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

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Gems from July 2012

July 1

"And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship."
(Acts 27:39)

The land was, to these weary, storm tossed voyagers, their haven of safety.  
But when the day came it was a place with which they were unfamiliar.  
Thinking they saw a way (the creek) to reach this unfamiliar land, they made a bad decision.
Unfamiliarity with Divine truth may cause the firm and sure footing which God seeks 
to bring the restored soul to, seem impossible to attain
 It may also result in having wrong thoughts about how to get to safety.  
It is familairity with the Lord's guiding voice that will bring you there.

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying,
This is the way, walk ye in it . . ." 
(Isaiah 30:21) 
"I [being] in the way, the LORD led me."
(Genesis 24:27)
(The Journey of Life - D.N.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4843   

July 2

"Be ye angry, and sin not."
(Ephesians 4:26,27)

Righteous anger is communion with God in His indignation against evil (Mark 3:5),
but even if anger produced in us by the Holy Ghost be nursed,
it will soon pass into a natural feeling, and thus we are told,
"Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath."
And then the injunction follows,
"Neither give place to the devil."
To cherish a feeling against any one is to give place to the devil.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4844

July 3

"So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
(Philippians 1:20)

Paul's great desire was that Christ should be magnified in his life and in his death.
To magnify means to make larger (as with a microscope), or 
bring nearer (as with a telescope).
How then can an infinite God be magnified through my body?
When my tongue esteems Him highly and extols Him
with all the glory and praise that He deserves.
When the love and appreciation for Him in my heart is so
evident that others see Jesus in me.
When in my outward actions the inward fruit of the Spirit becomes
a reality in my daily life.
Is Christ being magnified in my body?
(Milton Haack)

N.J. Hiebert - 4845

July 4

"We walk by faith and not by sight." 
(2 Corinthians 5:7)

"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." 
(1 John 3:2)

We are "here in the body pent," "Absent from the Lord."
Faith brings the heart into the power of divine and unseen things,
and thus enables it to mount above everything down here, in this place
"where death and darkness reign."
O, for that simple childlike faith that sits beside the pure and eternal fountain of truth,
there to drink those deep and refreshing draughts which lift up the fainting spirit 
and impart energy to the new man, in its upward and onward course!
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4846

July 5

"Let all those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee."
(Psalm 70:4)

That is not just a holy aspiration, its a command.
And He who commands enables.
Let all those who seek the Lord rejoice, today, every day.
Joy is to be the keynote of our lives.

He calls us then to make an act of faith every time we would naturally
be pulled down into the pit of joylessness,
for there is an end set to the sin and sorrow and
confusion of the world as well as to our own private trials.

We only see today.
He whom we worship sees tomorrow.
You will find the truest joy comes in utter self-forgetfulness -
what our Lord called the denial of self.

This is what He is working in you to create and maintain.
But He never forgets the cost.
"Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their 
corn and their wine increase." (Psalm 4:7)
May that joy flow over and wash away self in all its subtile forms and
give you that dearest of all graces, selflessness.
(Amy Carmichael - Candles in the Dark)

N.J. Hiebert - 4847

July 6

"God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God."
(1 Peter 5:5,6)

"Speak evil of no man."
(Titus 3:2)

Should anyone speak evil of his brother, ask him to answer these questions:
What good have you done your brother by spreading this tale against him?
What good have you done yourself, by this action?
What glory have you brought to God?
Our common enemy is the "accuser of the brethren:" don't assist him in his wicked work.
Consider your own frailties.
I will chide no other person in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.
"Let every man sweep the snow from before his own doors, 
and not busy himself with the frost on his neighbour's tiles,"says the Chinese proverb.
When a man is really gripped by a sense of his own sin as God sees it,
his pride tumbles in the dust, and he loses all desire for searching out the faults of others.
Guides warn tourists among the Swiss mountains not to speak as they pass certain points.
Even the reverberation of a whisper in the air 
may start a poised avalanche from its place on the crags.
Many an avalanche of sorrow has been brought down by a hasty word.
Beware!

Speak kindly: Crushing trials come
To every pilgrim here;
And earth, with all its tinseled show,
Is desolate and drear.

But kindly sympathizing words
Bring sunshine, peace, and rest:
Oh soothe the weary aching head,
And ease the throbbing breast.
(In Pastures Green)

N.J. Hiebert - 4848

July 7

"What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."
(John 13:7)

These words of our Lord, as we all know, refer to His washing the feet of His disciples.
Behind that lowly act a hidden meaning lay which should be made quite plain to them one day.
So when the work of redemption was accomplished, and Christ had taken His seat on high,
and the Holy Spirit had come down, many a mystery was made clear, 
and many a thing told out that could not be told before.
Many a dear child of God is walking in a rough and rugged road,
and passing through circumstances hard to understand.
He sees no reason why he should be dealt with thus.
With anxious heart he looks up and asks,
"Lord, why is it thus with me?"
And the answer is,
 "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." 
With this he must be satisfied, and wait with patience the clearing of the clouds.
(A.J. Pollock)

N.J. Hiebert - 4849

July 8

"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
````````````````````````````````````````````
If any mans' works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
(1 Corinthians 3:14,15)

Oh, what a difference it makes in the sorrows of this life, if, 
instead of looking at them as something against us,
we have fellowship with Christ in them!
Would you like to be snatched up with dying embers clinging to your feet, saved so as by fire
rather than make up your mind to suffer with Christ?
All who are laid on the foundation will be saved, but if walking inconsistently, it will be 
"so as by fire."
If walking consistently - receiving the reward.
(Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4850

July 9

"God said, Draw not nigh hither: put off they shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
(Exodus 3:5)

God's holiness demanded action by Moses before he could draw high - 
he had to remove his shoes.
Shoes reflect our own attempts to keep us separate from the world but we simply cannot approach God in the merit of our good works.
As we walk through life, stains of our past are ground into our souls.
Only the blood of Christ removes all guilt and cleanses the tormented soul.
To be used by God, we must stride out of our own will and step upon holy ground.
When Moses removed his shoes he learned the will of God for his life.
May we follow his example.
(Warren Henderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 4851   

July 10

"And Moses said unto God, 'Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?' "
 (Exodus 3:11) 

We might be disposed to think that the very moment the divine commission was given to Moses, 
his reply would be, Here am I, or, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?  
But no; he had yet to be brought to this.  
Doubtless, he was affected by the remembrance of his former failure.  
If a man acts in anything without God, he is sure to be discouraged, 
even when God is sending him. (Exodus 3:11). 

This is very unlike the man who, forty years before, 
"supposed that his brethren would have understood how that God by His hand would deliver them."  
Such is man! - at one time too hasty; at another time too slow.  

Moses had learnt a great deal since the day in which he smote the Egyptian.  
He had grown in the knowledge of himself, and this produced diffidence and timidity. 
But then he manifestly lacked confidence in God. 
If I am merely looking at myself, I shall do "nothing;" but if I am looking at Christ, "I can do all things."
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4852

July 11

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

Suppose your job was to be the personal assistant to the President of the United States or the King of some foreign land and your job was to be at his beck and call and to serve him in whatever way he desired.
Would you not do all that he asked?
The truth is, as Christ Ones, we are at the beck and call of the King of Glory!
“If we are really, and always, and equally ready to do whatsoever the King appoints, 
all the trials and vexations, arising from any change in His appointments, great or small, simply do not exist.  

If He appoints me to work there, shall I lament that I am not to work here?  
If He appoints me to wait indoors today, am I to be annoyed because I am not to work out of doors?  
If I meant to write His messages this morning, shall I grumble because He sends interrupting visitors, 
rich or poor, to whom I am to speak, or "show kindness" for His sake, 
or at least obey His command, 
"Be Courteous"?

(Selected)
"If all my members are really at His disposal, why should I be put out 
if today's appointment is some simple work for my hands or errand for my feet, 
instead of some seemingly more important doing of head or tongue?”  
(Francis Ridley Havergal - 1902) 

N.J. Hiebert - 4853

July 12

"This I know: for God is for me.
(Psalm 56:9)

I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know - God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late,
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought,
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own -
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest.
(Anon)

N.J. Hiebert - 4854

July 13

God's Wisdom: an endless fountain

"Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it:
but the instruction of fools is folly."
(Proverbs 16:22)

Wisdom is like a savings account: if you add to it consistently, 
then eventually you will have accumulated a great sum.  
The secret to success is consistency

Do you seek wisdom for yourself and for  your family?
Then you must keep learning, and you must keep motivating them to do likewise.
The ultimate source of wisdom, of course, is the Word of God.
When you study God's Word and live according to His commandments, 
you will accumulate wisdom day by day.

And finally with God's help, you'll have enough wisdom to keep and enough to share.
Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, 
hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always 
secretly afraid  that that we will miss the way.
This is a tragic waste of truth and never gives rest to the heart.
There is a better way.
It is to repudiate our own wisdom and take instead the infinite wisdom of God.
(A.W. Tozer)

Learning about God's truth is "head knowledge." and it is incomplete.
Learning and living in accordance with God's truth is 
"head-and-heart knowledge"
. . . and it is complete.

N.J. Hiebert - 4855

July 14

"Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; 
yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
(Isaiah 41:9-10) 

"Let God's promises shine on your problems."
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, 
you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. 
You sit still and trust the engineer.” 
(Corrie Ten Boom)

“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)
(Adapted - S.L)
N.J. Hiebert - 4856

July 15

"God had respect unto them."
(Exodus 2:25)

This statement can be translated, "and God knew."
The children of Israel may not, at this time, have had any reason to recognize this,
nor in their distress did many of them particularly care.
But all the while God was fully aware of every detail of their plight - 
An He was prepared to do something about it.
It is encouraging to know that our Father knows every need we have before we ask Him.

"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask."
(Matthew 6:8)

At just the right time He will provide His perfect solution to every problem.

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that 
we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in Us."
(Ephesians 3:20)
(Garry W. Seale)

N.J. Hiebert - 4857

July 16

"There we saw the giants."
(Numbers 13:33)

Yes, they saw the giants, but Caleb and Joshua saw God! 
Those who doubt say, "We be not able to go up." 
 Those who believe say, "Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able."
Giants stand for great difficulties; and giants are stalking every where.  
They are in our families, in our assemblies, 
in our social life, in our own hearts;
and we must overcome them or they will eat us up, as these men of old said of the giants of Canaan.
The men of faith said, "They are bread for us; we will eat them up."  
In other words, "We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome."
Now the fact is, unless we have the overcoming faith we shall be eaten up, 
consumed by the giants in our path.  
Let us have the spirit of faith that these men of faith had, and see God, 
and He will take care of the difficulties.  
(Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4858

July 17

"God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near . . ."
(Exodus 13:17)

WHY NOT? 
Because the people needed disciplining and moulding as a Nation.  
They would have been destroyed by way of Philsta, 
but by the way of the wilderness they were trained slowly for the great task at their jouney's end.  
God, who chose the route, also chose the leader.  
God, who disciplined the people, also disciplined the man who led them.  
History and experience seem to point to the fact, that 
God's line for us is not usually a straight line, but a winding zigzag path.
The round-about  way may be the nearest!
(Joseph Parker)

N.J. Hiebert - 4859

July 18

"This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left."
(Isaiah 30:21)

Over the Apennines there is a wonderful railroad - one passes through 43 tunnels in less than 70 miles - 
magnificent outlooks, but every few minutes, a tunnel!  
The road has been built to carry the traveler to his destination by the shortest way; 
any one getting off at the first station simply because he did not like tunnels,
and striking into the mountains to find another path, would be 
almost sure of being lost and starving to death.
Can we not believe the same thing of God's way? 
His way lies through tunnels - long ones often, but it is the best and safest road.  
And it is not all tunnels; in the region of the high rocks there are most glorious prospects! 
Places so full of beauty, and commanding such outlooks of love and mercy,
as ought to reconcile us to the intervals of darkness.
Be not afraid of the winding way if God turns you into it.
Travel the road He points out to you!
God brings men to His consummations only by His own road.
(Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4860

July 19

"The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hind's feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments." (That I may conquer by song.)
(Habakkuk 3:19) 

Turn your troubles into treasure,
Turn your sorrows into song;
Then all men will know the measure,
In which you to Christ belong.
When they see your bright behaviour
Under provocation great,
They may ask what mighty Saviour,
Can impart that happy state.

Paul and Silas in the prison,
With their feet fast in the stocks,
Praised their glorious Lord, arisen,
Till the earthquake rent the rocks.
There was none to join their singing,
So the earthquake roared "AMEN!"
And glad chains fell down a-ringing,
As their voices rang again!

O, then sing with us His praises
When there seems least cause to praise;
Faith the sweetest anthem raises
When the darkness hides God's ways;
He brings forth His "New creation"
Only there where ends "The old."
Let us praise Him for salvation,
When all feels most dead and cold.

My soul, keep up thy singing,
Turn thy sorrows into song.
(Arthur S. Booth-Clibborn)

N.J. Hiebert - 4861 

July 20

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16)

A light house at the opening of the harbour was bathed in light.  
Incredibly, none of it shone outward towards the ships that sailed nearby.
Instead, floodlights circled the building,
illuminating its own structure while the powerful beacon atop its perch was dark.
Just like the lighthouse, there's a danger of shining the light on ourselves.
We are to shine forth the glorious Gospel of Christ to the world around us.
We don't promote ourselves, our good works, or personal performance, 
but rather we let our lights shine so that others might see it and glorify our heavenly Father.
(Jerry Proctor)

N.J. Hiebert - 4862

July 21

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
(John 11:25)

Thinking outside the box means reaching beyond our familiarity with a subject to a new understanding.
When Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus had died, Martha believed He was too late.
Her understanding of the Lord was limited by her familiarity with Him from past experiences.
The Lord desired to show Martha that He is much more than a healer, He is
"The resurrection and the life."
To prove His claim, He raised Lazarus from the dead.
What deeper understanding of Himself is the Lord longing to reveal to you?
(C. Oriold)

N.J. Hiebert - 4863 

July 22

"He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."
(Romans 4:25)

To see Jesus, by the eye of faith, nailed to the cross, and seated on the throne, 
must give solid peace to the conscience and perfect liberty to the heart.
We can look into the tomb, and see it empty;
We can look up to the throne, and see it occupied, 
and go on our way rejoicing.
The Lord Jesus settled everything on the cross on behalf of His people.
The proof of this settlement is that He is now at the right hand of God.
A risen Christ is the eternal proof of an accomplished redemption.
If redemption is an accomplished fact, the believer's peace is a settled reality.
(C.H Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4864

July 23

"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God 
ABIDETH forever."
(1 John 2:17)

We are not perfect (indeed, none of us is as perfect here as he might be); but we have the privilege, 
that though we have the flesh in us, we are not obliged to live and walk after it, or even to think of it.
"The word of God abideth in you," not for you to fly to it when temptation comes.
We are to keep Satan out, to have the door barred against him.
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

A woman may be alone in a house, and a robber be attempting to break in.
If the door is shut she is not in danger. 
As long as she keeps the door shut she need not fear robbers.
The question is not as regards her own weakness,
but the strength of the door
So we are to be dwelling in the Word to keep out Satan.
Having Christ between us and Satan we are safe, whatever his artifices.
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4865

July 24

"Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
(Matthew 18:21,22)

Peter did not seem to think that he was in danger of falling into sin; 
his question was,
How often should I forgive my brother? 
But very soon we hear that Peter has fallen.
I can imagine that when he did fall, 
the sweet thought came to him of what the Master had said.
The voice of sin may be loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder.
(D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 4866

July 25

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
(2 Corinthians 8:9)

Grace meets the needy one just where he is, and as he is.
Divine grace delights in making provision for those who are "not able"
to make provision for themselves.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 4867

July 26

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable."
(Psalm 145:3)

We serve a God who is great, far beyond our comprehension.
His judgments - "unsearchable!" (Romans 11:33)
His ways - "past finding out!" (Romans 11:33)
His love - "passes knowledge!" (Ephesians 3:19)
His peace - "surpasses all understanding!" (Philippines 4:7)
His joy - "unspeakable!" (1 Peter 1:8)
And His gift - "unspeakable" (indescribable) (2 Corinthians 9:15
(Rex Trogdon)

N.J. Hiebert - 4868

July 27

". . . lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ."
(Galatians 6.11-13)

Living for God in this world may mean that we have to face discomfort, danger, or even death. 
We naturally recoil from these things, but God assures us of reward on a coming day (Matthew 25:21)
Are we faithful? What are we willing to endure? What reward will we enter into?
"Persecution for the cross of Christ" (v.12) is what the false teachers were avoiding. 

Believers should expect persecution from the world that crucified their Lord! 
"Christian" is used three times in the Bible (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16)
Such a name may have been devised in mockery, but 
"From the second century onward the term was accepted by believers as a title of honour" (Vine).

Peter never forgot his denials and his failure to suffer for the Lord Jesus. 
His first epistle is full of encouragement for suffering saints.
"If any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed; let him glorify God" (1 Peter 4:16).
Do you feel hurt, rejected, or forsaken?
Are you facing some kind of den of lions or fiery furnace today? 

God said, "I have surely seen . . . I know . . . I am come down" (Exodus 3:7-8). 
The Lord knew about conditions in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)
Suffering is only for a season.
The Righteous Judge is looking on. 
Why should we suffer
Why should we not?
(Submitted by a reader)
  
  Now, Faithful, play the Man, speak for thy God;
    Fear not the Wicked's malice, nor their rod:
    Speak boldly, man, the Truth is on thy side;
    Die for it, and to Life in triumph ride.
    (John Bunyan).

N.J. Hiebert - 4869

July 28

He's Helping Me Now

"A very present help."
(Psalm 46:1)

He's helping me now - this moment, though I may not see it or hear,
Perhaps by a friend far distant, perhaps by a stranger near;
Perhaps by a spoken message, perhaps by the printed word;
In ways that I know and know not I have the help of the Lord.
He's keeping me now - this moment, however I need it most,
Perhaps by a single angel, perhaps by a mighty host;
Perhaps by the chain that frets me, or the walls that shut me in:
In ways that I know and know not He keeps me from harm and sin.

He's guiding me now - this moment, In pathways easy or hard;
Perhaps by a door wide open, perhaps by a door fast barred;
Perhaps by a joy with-holden, perhaps by a gladness given;
In ways that I know and know not He's leading me up to Heaven.
He's using me now this moment, and whether I go or stand,
Perhaps by a plan accomplished, perhaps when He stays my hand;
Perhaps by a word in season, perhaps by a silent prayer;
In ways that I know and know not His labour of love I share.
(Annie Johnson Flint)
N.J. Hiebert - 4870

July 29

"For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.  Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in the earth, in the seas, and all deep places."
(Psalm 135:5,6)  

Unbelief may ofttimes suggest the inquiry, WHY IS IT THUS?  God knows why; and He will, 
without doubt, reveal the why, whenever the revelation would promote His gory and His people's good.  
How often do we feel disposed to question as to the "WHY" and 
the "WHEREFORE" of our being placed in such and such circumstances!  
How often do we perplex ourselves as to the reason of our being exposed to such and such trials!  
How much better to bow our heads in meek subjection, and say, "It is well," and "it shall be well"!  
When God fixes our position for us, we may rest assured it is a wise and salutary one; 
and even when we foolishly and willfully choose a position for ourselves,  
He most graciously overrules our folly, 
and causes the influences of our self-chosen circumstances 
to work for our spiritual benefit.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4871

July 30

"And they did all eat, and were filled . . . they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him." (Matthew 14:20,33)

This chapter tells of 5000 hungry men, plus women and children, who were fed to the full, at no charge.
They went away satisfied, yet without so much as a recorded "thank you."
This chapter also speaks of some distressed men in a storm-tossed boat.
They saw One who walked on the raging sea, and whose divine power stilled the wind.
They worshipped, giving Him glory.
Are we thankful for His sustenance day by day?
Sometimes we need storms so that we can realize how important He is in every aspect of our lives.
Then we will thank and worship Him anew.
(Doug Kazen)
 
N.J. Hiebert - 4872

July 31 

"And they did all eat, and were filled . . . they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him."
(Matthew 14:20,33)

This chapter tells of 5000 hungry men, plus women and children, who were fed to the full, at no charge.
They went away satisfied, yet without so much as a recorded "thank you."
This chapter also speaks of some distressed men in a storm-tossed boat.
They saw One who walked on the raging sea, and whose divine power stilled the wind.
They worshipped, giving Him glory.
Are we thankful for His sustenance day by day?
Sometimes we need storms so that we can realize how important He is in every aspect of our lives.
Then we will thank and worship Him anew.
(Doug Kazen)

N.J. Hiebert - 4873

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