Bible Gems

Jul 27, 2011 at 14:12 o\clock

Gems worth reading

July 24

"And not only so . . ." (Romans 5:11)
"Much more then . . ." (Romans 5:9)
"Moreover. . . " (Romans 5:20)

In this exposition on justification, Paul elucidates the many blessings we enjoy because God has justified us. As he relates them to us, Paul's enthusiasm bubbles over onto the page. He is like a young child opening a new gift. "We have a peace with God! We have access by faith into this grace! And not only so! There is much more!" And on he goes. Are we as thrilled with our blessings? Let us take a lesson from the apostle and joyfully praise our Father, ". . . who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . ." (Ephesians 1:3). (J. Jacob)

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July 25

"Then Jesus said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?"
(Luke 24:25,26)

At Emmaus desire had been again quickened, but under different conditions. It was not the desire of a freshly-drawn soul (as in the case of the conversion of Zaccheus), but of restored saints. These two disciples had been unbelieving. They were returning home under a sorrow that Jesus had disappointed them. The Lord rebukes them shortly after he joined them on the road, but so orders His words as to kindle their hearts. When their walk together ends at the gate of their dwelling, the Lord makes as though He would go further. He would not invite Himself as He had done at Jericho. They were not in the moral state which suggested this, as Zaccheus had been; but, when invited, He goes in - goes in just to kindle further the desire which had here invited Him - to gratify it to the full. And so He does; and they are constrained by their joy to return to the city that night, late as it was, to communicate it to their fellows. (J.G. Bellett)

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July 26

Anathema or Maranatha?

"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."
(1 Corinthians 16:22)

The great apostle in a day when unbelieving Jews were calling Jesus accursed throws back that anathema with power. Then he takes an Aramaic term, which the scholars have argued over as to whether it means the Lord has come or "May he come!"

These two words, spelled with almost the same letters, set forth two viewpoints poles apart. There are millions today whose mark might well be anathema. They blaspheme the Lord and they are accursed. False preachers of "another gospel" are anathema. The bitter hostility of long ago boiled over in that word.

Over against that is the love that said instead, "Jesus is Lord," and looking for His return, cried, "Maranatha." Looking for the Lord was a distinguishing mark of first century Christianity. Strange and sad it is that so many who claim to love Him today do not thrill to "The Lord cometh."

Are you Anathema or Maranatha? Which is the cry of your soul? (Day By Day with Vance Havner)

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July 27

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

I've always thought that I could get through just about anything if the Lord would tell me what the outcome would be. I believe that ". . . all things work together for good . . ." (Romans 8:28), but I'd do a lot better in dark times if I knew exactly what the "good" would look like.

But God usually doesn't show us where He is taking us. He just asks us to trust Him. It's like driving a car at night. Our headlights never shine all the way to our destination; they illuminate only about 160 feet ahead. Bu that doesn't deter us from moving forward. We trust our headlights. All we need is enough light to keep moving forward.

God's Word is like headlights in dark times. It is full of promises we need to keep us from driving our lives into the ditch of bitterness and despair. His Word promises that He will never leave us not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). His Word assures us that He knows the plans He has for us, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). And He tells us that our trials are there to make us better, not bitter (James 1:2-4).

So the next time you feel as if you're driving in the dark, remember to trust your headlights - God's Word will light your way. (Joe Stowell)

The Word of God provides the light
We need to see the way;
It shows us what we need to know
So we won't go astray.

You won't stumble in the dark if you walk in the light of God's Word.
_________________________________________________________________________

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries. Copyright 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Reprinted permission. 

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July 28

"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)

Careful examination reveals that there is nothing in inspiration that conflicts with the unfettered play of the individuality of the writers of the Book of God. When God made a prophet, He did not unmake the man. The personality, mental traits, and even the forms of literary expression of the divine penmen, were left perfectly free. 

- The burning sarcasm of Isaiah.
- The tender, melancholy pathos of Jeremiah.
- The homeliness of the herdsman's son and the gatherer of figs.
- The deep philosophy of John.
- The clear and sharp logic of Paul.

All these were truly and really their own. As every pipe of the organ is so fashioned that it might give one note and not another - and yet all are filled by the same breath - so , these souls, fashioned by the conditions of humanity and the circumstances of their lives, were made each to give out his own note, yet all were filled by the breath of the Divine Spirit, that has made these human and yet divine utterances ring with a melody unquenched and unquenchable. (The Wonderful Word - George Henderson)

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Jul 24, 2011 at 22:08 o\clock

Gems worth reading

July 3

"This God is our God."
(Psalm 48:14)

"God is great in great things, but very great in little things."

A party stood on the Matterhorn admiring the sublimity of the scene, when a gentleman produced a pocket microscope, and having caught a fly placed it under the glass. He reminded us that the legs of the household fly in England are naked, then called attention to the legs of this little fly which were thickly covered with hair; thus showing that the same God who made the lofty Swiss mountain attended to the comfort of His tiniest creatures, even providing socks and mittens for the little fly whose home these mountains were. 

This God is OUR God!

A doubting soul beheld a robin's nest in a gigantic elm and heard a still small voice saying, "If God spent a hundred years in creating a tree like that for a bird, He will surely take care of you." God is so interested, that He takes us one by one and arranges for every detail of our life. 

To Him, there are no little things.

"The God of the infinite is the God of the infinitesimal." 
(Springs in the Valley)

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July 4

"They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."
(Luke 16:29)

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself."
(Luke 24:27)

A child can understand the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. There is not one beneath the canopy of God's Heaven, who possesses a copy of the Holy Scriptures, who is not solemnly responsible before God for the use he makes of them.

If professing Christians were split up into ten thousand times as many sects as they are; if they were ten thousand times as inconsistent as they are; if schools and doctors of divinity were ten thousand times more conflicting than they are - still the word to each possessor of the Bible is, "You have Moses and the prophets, and the New Testament; hear them." 

Oh! that we could persuade the unconverted, the unawakened, the unbelieving to think of these things, to think of them now, to ponder them in the very hidden depths of his moral being, to give them his heart's undivided attention, ere it be too late. We contemplate, with ever-deepening horror, the condition of a lost soul in hell - of one opening his eyes, in that place of endless torment, to the tremendous fact that God is against him and against him for ever; that all hope is gone; that nothing can ever bridge the chasm that separates the region of the lost from the Heaven of the redeemed; that "there is a great gulf fixed." (C.H. Mackintosh - The All Sufficiency of Christ)

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July 5

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest ant any time we should let them slip." (lest we drift away from them).
(Hebrews 2:1)

Which will it be - earnest heed, or letting slip? The Spirit through the Word teaches us divine and changeless truth. We need to earnestly pay attention to it; to guard it, keep it, obey it. For it is all too easy to let it slip. We see many such today; seemingly bored with truth, indifferent about holding onto it, failing to value it. Truth does not drift away from them; they are drifters away from truth. Give earnest heed to do that which is right, or drifting will be your experience. (Doug Kazen)

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July 6

The LORD…saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3).

"The hand of God never deals but in concert with His heart of infinite love towards us." –John Darby

"… to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" Ephesians 3:19
(Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

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July 7

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me . . . And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself."
(John 14:1-3)

The hearts of the disciples were troubled. How often we experience events in our lives that upset us? The Saviour offered to His disciples and to us the divine antidote for troubled hearts. "Believe also in Me." In the troubles and upsets of life, He longs for us to trust Him. He has promised us a glorious future, "I will come again, and receive you unto Myself." Very soon the shout will come and the troubles of this weary life will all be over. Trust in Him. He will carry through. (James Comte)

"Midst the darkness, storm and sorrow, one bright gleam I see; 
Well I know the blessed morrow Christ will come for me." 

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July 8

"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps."
(Proverbs 16:9)

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
(Proverbs 3:6)

"All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

Providence is often alleged as a reason for not walking by faith. Never was there a more remarkable Providence than that which placed Moses in the court of Pharaoh, and it gained its object. It would not have done so if Moses had not later abandoned the position into which that Providence had brought him. But it was faith and not Providence as a rule and motive, which produced the effect for which Providence had preserved and prepared him. Providence (Thanks be to God!) governs circumstances; faith governs the heart and the conduct. (Christian Truth - Volume 21 - November 1968)

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July 9

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

He came to my desk with quivering lip;
The lesson was done.
"Have you a new leaf for me, dear teacher?
I have spoiled this one!"
I took his leaf, all soiled and blotted,
And gave him a new one, all unspotted,
Then into his tired heart I smiled:
"Do better now, my child."

I went to the throne with trembling heart;
The year was done.
"Have you a new year for me, dear Master?"
I have spoiled this one!"
He took my year, all soiled and blotted,
And gave me a new one, all unspotted,
Then into my tired heart He smiled:
"Do better now, My child!" 
(Unknown)

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July 10

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
(Hebrews 4:16)

We need the help and sympathy of our great High Priest, firstly because of our infirmities, and secondly because of temptations we have to meet. Infirmities are the weaknesses that belong to us as being in the body. Infirmity is not sin, though it may lead to sin. The believer has to meet (1) trials without and the (2) temptations from sin within.

It is this first form of trial that comes before us in the passage in Hebrews - the temptation to turn - from the path of obedience to the Word of God - the path that leads to the rest of God. Further, the devil would seek to use the infirmities of the body to turn us aside by his temptations, even as he sought to use hunger to tempt the Lord from the path of obedience to God. In this form of temptation we have the Lord's sympathy, as He Himself has been "in all points tempted like as we are." Of the second form of temptation He knew nothing, for, while it is said that He was "in all points tempted like as we," it is added, "sin apart."

In the presence of these infirmities and temptations we have a resource. There is grace available to enable us to meet the trial. The throne of grace is open to us. We are exhorted therefore to draw near to the throne of grace. We can do so boldly because the High Priest represents us at the the throne of grace. Drawing near we obtain mercy in order that in the trial we may not fail. Here the time of need is not the time of failure, but the time when we are faced with trials and temptations which may lead to failure. (Hamilton Smith)

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July 11

"Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord."
(John 21:7)

The disciples assumed it was the Lord when He performed the miracle of showing them where they could net a multitude of fishes. Later when He took bread and gave it to them (12,13), they knew it was the Lord. Before His death the Lord instituted the Lord's supper by breaking bread and giving it to His disciples. He then said, "This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19). On this Lord's Day, as we take the bread and drink of the cup, let us know that it is the Lord seated amidst us. (K.C. Ung)

'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord, the King of Glory!
At His feet we humbly fall.
Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!
(B. Handby)

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July 12

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 18:4) 

Cherish in your thoughts and incarnate in your life this wonderful admonition of Hudson Taylor:

"Be God's man;
In God's place;
Doing God's work;
In God's way."

In Caius College, Cambridge, there are three gateways in succession:

The first is called Humilitatis;
The second is Virtutis;
The third (which opens toward the Senate House), Honoris

Not in vain did our forefathers make these emblems of an undergraduate's progress;
And happy would it be if every Christian youth entered by the gate of humility
To pass through the gate of Christian Virtue
That he might come forth in the highest sense to that of Honour.
(R.F. Walker - Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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July 13

"And Benaiah . . . went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow."
(2 Samuel 23:20)

A lion fell into a pit. A man plunged in after him and slew him. And it was in time of snow. I have always felt sorry for that lion. Lions detest snow, and that lion did not have a sporting chance. But his troubles are over now, and the man has something to teach us.

Benaiah must have been one who had trained himself by many small and private disciplines to be ready for anything, even a lion in a pit in time of snow. The snow, of course, made it harder for him too, but he did not hesitate. He went down and slew the lion.

Quite suddenly in the midst of our ordinary occupations any of us may be face to face with a lion in a pit. It may be in time of snow - in circumstances which make it harder than usual to withstand. But we can. The moment we are conscious of the lion (Peter speaks of the the devil as a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8), the Spirit of God will put a sword into our hands. Some strong word of Scripture will be flashed across our minds. If we grasp that word, and thrust with all our might, there can only be one end to the fight. More that conquerors through Him that loved us will tell the end of that lion fight - even in time of snow. (Whispers of His Power - Amy Carmichael)

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July 14

"Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living."
(Psalm 56:13)

It is one thing to be the advocate of Christianity, and another to be the disciple of it. And though it may sound strange at first, far easier is it to teach its lessons than to learn them

We need not so much to covet information about Him as power to use divinely what we know.
(J.G. Bellett)

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July 15

"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,
that I may win Christ
."
(Philippians 3:8)

Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain. 

We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.

When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; when we are consumed with pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.

But, if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning. (Evening Thoughts)

"The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today."

Many want the glory without the cross, 
the shining without the burning, 
but crucifixion comes before coronation.
(Streams in the Desert)

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July 16

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
(Ephesians 5:21)

There is nothing so contrary and utterly repugnant to man's sinful nature as obedience. Love is not by far so adverse to his nature, i.e., natural love, because God implanted natural affections in his heart. But obedience, even in a human way, i.e., submission to his fellow-men, is a principle against which man's natural heart rebels more than against anything else. This, I think, is the reason, why the spirit of God heads the following exhortations with these words: "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of (Christ)." (Light in our Dwellings - J.A. von Poseck)

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July 17

"These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
(John 15:11)

If I allow my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be little worth. 
We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him, nor is there any one who can minister Christ with unction, freshness, and power to others, if he be not feeding upon Christ in the secret of his own soul. 
(Food for the Desert)

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July 18

The battle is not yours, but God’s.” 
(2 Chronicles 20:15)

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

What this means is that we don’t have to defend ourselves or fight back. The Lord will vindicate us at the proper time.“…when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23) The battle is the Lord’s. He will fight for us. We should hold our peace.

What a relief to know that when the world turns against us, which is always the case, we need not nor should we attempt to retaliate. It is the Lord’s battle, and He is more than capable to take the battle upon His shoulders. We need only to Stand Firm.

The attempts upon Christians have intensified many times over in recent years and I see no sign that they will lighten up. We need to adopt an attitude that I have recently come to be my so-called battle cry each and every time I leave my home and that is, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth . . .” (Romans 1:16). (With thanks, From a reader of the "Gems" - R.L)

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July 19

"Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."
(Psalm 103:5)

The poets have attributed to the eagle, miraculous powers of becoming young again; but the reference in Psalm, 103 is in all probability to the molting time which characterizes all birds. During that time the king of the air basks quietly in the sun; his plumage slowly returns; and thus renewed he rises once again to the place where he is most at home. It is a parable of those renewings of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) which, from time to time, come to us all.

Redemption, equipment, power, renewal: with these spiritual resources at our disposal let us take fresh heart as we face the days that lie ahead for us all. Slowly, alas, do we learn these great lessons; but the God who has taken such pains with us will not rest until He perfects that which concerneth us. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). (In Pastures Green)

Though thy way be long and dreary,
Eagle strength He'll still renew,
Garments fresh and foot unweary,
Tell how God hath brought thee through.

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July 20

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."
(1 Peter 1:23)

God does not cause to germinate some little seed already folded up in man, but he implants an altogether new principle of life. God cannot see in man what we can see in examining a seed through the microscope - the exact form of the future plant all folded up, which when the seed is put into the ground begins to spread forth. 

When God's eye examines a sinner, what does He see? What did He see in such an one as Saul, the persecutor? Did He see the divine life, afterwards manifested in him, all nicely folded and shut up within his soul? No; but the enmity which made Saul persecute to the death the followers of Jesus. He saw moral death, but no life in him. And how was all this changed? By the communication of a new life, an incorruptible seed. (G.V. Wigram)

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July 21

"As for God, His way is perfect . . ."
(2 Samuel 22:31)

I find waiting one of the hardest things to do. What does it mean to “wait on the Lord?”

Waiting on the Lord is an activity resulting from a command! In other words when we are commanded to wait we are taking action to submit and obey a directive from the Captain of our souls.

Waiting on the Lord in Scripture does not mean idly standing by twiddling ones thumbs. It is not a matter of resignation, but of consciously waiting with expectation, because you know, that you know, that God will act and or direct you so that in due time you can move forward in accordance with His will.

“When led of the Spirit, the child of God must be as ready to wait as to go, as prepared to be silent as to speak.” - Lewis Sperry Chafer

Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” - G. Campbell Morgan

The person who truly waits on the Lord does so with a restful, happy confidence.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself . . .” Psalm 37:7

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
(S.L. 15-Jul-11)

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July 22

"When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?"
(Matthew 19:25)

"God hath called you to Christ's side," wrote saintly Rutherford, "and the wind is now in Christ's face in this land; and seeing ye are with Him, ye cannot expect the lea-side or the sunny side of the brae (hillside)."

Nowhere in the teachings of Christ do we find anything visionary or overoptimistic. He told His hearers the whole truth and let them make up their minds. He might grieve over the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth, but He never ran after him to try to win him with rosy promises.

All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the sons of Adam and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that fact from them.

By offering our hearers a sweetness-and-light-gospel and promising every taker a place on the sunny side of the brae, we not only cruelly deceive them, we guarantee also a high casualty rate among the converts on such terms.

We tell them that if they will accept Christ he will give them peace of mind, solve their problems, protect their families and keep them happy all day long. They believe us and come, and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them! (Renewed Day by Day - A.W. Tozer)

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July 23

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

Oh, who is this Jesus who doth so much, 
Who healeth the blight of the world with a touch?
He taketh; men's efforts have all been in vain,
To hide or to cover or wash out the stain;
They strive to ignore it, they boldly deny
Their needs of the cross, or a Saviour to die. 
But sin is still with them and evils remain,
Till He came to our succor, the Lamb who was slain -
Who taketh away the sin of the world.
(Annie Johnson Flint)

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July 24

"And not only so . . ." (Romans 5:11)
"Much more then . . ." (Romans 5:9)
"Moreover. . . " (Romans 5:20)

In this exposition on justification, Paul elucidates the many blessings we enjoy because God has justified us. As he relates them to us, Paul's enthusiasm bubbles over onto the page. He is like a young child opening a new gift. "We have a peace with God! We have access by faith into this grace! And not only so! There is much more!" And on he goes. Are we as thrilled with our blessings? Let us take a lesson from the apostle and joyfully praise our Father, ". . . who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . ." (Ephesians 1:3). (J. Jacob)

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July 25

"Then Jesus said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?"
(Luke 24:25,26)

At Emmaus desire had been again quickened, but under different conditions. It was not the desire of a freshly-drawn soul (as in the case of the conversion of Zaccheus), but of restored saints. These two disciples had been unbelieving. They were returning home under a sorrow that Jesus had disappointed them. The Lord rebukes them shortly after he joined them on the road, but so orders His words as to kindle their hearts. When their walk together ends at the gate of their dwelling, the Lord makes as though He would go further. He would not invite Himself as He had done at Jericho. They were not in the moral state which suggested this, as Zaccheus had been; but, when invited, He goes in - goes in just to kindle further the desire which had here invited Him - to gratify it to the full. And so He does; and they are constrained by their joy to return to the city that night, late as it was, to communicate it to their fellows. (J.G. Bellett)

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Jun 28, 2011 at 13:20 o\clock

Gems worth reading

July 1

". . . thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me."
(Isaiah 49:23)

I believe in the sun when it does not shine.
I believe in God when He is silent.
I know the sun is up there even on the darkest day.
And when darkness veils Jesus' lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.

"Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer."

There are mountain top experiences in our journey through this world, those rare and lucid moments when God is consciously near and speaks to us as a man speaks to a friend. There are those ordinary days when we may not be thrillingly aware of His presence but neither do we doubt it. But there are also those strange times when things do not add up or make sense, when we seem to be forgotten, when the heavens are brass, when instead of happy answers to our petitions, an ironic spirit laughs at us and makes mockery of our feeble faith. We sit with Job and wait for an answer that seems never to come.

We had better learn the faith that believes anyway when God is silent. Our Lord drank the bitter dregs of despair when He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34). But He was forsaken only for a moment and then came Resurrection day. Our highest faith is when we leave it to God to keep to Himself why these utterly unexplainable things happen to us never to be understood this side of heaven. "Farther along we'll know all about it" and "we'll understand it better by and by" may seem scant solace now, but it is the best we can do until we get home.

. . . God mays seem slow but is never late. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes He says no. Sometimes he just does not say and we can only wait. I believe in the sun when it doesn't shine for I know that shine it will, eventually. I believe in God when He does not speak. . . . The sun has outlasted all the clouds of all the centuries. God is not forever silent. When the answer comes, here or hereafter, it will repay all the torment of unanswered prayer. The wait will not be as long as it seems. "The strife will soon be o'er" says the old hymn, and in the joy of His answer we shall forget the agony of the delay. (Though I Walk Through the Valley - Vance Havner)

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July 2

"That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish."
(Ephesians 5:27)

God did not stop when He had taken the bone our of Adam, but "made" a woman; and so He not only calls and washes poor prodigals, but builds out of poor prodigals a bride for His Son: making them the members, the flesh and bones, of His Son. It will be a part of His glory to have a bride formed out of poor prodigals.

The bride may have all sorts of precious things - but she herself is for the Lord. (G.V. Wigram)

N.J. Hiebert - 4482

Jun 26, 2011 at 16:05 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 28

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
(John 1:1-3)

Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering.

To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for "where" has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made. (A.W. Tozer - The Knowledge of the Holy)

N.J. Hiebert - 4478

June 29

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
(1 John 4:11)

What does He mean when He puts in this little word SO loved us? It carries our minds back to the tenth verse, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for out sins." That is the way God SO loved us. He did not wait for us to love Him before loving us; He did not wait for us to behave ourselves so well that He could look upon us with complacency, but "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God loved us when there was nothing lovable about us, God loved us when we were in enmity against Him and "alienated by wicked works," God loved us when our desires were contrary to His desires, when we were trampling His Word beneath our feet, spurning His grace, breaking His commandments; and now we read, "Beloved, if (since) God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert - 4479

June 30

"Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them."
(Luke 4:40)

I recently read and read Luke 4:40. It was as if I had never seen it before. Those crowds - hot, sticky, clamorous, tiresome probably; but he did not see them as crowds. He laid His hands on every one of them - every one of them. It's the individual touch that tells. He doesn't love in the mass, but in ones. "Not a sparrow . . ." (Matthew 10:29). (Candles in the Dark - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert - 4480

Jun 24, 2011 at 12:48 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 26

"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die."
(Ruth 1:16-17)

Commitment! That is what following Christ involves. Not a Sunday morning religion but a wholehearted commitment of my life, my ambitions, my job, my hobbies, my time, my possessions, my home - in fact, all that I have and am - to the Lord Jesus Christ. Commitment to Him may mean that I will need to make changes in many of these areas. Such a commitment is not optional. It is a must, if I am to truly follow Him. (David Croudace)

N.J. Hiebert - 4476

June 27

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
(Psalm 119:71)

God, pity those who cannot say;
"Not mine, but Thine"; who can pray
"Let this cup pass," and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
(Unknown)

God seems to ask greater depths of experience of us as we go along the heavenly pathway. First the water of trial is ankle deep, then knee deep, and later loin deep with waters to swim in. Swimming on top of trouble would never be possible in ankle deep waters. How good that the Lord graduates our trials, which though severe all issue well." (W.M. Wadsworth)

N.J. Hiebert - 4477

June 28

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
(John 1:1-3)

Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering.

To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for "where" has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made. (A.W. Tozer - The Knowledge of the Holy)

N.J. Hiebert - 4478

Jun 22, 2011 at 07:30 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 22

"Blessed are ye, when men . . . persecute you."
(Matthew 5:11)

Listen to Paul in the jail at Philippi, "If God wants me to go to Heaven by way of this prion," he says, "it is all the same to me; rejoice and be exceeding glad, Silas. I thank God that I am accounted worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake." And as they sang their praises to God, the other prisoners heard them; but, what was far more important, the Lord heard them, and the old prison shook. Talk about Alexander the Great making the world tremble with his armies! Here is a little tentmaker who makes the world tremble without any army! (D.L. Moody)

N.J. Hiebert - 4472

June 23

"I called upon Him, but He gave me no answer."
(Song of Solomon 5:6)

The Lord, when He has given great faith, has been know to try it by long delays. He has suffered His servants' voices to echo in their ears as from a brazen sky. They have knocked at the golden gate, but it has remained unmovable, as though it were rusted upon its hinges. Like Jeremiah, they have cried, "Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through." Thus have true saints continued long in patient waiting without reply, not because their prayers were not vehement, nor because they were unaccepted, but because it so pleased Him who is a Sovereign, and who gives according to His own pleasure. If it pleases Him to bid our patience exercise itself, shall He not do as He will with His own!

No prayer is lost. Praying breath was never spent in vain. There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things that we count refusals or denials are simply delays. (H. Bonar)

Christ sometimes delays His help that He may try our faith and quicken our prayers. The boat may be covered with the waves, and He sleeps on; but He will wake up before it sinks. He sleeps, but He never oversleeps; and there are no "too lates" with Him. (Alexander Maclaren)

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June 24

"Unto Him that loved us . . . be glory and dominion for ever and ever."
(Revelation 1:5-6)

There is no other subject of praise for heaven than for earth; the blood of Christ has the same efficacy on earth as in heaven: that for which they praise God there is equally true for us. Their harps are better tuned than ours, but their song is the same.

Let us be persuaded to praise the Lord alone. He only is worthy of being praised, revered and adored. The song of the blessed (Revelation 5) praises none but Him who redeemed them with His blood. It contains not one word of praise for any of their own number. . . . Let us strive to bring our hearts into unison with that song. . . . This will be our happiness even here below, and contribute to God's glory, which is wronged by the praise that Christians too often bestow on each other. (J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert - 4474

June 25

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them."
(Acts 8:5)

Philip, one of the seven deacons had been appointed to help in distributing bread among the Christian converts. We are told that "they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 3:13). Here was a man who used the office of a deacon well! He was set apart to minister in the temporal affairs of the Church but he had been so faithful, true and conscientious in carrying out his responsibilities that the Spirit of God committed to him a greater ministry.

He sent him forth to preach Christ unto the people of Samaria. He did not go to them with what some people call the "Social Gospel"; he did not go to talk to them on political subjects, but he went down to preach Christ.

The message of God's servants today should be the same as his, for "the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). (H.A. Ironside)

N.J. Hiebert - 4475

Jun 19, 2011 at 15:43 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 19

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

Surely we could not do better than follow the example of the apostles in this respect. How much we should learn if we did so, and how gently He would remind us of many a failure to present the truth, or if we presented it correctly, how much we have failed to preach it in the power of the Spirit. But we have to do with One who loves us, and this gives us confidence in telling Him everything. It is even so in human relationships, for when we are assured of one another's love we do not hesitate to tell everything. Much more should it be so when we speak to the Lord. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4469

June 20

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
(1 Corinthians 2:14)

The natural life owes all to environment; so must the spiritual. Now, the environment of the spiritual life is God. As nature, therefore, forms the complement of the natural life, God is the complement of the spiritual. (A Thought for Every Day - Henry Drummond)

N.J. Hiebert - 4470

June 21

"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. . . ."
(Daniel 1:8)

Doubt sees the obstacles - faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night - Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step - Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, "Who believes?" - Faith answers, "I."
(Unknown)

The book of Daniel is really a textbook of instruction and an example of how God's people can live in difficult conditions and come through victoriously. Even as the Jewish people were living in Babylonian captivity, so Christians today are pilgrims and sojourners in a foreign culture. We, like Daniel and his friends, must exercise our implicit faith in God's purposes and leading for our lives. We too must resolve in advance that we will not be defiled by the world. And whether our God delivers us or not from the fiery furnace, we will remain faithful to Him (Daniel 3:17-18).

Daniel and his friends also personify for us Christian courage at its best - not merely a desperate type of courage for some emergency situation, but a quiet steadfast courage that enables us to live in a Christlike manner each day. It takes courage to be an unpopular minority when truth and right are involved. It takes courage to defend God's name when everyone else is using it in blasphemy. It takes courage to be another Daniel in a godless society. (Amazing Grace - Kenneth W. Osbeck)

Standing by a purpose true, heading God's command,
honour them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel's band!

Many mighty men are lost, daring not to stand,
who for God had been a host
by joining Daniel's band!

Many giants, great and tall, stalking thru the land,
headlong to the earth would fall
if met by Daniel's band!

Hold the gospel banner high! On to vict'ry grand!
Satan and his host defy,
and shout for Daniel's band!

Chorus: Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known!
(Philip P. Bliss)

N.J. Hiebert - 4471

Jun 18, 2011 at 13:59 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 15

"Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
(Mark 9:41)

Frances Ridley Havergal, whose songs have been a benediction
to mankind wrote of the power of little things.

For the memory of a kindly word
For long gone by,
The fragrance of a fading flower
Sent lovingly.

The warm pressure of the hand,
The tone of cheer,
The note that only bears a verse
From God's own Word.
Such tiny things we hardly count
As ministry.
But when the heart is over-wrought
Oh, who can tell
The power of such tiny things
To make it well.

There is nothing small that ministers
to the happiness of a single soul.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert - 4465

June 16

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
(1 John 2:1)

Weariness and weakness of body may hinder us from being a witness for Christ here; then the priestly grace of Christ is active to support us in our infirmities. Alas! we may break down and sin, and no longer be fit to witness for Christ; then the Advocate restores the soul. If however the affections have been chilled, though there may be nothing to disturb the conscience, there will be a grave hindrance to communion with Christ, and then the service of feet-washing comes in to remove the hindrance. There is, moreover, the further difference between advocacy and feet-washing, that, whereas advocacy restores our souls in the place where we are, feet-washing restores our spirits to communion with Christ in the place where He is. (The Last Words - Hamilton Smith)

N.J. Hiebert - 4466

June 17

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin a mother returned to her seat and discovered that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. To her horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, “Don't quit . . .Keep playing.” Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

This is very much the way it is with our loving Saviour. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful and filled with grace.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

The next time you set out to do something for the Lord, listen carefully and you just may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear,
“Don't quit… keep playing.”

Remember, God doesn’t often call the equipped, rather, He equips the “called.”
(Submitted by a reader - S.L.)

N.J. Hiebert - 4467

June 18

"How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord? For ever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?"
(Psalm 13:1)

Perplexed by the continuing pressures of life, four times David cried, "How long?" The absence of an immediate answer from heaven added to the weight of his dilemmas. Undefeated, he counted his blessings and renewed his trust in the Lord. As a result he unconsciously broke into rejoicing and singing. He ends the psalm with this conclusion: "the Lord hath dealt bountifully with me." Are you asking "how long" today? Count your blessings, have faith in Him, and you too will find a song in your heart by day's end. (E. Fesche)

N.J. Hiebert - 4468

June 19

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

Surely we could not do better than follow the example of the apostles in this respect. How much we should learn if we did so, and how gently He would remind us of many a failure to present the truth, or if we presented it correctly, how much we have failed to preach it in the power of the Spirit. But we have to do with One who loves us, and this gives us confidence in telling Him everything. It is even so in human relationships, for when we are assured of one another's love we do not hesitate to tell everything. Much more should it be so when we speak to the Lord. (Edward Dennett)

N.J. Hiebert - 4469

Jun 14, 2011 at 03:10 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 13

"As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
(Deuteronomy 33:25)

A doctor was once asked by a patient who had met with a serious accident, "Doctor, how long shall I have to lie here?" The answer, "Only a day at a time," taught the patient a precious lesson.

The same lesson God taught His people, and the people of all ages since, through the method of His provision for Israel during their wilderness journey. "The day's portion in its day" (Exodus 16:4), (margin). Day by day the manna fell, enough for each day, and no more and no less.

So God promises us, not "As thy weeks," or "As thy months," but "As the DAYS, so shall thy strength be." And that means Monday's grace for Monday, and Tuesday's grace for Tuesday, and so on. Why, then, borrow trouble for the future? We are especially told by the Lord to "take no thought for tomorrow." The true rule is to live by the day, to live a life of trust.

The law of Divine grace is, "Sufficient unto the day." The law of divine deliverance is, "Step by Step." (Comforted of God - A.J. Pollock)

N.J. Hiebert - 4463

June 14

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

There are two or three preliminaries before this committal of care is possible. We must have cast our sins before we can cast our cares; in other words, we must be children in the Father's home. Then also we must be living in God's plan, sure that we are where He would He would have us be, camped under His brooding pillar-cloud. And, in addition, we must have yielded up our lives to Him, for for Him to have His way in them. Nor must we neglect to feed our faith with promise. Without her natural food she pines. But when these conditions are fulfilled, it is not difficult to

"Kneel, and cast our load,
E'en while we pray, upon our God.
Then rise with lightened cheer."

The cup may still have to be drunk,
The discipline borne, The work done; but the weary ache of care will have
Yielded to the anodyne of a child's trust in One who cannot fail.
(F.B. Meyer)

N.J. Hiebert - 4464

June 15

"Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
(Mark 9:41)

Frances Ridley Havergal, whose songs have been a benediction
to mankind wrote of the power of little things.

For the memory of a kindly word
For long gone by,
The fragrance of a fading flower
Sent lovingly.

The warm pressure of the hand,
The tone of cheer,
The note that only bears a verse
From God's own Word.
Such tiny things we hardly count
As ministry.
But when the heart is over-wrought
Oh, who can tell
The power of such tiny things
To make it well.

There is nothing small that ministers
to the happiness of a single soul
.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert - 4465

Jun 11, 2011 at 17:27 o\clock

Gems worth reading

June 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: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes."
(Numbers 11:5-6)

Satisfied with Thee, Lord Jesus, I am blest;
Peace which passeth understanding, on Thy breast
.
(C.A. Wellesley)

These people were having a problem with God's daily menu. The mixed multitude despised the manna, God's gracious provision. Their minds reflected back to the "good old days" of Egypt when they had fish, melons and other foods to eat. But they had forgotten about the harsh slavery, cruel taskmasters and painful bondage. Sometimes, we too forget where we once were, and get our eyes off Christ. May God deliver us from selective memories. (Jim Comte)

N.J. Hiebert - 4461

June 12

"Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island."
(Acts 27:26)

The Lord graciously begins, we might say, a work of restoration with the centurion and those on board his ship. But things were going to be very different from the manner of life and habits that had previously characterized this vessel. They were going to live - Paul's word assured them of that, and he spoke the truth, for he spoke from God. But in order that his message might bring peace and joy, it would have to be received by faith.

God's message to you - if you are going to reap the benefits of joy and peace - must be believed by faith. If your life has met with disasters and storms because of self-will, and you have been brought in God's goodness to repentance - then you may be assured that happy times are ahead. ". . . the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4).

But it will require real faith in the God who loves you and wants to bring you back to Himself where you may afresh enjoy His love. Perhaps in your restoration you too will be cast upon an island. That is, you will find in the path of restoration, that things for you too are going to be different, and you will be placed in circumstances where you have God alone as you resource. With true restoration, things will be different! "He restoreth my soul . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23:6). (The Journey of Life - D.N.)

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