Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Gems from January 2014

January 1
"So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
(Psalm 90:12)
Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,
in working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace;
another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
another year of progress, another year of praise,
another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;
another year of training for holier work above.
Another year of dawning! Dear Father, let it be,
on earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
(Frances Ridley Havergal)
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January 2

"Wait on the Lord, and He shall save thee."
(Proverbs 20:22)

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
(Psalm 37:7)

Remember that it is not hasty reading--but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths,
which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul.

It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey--
but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet.

It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most--
who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest, and strongest Christian!
(T. Brooks - R.L. Daily Devotions)

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January 3

"Hear thou. my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way."
(Proverbs 23:19)

Just one thing, O master, I ask today,
Now that the old year has passed away,
And a promising new year, through grace of Thine,
With all the dreams of youth is mine -
Just one thing I ask as I onward go,
That I'll walk with Thee - not too fast, nor slow;
Just one thing I ask, and nothing more,
Not to linger behind, nor run before,
O Master!  This is my only plea -
Take hold of my life and pilot me.
(Selected)

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January 4

“…from whence cometh my help.”
(Psalm 121:1)

"My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."
(Psalm 121:2)

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee."
(Isaiah 26:3)


“When you have no helpers, see your helpers in God.
When you have many helpers, see God in all your helpers.
When you have nothing but God, see all in God.
When you have everything, see God in everything.
Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord.”
(Charles H. Spurgeon - S.L.)

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January 5

"For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:11)

"In the cross of Christ I glory, tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time -"

Martin Luther preached the doctrine of Atoning Blood to slumbering Europe, and Europe awoke from the dead.
Amid all his defenses of Divine sovereignty, Calvin never ignored or belittled the Atonement.
Cowper sang of it among the water-lilies of the Ouse.
Spurgeon thundered this glorious doctrine of Christ crucified into the ears of peer and peasant with a voice like the sound of many waters.
John  Bunyan made the Cross the starting-point to the Celestial city.
Moody's bells all chimed to the keynote of Calvary.
Napoleon, after conquering almost the whole of Europe, put his finer on the red spot on the map representing the British Isles, and said, "were it not for that red spot, I'd conqueror the world!"
So says Satan about the place called Calvary, where Jesus Christ shed His Blood.

"Beneath the Cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noon-day heat, and the burden of the day.

"Upon the cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One who suffered there for me.
And from my smitten heart with tears, two wonders I confess,
The wonder of His glorious love, and my own worthlessness.

"I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine that the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame, My glory all the Cross."

Every true preacher of the Gospel strings all his pearls on the Red Cord of the Atonement.
(Dr. T.L. Cuyler)

CALVARY COVERS IT ALL!

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January 6

"And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law . . . and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law."
(Genesis 19:14)

It is vain to speak of approaching judgment,
while finding our place, our portion,
and our enjoyment in the very
scene which is to be judged.

Thou must be true thyself,
If thou the truth wouldst teach;
Thy soul must overflow if thou
Another's soul wouldst reach;
It needs the overflow of heart
To give the lips full speech.
(Anon)

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January 7

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." 
(John 15:13)

"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Romans 5:7-8)

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold . . .
But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot."
(1 Peter 1:18-19)

 Many years ago there was a little boy whose sister was near death and needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Because of her weakened condition it didn’t look like she would live. Her only chance of recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was an ideal donor.
 "Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."
 Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room Mary, pale and thin, Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.
 As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched his blood flow through the tube. With the ordeal almost over, Johnny's voice, slightly shaky broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?" Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated and why his lip had trembled when he agreed to donate his blood. He thought giving his blood to his sister would mean giving up his life. In that brief moment, out of love for his sister, he had made his decision.
 As the Doctor reassured the boy that he wasn’t going to die, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
(With thanks to - S.L.)

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January 8

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."
(2 Timothy 4:7-8)

It is so gracious of HIM to give us any encouragement in our service,
but I am convinced that, in the issue, the fruit of our labours which we have not seen
will be far more abundant than that which we have been permitted to know of,
and hence it is that we have to scatter the seed in faith.
(Edward Dennett)

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January 9

"Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.  And Jesus said unto him, forbid him not:  for he that is not against us is for us."
(Luke 9:49-50)

"He followeth not with us."
That tells the whole tale.
They were thinking of themselves, not of Christ;
of their own importance, and not His honour.
If it had been His importance they would have thought
how blessed it was to find the effect of His name and rejoiced
to know His power was being exercised by man.
But no; they were looking at themselves as well as at the Messiah.
. . . And is there not something in us of the same thing -
a satisfaction at that which aggrandizes self as well as Christ,
instead of seeking the honour of Christ alone.
(J.N. Darby)

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January 10

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation."
(Psalm 68:19)

"Commit [roll] thy way unto [upon] the Lord." [Margin]
(Psalm 37:5)

Do not be satisfied with rolling your self on God, roll your burden also.  He who can carry the one can carry the other.

When a tiny boy, trying to help his father move his books, fell on the staircase beneath the weight of a heavy volume, his father ran to his aid and caught up in his arms boy and burden both, and carried them in his arms to his room.

And will God deal worse with us? He cannot fail not forsake.  He can smite rocks, and open seas, and unlock the treasures of the air, and ransack the stores of the earth.  Birds will bring meat, and fish coins if He bid them.

He takes up the isles as a very little thing - how easily, then, your heaviest load: while there is nothing so trivial but that you may make it a matter of prayer and faith.  (F.B. Meyer)

"How sweet, my Saviour to repose, on Thine almighty power!
To feel Thy strength upholding me, through every trying hour!"

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January 11

"By the greatness of Thine arm they shall be still . . .
till Thy people pass over, O Lord."
(Exodus 15:16)


Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no back,
There is no other way but - through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, "Go on."


And His hand will lead you through - clear through -
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.


In the morning watch, 'neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made,
(Annie Johnson Flint)
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January 12

"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it."
(Matthew 10:39)
To live for self is to fail to recognize the purpose of our creation.
But if we give up all that men of the world value, for His name's sake, we gain eternally.
Elsewhere the Lord Jesus Christ said,

"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
(John 12:24).

These words form an admirable commentary on His teaching regarding saving and losing one's life.
The corn of wheat "saved" rather than planted is really lost.
That which is lost by planting is saved in the coming harvest.
(H.A. Ironside)

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January 13

"Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid . . . for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
(Deuteronomy 31:6)

I am more and more impressed as I read the Bible, by the reiterated "Fear not."
There are so many promises that it should not be strange if there were no "Fear not";
The promises are enough to rest upon.
We should not need to be told not to be afraid,
and yet there it is over and over again, in one form or another,
this strong, loving, encouraging "Fear not" of our God.
(Amy Carmichael)

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January 14

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

- Never think to find honey in the pot, when God writes poison on the cover.

- Sin disturbs the inward peace of the the soul and the outward peace of the world.

- Thou knowest, sinner, already, the best of thy sinful pleasure, but not the worst of thy punishment.

(A Basket of Fragments - William Gurnall)
 (1617-1679)

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January 15

"This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."
(John 15:12)

Was the love of Jonathan rather a cold kind of love, the love that does not care very much to be "loved back again"?  David did not think so:

"Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." 
(2 Samuel 1:26) 

To love as Jonathan loved, and to show that love as he showed his, is not to be hard, or cold; it is not to give a stone when a hungry heart asks for bread.

We cannot love one another too much.  It is impossible to love too much.

"This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you."    

We cannot approach that, much less pass it, so we cannot love too much.  Let all loving hearts then be at rest about loving.  Only let the  love be selfless, strong, brave, faithful.  There are always chances for strengthening one another's hands in God; let us not lose our chances.  (Edges of His Ways - Amy Carmichael)

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January 16

"And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee;  but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house."
 (Luke 9:61)

When my first affections are settled, then will I come and follow Thee. . . . This case shows that those at home were not left in heart.  He felt he had to break with them, and yet his heart lingered.

"No man looking back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).
"Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32).
"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8).

If Christ be not first and last He will always be last, for faith is not in exercise.  The question is whether we are walking as seeing what the Cross tells us.

The Cross lifts the veil, showing the skeleton of this world, and when I see this sentence on all that is in the world, self as well as what is outside, and our links of affection with it, I learn that all is to be given up; but there is Christ Himself and the love there is in Him to meet it.

It will and must judge self; and it  brings out the will, too, for there is a great deal of will in all this shunning of the Cross. (J.N. Darby)

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January 17

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;  yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
(Galatians 2:20)

Countless icebergs float in the frigid waters around Greenland.  Some are tiny; others tower skyward.  At times the small ones move in one direction while their gigantic counterparts go in another.  The small ones are subject to surface winds, but the huge ice masses are carried along by deep ocean currents.

Our lives are subject to two similar forces.  The winds represent everything changeable, unpredictable, distressing.   But simultaneously with these adverse gusts or gales is a force more powerful than anything on the surface.  It is the sure movement of God's purposes and the deep flow of His unchanging love.  In that unseen current rests the destiny of our souls.

When the psalmist was distressed by thoughts of the prosperity of the wicked, he went into the sanctuary to get alone with God.  Only then did he regain perspective  (Psalm 73:17).

Job faced his calamities by affirming, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15).

Paul, realizing that he had been "crucified with Christ," could say, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed" (2 Corinthians 4:8).

As we keep trusting the Lord, the surface winds won't move us.  Rather, we'll be carried along with the deep current of God's love and power.

Underneath the restless surface of each trial that comes in life
Flow the Saviour's love and power - let them calm your inner strife.
(D. De Haan)

Better the storm with Christ than smooth waters without Him.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2003), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.

N.J. Hiebert - 5407

January 18

"And Israel said unto Joseph, do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them.  And he said to him here am I."
(Genesis 37:13)

Jacob may have special affection for his son Joseph, nevertheless his other sons have a real place in his affections, and Joseph is to become the witness of the father's love to the brethren.

Accordingly Jacob desires that Joseph shall leave the home in the vale of Hebron and journey to distant Shechem, there, as the sent one of the father, to inquire of his brethren's welfare and bring Jacob word again.

Joseph on his part is ready to obey, though he has experienced the hatred of his brethren.  Jacob's request meets with Joseph's immediate response, "Here am I." so we read Israel "sent him out of the vale of Hebron" and Joseph "came to Shechem."  (Hamilton Smith)

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January 19

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations."
(1 Peter 1:6)

Many of the Lord's people have heavy hearts, caused by a variety of circumstances.
Some mourn, others are ill and some despair for family and future.
Yet others have been disappointed in their brethren or in friends they trusted.
Things may never be the same again.
This verse tells us that such trials are necessary, manifold, but for a season only.
This test of your faith is more precious than gold;
 it will be replaced by a much brighter tomorrow.
(Roy Hill)

"Cheer, O cheer, the morn is breaking!  Gloomy night will disappear;
Christ will come with sweet awaking;  happier days will soon be here;
Long the pilgrim path we've wandered, long we've hoped mid doubt and fear, Hard we've pressed through many a battle - now the day of peace is here."
(W.C.)

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January 20

"And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him."
(John 10:4)

"Draw me!  I will run after Thee, will seek
To hear obediently what Thou will speak:
And step by step the blessed path would trace
Of my beloved - full of truth and grace."

The One who draws goeth before.
Thus the Lord goes before His people in the wilderness,
and sees the danger and meets it, before they come to it.

Many, many are the dangers we are, by Him, delivered from, that we know nothing about.
A snare may be laid for us by the enemy, in the way that we said we would go, but our divine Leader, seeing the snare, turns us into another path,
leads in another direction, and the snare which might have proved fatal is escaped.

And yet, I may feel so disappointed, and so discontented, because something hindered me reaching my previously appointed place.
Blessed Lord! may we ever, and only, "run after Thee."
(Andrew Miller)

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January 21

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
(1 Peter 1:6-7)

- These words remind us that the way home leads through the Valley of the Shadow
 as well as as over the Delectable Mountains;
- that our web of time is woven with mercy and with judgment;
- that for every trial there is a need be;
- that they are only for a season;
- and that the end and purpose of them all is the purifying
and the strengthening of our faith in God.

"For a season."  The soul, then, equally with Nature,
has its seasons of winter as well as of summer,
of spring as well as autumn;
and each of them has something to contribute to its well-being.

"Far too well thy Saviour loves thee, to allow thy life to be
One long, calm, unbroken summer, one unruffled, stormless sea.
He would have thee fondly nestling closer to His loving breast,
He would have that world seem brighter, where alone is perfect rest."

"This is for you, man of the broken heart, and tear-stained cheek, and reddened eyes, and furrowed brow."
(Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

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January 22

"Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 
(Psalm 107:8)

"Dozens Homeless From Flooding."
"Five People Dead in Wake of Tornado."

Such events headlined by the media are termed "Acts of God."
Where are the newspaper articles stating that the gorgeous sunset yesterday, or
the much needed rain were acts of God?  These we take for granted.
And what about the supreme Act of God?
Isaiah 53:4-5 points us to Christ who was "smitten of God" when
"He was wounded for our transgressions."
You can take the rest of God's gifts for granted if you wish, but if you avoid this supreme act of God you will be lost forever.
Come to Him today.
(David J. Logan)

Gone my transgressions and now I am free,
All because Jesus was wounded for me.
(W.G. Ovens)

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January 23

"Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." (John 3:20)

Our Lord teaches the need of the new birth through the word of salvation.  Without it man cannot be trusted of God; and without it the kingdom of God could not, as our Lord here further teaches us, be either seen or entered.

What association, for instance, had the elder brother with that which was the characteristic joy of the father's house?  None!  He never had so much as a kid to make merry with his friends: none but a returned prodigal could draw forth the ring, the best robe, and the fatted calf.

And so the kingdom is such a kingdom as none but redeemed sinners can apprehend its joys, or have any place in it.  All there are "new creatures," persons of an order not found in the first creation.

Adam was made upright; but all in the kingdom are blood-bought sinners.  Every thing in it is reconciled by blood - as it is written -

"And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, 
by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; 
by Him, I say, whether things in earth, 
or things in heaven."
(Colossians 1:20)

(The Evangelists -J.G. Bellett)

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January 24

The World Changes - But Not the Human Race

"That ye henceforth  walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind."
(Ephesians 4:17)

To a Christian, conditioned as he is to observing life from above and judging all things in the light of eternal values, the modern feverish devotion to the newest invention and the latest happening seems more than a little ridiculous!

One thing seems to be quite forgotten: the world moves and times change but people remain the same always.  Just as a pendulum remains fixed at the top while it swings back and forth from one extreme to another, so the human race remains basically unchanged while it moves through its limited arc.

No responsible person will deny that some changes made by the race over the years have been improvements and so may have represented progress and advance.  However, just what we are supposed to be advancing toward has not been made very clear by our leaders!

It would seem humanly difficult, indeed, to show that we are moving toward an end when we do not know what or where that end is, or even if such an end exists at all.

The only parallel we can think of at the moment is that of a deadly-serious and fanatically determined dachshund chasing breathlessly after its tail - a tail, incidentally, which is not there because it has previously been removed.  Add a large number of other dachshunds, bespectacled and solemn, writing books to prove that the frustrated puppy's activity is progress, and you have the picture.  (Renewed Day By Day - A.W. Tozer)

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January 25

"And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh; and he said unto them, 'Go, serve the Lord your God; but who are they that shall go?'  And Moses said, 'We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.' "
(Exodus 10:8-9)

The reason why they should take the little ones and all with them was  because they were going to hold a feast unto the Lord.  Nature might say, Oh, what can these little creatures know about a feast unto the Lord?

Are you not afraid of making them formalists?  The reply of Moses is simple and decisive "We will go with our young . . .  for we must hold a feast unto the Lord."  They had no idea of seeking one thing for themselves and another for their children.  They dreamed not of Canaan for themselves and Egypt for their children.  How could they taste the manna of the wilderness, or the old corn of the land, while their children were feeding upon the leeks, the onions, and the garlic of Egypt?

Impossible.  Moses and Aaron understood not such acting.  They felt that God's call to them was a call to their little ones; and, moreover, were it not fully carried out, they would no sooner have gone forth from Egypt by one road than their children would draw them back by another.  (C.H. Macintosh)

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January 26

"Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
(Psalm 23:6)

But why "follow" me?  Why not "go before"?  Because some of my enemies are in the rear; they attack me from behind.  There are foes in my yesterdays which can give me fatal wounds.  They can stab me in the back!

If I coud only get away from the past!  Its guilt dogs my steps.  Its sins are ever at my heels.  I have turned my face toward the Lord, but my yesterdays pursue me like a relentless hound!  So I have an enemy in the rear.

But, blessed be His name, my mighty God is in the rear as well as my foe.  "Goodness and mercy shall follow me!"  No hound can break through that defence.  Between me and my guilt there is the infinite love of the Lord.  The loving Lord will not permit my past to destroy my soul.

I may sorrow for my past, but my very sorrow shall be a minister of moral and spiritual health.  My Lord is Lord of the past as well as of the morrow, and so today "I will trust and not be afraid."

Most of my ills I have cured, and the worst I have always survived.
But the very worst ones I've endured - were those that never arrived.
(Anonymous)

And so I am not to worry about the coming crisis! God is never before His time, and never behind!  When the hour is come, I shall find that the great Host has made all things ready.  When the crisis comes He will tell me how to rest.

The orders are not given until the appointed day.  Why should I fume and fret and worry as to what the sealed envelope contains?  It is enough that He knows all, and when the hour strikes the secret shall be revealed.  (J. H. Jowett)

"It shall be given you in that same hour" (Matthew 10:19).

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January 27

"What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
(Romans 8:31,32) 

A believer's portion is so blessed.  Here we may not, and most likely will not think it so well for us.  True faith in Christ sets the whole world against us, but the apostle simply puts all in comparison with God, and states, if He is for us, who can be against us.

The proof of God being for us is in the fact that He spared not His own Son to bring us into this blessed relationship with Himself.

We tend too often to judge God's goodness to us by how things are going for us in this life, not thinking about the eternal consequences of things.

"All things" of  verse 28, some of which are adversity are included in the "all things" of of our verse which are "freely" given.  "Freely" carries the thought of kindness toward us.

Oh how kind He is, especially in view of how man rebelled against Him, and His Son.  With the gift of His Son, He has also included all things.  (The Christians Shepherd - January 2014)

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January 28

"I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)

The door to the chicken coop was open.
But as I turned to walk home, I couldn't help but notice two chickens that were flapping their wings and flying at the walls and roof of the building, attempting to get out.
All that effort for nothing. The door was open.

It made me think of these people who are working so hard in the hope that they may reach heaven, when the door is wide open.
Jesus died on the cross and His blood can cleanse us from sin.
Why not enter through the Door and trust Jesus Today?
(J. Fleming)

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January 29

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(Romans 12:2)

Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Is this our simple purpose?
In any common act of life, our question should be,
is this acceptable to the Lord?
In purchasing an article of clothing, it should not be simply,
will this suit me - but is it acceptable to the Lord, does it suit Him?
(J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 5419

January 30

"Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
(Ruth 1:16)

In Matthew 14:29 we read of the twelve disciples being in the ship.
But only Peter left the ship in order to be near the Lord.
Did the others not love the Lord?
We know, of course, that they did.
But they had to pay a price to be close to Him, and this price was too high for them.
It meant that they would have to leave the ship,
and the ship is man's only means of staying on the water without sinking.
It meant that they would have to abandon everything that 
they had previously put their trust in -
They would have to put their confidence in HIM alone.
This was too much to ask from their poor hearts.

But it was not too much for Ruth.
"Whither thou goest I will go. . . ."
(The Book of Ruth - H.L. Hiejkoop)

N.J. Hiebert - 5420

January 31

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word." (Psalm 119:9)

This is a very searching question and it is one which each believer needs to answer for themselves.
Later in the same Psalm we read
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee".

Oh! How much we need daily washing with the precious Word of God as applied by His Spirit to separate the grit which is inconsistent with God's holy nature.
Where it is done, washing of water by the word will result in a usable,
pliable clay body for the use of the Master Potter.
(In the Potter's Hands - Douglas Nicolet)

N.J. Hiebert - 5421

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