Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5230 posted here) sent daily for 17 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Gems from August 2017


THE DAY OF TROUBLE

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

It has been said that man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. (Job 5:7)  So that we may be quite sure a text such as this appeals to a great many.

It presents to us four points, each of which is worthy of consideration.

They are—first, “The day of trouble.”
Secondly, what we are to do in it: “Call upon Me.”
Next, what God will do in answer to our call: “I will deliver thee.”
Lastly, the end God has in view: “Thou shalt glorify Me.”
(Angels in White - Russell Elliott)

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August 1

“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”
(John 14:21)

Neither you nor I were ever caught by Satan and tripped up, we never made a mistake in our history, that it was not the direct results of neglect of some part of the Word of God.

The Lord answered and defeated Satan in the wilderness as the result of having lived by the Word of God. When we have been beaten by Satan, it was because we had not obeyed the Word of the Lord, to go by.

I believe there is in the Word, divine guidance for your soul and mine, for every step of our history from first to last. 

There are principles to be found in it that would guide us at all times, if we were only subject to it.
(W. T. P. Wolston)

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August 2

“Where there is no vision, the people perish" [cast off restraint - JND]   (Proverbs 29:18)

When the modern man would be putting on his slippers, in retirement to sleep himself to death, Abraham put on his seven-league sandals and strode away from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan.

At eighty, Moses (with Aaron at eighty-three) defied Pharaoh and delivered Israel so that they were redeemed from bondage.

Joshua at eighty-five concluded his military conquest.

And at seventy, Paul pressed toward the mark so that in his majestic final song he could sing, 
I have fought . . . finished… kept,” and then add with rejoicing, “henceforth there is laid up.”

I have all that is stored up for me around their personalities and performances to inspire and enrich my endeavour.

Is that dwelling on the past?
Then let me dream of the future as the
saintly seer of Patmos who saw over a stretch 
of two centuries the Holy city—the new land and life.

The only way to remain young is to grow old gracefully.
Each age has something beautiful in it.
Don’t fight the fact that you are getting old—use it.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

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August 3

“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
(John 1:29)

BEHOLD YOUR SAVIOUR COME!"

We often hear these days the question, “What is the world coming to?”  It is an interesting subject and most of the discussion relieves the speakers but not the situation.

The chief theme of the Gospel is not what the world is coning to but rather the One who has come to the world.

It is also very popular now to behold the sin of the world.  There never was more of it and it never was more evident.  But John the Baptist was pointing out the cure for sin, the Lamb who came to take it away.

Of course, there is a very real sense in which men need to see their sin and themselves to be sinners. There has not been enough preaching on sin with that in view.
But the Gospel is Good News that the problem of our sin
finds its answer in the person of God’s Son.

He has been made sin—not a sinner or sinful, but sin—for us, though He knew no sin,
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  

Let us not be so taken up with beholding the sin of the world that we do not behold Him who came to take it away.
(Day by Day - Vance Havner)

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August 4

“I am the Lord, I change not.”
 (Malachi 3:6)

What peace it brings to the Christian’s heart to realize that our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself.  In coming to Him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to to love and faith.

He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything.  Today, this moment, He feels toward His creatures, toward babies, toward the sick, the fallen, the sinful, exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind. 

God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm. His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when He drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth His hands and cried,
Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  

God will not compromise and He need not be coaxed.  He cannot be persuaded to alter 
His Word nor talked into answering selfish prayer.  In all our efforts to find God, to please Him, 
to commune with Him, we should remember that all change must be on our part.

I am the Lord, I change not.”
We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring
our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite 
power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner 
set forth through the gospel in the Scriptures of truth.
(A. W. Tozer)

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August 5

“Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them,
as Thou hast loved Me.”
(John 17:23)

Just suppose somebody stood up and declared this without Scriptural authority.
It would be too much to take in!

That the world may know that Thou hast sent me, 
and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.”

Is that really true?
Does God the Father love me as much as He loves Jesus Christ?
Do you believe it, my sister?  Does He love you, my brother, as much as He loves Jesus Christ?

What an amazing truth this is!
I can understand that because He loves His Son He will take me 
into favour and give me a measure of affection because I believe in His Son.

But here I find there is no difference between the love the Father has for His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love He has for His children of faith in Jesus Christ.
(H. A. Ironside

So near, so very near to God, nearer I could not be; 
For in the person of His Son, I am as near as He.

So dear, so very dear to God, dearer I could not be;
The love wherewith He loved His Son, such is His love to me.
(C. Paget)

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August 6


Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”
(Joshua 24:15)

As Joshua was nearing the end of his life, he gathered the children of Israel together at Shechem.
And there, from the lips of a man who was close to death, came an appeal
that throughout the centuries has moved the hearts of many.

Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”.

This challenge, viewed in the light of the New Testament, 
suggests three outstanding lessons in regard to our salvation.

First, we must make a choice between God and the devil.
To refuse Christ leaves us automatically on the devil’s side.  

Jesus said, "He that is not with Me is against Me; 
and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30).  

Second, this choice is a personal matter.  Joshua said, 
”Choose for your selves . . . whom you will serve.”  Through faith 
in Jesus Christ, we can be born again and made a child of God.  
But we must do the believing for ourselves. 

Third, there is an urgency in this charge. "Choose for yourselves this day.” 
not next month, not a week from today, not tomorrow, but this day

Have you made that all-important choice?
Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your 
Saviour?  If not, do so right now!  Remember, the choice is yours.

Salvation is available for everyone to choose;  
But if we do not take it now, that choice we just might lose.
(Selected)

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August 7

“David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy advice,
and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day.”
(1 Samuel 25:32-33)

"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart:
so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”
(Proverbs 27:9)

I want to give good measure running over,
And into angry hearts I want to pour
The answer soft that turneth wrath away,
Because I shall not pass again this way.

I want to give the oil of joy for tears,
The faith to conquer cruel doubts and fears;
Beauty for ashes may I give always—
Because I shall not pass again this way.
(Anon)

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August 8

“Oh, how I love Thy law!  It is my meditation all the day.”
(Psalm 119: 97)

It is well to meditate upon the things of God—because it is only by pondering the Scriptures, that we get the real nutriment out of them.  A man who hears many sermons—is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith.

We may read so many religious books that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and of printer’s ink. 

The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then meditates much upon it - will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and does not meditate at all!

Oh, that we might get into the very heart of the Word of God—   and get that Word into ourselves!

As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts.

It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon scripture models—and, what is better still, your spirit is redolent with the words of the Lord!

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.”
(Jeremiah 15:16)
(Charles Spurgeon)

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August 9

"And the priests . . . and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.”
(Joshua 3:17)

After 40 years in the wilderness the people arrived at the Jordan in flood season.
Could there have been a worse time to cross?

The Lord told them to wait by the banks for three days—
perhaps to assess the situation and to unanimously 
agree that crossing was humanly impossible.

Are you facing an impossible situation?
Perhaps, as with the Israelites, the God of the 
impossible is now ready to “do wonders among you.”
(M. MacMullen)

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible;
And does the things that others cannot do.
(Oscar C. Eliason)

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August 10

“And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.”
(Genesis 47:12)

“And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.”
(Genesis 47:25)

But not only were people saved by Joseph, but they prospered under Joseph. This we see set forth in the history of Israel and his sons.

The Lord Jesus does a great deal more for His people than save them from the world’s famine.

He brings us into a good land, a heavenly country, and blesses us with spiritual blessings, and as we enter into those spiritual blessings we shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Hamilton Smith)

Trembling, we had hoped for mercy—some lone place within His door;
But the crown, the throne, the mansion, all were ready long before.

And in past and distant ages, in those courts so bright and fair,
Ere we were, was He rejoicing, all He won with us to share.
(Mrs. Bevan)

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August 11

“Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth:
unite my heart to fear Thy name.”
(Psalm 86:11)

If we are honest, the little book of Jonah hits most of us very hard indeed, but what comfort it may bring to our wounded souls to remember that Jonah’s God is our God.

We have to confess that the same patience, grace and mercy that followed Jonah from start to finish has also followed us from the start, and we doubt not that it will continue with us to the end. 

May He deliver us from our disobedience and self-will, from our sulks and from our tempers! May He form and fashion us like unto Himself, and give us a true estimate of the real value of gourds and souls of men; and make us vessels, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use!
(G. Christopher Willis)

O teach us more of Thy blest ways, Thou holy Lamb of God!
And fix and root us in Thy grace, as those redeemed by blood.

O tell us often of Thy love, of all Thy grief and pain;
And let our hearts with joy confess that thence comes all our gain.

For this, O may we freely count what’er we have but loss;
The dearest object of our love, compared with thee, but dross.

Engrave this deeply on our hearts with an eternal pen,
That we may, in some small degree, return Thy love again.
(Hutton)

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August 12

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15)

“Turn Thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; 
renew our days as of old." 
(Lamentation 5:21)

At the foot of a cliff under the windows of the Castle at Miramar, at a depth of eighty feet below the surface of the clear waters of the Adriatic, is a a cage fashioned by divers in the face of the rock.

In that cage are some of the most magnificent pearls  in existence.
They belong to the Archduchess Rainer. The gems had become “sick” and had been losing their colour; and experts were unanimous in declaring that the only way to restore their original brilliancy was to submit them to a prolonged immersion in the depths of the sea.

They lay there for a number of years; and, when I last read of them, they were gradually regaining their former unrivalled oriency. Which things are a parable.

Although the children of God are not of the world, they are in the world; and the constant tendency of the influences, by which they are surrounded there, is to make them loose touch with the Unseen and Eternal. 

The consequence is that the fine gold is apt to become dimmed; and the Christian life, to be robbed of its fragrance and bloom.  To counteract this tendency is one of the supreme purposes of the devotional reading of the Bible.  That sacred exercise is as necessary to the well-being of the soul, as is the daily supply of water and nutriment to the plant or the flower.
(The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

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August 13

The Greatest Blessing

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again 
unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter1:3)

Day after day He showers us with blessings, night after night His bounty overflows. Joy unto joy His boundless love is adding, Gift unto gift His faithfulness bestows.

Behind us all the past with good is studded, star-points of light in memory’s darkening skies, And faring onward to the unknown future, before us still new constellations rise.

But when the sun springs forth in radiant splendour and floods the world with glory and with light, How swift the shadows flee! How melts the darkness! How pale the stars that seemed so fair and bright!

So when we let Him in—the Life Abundant—fling wide the doors and drop the hindering bars, He comes, the Giver, all His gifts transcending, as doth the sun the rushlights of the stars.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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August 14

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:9)

Too often, alas! we have to be occupied with our failures and infirmities.
If ever the workings of indwelling sin be suffered to rise to the 
surface, we must deal with God about them,
for He cannot go on with sin.

He can forgive it, and cleanse us from it—
He can restore our souls by the gracious ministry of our great 
High Priest—but He cannot go on in company with a single sinful thought.

A light or foolish thought, as well as an unclean or covetous one,  is 
amply sufficient to mar a Christian’s communion, and interrupt his worship.
(Food for the Desert)

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August 15

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able 
to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
(Ephesians 6:11)

The devil is transformed into an angel of light, and he seeks to deceive us.
Here we read of the wiles of the devil.  The word, “wile,” is the very one from which we get the  English word “method,” but it implies a subtle method or craftiness. 

He is an old campaigner; he has been at the business of deceiving men and women for at least six millenniums, and he knows exactly how to approach every individual soul as he comes with his crafty method.

We are to stand against the wiles of the devil, recognizing this, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  We have no quarrel with men, no fight with our fellow-beings, we are not wrestling with flesh and blood but against principalities, and powers.  These are the principalities of fallen
angels who are marshalled under the skull and cross-bones banner of the devil himself.

Against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  

It might be translated, “Against the world-rulers of this darkness.”  Who are the world rulers of this darkness?  They are the great evil powers, evil angels, who are seeking to control the hearts of those in authoritative positions in the world, to hinder men and women from subjecting themselves to the truth of God.
(H. A. Ironside)

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August 16

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth 
take heed lest he fall.”
(1 Corinthians 10:12)

We have been saved as far as deliverance from the guilt of our sin is concerned, but we are now to be saved practically by conformity to Christ and subjection to the Word of God, that thus we may be fitted in the fullest possible sense for fellowship with Him.

May God give us to be on our guard, to remember
that we cannot put the sword out of our hand,
that we cannot rest upon past victories 
as long as we are in this scene.

And yet there is no reason for discouragement because,
as our faith and trust is centred in Christ,
we may know that

“Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
(1 John 4:4)
(Selected)

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August 17

"Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out!”  
(Song of Solomon 4:16)

Look at the meaning of this prayer a moment. Its root is found in the fact that, as delicious odours may lie latent in a spice tree, so graces may lie unexercised and undeveloped in a Christian’s heart.

There is many a plant of profession; but from the ground there breathes forth no fragrance of holy affections or of godly deeds.  The same winds blow on the thistle bush and on the spice tree, but it is only one of them which gives out rich odours.

Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity.

Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loveth to smell.
(Streams in the Desert)

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August 18

August 19

August 20

August 21

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