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The Form of Sound Words - 2 Tim. 1:13

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Gems

Bible Gems from the past 2 years (courtesy of N.J. Hiebert)
Sent daily via email and posted online periodically.
May be requested by contacting njhiebert@sprint.ca
 
This web page includes last year's Gems from 
July through December 2004 with more
recent Gems located at new web site 
 
This web page also contains archived Gems from 
April through December 2003 listed below -- 
please scroll down past "December" to read them.
 
May we value the Word as in Deuteronomy 29:29 &  Psalm 138:2

July 21

 

"Therefore we labour (make it our aim)... that we may be accepted (well pleasing to) of HIM." (2 Corinthians 5:9)

 

    A brilliant young concert pianist was performing for the first time in public.  The audience sat enthralled as beautiful music flowed from his disciplined fingers.  The people could hardly take their eyes off this young virtuoso.  As the final note faded, the audience burst into applause.  Everyone was standing - except one old man up front.  The pianist walked off the stage crestfallen.  The stage manager praised the performance, but the young man said, "I was no good, it was a failure."  The manager replied, "Look out there, everyone is on his feet except one old man!"  "Yes," said the youth dejectedly, "but that one old man is my teacher."

    Do we have the same desire for God's approval as that pianist had for his teacher's praise?  Our Lord's approving smile is what really matters.  But what is it that delights His heart?  First, there is faith (Hebrews 11:6).  Then, there are two special sacrifices: "the sacrifice of praise," and remembering "to do good and to communicate (share)" (Hebrews 13:15,16).  Such sacrifices please God.

    Let's make it our goal as we enter each day to please the heavenly Father as Jesus did (John 8:29).  Whether we work in the limelight or labor unnoticed behind the scenes, when we do our task with faith, diligence, thankfulness, and caring, God is pleased.  But more wonderful still, He helps us by "Working in you that which is well pleasing in HIS sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:21)(D.J.D.)

 

Just live your life before your Lord,

Rise to that higher, nobler plane -

With single eye His glory seek,

And you shall His approval gain.  (Rae)

 

When you do what you please, does what you do please God?  

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1952]

"OUR DAILY BREAD, RBC MINISTRIES, COPYRIGHT (1988). GRAND RAPIDS, MI. REPRINTED PERMISSION

 

July 22

 

"The Lord hath need of him."  (Luke 19:31)

 

What an incredible gracious statement by the Creator God that He needed that young colt!  In Psalm 50, He declares, "I am God... if I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof." To think that so great a God would say He needed anything, much less a little donkey for active duty, is amazing.  It is also encouraging!  No matter what our ability or inability, the Lord chooses to "need" us in His active service.  Don't be ashamed of what little you might have.  The Lord has need of it, and that is enough.  What a privilege!  (D.Logan)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1953]

 

July 23

 

"Not by might, nor by power, but My Spirit, saith the Lord."  (Zechariah 4:6) 

 

Zerubbabel knew days of great discouragement.  The work of rebuilding the temple had come to a complete standstill.  Zechariah's words came with perfect timing.  The Lord's work is not done through human effort, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Like Zerubbabel, we can think that our efforts will bring things to pass.  Consequently, we become very frustrated when things do not happen as we supposed they might.  At such times we need to humble ourselves, wait on the Lord, and seek the power of His Spirit.  Then and only then will the work be done for His glory.  (W.H. Burnett)

 

Not to the strong is the battle, nor to the swift is the race,

But to the true and the faithful, victory is promised through grace.

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1954]

 

July 24

 

"He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." (Isaiah 50:4)

"Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth."  (1 Samuel 3:9) 

 

Dave was reading his Bible while riding the rapid transit to work.  Someone must have noticed.  When the train reached Dave's stop, a group gathered to exit.  Just as the door opened, a stranger leaned over and asked, "Did He speak to you this morning?"  Receiving an affirmative reply, the stranger disappeared in the crowd.  Did He speak to you this morning?  He can't if you don't give Him a chance.  (William MacDonald)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1955]

 

July 25

 

"Look from the top."  (Song of Solomon 4:8)

 

This is a splendid word for a busy day with its crush of work of all sorts.  If we get caught in the crush and pushed down, so to speak, the next thing we know is that we are groveling in the dust.  Things are on the top of us, we are not on the top of anything.  So the word comes, "Look from the top".  Come with Me from all that, come up the mountain with Me, "look from the top".  In every-day life this simply means, look from everything up to the Lord Jesus, Who is our Peace, our Victory and our Joy, for we are where we look.  From below, things feel impossible, people seem impossible (some people at least), and we ourselves feel most impossible of all.  From the top we see as our Lord sees; He sees not what is only, but what shall be.  He is not discouraged, and as we look with Him, our discouragement vanishes, and we can sing a new song.  (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)  

 

But when from mountain top,

My Lord, I look with Thee,

My cares and burdens drop

Like pebbles in the sea.

The air is clear,

I fear no fear,

In this far view

All things are new.

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1956]

 

July 26

 

"The high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.  Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall."  (Acts 23:2,3)

 

Brought before the Council, the apostle begins by declaring his innocence.  "And the high priest Ananias, commanded them that stood by to smite him on the mouth."  This undoubtedly was violence; yet produced not by testimony borne to Christ, but by self-justification.  Paul replies with an insult, calling the high priest a "whited wall."  He had merited this, it is true; but such an answer did not display the meekness of Christ.  Being reproved, Paul owns his fault; but his defense tells us of the absence of the power and of the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  "I knew not," is not what the Holy Spirit would say.  All is true; but we do not find the energy of the Spirit of God.  Moreover, he is not now merely a Jew and a Roman, but also a Pharisee.  Such a title he counts no longer dross and dung, it has become once more a gain.  (JND - Meditations on the Acts of the Apostles)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1957]

 

July 27

 

"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16) 

 

We are familiar with the poem about the High Road and the Low.  There is a third thoroughfare, the misty flats where the rest drift to and fro.  They know neither height not depth, they are neither cold not hot.  They are proud of their moderatism, which does not mean moderation; they know neither victory nor defeat.  Life's greatest experiences do not come on the misty flats but on the heights, where we mount up as eagles, or the depths of adversity, where we walk and faint not, where stone walls do not a prison make not iron bars a cage.  (Vance Havner - All the Days)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1958]

 

July 28

 

"A certain woman... had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment...and straightway... she was healed." (Mark 5:25-29) 

 

When the Holy Spirit takes a soul in hand, He teaches effectually.  He uncovers the filthy rags of self-righteousness, exposes the rotten patches of self-reformation, and gives us a true knowledge of our state before God.  He is the Spirit of Truth.  He convinces of sin.  He lays bare the heart by so applying the written word as to show its desperate wickedness in the light of God's holy presence.  He fastens upon the conscience the vile workings, unclean thoughts, desires, and intents of the heart. 

                                                  "He never leads a man to say,

Thank God, I'm made so good;

But turns his eye another way -

To Jesus and His blood." 

                                                     (H.H. Snell -Steams of Refreshing)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1959]

 

July 29

 

"That in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death." (Philippians 1:20)

 

False humility is pride in disguise.  True humility can take the low place or any place as long as Christ is glorified.  (Michel Payette - Le Lien Fraternal - Meditation 97)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1960]

 

July 30

 

"He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love." (1 John 4:8)

 

"God is love."  What does this mean?  God sent His only-begotten Son that we might have life in Him.  We still carry about the old nature; but, blessed be God, many a time as Satan has caught me, he has never destroyed me; there is the propitiation (mercy), - I am inside, sheltered by the blood, and forgiven."  (G.V.Wigram)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1961]

 

July 31

 

"I ... sat chief, and dwelt as a king ...  (Job 29:25)

"But now they that are younger than I have me in derision." (Job 30:1)

 

Thus it ever is in this poor, false, and deceitful world.  All must, sooner or later, find out the hollowness of the world, the fickleness of those who are ready to cry out " 

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1962]

 

August 1

 

"What concord hath Christ with Belial?..."  (2 Corinthians 6:15)

 

God will be God, however His people may fail; and hence we see that when Israel had utterly failed to guard the ark of His testimony, and allowed it to pass into the hands of the Philistines, - when all was lost in man's hand, - then the glory of God shone out in power and splendour:  Dagon fell, and the whole land of the Philistines was made to tremble beneath the hand of Jehovah.  His presence was intolerable to them, and they sought to get rid of it as soon as possible.  It was proved beyond all question to be utterly impossible that Jehovah and the uncircumcised could go on together.  Thus it was, thus it is, and thus it ever must be.  (C.H. Mackintosh)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1963]

 

August 2

 

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (mark the mighty moral force of this appeal) "that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

 

Now the question is, How was this most blessed result to be reached?  Was it by each one exercising the right of private judgment?  Alas! it was this very thing that gave birth to all the division and contention in the assembly at Corinth, and drew forth the sharp rebuke of the Holy Spirit.  Those poor Corinthians thought they had a right to think and judge and choose for themselves, and what was the result?  "It hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.  Now I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.  Is Christ divided?" (1 Corinthians 1:11-13)  (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - March 1962)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1964]

 

August 3

 

"And it (Manna) was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey." ( Exodus 16:31)  "And the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil." (Numbers 11:8)

 

    What was it that preceded this change in the taste of the manna in Numbers 11?  "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." (Numbers 11:5)  Was it not a dangerous retrospect?  We cannot be thus engaged, even for a moment, unless self-judgement is promptly exercised, without suffering from it.  It should be ever "forgetting those things which are behind." (Philippians 3:13)  If we allow our desires to go back to the domains of our old taskmaster, we too shall be led to imagine that the food we there sought after was eaten "freely," being blinded to the recollection of the vexation of spirit and cruel bondage that the prince of that land laid upon us, while we earned it.

    Let us not tarry at such an occupation, or we shall loathe the manna.  "The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety,"  and "we are not ignorant of his devices."  Lot's wife only "looked back."  We are on slippery places, while our eyes look not right on, with our eyelids straight before us, unto Jesus, who is in the glory.  (Selected)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1965]

 

August 4

 

"That disciple whom Jesus loved." (John 13:26)

 

    If I look at a brother whose way savours much of that which I know Jesus must delight in, being meek, and self-renouncing, and unaffectedly humble, and withal devoted and unworldly, I may remember John, and see that disciple whom Jesus loved reflected in my brother.  But then how happy it is to remember that John himself was but one of a company whom the same Jesus had chosen and called, and bound to Himself forever!  Did John exclude Thomas or Bartholomew?  Thomas and Bartholomew, in the great evangelical sense, were as much to Christ as John.  The one was not a whit more accepted man than the other.

    This is sure and blessed, as well as plain and simple.  I may rejoice in it with all certainty.  And if I have any love to Him who has called me to such assured and eternal blessedness, will I not rejoice in this, that He has an object in which He can take more delight than I must well know I and my way can afford Him?  (J.G. Bellett)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1966]

 

August 5

 

"...On the absence of the multitude."  (Luke 22:6)

"Not on the feast day..." (Matthew 26:5)

 

Human plans and divine order seldom harmonize (Isaiah 55:7-9).  But it is always God's plan which triumphs.  Despite the intentions of both Judas and the rulers, the sacrifice of the Lamb of God did coincide with the Passover.  In His fulfillment of the prophecies and types established on that Passover night in Egypt, the eternal counsels of God were performed (Acts 2:23).  Are we sensitive to His guidance in our lives - and do we submit to it?  (Choice Gleanings)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1967]

 

August 6

 

"The merciful man doth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh."  (Proverbs 11:17)


 

    One night in 1935, Fiorello H. La Guardia, mayor of New York, showed up at a night court in the poorest ward of the city.  He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench.  One case involved an elderly woman who was caught stealing bread to feed her grandchildren.  La Guardia said, "I've got to punish you.  Ten dollars or ten days in jail."

    As he spoke, he threw $10 into his hat.  He then fined everyone in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city "where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat."  The hat was passed around and the woman left the courtroom with her fine paid and an additional $47.50.

    That woman, like the servant in Jesus' parable, certainly had reason to show mercy to others.  Showing mercy because we have received it is what Christ was teaching in Matthew 18.  The servant whose enormous debt was cancelled showed no mercy to one who owed him a small amount.  When the master heard about it, he had the heartless man arrested and punished.

    Receiving God's mercy obliges us to show mercy to others.  If we refuse, we may be giving evidence that we don't understand what Christ has done for us.  People who have received mercy should become merciful people.  (H.V.L.) 

 

There's a wideness in God's mercy

Like the wideness of the sea;

There's a kindness in His justice,

Which is more than liberty.  - Faber

 

WE CAN STOP SHOWING MERCY TO OTHERS WHEN CHRIST STOPS SHOWING MERCY TO US.

 

"Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1991, Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission."

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1968]

 

August 7

 

"He that watereth, shall be watered also himself" (Proverbs 2:25).  "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.  He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37,38).

 

    A little boy five years of age said to his teacher, as they went to walk one day.  "Tell me a story."  As this was his daily request, the teacher said to him, "How can you expect me to have so many stories to tell you?  You know, no matter how full a pitcher may be, if you are always drinking from it, it will be empty at last."

    The little boy understood her meaning very well, and quickly replied, "Oh, but you should put the pitcher under a spout." 

    May we not all take a lesson from the little boy, and remember that no human vessel can ever be a fountain in itself; the best filled vessel will become exhausted unless it is constantly refreshed from the Word of God.  If we cannot, in the first instance, teach the love of God in Christ, without having tasted ourselves, and seen that Christ is precious; no more can we be the means of instructing and refreshing others without daily drinking at the fountain of eternal love, and constant study of the Word of God. (TCN - Number 72)

 

[N.J. Hiebert #1969]

 

August 8

 

"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10) 

 

"Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in our English Bible.  In the original Greek it has three words and 16 letters....  "Rejoice evermore"  has two words and 14 letters, so it is the shortest....  It is remarkable that these two shortest verses should give us the picture of the sympathy of the heart of Christ in fellowship with all our sorrows, and give us the key to a triumphant Christian life.  Rejoicing always and in all circumstances, even while sorrowing!  Though it is the shortest verse, it never ends.  (selected)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1970]

 

August 9

 

"And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive" Acts 27:15)

    Many have listened to the world that encourages them to do things their own way - do whatever pleases them.  Ever since the garden of Eden, man has rebelled against God, spending life's journey going his own way and doing his own thing.  That is the normal course and desire of fallen man.  But when a soul is saved and has made the Lord Jesus Master (Lord) of their life, then the safe and joyful path is truly saying each day, not my will but Thine be done.

    Yet, sad to say, how many dear young believers (and older ones too!) have traveled life's journey according to their own thoughts, desires, and will.  Unexpected storms - serious difficulties, trials, pressures - will always come (God will not continue to allow a dear child of His to live happily in self will and disobedience), and the ship is caught.  The so called freedom and liberty of will is suddenly, harshly swept away - and the sad realization comes - "I'm not in control of my life anymore!".  "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6).

    What a terrible price to pay - to realize that self will has brought storms of difficulties, which cannot be controlled.  Finding that they cannot face life's storms brought on by self-will and refusal to stay in Fair Havens, believers have to give up and let her drive.  It is no longer their will that is directing events, but the will of forces out of their control - how solemn.

    This is what comes of refusal to listed to God's loving warnings.  The freedom of will that may have seemed so pleasant, so desirable, only brings a storm in which life is out of control, and all of our efforts are found unable to regain what has been lost.  Do not leave the safe harbour, the restraining influences that Christianity has exerted in Fair HavensRemain there and seek grace to submit to His perfect, loving will for your life.  (The Journey of life - Douglas Nicolet)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1971]

 

August 10

 

"When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him"  (Luke 15:20).

 

Slow are the steps of repentance, but swift are the feet of forgiveness.  God can run where we can scarcely limp, and if we are limping towards Him, He will run towards us.  These kisses were given in a hurry; the story is narrated so that there is a sense of haste in the very wording of it.  His father "ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him" - eagerly, he did not delay, for though he was out of breath he was not our of love.  Your Father's many kisses will make you forget your brother's frowns.  (C.H. Spurgeon)

 

Two things the prodigal would never understand:

Why he had fled love for the dark streets and the black wine,

Or why, when he quit the swinecote, Love ran to meet him on the road.

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1972]

 

August 11

 

"My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

 

So many burdened lives along the way! 

My load seems lighter than the most I see,

And oft I wonder if I could be brave, 

Patient and sweet if they were laid on me.

 

But God has never said that He would give 

Another's grace without another's thorn;

What matter, since for every day of mine 

Sufficient grace for me comes with the morn?

 

And though the future brings some heavier cross 

I need not cloud the present with my fears;

I know the grace that is enough today 

Will be sufficient still through all the years. 

(Annie Johnson Flint)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1973]

 

August 12

 

"My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

 

* We need God's power to be little.

* Our very helplessness is our resource.  We find that God Himself must come in because we can do nothing.  (J.N.D.)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1974]

 

August 13

 

"He would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him."  (Luke 15:16)

 

We have lost, in a great degree, the power of measuring good and evil.  Would not the young man have known it was unseemly to be feeding on the husks the swine did ear, if he had been living happily in his father's house?  (Collected Writings - Vol. 25, Expository No 4 - suggested by Walter Porter)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1975]

 

August 14

 

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)

 

What solemn words are these.  If a man sows rice, he reaps rice.  If a man sows turnips, he reaps turnips.  Day by day we are sowing - sowing what?  We are sowing thoughts, words, deeds!  What shall we reap?  What will the harvest be?

    What we sow:  "Whatever a man soweth, that very thing he shall reap."

    Where we sow:  "The one sowing unto (in the interests of) the flesh..."   "The one sowing unto (in the interests of) the Spirit..."

    How we sow:  "He which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; He which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully."  (2 Corinthians 9:6)  (G.C. Willis - Meditations on Galatians)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1976]

 

August 15

 

"And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah (Micah) the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him: for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.  And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."   (1 Kings 22:8)

 

Ahab has but one thought: to show proof of Micah's malice toward himself (v.18).  Promptly he has him sent for.  The man of God naturally kept himself apart from the four hundred prophets - a good example for the king of Judah who had joined himself to the profane king.  The very sad but necessary result of this alliance is that he follows Ahab instead of following Micah.  Such is the effect of "evil communications" upon the believer.  Never does one see the opposite effect produced, that is to say, that the world follows the example of God's children.  One has well said: "There is no equality in an alliance between truth and error, for by the very alliance itself, truth ceases to be truth and error does not become truth." (H.I. Rossier - Meditations on 1 Kings)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1977]

 

August 16

 

"... in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)

 

Are you so living to Christ that you take up all the duties that lie in your path and do what your hands find to do unto Christ?  Satan often blinds the eyes to the omnipotency of Christ, leading one to say, "I cannot expect Christ to come into such a little thing."  What!  does not Christ fill little things as well as great?  All the omnipotency and might of God is found in the heart of that risen Man.  If not, prayers could not be heard.  I get His whole attention when I speak to Him in prayer, as if there were not one more save me.  If I say that anything small cannot occupy Him, it is only pride denying His omnipotency."  (Selected)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1978]

 

August 17

 

"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24)

 

To be justified is to be declared righteous.  It is the sentence of the judge in favour of the prisoner.  It is not a state or condition of soul.  We are not justified because we have become righteous in heart and life.  God justifies first, then He enables the justified one to walk in practical righteousness.  We are justified freely.  The word means "without price!"  It is the same as in John 15:25, "They hated Me without a cause."  There was nothing evil in the ways or life of Jesus, for which men should hate Him.  They hated Him freely.  So there is no good in man for which God should justify him.  He is justified freely, without a cause, when he believes in Jesus.  (H.A. Ironside)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1979]

 

August 18

"Make us a king to judge us like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5).

    The man of the people's choice - the man who personated their carnal tastes - now appears.  Remarkably, he first comes before us in connection with (donkeys), in striking contrast with the man of Jehovah's choice, who had the care of sheep and lambs (Psalm 78:70-72).  Even the (donkeys) Saul lost, and although they were ultimately recovered, it was not he who found them (1 Samuel 9:20).  David, on the other hand, at serious risk to himself, recovered a lamb from two ferocious enemies, a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:37).  How suggestive are the lessons here!  The (donkey) is the symbol of poor, turbulent flesh, "For vain man would be wise, though man be born a wild (donkey's) colt" (Job 12:12); and the offspring of man in Israel had to be redeemed with a lamb equally with the offspring of the donkey (Exodus 13:13).  Sheep and lambs, on the contrary, are the symbols throughout the Word of God of God's own true people.  For these, Saul had neither the heart not the fitness to care.  A captain he might be; a shepherd he was not.   

    He came too of Benjamin - a tribe notorious for its stubbornness in evil (Judges 19:21), and now the smallest of Israel's tribes in consequence (1 Samuel 9:21).  His name means "asked," for he was the answer to the people's carnal demand.  He thus represents the flesh in a remarkable way; but was such a one really fitted to curb the restless evil of a revolted people?  Flesh can never put down flesh; have we learned this in our Assembly difficulties?  But that which flesh can only aggravate, the power and grace of the Holy Spirit can entirely remove.  How often the Church of God has proved this?  (W.W. Feredy - Samuel God's Emergency Man) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1980]

August 19

"Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe [not ask] are justified from all things."  (Acts 13:38,39)

    If I am continually asking a person for something that person is offering me, and I overlook the offer, is it any wonder if I miss getting what I want?  This is just what thousands of people are doing in regard to forgiveness of sins.  They think that forgiveness is to be had by asking,whereas it is to be obtained by TAKING; they think it is to be obtained by prayers and sighs and tears, or religious observances, whereas it is to be obtained by FAITH.  They plead with God about it, and do not see it is something God offers them.

    "Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in  His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem' (Luke 24:46,47).  The weary, sin-stricken soul needs to learn that God can never forgive on the ground of asking, but on the ground that Christ has once suffered for sins, and through faith in Him.  (Russell Elliott.)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 1981]

August 20

"Minister... to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:10)

    Our major highways are crawling with huge trucks, vans, and trailers.  When we feel rushed, it's easy to see them as nothing more than a hindrance to those of us traveling in smaller vehicles.  We forget that the drivers of these mighty carriers are stewards, serving you and me.  Having collected all sorts of manufactured goods needed by people everywhere, they have only one aim:  Deliver the goods.  How impoverished we would be without their service!

    The apostle Peter wrote that believers are called to be good stewards of God's vast resources.  He called these resources "the manifold grace of God."  The vehicle for receiving and delivering "God's goods" is a yielded life.  And the uniqueness of that vehicle is determined by the particular ability God has given the individual.  Once we dedicate that ability for His use and for Christ's glory, our aim should be to deliver the goods.  If we fail to do so, others will not be blessed by our lives but will be starved instead. Peter emphasized that the use of our gifts is a two-way ministry as we serve one another.  As you journey life's road, don't look at other vehicles of God's grace as a hindrance.  You could end up starving yourself and them. (JEY)

How good to be an instrument

Of grace that He can use

At any time, in any place,

However He may choose!  (Guirey)

WE CAN NEVER DO TOO MUCH FOR THE ONE WHO DID SO MUCH FOR US. 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1982]

"Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1997, Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission  

August 21

"Even there shall Thy hand lead me."  (Psalm 139:10)

Thoughts of the Lord's omniscience were too wonderful for the Psalmist.  Every movement, every thought, every word, were all known to the Lord.  The Lord's omnipresence staggered him.  There was no place where the eyes of the Lord were not, whether in the glory or the grave, on the wings of the morning or the uttermost bounds of distance and depths.  "Even there" the child of God is assured that the power of His hand is for him and the preciousness of His thoughts are towards him.  (J. Boyd Nicholson) 

Though I forget Him and wander away,

Still He doth love me wherever I stray;

Back to His dear loving arms would I flee,

When I remember that Jesus loves me.  (P.P. Bliss) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1983]

August 22

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

Swaddling bands, a seamless robe, a slave's apron, a purple cloth, and linen grave clothes.  Whatever the Saviour wears, all is fragrant.  Whether garments of humility or mockery or purity, He makes all fragrant with the fragrance of His lovely Person.  (Jim Flanigan)

My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,

And myrrh their texture fills;

Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine,

With joy my being thrills.  (Henry Barraclough)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 1984]

August 23

"Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you."  (Deuteronomy 4:1)

    Here we have, very prominently before us, the special characteristic of the entire book of Deuteronomy.  "Hearken," and "do," that ye may "live" and "possess."  This is a universal and abiding principle.  It was true for Israel, and it is true for us.  The pathway of life and the true secret of possession is simple obedience to the holy commandments of God.  We see this all through the inspired volume, from cover to cover.  God has given us His word, not to speculate upon it, or discuss it; but that we may obey it.  And it is as we, through grace, yield a hearty and happy obedience to our Father's statutes and judgments, that we tread the bright pathway of life, and enter into the reality of all that God has treasured up for us in Christ.  "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)

    It would be a very serious mistake to suppose that the privilege here spoken of is enjoyed by all believers.  It is not.  It is only enjoyed by such as yield a loving obedience to the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It lies within the reach of all, but all do not enjoy it, because all are not obedient.  It is one thing to be a child, and quite another to be an obedient child.  It is one thing to be saved, and quite another thing to love the Saviour, and delight in all His most precious precepts."  (C.H. Mackintosh - Deuteronomy)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1985]     

August 24

"What doth the Lord thy God require of thee?"  (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)                                    "What doth the Lord require of thee?" (Micah 6:8)

Because the Lord God owns us by creation and redemption, He has the right to "require" of us.  Because we are His creatures and children, we have a responsibility to respond to His requirements.  According to the texts, the Lord's requirements are: to fear the Lord; to walk in all His ways; to love Him; to serve the Lord wholeheartedly; to do justly; to love mercy; to walk humbly.  The Lord never requires anything from us without giving the grace and strength for us to perform.  Are we fulfilling His requirements?  (Milton Haack)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1986]

August 25

"Thy Word IS..."  (Psalm 119:105) 

When I am tired, the Bible is my bed;

Or in the dark, the Bible is my light.

When I am hungry, it is vital bread;

Or fearful, it is armour for the fight.

When I am sick, 'tis healing medicine;

Or lonely, thronging friends I find therein.

 

Does gloom oppress?  The Bible is the sun;

Or ugliness?  It is a garden fair.

Am I athirst?  How cool its currents run!

Or stifled?  What a vivifying air!

Since thus thou giv'st thyself,  Great Book, to me,

How should I give myself,  Great Book, to Thee!

--A.R. Wells

When we walk in uprightness, the Scriptures seem full of promises; but when we walk in unrighteousness, they appear replete with threats. 

[N.J. Hiebert 1987]

August 26

"All things were made by HIM..."  (John 1:3)

    The various created objects in the world are designed to reveal various aspects of God's character.  As theologian John Frame has said, everything in creation bears some analogy to God.  It is for this reason that Scripture can use extensive symbolism and picture language in describing God.  Inasmuch as a created object reveals an aspect of its Creator, it can be used as a symbol to emphasize that aspect of our Creator.

    In Scripture we find aspects of God's nature symbolized using inanimate objects - God is the rock of Israel, Christ is the door of the sheep, the Spirit is wind and fire.  We find God symbolized by plants - God's strength is like the cedars of Lebanon; Christ is the vine.  God can be represented by animals - the lion of Judah, the Lamb of God.

    He can perhaps best be compared to human beings - to a father, master, landowner, husband, prophet, priest, king, shepherd.  Scripture even says God "is" several abstract concepts - love, truth, light, righteousness.

    All this can be boiled down to a single fact:  The universe and everything in it reflects some aspect of God's character, points to God.  The world does not exist for it's own sake, but as a revelation of its Maker."  (Bible-Science Newsletter)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1988]

August 27

"...they laid many stripes upon him, they cast him into prison... thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God..."  (Acts 16:23-25) 

What a difference it makes when God is brought in!  Many a servant might well be daunted when he views the opposition and difficulties by which he is confronted; but the moment he raises his eyes to the Lord, he measures everything by what He is, and immediately the obstacles he deplored become to his faith but occasions for the display of His power in whom he was trusting.  Our only concern therefore should be to see that we are working with God.  (Edward Dennett)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1989]

August 28

"O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord.  Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."  (Jeremiah 18:6)

    The skill of the potter is revealed in the variety of vessels he is able to make.  He could, no doubt, make every vessel of exact proportion, design and usefulness if He chose, but this is not His method.

    Remember that the Potter has a variety of vessels.  Do not be an imitator of some other vessel.  Maybe you have said, "I wish I could sing like ----," or preach like ----," or "teach like ----."  This, my friend, may not be the vessel God wants you to be.

    Perhaps you wonder why God has not given you a bigger task, a more "worthy" job, or a more prominent position.  The question, though, is, "Have you been faithful in the place He has put you?"  God will never give you a bigger job until you have done that which He has already given you to do.  Get your eyes off men, quit imitating other vessels, and determine by His grace that you will be the vessel of His choiceLet Him have His way with you.

    The plan of the Potter is a personal plan.  He has a plan for you, a place for you to fill, and no one else can fill it.  Many of us have missed the joy of being the vessel He wanted us to be in our vain efforts to be the vessel He chose someone else to be.  (J.C.B.)   

[N.J. Hiebert # 1990]

August 29

"Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."  (Acts 20:30)

Paul tells the elders that, after his departure, grievous wolves should enter in among them, and that even of their own selves perverse men should arise, and draw the disciples away.  Till Satan be bound, and the Lord come to do it, there will ever be conflicts.  Since the beginning of the world, whenever God has established anything good, man's first act has been to destroy it.  First, there was man himself; then, in the world after the flood, Noah got tipsy, and his authority was lost.  Israel made the golden calf before ever Moses came down from the mountain.  Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire the first day after their consecration, for which cause Aaron could no more enter into the inner sanctuary with his priestly garments of glory.  Solomon having loved strange women, his kingdom was divided.  So in the assembly established on the earth, soon after the apostle's departure, evil presents itself; and it is of this that the elders are forewarned."  (J.N. Darby - Meditations of the Acts of the Apostles)   

[N.J. Hiebert # 1991]

August 30

"And (Gideon) said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you?" (Judges 8:2)

Gideon took the lowest place and acknowledged the zeal for God which, after all, they had shown to their honour; and the humility  of this servant of God is thus the means of removing a great difficulty.  Let us act in a similar way, and, when we speak of our brethren, let us enumerate, not their failures, but what God has wrought in them.  Can I not admire Christ in my brother when I see how God is dealing with him, breaking him down so that, at all costs, what characterized the Lord may be manifested in Him?  Nothing so appeases contention as seeing Christ in others; it is the result of a normal Christian condition in the children of God.  (H.L Rossier -Meditations on the Book of Judges)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1992]

August 31

"Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do."  (Acts 9:6)

Do we go to Him with all our desires and problems?  Do we ask in everything, "Lord, what wilt Thou that I do?"  Do we ask Him about what kind of employment He wants us engaged in, or how we should make preparation for the future, or with whom we should have companionship, or where we should live, or how we ought to furnish our homes, or how we must bring up our children, or about what kind of Work they should do?  Indeed, do we ask Him about everything that pertains to our lives, whether it be a physical, mental, or spiritual need?  Hour by hour and minute by minute we should ask, "Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?"  (H.L. Heijkoop)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1993] 

September 1

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." (1 John 5:1)

 Here we get the link between God and the family.  When anyone is born of God, he is my brother.  If the question is asked, "Who is my brother?  How am I to know my brother?"  Everyone that is born of God is my brother.  I may have to sorrow over him sometimes, but still he is my brother, because I am related to him by the same divine nature.   (JND -The first Epistle of John)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 1994]

September 2

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31)  "Great peace have they which love Thy law, and they shall have no stumbling block (nothing can make them stumble)" (Psalm 119:165).

    Here is my greatest secret for everyday common folks, known through the ages, and yet ever needing to be restated and learned afresh as generation succeeds generation.  It is this:  The very best way to study the Bible is simply to read it daily with close attention, and with prayer to see the light that shines from its pages, to meditate upon it, and to continue to read it until somehow it works itself, its words, its expressions, its teachings, its habits of thought and its presentations of God and His Christ into the very warp and woof of one's being.

    No there is nothing remarkable about that; it is wonderfully simple.  But it works, and one does come in this way to know the Bible and to understand it.

    What appears to a beginner as a great knowledge of the Bible is thus often only the natural result of a persevering use of the simplest of all means and methods, namely, reading the Book, day by day, until it becomes extremely familiar in all its parts.  (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1995]

September 3

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."  (Ephesians 6:18) 

    As one of Africa's first explorers, David Livingstone loved its people and longed to see them evangelized.  His journals reveal his spiritual concern and deep faith.

    In late March 1872, he wrote, "He will keep His word - the gracious One, full of grace and truth - no doubt of it.  He said, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out" and "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name I will give it."  He will keep His word; then I can come and humbly present my petition, and it will be all right.  Doubt is here inadmissible, surely."

    Livingstone had rock-like confidence in the Father's promises.  In our praying we too can exercise the trust that God will not deny our requests when they are in keeping with His will.  (By the way, are we reading His Word so that we know His will?)

    We can defeat doubt when we remind ourselves that no matter what happens in life, He cares deeply about us and longs to give us the wisdom to handle what comes our way ("Casting all your cares upon Him..." 1 Peter 5:7; "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that... giveth liberally..." James 1:5).  Our faith will grow stronger as we realize that our heavenly Father is gracious, delighting to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11).  Humbly but confidently, we can come to Him with our requests.  (VCG)

 

Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring,

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much.  - Newton 

WHEN WE LOVE GOD AS OUR FATHER, WE WON'T TREAT HIM AS OUR SERVANT.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1997, Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission

[N.J. Hiebert # 1996]

September 4

"Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." (Proverbs 23:23)

    It has been said, the first generation is characterized by conviction - buys the truth.

    The second generation accepts truth as a "belief," but lacks conviction and takes lightly, or squanders the truth.

    The third generation considers "truth" as a matter of opinion.

    Thank God, this is not always the case!  But where are you and I?  (Anon) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1997]

September 5

"And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we be brethren."  Genesis 13:80  

The ostensible cause of Lot's fall was the strife between his herdsmen and those of Abram; but the fact is, when one is not really walking with a single eye and purified affections, he will easily find a stone to stumble over.  If he does not find it at one time, he will at another, - If he does not find it here, he will find it there.   In one sense, it makes little matter as to what may be the apparent cause of turning aside; the real cause lies underneath, far away, it may be, from common observation, in the hidden chambers of the heart's affections and desires, where the world, in some shape or form, has been sought after.  The strife between the herdsmen might have been easily settled without spiritual damage to either Abram or Lot.  To the former, indeed, it only afforded an occasion for exhibiting the beautiful power of faith, and the moral elevation - the heavenly vantage-ground - on which faith ever sets the possessor thereof.  But to the latter, it was an occasion for exhibiting the thorough worldliness of his heart.  The strife no more produced the worldliness in Lot than it produced the faith in Abram; it only manifested, in the case of each, what was really there.  (C.H. Mackintosh) 

N.J. Hiebert # 1998

 

September 6

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord."  (Ephesians 5:19)

Though hymns of praise in purest notes abound,

If only on the lips, these are but sound

Which melt away in air:

But when the heart to melody is moved,

Constrained by love divine, so richly proved,

As incense this to God's own throne ascends,

Nor loses fragrance as it heavenward wends,

And finds a welcome there.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 14)  

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 1999]

September 7

"He leadeth me beside the still waters."  (Psalm 23:2)

The place where the Shepherd guides His flock is "beside the still waters."  The Lord would not have us to be unhappy and restless; He would have us enjoy His peace under all circumstances.  "My peace I give unto you. ...Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  In these perilous times, how much we need that word.  What restfulness of spirit and what contentedness of mind it gives us to lean confidingly upon His love and care.  Nothing can separate us from His love.  And if, because of sorrows and roughness of the wilderness journey, or by reason of the rapid progress of infidelity and worldliness, our spirits have drooped in sadness, and we have become discouraged, let us cheer up; there is enough in Him to make the heart rejoice.  He is the all-powerful, loving, gracious, and tender Shepherd.   His glory has not been tarnished a bit.  He is the Brightness of Eternal Glory.  (W.E.S.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2000]        

September 8

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."  (Ephesians 4:32)

    Love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received.  The word translated "store up" is an accountant's word.  It is the word used for entering up an item in a ledger so that it will not be forgotten.  That is precisely what so many people do.  One of the great arts in life is to learn what to forget.

    A writer tells how "in Polynesia, where the natives spend much of their time in fighting and feasting, it is customary for each man to keep some reminders of his hatred.  Articles are suspended from the roofs of their huts to keep alive the memory of their wrongs - real or imaginary."  In the same way many people nurse their wrath to keep it warm; they brood over their wrongs until it is impossible to forget them.  Christian love has learned the great lesson of forgetting.  (W.B.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2001]

September 9

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)  

    Someone said to Sir Isaac Newton, "Sir Isaac, I do not understand; you seem to be able to believe the Bible like a little child.  I have tried, but I cannot.  So many of its statements mean nothing to me.  I cannot believe; I cannot understand."

    Sir Isaac Newton replied, "Sometimes I come into my study and in my absent-mindedness I attempt to light my candle when the extinguisher is over it, and I fumble about trying to light it and cannot; but when I remove the extinguisher then I am able to light the candle. I am afraid the extinguisher in your case is the love of your sins; it is deliberate unbelief that is in you.  Turn to God in repentance; be prepared to let the Spirit of God reveal His truth to you, and it will be His joy to show the glory of the grace of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ."  (H.A.I)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2002]

September 10

"Lord, save me."  (Matthew 14:30)

There is rarely a prayer too short; often a prayer too long (especially in the prayer meeting). Peter didn't have time for a long prayer.  Had he prayed long, he would have sunk beneath the waves.  But his prayer was certainly fervent!  No preliminaries; no flowery theological language - just an urgent cry for help.  His cry was addressed to the right Person; he knew who alone could meet his instant need.  And his prayer was effective, for immediately the Lord's hand was stretched forth to catch him.  He is the same today; your fervent cry to Him will keep you from sinking beneath the waves.  How is your prayer life?  (Doug Kazen)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2003]

September 11

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble."  (Psalm 50:15)

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"  (Psalm 22:1)

The promise of our great God to His people is their deliverance when they call.  Sadly, that was not the case for His only Son, our Saviour, who was abandoned by God on Calvary's tree.  Although He knew no deliverance then, He now offers deliverance to us today in His sovereign will.  Call on Him.    Soon it may be too late, and then you will find yourself forsaken."  (Arnot P. McIntee)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2004]

September 12

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    I had to see about some work being done the other day, and asked the contractor how much it would cost.

    "It won't cost very much," said he, "because we can use all the old material."

    Now that is precisely what God could not do.  There must be a new start altogether, with new material.

    If there is to be anything for God in man, or any capacity to estimate things according to God, a man "must be born again."  There must be an effectual operation of God by His Word and Spirit producing a new moral being in man, the effect of which is that he begins to think God's thoughts about himself."  (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2005]

September 13

"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)  

    Our first thoughts, on hearing of a brother's sin, should be of self-judgment.  In what way have we contributed to the general weakness of the body, which results in the failure of one of its members?  How often and earnestly have we prayed for that one? and in what way have we shown our care that his walk may be such as becomes the gospel? (John 13.)  It has been said that our unconscious influence is greater than that we are conscious of exerting over others, and on this account the powerful influence of example will have a place in our consideration.

    It is a remarkable fact, and little to our credit, that those who owe their present and prospective blessings to divine mercy alone, are sometimes most unmerciful in their judgment of others.  Do we not often credit others with motives which we should be most indignant to have imputed to ourselves?  (Christian Truth - Vol. 13)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2006]     

September 14

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18)

Do you honestly say, I know that in me, that is, in my flesh - dwelleth no good thing?  Do you believe that of yourselves?  You will never get full liberty till you do, and you will never know what it is to be settled and steady in your soul till you have learned it; for them you get not only forgiveness and justification, but deliverance.  (J.N.D.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2007]

September 15

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (1 Timothy 1:7

    In Tamil we have a polite word, which tells someone who asks for something, that we have nothing to give; we have run short of it - Poochiam.

    One day, I felt like saying Poochiam about love, I had run short of it.  I was in the Forest, and I had just read a letter which was hard to answer lovingly.  I was sitting by The Pool at the time, and presently began to watch the water flow down through the deep channel worn in the smooth rocks above it.  There was always inflow, so there was always outflow.  Never for one minute did the water cease to flow in, and so never for one moment did it cease to flow out; and I knew, of course, that the water that flowed out was the water that flowed in.  The hollow that we call The Pool had no water of its own, and yet all the year round there was an overflow.

    "God hath not given you the spirit of fear,... but of love".  If love flows in, love will flow out.  Let love flow in.  That was the word of the pool.  There is no need for any of us to run short of love.  We need never say Poochiam.  (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2008]

September 16

"Casting all your care upon Him: for He careth for you."  (1 Peter 5:7)

He assumes this relegation (to assign to a place of insignificance or of oblivion), in faith, of our every anxiety on our God and Father, who loves to bear burdens too great for His weak ones, for whom He has joys and service which demand freedom of spirit for their right aim and end.  How enfeebling is the unbelief that fancies it our duty too be weighed down outwardly and inwardly!  Why, Christian, have you not rolled upon Him the weight that oppresses you?  Is not His word to us plain and certain?  Does He not care for you - He that gave His Son for your sins, He that numbers all the hairs of your head?  (William Kelly - The Epistle of Peter)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2009]

September 17

"... if ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods... and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only and HE will deliver you... Then the Children of Israel did put away (the idols) and served the Lord only ... we have sinned against the Lord."  (1 Samuel 7:2-6)  

"Repentance and remission of sins."  Repentance is man's true place.  Remission of sins is God's response.  The former is the empty vessel; the latter, the fullness of God.  When these meet, all is settled.  (C.H. Mackintosh - Fullness From An Empty Vessel - Vol. 5)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2010]

 

September 18

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

In regard to change, A.W. Tozer said, "In a world of decay and change not even men of faith can be completely happy."  And the poet Frederick W. Faber wrote, "Lord!  I'm sick... of this everlasting change."  Instinctively we seek the unchanging and grieve at the passing of familiar things.  Yet on the other hand, Tozer said, "... the very ability to change is a golden treasure, a gift from God."  For the essence of repentance is a change so radical that the Apostle Paul refers to the man that used to be as "the old man" becoming the "new man" (by new birth) infused with new spiritual life. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation." (2 Corinthians 5:17) Thus, in Christ is found the eternal permanence every heart longs for.  (E. Dyck)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 2011]

 

September 19

 

"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  (Philippians 4:6)

 

Worry is the child of unbelief.  Anxiety can never stay if the eyes of the heart behold the Man in Glory and faith realizes that all is in the hands of One "Who doeth all things well."  Worry and anxiety accuse Him.  Martha did that when she was encumbered with much service and then said to Him, "Dost Thou not care?"  Each time we give way to anxiety, we act as if He did not care.  But He does; and He would have us rest in faith and commit all to Himself.  (A.C. Gaebelein - The Work of Christ)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2012]

 

September 20

 

"All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes:  But Jehovah weigheth the spirits." (Proverbs 16:2)

 

    Ever since the Fall (in the garden of Eden) it has been second nature with man to justify himself.  Till brought into the light of God's holiness there is nothing of which he is generally so certain as the defensibleness of his own conduct.  His ways are clean in his own eyes, but he is not to be trusted in his own judgement, for the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Jehovah weigheth the spirits.  His balances are exact.  His judgment is unerring; and He it is who solemnly declares, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting!"

    Thus man is shut up to the salvation provided through the finished work of the Son of God on Calvary's cross.  Other wise condemnation alone can be his portion.  (H.A. Ironside -  Notes on Proverb)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2013]

 

September 21

 

"And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross.  And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS....and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.  Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said I am King of the Jews.  Pilate answered, What I have written I have written."  (John 19:19-22)

 

When the Lord Jesus was hanging as the Lamb of God on the accursed tree and over His bleeding brows was written the inscription in every language, "this is the King of the Jews," they sought to blot it out - but God would not have it blotted out.  He would have the whole creation know that the cross was the title to the kingdom.  The inscription that Pilate wrote on the cross, and God kept there, is very fine.  (J.G. Bellett - Musings on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2014]

 

September 22

 

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord;... unite my heart to fear Thy name."  (Psalm 86:11)

 

    This prayer holds the secret to a well-integrated life.  The psalmist asked the Lord to teach him His way and to unite his heart to fear His name.  He wanted to know what God would have him do, but he also longed to maintain a relationship with Him so that he would walk faithfully in the way of righteousness.  David's deepest desire was to have a commanding center in his life, around which everything else would revolve.  It was to know and to do the will of God.

    Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Wife of the head of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China, 1887 - 1975) said, "life is very simple, and yet how  confused we make it seem."  She went on to say that in old Chinese art every picture has only one outstanding object.  The artist deliberately subordinated everything else to that one beautiful thing.  Drawing a lesson from this, Madame Chiang commented, "An integrated life is like that.  What is the one beautiful flower?  As I feel it now, it is doing the will of God.  I used to pray that He would do this or that.  Now I ask Him to make His will known to me."  She had learned a very important spiritual lesson.

    I'm sure we've all felt a deep longing within our souls for a simple, uncomplicated life.  The many duties and demands that crowd in upon us and the various roles we have to fulfill often leave us bewildered and overwhelmed.  Well, there's a solution to this frustrating state of affairs.  We must ask ourselves, "Do I want to know and do God's will above ALL ELSE?  What is the controlling center of my life?"  If that question draws a blank, maybe the psalmist's prayer, "Teach me Thy way, O Lord," is the answer to your problem.  (D.J.D.)  

 

Lord, choose for me and make my will

Obedient to thine own, until

With strong assurance I shall know

That Thou art always where I go.     - Bernhardt

 

If Christ is at the center of your life, the circumference will take care of itself.

 

(OUR DAILY BREAD, RBC MINISTRIES, COPYRIGHT (1978), GRAND RAPIDS, MI.  REPRINTED PERMISSION.)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2015]

 

September 23

 

"Them that honour me I will honour."  (1 Samuel 2:30)

 

    These were the words of God once to a priest of Israel, and that ancient law of the Kingdom stands today unchanged by the passing of time or the changes of dispensation.  The whole Bible and every page of history proclaim the perpetuation of that law.  "If any man serve me, him will my Father honour" (John 12:26), said our Lord Jesus, tying in the old with the new and revealing the essential unity of His ways with men.

    Sometimes the best way to see a thing is to look at its opposite.  Eli and his sons are placed in the priesthood with the stipulation that they honour God in their lives and ministrations.  This they fail to do, and God sends Samuel to announce the consequences.  Unknown to Eli this law of reciprocal honour has been all the while secretly working, and now the time has come for judgment to fall.  Hophni and Phineas, the degenerate priests, fall in battle; the wife of Hophni dies in childbirth; Israel flees before her enemies; the ark of God is captured by the Philistines, and the old man Eli falls backward and dies of a broken neck.  Thus stark, utter tragedy followed upon Eli's failure to honour God.  (A.W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God)  

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2016]

 

September 24

 

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

 

All that is outside of the Bible, all that presumes to come into competition with it and challenges the ears of men, is but a sea, an unformed mass, of opinions and reasonings.  How welcome therefore to the soul, wearied in its quest after some stable foundation on which to rest in view of death and eternity, is the immutable basis laid for faith in the infallible scriptures.  (Edward Dennett) 

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2017]

 

September 25

 

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:10).

 

Low at Thy feet, Lord Jesus,

This is the place for me,

Here I have learned deep lessons -

Truth that has set me free.

 

Free from myself, Lord Jesus,

Free from the ways of men;

Chains of thought that have bound me,

Never shall bind again.

 

None but Thyself, Lord Jesus,

Conquered this wayward will;

But for Thy love constraining,

I had been wayward still.  (J.N.D.) 

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2018]

 

September 26

 

"For me to live is CHRIST."  (Philippians 1:21)

 

All that we pass through is that we may get a fresh view of Christ, or a deepening of a former one; but often we are so occupied with the circumstances, or ourselves in the circumstances, that we fail to learn the lesson God would teach us.  (C.T.) 

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2019]

 

September 27

"Having loved His own... He loved them unto the end."  (John 13:1)

Oh, how sweet this experience of Christ's love in this cold world!  When the heart is chilled, and yearning for a little warmth, how sweet to turn to the Lord Jesus and feel the warmth of His love!  Ah, looking up to Him, the heart is always warmed.  (G.V. Wigram)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2020]   

September 28

"We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." (Romans 5:2)

It is not attainments, it is not watchfulness, it is not services or duties which... give the soul entrance into that wealthy place of divine favour - "By faith we have access into this grace wherein we stand."  (J.G. Bellett)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2021]

September 29

 

"The God of all encouragement."  (2 Corinthians 1:3)

 

Though distant from the heavenly way

The souls you love, for whom you pray,

Ah! why need ye despair?

Plead on - and ye shall live to prove

That God is power, that God is love,

And loves to answer prayer.  (Sir E. Denny)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2022]

 

September 30

 

"Lead me in the way everlasting."  (Psalm 139:24)

 

God sends rain and fruitful seasons, but though they come, they never come in the same way in any one year, and I find that, as a rule, when I need anything, that it comes from a quarter that I never expected, and that from the quarter where it had come before it does not now.  Thus God keeps the eye on Himself and not on the donor.  (J.B.S. - Footprints For Pilgrims)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2023]

 

October 1

 

"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" (Deuteronomy 32:29)

 

The following lines were found among the papers of the late Professor B---, at the close of a life of devotion to the quest of honour and fame, a life which would, no doubt, be highly commended by the children of the world.  The lines speak for themselves with a seriousness and intensity which cannot be overstated, and stand as a solemn warning to all who would walk ambition's glittering highway.

 

Why labour for honour?  Why seek after fame?

Why toil to establish a popular name?

Fame! aye, what is fame? a bubble - a word,

A sound, that's worth nothing, a hope that's deferred;

A heartsickening hope that's too often denied

Or withheld from the worthy, to pander to pride.

Then out upon fame! let her guerdon be riven,

Nay - hold - let me strive as I always have striven.

Out, out upon fame! too late will she come,

Her wreath mocks my brow, will it hang on my tomb?

Too much have I laboured, too willingly gave

My thoughts to the world AND HAVE EARNED BUT A GRAVE."

(J.K. - Christian Truth - Vol. 23)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2024]

 

October 2

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see..." (Matthew 5:16)

 

Remember that your lamps are to be kept well trimmed and brightly burning.  What is more dangerous than a lamppost with no light at the top on a dark night?  The very thing which ought to be a guide, proves a stumbling block; so a Christian who is not letting his light shine, always proves a real hindrance to others.  (Selected)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2025]

 

October 3

 

"Their sins and iniquity will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)

 

The moment you get the living God expanded in the Epistle to the Hebrews you find that everything He touches He communicates life for eternity to it.  His throne is for ever and ever - chapter 1.  His house is forever and ever - Chapter 3.  His salvation is eternal - Chapter 5.  His priesthood is unchangeable - chapter 7.  His covenant is everlasting - chapter 9.  His kingdom cannot be moved - chapter 12.  There is nothing He touches that He does not impart eternity to.  To entitle the Epistle to the Hebrews in a word, we might say it is "the loaded altar and the empty sepulchre."  (J.G. Bellett - Musing on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2026]

 

October 4

 

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 14:11)

 

The only thing which can enable me to go on is to have Christ the object before me, and just in proportion as it is so can I be happy.  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 no there to be vexed.  The passions of the flesh will not harass us if we are walking with God.  What trials 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.  Then one may be happy indeed before God.  (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

 

[N.J. Hiebert 2027]

 

October 5

 

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) 

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7) 

 

It is not what I do, or what I say with my lips, but what I really am, what my heart is, what the affections are occupied with.  I believe we are in a day when intelligence goes very far ahead of the heart.  The secret of the want of a great deal of spiritual power is pride of heart.  Hence I would say before God, let us beware of backsliding in heart.  God must have reality.  (W.T.P. Wolston)  

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2028]

 

October 6

 

"The blood of Jesus Christ (God's) Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

 

When the day of judgment comes, who shall be able to stand?  Who?  The great, the mighty, the noble of the earth?  Who?  The well-disposed, the upright, the moral?  They, and they only, who are redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."  (H.F.W.)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2029]

 

October 7

"He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." (John 3:33)

The important, practical question is, How do we treat the Bible?  Do we honour it because it is the Word of God?  Are we guided by its counsels?  Have we proved its sufficiency?  Do we, when we read it, meditate on it, and mix faith with it, and realize the personal enjoyment of it soul-comforting ministrations?  Do we habitually rely on the holy Spirit to enable us to discern, receive, and communicate its precious mysteries?  (H.H.S.)   

[N.J. Hiebert # 2030]

October 8

"It is a good thing. . . to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning." (Psalm 92:1,2)

I am a physician, and I find my patients get a great deal of help from one of my rules.  I tell them not to go out of their rooms in the morning until they are physically satisfied; and I say to you, do not go out of your bedroom in the morning until you are spiritually satisfied; until you heart is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord; and then you will show it forth at the breakfast table and all the day long.  (A.T.S.)

Praise shall employ these tongues of ours,

Till we, with all the saints above,

Extol His name with nobler powers,

And see the ocean of His love:

Then, while we look, and wondering gaze,

We'll fill the heavens with endless praise.

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2031]

October 9

"The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." (Psalm 119:130)

    After a woman sued a fast-food restaurant for being burned by coffee, companies started changing their manuals and warning labels.  Check out these instructions:

    - On a frozen dinner: DEFROST BEFORE EATING

    - On an iron: CAUTION!  DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY

    - On a peanut butter jar: MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS

    - On a milk bottlecap: AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT

    If some people need these obvious guidelines on household items, think about how much more we need God's direction.  Psalm 119 tells of the importance of His instruction manual - the Bible.  On the pages of Scripture we find what God wants us to believe, to be, and to do.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32)

"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). 

    Ask the Lord to teach you His statues and to direct your step according to His Word (Psalm 119:133,135).  Then read it often and follow the instructions.  (Anne Cetas) 

Give us, O Lord, a strong desire

To look within Thy Word each day;

Help us to hide it in our heart,

Lest from its truth our feet would stray.  --Branon

Scripture is meant to give us protection, correction, and direction. 

OUR DAILY BREAD RBC MINISTRIES, COPYRIGHT (2004), GRAND RAPIDS, MI. REPRINTED PERMISSION

[N.J. Hiebert # 2032]

October 10

"...Saul of Tarsus - behold he prayeth."   (Acts 9:11)

It is hard to imagine how any one, with the word of God in his hand, could presume to detract from the value of prayer.  It is one of the very highest functions, and most important privileges of the Christian life.  No sooner has the new nature been communicated by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ, than it expresses itself in the sweet accents of prayer.  Prayer is the earnest breathing of the new man, drawn forth by the operation of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all true believers.  Hence, to find any one praying is to find him manifesting divine life in one of its most touching and beauteous characteristics, namely, DEPENDENCE. There may be a vast amount of ignorance displayed in the prayer, both in its character and object; but the spirit of prayer is, unquestionably, divine.

    A child may ask for a great many foolish things; but, clearly, he could not ask for anything if he had not life.  The ability and desire to ask are the infallible proofs of life.

    No sooner had Saul of Tarsus passed from death unto life, than the Lord says of him, "Behold he prayeth!"  Doubtless he had, as "a Pharisee of the Pharisees," said many "long prayers;" but not until he "saw that Just One, and heard the voice of His mouth," could it be said of him, "behold, he prayeth."  (C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2033]

October 11

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."  (Ezra 7:10)

Often nothing is more fatal to souls than a superficial and limited knowledge of the Word.  How many divisions and disputes would be avoided among God's children if they would consider the Scriptures in their various facets.  Separating one truth from other related truths without taking these related truths into consideration, is generally a proof of ignorance and self-will, if not the fruit of proud self-satisfaction that desires to teach others and refuses to be taught of God.  Almost all false doctrines have their starting point in a truth taken out of context, and therefore poorly understood, which thus becomes the very root of error."  (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on Ezra, Nehemia, Esther)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2034]

October 12

"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." (Ephesians 5:14)

 

WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL  IF ---

 

All the SLEEPING would wake up,

All the LUKEWARM would warm up,

All the DISGRUNTLED would sweeten up,

All the DISCOURAGED would cheer up,

All the DEPRESSED would look up,

All the GOSSIPERS would shut up,

All the WITNESSES would speak up,

All the BELIEVERS would stand up!

(Taken from CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 3) 

[N. J. Hiebert # 2035]

October 13

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand which could keep rank: they were not of double heart." (1 Chronicles 12:33)

    That is a good lesson to learn - to "keep rank."  If you are going to keep rank, you will have to be with those who are marching under the commands of the great "Head-general"; you won't be keeping rank with the "stragglers," but with those in the battle line.

    Isn't it a sad thing to find Christians dropping out of the ranks? lagging behind? joining the stragglers? getting out of step?

    Fellow-Christian, are you in your local gathering, keeping rank?  keeping step with those who are going on with God, or are you a hindrance?  Are you lagging behind?  Are you, by your example, discouraging those that would keep rank?  Thank God! here are some that were men of war that could keep rank.  They didn't learn to do it all in a moment.  They learned that by careful, energetic effort and experience; they set themselves to it; they learned to keep rank.

    There is something wrong when we cannot keep rank with our brethren - when we find ourselves superior to all the rest of our brethren.  There is something wrong with a condition like that.  God expects us to go on with our brethren - not of course in what is wrong - never - but there is such a thing as being found going on with the saints of God.  When we find ourselves going off to ourselves, taking the ground of superior holiness - all our brethren are wrong, and we alone are right - there is something fundamentally wrong with US.  (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2036]

October 14

 

"Not he that commeneth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." (2 Corinthians 10:18)

 Men who run unsent, break down, in one way or another, and find their way back to that which they professed to have left.

 Many a vessel has sailed out of harbour, in gallant style, with all its canvas spread, amid cheering and shouting, and with many fair promises of a first-rate passage; but alas! storms, waves, shoals, rocks, and quicksands have changed the aspect of things; and the voyage that commenced with hope, has ended in disaster.

If we run unsent, we shall not only be left to learn our folly, but to exhibit it.  (Food for the desert)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2037]

October 15

"I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word." (John 17:6)

 God can never forget one particle of what His Son suffered to bring us into that place; and Christ can never forget one of those whom the Father has given Him: not one will be wanting.  Our life is in Him, and whatever we may have to pass through down here, that life is incorruptible and unchanged.  The vessel may be marred, but the life is preserved, it is eternal.  And this eternal life is something that Christ has given you, to be the power of union between yourself and the Father and the Son."  (G.V. Wigram - Gleanings)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2038]

October 16

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)

There could be no finer test than this. (Matthew 7:20)

The fruit of the Bible is good and only good.  Earl Baldwin, the famous statesman, once Prime Minister of Great Britain, speaking at an annual meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society, said, "No living man can tell or know how The Book in it journeyings through the world has startled the individual soul in ten thousand different places into a new life, a new world, a new belief, a new conception, and a new faith."  Millions of lives can testify to the truth of this.

    A striking example of good and bad fruit is seen in the following incident.  An uncle and nephew were travelling with a large sum of money over a wild and very thinly populated prairie land of America.  Nightfall came on, and the travellers had to look for a shelter.  They discovered a log cabin, and knocked at the door.  An old man with long shaggy beard and unkempt appearance answered their call.  They asked for accommodation, which was willingly accorded.  They were shown into a room where they could sleep on the floor.  It was arranged that the uncle should lie down to rest, and the nephew should sit up with loaded revolver to make sure that their treasure was safe.  Presently the uncle saw the nephew preparing to sleep.  He reminded him of the vigil he had promised to keep.

    The nephew replied, "There is no need to sit up with loaded revolver.  We are perfectly safe here.  I looked through the keyhole to see what the old man was doing.  I saw him take a Bible down from the shelf, and read a chapter to his wife.  I then heard him pray for the blessing of God to rest on the travellers under his roof."  (A.J. Pollock - Why I believe the Bible) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2039]

October 17

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowls and mercies (love's comforting power)..." (Philippians 2:1) 

    Love knows how to do without what it naturally wants.  Love knows how to say, "What it does matter?"

    "And it is my prayer that your love may be more and more rich in knowledge and in all manner of insight, enabling you to have a sense of what is vital".  A moment later he has to refer to something trying to the spirit, but Love which enables to "a sense of what is vital" comes to the rescue at once.  He does not brood over it or worry, for "What does it matter?"

    "Some indeed actually for envy and strife... are proclaiming the Christ... from motives of faction... thinking to raise up tribulation for me in my bonds.  Shall I give way to the trial and lose patience and peace? ... Nay; what matters it? Is not the fiery arrow quenched in Christ for me?" (Moule.)  It will not touch the glory of God, the ultimate victory of truth.  Love accepts the trying things of life without asking for explanations.  It trusts and is at rest. "Love's comforting power."  (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2040]

October 18

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)

"I shall not want."  This conclusion flows, not from what we are to Him, but from what He is to us.  (Edward Dennett)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2041]

October 19

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

If I examine my own heart I cannot find it out.  I know more of God's heart than I do of my own; for my own is so subtle I cannot get to the bottom of it; "desperately wicked: who can know it" and the best man upon earth will be the first to confess this.  (JND)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2042]

 

October 20

"...the trying of your faith worketh patience." (James 1:3)

 By nature we are inclined to be fretful and impatient.  Even Christians sometimes rebel against the ways of God when these go contrary to their own desires.  But he who learns to be submissive to whatever God permits glorifies Him who orders all things according to the counsel of His own will.  David said his soul had quieted itself as a weaned child (Psalm 131:2).  This is patience exemplified.  When natural nourishment is taken from a babe, and it is fed on other food more suitable for its age, it becomes peevish and fretful.  But when actually weaned all this is ended, and it accepts gratefully the proffered refreshment.  (H.A. Ironside - Notes on James)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2043]

October 21

"And He (Jesus) said unto them, Come... and rest a while." (Mark 6:31)

"THERE IS NO MUSIC IN A REST, BUT THERE IS THE MAKING OF MUSIC IN IT" - Ruskin 

The great Composer writes the theme

And gives us each a part to play.

To some a sweet and flowing air,

Smooth and unbroken all the way.

 

They pour their full hearts gladness out

In notes of joy and service blent;

But some He gives long bars of rests

With idle voice and instrument.

 

He who directs the singing spheres,

The music of the morning stars,

Needs, for His full creation's hymn,

The quiet of those soundless bars.

 

Be silent unto God, my soul,

If this the score He writes for thee,

And "hold the rest"; play no false note

To mar His perfect harmony.

 

Yet be thou watchful for thy turn;

Strike on the instant, true and clear,

Lest from the grand, melodious whole

Thy note be missing to His ear.

(Annie Johnson Flint)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 2044]

October 22

"And when they had taken up the anchors , they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands..." (Acts 27:40)

It is the word of God which provides direction for out lives.  The Bible is like those rudder bands that kept the ship steady and unwavering in the midst of those terrible waves, wind and storm.  How important to keep our eyes steadily focused, through the Bible's Divine direction, on the end of the path of faith (he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - Hebrews 11:10).  How we need this Divide rudder to guide us along the journey of life!  (Doug Nicolet - The Journey of Life)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2045]

October 23

"When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door..." (Luke 13:25)

The gospel is not always going to be preached.  God will not always send forth the message of peace.  He is the God of judgement as well as the God of peace, and Christ is a Judge as well as a Saviour.  He is now seated on the right hand of God, but He will ere long rise up and shut to the door.  The preaching of the cross will then cease; the seeker will not find, the knocker will be disappointed, the asker will be refused; the gospel testimony will close, the church (all those redeemed by the precious blood of Christ) be removed to glory, and the hypocrite and unbeliever left for judgment.  Men will discover their mistake then.  The folly of putting off salvation will be made manifest.  The door will be shut, and man's doom eternally settled.  "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still." (Revelation 22:11)  How imperative, then, is the necessity to "strive to enter in at the strait gate." (Luke 13:24)   (H.H. Snell - Steams of Refreshing)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2046]

October 24

"And seekest thou great things for thyself?  Seek them not."  (Jeremiah 45:5)

Our corporate society has successfully infected out thinking that climbing to heights of promotion is most desirable.  Or do we say that we want to be like some respected teacher or evangelist?  When does a lump of pliable clay ever tell the Potter what vessel it wishes to be?  The Potter Himself has the sovereign right to determine the clay's purpose, either lofty or lowly; and O glorious truth - He desires that we be conformed to the image of His Son, not to another mortal.  "As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you" (Jeremiah 26:14).  (Rick Morse)

Through me, Thou gentle Master Thy purposes fulfill:

I yield myself forever to Thy most holy will.

(Theodore Monod) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2047]

October 25

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

We cannot know what it meant for the Son of God to step down from His throne, humbling Himself to behold the things in heaven (Psalm 113:6) and to pass through the myriad galaxies and place His foot on the dust of this microscopic planet, stained with sin.  Just to become a man was a sorrow.  The inhabitor of Eternity submitting to the process of time, sunset and sunrise; the Creator of all things to become the carpenter in Nazareth.  God manifest in human flesh!  Why this infinite stoop?  "The death of the cross."  Only thus could divine justice and man's need be satisfied.  (J. Boyd Nicholson) 

From the highest heights of glory, to the cross of deepest shame,

Thus accomplishing redemption, Jesus in His pity came.  (De Matos) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2048]

October 26

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."  (Ephesians 1:7)

    One of the Christian's greatest blessings is the forgiveness of sin.  Without it, we could never know true joy or peace.  In fact, without forgiveness we would be forever separated from a holy God and barred from heaven and all of its glories.

    In his book Dare to Believe, Dan Baumann told of a man named Fred Blom.  Although he was converted as a child, as he grew older he chose the wrong friends.  Becoming involved with them in a serious crime, he was arrested and sent to prison.  During his confinement, he recalled the blessed relationship he had once enjoyed with the heavenly Father.  So, confessing his sins to the Lord, he experienced His forgiveness and was restored to fellowship with Him.  When his case came up for review by the parole board, Fred hoped for an early release.  But the decision went against him.  Although he was discouraged, he was not despondent.  Rather, he fixed his hope on something more wonderful than walking out of a prison's iron gates.  He began joyfully anticipating the pearly gates of heaven.  With that glowing prospect, Fredrick Blom penned these words: "He the pearly gates will open, so that I may enter in; for He purchased my redemption and forgave me all my sin." 

    How wonderful to be forgiven!  It gives us joy, peace, and hope.  And all who experience it find the words of Mr. Blom a fitting _expression of their own heart's gratitude to God. (R.W.D.)

Love divine, so great and wondrous!

All my sins He then forgave!

I will sing His praise forever,

For His blood, His power to save.  (Blom) 

WHEN GOD FORGIVES, HE REMOVES THE SIN AND RESTORES THE SINNER.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1987), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission

[N.J. Hiebert # 2049]

October 27

"Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1)

Every day spent in procrastination is adding to the terrible number of things you can never undo.  It is often forgotten by the young that even though saved and forgiven at last, there are consequences of their sins which will never be blotted out.  We have an influence on others, for good or ill, that a future change of ways can never utterly destroy.  Then, sin leaves its effect upon our minds and bodies - an effect that lasts through all time.  It was this a father meant to impress upon his son when he bade him drive a handful of nails part way into a clean, smooth post.  With great delight the lad did as he was bidden.  "Now, my boy," said the father, "draw them out."  This was soon successfully accomplished.  "Now take out the holes," was the next command.  "Why, father," exclaimed the child, "that is impossible!"  So we may think of the forgiveness of our sins as a drawing out of the nails; but, let us never forget, the marks remain.  Therefore the wisdom of ceasing at once to do what can never be undone."  (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

[N.J. Hiebert #  2050]

October 28

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

For those who say, "I don't see any harm in it."

1)  Is the dust of worldliness in your eyes?

2)  Are you willing to see any harm in it?

3)  Will you see any harm in it on a dying bed?

4)  Would you like Christ to see you in the act?

5)  Do the best Christians you know see harm in it?

6)  Is it consistent with "The world is crucified unto me and I unto the world"

7)  Can you commune with God as freely after it?

8)  Can you look to God for blessing in the midst of it?

9)  How will it look at the judgment seat of Christ?  (Christian Truth - Vol. 23)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2051]

October 29

"A beloved brother, and a faithful minister." (Colossians 4:7)

Wouldn't we all like to be that?  I believe our hearts ought to long for that kind of thing.  You would like to be that some day.  That kind of thing is made up of a lot of very small threads.  It is like one of the great hawsers that they use on the ships.  They are as big as your arm; but if you were to examine that great rope, you would find that it is made up of lesser ropes, and these are made up of still lesser ropes; and finally you get down to the fibres.  Our Christian character is like that.  (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2052]

October 30

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God..." (Psalm 42:1,2.)

    An eastern caravan was once overtaken in the desert with the failure of the supply of water.  The accustomed fountains were all dried, the oasis was a desert, and they halted an hour before sunset after a day of scorching heat, to find that they were perishing for want of water.  Vainly they explored the usual wells, for they were all dry.  Dismay was upon all faces and despair in all hearts, when one of the ancient men approached the sheik and counselled him to unloose two beautiful harts that he was conveying home as a present to his bride, and let them scour the desert in search of water.  Their tongues were protruding with thirst , and their bosoms heaving with distress.  But as they were led our to the borders of the camp and set free on the boundless plain, they lifted up their heads on high and sniffed the air with distended nostrils, and then with unerring instinct, with speed as swift as the wind, they darted off across the desert.  Swift horsemen followed close behind; an hour or two later they hastened back with the glad tidings that water had been found, and the camp moved with shouts of rejoicing to the happily discovered fountains.

    No instinct can be put in you by the Holy Spirit but one He purposes to fulfill.  He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope will not deceive nor fail us when we press forward to its realization.

    Are you panting for a draught from some cool spring?  Follow the "scent of water"!  It will lead you to the heavenly springs.  (Mountains Trailways for Youth)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2053]    

October 31

"What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

 The cross, as the means by which sins were put away, is of course valued by all real believers, and in this sense they can and do glory in it.  But Paul gloried in it for another reason, and saw in the death of Christ another aspect.  To him that death was not only deliverance from sins, but deliverance "from this present evil world."  To him that cross was not only the place where sin had been judged, but the means by which "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."  He saw in the death of Christ the death of all, "and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again."  What complete separation from the world, what complete devotedness to Christ, do we see here!  And yet this is only what becomes one who, in the light of Christ's own words , realizes the place he is responsible to occupy in this world.  For must there not be a complete separation of heart and feeling between the servant who is truly occupying for Christ, and the world which has rejected Him?  (T.B.B.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2054]

November 1

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  (2 Timothy 3:16)

    The Scriptures are the permanent _expression of the mind and will of God furnished as such with His authority.  They are the _expression of His thoughts.  They edify, they are profitable, but this is not all - they are inspired....

    They teach, they judge the heart, they correct, they discipline according to righteousness, in order that the man of God may be perfect; that is, thoroughly instructed in the will of God, his mind formed after that will and completely furnished for every good work.  The power for performing these comes from the actings of the Spirit.  Safeguard from error, wisdom unto salvation, flow from the Scriptures; they are capable of supplying them....  (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2055]

 

 

November 2

"Jacob have I loved."  (Romans 9:13)

    In tracing the history of Jacob, and in contemplating his natural character, we are again and again reminded of the grace expressed in those words, "Jacob have I loved."  The question why God should love such a one, can only receive for an answer the boundless and sovereign grace of Him who sets His love upon objects possessing nothing within them; and who calls things thatt be not, as though they were; "that no flesh should glory in His presence."  Jacob's natural character was most unamiable; his name indeed was at once the effusion of what he was, "a supplanter."  He commenced his course in the development of this, his disposition; and until thoroughly crushed, he pursued a course of the merest bargain-making.

(C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2056]

November 3

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."  (1 Peter 1:2) 

Practical sanctification, the fruit of the new life, shows itself mainly in two ways - obedience  and holiness - obedience according to the obedience of Christ, holy because the Father is.  Paul's sanctification began the moment that another will took the place of his own.  "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6)  From that instant a new power moved him, a new life energized him, a new object possessed him, a new person controlled him, the love of Christ constrained him."  (A.T. Scofield)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2057]

November 4

"Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee. (Psalm 143:8)  "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32) 

Poor Mephibosheth ("shameful thing") was lame on both his feet for his nurse had let him fall.  In misery he was dwelling in Lo-debar ("no pasture").  One day he became a marvellous object of grace!  To show the kindness of God, David fetched him and brought him to sit at the king's table to eat there continually.  Do you see yourself in this picture?  Ruined by the fall, living in degradation, saved by sovereign grace, now feasting at the table of the King.  (E.M.) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2058]

November 5

"The blood shall be to you for a token." (Exodus 12:13)

 

There is none other granted.  Look not for a sign within your breast; see it in the cross of Christ.  Look not at your feelings, but at His shed blood.  It would not have been faith but disobedience in Israel to have spent their night in inquiring and looking if the blood marks were upon their houses.  "None of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning," God had said.  And they sat within and waited for the daybreak.  Is that family whose doors are shut, and who assemble in fear and trembling around their paschal lamb, less safe than its neighbours who calmly wait for liberty's coming morn as they keep the feast?  Is the firstborn of the pale, dejected mother less secure than hers whose strong faith in Jehovah already accepts God's freedom?  No, it is the blood without the door, not the feelings of them within the house, wherein the safety lies.  Faith obeyed God, took the blood and sprinkled it, and in the redeeming blood was the security.  (H.F.W.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2059] 

November 6

"I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house."  (Acts 20:20)

Paul was not only an apostle; he combined in a truly marvellous manner the evangelist, the pastor, and the teacher.  The two last named are closely connected, (Ephesians 4:11); and it is of the utmost importance that this connection should be understood and maintained.  The teacher unfolds truth; the pastor applies it.  The teacher enlightens the understanding; the pastor looks to the state of the heart .  The teacher supplies the spiritual nutriment; the pastor sees to the use that is made of it.  The teacher occupies himself more with the Word; the pastor looks after the soul.  The teacher's  work is, for the most part, public; the pastor's work is chiefly in private.  When combined in one person, the teaching faculty imparts immense moral power to the pastor, and the pastoral element imparts affectionate tenderness to the teacher.  (C.H. Macintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2060]

November 7

"Who His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree." (1 Peter 2:24)

"He hath made Him to be sin for us." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Have you ever noticed the difference between these two verses?  In 1 Peter 2:24 it is sins - actual offences committed.  In 2 Corinthians 5:21, He was made sin; that is different.  It is important to see that the Lord Jesus was not only there to bear our sins; but all the depth of our evil, sinful nature - sin, root and branch - came out before God then.  He was made sin for us, who knew no sin.  (R.F. Kingscote)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2061]

November 8

"And of the children of Isachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment." (1 Chronicles 12:32)

    That is something to be coveted - to have the understanding of the times.  That is the privilege of every child of God.  It is not the mind of the Spirit of God that we should be unwise. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17)

    We are living in strange and stirring times.  I suppose from one viewpoint the people of God never lived in a more fascinating time or a time of greater privilege than the very present time.  Things are happening around us at a terrific speed; there are changes all about us.  The world is becoming overwhelmed and confused, and there is a babel of voices on every hand.  But, it is your privilege and mine to sit quietly by and have the mind of Christ in the midst of all that is going on.

    It is your privilege and mine to understand what all the confusion is about that exists in the world and in the Church today, to understand the end to which all tends, and to see behind the scenes, and to see the hand of God ruling these scenes.

    The only way to know these things is by familiarizing oneself with the Word of God.  I do not mean in a "heady" way, simply that one might become a biblical encyclopaedia, but seek in the pages of the Word of God, the mind of Christ, that we may be wise.  God does not intend us to be overwhelmed by what is taking place in the world; He intends us to be wise - to have His mind about it - to find a pathway, through the confusion, that is in His secret.  (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2062]

November 9

"Looking unto Jesus."  (Hebrews 12:2)

        UNTO JESUS NOW, if we have never looked unto Him, -

        UNTO JESUS AFRESH, if we have ceased doing so, -

        UNTO JESUS ONLY,

        UNTO JESUS STILL,

        UNTO JESUS ALWAYS, with a gaze more and more constant, more and more confident, "changed into the same image from glory to glory". (2 Corinthians 3:18) and thus awaiting the hour when He will call us to pass from earth to Heaven, and from time to eternity, - The promised hour, the blessed hour when at last "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).  (Translated from the French of THEODORE MONOD by Helen Willis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2063]

November 10

"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."  (1 Corinthians 14:19)

    The grand end of speaking in the assembly is edification; and we know this end can only be reached by persons understanding what is said.  It is utterly impossible that a man can edify me if I cannot understand what he says.  He must speak in an intelligible language and in an audible voice, else I cannot receive any edification.  This surely is plain, and well worthy of the serious attention of all who speak in public. 

    Our only warrant for standing up to speak in the assembly is that the Lord Himself has given us something to say.  If it be but "five words" let us utter the five and sit down.  Nothing can be more unintelligent than for a man to attempt to speak "ten thousand words" when God has only given "five."  Let us be simple, earnest, and real.  An earnest heart is better than a clever head, and a fervent spirit better than an eloquent tongue.  Where there is a genuine, hearty desire to promote the real good of souls, it will prove more effectual with men, and more acceptable to God, than the most brilliant gifts without it.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - June 1970) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2064]

November 11

"In the beginning God..." (Genesis 1:1)  "All things were made by Him (God) and without Him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:3) 

    A well-known servant of the Lord once said something like this: "There are too many evidences of wisdom, power, and design for any reasonable being to suppose that things came into existence without a God; on the other hand, there are too many evidences of misery and evil for anyone to imagine that a God of power and love could have created things as they now are."

    While it is perfectly true that the mind of fallen man is naturally infidel, yet, on the other hand, man's mind is so constituted that it cannot conceive of anything coming into existence without a cause.

    Let anybody seriously consider, and he is driven to the conclusion that there must be a God.  The first question that arises in the mind as we look at anything is, Who made that?  Let it be a terrestrial globe, we say, Who made it?  A man would be looked upon as a fool who would reply, Nobody made it.  If we cannot conceive of that globe coming into existence without a maker, how much less this earth of which it is but an insignificant representation?  (A.H. Barry)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2065]

November 12

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path" (Psalm 27:11). 

    How is it that some Christians break down?  How is it their needs are not met?  How is it some get into confusion and perplexity?

    The answer to these questions are in many cases because they have gotten out of the path of God's will.  In that path, we get full supplies, provided we are in constant dependence on Him.  We must always be receiving from Him.

    It is like a water wheel going round.  What makes it go round?  The water that went over it yesterday?  No!  The stream that my flow tomorrow?  No!  What then?  The water passing over it just now.  If that stops, the wheel stops.  So we are dependent moment by moment.

    So there is a path of the will of God for us, and in that path there is full provision.  Out of it, we need not wonder if we do not find constant supplies.  Remember, then, one great secret of success is to be learning more and more perfectly how to be kept in the path of God's will.  (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2066]

November 13

"Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."  (1 John 1:3)

 Can I get truth outside the Father and Son?  I may have more to learn.  If a man is on the ocean, there may be a great deal he has to discover of it, but he has not to get there; he says, "I am there."  So I am in the truth.  I have a great deal to learn; but I am in the Father and the Son, and I am in the truth.  I do not want to seek it if I am in it.  I have the very eternal God in whom I dwell.  (J.N. Darby)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2067]

November 14

"Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:13)

    A brother in Christ, E.L. Hamilton, once rebuked a Christian worker for manifesting an unforgiving spirit toward a penitent.  After a moment's thought the lady replied, "Well, I guess I will pardon her, as you suggest, but I never want to have anything more to do with her!"  Said Mr. Hamilton, "Is that how you want God to treat you?  Do you want Him to say He will forgive you, but that He will never have anything more to do with you?  Remember, when Christ forgave you, He cast your sins into the sea of everlasting forgetfulness!"  The lady was made to see that she had the wrong spirit .  She repented, forgave the erring one, and later the two became the best of friends.  Such forbearing of one another goes beyond out poor human powers.  It requires God's grace, and the softening influence of the Holy Spirit within our heart.

    Recently I read the story of how Louis XII ascended to the throne of France.  Before coming to power, he had been thrown into prison and kept in chains.  There he was in constant fear of death because of the threats of his cousin Charles VIII.  When he finally became king, he was urged by his advisors to seek revenge.  Louise XII refused.  Rather, he prepared a scroll, listing those who had been guilty of perpetrating crimes against him.  Behind each man's mane, he placed a cross in red ink.  When his enemies heard of this, they feared for their lives and fled.  However, Louis explained, "The cross which I draw by their name was not a sign of punishment, but a pledge of forgiveness... for the sake of the crucified Saviour, who upon His cross forgave all His enemies, prayed for them, and blotted out the hand writing that was against them."  (Selected)  

[N.J. Hiebert # 2068]

November 15

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."  (2 Corinthians 8:9)

 Here is a concept that escapes our understanding.  How rich was the Son of God?  He owns everything!  Yet by His own act of will He gave it all up and became as poor as anyone had ever become.  Why?  That we, who were utterly destitute, might become as rich as He is.  Such grace!  That is the One we love and serve.  Are we availing ourselves of the wonderful riches of Christ?  Let us thank Him today for His abundant grace toward us. (Crawford Paul - Choice Gleanings) 

Out of the ivory palaces, into a world of woe,

Only His great, redeeming love made my Saviour go.

(H. Barraclough) 

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2069]

November 16

Take therefore no (worry) for (tomorrow),for (tomorrow) (will worry about its own things).  Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof."  (Matthew 6:34) (Inserted in brackets NKJV)

Life holds no surprises for God.  He is never taken aback by any situation in our world or in our life.  No path is unknown to Him, nor is any circumstance unsettling to Him.  The future is perfectly clear to our heavenly Father.  We have the full assurance that as we trust daily in His leading, He knows and cares about all our tomorrows and He will meet the need.  Don't worry about the "might happens" of our life.  Just follow.  (James Comte - Choice Gleanings)

I won't look forward - God sees all the future,

The road that, short or long, will lead me home;

And He will face with me its every trial,

And bear with me the burdens that may come. 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2070]

November 17

"The wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)  "There is none that doeth good, no, not one."  (Romans 3:12)  "All have sinned." (Romans 3:23)

 Leprosy speaks of the uncleanness and loathsomeness of sin.  It is a constitutional disease which wrought fearful havoc in the bodies of its victims, even as sin works havoc in the souls of those who are under its power.  A man was not a leper because he was disfigured by horrible ulcers and painful sores.  These things were but the witness to the decease that was working within.  Even so, one is not a sinner because he sins: he sins because he is a sinner.  (H.A. Ironside)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2071]

November 18

"He will stand upon the earth."  (Job 19:25)

    "While I was walking on the moon" are the words with which astronaut James Irwin sometimes begins his talk.  What could be a more arresting opening?  You just have to hear what comes next!

    Many have heard Colonel Irwin relate how he stood on the moon and saw Planet Earth suspended in space as an iridescent jewel.  As a guest speaker, he shared that as he walked the thought came to him - "Man walking on the moon - this is the greatest event of human history!"  And then it was he heard an inner voice speak to his heart, "I did something greater than that - I walked on the earth!"  

    Colonel Irwin testifies that he returned from the moon not to be a celebrity but a servant of the Lord of the universe who came and walked on the earth in the person of Jesus Christ.

    The greatest event this world has ever experience is - the incarnation - God taking on Himself the form of human flesh.  Deity clothed in the garb of humanity.  The infinite becoming the Intimate.  The Sovereign becoming the Saviour.  As Malcolm Muggeridge has expressed it: "The coming of Jesus into the world is the most stupendous event of human history."

    "He will stand upon the earth." - this remarkable declaration of Job anticipated centuries in advance of our Lord's coming to earth, the supreme event of history.  For Job, it was his great hope.  It enabled him to endure and maintain his faith amidst the fiercest assaults on him.

    We live not with a great anticipation but with a grand realization.  Our Redeemer has come to earth, and our lives can never again be the same.  Because Christ came and He lives and reigns, we can face tomorrow.  Because He came and through the power of His resurrection, we can say with even greater confidence than did Job, "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God" (Job 19:26).  (Henry Gariepy - Portraits of Perseverance)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2072]

November 19

"In all thy ways acknowledge HIM." (Proverbs 3:6)

I can wish you no greater blessing than that salvation may be no longer a "theory" but a glorious reality to you, constraining you henceforth to live unto Him entirely and joyfully.  If you once get hold of this, everything will seem different; the false lights of the world will no longer throw their flickering, deceiving lights around you, but you will view and estimate all in the true light, the glorious light which makes the earthly delusions altogether unattractive, and the grand eternal realities appear what they are, just realities.  (Francis Ridley Havergal)

Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me a living bright reality,

More present to faith's vision keen than any earthly object  seen,

More dear, more intimately nigh, than e'en the dearest earthly tie.

[N.J. Hiebert # 2073]

November 20

"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Powerful testimony! which judges the walk and searches the heart.  The world's true character has now been manifested, because it has rejected and crucified the Son of God. Man had been already tried without law, and under law; but after he had shown himself to be wholly evil without law, and had broken the law when he had received it, then God Himself came in grace; He became man in order to bring the love of God home to the heart of man, having taken his nature.  It was the final test of man's heart.  He came not to impute sin to them, but to reconcile the world to Himself.  But the world would not receive Him; and it has shown that it is under the power of Satan and of darkness.  It has seen and hated both Him and His Father."  (J.N.D.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2074] 

November 21

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."  (Isaiah 9:6) 

    A man may pretend to know the future, and by mere coincidence some of his predictions might come to pass.  If he knows the climate in a given part of the country, he may prophesy that it will rain on a certain day, and it might happen.  Or he may say that some day you will meet a man who has a black moustache, and very likely you will.  But should this pretender add some details, as for instance, saying that the rain will start at 2 o'clock and stop at 2:25, or that you will meet that man in a certain city, and specify the date, hour, and the place, there is less chance of its coming to pass.  The more detail he adds, the sooner his fraud will be discovered.

    But when God speaks of the future, it is as certain of fulfillment in all its details as though it were recorded history; and every detail given but enhances the beauty of the prophecy and displays the divine wisdom of Him who gave it.

    The Old Testament abounds with prophecies concerning the first coming of Christ, and the very multiplicity of details concerning Him and His coming leave an "honest and good heart" no room for anything but admiration and praise.  (P.W.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2075]

November 22

"But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.... bring forth the best robe... put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet... let us eat and be merry..." (Luke 15:20-22) 

 

    God could not have us in His presence with sin upon us - could not suffer a single speck or stain of sin.  The father could not have the prodigal at his table with the rags of the far country upon him.  He could go forth to meet him in those rags; he could fall upon his neck and kiss him in those rags; it was the worthy and beautiful characteristic of his grace to do so.  But then to seat him at his table in the rags would never do.

    The grace that brought the father out to the prodigal, reigns through the righteousness which brought the prodigal in to the father.  It would not have been grace had the father waited for the son to deck himself in robes of his own providing; it would not have been righteous to bring him in - in his rags.  But both grace and righteousness shone forth in all their respective brightness and beauty when the father went out and fell on the prodigal's neck, but yet did not give him a seat at the table until he was clad and decked in a manner suited to that elevated and happy position.  (C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2076]

November 23

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." (Philippians 4:4)

"Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end." (Isaiah 102:27)

 We rejoice in Christ Jesus; and since He never changes, we can go on rejoicing in Him, whatever be our circumstances, whatever be our lot, whatever be our difficulties.  Jesus is there, and Jesus is the same, and Jesus is enough.  We can make our boast in the Lord all the day long. (W.Y.F.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2077]

November 24

"My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 What a word!  "Sufficient!"  More than any other, it meets all our need - the greater or the lesser needs, as they daily and hourly occur.  "Sufficient!"  Who can sink with such a word?(J.D.S.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2078]

November 25

"Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven" (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10).

    That which should characterize Christians is, not merely holding the doctrine of the Lord's coming as that which they believe, but their souls should be in the daily attitude of waiting, expecting, and desiring His coming.  But why?  That they may see Himself and be with Him and like Him forever!  Not because the world which has been so hostile to them is going to be judged, though God will smite the wicked.

    The whole walk and character of a saint depends upon his waiting for the Lord.  Everyone should be able to read us by this, as having nothing to do in this world but to get through it, and not as having any portion in it.  (The Young Christian)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2079]

November 26

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever."  (Hebrews 13:8)

    A familiar saying among us is, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity."  No doubt we fully believe it; but yet when we find ourselves brought to our extremity, we are often very little prepared to count on God's opportunity.

    It is one thing to utter or hearken to a truth, and another thing to realize the power of that truth.  It is one thing, when sailing over a calm sea, to speak of God's ability to keep us in a storm, and it is another thing altogether to prove that ability when the storm is actually raging around us.

    And yet God is ever the same.  In the storm and in the calm, in sickness and in health, in pressure and in ease, in poverty and in abundance, (Hebrews 13:8) the same grand reality for faith to lean upon, cling to, and draw upon, at all times and under all circumstances.  (Christian Truth - December 1960 - Vol. 22)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2080]  

November 27

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 18:3)

 The little child is not self-confident; it fears the untried and unknown; it seeks the companionship of mother or friend, and it is willing to be led.  O for the child-heart, with its simplicity and trust - its unbounded faith and lovely guilelessness!  Many strong men may read these words, who glory in their strength, and they must be converted and become as little children if they would learn the secret of abiding in Him.  (Selected)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2081] 

November 28

"... wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."  (Psalm 51:7) 

    These words are part of the contrite prayer of King David after he committed the gross sins of adultery and murder.  Truly repentant, he pleads in agony of soul, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."  This _expression is not an exaggeration; for although snow appears to be perfectly clean, each flake has at its core a tiny speck of dust - a dirty heart - around which its lacy pattern is formed.  The implication is that the psalmist wishes to be thoroughly cleansed from every vestige of sin.

    When King Edward Vll was still the Prince of Wales, he went to visit a country nobleman.  The little daughter of his host soon climbed up on his knee and quickly charmed the prince by her loving attitude.  Though just a youngster, she had already come to know the Saviour and enjoyed talking about Him.  After a few moments, in her childlike way she inquired, "Do you like to make guesses?"  Yes," he replied with a smile.  "Please, sir, ca you tell me what is whiter than snow?"  Unprepared for such a strange remark, the royal visitor looked confused and finally gave up.  The little maid said with a sweet rebuke in her eyes, "O Prince, I'm sorry, but every soul washed in Jesus' blood should know that he's been made 'whiter than snow'!"

    Are you burdened by unconfessed sin?  If you turn to Jesus and ask His forgiveness, you too will experience the wondrous cleansing He imparts.  Christ alone can put your feet on the highway to Heaven and make your heart "whiter than snow."  (H.G.B.) 

                                                Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?

There's power in the blood, power in the blood;

Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow -

There's wonderful power in the blood.

(Jones)

 MEN MAY "WHITEWASH" SIN, BUT ONLY JESUS' BLOOD CAN WASH IT WHITE!

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1974), Grand Rapids, MI - Reprinted permission. 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2082]

November 29

"What is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom."  (Esther 5:3)

"Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom." (Mark 6:23)

 Two offers, two requests, two kingdoms.  Esther was willing to face death to bring life to her people.  Herodias' daughter used her life to bring death to John the Baptist.  Satan offers the kingdoms of this world at the cost of your own soul.  God offers His kingdom at the cost of His own Son.  In the final analysis, the latter is a kingdom of light, life and love; the former of darkness, destruction and dread.  Which kingdom are you pursuing?  (Tom Steere)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2083]

November 30

"There hath no temptation (trial) taken us, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempter (tried) above that ye are able; but will, with the temptation (trial), also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

 Whenever we get into trial, we may feel confident that, with the trial, there is an issue, and all we need is a broken will, and a single eye to see (accept) it.  (Food for the Desert)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2084]

December 1

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in THEE.  In God I will praise HIS word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.... put Thou my tears into Thy bottle: are they not in Thy book?... God is for me.... In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me."  (Psalm 56:3,4,8,11)  

     The word or promise of God is all His resource - not present strength, but the word of promise - God's remembrance of him.... The word is the hope of the sufferer here, and he assures himself that the chief occasion of his praise by and by will be the word also, or the accomplishing of what he now believes and hopes.  As the apostle says, "I know whom I have believed." (2 Timothy 1:12)  It is not that there is present deliverance, but there is promise, and faith can listen to that and receive it as the pledge of future praise.

    Such should just be the state of our souls.  They should rest in the promises, knowing that they will be made good, and become the theme of constant delight.  We are never straitened in "the word" or the promises.  They are all we want.  We need only the faith to enjoy them with fulll ease of heart.  As this poor sufferer anticipates occasions of praise and the payment of his vows, in the light of the living.  (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2085]

December 2

"Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night. (Nehemiah 4:9)

 "Here," said George Muller, "is the greatest secret of success; work with all your might but trust not in your own power to achieve.  Pray with all your might for God's guidance and blessing.  Pray, then work, work and pray; and again pray and work.  Whether you see much fruit or little fruit, remember that God delights to bestow real blessing.  This comes generally in answer to earnest, believing prayer."

While working for my Saviour here, the devil tries me hard;

He uses all his mighty power, my service to retard;

He's up to every move, and yet through all I prove,

A little talk with Jesus makes it right, all right.

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2086]

December 3

"Oh that I were, as in months past."  (Job 29:2)

 

It is always a bad sign when people look back to dwell on the past.  Are people not to grow?  Are children of God merely to be occupied with the immense favour of God?  No doubt it is very true that one is plucked out of the teeth of Satan; but what is that compared with the positive knowledge of God?  It is a great thing for us; but is not the knowledge of God infinitely greater than merely the action of divine grace in rescuing a poor wretched sinner?  It is an admirable thing for the sinner always to feel it; but it is a sad thing when he looks back to it as the brightest of all things.  Why, that means he has been making no progress at all; it means that he has been all these years afterwards looking back upon that as the divine moment.  Surely divine life ought to be a growing enjoyment; and the more so as you know of Christ and of God.  (William Kelly - Lectures on the Book of Job) 

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2087]

December 4

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord."  (2 Corinthians 4:5)

 We have an excellent touchstone by which to try all sorts of teaching and preaching.  The most spiritual teaching will ever be characterized by a full and constant presentation of Christ.  The Spirit cannot dwell on aught but Jesus.  Of Him He delights to speak.  He delights in setting forth His attractions and excellencies.  Hence, when a man is ministering by the power of the Spirit of God, there will always be more of Christ than anything else in his ministry.  There will be little room in such ministry for human logic and reasoning.  Such things may do very well when a man desires to set forth himself; but the Spirit's sole object - be it well remembered by all who minister - will ever be to set forth Christ.  (C.H. Mackintosh)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2088]

December 5

"Being in an agony, He (Jesus) prayed more earnestly."  (Luke 22:44)

 Challenges and difficulties are an inevitability in this life.  However, when trials and temptations come our way, too often we become disheartened or distracted and we pray less.  But with our Lord it was so different.  In the depths of His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed more earnestly.  Instead of them being barriers to our prayer life, may our problems become blessed reasons for praying even more earnestly.  (John M. Clegg) 

Oh, what peace we often forfeit;

Oh, what needless pain we bear -

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!

(Joseph Scriven) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2089]

December 6

"For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven."  (Psalm 119:89) 

The Bible - There it stands

Century follows century - There it stands.

Empires rise and fall and are forgotten - There it stands.

Dynasty succeeds dynasty - There it stands.

Kings are crowned and uncrowned - There it stands.

Storms of hate swirl about it - There it stands.

Atheists rail against it - There it stands.

Profane, prayerless punsters caricature it - There it stands.

Agnostics smile cynically - There it stands.

An anvil that has broken a million hammers - There it stands.

The flames are kindled about it - There it stands.

The arrows of hate are discharged against it - There it stands.

Radicalism rants and raves against it - There it stands.

Fogs of sophistry try to conceal it - There it stands.

The tooth of time gnaws, but makes no dent in it - There it stands.

(Anon)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2090]

December 7

"As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness."  (Psalm 17:17

 Dear friends of Gems,

    Richard (Dick) K. Gorgas, a man who loved his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, but still had room in that large heart of his to love those of the family of God, has gone "home".  Those in his assembly, community, prisons and numerous others were touched by his love for his Lord and the desire that others would also get to know HIM.  Many did!  The Spanish community is feeling the loss intensely.  It was mentioned at the funeral, "who will come in to replace a fallen soldier?"  His work is finished and he is "With Christ which is far better.

    Many will remember his generosity.  The needy found a friend who provided practical help and sought to meet their spiritual needs as well.

    We will remember the many encouraging e-mail messages, including scriptural portions, poems and hymns.  He was known as the "SINGING PILGRIM."  His songs are now even sweeter but we no longer hear the voice.  The hands that once poured out messages, are no longer on the keyboard.  His memory will linger on in our hearts.

    I can still hear his voice teaching us the following song while at a hymn sing some years ago.  I believe it portrays one of the many admirable characteristics of a friend who "cared" and "shared". 

I'll Be a Friend to Jesus

They tried my Lord and Master,  With no one to defend;

Within the halls of Pilate  He stood without a friend

Refrain  I'll be a friend to Jesus,  My life for Him I'll spend;

I'll be a friend to Jesus,  Until my years shall end 

The world may turn against Him,  I'll love Him to the end;

And while on earth I'm living,  My Lord shall have a friend.

I'll do what He may bid me;  I'll go where He may send; 

I'll try each flying moment,  To prove that I'm His friend.

To all who need a Saviour,  My friend I recommend;

Because He brought salvation,  Is why I am His friend.   

[N.J. Hiebert # 2091]

December 8

"Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."  (Psalm 119:11)

     The word of God is sufficient for every possible condition.  Acquaintance with it is the one way of being fortified against every insidious effort of the enemy.

    May God in His mercy cause us to direct our attention to it more and more, with unceasing prayer.

    Let it be the subject of meditation day and night while, with unremitting desire and patience, we study and search the sacred page.  It is the diligent soul that is made fat.  (Christian Truth - Volume 21 - May 1968)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2092]

December 9

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world...the world passes away."  (1 John 2:15,17)

 Forty years ago veteran missionary Mr. E.H. Sims said to me, "The stores today are full of so many things one can do without!"  A brother once heard him having a conversation in his tent and wondered who could be with him?  No one!  He was just talking with his Saviour!  "Uncle Bert's" life was so uncluttered with the things of this world that he was able to enjoy constant communion with his Lord.  Are the things which are "passing away" cluttering up my life and taking up my time and affection?  (David Croudace)

Vanity, then, of vanities, all things for which men grasp and grope!

The precious things in heavenly eyes -

Are LOVE, and TRUTH, and TRUST, and HOPE. 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2093] 

December 10

"He made the stars also."  (Genesis 1:16)

 In Moses' Spirit-inspired account of the creation, he tells us that God made the sun and the moon.  Then it's as though he says, "Oh, incidentally, He made the stars also."  Earth's galaxy alone is computed to have some 100 billion stars.  Beyond our galaxy are at least several hundred thousand other galaxies, each doubtless containing billions of stars.  The psalmist tells us that God knows "the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names" (Psalm 147:4).  What an infinitely great God we have!  (W. Ross Rainey) 

O Lord, my God!  When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed. 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2094] 

December 11

"By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain."  (1 Corinthians 15:10)

 Commenting on this verse, the erstwhile slave runner John Newton exclaimed, "I am not what I ought to be!  Ah, how imperfect and deficient!  I am not what I wish to be!  I abhor that which is evil, and would cleave to that which is good.  I am not what I hope to be!  Soon, soon I shall put off mortality and with it all sin and imperfection.  Yet though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say I am not what I once was!"

Then we shall be where we would be,

Then we shall be what we should be;

Things that are not now nor could be

Soon shall be our own.

(T.Kelly) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2095]

December 12

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." (James 1:17)

 The grateful heart receives all as from God, knowing that every good and perfect gift (everything that He gives answers to this description) comes down from heaven, from the Father of lights.  He knows what is in the darkness, but the light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:22), with whom is neither changeableness not shadow cast by turning.  Every blessing for time and eternity we owe to the unfailing goodness and unalterable purpose of grace. (H.A. Ironside)  

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2096]

December 13

"...when He was reviled, [He] reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not." (1 Peter 2:23)

    I am not sure it ever happens exactly like this, but you'll recognize the point: Four-year old Angelo wakes up and discovers that his new beagle puppy has chewed up his plastic guitar.  The little fellow has a fit of grief.  Mom's nerves tighten.  Yesterday's headache starts coming back, and she snaps at husband Tony as he leaves for the office.  Still feeling the unhappy sendoff, he greets his secrtary with some cold and unreasonable instructions.  She immediately picks up the mood, and at coffeebreak tells off a fellows secretary in a way that puts the whole pool on ice.  Fifteen minutes before the office closes, the second put-down secretary vents her anger at her boss and tells him she's had it.  About an hour and a half later, he walks into his house after fighting heavy freeway traffic.  Seeing his wife, he blurts out an angry word because little Nelson has left his bike in the driveway again.  Mom turns around and yells at their 5-year old son.  Nelson's eyes fill up with tears, he rushes to his room, slams the door, and kicks his Scottish terrier.

    Where does it all end?  Every reaction is understandable.  Each person had a reason for being upset.  But what that little world of people needed that day was someone who could absorb unjust treatment without lashing out.  And this is where a Christian has a unique opportunity.  By knowing the Father's will, by heeding the Son's example, and by relying on the Spirit's help, he can put up with bad treatment in order to show others a better way.  In terms of a chain reaction of anger, he can be where it all ends.  (Selected) 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2097]

December 14

"He said to them, go ye into all the world..."  (Mark 16:15) 

"Jesus... saith unto him go home to thy friends, and tell them..." Mark 5:19 

    William Carey, pioneer missionary to India, first heard the gospel from a fellow apprentice in a shoemaker's shop.  Carey made light of his co-worker's testimony, but secretly became convicted of his deep need: "I found myself a sinner, whose only hope was to trust Jesus."

    Once saved, he really got into God's Word.  he also read books and listened to preachers that expounded it.  As he began preaching, the Lord burdened his heart for the lost in India.  He also discovered that he had a gift for languages, and easily taught himself Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, Dutch, and Italian.  He became convinced that translating the Bible into native tongues was a key to taking the gospel to all the world.  But when he shared his burden for the lost in India, he was told, "When God pleases to convert the heathen, he'll do it without your aid."  Undaunted, he took as his motto, "Attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God."  With his whole family, he departed for India in 1793.  

    Overcoming great set backs, Carey eventually established 26 churches, translated the whole Bible into six languages and the New Testament into 23 languages.  Shortly before his death in 1834, he characterized himself as a "plodder - one who simply persevered in what he undertook for God."  The gospel is not spread today so much by miracles as by "going" and "telling."  This is what Carey did in India, but just as importantly, this is what his co-worker did in the shoemaker's shop in England.  Whose was the greater work?  If God calls you to do great things for Him in India, by all means go!  But if He calls you to serve with your co-workers, friends, and neighbours right where you are, do that!  (Taken from "The Lord is Near") 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2098]

December 15

"Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."  (Acts 12:5)

This verse tells us that there was a much stronger force at work than the squadron of soldiers under Herod.  While Peter was in prison, earnest, ceaseless, urgent supplication was being made by the Church to the living and true God.  It was sure, united and in the unction of the Holy Spirit.  As the prayers rose, chains slid off manacled wrists.  Vigilant guards saw nothing.  Iron gates yielded.  Prayer worked then, and it works today.  Learn to engage in and enjoy prayer.  Then watch what God will do.  (Choice Gleanings)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2099]

 

December 16

"She hath wrought a good work upon Me."  (Matthew 26:10)

 Christ Himself was the immediate object of this woman's soul; and it was this which gave value to her act, and sent the odour of her ointment straight up to the throne of God.  Little did she know or think that untold millions would read the record of her deep-toned personal devotedness.  Little did she imagine that her act would be stereotyped by the Master's hand on the very pages of eternity, and never be obliterated.  She thought not of this.  She sought not, nor dreamed of such marvellous publicity; had she done so, it would have robbed her act of all its charms, and deprived her sacrifice of all its fragrance. (Christian Truth - Vol. 20)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2100]

December 17

"Grace reign[s] through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."  (Romans 5:21)

 It is only in redemption that this reign of grace could be seen. We may see in creation the reign of wisdom and power; we may see in providence the reign of goodness and long-suffering; but only in redemption do we see the reign of grace, and that, too, on the principle of righteousness.  (C.H. Mackintosh)    

[N.J. Hiebert # 2101]

December 18

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."  (Luke 16:10)

 There is a serving of one's time; that is, you will not be entrusted with very great works until you have proved your competency in small ones.  It is impossible but that a star must shine, and it is equally so, that if your eye were single, your whole body would be full of light.  The cause of idleness, or ignorance of one's mission is, either that one is not fit for it, or not free and humble in heart enough to begin at the little works appointed for one to do.  (J.B.S.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2102]

December 19

"Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them."  (Luke 24:15)

 Jesus Himself!  Nothing less is offered to us.  If we want Him, we can have Him.  All that He is, and all that He has, may be ours.  Our Christianity, to be all that it ought to be and may be, must be just this - Himself.

The true and perfect knowledge of Him really settles every difficulty.  To know Him is to know God, and to know God is to end our doubts.  Christ had none, because this knowledge was His; and it may be ours.

"In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:9,10)  (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2103]

December 20

The wages of sin is death."  (Romans 6:23)

 Man may seek to hide his humiliation in various ways; to cover his retreat through the valley of death in the most heroic manner possible; to call the last humiliating stage of his career by the most honourable titles he can devise; to gild the bed of death with a false light; to adorn the funeral procession and the grave with the appearance of pomp, pageantry, and glory; to raise above the mouldering ashes a splendid monument, on which are engraved the records of human shame.  All these things he may do; but death is death after all, and he cannot keep it off for a moment, or make it aught else than what it is; namely, "the wages of sin is death; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD."   "THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT." (2 CORINTHIANS 9:15)  (Selected)  Having read this, can you be of good cheer? 

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2104]

December 21

"Ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord.... Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching."  (Luke 12:36,37)

Our Lord would have us "watch" as well as "wait" for His coming.  Both imply spiritual activity.  Waiting souls are certainly not sleeping; for waiting according to our Lord's mind must be with girded loins, diligence in His service, and lights burning, thus bearing clear testimony to Him in the power of the Holy Spirit during the darkness of the night.  (H.H.S.)

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2105]

December 22

"The Lord gave the WORD: great was the company of those that published it."  (Psalm 68:11)  

Holy Bible, Book divine!

Precious treasure, thou art mine!

Mine, to tell me whence I came;

Mine, to teach me what I am.

 

Mine, to chide me when I rove;

Mine, to show a Saviour's love;

Mine thou art, to guide my feet;

Mine, to judge, condemn, acquit.

 

Mine, to comfort in distress,

If the Holy Spirit bless;

Mine, to show by living faith,

How to triumph over death.

 

Mine, to tell of joys to come;

Mine, to show the sinner's doom;

Holy Bible, Book divine!

Precious treasure, thou art mine!

(Author unknown)

 

[N.J. Hiebert # 2106] 

December 23

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?  by taking heed thereto according to Thy word." (Psalm 119:9)

We need to read the Word daily so that we might have that cleansing that is so needful.  As we read and let the Word speak to our hearts and consciences, it exercises us.  (A.M. Barry)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2107]

December 24

"Show me now Thy way."  (Exodus 33:13)

 May we so trust the love of God, the faithfulness of God, that we may have courage to say, "Show me Thy way"; faith in the full delight of God to bless us, so that we may do His will, even if it be the loss of everything; our souls so intimate with God, that we may seek His way and nothing else.  (Selected) 

 [N.J. Hiebert # 2108]

 

 

December 25

"When the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." (John 15:26)  "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.  He shall glorify Me;  for He shall received of Mine and show it unto you.  All things that  the Father hath are Mine; therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine and shall show it unto you." (John 16:13-15)

The coincidence of these words with the testimony of Abraham's servant is instructive and interesting.  It was by telling of Isaac that he sought to attract the heart of Rebekah; and it is, as we know, by telling of Jesus, that the Holy Ghost seeks to draw poor sinners away from a world of sin and folly, into the blessed and holy unity of the body of Christ.  "He shall take of Mine and show it unto you."  The Spirit of God will never lead any one to look at Himself or His work, but only and always at Christ.  Hence, the more really spiritual any one is, the more entirely will he be occupied with Christ.  (C.H. Mackintosh - Genesis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 2109]

 

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April 11

"The Lord is with thee (Gideon) thou mighty man of valour... Oh my Lord wherewith shall I save Israel? behold my family is poor...I am the least in my father's house." (Judges 6:12,15)

"Gideon, like Moses and many other servants of God, has got to get fully to the end of himself. He must be done with his humility as well as his pride. Gideon had been assured that the Lord was with him, and he asks, 'Wherewith shall I save Israel?' He has himself before his eyes, for the time. He speaks of the poverty of his family, of his own insignificance in his father's house. But what have these to do with the living God? Did he think it was his own strength that was going to overthrow Midian? Ah, he was forgetting the lessons of his own faith, for the time.

"But Gideon is not alone in this. How common it is to find those who have done with boasting and thinking they are great, now occupied with their littleness. But little 'I' is as great hindrance as great 'I.' It looks very humble to depreciate one's self, to keep in the back ground, but there is often a very subtle pride that wears this garb of humility. It is not self, good or bad, that is to be before us; weak or strong 'I' are to be alike refused, that God alone may have the glory." (S. Ridout)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1489]

April 12

"And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel." (Ruth 4:14)

"How dark and hopeless the case had been when Naomi and Ruth had left Moab. When Naomi had spoken to Orpah and Ruth then, her words had been based on the impossibility of ever raising up a seed for the deceased or of redeeming the inheritance. But the word impossible should never be used in connection with God. Nothing is impossible with Him except that He could lie or act unworthily. Oh, it is essential that we be convinced of our own utter inabilities. But at the same time it is inadmissible and impertinent to limit God's power and love." (H.L. Heijkoop - The Book of Ruth)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1490]

April 13

"And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses." (1 Samuel 9:3)

"In his difficulty, Saul had apparently no notion of inquiring of God. It is delightful to us to know that our God is interested in small natters as well as in great. The true child of faith to-day, if he lost his donkeys, would not consider the thing too trivial for the divine notice, for are we not invited in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to make our requests know to God? (Philippians 4:6). But Saul was favoured with an excellent servant, who told him there was a man of God in the city to which they were approaching, and he suggested that they should consult him about their journey. Servants played an important part in the blessing of Naaman, the Syrian (2 Kings 5), from which we may learn never to despise the counsel and ministry of even the humblest messengers." (W.W. Fereday - Samuel God's Emergency Man)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1491]

April 14

"And when the woman saw... she took of the fruit... and did eat and gave also unto her husband... and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

"When Adam fell he obtained the conscious knowledge of 'good and evil' and he knew that he must be condemned by God. This is manifested by Adam and Eve hiding among the trees of the garden. When God came, He had to say, 'Where art thou?' And Adam said, 'I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.' (Genesis 3:9,10) Thus, we find man forsakes God, and hides himself from Him, and this has been going on ever since. God did not forsake man; for, notwithstanding that sin has come in, and a positive breach and separation between God and man has been made, yet God has only inflicted temporal punishment. The eternal judgment still awaits its accomplishment.

" 'God is slow to anger.' He pronounces temporal punishment upon Adam and Eve, and then through death clothes them with coats of skins suitable to Himself, and drives them out of the garden. It is manifest that man has tried to make the best of it; but it is also manifested that sin is in the world, and death follows. 'It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.' (Hebrews 9:27) The eternal judgment, has not yet been executed. That is God's long-suffering mercy and grace." (W.M. Sibthorpe - The Ways of God With Man)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1492]

April 15

"Shamgar... slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an oxgoad: and he also delivered Israel." (Judges 3:31)

"God often works His wonders through small numbers. By using minorities the Lord demonstrates that the triumphant victories of His people can be credited exclusively to the power and guidance of His Spirit. Joshua had predicted that in the strength of God one man in Israel would be able to put a thousand to flight. So Shamgar was not afraid when he had to face 600 Philistine warriors with only an oxgoad as a weapon. He didn't shrink back and say that his tools were insufficient for what appeared to be an impossible job. Instead, he went forward valiantly with all his might. Relying upon God's indispensable aid, he single-handedly won a tremendous victory.

"Someone has written: 'When Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers, he was all alone, but in the end he won. When Samson, blinded by the enemies of God, stood gripping the two middle pillars of the temple of Dagon, he seemed a pathetic and defeated man. Yet, with the power of God energizing him, he succeeded in pulling down the great building, killing thousands of Philistines -- and thus he won. When Elijah prayed down fire from Heaven and put the prophets of Baal to shame, he stood alone -- but he won. When David went out to meet Goliath, in size he was a notable minority -- but he won!'

"You too are only an individual, but you can be a mighty power for good. You may not have an oxgoad or a sling, but what do you have in your hand? A pen? A needle? A shovel? God can make use of it if you will yield yourself wholeheartedly to His will and spirit. One with God can be a mighty majority!" (Selected)

Shamgar had an oxgoad, David had a sling;

Dorcas had a needle, Rahab had a string.

Samson had a jawbone, Aaron had a rod;

Mary had some ointment, but all were used for God! (Anon)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1493]

April 16

"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (Acts 20:31)

"The greatest need to-day is for every true servant of Christ, everyone who cherishes the truth and to whom Christ's interests are dear, to remember the exhortation as well as the example of the Apostle, and to feed the Church of God and warn the flock.

"Evidently every other kind of method was accompanied and supported by prayer, for at the close of the address this great servant of God 'Kneeled down and prayed with them all.' " (Russell Elliott - Break of Day)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1494]

April 17

"Wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey?" (Numbers 14:3)

"Such is the line along which a soul out of communion will travel. It first loses the sense of being in God's hand for good, and finally begins to deem itself in His hands for evil -- melancholy progress this!"

"If those who are redeemed from this present world do not walk with God in thankfulness of heart, satisfied with His provision for the redeemed in the wilderness, they are in danger of falling into the snare of Babylonish influence." (Taken from "Food for the Desert)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1495]

April 18

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

"Conscience must be exercised unhinderdly; and so must faith also. Grace provides for both in the believers heart. It is excellent thus to look onward, the eye filled with the glory of the Lord Jesus and the heart resting on His grace. But there should also be the unsparing judgment of ourselves in the light, and consequently due and suited confession. Where this is, there will be the lowliness that becomes men who have no standing-place but in grace. God forbid that this should be wanting in any Christian. It is hard to preserve the balance of truth; but at least it is well to desire it.

"Let us beware of having the appearance of one-sidedness. To be cast down with the constant sense of shame because of what we are, to hang our heads as bulrushes, is a poor testimony to the love of Christ, and to the victory God gives us through Him. But it is a worse state where the recognition of His grace is misused to enfeeble conscience and destroy sensibility as to sin, above all as to our own sins.

"It is well that we should know that the path of faith is far removed from either of these two things. For we are entitled to enjoy the brightness of what Christ is and has done for us; but there is also the unfailing and never-to-be-forgotten sense of what it cost Him so to suffer for us." (William Kelly - Lectures Introductory to Earlier Historical Books)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1496]

April 19

"Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself; And discover (betray) not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, And thine infamy turn not away." (Proverbs 25:9-10)

"Much trouble and mischief might be avoided if people were careful to keep their differences to themselves, in place of spreading abroad information as to their shameful quarrels. If the simple scriptural rule, 'Tell him his fault between thee and him alone,' were more generally acted upon, how many misunderstandings might be put right at once, in place of dragging on for long seasons and involving an ever-increasing circle of persons who should properly never even have heard of the case.

"To go direct to one with whom there is danger of a quarrel, and debate the matter in a gracious spirit with him in secret, carefully keeping the matter from sharp ears and prying eyes, -- this is what the proverb commends. Nor is it only something commended. It is directly commanded by God Himself. Happy shall His people be when it is taken to heart and conscientiously acted upon!" (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1497]

April 20

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

"It was lunchtime as the UPS (United Parcel Service) delivery truck pulled into the parking lot of a local sports bar. The driver, though hungry, had another reason for stopping. His favorite college basketball team was competing in the NCAA post-season basketball tournament and the game was being televised there.

"Entering the bar, Joe (not his real name) spent his lunch break watching the game, though he didn't consume any alcoholic beverage. When his break was over, Joe returned to his truck.

"There he was met by his immediate supervisor.

" 'Joe, I'm suspending you from work for five days.'

" 'But why'? Joe protested. 'I finished my lunch break. I wasn't doing anything wrong.'

" 'We received a call from someone who said they observed a UPS delivery man entering a bar.'

" 'Hey, I didn't order or drink any alcohol; I just watched the game. I follow the company rules.'

" 'I believe you, Joe. But when you wear a UPS uniform and drive a UPS truck, you represent UPS. The public's opinion of UPS is based on the actions of its employees. Stopping in a bar, even to watch a game, isn't consistent with the image of dependability UPS wants to project to our customers.'

"For Christians, this true story strikingly illustrates the importance of obeying 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (quoted above).

"Too often, those who profess to be Christians assume they represent a particular denomination with certain ecclesiastical rules. But such thinking sets aside the real meaning of Christian -- one who follows Christ and, we may add, one who represents Christ and His interests in this world. "Ye are our epistle ... known and read of all men.' (2 Corinthians 3:2)

"Saints are not called to defend man-made theologies and doctrines. But as members of the one body of Christ, the assembly, which is 'the pillar and the base of the truth' (JNDV), we are to hold fast the 'form of sound words' (2 Timothy 1:13)" (The Editor - The Christian Shepherd - December 2001)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1498]

April 21

"The meekness and gentleness (self-forgetfulness) of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:1)

"I cannot tell you how often these words have helped me when I had a difficult letter to write -- Paul was in the middle of that sort of letter then; or when I had to explain something to someone who seemed unable to understand -- his position at that moment.

"It is so easy to let the 'I' slip in, so easy to be hard in spirit, if one is up against unfairness, misrepresentation, misunderstanding of any sort, as Paul was then. But there is the thought of the gentleness of the Lord Jesus, and His self-forgetfulness.

"May He remind us of Himself in moments of temptation, and may we be near enough to be reminded." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1499]

April 22

"And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." (Job 19:26)

"Job once again took a quantum leap of faith as he exclaimed, 'In my flesh I will see God; whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.' This text is the greatest testimony on immortality in the Old Testament.

"In the United States, the highest and lowest elevations are in remarkably close proximity -- Death Valley (282' below sea level) and Mount McKinley (20, 320' above sea level). The same God who created the lowest and highest points on this hemisphere almost next to each other also gave us man's lowest and highest points in the Bible right next to each other here in the Book of Job. Man's loftiest testimony on life after death comes right after his lowest depths of despair. How like God to plumb man's most radiant testimony from the depths of his sorrow and tragedy.

"It boggles the mind to contemplate what it will be like to see the Lord. The majesty, magnificence, and the awesomeness of that experience defies any possible description. It will be the quintessence of all human experience, an event nonpareil in the range of human experience

"Face to face with Christ, my Saviour, Face to face, what will it be?

When with rapture I behold Him, JESUS CHRIST who died for me.

"Face to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky;

Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!" (Grant Tullar)

"They will see His face" (Revelation 22:4)

"When He appears ... we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)

"The tabernacle (dwelling) of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

"There is nothing in all Scripture that parallels this glorious blessing to be bestowed by God on men." (Selected --)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1500]

April 23

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer." (Acts 3:1)

"Peter and John, evidently bosom friends, and peculiarly linked together all through the gospels, went up together at the ninth hour of the day to pray. They had been partners in business in olden times, had caught fish together on the Sea of Galilee, and now they were partners in a new business, and go out together, not to catch fish, but men.

"These two men were the complement one of the other. What Peter lacked John possessed. The latter was in the main as calm as the former was impulsive. John was evidently a quiet, restful, meditative man, with deep affection, resembling Mary of Bethany, while Peter was the counterpart of Martha, among the apostles. That John could thunder was evident, for the Lord, when he called him and his brother James, 'surnamed them Bonarges, which is, The sons of thunder' (Mark 3:17). Peter was always thundering, his torrential character carrying him resistlessly along, and sweeping all before it. Nevertheless in John was the greater moral power. Real power is always quiet. But the two were evidently devoted to each other, as to their common Master, and we never read of a hitch between them. Theirs manifestly was a friendship with a holy, and consequently an abiding basis, and well would it be for us if all our friendships had a substratum of a similar nature." (W.T.P Wolston - Simon Peter)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1501]

April 24

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

"The Preacher, like a good workman, takes account of what material he has to work with. 'Have I,' he says 'any thing that others have not had, or can I hope to find any thing that has not been before?' At once he is struck with that 'law of circuit' That is stamped on every thing: generation follows generation; but no new earth, that remains ever the same; the sun wheels ceaselessly in its one course; the winds circle from point to point, but whirl about to their starting-place; the waters, too, follow the same law, and keep up one unbroken circuit. Where can rest be found in such a scene? While there is unceasing change, nothing is new; it is but a repetition of what has been before, and which again soon passes, leaving the heart empty and hungry still. Again, then, let us use this dark background to throw forward another scene. See, even, now, 'above the sun' Him who is the Head and perfect Exponent of the creation called the new. Is there any law of constant unsatisfying circuit in Him? No, indeed, every sight we get of Him is new; each revelation of Himself perfectly satisfies, and yet awakens appetite for further views." (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1502]

April 25

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)

"Among the many different names which Peter uses for believers in his first epistle are these two; namely, 'strangers and pilgrims.' God wants us ever to remember that since we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ we have no home here -- we are 'strangers'. But we do have a home there -- we are 'pilgrims'. We are pressing on to glory; we have a better country, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called our God.

"We are, however, going through the wilderness. But our God provides for every need and is able to give us power and grace to overcome and triumph in every difficulty and danger. We have not passed this way heretofore, but our Lord has. (A.V.R.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1503]

April 26

"Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep your's also." (John 15:20)

"John 15 gives us the necessary way in which life is seen in believers -- abiding in Christ. All the trials and sorrows in this life are allowed for this end. We need to judge all in the sight of God's presence.

"Never look at second causes. Never look at the men who block your course. We should take all our circumstances from the Lord, and our difficulties to the Lord, whether they are a worm, a gourd, or a caterpillar.

"If you will read your Bible, you will find that God is behind the scenes, and moves all the scenes He is behind." (Christian Truth - January 1966 - Volume 19)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1504]

April 27

"Who shall change our (body of humiliation), that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." (Philippians 3:21)

"The Greek word translated 'transform' in this verse means to change the outward appearance of that which itself remains the same. It is used of Saul and of Jeroboam's wife, when they disguised themselves. (1 Samuel 28:8; 1 Kings 14:2) Their outward appearance was changed, but they remained the same. 'The butterfly, prophetic type of man's resurrection, is immeasurably more beautiful than the grub, yet has been unfolded from it.' (Trench) The outward form of the grub has been changed: it has been 'unclothed' (2 Corinthians 5:4) from its grub-body; and it has 'put on' (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54) its beautiful garments; but it is still the very same creature, the same life, that was in the grub. Our Lord was 'found in fashion as a man.' This word 'fashion' is the word from which the expression 'change-the-fashion' is made. When men saw Him, saw His outward appearance, 'there was no beauty that we should desire Him.' To man's eye, He was only 'the carpenter.' (Mark 6:3). It tells of the outward form only, but not of the inner Being. In His inner Being, He was 'in the form of God.' This is an entirely different word, telling of the 'specific character, the inward and essential.' Men found Him only 'the carpenter,' for they judged by outward appearances: but all the time He was very God." (G. Christopher Willis - Sacrifices of Joy)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1505]

April 28

"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it." (Mark 4:20)

"A man may receive a tract and tear it up, and throw it away; or if he reads it, he may treat the truth the same." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1506]

April 29

"Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" (Numbers 14:3)

"These sad words were spoken by a separated people, who had forgotten that they had been delivered from the house of bondage in Egypt. They remembered only what seemed to be the good things of that cruel place. Egypt in Scripture is often typical of this old world - the world that the Christian should be passing through as a stranger. We deny our pilgrim character when we 'return' again to the worldly attractions from which we have been delivered. Surely we journey to a much better place than this! Why are we wasting our time trying to get back to Egypt?" (R.J. Steele)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1507]

April 30

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"The Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land ... thou shalt not lack any thing." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9)

"In one sense we have, like Abraham, not a single foot of land to call out own. Who are poorer than the children of God? All our precious things are invisible to sight. The things of greatest value to us, the world says do not exist: all the inheritance of God's people is a future inheritance. But where do we find that inheritance described? where do we have it spread before us in all its beauty, fertility, and perfection? In the precious Word of God. And so these scriptures are our present inheritance, into which we can enter now by faith, and already enjoy the reality which is there unfolded to us." (Samuel Ridout - Genesis to Revelation)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1508]

May 1

"Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do." (Deuteronomy 29:9)

"Simple obedience to the Word of God ever has been, is now, and ever shall be the deep and real secret of all true prosperity. To the Christian, of course, the prosperity is not in earthly or material things, but in heavenly and spiritual; and we must never forget that it is the very height of folly to think of prospering or making progress in the divine life if we are not yielding an implicit obedience to all the commandments of our blessed and adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 'If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I love you; continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.' Here is true Christian prosperity. May we earnestly long after it, and diligently pursue the proper method of attaining it." (C.H. Macintosh - Book of Deuteronomy)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1509]

May 2

"Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it." (Isaiah 38:17)

"Therefore we will sing my songs." (Isaiah 38:20)

When the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and returned to Noah because the waters were on the face of the whole earth, "then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in' (margin, 'caused her to come') 'unto him in the Ark.' What a beautiful picture is this little helpless, tired dove of out helplessness and weariness, and the kind hand, strong and tender, which does not leave us to flutter and beat against a closed window, but takes us, and pulls us 'unto Him, into the Ark!' So we have the willingness of the Father in one part of the type, and the willingness of the Son in another part -- willingness to receive you into safety and rest." (Francis Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1510]

May 3

"He leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:2)

"God never gives guidance for two steps at a time. I must take one step, and then I get light for the next."

"If the eye, instead of resting on our sins and sorrows, could rest only on Christ, it would sweeten many a bitter cup, and enlighten many a gloomy hour."

"One finds constantly that nine-tenths of our trials and sorrows are made up of anticipated or imaginary evils, which only exist in our own disordered, because unbelieving, minds."

"We can never sing with real spiritual intelligence and power when we are looking at ourselves."

-- Taken from Food for the Desert

[N.J. Hiebert # 1511]

May 4

"Made Himself of no reputation." (Philippians 2:7)

"Nothing can be more worthless than seeking a place for oneself. It is sure to end in disappointment and confusion. The grand thing for each one is to be found filling his appointed place and doing his appointed work; and the more humbly, quietly, and unpretendingly, the better." (Christian Truth - January 1968 - Volume 21)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1512]

May 5

"For there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:22,23)

"The shedding of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest crime ever perpetrated on the face of this earth. It involved the awful sin of deicide. When a man murders another, he is held responsible for taking the life of his fellow-man, but when a man stretches forth his hand against God incarnate, what can be said about his guilt! Yet that is the awful crime in which Jews and Gentiles participated. When the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed to Calvary's tree and His blood poured forth, it was the manifestation of the world's greatest sin, but it also became the greatest possible manifestation of the infinite love and grace of God. That which declares the enormity of man's sin and the corruption of his heart is that which manifests the love of God to the greatest extent. All this was foreseen." (H.A. Ironside - In the Heavenlies)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1513]

May 6

"Spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention." (Habakkuk 1:3)

"Contention is uncomfortable, with whomsoever we fall out: neighbours or friends, wife or husband, children or servants; but worst of all with God.

"Consider the unhappy contentions and divisions that are found among the people of God. Contentions ever portend ill. Christ sets up the light of His gospel to walk and work by, not to fight and wrangle; and therefore, it were no wonder at all if He should put it out, and so end the dispute. If these storms which have been of late years upon us, and are not yet off, had but made Christians, as that did the disciples (Mark 6:48), ply their oars, and lovingly row all one way, it had been happy; we might then have expected Christ to come walking toward us in mercy, and help us safe to land; but when we throw away the oar, and fall to strife in the ship, while the wind continues loud about us, truly we are more likely to drive Christ from us, than to invite Him to us; we are in a more probable way of sinking than saving of the ship and ourselves in it.

"There is nothing (next to Christ and heaven) that the devil grudges believers more than their peace and mutual love: if he cannot rend them from Christ, stop them from getting heaven, yet he takes some pleasure to see them go thither in a storm, like a shattered fleet severed from one another, that they may have no assistance from, nor comfort of each other's company al the way. One ship is easier taken than a squadron."

(William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - 1665)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1514]

May 7

"The Lord shall be thy confidence." (Proverbs 3:26)

"What the devil did was to undo our confidence in God: what Jesus did is to show us that we may trust Him. And when the believer sees not this, he is looking to the devil and his temptations more than to the love and power of Christ, who has conquered all his enemies for him; but when our eyes are off all other objects, and on Christ, then, and then only, we can have peace." (J.N. Darby - Pilgrims Portions for the Day of Rest)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1515]

May 8

"Yea, and all that will love godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. ... but continue thou in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou has learned them." (2 Timothy 3:12, 14)

"The Apostle indeed guards Timothy, and all, from two common and pressing dangers: first, from the snare of resting our confidence, of having the foundation of our faith, in anything short of the divine Word; and, second from being decoyed from off this foundation by pretended developments, or by the progress of modern thought. We are to abide in that which we have received from the Word of God, and thus to refuse to be carried about with divers and strange doctrines; and for this reason we are to accept nothing short of God's own Word -- no human opinions, however venerated, or however commended by the sanctity of their authors -- as the basis of our beliefs." (Edward Dennett -Exposition of Second Timothy)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1516]

May 9

"That which is was long ago, and that which is to be hath already been; and God bringeth back again that which is past." (Ecclesiastes 3:15) (JNDV)

"Life itself emphasizes the truth that nothing is at one stay here; -- all moves. There is naught abiding, like the winds and waters ... man's life is but a wheel that turns: death follows birth, and all the experiences between are but ever varying shades of good and evil, evil and good. (Let us bear in mind this is not faith's view, but simply that of human wisdom. Faith sings a song amidst the whirl of life:

'With mercy and with judgment, My web of time He wove;

And aye the dews of sorrow Were lustred with His love.')

"But then if nothing thus rests as it is, it becomes a necessary deduction that, if wisdom has collected, and labored, and built, folly will follow to possess and scatter, what profit then in toiling? For he sees that this constant travail is of God who, in wisdom inscrutable, and not to be penetrated by human reasoning, would have men exercised by these constant changes, while their hearts can be really satisfied with no one of these things, beautiful as each may be in its time. So boundless are its desires that he says, 'Eternity' has been place in that heart of man, and naught in all these 'time-changes' can fill it. Still he can see nothing better for man, than that he should make the best of the present, for he cannot alter or change what God does or purposes, and everything he sees, speaks of His purpose to a constant 'round' a recurrence of that which is past." (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1517]

May 10

"Feed the church of God which HE hath purchased with HIS own blood." (Acts 20:28)

"Sin is taken away. What a wonderful thing is this! When once you see that Jesus the Son of God died upon the cross, and purged your sins, and that because of His obedience unto death God hath exalted Him at His right hand, that, having effected by Himself this purification, He entered into heavenly glory, you have no more conscience of sin. You do not require day by day, as it were, to receive the forgiveness of your sins. You have been washed, you have been made clean, you have received full absolution and remission. Nay, more. In the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus is, sin no more can rise; and as you were crucified and buried with Him, so you are raised with Him, and seated together with Him in heavenly places." (Adolph Saphir - Hebrews)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1518]

May 11

"Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills ... call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." (Psalm 50:10,15)

"Man in his religion treats God as one who is to be ministered to and to be appeased, instead of as the blessed giver and reconciler Himself. This is the grand difference between human and divine religion. God's religion is grace, man's religion is works. Israel had loaded the altar with offerings, but did not use God as a deliverer. Such is the first charge read out of the books when the judgment is set. The second is then moved against them. It concerns their practical life and conversation, as the former did their religion and worship. It condemns their conduct as astray also. Religious they were, but unrighteous also." (J.G. Bellett - Short meditations on the Psalms)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1519]

May 12

"Love vaunteth not itself." (1 Corinthians 13:4)

"If envy is the vice to which life's unsuccessful ones are specially prone, to act vauntingly, boastfully, is the temptation of the rich. It was said of a prominent personage of last century that he was a self-made man and that he adored his maker. But 'love has no trumpeter in her train to proclaim her virtues: the Sermon on the Mound has abolished that time-honoured official' (Matthew 6:2)" (George Henderson - A Trinity of Christian Graces)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1520]

May 13

"I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

"Years ago there was an old German professor whose beautiful life was a marvel to his students. Some of them resolved to know the secret of it; so one of their number hid in the study where the old professor spent his evenings.

"It was late when the teacher came in. He was very tired, but he sat down and spent an hour with his Bible. Then he bowed his head in secret prayer; and finally closing the Book of books, he said, 'Well Lord Jesus, we're on the same old terms.'

"To know Him is life's highest attainment; and at all costs, every Christian should strive to be 'on the same old terms with Him.'

"The reality of Jesus comes as a result of secret prayer, and a personal study of the Bible that is devotional and sympathetic. Christ becomes more real to the one who persists in the cultivation of His presence." (Streams in the Desert)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1521]

May 14

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

"God alone is the teacher of the knowledge of Himself, and he who would know God must needs go to God's school to be taught. Natural science is acquired by toil and search, but the knowledge of God is gained by faith in His Word. God's ways are not man's. The first lesson learned in God's school is faith, and all must enter this school at the infant class; for except a man be converted and become as a little child, he shall fail to know God." (Christian Truth - Volume 21 - February 1968)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1522]

May 15

"For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)

"We do not think there is harm in a thing we like; the front of it is pleasure, but the back of it is sin." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1523]

May 16

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

"We should all solemnly weigh them in the presence of God, as he will then be able to compare them with the moral features of the present day. We cannot, however, forbear to add the following striking remarks of another: 'If we compare the list of sins and abominations which Paul gives at the beginning of Romans, as characterizing heathen life, and the moral degradation of men during those times of darkness and demon-worship, with the catalogue of sins that characterize those who having the form of godliness, we shall find that it is nearly the same, and morally quite the same, only that some of the open sins which mark the man who has no outward restraint are wanting here, the form of godliness precluding them and taking their place. It is a solemn thought, that the same degradation which existed among heathens is reproduced under Christianity, covering itself with that name, and even assuming the form of godliness. But in fact it is the same nature, the same passions, the same power of the enemy, with but the addition of hypocrisy.' " (Edward Dennett - Exposition of Second Timothy)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1524]

May 17

"...Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. ...but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." (Psalm 66:10,12)

"When God tests us, He has more sympathetic care and thought in His wise designs than we have faith to see. The Lord knows we cannot do without the refining furnace if the dross of our carnality is to be burned away. He may send us through the 'fire'; but if we accept adversity with spiritual discernment, we have the joyous promise that the experience will lead to the 'wealthy place' of a more abundant life.

"An unknown poet has written: 'I'm thankful for the bitter things; they've been a 'friend to grace.' They've driven me from paths of ease to storm the secret place. I thank Him for the friends who failed to fill my heart's deep need; they've led me to the Savior's feet, upon His love to feed. I'm grateful too, through all life's way, no one could satisfy; and so I've found in Christ alone my rich, my full supply.'

"A friend relates this story: 'When I was a child, we had a neighbor who was fond of canaries. I recall seeing him train the birds while their cages were almost completely covered. Experience had taught him that they would learn best when they were secluded. Likewise, when God trains His saints to raise the sweetest notes of praise, He often darkens their lives by sickness and hardships. Many a soul, shut our from the glitter and glare of the world with its luring pleasures, has thus been taught to sing more sweetly and to render more acceptable service.'

"If the distressing circumstances of life bring to your heart new holiness and obedience, thank God. Your trials are leading to glorious triumphs!

"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without adversity." (Our Daily Bread - June 1974)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1525]

May 18

"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:5)

"The great and important matter is that 'they know His voice.' Beautiful and divine order is here; and a necessary effect of this is that they do not know the voice of strangers. What then? This is not all that is said, for (first), they will not follow the stranger; and (second), they will flee from him.

"No animal is more foolish, as well as more feeble, it has been said, than the sheep. And thus the Lord by this figure would show us ourselves, and, blessed be His name, Himself too.

"They only know it is not His voice; and thus everything is settled for them. They do not argue about the claims or the statements the voice makes. If it waxes louder and louder, it only makes them flee the farther and the faster from it. It is their wisdom to hear the Shepherd's voice; no path for them but what it points out; no food for them but what He gives; no love for them like His." (H.C.A.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1526]

May 19

"And he (Boaz) said, I will redeem it ... Moreover Ruth the Moabites, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife..." (Ruth 4:5,10)

"Boaz did not only purchase the inheritance; he purchased Ruth as well. And he did not purchase her that she might be his slave. No, she was to be his wife. Her place was close to His heart. She was no longer a poor Moabitish widow, or even a humble gleaner in his field or a reverent supplicant. No, her place was to be at his side, in his home, and in his heart. Before, the young men had dropped handfuls for her, and these handfuls had been precious. But now the entire harvest was hers. And more than that - she now possessed not only the inheritance of Elimelech and Chilion and Mahlon, but all the wealth of Boaz." (H.L. Heijkoop - The Book of Ruth)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1527]

May 20

"The almighty will be your gold," (Job 22:25)

"A rich man named Carl loved to ride his horse through his vast estate to congratulate himself on his wealth. One day on such a ride, he came on Hans, an old tenant farmer who had sat down to eat his lunch in the shade of a great oak tree.

Hans' head was bowed in prayer. When he looked up, he said, 'Oh excuse me, Sir. I didn't see you. I was giving thanks for my food.'

'Humph!' snorted Carl, noticing the coarse dark bread and cheese constituting the old man's lunch. 'If that were all I had to eat, I don't think I would feel like giving thanks.'

'Oh,' replied Hans, 'it is quite sufficient. But it is remarkable that you should come by today, Sir. I ... I feel I should tell you, I had a strange dream just before waking this morning.'

'And what did you dream?' Carl asked with an amused smile.

'It seemed there was beauty and peace all around, and yet I could hear a vice saying, 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight,'

'Dreams!' cried the landowner. 'Nonsense!' And he turned and galloped away.

'Lord, have mercy on his soul if he really is to die so soon,' Hans prayed as he watched horse and rider disappear.

Die tonight, mused Carl. It was ridiculous, of course! No use his going into a panic. The best thing to do about the old man's dream was to forget it.

But he could not forget it. He had felt fine, at least until Hans described his stupid dream. Now he didn't feel too well.

That evening he called his doctor, who was also a personal friend. 'Could you come over?' he asked. 'I need to talk to you.'

When the doctor arrived, Carl told him the whole story. 'Sounds like poppycock to me,' the doctor said, 'but for your peace of mind, let's examine you.'

A little later, his examination complete, the doctor was full of assurances. 'Carl, you're as strong and healthy as that horse of yours. There's no way you're going to die tonight.' Carl thanked his friend and told him how foolish he felt for being upset by an old man's dream.

It was a bout 9 A.M. when a messenger arrived at Carl's door. 'It's old Hans,' the messenger said. 'He died last night in his sleep.'

The richest man was not among those who trusted in earthly possessions. It was the one who, although bereft of all worldly goods, held on to his integrity and faith in God." (Henry Gariepy - Portraits of Perseverance)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1528]

May 21

"Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you. (Joshua 1:3)

In verse 2 the Jordan is mentioned, a barrier between the people and the promised land which they must cross under the guidance of Joshua to enter Canaan. Their inheritance was a pure gift of the grace of God: 'the land which I do give... to the children of Israel.' They were entitled to it by God, but it was a question for the people not only of possession, but of entering into possession. So it is with us spiritually: we have all these things, but we cannot enter into them except as having passed through death with Christ, and entering by the power of His Spirit where He is. In short, it is as we occupy ourselves with these things, and enter into them diligently and personally, that we lay hold of each one of our blessings, and prove their heavenly reality. In one word, the Christian must himself appropriate them by faith in order to enjoy them; otherwise he would be like a poor king, ill and living abroad, who had never traveled in his own kingdom." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1529]

May 22

"Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

"Paul did not linger with the pains of memory. His former bigotry and blasphemy; his persecution of the saints of the Cross -- these things he laboured to forget, and pressed after nobler being." (George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1530]

May 23

"Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form (nature) of God thought it not robbery (something to be grasped) to be equal with God." (Philippians 5,6)

"Jesus was everything, consciously equal with God, yet made Himself nothing, and emptied Himself. The person He assumed -- the form of a servant; the station He filled on earth -- a carpenter's son; His life, His ways, His testimony -- all was the full contradiction of him whose departure from God in pride has fashioned the course of 'this present evil world.' He was ever hiding, ever emptying Himself. He could have commanded legions of angels, but He was the silent captive of His wicked persecutors. If He taught, and the people wondered, He would say, 'My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.' If He worked miracles He would say, 'The Son can do nothing of Himself.' (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1531]

May 24

"But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we." (Hebrews 3:6)

"The church is precious to God. Everything that Christ has, I have; the same life, the same righteousness, the same glory. If my hand is hurt, I say it is I who am hurt. Paul was converted by this truth, 'Why persecutest thou me?' It shows what grace has done for us -- taken us our of ourselves." (J.N. Darby - Notes on the Epistle to the Hebrews)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1532]

May 25

"And the angel of the Lord came the second time, and touched (Elijah), and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee." (1 Kings 19:7)

" 'The journey is too great for thee.' He who cares for us has provided the sustenance. He who alone knows the need of the way meets it. Be assured there is the 'cake baked on the coals' and the cruse of water for the depressed servant, and as we partake we gain strength. Cannot the servant who reads this bear witness? And so it ever is. 'And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.' " (H.C.A.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1533]

May 26

"Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16)

"It is important to remark that worldliness, or any allowance of what is not of God, by a godly man, gives the weight of his godliness to the evil he allows." (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - August 1961)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1534]

May 27

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:1)

"The Gospel is established upon the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby He accomplished redemption. The blessings that flow from this were promised in Christ, before the foundation of the world -- 'according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus'; 'in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.' (Titus 1:2)"... Herein is the goodness of God, that while He has had many thousands who have proclaimed the glad tidings since the days of the Apostles, yet He has given us in the Holy Scriptures what the Apostles themselves preached, so that there should be no uncertain sound, and that all might be judged according to the standard that God gave at the beginning." (W.M. Sibthorpe - the Ways of God With Man)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1535]

May 28

"And he (Stephen) kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord lay not this sin to their charge." (Acts 7:60)

"Stephen was thrust out of the city Jerusalem, and put to death by those who represented the religion, the theology, and the civil rights of the day. His Lord had been unjustly slain before him; the Just One had been cast out of the city and put to death. At the death of Stephen, a messenger was sent to the glorified Messiah; the man himself whose face reflected the glory of Jesus was dispatched to heaven by the stones of the Jews, to bear the message of refusal. This time it could not be said: 'They know not what they do;' otherwise Stephen's prayer resembles our Lord's prayer for His persecutors." (E.L.B. - Helps From the Poor of the Flock)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1536]

May 29

"If righteousness is by law, then Christ has died for nothing." (Galatians 2:21 - JNDV)

"It cost God His only begotten Son to bring us this great salvation, and He will not allow false teachers to take it from us. Do you think God could allow a doctrine which meant that Christ had died for nothing?

"Many men today think it is wrong to oppose error. They say, 'Preach the truth, but do not strive with anybody.' One of the most popular teachers of our day says, 'Let the truth of God suffer, but let not love suffer.' This is the devil's teaching, not God's word. God says, 'It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.' (Jude 3.) This is exactly what Paul is doing in Galatians.

"From the days of Cain to the present day, men have always been trying to substitute salvation by their own works, for salvation by blood -- by the death of a substitute. Cain knew that sin meant death: but he came to God by means of a sacrifice without blood -- without death. Abel's sacrifice was a lamb, -- a lamb that died instead of him. In the world today there truly are only two ways of salvation: God's way, and man's way. God's way is salvation through the death of the Lord Jesus instead of us sinners. It is free, without works. There may be many forms to man's way, but they are all alike in this: they all teach salvation by works. All works of man are useless. All alike end in hell." (G.C. Willis - Beautiful Grace)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1537]

May 30

"Looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:2)

"UNTO JESUS and not at the interests of our cause, of our party, of our church, -- still less at our personal interests. The single object of out life is the glory of God; if we do not make it the supreme goal of our efforts, we must deprive ourselves of His help, for His grace is only at the service of His glory. If, on the contrary, it is His glory that we seek above all, we can always count on His grace.

"UNTO JESUS and not at the sincerity of our intentions, and at the strength of our resolutions. Alas! how often the most excellent intentions have only prepared the way for the most humiliating falls. Let us stay ourselves, not on our intentions, but on His love; not on our resolutions, but on His promise." (Translated from the French of THEODORE MONOD by Helen Willis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1538]

May 31

"Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom." (Psalm 51:6)

"Ordinances are resorted to by a convicted soul often, as a good heart or a good life would be trusted in by a mere moralist. But it is only another, though more subtle, form of self-righteousness." (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms.)

[N.J. Hiebert #1539]

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June 1

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou (disturbed) within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalms 43:5)

"Cheerfulness -- the bright weather of the heart -- consists in that happy frame of mind which is best described by its negation of all that pertains to what is morbid, somber, and morose. Its perfection is displayed in general good tempter, united to much kindliness of heart. A life without it is a Lapland winter without a sun.

"It would seem that cheerfulness among Christians is regarded by some folk as a very rare thing. Some years ago an advertisement appeared in an English paper reading as follows: 'Wanted: an elderly man to live indoors; must be a Christian; cheerful if possible!' But surely, surely, Alexander Raleigh is nearer the truth when he says: 'When I know that I have a Father in heaven Who watches over me, Who forgives my sin, Who strengthens every holy purpose in me, provides for all may needs, cares for me in all my cares, supports and guides me ... and draws me towards His heart and home, why should I not be cheerful as my life is long?' " (Henry Durbinville - Winsome Christianity)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1540]

June 2

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)

"If we would wisely reprove the flesh in our brethren, we must first, after the Lord's example, remember and commend the grace in them.

"Those who are much acquainted with the cross of Christ, and with their own hearts, will be slow to take the reprover's office: if they do reprove, they will make it a solemn matter, knowing how much evil comes of the unwise handling of a fault.

"Let us begin by searching ourselves, if we would be profitable reprovers of others.

"Much self-judgment makes a man slow to judge others; and the very gentleness of such an one gives a keen edge to his rebukes.

"In reproving sin in others, we should remember the ways of the Holy Spirit of God towards us. He comes as the Spirit of Love; and whatever His rebukes, He wins the heart by mercy and forgiveness through Christ.

"To forgive without upbraiding even by manner or look, is a high exercise of grace -- it is imitation of Christ.

"If I have been injured by another, let me think to myself -- how much better to be the sufferer than the wrongdoer!

"The flesh would punish to prevent a repetition of wrongs; but Grace teaches us to defend ourselves without weapons. The man who 'seventy times seven' forgives injuries, is he who best knows how to protect himself.

"If one does me a wrong, let me with the compassion of Christ seek after him, and entreat God to move him to repentance.

"If our tongue has been betrayed into speaking contemptuously or even slightingly of an absent brother, let us quickly say, Alas! We have wounded Christ.

"If in love I speak to a brother of his fault, it is because I hate the sin. If I speak of it with backbiting tongue, it is self-pleasing that moves me."

(Robert C. Chapman 1803-1902)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1541]

June 3

"Behold a Sower went forth to sow." (Matthew 13:3)

"Israel has been set aside because they utterly failed to produce any fruit towards God. This introduces us to an entirely new order of things: God now takes the character of a Sower. Man had proved himself to be fruitless, and now probation had ceased, and God became a Giver. This makes the parable of the Sower a sort of key-parable. Our Lord said to His disciples, 'Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?' (Mark 4:13) And it is strange that to this day this is a point that many professing Christians do not see. They are busily looking for something in man, something that can be cultivated and improved and made fit for God. All a grievous mistake! Man had been tried in innocence; without law; under law; under the prophets; under Christ; but all ended in failure, and now a Sower must go out to sow His seed, and His servants sow it in the wide world." (The Parables of Our Lord)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1543]

June 4

"He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets." (Matthew 12:19)

"If the gentleness of Jesus be such that the very fierceness of His foes could not provoke Him to anger or strife but moved Him only to pity, like the rough wind of autumn that shakes down the golden fruit from the bough which it assails -- what gentleness hath He for those who fain would come to Him and know Him as their Lord and Saviour. "A bruised reed will He not break.' (Matthew 12:20) " (The Gentleness of Jesus -Mark-Guy Pearse)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1544]

June 5

"I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:10)

"The world cannot endure the very thought of the presence of God. We see this from the very moment of the fall, in Genesis 3. Man fled away from God before God drove him out of Eden. He could not endure the divine presence." (C.H. Mackintosh - God's Fulness for an Empty Vessel - Volume 6 - Miscellaneous Writings)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1545]

June 6

"From a child thou hast know the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15)

The Word of God is our means of defense against the temptations and wiles of Satan; hence it is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). We thus see in the temptation of out blessed Lord that it was His only weapon. To all the allurements which Satan presented to His soul -- and he assailed Him through every avenue of approach, and in every character -- He replied, 'It is written.' From first to last, He never expressed a thought of His own, but rested for His defense entirely and alone upon the Word of God. Satan consequently was utterly powerless; he could not advance a single step; but, defeated at every point, he had to retire baffled and overcome. And he is as powerless today as then, when encountered in the same way. He cannot touch an obedient, dependent man. Would that every young believer, indeed all, whether young or old, might always bear it in mind!" (Edward Dennett - Twelve Letters to Young Believers)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1546]

June 7

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him." (Psalm 62:5)

"Do not let us reserve God's promises for some far future time. In connection with chastening the Lord did not say, 'a long while afterward' and do not let us gratuitously insert it. It rather implies that as soon as the chastening is over, the peaceable fruit shall appear 'unto the glory and praise of God.' So let us look out for the afterward as soon as the pressure is past. This immediate expectation will bring its own blessing if we can say, 'My expectation is from Him,' and not from any fruit-bearing qualities of our own, for only 'from Me is Thy fruit found.' Fruit from Him will also be fruit unto Him." (Frances Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1547]

June 8

"A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

"Is the beast better, that has two or three mountains to graze on, than a little bee, that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every morning from the storehouse of heaven, clouds, and providence?" (Jeremy Taylor)

"Every lot is happy to a person who bears it with tranquility." (Boethus)

(Taken from "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" 1907 - Selected by Mary W. Tileston)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1548]

June 9

"That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed." (Romans 15:32)

"Not many of us love to be under a roof between walls, without being able to go out into the open air. Think what it must have meant to Paul to be not only indoors but never once alone. Think of being chained to a Roman soldier at all hours of the day and night. There was not much natural joy and refreshment in coming as a chained prisoner.

"Nothing was explained. Paul and the men and women of Rome were trusted to accept the unexplained and, like John the Baptist, not to be offended in their Lord.

"Do you not think that a great deal of what we call faith is not worth the name? It is too flimsy to be called by so strong a word. Faith is the steel of the soul." (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1549]

June 10

"No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation." (2 Peter 1:20)

"You have got the mind of God in writing, and there it is stable and imperishable -- in contrast to traditions merely handed down from one to another. There cannot be the church speaking, without scripture. If the church can say anything itself, then Christ's words go for noting. I have another master over me. I am speaking of authority now, not of gift, which of course there is in the church for the bringing out of truth. But authority in the church trenches on the lordship of Christ over His house. It is a great thing to treasure in our souls that we have this revelation of God in Christ." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1551]

June 11

"Ye must be born again." (John 3:7)

"When we are born again, it is not that something is born into us, but we are born into a new world. In natural birth the child is born into the physical round of Nature, and begins to function among the things to which it is introduced by its senses; and, in the second birth, we are born into the spiritual world, and begin to function among the things of the Spirit. 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' (John 3:6) Among the most precious results of the natural birth is the gift of the intellect, by which we accumulate and store knowledge; but among the results of our second birth into the realm of the Spirit, is the creation within us of the clean heart and the right sprit. "Create in me a clean heart, O God,' said David, 'and renew a right spirit within me.' This is the direct result of Regeneration. 'The eyes of our heart are opened.' We no longer see men as trees walking, but we see everything plainly. 'Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new (creation); old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.' " (F.B. Meyer)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1196]

June 12

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." (John 4:23)

"We hear from many sides the cries for a new religion, for a universal religion. It will surely come; yea, it is almost upon us. The age will not run out irreligiously. The false worship, the Cain-cult is all about us. It is the bloodless religion, the religion which exalts man. And there you may even now go and hear the sweetest music, the finest operatic airs from well trained singers, often taken from the playhouses of the world. And the magnificent ceremonies and rituals - all great helps to worship - yes, but what kind of worship? A sensuous, soulical worship, but not the worship in Spirit and in truth. The true worship in the Spirit does not need the sweet music of the world." (A.C. Gaebelein)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1197]

June 13

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?... we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 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 (created thing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

"Suppose a person gives up his state, what good will his standing be? Satan will soon wile him off that; that is just where the Ephesians themselves went wrong, so that we find them in the Revelation as having 'lost their first love.' "

"A title, without means to support it, merely lays a person open to ridicule and censure. It is not now a question of the standing; but the question is, Have you means to support it?"

"Supposing a person goes on carelessly, it does not at all alter the fact of his title, but he will lose the enjoyment of it; and I believe this is one of the reasons why persons want to hear over and over again of the putting away of their sins; it is just that they are not walking blamelessly - that they are not walking up to the standing that they have received."

(Taken from "Food for the Desert")

[N.J. Hiebert # 1198]

June 14

"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:7)

"It is of little use attempting to teach our children the Word of God if our lives are not governed by that Word. We do not believe in making the blessed Word of God a mere schoolbook for out children; to do so is to turn a delightful privilege into a wearisome drudgery. Our children should see that we live in the very atmosphere of Scripture -- that it forms the material of our conversation when we sit in the bosom of the family, in our moments of relaxation. Have we not rather to be deeply humbled in the presence of God when we reflect upon the general character and tone of our conversation at the table, and in the family circle? How little there is of Deuteronomy 6:7! How much of 'foolish talking' and 'jesting, which are not convenient'! How much evil speaking of our brethren, our neighbors, servants of Christ! How much idle gossip! How much worthless small talk!" (Christian Truth January 1962)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1553]

June 15

"The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me." (Psalm 42:8)

"Sherwood Wirt tells how God used a song to assure him of His unfailing love in the midst of overwhelming problems. He was serving as an Air Force chaplain in the Aleutian Islands shortly after World War ll had ended. The troops were bitter and disillusioned. 'I too became discouraged,' Wirt wrote, 'for life "on the chain" (as we called the stormy islands) was not only difficult, it was miserable.'

"Then one day when things seemed 'most abysmal,' a record arrived at the Armed Forces radio station from a gospel broadcast. When Wirt played it, he heard, 'I trust in God wherever I may be, upon the land or on the rolling sea; for come what may, from day to day, my heavenly Father watches over me.'

"Wirt testifies, 'The music found its way down through...my own sin and frustration and self-pity, through the layers of theology, ecclesiology, and military rank and protocol, until it reached my poor shriveled heart. For the first time in weeks, I knew, I knew, that God loved me, and cared for me, and was watching over me. Through the long night of that Aleutian winter, the Lord's song stayed with me.' (Selected)

I trust in God, I know He cares for me

On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;

Though billows roll, He keeps my soul,

My heavenly Father watches over me. (Martin)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1199]

June 16

"What wilt thou? And he (blind man) said, Lord, that I may receive my sight" (Luke 18:41)

"When a soul owns that he is blind, and gets down at the feet of Jesus to own his need, then he gets the blessing. The last thing the natural heart is willing to do is to own its total poverty toward God.

"I remember Dr. Dashwood's giving an address at St. Louis. He told about a young lady to whom he had spoken as to her soul's salvation. Her reply was, 'I'm not interested.' He replied, 'It is not a question of your being interested, but of whether or not you are willing to be saved.' She admitted that this was the real reason of her indifference. So the Doctor replied, 'Are you willing to be made willing? She said, 'No, I do not think I am.' 'Well, possibly you would be willing to be made willing to be willing.' Again she responded in the negative. Finally, he asked, 'Would you go as far as to ask God to make you willing to be made willing to be made willing to be willing?' She thought a bit, and said, 'Yes, I think I would be ready to go that far.' So the doctor said, 'Let us kneel and tell the Lord what you have just said.' So they knelt, and the Doctor prayed, 'Lord, look upon us. Make this dear soul willing to be made willing to be made willing to be saved. So, Lord, we count on Thee to do this for Jesus' sake. Amen.' As they rose from their knees, the tears were flowing; she was willing. And, of course, the result was, she was brightly saved right there. Yes, that was the crux of the whole matter." (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1554]

June 17

"And the Lord said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:14-15)

"In this we have the foundation for the establishment of the glory of God in connection with all that the devil has done in this world, or, I might say, in the whole universe of God.

"It was manifest in the Lord's life on earth that Divine love and mercy flowed out freely to all around, and the love and mercy was enjoyed by those who had hearts to receive it by faith. But then there were questions of eternal import that sin had raised which had to be settled by the Son of God.

"The righteousness of God had to be established in connection with the love and mercy that had been flowing from God ever since the Fall. God had said, 'In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.' " (W.M Sibthorpe)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1200]

June 18

"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." (Revelation 1:5)

"You may tell me of the highest truths, of the union of the Church with Christ, of the kingdom and the glory of the millennial age, of the Holy Ghost dwelling in me; but nothing will touch a chord in my heart like this - He loves me. He 'washed us from our sins in His own blood.' Think what it cost Him!' (R.K.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1555]

June 19

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Revelation 3:17)

"It is hard to imagine a greater loss in the whole realm of nature than that of the eyesight. The blind man can no longer look on familiar scenes or on loved and cherished faces; he is doomed to perpetual darkness. The exquisite organ which has played so prominent a part in his life and fortune is unavailing now, and he is necessarily dependent on the kindly guiding hand of another. A greater privation cannot be conceived.

"Now, Christendom has lost its spiritual eyesight. It has become blind!

"This was not always the case. It was not always 'dull of hearing, 'nor spiritually insensible; but, alas, when as a system it is outwardly triumphant and can boast of learning, wealth, and worldly position, He who walks among the seven golden candlesticks says to Laodicea, 'Thou... knowest not that thou art...blind!' ( J.W.S.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1556]

June 20

"No chastening for the present seemeth to be (joyful)... nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness." (Hebrews 12:11)

"I was in my second year of widowhood and I was struggling. Morning after morning my prayer life consisted of one daily sigh: 'Lord, I shouldn't be struggling like this!' 'And why not ?' His still, small voice asked me from within one morning.

"Then the answer came -- unrecognized pride! Somehow I had thought that a person of my spiritual maturity should be beyond such struggle. What a ridiculous thought, since I had never been a widow before and needed the freedom to be a true learner, even a struggling learner.

"At the same time, I was reminded of the story of a man who took home a cocoon so he could watch the emperor moth emerge. As the moth struggled to get through the time opening, the man enlarged it with the snip of his scissors. The moth emerged easily -- but its wings were shriveled. The struggle through the narrow opening is God's way to force fluid from its body into its wings. The 'merciful' snip, in reality, was cruel.

"Hebrews 12 describes the Christian life as an effort that involves discipline, correction, and training in righteousness. Surely such a race could not be run without a holy striving against self and sin. Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need." (Our Daily Bread - October 1994)

[N.J. Hiebert #1557]

June 22

"Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles speaking in them of these things in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16)

"Never cut the knot of a difficulty in Scripture, but wait until God unties it for you. There are difficulties in His Word. What is to be done with them? Submit to them; own that you do not understand; pray to God till, in the use of all right means, He clears them up. But never force the Word of God." (William Kelly)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1559]

June 23

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)

"The Christianity of the closet and the Christianity of busy life are not, as often fancied, conflicting things. The person who has fellowship with Jesus in His solitude knows how to carry the savor of the fellowship even into the most common affairs. There is need of prayer in this matter. For though we be convinced that there is but one thing needful, we are easily led away, like Martha, to busy and trouble ourselves about 'many things.' Many things we must needs do and care about while we are in the flesh; but the work to which Christ calls us is to do and care about these things in such a spirit as to make them part and parcel of our great work -- the work of keeping close to Jesus, and of following Him whithersoever he goes. If only willing to leave all and follow Christ, He will make the cross not heavy to be borne, but a delight, more pleasant than to the miser is his load of gold, or to the earthly monarch are his insignia of power." (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - June 1962)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1560]

June 24

"Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6)

"Am I thinking whether the things I do will get praise from men? Paul's service was not more approved than Phoebe's might be. The question for each one is, 'What has the Lord given me to do?' " (G.V. Wigram)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1561]

June 25

"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (2 Corinthians 4:10)

"With Paul the flesh was not allowed to interrupt the power of this divine life, so that it flowed on in an unhindered way...

"It is an important fact that sacred Scripture never tells me to die to sin, for this I never could do. But the Scripture tells me that I am dead, having died with Christ, and this is Christian liberty. I begin with being dead with Christ. For I cannot die to sin, when sin is the character of my whole life apart from Christ." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1562]

June 26

"And they shall all be taught of God." (John 6:45)

"What explains prophecy? That which explains all Scripture - the Spirit of God alone. His power can unfold any part of the Word of God. Do you ask if I mean to say that it is of no importance to know languages, understanding history, and so on? I am not raising a question about learning. It has its use; but I deny that history is the interpreter of prophecy, or of any scripture. And if there are Christians who know the history of the world, or the original tongues of Scripture, it is Christ who has to do with the spiritual intelligence, and not their knowledge or learning. Besides, even if men are Christians, it does not necessarily follow that they understand Scripture. They know Christ, else they would not be Christians. But real entrance into God's mind, in Scripture, supposes that a person watches against self, desires the glory of God, has full confidence in His Word, and dependence on the Holy Ghost. The understanding of Scripture is not a mere intellectual thing. If a man has no mind at all, he could not understand anything; but the mind is only the vessel -- not the power. The power is the Holy Ghost acting upon and through the vessel, but it must be the holy Ghost Himself that fills the soul." (C.H. Macintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1563]

June 27

"That we... be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians 4:14)

"The present is a time, when many are running to and fro to increase knowledge of all kinds. And this must be a caution to our souls; for the saint has always to watch against the spirit of the times. And in these present times of light and knowledge (though it may be knowledge of God), we are still to remember that it is not food merely, but digestion, that nourishes. The clean animal, under the law, chewed the cud. And the Spirit of God, through the wisdom of Solomon, has said, 'Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.' (Proverbs 15:16)" (J.G. Bellett - Short Meditations on the Psalms)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1564]

June 28

"Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?" (Psalms 85:6)

"It is as His word searches us that we can be delivered from independency of God. Is that not true? Suppose pride and independency lift up their head, how can we get delivered from them? When the word of God becomes a living reality to us, when we bow to its authority. I love to hear of revival among God's people, or rather I love to hear of a revived faith. But what is it that marks a revival? Is it excitement, is it a wonderful kind of sentiment to gather us together by a sort of natural love? These would not be a genuine spirit of revival, such as has marked the great epochs of the Church's history. A revival is not effected in this way, but by bringing home the word of God to the conscience, mind and heart, and the people bowing under the authority of that holy Word." (S. Ridout - Lectures on Judges)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1565]

June 29

"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction..." (James 1:26-27)

"True religion is shown by love in the heart, and by purity -- keeping oneself unspotted from the world. It thinks of others, for those who are in distress, in need of protection, and the help and support of love, as widows and orphans. The truly religious heart, full of the love of God, and moved by Him, thinks, as God does, upon sorrow, weakness, and need. It is the true christian character." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1566]

June 30

"By love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

"We need not be restless and tried about this or that. We often fail in thinking what we may do in talking to people; whereas if we spoke a good deal more to God, and less to man, others would not be losers, and we should be gainers, and God would be far more glorified." (William Kelly - Galatians)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1567]

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July 1

"Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:9-10)

"To know God and to confide in Him is to be invincible. None can really injure one whose confidence is in the Lord, for He will cause all that seems to be evil to work for the good of those who put their trust in Him. It is thus that fear, that deadly enemy of the heart, is overcome. In due time God will deal with those who seek to injure His people. He will mete out righteous judgment to those who trouble His saints (2 Thessalonians 1:6,7). The believer can afford to leave all in His hands and so go on in quietness and confidence, through good or evil report." (H.A. Ironside - Isaiah)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1568]

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

"Here we have two things standing in contrast to each other, a burden and a rest. The burden is not a local one, peculiar to those first hearers, but one which is borne by the whole human race. It consists not of political oppression or poverty or hard work. It is far deeper than that. It is felt by the rich as well as the poor, for it is something from which wealth and idleness can never deliver us.

"The burden borne by mankind is a heavy and a crushing thing. The word Jesus used means 'a load carried or toil borne to the point of exhaustion.' Rest is simply release from that burden. It is not something we do; it is what comes to us when we cease to do. His own meekness, that is the rest.

"Let us examine our burden. It is altogether an interior one. It attacks the heart and the mind and reaches the body only from within. First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them.

"Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. (A.W. Tozer)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1569]

July 2

"THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." (Matthew 27:37)

"When the King whom the magi worshipped appeared as a small Child, the enemy sought to cut Him off through the murder of the children at Bethlehem. At the cross where he thought to make an end of Him, he could not prevent Him from being declared King of the Jews in sight of all by Pilate's inscription; and, when the enemy thought he was victorious, God resurrected His Anointed and made Him Lord and Christ before the eyes of the whole house of Israel." (H.L. Rossier)

[N.J Hiebert # 1570]

July 3

"Hypocrite, cast out first the (plank) out of thine own eye." (Luke 6:42)

"Some of us are quick to find fault with our fellow believers. In the name of 'encouraging' or 'exhorting,' we point out the sins and shortcomings of our brothers and sisters in Christ without seeing our own failures or guilt.

"I was reminded of that when I heard an account of a young person. Late one evening, she was driving through the streets of Broken Arrow, Okalahoma, when an oncoming car turned left in front of her. She honked her horn to let the person know he had nearly caused an accident by his carelessness.

"When she parked her car a few minutes later, the same car pulled up beside her and the driver got out. 'The next time you honk your horn at someone,' he said, 'maybe you should make sure your headlights are on.' Sure enough, in her haste she had forgotten to turn on her lights. She had been so convinced he was in the wrong that she never saw her own error. She was the one who had almost caused an accident.

"We often act in a similar way. We're quick to judge the behavior of others and point out their error. Jesus prefers that we examine our own lives and be quick to say, 'I was wrong. I am sorry." (Selected --)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1572]

July 4

"But now are they many members, yet but one body." (1 Corinthians 12:20)

"I will not let you find fault with your bodies, because He made them. You may find as much fault as you like with the flesh, but that is not your bodies. Our bodies are 'members of Christ' Christendom has fallen into the great mistake of making our bodies members of the church, which is quite contrary to scripture: 'We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.' (Taken from "Foods for the Desert.")

[N.J. Hiebert # 1573]

July 5

"The way of transgressors is hard." (Proverbs 13:15)

"The pleasures of sin. The pleasures of sin must needs be short, because life cannot be long, and they both end together. Indeed, many times the pleasure of sin dies before the man dies: sinners live to bury their Joy in this world. The worm breeds in their conscience before it breeds in their flesh by death. But be sure the pleasure of sin never survives this world. The word is gone out of God's mouth, every sinner 'shall lie down in sorrow' and wake in sorrow.... The carnal heart is all for the present; his snout is in the trough, and while his draught lasts, he thinks it will never end. Who would envy the condemned man his feast which he hath in his way to the gallows?

"Where guilt is contracted in the getting of and enjoyment, there can be little sweetness tasted when it comes to be used. There is a great difference between the joy of the husbandman, at the getting in of his corn at the harvest, and the thief's joy, who hath stolen some sheaves out of another's field, and is making merry with his booty." (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armor) (1665)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1574]

July 6

"But He (Jesus) answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

"Nine-tenths of our ideas come from relationship, not from intellect; just as a child knows its father. Relationship is never known by reason: mind is fond of a kind of metaphysical reasoning about this, but it is all folly. The moment relationship is formed, all moral duty flows from it, and from it alone. Duty has nothing to do with intellect. This it is that makes us totally dependent. Man at the outset tried to get out of dependence on God, and really got into dependence on the devil and his own lusts. 'By every word of God shall man live' was dependence and obedience, and that was where Christ was: it is the proper place of every intelligent creature, who ought to be both dependent and obedient." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1575]

July 7

"The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

"The Bible will speak for itself. It will justify its divine origin. It will illumine our whole lives with such a blaze of light as shall scatter forever for us all the powers of darkness, so that all we need to do is to make sure that we are letting that light shine. Neglect, then, on the part of God's people is the greatest danger which is threatening them to-day." (S. Ridout)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1576]

July 8

"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18)

"God takes the bright light that shines in the face of Jesus Christ, and makes it shine in our hearts. He is the perfect answer and character of everything delightsome to God. We are in Him, and His character is to flow through us. He has brought us into the light and holiness of the Father's house; and because of having fellowship with Him, we can turn round to Him and cast every thought and every sorrow on Him." (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1577]

July 9

"Thou desirest truth in the inward parts" (Psalm 51:6)

"When souls are brought out of hindrances, when they are brought our of a false position, there is many a confession made which shows that the truth had pierced their consciences long before: only will, the world, the difficulties of family connection, a thousand snares, hindered fidelity to the Lord. But in truth, we are entirely dependent on God Himself to give force to His own truth. Power is not in the truth simply. It is still less in a position, true as it may be. The grace of God alone gives the truth power. It is this that really works so as to deliver from hindrances, and therefore it is of such importance to our souls that the affections should be strong and rightly set.

"If the affections are kept vigorous and pure on the object of God, then the truth is seen in its real beauty and brightness; whereas if the affections are weak, or wandering after false objects, we may have all the truth in the Bible before us, but it makes little or no impression. This we see in the unconverted man fully; but the very same thing that ends in the ruin of the unconverted operates, if allowed, and in the degree it is allowed, to the hindrance and injury of those born of God." (W. Kelly)

[N.J. Hiebert #1578]

July 10

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)

"How comforting is this truth to the weary heart, who, like poor Hagar in the desert, feels abandoned by all save One, but can say with assurance, 'Thou, God seest me!' To know that His eyes are on all our ways is sweet indeed when there is confidence and hope in Him. But for the wicked to know that he can never hide from those all-seeing eyes is perhaps the most terrible thing he has to face. Nor need it be wondered at, when it is remembered that He who beholds all is the holy and the True! It is sin unrepented of that makes it so dreadful a thing to be under the eye of God. He who acknowledges his guilt, and bows in repentance before Him, need no longer fear, for sin confessed is sin removed, through the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ." (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1579]

July 11

"Ye know not what shall be on the morrow." (James 4:14)

"Life on this sin-warped earth is unpredictable. James reminded us that we don't know what tomorrow will bring (4:14).

"If disaster comes -- an accident, a tornado, an illness -- will we surrender to despair? Or even while grieving our losses, will we remain confident of God's wisdom, love, and power, and move on with hope into tomorrow?

"Inventive genius Thomas Edison lost his great New Jersey Laboratories in an inferno-like fire on a December night 1914. Yet the very next morning, walking among the still smoldering rubble of those buildings that had housed so many of his projects, Edison, then 67, said, 'There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew.'

"No matter what hopes and dreams and relationships have been destroyed in our lives, with God's help let's prayerfully follow an example far more inspiring than Edison's. Let's resolutely determine, as Paul did, that we will forget the things that lie behind and press forward in our pilgrimage and service (Philippians 3:13-14). Sometimes our Lord must liberate us from the past, even by painful loss, in order to lead us into a more fruitful future." (Our daily bread November, 1993)

Some through the waters, some through the flood,

Some through the fire, but all through the blood,

Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song

In the night season and all the day long. --Young

[N.J. Hiebert # 1580]

July 12

"Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

"We are numbered among God's sheep as we pass one by one beneath the touch of the Shepherd's crook. Our names may be unknown among the great and learned; but they are written in heaven; our dwelling places may be lowly and ungarnished among the mansions and palaces of the rich; but we have 'houses not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.' Our sphere of ministry may be limited, and our work in the trenches preparing for the foundations far away from the shoutings with which the topstone is placed upon a finished pile in the sunny air; but we shine as stars of the firs magnitude in the sight of God. We are accounted as the small dust in the balance, as smoking flax, or bruised reeds; but in the eye of Our Father we are prized as very precious jewels, entered in His inventory, and destined to shine in the regalia of His Son before the gaze of all worlds." (F.B. Meyer - The Shepherd Psalm)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1581]

July 13

"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?" (Matthew 6:27)

"We gain nothing by our anxiety and planning; we only shut out God, and that is no gain. It is a just judgment from the hand of God to be left to reap the fruits of our own devices; and I know of few things more sad than to see a child of God so entirely forgetting his proper place and privilege as to take the management of his affairs into his own hands. The birds of the air and the lilies of the field may well be our teachers when we so far forget our position of unqualified dependence upon God." (C.H. Macintosh - The Book of Genesis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1582]

July 14

"They chose new gods: then was war in the gates." (Judges 5:8)

"Let us ask the reason for this state of things in Deborah's day, and in our own day: 'They chose new gods....' It is the old story of heart-departure from God, and of idolatry. Let us remember that war follows departure from our God, partial or complete, subtle or gross; whatever usurps His place exposes us to the inroads of our bitter foes.

"And what is the state, the preparedness of the people for such an inroad? 'Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?' No weapons of war, no furnishing from the armory of divine truth. How is it today? Where are the well-armed soldiers of Christ? The word of God is our arsenal, and from that source alone can we obtain 'the weapons of our warfare.' How few have on 'the whole armor of God.' " (S. Ridout - Lectures on the Book of Judges)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1583]

July 15

"Lord lay not this sin to their charge." (Acts 7:60)

"Here it is an example of what it is 'to be changed into the same image from glory to glory.' It is not anything mystical, nor a vague product of human imagination; it is in our daily life, our ways, our words, by love, intercession, patience, and dependence, that we may, through grace, show forth the likeness of a glorified Christ on whom we gaze. Is it so with us Christians in these days? Are our hearts so fed by Him that the world can see it in our lives? Can those around us catch the rays of the glory of Christ on our countenances, as with Stephen or Moses? It would not be for us to know it, for in this case we should have lost sight of the heavenly object, and turned our eyes upon ourselves. Moses alone in the camp of Israel wist not that his countenance shone." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1584]

July 16

"And she (Ruth) took it (barley) up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her what she had reserved after she was sufficed." (Ruth 2:18)

"Ruth carried that which she had gathered into the city, and sought that others should also be made sharers of that which she had gleaned. There was no haughty spirit marking her, and leading her to say, If they want the blessing, let them go and get where I have been to gather it. Naomi was aged, and may have been infirm, and may not have been able to glean as Ruth, and so also it is in our own day. How many there are of God's saints who are advancing in years and who are not able to get out and glean as in younger days! Are they to be deprived of comfort? To be deprived of food? To receive nothing by which they shall be sustained in their old age? The Lord has promised that He will never leave nor forsake them. Let us also seek to feed them with the food which is convenient for them. We ourselves shall be no losers, for those who seek to water others shall themselves be watered. 'There is that scattereth, but yet increaseth.' As we seek to minister the truth to others, we shall have the truth confirmed and multiplied in our own souls." (H.G. Moss - Thoughts and Suggestions on the Book of Ruth)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1585]

July 17

"Blessed be thou of Lord: I have performed the commandment of Lord." (1 Samuel 15:13)

"This was a lie, and King Saul knew it well. Asked what was the meaning of the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen, he replied that the people had spared the best of them to sacrifice unto Jehovah... rather than confess his own sin, he put the blame elsewhere.

"But such a plea could not be accepted. A king must rule, or abdicate. He must teach the people what is right, and also get the right thing done. 'Vote-catching' will not do for God. 'I feared the people,' says Saul (verse 24) 'and obeyed their voice.' The chief priests and elders feared the people in our Lord's day (Matthew 21:23-27). All such persons, by their own confession, are utterly unfit for the seat of power. David in his 'last words' describes the ideal king: 'He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God' (2 Samuel 23:3). 'The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso trusteth in the Lord shall be safe' (Proverbs 29:25)." (W.W. Fereday - Samuel God's Emergency Man)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1586]

July 18

"...I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." (Nehemiah 1:4)

"Before receiving an answer to his prayer, Nehemiah has to wait for a period of four months. God's people must not only pray, but watch unto prayer. God hears and God answers, but it will be in God's own time and God's own way. And God's answers often come in a manner, and at a moment, little expected by ourselves.

"Nehemiah was pursuing his everyday duties as cupbearer to the king when the opportunity is given to open his heart before the royal master. Seizing the occasion, he tells the king that that the sadness of his face reflects the sorrow of his heart, for he says, 'The city, the place of my fathers' sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire.' The king, apparently interested, at once replies, 'For what dost thou make request?'

"This brings to the front a fine feature in the character of Nehemiah - his habitual dependence upon God. After four months exercise before God, Nehemiah surely knew what he desired; nevertheless, before expressing his desire, he tells us that he 'prayed to God of heaven.' Then it was that he replied to the king on earth, and asks to be sent to Jerusalem to build the walls. In reply the king grants his request, sets him a time, and gives him letters to the governors and the keeper of the king's forest to help forward the work. At once Nehemiah recognizes that the ready compliance of the king was the result of the good hand of God. Before making his request Nehemiah had turned to God, and now that his request is granted he acknowledges the good hand of God. We may remember to turn to God in our difficulties and forget to acknowledge the goodness of God when they are met. It is well to enter a difficulty in a spirit of prayer, and to come out of it in a spirit of praise." (Hamilton Smith - An Outline of the Book of Nehemiah)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1587]

July 19

"The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." (Psalm 119:72) "More to be desire are they than gold, yea than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." (Psalm 19:10)

"We ought never to open Scriptures except with a feeling of profound reverence and gratitude. As one has said, 'They are heaven speaking upon earth; in them we hear the voice of the living God.' As the same witness (A. Monod) has declared on his death-bed: 'When I shall enter the invisible world, I do not expect to find things different from what the Word of God has represented them to me here. The voice I shall then hear, will be the same I now hear upon the earth, and I shall say, "This is indeed what God said to me; and how thankful I am, that I did not wait till I had seen in order to believe." " (Dr. Adolph Saphir - Christ and the Scriptures)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1588]

July 20

"The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" (James 3:5)

"Vashti's temper, which goaded her to a course of conduct which jeoparded her life, was the 'little fire' which kindled this 'how great a matter.' It is a miserable, despicable circumstance. What can be meaner? The temper, we may say, of an imperious woman! And yet, God, by it, works results, then known to Himself in counsel, but the accomplishment of which shall be seen in the coming day of Jewish glory.

"Vashti is deposed. She is disclaimed as the wife of the Persian; and others more worthy are to be sought for to take her place." (J.G. Bellett - Witness for God in Dark and Evil Times)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1589]

July 21

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." (Psalm 133:1)

It is one thing to talk about unity, and another thing altogether to dwell in it. We may profess to hold 'the unity of the body' and 'the unity of the Spirit' -- most precious and glorious truths surely -- and all the while be really full of selfish strife, party spirit, and sectarian feeling, all of which are entirely destructive of practical unity. If brethren are to dwell together in unity, they must be receiving the ointment from the Head, the refreshing showers from the true Hermon. They must live in the very presence of Christ, so that all their points an angles may be molded off, all their selfishness judged and subdued, all their own peculiar notions set aside, all their cues and crotchets flung to the winds. Thus there will be largeness of heart, breadth of mind, and depth of sympathy. Thus we shall learn to bear and forbear. It will not then be loving those who think with us as to some pet theory or other. It will be loving and embracing 'all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.' " (C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1590]

July 22

"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." (Ephesians 6:24)

"The great thing that God calls upon me for, is to admire and delight in and learn more and more of the love of Christ.

"What is the effect? Love to Christ is produced in the very same ratio that I know His love to me. What is it that judges self and keeps it down and raises a person above all groveling ways and ends? Entrance into the blessedness of His love." (William Kelly)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1591]

July 23

"Yield yourselves unto the Lord." (2 Chronicles 30:8)

"Unconditional yielding to the Lord brings us into full unity with Christ to abide in Him, and He in us, and causes us to walk humbly with Him among our fellow men. It places us in sweet fellowship with Him and His people. While waiting for His glorious return, we are privileged to live on His life, nourished, fed, strengthened, and constantly filled with His Spirit and presence. Our part is just to give ourselves to Him, fully recognizing our own worthlessness, and ever abide in HIM." (Christian Truth - Volume 21 - January 1968)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1592]

July 24

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision." (Joel 3:14)

"Indecision is a great hindrance in the Christian path. As long as a man does not consider responsibilities of the question before God, Am I for this world or for that? Satan will amuse him with something or other here, while the Spirit of God alone will satisfy him if he desires to go on in faith." (H.C. Ansty)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1593]

July 25

"These all wait upon Thee; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season." (Psalm 104:27)

"The ant lion is a little insect whose larva (also called a doodlebug) lives in regions of dry or sandy soil. It digs a pit about 2 inches deep and waits for ants to fall in.

"It is equipped with a highly sensitive alarm system that picks up the slightest vibration. A single grain of sand falling into its hole can activate it. Anchor-like appendages under its body enable it to grip the soil as it struggles with its victim.

"Even more remarkable is its complex mouth that forms a kind of 'drinking straw,' ideal for sucking fluids. When an ant is trapped, the ant lion injects it with a paralyzing drug and then with digestive juices that allows it to feed on its prey.

"The eminent French zoologist Pierre-Paul Grasse says that Darwin's theory of natural selection can't explain the 'avalanche of ... chance occurrences ' necessary for such a creature to evolve. Grasse's research keeps pointing toward a Creator, even though he himself remains an unbeliever.

"The psalmist told us that God made all living things and feeds them, and we accept that by faith. Scientists marvel at nature's unique design, and they would not be at odds with the psalmist if they would merely believe what their findings point to - God, the great Designer." (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1594]

July 26

"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)

"It is a great thing to remember - what Christians too easily forget - that we are called to the enjoyment of heavenly things, and we live by the revelation of them. God has not introduced grace and His Son and Spirit to make us get along easily in this world - it was not needed - but to bring us to the enjoyment of heavenly things, and to live in them. What characterizes a man is what his mind is on, and then all his ways flow from that." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1595]

July 27

"Preach the Word." (2 Timothy 2:4)

"A person who goes to preach in a heathen place knows what he has to do. His difficulty is not nearly so great as that of a Christian with the world, which professes to be Christian. If not very near to Christ, a man cannot discern what is the world and what is of Christ." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1596]

July 28

"But the word of the Lord endureth forever." (1 Peter 1:25)

"We may have often known what it was to be roused by a stirring word of exhortation, but incentives of this kind do not give power for endurance. They are like the crack of the whip, which makes the old horse increase his pace for a few yards, but he is soon back at his old jog-trot.

"What is needed for endurance is to have Christ commanding the heart. Turn the tired horse's head toward home, and see how he will go! We need more of the attraction of home, more of the attraction of that blessed Person who is the center of all the thoughts of God and of the place where He is." (Author not known)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1597]

July 29

"For as often as ye ear this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." (1 Corinthians 11:26)

"If the Lord had not requested that we remember Him in death according to His own prescribed manner, Christians might still have wished to commemorate His death in some fashion. But if we were left to ourselves to devise a way to do it, there would probably be as many ways, or variations, as there have been Christians who had such a response kindled in their hearts. Even as it is, with the Lord's direct and implicit directions in our hands, there are many innovations and inventions added to or taken away from its beautiful and meaningful simplicity - a loaf of bread and a glass of wine, the 'fruit of the vine.' "

(Paul Wilson)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1598]

July 30

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

"It is the beginning of creation, not of the Creator, who has no beginning. He is the First Cause. All creation bears witness to its God. He speaks and reveals Himself in and through His creation. While He Himself is invisible, dwelling in an unapproachable light, His eternal power and Godhead are understood by the things He has made; so that if men have not the knowledge of the true God it is because they have refused the testimony of creation to its Creator. The entire race once possessed this knowledge of God through His creation. What happened? '... because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened...' " (Note - Romans 1:20-25) (Arno Clemens Gaebelein - Listen! - God Speaks)

[N.J. Hiebert #1599]

July 31

"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example..." (1 Peter 2:21)

"As a Man He was our example. He has passed the road we tread, 'leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.' This is beautiful. He could truly say: 'I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.' There is nothing so refreshing as to meet a praising saint. A mourning saint, or a murmuring saint, does not do you any good, but a praiseful saint, full of the goodness of the Lord, and the delight of what the Lord is - if you meet with such a saint - he leaves his impression on you." (W.T.P Wolston - Handfuls of Purpose)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1600]

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August 1

"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example..." (1 Peter 2:21)

"As a Man He was our example. He has passed the road we tread, 'leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.' This is beautiful. He could truly say: 'I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.' There is nothing so refreshing as to meet a praising saint. A mourning saint, or a murmuring saint, does not do you any good, but a praiseful saint, full of the goodness of the Lord, and the delight of what the Lord is - if you meet with such a saint - he leaves his impression on you." (W.T.P Wolston - Handfuls of Purpose)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1601]

August 2

"But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)

"We do not become Christians by being born of Christian parents, or because our lot has been cast in what is called a Christian country, or because we have been religiously educated, or by attending to any outward ordinances, or by being associated with any who are truly saints of God. No; we only become Christians by having to do with Christ and His atoning blood. Whatever may have been our previous history or character, we are far from God, and enemies to God, till we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son. If I were asked to give, in a few words of Scripture, the true definition of what a Christian is, I do not think I could give a better reply than we find in the latter part of this verse, viz., one who was 'far off,' but is now in Christ 'made nigh' to God by His blood." (H.H. Snell - Streams of Refreshing)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1602]

August 3

"A little leaveneth the whole lump." (Galatians 5:9)

"Once there was an abbot who desired the use of a piece of ground that lay conveniently near his own, but the owner refused to sell. After much persuasion he was content to lease it. The abbot covenanted only to farm it for one crop. Now his bargain sealed, he planted his field with acorns - a crop that lasted not one year, but three hundred!

"So Satan seeks to get possession of our souls by asking us to permit some small sin to enter, some one wrong that seems of no great account. But when once he has entered and planted the seeds and beginnings of evil, he holds his ground, and sins and evils amazingly multiply.

"The dangerous thing about a little sin is that it won't stay little." (Mountain Trailways for Youth)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1603]

August 4

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and 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)

"Christ's coming is to receive the Church to Himself before He appears, as in Thessalonians; and this is the delight of the heart's affections (it is a little different to the appearing with Him in glory); 'so shall we ever be with the Lord.' We get the thought, we are all to be caught up together to meet the Lord. I might say, 'There's one so strong in faith and good works, he will surely go up first.' NO; all distinction fades away in Christ; all is gone in the thought, we all get there together. When I look back and see the devotedness of Paul, I think of the love of Christ, who takes us all up together, to be with Him for ever. That there may be no difference, all alike are to be conformed to the image of God's own Son." (J.N. Darby - Lectures on the First Epistle of John)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1604]

August 5

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

"The resurrection of Jesus not only makes possible - not only makes probable - but absolutely assures the glorious triumphant resurrection of His own who have fallen asleep: 'Christ the firstfruits, afterward they are Christ's at His coming.' But further, is this 'falling asleep' of the saint to separate him, for a time, from the conscious enjoyment of his Saviour's love? Is the trysting of the saved one with his Saviour to be interrupted for awhile by death? Is his song 'Not all things else are half so dear As is His blissful presence here' to be silenced by death? Then were he a strangely conquered foe, and not stingless, if for one hour he could separate us from the enjoyed love of Christ. But no, 'blessed be the Victor's name,' not for a moment. 'Death is ours' and 'absent from the body' is only 'present with the Lord.' So that we may answer the preacher's word, 'A man hath no pre-eminence above a beast,' with the challenge, To which of the beasts said He at any time, 'This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise"? (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1605]

August 6

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path." (Psalm 27:11)

"It is so exceedingly sweet to find ourselves wholly dependent upon One who finds infinite joy in blessing us.

"Praying and planning will never do together. If I plan, I am leaning more or less on my plan; but when I pray, I should lean exclusively upon God.

"We often feel very well satisfied with ourselves when we add prayer to our arrangement, or when we have used all lawful means, and called upon God to bless them. When this is the case, our prayers are worth about as much as our plans.

"We can never get to the end of our plans until we have been brought to the end of ourselves.

"No matter what we may think of ourselves nor yet what man may think about us; the great question is, what does God think about us?" (Selections from Food for the Desert)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1606]

August 7

"My soul, wait thou only upon God" (Psalm 62:5) - "My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:2)

"Saul lost the kingdom of Israel through independence - through want of waiting upon God. He saw his people scattered from him, and his enemies pressing hard upon him; and these proofs of his weakness were too much for his heart unsustained by trust in God. He could not in such a trial wait for God. David gained the kingdom by taking the place of dependence, taking for his motto, 'My help cometh from the Lord.' " (Christian Truth - Vol. 14 - June 1961)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1607]

August 8

"Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." (Ephesians 4:8)

"What can be more valuable in its place, and for God's ends by it, than Christian ministry? It embraces rule as well as teaching, pastorship as well as preaching. There are those that can teach who have not the power of ruling; there are others who rule well, having great moral weight, who could not teach. Some again have the gift of preaching who themselves need teaching, and are not at all fit to lead on, clear, and establish the Church of God. Nor does a gift for ministry in itself carry moral weight for rule. Thus Scripture teaches, and so we see in the facts of every day.

"Christian ministry was founded by the Lord who died for us; but the spring flowed when He went up to heaven. If He gave gifts to men, it was after He ascended on High (Ephesians 4:8-11)." (W. Kelly)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1608]

August 9

"We await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to His body of glory, according to the working of the power which He has even to subdue all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20,21; JND translation)

"Glorious prospect! How precious for the weary, suffering pilgrim who feels the burden of his poor crumbling tabernacle! The Lord is at hand. The voice of the archangel and the trump of God will soon be heard, and then mortality shall be swallowed up of life. Till then we are sealed with that blessed Spirit of God who is the earnest - not of His love, which we possess, but - of the inheritance for which we wait." (C.H.Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1609]

August 10

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me." (Psalm 23:4)

"Some saint today may be walking through this dark valley. None of us knows when we will enter it. Death is no respecter of persons. It touches all walks of life and all age brackets. For the believer, the sting of death is gone because we have the assurance that He will walk through it with us. Along with His presence we have His promise, 'He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live' (John 11:25). Take comfort; trust His word." (Jim Paul - Choice Gleanings)

There is a plan far greater than the plan you know;

There is a landscape broader than the one you see;

There is a haven where the saints shall go -

Some call it death - we, immortality.

[N.J. Hiebert # 1610]

August 11

"... let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:1,2)

"One of the most colorful biblical pictures of the Christian life is that of an athlete competing for a prize at a track meet. To win the race and receive God's approval, the believer must put away all bad habits and worldly distractions that might hinder his spiritual progress. And, he must keep his eyes upon the Lord Jesus.

"The legend is told of an eastern prince whose son was disgracing the family through reckless living. The father reminded him of his high birth and impressed on him the need of setting a good example. The prodigal complained that the straight and narrow path was too restrictive and said it was impossible for him to change his ways. But the prince knew better. So he ordered him to carry a shell filled with oil through the city streets while two slaves walked beside him with drawn swords. He told him that he would be executed if he spilled even one drop. When the young man successfully completed the long course, his father inquired, 'What did you see?' 'Nothing but that shell of oil!' 'Didn't the great marketplace and the festival attract you?' he asked. The son replied, 'No! I just kept my eyes on the oil. I knew that if I didn't, I might lose my life.'

"Now, our Father does not threaten us, nor are we in danger of losing our standing with Him. But the principle of not being distracted from a high purpose by the world's allurements does apply. Total concentration on Christ must govern our priorities.

"To live victoriously, set your affections on eternal things. See Jesus only!" (Our Daily Bread - January 1980)

[N.J. Hiebert #1611]

August 12

"And the word of the Lord came to Elijah... go down to meet Ahab... thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? Thus saith the Lord, in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood... And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy... And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thy-self to work evil in the sight of the Lord." (NOTE: 1 Kings 21:17-29)

"The word of God is entrusted to the believer in the midst of a Christendom that has given it up. But he can have no power to accredit the testimony of God before the world except by showing forth in his conduct true separation from the world, humility in his walk, and genuine consecration of his entire life to the Lord. Thus it is that we shall have the right to speak on God's behalf. If this is so, the world will have to hear us, whether it wants to or not; if not, it will turn away and take occasion by our conduct to despise the Word of God." (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Kings)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1612]

August 15

"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plains of Jordan, that it was well watered every where... then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan... and pitched his tent toward Sodom." (Genesis 10-12)

"What did Lot choose, when he got his choice? He chose Sodom, - the very place that was about to be judged. But how was this? Why select such a spot? Because he looked at the outward appearance, and not at the intrinsic (true) character and future destiny. The intrinsic character was 'wicked:' its future destiny was 'judgment - to be destroyed by 'fire and brimstone out of heaven.' But, it may be said, Lot knew nothing of all this. Perhaps not, nor Abraham either; but God did; and had Lot allowed God to 'choose his inheritance for him,' He certainly would not have chosen a spot that He Himself was about to destroy. He did not, however: he judged for himself. Sodom suited him, though it did not suit God. His eye rested on the 'well-watered plains,' and his heart was attracted by them. 'He pitched his tent toward Sodom.' Such is nature's choice! 'Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.' (2 Timothy 4:10) Lot forsook Abraham for the same reason. He left the place of testimony, and got into the place of judgment." (C.H. Mackintosh - Notes on Genesis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1613]

August 17

"The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity." (Proverbs 10:29)

"We can never be said to have outlived our usefulness, unless we have outlived our spirituality." (R.C.C.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1614]

August 18

"That He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6)

"God's due times! How blessed! He has to wait until the surgings and upheavings of our hearts are over before He can act for us. In the meantime it is the waiting." (Christian Truth - Volume 14 - 1961)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1615]

August 19

"Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

"The notion that one can be wittingly associated with evil and be undefiled is an unholy notion - a denial of the nature of holiness. And in the world the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. The character of Christ with Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) is, '... He that is holy, He that is true.' " (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1616]

August 20

"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 14:3)

"What wonderful grace! He reckons that nothing could be so comforting to us as that He should come and receive us to Himself - not merely to heaven, but to Himself." (W.T.T.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1617]

August 21

"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." (1 Corinthians 12:18)

"There is no true Christian that has not something or other given him for service in the body, merely perhaps a little bit of wisdom. Everybody has got something for service to the body, as a hand or foot or eye; but not everybody has a prominent gift as a pastor or evangelist. Everybody has got something according to the measure of what Christ has given him; and if he go beyond that measure, it will be mere human action or no good at all." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1618]

August 22

"... they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist), as they do also all the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16)

"An art enthusiast displayed on the walls of his office a collection of etchings, including one of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Every morning he noticed it was crooked, so he straightened it. Finally one evening he asked the cleaning woman if she was responsible for moving the picture each night. 'Why, yes,' she said, 'I have to hang it crooked to make the tower straight!'

"In a similar way, some people have the habit of twisting the Scriptures to make their imperfect lives look better or to justify their own opinions. The apostle Peter warned his readers about the kind of people who do not approach God's Word with honest motives and respect for its authority, and who distort in message. They will incur God's judgment (2 Peter 3:16-17).

"Unless we read the Bible prayerfully and humbly, we may get a wrong message and be drawn away from our steadfastness in Christ. God gave us His Word as a light to guide our steps. If we obey it each day, we will find it to be an unfailing source of strength and truth.

"Distorting the meaning of the Word of God to fit our preconceived ideas is a dangerous practice and a terrible sin. Let's be careful how we read and interpret the Bible." (Our Daily Bread -December 1994)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1619]

August 23

"Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17)

"The Bible. This majestic Book, well-named, 'The Book of Books,' is not an ordinary book. It is the one, outstanding, unique Book in possession of the entire human race, read by increasing millions in hundreds of languages. It is the Book of glory; for it has a glory which no other book in the wide world has, nor ever can have. It is the Book of eternity for it reveals, what man by searching could never know, the degrees of a Sovereign God made before the foundation of the world. It lifts the veil of eternity to come and reveals the destiny of mankind, and the future manifestation of God as Creator in producing a new heaven and a new earth. It is the Book in which God comes down to man, even down into the deepest misery, sin and human helplessness, to meet his need, and to bring him back, not into an earthly Eden, but as a member of the family of God, into the Father's House above with its many mansions. It is the Book of power. If what Jeremiah said is done, 'Thy words were found and I did eat them', if that blessed bread come down from heaven is taken and absorbed, it will give strength and power to live, to serve, to suffer, and to die. It will guide and direct; it will wipe our tears away." (A.C. Gaebelein - Listen God Speaks)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1620]

August 24

"Let us..." (Hebrews 10:22)

"The epistle to the Hebrews does not present Christians as already in heaven, but as on their way to it. It abounds in warning and exhortation to get on. It keeps us continually on the move. It is characterized by such utterances as, 'Let us fear'; 'Let us labor'; 'Let us come boldly'; 'Let us go on to perfection'; Let us draw nigh'; 'Let us hold fast'; 'Let us consider one another'; 'Let us run'; 'Let us go forth.'

"The epistle to the Ephesians gives us one grand aspect of Christianity; and the epistle to the Hebrews gives us the other. In the former, the Christian is presented as seated in heaven, and coming down to walk on earth in all the varied relationships of life. In Hebrews the Christian is presented as starting from earth, responsive to the heavenly call, and pressing forward to the rest that remains." (C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1621]

August 25

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2)

Mark yon broad and rapid stream! Brilliant though its surface seem,

Mingling in its depths below Poisonous currents surely flow.

Christian parents, pause to think On that treacherous river's brink,

Ere you launch your tiny bark On those waters deep and dark.

Yours the path of Jesus here, Seek it for your children dear.

Though you cannot life impart, Cannot bow the stubborn heart,

Do not help to weave a chain You would gladly break again.

Shall not He who for you died, Food and raiment still provide?

He who has your children given, He can bless for earth and heaven.

Seek then first His holy will, Seek His pleasure to fulfill,

Constant still in faith and prayer That this blessing they may share.

And when by the Spirit's power Comes the gladly welcomed hour,

When the lips you love so well, Of a Saviour's grace shall tell,

They will have no cause to say That you turned their feet astray;

Rather, from their earliest youth, Taught and nurtured in the truth,

May their light unhindered shine, To the praise of grace divine.

(Author unknown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1622]

August 26

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." (Revelation 1:1)

"A question often arises about usefulness. Satan often beguiles by it. He may have suggested to John that he would be more useful if he were to compromise a little, and keep out of trouble for the sake of being free for his service to the saints. Useful to whom? To God or to men? God may be able to show out more of His glory by laying men aside. The eyes of God rested on Paul a prisoner, seemingly useless (not even always allowed to write), as the field for the display of some of the greatest privileges of truth. The very point when your weakness seems to make you useless, is often the very way in which God shows forth His glory.

"People think it strange that old Christians, useless ones, etc., etc., should be left, and young active ones taken. Do not you be trying to settle God's house for Him; do not say, 'What a pity for John to get to Patmos.' The Lord wanted him there to communicate something that might serve His people to the end of time." (G.V. Wigram)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1623]

August 27

"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep so shall thy poverty come..." (Proverbs 6:10,11)

"The adversary gets many an advantage over us through slovenliness. How little equal we are to the occasions that present themselves. Satan works more effectually now with the pillow than he formerly with the stake." (Christian Truth - Volume 23 - 1970)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1624]

August 28

"Neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22)

"As young Christians come in contact with the world there are many things that would induce them to partake of this or that. People say, There is no harm in it; but there is no Christ in it either." (J.W.P.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1625]

August 29th

"Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10)

"Paul preached Christ to the idolatrous Thessalonians, and we are not told that he preached against their idols. No, that would have been worse than useless. But once their hearts were brought by the Spirit into occupation with the Son of God, their idols were let go. When once anyone's heart gets engaged with Christ, all else is displaced or distanced in proportion as Christ has His true place there. He is enough the mind and heart to fill." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1626]

August 30th

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus." (John 11:5)

"It is not by accident that Martha's name is put first! If we were going by what we read in Luke 10, we would have expected to read, 'Now Jesus loved Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus.' But Martha's name comes first. We do not forfeit the Lord's love by our selfishness. We may forfeit the sense of it in our souls, but we cannot forfeit His love. You can sin against the Lord's love, but you cannot sin it away. That is a comfort to the soul. So here the Lord's love is expressed first to Martha and then to her sister and then Lazarus. They were all the subjects of that same gracious affection which filled His heart." (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert #1627]

August 31st

"This thing is from Me." (1 Kings 12:24)

"The disappointments of life are in reality only the decrees of love. I have a message for you today, My child. I will whisper it softly in your ear, in order that the storm clouds which appear may be gilded with glory, and that the thorns on which you may have to walk may be blunted. The message is short - a tiny sentence - but allow it to sink into the depths of your heart, and be to you as a cushion on which to rest our weary head: 'This thing is from Me.' ... " (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1628]

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September 1st

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)

"If a man, in the vanity of his mind, thrust himself forward and take a burden upon his shoulders, which God never intended him to bear, and, therefore, never fitted him to bear, we may then, surely, expect to see him crushed beneath the weight; but if God lays it upon him, He will qualify and strengthen him to carry it." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1629]

September 2nd

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

"Wisdom's words are not known by quantity, but quality. Not many books, with the consequent weary study; but the right word - like a 'goad': sharp, pointed, effective - and on which may hang, as on a 'nail,' much quiet meditation. 'Given, too, from one shepherd,' hence not self-contradictory and confusing to the listeners. In this way Ecclesiastes would evidently direct our most earnest attention to what follows: 'the conclusion of the whole matter.' Here is absolutely the highest counsel of true human wisdom - the climax of her reasonings - the high-water-mark of her attainments - the limit to which she can lead us: 'Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.' (Ecclesiastes 12:14) (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1630]

September 3rd

"How many loaves have ye?" (Mark 6:38)

"The Lord uses what the disciples had. It was but little - nothing for such a multitude. But when blessed and broken by Jesus, it goes a long way. The God who gave life could sustain it, independent of means, or multiply the means to make them adequate to the need. So now it is what 'we have' that Christ uses. Use what we have in faith, and He will make it meet the need of all present.

"It is the power of God giving efficacy to His word, that makes much or little a blessing; and without that, plenty is in vain. In ministry of the Word, the grand end is getting the soul, through the presentation of Christ, brought into living connection with God. True ministry does this for the poor in spirit; the rich go away empty." (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - September 1970)

[N.J. Hiebert #1631]

September 4th

"Every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it (serpent of brass), shall live." (Numbers 21:8) "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee... but his (Lot's) wife looked back... and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:17,26)

"We read of two 'looks' in Scripture - one saving, the other destroying. The bitten Israelite looked at the brazen serpent, and was healed. Lot's wife looked back on the cities of the plain, and was turned into a pillar of salt." (J.D.S.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1632]

September 5th

King Solomon prayed, "Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me." (1 Kings 8:25)

"Under a system of responsibility in order to obtain anything from the Lord, we are condemned from the outset. It goes without saying that grace also brings with it responsibility for those under its rule, but this responsibility is completely different. It can be put into these words: 'Let us be that which we are,' whereas legal responsibility says: 'Let us become that which we should be.' " (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 1 Kings)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1633]

September 6th

"And even to your old age I am HE; and even to hoar hairs I will carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and (I) will deliver you." (Isaiah 46:4)

"Henry Moorhouse, the 19th-century English evangelist, was feeling loaded down with the burdens of his ministry. Then the Lord gave him a tender reminder of His care.

"When he came home one day, his young daughter, Minnie, whose legs were paralyzed, was sitting in her wheelchair. He was going to take a package upstairs to his wife when his daughter asked if she could carry it. Moorhouse said, 'Minnie dear, how can you possibly carry the package? You cannot even carry yourself.'

"With a smile on her face, Minnie said, 'I know, Papa. But if you will give me the package, I will hold it while you carry me.'

"Moorhouse saw this as a picture of his relationship to God and the burdens of ministry he was carrying. But praise God, he could proceed with confidence, knowing that the Lord was carrying him.

"God, who promised to carry Israel (Isaiah 46:4), is the One who can carry us. Even though we must fulfill our responsibilities, we have the assurance of His never-failing support. We need not sink beneath the weight of our burdens.

"Ask the Savior to Help you. He will carry your burdens - and you." (Selected)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1634]

September 7th

"Draw me, we will run after thee." (Song of Solomon 1:4)

"There is a beautiful connection between the Lord's drawing, and our running. 'We will run,' but carefully note the last two words - 'after Thee.' There is more, much more, in these words than can here be noted. They are all-important. 'After Thee,' not after our own notions, or even after the best of men on earth, but 'after Thee.' As it is said in that beautiful Psalm 16, 'I have set the Lord always before me.' Not at times, merely, but 'always.' Oh! what a path ours on earth would be were this the case! How separated would it be from everything that is not Christ. And surely, in all fairness, when we pray, 'draw me,' we should be ready to add, like the spouse and her companions, 'we will run after Thee.' " (Andrew Miller - Meditations on the Song of Solomon)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1635]

September 8th

"The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; but the words of the pure are pleasant words." (Proverbs 15:26)

"Christians are bound in all conscience to discourage the reading of subversive literature and to promote as fully as possible the circulation of good books and magazines.

"Just what part evil literature has played in the present moral breakdown throughout the world will never be known till men are called forth to answer to a holy God for their unholy deeds, but it must be very great indeed!

"For thousands of young people the first doubt about God and the bible came with the reading of some evil book. We must respect the power of ideas, and printed ideas are as powerful as spoken ones. They may have a longer fuse but their explosive power is just as great.

"Our Christian faith teaches us to expect to answer for every idle word; how much more severely shall we be held to account for every evil word, whether printed or spoken.

"The desire to appear broad-minded is one not easy to overcome, for it is rooted in our ego and is simply a none-too-subtle form of pride. In the name of broad-mindedness many a Christian home has been opened to literature that sprang not from a broad mind, but from a mind little and dirty and polluted with evil!

"We require our children to wipe their feet before entering the house. Dare we demand less of the literature that comes into our home?" (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)

[N.J. Hiebert #1636]

September 9th

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29)

"Carlyle compares man in his present stage to the minnow to whom every cranny and pebble of its native creek is familiar; but he asks: 'Does the minnow understand the ocean tides, the trade winds and moon's eclipses, by all of which the conditions of its little creek are regulated?' And as to the recently-founded 'University for the Propagation of Atheism' in which it will be taught that there is no God and that we are the victims of blind chance, an American journalist says: 'It suggests a colony of ants on a rail-road right of way, organizing a university to prove that there is no such thing as an engineer.'

" 'Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known' (1 Corinthians 13:12). 'What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter' (John 13:7)." (George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1637]

September 10th

"But now..." (Job 30:1)

"The Chinese combine two characters for the word crisis. One character means 'danger' and the other 'opportunity.' These two possibilities are inherent in every crisis. A crisis is a crossroads, and the outcome is determined by which path is taken. When a person is described as 'critical' in medical terms it means he can move either toward life or death. Just so, the crises of life present not only danger but also opportunity.

"Our extremity is God's opportunity." (Henry Gariepy - Portraits of Perseverance)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1638]

September 11th

"And when they had this done (let down the nets), they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake." (Luke 5:6)

" 'And they beckoned unto their partners, ... and they came and filed both the ships, so that they began to sink.' There was not even strength to receive of themselves. 'When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' If the Word of Jesus had not reached Peter's heart he would merely have obeyed it as a means of temporal help; but he owns Him as Lord, hearing far more in the words spoken. His conscience was reached. The Lord Himself is revealed to Peter, and that shows Peter himself. When the eye of God is consciously upon us we see in ourselves what He saw. This was Peter's case. He, when brought into God's presence, feels that he has been deceiving himself." (J.N. Darby - The Man of Sorrows)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1639]

September 12th

"I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument." (Isaiah 41:15)

1925 -- "A bar of steel worth $5, when wrought into horseshoes, is worth $10. If made into needles, it is worth $350; if into penknife blades, it is worth $32,000; if into springs for watches its worth $250,000. What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.

"May this parable help us to be silent, still, and longsuffering. Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most; and it is through pain that God is getting the most out of us, for His glory and the blessing of others.

"The turning-lathe that has the sharpest knives produces the finest work." (Selected - Streams in the Desert)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1640]

September 14th

"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST." (1 Corinthians 3:11)

"It is one thing to believe what is said about the Word of God, but quite another to believe what GOD HIMSELF says. The latter brings the soul into direct contact with God, the former only with man. By believing the Word of God, we 'set to our seal that GOD is true.' But it must be taken up according to our responsibility. First, as sinners, we must believe what God says about ourselves as lost, guilty sinners. We may not like this, and it may bring out the enmity of our hearts against God, because God speaks very plainly in His Word about man, and what He says of one is true of all as to our standing before God. 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' This is man's heart. It is awful, but true; yet God is greater than the heart, and can meet all the difficulties for out blessing and His own glory." (W.M. Sibthorpe - The Ways of God With Man)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1642]

September 15th

"And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (2 Kings 6:17)

"Have you tried God in little things? If you have not, you do not know Him: He will meet the little needs even more magnificently than the great ones. He will care for the smallest and most delicate feelings, but he will show it in His own way. Elisha had his way of restoring the borrowed axe, and God has His way too; and if the man of God could save in days of old, meeting alike the greatest need and the least, cannot He whom the man of God typified do the same now in a new and a higher way? If you have not tried Him you have not known Him, and if you have not known Him you cannot trust Him in the hour of your fear. (2 Kings 6:17). But if you nave, you will prove that greater is he that is for us than he that is against us. (J.B.S.). - Helps for the Poor of the Flock)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1643]

September 16th

"Seek ye MY face; ... Thy face, Lord, will I seek.' (Psalm 27:8)

"In prayer I have not only to ask for things, but to realize the presence of Him to whom I speak. The power of prayer is gone if I lose the sense of seeing Him by faith. Prayer is not only asking right things, but having the sense of the Person there. If I have not that, I lose the sense of His love, and of being heard." (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1644]

September 17th

"What seek ye?" (John 1:38)

"Searching question! Is it fame you are seeking, knowledge, power, or riches? The Lord asks you this from the glory today. Can you answer Him as these two did? 'Master, where dwellest Thou?' i.e., We only want you, we want to know where we can be always sure of finding you.

"'They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour,' that is, there were two hours of the day left. Oh those two hours with Jesus! Have you ever spent two hours with Jesus? I am sure if you have, you have come out, and tried to take somebody else back to enjoy what you enjoyed. These disciples did. There comes out at once individual testimony, and let me tell you that quiet personal testimony is often worth far more than public preaching." (Simon Peter - W.T.P. Wolston, M.D.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1645]

September 18th

"In all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6)

"He is willing to be our guide in the smallest things of life. Before writing an article, answering a letter, having an interview, or dealing with any problem, we need to look up to Him who is the source of all wisdom. Look at the promise that follows:

" 'He shall direct thy paths.'

"By day and by night. He went before His people in the wilderness. He will not do less for those who today acknowledge Him in all their ways." (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - August 1967)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1646]

September 19th

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench." (Matthew 12:20)

"When the Lord Jesus was here it was said of Him, 'A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench.' Isn't that lovely? A bruised reed - of what account is it? He will not break it. That blessed, gentle Man would not break that bruised reed. And 'smoking flax' - that is a lamp with a flaxen wick. It is smoking - not giving much light. He will not quench it - not put it out. He will tenderly remove the crust and coax it back until it gives light. God does not despise weakness. Saints of God, do not surrender and give yourselves up to indifference because you have little gift, or because there are only a few. Numbers do not count with God; they do not.

"Go through the life of the blessed Lord Jesus and see how often you find His ministry to one individual; He was not too busy to sit down and spend an hour with some lone individual man or woman. He was not too big a Man to listen to little children. That blessed Man went up and down the pathways of Galilee and, except for that little trip up around Tyre and Sidon, so far as I know, He was never out of that country, save as a Babe in His mother's arms. He was not too busy for the small things of life." (C.H. Brown)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1647]

September 20th

(Please see Gem # 1628)

"This thing is from ME." (1 Kings 12:24)

Have you never thought that all which concerns you, concerns ME also? 'He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.' (Zechariah 2:8) You have been precious in My eyes; that is why I take a special interest in your upbringing. When temptation assails you, and the 'enemy comes in like a flood,' I would wish you to know that 'This thing is from ME.' I am the God of circumstances. You have not been placed where you are by chance, but because it is the place I have chosen for you. Did you not ask to become humble? Behold, I have placed you in the very place where this lesson is to be learned. It is by your surroundings and your companions that the working of My will is to come about." (Part 2 - Found in J.N. Darby's Bible)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1648]

September 21st

"Who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10:29)

"Some have hastily concluded in reading the parable of the certain Samaritan that the Lord answered the question, 'Who is my neighbour?' by pointing our that wherever there is need we should do our duty toward our neighbour. But it should be observed that the man who fell among thieves is not mentioned as a neigbour toward whom the other acts, but the Samaritan was neighbour unto him. This is another principle altogether to what was in the lawyer's mind when he said, 'Who is my neighbour?' and stands out in contrast with it, because the lawyer merely wished to justify himself; that is, to have clearly defined those who had any claim upon him, that he might have no outstanding debts. We know for ourselves the satisfaction in being able to say, I owe nothing. Thus what prompted that question was really love to himself, and not love to his neighbour. Where love is in exercise, it asks not, Who? but has its own delight in acting apart from the question of who deserves it. And this is the principle of grace which is here shown out in contrast to the principle of law, which was fulfilling of duty toward one's neighbour. The one is meeting claim; the other is meeting need apart from the question of claim altogether." (W.T.M.)

N.J. Hiebert # 1649

September 22nd

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

"Too often we reserve this precept, and let our works shine that our light may be seen to our own glory. Hence the danger of speaking or writing about our won activities. The intention may be good, but it is seldom done without leading - even if unconsciously - to the exaltation of self. If, on the other hand, we are careful to let our light shine before men, our works, like our blessed Lord, cannot be hid." (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - March 1962)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1650]

September 23rd

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34)

"A Christian is one who has God as his Father in heaven. The anxiety that dreads an evil thing on the morrow is nothing but unbelief.

"When the morrow comes, the evil may not be there; if it comes, God will be there too. He may allow us to taste what it is to indulge our own wills; but, if our souls are subject to Him, how often the dreaded evil never appears. When the heart bows to the will of God about some sorrow that we dread, how often the sorrow is taken away; and the Lord meets us with unexpected kindness and goodness.

"He is able to make even the sorrow to be all blessing. Whatever be His will, it is good." (Unknown Author)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1651]

September 24th

"When the woman saw that the tree was good for food,... she took of its fruit... and did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

"Imagine this scene: You like to fish, so you crank up the motor on your old boat and head out into lake Ontario. You get several nice walleyes and clean them right away. That night you have a wonderful fish dinner complete with fried potatoes and cole slaw. 'It doesn't get any better than this,' you say to your satisfied self.

"Wrong! At least according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Although the fish were delicious, eating them increased your risk of getting cancer. New tests show high levels of Mirex, a poison used to control fire ants. (No fish from there are sold commercially.)

"This illustrates an important spiritual point. What appears so inviting and satisfying may contain destructive elements. It may be something we are looking at on TV or in a magazine, or listening to on tape or on a CD. It may be something we're inclined to eat or drink. Satan sometimes uses pleasurable things to bring about our downfall. But in the pleasure he hides the poison.

"We need to be extremely careful about what we take into our bodies and into our minds. What seems the most pleasant may be the most harmful. Adam and Eve discovered that in the Garden of Eden." Our Daily Bread - 1993)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1652]

September 25th

"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples whom Jesus loved." (John 13:23)

" 'That disciple whom Jesus loved.' It is far from intimating that one is more interested than another in the grace or salvation of God, or loved with a more faithful and enduring love. But it does intimate that there may be a more personal attachment between the Master and some of His disciples, than between Him and others. All, I may say, sat at supper with Him, while only one leaned then on His bosom. All continued with Him in His temptations, and are to receive the kingdom together; but only three were in the garden or on the holy hill with Him. For there is more personal oneness of thought and feeling in some than in others - more of that which, as among ourselves, draws the willing heart along." (J.G. Bellett)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1653]

September 26th

"Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die." (Isaiah 22:13)

"What remains at the end of all this scene of commercial excitement, political strife and ambition, money-making and pleasure-hunting? Why, then the man has to face death! 'It is appointed unto man once to die...' Death must be looked at straight in the face. It stands full in front of every unconverted man, woman, and child beneath the canopy of heaven...

"Men would fain reply according to their own vain notions. They would have us believe that after death comes annihilation. 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.' Empty conceit! Vain delusion! Foolish dream of the human imagination blinded by the god of this world! How could an immortal soul be annihilated? Man, in the garden of Eden, became the possessor of a never-dying spirit. 'The Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul' - not a dying soul. The soul must live forever. Converted or unconverted, it has eternity before it. Oh, the overpowering weight of this consideration to every thoughtful spirit! No human mind can grasp its immensity. It is beyond our comprehension, but not beyond our belief." (C.H. Mackintosh - The Great Commission - Vol. 4)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1654]

September 27th

"Gentiles, which have not the law... show the work of the law written in their hearts." (Romans 2:14-15)

"People who reject absolute standards of right and wrong are often inconsistent. When they think they are being treated unfairly, they appeal to a standard of justice that they expect everyone to adhere to.

"A philosophy professor began each new term by asking his class, 'Do you believe it can be shown that there are absolute values like justice?' The free-thinking students all argued that everything is relative and no single law can be applied universally. Before the end of the semester, the professor devoted one class period to debate the issue. At the end, he concluded, 'Regardless of what you think, I want you to know that absolute values can be demonstrated. And if you don't accept what I say, I'll flunk you!' One angry student got up and insisted, 'That's not fair!' 'You've just proved my point,' replied the professor. 'You've appealed to a higher standard of fairness.'

"God's moral standards are in the Bible, and He has given us a conscience to tell us right from wrong (Romans 2:14-15). Every time we use the words good and bad, we imply a standard by which we make such judgments. Biblical values are not outdated. They are good for any age because they originate with an eternal, unchanging God." (Our Daily Bread)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1655]

September 28th

"Fear Not." (Luke 12:32)

"To those who are shepherded, who are loved, and who will eventually be enthroned, comes the exhortation, 'FEAR NOT.'

It is of peculiar value to-day; for physicians and psychologists assure us that fear is the greatest enemy of the human race. It so often proves to be groundless, that someone has said that, if any friend of ours had told us one hundredth part of the lies our fears have told us, we would never allow them to speak to us again. Henry Moorhouse, the Evangelist, says that he had counted the 'Fear Nots' of the Bible, and found that they numbered fifty-two, one for each week of the year." (Henry Durbanville)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1656]

September 29th

"Looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:2)

" 'Unto Jesus' and not at our strength. Our strength is good only to glorify ourselves; to glorify God one must have the strength of God.

" 'Unto Jesus' and not at weakness. By lamenting our weakness have we ever become more strong? Let us look to Jesus, and His strength will communicate itself to our hearts, His praise will break forth from our lips." (Translated from the French of Theodore Monod by Helen Willis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1657]

September 30th

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."  (Hebrews 13:8)
 
"We forget that Jesus Christ is the same today, sitting on the throne, as He was yesterday, when He trod the pathway of our world.  And in this forgetfulness how much we miss!  What He was, that He is.  What He did, that He does.  The Gospels are simply specimens of the life that He is ever living; they are leaves torn out of the diary of His unchangeable Being.  Let this fact become the watchword of a blessed life."  (F.B. Meyer)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1658]

September 30th

"Now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly." (Hebrews 11:16)
 
"There is a great world somewhere, vast beyond imagination, that holds the headquarters of the universe, the homstead of eternity, and the metropolis of deity.  It has a population in numbers beyond all statistics and appointments of splendor beyond the capacity of canvass or poem or angel to describe.  It is as certain as the Bible is authentic.  We spell it with six letters and pronounce it: HEAVEN."  (T.D. Talmadge)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1659]

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October 1st

"God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His Name."  (Hebrews 6:10)
 
"Never mind where your work is.  Never mind whether it be visible or not.  Never mind whether your name is associated with it.  You may never see the issues of your toil here.  You are working for eternity.  If you cannot see results here, remember God does see them, and if you are faithful now, your work will follow you.  So do your duty and trust in God."  (Alexander Maclaren)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1660] 

October 2nd

"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh." (1 Timothy 3:16)
 
"In a company of literary gentlemen, Daniel Webster was asked if he could comprehend how Christ Jesus could be both God and man.  'No sir,' he replied.  Then he added, 'I should be ashamed to acknowledge Him as my Saviour if I could comprehend Him.  He then would be no greater than myself.  Such is my inability to save myself that I feel I need a superhuman Saviour - One so glorious that I cannot comprehend Him."
 
We comprehend Him not;  Yet earth and heaven tell,
He sits as sovereign on the throne  And ruleth all things well.
                                                                            (Choice Sayings-)
[N.J. Hiebert # 1661] 

October 3rd

"He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)
 
"Our love is often quenched by one act of sin against us; but Christ's love was unquenched by four thousand years of sin against Him, the accumulated floodtide of man's defiance and rebellion.  Think of the vicious hatred of man against Him, revealed in the scourging, smiting, spitting, swearing mob that nailed Him to the tree.  My sins.  Your sins.  Our sins - the sins of a world full of sinners, full of sin.  Yet for all this, His love was not quenched."  (G.M. Landis)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1662]

October 4th

"Jesus... said, it is finished."  (John 19:30)
 
"There is not a single word that the Lord Jesus wished unuttered, or a single step retraced, or a single duty that had been omitted.  He was the only man who walked with a firm, steady and rhythmic step; never faltering, never erring, but going on from strength to strength.  He was the Just Man whose path was as a 'shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day' (Proverbs 4:13)."  (Adolph Saphir)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1663]

October 5th

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14)
 
"The whole world sped down the ages to its doom.  Did the hosts of happy beings in God's presence peer over heaven's battlements and mark with sadness its downward course?  Did they shudder as from that world arose groans and curses and ribald laughter?  Any help?  Any hope?  None!  none! for who can stop a world cut loose from its God?  And yet, as they ponder over this enigma, the Eternal King rises form His throne and, laying aside His mantle splendor, steps down to the door of our dark world.  For once in all its history, the door swings INWARDS, and the Lord of Glory enters as a little child." (D. Anderson-Berry)
 
[N.J. Hiebert  # 1664] 

October 6th

"My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." (Psalm 63:1)
 
"A little mercy may save the soul, but it must be a great deal of mercy that will satisfy the soul.  The least glimpse of God's countenance may be a staff to support the soul, an ark to secure the soul, a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide the soul; but it must be much, very much of God that will satisfy the soul."  (Thomas Brooks)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1666] 

October 7th

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses."  (2 Corinthians 12:10)
 
" 'Sacrifice?' said David Livingstone.  'Away with the word.  It is emphatically no sacrifice.  Say rather it is a privilege.  Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then, with the forsaking of the common conveniences of this life, may cause the spirit to waver, but let this only be for a moment.  All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us.  I never made a sacrifice.  Of this we ought not to talk, when we think of the great sacrifice which He made for us.' "
 
Not for ease or worldly pleasure,
nor for fame my prayer shall be;
Gladly will I toil and suffer,
only let me walk with Thee.
                                                                                (Choice Sayings)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1667] 

October 8th

"What is thy beloved more than another beloved?"  (Song of Solomon 5:9)
 
"All other greatness has been marred by littleness; all other wisdom has been flawed by folly; all other goodness has been tainted by imperfection.  The Lord Jesus remains the only Being of whom, without gross flattery, it could be asserted: 'He is altogether lovely.' "  (C.I Scofield)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1668]

October 9th

"These things have I spoken unto you... that your joy might be full."  (John 15:11)
 
"There is nothing in common between the life of Heaven and that of the world.  It is not a question of prohibitions as to using this or that, but of having altogether other tastes, desires, and joys.  It is on this account that people imagine Christians are sad, for we do not enjoy the same things.  The world does not know our joys; no unrenewed person can comprehend what renders the Christian happy."  (J.N. Darby)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1669]  

October 10th

"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)
 
"We look out on a world teetering on the brink of disaster.  We hear the raucous cry of the godless, and the philosophical fumblings of those, who, professing themselves to be wise, have become fools.  We hear the cry of the cults, the sanctimonious dronings of formal religions.  Then above all this comes the plaintive voice of the Saviour, 'Will ye also go away?'  Every true believer responds, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ.' (John 6:67-69) "  (J. Boyd Nicholson)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1670]

October 11th

"And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice." (John 10:4)

"After a hijacked plan slammed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, many people inside the building were tapped by a cloud of thick, blinding smoke. Police officer Isaac Hoopi ran into the blackness, searching for survivors, and heard people calling for help. He began shouting back, over and over: 'Head toward my voice! Head toward my voice!'

"Six people, who had lost all sense of direction in a smoke-filled hallway, heard the officer's shouts and followed. Hoopi's voice led them out of the building to safety.

" 'Head toward My voice!' That's also the invitation of Jesus to each of us when we are in danger or when we have lost our way. Jesus described the true spiritual shepherd of the sheep as one who 'calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice;' (John 10:3-4).

"Are we listening for Jesus' voice during our times of prayer and Bible reading? When we're in difficult circumstances, are we walking toward Him instead of groping in the dark?

"Jesus is 'the good shepherd' (v.11). Whatever our need for guidance or protection, He calls us to heed His voice and follow Him." (Our Daily Bread)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1671]

October 12th

(Please note Gems No 1628 & 1648)

"This thing is from Me" (1 Kings 12:24)

"Have you money difficulties? Is it hard to keep within your income? 'This thing is from Me.' For I am He that possesses all things. I wish you to draw everything from Me, and that you depend entirely upon Me. My riches are illimitable. 'But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:19). Put my promise to the proof, so that it may not be said of you, 'Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God.' (Deuteronomy 1:32)

"Are you passing through a night of affliction? 'This thing is from Me.'

I am the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). I have left you without human support, that in turning to Me you might obtain eternal consolation '(But) our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father which hath loved us and hath given, us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.' (2 Thessalonians 2:16,17)" (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1672]

October 13th

"That I may open my mouth boldly."  (Ephesians 6:19)
 
"I have not been like a shepherd after lost sheep, nor like a physician among dying men, nor like a servant bidding you to the marriage, nor like one plucking brands from the burning!   How often have I gone to your houses to try and win souls, and you have put me off with a little worldly talk.  I dared not tell you that you were perishing.  How often have I sat at some of your tables, and my heart yearned for your souls, yet a false shame kept me silent!  How often I have gone home crying bitterly, 'Free me from bloodguiltiness, O God!' "  (Robert Murray McCheyne)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1673]

October 14th

"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 8:38).
 
"If we want to act as the channels of the grace of Christ, we must have to do with Him in the deep secret of our own souls.  We must learn of Him; we must feed upon Him; we must know the meaning of communion with His heart; we must be near enough to Him to know the secrets of His mind, and carry out the purposes of His love.  If we would reflect Him, we must gaze upon Him.  If we would reproduce Him, we must feed upon Him, we must have Him dwelling in our hearts by faith.  We may depend upon it, that what is really in our hearts will come out in our lives.  We may have a quantity of truth in our heads, and flippantly flowing from our lips, but if we really desire to be channels of communication between His heart and the needy ones in the scene through which we are passing, we must habitually drink into His love.  It cannot possibly be in any other way."  (Miscellaneous Writings of C.H. Mackintosh - Vol. 5)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1674]

October 15th

"Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."  (Colossians 1:12)
 
"What have you ever done in connection with your inheritance?  You enter into it, that is all.  That is one of our favorite expressions, we enter into things.  It is very real, too, and describes the act exactly - we simply enter into that which was made ready to our hand; not a house to build, not a vineyard to plant, not a well to dig; all is there, and everything that is needed is simply in the obedience of faith to withstand the enemy who would keep us out of it.  No matter what form he may take, it is the thing that keeps us out of the practical enjoyment of our inheritance, as given to us in the word of God, as revealed to us there; this enemy is to be cast out by faith and obedience, and everything is ready for us to enjoy."  (S. Ridout - Lectures on The Book of Judges)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1675]

October 16th

"The angel of the Lord appeared unto Gideon, and said unto him: The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12).
 
"Two things are closely united: strength was his (Gideon's) in the Lord Himself.  'Go in this thy might,' said the Lord looking upon him; and he is immediately seized with the sense of his own nothingness: his family was the poorest in Manasseh, and he the least in his father's house.  And the Lord said unto him: 'Surely I will be with thee.' "  (H.L. Rossier)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1676]

October 17th

"And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me" (Nehemiah 2:8).
 
"It is well for us to mark this principle in the ways of God with His people.  If he puts within our hearts a desire for any service - a service for His glory - He will surely open out before us the way to it.  If it be really His work on which our minds are set, He will enable us to do it in His own way and time.  The door may seem to be closed and barred; but if we wait on Him 'who openeth, and no man shutteth,' we shall find that it will suddenly open to us, so that we may enter in without let or hindrance."  (Edward Dennett - Exposition of Nehemiah)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1677]

October 18th

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"  (John 1:17).
 
"Man has not the strength to do good.  He can only be saved by grace.  He does not need the law, but only Christ.  There is nothing that is harder for the proud heart to accept than this fact.  This is why God had to give the law first.  He had to show us that 'by works of law no flesh shall be justified before Him' (Romans 3:20).  And when the law had shown that it had no power to save, then grace came - personified and manifested in the Person of the Son of God."  (H.L. Heijkoop)
 
[N.J. Hiebert  # 1678]

October 19th

"Is not thy fear [of God] thy confidence? thy hope, the uprightness of they ways?" (Job 4:6)
 
"Many people mix up their own personal fidelity with Christ, and what is the effect of it?  The mixture of self with Christ has always a disintegrating effect - always injures and darkens the ground of our peace.  I must have a peace entirely outside myself.  I must have a confidence based upon Him who has no flaw at all, and who has done a work that gives me to be without a flaw before God.   That is exactly what Christ has done."  (William Kelly - Job)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1680]
 
October 20th
 
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

"Of all the unintelligent creatures I have known, I believe the chicken is by far the dumbest. Did you ever see one cross the road (or try to cross) in front of you and get halfway, then turn around and go back (only it didn't get back)? Some time ago I found an exceptionally mixed-up bird. She had found a doorknob - the white porcelain kind of antiquity - and had mistaken it for an egg. That's right, she was so ignorant she couldn't tell the difference between an egg and a doorknob! How dumb can a chicken be? She had been sitting on that piece of porcelain for I don't know how long. I missed her from the flock and finally located her in a tuft of grass squatting firmly on her prize. I imagine she might be sitting there yet if I hadn't robbed her of her precious knob.

"Now I am not asking myself, how foolish can a chicken be, but how foolish can a sinner be? The Bible is clear on the subject that mere religion cannot save! It takes a new life, an act of God by regeneration, to bring salvation. Yet there are thousands of people who imagine that they can earn their salvation by good works, religious exercises, church membership, and the keeping of 'sacred ordinances,' instead of by 'pure grace' through faith in Jesus Christ. In a real sense, they are just trying to hatch a 'living chick' out of a 'dead doorknob.' Unless awakened to their mistake by the Spirit of God, they will sit there until death overtakes them and they are eternally lost. The Bible says, 'But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness' (Romans 4:5). Don't let Satan's counterfeit of 'religion' fool you. You need Christ!" (Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1966, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1681]

October 21st

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching"  (Hebrews 10:25).
 
"God teaches His children, but in general it is through those He has given for the good of the church, and, though never tied down to that order, He does not set aside the wise and gracious arrangement that He has formed and will perpetuate as long as the church endures.  Nourishment is ministered by joints and bands, and thus all the body knit together increases with the increase of God.  What would enable us to do without one another is a thing that God never gives or sanctions.  Supposing a person were cast upon a desert island, God would bless him in his solitary reading of the word with prayer; but where there are other means and opportunities, such as assembling ourselves together for instruction, for reading the scriptures, for public preaching, exhortation, etc., to neglect or despise them is the will of man and not the guidance of the Spirit of God."  (William Kelly)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1682] 

October 22nd

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (1 Timothy 3:16). 
 
"The spirit in the course of the New Testament is often dragging into light, so to speak, some obscure corners of the old scriptures which might be naturally passed by:
- "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).
- "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you"  (Habakkuk 1:5).
- "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publish peace!"  (Nahum 1:15)
    "But it helps to affirm the precious truth, that 'all scripture is given by inspiration of God.'  The stars in that hemisphere of glories may differ in magnitude, but they are all equally the workmanship of one hand.  There is, perhaps we may say, no portion of the Old Testament, that is not either expressly cited, or distinctly referred to, or silently glanced at in the New Testament."  (J.G. Bellett)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1683]

October 23rd

"He that covereth his transgressions, shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

"It is the greatest mistake a soul can be guilty of, to attempt to cover sin and transgression. Yet men invariably shrink from coming out frankly with a confession of their true state and actions. It seems to be natural to fallen man (ever since the day that our first parents, by fig-leaf aprons, sought to hide their nakedness,) to endeavor to cover his shame, hoping thereby to avoid the just consequences of his sin. But God's word clearly makes known the fact that he who justifies himself can only be condemned at last. It is the one who sides with God, and condemns himself, who is justified from all things....

"Of course, by confession is not meant a general acknowledgment of sinfulness and wickedness of life, uttered as a kind of soul-ease. True confession involves genuine repentance and self-judgment. Therefore we are here told, 'He that confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.' The repentant person no longer hugs the chains that bind him, but longs for full deliverance from them. He comes to God with real concern about his unholy ways and thoughts and words, earnestly seeking grace to cease from them, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. But this he cannot do in himself. It is only when he rests in simple faith in the finished work of Christ, and yields himself unto God as one now alive from the dead, that he is able to rise above the sins that have blighted his life and almost damned his soul." (H.A. Ironside - Notes on Proverbs)

[N.J. Hiebert #1684]

October 24th

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you..." (2 Corinthians 9:8).
 
"There is an inexhaustible source.  We may come and come and come again, and never find that fountain lowered by all our drafts upon it.  Sooner, far sooner, should the ocean be emptied by a teacup than infinite 'power' and 'love' be impoverished by all that His saints could draw from Him.  'All grace.' "  (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1685]

October 25th

"I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it" (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

"In the Song of Solomon there is no mention of sin, pardon, or justification. Why is this? These questions had been previously settled, and now the heart is enjoying full and perfect liberty in the Lord's presence. All such questions, in every case, are settled when the sinner is first brought to the feet of Jesus - settled on the solid ground of the Saviour's finished work - never, no never again to be raised, so far as God and faith are concerned. Satan, and the unbelief of our own hearts, may seek to disturb the eternally settled question; but all such thoughts should be treated as coming from such sources. "I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever..." The heart that knows these things is free, happy, and at home in the immediate presence of the Lord, and that, too, in the highest sense." (Andrew Miller - Meditations on the Song of Solomon)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1686]

October 26th

(Please note Gem # 1628, 1648 & 1672)

"This thing is from Me" (1 Kings 12:24).

"Has some friend disappointed you? - one to whom you had opened your heart? 'This thing is from Me.' I have allowed this disappointment that you might learn that the best friend is JESUS. He preserves us from falling, fights for us in our combats; yes, the best friend is JESUS. I long to be your confidant.

"Has someone said false things of you? Leave that, and come closer to Me, under My wings, away from the place of wordy dispute; 'for I will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday' (Psalm 37:6).

"Have your plans been all upset? Are you crushed and weary? 'This thing is from Me.' Have you made plans and then coming, asked Me to bless them? I wish to make your plans for you. I will take the responsibility, for it is 'too heavy for you, and you could not perform it alone' (Exodus 18:18). You are but an instrument and not an agent." (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1687]

October 27th

"I will trust and not be afraid" (Isaiah 12:2).
 
    "Two-year old Max was securely buckled in his seat in Grandpa's pickup truck.  He was waiting for Dad and Grandpa to stop talking so he could go for a ride.  His mother poked her head in the truck and said, 'Where are you going, Max?'  'Not know,' he replied, raising his little arms.
    " 'What are you going to do?' she asked.  'Not know,' came the answer again.
    " 'Well,' she asked, 'do you want to come back in the house with me?'
    " 'No!' came the quick reply as he settled himself more firmly, waiting to begin his adventure.
    " 'That little boy taught me a lesson I needed right then,' his mother told me later.  She was soon to give birth to another baby, and she had reason to be unsure of what was ahead.  'He didn't know where he was going or what he what he was going to do, but he trusted Grandpa completely.  Max's confidence in Grandpa is the kind of trust I need in my heavenly Father.'
    "If you are in one of those periods of life when you don't know what lies ahead, or you don't know what to do about some critical issue, it might help to think about it that way.  God wants your to have the confidence in Him to say, like the prophet Isaiah, 'I will trust and not be afraid."
 
'We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.'    (Our Daily Bread - August 1997)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1688]

October 28th

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me' (John 12:26).

"If I am following my own will in a matter, taking the lead, I am practically ignoring Him! I am to 'follow' Him; in other words, to obey Him, every day, every hour. This is holding the Head; it is waiting on Him - going therefore according to His Word, His way, His desire - this is fellowship. The Lord is now winning the love of His own to follow Him. It is not mere formal obedience to law, but the obedience of love to Him. 'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' (Acts 9:6) is a question of life and heart and submission. It is the cry of a subject one." (H.B.W.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1689]

October 29th

"...truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3)
 
"The great purpose of God in all His dealings in grace, is to bring us - and to bring us individually, too - into fellowship with Himself.  'Truly our fellowship is with the Father.'  Thus we have the full knowledge of God as far as it can be known, and that in full communion with Himself.  It is not in the way of creation; that is, not merely as creatures, for we are made partakers of the Holy Ghost that there may be power. 'We dwell in Him and He in us.' There cannot be anything more intimate."  (J.N. Darby -Lectures on the First Epistle of John)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1690]

October 30th

"If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." (Romans 8:9)
 
"It is difficult for one who does not walk with God to believe that we can dwell in God, and God in us.  But the Word clearly says: 'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.'  He dwells in us, and the one who walks in communion with God enjoys this, and rejoices in it with humility and gratitude.  The presence of God never makes us proud.  He is too great for us to be anything before Him.  It was not when Paul was in the third heaven that he was in danger of being exalted above measure, but when he came down to earth again." (See 2 Corinthians 12) (G.C. Willis - Meditations on Galatians)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1691]

October 31st

"God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son." (Hebrews 1:1,2)
 
" 'God hath spoken.'  This is the first point.  Oh, how little do we think of the grandeur and majesty and all-importance of this simple declaration, 'God hath spoken.'  A living God and a loving God must needs speak.  The god of the philosophers is a silent god, for he hath neither life not affection; but our God, who created the heavens and the earth, who is and who loves, must speak.  Even in the creation, which is an act of the condescension of God, He utters His thoughts; and when He created man as the consummation of the world, it was for this purpose, that man should hear Him and love Him, and should rejoice in His light and in His life."  (Adolph Saphir - Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1692]

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November 1st

"Be careful (anxious) about nothing."  (Philippians 4:6)
 
 "We are frequently anxious to get away from present pressure; but if the pressure were removed, the longing would cease.  If we longed for the coming of Jesus, and the glory of His blessed presence, circumstances would make no difference; we should then long as ardently to get away from circumstances of ease and sunshine, as from those of pressure and sorrow."  (Christian Truth - February 1967)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1693]

November 2nd

"My beloved is gone down into his garden... to gather lilies."  (Song of Solomon 6:2)
 
" 'Who has taken this flower?' cried the gardener as he walked through the garden and missed his favorite beauty from its place.  His fellow servant answered, 'The Master,' and the gardener held his peace.  There are many events and circumstances of life that occur, the reason for which we cannot see; but when we believe the truth that they are of the Lord, we hold our peace and say, 'Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.'  When that much loved and beautiful flower is missed in your family, and you are told the Master has taken it, hold your peace in sublime submission to His will."  (Anon)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1694]

November 3rd

"In Thy presence is fullness of joy." (Psalm 16:11)
 
"Do you want comfort?  Nothing can give it so much as the thought of His coming.  There may be sorrow in the night, but joy enough - 'fullness of joy' - in that morning when we shall see Him as He is, fullness of joy in being like Him and with Him for evermore."  (G.V. Wigram)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1695]

November 4th

"Behold the Lamb of God."  John 1:29
"And the two disciples heard Him speak, and they followed Jesus." (John 1:37)
 
"John gave his testimony of Jesus, and nobody followed Jesus that day.  But on the next day, John lost two of his disciples.  John's was the right kind of ministry - the ministry of a Person.  Such ministry will lead souls to follow Jesus only.  Ministry that attracts men to itself is not what is wanted.  Ministry that attracts men's heart's to Christ is the finest of all."  (W.T.P. Wolston)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1696]

November 5th

"Sit still... until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished." (Ruth 3:18)
 
" 'Sit still... until.'  Until you know what He has deemed it wise to withhold for the present.  Until He clears the clouds.  Until He melts the mists.  Until He removes the mountains.  Until He breaks the barriers.   Until He dispels the darkness.  Until He solves the problems.  Until He brings your wanderers back.  Until we see Him face to face.  Until the day break and the shadows flee away.  Oh, blessed hope, perhaps today!  Sit still!  Sit still!  Thus you shall better know Himself, and knowing Him, be fully satisfied."  (Choice Sayings)
                    Be still, my soul, your best, your heavenly Friend,
                    Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1697]

November 6th

"This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death." (Psalm 48:14)
 
"He has kept and folded us from ten thousand ills when we did not know it.  In the midst of our security we should have perished every hour, but that He sheltered us 'from the terror by night and from the arrow that flieth by day.'  He Has kept us even against ourselves, and saved us from out own undoing.  Let us read the traces of His hand in all our ways.  It is He that feeds and leads us.  Ours is but to follow closely the One who is our guide all the way."
                        Be still, my soul!  Thy God doth undertake
                        To guide the future as He has the past;
                        Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake:
                        All now mysterious shall be bright at last.  (J. Borthwick)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1698]

November 7th

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)
 
"Advertising is largely based upon the habit of pretense.  'Courses' are offered in this or that field of human learning frankly appealing to the victim's desire to shine at a party.  Books are sold, clothes and cosmetics are peddled by playing continually upon this desire to appear what we are not.  Artificiality is one curse that will drop away the moment we kneel at Jesus' feet and surrender ourselves to His meekness.  Then we will not care what people thing of us so long as God is pleased.  Then what we are  will be everything; what we appear will take its place far down the scale of interest for us.  Apart from sin we have nothing of which to be ashamed.  Only an evil desire to shine makes us want to appear other than we are."  (A.W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1699]

November 8th

"Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear." (1 Samuel 9:15)
"What ye hear in the ear, preach ye." (Matthew 10:27)
 
"It is a specially sweet part of the Lord's dealings with His messengers that He always gives us the message for ourselves first.  It is what He has first told us in the darkness - that is, in the secrecy of our own rooms, or at least of our own hearts - that He bids us speak in light.  And so the more we sit at His feet and watch to see what He has to say to ourselves, the more we shall have to tell to others.  He does not send us out with sealed dispatches, which we know nothing about, and with which we have no concern."  (Frances Ridley Havergal)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1700]

November 9th

"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."  (Isaiah  66:2)
 
"We believe the Lord's people everywhere need to be thoroughly roused to a sense of how entirely the professing church has departed from the authority of scripture.  Here, we may rest assured, lies the real cause of all the confusion, all the error, all the evil in our midst.  We have departed from the word of the Lord, and from Himself.  Until this is seen, felt and owned, we cannot be right.  The Lord looks for true repentance, real brokenness of spirit, in His presence.  (C.H. Mackintosh - Deuteronomy) 
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1701]

November 10th

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
 
"The main feature of Adam's sin was sin against God.  That of Cain's was sin against his neighbor, and these two make up the sum of all sins."  (J.N. Darby)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1702]

November 11th

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)
 
"Attaching importance to opinions is a great evil.  A soul lives upon truth taught by the Holy Ghost; but this is not opinion.  I am saved by believing that Jesus died for sin and sinners - that He died for me - but that is not an opinion."  (Christian Truth - Vol. 14 - 1961)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1703]

November 12th

"Casting all your care upon HIM."  (1 Peter 5:7)
 
"Tell Jesus" - tell Him everything  About yourself, and all
The daily cares that trouble you -  The great ones and the small.
 
None are too large for Him to take;  He weighed them all before
He gave you them to bring to Him,  That you should love Him more.
 
None are too small to take to Him;  He listens to a sigh,
He knows each wish, He sees each tear,  For He is always nigh.
 
"Tell Jesus" - tell Him everything,  The past, the present, too;
He'll send new strength with every care,  And soothe and comfort you.
(Author not known)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1704]

November 13th

"And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete."  (Acts 27:13)
 
    "In over 30 years of teaching I have known many students who listened to the enemy's advice, and though still young in years, were already paying a high price for doing so.  How often I heard a tearful student say, 'It seemed so right... it seemed like it was everything I had dreamed about, everything I had ever wanted... it felt so good'.
    "They had left the safe, constraining influences of their Fair Havens and had reached out and taken what looked so attractive and promising.  The result was suffering horrible pain and sorrow.  How many promising young lives, have been ruined, marred, soiled, scared because they would not stay within the constraints of Fair Havens.
    "When those first exciting steps away from Fair Havens were taken, everything did seem wonderful.  Freedom, joy, happiness, contentment ...the south wind surely seemed to be blowing softly.  Things couldn't be better.  That's often the experience of those first few tentative steps away from the safety of Christian homes, assemblies, and the Divine protection of the Word of God.  When those things are initially left, seeking a wider more pleasant journey through life, the south wind may very likely blow, lulling you into a false sense of well-being and security.
    "Self-will never feels wrong at the very first.  But there are sad consequences just around the corner when guided by your will."  (The Journey of Life [Reflections on Acts 27] - Douglas Nicolet)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1705]

November 14th

"A man of knowledge increaseth strength."  (Proverbs 24:5)
 
"They might be as wise as a Plato and prudent as Aristotle, but they were not learned in God's will and in the knowledge of His mind.  This is the learning that we should value and cultivate - a thing that never can be gleaned in the schools of this world.  On the contrary, if a man prosecute human learning  as a means of understanding the things of God, he is sure to go astray, because this per se is never from the Holy Ghost.  Doubtless he who has got human learning may make use of it for God.  But the great point is, that the man of God must make learning and everything that is of man to be his servant; whereas the mind of man, as such, makes learning his master and becomes its slave.  Hence the danger of all such things proving positive hindrances, even to the Christian, save so far as he is led by the Spirit of God.  The only possible way of understanding God's word is by subjection to the Holy Ghost; and the test is Christ, because the object of the Spirit is to exalt Him.  Therefore it is that you never can separate growth in the things of God from the moral state of the soul.  It is true that a man who has learned a great deal of truth may slip into a bad state of soul: but, in general, sound knowledge of the things of God and a wise gracious application of the truth flow from communion with God."  (William Kelly - Lectures on the Book of Revelation)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1706]

November 17th

"Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means." (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
 
"This is the only occurrence of this unique title, 'The Lord of Peace.'  When Jesus came, He brought peace.  While He was here, He bestowed peace.  As He left, He bequeathed peace.  When He was born, a multitude of angels said, 'On earth peace,' and just prior to His death a multitude of disciples cried, 'Peace in heaven' (Luke 2:14, 19:38).  How fittingly is He called the Prince of peace and the Lord of Peace."  (Jim Flanigan)
 
"Peace, peace, sweet peace,  Wonderful gift from above;
O wonderful, wonderful peace,  Sweet peace, the gift of God's love."  (Peter P. Billhorn)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1707]

November 19th

"Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us." (Psalm 4:6)
 
Does the sun shine in the heavens, does the rain fall, and are the seasons set to give us our daily bread, and yet are the great hungry longings of the soul for goodness to go for ever unsatisfied?  Is there no power that can break the force of evil; no whisper of hope; no hand that can lift us up out of the mire and clay and set our feet upon the rock?  There must be.  Thank God there is!  'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.' (Psalm 121:1)  And lo, there cometh the very Son of God Himself to be the Saviour of the world.  He hath broken the power of evil.  He is the all-conquering goodness, stretching out to us His hand that we may find an Almighty help, and learn to cry exultantly, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' (Philippians 4:13)"  (Mark Guy Pearse - The Gentleness of Jesus)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1708]

November 20th

"This thing is from Me."  (1 Kings 12:24)
 
    "Have you desired fervently to do some great work for Me?  Instead of that you have been laid aside on a bed of sickness and suffering.  'This thing is from Me.'  I was unable to attract your attention while you were so active.  I wish to teach you some of My deep lessons.  It is only those who have learned to wait patiently who can serve Me.  My greatest workers are sometimes those who are laid aside from active service in order that they may learn to wield the weapon of prayer.
    "Are you suddenly called to occupy a difficult position full of responsibilities?  Go forward, counting on me.  I am giving you the position full of difficulties for the reason that Jehovah your God will bless you in all your works, and in all the business of your hands (Deuteronomy 15:18).  This day I place in your hand a pot of holy oil.  Draw form it freely, My child, that all the circumstances arising along the pathway, each word that gives you pain, each interruption trying to your patience, each manifestation of your feebleness, may be anointed with this oil.  Remember that interruptions are divine instructions.  The sting will go in the measure in which you see Me in all things.  Therefore set your heart to all the words that I testify among you this day.  For it is your life." (Deuteronomy 32:46, 47.)  (Found in J.N.D.'s Bible)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1709]

November 21st

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."  (Romans 13:12)
 
" 'Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep... the night is far spent, the day is at hand."  What an arousing motive for holiness!  Beware of all pretended holiness that has not this intelligence and this motive.  What! is the Lord at hand, and we, Christians, asleep? - whether we think of joy to us, for ever with the Lord - how near now our salvation - or the day of wrath and judgment on a rejecting world.  'Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.'  If the world is steeped in dishonesty in this dark night, 'Let us walk honestly, as in the day.'  What a change there would be in the conduct, even of Christians, if we were really to awake, to expect our Lord, day by day."  (Charles Stanley - the Evangelist from Sheffield , England.)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1710]

November 22nd

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife (rivalry): and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely supposing to add affliction to my bonds." (Philippians 1:15,16)
 
"Attention has often been called to the striking fact that we have here the Anglicized Latin word 'sincere,' meaning, literally, 'without wax' - used to translate a Greek word meaning 'sun-tested.'  It might seem at first as though there is no connection between the two terms.  But we are told that the ancients had a very fine porcelain which was greatly valued, and brought a very high price.  This ware was so fragile, that it was only with the greatest difficulty it could be fired without being cracked; and dishonest dealers were in the habit of filling in the cracks that appeared with a pearly-white wax, which looked enough like the true porcelain to pass without being readily detected in the shops.  If held to the light, however, the wax was at once manifested as a dark seam; and honest Latin dealers marked their wares 'sine cera' (without wax).  Thus the apostle would have the saints tested by the sunlight of God's truth and holiness, and found to be without wax; that is, he would have them straightforward, and honorable in all their dealings.  Anything that savors of sham or hypocrisy is as the wax used to hide the imperfection in the porcelain."  (H.A. Ironside)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1711]

November 23rd

"He only."  (Psalm 62:6)
 
    "Now, it is well to see that as in the matter of salvation, so in all the details of actual life from day to day, God will not share His glory with the creature.  From first to last, it must be 'He only,' and this, too, in reality.  It will not do to have the language of dependence upon God on our lips, while our hearts are really leaning on some creature resource.  God will make all this fully manifest; He will test the heart; He will put faith into the furnace. 
    'Walk before Me, and be thou perfect.'  Thus it is we reach the proper point.  When the soul is enabled, by grace, to get rid of all its fondly-cherished creature expectations, then, and only then, it is prepared to let God act; and when He acts, all must be well.  He will not leave anything undone.  He will perfectly settle everything on behalf of those who simply put their trust in Him.  When unerring wisdom, omnipotent power, and infinite love combine, the confiding heart may enjoy unruffled repose.  Unless we can find some circumstance too big or too little for 'the almighty God,' we have no proper base on which to found a single anxious thought."  (C.H. Mackintosh - The Book of Genesis)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1712]

November 24th

"He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves.  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet." (Psalm 107:25, 29-30)
 
"Four storms in the Bible involve servants of the Lord in their work.  Jonah was in the storm because of disobedience to the Lord; Paul, because others disregarded his advice; Jesus and His disciples because of Satan's designs to thwart the Lord's work; and sometimes the Lord raises a storm to teach His servants to depend more on Him.  Are you in a storm?  Commit yourself to Him and watch Him rise and say, 'Peace, be still.' "  (Adam Ferguson)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1713]

November 25th

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  (2 Timothy 3:16)
 
"This is the instrument by which we came into God's family, for we are 'born again...by the word of God' (1 Peter 1:23)  and by it we gain assurance of salvation for 'These things have I written... that ye may know ' (1 John 5:13).  Here are the principles by which we are to live, for it provides 'doctrine... reproof... correction... instruction' (2 Timothy 3:16) and it is the standard by which all will eventually be measured - 'the word... shall judge... in the last day' (John 12:48).  Don't let the attitudes of others determine your response."  (C.F. Anderson)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1714]

November 26th

"And Joshua went unto him and said unto him: Art thou for us or for our adversaries?'  (Joshua 5:13)
 
"It is impossible to be neutral in the fight, and we ought all, like Joshua, to understand this.  'And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.  And Joshua did so.'  He who reveals Himself to Joshua as Lord of hosts claims also His character of holiness.  It is impossible for those who are called to fight under a divine leader to remain associated, individually or corporately, with evil or defilement in the walk.  It was partly on account of having disregarded this principle that the people were defeated before Ai.  To keep unjudged evil in the heart exposes us to the judgment of God and renders us defenseless in the hands of the enemy; it is the same thing with evil in the assembly.  If God is holy in redemption, as He showed Himself to be to Moses in the bush (Exodus 3:5) - and where did He make a more brilliant display of His holiness? - let us remember that He is not less holy in the combat, and that we can only engage in it after having loosened the shoes off our feet."  (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Book of Joshua)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1715]

November 27th

"Naomi said , turn again my daughters, go your way... Orpah kissed her mother in law (and returned): but Ruth clave unto her..." (Ruth 1:12-14)
 
    "There are three characters, which bring before us and illustrate three entirely distinct states of soul.  In Naomi you have the sad and solemn case of a backslider; in Orpah you have the fearful condition of a soul that prefers the world to Christ; and in Ruth you have the beautiful picture of a soul that prefers Christ to everything. 
    "You can easily tell which of these three characters is yours.  Are you a backslider? are you one who prefers the world  to Christ? or, are you one who prefers Christ  to anything and everything?  Do not say you do not know; that is not true.  You do know.  When I was in the world I knew quite well that I preferred the world, and that in my heart there was nothing but enmity to God's beloved Son."  (W.T.P. Wolston - Rest for the Weary)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1716]

November 28th

"Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel but not of me... that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves." (Isaiah 30:1,2) 
 
"Where we often fail is through acting from impulse.  If we think to plan, instead of praying in real subjection to God, we need to fear for ourselves.  What is rendered in 1 Timothy 2:1 'intersession,' and in 1 Timothy 4:5 'prayer,' means such intercourse with God as admits of confiding appeal to Him.  We can thus freely and personally speak to Him about all things, now that through the one Mediator we know Him as a Saviour-God, Who has first spoken to us in grace, and given us the access we have into this grace wherein we stand.  Is it not, then, an outrage on the God Who has thus opened His ear to us if we look to fleshly means?  And yet who does not know that this is the very thing to which perhaps, more than any other, the wise and prudent are prone?"
(William Kelly - An Exposition of the Book of Isaiah)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1717]

November 29th

"The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you."  (Isaiah 54:10)
 
    "During the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a group of social analysts gazed 100 years into the future and tried to forecast what the world would be like in 1993.  Some of their predictions were:
* Many people will live to be 150.
* The government will have grown more simple, as true greatness tends always toward simplicity.
* Prisons will decline, and divorce will be considered unnecessary.
    "They were wrong on all counts!  So, what does the future really hold?  Two things are certain: Circumstances will change; God will not.
    "We know these truths from observation.  We see them throughout the Bible.  Yet, we must prove them for ourselves when our life turns upside down and everything seems our of control.
    "We can give way to fear and panic, or we can choose to trust God's promise: ' "The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has mercy on you' (Isaiah 54:10).
    "Although circumstances will change, God will never change.  We can be confident that He will always be faithful.  Therefore, we can be at peace." (DCM)
Be still my soul; the Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.  (von Schlegel)
 
TO KNOW THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD IS TO KNOW THE PEACE OF GOD.
 
(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1996), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission.)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1718]

November 30th

"Jephthah (God's opener) uttered all the words before the Lord."  (Judges 11:11)
 
    "That is what is needed in meeting false doctrine.  We need an opener, we need that sprit of faith which would take our Bibles and open up the truth in the face of any false doctrine, no matter what its name may be.  And it is a blessed fact, that no matter whether a heretic holds the Bible in his hand or not (all the better if he does hold it in his hand), you can use the word of God against him, if you are an opener.  If you have had your heart opened by the Spirit of God to His truth, you can meet the holder of wicked doctrine, no matter what his profession may be, and you can overthrow him in the power of that Word....
    "There is the victory over heresy for us.  It is with an open Bible, and an open heart and conscience.  We will find that the first thing we have to do is to draw the line between ourselves and the false doctrine.  That is why it is an utter impossibility for God's people to allow for one moment anything like alliance with those who hold false doctrine.  We may bear with ignorance; we can bear with any failure to grasp fully the scope of divine truth.  A fellow-Christian may be ignorant of the truths of prophecy; he may be ignorant of the full extent of redemption in all its blessed results, but I can go on patiently with one who is only ignorant."  (S. Ridout - Lectures on the Book of Judges)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1719]  

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December 1st

"Looking unto Jesus."  (Hebrews 12:2)

" 'Unto Jesus' and not at our sins, neither at the source from which they come (Matthew 15:19) nor the chastisement which they deserve.  Let us look at ourselves, only to recognize how much need we have of looking to Him; and looking to Him, certainly not as if we were sinless; but on the contrary, because we are sinners, measuring the very greatness of the offence by the greatness of the sacrifice which has atoned for it and of the grace which pardons it.  'For one look that we turn on ourselves', said an eminent servant of God (McCheyne) 'let us turn ten upon Jesus'. - 'If it is very sure' said Vinet, 'that one will not lose sight of his wretched state by looking at Jesus Christ crucified - because this wretched state is, as it were, graven upon the cross - it is also very sure that in looking at one's wretchedness one can lose sight of Jesus Christ; because the cross is not naturally graven upon the image of one's wretchedness'.  And he adds 'Look at yourselves, but only in the presence of the cross, only through Jesus Christ'.  Looking at the sin only gives death; looking at Jesus gives life.  That which healed the Israelite in the wilderness was not considering his wounds, but raising his eyes to the serpent of brass.  (Numbers 21:9)"  (Translated from the French by Theodore Monod by Helen Willis)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1720]

December 2nd

"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep"  (John 10:11).

"In the Old Testament, the lamb died for the shepherd - Genesis 4; in the New Testament the Shepherd died for the lambs.  Of the salvation which that death procured, there are seven particulars in verse 9:
The Simplicity of it - 'I am the door'.
The Exclusiveness of it - 'By Me'.
The Universality of it - 'if any man'.
The Condition of it - 'enter in'.
The Certainty of it - 'he shall be saved'.
The Freedom of it - 'and shall go in and out'.
The Provision of it - 'and find pasture'.
    "The discourse also speaks of the guidance that comes from His perfect leadership: 'When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him' (verse 4).  A sheep has no homing instincts as other animals have.  Open a gate and it will wander away, but will not return.  It can be guided, therefore, only as it follows the shepherd."  (Henry Durbanville - Present Comfort and Future Glory)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1721]

December 3rd

"If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it"  (John 14:14)

"Asking in the name of Christ is more than having a title through His name; it is, indeed, to appear before God with all the value and authority of that name.  If, for example, I go to a bank and present a check, I ask for the value of the check in the name of him by whom it is drawn.  So when I appear before God in the name of Christ, I present my supplications in all the value of that name to God.  Hence it is that our Lord says, 'If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it,' because, indeed, it is the joy of the heart of God to grant every request that is so preferred.  The promise is absolute, without any limitation; for the simple reason that nothing could be asked in the name of Christ which was not in accordance with the will of God.  For we could not use His name for any request which was not begotten in our hearts by His own Spirit."  (Edward Dennett - Twelve Letters to Young Believers)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1722]

December 4th

"The prayer of faith shall save the sick" (James 5:15).
"Abraham...against hope believed in hope" (Romans 4:18)

" What is the 'prayer of faith'  that guarantees results?  It is that prayer when we absolutely know the will of God.  We are assured that 'if we ask anything according to His will' He will hear us and grant our request.  However, in life there is not always a clear 'Thus saith the Lord.'  We may not know God's will.  So we pray the prayer of hope.  We do as Abraham, and mingle our faith and our hope.  We thoroughly believe that God is able to do what we need, we hope we are asking in His will.  He will not fail us.  (J. Boyd Nicholson)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1723]

December 5th

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour" (Acts 3:1).

"How precious!  The two men who went to the empty tomb together (John 20:40), now go up to the temple together.  Although they were diverse in nature, they were united in purpose and in prayer.  Every spiritual expedition to win souls for Christ must have prayer as its motivation.  Note that it was the ninth hour, the hour when the Saviour triumphed over the evil one and gave the victory cry, 'It is finished!'  How fitting that at that very hour, precious fruit of that finished work came to the Lord - a man was healed and souls were won to the Saviour."  (Neil Dougal)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1724]

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it."   (Psalm 68:1)

    "Some years ago while riding happily in my car on a sparsely traveled road, it suddenly slowed down, sputtered a moment, and with a final gasp, gave up the ghost - dead.  There I was, miles away from a garage with only a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.  And what I know about the mechanics of a car you can put in your eye.  I remembered seeing others lift the hood of the car, so that seemed the proper thing to do.  I had heard people say that the motor was missing. So I looked to see if the motor was  still there - it was!  Everything looked in order but - no life.  Then a friend came along.  He jiggled the carburetor and said, 'Plenty of gas.'  He placed the screwdriver across a wire and said, 'Aha no juice,' and soon he came upon the culprit which caused all the trouble - a loose connection.  One little bolt or screw or whatever it was had come loose and even the motor was dead.  A twist with the pliers and zingo - off I went.
    "Now herein lies a great lesson.  All the hundreds of parts in an auto have their place of importance.  To stop the car you need not have a 'missing motor,' or take out the battery, or smash the radiator, or let all the air out of the tires.  One tiny short circuit is enough.
    "We (all the redeemed ones) are members of the Body of Christ.  Some are prominent members in the public eye, others are obscure, but all are important.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)  Failure to do your part may hinder the whole body from its proper functioning.  Your failure to pray will result in loss of power.  Your failure to support the Gospel may cause the curtailment of the work of evangelism.  Your little, if neglected, may be the last straw in precipitatating much harm. 
    "Today, do your part - it is not the prominence of your part - but faithfulness which counts."  (Selected)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1725]    

December 6th   

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  (Isaiah 53:6)

"The frightful guilt was altogether ours.  The atoning sacrifice was altogether His.  It was His love that led Him to accept this liability and to discharge it in His death.  No mind can conceive or language describe what this entailed.  Our feeble, finite minds come to the Word of God and with the Spirit's help we get some understanding of the price He paid for our justification.  But God alone knew what was done when Jesus died.  May we take what small appreciation we have and in love lay it at His feet today."  (Drew Craig)

Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my Lord shouldest die for me. (Charles Wesley)

[N.J. Hiebert  # 1726]

December 7th

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28 -30)

"There are, we may say, three rests spoken of in Scripture; first, the rest which, as sinners, we find in the accomplished work of Christ; second, the present rest, which, as saints, we find in being entirely subject to the will of God.  This is opposed to restlessness.  Thirdly, the rest that remains for the people of God."  (C.H. Mackintosh)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1727]

December 8th

"And when he (Rehoboam) humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, that He would not destroy him altogether: and also in Judah things went well."  (2 Chronicles 12:12)

"Few things, perhaps - and this is exactly what this term give us to understand - but in the final analysis, something that God could acknowledge.  Final judgment was deferred because of these few favorable little things that were pleasing to God.  Let us apply ourselves, each one individually, to maintain these good things before Him.  May those around us notice some measure of fear in the presence of His holiness, some measure of activity in His service.  We may be sure that He will take it into account and that as long a sit continues He will not remove the lamp from its place."  (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Chronicles)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1728]   

December 9th

"He ... wondered that there was no intercessor." (Isaiah 59:16)

"Here is a striking statement: 'God wondered!'  He wondered that, with all of His exceeding love and care over Israel, there was no one to intercede for His people.  Does He not wonder today?  God has put the mighty lever of prayer in the hands of His saints.  The storm of wrath is gathering.  His servants struggle at the oars against the towering waves.  Pray! Pray!  Use your time in prayer.  God will honor faith and reward the importunate saint." 

            In the same good, old-fashioned way,
            His power is just the same today,
            So why not labor, watch and pray?  (Martin Luther)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1729]

December 10th

"He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy." (Job 37:13)

"When Sir James Thornhill was painting the inside of the cupola of St. Paul's, he stepped back one day to see the effect of his work, and came, without observing it, so near the edge of the scaffolding that another step or two would have proved his death.  A friend who was there, and saw the danger, rushed forward, and snatching the brush rubbed it over the painting.  Sir James, in a rage, sprang forward to save his work, and received the explanation, 'Sir, by spoiling the painting, I have saved the life of the painter.'  Similarly the Lord, in His wisdom, often suddenly mars the pride of our glory; but who that sees the mercy He has in view, would not praise Him for His goodness?"  (H. McD.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1730]    

December 11th

"... there was no profit under the sun."  (Ecclesiastes 2:11)
"... whosoever drinketh of the water that I (Jesus) shall give him shall never thirst." (John 4:14)

    "What a difference between 'no profit under the sun' and 'never thirst'! - a difference entirely due simply to coming to Him - Jesus.  Not a coming once and then departing form Him once more to try again the muddy, stagnant pools of this world: no, but to pitch our tents by the palm-trees and the springing wells of Christ's presence, and so to drink and drink and drink again of Him, the rock that follows His people.  But is this possible?  Is this not mere imaginative ecstasy, while practically such a state is not possible?  No, indeed; for see that man, with all the same hungry longings of Solomon or any other child of Adam; having no wealth, outcast, and a wanderer without a home, but who has found something that has enabled him to say, 'I have learned, in whatever state I am, 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.  I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.'  (Philippians 4:11-13)
    "What, then, is the necessary logical deduction from two such pictures but this:  The Lord Jesus infinitely surpasses all the world in filling the hungry heart of man."  (F.C. Jennings - Meditations on Ecclesiastes)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1731]

December 12th

"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint."

    "That word 'to faint' is en-kakein, formed from the word Kakos, 'cowardly.'  But from 'cowardly' it came to mean anything that was 'bad, mean, base,' for to the Greeks cowardice was all that.  The first part pf the word, en, means 'in.'  The whole word taken together we may say means literally, 'Give in to evil.'  We find it translated by such words as 'faint', 'lose heart', 'be discouraged', 'turn coward.'
    "The evil about us is so strong, the battle is so fierce, and the result seems so hopeless, the sides appear so unequal; that, as we pray, we are tempted to say in our hearts, if not with our lips, It is hopeless, it is no use praying any more for that person:  I'll give up.  No! the Lord says, No!  Do not give in!  Do not lose heart!  Do not be discouraged!  Do not turn coward!  In due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
    "We are really on the winning side.  The Lord is still on the throne.  He still sitteth on the waterfloods, and the Lord on high is still greater than the noise of many waters, yea than the mighty waves of the sea.  (Psalm 93:4)  So, Cheer up!  Take courage!  Pray on!  Pray always! and never turn coward, never give up."  (G.C. Willis - Hid Treasures)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1732]

December 13th

"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."  (Revelation 2:4)

    "The silence of Scripture often discloses sadness, as in the case of Ephesus.  But the feelings of the Spirit of God cannot be restrained.  In faithfulness, He lays His finger on the sore spot.  In remonstrance, all the more powerful because of its restraint and brevity, He says, 'Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.'    
    "The touching proof and appeal of the Lord speaks to our hearts that He values our love, and it is in the healthful exercise of this bond that we are kept.  May this have a special voice to each one of us at this present time."  (A.J.P.)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1733]

December 14th

"My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king ..."  (Psalm 45:1)

"The margin shows the meaning of inditing to be boiling, or bubbling up.  I fear we are not often in this state.  It is a great thing to have the heart boiling up with love to Christ.  Instead of this, we are often at the freezing point -- very far from the boiling point in the measure of our devotedness to Christ.  What the 'good matter' is, the verse explains:  'I speak of the things which I have made touching the King'; that is, what I know of Him -- not what I have received from Him, but what He is to me.  It is the place His blessed Person has in my soul."  (W.T.P. Wolston)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1734]

December 15th
 
"Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."  (Psalm 62:8)

    "God always desires us to trust in Him, and He is at all times worthy of out trust.  Let us trust Him, and we shall conquer our fears; patiently endure our trials; successfully pursue our work; rise above our cares, and overcome our foes.
    "That we may trust Him, He has revealed His character, pledged His word, told us that He will not be wroth with us, and assured us that He is unchangeable."  (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1735]

December 16th
 
"For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  (Mark 8:36,37)

    "There is nothing which the men of this world dread more than solitude and reflection.  They would rather be overpressed with engagements than have leisure for thought.  The conscience, ill at ease, will at such times lift up its voice; but its warning voice must be hushed by that convenient word duty, and its honest speech is soon and willingly forgotten.  Sins - many sins - are there, and the thought of God as the judge of sin is dreadful.  The condition of the soul is such that it cannot bear the light, therefore darkness is loved.  The activities of this present life are sought and welcomed, that the crushing weight of reflection may be escaped.  The pleasures of the world, too, in due time and place, serve a similar purpose.
    "Thus every care is taken that solitude may be avoided, and that there may be no opportunity for calm and serious reflection.  The solemn and eternal realities of the soul have no portion of thought or time allowed them; the higher, nobler, and better part of man is totally neglected, and left uncared for, and unprovided for, notwithstanding its deep, pressing and eternal need."  (Andrew Miller - Song of Solomon)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1736]

December 17th
 
"I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by me."  (John 14:6)

    "Sir Alexander Mackenzie is a Canadian hero.  An early fur trader and explorer, he accomplished a magnificent feat when he led an expedition across Canada from Fort Chippewa on Lake Athabasca to the Pacific Ocean.  His incredible journey was completed in 1793, 11 years before Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the west.
    "Mackenzie's earlier attempt in 1789, however, had been a major disappointment.  His explorers had set our in an effort to find a water route to the Pacific.  The valiant group followed a mighty river (now named the Mackenzie) with high hopes, paddling furiously amid great danger.  Unfortunately, it didn't empty into the Pacific but into the Arctic Ocean.  In his diary, Mackenzie called it the 'River of Disappointment.'
    "Many people are following religions that will lead to ultimate disappointment.  Because they are not based on Christ, they are false and will not lead to heaven.  Only Jesus, the eternal Son of God, can take us to the waters of eternal life.
    "We must not be fooled by those who teach another way to God.  And we must help others to see that the Lord Jesus Christ is man's only hope.  By trusting Him as our Savior, we will not end up on a 'River of Disappointment.' "    - D.C.E.

There is no other name on earth
By whom salvation's given
Save Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God,
God's precious gift from heaven.   - Stairs  

Religion may inform and reform, but only Christ can transform.
(Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (July 1990), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission.)


[N.J. Hiebert # 1737]

December 18th

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."  (Romans 13:1)
 
    "God has placed and preserved the Bible in this world to maintain His own authority in it, and wherever it has gone, and wherever any nation has owned it as the Word of the living God, there has been blessing and prosperity; but when the Scriptures are overthrown infidelity sets in, and revolution follows.
    "The overthrowing, therefore, of the Divine authority of the Scriptures is nothing more nor less than the overthrowing of the AUTHORITY OF GOD in this world, and the next thing to the overthrowing of GOD'S AUTHORITY  is the overthrowing the authority of 'the powers that be which are ordained of God.'  Lawlessness gets the upper hand.  (W.M. Sibthorpe - The Ways of God With Man)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1738]

December 19th

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord."  (Romans 14:8)
"Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men."  (2 Corinthians 3:2)

"Of the popular nineteenth-century Scottish preacher and author, William Arnot, it was said, 'His preaching is good.  His writing is better.  His living is best of all.'  What about you and me?  Many of us talk a good Christian life.  But is our living for Christ, observed by the people around us, 'best of all'? "  (W. Ross Rainey)

Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do,
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free -
This is the pathway of blessing for me.  (Thomas O. Chisholm)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1739]

December 20th

" For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  (Philippians 1:21)   
 
"We should ever remember that Christianity is not a set of opinions, a system of dogmas, or a number of views; it is pre-eminently a living reality - a personal, practical, powerful thing, telling itself out in all the scenes and circumstances of daily life, shedding its hallowed influence over the entire character and course, and imparting its heavenly tone to every relationship which one may be called of God to fill.
    "There may be clear views, correct notions, sound principles, without any fellowship with Jesus; but our orthodox creed without Christ will prove a cold, barren, dead thing."  (Taken from - Food For the Desert)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1740]

December 21st

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest is charity (love)."  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

" 'Faith, hope, charity,'  or love, are not put accidentally here.  They are the three things that are characteristic of the christian state now, 'putting on the breastplate of faith and charity [the same word]; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.' (1 Thessalonians 5:8).   Some ten times in the New Testament faith, hope, and love are put together. They are positive elements, faith and hope referring to the present state I am in, an charity (love) to the present and eternal state.  Faith lays hold of an object, and hope desires it.  The word 'charity' is an ecclesiastical word.  Love is really what God is.  He that dwells in love dwells in God, and this never fails.  When we possess a thing, we have done with faith and hopes as to it: they have passed into positive fruition, as we say.  There will be love in heaven, but we shall not have faith there, because there will be sight; and we shall not have hope there, because we have got possession.  'Now abideth' shows the three as present things, but LOVE never fails."  (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1741]

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest is charity (love)."  (1 Corinthians 13:13)
 
" 'Faith, hope, charity,'  or love, are not put accidentally here.  They are the three things that are characteristic of the christian state now, 'putting on the breastplate of faith and charity [the same word]; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.' (1 Thessalonians 5:8).   Some ten times in the New Testament faith, hope, and love are put together. They are positive elements, faith and hope referring to the present state I am in, an charity (love) to the present and eternal state.  Faith lays hold of an object, and hope desires it.  The word 'charity' is an ecclesiastical word.  Love is really what God is.  He that dwells in love dwells in God, and this never fails.  When we possess a thing, we have done with faith and hopes as to it: they have passed into positive fruition, as we say.  There will be love in heaven, but we shall not have faith there, because there will be sight; and we shall not have hope there, because we have got possession.  'Now abideth' shows the three as present things, but LOVE never fails."  (J.N. Darby)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1742]

December 22nd

"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them."  (1 Timothy 4:15)
 
    " 'Meditation,' says William Bridge, 'is the exercise of a man's soul whereby, calling to remembrance what he does already know, he further thinks on it, and debates on it within himself for his own profit and benefit'.
    "It is illustrated in the answer of the young lady who was once asked to explain what was meant by 'devotional reading'.  She replied: 'Yesterday morning I received a letter from one to whom I have given my heart, and devoted my life.  I freely confess to you that I have read that letter five times - not because I did not understand it at the first reading, nor because I expected to commend myself to the author by frequent reading of his epistle.  It was not with me a question of duty, but simply one of pleasure.  I read it because I am devoted to the one who wrote it.  To read the Bible with the same motive, is to read it devotionally.' "  (George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
 
[N.J. Hiebert # 1743]

December 23rd

"... they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped HIM: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."  (Matthew 2:11)  "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 blessed Lord, when He was upon the cross, had nothing.  He had not where to lay His head; even His very garments were taken from Him.  He was buried in a grave which belonged not to Him or to His family.  On earth He was poor to the very last; none so absolutely poor as He.  He rose again, and then declared that all power is given unto Him by the Father in heaven and in earth.  He has appointed Him the 'heir of all things.'  As man, He is to inherit all things; as Jesus, God and man in one person.  All angels, all human beings upon the earth, all powers in the universe, when asked, 'Who is Lord of all?' will answer, 'Jesus, the Son of Mary.'  Our poor earth, Bethlehem-Ephratah, little amidst the thousands of this world, has been chosen that out of us should come He who is the heir of all things."  (Adolph Saphir)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1744]

December 24th

"Let us now go even into Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."  (Luke 2:15)

    "In their artless way, they acted upon what was made known to them, upon the report of the angels; and when they had proved its truth, they spread the news.  They were anticipating thus far the way of grace.  Tidings of such great goodness and joy could not be, ought not to be, confined to the breasts of those to whom it was first communicated.  They made it known wherever they could.
    " 'But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.'  A deeper feeling, no doubt, wrought in her mind.  The time was not come for the propagation of the Gospel which was in store: the basis for it was not even laid.  But she who must needs have been intimately interested in the wonders that surrounded her - she weighed all, and treasured it all up in her heart.  The shepherds, too, simple men, favoured as they had been of God, returned, glorifying and praising Him 'for all things that they had heard and seen, as it had been said to them.' "  (William Kelly - Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1745]  

December 26th

"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."  (Acts 4:20)

"When God condescends to speak, His claims are supreme, paramount to every consideration, whatever may be the consequences entailed.  This principle was recognized by the builders of a later day, Peter and John, who, when forbidden to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, replied, 'Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard' (Acts 4:19, 20.)  In truth, faith links itself with God Himself, with His objects and His power, and can thus peacefully leave every other question with Him."  (Edward Dennett - Ezra)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1746]

December 27th

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: But a broken spirit drieth the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)

" Nothing breaks the system like gloom and melancholy.  When the heart is filled with joy, the whole being is refreshed thereby.  The merriment of the Christian is far more real than the mere frivolity of the worldling.  He is able in all circumstances to rejoice in the Lord, and thus be lifted above what would depress and weigh down the soul.  Then, in place of manifesting his happiness in the empty ways of the world, he can sing and make melody in his heart unto the source and object of his gladness.  'Is any merry? let him sing psalm's" (James 5:13).  The man of the world has to resort to various expedients to relieve his uneasiness and rouse his spirits.  Hence his eager participation in all kinds of diversions; the object of which is to enable him, for the time being, to forget.  On the contrary, it is when the child of God remembers his place and portion in Christ that his joy overflows."  (H.A. Ironside - Proverbs)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1747]

December 28th

"I John... was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."  (Revelation 1:9)

"Most persons around us now have no objection to the outward forms of religion, and will allow you to hold what doctrines you please, provided you keep them to yourself; but the unrenewed mind still kicks against faithful testimony in life and word to the infinite and glorious perfections of the person, work, offices, fitness, and fulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If Christians now bore distinctly 'the testimony of Jesus Christ,' we may be sure that it would still be offensive to many; for the offence of the cross has not ceased."  (H.H. Snell - Streams of Refreshing)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1748]

December 29th

"Be careful (anxious) about nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  (Philippians 4:6)

"He would have us, in the intimacy of His love, to be without reserve before Him - all told out, nothing kept back.  Our danger never lies in telling Him too much, but just in the opposite direction. ... He loves to hear the cry of His children, for He well knows that it is the expression of their confidence in Him.  It may be, as it often is, a foolish cry, but still it is the cry of His own children, and He never wearies of listening to it."  (J.N. Darby)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1749]

December 30th

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee." (Psalm 76:10)

"It is wonderful to hear those who love the Lord Jesus speak well of Him.  But listen to the remarkable insights that even the Lord's enemies revealed concerning Him.  Caiaphas explained, 'It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people.'  Pilate declared, 'I find no fault in Him,' and exhorted the crowd to 'Behold the Man!'  The chief priests reasoned, 'He saved others; Himself He cannot save.'  The thief on the cross discerned, ' This man hath done nothing amiss.'  And the Roman centurion concluded, 'Truly, this was the Son of God.'  On the subject of Christ, even His enemies acknowledged His greatness.  May we do the same."  (Rex Trogdon)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1750]

December 31st

"But grow (present imperative) in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18)

"For years it has been known that human knowledge is increasing at a phenomenal rate.  From 4000 BC to Christ's birth, it is estimated that it doubled once.  In our generation, human knowledge is doubling in less than two years.  What about our growth in our Lord's grace (the exercise of spiritual graces) and knowledge (the knowledge of Christ through the Word)?  A new year starts tomorrow,  How much have we grown in the past year?"  (W. Ross Rainey)

MORE ABOUT JESUS WOULD I KNOW,
MORE OF HIS GRACE TO OTHERS SHOW,
MORE OF HIS SAVING FULLNESS SEE,
MORE OF HIS LOVE WHO DIED FOR ME.  (Eliza E. Hewitt)

[N.J. Hiebert # 1751]