Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5270 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Gems from March 2016

Flying By Instrument

“The things which shall be hereafter. . . .”
(Revelation 1:19) 

When all is said and done, there is absolutely only one authority on the life to come.
Surmisings of pagans and speculations of philosophers mean nothing.
It is the Bible or else.

It may have its difficult passages, may leave questions unanswered, 
but all we know about the next world is told between 
the covers of this old Book.

Sometimes the airplane pilot can see nothing and must fly by instrument.
The Christian must often do the same and that instrument is the Word of God.
It guarantees a safe landing!
(Vance Havner)

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March 1

WHAT GOD DID FOR STEPHEN

“And [Stephen] kneeled down, and cried with a loud 
voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.  
And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
(Acts 7:60)  

A young preacher, who afterwards became famous, once 
had a public discussion with a noted infidel.
During the debate the sceptic turned upon his youthful antagonist and said,
‘You say that your God is a God of love.
What did He do for Stephen when he was being battered to death?
Why didn’t He deliver him?’

The preacher felt that the whole discussion turned upon his answer to this challenge.
He silently lifted his heart to God and immediately there was given him this reply:
“God did something better for Stephen than  save him from the stones,
He enabled him to pray for his murderers.” 
The sceptic was so impressed with the answer he promised to come and hear the young man preach.

Just here lies the secret of God’s purpose,
He is conforming us to the image of His Son.
To Stephen belonged the inestimable 
privilege of following in the footsteps of his Master.
And in enabling him to pray for his murderers
God made him more than conqueror.
For it is character God is seeking to produce in His saints;
and all that appertains to this groaning creation is being used to that end.
(Angels in White - Russell Elliott)

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March 2

“I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
(John 14:3)  

The hearts of all the saints should be occupied with Himself.  
We wait longingly for the moment when, according to His word, 
He will come to receive us to Himself, that where He is we may be also (John 14:3).
Such, then, is our attitude.  As Israel on the Passover night, with their loins girded, their shoes 
on their feet, and their staff in their hand, waited for the signal to depart, 
so we should ever be found, with our loins girt and our lamps burning, 
expecting the Lord to descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 
and with the trump of God, to fetch us out of this scene, to be for ever with Himself.  
Are we constantly maintaining this attitude

Do we begin the day with the thought that, ere the darkness returns, we may 
be caught up into the unclouded light of His presence?  When we lie down at night, 
do we remember that ere the morning dawns we may be caught away from our beds?
Are all our our matters kept so constantly arranged that we should desire to alter nothing, 
if the next moment we should be with the Lord?  
Are all our purposes, all our occupations, undertaken and carried on with this wondrous prospect before our eyes?  
Surely nothing short of this should satisfy those who are living in the expectation of the Lord.

May He Himself lead us into all the power of this blessed truth, using it to separate us increasingly 
from every thing not suitable to Himself; and, by the presentation of Himself to us in all 
His beauty as the Bright and Morning Star, may He occupy and absorb our hearts!
(The Blessed Hope - Edward Dennett)

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March 3

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. and [Jesus] 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 4:37-38)

Storms were frequent on the sea of Galilee.
Should we not pause at once to recall how frequent they are in the lives of Christians?
To follow the Master does not mean “smooth sailing” always, or cloudless skies.
Even when we are very near Him, when no sin or doubt separates between, 
even then the tempests burst; circumstances seem against us;
the waves threaten to engulf; the skies grow black.

This could have been no usual storm.
Those sturdy fishermen who were managing the boat for their Master had lived on that lake.
They knew every mood of its fickle winds.  
Yet, even these men were in despair.

They awoke Jesus, “and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” 
Their appeal expressed the extremity of their fear, but it contained an implied rebuke: 
the Master did not care; He either did not know, or He ws not concerned, about their peril.

So we sometimes think, or even say.
We really feel, in the overwhelming storm, 
that the loving Master is indifferent to our need.
Even in such unbelief it is well to cry out to Him for help.
(Charles Erdman)

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March 4

“And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near unto me.”
(Genesis 45:4)

The brothers 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. (Luke 15:20-24)
(F.B. Meyer)

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March 5

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth 
his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
(Proverbs 29:25)

The fear of man can lead us into sin and keep us from 
speaking out in boldness for Christ.
It is a snare that subtly traps
us into finding security in 
the approval of men.
We need to remember that 
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, 
to depart from the snares of death.
(Proverbs 14:27).

As we see God for who He is, temptation
and fear fade proportionately.
The fear of man will keep you from fearing the Lord and 
the fear of the Lord will keep you from fearing man.
(Dennis Easton

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face;
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Helen H. Lemmel)

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March 6

“. . . Exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would 
cleave unto the Lord.”
(Acts 11:23)

Do not let the world come in and distract your thoughts. 
I speak especially to you young ones.
They who are older have had more experience in it,
and know more what it is worth:
but it all lies shining before you, endeavouring to attract you.
Its smiles are deceitful; still it smiles.  
It makes promises which it cannot keep; still it makes them.
Your hearts are too big for the world; it cannot fill them.
They are too little for Christ: 
He fills heaven, He will fill you to overflowing.
"With purpose of heart . . . cleave unto the Lord.”
He knew how treacherous the heart is,
and how soon it would put anything in His place.
You will have indeed to learn what is in your own heart.
(A.J. Pollock)

Keep us Lord, O keep us cleaving to Thyself and still believing,
Till the hour of our receiving promised joys with Thee.
(T. Kelly)

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March 7

CHRIST THE ONLY FOUNDATION

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, 
which is Jesus Christ.”
 (1 Corinthians 3:11)

With every structure the foundation is of utmost importance. 
The superstructure will rise or fall on the strength of the foundation. 
With very high buildings it is necessary to extend the foundation deep with pilings 
of steel and concrete to sustain the weight and give sturdiness to its height. 
It must hold the structure strong and sure when the storms and winds blow with intensity.

It is likewise imperative to have the right foundation and to build upon what 
has already been laid as its foundation, Jesus Christ. 

Many today have various foundations upon which they build their hope. 
Some think themselves quite acceptable to God because they have never 
engaged in any gross sin that would evoke God's judgment.
Some compare their lives with others and conclude they certainly warrant God's favour for they, 
like the Pharisee, are thankful that they are not as other men.
Still others rest their laurels on the good works they have done in 
being responsible in their duties to their fellow men.
Others recognize the atonement of Christ but feel they need to contribute their good works, 
thinking something needs to be added to make their acceptance with God complete.
(Daily Devotions)

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March 8

"Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself.” 
(Ephesians 1:5

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” 
(Galatians 3:26)

Here is one of the sweetest privileges of the Christian life. The Christian is a beloved child, and shares all the love and tenderness of the Father's heart!

This one thought is a fountain of unfailing happiness! 
"I am at home with God!
 Once I was far off--but now I am near.
 Once I was a stranger--but now His beloved child!
 Once the thought of His presence was fear and dread--but now it is life, and joy, and peace. 
 He is my Father, and in this Name all heart-joys meet.
 He knows me by name, and cares for me in all my cares.
 He pities me, and in tender compassion marks each tear I shed, 
and each sorrow that weighs upon my heart. 
 He opens His hand, and each day gives me all that I need. 
 He bows down His ear and hearkens to each prayer I offer.
 I have boldness and liberty to go at all times into His presence-chamber, 
and may tell Him every desire and ask of Him whatever is for my good."
(George Everard - 1884)

"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, 
that we should be called the sons of God.” 
(1 John 3:1)

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March 9

“For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth
the hungry soul with goodness.”
(Psalm 107:9)

Every one who does not know Christ has either a disappointed heart or a 
heart seeking what will disappoint it.

If His love is not filling my heart, 
I shall go to some vanity in a shop to satisfy me: 
my heart will get into my business.
If my spirit is wrapped up in the love of Christ,
there will be rivers of water flowing out.

No testimony, no preaching, no teaching, even if the matter of it be all right, 
is right teaching, when the soul is not
filled for itself first from God.
We must drink for ourselves that rivers may flow.
Indeed all else dries up the soul.

The world at once sees if God is the centre of a person.
The heart is not morbid, 
but thoroughly happy in God;
it has perfect satisfaction in Him, 
this is what makes such a difference in life.

“Is the wilderness before thee—
Desert lands where drought abides?
Heavenly springs shall there restore thee 
Fresh from God’s exhaustless tides.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - JND)

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March 10

“That ye may be blameless and harmless . . . in the midst of a crooked and 
perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
(Philippians 2:15)

The high-beam glare of an on-coming car at night can blind and annoy us.
How about our witness?
Is it a glare to the world or are we like the moon, which absorbs the rays of the sun and 
reflects them back to earth shining with a soft glow.
All believers are reflectors of the source of Light, God’s Son.
We represent the altogether lovely One.
May our reflection be the same, with love and concern.
(E.Dyck)

Channels only, blessed Master, but with all Thy wondrous pow’r,
Flowing through us,Thou canst use us, ev’ry day and ev’ry hour.
(Mary E. Maxwell)

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March 11

THE CERTAINTY OF EVERLASTING LIFE

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal lifeand that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  
(1 John 5:13)

The knowledge that we have eternal life is something that is possible to us. 
That is something that needs to be emphasized. 
There are those who would tell us that eternal life is something to which we 
attain only when we come to die and leave this world and go into the next. 
They suggest that it is wrong for anyone to claim that he has eternal life. 
Such people dislike the doctrine of assurance.
“We do not know,” they say, "and we must not seek to know. 
Faith means that you are always grasping at it, 
but it is something you cannot actually have while you are in this world."

But that is a philosophical concept of faith that is not in accordance with what we have here. 
John says in essence, "My whole object in writing to you now is that you 
may know that you have eternal life and know it certainly. 
I want you to know that you possess it."

You find the other apostles saying the same thing. 
What was more characteristic of the apostle Paul than this assurance?
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, 
nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). 
"I know whom I have believed,” (2 Timothy 1:12). 
"I know," he says. There is no uncertainty about it.

So it seems to me that to interpret faith as a kind of constant uncertainty is to deny 
the teaching of the Word of God that we are His children.

The knowledge that we have eternal life is something that is possible to us.
(Martin Lloyd-Jones

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March 12

“How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse.”
(Song of Solomon 4:10)

Were our meditations on the Lord’s appreciation of our love, more deep, 
earnest, and simple, we should be more undivided in heart for Him.
Love begets love.

It is the fire I sit at that warms me.
The nearer the fire, the warmer I am.
The nearer I am to the heart of Christ, the warmer will 
be my own, and the more intense the flame of love to Him.

As well might I think of getting warmed by going out to to the garden
and looking at the snow, as getting more love to Christ by looking to myself,
thinking of myself, and trying to increase my love for Him. 

But, somehow, many say, I do not grow in love to Him, and in appreciation 
of His love to me, and I do desire to feel more love to Him.

Well, then, if it is the fire I sit at that warms me, 
it is also the food I eat that satisfies me.  
Let thy soul then feed on Christ.
(Andrew Miller)

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March 13

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.”
(2 Timothy 2:24)

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel.”
(Philippians 1:27)

Christian hearts, in love united, 
Seek alone in Jesus rest;
Has He not your love excited?
Then let love inspire each breast. 
(N.L.  V.Z.) 

In the days of sailing ships, during a major naval battle
the captain of a ship came upon two of his officers whose 
disagreement on how to conduct the battle had led to blows.

He jerked them apart, pointed them in the same direction, saying,
“Gentlemen, there’s the enemy.”
(David Logan)

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March 14

The Lord Looked Upon Peter

"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly."
 (Luke 22:61-62)

What was in that look that pierced the heart and soul of this disciple? 
Can you imagine how penetrating, convicting, and revealing those eyes must 
have been as the Lord looked upon Peter? 
Did those eyes of Jesus reveal anger, disgust or revenge? No! His eyes were filled with divine 
compassion, pity, and love for one who had miserably fallen. His eyes revealed infinite 
mercy and grace that melted the denying heart of Peter. 
The "look of Christ" brought penetrating conviction that awakened Peter to his dreadful denial. 
Christ's heart of love drove Peter to his knees in bitter 
repentance that soon brought reconciliation.

Like Peter, many have fallen unmercifully to the depths of sin and despair. 
Many are critical and quickly point their finger at this fallen disciple, 
but few have wept bitterly in heart-wrenching repentance as Peter did. 
The remembrance of his fall never left him, but he saw more. 
He saw the fathomless love of God, the love that flowed at Calvary, 
the infinite grace that forgave him in his darkest hour and restored him to Christ.

Deep are the wounds of many lives that have been abused, neglected, unloved, 
and forgotten by those closest to them. 
How needful it is for Christians to come alongside those who are 
starving for acceptance and understanding. 
The Good Samaritan, when he saw the beaten and needy stranger beside the road, 
went where he was and not only ministered to his wounds but found a place for him to stay. 
He told the owner to tend to any of his needs and he would pay for the service. 
What's so significant? The Good Samaritan identified with the stranger in his need.
(Adapted - R.L.)

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March 15

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: In Thy presence is fullness of joy;
at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
(Psalm 16:11) 

Heaven is happiness  on His terms.
It is more than that, but it is at least that.
He wants us to be happy and can make us happy—will make us happy 
if we are willing to accept happiness on His terms.
Heaven is happiness His way.

We can hardly imagine happy holiness or holy happiness.
What will it be to experience it fully!
(With thanks - J.K)

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March 16

“He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should 
be holy and without blame before him in love.”
(Ephesians 1:4)

This love is first expressed to us in the  activities of grace 
that quicken us, as individuals, with Christ.
If we are dead there can be no movement on our side towards God.
The first movement must come from God.
A new life has been imparted to us, but it is a life in association with Christ.
It is a life which, in fact, is the life of Him with whom we are quickened.
Thus our condition by grace is the exact opposite of our condition by nature.
We are dead to God with the world by nature, we are 
now alive to God with Christ by grace.
(Ephesians - Hamilton Smith)

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March 17

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off,
and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed 
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
(Hebrews 11:13)

Abraham showed his faith by leaving his home in Iraq and going to the place 
God had promised him, not knowing where he was going.
A still greater act of faith is recorded!
God had told him to offer Isaac, 
his “only begotten” son (v. 17), but God
had stopped him before he was able to do it.

Abraham believed that if he had actually offered him up, 
God, because of His promises, would actually raise Isaac from 
the dead.  What great faith Abraham displayed in this!

This is a perfect picture of what happened on Calvary where God the Father 
spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). 
He delivered Him to bear our sins in His own body on the cross and bring us salvation.

We are given promises too.
The Lord promised, before He went to the cross, “I go to prepare a place for you.  
And and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you 
unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3).
What a blessed hope this is!
(J.D. McNeil)   

His faithfulness, for ever sure, for endless ages will endure;
His perfect work will ever prove the depths of His unchanging love.
(J.H. Evans)

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March 18

"Take up the cross--and follow Me.” 
(Mark 10:21)

You have not the liberty of making of your own cross; although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making. Neither are you permitted to choose your own cross; although self-will would gladly be lord and master. Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love--and you are cheerfully to accept it.
You are to take up the cross as your chosen portion, and not to stand caviling at it. Jesus bids you to submit your shoulder to His easy yoke. 

Remember that the cross will soon be followed by the crown. The thought of the coming weight of glory--will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. May the Lord help you to bow your heart in submission to His divine will—that you may go forth to this day's cross with the holy and submissive spirit which befits a 
follower of the Crucified One.
(Charles Spurgeon)

“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) 

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March 19

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in 
sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up 
together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
(Ephesians 2:4-6)

Those who were born on February 29 [2016are special people— they celebrate only one-fourth as many birthdays as the rest of us.  But the Bible tells us of something else that makes someone special—spiritual rebirth.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
(1 Peter 2:9)

The Scriptures also teach that as believers we enjoy many special privileges. We are heavenly people-our citizenship is in the heavenlies with Christ.  Even now we are seated positionally with Him in glory.  In Christ we have access to His storehouse of riches; we are the possessors of all heavenly blessings.  We have been given a heaven-born nature that responds to spiritual nourishment-the Living and Written Word.  

While we seek to be worthy representatives for God in this life, our affections are already centred on things above. This occupation with heavenly values enables us to rise above the mundane circumstances and storms that often cross our earthly paths, providing what we need to live a life of daily victory.

And while we await the day of our final victory, we live in the enjoyment of our future inheritance 
In a sense, then, we are “in heavenly love abiding” already.                 

In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear; 
and safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me, no fear shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing shall I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me, where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free; 
My Saviour is my treasure, and He will walk with me.
(Anna Laetitia Waring)

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March 20

The Rest of Communion

"And [Joseph] fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.”  (Genesis 45:14-15)

But when like Job in his day, and the brethren of Joseph in their day, 
we have learned the evil of our own hearts 
—the utter corruption of the flesh 
— with what relief we turn from self to Christ, and how he delights
to set us free by making Himself known in all the grace of His heart.

We may well be appalled as we discover the evil of our hearts. 

But as Christ reveals to us His heart and tells us that He loves us,
though knowing all the evil of our hearts 
— as He draws us to Himself and discloses to us the desire of 
His heart to have us in His company, 
as He gives us to behold His glory and to hear His voice
 — then the torments of fear are ended by perfect love 
— the love that casteth out fear 
— and no more the soul turns in upon itself to grieve over the evil within,
the future is no longer dark with dismal forebodings, 
but in the consciousness of His love we can hold sweet communion with Him,
after the manner of Joseph’s brethren who 
talked with him.”   
(Joseph - Hamilton Smith)

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March 21

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:
He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in
His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
(Isaiah 40:11)

“Even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: 
I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, 
and will deliver you.”
(Isaiah 46:4)  

He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows and o’er-clouded days;
We know His will is done,
And still He leads us on.
(~~~~)

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March 22

“Let us pass over unto the other side . . . they took Him even as He was in the ship . . . the waves beat into the ship . . . 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?  And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm . . . why are ye so fearful?”  (Mark 4:35-40)

No Worries

A comfortable plane ride was about to get bumpy.  The voice of the captain interrupted in-flight beverage service and asked passengers to make sure their seat-belts were fastened.  Soon the plane began to roll and pitch like a ship on a wind-whipped ocean.  

While the rest of the passengers were doing their best to deal with the turbulence, a little girl sat through it all reading her book.  After the plane landed, she was asked why she had been able to be so calm.  She responded, “My daddy is the pilot and he’s taking me home.”

Though Jesus' disciples were seasoned fishermen, they were terrified the day a storm threatened to swamp their boat.  They were following Jesus’ instructions.  Why was this happening? (Mark 4:35-38).  He was with them but He was asleep at the stern of the craft.

They learned that day that it is not true that when we do as our Lord says there will be no storms in our lives.  Yet because He was with them, they also learned that storms don’t stop us from getting to where our Lord wants us to go (5:1). 

Whether the storm we encounter today is the result of a tragic accident, a loss of employment, or some other trial, we can be confident that all is not lost.  Our Pilot can handle the storm.  He will get us home.    
(Selected)

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March 23

“. . .let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking 
unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the 
joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . .” 
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

There may be a thousand and one things to vex me if self is of importance;
They will not vex me at all if self is not there to be vexed. . . . 

What rubs we get when not walking with God, 
and thinking only of self!

There is no such deliverance as that of having 
no importance in one’s own eyes.
(Footprints for Pilgrims - J.N.D.)

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March 24

“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus,
and told Him all things, both what they had done,
and what they had taught."
(Mark 6:30) 

Surely we could not do better than follow the example of the apostles in this respect.
How much we should learn if we did so, and how gently He would remind us of 
many a failure to present the truth, or if we presented it correctly, how 
much we have failed to preach it in the power of the Spirit.
But we have to do with One who loves us, 
and this gives us confidence in 
telling Him everything.

It is even so in human relationships, for when we are assured 
of one another’s love we do not hesitate to tell everything.
Much more should it be so when we speak to the Lord.
(Edward Dennett)

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March 25

“My soul thirsteth for God.”
(Psalm 42:2)

We have got a measureless income to live upon—the grace of God.

We must remember that the presence of God is always open to us,
and that in that presence is fulness of joy. . . .

We never get on, never make headway in divine blessing 
unless we start from the presence of God.
There, as the result of divine light shining in, 
you learn as you never can learn elsewhere, 
the truth about yourself.
The first thing we learn as Christians is 
that there is no room for self there—
for self in any form. 
(E.P. Corrin)

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March 26

"Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
(1 Corinthians 15:54-55)

“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the cross.”
(Philippians 2:8) 

The Cross and the Tomb

“He died,” saith the Cross; “my very name 
Was a hated thing and a word of shame;
But since Christ hung on my arms outspread,
With nails in His hands and thorns on His head,
They do but measure—set high, flung wide—
The measureless love of the Crucified.”

“He rose,” saith the Tomb; “I was dark and drear,
And the sound of my name wove a spell of fear;
But the Lord of Life in my depths hath lain
To break Death’s power and rend his chain;
And a light streams forth from my open door,
For the Lord is risen; He dies no more.” 
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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March 27

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree [cross] that we, 
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
(1 Peter 2:24)

Death and judgment are behind us, 
Grace and glory are before;
All the billows rolled o’er Jesus
There they spent their utmost power.

"First-fruits” of the resurrection,
He is risen from the tomb;
Now we stand in new creation,
Free, because beyond our doom.

Jesus died, and we died with Him,
Buried”in His grave we lay,
One with Him in resurrection,
Now “in Him” in heaven’s bright day.
(Mrs. J.A. Trench)

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March 28

“And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly:
and His sweat was as it were great drops of 
blood falling down to the ground.”
(Luke 22:44)

Insight into the enormity of a task can be gained by noting 
the effort put into it by a capable person.
If a powerful man with big muscles lifts a large 
object but only with the greatest of effort,
we know its weight is significant.

If the Son of God, who created stars with His fingers,
was moved to such anguish by the awful prospect of Calvary,
oh how great was His task there.
(David Logan)

"None of the ransomed ever knew, 
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
E’er He found His sheep that was lost."
(Elizabeth C. Clephane)

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March 29

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He arose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Everyone appreciates a fresh start.
When we’ve messed up, or even when someone else messes us up, its important that we get up and start afresh.
The enemy of our souls would whisper lies and blame into our ear;
he specializes in condemnations.
When we’ve fallen, he loves nothing better than to keep us down and discouraged.
If you are saved (redeemed) please note this wonderful truth:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
(Romans 8:1

There are no stains on tomorrow’s page.” 
A new day offers us us a fresh start.
The key is to keep our focus on Christ, to follow Him, to trust and obey Him.

When Jesus rose from the grave the disciples were filled with joy and hope.
BUT we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all 
this today is the third day since these things were done.
BUT
He sat at meat with them . . . and their eyes were opened, and they knew Jesus . . .
And they arose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together . . .
saying the Lord is risen . . . as they thus spake Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them . . ."
(Luke 24:21-35)  

The resurrection was for them a fresh start.
And Christ’s resurrection became that which inspired them to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6
as they spread abroad the news of this risen Saviour, and the gospel of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.
(Adapted from Lifelines)   

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March 30

“Stand back . . .” (Genesis 19:9) 
“. . . hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)


Abraham believed God, and said to sight, “Stand back!”
and to the laws of nature, “Hold your peace!
and to a misgiving heart,”Silence, thou lying tempter!”
He believed God. 

“When nothing whereon to lean remains, When strongholds crumble to dust;
When nothing is sure but that God still reigns, that is just the time to trust.

’Tis better to walk by faith than sight, in this path of yours and mine;
And the pitch-black night, when there’s no outer light is the time for faith to shine.”
(Joseph Parker)

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March 31

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, 
or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:
but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing
themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
(2 Corinthians 10:12) 

There are not two faces alike, not 
two leaves in the forest alike, 
not two blades of grass alike.

Why then should anyone aim at another’s 
line of work, or affect to possess another’s gift?
Let each one be satisfied to be just what his Master has made him.
(Food for the Desert)

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April 1

“How excellent [precious] is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.”
(Psalm 36:7)   

People think it humility to doubt God’s grace.
It is no such thing.
It is thinking your own thoughts when God has spoken . . . 
True lowliness is to accept God’s thought.
We have no business to think when God has spoken;
our business is to believe.
(J.N. Darby)

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