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

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Gems from April 2017


TAKE HEART AGAIN

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
(1 Timothy 1:15)   

William Archer has pointed out that one of the singular things about the Bible is that some of its outstanding men had serious moral lapses.

Abraham practiced deceit, and yet is called “the friend of God” James 2:23.
Jacob was a crafty schemer, yet is called a Prince with God—Genesis 32:28.
David committed sins that cast deep shadows over other lives as well as his own, yet is called a man after God’s own heart—Acts 13:22.
Peter said that he would follow the Master to prison and to death, but when the test came, he denied Him to a little maid—Matthew 26:69-72

Mr. Archer instances these things, however, not to throw stones at these good men, nor to condone their faults. He does so to show, on the one hand, that if God were strict to mark iniquity, not one of us could stand; and, on the other that it is the trend of a life that is the true test of character.

A battle may be lost, but the campaign may be won;
the wave may be defeated, but the tide is sure to triumph.  
(In Green Pastures)

George Henderson - 1866-1912)

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“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and 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, despising the shame, and is set 
down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

And, as the path of duty is made plain,
May grace be given that I may walk therein—
Not like the hireling, for his selfish gain,
With backward glances and reluctant tread,
Making a merit of his coward dread—

But cheerful in the light around me thrown,
Walking as one to pleasant service led,
Doing God’s will as if it were my own,
Yet trusting not in mine,
But in His strength alone!
(Johm Greenleaf Whittier - 1807-1892)
With thanks - J. Kaiser

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April 1

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  (Romans 5:1-2) 

The glory of God is now the place of peace to the Christian,—the home of the 
Christian,—“and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”.

We can’t afford to put into the background anything contained in the blessed Word of God.

The Christian glories in tribulation, because it clears his vision.  
He sees that God is allowing it to thresh out of him the 
husk of earthly desires and expectations,—as 
the frost kills all the rank weeds.
(Hunt’s Sayings)

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April 2

“All Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, 
out of the ivory palaces, whereby 
they have made Thee glad.”
(Psalms 45:8)

Proctor and Gamble is a familiar name.
One Sunday, Harley Proctor listened to a preacher
speak from Psalm 45 where ivory palaces are mentioned.
As a result, he decided to call his soap Ivory.

Many people think that good works or a moral life, superficial cleanliness,
will merit them entry into God’s heaven.

But our problem goes much deeper than that.
Thank God for Him who came from the ivory places to accomplish what no  
soap could could do! 

Christ washed us from our sins!
(R.E. Surgenor)

Though thy sins are red like crimson, deep in scarlet glow;
Jesus’ precious blood can make them, white as snow.
(Francis Ridley Havergal)

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April 3

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light;
and to them which sat in the region and
shadow of death light is sprung up.”
(Matthew 4:16)

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.
(Treasures from Fanny Crosby)

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April 4

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying
in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
(Jude 20,21)

It matters little, for the purposes of the enemy, 
on what the eye rests, if he can only get it off Christ.

It may be occupied with the best of things, such as the work of the Lord,
our brethren, brotherly love, the fellowship of saints.  But even these things, 
blessed as they are, will lead to failure, if any one of them becomes the 
governing object of the heart in place of the Person of Christ.

But what shall we say of self and the world coming in, 
in some of their ten thousand forms?

Darkness, weakness, and sad confusion must follow.
(Andrew Miller)

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 Howarth Lemmel)

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April 5


“. . . I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, 
behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen!  
(Revelation 1:17-18)

What a glorious truth to ponder—Jesus is not the “Great I WAS” but rather the "Great I AM!”  He is not only a historical fact but a present-day, living reality.  The whole system of Christianity rests upon the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and is now seated at the Father’s right hand as our personal advocate.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today” was written by Charles Wesley in 1738.  He has written numerous hymns on every phase of the Christian experience, some sixty-five hundred in all.

It has been said that the hymns of Charles Wesley gave converts a belief they could easily grasp, embrace with personal faith, and if necessary, even die for.

If all of our eternity is to be realized on this side of the grave, we are hopeless and to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19).  But for the Christian, the resurrection assures us of God’s tomorrow.  This anticipation makes it possible to live joyfully today, regardless of life’s circumstances. 

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!  Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply: Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia! Where Thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
(Kenneth W. Osbeck - Hymn stories)

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April 6

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
(Psalm 46:1)

Have you noticed this?

Whatever need or trouble you are in, there is always something to help you in your Bible,
if only you go on reading till you come to the word God specially has for you.
I have noticed this often.

Sometimes the special word is in the portion you would naturally read, or in 
the Psalms for the day, or in Daily Light, or maybe it is somewhere 
else; but you must go on till you find it, for it is always 
somewhere.  You will know it the moment you 
come to it, and it will rest your heart.

Here is a tiny illustration of that:
One day I was troubled and anxious about someone.
That night I found these words on the page of Daily Light:

I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep 
that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
 (2 Timothy 1:12)

 And I knew that this was His word to me   
(Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

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April 7

“Sanctify them through Thy truth:
Thy Word is truth.”
(John 17:17)

Love without truth is hypocrisy.  
Truth without love is brutality.

Brevity is the essence of eloquent speech;  
simplicity—of eloquent life.

Mankind is naturally prompted by reason or feeling.  
Therefore, we ought to be careful when using expressions such as 
“I think” or “I feel” (particularly in regard to the things of God) because such
expressions suggest a judgment made with reference to our reason or feelings rather than to God.
(Nuggets of Truth - John Kaiser)

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April 8

“We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
(Romans 8:37)

PERFECT SUBMISSION

“A little deaf mute at an examination at an institution in London, on being asked,
‘Who made the world?’ immediately wrote: 
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

He was asked in a similar manner, 
‘why did Jesus come into the world?’
Again the little boy, with a bright smile indicating delight and gratitude, wrote:
'This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ 
Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

A third question was then asked, evidently to produce the most powerful feelings:
‘Why were you born deaf and dumb, while I can hear and speak?’

’Never’, said an eyewitness, ’shall I forget the peace which settled 
upon his countenance as he took up the pencil and wrote:
Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.’”
(With thanks - C. F.

"Submission to the will of Him Who guides me still, is surety of His love revealed;
My soul shall rise above this world in which we move; I conquer only where I yield.

Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, for who am I that I should choose my way?
The Lord shall choose for me, ’tis better far I know; so let Him bid me go, or stay.” 
(C. Austin Miles)

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April 9

God is Better than Our Faith

“Yea hath God said, Ye shall eat of every tree of the garden?” 
(Genesis 3:1)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.  He that feareth 
is not made perfect in love.” 
(1 John 4:18)

We once said to a dear woman in Jamaica, much tried
in her circumstances, “God is better to us than our fears.”

She answered with a quick smile, “Yes, and God is better to us than our faith.”

I confess that I stood rebuked, and felt I was
in the presence of one taught in the school of God.

I looked on that woman as a triumph of Christianity, as a complete answer to the first question raised in the Bible, a question doubting God’s goodness and love, “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1).

The object of Satan was achieved when he instilled doubt into man’s heart at the fall.

God’s triumph over Satan is proclaimed when a weak saint is found triumphing over afflictions, praising Him for trials, rejoicing in tribulation.

Perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).

To trust Him in the dark and adore Him for His ways, 
is indeed a vindication of God over evil.
(Comforted of God - A.J. Pollock)

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April 10

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee,
and Thou shalt glorify Me.”
(Psalm 50:15)

What an immense relief to be able to speak to anyone about our trouble!
and specially when that One is able to succour as well as sympathize.

It does not say how many times we are to call.  Simply, 
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble.”
A call does, however, imply earnestness.
It is not “Speak to Me.”

We may sometimes speak to God as though we hardly meant what we said.
But here it is more vehement—“

Call upon Me,” as though we were in real earnest to make God hear.

The Psalmist says, “In the day when I cried, Thou answeredst me” (Psalm 138:3).

A child in danger or fright calls to its parent, it does not speak as though nothing was the matter. Now while God knows everything, and can hear even a whisper and read even our thoughts, yet His direction here is, “Call upon Me.” 

If you have called many times before and not yet been delivered, still continue calling. Deliverance will surely come in some form or other,  and in the meantime the blessing to your own soul will be immense.

You will learn more of God.  For it says, “Call upon Me”—upon  God Himself.
(Angels in White - Russell Elliott)

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April 11

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.”  (Matthew 24:37-39)

Our Lord here tells of the conditions that will exist just before His return.
There will be a craze for pleasure and the lust of the flesh.

People will leave God, eternity and judgment out of their thoughts.
How similar to our own day.

May God help us to be faithful in warning those around us 
of the great judgement just ahead.
(Jim Pizzulli)

Look unto Jesus and be saved; see Him uplifted on the tree,
There all the guilt has been displayed; see how He suffered there for me.
(T.B. Gilbert)

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April 12

"Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him, for righteousness: 
and he was called the Friend of God.”
(James 2:23)

God may make men as active as possible, like Paul or Boanerges,
when He wants them; but communion is the most precious thing to Him.

“James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James and He (Jesus) 
surnamed them Boanerges which is, The sons of thunder.” (Mark 3:17

There is a difference between Peter and John. 
His heart rested with satisfaction on him (John) who leaned on His bosom.

There should be a going of the soul to God in a far more intimate way than to a any one else.
Communion with saints is precious, but I must have intimacy of communion with
God above all; and communion of saints will flow from communion with God.
Joy in God is communion . . . presenting a want to God is not communion.
God talked with Abraham . . . His friend
— that is communion.

Communion with God is the retiring place of the heart.
(Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - J.N. Darby)

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April 13

NECESSARY FOOD

“My soul is even as a weaned child.”
(Psalm 131:2)

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye . . . are become 
such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
(Hebrews 5:12) 

The meaning of the Hebrew word translated “weaned” takes us straight to Hebrews 5:12.
For “to wean” means "to complete, to ripen,”.  To be weaned therefore means to be completed, ripened, so that baby food and baby ways are left behind and childish things are put away.

We who are believers are not meant, so to speak, to live on infant prepared food, or to be spoon fed—neither in our physical lives or, equally importantly, in our Spiritual lives.

Our blessed God did not mean us always to have the Living Water drawn for us and poured out into glasses and set on our tables.  We are meant to draw water out of the wells of salvation ourselves  (Isaiah 12:3).

The Eastern picture of this is not what we of the West might think of—that of turning on a tap. Rather, it is of going to a well, dipping down into it, and drawing water up for ourselves.
It requires no little effort to obtain water in this manner.

We must not go on spiritually being baby souls, starved and thirsty if our food and drink is not doled out to us by others. Oh! That we might not allow ourselves to be satisfied to only live on what is given by others to us.

If the time has come for us to be teachers, helpers, givers ourselves, let us not disappoint our God by refusing such happy service. Our blessed God desires His children to be ripened, complete, weaned.
(The Christian Shepherd - February - 2016)

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even
those who by reason of use have their senses exercised 
to discern both good and evil.”  (Hebrews 5:14

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April 14

“And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all and thy house shall be saved.”
(Acts 11:13-14)

“He shall speak to thee.”

And when Peter relates the tale in Jerusalem, he says that the angel had said to Cornelius,
“Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”

Mark that now! What God bids Cornelius do, is to listen to "words,  whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”

Many souls think that if they are to be saved, it is by some kind of works; but, when God opens the way to the Gentiles, He precludes the thought of works, as he says to this anxious man, Send for my messenger, who shall "tell thee words.” No man was ever yet saved by his own work: and no man was ever saved without believing words—the words of God.

In speaking of being saved, I am using the word as Scripture uses it.  By being saved, I mean, a man not only knowing that he is set free from his sins, and that he is pardoned, but that he is brought to God,—that he is united to a living triumphant Saviour, who died on the cross for him, and is ascended and accepted for him, and who has sent down the Holy Ghost to make his emancipation know to him. 
(W.T.P. Wolston)

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April 15

“I AM THAT I AM.”
(Exodus 3:14)

"God is His own equivalent, and God needs nothing but Himself to achieve the great purposes on which He has set His heart."
(Joshua 23:14)

Joshua had tried God forty years in the brick kilns, forty years in the desert, and thirty years in the promised land, and this was his dying testimony.
(D.L. Moody)

“Not one good thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you.”  (Joshua 23:14)

Whatever life may bring to you, “God" will ring true to you:
Star in your sky—food in your store—Staff in your hand—Friend by your side—Light on your path—
Joy in your heart—In your ears music—In your mouth songs.

Yes, rapid as your race may run, 
And scorching as may shine your sun,
And bitter as may blow your blast,
And lonely as your lot be cast—
Whatever life may bring to you,
“God” will aye ring true to you.
(Charles Herbert)

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April 16

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:14)

The athletic example Paul uses has no age, or gender associated with it.
The only prerequisite is to know, love and obey the Lord Jesus. 

In the youthful spring of our lives we press on with enthusiasm and energy,
in the middle age summer of our lives it’s with patience
and wisdom gained through experience, and in the 
older fall of our lives we press on with 
quietness and determination.

The devil’s plan is to discourage us in every season,
but the Bible says press on!
(Charles Tempest)

This world is not my home, I’m just passing through;
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
(A.E. Brumley)

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April 17

“Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love . . . Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4:7-19) 

A deeply blessed, and most practical lesson may be learned from this grand central truth. 
In the days of our regeneration, when “born of the Spirit,” a new life is
implanted in the soul, which finds its rest alone in Jesus. 

Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”  This is the rest of God, and of our new life.
Above the world, above the clouds, above the storms, above the 
heavens, it rests on the bosom of the beloved.

Then, why is it that so many true Christians are strangers to solid peace and rest, not
to speak of joy and love?  Simply because Christ Himself is not the one object 
before the mind and the heart; and in all their ways, 
both human and divine.

The uneasiness, the restlessness, the disquietude of true Christians is to be accounted for
on this ground alone.  The moment Christ gets His right place in the heart, everything  
else, consequently, drops into its own right place according to divine order.       

But if anything be allowed to come between the heart and Christ, the Holy Spirit is grieved, the soul
is darkened, weakness and confusion follow, and the whole moral being gets out of order. 
(Andrew Miller)

“Jesus! Thou art enough the mind and heart to fill;
Thy life—to calm the anxious soul; Thy love—its fears dispel.

O fix our earnest gaze, so wholly Lord on Thee,
That with Thy beauty occupied, we elsewhere none may see.

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April 18

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness 
and peace have kissed each other.”
(Psalm 85:10)

Thus it is that the soul of the believing sinner finds peace.
He sees that God’s righteousness and his justification rest upon 
precisely the same basis, namely, Christ’s accomplished work. 

When man, under the powerful action of the truth of God, takes his place as a sinner,
God can, in the exercise of grace, take his place as a Saviour, and then every question is settled, 
for the cross having answered all the claims of divine justice, mercy’s copious streams can flow unhindered. 

When a righteous God and a ruined sinner meet on a blood-sprinkled platform, all is settled forever—
settled in such a way as perfectly glorifies God, and eternally saves the sinner.

God must be true, though every man be proved a liar; and when man is so thoroughly 
brought down to the lowest point of his own moral condition before God as to be 
willing to take the place which God’s truth assigns him, he then learns that 
God has revealed Himself as the righteous Justifier of such an one.

This must give settled peace to the conscience; and not only so, but impart a capacity to 
commune with God, and hearken to His holy precepts, in the intelligence of 
that relationship into which divine grace has introduced us.
(C.H. Macintosh)

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April 19

“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,
He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your
mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
(Romans 8:11)  

Paul’s life was that he drew continually in his body from the strength of Christ.

“The body which rose from Joseph’s tomb was to him a physical reality and 
the inexhaustible fountain of his vital forces.

The Lord is for the body and the body is for the Lord.
Marvellous truth!  Divine Elixir (ointment) of life and fountain of perpetual youth.
Earnest of the resurrection!
Fulfillment of the ancient Psalms and songs of faith.

The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom (or what thing) shall I be afraid? 
My flesh and my heart faint and fail but God is the strength of my heart   
and my portion forever.  Have we learned this secret, and are we 
living the life of the Incarnate One in our flesh?”
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

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April 20

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.”
(John 5:39) 

Since language is the incarnation of thought, 
we can get to know the mind of God only through the words of God.

There are, however, depths of meaning in these words which only Spirit- anointed eyes can see; and we are now to think of the means by which we pass from the mere literary element in the Bible to its profoundly spiritual content; how, with reverent feet, we may enter into that innermost shrine where God ever causes fresh light to break from His holy Word.

The steps that lead us to that sacred spot, the
things that ensure these unveilings, 
are four in number.  
We must:
Pray - Search the Scriptures - Meditate - Obey
(The Wonderful Word  - G. Henderson)

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April 21

“And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace
and truth came by Jesus Christ”
(John 1:16-17)

“Jonah” means “a dove.”
A dove is the symbol of peace: and the Book of Jonah is in reality an offer of peace from the Lord Himself.
It is not an offer of peace to the people of Nineveh only, but to others as well.
The name "Amittai” (the father of Jonah), means “Truth.”

May it not be, that in these two names, we have told out the same precious 
message of John 1:17, “Grace and Truth  came by Jesus Christ”? 

Truth is the light that shows our sins.
Grace provides the means to cover our sins.  How clearly we see 
these two sides of God’s character shown out in the little book of Jonah!

God is a God of truth, and He must have all our paths brought into the light of His truth;
but where can we find a brighter example of the grace of God 
that is ever ready to pardon and forgive?

We must ever remember that Jonah is truly a type of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and how beautifully do these two names illustrate this!
(Lessons From Jonah the Prophet - G.C. Willis)

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April 22

ALWAYS AVAILABLE

“That ye, always having all sufficiency in all things.”
(2 Corinthians 9:8)

When Webb Peploe was at the height of his power as a preacher, his little daughter died; 
and the great man was so passionately fond of the wee lass that the bereavement 
completely upset him, and he feared that he would have to give up his work.

One day in his study he prayed in an agony of spirit:
“Lord, make Thy grace sufficient for this dreadful hour”; and as he prayed, 
he opened his eyes and, looking at the wall before him, beheld the answer to his prayer.

For there in letters of gold were the words: 
My grace is sufficient for thee”—the word “is” standing out from 
the others as if doubly to assure him of heaven’s care for him in his hour of sorrow.

He rose from his knees a changed man, 
and went back to his work with increased power.
(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care - George Henderson)

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April 23

"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid His face from you, 
that He will not hear.”
(Isaiah 59:2)

When calamity strikes a person, his first reaction is to pray.
It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes.

When circumstances overwhelm us we call out to God.
And yet the scriptures say that unless one is saved and has his sins forgiven,
the heavens will be brass to his prayers.

Repent.  
Confess your sins.  
Trust Christ for salvation.

He died and paid the penalty of your sins.
God will forgive and then the ear of heaven will be open to your prayers.
(Donald L. Norbie)

That rich atoning blood, which sprinkled ‘round we see,
Provides for those who come to God, an all prevailing plea.
(John Newton)

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April 24

GETTING USED TO THE DARK

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them.”
(Ephesians 5:11)

A friend of mine took me to a restaurant where they must have loved darkness rather than light.  I stumbled into the dimly-lit cavern, fumbled for a chair, and mumbled that I needed a flashlight in order to read the menu.

When the food came I ate it by faith and not by sight.  Gradually, however, I began to make out objects a little more clearly.  My host said, “Funny, isn’t it, how we get used to the dark?”  “Thank you,”I replied, “You have given me a new sermon subject.”

We are living in the dark.  The closing chapter of this age is dominated by the prince and powers of darkness.  Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.  The night is far spent; the blackness is more extensive and more excessive as it deepens just before the dawn. 

Lot was a righteous man, but he moved into Sodom, lived in it, probably became its mayor.  His soul was vexed from day to day with the Sodomites’ unlawful deeds, but he lost his influence with his family and had to flee for his life.  He died in disgrace.

I have met many Lots in the past few years! “. . .  as it was in the days of Lot; . . .  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (LUKE 17:28-30). 

Modern Lots tell us that we should hobnob with Sodom and get chummy with Gomorrah in order to convert them.  But the end does not justify the means.  Such people do not turn the light on in Sodomthey merely get used to the dark.
(Vance Havner)

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April 25

“It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Our path through the desert is strewed with countless mercies, 
and yet let but a cloud, the size of a man’s hand, appear
on the horizon, and we at once forget the rich mercies of the 
past, in view of this single cloud, which, after all,
may only “break in blessings on our head.”

Nothing is more dishonouring to God than the manifestation of a 
complaining spirit on the part of those that belong to Him.

The heart that ceases to retain a thankful sense of God’s goodness,
will speedily become “dark.”
(Food for the Desert)

“Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, the clouds that you much dread,
are big with mercy and will break in blessings on your head.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
(William Cowper)

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April 26

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”
(Exodus 14:13)

These words contain God’s command to the believer where he is reduced 
to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties.
He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut
upon the right hand and on the left.
What is he now to do?

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.”
Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action. Relinquish your principles."
Precipitancy cries, “Do something; stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.”
Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it, and expect a miracle.”

"Stand still”—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, 
cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall 
say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”
(Spurgeon)

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April 27

“Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen.”
(Luke 24:5-6) 

He Is Risen

He is risen! Earth awakes and her prison house forsakes.
Hear the glad bird-voices sing—“Where, O Death, is now thy sting?”
Winds their silver trumpets blow—"He hath conquered every foe.” 
Soft the murmuring waters say—“Lo, the stone is rolled away.”
He is risen, He is risen, Christ the Lord is risen to-day.

He is risen! Heart, rejoice, Hear you not the angel's voice?
Though you wait beside the tomb, there is light within its gloom:
Grave, where is thy victory? He hath set thy captives free,
He hath robbed thee of thy prey, they with Him shall live alway.
He is risen, He is risen, Christ the Lord is risen to-day.
(Flint’s Best - Loved Poems)

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April 28

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”   (Romans 8:35,37)

More Than  Conquerors

Dr. V. Raymond Edman, past President of Wheaton College, in his book "They Found the Secret,” 
expressed the contrast so beautifully—the exchange of the new life for the old.
"It is rejoicing for weariness, radiance for dreariness, 
strength for weakness, steadiness for uncertainty, 
triumph even through tears, tenderness of heart instead of touchiness, 
lowliness of spirit instead of self- exaltation, and loveliness of life because of the 
presence of the altogether Lovely One! Out of striving and struggling, out of discouragement and defeat…
we enter into the realization of life more abundant, drawing upon the all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."

How beautifully the hymn "Himself" by A. B. Simpson, expresses this exchanged life. 
I trust this will be your experience and you can sing it from a heart that has found its sufficiency in Christ. 
"Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord. Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word. Once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own. Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone. Once was painful trying, now it's perfect trust. 

Once a half salvation, now the uttermost. Once was ceaseless holding, now He holds me fast. 
Once was constant drifting, now my anchor's cast." A crisis of utter surrender finds a fountain of unfailing love in Jesus Christ.  Life will never be the same when HE IS LORD OF ALL!" 
(E.P. - Bob Lucas with thanks

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April 29

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  
(John 8:31-32)

I heard a cute little story, growing up in India.  It is the story of a little boy who had lots of pretty marbles.  But he was constantly eyeing his sister’s bagful of candy.

One day he said to her, “If you give me all your candy, I’ll give you all of my marbles.”  
She gave it much thought, and agreed to the trade.  
He took all her candy and went back to his room to get his marbles.”

But the more he admired them the more reluctant he became to give them all up.    
So he hid the best of them under his pillow and took the rest to her.

That night, she slept soundly, while he tossed and turned restlessly, unable to sleep and thinking, 
“I wonder if she gave me all the candy?”

I have often wondered, when I see our angry culture claiming that God has not given us enough evidence, if it is not the veiled restlessness of lives that live in doubt because of their own duplicity.

The battle in our time is posed as one of the intellect, in the assertion that truth is unknowable.  
But that may be only a veneer for the real battle, that of the heart, 
which even now the risen Christ pursues.
(From the writings of Ravi Zacharias)

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April 30

“Not as though I have already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended for Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:12 

In 1856, Charles Spurgeon, the great London preacher, founded the Pastors’ College in 1923.
Today’s college crest shows a hand grasping a cross and the Latin words, 
Et Teneo Et Teneor, which means, I hold and am held.

In his autobiography, Spurgeon wrote, “This is our College motto . . . hold forth the Cross of 
Christ with a bold hand because that Cross holds us fast by its attractive power.  
Our desire is that every man may both hold the Truth, and
be held by it; especially the truth of Christ crucified. 

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he expressed this truth as the bedrock of his life.
"Not that I have . . . already [arrived] . . . but I press toward the mark for the 
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (PHILIPPIANS 3:12).

As followers of Jesus, we extend the message of the cross to others as Jesus holds us 
fast in His grace and power.

“I am crucified with Christ: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (GALATIANS 2:20).

Our Lord holds us in His grip of love each day—and we hold His message of love to others.
(DAVID MCCASLAND)

“Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2016), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted pwemission.”
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