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

Monday, June 02, 2014

Gems from June 2014

“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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“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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“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)

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“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)

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June 1

“Our times are in Thy hand.”
(Psalm 31:15)

The intrepid African missionary, Dan Crawford, said that if a native translated these words he would have to render them:

“All my life’s whys, and whens, and wheres, and wherefores, are in God’s hand.”

Scripture and experience alike testify, however, that the comfort which God imparts does not necessarily mean cessation of the sorrow.  

He comforteth us in all our tribulation - that is to say, He does not give relief from tribulation, but sustains us in it;  He does not always remove it, but sanctifies it.

“Let us not think then that the highest forms of comfort must come to us by our sorrows being dispelled.  While our hearts are yet the sorest we may be receiving the most blessed, because most helpful, consolation of our God.”  (Heaven’ Cure for Earth’s Care)

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June 2

“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)

I will direct my prayer’ as an arrow, and after that, “I will look up,” to see if it has hit.  
When the prayer is directed in the morning, the “look up” lasts all day.
(Charles Stanford.)

There are many early risers mentioned int the Bible.  
These men of God found solutions to life’s problems by directing their prayers to 
the One who would hear and assist them in their endeavours for the day. 
Before the day began they received the confidence necessary to shoulder responsibilities. 

Abraham rose early in the morning to stand before the Lord. (Genesis 19:27)
Jacob rose early in the morning, to worship the Lord. (Genesis 28:18)
Moses rose early to build an altar to God (Exodus 24:4) and to meet God at Sinai. (Exodus 34:4)
Hannah and Elkanah rose early to worship God. (1 Samuel 1:19)
Job rose early to offer sacrifices. (Job 1:5) 
David awakened early for prayer. (Psalm 119:147 & Psalm 57:8) 
Hezekiah rose up early and gathered the rulers of the city and went up to 
the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 29:20)
The Son of God rose early to go to a solitary place to pray. (Mark 1:35

The camel kneels at break of day, to have his guide pack his load,
Then rises up fresh to take the desert road.
So thou should’st kneel at morning’s dawn, that God may give thee daily care,
Assured that He no load too great will make thee bear.
(Author unknown)

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June 3

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”
(Isaiah 66:13)
“Our Jesus hath done all things well”
has long been our song.
And so it must be, whatever we may feel;
for if the Father of an only-begotten Son settles everything
for us which is for the glory of that Son - surely all is well.
(G.V. Wigram)

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June 4

"Who through faith . . . out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the  aliens.”
(Hebrews 11:33-34)

“Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
(1 Corinthians 16:13) 
Getting knocked down is not failure; not getting back up is.
Mr. Winston Churchill at the very end of his life was honoured at Oxford University 
by being asked to speak at the commencement ceremonies there. 
And there he gave the shortest speech of his life and the shortest commencement 
speech ever given by anyone.  
After he was praised profusely in the introduction and 
after the standing ovation and thunderous applause 
had finally died down, he stood silently before the expectant audience. 
He stood a long time, not saying a word as the audience waited, quietly, 
expectantly, for the old lion to begin.
 Finally, in that voice that continues to resonate down through the years, he bellowed out, 
“Never, Never, Never, Never, Never …give up.” 
And he sat down!
(With thanks to S.L.)

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June 5

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

Jesus had no joy from the world.  
He had perfect joy in the Father.  
His joy was in bringing forth fruit to the Father’s glory.
He is thus showing to us how in fruit-bearing we can have joy and blessedness down here.
“That your joy might be full.” 
That is what he wants us to have - fullness of joy:
and it is not from the world, but the kind of joy He had.
It is His desire that we should have His own joy
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

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June 6

More Concern Today for Fruit Than for the Root 
“. . . The root of the righteous shall not be moved.”
(Proverbs 12:3)

One marked difference between the faith of our fathers as conceived by the fathers and the same faith as understood and lived by their children is that the fathers were concerned with the root of the matter, while their present-day descendants seem concerned only with the fruit.

Today we write the biographies of the Augustines, the Luthers and the Wesleys and celebrate their fruit, but the tendency is to ignore the root out of which the fruit sprang.

“The root of the righteous yielded fruit,” said the wise man in the Proverbs.  Our fathers looked well to the root of the tree and were willing to wait with patience for the fruit to appear.

We demand the fruit immediately even though the root may be weak and knobby, or missing altogether.  How can we ignore the fact that the bough that breaks off from the tree in a storm may bloom briefly, giving the impression that it is a healthy and fruitful branch, but its tender blossoms will soon perish and the bough itself will whither and die?  There is no lasting life apart from the root.

Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief, bright effort of the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season.  But the deep laws of life are against it.  Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of the true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded.  (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)

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June 7 

“Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.”  (Acts 27:3)
In the same quarters were possessions of the Chief man of the island, whose name was Publius;
who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.”  (Acts 28:7)
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”  (1 Peter 3:8)

Courtesy is like an air-cushion: there is nothing in it, but it eases the jolts of life.  

There is, however, another sense in which there is a great deal in it; for the supreme characteristic of courtesy is that thoughtfulness for others which is the very heart of Christianity.  Schools of etiquette produce it by training; love does it by instinct.

The underlying thought in the New Testament use of the word is friendliness; and the daily round and common tasks of life give us endless opportunities of showing this.

A man who was rushing along the street one night, violently collided with another who was hurrying out of a doorway.  The latter was infuriated, and used abusive language; but the first man, politely removing his hat, said: “I don’t know which of  us is to blame for this encounter, and I am in too great a hurry to find out.  If I ran into you, I beg your pardon; if you ran into me, don’t mention it“.

An answer like that wins respect and conciliates antagonism.   (Winsome Christianity - Henry Durbanville)
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June 8

"Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:13)

Instinctively in times of stress and danger men think of confederacies and associations of some kind as the best means of preserving the traditions and conditions which they hold dear.  It was so in Judah.  It is so in Christendom today.

So we have various associations and federations of individuals and of churches which it is hoped will prove to be bulwarks against the onrushing tide of evil.  But again and again it has been demonstrated that all such confederacies tend to deteriorate as time goes by, and afterward the children of those who formed these associations revert to the evils against which their fathers protested.

The only recourse in a day of evil is to cleave to the Lord Himself with purpose of heart (Acts 11:23).  No matter what failure may come in, He remains unchanged and unchangeable.  (H.A. Ironside - Isaiah)

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June 9

“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.”
(John 16:14)

It must not be forgotten that power does not act independently of our spiritual condition.
The Holy Spirit dwells within, so that our bodies are His temples.
If we are careless, unwatchful, if we we seek our pleasure in the world, rather than in Christ,
let us not for one moment suppose that He will condescend to use us as vessels of His power . . .
But, on the other hand, if the eye be single, and a single eye sees nothing but Christ,
if He is the object of our lives, the 
Holy Spirit then ungrieved will sustain us in every position in which we are placed,
and bring us victoriously out of the very conflict through which we may pass.
(Edward Dennett)

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June 10

“How excellent [precious] is Thy loving kindness, O God!”
(Psalm 36:7) 

The Lord intercedes for us without our even asking.
We do not gain Him to intercede for us because of our repentance or prayers.
He did not intercede for Peter when he repented, but before he sinned.
He interceded for Peter because he needed it.
“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1)
It is the exercise of grace in His own heart towards us to restore our souls.
(J.N. Darby)

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June 11

“But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
(Luke 24:21)

As these two downhearted people were travelling, 
an unknown “Visitor” joined them.
He drew out their hearts until they cried out, “but we trusted, we were hoping.”
So often when our way is shrouded, we too cry out
O Lord, I was trusting, I was hoping”.
But even in their loneliness, fear and discouragement,
there was One who was walking with them. 
Eventually in His own time He revealed Himself to them (v. 31).

No matter your situation, He is still walking with you and will reveal
Himself in His way, and in His time.
(Jim Comte)

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am HIs own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
(CharlesA. Miles - 1868-1946)

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June 12 

“. . . the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

One of the best know, well loved Christian children’s songs is Jesus Loves Me.  Believers everywhere seem to know and delight in singing its sweet, familiar lyrics.  And yet perhaps, many dear Christians would be quick to admit that their heart often does not delight in Jesus' love as they might wish.

How wonderful to realize that though the feelings of our love for the blessed Saviour may ebb and flow, His love for us is endless, never-changing and beyond understanding.

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3). 

Blessed with such divine, unconditional love, surely those who belong to the Lord Jesus - those who know Him as personal Lord and Saviour - would desire to obey His command to us, to share His love with others. Our Lord’s command also tells us what ‘kind’ of love we should have for others:

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

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June 13

“My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.”  (Psalm 34:2)
“In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.  Selah.” 
(Psalm 44:8)
“. . . without faith it is impossible to please Him . . .”  
(Hebrews 11:6)
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  
(Romans 10:17)

“If we act upon the Word, and nothing else, we shall find God with us. 
It will be called bigotry; (or pride) but this is part of the reproach of Christ.
Faith will always appear proud to those who have none;  
but it will be proved in the day of the Lord to be the only humility,
and that everything which is not faith is pride, or no better.  

Faith admits that he who has it is nothing, that he has no power nor wisdom of his own, 
and he looks to God.  
May we be strong in faith, giving glory to Him!” 
(William Kelly)
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June 14

“The people are too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them . . . and the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.  And the Lord said unto Gideon, by the three hundred men that lapped will I save you . . .” (Judges 7:4-7) 

Wells of water and songs of gladness cannot make the place of our journey our home.
Gideon’s chosen 300 express this.
Refreshment had no power to stop them on the road.
They took it only for the sake of the journey, or as a journeying people ought to take it.
They lapped the water as a travelling dog laps it, and did not kneel down to it,
as though they were addicting themselves to it.
(J.G. Bellett)

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June 15

“And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them.”
(Genesis 40:4)

Joseph was in prison.  His feet were hurt with fetters, his heart was hurt by injustice and unkindness.  But none of these things prevented him from helping others.

The story that follows shows how full of kindness his service must have been.  Joseph must have done more than his bare duty.  We do not go for sympathy to those who have been cold and uninterested in our affairs.  We avoid them.  The butler and the baker went to Joseph sure of his loving, self-forgetful sympathy.

It makes us think of Another whose feet were hurt, and His hands and His side, and far more His loving heart.  Out of the midst of His pains He thought of others, only of others.

“He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42).  
(Whispers of His Power - Amy Carmichael)

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June 16

“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law."
(Psalm 119:18)

The Scriptures teach that our faith in Christ employs all of our God-given senses:

 Sight - “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 45:22).
 Hearing - “Hear and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:3).
 Smell - “Thy name is as ointment poured forth” (Song of Solomon 1:3).
 Touch - “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole" (Matthew 9:21).
 Taste - “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8). 

In order to receive God’s truth properly, then, we must have our entire being alive and alert to His every prompting.  In general, most Christians do not deliberately and dramatically disobey God.  Instead we simply do not heed Him by being sensitive to His leading in the small details of our lives.

How important that we learn the lesson taught by this hymn text that we should have seeing eyes, hearing ears, a verbal communication of the truth, and a loving heart for sharing God’s love.  All this is possible as we are illuminated by the Hoy Spirit during times of quiet waiting.

Clara H. Scott (1841-1897) was the author and composer of this hymn.  These words have since been widely used to help believers have a greater awareness of God’s will for their lives and a readiness to obey (James 1:22).

Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;  
Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes - illumine me, Saviour divine!

Open my eyes, that I may hear voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave-notes fall on my ear, ev’rything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready my God, Thy will to see;
Open my ears-illumne me, Saviour divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth ev’rywhere; 
Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently, now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my heart - illumine me, Saviour divine!
(Kenneth W. Osbeck)

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June 17

“And he said unto his brethren, my money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?"
(Genesis 42:28)

When they saw their money returned, Joseph’s brothers were stricken by their consciences.  
We don’t need to ask God to awaken our sinner friends by bringing calamity into their lives.
The “goodness of God “ leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Show them the love of God!
Look for an opportunity to clearly explain the gospel to them,
and while you continue in prayer, leave the Holy Spirit 
to convict them of their sin.
(David Croudace)

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June 18

Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”
(Hebrews 13:18).

Are we in the habit of lightly and formally asking others to pray for us?  It is a very common formulary among us - “Remember me in your prayers,” and most surely nothing can be more blessed or precious than to be borne upon the hearts of God’s dear people in their approaches to the mercy-seat; but do we sufficiently attend to the moral basis?

When we say, “Brethren pray for us,” can we add, as in the presence of the Searcher of hearts, “For we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly”?  And when we ourselves bow before the throne of grace, is it with an uncondemning heart - an upright mind - a single eye - a soul really abiding in Christ, and keeping His commandments?

These are searching questions. They go right to the very centre of the heart - down to the very roots and moral springs of our being.

But it is well to be thoroughly searched - searched in reference to every thing, but especially in reference to prayer.  There is a terrible amount of unreality  in our prayers - a sad lack of the moral basis - a vast amount of “asking amiss.”  (C.H. Mackintosh)

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June 19

"The remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward."
(Isaiah 37:31)

Recently I saw an amazing sight ­a tree growing out of a rock. And not just one.
A whole section of forest was dotted with huge boulders covered with moss and, 
strange as it may seem, an occasional tree.
Closer examination revealed crevices in the rocks through which the trees’ roots had evidently 
pushed their way to find water and nourishment from the soil beneath.

I thought to myself, “How strange! With so much land surrounding the boulders, 
why haven’t these trees done it the easy way?
Why haven’t they started out on soft ground instead of struggling to survive on the tops of rocks?
Who put those seeds on the top of the rocks in the first place?” 
Of course the trees didn’t answer my questions, but then they didn’t have to.
I found the answers to my questions as I pondered the marvelous ways of God.
He uses His creation to teach us important spiritual lessons.

Christians, like trees, do not plant themselves.
A loving heavenly Father puts each of His children in the precise situation that will promote their fruitfulness.
Some must struggle to survive by sending down their roots through the unyielding rock of harsh circumstances. Others have been planted in the soft soil of congenial fellowship and a comfortable lifestyle.

In either case, the Father’s concern is that we “bear fruit upwards.”
This will happen as we realize that the issue is not circumstances, but contentment within our circumstances.
Paul’s example provides a beautiful pattern for us, 
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11).
G. W. Steidl (Excerpt from “The Lord is Near”)

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June 20

“These men were bound . . . and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace…. These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied ... Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? … True, O king…. I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." 
(Note - Daniel 3:19-30)

To cast Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fiery furnace, 
was but to put them into the company of Another who was there before them, 
with their bands untied  and their enemies consumed.  
For what are enemies, even when they are the most mighty men, 
if the worst they can do is to cast one into such company? 
(J.B. Jackson)

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June 21

”Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
(Philippians 2:5-8) 

Obadiah took care of God’s witnesses, but Elijah was a witness for God.
Darius was so attached to Daniel that he lost a night’s rest on his account;
But Daniel spent that selfsame night in the lion’s den,
as a witness for the truth of God.
Nicodemus ventured to speak a word for Christ
but a more matured discipleship would have led him to identify himself with Christ.

The Lord Jesus does not want patronage;  He wants fellowship.

He identified Himself with us, at the heavy cost of all that love could give.
(Food for the Desert)

“O! ’twas love, ’twas wondrous love!
The love of God to me;
It brought my Saviour from above, 
To die on Calvary.”
(Mrs. M. Stockton)

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June 22

“Faith without works is dead.” 
(James 2:20)

You may very often see dead fish floating with the stream,
but you never saw dead fish swimming against it.
Well, that is your false believer.
Profession is just floating downy the stream,
but confession is swimming against it,
no matter how strong the tide.
(D.L. Moody)

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June 23

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the 
petitions that we desired of Him.”   
(1 John 5:14-15)

When the day of glory comes there will be no need of exhortation to boldness in prayer, for all will be praise.  There is urgent call for such prayer now in this world with its difficulties and perils.  For all that, it is the day of the richest blessing for the Christian when we know that Christ is in the Father, we in Him, and He in us.  

It is therefore just the time for this practical boldness in asking God for anything and all things according to His will: aught else we dare not wish.  And we know that He hears us.

But if God encourages us to ask with boldness, we are constantly in danger of asking contrary to His will unless we grow in the knowledge of His Word.  

Here lies the practical value of cultivating a deeper spiritual understanding of the Scriptures.  He magnifies the Word of God above all His name; and so should we.  (W. Kelly)

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June 24

“Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.”
(Isaiah 22:13) 

To every thoughtful person this is the height of folly.
It is a tremendously serious thing to be alive in a world like this 
and to know that an eternity of either happiness or misery lies beyond.
Surely then every sensible man would recognize the fact that life is not given
to be frittered away in pleasure-seeking, but to be used sensibly and in the fear of God.

“With eternity’s values in view, Lord,
With eternities values in view!
May I do each days’ work for Jesus;
With eternity’s value in view.”
(Alfred B. Smith)

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June 25

Abhorrence, Not Tolerance

“Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
(Romans 12:9)

We are not to tolerate evil but abhor it.  
The mood of the age is to put up with evil, allow it,
and then move easily to play with it and finally practice it.  
Tolerance is a pet word these days, and we 
stretch our consciences while we “broaden” our minds.
But the Word of God tells us that "the fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Proverbs 8:13)
and that we are to "abstain from the very appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22). 

There is no leniency toward sin whatever in that.  
Nothing is more dangerous to our spiritual well-being 
than a mild amiability that smiles at sin.
Some have come to think that there is something noble in a mild attitude toward sin.  

Compassion on the sinful is one thing, but never confuse it with tolerance of evil.  
We have sunk to an acceptance of that toward which 
God counsels abhorrence and behold the harvest!
A holy, healthy hatred of sin and indignation at evil is our crying need today
because we fear not God - and the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.  
(Day by Day - Vance Havner)

N.J. Hiebert - 5566  

June 26

 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 4:2)

Prayer is the breath of faith in God’s own ears,
Prayer is the open mouth He waits to fill;
Prayer is the voice our heavenly Father hears,
That brings down blessings from His holy hill;
Wisdom to learn, and strength to do His gracious will.
First pray; then work. 
No work can e’er succeed 
That prayerless wit and, will to do, combine;
All prayerless strength is but a broken reed,
A withered branch that’s severed from the vine:
No fruits, or works of such, shall heaven recorded shine.
(J.G. Deck)

N.J. Hiebert - 5567 

June 27

“Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy Holy habitation.”
(Exodus 15:13)

They were brought to God as to the new standing they occupied.  
In the desert, just indeed entering upon it - 
This marked their character as pilgrims - 
They were yet brought unto God’s holy habitation.
This corresponds with our position as believers in the Lord Jesus.
He once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.
This is our place as His redeemed.
That is, we are brought to God according to all that He is; His whole moral nature,
having been completely satisfied in the death of Christ, 
can now rest in us in perfect complacency.
(Edward Dennett)

So near, so very near to God, I cannot nearer be,
For in the person of His Son I am as near as He.

So dear, so very dear to God, more dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loves the Son, such is His love to me.

Why should I ever careful be, since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me night and day, and tells me, “Thou art Mine."
(C. Paget)  

N.J. Hiebert - 5568  

June 28

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
(Psalm 19:14

Perhaps you are familiar with the saying, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  Admittedly, there are ways to speak of people that can honour them.  But this saying highlights our darker experiences.

In a world of ever-present media - social and professional - we are continually confronted with people’s lives at a level of intimacy that can be inappropriate.

Worse, this tidal wave of personal information about others could become grist for our conversational mills to the point that gossip becomes the norm - and not just about the rich and the famous.  People in our workplaces, places of worship, neighbourhoods, and families can also be targets of sharp tongues and feel the pain of discussions that never should have happened.

How can we escape our inclination to use words to hurt others?  By recognizing that the ultimate Hearer of our words is God, who longs for us to be better than that.  With the psalmist, we can pray, “Let the words of my mouth and the mediating of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O God.”  When we seek to please God with our conversations, about others, we honour Him.  With His help, we can glorify Him through what we talk about.  (Bill Crowder)

It is better to bite your tongue than to make a biting remark.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2013), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.   

N.J. Hiebert - 5569

June 29

"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
(James 1:15

I found a tiny sea snail crawling along in the mud.
On its back was an oyster that had already grown to the size of the snail.
As I looked at that oyster which would soon be bigger than the snail and would 
eventually destroy it, it reminded me of sin’s awful work.
In the same way, it gets a hold on us, grows and can ruin us. 
So be careful what you watch, what you read, what you do.
These things can spoil our Christian Testimony and our walk with the Lord.
(J. Fleming)

N.J. Hiebert - 5570

June 30

“Call upon me in the day of trouble . . .”
(Psalm 50:15)

The story is told of a textile factory in which was found this sign on the wall over each machine: 

“If your threads get tangled, send for the foreman.”  

A new employee went to work and soon the threads became badly tangled.  
The more she sought to untangle them, the more helpless she became.  
By and by in desperation, after wasting a lot of time, she did call for help.  
When the foreman came, he asked her why she had not sent for him earlier.  
She replied in self-defence, “I did my best.”  
He answered with a smile,
“Remember, doing your best is sending for me.”   

(Travelling toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert - 5571


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