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

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Gems from May 2012

May 1

"By faith (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king:  for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible." 
(Hebrews 11:27)

You cannot see the loving eyes of your Lord or see His hand stretched out to help you.
And yet you are trusted to go on just as if you saw.
You are trusted to endure as seeing Him who is invisible,
Your Redeemer, your Captain and your Lord. 
There is no life that is not at times hardly beset.
We are not called to be weaklings but warriors.
So let no one be surprised when the enemy comes in like a flood.
But there is no need to ever become overwhelmed.
There is not one word in the Bible to tell us to expect to be overwhelmed,
for the moment the enemy comes like a flood, that very moment the Spirit of the Lord 
lifts up a standard against him, and makes us strong to endure as seeing Him who is invisible.

"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard  against him." (Isaiah 59:19)
(Candles in the Dark - Amy Carmichael)

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May 2

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord."
(Exodus 14:13)
"Sit still . . . until thou know how the matter will fall."
(Ruth 3:18)

Waiting on the Lord can be a challenging experience.
From our perspective, we know what is best for us and how to bring it about.
But God's ways are not ours and His timing is perfect.
The hindrances that He puts across our path are there to 
cultivate in us the life of faith and dependence upon Him.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23),
but as Charles Spurgeon rightly noted "so are His stops." 
Is there some matter plaguing you today -
An issue, an obstacle, a problem that stands in your path?
Wait on the Lord, and in His time He will clear the way.
(Mark Kolchin)

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake 
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; 
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

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May 3

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord."
(Philippians 3:8)

Shining is always costly. 
Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it.  
An unlit candle does no shining.  
Burning must come before shining.
We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves.  
Burning suggests suffering.  
We shrink from pain.  
We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.
When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; 
when we are consumed with pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything. 
But if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing 
to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days 
when we thought we were doing the most of our work. 
We are burning now, and shining because we are burning. 
 (Evening Thoughts)

"The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today."

Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning, 
but crucification comes before coronation.

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May 4

"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."
(Proverbs 3:17)

In clearing a flower bed to make room for some fruit trees I learned a salutary lesson.  
The most difficult to pull up were the rose bushes, 
because they were more covered with thorns than any of the others.  
At the same time the rose was the sweetest flower that bloomed in the bed. 
There was a combination of the most thorns and the sweetest scent.
How like many Christians.  With some it is quite easy to be pleasant and amiable, and pleasantness and amiability may be mistaken for the graces of Christ.  
But when a rough, uncouth man is transformed into a gentle, 
lowly follower of Jesus, this is indeed grace.  
When a close, miserly person is generous and open-handed, this is indeed a triumph.
And of all the bushes and plants I rooted up the thorny rose was 
the one I was most careful to find a new place for.
May this little illustration be an encouragement to some of the Lord's people, who find it difficult to be pleasant and gracious, to think that if grace works in their hearts, 
the Lord may find His sweetest roses upon His thorniest bushes.  
We are apt to judge superficially, and see much grace where there is little, and little where there is much.  
God reads aright, and values the flowers of His own cultivation.  
(A.J. Pollock)

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May 5

"Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."
(Ephesians 3:20)

 Sometimes all has been dark, exceedingly dark . . . yea, 
when I should have been overwhelmed indeed in grief and despair. . . at such times I have sought to encourage myself in God, by laying hold in faith on His mighty power, 
His unchangeable love, and His infinite wisdom, and I have said to myself: 
God is able and willing to deliver me, if it be good for me; for it is written: 
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
 (Romans 8:32) 
 This, this it was which, being believed by me through grace, kept my soul in peace.
(George Muller's diary entries - Answers to Prayers /with thanks from JT)

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May 6

"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, 
Unto the glory of God by us."
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

Christ tells it out in our hearts that in Him is the "yea and amen" to all the promises.
We shall find immense strength in that thought in a cloudy day like the present when 
(we are like water spilled on the ground) 
we get clouded and troubled by the world on every side;
but turn to Him, and all in Him is "yea and amen."
He makes good all the promises.
The bringing light out of a promise, 
the making any bit of truth come with power and freshness 
to the heart, all is His doing.
(Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

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May 7

"With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men."
(Ephesians 6:7)

Little self denials, 
Little honesty's, 
Little passing words of sympathy, 
Little nameless acts of kindness, 
Little silent victories over favorite temptations - 
These are the silent threads of gold which, when woven together, 
gleam out so brightly in the pattern of life that God approves.
(F.W. Farrar)

Twas but a little light she bore,
While standing at the open door;
A little light, a feeble spark,
And yet it shone out through the dark
With cheerful ray, and gleamed afar
As brightly as the polar star.

A little light dispels the gloom
That gathers in the shadowed room
Where want and sickness find their prey,
And night seems longer than the day,
And hearts with many troubles cope
Un-cheered by one slight ray of hope.

It may be little we can do
To help another, it is true;
But better is a little spark
Of kindness when the way is dark,
Than one should miss the road to heaven
For lack of light we might have given.
(Anonymous)

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May 8

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; 
and He knoweth them that trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7).
"The LORD is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).

"O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good; 
for His mercy endureth for ever" (Psalm 136:1).
"Thou are good and doest good; teach me Thy statutes" (Psalm 119:68). 

The Lord Is Good

“The LORD is good”.  Yes, none is good as He
            Who called us from our darkness to His light,
Gave us to know His Son and ever be
            Conformed to His image in His sight.
He is our “strong hold” in earth’s darkest hour--
            When seas run high, and tempests shake the soul.
His way is perfect and no adverse power
            Can swerve His purpose from the eternal goal.
“He knoweth”, yes, He knoweth all the way
            We take.  Each heavy trial is to mould
Our wills to His, that we can truly say,
            “He trieth me; I shall come forth as gold.”
“He knoweth them that trust in Him” and His love
            Is worthy of our confidence entire.
His end will show, in those bright realms above,
            The full accomplishment of all desire.
Yes, Thou art good, our Father, and our lines
            Fallen in pleasant places.  Give us grace
To know that for Thy glory all combines,
            And for our good—until we see His face!
(F.L. St. Ives, Cornwall - September 1934 / J.K.)

The Lord is good! The Psalmist affirmed it repeatedly. 
Never forget it.  Never doubt it.
Because, even if you do, He will still be good
but you will lose the enjoyment 
of His goodness down here. 
In His presence, we will know it fully. 

N.J. Hiebert - 4789

May 9

"When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons."  (Galatians 4:4-5) 

The Lord Jesus Christ was perfect, holy, and sinless.  Not only did he not sin, he COULD NOT sin.  In both the Old and New Testaments God is described as being thrice holy—the triune God of Father, Son, and Spirit is spotless in every way, without so much as a shadow of sin in character or deed.  “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:3) and “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)  The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was therefore qualified to fulfill or complete the law.

 He did not, however, have to keep the law.  Now that statement might be a bit enigmatic (obscure), but allow me to use a simple example from the natural world.  An apple does not have to expend energy to keep the law of gravity—it has no means to do anything but operate in perfect subjection to that law.  When an apple becomes dislodged from the tree on which it grew, it falls to the ground.  It does not, and cannot, do anything else. 

 In like manner, the Lord Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, operated in perfect subjection to the law of God—He could do nothing else.  And because of that, we have a Saviour!  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”  (1 Tim 1:5)  Think about that!  The MAN Christ Jesus, who is also the Son of God!  And as Galatians 4:5 says, we have received the adoption of sons, to be “no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”  Neither are we relegated to second-rate heirs, but we are “joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17)

 Thank God for the gift of his Son!  (Andrew N. Scharf - Adapted)

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May 10 

"And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herd-men and thy herd-men; for we be brethren."
(Genesis 13:8)

Why did not Abram make a choice of Sodom?
Why did not the strife drive him into the world?
Why was it not an occasion of stumbling to him? 
Because he looked at it from God's point of view.

No doubt he had a heart that could be attracted by "well-watered plains"
just as powerfully as Lot's heart, 
but then he did not allow his own heart to choose.
He first let Lot take his choice, and then left God to choose for him.

This was heavenly wisdom.
This is what faith ever does:
It allows God to fix its inheritance, as it also allows Him to make it good.
It is always satisfied with the portion which God gives.

"The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yea I have a goodly heritage."  
It matters not where "the lines" fall; for, in the judgment of faith, 
they always fall "in pleasant places," just because God casts them there.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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May 11

"And thou shalt  . . . anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto Me."
(Exodus 28:41)

If we look at any Old Testament text about consecration, we shall see that the marginal reading of the word is "fill the hand."  Now, if our hands are full of "other things," they cannot be filled with "the things that are Jesus Christ's." 

There must be emptying before there can be any true filling.
So if we are sorrowfully seeing that our hands have not been kept for Jesus,
let us humbly begin at the beginning, and ask Him to empty them thoroughly,
that He may fill them completely.  For they must be emptied.

Either we come to our Lord willingly about it, letting Him unclasp their hold,
and gladly dropping the glittering weights they have been carrying, or, in very love, 
He will have to force them open, and wrench from the reluctant grasp the "earthly things"
which are so occupying them that He cannot have His rightful use of them. 

There is only one other alternative, a terrible one - 

To be let alone till the day comes when not a gentle Master, but the relentless king of terrors 
shall empty the trembling hands as our feet follow him out of the busy world into the dark valley,
for "it is certain we can carry nothing out."

Take all Thy vessels, O glorious Finer, purge all the dross, that each chalice may be
Pure in Thy pattern, completer, diviner, filled with Thy glory and shining for Thee." 
(Opened Treasures - Frances Ridley Havergal)

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May 12

"Who against hope believed in hope . . ."
(Romans 4:18)

When God is going to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty.
If it is going to be something very wonderful,
He begins with an impossibility.

O God of the impossible!
Since all things are to Thee
But soil in which Omnipotence
Can work almightily,

Each trial may to us become
The means that will display
How o'er what seems impossible
Our God hath perfect sway!

The very storms that beat upon
Our little barque so frail,
But manifest Thy power to quell
All forces that assail.

The things that are to us too hard,
The foes that are too strong,
Are just the very ones that may 
Awake a triumph song.

O God of the impossible,
When we no hope can see, 
Grant us the faith that still believes
ALL possible to Thee!
(Selected)

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May 13

"For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him."
(1 Samuel 1:27)

Hannah prayed with a heavy heart, but she prayed earnestly, and in faith for a son.
She told the Lord everything;
Her disappointment,
Her frustrations, and
Her bitterness.
God honoured the prayers of this woman.
He will honour your faithful prayers too.

What a privilege to bear the names of your children to the Lord. 
Mothers, never give up praying.
Remember there is strength in a mother's prayer.
Thank God today for praying mothers.
(Jim Comte)

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where mother, in caring quest,
Strives to show others Your way is best,
Homes where the Lord is an honoured guest.
(B.B. McKinney)

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May 14

"Have not I sent thee?"
(Judges 6:14)

God knows and you know what He has sent you to do.

God sent Moses to Egypt to bring three millions of bondmen up out of 
the house of bondage into the promised land.

Did He fail?

It looked, at first, as if He was going to.

But did he?

God sent Elijah to stand before Ahab, and it was a bold thing for him to say there 
should be neither dew not rain: but did He not lock up the heavens for three years and six months?
But did He fail?

And you cannot find any place in Scripture where a man was ever sent 
by God to do a work in which He failed.
(D.L. Moody)

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May 15

"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels."
(Proverbs 1:5)

Always seek to go beyond yourself.

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another 
as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing; 
it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Weakness of attitude can become weakness of character.
(A Collection of Wise Sayings - R. Klassen)

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May 16

"Be still--and know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10)

As the darkest cloud, often bears the most fruitful shower--so the darkest circumstances, often usher in the choicest mercies. Only . . . yield yourself to God, Keep close to the loving heart of God, and submit to the will of God.

Then you will be able to . . .

Carry any cross,

Bear any trial, or

Endure any affliction!

Be silent, be calm, be still--the Lord rules as King forever!Do not complain--for it will displease the Lord.

Do not murmur--for it will grieve Him.

Do not fear--for it will dishonor Him.

Instead, be still--for your safety is provided for.

Be still--for your needs shall be supplied.

Be still--for all things shall work together for your good.

Be still--for God bids you, and all will end well.

(Comfort for Christains - R.L.)

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May 17

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

Faith is the only thing that gives God his proper place; and, as a consequence, is the only thing that lifts the soul completely above the influence of surrounding circumstances, be they what they may.
Faith brings in God, and, therefore, all is bright and easy.

Unbelief always shuts God out, and, therefore, all is dark and difficult.

The Christian should always be peaceful and happy - always able to praise God, come what may. His joys do not flow from himself, or from the scene through which he is passing; they flow from the living God, and they are beyond the reach of every earthly influence.

(Food for the Desert)

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May 18

"Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" (Romans 9:21)

The change we have been striving after is not to be produced by any more striving after. It has to be wrought upon us by the moulding of hands beyond our reach.

As the branch ascends, and the bud bursts, and the fruit reddens under the co-operation of influences from the outside air, so man rises to the higher stature under invisible pressures from without.

Our failure has been the failure to put ourselves in the way of the impressed forces.

There is a clay, and there is a Potter: we have tried to get the clay to mould the clay.

(A Thought for Every Day)

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May 19

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Hm, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?  And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
(Mark 4:37-39)

The Age-Long Minute

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
(Amy Carmichael)

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May 20

"Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place."
(2 Corinthians 2:14)

A young man went to an aged saint on one occasion and asked him to pray for him, saying, I find myself giving way to impatience continually.  Will you please pray for me that I may be more patient?  The old man agreed.  They knelt together and the man of God began to pray: "Lord, send this young man tribulation in the morning, send this young man tribulation in the afternoon . . ." 

The young man nudged him and said,
"No, no, not tribulation, patience!  
"But" said the old saint, "It is tribulation that worketh patience!  
 If you would know patience you must have tribulation."
If you would know victory, you must have conflict;

It is ridiculous for anybody to talk about having a victory when they have never been in a conflict.
You must be prepared to enter into the arena with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself -
He will give you lessons day by day.
But I warn you, you will have to be quite prepared to pay the price.
No one can enjoy victory without paying a price, even in the ordinary realms of life. 

It is only a crucified person that can have fellowship with a crucified Lord.
It was via Calvary that the Lord Jesus Christ came into His wonderful victory.
It is only via the Cross that you and I can come into the experience of that triumph.
If you want patience, then it is tribulation -
I you want victory, it must be conflict.
(W.J. Brown)

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May 21

"Joseph a counsellor . . . went unto Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down . . ."  (Luke 23:50-53)

It was the final few moments of the most dramatic scene heaven and earth had ever witnessed.
Wicked, evil hands had placed the Lord of glory upon a cross.
Now the loving, tender hands of Joseph would take Him down.
With worship in his heart, he carefully lowered Him from the place of public shame,
Gently removed the nails from His hands and feet,
And lovingly placed Him in his own new tomb.
Derision and persecution were Joseph's earthly lot for this act of worship,
But in the face of Calvary it was the least he could do.
What can we have for the Lord, as we come to Calvary today?
(Joseph M. Clegg)

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May 22

"Let not your heart be troubled."
(John 14:1)

The Great Unseen Reality Is God Himself

At the root of the Christian life lies belief in the invisible.  The object of the Christian's faith is unseen reality.

In the world of sense around us, the visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal.  That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam's race.

Our uncorrected thinking, influenced by the blindness of our natural hearts and the intrusive ubiquity (of visible things, tends to draw a contrast between the spiritual and the real; but actually no such contrast exists.  The antithesis lies elsewhere: between the real and the imaginary, between the spiritual and the material, between the temporal and the eternal; but between the spiritual and the real, never!  The spiritual is real.

If we would rise into that region of light and power plainly beckoning us through the Scriptures of truth we must break the evil habit of ignoring the spiritual.  We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen.

For the great unseen Reality is God!  "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."  This is basic in the life of faith.  From there we can rise to unlimited heights.

"Ye believe in God," said our Lord Jesus Christ, "believe also in Me."  Without the first, there can be no second.

God and the spiritual world are real.  We can reckon upon them with as much assurance as we reckon upon the familiar world around us!
(A.W. Tozer)

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May 23

"Little children, yet a little while I am with you.  Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you."
(John 13:33)

Never before had the Lord addressed the disciples as "little children." 
 It is a term, in the original language, expressive of compassionate endearment.
Thus, with tender solicitude, He broaches the subject of the coming parting.
Yet a little while He would be with them.
The Lord was going back to glory traveling by a road that none could follow.
Afterwards believers may follow, even by a martyr's death,
 but not death in the way the Lord would have to meet it -
As the penalty of sin.
That was a path of which the Lord could say,
"Whither I go, ye cannot come."
(Hamilton Smith)

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May 24

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(Romans 12:2)

The way to know the divine purposes about this present evil world, 
is not to be mixed up with it, in its schemes and speculations,
but to be entirely separated from it.
The more closely we walk with God,
and the more subject we are to His Word, 
the more we shall know of His mind about everything.

I do not need to study the newspaper in order to know what is going to happen in the world:
God's Word reveals all I want to know.
In its pure and sanctifying pages I learn all about the character, 
the course, and the destiny of the world;
whereas, if I go to the men of the world for news, 
I may expect that the devil will use them to cast dust in my eyes. . . .
It is plain that Sodom was not the place in which to learn about Sodom's end.
(C.H. Macintosh)

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May 25

"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 3:18)

"'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear / and grace my fears relieved" (John Newton).

It is the grace of God that prompts the right kind of fear and brings the right kind of peace.  The story of Newton is that of a man who cast doubt to the wind and held firm to the precious knowledge of the grace of Jesus Christ.

One of Newton's friends was William Cowper; in fact, Cowper was his music director.  Cowper was not imprisoned, nor did he imprison anyone, but he lived as a prisoner of his own mental torment in repeated bouts of depression.  His story reads like a roller-coaster ride to the Celestial City, more often in the Slough of Despond than in the Enchanted Grove.  Cowper's best-known hymn is "God moves in a Mysterious Way," in which one stanza reads,

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

If you  have struggled with some aspect of Christianity and still struggle, don't think you are alone.  Others have traveled the same road and have eventually found their way back to joy in their relationship with God.  My daughter says that God has the best GPS system.  He will bring you back onto the right road, like Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress.  God's grace along the way will teach you what to fear and what to embrace as you put your trust in Him to one day make it all plain to you.

Yes, fellow pilgrim, there are challenges to our belief.  Yes, there are dark nights of the soul.  Yes, there are questions that may haunt us until we see Jesus face-to-face.  But the light of Jesus Christ will carry you through and put your feet on the solid ground of truth and hope.  He has done it for others; He will do it for you.  And one day you will hear Him say to you, "Well done!  Well done!"  (Ravi Zacharias)

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May 26

"All power is given unto Me."
(Matthew 28:18)

"Behold, I give unto you power . . . over all the power of the enemy."
(Luke 1:19)

When there are great arrangements for carrying on work, 
there is not the recognition of this inherent blessing, which
"Tarrieth not for the sons of men."
I do not tarry for men if I have faith in God, and act upon the strength of that.
Let a man act as the Lord leads him.
The Spirit of God is not to be fettered by man.
All power arises from the direct authoritative energy of the Holy Ghost in the individual.
Uncompromising firmness becomes us, yet calmness, 
and nothing keeps the soul so calm as a sense of grace.
This is a sign of power, and moreover connected with humbleness . . .
A sense of nothingness, with the spirit of peace gives a power to surmount all things.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest)

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May 27

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."
(1 Thessalonians 5:9,10)

There are times when we worry about everything, even about our salvation.
It is the devil who tries to pull us away from God.
As soon as we look up at the cross, however, we see again that it is "not I, but Christ."
God sees us in Christ.
He can fulfill the law, and He did it when He died on the cross.
Out salvation lies in Him, so we need never doubt.
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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May 28

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
(Ephesians 6:1)

The Cowbird

There are a goodly number of cowbirds that visit our bird feeder. 
They are basically black (the males, that is) with a bronze, rather iridescent head. 
They tend to be bullies with the other birds, but here is the most interesting fact about them:
The females don't build nests - they lay their eggs in other bird's nests. 
The other bird, then sits on her eggs - plus the impostor egg(s), and,
Eventually they hatch.

The young cowbird is usually larger that the others, 
which leads to the demise of some of the other birds.
There is more about that issue that we could add and discuss, 
but for our purposes today let’s draw a parallel to our reality.
Our verse today mentions the schemes of the devil. 
Other ways of translating that would be, “deceit” or “trickery.” 
We are not ignorant of the devil’s trickery, yet, if we’re not careful we can fall prey to it.

Like the cowbird egg, Satan will “lay” a thought in our minds, and if we “incubate” it, 
it will bring harm when it hatches into an action. 
When we recognize a thought that we know will lead us astray, 
here’s what the Scriptures encourage us to do:
“Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Dear friend, (I speak first and foremost to myself), when those thoughts come, 
I must not “sit on them and warm them.” 
They are enemy thoughts; they are harmful thoughts; they are not Godly thoughts
They will bring a destructive result to my soul and to my fellowship with my God.
When you or I recognize such thoughts, let’s capture them, confess them to Christ as sinful, 
and then let Him focus our attention on wholesome, God-honoring things. 
We want that bad egg out of our nest!
(H.G - F.P.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4809

May 29

"And when He had sent the multitude away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone."
(Matthew 14:23)

“Think me not unkind or rude that I walk alone in grove and glen, 
I go to the God of the wood, to fetch His Word to men.” 

"It is in the intimacy of the counsels and the grace of God that man fortifies himself 
for the warfare from which he can not escape."  (JND)
If Jesus set aside time to go apart to pray and spend time alone with His Father, 
how much more needful is it for you and I to do the same.
(S.L. with thanks)

N.J. Hiebert - 4810

May 30

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father . . . comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work."
(2 Thessalonians 2:16,17)

The more one ministers Christ Himself the more you can count upon divine assistance.
To exalt Christ is to be in communion with the mind of God.
This will be our sole employment in heaven.
One lesson I am learning of late is our absolute dependence upon the power of God every time we speak;  It is not our liberty nor our words,
but it is the power of God that affects the souls to whom we speak.
A preacher will be so conscious that only divine power can touch a soul that he will rest in God about it.
(Edward Dennett) (1831-1914)

N.J. Hiebert - 4811 

May 31

"Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."
(Genesis 5:24)

Nothing peculiar ushered forth that glorious hour.
No big expectations or strange events gave token of its coming.
It was the natural, heavenly close of an undeviating heavenly journey.
(J.G. Bellett - 1795)

N.J. Hiebert - 4812  

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