Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5270 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Gems from December 2013

December 1

"Fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
(Philippians 1:11)

If you are tempted, tried, look straight to Him; little by little you will become accustomed to believe in His goodness, though it be necessary to recur to it constantly:
but the eye directed to  Him makes Him known to the heart.
Looking to Him, who delivers us from ourselves is what excludes the thought of self, and sanctifies us . . . in a practical way.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

N.J. Hiebert - 5360

December 2

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
(Proverbs 22:1)
"The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and He overthroweth the words of the transgressor." 
(Proverbs 22:12)

A good name is a lifetime's work, built through the years with kindness, honour, dignity, and integrity.
The value of such an investment will never be lost, but sometimes it can be damaged by the careless and cruel words of others. When the pain of such a situation comes, we rest in this: it is not our reputation here that is of ultimate concern.
What is God's estimation?
He watches and weights our lives and His knowledge is preserved and constant, not subject to gossip.
He will overthrow the words of the transgressor.
(H.B.D.)

"To take from me my purse makes you a thief, but leaves me true; But to rob me of my name is to make me poor without enriching you.

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December 3

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house."
(Luke 10:38)

Had Jesus disallowed the idea of a Christian family, He could not have been at Bethany, as we see He was.  And yet, when we get Him there, it is only some new phase of moral beauty that we trace in Him.  He is a friend of the family, finding a home in the midst of them. "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister (Mary), and Lazarus," are words which bespeak this.  His love to them was not that of a Saviour, or a Shepherd, though He was each of these to them. It was the love of a family friend.

But though a friend, an intimate friend, who might  whenever He pleased find a welcome there; yet He did not interfere with the arrangements of the house.  Martha was the housekeeper, the busy one of the family, useful and important in her place;  and Jesus will surely leave her where He finds her.  It was not for Him to alter or settle such matters.

Lazarus may sit by the side of the guests at the family table, Mary may be abstracted and withdrawn as in her own kingdom, or into the kingdom of God within her, and Martha be busy and serving.  Be it so, Jesus leaves all this just as He finds it.  He who would not enter the house of another unbidden, when entered into the house of those sisters and brother, will not meddle with its order and arrangements.  What moral comeliness!

But if one of the family, instead of carrying herself in her family place, step out of it to be a teacher in His presence, He must and will resume His higher character, and set things right divinely, though He would not interfere with or touch them domestically.  What various and exquisite beauty!  Who can trace all His paths?   (J.G. Bellett)

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December 4

"And as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise."
(Luke 6:31)

The annual Texas Book Festival in Austin draws thousands of people who enjoy browsing for books, attending discussions led by acclaimed authors, and gleaning advice from professional writers.  At one such festival, an author of young adult fiction told aspiring writers, "Write the book that you want to find on the shelf."  That's a powerful recommendation for writing and for living.  What if we decided to live the way we want everyone else to live?

In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus urged His followers to pursue a lifestyle that demonstrates God's mercy to all: "Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless those that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (vv.27-28).  He also said that generosity and a lack of retaliation should characterize our reaction to unreasonable treatment (vv.29-30).  Jesus concluded, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."  (v.31).

Impossible?  Yes, if we rely on our own strength and resolve.  The strength comes from the Holy Spirit.  And the resolve comes from remembering how God has treated us: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great . . . for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful" (vv.35-36).  That's a life we all long to see.  (David McCasland)          

"All the way my Saviour leads me - what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide?"
(Crosby)
_____________________________________________________________
Christianity is not just Christ in you, but Christ living His life through you.

N.J. Hiebert - 5363

December 5

"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
(Job 28:28)

That is just exactly what is felt when a soul is converted.  He may know nothing more than that; he sees how he has been in almost all evil, and he departs from it.  A real sight of Christ is enough to do that by the Spirit of God, and the fear of Lord.  That is what is abiding even when souls are not occupied with their evil, and speaking of it - the fear of the Lord and departing from evil.

But that is not the same thing as the gospel; it is not the same thing as knowing that all our evil is judged already in Christ's person on the cross, that our sins are completely gone, and that we are brought in as children whiter than snow through the blood of Christ before the eye of God.

That is the gospel; and it is after his reception of the word of truth that man receives the Holy Spirit, to delight in it, and to be the witness of it; but enjoying it first.

Not to speak unto other people at first; that is not the first thing, but to enjoy it with thankfulness and praise of God, and in worship of Him; that is what we come to.

That is the true effect of the Spirit of God working. (William Kelly)

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December 6

"Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." (1 Samuel 3:9.10)

"Please hold the line while we try to connect you. The number you are calling knows you are waiting."
 It's frustrating isn't it?
It is a wonderful thing to remember that no matter how many people are speaking to God in prayer
we are never told to hold the line.
When we come to Him in the Name of the Lord Jesus we have His ear immediately and individually!

However, could it be that there are times when God wants to speak to us
and He is getting a reply that the person He is calling is busy?
It may well be that God is calling to communicate some truth to us,
or perhaps He is calling us to make some adjustments in our lives,
to confess some sin, to undertake some service, to witness to a lost soul,
to help someone in need, or even to missionary work.
The question is: are we listening? Does the rush of the day block out the still small voice of God?
Does the din of the world drown out the Master's call?

If we are too busy to hear God's voice there are two things He may do.
He may intervene in our circumstances to get our attention, or He may give up calling.
Neither of these two options is pleasant to consider,
so the best thing for us to do is to make sure that we spend time alone in His presence every day,
breathing this prayer in sincerity, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth".
God wants to get through to you today.
(Adapted)

N.J. Hiebert - 5365

December 7

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my High tower."
(Psalm 18:2)

When the heart can find its sweet relief in God Himself -
when it can retreat into the strong tower which His name affords -
when it can find, in His character, a perfect answer to all its need -
then, truly, it is raised far above the region of the creature.
(Food for the Desert)

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December 8

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life."  
(Philippians 2:15-16)

"Can any man look round and see what Christian countries are now doing, and how they are governed, and what is the general condition of society, without seeing that Christianity is the flag under which the world sails, and not the rudder that steers its course?" (O.W.H.)

That is an arresting question which, from the individual point of view, comes home to the heart of every Christian man and woman.  For the time has arrived when the lives of Christians are about the only Bible which the world will read; when what we are, has more weight than what we say; when deeds speak more loudly than words.

It cannot be too frequently affirmed that the final test of a man's Christianity is not in the sphere of opinion, or in that of professed belief; but always and everywhere in the sphere of conscience and of love.

Happy the Christian man whose manner of life gives validity and power to his message; whose doctrine and whose life coincide, exhibit lucid proof that he is honest in the sacred cause. (Winsome Christianity)

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December 9

Purifying By Water

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Each Christian who is a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), still has (as did Paul) a fallen, sinful nature which we received from our father, Adam.  That nature is full of grit, pieces of dirt, and impurities.  The only One who walked here without such impurities was our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.

 He, as perfect Man was like fine flour with no hint or spot of contaminant (John 8:29) - perfectly submitted in every respect to the will of God (Hebrews 10:7,9).

But for a believer to have a clay body that is usable - transformable (Romans 12:2) into that which is pleasing to God - the impurities of the corrupt flesh must be separated.  The blood of Christ forever cleanses the believer from all stain of sin.

The Word of God, when applied daily to heart and conscience causes the grit and dirt of the flesh to be practically separated from.  (sometimes referred to as practical sanctification).

How important that each day we soak in that cleansing water of the Word, allowing the spirit to stir our hearts and consciences while separating the precious from the vile (Jeremiah 15:19) in our daily, practical lives.  (The Potter's Hands - Doug Nicolet)

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December 10

"The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps."
(Matthew 25:4)

Religion without Christ is a lamp without oil.
"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them" (Matthew 25:5).
Jesus says,
"Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
(Charles H. Spurgeon)

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December 11

"Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine hand. . . . "
(Jeremiah 18:6)

"Have Thine own way, Lord!  Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still."
(Adelaide A. Pollard 1862-1934)

When the potter gets to work upon his wheel, he expects the clay to be completely pliable under the pressure of his hand.
Speaking with a potter one day, he told me that the hand that does the shaping is the hand inside the vessel, and that the shaping takes place from the inside outwards.
Surely this is the Lord's desire for us, that we should be fashioned according to His desires, and that we should recognize that the work must begin on the inside, rather that with the outward appearance.
We must allow the Spirit to do His work within to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
(W.H. Burnett)

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December 12

The Impossible Symphony

"What concord hath Christ with Belial?"
(2 Corinthians 6:15)

What we read as "concord" is really the word from which we get "symphony".  "Belial" is found only here in the New Testament, but throughout the Old Testament it stands for the Spirit of evil.  The spirit of Belial shows up in false religious movements (Deuteronomy 13:13), in lawlessness (Judges 19:22), in wayward daughters and sons (1 Samuel 1:16, 2:12).

We have concord with Belial when we oppose God's chosen man (1 Samuel 10:27; 2 Samuel 20:1), when we are sour and churlish (1 Samuel 25:17,25), when we are ungracious  toward the weak (1 Samuel 30:22), when we bear false witness (1 Kings 21:10, 13).

There is no "symphony" of Christ with Belial.  When we try to harmonize them we have not concord but discord.  To be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God (James 4:4), and if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us (1 John 2:15).

We are not to effect a truce between Christ and Belial.  We are out to issue an ultimatum:  "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15).

It is never Christ and.  It is always Christ or.  "He that is not with me is against Me" (Luke 11:23).  (Day By Day - Vance Havner)

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December 13

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

A missionary from India, returned home on furlough. At a midweek prayer meeting he read a letter that he had received from an Indian elder in the church, which the missionary had left behind. 

This is what he read: “Dear brother, we have missed you greatly while you have been gone, but we are trying to carry on. We are all studying the Word more faithfully than ever, and God has already been at work and we are having a great "rebible.” 

He meant “revival.” The missionary reading the letter said, “Brethren, I do not think there was any mistake in that letter because whenever there is a re-Bible movement, there will be a revival.”  (With thanks to S.L.)

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December 14


"Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools."
(Psalm 84:6)

"Others, Lord, yes others, let this my motto be;
Help me to live for others, that I might live like Thee."
(C.D. Meigs)

When we go through difficult times in life, we must dig deep into the Word
for the needed refreshment to make it.
In turn we should, as it were, leave it behind us,
so that the next weary pilgrim is benefited by what we've found.
Are you going through troubles?
Remember the help He gives.
He comforts us that we may be able to comfort others with that some comfort!
(Rex Trogdon)
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December 15

" . . . rooted and grounded in love."
(Ephesians 3:17)

Not long ago I watched a great tree bend before a gale.  The storm passed on; then it returned in renewed fury.  Would the tree, which had weathered the winds of many summers and the blasts of many winters, stand in this, the worst gale in the memory of the oldest resident?

Eagerly I watched, for the tree had come to be a symbol of strength.  The wind wearied and ceased.  Slowly the tree righted itself.  The sun shone on its green crown, greener and more beautiful than before, for the rain had washed away the dust of many weeks.

What held the tree as it bowed before the storm?  Ah, the taproot was down deep in the earth; the other roots gripped firmly for a distance of many feet.  The tree was securely anchored.  The gales of its life had only caused the roots to go deeper, to draw more nourishment from the ground in which it stood.

Then I thought how like this tree our lives may be if we are "rooted and grounded" in the immeasurable love of God.  Troubles may come, but they will not overwhelm us.  Grief may shut out the sunshine for a time, but it will make our lives the more beautiful if only we allow it to do so.

The hardiest trees are not reared in hot-houses,
but where they can battle with wind and tempest:
"moored in the rifted rock."
(Traveling Toward Sunshine)

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December 16

The Hand of Jesus!

"My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live." 
(Matthew 9:18)

 The child was DEAD. Disease did its work, death seized its prey before Jesus reached the house.
In the same way, how many we have in our homes, congregations,
and neighborhoods who are spiritually dead.
There are no signs of life at all.
They can live without prayer, which is the breath of the soul;
and surely where there is no breath, there is no life.
They have no faith, and faith is the spiritual energy of the soul.
They have no activity in God's ways, they put forth no energy in God's cause,
nor do they manifest any concern for God's glory.

Surely such are dead, and in such cases there is no hope,
except Jesus will come and lay His hand upon them.
(Gleams of Grace - 1860 Adapted)

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December 17

"My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?"
(Psalm 22:1)

This Psalm was the language of the soul of the Lord while He hung on the cross.

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
(Matthew 27:46)

He uttered, perhaps, only the first words of it, but His Spirit went through the whole.
He begins as though His cries for deliverance from death:

". . . when He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared."
Hebrews 5:7 had not been heard, since He was now under the darkness of the withdrawn countenance of God.
This was the death of a victim, not of a martyr.
It was death under the judgment of sin.
Nothing ever could be of like kind.

See how the death of the martyr Stephen is different from that of the Lamb of God (Acts 7).
But still the perfect sufferer entirely vindicates God - the faithful God of the fathers, and His God from the womb hitherto.
(J.G. Bellett)

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December 18

"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." 
(Matthew 3:10)

Too often in our days the axe is laid to the fruit of the tree.
But it is the root that is wrong.
There must be a new man if there would be fruit for God.
To lay the axe to the root of the tree implies the utter condemnation of the natural man
and suggests the positive need of new birth.
(H.A. Ironside - Matthew)

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December 19

Feeble yet Necessary

"The king Himself is served by the field."
(Ecclesiastes 5:9)

The lowly worm, with toil unseen,
Keeps all the verdant valley green.
There graze the herds; and they, again,
Do man, creation's head, sustain.

Hence learn a lesson good to know -
Let none despise his brother low.
The chief, though ne'er so great increased,
Is still dependent on the least.
(Bells & Pomegranates -
James M. S. Tait)

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December 20

"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."    
(1 Peter 2:24)

When I see a Christ come out of glory, bearing my sin in His own body,
and going back again to glory,
and going on for 1800 years [2000+] waiting and gathering
poor sinners into the Father's house, there is something exquisitely beautiful!

My heart is stolen away by everything Christ does.
Is there no beauty in the walk of Him who did all for you?
Don't you want to be like Him?
Have you not a model before you that attracts the whole heart?

How we should long to resemble this Christ and to have His mind!
I have got a Christ in heaven, and I desire to meet that Christ's thoughts in everything,
and to be one with Him in the world where He was rejected and crucified.
(Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

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December 21

"Let Him"

"All that the Father hath given Me shall come to Me; 
and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
(John 6:37)

Simple words, - yet key to blessing
Richer far than speech can tell:
Free to all His name confessing,
In whose hearts He thus doth dwell.

For within each true believer
Jesus lives, - would live in power,
Longing that He may deliver
Each one in temptation's hour.

***
Key to blessing, rich in measure, -
Key to rest in time of strife,
Key to wondrous inward treasure,
Key to a triumphant life; -

Not our copy of His goodness,
Be that copy passing fair,
But just "letting Him" within us
All things meet and all things bear.
(J. Danson Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 5380

December 22

"But and if that servant say in His heart, my Lord delayeth His coming . . . the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."  
(Luke 12:45,46)

Christendom apostatizes by putting off in heart the Lord's coming.
The great stay of heavenly mindedness is lost thereby,
and our peculiar calling and hope.
To expect the Lord detaches from the world.
(Footprints for Pilgrims - J.N.D.)

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December 23

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
(Romans 8:37)

Like the eagle, who sits on a crag and watches the sky as it is filling with blackness, and the forked lightnings are playing up and down, and he is sitting perfectly still, turning one eye and then the other toward the storm.

But he never moves until he begins to feel the burst of the breeze and knows that the hurricane has struck him; with a scream, he swings his breast to the storm, and uses the storm to go up to the sky; away he goes, borne upward upon it.

That is what God wants of every one of His children, to be more than conqueror, turning the storm-cloud into a chariot.

You know when one army is more than conqueror it is likely to drive the other from the field, to get all the ammunition, the food and supplies, and to take possession of the whole.  That is just what our text means. There are spoils to be taken!   (Selected)

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December 24

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth."
(Psalm 98:4)

Two young starlings landed near our feeder.
Their loud, incessant cries of hunger alerted the neighbourhood to their distress.
When their needs had been met, the songs of the other, full-grown birds could again be heard -
contented chirps and the full repertoire of the cardinal.
A smaller inner voice seemed to ask,
What will your voice sound like to Me today - demands, never satisfied, always wanting more,
or songs of gratitude and praise, of joy to the Giver of sunshine, food, flowers, winds and rain.
(M. MacMullen)

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December 25

"And HE came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh."
(Ephesians 2:17)

It was the night before Christmas in 1870.  French and German armies faced each other on the field of battle in the Franco-Prussian War.  A French soldier started walking toward the German lines.  His comrades watched breathlessly, expecting to hear at any instant the crack of a rifle that would end his life.

As he neared the enemy lines, he stopped and began singing, "Noel, noel! Noel, noel!  Born is the King of Israel!"  No shot rang out.

Slowly the Frenchman returned to his ranks.  There was silence!  Then from the German side came a lone soldier to that same spot and sang the German version of the same song.  After each stanza both armies united in the chorus.  For a few minutes Christ brought peace to that battlefield.

God is a peacemaker, who always takes the first step.  Jesus came as a baby, and when He grew to manhood He preached peace to a warring world.  Then, in the greatest peace initiative this world has ever seen, Christ made peace between God and man by dying for our sins (Colossians 1:20).

Peacemaking efforts may be rejected, but the alternative is continued hostility.  God didn't settle for that, not should we.  Let's take the first step in healing a broken relationship, even at the risk of being "shot down."  (DID)

O Prince of Peace, keep us, we pray,
From strife and enmity;
Help us to speak with loving words
That quell hostility.
(JDB)
----------------------------------------------------------
What this world needs is the peace that passes all mis-understanding.
_____________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1994, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.

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December 26

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory."
(John 1:14)

After the Apollo XV mission, Colonel James Irwin related some of the high points of his experience.  He told of weightless bodies floating free in the space capsule, the rising crescent of the earth as seen from the moon, and the triumphal splashdown before a watching world.

Irwin also spoke of the impact the experience had on his spiritual life.  He said that from the lunar surface he sensed both the glory of God and the plight of earthbound man.  As he came back to earth, he realized he couldn't content himself with being merely a celebrity.  He would have to be a servant, telling his fellowman of a better way to live.  Irwin concluded by saying that if we think it a great event to go to the moon, how much greater is the wonder that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ!

Because man walked on the moon, science and technology have made tremendous advances.  But because God walked on earth, we know both our origin and our destiny.  We can know our Creator personally.

"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).

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:14). 

"That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9). 

Through Jesus' sacrificial death we have the joy of sins forgiven and an abundant life -
all because God walked on earth. (MRD II)

Down from His glory, ever-living story, My God and Saviour came, and JESUS was His name.
Born in a manger, to His own a stranger, a Man of sorrows, tears, and agony.
(Booth-Clibborn)
____________________________________________________________
God made his home with us that we might make our home with God.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1996), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.

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December 27

". . . exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord."
(Acts 11:23)

Cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart.
Depend on Him.
There is power in Christ; there is sufficiency in Christ for all He would have you do or be.
Some are allowed a long season of joy on first believing.
But God knows our hearts, and how soon we begin to depend on our joy, and not on Christ.
He is our object - not the joy.

Cleave to Christ with purpose of heart.
A distracted heart is the bane of Christians.
When we have got something that is not Christ, we are away from the source of strength.
When my soul is filled with Christ, I have no heart or eye for the trash of this world.
If Christ is dwelling in your heart by faith, it will not be a question with you:
"What harm is there in this and that?"
But rather, "Am I doing this for Christ?"
"Can Christ go along with me in this?"
(Comforted of God - A.J. Pollock)

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December 28

Remarkable And Far-Reaching

"And God saw . . . that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
(Genesis 6:5)

There is real comfort in knowing that every imagination of the thoughts of the natural heart is only evil continually, because this shows how really He is working in us when we find Him putting and keeping holy things in our minds.

We may be quite sure no Godward thought comes natural to us; but His new covenant is, "I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts."

The words are very remarkable  and far-reaching.  We feel that they go to the very depths, that it is our whole mental being which is to be thus pervaded with the incense of consecration; not that it is to be kept only in some inner recess of the heart, and not equally so in the mental consciousness. "Keep this for ever in the imagination."
(Opened Treasures - Frances Ridley Havergal)

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December 29

"Some therefor cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together."
(Acts 19:32)

The fact is, we want a perfect standard, and this can only be found within the covers of our most precious Bible.  What a boon!  What a treasure!

How we should bless God for it!  How we should praise His Name for His mercy in that He hath not left His Church dependent upon the ignis fatuus (optical illusion) of human tradition, but upon the steady light of Divine revelation!

We do not want tradition to assist revelation, but we use revelation as the  test of tradition.  We should just as soon think of bringing out a rushlight (sort of candle or miniature torch)  to assist the sun's meridian beams, as of calling in human tradition to aid Divine revelation. (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 5388

December 30

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless AFTERWARD it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
 (Hebrews 12:11)

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, AFTER that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you."
(1 Peter 5:10)

The wonder of Christianity is that there is always an "AFTERWARD."
It may involve discipline, it may involve suffering,
but AFTERWARD the glorious purposes of God are revealed.
What a day when the final "AFTER" is reached and we look back
on all of life to discover the wonders of His purposes in us - and the reason why!
(Garry W. Seale)

"AFTER the earthly shadows have lifted, and o'er the hilltops morning I see, Sweetest of prospects, I shall behold Him, the Saviour of sinners like me."
(E.M.P)

N.J. Hiebert - 5389  

December 31


"But He [chastens us] for our profit. . . ."
(Hebrews 12:10)


The flame shall not hurt thee - I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
Sometimes God chastens us and sometimes Satan sifts us.
God's purpose is to burn up the dross and refine the gold.
Satan hopes to winnow out the wheat and leave only the chaff,
but God can turn it around the other way.
At any rate, our Father takes no pleasure in our sorrows and grief. His only design is to refine us.
Alas, there is often so much dross and so little gold, so much chaff and so little wheat,
so much wood, hay, and stubble, so little gold, silver, and precious stones!
We may not have much left when He is finished with us, but a little gold is better than tons of chaff.
It is a good day when we give up trash for treasure.
(Vance Havner)
N.J. Hiebert - 5390

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