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

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Gems from July 2014

 “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)

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“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)

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July 1

The Great Sight

“Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”
(John 20:20)

Our hearts are glad, for we have seen the Lord; the living Lord, victorious o’er the grave.
O joy to see Him, joy to hear His word, Our Lord and Master, strong to bless and save!

His hands, His feet, He showed us, and the place where deeply pierced at last the cruel spear.
O precious scars! O deathless love and grace that still in those redeeming wounds appear!

Most wondrous sight!  All else is poor and dim to eyes that thus have viewed the Risen One.
All power is His, all glories meet in Him, the sinner’s Saviour, God’s beloved Son.

So we are glad, our spirits all aglow, filled with a new and strangely thrilling joy.
Power from Himself in breathing, forth we go; O may His service all our days employ.
(Bells & Pomegranates -  James M. S. Tait) 

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July 2

“I (Jesus) will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
(John 14:3)

The grand expression of His love is that He will come Himself to fetch us,
to bring us to His Father’s house.
No other to-morrow is given us by the Spirit but Christ 
in heaven coming to take us up there.
(G.V. Wigram)

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July 3

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” 
(John 13:23)

We believe that John was perhaps the youngest of the 12 Apostles.
Though Scripture does not specifically record his age, some feel that John 
may have been in his late teens or very early 20s.  
Whatever the apostle’s age, what a blessed place he found, enjoying the Saviour’s love for him.  
John could feel perfectly accepted, content and safe because 
the Lord’s love for him was a wonderful reality.  

A reality which could only be satisfied by closeness to the Lord Jesus. 
Leaning on Jesus’ bosom not only gave John a sense of nearness to the Lord,
 but the apostle found a place of contentment and support.
John enjoyed that precious place of the Lord’s love in a physical way.  
Today, by faith and obedience, we can enjoy the very same as John.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, 
he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, 
and we will come unto him, 
and make our abode with Him.”
(John 14:23)

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and 
will sup with him, and he with Me.”
(Revelation 3:20

(The Christian Shepherd - June 2014)

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July 4

“I formed thee . . . I knew thee . . . I sanctified thee . . . I ordained thee.”
(Jeremiah 1:5)

Many feel that others don’t know them.
Sometimes it seems that we hardly know ourselves.
But there is Someone who does know us perfectly!
Before we were born He knew us.
We were born because He formed us.
He has a plan and a purpose for our lives.
Are we trusting our own understanding, 
trying to convince God to let us do what we think best,
or seeking to live the life that God desires for us?
He knows best.  Ask Him.  Trust Him!
(Carl Knott)

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July 5

“. . . the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
(James 3:15

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy, and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”
(Jeremiah 15:16) 

Some of the most important things I’ve ever learned, I learned in Sunday school,
like this great line in a Sunday school song. 
“Read your Bible pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”

For perspective consider this fact. It takes 76 hours to read through the whole Bible. 
If you read for 12.5 minutes every day you will read through the Bible in one year.

The modern day Christian has become too enamoured with the world and all its trappings.  
They have slowly allowed the authority of the Scriptures to be displaced by man made traditions, 
cultural influences, and business practices that appeal to the flesh.  

Like the Hebrews in the wilderness, many have grown weary of God’s heavenly manna,
and have desired a return to the tempting, but empty food once provided by their captors in Egypt.
We all need to do whatever it takes to make sure we have a healthy portion of God’s Word 
to feed upon every day, WHATEVER IT TAKES!  
(From a Friend of Gems - with thanks)

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July 6

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.”
(Luke 18:1)

That little “ought” is emphatic.  It implies obligation as high as heaven.  Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray,”  And added, “and not to faint.

I confess I do not always feel like praying - when, judging by my feelings, there is no one listening to my prayer.  And then these words have stirred me to pray:

I ought to pray -
I ought always to pray -
I should not grow faint, in praying.

Praying is a form of work.  The farmer ploughs his field often when he does not feel like it, but he confidently expects a crop for his labours.  Now, if prayer is a form of work, and our labour is not in vain in the Lord, should we not pray regardless of feelings?  

Once when I knelt for morning prayers I felt a sort of deadness in my soul, and just then the “accuser of the brethren” became busy reminding me of things that had long since been under the Blood.  I cried to God for help, and the blessed Comforter reminded me that my Great High Priest was pleading my case; that I must come boldly to the throne of grace.  I did, and the enemy was routed!

What a blessed time of communion I had with my Lord!  Had I fainted instead of fighting I could not have received wages because I had not laboured fervently in prayer; I could not have reaped because I had not sown.  (Brengle)

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July 7

“I (Paul) count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him . . .”   
(Philippians 3:8-9)

The standing of a Christian is in Christ.  “Founded in Him.”  This is Christian standing.
Nothing less, nothing lower, nothing different.
It is not partly in Christ, and partly in law - partly in Christ and partly in ordinances.
No; it is “Found in Him.” 
This is the standing which Christianity furnishes.
If this be touched, it is not Christianity at all.
It may be some ancient ism, or some mediaeval ism, or some modern ism;
but must surely it is not the Christianity of the New Testament if it be aught else than this, 
“Found in Him.”
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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July 8

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.”
(1 Peter 2:21)

Now what are those steps?
Following steps is quite a different thing from thinking to follow one’s own idea 
of the general direction of a course.
If you would only take one Gospel, and read it through with the earnest purpose of noting, 
by the Holy Spirit’s guidance, what the steps of Jesus are, 
you would soon see clearly whether you are following or not, far more clearly than by reading
any amount of books about it, or consulting any number of human counsellors.
Take for today only one indication of what those steps were.
“Who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
Do your steps correspond with that?
It is not, “went about doing no harm,”
but actively and positively “doing good.”
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

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July 9

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
[Buying up your opportunity]
(Ephesians 5:16)

A Scotch botanist sallied forth to the hills one bright day to study his favourite flowers.  Presently he plucked a heather bell and put it upon the glass of his microscope.  He stretched himself at length upon the ground and began to scrutinize it through the microscope.

Moment after moment passed, and still he lay there gazing, entranced by the beauty of the little flower.  Suddenly a shadow fell upon the ground where he lay.  Looking up, he saw a tall, weather-beaten shepherd gazing down with a smile of half-concealed amusement at a man spending his time looking through a glass at so common a thing as a heather bell.

Without a word the botanist reached up and handed the shepherd the microscope.  He placed it to his eye and began to gaze.  For him, too, moment after moment sped by while he gazed in enraptured silence.

When he handed back the glass the botanist noticed that the tears were streaming down his bronzed cheeks and falling on the ground at his feet. “What's the matter,” said the botanist.  “Isn’t it beautiful?”  “Beautiful?” said the shepherd. " It is beautiful beyond all words."

"But I am thinking of how many thousands of them I have trodden under foot!”

Priceless opportunities pass.  We can lose them!  We trample upon them, and they are lost forever!  (Mountain Trailways for youth)

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July 10

“He Shall Not Fail"

“He shall not fail nor be discouraged till He have set judgment in the earth”.
(Isaiah 42:4)

“He shall not fail, nor shall He be discouraged,” 
Though all things earthly in ruin shall blend;
Infinite power and infinite patience,
From the beginning He seeth the end.
Let us trust in Him, work with Him, wait for Him
Though long the days and the visions all fail,
Though our faint hearts grow despondent and fearful,
Though naught our strength and our efforts avail;
Forces of evil sweep onward exultant,
Even the faithful seem conquered at length;
Let us hold fast to this rock of assurance,
Let us find peace in this tower of strength.

“He fainteth not and He groweth not weary,”
All ye that labour this comfort may take;
Be of good courage, He goeth before thee,
He shall not fail thee, not shall He forsake.
Let us walk with Him, lean on Him, cling to Him,
He will uphold e’en the weakest that live;
Glory to God! for with strength He doth gird us,
Power and might to the faint He doth give;
Here in this bulwark our faith finds a refuge,
Ne’er may we measure its breadth and its length;
When all the arms that we leaned on have failed us,
Praises to Him, for His joy is our strength.
(Annie Johnson  Flint)

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July 11

“And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”
(Luke 15:16-17)

Sin, of whatever character, is an insanity.  It is a manifestaion of a disordered mind.  In the parable of the prodigal, in Luke 15, our Lord tells us that it was when the young man came to himself  that he said, “I will arise and go to my father.”  

Men may think of themselves as too wise or learned to accept the Word of God at its face value, but they little realize that their very unbelief and arrogance only make manifest the fact that they are a people of no understanding.

It was thus with Israel when they turned away from God.  It is thus with all men everywhere who refuse submission to His holy will.  (H.A. Ironside)

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July 12

“And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, what mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It [is] the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.”
(Exodus 12:26-27) 

God did not want His people to forget this miraculous deliverance,
and so the Passover memorial was instituted.
The Lord’s Supper is the same.
“For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” 
(1 Corinthians 5:7)
We were not there at Calvary but we must never forget it.
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”.
Let us bow and worship today.

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July 13

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

- God will not have His kingdom, either in the heart or in the world, maintained by carnal policy.

- When afflicted, love can allow thee to groan, but not to grumble.

- Mercy should make us ashamed, wrath afraid to sin.

- Whoever thou art, thou art base-born till born again.  

- Christ and Satan divide the whole world;  Christ will bear no equal, and Satan no superior,
 and therefore hold in with both thou canst not.

- Sin only sets Satan in the throne.
(The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall 1617 -1679)

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July 14

Let God Take It Over

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
(Psalms 37:5)

Whatever is bugging you, don’t try to handle it yourself.  
There are three stages here: 
Commit it to God; 
Trust Him day by day to take care of it. 
You will find that in His time He works it out.  
This does not mean you just get rid of it, wash your hands of it, pass the buck.
You have a responsibility for there are crosses to bear.
Every man must carry his own burden, 
but the Holy Spirit called alongside to help goes His mile while you go your inch.
When a pedestrian with a heavy load is picked up by a motorist,
he puts his burden down in the car.
He does not keep it on his shoulder.
The God who can carry you can carry your load.
So cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you.
Since that is His business, let Him do it!

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July 15

“. . . the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
(1 John 2:17)

When all securities and riches and values of the world crumble and fall away,
Christians will experience the indestructible riches of God’s promises.
(Corrie Ten Boom)

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July 16

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Over the book of Ecclesiastes you may write: “Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again” (John 4:13).  Job & Ecclesiastes, deal with the problems lying on each side of the philosophy of life unfolded in Proverbs: on the one side, the problem suggested by the case of the godly man who does not prosper in the world; on the other, the dark questions which arise in the mind of the ungodly man, who seems to have all things richly to enjoy. 
These three books may be thus summarized: 
In Job you have piety without prosperity;
In Proverbs you have piety and prosperity;
In Ecclesiastes you have prosperity without piety.

Ecclesiastes is the history of a man who tried everything at its highest, and records his verdict.  He experimented with three things: 
Wealth; “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity” (5:10). 
Pleasure "I said in mine heart, go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and behold, this also is vanity” (2:1).  
Fame “A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and is an evil disease” (6:2).
He proved the unsatisfying nature of all three.

“He nothing knows, who knows not this,
That earth can yield no settled bliss,
No lasting portion give.
He all things knows, who knows to place
His hopes in Christ’s redeeming grace,
Who died that we might live.”
(The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

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July 17

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 4:6)

Lamps do not talk; but they do shine.  
A lighthouse sounds no drum; it beats no gong; and yet, 
far over the waters its friendly spark is seen by the mariner.  

Every Christian ought to be in his human measure a new incarnation of the Christ 
so that people shall say, “He interprets Christ to me.”  
(J.R. Miller)  


His lamps we are, 
To shine where He shall say:
And lamps are not for sunny rooms 
Nor for the light of day;
But for dark places of the earth, 
Where shame and wrong and crime have birth,
Or for the murky twilight grey,
Where wandering sheep have gone astray,
Or where the Lamp of Faith grows dim,
And souls are groping after Him.
And as sometimes a flame we find
Clear-shining through the night,
So dark we cannot see the lamp,
But only see the Light,
So may we shine, His love the flame,
That men may glorify His Name.

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July 18

“There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”
(Isaiah 48:22)

There is no peace to the one who substitutes anything else for the One True and Living God.
When one turns to any substitute for the true God he can never find peace.
Then on the other hand, there is no peace for the one 
who rejects the Saviour whom God has provided.
(H.A. Ironside)

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July 19

“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2)

When I see that the sin which I mourn over was borne by Jesus, and that 
He put it away for ever by the sacrifice of Himself, all guile departs.
I have no desire to hide, extenuate, or excuse my sin.
It was put away on the cross, and is now pardoned on that ground.
In the presence of such love and goodness, fear is cast out.
I am free and unreserved; and I can only praise the 
Lord for His boundless grace to me.
(Andrew Miller)

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July 20

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
(Proverbs 18:10)

I love the names of God that describe His magnificent characteristics.
God is so wonderfully multifaceted that 
He has many names that communicate His capabilities and character.

Elohim, the God above all gods.
Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
El-Shaddai, the almighty God.
Jehovah Rapha, our healer God.
Jehovah Shalom, our God of peace.
Jehovah Shamma, our God who is present.
Jehovah Yahweh, our loving, covenant-keeping God.

It is no wonder the writer of Proverbs encourages us to remember that 
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower,” 
that in times of need God-fearing people run to it and “are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). 
When unwelcome circumstances threaten you and you feel vulnerable, 
reflect on one of God’s names.
Be assured - He will be faithful to His name.
(Joe Stowell)

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July 21

”Peter said unto Him, Lord . . . and the Lord said, who then is that faithful and wise steward?”
(Luke 12:42)

Peter puts the question of the application of what goes before, 
which brings out the portion of those who serve faithfully.  
They will be set over all the Lord’s goods when He returns to 
take possession of all He made and will inherit.
A very encouraging thought, though not the highest.  
On the other hand, Christendom apostatizes by putting off in heart the Lord’s coming.
The great stay of heavenly-mindedness is lost thereby, 
and so our peculiar calling and hope.  
To expect the Lord detaches from the world, putting it off left the servant to his own will.  
It is not doctrinal denial, but he says in his heart,    
“My Lord delayeth His coming.
“Blessed are those servants, who the Lord when He cometh shall find watching." 
(J.N. Darby)

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July 22

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Ay, the One we turn to in our stress, and who never fails or disappoints us;
The One who never flatters us;
The One who looks right down to the roots of pride and self-sufficiency;
The One who sees the idol in the heart or the little foxes that spoil the tender vines;
Yet the One who remembers we are but dust, and who makes a way of escape for us, 
that we may be able, not to escape but to bear the trial,
He is a strong hold.
What security, what rest, what comfort!
No wonder our hearts and minds are garrisoned by the peace of God when we turn to 
Him in our day of trouble!
(A.J. Pollock)

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July 23

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7)

This world is a harsh place.
But nothing need come between believers and their enjoyment 
of the care and compassion of the Lord Jesus.
While at times, our full consciousness of them may be obscured,
yet the everlasting arms underneath us do not change
The world hurdles on its reckless way, 
baffled by the spring of compassion and joy which the believer has received.
Perhaps you are bowed down by burdens and cares today.
Cast them upon Him.
He cares for you.
(Mark Fenn)

"Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation, 
Enter ev’ry trembling heart.”
(John Wesley) 

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July 24

God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

The pressure of temptation is measured by One Who knows what the substance to be tested can stand.  The maker of glass would not subject his glass to a weight of 20 tons per square inch.  Here lies our comfort.  We commit our souls “as unto a faithful Creator”(1 Peter 4:19).

Sometimes we feel so ashamed of finding something heavy which, after all, is only a little weight, that we miss our comfort.  Whether it be so tiny that others cannot see why it should be a trouble at all, or whether it be a huge thing like a twenty ton weight, He knows all about it.  He measured its weight before He put it upon us.
Sometimes we are tempted to feel that even though the pressure would be nothing to another who is stronger, it is too much for us.  But it never is: “He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).

The temptation to yield and do what the flesh would naturally do, is meant to offer us an opportunity for endurance, and for the exercise of faith.  This “is the patience and the faith of the saints”(Revelation 13:10).  (Edges of His Ways - Amy Carmichael)

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July 25

“But think on me (Joseph) when it shall be well with thee (Butler) . . . 
(Genesis 40:14).

“Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph . . .” 
(Genesis 40:23).

“And it came to pass at the end of two full years that Pharaoh dreamed . . .
and in the morning his spirit was troubled.”
(Genesis 41:1,8)

“Then said the chief butler . . . I do remember my faults this day.”
(Genesis 41:9)

“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, the dream of Pharaoh is one:
 God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.”
 (Genesis 41:25).

“And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the earth.” 
(Genesis 42:6)

God’s plans must be carried out in God’s time, by God’s instruments, and in God’s way.
Joseph had probably looked forward to an immediate release when the butler was
restored to his position in Pharaoh’s household.

But two full years must pass before God’s time is reached.

The due time having come, the last instrument in the hand of God is ready to
complete the work that leads to the exhalation of Joseph.

Already God had used the king’s captain, the king’s jailer, and the king’s butler,
now He will use the king himself.

Moreover, it must be in God’s way.  It will be  “a dream, a vision of the night,”
by which He will trouble the spirit of Pharaoh and awakened
the slumbering memory of Pharaoh’s butler.
(Hamilton Smith)

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July 26

And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod."
(Exodus 4:2)

Moses felt ill-equipped to perform the task God had in mind for him.
He used every excuse he could think of and seemed
convinced that it was a all too much for him.
So God asked him this simple question.
It was only a rod in his hand.
But that was enough for God to use and He did.
That rod became involved in the miraculous escape from
Egypt and in the journey through the wilderness.
It may not be much you have in your hand but if committed  to God,
He can work wonders with it.
Give Him your talent, your skill, your ability,
so that He may use it to His glory.
(Roy Hill)

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July 27

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love;  and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
(1 John 4:16)

Around the cup of trial which God commends to the lips of suffering Christians,
are wreathed many comforting assurances.

“All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
“As thy days so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

Afflicted friend, turn thy cup of sorrow around and you will see engraved on it these precious words:

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).
“My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The whole cup is encircled with words of love; but it requires faith to read them.
They are invisible to selfishness and blind unbelief.

And God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears,
in order that they may read aright both His providence and His commandments.
(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care)

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July 28

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
(Psalm 37:23)

We have the fullest assurance that our God can and does guide His children in all things.
He can signify His mind to us as to this or that particular act or movement.
If not, where are we?
How are we to get on?
How are we to regulate our movements?
Are we to be drifted hither and thither by the tide of circumstances?
Are we left to blind chance, or to the mere impulse of our own will?

We thank God it is not so.  He can, in His own perfect way,
give us the certainty of His mind in any given case; and,
without that certainty, we should never move.

Our Lord  Jesus Christ (all homage to His peerless name!) can intimate His mind to His servant as to where He would have him go, and what He would have him to do;
and no true servant will ever think of moving or acting without such intimation.
We should never move in uncertainty.
If we are not sure, let us be quiet and wait!

Very often it happens that we harass and fret ourselves about movements
that God would not have us make at all.

A person once said to a friend, “I am quite at a loss to know which way to turn.”
“Then don’t turn at all,” was the friend’s wise reply . . .

But it is the meek He will guide in judgment and teach His way!
 We must never forget this.”
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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July 29

And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” (1 Kings 17:4)

It seems apparent that the supply of God’s blessings and provision was
contingent on Elijah being where God had directed him -
which entailed obedience to what God had told him to do.

We often hear it said,
“God’s work done God’s way will not lack God’s provision.”

Might it be, that a lack of supply, indicates He is redirecting our work,
our methods or our obedience to His will?

May our Christian service be financed by His faithful provision because we are
in obedience to His direction and the teachings of His commands.
If lacking this, let us take note and examine our paths.
(Sam Thorpe)

“All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided,
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
(Thomas O. Chisholm)

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July 30

The Power of the Printed Page

The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13).

“The man who doesn’t read is not much better off than the man who cannot read.”

“Five years from now you will be the same person except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

“What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear to this day, is want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little.  And perhaps by neglecting it you have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep: there is little variety; there is no compass of thought.

Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this. You can never be a deep preacher without it any more than a thorough Christian. O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercises.

You may acquire the taste which you have not; what is tedious at first will afterwards be pleasant. Whether you like it or no; read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a petty, superficial prayer” (John Wesley to John Trembeth, August 1760).

“I’ve devoted my life to the distribution of books, Bibles and tracts and anything that will help to further the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The reading of good Christian books is one of the best ways to challenge and encourage Christians” (Larry Harrison).

“Only Heaven will determine which was the most important in my earthly ministry--my preaching or the distributing of books.” (Peter Cartwright, circuit riding preacher)

“If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.” (Daniel Webster, 1823)

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July 31

“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” 
(Philippians 4:11)

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

 “When doing something for God, the soul says: 'Oh! that I could do what pleases God!' When coming to suffer any cross: 'Oh, that what God does might please me!'  I labour to do what pleases God, and I labour that what God does shall please me: here is a Christian indeed, who shall endeavour both these. 
It is but one side of a Christian to endeavour to do what pleases God; you must as well endeavour to be pleased with what God does, and so you will come to be a complete Christian when you can do both, and that is the first thing in the excellence of this grace of contentment.”

“Oh, that we could but convince men and women that a murmuring spirit is a greater evil than any affliction, whatever the affliction!”
Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1649), The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment  - (With thanks - John Kaiser)

N.J. Hiebert - 5602


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