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

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gems from August 2014

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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“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)

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August 1

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
(Nehemiah 8:10)

“. . . in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
(Psalm 16:11)

“Dress up your face with a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks."
Your greatest attention getter for Christ may be that you have a smile in a sea of sour faces.
 A believer draws his joy, not from what's going on around him, 
but from Christ who dwells within him.
(With thanks - S.L.)

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August 2

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

Let me put you a simple question:
How many of you have said to-day in your hearts,
The Lord Jesus Christ may be here before the day closes”?

We are so apt to look for deliverance in suffering,
but I suspect that God’s object with each of us is 
to teach us to expect a fresh revelation of Christ 
and to learn His mind in the trial.
(Edward Dennett)

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August 3

“Him whom my soul loveth.”
(Song of Solomon 3:4)

We do not read scripture with sufficient intimacy of heart.
We read it as if we were acquainting ourselves with words and sentences.
If I do not get by scripture into nearness to God in heart and conscience
I have not learned the lesson it would teach me.

Christ is your lesson as well as your teacher. . . .
Is any book so worthy of reading as the book that we call Jesus?
(J.G. Bellett)

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August 4

“He (Jesus) expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
(Luke 24:27)

Whatever enfeebles attachment to Christ destroys power.
It is not gross sin that does it, which of course will be . . . judged;
but it is the little things of every-day life which are apt to 
to be chosen before Christ.
(J.N. Darby)

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August 5

“ . . . to comfort all that mourn . . .”
(Isaiah 61:2-3)

Our English word “comfort” is from two Latin roots, con, to be with, and fortis, strong.  It literally means “to strengthen by companionship.”

A child, with a long walk before him on a dark night, may be filled with fear.  But if his father is with him to take his hand, all fear is gone as they walk together through the gloom of the night.

So God would have us realize the blessed reality of His presence with us as we face the trials and griefs to which all are exposed while passing through the changing scenes of time and sense.

It is this that will keep the heart in peace and free the spirit from fear.  

Nothing can come to those who know the Lord but what His love allows and which He will use for our blessing as we go through it all in subjection to His holy will and implicit dependence upon Himself.  (H.A. Ironside)

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August 6

Contemplating the Sweet Mystery of the Godhead

“O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”
(Romans 11:33)

Christian theology teaches that God in His essential nature is both inscrutable and ineffable.  By simple definition this means that He is incapable of begin searched into or understood, and that He cannot tell forth or utter what He is.

This inability lies not in God but in the limitations of our creaturehood: “Why inquirest thou after my name, for it is secret?”

Only God knows God in any final meaning of the word know:  “Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

God in His essential Being is unique in the only sense that word will bear.  That is, there is nothing like Him in the universe.  What He is cannot be conceived by the mind because He is “altogether other” than anything with which we have had experience before.  The mind has no material with which to start.  No man has ever entertained a thought which can be said to describe God in any but the vaguest and most imperfect sense.  Where God is known at all it must be otherwise than by our creature-reason.

In a famed treatise on the Trinity written in the third century, Novatian said: “Every possible statement that can be made about God expresses some possession or virtue of God, rather than God Himself.  The conception of God as He is can only be grasped in one way - by thinking of Him as a Being whose attributes and greatness are beyond our powers of understanding, or even of thought.”  (A.W. Tozer)

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August 7

“O spare me, that I may recover strength.”
(Psalm 39:13)

In other versions this phrase is translated, “Let me smile again.”
Have the burdens of life crushed your sprit and wiped the smile from your face?
David often had reason to feel this way and Psalm 39 is the response that 
he felt appropriate to such circumstances.
Confident that the Lord had allowed these events, 
and permitted his tears to fall (v.12),
he anticipated the day when he would smile again.
Don’t give up; you will smile again, too.
(Garry W. Seale)

The thought of God will ever make 
Life’s sweetest smiles from tears,
And is a daybreak to our hopes,
A sunset to our fears.
(Frederick W. Faber)

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August 8

“And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.”
(Acts 27:3)

A courteous man will never knowingly hurt or wound the feelings of another.
A find example of courtesy was given by King Edward VII.
The French President, M. Falliers, was making a State visit to England;
and the King gave instructions that the train bringing the 
President should not arrive at Waterloo Station, 
and that the route of his carriage should avoid Trafalgar Square.
Both of these names held unpleasant memories for a Frenchman,
and the monarch, in his thoughtful way,
avoided the recalling of them.
(Winsome Christianity)

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August 9

“Unite my heart to fear Thy name, I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart.”
(Psalm 86:11,12)

It is a good sign on all sides when children prefer their home to any other place.
How blessed if this were true of each of us with respect to our home in the Father’s house.
The reason of our not doing so is that we do not sufficiently know the joy of it.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)

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August 10

“I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
(Acts 20:35)

Have you ever wondered who remembered and told Paul that lovely word of our Lord, which no one records in the Gospels?  We can picture the sorrowful people standing on the shore listening to it, and treasuring it in their hearts.

Paul had been speaking of ordinary work and of working so that we have something to give.  But perhaps there was a further thought in his mind.

The people wanted to keep him.  Others needed him.  We are not here to enjoy one another.  Love must not be selfish.  Love, the truest, deepest kind of love, gives and goes on giving - like the sea upon whose shore they stood together.

It is more blessed (more very happy) to give than to receive.  He who knew all kinds of happiness said that.  So it must be true.  (Amy Carmichael)

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August 11

"The Lord shall count, when HE writeth up the people, that this man was born there.  
(Psalm 87:6) 
"Tychicus. . . a beloved brother, faithful minister and fellow servant  in the Lord. . . 
Onesimus, a faithful servant and beloved brother . . . 
Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner. . . 
Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas . . . Justus . . . Epaphras . . . a servant of Christ . . .
Luke, the beloved physician and Demas . . . 
Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. . . . 
Archippus . . . The salutations by the hand of me Paul."
(Colossians 4:7-18)

We are all going to be written up.  That process is going on now.  
In the close of the epistle to the Colossians we get a little foreshadowing of that kind of thing . . . 
we are given a few remarks about some of the brethren.  
These remarks are the estimate that the Apostle Paul by the Spirit of God put upon them.  
No two of these men are characterized alike.  Each one has that that is distinctly his.  
No two of us are expected to be duplicates.  
The Spirit of God has been pleased to put these records here that we might pick 
up a bit of profit from them. 
(C.H. Brown)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; 
that every one may receive the things done in his body, 
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  
(2 Corinthians 5:10)
“If any man's work abide…he shall receive a reward. 
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: 
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 
(1 Corinthians 3:14-15)
“Only one life," twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last.”
(Received from a reader of the “Gems” - S.L.)

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August 12

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for 
but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.

(Unknown Confederate Soldier - with thanks R.D.)

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August 13

"If (since) ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  
(Colossians 3:1-3)

"If you saw a man labouring in filthy ditches, and soiling himself as poor men do--would you believe that he was the heir to a crown, called to inherit a kingdom? Just so, who will believe in your heavenly calling--when you wallow in the mud of worldly pleasures, and are absorbed with carking care for trivial things?"

Princes should behave as princes! Their haunts should be in palaces--and not amid dung-heaps! How, then, is it that some who profess and call themselves Christians, are found rummaging in questionable amusements to discover pleasure; and many others are groping amid sordid avarice to find satisfaction in wealth? 

What are they doing--to be thus disgracing the blood royal! How dare they drag the name of the "Blessed and only Potentate" through the mire! 

A prince of royal-blood acting as a beggar, would dishonor not only himself but all the royal house. Nobility has obligations! 

Come, my soul, do you behave royally? I am made a king by Jesus Christ--are my bearing and life-style answerable to the dignity laid upon me?  
(Charles Spurgeon “Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden” 1883) (With thanks from B&B L)

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August 14

Nothing Between

“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
(1 John 3:21-22)

Born to slave parents and separated from them when only five years of age, Charles A. Tindley (1851-1933) was a most remarkable individual.  He learned to read and write on his own at the age of seventeen, attended night school, competed seminary training through correspondence.

Charles Tindley expresses a concern in this hymn for many of the practices and attitudes that must be rejected if Christians are to be pleasing to their Lord.  

The hymn reminds us that we must watch out for those allurements and temptations that can easily disrupt our spiritual courses: delusive dreams, sinful worldly pressures, habits, pride, self, or friends.  

The Bible teaches that we are not to be conformed to this world but should know the transforming power of a spiritually renewed mind (Romans 12:1-2). 

Nothing between my soul and the Saviour, naught of this world’s delusive dream:
I have renounced all sinful pleasure - Jesus is mine!  There’s nothing between.

Nothing between, like worldly pleasure: habits of life, tho harmless they seem,
must not my heart from Him ever sever - He is my all!  There’s nothing between.

Nothing between, like pride or station: self or friends shall not intervene;
tho it may cost me much tribulation, I am resolved!  There’s nothing between.

Nothing between, e’en many hard trials, tho the whole world against me convene;
watching with prayer and much self-denial - triumph at last, with nothing between!

Chorus:  Nothing between my soul and the Saviour, so that His blessed face may be seen; nothing preventing the least of His favour:  Keep the way clear!  Let nothing between.
(Amazing Grace - Kenneth W. Osbeck)

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August 15

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
(Zechariah 4:6)

But often (how often!) is there exercise of spirit where all should be stillness.
“Stand still and see the salvation of God.”
It is unbelief which raises all this.
As with Jacob: he was praying when he should have been sleeping in the promise. (Genesis22)
He fears and calculates and settles all according to man’s best advice, 
when as the heir of the blessing and the possessor of the birthright, 
he should have trusted and rested.
So was it not, however with Peter.
In the very prison, between two soldiers, and bound with two chains, he sleeps,
and sleeps so soundly in the promise and sufficiency of God, 
that his deliverer has to smite him on the side to raise him up. (Acts 12).
And how did the true “beloved blessed One” sleep, 
when winds and waves were around Him. (Mark 4)
(Short Meditations on the Psalms - J.G. Bellett)

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August 16

“None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs  shall not become garments neither shall they cover themselves with their works . . .” (Isaiah 59:4-6)
    
“For by grace are yet saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
(Ephesians 2: 8-9)

How many are thinking to climb to heaven by effort of their own, only to find at last that they have ventured all on a spider’s web, and so are lost forever.

Christ, and Christ alone, can save.  His gospel is unfailing and peace-giving.  It is no adder’s egg nor spider’s web, but the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”   

Here you have the “garment of salvation,” “the best robe,” “the robe of righteousness,” provided by God Himself through the death of His Son for all who own their guilt and trust His grace.  “He gives the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

How futile are human efforts to fit the ungodly for the divine Presence.  Spiders' webs will not avail to cover the moral nakedness of Christ-rejecting sinners.  “Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works.”  Whoever heard of a dress woven from the web of the spider?

But how different is the produce of another tiny creature, the silkworm!  This marvellous little being spins a thread of such strength that it is readily woven into cloth of the utmost beauty and made up into garments of glory. 

But the silkworm must die that the floss may thus be utilized.  Is it too much to say that here we have in nature more than a hint of Him who in the depth of His humiliation could exclaim, “I am a worm and no man,” and who gave His life that we might be clothed in glory?  (H.A. Ironside)

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August 17

"The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.”
(Isaiah 57:15)

“The place, which is called Calvary.”
(Luke 23:33)

Eternity and Calvary are two profound subjects.
Together they are central to the theme of every Gospel message.
The idea of Calvary arose in eternity, in the heart of God.
Mankind will be divided into two classes in eternity because of Calvary.
What you do with the man of Calvary now determines where you will spend eternity.
For the believer, eternity will be spent with the Man of Calvary
For those who reject the love of Calvary a lost eternity awaits.
(Milton Haack)

I am redeemed, O praise the Lord;
My soul from bondage free,
Has found at last a resting place,
In Him who died for me.
(Fanny J. Crosby)

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August 18

A Wise Response

“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
(Proverbs 26:4)

Recently I read of a little encounter that occurred during a major league baseball game. It had to do with heckling, which by the way, is what some people do at the ball park. I find it to be quite distasteful. Cheer for your guys; don’t belittle the others.

Anyway, a pitcher who was sitting in the bull pen waiting for his turn to pitch was being heckled by one of the fans. The comments went on and on. Finally, the pitcher tossed a nice baseball softly to the heckler; he had written on it: “Thanks for paying my salary today”, then he put a little heart followed by his jersey number. I loved that!

Whether the player realized it or not, he was exemplifying today’s verse. The other man was making a fool of himself. The pitcher could have answered in kind, but instead he answered in kindness. "soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) 

“Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit “ (Proverbs 26:5). Yes, there are times when there should be a rebuttal, so we need God’s wisdom to recognize the difference. (LIFElines - F.P.)

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August 19

LIFE ON THE HIGHEST PLANE

"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: 
spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.” 
(Isaiah 54:2)

If you are going to have any spiritual growth in your life . . . 
if you are going to accomplish anything for God . . . 
if you are ever going to be an effective and fruitful Christian . . .
THEN, you must tear down your self-imposed walls, 
look beyond "your" interest, 
"your" concern, 
"your" welfare, 
and abandon yourself by faith, to Jesus Christ. 
This abundant life in Christ is a life beyond and outside 
of ourselves.  It is initiated, sustained, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. 
It comes through appropriating the provisions of His grace that 
Christ has purchased for us, and given to us. 
(Adapted)

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August 20

"He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him.”
(John 14:21)

O! dwell with me; let no distracting thought
Intrude to hide from me that heavenly light;
Be Thou my strength! Let not what Thou hast brought
Be chased by idle nature’s poor delight.
(Pilgrim’s Portion for the Day of Rest - JND)

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August 21

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
(Jeremiah 6:16)

A method is not good because it is new, nor bad because it is old.  Every method must stand on its merits, not on its years.  

If grandfather’s sword is eaten through with rust let us not carry it into battle; but if it is a tried and true Damascus blade it should not be discarded for one of your modern make that may be as brittle as it is bright.

If our fathers knew how to produce better spiritual fibre than we are producing there is little reason for turning up our noses at old fogy ways.  And if the old-time Sunday-schools made rock foundations of faith for the strong men and women of today, there may be something in their methods not too mouldy for use. 

But I have tried not to lay too much stress on methods.  The supreme need of the average Sunday-School teacher is not a method of work but a motive for work.  

Pour a note-book full of new methods int a cold brain and they will accomplish about as much as a tank full of cold water emptied into a cold engine.  You’ve got to have fire beneath the water.

You’ve got to get a motive that will kindle a fire in your heart beneath your brain.  
(Edward L. Pell)

“. . . put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.  Study to show thyself 
approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:14-15).

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August 22

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?”
(Matthew 5:13)

To lose one’s savour is to become ineffective.
The phrase “lost his savour” suggests that one can be effective and useful,
then lose that effectiveness and usefulness.
Living examples include Abraham with Pharaoh,
Lot with his next-of-kin, and Samson with the Philistines.
The parallel passage in Luke speaks 
of first being “tasteless,”then ”useless”.
God is in the business of recovering and restoring savourless believers.
May we always remain salty!
(N. Craig Funston)

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August 23

"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord . . . And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” 
(Luke 22:61-62)

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him? Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him; joyful choose the better part.

Idols once they won thee, charmed thee, lovely things of time and sense;
Gilded thus does sin disarm thee, honeyed lest thou turn thee thence.

What has stripped the seeming beauty from the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty, but the sight of peerless worth.

Not the crushing of those idols, with its bitter void and smart;
But the beaming of His beauty, the unveiling of His heart.

Who extinguishes their taper till they hail the rising sun?
Who discards the garb of winter till the summer has begun?

Tis that look that melted Peter, ’tis that face that Stephen saw,
Tis that heart that wept with Mary, can alone from idols draw:

Draw and win and fill completely, till the cup o’erflow the brim;
What have we to do with idols who have companied with Him?
(Ora Rowan)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Part of this poem was quoted in Gem # 5430.  
Thanks to Bill Wiese for the remainder of the poem.]

August 24

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 14:1-2)

A poor beast that is going homeward, goes cheerfully! 
See how the horse pricks up his ears and quickens his pace when you 
turn his head to his stable. Even the dull donkey does the same. 
Much more then should Christians feel the attractions of their heavenly home! 
Courage, brothers and sisters; we, too, are homeward bound! 
Every hour brings us nearer to the many mansions! 
Our way is toward the Father's house on high, 
therefore let us rejoice at every step we take!
( Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden - Charles Spurgeon - 1883 — B.L.)

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August 25

(HE) “Behold, thou art fair, My love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes."
(Song of Solomon 4:1)

The dove is the bird of love and of sorrow; often found mourning, as though pining for a distant home.

When sent out of the ark by Noah, she could find no rest for the sole of her foot amid the carrion of the old creation.  The ark alone could furnish rest for her, until the olive leaf signified that new-creation rest had come.

The dove was the form assigned by the Holy Spirit when He descended upon our Lord at His baptism, sealing Him as belonging not to earth but to heaven.  

She is fair in His sight, and having doves eyes, can now discern what is suited to the heavenly sphere to which she is related.  (Exposition of The Song of Songs - J.B. Jackson)

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August 26

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”
(Jonah 1:3)

Jonah might have deemed it a very remarkable opening of Providence 
to find a ship going to Tarshish; but in truth it was an 
opening through which he slipped off 
the path of obedience.
(Food for the Desert)

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August 27

“But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.”
(Luke 2:44)

It surely was sorrow to Mary and Joseph, when they realized that the Lord Jesus (at this time a 12 year old boy) was not with the company they were travelling with from Jerusalem.

Perhaps they had been enjoying that happy society of family and friends - so much so that a whole day’s journey  passed before  the frightening realization that He was missing, occurred to them.

It is often so with us.  The blessed Lord desires our fellowship.  Yet how easily work, activities and responsibilities of the day so crowd life that we don’t realize the Saviour is missing from our journey.

He has assured each Christian that He will “never leave thee nor forsake thee“, but sadly, too often we think little of or about Him during the rush of the day.  Then at the very time we would desire to enjoy His company, we too realize that He is not among the company of things that have occupied our constant attention.

Even so, we find that our precious Saviour has all along been patiently waiting for us to open the door and admit Him to fellowship. (Revelation 3:20)  The Christian Shepherd - July 2014)

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August 28

“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper  in the thing whereto I sent it.”
(Isaiah 55:11)

Sometimes it looks as if God’s servants fail.  When Herod beheaded John the Baptist, it looked as if John’s mission were a failure.  But was it?  The voice that rang through the valley of the Jordan rings through the whole world today.

You can hear its echo upon the mountains and the valleys yet, “I must decrease, but He must increase.”  He held up Jesus Christ and introduced Him to the world, and Herod had not power to behead him until his his life-work had been accomplished.

Stephen never preached but one sermon that we know of, and that was before the Sanhedrin; but how that sermon has been preached again and again all over the world!  Out of his death probably came Paul, the greatest preacher the world has seen since Christ left this earth.  If a man is sent by Jehovah, there is no such thing as failure.   (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 5631  

August 29

“Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say . . . Thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.”
(Exodus 4:12,15)

Every believer struggles with the fine line of balance required in having 
our speech and our actions in constant agreement.
All too often the world is able to criticize us because of an inconsistency in these areas.
God’s admonition to Moses, in spite of his protestations of inadequacy,
should encourage our hearts.
The key is letting the Lord shine through us as we
 converse with others and walk before them.
(William H. Gustafson)

“Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart, and let me prepare,
Love with Thy children thus to share.”
- C. S.

N.J. Hiebert - 5632

August 30

“And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she (Ruth) may glean them, and rebuke her not.”
(Ruth 2:15-16)

How kind, how wise, and how tactful Boaz was.  He did not tell his young men to give Ruth a pile of sheaves all at once - this would have meant much less work for the servants as well as for Ruth.

Boaz knew that those things which we procure by our own efforts are more valuable to us that those we receive as gifts.  So with the Lord.  He does not give wisdom to us in a nutshell or by passing some easy courses.  No, He begins by giving us a principle related to an event or a person.

Then He gives us another side of the fact in a totally different connection.  Thus we learn to understand His Word and truth by searching diligently and by studying.

Only those who really value the truth and who take the time and trouble to understand the thoughts of God will be richly rewarded.  (H.L. Heiijkoop)

N.J. Hiebert - 5633

August 31

“. . . thinketh no evil . . . “ 
(1 Corinthians 13:5)

LET IT REST!
Ah! how many hearts on the brink of anxiety and disquietude, 
by the simple sentence have been made calm and happy!
Some proceeding has wounded us by its want of tact; 
LET IT REST; no one will think of it again.

A harsh or unjust sentence irritates us; LET IT REST; 
whoever may have given vent to it will be pleased to see it forgotten.
A painful scandal is about to estrange us from an old friend; LET IT REST, and
thus preserve our charity and peace of mind.
A suspicious look is on the point of cooling our affection; LET IT REST;
Our look of trust will restore confidence.

Fancy! we, who are so careful to remove the briars from 
our pathway for fear they should wound,
yet take pleasure in collecting and piercing our hearts with thorns 
that meet us in our daily association with one another!
How childish and unreasonable we are!
(Gold Dust)

The rents made by Time will soon mend if you will let God have His way.

N.J. Hiebert - 5634 

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