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

Friday, November 01, 2013

Gems from November 2013

"Go thou and preach the kingdom of God."
(Luke 9:60)

The gospel is not a secret to be hoarded,
but a story to be heralded.
Are you saved?
Do yo think that is what matters most?
If so, what about those you meet every day?
Do you keep it all to yourself, or do you do what the shepherds 
at Bethlehem did when the angel brought them the good tidings of great joy?
(This Day is the Lord's - Corrie Ten Boom)

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November 1

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but Lord pondereth the hearts.."
(Proverbs 21:2)

Self Righteousness is perhaps the most human of all sins.
Men will excuse and explain away in themselves what in others would be censured with severity.
The Lord beholds the heart, and takes notice of the pride gnawing like a worm at the root.
Not he who commends himself, but he who is commended by God is approved.
(Notes of Proverbs - H.A. Ironside)

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November 2

"The words of the wise are as goads."
(Ecclesiastes 12:11)

O how uncomely a sight is it, a bold sinner, and a fearful saint!
Christ never lost a battle even when He lost His life.
He that hath God's heart cannot want His arm. One Almighty is more than many mighties.  
All these mighty sins and devils make not any almighty sin, or an almighty devil.
A proud heart and a lofty mountain are never fruitful.
(William Gurnall - - 1617-1679) 

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November 3

"But that which ye have already hold fast till I come."
(Revelation 2:25)

The church in Thyatira had permitted a false teacher to mislead God's people.
Her message rang out, "Compromise in order to keep your job";
"Compromise with the world, if you want to win them for Christ"!
But some, risking ostracism and ridicule, said, 
"We will never compromise"!

Praise God for those today who are wiling, whatever the cost, 
to hold fast to the high and holy standards of the Lord 
and to the unchanging truth of His Word.
(David Croudace)

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November 4

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
(2 Timothy 1:7)

All of us who are in earnest to press on and follow our Lord, know that we must learn 
to welcome the Spirit of discipline, just as truly as we welcome the Spirit of power and of love.
It is the Spirit of discipline we need when the  "I"  in us rises and says, 
I want this, I want that; this work is to my liking, that work is not.
We get nowhere till we welcome the brave Spirit Who never hesitates to ask us to do hard things;
Who never fails to strengthen us to do them;
Who can even make us eager to do them, 
choosing the strenuous rather than the easy, the climb up hill rather than the level.
"All Christ's life was a cross and a martyrdom; 
and thou seekest to thyself rest and Joy?" 
(Edges of His Ways - Amy Carmichael) 

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November 5

"Ye have not passed this way heretofore."
(Joshua 3:4)

'Tis so safe to walk with Jesus, leaning hard upon His arm,
Following closely where He leads us, none can hurt and naught can harm.
(A.B. Simpson)

After 40 years of wilderness experience the time had come for the Israelites to move on and to move in.
This would be a new experience; they had not done this before.
The people were perhaps filled with anxiety and fear; what would it be like?
Would it work out? 
They were given precise instructions regarding their personal 
sanctification and readiness to go forward,
and concerning how in safety they should follow the ark of the covenant.
Today or tomorrow may be a new experience for you, 
so it is important to know that as you go forward you do so in absolute safety;
so long as you follow His steps.
(Roy Hill)
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November 6

"If God be for us, who can be against us?"
 (Romans 8:31)

He has heard every sigh; noted, and stored in His bottle, every  tear; 
taken account of every cry of anguish; heard every confiding prayer.  
His arm is in nowise shortened; His ear is in no sense deaf to your cry.  
At the appointed time He will awake in  your behalf, and you shall know that it is 
"the God of all grace" with whom you have to do.  Only look up: be not cast down, 
for you are ever on His heart; and if you just leave all with Him, 

He will make your affairs His care. 
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7) 
How sweet the words!  He careth.  He, the most high God: yea,
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ careth.  
He is no indifferent spectator - no callous,
 unconcerned looker-on; but, as no one else can, 
He careth for you.
  
Assured of this, may not the reader and the writer well cry, 
"I will trust, and not be afraid?" (Isaiah 12:2)
(H.A. Ironside)
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November 7

"Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?"
(Job 1:8)

It is not the amount of truth that any man knows,
on which his state before God turns, but the using of it excellently.
You will find men who know a great deal of truth utterly without principle;
utterly without the fear of God.
You will find men who know a great deal, and all they use it for is merely to exalt themselves.
Sometimes for money, sometimes for a name.
But all that is most hateful to God.

Here we find a man that did not and could not know much in these days,
but still he made the best use of it.
He lived in the faith of it, in the faith of God Himself;
and the result was there was none like him in the earth -
A perfect man and an upright man,
"One that feared God and eschewed evil." 
(William Kelly)

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November 8

Nothing Compares
"My beloved is . . . the chiefest among ten thousand . . . He is altogether lovely . . .
This is my beloved, and this is my Friend . . ."
(Song of Solomon 5:10,16)

"He is before all things, and by Him all things consist . . .  He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence."
(Colossians 1:17,18) 

The two large electronic billboards standing at the state fairground entrances where we live, display changing announcements regarding various future events and dates.  Periodically however, only two words appear in very large letters - "NOTHING COMPARES".  These words make reference to the yearly state fair held for ten days toward the end of August.

Whenever those two words appear on the billboards, one's thoughts have been turned to Who is really and truly "incomparable".  Certainly nothing in this world is 'beyond compare" - not even the wide variety of state fair events and displays, which though interesting are not incomparable

Incomparable Truth

The world in which we live contains innumerable things - both man-made and seen in nature - which one generation may consider incomparable.  Yet they are soon surpassed in wonder by events, discoveries, or new technologies of succeeding generations.

It also must be admitted that the moral darkness and wickedness of man's heart, which may be considered without equal in its corrupt perversion by one generation, soon reaches even lower moral depths of depravity in subsequent ages.

How comforting and refreshing to the believer's heart then, to know and enjoy the unchanging truths regarding our blessed Lord Jesus Christ - the only One Who truly is "beyond compare".
(The Christian Shepherd)

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November 9

"Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition."
(Mark 7:13)

Some traditions are harmless.
Some places have Sunday School in the morning, 
some in the afternoon, and some none at all.

People get used to a certain pattern and resist change.
But other traditions can be deadly.

Any tradition that undermines the Gospel of grace can only be destructive.
To make baptism, church membership, or any work of man a condition of salvation is to undermine the Gospel.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  
 it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Word of God is to be the authority in the gathering of the saints,
not the traditions of men.
(D. Norbie)

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November 10

"And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her."
(Genesis 39:10)

The devil, however, is not content with isolated attacks upon the children of God.  He will wage a continual warfare. It was so with Joseph. The temptation came "day by day" (v. 10), and the attacks more persistent until Joseph "flees" from the temptation and the devil is foiled.  But having failed as the tempter, he now becomes the persecutor (vs 13-18).

The woman who formerly had cast her evil eyes upon Joseph now witnesses with lying tongue against him, as an old divine has said, "Those  who have broken the bonds of modesty will never be held by the bonds of truth.  It is no new thing for the best of men to be falsely accused of the worst crimes by those who are themselves the worst of criminals."

In result Joseph escapes from a bad woman and retains a good conscience.  But to retain a good conscience may cost much.  Joseph has to exchange the comfort of Potiphar's house for the hardships of Pharaoh's prison.  (Hamilton Smith)

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November 11

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

About the "coming" itself, there is only one thing that we would stress, 
namely, that the hour when it will take place is hidden from the sons of men, evidently for two reasons: 
(1) that the unsaved may not put off the  question of their salvation; and 
(2) that Christians may be kept on the tiptoe of expectation.

"I know not when - I only know the fact that He is coming, and that He bids me wait
In joyful expectation day by day.  Uncertainty does not one whit detract
From me the joy of watching at the gate; it rather adds delight and buoyancy to my fair hope 
That any night, or any day, I quickly may be caught away, to meet the Lord.

But though I do not know the 'how', or 'when' I know my Lord, and 'tis for Him I wait.
Long years the blessed hope of seeing Him has been my joy. And though beyond my ken
The day and hour of the opening gate, and many happenings, to my mind, are dim -
Yet this I know, for He hath told me so, 
That any night, or any day, I gently may be called away, to meet the Lord."
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
(Matthew 24:36)

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November 12

"We give thanks to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."
(Colossians 1:3)

It was a letter from, a soldier during World War II, and it was delivered to a West Virginia farmhouse.  The soldier had received the address of a young woman and had written to her, not realizing that she was married.  When the letter arrived, the addressee showed it to her unmarried sister, who decided that with a war raging the least she could do would be to write an encouraging note to this 2nd Lieutenant.  It was the patriotic thing to do.
One letter led to another and soon a romance had started.  Within a year of that first letter, the soldier and the farm girl were married.

Not all notes of encouragement lead to long-term relationships, as did this exchange between the two people who became my parents.  But their story of long-distance love, sparked by my mother's sense of duty, reminds us that writing to those in need can be very rewarding.

Just as the apostle Paul gave the churches uplifting messages of hope, we too can serve Christ and bring joy to others through thoughtful letters.

Has someone suffered a loss?  Just a note of sympathy.  Have friends won a victory?  Rejoice with them on paper.  Encourage a serviceman or missionary with a card or letter.  It is a notable habit. (JDB)
It takes but a moment of time and minimal energy spent
To write an encouraging note, and you will be glad it was sent.
A little encouragement can spark a great accomplishment. 
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____________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread RBC Ministries, Copyright (1993), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.   

November 13

"How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
(Romans 10:14)

Missionary Egerton Ryerson Young served the Salteaux tribe in Canada in the 1700s.  The chief of the tribe thanked Young for bringing the good news of Christ to them, noting that he was hearing it for the first time in his old age.  Since he knew that God was Young's heavenly Father, the chief asked, "does that mean He is my Father too?"  When the missionary answered, "Yes," the crowd that had gathered around burst into cheers.

The chief was not finished, however.  "Well," said the chief, "I do not want to be rude, but it does seem to me . . . that it took a long time for you to . . . tell it to your brother in the woods."  It was a remark that Young never forgot.

Many times I've been frustrated by the zigs and zags of my life, thinking of the people I could reach if only.  Then God reminds me to look around right where I am, and I discover many who have never heard of Jesus.  In that moment, I am reminded that I have a story to tell wherever I go. 
"For the the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." 
(Romans 10:12-13)
Remember, we don't have just any story to tell - it's the best story that has ever been told.  (Randy Kilgore)
I love to tell the story, 'tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story: for some have never heard 
The message of salvation from God's own holy Word."
(Miss Hankey)

Sharing the good news is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
___________________________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2013), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission 
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November 14

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
(John 17:16)

A mighty chasm now separates believers from this present evil world: 
"they are not of the world,"says Christ, "even as I am not of the world."  
The position of Christ in resurrection is the definition of ours as seen in Him.  
 The calm, reflective quiet of the soul in communion with the Person of the exalted Lord, 
is what characterizes its sweetest moments while here on earth.  
These may be found in the chamber of sickness, the rural scene, 
or in the very seat and centre of this world's activities.  
All depends on the state of the heart.  
To be alone and yet not alone, how blessed!
(Andrew Miller)

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November 15

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass whithereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
(1 Peter 1:24-25)

The empire of Caesar is gone,
The legions of Rome are mouldering in the dust; 
the avalanches that Napoleon hurled upon Europe have melted away; 
The pride of the Pharaohs is fallen;  
Tyre is a rock for bleaching fishermen's nets; 
Sidon has scarcely left a wreck behind; 
But the Word of God still survives. 
All things that threatened to extinguish it, have only aided it; 
and it proves every day how transient is the noblest monument that man can build, how enduring is the least word God has spoken.  

The old simile of the hammers and the anvil is one of the truest and best:
"One day I passed beside a smithy's door, and heard the anvil sound the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor, old hammers worn with beating years of time.

'How many anvils have you here,' said I, to wear and batter all these hammers so?'
'Just one,' the blacksmith said, with twinkling eye; the anvil wears the hammers out, you know.'

'And so,' said I, 'the anvil of God's Word, for ages sceptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the sound of hammers thus was heard, the anvil yet remains; the hammers-gone!'"
(The Wonderful Word of God - George Henderson)

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November 16

God's Appointments

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

It has been well said, “Our disappointments are but His appointments.”
“Howbeit your faith seeth but the black side of Providence, yet it hath a better side, and God shall let you see it. 
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God; 
hence I infer that losses, disappointments, ill tongues, loss of friends, houses or country, are God's workmen,
set on work to work out good to you, out of everything that befalleth you.”  
(Samuel Rutherford)

“The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.”
(John Newton)
___________________
(With thanks S.L.)

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November 17

When I am weak

“…when I am weak, then am I strong.” 
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: 
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, 
that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Remember, it is not your weakness that will get in the way of God’s working through you, but your delusions of strength. 
His strength is made perfect in our weakness! 
Point to His strength by being willing to admit your weakness.
(P.D.T. - With thanks S.L.)

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November 18

A Responsible Traveler

"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
(Romans 14:12)

Julius the Centurion was in a very responsible position.  He was given a service to carry out for the emperor, and he must give answer for how he did.  You must too answer for how you carry out the responsibilities of this life - of life  that God has given you for the purpose of bringing honour and glory to Him.

We read in Ezekiel 18:3,4 "As I live, saith the Lord GOD . . . Behold, all souls are mine".  And in Romans 14:12 we read, "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."  Every soul who has been born into this world (save, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself), will stand before - not Nero Caesar - but God, there to give an account to Him of their life.  No one will be able to say, "I am not responsible to answer to you, God, for how I lived".  Each mouth will be stopped (Romans 3:19) and all judged according to the thoughts and standards of holy God.  (The Journey of Life - D.N.)
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November 19

“ God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” 
(Numbers 23:19

"I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure . . . yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."
(Isaiah 46:9-11)

God is God and I am not!


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


These words of our Lord, as we all know, refer to His washing the feet of His disciples. 
Behind that lowly act a hidden meaning lay which should be made quite plain to them one day. 
So when the work of redemption was accomplished, and Christ had taken His seat on high, and the 
Holy Spirit had come down, many a mystery was made clear, and many a thing told out that could not be told before. Many a dear child of God is walking in a rough and rugged road, and passing through circumstances hard to understand. He sees no reason why he should be dealt with thus. 
With anxious heart he looks up and asks, ‘Lord, why is it thus with me?’ And the answer is,

"
What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." 
With this he must be satisfied, and wait with patience the clearing of the clouds. 
(A.J. Pollock)
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
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November 20

"Ye shall tell my father of all my glory."
(Genesis 45:13)

I'll never forget a lady telling me about the visitors and sympathizers who shared stories and accolades of her father at the funeral home after his passing. She said, "I already knew how wonderful he was, nothing they said could have made me love him any more or love him any less, but it was so good to hear all that they said."  
Remember Jesus today, tell the Father of all His glory, grace and goodness to you.  
(Choice Gleaniings - R.M.B.)

Praise the Saviour, ye who know Him;
Who can tell how much I owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him,
All we have and are."
(Thomas Kelly)
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November 21

"Serving the Lord with all humility of mind."
 (Acts 20:19)

If one could but be nothing, HE might use us more.
The carpenter can use his saw, or file, or hammer without fear 
of its boasting of the work being its own.
If God used HIS children without a good deal of discipline to them accompanying they would 
be spoiled and boast in what was wrought as being theirs and not HIS.
HE loves us to much for that.
(G.V. Wigram)
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November 22

A Thankful Heart Cannot Also Be Cynical

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Ephesians 5:20)

Let me recommend the cultivation of the habit of thankfulness as an effective cure for the cynical, sour habits of fault-finding among Christian believers.
Thanksgiving has great curative power.  The heart that is constantly overflowing with gratitude will be safe from those attacks of resentfulness and gloom that bother so many religious persons.  A thankful heart cannot be cynical!

Please be aware that I am not recommending any of the "applied psychology" nostrums so popular in liberal circles.  We who have been introduced to God through the miracle of the new birth realize that there is good scriptural authority for the cultivation of gratitude as a cure for spiritual sourness.  Further, experience teaches us that it works!

We should never take any blessing for granted, but accept everything as a gift from the Father of Lights.  We should write on a tablet, one by one, the things for which we are grateful to God and to our fellow men. 

Personally, I have gotten great help from the practice of talking over with God the many kindnesses I have received.  I like to begin with thanking Him for His thoughts of me back to creation; for giving His Son to die for me when I was still a sinner; for giving the Bible and His blessed Spirit who inwardly gives us understanding of it.  I thank Him for my parents, teachers, statesmen, patriots.
I am grateful to God for all of these and more - and I shall not let God forget that I am!
(A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

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November 23

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified , but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
(1 Corinthians 6:11)

The young woman employed at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem said, 
"These vessels have not been sanctified yet, so its no problem to handle them.
We can do whatever we want with them until they're sanctified".
We who believe in the Lord Jesus have been sanctified, set apart for Him.
We cannot do with ourselves whatever we want.
It is a problem if we allow ourselves to be handled and used by the world.
We belong to Him.
"Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price." 
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 
(Carl Knott)
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November 24

"He began to be in want . . . he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat . . . when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger."
(Luke 15:14-16)

"To be hungry is not enough;
I must be really starving to know what is in God's heart towards me.
When the prodigal son was hungry he went to feed on
the husks, but when he was starving
he turned to his Father."
(JND - With thanks D.H.)

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November 25

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair."
(2 Corinthians 4:8)

Is anything trying to shatter your faith and peace today?
If so, test and prove those two words, YET . . . BUT.
They will not give way under your feet,
add to them the BUT GOD of Psalm 73:26, and you will never fail.

"My flesh and my heart faileth: BUT GOD is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
(Amy Carmichael)

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November 26

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)

Circumstances may be the form of the expression of God's will for us,
but the normal thing for the Christian should be the inward apprehension of the Lord's mind.
"I will guide thee, having mine eye upon Thee."
If this is true, we have to wait until we hear His voice,
and if that attitude be maintained, I am sure that we never should be confounded.
(Edward Dennett)

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November 27

"David enquired of the Lord."
(2 Samuel 5:19)

Christian if you would know the path of duty, take God for your compass; if you would steer your ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty.

Many a rock might be escaped if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid if we would leave it to His sovereign will to choose and to command.

The puritan said, "As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself he'll cut his own fingers."  "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go"  (Psalm 32:8), is God's promise to His people.

Let us, then, take all our perplexities to Him and say, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6).

Do not leave your room this morning without enquiring of the Lord.  (C.H. Spurgeon 1834-1892)

"The great gulf fixed by sin and death is crossed again and again by prayer, over Christ as the bridge."

"On the field of prayer, through the power of the precious blood -
Satan, self and the world meet their Waterloo."

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November 28

"Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
(Psalm 119:11)

"It is part of our appointed suffering in this present life 
to be compelled to winnow heaps of literature with good results 
in chaff and dust with small gain of bread corn; 
and therefore our rejoicing is the greater 
when grain comes to our garner as clear provender 
in good weight and measure."
(Robert Clever Chapman 1803-1902)
(With thanks D.H.)

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November 29

GOD MY EXCEEDING JOY

"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy." (Psalm 43:4)

"Who can cheer the heart like Jesus, by His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious, O how blest to call Him mine!

Love of Christ so freely given, grace of God beyond degree,
Mercy higher than the heaven, deeper than the deepest sea!

Every need His hand supplying, Ev'ry good in Him I see;
On His strength divine relying, He is all in all to me.

All that thrills my soul is Jesus, He is more than life to me.
And the fairest of ten thousand, in my blessed Lord I see!

Open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to receive, and your spirit to respond to the joy of God He wants to implant in your life.
Your life will never be the same when His joy permeates the whole of your being.
(Thoro Harris)
(With thanks R.L. - Adapted)

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
 (John 15: 11).

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November 30

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?
It is God that justifieth."
(Romans 8:33) 

That word justifieth seems too good to be true.
No wonder Martin Luther shook all Germany when that Truth dawned upon him,
"The just shall live by faith."
Do you know what justified means?
I will tell you.
It is to stand before God without spot or wrinkle, without a sin.
It is to be put back beyond Eden.
God looks over His ledger and says:
"Moody, I have no account against you.
Your debt has all been wiped out by Another." 
(D.L. Moody)

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November 30

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