Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5500 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Gems from May 2014

“Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it . . . that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
(Ephesians 5:25,27)

A thousand affections flow from Christ’s heart to His members, not from fellowship with any more particularly, although down here He might have felt it more with John than with James or Peter.

But up there every member of His body can comprehend by individual experience the surpassing love ever occupied in nourishing and cherishing its object.

It is only the power of Christ in His own living person that can keep, sustain, and nourish, and at the end present it to Himself a glorious body without spot or wrinkle.

When it comes to risen life and our being up there in heavenly places, we must needs have One to care and act for us there - a Master, every moment occupied and dealing with us. (Gleanings From The Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

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May 1

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)

Every effort put forth to preserve, to unfold, to illustrate, 
and to enforce the precious truth of scripture, we most highly esteem; but, 
on the other hand, when we find men making use of their learning,
their science, and their philosophy,
for the purpose of undermining the sacred edifice of Divine revelation,
we deem it our duty to raise our voice, in the clearest and strongest way,
against them, and to warn, most solemnly, against their baneful influence.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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May 2

“And behold thou (Zacharias) shall be dumb and not able to speak, . . .  because thou believest not My words.”
(Luke 1:20)

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word.”
(Luke 1:38)

Time and again in Scripture the women far exceed the men in their spirituality.
The words of Mary, known as the Magnificat, are some of the choicest in scripture -
while poor Zacharias, although a godly man, was struck dumb with unbelief.
What a debt we owe to godly women.
Some of our best loved hymns, for example, 
were written by ladies who really knew and trusted their God.
(Brian Russell)

“O what a happy child I am, although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be."
(Fanny Crosby)

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May 3

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”
(Luke 17:29)

There is nothing wrong in these things to which He calls attention.  There is nothing wrong in eating and drinking, in buying or selling; there is nothing wrong in planting or building.  These things are perfectly right in themselves, but it is wrong to be so occupied with them as to forget the things of God and eternity.

Jesus did not even mention the terrible sins that characterized the cities of the plain; He speaks only of ordinary things.  They were living as though there were no judgment to come, as though there were no God to whom they were responsible.  And while they were going on like this the judgment came; it came so suddenly that there was no escape from it.
“But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”
The Lord makes the application:  
“Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed.” 
Because that day will be one of terrible confusion here on the earth, He says, 
“In that day, He which shall be on the housetop, and his stuff in the house, 
let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, 
let him likewise not return back.”        

That is, there will be no use trying to save something out of the wrecked world; it will be too late.  It will be useless to attempt a way of escape for men who have rejected the only ONE in whom they might have found security.  (H.A. Ironside)

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)   

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May 4

“Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
(Hebrews 13:14)

Mr. Rothschild was the wealthiest man in the world, but he lived and died in an unfinished mansion.  
He had power to frighten a nation by calling for gold.  
Yet one of the cornices of his house was purposely unfinished, 
to bear testimony that he was a pilgrim in the land.
He was an orthodox Jew, and the house of every Jew, according to the Talmud, must be left unfinished.  
The unfinished cornice says: 
“Beautiful as this is, it is not my home; I am looking for a city.”
Does the unfinished cornice appear in your life?  
Do you know that you are a stranger as were our fathers?

One place have I in heaven above - the glory of His throne;
On this dark earth, whence He is gone, I have one place alone;
And if His rest in heaven I know, I joy to find His path below.

One lonely path across the waste, the lowly path of shame;
I would adore Thy wondrous grace that I should tread the same.
The Stranger and the Alien, Thou - and I the stranger, alien, now.
(Springs in the Valley - G.T.S.)

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May 5

“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”
(Ecclesiastes 11:6) 

The accidental direction of the wind determines which way the seed falls;
 but neither north or south it remains for the good of man.  
In like manner watch not for favourable winds; dispense on every side, north and south, 
of thy abundance; nor be too solicitous as to the worthiness of the recipients.
He who waits for perfectly favourable conditions will never sow, consequently never reap.  
Results are with God.  
It is not thy care in sowing at exactly the right moment that gives the harvest; 
all that  is God’s inscrutable work in nature, nor can man tell how those results are attained.
Life in its commencements is as completely enshrouded in mystery now as then.  
No science, no human wisdom has, or - it may be boldly added - ever can throw 
the slightest glimmer of clear light upon it.  
Thy part is diligence in sowing, the harvest return is God’s care
 "In the morning sow thy seed and in the evening withhold not thy hand” 
is wisdom’s counsel here, just as a higher wisdom teaches, 
“Preach the word: be instant in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). 
(F.C. Jennings)

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May 6

Words Which Work

“This also cometh from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” (Isaiah 28:29)

Do not quarrel with the invisible dew because it is not a visible shower.  
The Lord would send a shower if that was the true need to be supplied to His vineyard;  
but as He is sending his speech in another form, you may be quite sure it is because 
He is supplying your true need thereby.
You cannot see why it is so, and I do not pretend to explain; but what does that matter!  
He knows which way to water His vineyard.   
These words of His, which you are remembering so feebly, 
or reading without being able to grasp, are not going to return void.  
They are doing His own work on your soul, only in a quite different way to what you would choose.  
By and by they will sparkle out in the light of a new morning, 
and you will find yourself starting fresh, and perhaps wondering how it is that the 
leaves of life which hung so limp and drooping are so fresh and firm again on their stems.

Tho’ all is silence in my heart, I know that Thou hast heard.
I lay my prayer before thee, and, trusting in Thy word.
To that blest City lead me, Lord (still choosing all my way),
Where faith melts into vision as the starlight into day.
(Opened Treasures - Frances Ridley Havergal)

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May 7

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
(John 14:2)

As to heaven, all is right, ready for us, 
and happier they that are there than we that are here.
The Lord settle for us the times of our going thither,
and keep us while here ready and willing to slip in at any moment. 
(G.V. Wigram)

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May 8

“Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
(Acts 1:8)

There is no power except in the Spirit of God,
yet how often we depend on human power -
eloquence, learning, etc.
It is so easy to resort to human expediency 
when not in a right state of soul.
(Edward Dennett)

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May 9

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
(John 1:29)
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne . . . stood a Lamb as it had been slain" (Revelation 5:6)

When John the Baptist uttered these words his hearers did not respond.  But the next day when he said only, “Behold the Lamb of God,” without adding any other truth, his hearers left him and followed the Lamb.  They were now convinced that this Person, who exercised such influence upon the heart of this great prophet, must be a glorious Person.

The same thing was true of Naomi.  As she started to go back to Bethlehem, Orpha and Ruth joined her.  How this must have refreshed her heart.  These Moabitish women were attached to her and were ready to renounce everything in order to link themselves with the people of God.  They were ready to turn away from idols to the living God.

But then we see the ruinous effect of departure from God.  As Naomi came closer to Bethlehem her steps became slower.  We are either a curse or a  blessing.  Neutrality is impossible.  Either we draw others closer to the Lord Jesus, or we drive them away from Him.  Orpha wanted to go to Bethlehem, but someone who had been in Moab made her turn back.

Naomi said to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods; return thou after thy sister in law.”  Who would have thought in Bethlehem in former days that Naomi would ever utter such words?  The first step in departing from the Lord may be ever so slight, but one never knows where it will lead

Naomi did not want to take Ruth and Orpha back to Bethlehem with her.  Why?  Was she ashamed that she had allowed her sons to marry Moabitish girls?  Did she want to hide this from her old friends in Bethlehem?  Oh, that dreadful pride within us!  We would rather see others perish than confess our shame

We see it in David in 2 Samuel 11.  David preferred to murder a righteous and faithful servant rather than publicly confess his own sins.  (H.L. Heijkoop)

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May 10

"Draw me, we will run after Thee.”
(Song of Solomon 1:4)

There is a beautiful connection between the Lord’s drawing, and our running.
“We will run,” but carefully note the last two words - “after Thee.”  
There is more, much more, in these words that can here be noted. 
They are all important.
“After Thee," not after our own notions, or even after the best of men on earth, but “after Thee.”
As it is said in that beautiful sixteenth Psalm, “I have set the Lord always before me.”
Not at times, merely, but “always.”
Oh! what a path ours on earth would be were this the case!
How separated would it be from everything that is not Christ.
And surely, in all fairness, when we pray, “draw me,” we should be ready to add, 
like the spouse and her companions, “We will run after Thee.”      
(Song of Solomon - Andrew Miller)

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May 11

Waiting & Watching

“And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.” 
(Mark 13:37)

We are all waiting for the Lord’s return.
We have to wait since we cannot hurry it up.
But waiting is not watching.

Some say, “I am not interested in prophecy.
Nobody knows the time and all we can do is to be ready.”

But the early Christians were not only ready, they lived in expectancy.
Blessed is that servant whom his Lord will find not only ready but watching.
His eyes are on the Eastern skies - more ways than one! - for his redemption draws nigh.
I am concerned about those who say nonchalantly, “Oh, of course I believe the Lord is coming back.”  
It is not a matter of course!

We are to be busy and occupy ourselves till He comes, but we labour in joyful anticipation.
We not only wait, we watch!
(All the Days - Vance Havner)

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May 12

“Run that ye might obtain”.
(1 Corinthians 9:24)

“ . . . this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.  (Philippians 3:13-14)  

Think not to have all your reward on earth, do not draw back, 
because your best good things are yet to come. 

Today is the cross, but tomorrow is the crown.  
Today is the battle, but tomorrow is the rest. 
Today is the weeping, but tomorrow is the joy.
And what is today, when compared to tomorrow
At best today is but seventy years or so, but tomorrow is eternity! 

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May 13

“Behold, I come quickly . . . Surely I come quickly.”
(Revelation 22:7, 12, 20)

Isn’t that good news!
He’s coning quickly!
He promised it three times in the last chapter of the Bible,
and the Lord always keeps His appointments and promises.
He never forgets, and is never late.
Therefore, today, no matter what your circumstances,
there is every reason to look up and be encouraged,
because we have this blessed hope:
He is coming soon!
(Carl Knott)

It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight through darkness and shadows is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fulness of glory,
To receive from the world His own.
(H.L. Turner)

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May 14

“Be not deceived; . . . “ (Galatians 6:7)

Sin as a caterpillar is bad enough, but sin as a butterfly is a thousand times worse.

If sin in its grossest form be thus dangerous, what must be the unmeasured power of sin when it puts on the robes of beauty?  For the purpose of impressing upon my mind the beauty of the butterfly, I read a volume lately written by a popular entomologist with this as my sole objective.  

It is said that the finest Mosaic picture contains as many as 870 tesserae, or separate pieces to the square inch of surface, but upon the same small space of a butterfly’s wing the entomologist has counted no less that 150,000 separate glittering scales, each carrying in it a a gorgeous colour, beautiful and distinct.

“On every wing there is a picture as varied as the rainbow.  Every wing is iridescent with different lights that shift and change.  Here are patches of blue, and spots of purple, and lines of green, and aurelian, and red.  Every wing is speckled and mottled, flecked and tinted. 

Here are fringes of snow-white, and waves of crimson, and whole chains of little crescents.  The poets call the butterfly ‘a flying and flashing gem,’ ‘a flower of paradise, gifted with the magic power of flight.’  They tell us that its wings are as rich as the evening sky.  I want to magnify the transmutation of the caterpillar into the butterfly.  

I want to set into great prominence the great contrast between the crawler and the flyer.  And why?  That I may remind you that the butterfly is only a caterpillar beautified with wings.  It is only a painted worm decked in a velvet suit, and adorned with sparkling gems.

Egg and caterpillar and butterfly, the three forms of this creature’s existence, are one and of the same nature.  It speaks, too, of the power of Satan to transform himself into an angel of light, and of the power of sin to make itself attractive, and of the power of error to deck itself in robes that resemble the robes of truth, so that even the very elect of God are in danger of being deceived.

For example, ’Sin beautifies itself by assuming and wearing the wings of wit,’ as do immorality and lust in some of our popular literature, the wings of fashion, the wings of art, and the wings of attractive and pleasing names.”  (David Gregg)

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May 15

“My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.”
(Psalm 5:3)

So fit and useful is morning devotion, it ought not to be omitted.
If our circumstances will allow the privilege, 
it is a bad sign when no part of the morning is spent in prayer,
when God finds no place in our minds at that early and peaceful hour, 
before the tumults of the day.
If the benefits of the morning do not soften us, 
we can hardly expect the heart to melt with gratitude through the day.
Let a part of the morning be set apart to devotion;
and to this end we should fix the hour of rising,
so that we may have an early hour at our disposal.
(Author Unknown)

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May 16

The Answered Prayers

“We know not what we should pray for as we ought.”
(Romans 8:26)

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile all sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart; the hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone, the everlasting arms upheld my own.

I thank Thee Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed my feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed have brought me more than I had asked or thought.
Giver of good, so answer each request with Thine own giving, better than my best.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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May 17

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
(Matthew 6:34)
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
(Philippians 4:6)
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
(Psalm 37:5)
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7)   

“Worry is the interest paid on borrowed trouble.” (George Washington Lyon)
“In trouble to be troubled, is to have your trouble doubled.” (Daniel Defoe)
“People think worry is helpful. They think “I need to worry to be protected”

They look at it as a way of avoiding a problem.’ Yet worry is rarely helpful,
and is often counter-productive…What-if’ worrying often occurs because
we overthink situations and feel a need to control the uncontrollable.

The key is to isolate what we can control and to rigorously question
just how plausible are our other concerns.

Challenging irrational worries in this way exposes just how unfounded they are.
If we don’t do this, our worries can, over time, suppress the immune system,
raise blood pressure and lead to anxiety-related conditions such as
generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).”
(Dr. Robert Leahy)

When you start to worry give it over to the Lord.
When a worrisome thought passes through your mind like,
“What if something bad happens,” answer back,
“What if something good happens” and stand on the truth of scripture.
(With thanks - S.L.)

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May 18

"All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine!” 
(John 17:10)

If the Father and the Son have an equal and eternal interest in us 
then we are safe, and we should be happy! 

SAFE! Yes! Will God part with the objects of His highest love? Never! 
Will Jesus surrender the purchase of His own heart's blood? Never! 

HAPPY! Yes; if anything can render us happy, this should:
  that we are God's choice--and the Saviour's purchase; 
  that the Father and the Son jointly claim us, and highly value us!
(The Pleading Saviour - J. Smith 1861- - - R.L.)

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May 19

“For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.”
(Romans 2:24)

The behaviour of the Jews, God’s chosen people, should have 
caused the Gentiles to worship Him.
Instead their behaviour caused people to blaspheme God!
I have noticed two reactions of people towards Christians:
The first is, “If that’s Christianity, I want nothing to do with it!”
The second, “I want what that person has!”
What reaction is my testimony producing among those watching me?
(David Croudace) 

"Men wil look at the life I lead,
See the side I take, and the the things I love.
They judge my Lord by my every deed!
Lord, set my affections on things above.”

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May 20

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

The less conscience barks at present, the more it will bite when it shall be unmuzzled.

Either use the world as if thou usedst it not, or you will pray as if you prayed not.

The faster a man rides if he be in a wrong road, the farther he goes out of his way.

He that is impatient, and cannot wait on God for a mercy, 
will not easily submit to Him in a denial.
(The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall - 1617-1679)

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May 21

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.”
(Psalm 136:1)

You don’t have to live very long in this world before it becomes painfully clear that nothing lasts forever.  The car you were so proud of when you bought it is spending too much time in the shop getting repaired.  Those clothes you picked up on sale are now in the hand-me-down box.  At home, the roof eventually leaks, the appliances break down, the carpet needs to be replaced.  And relationships we think will endure often fall apart.

Nothing lasts forever - nothing but God’s mercy, that is.  Twenty-six times we are reminded of this inspiring truth in Psalm 136.  Twenty six times the writer gives us something for which to praise the Lord, and then he reminds us, “His mercy endures forever.”

Think of what this means.  When we sin and need forgiveness, His mercy endures forever.  
When our lives seem a jumbled mess that we can’t control, His mercy endures forever.  
When we can’t find anyone to turn to for help, God’s mercy endures forever.  
When each day is a struggle because of illness, despair, or conflict, His mercy endures forever.
Whenever life seems overwhelming, we can still praise the Lord, as the psalmist did - 
for God’s mercy is always new and fresh.
(Dave Brandon)

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?
God’s heart is always overflowing with mercy.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2003).  Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.

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May 22

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
(Psalm 73:26)

Sooner or later, 
to most who follow Christ,
there comes a time when flesh and heart fail.
Feelings and fears can be like a torrent of rough water,
and we see no way to cross it.
The words "But God" make all the difference then.
(Amy Carmichael)

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May 23

“Thy Word is Truth. “
(John 17:17)

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
(Mark 16:15)

God’s Word - Its Translatability

Literary men affirm that the test of a classic is its translatability; 
and in this regard, the wonder of the Bible is unique. 
Although in origin, thought, and expression, it belongs to the East, 
it has exerted untold influence on the life and destiny of the greatest nations of the West.
It has been translated into a thousand different tongues,
 including all the major languages of the world;  
and each one who reads it thinks that his version of it is the finest in existence.

Of our own comparable Authorized Version, the tribute of F.W. Faber can hardly be excelled.  
“It lives on the ear,” he says, "like music that can never be forgotten; 
like the sound of church bells which the convert hardly knows how he can forego.  
Its felicities often seem to be almost things, rather than mere words.
It is part of the national mind, and the anchor of national seriousness.  
The memory of the dead passes into it.  
The potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped in its phrases.  
The power of all the griefs and trials of a man is hidden beneath its words.
It is the representative of his best moments; 
and all that there has been about him of soft, and gentle, and pure, and penitent, 
and good, speaks to him for ever out of his English Bible.  
It is his sacred thing, which doubt has never dimmed, and controversy never soiled.”  
(The Wonderful World - George Henderson)

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May 24

“I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
(Jeremiah 31:3)

Believer, art thou now tempted to doubt His love?
Are His footsteps lost amid the night shadows, through which He is now conducting thee?
What appears to thee now some capricious exercise of His power or sovereignty 
is the determination and decree of everlasting love.
He seems to say, “I loved thee, suffering one, into this affliction;
I will love thee through it, and when My designs regarding thee are completed,
I will show that the love, which is from everlasting is to everlasting.”
Child of God!
If there be a ripple now agitating the surface of the stream,
trace it up to this fountain-head of love.
(A.J. Pollock)

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May 25

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”
(Luke 10:27)

In our walk with the Lord we are often consumed with serving Him.
This is good, because we are to be “doers of the word, not hearers only.”
However, we must remember that - 
“Life eternal is to know Thee, the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

A friend once told me, “it is more important to be in love with the Lord of the work 
than with the work of the Lord.”
He comes first!
(Bob Cretney)

Take my love, my God I pour, at Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee.”
(Frances Ridley Havergal)

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May 26

“Let us eat and merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”
(Luke 15:23-24)

If we look at man as he is in himself, he could never get back to God.  
But look at what God is in Himself, and who or what can resist His grace?  
Still it is the joy of the finder, and not of the thing found.  

“Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep - My coin9 - that was lost.”  

And in the case of the returning prodigal, who made the feast?  
Not the young man, but the father, saying to those in the house. 
(Note the verses quoted).  
All caught the joy of the father’s heart, the servants, etc., 
all except the unhappy, self-righteous elder brother, 
to whom the father replied, 

“It was meet that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead, 
and is alive again” (Luke 15:32).

It is the joy God has in receiving a sinner back to Himself. 
 (The Man of Sorrows - JND)

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May 27

“Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son. . . . I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens; . . . because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
(Genesis 22:16-18 

We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire;  
and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension
mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave. 

Think not that Abraham’s was a unique and solitary experience.
It is simply a specimen and pattern of God’s dealings with all souls who are
prepared to obey Him at whatever cost.
After you have patiently endured you shall receive the promise.
The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be the 
moment of supreme and rapturous blessing.

God’s river, which is full of water, shall burst its banks,
and pour upon thee a tide of wealth and grace.
There is nothing, indeed, which God will not do for a man who dares to
step out upon what seems to be the mist; 
though as he puts down his foot he finds a rock beneath him.
(F.B. Meyer - 1847-1929)

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May 28

“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.  
(Psalm 36:8)  

Abundantly Satisfied This is meant to be our word always, however things are.  

Human happiness depends on circumstances - health, freedom from care, joy of being together, work we love, power to do it, and so on.

Divine happiness is quite different.  It depends on none of these things.  It is written that through much tribulation we enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

Ease of any sort was never promised.  We are often called to live a double life: in much tribulation (when we think of the poor world); and yet, in the deepest places of our souls, abundantly satisfied - and therefore, in peace ourselves, and able to help others to be peaceful.  (Edges of His Ways - Amy Carmicahel)

N.J. Hiebert - 5538

May 29

“Think on me when it shall be well with thee and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.”
(Genesis 40:14) 

Joseph, in his day, finds the waiting time in prison a testing time for faith.  
He, too, seeks deliverance by an arm of flesh.  
Having befriended the king’s butler, he naturally concludes the butler 
will intervene with Pharaoh to obtain his release.  
“Think on me,” says Joseph.  
Joseph must not only learn that the help of man is vain, but that God is his only resource.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” 
But to receive this “help” we must learn to "be still” and know that God is God (Psalm 46:1 & 10).
God has His time as well as His way to bring His purposes to pass.
(Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 5539

May 30

“Greatly desiring to see thee.”
(2 Timothy 1:4)

"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.”
(2 Timothy 4:9)

“Do Thy diligence to come before winter.” 
(2 Timothy 4:21)

Is there anyone you should visit today?
How Paul wanted to see Timothy.
He craved the kindness of a real friend, someone who also loved the Saviour, 
to share the burden of loneliness, to care.
On the other hand, perhaps Paul knew how this visit would cheer Timothy, 
“Being mindful of his tears” (2 Timothy 1:4).
The benefits of visitation are felt just as much or more by the visitor than the visited.

"Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more."
(Fanny J. Crosby)

N.J. Hiebert - 5540

May 31

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

We learn from holy scripture three points of daily, practical importance: namely, that the flesh opposes the Spirit, Satan opposes Christ, and the world opposes the Father. (Galatians 5; Genesis 3; 1 John 2).

These are our three grand enemies, hence the importance of knowing on whose side we are standing.  For example; in place of perplexing myself as to where the world begins and ends, in what is called worldliness, I have simply to ask, “Is it of the Father?”

In hundreds of instances it would be impossible to say where worldliness begins and ends, by looking at the thing itself.  But you may soon ascertain “if it be of the Father.”  And when we see that it is not of the Father the a question is settled.  It must be of the world.

There is no middle, or neutral ground in scripture.  The same rule applies to the others. Whatsoever is not of the Spirit is of the flesh, and whatsoever is not of Christ is of Satan.  (Andrew Miller)

N.J. Hiebert - 5541


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