Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5500 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gems from August 2012

August 1

"Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, 
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your 
body, what ye shall put on.  
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, 
neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;  
 yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. 
Are ye not much better than they? 
Which of you by taking thought 
can add one cubit unto his stature."  
(Matthew 6:25-27) 

What if it's possible to use life's resistances to build character,
hope, and even faith? I believe it's quite possible. Yet even so,
as it is in weight lifting, a weight is only beneficial to the body
when it is lifted and released.
Muscles grow during times of rest; to never release a weight
would forfeit the benefits of weight lifting and only make way
for serious injury.
When it comes to worrying, it might resemble a person lugging 
around a barbell, stubbornly refusing to set it down for whatever 
reason or benefit they think they hold by perpetually carrying it.  

Worrying is something like picking up the weight that Jesus
has removed and deciding to carry it around again anyway,
causing injury with your refusal to set it down. If it is truly
"for freedom that Christ has set us free," we can truly stand firm,
not letting ourselves be burdened again by the slavery of worry.

What if we can approach life's worries with the thought of building
hope and even faith, growing closer to the God who lifts the burden?
What if it is a matter of letting go, setting the weight we would carry
again and again before the Cross? What if the only benefit of worry
comes in lifting it up and setting it before the God who will hold it?

Of course, I realize this is easier to say than it is to do. But perhaps
it is a reminder akin to Jesus pausing in the middle of his weighty
sermon and smoothing out the wrinkles on our foreheads. Over
each weight and worry, he repeats the resounding benefit:  
I will give you rest.
(A Slice of infinity)

N.J. Hiebert - 4874

August 2

"Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."
(Proverbs 4:7)

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding."
(Proverbs 9:10)

". . . Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
(Colossians 2:2-3)

"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.  
To know is not to be wise. 
Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it.
There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool.
But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom." 
(Charles Spurgeon)

N.J. Hiebert - 4875

August 3

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven." 
(Matthew 18:4) 

Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted into my bosom, under my coat. I cannot quite express to you, the feeling which filled my heart at that moment--that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for refuge, trusting me in time of danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled as quietly and confidently under my coat, as a baby would in a mother's bosom. I carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again, but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety in time of danger, or in time of distress. 

All this helps me to understand better what it means to Jesus when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain--fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.

That is all we need to do--just to creep into the bosom of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.
(Daily Devotions - R.L. - J.R. Miller)

The lines of Wesley's old hymn have meant more ever since:

"Jesus, lover of my soul,
 Let me to Thy bosom fly,
 While the nearer waters roll,
 While the tempest still is high.

 Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
 Till the storm of life is past;
 Safe into the haven guide;
 Oh, receive my soul at last.

 Other refuge have I none,
 Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
 Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
 Still support and comfort me.

 All my trust on Thee is stayed,
 All my help from Thee I bring;
 Cover my defenseless head
 With the shadow of Thy wing."

N.J. Hiebert - 4876

August 4

Fellowship in Following

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be."
(John 12:26)

The two discouraged disciples on the way to Emmaus did not realize that the One who walked with them was the crucified and risen Lord of Glory - but what heart-burning fellowship they enjoyed as He unfolded the Scriptures concerning Himself.  
What a wonderful promise for those who follow the blessed Saviour! 
Not only are we following the only One who can be fully and completely trusted for time and eternity, but as we follow we do so in sweet fellowship with Himself!
(TCS - December 2008)

N.J. Hiebert - 4877

August 5

"When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?"*
(Job 34:29)

My Quietness

O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
Confusions multiplied;
From crowding things of sense I flee, and in Thee hide.
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord, and bless with peace.
(Any Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4878

August 6

"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name."
(Malachi 3:16) 

With one last night together, 
They knew not what would be,
But Jesus had one final word:
"This do Remember Me!"
(K.H. McIlwain) 

 God remembered Noah through the flood.
God also remembered Abraham when He rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
God remembered Rachael and Hannah and gave them Joseph and Samuel.
But the Lord does not remember our sins! (Hebrews 10:17).
Our names are written in the Lamb's book of life (Revelation 21:27).
Now the Lord Jesus has asked us to remember Him (1 Corinthians 11:24,25).
Can we do any less?
(K.C. Ung)   

N.J. Hiebert - 4879

August 7

"I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."
(Job 23:12)

"I love Thy commandments above gold. Mine eyes prevent the night watches that I might meditate in Thy Word."
(Psalm 119:127, 148)

Food, money and sleep are a necessary part of our every day life.
Each is required in order for us to function properly.
Yet the Psalmist and Job declare that the Word of God has a higher priority than these basic necessities.
May we set our sights on what will help us grow spiritually - 
the words of His mouth.
(Bob Cretney)

I will read God's Word every day; I will see what the Scriptures say;
I will memorize it too, for I know God's Word is true.
(Mildred L. Dilion) 

N.J. Hiebert - 4880

August 8

Deliverance: Saved From the World's Nervous Scramble

"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." 
(Hebrews 10:36) 

Christians have often been accused of being reactionary because they cannot show any enthusiasm for the latest scheme that someone thinks up to bring in the millennium.
A true Christian's firsthand acquaintance with God saves him from the nervous scramble in which the world is engaged and which is popularly touted as progress.

A real Christian is an odd number anyway.
He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen,
talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see,
expects to go to heaven in the virtue of Another,
empties himself in order to be full
admits he is wrong so he can be declared right,
goes down in order to get up,
Is strongest when he is weakest,
richest when he is poorest,
and happiest when he feels worst!
He dies so he can live,
gives away so he can keep,
sees the invisible,
hears the inaudible and knows that which passes knowledge.  

The man who has met God is not looking for something - HE HAS FOUND IT.
He is not searching for light - UPON HIM THE LIGHT HAS ALREADY SHINED!
His religion is not hearsay.
He is not a copy, not a facsimile print:
He is an original from the hand of the Holy Spirit!
He may hear the tin whistle starting every new parade, but he will be cautious.
He is waiting for a trumpet note that will call him away from the hurly-burly and set in motion a series of events that will result at last in a new heaven and a new earth.
He can afford to wait!
(A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

N.J. Hiebert - 4881

August 9

"Unto Him that loved us . . . be glory and dominion for ever and ever." (Revelation 1:5,6)

Any one can rejoice in the Lord when the Lord gives him what he likes.
"Bless the Lord at all times:"
That is the testing point.
"In everything give thanks."
Are your voices tuned to praise with Christ?
He is gone from the wrath and darkness of the cross into the light and love of 
His Father's presence, and is praising.
Can you praise with Him?
There all trembling disappears . . .
Oh, . . . how those who seek Him lag behind His heart . . .
If you seek Him, His word warrants that you shall praise Him.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest)

N.J. Hiebert - 4882

August 10

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
(Hebrews 3:13)

You who are God's children, are you only occupied with yourselves, 
rejoicing in what the Lord did for you?
Or are you concerned about the many,
 just within reach, who do not know Jesus yet?
Perhaps you feel inadequate as to how to tell them of the great love of Jesus for them.
Just ask the Lord to let the Holy Spirit show you the needs of those around you.
He will give you the opportunities and the right words to speak to them of Him. 
(Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's) 

N.J. Hiebert - 4883

August 11

"After He had washed their feet . . . He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord . . . for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet."
(John 13:12-14)

Having finished this service and resumed His seat at the table, 
the Lord gives us further instruction as to the service of feet-washing.  
While essentially His own service, yet it is one that He often carries out through  the meditations of others. 
Thus we are put under the obligation, and given the privilege, of washing one another's feet. 
A blessed service, carried out, not by seeking to correct one another (however necessary at times), still less by finding fault with one another, but by ministering Christ to one another, for only a ministry of Christ will bring refreshment to a wearied soul.  
Years after the scene in the upper room the Apostle Paul will tell us that one of the qualifications of a godly widow is that she has washed the feet of saints (1 Timothy 5:10).  
This surely does not imply that she was simply a rebuker of evil, or a corrector of faults, but rather that she refreshed the drooping spirits of the saints by coming from Christ with a ministry of Christ.  
(Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 4884

August 12

"My spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate."
(Psalm 143:4)

"For Thou shalt deal bountifully with me."
(Psalm 142:7)

It's bad enough when others cannot relate to our problems,
but it is even worse when we, personally, are totally baffled by circumstances.
The hero David could fell a giant, but he now lies prostrate in a valley of despair.
If you feel that way, try doing what David did.
Write down your feelings and speak to the Lord.
At a later date, read what you wrote,
and you will find that the Lord understood,
dealt bountifully with you, and brought you through.
(Choice Gleanings - B. Russell)

So we'll follow wherever He leadeth, let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.

N.J. Hiebert - 4885 

August 13

Caring People 

"Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping,  . . . He groaned in the spirit and was troubled."
(John 11:33)

People who are hurting, sorrowing, or experiencing great disappointment are encouraged when they sense that somebody cares deeply for them.

Recently I observed a young doctor as he broke the news to a woman and her daughters that her husband and their father was beyond medical help.  He showed such tenderness and compassion that the family was comforted and strengthened even though he had to share bad news with them.

Jesus communicated even greater caring for people.  That's one reason I love the story about how He responded to the death of His friend Lazarus.  We read that when He saw Mary and Martha and the Jews who were with them  grieving, He "groaned in the spirit and was troubled."  Then we read that "Jews wept."  This shows that before calling Lazarus from the grave He truly cared for the grieving loved ones.  And we can be sure that He also cares for us when we suffer grief or pain.

Of course, we do not possess the power to call people back from death as Jesus did, but we can care.  We can care enough to pray for the hurts and griefs of others.  We can care enough to send a card or letter.  We can care enough to make a visit if it is feasible.  We can care enough to offer help if it is needed and if it is the kind of thing we can do.

True followers of Jesus are caring people.  (H.V.L)

A caring heart, a listening ear,
A thoughtful word, a gentle  tear -
These help to lift the heavy load 
Of hurting people on life's road.

A Christian will care for a world in despair.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1998), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 4886

August 14

"My soul thirsteth for God."
(Psalm 42:2)

The presence of God settles everything even in every-day life.
We have cares;
Take them to God, and how they are changed in a moment.
You never come out of God's presence as you go in.
You see things in their true character.
(E.P. Corrin)

N.J. Hiebert - 4887

August 15

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
(Job 1:1) 

The Bible calls Job a perfect man  [blameless] "and upright" Job 1:1). 
 How could he earn such a description if he had not yet been 
subjected to the tests necessary for perfection?  

In His wisdom, God allowed the test not only to shape Job but also to give to us 
who come after him an example of how an upright person works 
his way through pain and hurt.  

Job already had an upright character, but through his struggles we observe how
an upright person behaves in the midst of tragedy.  
That's how the work of God gets displayed.

Perfection, then, is not a change in the essential character but the completion of a course.  
This is precisely what Jesus must have meant when he admonished both his disciples and 
us to "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" 
(Matthew 5:48).  

We can never be who God is, but we can complete the task He assigns us to do
Jesus demonstrated that the best way to reach God's desired end is always 
to obey the will of the Father, even when He seems distant.
(The Grand Weaver - R Zacharias)

N.J. Hiebert - 4888

August 16

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

It is said of the late Billy Sunday that when he was converted . . . 
a Christian man put his arm on the boy's shoulder and said, 
"William, there are three simple rules I can give you, and if you will hold to them, 
you will never write "backslider" after your name: 
 Take fifteen minutes a day to listen to God talking to you (meaning the study of His Word); 
take fifteen minutes a day to talk to God; 
take fifteen minutes each day to talk to others about God."
Billy Sunday was deeply impressed and determined
to make these the rules of his life.

From that day he made it a rule to spend the first moments
of each day alone with God and His Word.
Before he read a letter, looked at a paper, or even read a telegram,
he went to the Bible so that the first impress of the 
day might be that which he received from God.
Among students years ago this motto was used:
(Mountain Trailways for youth)

N.J. Hiebert - 4889

August 17

"How much owest thou unto my Lord?"
(Luke 16:5)

I have wondered a little at being told by an experienced worker, 
that in many cases the voice seems the last and hardest thing to yield entirely to the King;
and that many who think and say they have consecrated all to the Lord and his service, revolt 
when it comes to be a question whether they shall sing always, only, for their King.
They do not mind singing a few general sacred songs, but they do not see 
their way to really singing always and only unto and for Him.
They want to bargain and balance a little.

They question and argue about what proportion they may keep for self-pleasing and 
company-pleasing, and how much they must give up; and who will and won't like it; and
what they really must sing, and what they must really not sing at certain times and places; 
and what won't do, and what they can't very well help, and so on.

And so when the question, "How much owest thou unto my Lord?"
is applied to this particularly pleasant gift, it is not met with the loyal,
free-hearted, happy response,
"All!  yes all for Jesus!"
(Frances Ridley Havergal - Kept for the Master's Use)

N.J. Hiebert - 4890

August 18

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything  by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
(Philippians 4:6)

He would have us, in the intimacy of His love, 
to be without reserve before Him - all told out, nothing kept back.
Our danger never lies in telling Him too much, but just in the opposite direction.
He loves to hear the cry of His children, for he well knows that it is the expression of their confidence in Him.
It may be, as it often is, a foolish cry, but still it is the cry of His own children, and He never wearies of listening to it.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4891

August 19

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

". . . reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:11)

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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 12:1-2)   

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.  Aim at earth and you get neither." (C.S. Lewis) 

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” 
 (Charles Wesley)

N.J. Hiebert - 4892

August 20

"And He said unto them, which of you shall have a friend, 
and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loves; 
For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?  
And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, 
and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.  I say unto you,
Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity
he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."  
(Luke 11:5-8)

"Pray without ceasing."  
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
"I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
(1 Timothy 2:8)
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 
(James 5:16) 

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”  (C.H. Spurgeon)
In 1953, a new business was started called Rocket Chemical Company. 
Its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. 
It took them 40 attempts to perfect their first formula. 
The original secret formula for WD-40, which stands for Water Displacement, is still in use today. 
You probably have some in your garage. The main ingredient of the secret formula was persistence!
“I live in the spirit of prayer. 
I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. 
And the answers are always coming.
Thousands and tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered. 
When once I am persuaded that a thing is right and for the glory of God, 
I go on praying for it until the answer comes.”  
(George Muller)
Jesus told us we ought to pray in a persistent, importunate manner. 
So when you do so you are doing exactly what He asked you to do. (Meditations - S.L.)
N.J. Hiebert - 4893
August 21

"Who is like unto the Lord our God, who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on earth?" 
(Psalm 113:5-6)

He governs the universe, and yet He can occupy Himself 
with the provision of a covering for one of His creatures.
He guides the angel's flight
and takes notice of a crawling worm.
He humbles Himself to regulate the movements of those countless orbs
that roll through infinite space,
and to record the fall of a sparrow.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4894

August 22

"Be patient therefore, brethren, 
unto the coming of the Lord. . . . 
The coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
(James 5:7,8)

It is very blessed to see the different thoughts the mind of Christ has, 
in different epistles, in connection with His coming.

1. In Ephesians 5:27, He presents to Himself a glorious Church, 
without sport or wrinkle, as His bride.
2. In Philippians 3:21, poor things groaning in vile bodies  - He will work in them, 
and change the body of humiliation into a glorious body.
3. In Colossians 3:3-4, life hid in Him, to be manifested with Him in glory.  
In a little while, He who is your life shall come forth, and you with Him.
4. In 1 John 3:2, the relationship, formed by Christ, of sons to the Father, 
and He will treat them as sons, they shall behold Him and be like Him,
 He will show Himself to them as He is.
(G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4895

August 23

"Pray without ceasing."
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)

The Christian is enjoined to pray without ceasing, 
not that he can always be engaged in the positive act, 
but he ought to have what I call a holy aptitude for prayer.  
The bird is not always on the wing, but he is ready to fly in an instant;
so the believer is not always on the wing of prayer, 
but he has such a gracious aptitude for this 
exercise that he is prepared in an instant, 
when in danger or need, to fly for refuge to his God.
(R. Hill)

Prayer may become a habit as natural and as constant almost as breathing.
We may accustom ourselves to be be constantly breathing 
out prayer and praise to our Father in heaven.
We can have many little talks with Jesus along the way,
and when we do the more distinct time of prayer will be all the more a time
of sweetest fellowship with Him, and of richest blessing from Him.
Our God is never far away,
therefore our fellowship with Him should be constant, full and free.
There should never be a moment when we could not pray.
"Men ought always to pray and not to faint." 
(Luke 18:1) 

N.J. Hiebert - 4896

August 24

"But let patience have her perfect work, 
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
(James 1:4)

There is a God above all adverse circumstances and undesirable influences.
And our path for power is in letting patience have its perfect work .
Trust Him.
He has power to work where we least expect it.
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4897 

August 25

"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, 
and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: 
and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment."
(John 12:3)

The story of Mary breaking her pot of ointment made me think of some among us 
who love their Saviour and yet have not broken theirs.
Something is held back, and so there is no our-pouring of that love,
no fragrance in the house.
It is shut up, not given.  
The days are passing so quickly.
Soon it will be too late to pour all we have on His feet.
How sorry Mary would have been if she had missed her opportunity that evening - 
an opportunity that would never come again:
"Me ye have not always" (John 12:8).
Soon He was among His foes.
She could not have reached Him then.
(Edges of His ways -Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4898

August 26

"For the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, ye are a stiff-necked people:
I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee; therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee . . ."
(Exodus 33:5)

It is only when we are really stripped of all nature's ornaments that God can deal with us.
A naked sinner can be clothed; but a sinner decked with ornaments must be stripped.
That is always true.
We must be stripped of all that pertains to self before we 
can be clothed with that which pertains to God.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 4899

August 27

"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."
(Proverbs 24:10)

It is in the hour of trial that manifests whatever strength one really has.
To faint, or become disheartened then, 
is to show that one has not been truly counting upon God for deliverance.
The hour of trial and opposition will only find the trusting soul more confident still, 
for he knows where the source of all power is to found.
(H.A. Ironside - Notes on Proverbs)

N.J. Hiebert - 4900

August 28

"Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
(Hebrews 8:12)

There are few even among believers in Christ who have no regrets about the past;
and the things which cause them the deepest anguish of all, 
are the sins and failures which have blotted their lives since they were converted to God.
On the authority of His word they know that He has forgiven them, 
but they cannot forgive themselves.
They are aware that the finished work of the Redeemer has cancelled their guilt;
and that since, with deep contrition of heart,
they have confessed it in the presence of God,
He has cast it into the sea of His forgetfulness.
But the devil keeps taunting them with some of these post-conversion failures,
and by so doing cripples their power and destroys their peace.
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 4901

August 29

"They laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian . . .  and on him they laid the cross, That he might bear it after Jesus."
(Luke 23:26)

I saw one hanging on a tree, in agonies and blood,
Who fix'd His languid eyes on me, as near His Cross I stood.
My conscience felt and own'd the guilt, and plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His blood had spilt, and help'd to nail Him there.
(John Newton)

Simon was honoured to be the first cross-bearer for Christ.
Jesus exhorts all His disciples to 
"take up His cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24)
To take up the cross is to deny self and reckon,  
"I have died with Christ."
The crown-wearers in heaven were once cross-bearers down here.
Like Simon, the duration for bearing the cross is very brief, compared with the eternal benefits.
Remember His cross today and then take it up.
(Milton Haack)

N.J. Hiebert - 4902

August 30

Reflecting His Glory

"The skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him."
 (Exodus 34.29-35)

Moses had been in God's presence for 40 days and 40 nights, 
receiving the Law and the Commandments. 
As he came down from the mountain, back to the camp, "the skin of his face shone"
He was radiating the glory of God, having spent time in His presence. 
He did not seem to be aware of it himself. 
It was only when Aaron and the others saw him 
and were afraid, that he realized.
He had no sense of self-importance or self-righteousness 
at having spent time with God. 
He was simply different because he had been alone with God, getting to know Him
In fact Exodus 33.11 tells us that God spoke to him "as a man speaketh unto his friend".
When people meet us, can they tell that we have been with God?
Have we spent time in His presence, speaking to Him, 
and having Him speak to us through His Word? 
Does our relationship with God affect every area of life? 
If so, it may be that as others look at us they will see a little of 
His glory reflected in our lives.
(Adapted - R.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4903

August 31

"Remember them which have the rule (leadership) over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God:whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."
(Hebrews 13:7)

At a funeral service in 1742, two men remembered as giants of the faith stood beside their mother's grave. John Wesley conducted the services; his brother Charles wrote the epitaph for the tombstone. In part, it read:

A Christian here her flesh laid down,
the cross exchanging for a crown.
True daughter of affliction, she,
inured to pain and misery...

The Father then revealed his Son;
him in the broken bread made known;
She knew and felt her sins forgiven,
and found the earnest of her heaven.

Susanna Wesley was a woman her husband called the best of mothers. Hopeful that her children would come to know and love the Christ she loved, Susanna reserved a specific day and time each week to sit and discuss matters of God and things on their hearts. The time spent together was cherished by all, such that many continued the discussions with their mother well into adulthood through letter-writing. Once asking his mother for a definition of sin, John Wesley received a response fit for the theology books he was writing. "Take this rule," she wrote to John. "Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things...that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
 Having an opportunity for education available to few women of her time, as a young woman Susanna seized the occasion. And she continued to seize occasions to learn and teach others. While her husband was away preaching, Susanna adopted the practice of reading sermons from the library aloud to her family. Word of the weekly meetings held in her kitchen quickly spread, until over two hundred were gathering regularly, and the parsonage could hardly contain those who came to hear.   It was in such a setting that John, who would become a fervent preacher, and Charles, who would become a great hymnist, were raised.     

Though her life was marked by a determined pursuit of God, it was also marked with hardship. Nine of the 19 children born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley died in infancy. Two different times their home was destroyed by fire, one time nearly taking John's life. They also lived in severe poverty. Yet her determined faith was one she insisted on sharing, and perhaps for this reason there was not a greater force upon eighteenth-century England than her children.  

Shortly before she died, Susanna had a long talk with John in which she described her greatest struggle in faith. For years, she admitted, she labored with doubt and confusion in regards to her salvation. She had scarcely ever heard, or so believed, that forgiveness of sins was something offered in the present. Yet, she described finding herself one day suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of peace in God's love for her and forgiveness of everything else. In his journal John recounts her description of that moment.  "Said she, '[T]wo or three weeks ago, while my son Hall was pronouncing those words, in delivering the cup to me, 'The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee,' the words struck through my heart and I knew God for Christ's sake had forgiven me all my sins.'"

Charles alludes to his mother's experience with Christ in the last lines of the epitaph marking her grave. In the broken bread, the Father revealed his Son to Susanna Wesley: And she knew and felt her sins forgiven, and found the earnest of her heaven. In the cup of faith and broken bread, the love of God was unobscured, handed to her literally. The same gift of God's assuring touch is something we can hold today.  (A Slice of Infinity)

N.J. Hiebert - 4904


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home