Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5560 posted here) sent daily for 18 years --

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gems from August 2015 (part 2)

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“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: 
but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 2:17) 

I have often thought that the ideal way of speaking would be to be so conscious of the
Lord’s presence as to have no eyes for the saints who are present.
Indeed, this should always be the case,
and then one would only seek to commend oneself to the Lord.
Alas! how seldom this is the case.
And yet, even in preaching the apostle says, 
“As from God, and as before God, we speak in Christ.” 
This would be the perfection of speaking.
(Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 5983 

August 22

“Casting down imaginations (reasonings), and every high thing 
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 
and bringing into captivity every thought 
to the obedience of Christ.”   
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

The path of obedience may often be found most trying to flesh and blood.

It is better far to suffer in God’s path, than to be at ease in Satan’s.

It is better to be poor with Christ than rich without Him.

There is a crisis in every man’s history, at which it will assuredly 
be made manifest on what ground he is resting,
by what motives he is actuated, and also 
by what objects he is animated.
(Food for the Desert)

N.J. Hiebert - 5987

August 23

"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a 
companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 13:20)

When visiting a gentleman in England, Mr. Moody observed a fine canary.
Admiring his beauty, the gentleman replied, “Yes he is beautiful, but he has lost his voice.
He used to to be a fine singer, but I was in the habit of hanging his cage out of the  window;
the sparrows came around him with their incessant chirping; 
gradually he ceased to sing and learned their twitter,
and now all that he can do is to twitter, twitter.”

Oh, how truly does this represent the case of many Christians!
They used to delight in the songs of Zion,
but they came into close association with those whose notes 
never rise so high, until at last, like the canary,
they can do nothing but twitter, twitter.    
(J.L. Nye - 1889)

N.J. Hiebert - 5988 

August 24

“If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.”
(Ecclesiastes 11:3)

Why, then, do we dread the clouds which now darken our sky?  
True, for a while they hide the sun, but the sun is not quenched; he will be out again before long.  
Meanwhile those black clouds are filled with rain; and the blacker they are, 
the more likely they will yield plentiful showers.
How can we have rain without clouds?  Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will.  
They are the dark chariots of bright grace.  
These clouds will empty themselves before long, and every tender herb will be gladder for the showers.  
Our God may drench us with grief, but He will refresh us with mercy.   
Our Lord’s love-letters often come to us in black-edged envelopes.  
His wagons rumble, but they are loaded with benefits.  
His rod blossoms with sweet flowers and nourishing fruits. 
 Let us not worry about the clouds, but sing because 
May flowers are brought to us through the April clouds and showers.
O Lord, “. . .  the clouds are the dust of His feet" (Nahum 1:3).  
How near Thou art in the cloudy and dark day!  Love beholds Thee, and is glad.  
Faith sees the clouds emptying themselves and making the little hills rejoice on every side.   
(C.H. Spurgeon)

"The blue of heaven is larger than the clouds.”

N.J. Hiebert - 5989

August 25

“The God of all grace . . . strengthen, settle you.”
(1 Peter 5:10)

“Be strong in the Lord.”
(Ephesians 6:10)

The One who is eternal and knows no change may sometimes 
”weaken our strength in the way” — not as a punishment, 
but as part of our training.
We need to know that God’s will is not carried out in our energy, but His.
Paul, so mightily used by God, said that he and his companions had:

“the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves,
but in God which raiseth the dead.”
(2 Corinthians 1:9)

So it must be with all who are to be strong in the 
 Lord and in the power of His might.
(C.F. Anderson)

N.J. Hiebert - 5990

August 26

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. ”
(Proverbs 16:32)

A man who was ploughing a field near Fishkill road became very impatient 
at some difficulty in his work, and began to pour forth violent oaths.
Just then three horsemen in military undress, who were riding by, 
paused, and one of them, asking for information concerning
the road, thanked the ploughman for his answer, 
and added, "My friend, I am older than you,
have many times been placed in positions of difficulty and danger,
and have had many things to perplex and annoy me,
but I have always found that it did no good to get angry,
and that neither broken ploughs nor any thing else
can be mended or made better by the 
use of profane language,” and, 
with a bow, he rode on.
It was General Washington.

N.J. Hiebert - 5991

August 27

“And Joseph found grace in his (Potiphar) sight, and he served him: 
and he made him an overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” (Genesis 39:4)

Viewing Joseph as a type of Christ, it is important to remember that it was God’s purpose 
to set Joseph in the place of supremacy, and hence every one who submits to His supremacy is blessed.  Thus Potiphar gives Joseph a place of supremacy in his household, and immediately Potiphar is blessed.

A little later the jailer makes Joseph supreme in the prison and blessing follows.  
Just as in the day of his universal supremacy all submit to him, and all are blessed.  
The world will be compelled to submit to the supremacy of Christ in the day of His manifested power, but faith delights to anticipate that day and own His supremacy in the day of His  rejection.

In the measure in which we yield ourselves, our lives, our all, to the supremacy of Christ, 
we too shall be blessed, even as the world will be blessed when it submits to His universal sway.  

The supremacy of Christ demands the submission of man, and the submission of man leads to the blessing of man, though in the day of His rejection that blessing his spiritual rather than material.  (Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 5992

August 28

“Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me 
into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, 
we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.” 
(Song of Solomon 1:4)

A Christian walking in the joy of fellowship with the Lord Jesus will have a positive, attracting effect on others.
Notice how her joy increases, which in turn attracts and energizes others’ affections.
(1) Her heart, captivated by the bridegroom’s love, desires his company - draw me.
(2) Her desire for him attracts others to the object of her heart’s affection - we.
(3) Her enthusiasm seizes and stirs up the energetic action of others — run after thee.
(4) Her happiness becomes a source of happiness to others — we will be glad and rejoice
(5) The object of her thoughts becomes an object of others’ thoughts — we will remember
(6) His love being her chief delight, becomes a source of delight for others — thy love.
(7) Her joy in him becomes a source of joy and satisfaction for others — more than wine.

N.J. Hiebert - 5993

August 29

“And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.” 
(1 Timothy 6:8)

This spirit of contentment seems to have characterized many of God’s giants. 
David Livingston said, 

“I am determined not to look upon anything that 
I possess except as in relation to the Kingdom of God.”
And Hudson Taylor said that he enjoyed 
“the luxury of having few things to care for.”
To some, the idea of contentment means the lack of drive and ambition. 
They picture the contented person as a drone or a freeloader. 
But that is not godly contentment. 
The contented Christian has plenty of drive and ambition, 
but they are directed toward the spiritual, not the material. 
Rather than being a freeloader, 
he works so that he can give to those who are in need. 
In Jim Elliot’s words, the contented person is the one for whom God has 
“loosed the tension of the grasping hand.”

N.J. Hiebert - 5994

August 30

“That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
(John 15:12)

The love of Christ is not an absorbing but a radiating love.
The more we love Him, the more we shall most certainly love others.
Some have not much natural power of loving, but the love of Christ will strengthen it.
Some have had the springs of love dried up by some terrible earthquake.
They will find fresh springs in Jesus, 
and the gentle flow will be purer and deeper than the old torrent could ever be.
Some have been satisfied that it should rush in a narrow channel, 
but He will cause it to overflow into many another and widen its course of blessing.
Some have spent it all on their God-given dear ones.
Now He is come whose right it is; 
and yet in the fullest resumption of that right He is so gracious that 
He puts back an even larger measure of the old love into our hand,  
sanctified with His own love, and energized with His blessing, 
and strengthened with His new commandment,
“That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

N.J. Hiebert - 5995

August 31

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

According to the glorious economy of grace, 
the same work which secures the complete remission of SINS has broken forever the power of SIN.
It is not only that the SINS OF THE LIFE are blotted out, but the SIN OF THE NATURE is condemned.
The believer is privileged to regard himself as dead to sin.
He can sing, with a glad heart:

“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.
The Father’s face of radiant grace 
Shines now in light on me.”

This is the proper breathing of a Christian.
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”   
This is Christianity.  The old “I” crucified, and Christ living in me.  
The Christian is a new creation.  Old things are passed away.
The Death of Christ has closed for ever the history of the 
old “I;” and hence, though sin dwells in the believer,
its power is broken and gone for ever.
Not only is its guilt cancelled, but its terrible dominion completely overthrown.
(C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert - 5996

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, 
neither will  your Father forgive your trespasses.” ***  (Matthew 6:15)

Corrie ten Boom, in her book, “The Hiding Place,” tells of her astounding encounter in a small German church in Munich.  She had come to tell the people of defeated Germany that God forgives.  She spoke of the inhumane conditions and treatment, the bitterness and hate, the cruelty and beatings she experienced in the German concentration camps. Yet she maintained her unreserved faith in God.

Standing at the back of the small church, shaking hands with those who were leaving, she was greeted by the last person in line.  The man was one of the cruel guards from her former prison.  He thrust out his hand and and said, “A fine message, Fraulein!  How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea.  You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk.  I was a guard there.  But since that time I have become a Christian.  I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well, Fraulein.”  
He reached out to her as he asked, “Will you forgive me?" 

It was a moment of truth!  How real was her faith?  How deep had God’s love penetrated her heart?  This verse instantly came to her (Matthew 6:15).*** With those words burning within her heart, with tears in her eyes, and by the grace of God, she answered, “Yes, I forgive you, my brother, with all my heart.”

She later said, “For a long moment we grasped each other, the former guard and the former prisoner, and I have never known God’s love so intensely as I did at that moment.” (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 5997


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