Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5330 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Gems from May 2013

"Search the Scriptures."
(John 5:39)

Although the Bible differs from other books in that,
to master its deeper secrets, you must personally know its Author,
it resembles other books in that, to be understood it must be studied,
to be know it must be read.
(The Wonderful Word)

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April 30

"He took a child, and set him in the midst."
(Mark 9:36)
"He . . . took a towel, and girded Himself."
(John 13:4)
"He took bread, and . . . break it."
(Luke 22:19)

He made nothing of Himself, took on a servant's form;
Found in likeness as a man, on the cross He died forlorn.
(S. Peterson)

Humility marked our Lord Jesus.
He took a child to illustrate the humble attitude necessary to be His disciple.
He took a towel and washed His disciples' feet, to teach them humility in service.
He took bread and broke it to symbolize His humility in salvation.
He humbled Himself when He condescended from heaven's glories to a manger in Bethlehem.
But His ultimate humility, was in dying on a cross at Calvary for His enemies.
(Milton Haack)

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May 1

The Lord Looked upon Peter

"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly." 
(Luke 22:61-62)

Deep are the wounds of many lives that have been abused, neglected, unloved, 
and forgotten by those closest to them. 
How needful it is for Christians to come alongside those who are starving for acceptance and understanding. 
The Good Samaritan, when he saw the beaten and needy stranger beside the road, went where he was and not only ministered to his wounds but found a place for him to stay. 
He told the owner to tend to any of his needs and he would pay for the service. 
What's so significant? 
The Good Samaritan identified with the stranger in his need. 
How we need to do the same. 
Whether people are in destitute conditions or in disarming circumstances, they need someone to come alongside them and identify with them, seek to minister to their needs, encourage and pray with them. 
Our testimony is not established "in the church," but out in the byways of life where we encounter people with broken hearts, facing adversities and trials that are tearing their lives apart. 
We need to manifest the "love of God" to them and put our compassion and faith into action, 
showing a cynical, unbelieving world the reality of a Christ-centered life. 
It is then that their lives will be impacted with the Gospel and the walls of defiance and unbelief will crumble. 
What the world "sees" in your life means much more than what you "say" with your lips. 
Demonstrate His grace, mercy, and love by the life you live and the compassion of your heart! 
"And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered."
(Adapted)

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May 2

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart…'
(Jeremiah 15:16)
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” 
(John 5:30)
“… they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, …”
 (Acts 17:11)
"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer  . . ."
(Acts 6:4)

Sometimes when we are ill we don't like eating,
yet the doctor' advice is that we should eat something,
even when we don't feel like it, in order to keep our strength.
This is also true in spiritual things,
especially when it comes to reading the Word of God and praying.

“It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word (Bible) 
and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; 
as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, 
and as if it were of no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer; 
while the truth is in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, 
and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying; 
for the less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it
and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.”  
(George Muller - S.L.)

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May 3

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance."
(Ephesians 1:11)

The phrase "in whom" means in Christ and is used many times in the New Testament.
This reference has to do with an inheritance.
Christ is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2), and we are "joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).
Imagine that!
Sinners that we were, and yet, sharing an inheritance with Him.
Yet more amazing is that we are said to be "His inheritance" (verse 18).
Finally Paul says that we are "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (verse 23). 
Every time God saves a lost sinner He takes a nobody and makes them a somebody.
(Harold G. Smith)

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May 4

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you."
(Isaiah 66:13)

We must have a mind like His if we would experience comfort in our lives.
It is easy to be occupied with our own problems that we forget the needs of others.
If we think of Christ first
Others next
And ourselves last,
We will find comfort in Him and in the consolation of His love.
As we experience the comfort and encouragement of the Lord, 
we will be able to encourage others.
We are to "encourage one another, and build up each one the other"(1 Thessalonians 5:11).

How often a short visit to another believer who has been sick or discouraged 
will be a means of encouragement.
And at the time of bereavement, we can encourage 
another with the promise of the resurrection and the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
if we ourselves have been encourage by this promise.
(J.D. McNeil - The Lord is Near)

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May 5

"The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
(John 5:25)

God does not set people working in order to obtain life.  We could do nothing to deserve life, and we cannot please God until we have received it.  

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."  

We cannot obtain life through subjection to certain religious ordinances or availing ourselves of sacraments.  Men do not get life through baptism or the Lord's Supper, or through doing penance, attending church or giving money.  They receive eternal life through hearing and believing the voice of the Son of God. 

"Hear and your soul shall live." 

Have you heard that voice?  Men turn away from it.  Christ is speaking all the time, down through the ages, but many turn away and go on in their sins.  They continue in their state of death.  But the moment a man hears that voice in the depths of his heart, that moment he receives life.  This life is given by the Son of God.  (H.A. Ironside)

"As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man." 
(John 5:26-27).  

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May 6

"For the Lord of hosts hath proposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"
(Isaiah 14:27)

The Lord grant that we may be able to profit by all scripture,
using it for instruction and warning, as well as refreshment and joy.
All plans for worldly ease and honour will end only in destruction and bitter disappointment.
Our business is to work out what God gives us now to do.
He is saving souls to be the companions of Christ in heaven.
Our responsibility meanwhile is to carry out His thoughts of mercy toward sinners,
and His love to and in those that cleave to the name of His Son.
(William Kelly - An Exposition of the Book of Isaiah)

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May 7

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".  
(Luke 11:9)

I know that what we will, must be within the wider circle of what God wills.  
Some ask, "How can we pray AND NOT DOUBT if we are not certain that what we ask is God's will?  
And indeed why pray at all if God is going to do what He wills anyway?"  
Well, we are told that we have not because we ask not and there are many blessings that might be ours if we asked for them and sometimes that includes healing.  
Because a father knows what is best for his child and does not see fit to grant every request 
does not preclude the child from making its wishes known.  
There are things my father never would have given me if I hadn't asked for them.  
It is both our duty and our privilege to make our requests known to God subject to His will
We do not know why, for example, there isn't always the healing for a loved one.  
What it does mean is that we accept what does happen and table all dogmatic 
assertions on the subject until we have better light.  
And when we do, we shall not even bother to ask why, 
for all will be forgotten in the glory of His presence.  
(Vance Havner - Though I Walk Through the Valley)

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May 8

Knowing Him

". . . the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . ." 
(Philippians 3.8-11)

Paul's pursuit of excellence is all about knowing the Lord Jesus. 
The word Paul uses means "superior, above and beyond the ordinary". 
Paul says that knowing Jesus is a privilege beyond compare and worth so 
much more than anything he may have given up.
It  means knowing Him in a real and personal way. 
He is a friend who is closer than a brother. 
He reveals Himself in life's storms and when the sun shines. 
He shows us His glory on the mountain of victory and in the valley of defeat. 
To know Him in salvation is just the beginning. 

No wonder Paul says that everything else is rubbish!
Paul had experimentally proved the Lord Jesus ever since his experience on the Damascus road. 
He had proved Him over and over again.
If anybody knew Christ surely it must be the Apostle Paul, 
and yet as he comes closer to the end of his life he still has this overriding ambition to "know him". 
He is still pursuing the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ".
(Adapted - Meditations)

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May 9

"Faith working through love."
(Galatians 5:6)

Paul fought against a legalism which taught that works would help save you.
It is Christ and His death for the sinner that saves and that alone.
But Paul was also firm in his teaching that saving faith is living and life changing.
Works do not save but saving faith works.
So what kind of faith do you have?
Is it a vital force in your life, 
forming you into a godly person and motivating you to service for Him?
(Donald L. Norbie)

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May 10

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the  cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

Whatever the mind is most fixed upon, and is ever turning to, gives its impress to the mind;
If my feelings and thoughts are are fixed on Christ, I get the impress of Christ.
If I am ever turning to Him in all His heavenly measure of love, 
I shall get the impress of it; 
and if my soul then rises to Christ in the freshness of love which can say, 
"Come, Lord Jesus,"
there is His answer in all freshness, "Surely I come quickly."
He does not forget us toiling through the wilderness and the sands of the desert;
He is with us all the way, and all freshness is in Him.
(Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

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May 11

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

Steve was almost 5 when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was killed in 1956, along with four other men, by the Waodani tribe in Ecuador.   But as the result of the love and forgiveness demonstrated by the families of the martyred men, there is now a growing community of believers among the Waodani. 

As an adult, Steve moved back to Ecuador and became friends with Mincaye, one of the men who killed his father.  Steve's motto is: "Let God Write Your Story."  He says, "You have a lot of people . . . who want to write their own story and have God be their editor when [it] goes wrong.  I decided long ago to let God write my story."  When Steve suffered a serious accident in 2012, he reassured his family: "let's let God write this chapter too."  His faith continues to carry him toward recovery.

The story continues to unfold for all followers of Jesus Christ.  None of us knows how the next chapter of our life will read.  But as we look to Jesus and "run with endurance the race that is set before us" we can trust Him - the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2).  Jesus wrote the beginning of our story, and He'll write the next chapter and the ending as well.  (Cindy Hess Kasper)

When we stand with Christ in glory, looking o'er life's finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know - Not till then - how much I owe.
(McCheyne)
__________________________________________________________________
Let your life tell the story of Christ's love and mercy to the world around you.
__________________________________________________________________

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Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright, Grand Rapids Michigan.  Reprinted permission

May 12

"I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me." (2 Samuel 3:39

The Spirit of God wants to teach us that the believer who has received a position of authority from God soon loses the awareness of his dependence  because of the flesh which dwells in him.  As he exercises power he begins to have confidence in himself without realizing his need for the Lord's help, as he had back in the time when he wandered like a partridge hunted on the mountains.

Before the crown was on his head except on rare occasions he would inquire of God, not taking a single step without Him; but from the moment he receives the crown he forgets his safeguard.  He will again find this a little later after he has made bitter experiences, for we must remember that in David - and this one of the leading features of his character - discipline always bears admirable fruit.

This continues to the very last moments of his life and to his very last words.

We too need to be disciplined in order to learn dependence.  If we allow our will, which is nothing other than independence, to be active, the Lord must break us so that He may bring us back under His blessed yoke which is so light and easy to bear.  (H.L. Rossier)

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May 13

"Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
(Matthew 18:21-22)

In 1969 Simon Wiesenthal penned his thought-provoking book, The Sunflower, which captured the agony he personally experienced in one of history's darkest moments.  Relating one encounter with the Holocaust, Wiesenthal described how he had been taken from a Nazi death-camp to a makeshift army hospital.  He was ushered by a nurse to the side of a Nazi soldier who had asked to have a a few private moments with a Jew.

Wiesenthal warily entered the room and was brought face to face with a fatally wounded man, bandaged from head to toe.  The man struggled to face him and spoke in broken words.  Wiesenthal had lost 89 of his own relatives.  Here, the soldier confessed to the heinous act of setting ablaze an entire village of Jews; at his whim, men, women, and children were burned to death.  With great anxiety, he described his inability to silence from his mind the screams of those people.

Now on a deathbed himself, the man was making a last desperate attempt to seek the forgiveness of a Jew.  The man begged him to stay, repeating his cry for forgiveness, but Wiesenthal could only walk away.

Yet even years later he wondered if he had done the right thing.  Should he have accepted the man's repentance and offered the forgiveness so earnestly sought?  Had he neglected a weighted invitation to speak or was silence the only appropriate reply?

Seeking an answer, Wiesenthal wrote to to thirty-two men and women of high regard-scholars, noble laureates, psychologists, and others.  Twenty-six of the thirty-two affirmed his choice to not offer the forgiveness that was sought.  Six speculated on the costly, but superior, road of pardon and mercy.   

In the most unfathomable places, God somehow carries the burden of prodigal grace.  Who can fathom the Son of God on the cross pleading with the Father for the fallen world, even knowing the troubling outcome?  Who can grasp the heart of God who chooses to love an undeserving people?  To live as one marked by this disruptive grace is not easy.

It is easier to forget that the command to forgive is thoroughly unsettling; in fact, sometimes haunting.  To persist in love when we are tired or overwhelmed, or even rightfully angered by injustice, is a massive and costly request.  

God's unfathomable grace and mercy shatters our sense of who is worthy.  (Adapted)

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May 14

"That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto."
(1 Thessalonians 3:3)

Have you difficulties?  They are our appointed lot.
Have you trials?  They are our appointed lot.
Those five words were written to people who might any day find 
themselves in prison, tortured, lonely, oppressed.
Here if we have to have a tooth out, we have an injection.
There was no injection for the Christians of Thessalonica.

Let  us not forget that when we are tempted to fuss over trifles,
and call things trials which are mere nothings.
Still, there are trials sometimes, and they may look very big.
But they are our appointed lot - we were never promised ease.
The early Christians were not taught to expect it.
Don't let us slip into the expectation of the easy.
It isn't our appointed lot.
But for us there is another word -"My grace is sufficient for thee." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
(Whispers of His power - Amy Carmichael)

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May 15

"He being dead yet speaketh."
(Hebrews 11:4)

But there is one thing you cannot bury with a good man; his influence still lives.
They have not buried Daniel yet; his influence is as great today as ever it was.
Do you tell me that Joseph is dead?
His influence still lives and will continue to live on and on.
You may bury the frail tenement of clay that a good man lives in,
but you cannot get rid of his influence and example.
Paul was never more powerful than he is today.
(Daily Gems - D.L. Moody)

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May 16

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." 
(Hebrews 11:5)

We are told in Genesis 5:22 that Enoch  
walked with God and here in Hebrews 11:5 we are told that he pleased God.  
As the apostle says in 1 Thessalonians 4, 
"Ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God."  
To walk with God is to please Him

Can anything be more welcome to us than the thought that we can give complacency to God?  
There was nothing in Enoch's life to make history; 
but whatever condition of life may be ours, our business is to walk with God in it.  
It is beautiful thus to see an undistinguished life going before a life of great events.  
You may hear some say, "A poor, unnoticed thing am I, 
compared with some who have been distinguished in service for the Lord."  
"Well," let me reply, "You are an Enoch."  
(J.G. Bellett)

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May 17

Treasures in Heaven

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, 
and where thieves do not break through and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." 
(Matthew 6:20-21

One of the wealthiest men who ever rose to power and influence in the British Empire was Cecil Rhodes. You might be familiar with the Rhodes Scholarships, given to exceptional students from around the world to study for two years at Oxford  University in England. At age 27, Rhodes founded the De Beers Mining Co. in South Africa. Within eight short years, he controlled the diamond mining industry. 

Five years later, the gold mining industry was his. At age 36, he became Prime Minister of Cape Colony. He was so fabulously wealthy that, at his death, his legacy to the British Empire was the whole country of Rhodesia, equal in size to Germany, France, and Spain combined!

Perhaps one of the poorest, and yet one of the happiest men in England, was General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army. General Booth and Cecil Rhodes were well acquainted with each other. On one occasion General Booth asked Cecil Rhodes the striking question, "Mr. Rhodes, are you a happy man?" To which Rhodes replied, "No." 

What a contrast of two men with lives that were motivated and lived by opposite concerns. One was concerned with the accumulation of wealth fueled by self-centeredness. The other, by a heart controlled by God and a life given to a world in great need!

Jesus said, "He that hath the Son hath life" (John 3:36). Our fulfillment must be found OUTSIDE OURSELVES; it must be found in Christ. We are ever seeking to fulfill our desires and dreams within the realm of our own abilities only to find that having gained them, our fulfillment eludes us. It is Christ, the giver of life, that will fill our void with an abundant life lived for others for our good and HIS GLORY!  (Adapted - R.L.)

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May 18

"For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
(3 John 1:3,4)

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
When we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
((John H. Sammis)

Let us remember that our lives can bring added joy to the lives of other believers.
Many of us are privileged to have "spiritual fathers or mothers" who 
expend time and effort, in order that we advance spiritually.
As we develop and mature, their joy intensifies.
Let us not disappoint them today!
(G. Hall)

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May 19

"These (Bereans) . . . they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed."
(Acts 17:11-12)

These Bereans may well be models for all of us.  
Some times we hear things that are new to us, and we we reject them without investigation.
We are told to "prove all things and hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The test, of course, is by Holy Scripture.
No matter what doctrine is taught we are to compare it with the Word of God:
if it is according to Scripture we are to receive it;
if it is contrary to to Scripture then we are just as responsible to reject it.
(H.A. Ironside)

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May 20

Faith Implies Confidence

"And when He was come into the house,  the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that  I am able to do this this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord." 
"(Matthew 9:28)

There is a story told of some scientists in Scotland who offered a boy a handsome sum of money if he would allow himself to be let down by a rope over a cliff in a precipitous mountain gorge, to get a rare specimen of flower growing down there.

The lad longed for the money, for he was poor; but when he looked down into the two hundred foot chasm he said,"No!"  After further persuasion he said; "I'll go if my father will hold on to the rope."

That is faith.  He had confidence in his father, and by an act of the will, he allowed his father to fasten the rope about him and let him down.  (Selected)

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May 21

"David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."
(1 Samuel 30:6)

Happy, well-founded encouragement!  Happy the soul that knows it!  
Happy he who could rise from the very deepest depths of human misery, up to God, and  
His never failing resources!  Faith knows God to be fully equal to all human need, 
human weakness, human failure, human sin.  
God is above all, beyond all, beneath all
and the heart that apprehends Him is lifted above all the trials and difficulties of the way.

There is no condition in which the Christian can find himself in which he may not count upon God.
Is he crushed beneath the pressure of trial from external circumstances?
Let him bring God's omnipotent power to bear upon these things.

Is the heart oppressed by the burden of personal infirmity? - truly a heavy burden!
Let him draw upon the exhaustless springs of Divine compassion and mercy.

Is the soul filled with horror, by the sense of sin and guilt?
Let him have recourse to the boundless grace of God, and the infinitely-precious blood of Christ.
In a word, whatever be the burden, the trial, the sorrow, or the need
God is more than equal to all, and it is the province (calling) of faith to use Him.  
(C.H. MACKINTOSH)

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May 22

"But now, O Lord, Thou art our father; we are the clay, and Thou 
our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand." 
(Isaiah 64:8)

". . . So He made it again another vessel, as seemed 
good to the Potter to make it."
(Jeremiah 18:4)

The hand of circumstance without, and conscience' hand within;
Clay thus formed without a doubt a favoured place will win.
  
When the pressure of circumstance on the outside become too great, 
how reassuring to feel the gentle touch of the Potter's hand supporting us from the inside.
May we respond to His hand as he applies His own Word to enlarge and shape us 
to be vessels which are useful in His great house (2 Timothy 2:20).
The Potter uses two hands to shape the vessel.
Using only one would leave it marred or lopsided.
(Selected)

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May 23

". . . When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
(Job 23:10)

Forward I go! what future days may have
In store for me, whatever be my cross,
The mountain top, the valley, gain or loss,
May I come forth pure as refiner's gold; 
All else but Christ to reckon worthless dross.

Dr. Stuart Holden told his congregation how, when he visited a factory in the North of England, where costly china was being made, the thing which interested him most was the painting on the finished product.

"It had been through many different processes, and was taken to the studio for the artists to complete.  I saw the pattern being put on in various colours and noticed that a great deal of black was being used.  On asking why I was told, 'It is black now, but it will be gold when it comes out of the fire.' "

"Is not this just as in our lives?  What is put on black, we do not recognize as gold at the time, and the thing which is gilding our lives - or is intended to do so - is very often put on in darkness and blackness."  (Traveling Toward Sunrise)

Wait for God's "afters."

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May 24

"He [Jesus] was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd".
(Matthew 9:36)

We were in line at the ice cream store when I noticed him. 
His face bore the marks of too many fights—a crooked nose and some scars.
His clothes were rumpled, though clean. 
I stepped between him and my children, using my back to erect a wall.
The first time he spoke, I didn’t hear him clearly and so just nodded to acknowledge him. 
I scarcely made eye contact with him. Because my wife wasn’t with me, 
he thought I was a single parent and gently said, “It’s hard raising them alone, isn’t it?” 
Something in his tone made me turn to look at him. 

Only then did I notice his children, and I listened to him tell me how long his wife had been gone. 
His soft words contrasted with his hard exterior.
I was duly chastened! Once again I had failed to see beyond outward appearances. 
Jesus encountered people whose outward appearance could have turned Him away, 
including the demon-possessed man. (Mark 5:1-20). 
Yet He saw the heart-needs and met them.
Jesus never fails to see us with love, even though we have scars of sin and a rumpled nature 
that shows in our stutter-step faithfulness. 
May God help us to replace our haughtiness with Jesus’ heart of love.
(Adapted - RL)

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May 25

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

People Need The Lord

Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care, Headed who knows where?

On they go through private pain, Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries, Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord. When will we realize, people need the Lord?

We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost for sharing life with one who's lost?

Through His love our hearts can feel All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life only we can share.

People need the Lord at the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord. 
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For people need the Lord.
(Adapted)

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May 26

"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness. . . .)"
(Hebrews 3:7-8)

Have you read the history of Joshua?
As soon as the children of Israel got into the land, they were warned not to forget God,
for if they did, they would be worse off than they were in Egypt,
 where they had the river, for they would have no rain.
I am sorry to say, I have seen many who have accepted the standing,
but have given up the state in keeping with it, saying that it was impracticable,
and who have thus perished "Off the good land," rather, have lost the blessings of the standing.
They have no rain - no present ministration from God;
There is nothing so painful to the Spirit of God as your not accepting your standing.
Note Hebrews 3:7-8, He calls it there "the day of provocation."
What was that?
That they would not go up to their standing
they would not take possession of the good land.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 5171

May 27

"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
(Ephesians 2:12

Only in Thee, O Saviour mine, dwelleth my soul in peace divine,
Peace that the world, tho' all combine, never can take from me.
(Thomas O. Chisholm)

Depression troubles many today.
There is a deep feeling of hopelessness and anxiety.
The Germans call it angst.
You have lost a job, a loved one, or health itself.
The walls are closing in around you and you want to die.
Dear Friend, if you have God, you have hope.
Turn to Him and the future is bright.
(Donald Norbie)

N.J. Hiebert - 5172

May 28

"Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?"
(Matthew 13:27)  

Sow an act, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character;
Sow a character, reap a destiny.

An act may decide destiny.
"There was an abbot of this land who desired a piece of ground that lay conveniently for him.
The owner refused to sell it, yet, with much persuasion, was contented to rent it.
The abbot rented it, and agreed to farm it for only one crop.
He sowed it with acorns - a crop that lasted 300 years.
Thus, Satan begs but for the first crop;
Let him sow thy youth with acorns, they will grow up with thy years to sturdy oaks,
so big-bulked and deep-rooted that they shall last all thy life."
(Salt Cellar - Charles H. Spurgeon)

N.J. Hiebert - 5173

May 29

"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
(2 Corinthians 6:2)

Howard Ruff, a respected financial writer, once said,
 "remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
While evidently not intending to make a deep theological point,
Mr. Ruff's observation is pertinent and practical.
The time to receive Christ is now.
God's judgment is surer than tomorrow's sunrise.
To delay is to court the possibility of ending up in hell and ultimately in the lake of fire.
Enter while there is time.
Come today.
(W. Ross Rainey)

Time is gliding swiftly by, death and judgment draweth nigh,
To the arms of Jesu fly!  Be in time.
Oh, I pray you count the cost, 'ere the fatal line be crossed,
And your Christless soul be lost! - Be in Time.
(Charles Harrison Mason- 1866-1961)

N.J. Hiebert - 5174 

May 30

Friends of God

"And he (Abraham) was called the friend of God."
(James 2:23)

Of all the preachers and teachers and religious folk of our day, how few impress us that thy know God!
Able and successful, earnest and aggressive, we find in them much that is good. 
But can we not count on our fingers those who have gone far into the deeper things of the Spirit,
who have learned those precious secrets of intimacy with God?
To how few could we go in an hour of deepest trouble, to how few dare we tell our inmost problems!
This age of phenobarbital and psychoses does not lend itself to a closer walk with God.
The price is great nowadays, and he who choses to be God's friend 
may be over looked in the worship of celebrities.
But in our better and needier moments we turn from heroes to seek some lowly soul 
who has leaned those rare lessons of the school of Enoch who walked with God.
Our efficient American Christianity is too busy putting things over to be interested in the quiet,
slow saints who take time to be holy instead of just singing about it.
(Vance havner - 1901 - 1986)

"Take time to be holy; speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
(William D. Longstaff - 1882)

N.J. Hiebert - 5175

May 31

"The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God."
(Galatians 2:20)

It is by faith that God is honoured.
It is enough for Satan if he succeeds in frightening us away from the pure and simple path of faith.
Faith acts on God's behalf, and reveals Him in the midst of circumstances,
 instead of being governed by them.
Its superiority over that which surrounds it is evident.
What repose to witness this amid the mire of this poor world.
It is characteristic of faith to reckon on God
not simply spite of difficulty, but spite of impossibility.
(Pilgrim Portions for the day of Rest -JND)

N.J. Hiebert - 5176

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