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

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Gems from March 2012

"And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him."
(Luke 24:50-52)

It always appeals to me that the last sight that the disciples had of our blessed Lord was His passing into heaven with His outstretched arms of blessing.
That indeed is His perpetual attitude towards us.
No less striking is their response to what they had seen.
It was, in one word, perpetual worship.
If we did but worship more we should have far higher conceptions of who He is, and what He has done for us.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4711

February 25

"I am the the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me."
(John 14:6)

His Way

God bade me go when I would stay
('Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
Across the pathway where I stood.

He bade me stay when I would go;
"Thy will be done," I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone.
A serpent with a mangled head.

No more I ask the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He doth know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
(The Sunday School Times)

N.J. Hiebert - 4717

February 27

"Christ is all, and in all."
(Colossians 3:11)

The Lord knoweth. "The Lord knoweth them that are His" (2 Timothy 2:19).
His own sheep. "I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep. . ." (John 10:14).
Them that trust in Him. "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7).
What we need. "Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things"
(Matthew 6:32).
The way I take. "But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
Our frame. "For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14).
How to deliver. "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations" (2 Peter 2:9).
(The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4719

March 1

"The Lord is my ROCK, and my FORTRESS, and my DELIVERER; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
(Psalm 18:2)

If I want a safe dwelling, I need a ROCK to build on.
I don't want to build on the sand! (Matthew 7:26)
So, I find that "The Lord is my ROCK."
But then I start to work, and find I'm not very good at FORTRESS building,
So, "He is my FORTRESS."
Then, when I take the shelter He provides, the enemy attacks and I find
I'm no good at defending my fortress even once I'm inside,
But "He is my DELIVERER."
No wonder David said, "Praise the name of the Lord!" (Psalm 148:13)
(H. Smith)

Praise the name of Jesus, praise the name of Jesus;
He's my ROCK, He's my FORTRESS, He's my DELIVERER,
IN HIM WILL I TRUST.
Praise the name of Jesus.
(Roy Hicks, Jr.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4722

March 2

Mendelssohn and the Master

"Be Thou exalted, Lord, in Thine own strength: so will we sing and praise Thy power."
(Psalm 21:13)

In the cathedral at Freiburg there was a wonderful organ. One day a man entered and asked the custodian if he might play upon the great instrument. The old keeper finally granted permission, grudgingly. The stranger sat down and slowly began to play. The attention of the old sexton was arrested; he dropped into a seat and listened spellbound; soon tears coursed down his wrinkled face. He had never heard such music before.
The stranger arose to go, and the custodian followed him silently to the door. Finally he managed to ask, "Who are you?" The visitor answered simply, "I am Mendelssohn." And all that the old man could do was to throw up his hands and cry, "And to think I almost refused to let you play the organ!"
Every man is the custodian of the organ of his soul. What pitiful discords we make when we try to play our own instruments unaided, try to live our own lives by our own strength. Everywhere worn faces, weary hearts, broken spirits tell the story; the custodian cannot play his own organ.
But One who is greater than Mendelssohn asks to sit at the keyboard of your heart. He will bring forth music from it that you never dreamed could be there - melody instead of melancholy, hallelujahs instead of heartaches. Not only will it thrill you but others will be drawn to hear for they will perceive that you have quit playing and that the Master plays instead.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart,
Wakened by kindness, chords that are broken will vibrate once more.

Doubly true is that when His heart and hand take us in charge! I think of the rich young man who came to Jesus. What a magnificent keyboard of possibilities he carried! But he chose to be his own musician and went away sorrowful "For he had great possessions." But of what use is an organ if it cannot be played, and of what use is a life abounding in promise if we deny Him who alone can make anything of it?
Jesus is passing by. Through the ages He has been bringing heavenly harmony from even the most unsightly organs. Who else could have made anything of Simon Peter? What a harsh instrument was Saul of Tarsus! Think of Augustine, the slave of lust; what an unpromising prospect was Moody, the shoe salesman; what melody could be expected of Gipsy Smith?
Mind you, we never were meant to be the organists of our souls. We cannot play but we are the custodians; we can let Jesus play or refuse Him. All the trouble in human lives begins when the custodian tries to be organist. The playing is God's part; the permission is ours. (Vance Havner - In Tune With Heaven - April 23, 1936)

N.J. Hiebert - 4723

March 3

"I will sever in that day the land of Goshen in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there."
(Exodus 8:22)

It was not until three plagues were done that God separated His people from the troubles that came upon Egypt.
They had to endure the water turned to blood, the frogs, and the lice.
God's people today often have to suffer the effects of others' sin,
but we should thank God that He sets a limit on it, in His perfect time.
(L. Nicholson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4724

March 4

"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but, 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 2:19-20)

Christianity not only gives eternal life;
It gives also an Object with which that life can be occupied.
A Center round which the affections of that life can circulate.
A Model on which that life can be formed.
Thus it gains its mighty moral triumphs.
Thus it gains its conquests over a selfish nature and a selfish world.
It gives divine life and and a divine centre;
And as the life moves round that centre we are taken out of self.
This is the secret of self-surrender.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4725

March 5

"And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days . . . but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings."
(Exodus 10:22-23)

What a terrible thing it is to be at home at night with no light at all.
It is even more terrible to be without the true light which the Word of God gives.

But it is not enough just to have Bibles in our homes - or even the best commentaries.
"The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple" (Psalm 119:130).
We must read God's Word, let it enter our minds and hearts, and obey it.
Only thus will it give us the wisdom we need.
If you desire more wisdom in your family life, then remember that the answer is in the Word of God.
No amount of education will keep us from serious error if we are ignorant of the Word of God.
The Lord desires that we have light in our dwellings.

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house."
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Unless we do this, we must not expect to have light in our dwellings. (A.M. Behnam)

N.J. Hiebert - 4726

March 6

"Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
(Titus 2:13-14)

"Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do . . . but brighten the corner where you are!" These words were born out of frustration when the talented speaker, Ina Duley Ogdon was selected to be on the Chautauqua Circuit. This would give her the opportunity to reach thousands around the country with her brilliant oratory. Just before she was to leave on the tour, her father was injured seriously in an automobile accident. Ina felt it necessary to cancel her plans so she could take care of her father.

At first Mrs. Ogdon felt much anger and resentment against God for allowing this tragedy to happen. Gradually, however, she determined that she would be happy and remain "true to the many duties near" her. She would do her best to "brighten the corner" where God had placed her. Ina completed this poem in 1913. . . . Mrs. Ogdon no doubt ministered effectively to more people with these challenging words, born out of despair, than she would have done with her speaking tours.

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do;
Do not wait to shed your light afar.
To the many duties ever near you now be true;
Brighten the corner where you are.

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear;
Let not narrow self your way debar.
Tho' into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need;
Here reflect the Bright and Morning Star.
Ever from your humble hand the bread of life may feed;
Brighten the corner where you are.

Chorus: Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbour you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!
(Amazing Grace - Kenneth W. Osbeck)

N.J. Hiebert - 4727

March 7

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
(Matthew 7:12)

George Washington, one day, had a tempting opportunity to preach a sermon on loving your neighbour. He was riding across the farmlands with a company of gentlemen, when the last horse over a stone fence knocked over a number of stones, leaving a large opening. Washington suggested that they stop and repair it, but the others shrugged their shoulders; so he said nothing more, and rode on with them.

When the party disbanded, one of them, riding homeward, found Washington back in the farmer's fence, carefully replacing the stones. "Oh, General," chattered the man, "You are too big a man to be doing a thing like that." "No," answered Washington, gravely inspecting his work, "I'm just the right size." Washington was preaching his sermon in the universal language of action. Words would have bored the farmer no end, but that deed of neighbourliness spoke for itself.

If you want, with all your heart, to tell someone that you love them, say as little as possible about it, and show them in loving deeds. (Streams in the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4728

March 8

"He that keepeth thee will not slumber" (Psalm 121:3).
"I will trust, and not be afraid" (Isaiah 12:2).
"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night" (Psalm 91:5).

All through the dark hours He keepeth thee;
Keeps you from everything that could hurt or even frighten you.
He keepeth thee. Only think who is your Keeper! the mighty God,
who can do everything, and can see everything.
Why need you ever fear with such a Keeper?
It is very nice to know that: "He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee".
But it is sweeter and grander still to think that God Himself keeps us.
As if He wanted us to be very sure of it, and to leave us no excuse for ever being afraid any more,
He even says it three times over as noted above.
What could He say more.

He is speaking in the darkness, 'tho thou canst not see His face,
More than angels ever needed, mercy, pardon, love and grace.
Speaking of the many mansions, where, in safe and holy rest,
Thou shalt be with Him for ever, perfectly and always blessed.
What He tells thee in the darkness, whispers thro' time's lonely night,
Thou shalt speak in glorious praises, in the everlasting light!
(Opened Treasures - Frances Ridley Havergal)

N.J. Hiebert - 4729

March 9

"He restoreth my soul."
(Psalm 23:3)

What should I do if I had to carry the burden of last week's failure?
What, if only looking at yesterday's failure!
It would be like phosphorus eating into the tenderest part of one's body;
But I have got One who is able to restore my soul, One who does continually and entirely.
You are finding how different you are from Christ,
But He is the propitiation all the way until you see Him and are like Him.
Love in you is very different from love in God, acting in His own eternity,
Showing love by giving His Son to give you life, power and love.
Love in God comes out with this thought of separating us from all that we are,
Into His own blessedness.
(G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4730

March 10

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
(Titus 2:13)

A man that I work with said, "I leave my cell phone on at all times because I might have to go at any moment!" My response was quick, "Well I don't have a cell phone, but I must be ready too because I could have to leave at any moment also." He and those around him knew exactly what I was referring to. They had heard me talk about the Lord and His soon coming. We need to be ready, not ashamed at His appearing because we could be leaving at any moment. Are you ready? (Jerry Proctor)

Coming again, coming again.
May be morning, may be noon, may be evening and may be soon.
Oh what a wonderful day that will be, Jesus is coming again.
(J. Peterson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4731

March 11

"Today shalt thou be with Me, in paradise." (Luke 23:43

Most people live in almost constant fear of death. They do not like to think that man's days are as grass and all his glory as the glory of a fading flower (Psa. 103:15,16). They do not wish to face up to the fact that "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Heb. 9:27).

This is natural, for God's Word declares that death is "the wages of sin" (Rom. 6:23) and "after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27) and the "second death" (Rev. 20:14). This is why I Cor. 15:56 says that "The sting of death is sin."

Yet the Psalmist David was not afraid of death. He said: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" -- but note the reason: "for Thou art with me" (Psa. 23:4). David had come to know God and had been graciously delivered from the fear of death. But we, today, have an even greater reason to be free from the fear of death, for 1,000 years after David, Saul of Tarsus, the chief of sinners, was saved by grace and was sent forth to proclaim the "gospel [good news] of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).

He went forth to tell men how "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3) and robbed Satan of all his claims against us:

"That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Heb. 2: 14, 15).

When the Apostle himself neared death, he said: "To die is gain" (Phil. 1:21), "to depart, and to be with Christ... is far better" (Ver. 23), and "the time of my departure is at hand... henceforth there is laid up for me a crown..." (II Tim. 4:6-8). (C.R. Stam)

N.J. Hiebert - 4732

March 12

"Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father."
(1 Thessalonians 1:3)

Faith works with God;
Endures, as seeing Him man cannot see;
Sows, oft in tears, the precious seed abroad
Fore-tasting harvest-gladness yet to be.

Hope waits for One
Whose faithfulness, unfathomed, cannot fail;
In quiet confidence her task is done,
Her eyes intent on Him within the veil.

Love knows no fear -
Love simple purpose ne'er is put to shame,
Love doth the Father worthily revere:
Thou God, art Love, Love thinks upon Thy Name.

And now abide
Faith, Hope, and Love - not one alone, but three -
Each challenged often, often let and tried;
Each more than conqueror, living Lord, through Thee.
(George Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4733

March 13

"Cast Thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee."
(Psalm 55:22)
"Casting ALL your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
(1 Peter 5:7)
"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know unto God."
(Philippians 4:6)

There was once a great king who employed his people to weave for him. The silk, and woof, and patterns were all give by the king, and he looked for diligent work-people. He was very indulgent, and told them when any difficulty arose to send to him, and he would help them, and never to fear troubling him, but to ask for help and instruction.

Among many men and women busy at their looms was one little child whom the king did not think too young to work. Often alone at her work, cheerfully and patiently she laboured. One day, when the men and women were distressed at the sight of their failures, the silks were tangled and the weaving unlike the pattern, they gathered around the child and said: "Tell us how it is that you are so happy in your work. We are always in difficulties." "Then why do you not send to the king?" said the little weaver; "he told us that we might do so." "So we do, night and morning." "Ah," said the child, "but I send directly I find I have a little tangle."

We all have "little tangles" in our lives, and are discouraged because we cannot make them straight; so, instead of singing at our work, we are heavy-hearted and complaining. But is there really so easy a remedy always at hand? May we send directly to the King? Let us hear what He says about it Himself, for if it is true, why should we go on carrying all our burdens, and keeping all our sorrows pent up within?

Every word of the Bible means what it says: "ALL" - "In Everything" - mean just what they say. Then there is not a single thing shut out, from the smallest every-day care that worries to the greatest sorrow that nearly breaks the heart. Nor is the King, like earthly ones, difficult of access: "His ears are open to their cry."

Though by seraph hosts adored, He to earths lowest cares is still awake. And not only so, but He comes to us in our need, the call of a thought will bring Him close to our side.

Take, then, ye toiling and troubled ones, the comfort offered you; food is no use to the hungry, if they look at it, and do not eat; so you will be no happier or stronger if you only read the words of promised help; act upon them daily, hourly; go to the King directly you have a little tangle, "in everything," "all your care." Only take Him at His word, and you will find Him true to His word: "The crooked places will be made straight, and the rough places plain, " "and the peace of God . . . shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Comforted of God - A.J. Pollock)

N.J. Hiebert - 4734

March 14

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
(Psalm 119:89)

Do you want to be contemporary?
To be contemporary is to be dated.
Popular music is constantly changing.
The songs of 50 years ago are not popular today.
Advertising is driven by change.
Clothing styles change so people will buy a new wardrobe.
And popular morals have changed vastly from fifty years ago.
But the church is not called to change.
It is called to be stable and steady, a rock in a sea of change.
The Bible does not change.
God's instructions for the church have not changed.
His moral absolutes have not changed.
SIN IS STILL SIN.
Beware of being swept along by contemporary ideas.
Cling to God's Word for stability in your life.
(Donald L. Norbie)

N.J. Hiebert - 4735

March 15

"Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
(Matthew 11:28)

Untold sorrows characterize the human race.
This invitation is not confined to those who are laden with sin.
Jesus addresses any one who is bowed with any possible sorrow, any possible bereavement.
Whatever the burden upon you, the Lord speaks to you.
Your whole responsibility at the present moment is to
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
And what a blessing it is that you may and can rest, whatever your suffering, on the Lord's breast.
It is indeed an immense thing to be in communion with His mind in His object in our sufferings.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4736

March 16

"This thing is from ME." (1 Kings 12:24)
"All things work together for good to them that love GOD, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose." (Romans 8:28)

About 0200 hours a young Midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class, Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria's number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and semi-shock, he was kept afloat by a narrow lifebelt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism.

At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same lifebelt, found himself back in the water. It was lunchtime. Picked up again, this time by USS President Jackson (AP-73), he was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea. On board the transport, Staples hugging that lifebelt with gratitude, looked at that small piece of equipment for the first time. He scrutinized every stitch of the lifebelt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number.

Given home leave, Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. There was a moment of stunned silence in the room and then his mother spoke: "That was my personal code that I affixed to every item I was responsible for approving."

I can only imagine the emotions within the hearts of mother and son as they pondered the convergence of responsibility and its impact on life. The threads had come together in an inescapable way. The one who gave him birth and whose DNA he bore gave him rescue in the swirling waters that threatened to take his life. If an earthly parent playing the role of procreation can provide a means of rescue without knowing when and for whom that belt would come into play, how much more can the God of all creation accomplish? By His sovereign will, we have come into being with an expressed and designed purpose. (The Grand Weaver - R.Z.)

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to HELP IN TIME OF NEED." (Hebrews 4:16)

N.J. Hiebert - 4737

March 17

"That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days."
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

God of my Praise, to Thee be praise
For children and their loving ways;

For all the things that lighten earth,
For quiet peace, and merry mirth;

For every friendly bird that sings,
For little, lovely, simple things;

For loyal comradeship that grows
The stronger for each wind that blows;

But most of all because Thou art
The sunshine of my happy heart.

God of my Praise, to Thee be praise,
Today and through my length of days (Many days).
(Whispers of His Hope - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4738

March 18

"And he said unto them, come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."
(Mark 6:31)

Communing with the Lord is essential to the Christian life.
We call it a quiet time.

Two elements are required for this quiet time.
A place ("a desert or private place"),
And a time ("rest a while,") no length of time is specified).
You must take the time, from something else, to make time for Him.
Then look for a place to be alone with God.
Remember, if you don't take the time, it won't take place.
(Rex Trogdon)

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone,
By looking to Jesus, Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct, His likeness shall see.
(William D. Longstaff)

N.J. Hiebert - 4739

March 19

"Only believe!" (Mark 5:36)

An old woman with an halo of silvered hair - the hot tears flowing down her furrowed cheeks - her worn hands busy over a wash-board in a room of poverty - praying - for her son John -- John who ran away from home in his teens to become a sailor - John, of whom it was now reported that he had become a very wicked man - praying, praying always, that her son might be of service to God.

The mother believed in two things, the power of prayer and the reformation of her son. So while she scrubbed she continued to pray. God answered the prayer by working a miracle in the heart of JOHN NEWTON. The black stains of sin were washed white in the blood of the Lamb. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow." The wash-tub prayers were heard as are all prayers when asked in His name. John Newton, the drunken sailor, became John Newton, the sailor-preacher.

Among the thousands of men and women he brought to Christ was THOMAS SCOTT, cultured, selfish, and self-satisfied. Because of the wash-tub prayers another miracle was worked and Thomas Scott used both his pen and voice to lead thousands of unbelieving hearts to Christ - among them, a dyspeptic, melancholic young man, WILLIAM COWPER by name. He, too, was washed by the cleansing blood and in a moment of inspiration wrote:

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

And this song has brought countless thousands to the Man who died on Calvary. Among the thousands was WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, who became a great Christian statesman, and unfastened the shackles from the feet of thousands of British slaves. Among those whom he led to the Lord was LEIGH RICHMOND. He wrote a book, "The Dairyman's Daughter" which was translated into forty languages and with the intensity of leaping flame burned the love of Christ into the hearts of thousands.

All this resulted because a mother took God at His Word and prayed that her son's heart might become as white as the soapsuds in the wash-tub. (Springs in the Valley)

N.J. Hiebert - 4740

March 20

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

I know of no truth in the whole Bible that ought to come home to us with such power and tenderness as that of the love of God. There is no truth in the Bible that Satan would so much like to blot out. For more than 6000 years he has been trying to persuade men that God does not love them. He succeeded in making our first parents believe this lie; and too often he succeeds with their children.

The idea that God does not love us often comes from false teaching. Mothers make a mistake teaching children that God does not love them when they do wrong, but only when they do right. That is not taught in Scripture. You do not teach your children that when they do wrong you hate them. Their wrongdoing does not change your love to hate; if it did, you would change your love a great many times. Because your child is fretful, or has committed some act of disobedience, you do not cast him out as though he did not belong to you! No! He is still your child; and you love him. And if men have gone astray from God it does not follow that He hates them. It is the sin that He hates. (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 4741

March 21

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
(Ephesians 4:22-24)

You can gauge the depth of a Christian's spiritual life by the things he puts first.
Tell me his priorities and you tell me the focus of his life and his relationship with the Lord.
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20).
The voice from the world says, "Don't tell me how spiritual you are;
Show me by the way you live.
Don't tell me how much you pray,
Show me the effect of prayer by the power of God being manifested in your daily walk.
Don't tell me how much you read the Bible,
Show me how you have applied it by a righteous life and holy living.
Don't tell me how much you love the Lord;
Show me how His love abounds in your life unto others.
Don't tell me you are a Christian;
Show me the evidence through your godly character and committed life to Christ.
(Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4742

March 22

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again."
(John 3:7)

No more certain it is that it is something outside the thermometer
that produces a change in the thermometer,
than it is something outside the soul of man that produces a moral change upon him.
That he must be susceptible to that change, that he must be a party to it, goes without saying;
But that neither his aptitude not his will can produce it, is equally certain.
Growth is not voluntary, it takes place, it happens, it is wrought upon matter,
So here, "Ye must be born again" - we cannot born ourselves.
"Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed."
We are subjects to a transforming influence,
We do not transform ourselves.
(A Thought for Every Day - Henry Drummond)

N.J. Hiebert - 4743

March 23

"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."
(John 17:3)

The most spiritual teaching will ever be characterized by a full and constant presentation of Christ.
He will ever form the burden of such teaching.
The Spirit cannot dwell on anything but Jesus.
Of Him He delights to speak.
He delights in setting forth His attractions and excellencies.
When a man is ministering by the power of the Spirit of God,
There will always be more of Christ than anything else in His ministry.
The Spirit's sole object - be it well remembered by all who minister --
Will ever be to set forth Christ.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4744

March 24

A Selfish Lust: Man's Desire for First Place

"And when the centurion . . . saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, 
he said, Truly this man was the Son of God."
(Mark 15:39)

The current mania of men and women to succeed in the world is a good thing perverted. The desire to fulfill the purpose for which we were created is of course a gift from God, but sin has twisted this impulse about and turned it into a selfish lust for first place and top honours. By this lust the whole world of mankind is driven as by a demon, and there is no escape.

When we come to Christ we enter a different world. The New Testament introduces us to a spiritual philosophy infinitely higher than and altogether contrary to that which motivates the world. According to the teaching of Christ the poor in spirit are blessed; the meek inherit the earth; the first are last and the last first; the greatest man is the one that best serves others and the one who loses everything is the only one that will have everything at last. The successful man of the world will see his hoarded treasures swept away by the tempest of judgment; the righteous beggar goes to Abraham's bosom and the rich man burns in the fires of hell.

Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society and forsaken by His friends. The man who ordered Him to the cross was the successful statesman whose hand the ambitious hack politician kissed. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the governor had failed. The resurrection and the judgment will demonstrate before all worlds who won and who lost. We can wait! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)

N.J. Hiebert - 4745

March 25

"When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)

The Lord does not suggest that the coming of the Spirt of truth would alter the course of this present world. His presence condemns the world, His guiding delivers believers from present things by giving us the light of things to come. Alas! many may seek to use Christianity for the betterment of this world, only to find that such efforts result in Christianity being corrupted, and the evil of this world being glossed over with a religious veneer.

The Lord does not suggest that the coming of the Spirit would ensure the worldly comfort and earthly prosperity of His people while passing through this world. There may often be great disparity among the Lord's people as to their circumstances and surroundings in this world, but, as regards the true riches of the world of the Father's counsels they are on common ground.

The present light of the world of glory is the portion of all the saints. Whatever our circumstances in this life, it is at least open to us to enter into and enjoy, in spirit, the surpassing and eternal glories of the world to come, into which we shall so soon actually enter. (. . . the Last Words - Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 4746

March 26

"Be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, my Lord and my God." (John 20:27-28)

How eager some seem to be to dismiss one of the Lord's disciples as "doubting Thomas."
Perhaps it makes us feel better about our own misgivings for it is a rare believer indeed who walks the pilgrim way without ever experiencing doubts.
Perhaps Thomas should be better remembered for the moment when he
viewed the wounds in the Saviour's body and exclaimed,
"My Lord and my God!"
We too, when we doubt, should by the eyes of faith look on those wounds.
It will give us renewed vigor and vision.
"Blessed are thy who have not seen and yet have believed." (Robert Steele)

N.J. Hiebert - 4747

March 27

"Men shall be lovers of their own selves."
(2 Timothy 3:2)

The flesh always pens itself in, because it is selfish.
When we are in the Spirit there is always unity.
Impossible when we think of ourselves to be witnesses to others of what God is!
The grief, which egotism and self-love produce, makes room for the action of the evil spirit on the soul.
Love likes to be a servant, and selfishness likes to be served.
If I get hold of the path, the spirit, the mind of Jesus,
Nothing could be more hateful to me than anything of self.
You never find an act of self in Christ.
Not merely was there no selfishness, but there was no self in Him.
(Pilgrim Portions For the Day of Rest - J.N.D.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4748

March 28

"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
"The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4,20).
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
"I saw the dead, small and great stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of these things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire"
(Revelation 20:11-15)

I grew up in what some might call a sheltered environment—one which I am thankful for in retrospect, even if I didn’t always appreciate it at the time. In his infinite love and grace, the Creator and Saviour of the world placed me in an environment in which His word—the Word of God—was the ultimate authority. I have no great conversion story in which I was rescued from the streets, or pulled from the brink of an abyss of addiction. However, I have been heretofore a recipient of no less a miracle in that the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed my soul and kept me by his grace. Oh, that is not to say I have not sinned grievously, for that would be a lie and a sin in itself. However, I count myself as another miracle of God’s grace no less than one saved from the lowest estate.

The reason for that is the very character of SIN—a word which has almost disappeared from our modern vernacular. We make mistakes, errors, exhibit poor judgment, and a host of other acknowledged shortcomings, but never sin. God, however, has a different dictionary than we do—one that does not change with the passage of time because it is unswerving and unerring Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6, therefore he sets the standard, not us. That standard says that “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10) and consequently “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, it doesn’t matter how “big” the sin is, sin is a departure from God’s standard.

There is, however, a remedy for sin—provided by the same God who judges sin—in the person of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no other way, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Anyone who does not believe in the only begotten Son of God “is condemned already” (John 3:18). (A.N.S.- Adapted)

N.J. Hiebert - 4749

March 29

Heart Kept: Life Kept

Men here behold the life I lead.
They learn to know the things I love.
They judge my Lord by every deed.
Lord, keep my heart on things above.

"Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life."
(Proverbs 4:23 N.Tr.)
"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen."
(2 Corinthians 4:18)
"If therefore ye have been raised with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth."
(Colossians 3:1-2 N.Tr.)
"Looking unto Jesus."
(Hebrews 12:2)
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
(Jude 21)

Many years ago, while flying over India, Handley Page, a famous British aviator, was alarmed by the sound of some animal, presumably a rat, active somewhere near him, but out of his sight and reach, having evidently come aboard his plane sometime before takeoff. There was no convenient place to land to rid himself of the unwelcome passenger. There were wires, hoses and cables which a rat could soon damage, and their damage could mean loss of control or power. It could mean disaster! What could he do?
Handley remembered that the rats common to the plains were not found higher in the mountains because of the thinner air. So, he took his plane as high as he could and kept it there until the ratty noises had long ceased. Upon landing, he found and removed the dead rat. He had mortified that rat by high flight.

"Mortify therefore your members."
(Colossians 3:5)
(Submitted by J.K.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4750

March 30

"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
(Matthew 28:20)

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever;
He is still changing men and women from sinners into saints.
He is still giving life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins.
He is still bringing peace to troubled hearts.
He is still releasing men from the bondage of sin.
(Lectures on Acts - H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert - 4751

March 31

"Where there is no vision, the people perish . . ."
(Proverbs 29:18)

Man has to go through many experiences in order to receive the spiritual vision which is needed to see the divine plan.
Some experiences are hard.
But then nothing that is of great value is easily obtained.
If we let God do the work, He will show us His plan little by little.
One day we shall see it all.
When we feel as if there is nothing but darkness around us,
let us not forget that a film has to be developed in
a darkroom in order to bring out the beauty.
(This Day is the Lord's - Corrie Ten Boom)

N.J. Hiebert - 4752

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