Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5560 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Gems from September 2013

"How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love for delights!"
(Song of Solomon 7:6)

The more perfectly Christ sees in us His own likeness, the more he will delight in us.
This is necessarily true, yet a truth that is easily understood by all.
A strictly upright man can find no delight in one that is crooked in his ways.
An honest man can find no pleasure in one who is dishonest.
A morally pure person can have no fellowship with one who would
drag him through all the impurities of a low and degraded nature.
Assuredly not.

The upright man can only delight in uprightness,
the honest man in honesty, and the pure in purity.
So the blessed Lord can find His delight only in that
which resembles His own moral perfections.
Andrew Miller)

N.J. Hiebert - 5268

September 1

"Put on the whole armour of God."
(Ephesians 6:11)

And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us.
(Martin Luther)

Some feel when they accept Christ as Lord and Saviour that the battle is over.
They are forgiven, on their way to heaven and Satan is a defeated foe.
The truth is that Satan is alive and well, more determined than ever to attack you.
The battle will rage on until the Christian leaves this life.
Hence the exhortation - put on your armour daily and be prepared to fight.
Be strong; be vigilant; be confident in the Lord's strength.
Live a life of faith and victory today.
(Donald Norbie)

N.J. Hiebert - 5269

September 2

"Having loved His own . . . He loved them unto the end."
(John 13:1)

Sadhu Sundar Singh passed a crowd of people putting out a jungle fire at the foot of the Himalayas. Several men, however were standing gazing at a tree, the branches of which were already alight.

"What are you looking at?" he asked. They pointed to a nest of young birds in the tree. Above it a bird was flying wildly to and fro in great distress. The men said, "We wish we could save that tree, but the fire prevents us from getting near to it."

A few minutes later the nest caught fire. The Sadhu thought the mother bird would fly away. But no! she flew down, spread her wings over the young ones, and in a few minutes was burned to ashes with them.
"Such love, such wondrous love, such love, such wondrous love,
That God should love a sinner such as I, how wonderful is love like this!"

Let us have love heated to the point of sacrifice.
(Springs in the Valley)

N.J. Hiebert - 5270

September 3

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee."
(Isaiah 44:22) 

Penally, David's sin was forgiven as soon as he truly confessed it (2 Samuel 12:13) and we find him afterwards rejoicing in the knowledge of that blessed fact (Psalm 32:1, 103:12). 
But governmentally, the consequences remained.

It must be remembered that when it is a question of government, 
a sin is not necessarily done with even when it is confessed.  
The principle laid down in Galatians 6 applies to Christians as well as to unconverted men:
indeed the words were written primarily to children of God. 

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: 
but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." 
(Galatians 6:7-8)
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

N.J. Hiebert - 5271

September 4

"And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
(John 8:11)

It was Jesus' desire - His command - that the forgiven sinner was to live in a way suited to the glory and holiness of the One who had so freely forgiven her.
To make light of such infinite restoring grace, and heedlessly return to a path of self-willed sin from which she had been delivered, would doubtless bring far more solemn consequences into her life.
(The Journey of life - Doug Nicolet)

N.J. Hiebert - 5272

September 5

"These things command and teach.  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
(1 Timothy 4:11-12)

Timothy could only be effective in "commanding and teaching" if his personal life was exemplary.
Our sphere of influence and service may be much smaller than his,
but the same principle applies.
We must be be right, and do right,
before we try to put others right!
(G. Hall)

Search me, O God! My actions try, and let my life appear,
As seen by Thine all-searching eye, to mine, my ways make clear.
(Frank Bottome) 

N.J. Hiebert - 5273

September 6

Play In Pain

"But though He cause grief, yet He will have compassion." (Lamentations 3:22)

Baseball Hall-of-Fame catcher Gary Carter was a follower of Jesus. 
During his 19-year career, he drew strength and endurance from his faith in God 
to compete day after day. 
In an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal shortly after Carter died of brain 
cancer at age 57, writer Andrew Klavan told how Carter had influenced his life.
In the late 1980s, Klavan had sunk to a low point in his life. His mind dwelt on suicide. 
Then he heard Carter interviewed after a game. His team, the New York Mets,
had won, and the aging catcher had helped by running hard at a critical 
point in the game. Carter was asked how he could do that with his aching knees. 
Klavan heard him say something like this: 

“Sometimes you just have to play in pain.” 

That simple statement helped draw Klavan out of his depression. 
“I can do that!” he declared. Encouraged, 
he found hope—and later became a believer in Christ.
The comforting truth behind Carter’s statement comes from Lamentations. 
We may face sorrow, pain, and hardship, but we don’t have to sink into self-pity. 
The same God who allows our suffering also showers us with His compassion (Lam. 3:32). 
With God’s love lifting us up, we can—if we have to—“play” in pain.
Along life’s pathway troubles come
That God will help us bear;
Then we can look beyond the pain
To those who need our care. 
God will either spare you from suffering or give you the grace to bear it.

N.J. Hiebert - 5274

September 7

"Sarah conceived and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."
(Genesis 21:2)

There is such a thing as God's "set time" - His "due season", 
and for this the faithful must be content to wait.
The time may seem long, and hope deferred may make the heart sick;
but the spiritual mind will ever find its relief in the assurance 
that all is for the ultimate display of God's glory.
"For the vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry,
wait for it; because it will assuredly come, it will not tarry."
(Habakkuk 2:3-4)
(C.H. Macintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 5275

September 8

" (Jesus) went forth, and saw a Publican, named Levi . . . and He said unto him, Follow ME.  And he left all, rose up, and followed Him." (Luke 5:27-28)

What was the power that made Levi leave all and follow Christ? 
 Not the command: the power did lie in the word itself, 
but it was the presentation of Christ Himself to Levi.
You cannot get separation apart from the presenting of the Person.
This is the reason of failure in separation - it must begin with the heart.
If you want to help souls you must present Christ to them.

How should I separate a quantity of steel filings from a heap of dust?
By picking them out?  No, I should only defile my hand.
By holding a powerful magnet to them, 
and all would instantly be attracted and drawn out of the dust.

It is Christ revealed to us that detaches us from this world. 
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 5276

September 9

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest . . . so the Lord alone did lead him." (Deuteronomy 32:11-12)

A farmer noticed a bird busily building a nest.  Unfortunately, the spot was in a heap of dead branches recently pruned from some trees.  Realizing that this was s dangerous place for hatching a brood, the farmer destroyed the nest.  The next day, the persistent mother-to-be tried again, and for a second time the farmer thwarted her efforts.  On the third day the bird finally began constructing her nest on a limb near the man's kitchen door.  This time he let it remain.  The unsafe pile of branches from which he had twice driven her was burned long before the bird's eggs were hatched.

We too find that at times our plans are thwarted.  We wonder why God would break up the earthly nests we have struggled and worked so hard to build.  But were we able to see as He sees, we would know that He seeks for us a higher destiny, a place of greater security and provision for our needs.  That's how He led His people Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land.  He knew where there was  danger and where there was safety.

Oh, that we would learn to trust God without questioning His wisdom and goodness - even in the dark passages of life when there is unrest in our nest.  Trials Teach Trust.  (Our Daily Bread)

N.J. Hiebert - 5277

September 10

"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt."
Psalm 14:1

The degeneration of society, of law and order, 
and of all decency follows on the heels of a loss of God-consciousness.
The world has always been marked by such lawlessness, but the Church is being affected too.
The perilous times of the last days are recognized by there being a form of godliness with the denial of its power (2 Timothy 3:5),
a situation brought on by a loss of the sense of His presence among His people.
We may sing, "Jesus, Lord, we know Thee present . . ."
but if it were true there would be a greater sense of awe and reverence in our worship.
(Colin F. Anderson)
N.J. Hiebert - 5278

September 11

Genesis and Revelation

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
(2 Timothy 3:16)  

If the three opening chapters of the Bible were removed, there would be no starting point;
If the closing chapters were deleted there would be no goal.
As we compare the opening of Genesis with the close of Revelation, 
we find that we have been following the perimeter of a golden ring - 
the extremities of human history meet.
From the Creation and Eden with the Fall,
we have at last come to the New Creation and Paradise without a Fall;
and so, as the book of God closes, it fixes the last look of the reader upon the Coming One
Whose personal presence is to be the signal for the final consummation of victory and blessedness.
Genesis and Revelation thus form respectively the prologue
and the epilogue, of a drama as vast as it is unique.
(The Wonderful Word)

N.J. Hiebert - 5279

September 12

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” 

(Proverbs 16:18)

When a man thinks he has got a good deal of strength, and 
is self-confident, you may look for his downfall. 
It may be years before it comes to light, 
but it is already commenced.”
(D.L. Moody - - S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 5280  

September 13

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
(1 John 2:16)

Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace.
(C.H. Spurgeon)

N.J. Hiebert - 5281

September 14

"Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."  
(2 Thessalonians 2:9)

There are areas of Christian thought - and because of thought then also of life, where likenesses and differences are so difficult to distinguish that we are often hard put to escape complete deception!

Throughout the whole world error and truth travel the same highways, work in the same fields and factories, attend the same churches, fly in the same planes and shop in the same stores.

So skilled is error at imitating truth that the two are constantly being mistaken for each other.  It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which is Abel!

We must never take for granted anything that touches our soul's welfare.  Isaac felt Jacob's arms and thought they were the arms of Esau.  Even the disciples failed to spot the traitor among them; the only one of them who knew who he was was Judas himself.  That soft-spoken companion with whom we walk so comfortably and in whose company we take such delight may be an angel of Satan, whereas that rough, plain-spoken man whom we shun may be God's very prophet sent to warn us against danger and eternal loss.

It is therefore critically important that the Christian take full advantage of every provision God has made to save him from delusion.  The most important of these combine as a protective shield - faith, prayer, constant meditation on the Scriptures, obedience, humility, much serious thought and the illumination of the Holy Spirit.  (A.W. Tozer)

N.J. Hiebert - 5282  

September 15
Good Courage
"Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear unto their fathers to give them."
(Joshua 1:6)
Christians today surely need good courage to face a dangerous world with all its temptations and intimidations, but nothing today could compare to the challenge facing Joshua. 
Trying to lead a nondescript multitude of "stiff-necked" desert nomads into a land of giant and walled cities would surely require courage beyond anything we could imagine today.
But Joshua had access to invincible resources, and so do we. "Be strong and of a good courage," God told him. 
"Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" 
(Joshua 1:9)

 Giants and walled cities are no match for the children of God when He goes with them, 
for "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
God did go with Joshua, and the Israelites defeated the giants, destroyed the walled cities, and took the land. 
We have the same promise today, for "he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" 
(Hebrews 13:5-6). 
Courage is really another name for faith, and "what he had promised, he was able also to perform" 
(Romans 4:21).
(With thanks -  R. Lucas)
N.J. Hiebert - 5283

September 16

"If one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."
(1 Corinthians 12:26)
A poet pictures this spirit in moving lines:
I will try to find contentment in the paths that I must tread;
I will cease to have resentment when another moves ahead.
I will not be swayed by envy when my rival's  strength is shown;
I will not deny her merit and I'll strive to love His own.

Envy is one of the most weakening and debasing of all flaws in one's character.  
It poisons all one's life.
It takes the joy out of every experience.
It makes a foe out of every one that surpasses us.

We are intended to find a large part of our pleasure in the joys and successes of others, 
and envy transforms all the possible pleasure into wretchedness. 
(Think on These Things - Amos Wells)

N.J. Hiebert - 5284

September 17

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

If you like growing pumpkins, you have probably heard of Dill's Atlantic Giant variety of premium pumpkin seeds.  Developed on a farm in Atlantic Canada, the pumpkins grown from these seeds have set records around the world.  In 2011, a pumpkin grown in Quebec set a new world record at 1,818.5 pounds (825 kg).  That size of pumpkin could yield almost 1,000 pieces of pie!

When news reporters asked how this pumpkin could grow to such a size, the farmer replied that it had to do with the soil.  The seeds were of a special large variety, but the soil still had to be right or the pumpkin wouldn't grow properly.

The Lord Jesus used an illustration in which He compared different types of ground to a person's response to God's Word (Matthew 13). 
Some seeds were eaten by the birds, 
others started to grow but were choked by the weeds, 
and some grew up instantly but had no soil to further their growth.  
But the seeds that fell on the good soil yielded a crop:
"Brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixtyfold, some thirty fold" (Matthew 13:8).

Each of us needs to ask, "What kind of soil am I?"  
The Lord wants to plant His Word in our hearts so we can grow in our knowledge of Him.  
(Brent Hackett)

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
(Eliza Edmunds Hewitt)

The fruit of the Spirit grows in the soil of obedience.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 2013, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 5285

September 18
"Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:2-3)
I think Christians fail so often to get answers to their prayers because they do not wait long enough on God.
They just drop down and say a few words, 
and then jump up and forget it and expect God to answer them.
Such praying always reminds me of the small boy ringing his neighbour's door-bell, 
and then running away as fast as he can go . . .
It is hard to wait and press and pray,
and hear no voice,
but stay till God answers.
(E.M. Bounds)
N.J. Hiebert - 5286

September 19

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;  He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest (be silent) in His love, He will rejoice over thee with singing."
(Zephaniah 3:17)

Sometimes after a period of special prayer there is a silence. 
We are not conscious of any response on the part of God.

We can give Him joy by not misunderstanding His silence.
He loves us to count on His tender caring, His deep solicitude, even though,
for reasons that we may not know, He is for a while silent in His love.

We grieve our Father when we allow discouraged thoughts to prevail.
"Does He care so very much?
He has not said anything to me.
He has not answered."

Love is a very tender thing.  A thought can hurt it.
But just because it is so tender, a very little thing can give it infinite joy.
Our little, constant communications of love give real joy to our Father's heart.
(Whispers of His Power - Amy Carmichael)
N.J. Hiebert - 5287

September 20

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."
(John 1:18)

The verb "to declare" is the one from which we get "exegesis."  
Exegesis is the drawing out of the meaning of a passage.
What is the author saying?
Our knowledge of the Father is fragmentary and incomplete until 
we hear the words of Christ and see His perfect life.
Thank God for Jesus' declaration - His accurate exegesis of the Father.
May we not only learn it, but live it.
(Donald Norbie)

Thou art the everlasting Word, the Father's only Son,
God manifest, God seen and heard, the heaven's beloved One.

In Thee, most perfectly expressed, the Father's self doth shine, 
Fulness of Godhead, too: the Blest, eternally divine.
(Josiah Conder)

N.J. Hiebert - 5288

September 21

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not."
(1 John 2:1) 

The believer should never for one moment receive the thought that sin cannot be avoided.
If he once admits that sin is a necessary part of his experience,
he will soon lose sight of its true character, 
its hatefulness to God and in the end become 
the prey and sport of the evil one as to his walk through this world.
(Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert - 5289 

September 22
"All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord they God."
(Deuteronomy 28:2)
Do you know every man that was blessed while Christ was on earth,
was blessed in the act of obedience?
Ten lepers came to Him, and He said, "Go and show yourselves to the priest."
They might have said, "What good is that going to do us? 

It was the priest that sent us away from our families."
But they said nothing; and it came to pass, that, as they went, they were healed.
Do you want to get rid of the leprosy of sin?  

You say you don't feel like it.
Did you always feel like going to school when you were a child?
Supposing a man only went to business when he felt like it; he would fail in a few weeks.
Jesus said to another man, "Go to the Pool of Siloam and wash," 
and as he washed, he received his sight.

He was blessed in the act of obedience.
The prophet said to Naaman, "Go and dip seven times in Jordan," 
and while he was diping he was healed.
Simple obedience.
(D.L. Moody)
N.J. Hiebert - 5290

September 23

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood." 
(Galatians 1:15-16)
Called me!  Called me?
Can you imagine God calling someone like me?  A person like you?  How can it be?  The answer is immediately given - by His grace.
When Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying, God came into the Garden and called "Adam . . . where art thou?"  God did not have to seek them, but but He did.  In grace alone He sought His erring, sinful creatures.
Paul was not called because he was highly educated, nor because of his ecclesiastical position - a Pharisee of the Pharisees - neither was he called because he was more zealous than his contemporaries.  Paul was called by grace.
It is the same today.  We are all called by grace, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
However, that is not the end of the matter.  God's object in calling us to salvation is to make known Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of sinners to a lost and dying world.  That is good news, glad tidings indeed.  "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15).  That is one reason why we are called by grace to free and full salvation which is available to whosoever will receive it.
There are many other purposes to which we are called. 
- Called to suffer (1 Peter 2:21).
- Called to holiness (1 Peter 1:15).
- Called to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15).
- Called into the fellowship of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9). 
(The Lord is Near - P.E. Hall)

N.J. Hiebert - 5291    

September 24

“But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey.”
(Luke 2:44)

There is a lesson in this for us all.
It is possible for us to suppose Jesus is in our company when He is not.
We may think that we are walking in fellowship with Him
when actually sin has come between our souls and the Saviour.
Spiritual decline is subtle. We are not conscious of our coldness.
We think that we are the same as ever.

Usually it takes a crisis of some kind to reveal to us that Jesus is not in our company.
It may be that we hear God’s voice speaking to us through some anointed preaching.
Or a friend might put an arm around us and confront us with our low spiritual condition.
Or it may be a sickness, the death of a loved one, or some tragedy that brings us to our senses.

When that happens, we have to do what Joseph and Mary did, ­
go back to the place where we last saw Him.
We have to go back to the place where some sin broke our fellowship with Him.
By confessing and forsaking our sin, we find forgiveness,
and begin traveling with Jesus in our company once more.
Truth to Live By - D.H.
N.J. Hiebert - 5292

September 25

"From the top of the rocks I see him."
(Number 23:9)
If I am looking at the people of God "from the top of the rocks,"
I shall see them as God sees them, and that is as clothed with all the comeliness of Christ -
complete in Him, "accepted in the beloved".
That is what will enable me to get on with them,
to walk with them, to have fellowship with them,
to rise above their points and angles, blots 
and blemishes, failures and infirmities.
(Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert - 5293 

September 26

"But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(2 Corinthians 3:18
A painter in Rome was forbidden to copy a famous picture.  Determined not to be balked, he sat down in front of the painting and looked closely and steadfastly at it for half an hour every morning. He then hurried home and transferred one line or feature to his canvas.  So he attained his object.  
If we would spend but half an hour each day in contemplating the grace and beauty of our Divine Redeemer, by a spiritual process there would be a transference of those lines of grace and beauty into our characters. (Charles H. Spurgeon)
N.J. Hiebert - 5294

September 27

"O how I love Thy law! it is my meditation all the day."
(Psalm 119:97)
A young lady purchased a book and read a few pages--but was not interested in it. 
Some months afterwards she met the author-- 
and a tender friendship sprang up, ripening into love and marriage. 
Then the book was dull no longer. 
Every sentence had a charm for her heart. 
Love was the interpreter!
In the same way, to those who do not know Christ personally, 
the Bible seems dry and uninteresting. 
But when they learn to know Him, and to love Him--then all is changed! 
The deeper their love for Him becomes--
the more do the sacred pages glow with beauty and light!
("Help for the Day JRM)

N.J. Hiebert - 5295

September 28
"He satisfieth the longing soul."
(Psalm 107:9)
God could find no rest save in Jesus.
We may look throughout the world, 
we shall find nothing which can satisfy our hearts but JESUS.
When the heart is made full with the rich blessings of Christ,
 it will not turn back to gnaw upon itself.
All the things that will make me blessed in heaven I have now . . .
If you want to know what makes a Christian happy in life and death it is that the Christ
he has got now is the Christ that he will have in heaven.  
He has got his home there, where the One he loves and knows best is already.
The fact is, your hearts are too big for the world, it cannot fill them;
they are too little for Christ, for He fills heaven;
yet will He fill you to overflowing.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)
N.J. Hiebert - 5296  

September 29

"As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike."
(1 Samuel 30:24)
Two hundred of David's men could not go on with him in the pursuit of the Amalekites.  They were faint and stayed at the brook Besor.  When the four hundred who went on returned with the spoils of victory, some did not want to share with those who had lingered behind.  But, David ruled otherwise.
For one reason or another, a lot of us do not get over Besor.  We ought not to be faint, and all honour to the hardy souls who can "take it."  But none of us has anything that he did not receive, and we show better spirit by sharing with weaker saints than in all our exploits against the enemy.
Some precious souls are housed in feeble bodies or otherwise kept at Besor.  They never make the headlines with the front-line four hundred.  But some prayed and toiled to keep hardier souls in the battle, and when the final prizes are awarded "they shall part alike."  (Day by Day - Vance Havner)
N.J. Hiebert - 5297  

September 30

A Continuing Process

"Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged."
(Isaiah 51:1)  
The need for humility of mind and spirit that Paul urges on each believer 
is very much a part of the aging process
one of the happy fruits of repentance.  
True repentance which requires 
a lifetime of soul exercise,
 provides the foundation for a lifetime of blessing. 
Do you want to be a  vessel of service for your blessed Lord and Saviour?
Learn the secret of ongoing repentance.
(In the Potter's Hands - Doug Nicolet)
N.J. Hiebert - 5298


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home