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

Monday, September 01, 2014

Gems from September 2014

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)

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

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.

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September 1

“Let God be true, but every man a liar.”
(Romans 3:4)

“Abraham believed God.”   
The essence of faith is simply taking God at His word.  
“What more can He say than to you He hath said?”  
“He hath said . . . so that we may boldly say.
We are thrown back upon revelation, not reason.  
God has spoken and holy men recorded it.  
Back of everything stands the record.  
If we are to believe the Living Word we must accept the Written Word.  

Jesus accepted the Old Testament as the Word of God.  
And He told us that His words were spirit and life.  
“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” - but how do we trust Him?  
The next line has it, “Just to take Him at His word.”  
Not “a feeling fond and fugitive,” not a frame of mind strenuously maintained, 
but a calm reliance on, “It is written,”  That is it. 
For “these things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, 
the Son of God: and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
Take His Word for it!
(Day by Day with Vance Havner)

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September 2

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

“For me, Lord Jesus, Thou hast died, and I have died in Thee:
Thou’rt risen; my bands are all untied, and now Thou livest in me.
When Thou doest come to take Thy Bride, Thy glory then for me!"

In God’s reckoning, each believer has been crucified with Christ.
Paradoxically, we live, not simply through a generic divine life impersonally imparted to us.
The wonderful truth is that the living Christ has taken up His abode in each of His own.
Appropriating this, we live each day in faith,
A faith which is rooted in the immeasurable love and all-sufficient sacrifice of the Son of God.
Is the Christ-life your life?
(G. Hall)

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September 3

“Because thou hast done this things, 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 gardenthe crossand 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 having 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 you 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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September 4

“And they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.”
(Exodus 15:22)

Every spring of earth is dried up for those who have been redeemed from Egypt.
There is not a single source of life - nothing that can minister in any way to 
the life we have received in Christ. 
And how blessed it is for the soul to apprehend this truth.
Starting on our pilgrimage, elated with the joy of salvation, 
how often are we surprised to find 
that the sources at which we have drunk before - 
and drunk with delight - have now run dry.
We ought to expect this; but never is the lesson learned until we have gone 
the three days’ journey in the wilderness.
It is indeed a startling experience to discover that earth’s resources are exhausted;
but it is an indispensable requisite if we would know the blessedness of the truth that
“all our springs are in Thee.”
(Edward Dennett)

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September 5

“ . . . Who hath despised the day of small things?”
(Zechariah 4:10)

A happy life is not built up of tours abroad and pleasant holidays,
but of the little clumps of violets noticed by the roadside, hidden away almost so 
that only those can see them who have God’s peace and love in their hearts;
in one long continuous chain of little joys;
little whispers from the spiritual world;
little gleams of sunshine on our daily work.
So long have I stuck to nature and the New Testament 
I have only got happier and happier every day.
(Edward Wilson)

God of wayside weed
Grant I may serve the humblest need. 

Life is not as the sunflower, wholly in the sun,
but as the violet, 
partly in shade, partly in sun.
There are midnights, just as there are noons,
but every midnight is on the road to noon.

A little love, a little trust
A soft impulse, a sudden dream,
And life as dry as desert dust
Is fresher than a mountain stream.  
(Traveling Toward Sunset)

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September 6

The Two Prayers 

“Father, give me." (Luke 15:12)
"Father . . . make me." (Luke 15:19)

‘Give me,’ he prayed, the foolish, willful boy.
He thought that but to have was to enjoy.
A broken, sobered man, robbed, hungry, bare,
‘Make me,’ he prayed; and ’twas a wiser prayer.

Much wiser.  My possessions may decay:
What I become can no one take away.
A man’s true worth may be appraised the best
By what he was, not by what he possessed.
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M.S. Tait 1903-1980)

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September 7

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

I may see what appears very attractive down here; but, looking up there, I see Christ,
and I feel that till He comes down, earth cannot be blessed.
This world to me without Him is only a wilderness; there is no rest here.
All blessing - even for the earth - is shut up in Christ; 
all happiness, all true joy, hid in the person of the Lord.
You cannot get anything like real happiness without Him.
Oh, how much happier a way of learning that out rest is not here,
is that thought that nothing can make us happy till He comes,
than to be vainly seeking rest while He is absent,   
filling our mouths with sand and gravel!
(Gleanings - G.V. Wigram)

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September 8

“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.”
(Proverbs 30:5)

"Time and Chance happeneth to them all.”
(Ecclesiastes 9:11)

“Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine,
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis Thy hand that leadeth me!"
(Joseph H. Gilmore) 

A discouraged King Solomon observed that all people are victims of time and chance.
Not so, says Agur; those who put their trust in God and His word 
are shielded from happenstance.
Our goings are of the Lord.
What a comfort and peace we have as children of God, 
knowing that our every step is planned and shielded by our heavenly Father.
(David Pickup)

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September 9

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

 The best indicator of Christian maturity is the willingness to forgive.
The Bible says forgive as the Lord forgave you;
Get rid of anger and every form of malice.
Out of love just let go and release it all,
Lest the wound upon thy heart become a callus.

Keep on loving, forgiving, no matter what; Determined to let go and relinquish blame;
Ask the Lord to help you say in truth "I forgive it all in Jesus’ precious name."

The famous evangelist John Wesley was traveling with General James Oglethorpe, 
who was angry with one of his soldiers. The man came to the general and humbly asked for forgiveness, but he was gruffly told, "I never forgive! 

John Wesley looked the general in the eye and said, "Then I hope, sir, that you never sin."
“There is a little remedy, To ease the life we live,  
And make each day a happier one:  It is the word forgive.”

(Author Unknown) (Thanks to S.L.)

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September 10

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
(Psalm 42:1-2)

"O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
(Psalm 63:1) 

The compass-needle!

"The compass-needle may be shaken and agitated, but it never rests until it turns toward the pole!"

Thus our heart's affections, when once magnetized by the love of Christ, find no rest unless we turn to Him. The cares and labours of the day may carry our thoughts to other objects, 
even as a finger may turn the compass-needle to the east or west. 
But no sooner is the pressure removed, than our thoughts fly to the Well-beloved, 
just as the needle moves to its place. 
We are unable to rest anywhere but in Jesus. 
The new birth has disqualified us for contentment with the world—and 
hence we have no choice but to find our all in Christ.  Blessed necessity! 
We are driven to Jesus, by an unrest which finds no remedy elsewhere!
We are drawn to Jesus, by an impulse which we have no desire to resist!
We mourn that we are subject to many deflections and disturbances; 
but the Lord knows that our inmost soul seeks after Him!

(Charles Spurgeon “Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden” - 1883)
(With thanks to B. Lucas) 

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September 11

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
(Ephesians 6:12)

Stand on Guard

I was having my morning reading by a lake and was inspired by the actions of two geese.

Two Canadian geese came to shore and stood still for several minutes watching for danger. One begins to eat grass, but the other does not cease from his vigil. He follows the other around but does not once drop his head for a bite of food until the other relieves his post. This occurs in an environment with almost no predators. It is done on instinctive principle. 

Why are WE so relaxed? Are we as safe as we think we are? Ephesians 6 says we war not against flesh and blood, but rulers of darkness, demonic forces. Our society has been lulled into a false sense of security. It is considered silly and paranoid to avoid morally risky situations. We live entire lives without a single accountability partner. We should have many. 

The dodo bird lived centuries on an isolated island without predators and lost all sense of wariness and ability to escape danger. Men discovers the island and the species was shortly extinct. 

The walls of our hearts are left unmanned, our gates wide open. The enemy is free to enter at will. The only reason we do not sin more is that we have become so pathetic that we do not pose a threat to Satan.  He leaves us fat, happy, and weak because if we did any extreme sin then we might be shocked out of our reverie. 

God chose for Gideon the men who drank with their heads up, ready for action. He only needed 300 of such men, for He is their strength. Let us take a lesson from these geese, gird up our loins, and be vigilant minute-men, for we are in a war.  (With thanks - R. D)

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September 12

Love Serves

“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, 'Woman, behold thy son'!”
(John 19:26)

The  blessed Lord Jesus, though suffering the agonies of his crucifixion, 
was ever perfect in His love.
He would not leave His mother Mary without one who would truly love and care for her.
How precious that it was one who practically knew and enjoyed the 
Lord’s love that the Saviour calls on to serve in that way.
John’s knowledge and experience of the Saviour’s deep love for him, insured,
as we may say, that John would in like manner love, comfort, 
and care for the Lord’s mother.
May each believer who truly enjoys the Lord’s love, 
find ways to lovingly serve others as the Lord, in perfect love, has served us. 
(The Christians Shepherd -June 2014)

“By love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
“Finally . . . having compassion one of another, love as brethren,
be pitiful, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

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September 13

“How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?"
(John 4:9)

Russian church leader Alexei Bichkov told the story of a Christian pastor in a predominantly Muslim village.  He was asked by a family to conduct a funeral for their father, because at the time there was no mullah (Muslim religious leader).  The pastor readily agreed.  This so touched the family members that after the service they said to him, “We have no mullah.  May we visit your church?”  Bichkov said, “At last report 14 Muslims have become Christians.”

Jesus always looked beyond religious barriers to the hearts of people, as illustrated in His actions toward the Samaritan woman.  He knew a persons’s deep spiritual need.  If he detected hardness, He sought to soften or break the heart, depending on whether it was malleable or brittle.  If He found contrition and faith, He filled the heart with His forgiveness and joy.  If He sensed a hungry heart, He whetted its appetite for more.  No religious barrier kept His heart from touching His hearer’s heart.

God’s Spirit will help us to discern peoples spiritual needs if we ask Him and trust Him.  Christ’s love working through us can surmount any religious fence, no matter how high it may be, .(Adapted)

When you open your heart to the Lord, He will open your eyes to the Lost.

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September 14

“These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive."
(Revelation 2:8)

“The First and the Last” is one of the grandest of divine titles, 
a Rock against which the utmost power of the enemy is futile.
As “the First” He is before all in time, and above all as supreme. 
 As “the Last” He is after all, closing all up, for to Him all tend.
He is eternal in His Being.  
But He stooped to die.  
Death had no claim on Him.  
He, “the first and the last” - Jehovah’s special title (Isaiah chapters 41-48) - became dead.  
He breasted the waves of death.  
He rose out of it, and “lives” to die no more.  
This, then, was their “strong consolation.” 
The One Who died and lives is none other than Jehovah in the truth of His Being,
 the self-exisitng One.  
(Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ - Walter Scott) 

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September 15

“He (Nabal) hath [repaid] me evil for good."
(1 Samuel 25:21)
"Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”  
(Romans 12:19)

When your heart was filled with anger,
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother,
That you might forgive another,
Who had crossed your way?
(M.A. Kidder)

David was tempted to "get even “ and had it not been for the gracious 
intervention of Abigail he would have carried out his plan.
The believer is often tempted to try to rectify the 
injustices done to him by the unconverted, 
yet our God asks us to leave that responsibility with Him.
He may not balance the record as 
quickly as we would, but He will act.
Only then will justice be properly served.
(Wm. H. Gustafson)

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September 16

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:35-39) 

We have final perseverance taught in the clearest and strongest way possible:  “Not any creature shall be able to separate us.”  Neither self, in all its forms; not Satan, in all his wiles and conspiracies; nor the world, in all its allurements, or all its scorn, can ever separate the “us” of Romans 8:39, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

No doubt, persons may be deceived, and they may deceive others.  Spurious cases may arise; counterfeit conversions may take place.  Persons may seem to run well for a time and then break down.  The blossoms of spring-time may not be followed by the mellow fruits of autumn.  

Such things may be; and, moreover, true believers may fail in many things; they may stumble and break down in their course.  They have ample cause for self-judgment and humiliation in the practical details of life.  

But, allowing the widest possible margin for all these things, the precious doctrine of final perseverance remains unshaken - yea, untouched - upon its own Divine and eternal foundation.  “I give unto My sheep eternal (not temporary or conditional) life, and they shall never perish.”  (C.H Mackintosh)

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September 17

“And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.” 
(Matthew 8:23-24) 

At the end of a busy day the tired Master got into the little fishing boat 
(not a private yacht!) and fell asleep.
I like the way Matthew 8:24 puts it: 
“. . .  there arose a great tempest . . . but He was asleep.”  
The ship was covered with the waves but why should 
the Master of wind and weather be disturbed?
It was His Father’s world and what woke Him up was not the fury of the storm 
but the frenzy of His panicky disciples.  
Why did they not say, 
“There is nothing to worry about. 
The Lord  of all creation is taking a nap and we are safe"?
Instead, they got their eyes on the storm instead of the Saviour.
(Vance Havner - Though I Walk Through the Valley) 

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September 18

“And Noah went . . . into the ark."  (Genesis 7:7)
“By Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved."  (John 10:9)

Noah did not put it off.
He and his family entered the self-same day into the ark.
I wonder if any of Noah’s acquaintances were thinking about coming 
when the flood overtook them and even coming gradually nearer!
We are told that Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 
Then, come thou into the Ark, that when the great and terrible day comes,
you may be found of Him in peace, found in Him.

The rising tempest sweeps the sky,
the rain descends, the winds are high;
The waters swell and death and fear
Beset thy path, no refuge near:
Haste, traveler, haste!

Oh, haste! a shelter you may gain, 
A covert from the wind and rain, 
A hiding-place, a rest, a home,
A refuge from wrath to come: 
Haste, traveler, haste! 
(W.B. Collyer)

He who brings the flood has provided the Ark.
And the door is open.
It will be shut some day - it may be shut tomorrow.
What will you do if you find yourself not shut in, but shut out?
Whose fault is it if you do not enter in and be saved?

Will you not come to Him for life?
Why will ye die, oh why?
He gave His life for you, for you!
The gift is free, the word is true!
Will you not come? oh, why will you die?
(Opened Treasures - Francis Ridley Havergal)

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September 19

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
(Romans 8:32)

What a thought!
“All things . . . with Christ” in fellowship with Him.
Health or sickness - poverty or riches, 
I am in each state with Him; and have Him in each state.
According to the Apostle’s reasoning, 
the greater includes the lesser, 
and the lesser is possessed and enjoyed with the greater.
(Andrew Miller)

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September 20


“According to your faith be it unto you.”
(Matthew 9:29)

- I like to make an acrostic of the little word F-A-I-T-H.
- For all I take Him.
- For all I trust Him.
- For all I thank Him.
- For all He is I take Him.
- For all my need I trust Him.
- For all His gifts I thank Him.

I do not just take Him as this or that.
I take Him!
He is Alpha and Omega and all the letters between.
“As many as received him . . .” (John 1:12) - PERIOD!
(All the Days - Vance Havner)

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September 21

“The way of transgressor’s is hard.”
(Proverbs 13:15)

As presumptuous sins are the thieves, that with a high hand rob the Christian of his comfort;
so sloth and negligence are as the rust, that in time will fret into his comfort,
and eat out the heart and strength of it.

A thorn in the foot will make any way uneasy to the traveller, 
and guilt in the conscience any condition uncomfortable to the Christian,
but most of all a suffering one. 
O it is sad, to go with sore and smarting consciences into a suffering condition.
(William Gurnall [1617-1679] The Christian in Complete Armour)

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September 22

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

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
(Louis Bourgeols)  

How careful we ought to be in praising God for His goodness to us.
Sadly we are inclined to be more occupied with our troubles that our blessings.
Ironically, many times the troubles are blessings and we just fail to recognize them.
All the troubles of Job ended up in blessing.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2).
When we praise the Lord for our blessings,
He is pleased and delivers us from troubles!
(Harold G. Smith)

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September 23

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature (creation): old things have passed away; behold all things are become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Old leaves, if they remain upon the trees through the autumn and the winter fall off in the spring."

We have seen a hedge all thick with dry leaves throughout the winter, and neither frost nor wind has removed the withered foliage--but the spring has soon cleared them off. The new life dislodges the old, pushing it away as unsuitable to it. 

In the same way, our old corruptions are best removed by the growth of new graces.

It is as the new life buds and opens, that the old worn-out things of our former state are compelled to give up their hold of us. Our wisdom lies in living near to God, that by the power of His Holy Spirit all our graces may be vigorous, and may exercise a sin-expelling power over our lives--the new leaves of grace pushing off our old worldly affections and habits of sin.

With new converts, it is often better not to lay down stringent rules as to worldly amusements--but leave the new life and its holier joys, to push off the old pleasures. Thus it will be done more naturally and more effectively.

We have all heard of the expulsive power of a new affection. This new affection of love to God coming into the soul, expels love to sin!  (Charles Spurgeon “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883)

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September 24

I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.”  (Hosea 11:3)

We must crawl before we walk, 
and we must walk before we run.
This is the natural development in the life of us all.
Actually, it applies to all spheres of life.
Never run ahead of yourself; you’ll never make it.
Another thing is that we must learn to crawl and to walk and to run -
and for this we need the help of others.
The Bible also speaks of this when it tells how God taught His people.
(This Day is the Lord’s - Corrie Ten Boom)

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September 25

“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures . . .” 
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)  

When people used to crowd around George Whitfield and praise him 
because of his marvellous preaching, he would stop them like this:
“The devil told me that just before I came down from the pulpit.”
Then he would add, 

“There are many who can preach the gospel better than I can, 
but none can peach a better gospel."

It is the message that counts. The servant is really nothing, 
and the more we realize this and are willing to take the place of nothingness, 
the more God delights to come in and work through His servants. 
(H.A. Ironside)

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September 26

“Thou hast pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither maddest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night; and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand (one hundred and twenty thousand) persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?”
(Jonah 4:10-11)

Jehovah had the last word, as indeed He always must have. But listen to that “last word”.

What a picture it is!  Jonah, “exceeding glad” of the gourd (vine), because it added to his own comfort, but utterly unconscious of the joy in heaven over a whole city that had repented; and even exceedingly displeased, and very angry, because it had done so, and thus been saved from destruction!

Jonah was far more deeply concerned with the fate of the gourd, than he was with perhaps a million or more never-dying souls, who had just turned to the living and true God.

What a lesson for us today!  How many of us are far more deeply concerned over our gourds and our flowers, our houses and our business, our cars and our radios, than we are with the millions of perishing, yet never-dying, souls all about us.

How many of us are “exceeding glad” of something that adds a little more to our own comfort and ease and luxury, but we are utterly unconscious and without a care or a thought as to whether there is joy, exceeding joy, in heaven over one sinner that repents.  And we are “exceedingly displeased“ and "very angry” if anything happens to disturb our comfort, and upset the even tenor of our way.

The heathen in their blindness may bow down to wood and stone, for all we care, provided the worms do not get into our gourds, and the sultry east wind does not smite us, or destroy our crops.

Such is the heart of man, such is your heart and mine!  Self ever takes the first place, unless the Lord has taught us to lift up our eyes and look off unto JESUS.  (G.C. Willis)

N.J. Hiebert - 5660

September 27

"Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” 
(Matt. 5:44)

Sometimes an illustration is the best commentary on a verse.

Captain Mitsuo Fuchida was the Japanese pilot who directed the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He sent back the message, “Tora, Tora, Tora,” indicating the complete success of his mission. But World War II was not over. As the conflict raged on, the tide of battle turned until finally the United States was victorious.

During the war, the Japanese executed an elderly missionary couple in the Philippines. When their daughter in the U.S. got the news, she decided to visit Japanese prisoners of war and share with them the good news of the Gospel.

When they asked her why she was so kind to them, she would reply, “Because of the prayer my parents prayed before they were killed.” But that is all she would say.

After the war Mitsuo Fuchida was so bitter that he decided to bring the United States before an international tribunal to be tried for war atrocities. In an attempt to collect evidence, he interviewed Japanese prisoners of war. When he debriefed those who were held in the U.S., he was chagrined to hear, not of atrocities, but of the kindness shown by a Christian lady whose parents had been killed in the Philippines. The prisoners told how she supplied them with a book called the New Testament and mentioned that her parents had prayed some unknown prayer before they were executed. This was not exactly what Fuchida wanted to hear but he made a mental note of it anyway.

After hearing the story numerous times, he went out and bought a New Testament. When he read the Gospel of Matthew, his attention was arrested. He read through Mark and his interest deepened. When he came to Luke 23:34, light flooded his soul. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Instantly he knew the prayer that the elderly missionary couple had prayed before they were killed.

“He no longer thought of the American woman or the Japanese prisoners of war, but of himself, a fierce enemy of Christ, whom God was prepared to forgive in answer to the prayer of the crucified Savior. At that very moment he sought and found forgiveness and eternal life by faith in Christ.”

Plans for the international tribunal were scrapped. Mitsuo Fuchida spent the rest of his life proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ in many countries. 
September 12-Truths to live by-one day at a time.  (With thanks - Dan Hopkins)

N.J. Hiebert - 5661

September 28

Our Own

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”
(Romans 12:10

If I had known, in the morning, how wearily all the day
The words unkind would trouble my mind that I said when you went away,
I had been more careful, darling, nor given you needless pain;
But - we vex our own with look and tone we might never take back again.

For though in the quiet evening you may give me the kiss of peace,
Yet it well might be that never for me the pain of the heart should cease;
How many go forth at morning who never come home at night,
And hearts have broken for harsh words spoken that sorrow can ne’er set right.

We have careful thought for the stranger, and smiles for the sometime guest,
But oft for our own the bitter tone, though we love our own the best.
Ah, lip with the curve impatient, Ah, brow with the shade of scorn,
’T were a cruel fate were the night too late to undo the wok of morn. 
(Margaret E. Sangster)

N.J. Hiebert - 5662

September 29

“Is not this the carpenter?”
(Mark 6:3)

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
(Matthew 3:17)

It suits our best sense that the One who spoke of putting our hand to the plow, and taking the yoke upon us, should have made plows and yokes Himself, and people do not think His words less heavenly for not smelling of books and lamps.

Let us not make the mistake of these Nazarenes: that Jesus had been a carpenter was to them poor credentials of divinity, but it has been divine credentials to the poor ever since.  Let us not be deceived by social ratings and badges of the schools.

Carey was a cobbler, but he had a map of the world on his shop wall, and outdid Alexander the Great in dreaming and doing.

What thoughts were in the mind of Jesus at His workbench?  One of them was that the kingdoms of this world should become the kingdoms of God - at any cost

The Carpenter of Nazareth made common things for God.

A man was making a flower box; the corners were true, for he was particular.  Another said, “It’s just to hold dirt and does not need to be perfect.”  The answer came, “But my spirit does.”  The Carpenter of Nazareth never made anything less than His best.  (Mountain Trailways for Youth)

N.J. Hiebert - 5663 

September 30

“And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished our of their sight.”
(Luke 24:31)

Luke’s Gospel commences with two people (Joseph and Mary) travelling from Jerusalem 
thinking that the Lord was with them, and He was not. 
The Gospel concludes with two people travelling from Jerusalem, 
not knowing that the Lord was with them, and He was!
It is easy to lose the joy of His presence when we are complacent about our faith.
Conversely in times of sorrow we can think He is far from us.
The answer to both situations is to 
spend time with our Bible and thus we can fellowship 
with our Lord and have Him reveal more of Himself to us.
(Robert E. Surgenor)

More about Jesus would I know, more of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fulness see, more of His love who died for me.
(Eliza E. Hewitt)

N.J. Hiebert - 5664


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