Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5270 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Gems from December 2011

November 30

Surely I come quickly.” (Rev. 22:20)

As we approach the end of the age, it is predictable that many will abandon the hope of Christ’s any-moment return. But the truth is still there whether men hold it or not.

The fact is that the Lord Jesus may come at any time. We do not know the day or hour of the Bridegroom’s return for His bride; this means that He could come today. There is no prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before we hear His shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. True, the church expects to experience tribulation throughout its time on earth, but the horrors of the Tribulation period are not part of its destiny. If the church has to go through, the Tribulation, that would mean that the Lord couldn’t come for at least seven years, because we certainly are not in the Tribulation now, and when it does come, it will last for seven years.

There is a large body of Scripture texts that teach us to be ready at all times for the Savior to appear. Notice the following:

• “…nearer than when we believed”(Romans 13:11).
• “The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:12).
• “The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
• “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37)
• “…the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).
• “…the judge standeth before the door” (James 5:9).
• “But the end of all things is at hand’”(1 Peter 4:7).

These verses seem designed to create the impression on the mind that the Lord’s coming is imminent. It is an event for which we should be watching and waiting. We should be busy in His service, faithfully carrying out our stewardship.

R. A. Torrey once said, “The imminent return of our Lord is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life of service. In much of our preaching we urge people to live holy and work diligently because death is swiftly coming, but this is never the Bible argument. The Bible argument always is, Christ is coming; be ready when He comes.”

Our responsibility is clear. Our loins should be girded, our lights should be burning, and we should be like those who wait for their Lord (see Luke 12:36,36). Let us not succumb to those who teach that we have no right to expect Him at any moment. Rather let us believe in His imminent return, teach it enthusiastically, and let the truth shine out in our lives. (With thanks and appreciation for this timely posting from R. Lucas)

N.J. Hiebert - 4630

December 1

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
(Isaiah 55:11)

"Let what will befall you,"said William Farel, "but see that for no threats, for no commands, you turn aside from Jesus and His Word - but cleave to that, with full purpose of heart, at the cost of your lives, and of the lives you hold dear, of the loss and ruin of all you have; let not any of these things hinder you from following Jesus. For there is nothing better spent, no money put out to better interest, than that which is lost for the gospel; for you have the Lord's word for it, that it shall turn to good account, not only for this life, but for that which is to come." (William Farel 1489 - 1565)

N.J. Hiebert - 4631

December 2

"And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Nothing is sweeter than love. nothing more courageous, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth, because love is born of God, and cannot rest but in God, above all created things.

He that loves, flies, runs and rejoices; he is free, and not bound. Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things and brings them to a conclusion, where he who does not love faints and lies down.

Love watches; and sleeping, slumbers not. Though weary, love is not tired; though pressed, it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a lively flame and burning torch, it forces its way upwards, and securely passes through all. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4632

December 3

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity, Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."  (1 Timothy 4:12-16)

On three distinct occasions, and at widely separated periods of time, God speaks of the value of meditation on His word; and, in doing so, He reveals three great secrets.

In Joshua 1:8, it is set forth as the secret of prosperity.
In Psalm 1:3, it is declared to be the secret of fruitfulness.
In James 1:22-25, it is affirmed to be the secret of blessedness.

That man hath perfect blessedness,
Who placeth his delight
Upon God's law, and meditates
On His law, day and night.
(In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4633

December 4

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
(Galatians 3:13)

Much interesting truth in God's Word gathers around trees. In the Garden of Eden were the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man is shut out from the Tree of Life, and we go clear through the Bible before we reach it again in the paradise of God in Revelation. That is true in more ways than one; we must go all the way by Calvary to reach the tree we lost in Genesis. The way to the garden of God from the garden we lost through sin lies through another garden, Gethsemane, but the Lord has traveled the road for us.

In Genesis we find a man behind a tree. Adam hiding from the Lord after his sin. How men seek to hide today behind this excuse and that, behind arguments which often seem plausible, when the real trouble is that they are sinners and dread His presence. There is no tree that can hide you from Him. When He calls "Where art thou?" you must stand before Him naked and ashamed.

In John 1:48 we find a man under a tree - Nathanael under the fig tree in prayer and and devotion. Instead of hiding behind the tree, the place for us is beneath the tree in repentance and prayer. We like to parade this silly excuse and that, but the truth is, it is "not my brother nor my sister but its me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer."

In Luke 19:4-6 we find a man up a tree, Zaccheus looking for Jesus. If you earnestly, anxiously are seeking Him along the roads He travels He soon will bid you come down from your sycamore, for He must abide at your house. Then, like Zaccheus, come down and receive Him gladly into your heart and home.

All this is possible because of One upon a tree. It was Jesus "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins should live unto righteousness." (Note quotation above) Back of all the mystery of the atonement, the at-one-ment of God and man through Calvary, lies the simple fact that Christ died for us, and there is hope for us only at the foot of the cross. (In Tune With Heaven - Vance Havner)

N.J. Hiebert - 4634

December 5

"I was greatly afflicted" (Psalm 116:10).
"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me."
(2 Timothy 4:17)

When some persons are visited with any trouble, their first thought is apt to be,
"How grievously I am afflicted";
Though the nobler thought would be,
"How graciously I am sustained!"
When a cross is laid upon them, they cry out,
"What a burden I have to carry"
Whereas they might better say,
"What a burden Christ carries for me!"
(Henry Beecher)

N.J. Hiebert - 4635

December 6

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
(Galatians 2:20)

Just when we most earnestly desire to live like this, the weary old self seems to come to life again - the "I' that we had trusted was crucified with Christ.
It is very disappointing when this happens, and the devil watches not far away, and very quietly and with great subtlety he tries to draw us into hopeless distress and despair.
If he can do that he is satisfied, for then we are occupied with ourselves, which is what he wants us to be.

The one and only thing is to look straight off ourselves and our wretched failure, and cry to Him Who is mighty to save.
He never refuses that cry; so do not fear.
The moment self is recognized, look to Him.
Do not be discouraged; He is not discouraged.
He Who has begun a good work in us will go on to perfect it.
The going on may take time; even so, He will go on till (O blessed "till") we are perfected.
(Edges of His Way - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4636

December 7

"And the Spirit and the bride say, COME. And let him that heareth say, COME. And let him that is athirst COME. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
(Revelation 22:17)

A story is told about a minister who was preaching on Revelation 22:17. The day was hot and some people had trouble paying attention. The heat bothered the preacher too, so from time to time he would take a drink of water. After each sip he would say, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

In the audience was a little boy. Each time the preacher lifted the sparkling glass of water to his lips, the boy's thirst increased. Finally he decided that if the preacher said once more, "Whosever will, let him take the water of life freely," he would go to the front and take a drink for himself.

Just then the inviting words rang our once more. Resolutely the little fellow left his seat and walked up to the pulpit. The audience watched in astonishment as the youngster picked up the glass and took a deep swallow. Then with a kind "thank you!" he returned to his seat. The preacher was moved and used the incident to make a spiritual point. He said that we must accept God's invitation and drink of the Living Water by faith if we are to be saved.

Many stay spiritually thirsty because they do not heed the Lord's clear and simple invitation. Today repent of your sin. Trust Jesus as your Saviour. Drink and live! (Adapted)

"Freely COME drink," words the soul to thrill!
Oh, with what joy they my heart do fill!
For when He said, "Whosoever will,"
Jesus included me too!
(Oatman)

Unless one drinks now of the "water of life," He will thirst forever!

N.J. Hiebert - 4637

December 8

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

Christian are not exempt from suffering. When one trusts in Christ, it does not mean that he is at once freed from all the consequences of sin. So far as divine judgment is concerned, he is forever delivered from that "He that believeth on Him is not condemned" (John 3:18); but he is still in the body from which the Adamic curse has not yet been lifted. Consequently, he suffers with the groaning creation, of which that body is still a part. Then, in addition to this, he now finds that the world to which he once belonged, has now become a scene of hostility because of the place he has taken in association with a rejected Christ. All this involves suffering, but with every trial and affliction there will come needed grace to endure, "as seeing Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27).

There is a difference between suffering with Christ (Romans 8:17) and suffering for Him (Acts 5:41). All Christians suffer with Him because of the very fact that they are partakers of the divine nature, and therefore are quick to feel the adverse conditions through which they are called to pass. But to suffer for Him is to bear shame and reproach - even unto persecution and death - for Christ's name sake (Acts 9:16). (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert - 4638

December 9

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving."
(Psalm 95:2)

Thanksgiving is a sure index of spiritual health.

Seeds of discouragement will not grow in a thankful heart.

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

More than enough is too much
(A Collection of Wise sayings - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4639

December 10

"Her children rise up and call her blessed."
(Proverbs 31:28)

Good parents are always looking for ways to help their children. That's why there are music teachers, gymnastic lessons, and parent-teacher conferences.

But what really helps the children? Besides leading them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the next best way parents can influence their children is by modeling a good husband-wife relationship. This will give them the security and love they need to spark their endeavors.

Have you ever noticed the husband-wife relationship described in Proverbs 31? Although we usually concentrate on the "super mom" aspects of the passage, it's important to note what was said about her husband. This gives us insight into the relationship of two successful parents.

1. He trusts her; she does good things for him and never does him harm (verses 11,12).
2. He is respected - evidently earned in part because of a positive relationship at home (verse 23).
3. He praises her openly (verse 28).

These two people are obviously in love, and they know how to show it to their children. No wonder the children "rise up and call her blessed."

Do you want to help your children? Then love, respect, praise, and trust your spouse. (J.D.B.)

The children in a Christian home
Are rich beyond compare;
A blessed heritage is theirs
Whose parents love and care.
(D.J.D.)

Our children are watching: what we are speaks louder than what we say.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright, Grand Rapids, MI, Reprinted Permission

N.J. Hiebert - 4640

December 11

"The just shall live by faith."
(Romans 1:17)

Every child of God is called to walk by faith.
To walk by faith is to walk with God;
To cling to Him;
To lean on Him;
To draw from His exhaustless springs;
To find all our resources in Him;
To have Him as a covering for our eyes and a satisfying object for our hearts,
To know Him as our only resource in all difficulties, and in all our trials.
It is to be absolutely, completely, and continually shut up to Him;
To be undividedly dependent upon Him, apart from and above every creature confidence,
every human hope and every earthly expectation.

Such is the life of faith.
Let us see that we understand it.
It must be a reality or nothing at all.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4641

December 12

"I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do."
(John 17:4)

Life and glory were His by personal right, and by moral title. One delights to dwell on such a truth, to repeat it again and again. He never forfeited the garden of Eden. Truly indeed did He walk outside it all His days, amid the thorns and briers, the sorrows and privations, of a ruined world. But this He did in grace. He took such a condition upon Him; but He was not exposed to it .

He was not, like Adam, like us all, on one side of the cherubim and the flaming sword, and the tree of life and the garden of Eden, on the other. In His history, instead of angels keeping Him outside or beyond the gate, when He had gone through His temptation, they come and minister to Him. For He stood where Adam failed and fell. Therefore, man as he was, verily and simply man, he was this distinguished man. God was glorified in Him, as in all beside He had been dishonoured and disappointed. (J.G. Bellett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4642

December 13

"Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law."
(Psalm 119:18)

In Luke 24 three "openings" are spoken of:
He opened to His disciples the Scriptures, verse 32.
He opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures, verse 45.
Their eyes were opened and they knew Him, verse 31.

Prayer plays a vital part in all these things, as David well knew.  "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law" (Psalm 119:18).

"Pray before all things," said his teacher to Justin Martyr, "that the gates of light be opened to you; for the truths for which you seek are not comprehensible by the eye or mind of man, unless God and His Christ give him understanding."  The promise of the Lord Jesus is that, when the Spirit would come, He would guide us into all truth (John 16:13); and, as the Spirit is now here, one of the great requirements on our part is that prayerfulness which creates the mental mood for the reception of divine truth and which produces the reverence and humility that ever accompany it.  (The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4643

December 14

The Things That Remain

"And this word . . . signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken . . . that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."
(Hebrews 12:27)

Times change and men change with them,
For still the New allures,
Their purpose falters ever,
No plan of theirs endures;
Strange gods demand their worship,
Strange creeds that come and go.
Men's thoughts and men's opinions
Are tides that ebb and flow.

On ever-shifting currents
Their minds drift to and fro,
Their wavering wills are shaken
By all the winds that blow;
But steadfast as the mountains,
And surer than the sea,
And fixed as are the heavens,
God is and God shall be.

And though the little hills shall melt,
The mighty mountains move,
Though earth and heaven shall pass away,
And suns unstable prove,
Though faithless stars shall cease to shine,
And there is no more sea,
Still changeless as the changeless God
The Word of God shall be.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

N.J. Hiebert - 4644

December 15

"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!"
(Isaiah 31:1)

Trust in Him ye saints forever,
He is faithful changing never,
Neither force not guile can sever,
Those He loves from Him.
(T. Kelly)

Why do we have such a hard time trusting the Lord?
We trusted Him for salvation, yet in practical matters, we resort to walking by sight and not by faith.
We "stay on horses" - until we either fall or get thrown off.
We "trust in chariots" until they get bogged down or break.
Yes, we truly do "go down" every time we look for help apart from the Lord.
Let's not trust in things or people, but rather let us remember the name of the Lord and trust Him alone.
(Mark Kolchin)

N.J. Hiebert - 4645

December 16

"How excellent (precious) is Thy lovingkindness, O God!"
(Psalm 36:7)

The prodigal afar off from his father asks to be made as one of his hired servants.
When he comes into his father's presence, no such word.
Before he was only thinking of what he was to his father, and not what his father was to him.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 4646

December 17

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

The whole force of this scripture depends upon the connection.
The last words of verse 24 are, "Let him dip his foot in oil";
That is, in its christian interpretation, let him walk in the power of the Holy Spirit,
And then his shoes should be as iron and brass - a firm and consistent walk,
And his spiritual strength should never decay.
As thy days, thy strength shall be.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4647

December 18

God Will Know When To Exalt Us

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." (James 4:10)

Christians have often asked: "Must I humble myself and meekly accept every situation in life?"

I think this is the answer: As Christians, we must never violate morals or truth in humility.

If in humbling ourselves we compromise the truth, we must never do it.

If it means a compromise of morality, we must never do it.

I am confident that no man or woman is ever called of God to degrade himself or herself, either morally or in truth.
But we do have a calling from God to humble ourselves under His mighty hand - and let the other party do the rock-throwing!

In this call to His people for true humility, God adds the promise that He will exalt us in due time! "Due time."
It will be the time that God knows is best suited to perfect us and a time that will bring honour to God and the most good to men.
That is "due time."

It may be that in God's will He will expect us to wait a long time before He can honour us or exalt us.
But God knows what is best for each of us in His desire to make us the kind of saints that will glorify and honour Him in all things!

It is well for us to remember here that Jesus willingly humbled Himself under the hand of men and so He humbled Himself under the hand of God!
(A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4648

December 19

THE MIGHTY POWER OF GOD

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." (Philippians 3:10)

In 1866 Alfred Nobel invented an explosive made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material. It was by far the most powerful explosive that had so far been invented.

When Nobel and his friends saw what his invention could do, and had to decide on a name, they sought for the strongest possible word for power -- in any language. The word they finally chose was the Greek word dunamis, from which our word dynamite is derived.

This word, in Greek also the strongest word for power, is used again and again in the New Testament and is generally translated simply "power".

When our Lord wrought miracles, for example, St. Luke testifies that "the POWER [dunamis] of the Lord was present to heal" (Luke 5:17). In promising His apostles that they too would work miracles, He said: "Ye [shall] be endued with POWER [dunamis] from on high" (Luke 24:49).

When the Sadducees questioned the resurrection, Jesus answered: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the POWER [dunamis] of God" (Matt.22:29), and St. Paul declares that Christ was "declared to be the Son of God with POWER [dunamis]...by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom.1:4).

Using this same word, Paul, by inspiration, declares that "the gospel of Christ...is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, to every one that believeth..." (Rom. 1:16). This is because, according to this gospel, or good news, "CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS", and "THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS", he says, is to believers "THE POWER OF GOD" (ICor.1:18).

But not only are believers saved by the power of God; they are "KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD" (I Pet. 1:5). Indeed, the adjective of this same word "dunamis" is used in Hebrews 7:25, where we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is "ABLE...TO SAVE...TO THE UTTERMOST [THOSE] THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM". Thus the Bible uses the very strongest word for power to show how secure is the salvation of those who trust in Christ. (Cornelius R. Stam - R.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4649

December 20

"All these things are against me."
(Genesis 42:36)

Jacob was in trouble. There was famine over all the land. One of his sons had been held in captivity because Joseph wanted to see his brother, Benjamin, but Jacob was determined that Benjamin should not go down to Egypt. But in his distress he does not know what to do, and his other sons say, "We cannot go without Benjamin." Jacob throws up his hands and says,
"All these things are against me."
At that very time God was planning for him a wonderful way, and it was not long before the brothers came and took him and his family to Egypt, where he was provided for abundantly.

Do you feel like wringing your hands and crying out in despair, "Everything is going wrong. All these things are against me." Oh, no; they are not; God is for you, and if God is for you, who can be against you? Our blessed Lord is for you. "We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet apart from sin;" and because "He Himself hath suffered being tempted [tried], He is able to succor them that are tempted."

And He knows what He is going to do.
He is planning for you, my brother, at this very moment.
He is planning for you, my sister.
Believe it. Trust Him, and be assured that He is going to undertake in His own good time for you. (Adapted)

N.J. Hiebert - 4650

December 21

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
(Hebrews 11:1)

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
(Romans 10:17)

Responding to Gem # 4641 (December 10, 2011) a reader submitted the following quotation.

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible."
(With thanks to C.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4651

December 22

The God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulations, (so that) that we may be able to comfort others which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ."
(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

God does not comfort us just to make us comfortable, but that we may become comforters.
If we see a fellow believer in sorrow, how blessed to be able to say,
“Cheer up, brother, cheer up sister, I’ve passed through a similar trial;
God sustained me and He will you, if you but trust Him.”

“…What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?”
(2 Kings 18:19)

“…I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.”
(Psalm 26:1)

“The comfort God has given us
He wants us now to share
With others who are suffering
And caught in life's despair.”
(David Sper)

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding. . . .”
(Colossians 2:2)
(Meditations - S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4652

December 23

"The shepherds said . . . Let us now go even unto Bethlehem."
(Luke 2:15)

One of the most picturesque places in all the world is the little town of Bethlehem nestled in the Judean hills. A visit is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Ancient rock-hewn stables, that may well have been the birthplace of the Lord, still exist. Not far away are shepherds' fields where wondering men heard a divine message centuries ago. At the "House of Bread" (Bethlehem) was born the Bread of Life. He is the Saviour of the world. May the One who gave His life on the cross of Calvary bring you love, joy and peace, throughout the year, and on into eternity. (Choice Gleanings - Les Rainy)

A Saviour is this tiny One, the promised Lord, Immanuel;
All glory be to God the Son who came on earth to dwell.
We lift our voice in grateful song and all His praises tell.

N.J. Hiebert - 4653

December 24

"He hath made us accepted in the beloved."
(Ephesians 1:6)

"Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person."
(1 Samuel 25:35)

As surely as the prayers go up from the accepted one, so surely will the blessings come down.
When Esther had touched the golden sceptre, "then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, Queen Esther? and what is thy request?
It shall be given thee to the half of the kingdom
."
But there is no "half" in our King's promise.
He says "all things" and "whatsoever."

And He does do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
And more than fulfills our little scanty requests.
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

Be sure you are on the ground of acceptance, and then all else will follow.
That ground is not in anything we are or do, it is in Christ.
Our prayers are accepted not because of
Their earnestness, Or sincerity, but
Because we are one with Christ,
because we abide in Him.

N.J. Hiebert - 4654

December 25

"He came and preached peace to you which were afar and to those who were near."
(Ephesians 2:17)

It was the night before Christmas in 1870. French and German armies faced each other on the field of battle in the Franco-Prussian War. A French soldier started walking toward the German lines. His comrades watched breathlessly, expecting to hear at any instant the crack of a rifle that would end his life. As he neared the enemy lines, he stopped and began singing, "Noel, noel! Noel, noel! BORN IS THE KING OF ISRAEL!" No shot rang out.

Slowly the Frenchman returned to his ranks. There was silence! Then from the German side came a lone soldier to that same spot and sang the German version of the same song. After each stanza both armies united in the chorus. For a few minutes Christ brought peace to that battlefield.

God is a peacemaker who always takes the first step. Jesus came as a baby, and when he grew to manhood He preached peace to a warring world. Then, in the greatest peace initiative this world has ever seen, Christ made peace between God and man by dying for our sins "Having made peace through the blood of His cross"(Colossians 1:20).

Peacemaking efforts may be rejected, but the alternative is continued hostility. God didn't settle for that, nor should we. Let's take the first step in healing a broken relationship, even at the risk of being "shot down."

O Prince of Peace, keep us, we pray,
From strife and enmity;
Help us to speak with loving words
That quell hostility.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What this world needs is the peace that passes all misunderstanding.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best wishes for a Happy Christmas season and blessing for the New Year

December 26

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins."
(Matthew 1:21)

"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
(Acts 1:11)

What name is this?
At His birth it was a divine indication of His purpose.
At His ascension it was a glorious declaration of His accomplishment.
In the parenthesis between, He lived as no other lived,
Spoke as no other spoke,
Ministered as no other ministered
And saved as none other could.
Full of the melody of salvation,
His name stirs our hearts to sing of our blessed Jesus today.
(S. McEachern)

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
(W.C. Dix)

N.J. Hiebert - 4656

December 27

". . . launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught . . . At Thy word I will let down the net."
(Luke 5:4,5)

When Peter made Christ the captain of his boat he was commanded to "launch out into the deep!" When Christ was in control, Peter must no longer stay in the shallows.

Are you hugging the shore of the world? Do you wonder why there is no success in your Christian life? Have you been a Christian for so long, and yet do you still dabble in the world's pleasures? Do you still compromise with the world's standards? Are you still content to come down to the level of the world? Have you never burned your bridges and cut your shorelines and launched out into the deep, with Christ in full control?

If it is a choice between the social evenings and the prayer meeting, which wins? (Frederick P. Wood)

Oh, let us launch out on this ocean so broad,
Where the floods of salvation o'erflow;
Oh let us be lost in the mercy of God,
Till the depth of His fullness we know.

Launch out into the deep!
Oh let the shoreline go;
Launch out, launch out in the ocean divine,
Out where the full tides flow.

A great ship asks deep waters.
(G. Herbert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4657

December 28

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

I am not to despise the child-training, like a duck in the rain, indifferent to it, braving as it were everything; Neither am I to "faint when. . . rebuked of Him," like a hen in the rain, which is a miserable object. I am neither to be miserable nor indifferent, but thoughtful and exercised.
(J.B.S.)

My times are in Thy hand; my God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand; whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright, as best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand; why should I doubt or fear?
My Father’s hand will never cause His child a needless tear.

My times are in Thy hand, Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced are now my guard and guide.

My times are in Thy hand, I’ll always trust in Thee;
And, after death, at Thy right hand I shall forever be.

(By William F. Lloyd)
(With thanks S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4658

December 29

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(Hebrews 11:1)

"As it is written, the just shall live by faith."
(Romans 1:17)

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has made and looks out of the windows which hope has opened.”
(Charles Spurgeon - SL)

N.J. Hiebert - 4659

December 30

"Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. . . "
(Luke 2:12-13)

Praising God for What? "The mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16). The hope of Israel is revealed to them - glad tidings of great joy to all the people. For JESUS is the pivot of all God's counsels in grace. Adam himself was but a type of Him who was to come. Christ was ever in the mind of God. Such displays of glory are not shown to mortal eyes every day; but God sets them before us in His Word, and we must every day follow the sign given, follow Jesus the babe in the manger. If He filled the eye, the ear, the heart, how we should see the effects in person, spirit, conversation, dress, house, money, and other things.

Such, then, is the sign of God's accomplishment of promise and of His presence in the world - "a babe in the manger" - the least and lowest thing. But God is found there, though these things are beyond man, who cannot walk with God, nor understand His moral glory. But God's sign is within the reach of faith. It is the token of perfect weakness; a little infant who can only weep. Such, born into this world, is Christ the Lord. Such is the place God chose - the low degree. God's intervention is recognized by a sign like this. Man would not have sought that. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4660

December 31

"Jesus . . . leadeth them up into an hight mountain, apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them."
(Mark 9:2)

A mountain top perspective makes all the difference in life.
As the new year beckons, consider that for a moment. Problems seem so much smaller.
Possibilities seem so much greater.
Our Saviour leads the way, for His heart longs to have us there.
The journey is not easy - the mountain is high; but the loftier the summit the greater the view.
It will involve separation - they went up "apart by themselves."
Smaller problems, greater possibilities, these will be wonderful.
But the greatest blessing of the mountain top is a Person - Christ Jesus in His glory.
In the new year, make the mountain top your goal. (S. McEachern)

Lord, lead us to the mountain height; to Thy transfiguring glow;
And clothe us with the Spirit's might, for grander work below.
(D.H. Ela)

N.J. Hiebert - 4661

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home