Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5200 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Gems from November 2014

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
(2 Corinthians 7:1)

We insist that our children wash their hands before joining us at the table, but we often forget to do the same before we sit with the Lord at His table.  

Many Christians spend more time in trying to look clean physically, before people, than spiritually before Him with whom we have to do.

The result is that we bemoan the weakness that prevails among us and wonder about the reason.  If one persists in uncleanliness, one eventually becomes unfit even for the company of other believers. 

The longer dirt clings to us, the harder it is to get rid of it.  For best results we need much water, running water.

Christ who loves His bride purifies her “by the washing of water by the Word”

May it be the desire of our hearts to be purified from every pollution of flesh and spirit, seen or unseen, thoughts or actions.  This can only be accomplished by prayerful reading of the Word of God.  (A.M. Benham)

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THE HOME FRONT
“Let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself.”
(Ephesians 5:33)

Douglas MacArthur ll, nephew of the famous World War II general, served in the state department when John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State.  One evening Mr. Dulles called MacArthur at his home.  His wife answered the phone and explained that her husband was not there.  Not recognizing who the caller was, she angrily complained, “MacArthur is where MacArthur always is, weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and nights - in that office!”

Within minutes Dulles had MacArthur on the phone.  He gave him this terse order: 
"Go home at once, Boy.  Your home front is crumbling!”   

Those same words might well be directed to many husbands and fathers today.  Spending their time in pursuit of other interests, they neglect their wives and children.  Although they provide financial security, they fail to give the loving attention their families so desperately need and deserve from them.

Providing a comfortable house, nutritious food, and adequate clothing is commendable.  But a family also needs the presence, love, and influence of a God-fearing, Christ-honouring head of the house.

Yes, Dulles’ order to Douglas MacArthur II is appropriate for many men today:  “Go home at once.  Your home front is crumbling!”
O Christian fathers! Hear God’s Word! His voice obey!
And thereby teach your families to love and trust and pray.
(Gray)
_________________________________________________
Christian Homes don’t Just happen - They’re built.
_____________________________________________________________
“Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries,  Copyright - 1991, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission. 
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November 1

“Learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart.”
(Matthew 11:29)

Pride is the greatest of all evils that beset us, 
and of all our enemies it is that which dies the slowest and hardest. . . . 
God hates pride above all things, because it gives to man the place that belongs to Him 
who is above, exalted over all.
Pride intercepts communion with God, and draws down His chastisement, for 
“God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

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November 2

“And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
(Luke 9:62) 

Don’t doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light.
Looking back is dangerous business.
Remember Lot’s wife.

Farmers must look ahead to plow straight furrows,
and you must look ahead, unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
in order to live the Christian life.

No one who is entangled in his past, what might have been,
or doubting and vacillating about his commitment 
to serve the Lord, can be useful.
Onward, Christian soldier!
No looking back!
(Carl Knott)
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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November 3

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
(Romans 6:11-12)

Because I am not saved by any legal principle but by free grace alone sin is no longer to hold sway over my life.  Christ risen is the Captain of my salvation whose requests are to control me in all things.

Nature might reason in a contrary way and tell me that inasmuch as I am under grace not law it matters little how I behave, and I am therefore free to sin since my works have nothing to do with my salvation.

But as a regenerated man I do no want liberty to sin.  I want power for holiness.  If I habitually yield myself unto sin to obey its requests voluntarily, I show that I am still sin’s servant, and the end of that service is death.

But as a renewed man I desire to obey the One whose I now am and whom I serve.  So he says, 

“God be thanked that ye were the slaves of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that 
form of doctrine which was delivered unto you.  Being then made free from sin 
(that is, by God’s judicial  act on the cross) ye became the servants of righteousness” 
(Romans 6:17-18). 

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” 
 (Matthew 7:16)
(H.A. Ironside)

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November 4

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

WHY?  Because 

“. . . I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able . . .”  
(2 Timothy 1:12)
Failures ???
He met his first political failure when he lost the seat in the state Legislature.  
Friends persuaded him to venture into business.  
Failing at this he spent nearly twenty years paying off debts.  
His next failure was the loss of the young woman he was to marry.  
He later married a woman who proved to be a "thorn in his side" - another failure for happiness.
 Congress was his next political goal.  
Not only did he miss it, but the United States Land Office, and the United States Senate both were claimed by opponents.  
Most men would lose their courage after so many defeats.  
But this man pursued even higher attainments. 
He ran for the Vice Presidency of the United States.  
Failing to take the office he tried once more in 1858 and lost again.
One failure after another - severe and disastrous failures, yet he is a man not known for his failures! 

His name is Abraham Lincoln, who became the 16th President of the United States serving from March 1861
until his assassination in April 1865.
(Adapted - S.L.)

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November 5


Sufficient strength!
"As thy days, so shall thy strength be!
(Deuteronomy 33:25) 

Strength was not promised in advance--enough for all of life,
or even for a year, or for a month. 
The promise was, that for each day, when it came with
its own needs, duties, battles, and griefs
enough strength would be given

As the burden increased--more strength would be imparted. 
As the night grew darker--the lamps would shine out more brightly. 
The important thought here is, that strength is not emptied into our hearts in bulk—
a supply for years to come—
but is kept in reserve, and divinely given day by day, 
just as the day's needs require.
(J.R. Miller - The Shining Light - 1911)

"Give us this day our daily bread.” 
(Matthew 6:11)
“In the day when I cried Thou answerest me, 
and stregthenedst me with strength in my soul.” 
(Psalm 138:3)

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November 6

”My son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
(2 Timothy 2:1-2) 

Dear fellow follower of Jesus, we have been so richly blessed in and by the grace 
of God that we’ve been given, as spoken of in today’s verse. 
We have something really good to share with others, 
something that will transform their lives too.
That’s what Paul was urging Timothy to do. 
We’re not to be reservoirs of God’s blessings
We’re to be conduits
God’s grace can help even those of us who are a bit timid 
(as was Timothy) to tell the story of God in our lives.
 (LIFElines - FP)

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November 7

"Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known.” (Psalm 77:19)

God’s path is in the sea - just where you would not expect it to be!  
So when He leads us out by unexpected ways, off the strong solid land, 
out upon the changing sea, then we may expect to see His ways.
We are with One who finds a path as He goes.  
That is better that having a path already tracked out, 
for it makes us perfectly independent of circumstances.
There is an infinite variety in the paths God makes, 
and He can make them anywhere

Think you not that He, who made the spider able to drop anywhere and to spin its own path as it goes, is not able to spin a path for you through every blank, or perplexity, or depression?

God is never lost among our mysteries.  He sees the road, “the end from the beginning.”
Mystery and uncertainty are not only to prepare us for deeper discipline.  
Had we no stormy sea we should remain weaklings to the end of our days.  
God takes us out into the deeps; but He knows the track!  
He knows the haven! and we shall arrive.

“And with Jesus, through the trackless deep move on!”  
(C.A. Fox)  
“O the depth 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)
(Springs in the Valley)

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November 8

“Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens: and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5)  “How excellent is Thy lovingkndness, O God!” (Psalm 36:7)

He saw us ruined by the fall,
Yet loved us, notwithstanding all;
He saved us from our lost estate,
His lovingkindness oh how great.
(Samuel Medley)

I don’t know about you, but I feel so wretched at times -
So weak in my discipleship, that I expect the Lord to come in and chastise.
The psalmist, however, reminds us that, 
His mercy and loving kindness are limitless.
David experienced a love and understanding that never ended -
So let’s lift up our heads and bask in this fact.
(Brian Russell)

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November 9

“I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
(Malachi 3:6)

Jacob: his name is changed to Israel, meaning “a Prince of God”;
How is it that God can put such a name upon one who is a Jacob (“schemer”),
and manifest that character throughout the greater part of his life?
Because He is able to make him a prince of God; 
He is able to take up the most unpromising 
material and make out of it a vessel of glory,
and having taken up one like Jacob,
He does not abandon His purpose.
He knew the character of the material He was working with from the beginning.
(The Song of Songs - J.B. Jackson)

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November 10

“Behold I come quickly . . . even so come, Lord Jesus.”
(Revelation 22:7, 20)

“Behold I come quickly.”  So come, we entreat Thee; 
But how are we helping to answer our prayer?
Do we gather the stumbling-blocks out of the high-way,
And make smooth the path for the feet that walk there?
Are we doing Thy will?  Are we giving thy message
To souls Thou hast loved and redeemed on the cross?
Do we show forth Thy grace to the sad world around us?
Thy patience in trial, Thy comfort in loss?
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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November 11

The Place Called Calvary!

"When they had come to the place, called Calvary, there they crucified Him!”
(Luke 23:33)

Every time we look at the Cross, Jesus seems to say to us,
"I am here because of you! It is . . .
your sin that I am bearing,
your curse that I am suffering,
your debt that I am paying,
your death that I am dying!"
Nothing in the universe cuts us down to size, like the cross!
All of us have inflated views of ourselves--until we have visited the place called Calvary.
It is there, at the foot of the Cross, that we shrink to our true size.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly!
(Romans 5:6) 

(John Stott - The Message of Galatians - R.L.)
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November 12

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

The words of our lips profess that the work is finished,
but the doubts and fears of the heart declare that it is not.
Every one who doubts his full and everlasting forgiveness, denies,
so far as he is concerned, the completeness of the sacrifice of Christ.
(Food for the Desert)
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November 13

“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple.”
(Jonah 2:7)
  
“…Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
(Acts 10:4)

“The builder, who first bridged Niagara's gorge, before he swung his cable, shore to shore, sent out across the gulf his venturing kite. Bearing a slender cord for unseen hands to grasp upon the further cliff and draw a greater cord, and then a greater yet; till at the last across the chasm swung, the cable then the mighty bridge in air!”

So we may send our little timid thought across the void, out to God's reaching hands, send out our love and faith to thread the deep, thought after thought, until the little cord has greatened to a chain no chance can break, and we are anchored to the Infinite! (Edwin Markham)
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:16)
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November 14

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
(John 5:24)

The cross of Christ divides all mankind. There are only two sides, those for Christ,
and those against Him.Think of the two thieves;
from the side of Christ one went down to death cursing God,
and the other went to glory.
What a contrast!
In the morning he (the repentant thief) is led out, a condemned criminal;
in the evening he is saved from his sins.
In the morning he is cursing - in the evening he is singing hallelujahs.
In the morning he is condemned by men as not fit to live on earth;
in the evening he is reckoned good enough for heaven.
In the morning nailed to the cross; in the evening in the presence of the Lord,
In the morning not an eye to pity;
in the evening washed and made clean in the blood of the Lamb.
In the morning in the society of thieves and outcasts;
In the evening “With Christ which is far better.”
(Adapted)
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November 15

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

“Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life."
(John 6:68)

WHERE COULD WE GO?

Look down all other roads and see what they have to offer.
It is Christ or else.
The wisdom of man, the religions of the world, have no answer to the soul’s desperate cry,
“Where could I go but to the Lord?”
Where would we go?
If we do not follow the Light we go out into darkness, utter and eternal.
We would go to hell if we did not go to HIM.

“He that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18).

Where should we go? To Jesus of course.
Plain common sense tells us that nothing else satisfies.
He has proven His case long ago.
We ought to be Christians.
God commands us to repent and believe.

It is a matter of eternal alternatives; saved or lost, justified or condemned, heaven or hell.


“He that is not with Me is against Me” (Luke 11:23).
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man” (Proverbs 14:12).
"I am the way” (John 14:6).

Which way are you going?
(Day by Day - Vance Havner)

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November 16

“Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”
(Luke 18:6,7)

God’s seasons are not at your beck. If the first stroke of the flint does not bring forth the fire, you must strike again. God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed.

He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations. Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication.
In the days of flint and steel and brimstone matches, we had to strike and strike again, dozens of times, before we could get a spark to live in the tinder; and we were thankful enough if we succeeded at last.

Shall we not be as persevering and hopeful as to heavenly things? We have more certainty of success in this business than we had with our flint and steel, for we have God’s promises at our back.
Never let us despair. God’s time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived. Ask in faith, nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the Lord delays to reply.
Strike the steel again. Make the sparks fly and have your tinder ready; you will get a light before long. (C.H. Spurgeon)
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November 17

"And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
(Exodus 12:1,2)

Before God time counts for nothing as long as the sinner is in his sins. Until we are sheltered under the blood of Christ we have not begun to live in His sight. We may have lived thirty, forty, or fifty years; but if we have not been born again, it is all waste time.

Waste time? Waste as far as God is concerned; but, oh, how terrible the results for eternity, should we continue in that condition! Every day of that period has added to our guilt, to the number of our sins, all of which are recorded in the book that will be opened at the judgment of the great white throne, should we pass into eternity unsaved.

What a verdict upon the world’s strivings and activities, upon the hopes and ambitions of men! They tell us of the nobility of life, speak of deeds of glory and fame, and seek to inspire our youth with the desire to emulate the deeds of those whose names are enrolled in the historic page.

God speaks, and by one word dispels the illusion, proclaiming that not yet have such begun to live. Without life towards Him, however great such may loom in the eyes of men, they are dead, their true history has not yet commenced.

So with the Israelites. They have been hitherto the servants of Pharaoh, slaves of Satan; they have not yet started to serve the Lord, and hence the month of their redemption was to be the first month of the year to them. From this point their true life’s history began. (Edward Dennett)

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November 18

“Then I came to them of the captivity . . . and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.”
(Ezekiel 3:15)

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
(Romans 12:15)

Make me a channel of blessing today,
Make me a channel of blessing, I pray.
(Smyth)

God had called Ezekiel to declare Israel’s transgression.
Yet before Ezekiel embarked on his mission,
he sat where they sat" for seven days, identifying with their misery.
Before he said a word, he entered into their sorrow.
Likewise, no matter how urgent our task from the Lord may be,
the ground of God’s work is often prepared and softened
by a sympathizing heart in tune with those in need.
May we be more like Ezekiel as we serve the Lord.
(Mark Kolchin)
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November 19

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

I look not back - God knows the fruitless effort,
the wasted hours, the sinning and regrets;
I leave them all with Him that blots the record
and graciously forgives and then forgets.
I look not forward, God sees all the future,
the road that short or long, will lead me home;
And He will face with me its every trial,
and bear for me the burden that may come.
I look not around me - then would fear assail me,
so wild the tumult of life’s restless sea;
So dark the world, so filled with war and evil,
so vain the hope of comfort and of ease.
I look not inward, that would make me wretched,
for I have naught on which to stay my trust;
Nothing I see but failures and shortcomings,
and weak endeavours crumbling into dust. 
But I look up - up into the face of Jesus!
For there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled;
And there is joy, and love and light for darkness,
and perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

When we look within, we are depressed, when we look around we are impressed,but when we look at Jesus Christ we are blessed.
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November 20

It’s Already in There

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
(Psalm 51:5)

Have you ever had shingles? If not, I hope you never get them. I have had them and it was a miserable time; you who have had them know what I mean.
Now a shingles vaccine has been developed for anyone who has ever had chicken pox.
What they say is this:
“If you have had chicken pox, the shingles virus is already in you.”
That should be warning enough to propel a person to get the shot.
Shingles is bad, but there is something else that is “already in” us that is far worse, SIN.

In the verse above, King David is confessing and repenting of grievous sins that he committed,
and he declares this truth that is universally true, that “in sin did my mother conceive me."
We can present ourselves pretty decently before others, can’t we,
but we cannot deny that inside us is a heart that is selfish, willful and inclined to sin.
That is why that, even as lovers of and believers in Jesus, we need to listen to the voice of
the Lord as He speaks to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and through God’s word.
He wants you and me to be holy people, because He is holy.
Will we mess up? Sadly we will and do. But the mess ups should become less frequent as we grow in the Lord. And, oh yes, we need to surround ourselves with others who love and follow Jesus.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith . . .” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
(LIFElines - F.P.)
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November 21

SHACKLED BY MAN...SET FREE BY GOD

"And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely ...  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bands were loosed." (Acts 16: 23, 26)

Paul and Silas had just seen God's power manifested through them,
in casting out the evil spirit that possessed a young girl.
They were falsely accused, stripped, beaten,
unjustly thrown into prison, and their feet bound fast to the stocks.

This was the unjust reaction of ungodly men, shackled by man. What a scene!
They had every human right to complain, cry out for justice, and plead for mercy.
Their eyes were not fixed upon their circumstances, for they knew God was in control,
and in His providential care, permitted this encounter to reach one man, the jailer...and then, his whole family.
Look at the scene. Paul and Silas were a pitifully beaten sight of humanity, and what was their response?

"At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God, and the prisoners heard them.

Can you imagine what went through the minds of these prisoners as they heard
Paul and Silas pray and praise God in word and song?
But then, we see them set free by God. "The foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bands were loosed” (Acts 16:26).

We may not be responsible for the circumstances we are in,
but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us:
we can either allow them to defeat us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be.

Paul said, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).

God has promised an overcoming spirit to all who will dare to trust Him!

"But thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Shackled by man...set free by God!
(With thanks - R.L.)
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November 22

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Perhaps thy heart is still oppressed
With yesterday’s sore sorrow
Thy mind with anxious care distressed
For what shall be tomorrow.
Make known to Him thy case; and thou shalt find
The peace of God possess both heart and mind.
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S. Tait)
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November 23

“. . . a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is MY beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
(Matthew 17:5)

In the bright light of the transfiguration, it was not the glory but Jesus who was the chief object.
There was a Person on the mount - One who was altogether beautiful,
chief among ten thousand; and that Person puts on robes of
glory for a moment, to show what the glory of His
kingdom would be. What was that in
comparison with the Person?
(G.V. Wigram)
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November 24

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
(Genesis 5:24)

Eventually every man must face his God,
and since it comes to that we might as well start with it.
If we remember our Creator in the days of our youth
we shall be ready for everything as it comes and
not face a long-deferred confrontation in some grave crisis or at death’s door.
Enoch walked with God and his translation
was just the last phase of a glorious pilgrimage.
Somebody has said that Enoch walked so close to God
that time just merged into eternity.
God said, “Come, share the day with me” and since there is no night there,
Enoch has been spending the day ever since!

When all the props are knocked out we feel a heavenly helplessness.
At first we may tremble but then we begin to take stock and find
we are on the firmest footing we have ever known.
God hung the earth on nothing and
He can keep us in what looks like thin air.
Insomniacs cannot sleep until they stop
holding up the bed and let the bed support them.
Don’t wait until some emergency brings you to cast your self upon God
just because you can’t do anything else anyway.
It always comes to that - so start with it.
It was never meant to be a last resort.
Like the Bible, our lives ought to start with “In the beginning God. . . . “
Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.(Revelation1:8).
That makes full circle, “And ye are complete in Him . . .” (Colossians 2:10).
(Though I Walk Through the Valley - Vance Havner)
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November 25

"I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not know: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."
(Isaiah 42:16)

"In the Lord put I my trust."
(Psalm 11:1)


Are you perplexed or desponding?
Amid your anxious, wavering, undecided thoughts, let this be your comfort, Gods thoughts are upon you and He will provide to all who trust Him the needed guidance or deliverance
not perhaps what we expect or would like,
but what He knows will be best for us.
Rely on God, the pillar-cloud as Israel did.
He will bring you, as He did His people Israel,
through the sea on dry land and through the river on foot.
(J. R. MacDuff)
(Adapted - D.H.)
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November 26

“The LORD will give strength unto His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”
(Psalm 29:11)

At first glance, power and peace seem a little illogical to couple together.
Yet the psalmist says that both are given to us and come from the same wonderful God.
Improvements in technology have revealed even more of the infinite
depths of space and impress upon us His mind-boggling power.
However, for His own, the assurance of peace from
such an awesome God is truly wonderful.
(Garry W. Seale)

Kept by His power, whatever dangers lower.
The strength of God’s almighty arm,
Doth shield my soul from every harm.
Kept by His power.
(William Blane)
N.J. Hiebert - 5721

November 27

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”
(Philippians 3:10)

Christianity shuts us up to Christ:
“That I may know Him,” is the breathing of the true Christian.
If to be “found in Him” constitutes the Christians’s standing,
then “to know Him” is the Christian’s proper object.
The ancient philosophy had a motto which it was constantly sounding
in the ears of its votaries, and that motto was, “Know thyself.”
Christianity, on the contrary, has a loftier motto, pointing to a nobler object.
It tells us to know Christ - to make Him our object - to fix our earnest gaze on Him.
(C.H. Macintosh)

“O Patient, spotless One!
Our hearts in meekness train,
To bear Thy yoke, and leaner of Thee,
That we may rest obtain.
 Jesus! Thou art enough
The mind and heart to fill;
Thy patient life - to calm the soul;
Thy love - its fear dispel.
O fix our earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord on Thee,
That with Thy beauty occupied,
We elsewhere none may see.”
N.J. Hiebert - 5722

November 28


“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
(John 1:29)

In one of the favourite hymns, Charles Wesley writes in his final verse,
Happy, if with my latest breath
I might but gasp His name,
preach Him to all and cry in death,
“Behold, behold the Lamb!”

An account of Chalres Wesley’s death tells us that that is exactly what happened.
As he lay dying, he said those words, “Behold the Lamb,” and then went to be with the Lord.
What is it that you are beholding?
John wants to make sure we heed the call to look at Jesus.
Thus the question remains: Will you behold the Lamb of God?

John wants to make sure we see clearly the One who brings atonement,
Who shows mercy,
Who brings healing,
Who has authority,
The One who tells us not to fear,
The One who is abundant,
The One who illuminates a darkened world and literally opens the eyes of the blind,
The One who has power even over death itself.
It is Christ.
It is this Jesus who we do well to be looking at.
Will you behold?
(Adapted)
N.J. Hiebert - 5723

November 29

“Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.”
(2 Corinthians 6:3)

Getting the Point

It is offensive to point when preaching the gospel.
They say here in Malawi, it is okay to point in school but not when preaching the word of God.
Really this is true in America too.
We like to convince people by pointing the finger but really,
it is the Spirit of God that convinces man of sin.
“And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”
(John 16:8)
So we . . . preach the word and let God give the increase .
Hopefully, I get the point.
(With thanks to Tim Roach - Africa 2U - Malawi - November 6, 2014)
N.J. Hiebert - 5724

November 30

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

If old things have not passed away in your life, and if you are not a new creature, “Born again,” altogether different in heart and life and love and aim, you are not “in Christ.” And if you are not in Christ, you are out of Christ, outside the only place of safety. “Come thou into the Ark!
It is one of the devices of the destroyer to delude you into fancying that no very decided step is necessary.
He is very fond of the word “gradually.”
You are to become more earnest -gradually.
You are to find salvation - gradually.
You are to turn your mind to God - gradually.

Did you ever think that God never used this word not anything like it? Neither the word not the sense of it occurs anywhere in the whole Bible with reference to salvation.
You might have been gradually approaching the ark, and gradually making up your mind to enter; but unless you took the one step into the Ark, the one step from outside to inside, what would have been your fate when the door was shut? (Opened Treasures - Francis Ridley Havergal)
N.J. Hiebert - 5725

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