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

Friday, April 01, 2016

Gems from April 2016

“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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April 2

“For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, 
and have believed that I came out from God.”
(John 16:27)

God never spares His rod if thereby 
He can bless His children. 
 But -
He lifts it up on high, with pity in His heart,
That every stroke His children feel may peace and joy impart.

To enter into this will make an immense change in our experience.
Meeting with trials and difficulties we shall instantly ask,
“What has the Father to say to us through these things?”
In this way we shall receive nothing but blessing through the most adverse circumstances.

Like vines, our poor hearts send out tendrils in all directions,
winding themselves around this and that object, 
and then it is that the Father permits trials . . . 
to come in to snap these ties to objects other than Christ,
and by the discovery of Himself and His love to us in these chastenings 
He seeks to wean us from everything that might hinder our progress, and to 
attract us more fully to Himself.
(Edward Dennett)

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April 3

“Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, 
even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.”
(Matthew 26:38)

"The way to show true sympathy is not to pity,
but to stand by and strengthen the sufferer to do God’s will.
And in Gethsemane, when Christ turned to the three for sympathy,
it was with the words, 'Watch with Me,' 'Stand by Me.’ "

He asked for no pity, but for the strengthening which might seem a feeble help,
just that they might let their presence and prayer be there for Him. 

The Lord help each one of us to “stand by” one another 
with just this kind of bracing sympathy.
(Amy Carmichael—1867-1951)

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April 4

“In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine 
showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity."
(Titus 2:7)

Inside the parking compound for staff of the Police Station at Calgary, is a sign 
to warn police officers about to drive out onto the public road.
It says “Drive as if all eyes were on you; they are!”
This is a lesson for Christians to remember.
The world is watching us.
We must act the part.
We must represent our Saviour’s interests well.
We must bear a good testimony.
(Brian Powlesland

Help me remember when others I see, 
They are reading the Gospel according to me.
At verses of Scripture lost men merely grope,
But my life goes under the microscope.

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April 5

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; 
and He knoweth them that trust in Him.”
(Nahum 1:7)

Charity Island is the largest island in Saginaw Bay in the Michigan waters of Lake Huron.  For many years the island has provided a lighthouse for navigational aid and a safe harbour for those sailing these waters.  The island received its name because sailors believed it was there “through the charity of God.

Sometimes in life we have to navigate through seas of troubling circumstances.  Like those sailors we need guidance and a place of safety; we might wish for our own Charity Island.

The psalmist understood that God is the one who can bring tranquillity to troubled waters and guide us to safe harbours.  He wrote, 

“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven” (Psalm 107:29-30).

While no one asks for the storms of life, they can multiply our appreciation for the guidance and refuge God provides.  He offers the light of His Spirit and His Word to guide us.  It is the safe harbour of His love that we long for.  He alone can be our ultimate “Charity Island.”  (Dennis Fisher)

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“Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2015). Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission." 

April 6

“. . . fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”
(Hebrews 6:18-19)

The captain of the old ironclad Merrimac was a skeptic.
One day the chaplain of the soldier’s home where he was staying gave him this challenge:
“Read your Bible and mark in red anything you don’t believe—Begin with the Gospel of John.”
With a glitter in his eye the captain accepted the challenge.

Whenever the chaplain would pass the room where the captain was confined because of illness,
he would stop and say, “Captain, have you marked anything yet?”
The old captain would only grin and remain silent.

A number of days later the chaplain stepped into his room to find him dead on his bed.
His Bible was open, and the chaplain began looking through the Gospel of John for red marks.
Nothing was marked in all the first chapter, nor in the second,
nor in the third, until he came to the sixteenth verse.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Beside this one he found these words, written in red,
“I have cast my anchor in safe harbour, thank God.”   

"I yielded myself to His tender embrace, and faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul; the ‘Haven of Rest,’ is my Lord."
(With thanks G.W.)

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April 7

Pray without ceasing.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

You can not think of a prayer so large that God, in answering it, 
will not wish that you had made it larger.
Pray not for crutches, but for wings.
(Phillip Brooks)

If our walk is truly godly, we will be roundly criticized;
but we will be more believable that our critics.

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.”
(1 Thessalonians 2:12)

A preacher ought to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
God does not comfort us to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.
(Vance Havner)

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort
them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith 
we ourselves are comforted of God.” 
(2 Corinthians 1:4)  
 (Nuggets of Truth - J.K.

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April 8

“What saith the Scriptures”
(Romans 4:3)

"The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity."
(Psalm 94:11)

This settles everything.  From the decision of the Word of God there must be no appeal.  
When God speaks man must bow.  
It is not by any means a question of obstinate adherence to a man’s own notions.  
Quite the opposite.  It is reverent adherence to the Word of God.

It often happens that, when one is determined, through grace, to abide by Scripture, he will be pronounced dogmatic, intolerant, and imperious; and, no doubt, one has to watch over his temper, spirit, and style, even when seeking to abide by the Word of God.

But, be it well remembered, that obedience to Christ’s commandments 
is the very opposite of imperiousness, dogmatism, and intolerance.

It is not a little strange that when a man tamely consents to place his conscience in the keeping of his fellow, and to bow down his understanding to the opinions of men, he is considered meek, modest, and liberal; but let him reverently bow to the authority of the Holy Scripture, and he will be looked upon as self-confident, dogmatic, and narrow-minded - - - Be it so.  

The time is rapidly approaching when obedience shall be called by its right name, 
and meet its recognition and reward.  
For that  moment the faithful must be content to wait, and while waiting for it, be satisfied to let men call them whatever they please.  
(C.H. Macintosh)

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April 9

“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
(1 Corinthians 3:9) 

He turns to the servants as a whole and likens them to a field and a building.
First we read, “Ye are God’s husbandry”—or God’s tilled field.

You remember how the Lord Jesus Christ used that figure.
The sower sows the Word and when the Word is sown and people believe it,
He likens them to wheat in a field.
That is a beautiful picture of His people, God’s tilled field.

One lovely thing about a field of wheat is that the heads are rising up 
toward the sun and they are very much on a level.

We area all members one of another; one is not to tower above the other,
but together we are to bring forth fruit to the glory 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
(H.A. Ironside)

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April 10

“. . . thou art ever with me, all that I have is thine.”
(Luke 15:31)

He holds nothing back, 
reserves nothing from His dear children, 
and what we cannot receive now He is keeping for us.
He gives us (Isaiah 45:3) “hidden riches of secret places” now,
but by and by He will give us more and the glorified intellect will be filled 
continually out of His treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

But the sanctified intellect will be, must be,
used for Him, and only for Him, now.”
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

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April 11

Smitten of God

“The angel of the Lord smote Peter.”
(Acts 12:7)

"The angel of the Lord smote Herod.”
(Acts 12:23)

Nay, child of God! Dost thou repine, 
And mourn a stroke that seems so sore?
Hush!  ’Tis the touch of Love Divine
Has reached thee, low on dungeon floor.
Know if thy Father smiteth thee, 
’Tis but to rouse and set thee free
To blest unfettered liberty.

But thou, proud sinner, howsoever  
The world may fawn, applaud, and crown
And set thee up on high: beware! 
From thence my God can bring thee down.
Ah! from His stroke of judgment dread, 
Fierce anger and damnation red,
What shield can fence thy guilty head!
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S, Tait)

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April 12

He Washed and Came Seeing

"And He said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) 
He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” 
(John 9:7)

Two things taking place in this incident, in which Jesus heals the man who was blind from birth, 
are always evident when God works in or through us. 
They are very closely linked to our spiritual journey and 
are essential to an effective and fruitful walk with the Lord. 
They are OBEDIENCE and FAITH. 

The blind man obeyed what Jesus instructed him to do, and he went forth to the pool of Siloam 
and washed his eyes in faith. The result was that he received his sight. 
God always manifests His presence and power in the lives of believers who walk in obedience, 
exercise faith, and give God His rightful place as Sovereign in their lives.

The Pharisees were outraged at this miracle, and proclaimed Christ to be a sinner for 
having "worked" on the Sabbath. In their opinion, spitting on the ground to make clay to anoint the 
blind man's eyes was breaking the law. They were more interested in the "letter of the law” 
than in the miracle that had taken place when the blind man received his sight. 
But those who had known the blind man were astounded and sought an explanation. 
They took him to the Pharisees, who questioned him and his parents. 
Finally, the blind man simply said with conviction and authority,
"One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, NOW I SEE.”
(Adapted - Daily Devotions)

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April 13

“I will...set up my standard [banner]... 
Thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for 
they shall not be ashamed that wait for me."
(Isaiah 49:22, 23)

One of God’s names is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my Banner.
The banner rallied the troops or was raised to announce the victory.  
How wonderful that “His banner over me is love”. 

As we face principalities and powers today, whether they be people or problems,
discouragements or fears, let us raise high the banner of His power, His love, 
His name, declaring to our foes and reminding ourselves that 
He has already won the victory.

Do not be disappointed.
The final chapter is not yet played out.

Hope in Him; give a shout of victory
The strength of His love will never let you down.
(M. MacMullen)

"The Lord is our banner; the battle is His.
The weakest of saints more than conqueror is.” 
(J.G. Deck)

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April 14

“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far
above all heavens, that He might fill all things."
(Ephesians 4:10)

Often people say that one religion is as good as another.
But there is a big difference between religion and Christianity.

Religions tell people to try to climb from earth to heaven.
Christianity is founded on Christ.

He came from heaven to earth, 
to give eternal life to those who believe on Him.
(Corrie Ten Boon)

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April 15

“It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when 
He shall appear we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”
(1 John 3:2)

JESUS!—the answer to all our doubts, the spring of all our courage, the earnest of all our hopes,
the charm omnipotent against all our foes, the remedy for all our sicknesses,
the supply of all our wants, the fulness of all our desires.

JESUS!—melody to our ears, altogether lovely to our sight, manna to our taste, living water to our thirst. 

JESUS!—our shadow from the heat, our refuge from the storm, our pillar of fire by night, 
our Morning Star, our Sun of Righteousness. 

JESUS!—at the mention of Whose name "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess".

JESUS—our power; our righteousness; our redemption; our sanctification; our Jehovah; our Emmanuel!

JESUS—Thy name is the most transporting theme of the Church, as they sing going up 
from the valley of tears to their Home on the mount of God;
Thy name shall ever be the richest chord in the harmony of heaven, where the angles and the 
redeemed unite their exulting, adoring songs around the throne of God and the Lamb.

JESUS!—Thou only can’st interpret Thine own name, and Thou hast done it by 
Thy work on earth, and Thy glory at the right hand of the Father.

(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care - George Henderson)

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April 16


“What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, 
doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, 
and seek diligently till she find it?”
(Luke 15:8)

The painstaking of the Holy Ghost is shown in the acting 
of the woman who sought the lost piece of silver;
the piece of silver could have neither 
trouble nor joy itself.

The difference in the two is that in the first 
the Shepherd (Luke 15:4) bears all the burden;
in the second it is the pains taken in finding the 
lost piece, proving the woman cared enough for it 
to take all this trouble to search it out.

Thus does God’s love act toward us to bring us out of the dark world to Himself.
What a work it is to bring man’s heart back to God!

“ 'Twas great to speak a world from naught;
’Twas greater to redeem.
 (J.N. Darby)

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April 17

“The words of the wise are as goads."
(Ecclesiastes 12:11)

It is better to die honourably than live shamefully.

The head may be ripe, and the heart rotten.

Prayer is a great heart-easer.

He that shows any kindness to a saint, is sure to have God for his paymaster.

The sins of teachers are the teachers of sins.
(William Gurnall (1617-1679)

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April 18

“Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred 
pence, and given to the poor?"
(John 12:5)

“What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you?  And they 
covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”
(Matthew 26:15)

Judas was the treasurer of our Lord’s disciples and self 
appointed estimator of the monetary value of things.
Of the ointment that Mary used to anoint our Lord’s feet he said,
it’s worth 300 day’s wages”.

A few days later, he would put a value on the life of 
Christ and agree on 30 pieces of silver. 
This was equivalent to about 120 day’s wages.

What a sad commentary on his judgment!
What is your estimate of the One who gave Himself for you?  
(Ken Gross)

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I’d rather have Him that have riches untold.
(George Beverly Shea)

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April 19

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities . . . and 
with His stripes we are healed.”
(Isaiah 53:5)

"Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so
fulfill the law of Christ.”
(Galatians 6:2)

Wounded for me, wounded for me,
There on the cross He was wounded for me;
Gone my transgressions, and now I am free,
All because Jesus was wounded for me.
(W.G. Ovens)

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April 20


"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ."  Philippians 3:7

It is the cross of Christ that brings us all down to the same place. 

All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” 

The differences between nations and groups within them and 
individuals are nothing when you look at the cross of Christ. 
We are all miserable, helpless, hopeless sinners.

There is nothing in which we can boast. As the apostle puts it in Philippians 3:7-9,
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: for whom, I have suffered 
the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, 
not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through 
the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Once you really see this message of the cross, you see yourself groveling on the dust and the floor,
a miserable failure, a hopeless sinner. You can do nothing, and neither can your neighbour; 
you are together in your complete helplessness and hopelessness. 
But thank God it does not leave you there. You both 
look up together into the face of the one and 
only Saviour, the Saviour of the world,

the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” 
(From The Cross, pp. 147-148.  Martyn Lloyd-Jones- Walking with God.)

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April 21

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 
(Hebrews 12:2) 

UNTO JESUS and not at the brightness of our joy, the strength of our assurance, or the warmth of our love.

Otherwise, when for a little time this love seems to have grown cold, this assurance to have vanished,
this joy to have failed us—either as the result of our own faithlessness, or for the trial of our 
faith—immediately, having lost our feelings, we think that we have lost our strength,
and we allow ourselves to fall into an abyss of sorrow, even into cowardly 
idleness, or perhaps sinful complaints.

Ah! rather let us remember that if the feelings with their sweetness, 
are absent, the faith with its strength remains with us.
To be able always to be “abounding in 
the work of the Lord
(1 Corinthians 15:58

Let us look steadily, not at our ever changeful hearts, 
but at JESUS, who is always the same. 
(Looking Unto Jesus - Theodore Monod.  
Translated from the French by Helen Willis

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April 22

“My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 
knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
(James 1:2-3)

Recently my wife and I received a panicky phone call from our son and his wife.
The night before, they had found two bats in their house.

I know that bats are an important part of the ecosystem, but they are not my favourite among 
God’s creatures, especially when they are flying around inside.

Yet my wife and I were thankful we could go over to our kids’ house and help.
We helped them to plug the holes that might have been used by 
these unwelcome visitors to enter their house.

Another unwelcome visitor that often intrudes into our lives is suffering.
When trials come, we can easily panic or lose heart.
But these difficult circumstances can become the instruments our loving heavenly
Father uses to make us more like Christ—That’s why James wrote, as quoted above.

We are not expected to enjoy trials or to celebrate suffering.
But when these unwelcome visitors arrive, we can look 
for God’s hand in them and trust that He can
 use them to make us more like His Son.
(Bill Crowder)

(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2014), Grand Rapids, MI.  Printed permission.)  

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April 23

“And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love."
(Psalm 109:5)

And yet in spite of His acts of love, and His words of grace, they rewarded
Him evil for good, and hatred for His love. (Psalm 109:5). 
Truly He could say, “they hated me without a cause.
Alas! plenty of cause of hatred, but no cause in Him.

No cause in man to call forth Christ’s love, 
and no cause in Christ to call forth man’s hatred.
But why should the evil heart of man hate the 
One whose whole life was spent in showing love to man?
Let Joseph’s history supply the answer.
Why was Joseph hated by his brethren?
Was he not in their company as one that served?
Truly, but they were evil and hence, 
however desirable his service might be, 
his presence exposed their evil, 
and called forth their hatred.

And for a like cause, and in far deeper measure, the world hated Christ, as He could say,
 “Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (John 7:7).  
(Hamilton Smith - Joseph)

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April 24

“His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6)

The Lord has been all of these to us and more.

Before salvation, He was a Wonderful Counsellor, meeting our need with the words of eternal life.
And He counsels us still.

As the mighty God, He broke through our hard hearts with the hammer of His Word
and now powerfully works on our behalf. 

As the everlasting Father, He begat us with His word and has promised 
that He will remain with us forever. 

As the Prince of Peace, He made it possible for us to have 
peace with God and the peace of God.

Oh, what a Saviour!
(Mark Kolchin)

The counsellor of sinners, mighty to deliver,
The Prince of Peace, whole love’s increase, shall reign in Man forever.
(Charles Wesley)

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April 25

“Lord, what will Thou have me to do?"
(Acts 9:6)

A man at sea was once very seasick.
If there is a time when a man feels that he cannot do any work it is then.

But he heard that a man had fallen overboard.
He couldn’t do much, but he laid hold of a light and held it up to the porthole.
The light fell on the drowning man’s hand, and a man 
caught him, and pulled him into the lifeboat.

It seemed a small thing to do to hold up the light, yet it saved the man’s life.
We can do as much as that.

If we cannot do some great thing we can hold the light for 
some poor, perishing soul, who is out in the dark waters of sin.
 (D.L. Moody)

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April 26

A remedy against all our troubles!

"I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” 
(Philippians 4:11-12)

Contentment sweetens every condition.

Christ turned the water into wine. 
Just so, contentment turns the bitter waters of Marah, into spiritual wine.
Contentment is a flower which does not grow in every garden.

You would think it were excellent, if I could prescribe a remedy or antidote against poverty. 
Behold, here is that which is more excellent--for a man to be poor, and yet have enough! 

Contentment teaches a man how to abound--in the midst of poverty!
Have I but little? 
Yet it is more than I deserve.
(The Art of Divine Contentment -Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

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April 27

 "Then shalt thou walk in they way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble."  
(Proverbs 3:23)  

Many a Christiaan says, “I shall be kept from falling at last, 
but, of course, I shall stumble continually but the way.”  
But have you not read this Scripture, “Thy foot shall not stumble”?
And if you have only once read it, ought not the “of course” to be put over on the other side?
For “hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
"And the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

But as a matter of fact man does stumble, and though he riseth again, yet even the 
“just man falleth seven times and riseth up again . . .” (Proverbs 24:16).

Of course we do, and this is entirely accounted for by the first “of course.”
God gives us a promise and instead of humbly saying, 
Be it unto me according to Thy word” (Luke 1:38),
we either altogether overlook or deliberately refuse to believe it.
And then, of course, we get no fulfillment of it.

The measure of the promise is God’s faithfulness, the measure of its realization is our faith.  
Perhaps we have not even cried, “Help Thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24) as to this promise,
much less said, “Lord, I believe”. 
(Opened Treasures - Francis Ridley Havergal

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April 28

“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
(Exodus 14:14)

As the fearsome Egyptians were bearing down on seemingly helpless Israel, Moses 
made it clear that their deliverance would come from the Lord alone. 
They were to “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” 
(Exodus 14:13).

Similarly, in facing our great enemies: sin, death hell, and the grave,
we look solely to Christ for the victory.
He fought these dreaded foes at 
Calvary and triumphed over 
them by His  death and 

Truly, the risen Lord 
Led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men” (Ephesians 4:8

Let us worship Him for His unparalleled conquest of all our adversaries.
(Keith Keyser)

Cast your deadly “doings” down, down at Jesus’ feet;
Stand in Him, in Him alone, gloriously complete.
(James Proctor)

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April 29

“Him, (Jesus Christ) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,  ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
(Acts 2:23) 

Those Jews whom Peter addressed, saying, "Ye have taken, and by wicked hands 
have crucified and slain,” had not actually murdered the Prince of Life. 
They did not hold the spear any more than you did;
but in the same spirit they refused Christ a place in their hearts;
and it is thus God deals with the world.

His question with the world is,
“What have you done with My Son?”

With Cain it is “Where is Abel thy brother?” (Genesis 4:9).

The only answer they can give is, 
“We have slain Him.”
(J. N. Darby)

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April 30

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.”
(Psalm 55:22)

If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, 
the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. 

But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, 
He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, 
replacing it with an awareness and understanding 
of Himself and His presence.

Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. 
But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. 
They do not know what to do with their burden, 
and it produces weariness in their lives. 
(Oswald Chambers)

N.J. HIebert - 6239


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