fact of Christ's present place on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. From the moment that our Lord Christ took His seat upon that throne, it could always be said that "salvation is ready to be revealed."

But it could not have been said before. Salvation could not be said to be ready until the divine groundwork thereof was laid in the death and resurrection of the Saviour. But when once that most glorious work of all works was accomplished, it could at any moment be said that "salvation is ready to be revealed." "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool" (Psalm 110:1). (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4561

September 20

Emmanuel

"They shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us."
(Matthew 1:23)

"God with us" in this world of sin,
This life of weakness and of woe:
His love, His power and His strength
With us, wherever we may go,
Since Jesus came to earth to dwell
And be for aye Emmanuel.

No weary days, no starless nights,
No sorrow deep, no trial sore,
But we can feel His presence near,
"God with us", now and evermore;
Since He hath come to earth to dwell
Whose name is still Emmanuel.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert - 4562

September 21

"Jesus Himself drew near and went with them."
(Luke 24:15)

Jesus never sends anyone ahead alone.
He blazes a clear way through every thicket and woods, and then softly calls,
"Follow me. Let's go on together, you and I."
He has been everywhere that we are called to go.
His feet have trodden down smooth a path through every experience that comes to us.

He knows each road, and knows it well:
The valley road of disappointment with its dark shadows;
The steep path of temptation down through the rocky ravines and slippery gullies;
The narrow path of pain, with the brambly thorn bushes so close on each side, with their slash and sting;
The dizzy road along the heights of victory;
The old beaten road of commonplace daily routine.

Everyday paths He has trodden and glorified, and will walk anew with each of us.
The only safe way to travel is with Him alongside and in control.
(S.D. Gordon)

N.J. Hiebert - 4563

September 22

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation) old thing are passed away; behold all things are become new."
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

"The Spirit itself beareth witness . . . , that we are the children of God."
(Romans 8:16)

A new creature! The new birth! 'Except a man be born again' - what does it mean? I cannot explain the mystery of birth, but what does it matter? Here is the child. I cannot explain the truth that something darting like a flash of lightning into the soul of that Oxford student transformed his whole life, but, explained or unexplained, here is George Whitfield! (Boreham)

"In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, CHRIST ALONE, for salvation; and an assurance was give me, that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." (John Wesley's Journal - May 24, 1738)

I HAVE BEEN CHANGED

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be that Thou, my Lord, shoulds't die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke; the dungeon flamed with light:
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread, Jesus, with all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine.
Behold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ, my own.
(Charles Wesley - 1707-1788)

N.J. Hiebert - 4564

September 23

"Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in Me."
(John 15:4)

Abiding in Christ means a life of converse with Him.
To tell Him all;
To talk over all anxieties and occurrences with Him;
To speak with Him aloud as to a familiar and interested friend;
To ask His counsel or advice;
To stop to praise, to adore,
And utter words of love;
To draw heavily upon His resources,
As the branch on the sap and life of the vine;
To be content to be only a channel,
So long as His power and grace are ever flowing through;
To be only the bed of a stream hidden from view beneath the hurrying waters,
Speeding without pausing toward the sea.
This is abiding in Christ.
(F.B. Meyer)

"Draw heavily upon His resources."
Prayer does that.
Prayer is to the soul what the sap veins are to the vine,
It is the channel through which divine life comes into the soul.
Let there be much prayer,
Let there be much intimate converse with Christ,
And there will be fullness of His indwelling.

N.J. Hiebert - 4565

September 24

"In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."
(Philippians 4:6)

In the hour alone let us speak quite out, into the Lord's ears, the very thing, the very need, the very temptation, yes, and the very discovery of the grace that is for us in Christ, which then and there is present to the soul. Let us rescue our friends, not formally, as if the mere naming of them had an efficacy in it, but as realizing the individuals before the Lord and so presenting them to Him. Let us be freely explicit about them, about anything. Let us take our blessed Master into confidence. He invites it, He loves it. (H.C.G. Moule)

How a child pours out its heart to its mother, telling all its grief and woe. And then how tenderly the mother comforts the distressed heart. So will he comfort us, (Isaiah 66:13)

"Oft I tell Him I am weary, and I fain would be at rest;
That I'm daily, hourly, longing to repose upon His breast;
And He answers me so kindly, in the tenderest tones of love,
I am coming soon to take thee to my happy home above."
(Author Unknown)

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September 25

"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
(1 Corinthians 9:22)

No Affliction would trouble us if we knew God's reasons for permitting it.

God often uses a setback to move us forward.

God pours His love into our hearts to flow out to others.

Living in the past paralyzes the present and bankrupts the future.

You cannot start a fire in another's heart till it is burning in your own.
(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4567

September 26

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
(Luke 10:27

A lawyer comes and asks how he is to get eternal life. The Lord brings him to the law - keep the law and you shall live. But he is stopped directly with the simplicity of this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." He does not love his neigbour as himself! He asks, Who does love his neighbour as himself! The good Samaritan is the one who does not ask who the neighbour is, but acts in grace, without asking what title the other had. Christ has the title of doing good to him that is in need and misery. This is grace that gives without title.

See how thoughtful this grace and love is.

He went to him.
He did not send someone else.
He bound up his wounds.
He poured in oil and wine.
He set him on His own beast.
He brought him to an inn.
He took care of him.
He gave him in charge to the host.
He said, "When I come again I will repay thee."

How beautiful are all the details of the actings of this love which flows from what is within, and acts according to what is working there, and not according to the claims upon it!
(JND - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert - 4568

September 27

"For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he."
(Proverbs 23:7)

The Bible places great value on the thought-life and its capacity to shape all of life. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," Solomon wrote.

Jesus asserted that sin's gravity lay at the level of the idea itself, not just the act. Paul admonished the church at Philippi to have the mind of Christ, and to the same people he wrote:

"Whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

The follower of Christ must demonstrate to the world what it means not just to think, but to think justly. That is, in the words of aging David to his son Solomon, to

"Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searches all hearts , and understandeth all imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, he will cast thee off forever"
(1 Chronicles 28:9).

With both hearts and minds, we can follow the God of creation. After all, it is not that I think, therefore, I am, but rather, the great I Am has asked us to think, and therefore, we must. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4569

September 28

"Come unto Me . . . and . . . rest."
(Matthew 11:28-30)

Earth Can Give No Rest

Let wit, and all her studied plots effect the best they can,
Let smiling fortune prosper and perfect what wit began;
Let earth advise with both, and so project a happy man,
Let wit or fawning fortune vie their best--he may be blest
With all the earth can give--but earth can give no rest.

Whose gold is double with a careful hand, his cares are double.
The pleasure, honor, wealth of sea and land bring but a trouble.
The world itself, and all the world's command, is but a bubble.
The strong desires of man's insatiate breast may stand possessed
Of all that earth can give; but earth can give no rest.

All is vanity and vexation of spirit. Ecclesiastes 2:17
Come unto Me . . . and . . . rest. Matthew 11:28-30
From Emblems - by Francis Quaries - 1635 (J.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4570

September 29

"Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because He trusted in Thee."
(Isaiah 26:3)

There is no peace for the world because it has rejected Christ. But there is lasting peace for those who trust Him, even in the midst of the most dreadful circumstances. What He promises in regard to Israel will someday be fulfilled, "That He would grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life." Neither Jew nor Gentile can expect God's deliverance unless there is a real heart-turning to Him. That is the trouble with the world today. Men would like God to intervene for them. They would like Him to come in and show mercy, but they are not willing to honour Him by bowing before Him in repentance and seeking to live for His glory. (H.A. Ironside - Luke)

N.J. Hiebert - 4571

September 30

"He said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed."
(2 Kings 5:19)

After being cleansed of leprosy and claiming Jehovah as his God, Naaman made some unorthodox statements to Elisha - he wanted two mule-loads of Israel's dirt for the trip back to Syria, so he could "stand on holy ground" when he sacrificed to the Lord. then he sought pardon in advance for bowing in the Temple of Rimmon (v.18). How many of us would have promptly sought to "straighten out" this new convert? But not so Elisha -- he offered no rebuke or endorsement - only a simple "Go in peace". May God give us such grace and discernment in responding to the immature ideas sometimes found in young believers. (S. Thorpe)

No wisdom can I lack while Thou art wise;
No teaching do I crave save Thine alone.
(Horatius Bonar)

N.J. Hiebert - 4572

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