July 10 - 16
Adam sinned against God, and Cain sinned against his brother; and then he built a city in order to make himself as comfortable as he could without God. Workers in brass and iron and music were found therein. And the difficulty now is that Christians do not understand that they are to be witnesses of grace in a world that will only last for a time and then it will be given over to judgement.
People talk of the progress of the world! Well, I do not deny it, but what will that be to you when you are dead? For the next generation? And where will you be when the next generation comes? All sorts of conveniences have been made, but then are people morally nearer to God by these things? The moment they are used to make the need of reconciliation to God less important to people's souls, they are simply Cain's works. There may be hundreds of things yet to be found out, but can anybody say that my soul is in a better state before God because of inventions? But directly my soul learns that I have got to do with God forever, I have a sense of what I am. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 2305
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour; but about the ninth hour Jesus cried our with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
This is the most awesome, awful, agonizing cry that history has ever known. The Lord Jesus was hanged on the cross at 9:00 a.m. and made the object of men's ridicule and derision for three hours - this even after they had heaped abuse on Him all the previous night and until He was crucified. But what must people have thought when at noon the sun was blotted out and thick darkness covered the whole land?
God intervened at this time, not to vindicate or deliver the holy, sinless Sufferer, not to pour awful judgment on those who daringly abused and persecuted His beloved Son, but to pour terrible judgment on this holy, sinless Man of Sorrows! Who would ever have thought a thing like this could happen? Who could imagine that in the hour of the greatest agony of the One who was altogether without sin, God, the absolutely true and righteous God, Would absolutely forsake Him? (The Lord is Near)
N.J. Hiebert # 2306
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord when He cometh. . . ." (Luke 12:35,36)
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee."
Thus ever on through life we find
To trust, O Lord, is best.
Who serve Thee with a quiet mind,
Find in Thy service rest.
Their outward troubles may not cease,
But this their joy shall be:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
Whose mind is stayed on Thee."
N.J. Hiebert # 2307
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
What do we want, save an enlarged capacity to enjoy the fullness and blessedness of our portion in a crucified, risen, and glorified Saviour? We may well say, We "have all, and abound." (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2308
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
Far away in the tropics there grow some remarkable plants, called Nepenthes. They are veritable death-traps to flies and small insects, from which they largely derive their growth.
Their method of catching these insects is one of the wonders of nature, and affords a striking example of how Satan allures and traps unwary Christians.
At the end of a long stalk is held out a jug shaped flower, having a narrow neck, but widening out below. In the neck are spikes, all pointing downward; and these, along with the outer rim, are coated with honey.
The insects are attracted by the honey, and in their eagerness to drink it in, they gradually enter the neck of the flower, going lower and lower till all at once the honey ceases and they find themselves prisoners. Escape is well-nigh impossible, as the inside of the flower is slippery and affords no foothold, while the spikes pointing downward form an effectual guard preventing a return to the entrance.
It is exactly this way that Satan ensnares young believers. Enticing them with that which is sweet to the natural taste, but not according to God, he gradually encloses them in his grasp a little at a time, but each leading farther away from the heart that loves them.
The ways of Satan are always seductive; he knows our natural hearts, and will offer all kinds of things as sweet as honey to our taste, to lead us on a wrong path. The spikes are unnoticed as we go his way, but they will assuredly be felt on the way back, should we be restored in self-judgment to the Lord.
It is worth remarking that only hungry insects are caught in these death-traps, and we may rest assured that as long as our hearts are filled with Christ and His love, Satan is powerless; and no matter how seductively he offers his "Nepenthes," we shall, through grace, be able to turn away, conscious that we have that which is sweeter than honey, even the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. (Christian Truth)
N.J. Hiebert # 2309
"I am . . . the bright and morning star." (Revelation 22:16)
Dan Crawford used to tell how, when his Africans were on the march, and night was coming on, they would lie down to sleep. But before dropping off to sleep, there would pass from group to group about the fires the watchword "Lutanda" (morning star). It was a laconic agreement to be up and ready to move when the morning star appeared. (Selected)
"He is coming, coming for us; soon we'll see His light afar,
On the dark horizon gleaming, as the bright and morning star,
Cheering every waking watcher, as the star whose kindly ray
Heralds the approaching morning, just before the break of day.
Oh! what joy, as night hangs round us, 'tis to think of morning's ray;
Sweet to know He's coming for us, just before the break of day."
N.J. Hiebert # 2310
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
(1 Corinthians 15:51,52)
"We. . . shall be caught up. . . to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
(1 Thessalonians 4:17)
Sometime some ordinary day will come,
A busy day like this - filled to the brim
With ordinary tasks - perhaps so full
That we have little thought or care for Him.
And there will be no hint from the silent skies,
No sign, no clash of cymbals, roll of drums;
And yet that ordinary day will be
The very day in which our Lord will come.
N.J. Hiebert # 2311