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

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Gems from July 2015

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him,
Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.”
(Luke 19:5)

Zacchaeus was seeking.
In fact, he went to great lengths to secure just a view of the passing Lord Jesus.
What he didn’t realize was that the Lord was seeking, too.
The Lord stopped under the very tree that Zacchaeus had climbed,
looked up at him, and called him by name.
What a moment!
Perhaps you are seeking too, trying any number of things to satisfy your longing soul.
Be assured that the Saviour is still seeking as well.
Put your faith in Him and He will come into your life as He did with Zacchaeus.
(John Clegg)

“Jesus, my Saviour, to Bethlehem came, born in a manger to sorrow and shame;
Oh, it was wonderful, blest be His name, seeking for me, for me!”

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“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” 
(Philippians 3:7-8)

Paul counted “all things” (natural and religious. — Ed.) not only as useless, but as real “loss.” 
They kept him back from Christ.

Sorrows, trials, and exercises here are our income, so to speak.

We learn on one side the utter insufficiency of self — and on the other the perfect sufficiency of God.

The strength given is not to deliver us out of the difficulties, but “unto all patience.
(Hunt’s Sayings)

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July 1

“There hath no temptations taken you but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above 
that yea are able; but will with the temptation also make a 
way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

The Devil’s dupes. 
 Many have yielded to go a mile with Satan, that never intended to go two.
Thus Satan leads poor creatures down into the depths of sin by winding stairs,
that let them not see the bottom whither they are going:
First, he presents an object that occasions some thoughts,
these set the affections on fire,
and these fume up into the brain and cloud the understanding, 
which, being thus disabled,
now Satan dares  a little more declare himself, 
and boldly solicit the creature to that it would otherwise have defied.
Give not place to Satan! no, not an inch in his first motions; 
he that is a beggar, and a modest one without doors, 
will command the house if let in.
(William Gurnall - 1617-1679)

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July 2

“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty. . .”
(Isaiah 33:17)

His winds turn not when He seemeth to change, it is but we who turn our wrong side to Him.

I am like a low man looking up to a high mountain, whom weariness and fainting overcometh.
I would climb up, but I find that I do not advance in my journey as I would wish:
yet I trust He shall take me home against night.

I think it a sweet thing, that Christ saith of my cross, half mine,
and that He divides these sufferings with me and takes
the largest share to Himself; nay, that I, and my
whole cross, are wholly Christ’s.

Live on Christ’s love while ye are here, and all the way.
(From the letters of Samuel Rutherford  1600 -1661)

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July 3

“Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”  
(Ephesians 4:15)

The One in whose likeness and knowledge we grow is the head of the body.
All wisdom, power and faithfulness are in the Head.
All may be in disorder in the scene around us, but if we know Christ as the Head
we shall realize that no power of the enemy,
and no failure of the saints,
can touch the wisdom and power of the head. 
(Hamilton Smith)

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July 4

“And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, 
and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice.” 
(John 10:4)

The One who draws, goes before.
Thus the Lord goes before His people in the wilderness, 
and sees the danger and meets it, before they come to it.
Many, many are the dangers we are, 
by Him, delivered from, that we know nothing about. 
A snare may be laid for us by the enemy, in the way that we said we would go,
but our divine leader, seeing the snare, turns into another path, 
leads in another direction, and the snare which might have proved fatal is escaped.
And yet, I may feed so disappointed, and so discontented, 
because something hindered me reaching my previously appointed place.
Blessed Lord! may we ever, and only, “run after Thee.”

“Draw me! I will run after Thee, will seek to hear obediently what Thou wilt speak:
And step by step the blessed path would trace of my beloved — full of truth and grace.”
(Andrew Miller)

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July 5

“And when he (prodigal) came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my 
father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  
I will arise and go to my father . . .”   
(Luke 15:17-18)

"The rich man died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, 
and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, 
Father Abraham, have mercy on me . . .” (Luke 16:22-24)  

Observe the difference between the rich man and the prodigal.
The prodigal“came to himself”before it was too late, and the rich man, after the door was shut "great gulf fixed".
The prodigal was dissolute and abandoned, and when he came to himself he thought of his sin
The rich man came to himself in the place of judgment, and did not think of his sins, but of his misery.
The prodigal came to himself in the midst of his misery here — 
the rich man, in the midst of his torment there
That is all the difference.
The prodigal said, "I will go back; what a sinner and a rebel son I have been!"  There was nothing of that
gracious stirring in the spirit of the rich man when he lifted up his head in flames.
The prodigal had not to finish the first sentence; the father answered him on the spot, 
and put on him a ring and the best robe, and killed the fatted calf; 
but the rich man cried again and again.  It was too late
(J.G. Bellett)

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July 6

"He knoweth what is in the darkness . . .”
(Daniel 2:22)

“I will even make a way in the wilderness . . .”
(Isaiah 43:19)

About a century ago South Africa was opened to a simple missionary, named Shaw, and his family, who went to Capetown with the intention of entering the interior as a missionary.  The Boers discouraged him and gave him no assistance.  Every door seemed closed.  

At last he and his wife got into an ox-cart and resolved to go just wherever the oxen might draw them.  Day after day they followed on over the pathless veldt, until they traveled 300 miles at the guiding of a mysterious providence, when, lo, upon the distant plain they saw a company of native travellers approaching them. As they drew near, they found it was a band of Hottentots on their way to Capetown, seeking for a missionary.  There in the wilderness they met, and God began His mighty work among these African tribes.

There is a guide that never falters, 
And when He leads I cannot stray,
For step by step He goes before me,
And marks my path, He knows the way.

Oft-times the path grows dim and dreary,
The darkness hides the cheering ray,
Still I will trust, tho’ worn and weary,
My Saviour leads, He knows the way.

He knows the evils that surround me,
The turnings that would lead astray,
No foes of night can ere confound me,
For Jesus leads, He knows the way.
(A.B. Ackley)

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July 7

“Unto Thee will I cry, O Lord my rock;  be not silent to me . . . Hear the voice of my supplications.”
(Psalm 28:1-2)

“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labours increase.
To added affliction He added His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.”
(Annie Johnson Flint) 

We may feel God is withholding His care when He says “No” to our prayers.
Quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson, tells how for two years she 
pleaded with God for hands and feet that would work.
But God said “no.”
Today her faith is stronger and her love for the Saviour brighter.
“It wouldn’t have been the same had my wish been granted.”
Trials are often an opportunity to receive a larger blessing 
and an increased measure of God’s grace.
Trust Him.
(Edna M. Dyck)

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July 8

“Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take they crown.”
(Revelation 3:11)

Two things are here to be considered, namely, 
First, this is an address to an assembly;
Secondly, it does not say, “That no man take thy life.” 
A servant may lose his reward;  
But a child can never lose his eternal life.

Attention to this would remove a host of difficulties.
Sonship is one thing; discipleship is quite another.
Security in Christ is one thing; testimony for Christ is quite another.
If our security were dependent upon our testimony,
Our sonship upon our discipleship, where would we be?
True, the more I know my security and enjoy my sonship,
the more effective will be my testimony,
and the more faithful my discipleship,
 but these things must never be confounded.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

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July 9

“And Nathanael said unto him, can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, come and see.”
(John 1:46)

So we say to you, “Come and see!”
I thought, when I was converted, that my friends had been very unfaithful to me,
because they had not told me about Christ.
I thought I would have all my friends converted inside of twenty-four hours, and
I was quite disappointed when they did not at once see 
Christ to be the Lily of the Valley, and the
Rose of Sharon, and the bright and Morning Star.
I wondered why it was.
But we need to learn that God alone can do that.    
(D.L. Moody)

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July 10

“Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father . . . Jesus saith unto him, 
have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not know 
me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . .” 
(John 14:8-9) 

Christian fellowship, as taught in the word, is often very little thought of by young converts.
They follow, generally speaking, where it will be most convenient or most agreeable to
themselves, without any exercise of conscience, as to whether 
they are following in the footsteps of the flock.  
They may be right, or they may be wrong, as to their path, but they have
never prayerfully examined the word of God to ascertain His mind on the subject. 
Had the church continued undivided, as it was at Pentecost, 
there would have been no need for such exercise and examination; 
but seeing the professing church is now broken up into so many sections,
it becomes every child of God to search the scriptures, 
that they may know and do His holy will.
(Andrew Miller)

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July 11

“And they sung a new song, saying Thou art worthy . . . for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood . . . “
(Revelation 5:9)

There is singing up in Heaven such as we have never known,
Where the angels sing the praises of the Lamb upon the throne,
Their sweet harps are ever tuneful, and their voices always clear,
O that we might be more like them while we serve the Master here!


Holy, holy, is what the angels sing,
And I expect to help them make the courts of Heaven ring;
But when I sing redemptions’s story, they will fold their wings,
For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.   

But I hear another anthem, blending voices clear and strong,
“Unto Him who hath redeemed us and hath bought us,” is the song;
We have come through tribulation to this land so fair and bright,
In the fountain freely flowing He hath made our garments white.

Then the angels stand and listen, for they cannot join the song,
Like the sound of many waters, by that happy, blood washed throng,
For they sing about great trials, battles fought and vict’ries won,
And they praise their great Redeemer, who hath said to them, “Well done.”

So, although I’m not an angel, yet I know that over there
I will join a blessed chorus that the angels cannot share;
I will sing about my Saviour, who upon dark Calvary
Freely pardoned my transgressions, died to set a sinner free.
(Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1922 - words)

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July 12

“So teach us to number our days, that we may 
apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
(Psalm 90:12)

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle!” (Job 7:6)
“My days are but a vanity (but a breath)!” (Job 7:16)
“My days are swifter than a (runner) — they flee away!” (Job 9:25)
“My days passed away as the swift ships — as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.” (Job 9:26)
“Are not my days few?” (Job 10:20)
“My days are extinct (cut short), the graves are ready for me!” (Job 17:1)

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life? 
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
(Charles Spurgeon   1834-1892)

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July 13

“And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died.”
(Deuteronomy 34:7)

By comparing that statement with Stephen’s speech in Acts 7 we learn that 
a noble life breaks up into three periods, of exactly forty years each.
He spent forty years at the Court of Pharaoh learning to be “something” (Acts 7:23);
Forty years in the desert of Midian learning to be “nothing” (Acts7:30); and
Forty years on the way to Canaan proving God to be “everything” (Acts 7:36).

The first of these produced self-confidence;
The second, self-diffidence; and
The third, self-abandonment.
Under these three general headings, you may group all the facts of this great man’s life.
(The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

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July 14

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath 
promised to them that love Him.”
(James 1:12)

There is a bird of the thrush family found in the South of Ireland, called 
“The Storm Thrush,” from its peculiar love of storms.
In the wildest storms of rain and wind it flies to the very topmost twig of the highest 
tree and there pours out its beautiful song — its frail perch swaying in the wind.

A beautiful story is told of the little birds whose nest had been ruined.
As the poet walked among the trees in his garden after the storm,
he found a torn nest lying on the ground.
He began to brood sadly over it, pitying the birds whose home had thus been wrecked.
But as he stood there and mused he heard a twittering and chattering over his head;
looking up he saw the birds busy building again their ruined nest!

"I heard a bird at break of day sing from the autumn trees
A song so musical and calm, so full of certainties,
No man, I think, could listen long except upon his knees.
Yet this was but a simple bird alone among dead trees.” 
(Springs in the Valley)

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The Storm Thrush

July 15

“. . . they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold 
Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver.”
(Genesis 37:28)  

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers;
Jesus by His friend.
Joseph was sold for money; so was our Lord.
Joseph followed in the train of captives to slavery;
Jesus was numbered with transgressors.
The crime of Joseph’s brothers fulfilled the Divine plan; 
and the wicked hands of the crucifiers of Jesus fulfilled the 
determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.

God will make the wrath of man to praise Him;
and the remainder of wrath will He restrain.
(See Psalm 76:10)

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

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July 16

“Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”
(Psalm 32:7)

When devastating circumstances confront you, what is your refuge, what secures your hope, what is your strength, what is your hiding place?

M. Green tells of the undaunted faith of Eric Barker, who was a missionary in Portugal for 50 years, preaching the gospel under very adverse conditions.

During World War II, the situation became so critical that on the advice of friends, he sent his wife, his eight children, his sister, and her three children back to England.

The Sunday after they left, he stood before his congregation and said, “I’ve just received word that all my family arrived home safely.”  He then proceeded with the service as usual.

Later in the message, his people knew the full meaning of his words.  He had been handed a wire just before the service informing him that a German submarine had torpedoed the ship his family was on and there were no survivors.

Knowing that his family and his sister’s family were Christians and that they were now “home with the Lord,” he found a refuge in God that enabled him to live above the tragedy in spite of the overwhelming grief.
(From Daily Devotions - R.L. with thanks)

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July 17

“Without Me ye can do nothing.”
(John 15:5)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
(Philippians 4:13)

Moses said, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) when God asked him to do His work.
Moses had learned that he was nothing in his own strength.
But God responded, “Certainly I will be with thee” (Exodus 3:12).   
Here is the correct combination:
Without Him, we can do nothing (the negative) — 
With Him, everything He has planned for us (the positive).
(L. Nicholson) 

Coward and wayward and weak, I change with the changing sky;
Today, so eager and brave; tomorrow, not caring to try;
But He never gives in, so we two shall win —
Jesus and I.

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July 18

“Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live.”
(Isaiah 55:3)

We may read, we may listen, we may even feel, without once truly hearing in this sense.
The Lord open our ears that we may hear,
and live the life that is life indeed;
The life that Paul lived from the hour when for the first time he truly heard;
the life that is “not disobedient to the Heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19),
but presses on from day to day, walking in newness of life.
“Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9).
“Hear, and your soul shall live.”
(Edges of His Ways - Amy Carmichael)

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July 19

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”
(Romans 5:1-3) 

The word tribulation comes from the Latin word “tribulum”, "a flail.”  
The flail I used when a boy was a cruel looking instrument, 
made of two sticks of wood fastened together at the end with a strap.
You held one end of the sticks, swinging it so that the other 
came down with a terrific whack on the wheat.
The result was that the chaff and straw were separated from the wheat.
The chaff and straw were blown away, while the wheat remained.
The wheat endured.
The flail brought tribulation to it, 
but by that tribulation the wheat obtained endurance.

It may be you have been having some pretty heavy blows with the flail.
You may feel that you have been having more than your share of tribulation. 
May the God of endurance give you to boast in tribulation also,
 knowing that tribulation works endurance.
(Hid Treasures - G.C. Willis)

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July 20

“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.”
(2 Corinthians 3:2)

We generally think of a letter as something sealed and meant 
to be read only by the intended addressee.
However, today’s postcard, open even to the mail carrier to read if he wishes,
is a better example of what the Holy Spirit purposes to make us in Christ.
He wants each of us to be a postcard Christian who can be read by all —
a living, legible open letter of our risen, glorified Saviour.
Are we?
(W. Ross Rainey)

You are writing a Gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithful or true —
Say, what is the Gospel according to you?   

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July 21

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” 
(Psalm 119:105)

As the sun provides physical light for the world, so Jesus Christ is spiritually 
“the light of the world” (John 8:12). 
However, we clearly can see His light only through the light holder, 
the lamp, as it were, of His written Word. 
The Word, therefore, is a lamp and, since it contains and reveals the light, 
is also a light in its own right. 
Without the Holy Scriptures, this world would lie in the deepest darkness, but 
“the entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the living Word, and 
“without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:3-5). 
Although He “was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9)
when He Himself came into the world, those who were made by Him refused to receive Him. 
“Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Just so, although the written Word has come into the world, 
the world does not receive it, either. 
The lamp and the light of the written Word have been in the world (in complete and final form) for 
2,000 years, but men still reject and ridicule it, and the world still lies in darkness. 
Nevertheless, for those who receive it, there is wonderful light. 
"Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light,
 lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light”
 (John 12:35-36).

God’s Word always brings light. His first spoken Word was: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), 
and wherever He speaks, God sees the light, and it is good!

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July 22

Let Downs

Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, 
they came to Perga in Pamphylia: John departing 
from them returned to Jerusalem.
(Acts 13:13)  

All of us at one time or another have been let down by someone else. Maybe they failed to keep an appointment or promise, maybe they just made poor life choices, but regardless, being let down hurts.

Today's scripture alludes to that. John Mark had accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul's first missionary journey. We read above that Mark, for whatever reason, decided not to continue, and went back home. Mark was a relative of Barnabas.

When Paul and Barnabas were considering going on a second missionary journey, Paul's refusal to take Mark along caused a rift between him and Barnabas.

When we're let down we feel betrayed; we are disappointed and perhaps distrustful of the one who betrayed us. Regardless, may we not give up on that person. They need our prayers and our love. The Lord is still able to do a work of restoration in them. Listen to what Paul writes to Timothy years later:

“Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." (2 Timothy 4:11)

Isn't that encouraging? Something wonderful had transpired in Mark in the interim.
(With thanks to F.P.)

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July 23

“In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.” 
(John 1:1)

Full Deity is ascribed to him, yet distinct personality.
Moreover, it is He who sustains the universe, 
for “by Him all things consist,”or, "hold together.”   
It is His hand that holds the stars in their courses,
directs the planets in their orbits,
and controls the laws of the universe.
How great is His dignity, 
and yet how low did He stoop for our salvation!
(H.A. Ironside)

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July 24


“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Galatians 6:14)
It is interesting to see the city of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower.  From this vantage point, especially at night, Paris is indeed “The City of Lights.”

The Eiffel Tower was designed, and its construction engineered by Gustav Eiffel for the world’s fair in 1889, and to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.  Eiffel was a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 2012 The Eiffel Tower was designated as the world’s most valuable monument, at a price tag of 546 billion dollars.  It also holds the record as the world’s most visited, paid monument. . . . 

But what about the Cross of Calvary?  It is perhaps the most despised and forgotten monument in the history of the world.  And yet, as to value, it is beyond any price that earth could give it.

The great question is: what does it mean to you?  Is the cross of Christ precious to you?  Do you know its value?  (Adapted)

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July 25

“There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give Me to drink.”
(John 4:7)

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.”
(Psalm 42:1)

The hart panteth after the waters, the dying for life that departs;
The Lord in His glory for sinners, for the love of rebellious hearts.
Call back all the days of the ages, all snow-flakes come down from above;
All flowers of summers departed, but think not to measure His love.

Behold Him, O soul, where He told it, pale, bleeding, and bearing thy sin;
He knocketh, saith, “Open, beloved, I pray thee to let Me come in.
Behold, I have borne all the judgment, thy sins, O beloved, are gone;
Forgotten, forgotten for ever, God seeketh, but findeth not one".
(Michael O’Brien)

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July 26

"Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” 
(1 Corinthians 10:10)

Do not murmur, for it is a most unchristian, a most ungodly thing to do.
Nothing dishonors God more, nothing does greater damage to the soul.
It was the chief sin of all the sins that Israel committed in the wilderness, 
for it meant that they did not believe that their God was fit to be trusted.
It did not change His merciful care for them, but it aroused His just anger against them.
“Be content with such things as ye have” (Hebrews 13:5).  Your circumstances have your greatest blessing in view, 
and God who considers and makes all things work together for your good, 
knows just where you live and how.

A child wandered into a garden and was attracted by a beautiful flower growing there.
 “How lovely, how sweet,” she exclaimed as she inhaled its fragrance.
Then looking down she saw the black soil in which it grew. 
“What a shame,” she cried, 
“that such a sweet flower should be planted in such dirt; it ought not to be.”
And she pulled the plant up by its roots, 
but even as she did so the flower wilted and the plant began to die.
And the gardener said, “You have killed my choicest plant.” 
“But I was sorry for it in that black soil,” wept the child.
“But I chose the spot and mixed the soil in which it grew, 
because I knew that only there it would come to perfection.”
(J. T. Mawson - The LORD is near 16/07/2015) - D.H. 

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July 27

“And he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights . . . Moses came down from the mount . . . Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him . . .  And till Moses had done speaking with them he put a vail on his face.” 
(Exodus 34:28-33) 

Moses did not seek to have his face shine, nor even know when it did,
but when he had been with God it did so. . . . 
a shining face never sees itself.
The heart is occupied with Christ, and in a certain sense and measure self is gone.
Self is always alienation from God.
Self-confidence is ruin.
“Be not wise in thine own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7). 
They do not see far if they only see self, and that is what always is in our own eyes.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

N.J. Hiebert - 5961

July 28

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, that your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
(Genesis 3:5)

In August 2013, large crowds gathered at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to witness the blooming of the tropical plant known as the corpse flower.

Since the flower is native to Indonesia, and may flower only once every several years, its blooming is a spectacle.  Once open, the huge spiky, beautiful, red bloom smells like rotten meat.  

Because of its putrid fragrance, the flower attracts flies and beetles that are looking for rotting meat.  But there is no nectar.

Like the corpse flower, sin holds out promises but in the end offers no rewards.  Adam and Eve found this out the hard way.  Eden was beautiful until they ruined it by doing the one thing God urged them not do.

Tempted to doubt God’s goodness, they ignored their Creator’s loving warning and soon lost their innocence.  The God-given beauty of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil became like a corpse flower to them.

The reward for their disobedience was alienation, pain, emptiness, toil, and death.

Sin looks inviting and may feel good, but it doesn’t compare with the wonder, beauty, and fragrance of trusting and obeying God, who has make us to share His life and joy.  (MARVIN WILLIANS - Our Daily Bread)

What temptations are you facing today?
Remember that God promises to help you fight against temptation.
Ask Him to help you remember to rely on Him.

God’s commands can overpower Satan’s suggestions.

N.J. Hiebert - 5962
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, (2015) - Grand Rapids, Michigan - Reprinted permission. 

July 29

“And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times.”
(1 Chronicles 12:32)

At a time when Israel was in disarray, with the kings of God’s choosing in exile,
how valuable it was for David to have these men of Issachar on his side. 
These men were not stuck in theoretical ivory palaces of committees and research groups.
They were men in tune with reality.
Their counsel was practical.
Like Israel of old, this world is in disarray, with God’s true Anointed in exile.
Now, more than ever, God is looking for men and women with an
“understanding of the times” to effectively carry out His will.
(C. Mark Hogan)

God give us men.
Time demands true faith and willing hands;
Men who can denounce the world without winking,
God’s men in public duty and in private thinking.

N.J. Hiebert - 5963

July 30

“Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, why hast thou done this? 
For the men knew that he fled from the presence 
of the Lord, because he had told them.”
(Jonah 1:10)

How often do the men of this world seem to have a truer conception of what 
is suitable in a Christian, than the Christian himself.
How was it that Jonah was not "exceedingly afraid”?

He had far more knowledge of the greatness and glory and holiness of the true and living God,
who had made the sea and the dry land than these poor ignorant, heathen sailors;
and yet they took a far truer view of Jonah’s action than he took of it himself.
It was an awful thing for a mere man to try and flee 
from the presence of such a God!

One would think it would have been Jonah, 
not the sailors, who would have been exceedingly afraid.
Such is the heart, even of a saint and a prophet of God!
Note that Jonah had at last confessed his sin, 
with his good confession of his God.
(Jonah - G.C. Willis)

N.J. Hiebert -  5964

July 31

The Gates of the Court

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”
(Psalm 100:4)

It is through the gates of thanksgiving 
That we enter the courts of praise; 
Our thanks for the little bounties 
That compass us all our days
Shall bring us to greater blessings, 
and lead us to larger ways.

O Lord of the manifold mercies,
As we number them one by one,
From the least of Thy loving-kindness
To the uttermost gift of Thy Son,
Lead us on from our selfish gladness
To the marvellous things Thou hast done.

As we offer our small rejoicing
For the love that surrounds our days,
all the wonderful works of Thy goodness
Shall open before our gaze;
Through the gates of our narrow thanksgiving
We shall enter Thy courts of praise.
(Flint’s Best-Loved Poems) 

N.J. Hiebert - 5965


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