Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5330 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Gems from October 2015

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good:
For His mercy endureth forever.”
(Psalm 136:1)

The Lord is good!
The psalmist affirmed it repeatedly.
Never forget it.  Never doubt it.
Because, even if you do, He will still be good;
but you will lose the enjoyment of His goodness.
(Nuggets of Truth- J.K.)

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October 1

“He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart . . .
All things are are naked and open before the 
eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
(Hebrews 4:12,13)

The unseen world, which to man is dark and hidden, is all open before Him.
He alone searches the hearts of men, and tries the reins.
When they refuse correction His eye is observing their perversity, 
and He will see that they are judged according to their works.
It is only the scorner who resents correction and reproof, and hence avoids the wise, 
lest his evil ways be called in question.
But One he cannot avoid.
With Him he must have to do whether he will or no.
Solemn indeed will be the accounting for opportunities refused,
instruction neglected, and grace despised.
(Selected)

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October 2

“Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof:
Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof.”
(Psalm 65:10)

Fruit requires showers as well as sunshine;
and the best wood for musical instruments grows 
on the wind-scoured, storm-scarred northern slopes.
(Nuggets of Truth - J.K.)

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October 3

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
(Romans 5:12)

Sin was in the world dominating man from Adam’s fall even before the law was given by Moses;
but sin did not as yet have the distinct character of transgression till a 
legal code was given to man which he consciously violated.
Therefore apart from law, sin was not imputed.

Nevertheless that it was there and to be reckoned with, is manifest, for “by sin came death” 
and death reigned as a despotic monarch over all men from Adam to Moses, 
save as God interfered in the case of Enoch, who was translated that he should not see death.

Even where there was no wilful sin, as in the case of infants and irresponsible persons, death reigned,
thus proving that they were part of a fallen race federally involved in Adam’s sin
and actually possessing Adam’s fallen nature.

He who was originally created in the image and likeness of 
God defaced that image by sin and lost the divine likeness, and we read that 
“Adam begat a son in his own likeness after his image” (Genesis 5:3).
This is characteristic of all the race of which he is the head.
“In Adam all die.”
But - 
"Be of good cheer."
“For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”(Luke 19:10)
(Adapted)

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October 4

“What think ye of Christ?”
(Matthew 22:42)

What is opposed to the teaching of the unerring word of the Lord is directly from Satan.
To dabble with it is to expose yourself to its powerful influence.
Therefore refuse to hear it.
One simple question is all that needs to be propounded to any one taking 
the place of an instructor in divine things, in order 
to detect the bias of his doctrine.
It is this: “What think ye of Christ?”

He who is unsound here is wrong throughout.
If the true deity, or divinity, of the Lord Jesus be denied;
 if the atoning efficacy of His blood be explained away;
if the sinlessness of His spotless humanity be in any way clouded,
the system is wrong at the foundation, and it will prove to be unsound in all else.
(Adapted)

“ 'What think ye of Christ?’ is the test
To try both your state and your scheme.
You cannot be right in the rest,
Unless you think rightly of Him.”
(John Newton)

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October 5

“They shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”
(Isaiah 49:23)

"They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.”
Such is the veritable record of the living God—
a record made good in the experience of all those who have been enabled, 
through grace, to exercise a living faith. 
We must remember how much is involved in these three words—“wait for me.”
The waiting must be a real thing.
It will not do to say we are waiting on God, when in reality, 
our eye is askance upon some human prop.
We must absolutely be “shut up” to God.
We must be brought to the end of self and to the bottom of circumstance, 
in order fully to prove what God’s resources are.
“My soul, wait thou only upon God.”
(Things New and Old)
When you feel at the end of your tether, remember God is at the other end!

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October 6

"He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, 
and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?"
(Mark 4:38)

If men failed to recognize their Creator when He condescended to tabernacle here in flesh, creation acknowledged His presence and power. Tired from His labour, the Savior slept, a touching proof of the reality of the humanity which He had assumed. 
Presently one of Gennesaret’s sudden storms burst upon the little boat to the dismay of the disciples, 
who but feebly realized Who it was that was voyaging with them. 
Had they considered that He was the Creator of the universe?
Mark, with his customary observance of details, tells us the disciples roughly awoke their Lord, crying, “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” It is painful to transcribe these words. 
How cruelly they must have wounded the tender heart of the Savior! 

Carest Thou not? 
Had He not cared for the children of men, He would have remained in the glory, 
and the Bethlehem manger, the Galilean boat,
and the cross of Calvary would never have been His lot.

His voice sufficed for the stilling of the storm. “Peace, be still.” Long before, the psalmist wrote of Him, “Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou stillest them” (Psalm 89:9).

Not a single attribute of Deity did He lay aside on becoming Man. 
Omnipotence and omniscience shone forth in Him whenever occasion called for their display. 
This miracle brought the disciples to His feet in wonder. 
“What manner of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” 
The answer is simple and plain.
He was God manifested in flesh, on His way to death for the eternal blessing of all who believe. 
He has power to dispel every danger that can befall His people. 

Storms of various kinds may burst upon us during our passage through this world, 
but our part is to confide in Him.

(W. W. Fereday - D.H.)

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October 7

 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us 
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 
(2 Corinthians 4:17) 

The purest gold is that which has been longest in the refiner's furnace. 
The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing. 

The last night of weeping will soon be spent,
The last wave of trouble will have rolled over us, and 
Then we shall have a peace that passes all understanding!
We shall be at home forever with the Lord!
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words!" (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
(Daily Devotions - J.C. Ryle -1860-1907 — B.L.)

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October 8

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, 
and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that 
are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable 
life in all godliness and honesty.”
(1 Timothy 2:1-2)

We are to pray;“for kings, and for all that are in authority.”  When we come together in a public service we usually pray for those who are in authority; but are we as much concerned about remembering them before God when we kneel alone in His presence?  

If we prayed more for those at the head of the country and in other positions of responsibility we would feel less ready to criticize them; we would be more disposed to recognize the heavy burdens resting upon them,
and to understand how easy it is to make mistakes in times of crises.
Our rulers need divine wisdom that they might govern well in subjection to Him who is earth’s rightful King.

As we pray earnestly for them we are furthering our own best interests, 
because as the affairs of nations are ordered according to the will of 
God His people find living conditions more comfortable and more enjoyable.  So we are told to pray “For all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Christians are to be examples to others of subjection to the Government.
When difficulties arise and differences come up that divide people and set one group agains another, we should be characterized by quiet, restful confidence in God as we refer these things to Him in prayer.

God told Israel, when they were scattered among the nations of the earth, 
to pray for the peace of the different lands in which they dwelt.
This is a responsibility that rests upon us as believers today. 
(H.A. Ironside)

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October 9

“. . . Joseph made himself known unto his brethren, and he wept aloud . . .
and Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph . . .”
(Genesis 45:1,3)

And he said., “I am Joseph.”
He spoke in deep emotion; yet the words must have fallen on them like a thunderbolt.   
“Joseph!” Had they been dealing all the while with their long-lost brother?
“Joseph!” Then they had fallen into a lion’s den indeed.
“Joseph!” Could it be?
Yes, it must be so; and it would explain a great many things which had sorely puzzled them.
Well might they be troubled and terrified.
Astonishment as at one risen from the dead, terror for the consequences, 
fear lest he would repay them the long-standing debt—all these emotions made them dumb.
They could not answer him.  So he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt”
and he added very lovingly, “Be not grieved, nor angry, for God did send me.”  

"And Joseph said unto his brethren, come near unto me.”
They had gone farther and farther back from him; but now he bids them approach.
This is a beautiful illustration of the way in which a sinner may be reinstated in the loving favour of God.
We are not set to serve a time of probation.  We need not stand afar off.
We may step right into the deepest and closest intimacy with the Son of God.
Once “far off,” but now “made nigh” by the blood of Jesus.
One moment the rugged road of repentance; the next the Father’s kiss and the banquet in the Father’s home.  
(F.B. Meyer)

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October 10

“Let Thine hand help me.”
(Psalm 119:173)

This little prayer has often been mine.
These short Bible prayers are just what we want in days 
when we are tired or hard-pressed, 
so I pass this one on for those who need it.
You will find it enough.
It is like the touch on the light switch— 
Just a touch, and the power comes flowing from the 
power-house—the power that turns to light.
(Edges of His Ways -Amy Carmichael) 

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October 11

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

True humility does not so much consist in thinking badly 
of ourselves as in not thinking of ourselves at all.
I am too bad to be worth thinking about.
What I want is, to forget myself and
to look to God, who is worth 
all my thoughts.
We do not know how to be weak, that is our weakness.

(J.N. Darby)

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October 12

“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,
and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, 
forgive, if ye have ought against any.”
(Mark 11:24-25)

How we long to have a prayer life that is effective and fruitful.
Yet how often do we come to the Lord and the two main 
prerequisites to answered prayer are missing.
This passage tells us the two things 
that are necessary if we expect to 
have answers to our prayer:
faith toward Christ,
and forgiveness to others.
Come believing, ask and receive.
Come  forgiving,  ask  and  receive.
(R.E. Harlow)

What various hindrances we meet in coming to the mercy seat!
Yet who, that knows the worth of prayer but wishes to be often there?
(W. Cowper)

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October 13

“So the shipmaster came to Jonah, and said unto him, What meanest thou, 
O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God 
will think upon us, that we perish not".  
(Jonah 1:6) 

Notice the contrast between Jonah, down in the sides of the ship, fast asleep,
while the ship was likely to be broken, and Jonah’s Lord,
“. . . the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.” (Mark 4:38).
The one wearied of the service of Him who sent him,
wearied in his vain efforts to flee from His presence; the Other, 
wearied in, the service of Him who sent Him was snatching 
a few moments of well-earned rest even amidst the storm.
The one was careless and callous to the danger to himself 
and those with him in the ship; the Other, even while He slept, 
"upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3)
by His very presence, was preserving all with Him on board from every danger,
so that after stilling the store, He could turn to them and ask,
"Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”(Mark 4:37-41).
(G.Christopher Willis)

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October 14

The Bible Stands!

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of 
Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” 
(Psalm 119:160)

Very few books survive very long. Only a few survive past the first printing, 
and science books especially get out of date in just a few years.
But one book is eternal! The Bible stands!
Even its most ancient chapters are still accurate and up to date. 
Furthermore, despite all the vicious attacks of both ancient pagans and modern humanists, 
it will continue to endure. Jesus said: 
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). 
Even after everything else dies and all the bombastic tirades of skeptics and secularists are long forgotten, the Word endures. 
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8) 
Men may, in these last days, arrogantly think they can “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:19),
but such presumption will only “take away [their] part out of the book of life,” and the Bible will still stand. 
“The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” 
(1 Peter 1:25).
(Adapted)

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October 15

"That the trial of your faith . . . might be found
unto praise and honour and glory.”
(1 Peter 1:7)

Trials and stresses in our lives cause us much grief.
But God chooses them for us on purpose.

The rim of a grand piano must withstand over 22 tons of tension 
in order for each string to be at just the right pitch.

Only then can rich, harmonious melodies cascade from its depths.
“Praise Him with stringed instruments” (Psalm 150:4).
God is praised and honoured through us, when in times of trial we accept His 
daily strength, allowing profound music to flow from the strings of our lives.
(D. Logan)

“Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”
(R. Robinson) 

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October 16

“What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
(John 13:7)

These words might have been well addressed to the dear friends at Bethany in their most anxious hours. 
Their confidence in the love of Jesus was possibly unshaken, 
but this long and fatal delay was most perplexing.
Could they, did they believe that all things were working together for good?
That every detail was under the control of One who never erred,
and whose love for them was deeper than the sea?
We cannot tell.
(John 11:21)“Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died,” 
are words which seem to come from hearts not quite submissive and at rest.
But when the “hereafter” came, and the purpose of God in this sickness was fulfilled,
and Lazarus was given back to his sisters, and the glory of God and of Him who was the
Resurrection and the Life was seen in cloudless and broadened vision,
then how gladly would they have owned that God’s way was perfect, 
and that blessed is the man whose hope in Him is steadfast!
“Satisfied the way He taketh must be always best.”
(A.J. Pollock)

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October 17

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment:
a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.
(Deuteronomy 32:4)

Foundation Stones 

I would not lose the hard things from my life,
The rocks o’er which I stumbled long ago,
The grief and fears, the failures and mistakes,
That tried and tested faith and patience so.

I need them now; they make the deep-laid wall,
The firm foundation-stones on which I raise— 
To mount therein from stair to higher stair— 
The lofty towers of my House of Praise.

Soft was the roadside turf to weary feet,
And cool the meadows where I fain had trod,
And sweet beneath the trees to lie at rest
And breathe the incense of the flower-starred sod;

But not on these might I securely build,
Nor sand not sod withstand the earthquake shock.
I need the rough, hard boulders of the hills
To set my house on everlasting rock.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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October 18

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31)  

On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot.  His eye still gleamed like a circle of light.  Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky.  He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings.

The beautiful sky was the home of his heart.  It was the eagle’s domain.  A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength.  In those far away heights he had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once he forgot and flew too low.

The soul is that eagle.  This is not its home.  It must not lose the skyward look.  We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ.  We would better creep away from the battle field at once if we are not going to be brave.

There is no time for the soul to stampede.  Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!


“Keep looking up—the waves that roar around thy feet,
Jehovah-Jireh will defeat when looking up.


“Keep looking up—though darkness seems to wrap thy soul; 
The Light of Light shall fill thy soul when looking up.


“Keep looking up—when worn, distracted with the fight;
Your Captain gives you conquering might when you look up.”

We can never see the sun rise by looking into the west. — Japanese Proverb
(From the Thoughts, Hymns and Encouragements - Michael O’Brien)

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October 19

“John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name; 
and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.  And Jesus said  
unto him, forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”
(Luke 9:49-50)

Mark how thoroughly conscious the Lord was of His utter rejection by man, so utter that He said: “He that is not against us is proved to be for us.”Christ was perfect, therefore He was a perfect test to men’s consciences, and as far as He is manifested in us we shall be so also.

Paul could say: “If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Corinthians 4:3).  Why could he say so?  Because it went out from him as pure as it went in.  John said: “We forbade him, because he followeth not with us.”  That tells the whole tale.  They were thinking of themselves, not of Christ; of their own importance, and not His honour.

If it had been His importance they would have thought how blessed it was to find the effect of His Name, and rejoiced to know how His power was being exercised by man.  But, no; they were looking at themselves as well as at the Messiah.  Even John was thus using Christ Himself to further his own importance.

And is there not something in us of the same thing, a satisfaction at that which aggrandizes self as well as Christ, instead of seeking the honour of Christ alone?  The Lord takes him up and answers him on the ground of His utter rejection which was coming.  “He that is not against us  is for us.

And mark that the very selfishness of John brings out the grace of Christ.  He says “us.”  You do not know the lot you have with Me.  If you find one who can use the power of My Name rejoice in it.  (The Man of Sorrows - J.N. Darby)

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October 20

“Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
By Me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
By Me princes rule and nobles, even 
all the judges of the earth.”
(Proverbs 8:14-16)

It is not that rulers always act according to understanding, 
but that none rule at all save by the appointment of infinite wisdom.

The Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men, 
and He giveth them unto 
whomsoever He will.
(Daniel 4:17)  

This gives perfect rest to the man of faith in the midst 
of all the changing political scenes of earth.
Let the form of the government be what it may; 
the chief magistrate be of whatever character he will;
faith can bow in obedience, owning that:

The powers that be are 
ordained of God.
(Romans 13:1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(H.A. Ironside)
~~~~~~~~~~~~
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October 21

“I shall not want . . . I will fear no evil . . . I will dwell in the 
house of the Lord forever.”
(Psalm 23:1,4,6)

Here are three bold assertions from this most beautiful psalm.
How could the psalmist be so confident?
The Lord is his Shepherd!
If such a Person is in control, how could it be otherwise?
We also are His sheep therefore we need not worry about want— 
He will feed us.
We need not worry about the way— 
He will take us safely through the valley of the shadow.
And we need not worry about the end— 
we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
What a wonderful Shepherd!
(Reg L. Jordan)

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October 22

“. . . the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.  And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, what have I done unto thee, that thou smitten me these three times?”
(Numbers 22:27-28)

Truth is truth - - even when spoken by a donkey.
Hence, we should never despise it, no matter the means by which it is delivered,
 and we should never be ashamed of it, 
though we might well be ashamed of ourselves. 
Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).
         
Moreover, God is perfect in all He does.
He chooses His messenger not only for the message but also for the receiver.
It was not a mere matter of convenience that God chose to speak to 
Balaam through his donkey; and you and I ought to consider that 
God’s messenger to us is always part of His message.
Don’t despise your donkey!
If you do, you may miss the message.
(Nuggets of Truth - with thanks - J. K.) 

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October 23

“A man . . . caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words,
which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
(2 Corinthians 12:3,4)

“Soon Thou wilt come again, Jesus, our Lord!  We shall be happy then, Jesus, our Lord! 
Then we Thy face shall see, then we shall like Thee be,
Then evermore with Thee, Jesus, our Lord.”
(Mary Bowley)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God has not told us more about heaven because, with our present faculties,
we could neither receive nor reveal it, take it in or give it out— 
as a child might try to understand nuclear physics.
Paul visited Paradise, but could not tell us what he heard.
Our present equipment of body and mind is not geared 
to apprehend what God has prepared for us. 
It is revealed by the Spirit and in the 
Word as far as it has pleased God to make it known.
He has told us enough to whet our appetites.
The crumbs make us want the cake!
(All the Days - Vance Havner)

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October 24

"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God 
commit the keeping of their souls to Him 
in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator".
(1 Peter 4:19)

"In Ethiopia there are very few bridges.
Often it is necessary to wade through swollen streams to reach a destination.
In this there is a constant danger of being swept off one's feet 
into deeper waters among treacherous rocks.
As the weight of the human body is only slightly heavier than water, 
it is difficult to maintain a foothold.
There is no problem though for the Ethiopian, he slings a sack of stones over his shoulder for ballast, 
on reaching the other side, he empties the sack.
So, sometimes in order to keep us from falling the LORD places burdens on us, 
no burden heavier than we are able to bear, 
and He knows exactly what is necessary for our good."
(C.J.Feaver)

"The burden He gives may seem heavy, but it ne'er outweighs His grace;
It may keep my feet from stumbling until I see His blessed face.”
(Christian Truth - Volume 24)

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ 
unto eternal life. Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to 
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, 
both now and ever.  Amen".
(Jude 21,24,25)

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October 25

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
(Colossians 3:2)

A college youth was on the verge of making the supreme consecration when the tempter whispered,
“There is too much to be sacrificed, 
for the path of the religious life is hard and stony, 
and all the pleasures will have to be given up,
and you will be miserable to the end of your days.”

He slept, and upon awakening in the morning, 
these words were impressed upon him with overpowering force:
 “My yoke is easy and my burden is light; only follow Me,"
an all-persuading Voice seemed to say, “and all the years that haunt you shall vanish forever.” 

Christ’s own path led up the hill of Calvary,
and there was roughness in the way,
but the glory lay beyond the Cross.
God give to you courage to climb up into the mountains where
the air is purer and sweeter than in the vales.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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October 26

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea,
I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
(Jeremiah 31:3)  

The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love.

The cross is not responsible for God's love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved. God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement.

The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God's dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross."
-- A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ - J.K.

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October 27

“[The Soldiers] bring Him unto the place Golgotha, which being interpreted,
The place of a skull . . . [where] they crucified Him.”
(Mark 15:22,25)

THE GREATEST CRIME EVER COMMITTED

Golgotha was the place where the death penalty was usually carried out.
The Romans called it Calvary—today we would probably call it Skull Hill.
Here, an alleged criminal named Jesus was crucified.  Who was He?
He was the Creator! (Colossians 1:16), the Son of God, who,
by being born in Bethlehem, had become a Jewish man.

At about age 30, He left His trade and began His ministry.
That is when all His troubles with the Jewish religious authorities began—
His teaching and His claims for Himself put Him on a collision course with them.
They had Him arrested and, after a sort of kangaroo court, turned Him over to the 
Roman authorities to be crucified—they themselves did not have the authority to do this. 
The Roman judge found Him not guilty, but then folded under pressure and turned 
Him over to the execution squad (Matthew 27:20-26; Luke 23:21-25).

Who is to blame for this greatest crime ever committed?
Well, the religious leaders and the people were certainly to blame; the
Roman authorities and soldiers were to blame because they actually crucified Him,
an innocent man; but most of all, we are guilty!
It was our sins that caused Him to be nailed to the cross—
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, 
being put to death in the flesh. . ." (1 Peter 3:18).
But death and the grave could not hold Him—He arose!

And, He will come back again to take us to spend eternity with Him.
God has turned the worse crime ever committed int a way of blessing for all who will come to Him!     
(R. Salcido)

"My conscience felt and owned the guilt, and plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt and helped to nail Him there.” 
(John Newton)

N.J. Hiebert - 6053

October 28

“And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in 
Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.  
And he said to him, Here am I.”
(Genesis 37:13)

Jacob may have special affection for his son Joseph, 
nevertheless his other sons have a real place in his affections, and
Joseph is to become the witness of the father’s love to the brethren.
Accordingly Jacob desires that Joseph shall leave the home in the vale of 
Hebron and journey to distant Shechem, there, as the sent one of the father,
to enquire of his brethren’s welfare and bring Jacob word again.
Joseph on his part is ready to obey, though he has experienced the hatred of his brethren.
Jacob’s request meets with Joseph’s immediate response, 
Here am I.” 
So we read Israel “sent him out of the vale of Hebron” and Joseph “came to Shechem.” 

In this journey there is a foreshadowing of that far greater journey undertaken by the 
Son of God when, leaving the Father’s home of light and love, 
He came into this world of death and darkness, well knowing the evil into which He came.
And yet He turned not back.  Even as at the cross we read,
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him went forth”(John 18:4).
If the love of the Father would sen Him, then the love of the Son is ready to do the Father’s bidding.
Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9).
He comes as the sent One of the Father to declare the Father’s love.
(Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 6054 

October 29

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith."
(Hebrews 10:22)


What is the character of this biblical faith beautifully portrayed in God’s Word? 
It is not mere show, but real substance. Show is full of self and schemes and psychology. 
Faith is full of God, has no clever plan of its own, and is founded on sound biblical doctrine. 
It does not ask God, “Does it work?” 
It waits until the work of grace is done and accepts no cheap substitutes. 
When in prison, faith sings. 
Faith may be stricken with the divine hand in holy judgment, but it puts its hands over its mouth, 
like Aaron when he lost two sons in one solemn minute (Leviticus 10:3).

The faith of which the Bible speaks is no leap in the dark; rather it is a walk in heavenly light.

It sets aside statistical probability, or even coincidence, chance, or luck, 
and rests firmly on the acts of a sovereign God. 
It does not labour to fashion a master plan; it surrenders to the Master’s plan.
It experiences His sweet calm in the enemy’s raging storm. 
It is not primarily a negative position against Satan, 
although of necessity faith is ever mindful of that deceiver, 
but faith is a positive stand for Christ, 
firmly established on the Word in which He is revealed to us.
The arm of flesh will result in utter failure. 

Goliath was not felled by a warrior mightier than himself, 
by treachery among his own people, or by a strategic ambush. 

It took just a good-sized pebble picked in faith. 

Every circumstance that man could discern weighed decidedly against young David. 

But he came in the name of a God who 
does not speak our language of “circumstances beyond my control.” 
The invisible God was behind it all. He had a plan. He had work to be done. 
He would glorify His name, and He found a man, a boy, after His own heart for this very hour.

(N. Oloniyo (D.H.) (The Lord is near.)

N.J. Hiebert - 6055

October 30

“The heavens declare the glory of God; 
and the firmament showeth His handiwork.”
(Psalm 19:1)

So let our lips and lives express, 
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our words and virtues shine, 
To prove the doctrine all divine.

This Psalm reveals three of the ways that God speaks to mankind.

1.  He speaks through the sky and its glittering array of celestial orbs— a testimony of His greatness.
2.  He speaks through the Scriptures and its timeless truths—a testimony of His goodness.
3.  He speaks through the saint and His godly life—a testimony of His grace. 

Each declaration gets more personal and intimate.
The first two witnesses are faithful, consistent, and constant.
Are you?
(Craig Funston)

N.J. Hiebert - 6056

October 31

“Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?"
(Hebrews 12:9)

Your character may not be vindicated down here.
Jesus died under a cloud.

He was never cleared in this world of the false accusations
that had been made against Him.

The will of God was the only law of Christ’s life.
He was never governed by human considerations or affections.
Are we set upon this—that the will of God should be our only law?

A soul who is in the secret of the divine mind 
must be content to be unappreciated and to walk alone.

If we are not in the path of God’s will 
we are not in the path of power.

Our true wisdom is in subjection to the will of our Lord.
To human eyes no plan of taking Jericho could 
have been more foolish than that 
which Joshua adopted; but 
it was God’s plan, 
and hence its complete success.
(Edward Dennett - Footprints for Pilgrims)

N.J. Hiebert - 6057

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