August 21 - 26
"Looking unto Jesus . . ." (Hebrews 12:2)
"Unto Jesus" and not - do we need to say it? - at our pretence of righteousness. Ill above all who are ill is he who believes himself in health; blind above the blind he who thinks that he sees (John 9:41). If it is dangerous to look long at our wretchedness, which is, alas! too real; it is much more dangerous to rest complacently on imaginary merits. (Theodore Monod - Translated from the French by Helen Willis)
N.J. Hiebert # 2347
"Thou remainest . . . , Thou art the same." (Hebrews 1:11,12)
In a world of change and uncertainty, the truth of the text above gives the believer comfort and stability: God remains forever the same - not only in His character but also in His wise and loving purposes. How this reality strengthens and encourages us! We are assured that our Saviour and Shepherd is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). With absolute confidence in the Lord we can say, "Let me be deprived of all I cherish here on earth, still Thou remainest!"
During a severe financial crisis, a farmer, whose homestead had been in the family for three generations, was forced to sell all his goods to pay his debts. After everything had been auctioned, he came back into the living room, sat down on an old box, and looked around at the empty farm-house. Noticing a familiar item hanging over the fireplace, he said, "Thank God, there's one thing they haven't sold!" The auctioneer had overlooked it, and it became for the farmer a most precious possession. It was a little card with silver lettering that read: THOU REMAINEST! His furniture and his farm implements were all gone, but there was a great comfort in those words, for they reminded him that his richest treasure - the love of God and the salvation Jesus Christ provides - could not be taken from him.
Christian brother or sister, no matter how uncertain life seems, no matter what hardships and reversals we experience, our God never changes. He remains forever the same in His wisdom, His power, and His love. (H.G.B.)
Yesterday He helped me, Today I"ll praise His name,
Because I know tomorrow He'll help me just the same. (Anon)
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure. (Browning)
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright 1983, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission
N.J. Hiebert # 2348
"He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life." (Proverbs 13:3)
Guard thou thy tongue from ceaseless words, whatever else you do;
And ere you speak of anything, be sure you know it's true.
For oftentimes some little word, though said in fun and jest,
Will fill some tender, loving heart with dire unhappiness.
N.J. Hiebert # 2349
"Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth his salvation from day to day." (Psalm 96:2)
"This is the day the Lord hath made." It is the Lord's gift. But for His goodness and mercy I should not have seen Today. His goodness is new upon me each morning.
But why should God give me Today? He has given me so many; rarely have I given one back to Him. He gave me Today that I might honour and serve Him better than on any day I hitherto accepted from His hand,
How strangely wonderful would it be if but a single day could be fully given back to God by me; if on arising in the morning I would call upon Him: "Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning," and then through Today in all things be guided by His voice, trust Him, love Him, obey Him.
If from youth a man accepts Today as God's gift and lives it by His grace, he exalts the name of God and brings strength to his nation. (Mountain Trailways for Youth)
N.J. Hiebert # 2350
"Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe; and I will have respect unto
Thy statutes continually." (Psalm 119:117)
The believer has no more strength to stand for the Lord than he had before he trusted him as Saviour. This is a lesson that all believers must learn early in their Christian life, for they will soon find that even when desiring to truly serve the Lord their strength will desert them.
One young man who had not received Christ as Saviour was very concerned about the need of his soul, and when an older man, a believer, urged him to confess his sin to God and receive the Lord Jesus as his Saviour, he objected, saying that he would not be able to stand for the Lord. The older man took a pen and held it with its point on the table, saying to his friend, "Is it not strange to see a pen standing on its point?" The younger man responded, "But you're holding it."
"Yes, and that is just what you need," he was told. "You cannot hold yourself up, but if you trust the Lord Jesus to save you, He will also hold you up, though you have no strength whatever."
The Lord Jesus confirms this beautifully in John 10:27-29, where He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them . . . and I give them life eternal; and they shall never perish, and no one shall seize them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one can seize out of the hand of My Father."
Thus the Lord Jesus gives to the believer utmost confidence. Will He fail one of His own? Will the Father fail a true believer? Never! "The Lord is able to make him stand." (L.M. Grant)
Trust in Him, ye saints for ever; He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force not guile can sever Those He loves from Him. (T. Kelly)
N.J. Hiebert # 2351
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." (Proverbs 31:26)
I might have said a word of cheer Before I let him go.
His wistful eyes - they haunt me yet! But how could I foreknow
That slighted chance would be the last To me in mercy given?
Remorseful yearnings cannot send That word from earth to heaven.
I might have looked the love I felt; My brother had sore need
Of that for which, all shy and proud, He had not speech to plead.
But self is near, and self is strong, And I was blind that day!
He sought within my careless eyes And went athirst away.
O smile and clasp and word withheld! O brother-heart, now stilled!
Dear life, forever out of reach, I might have warmed and filled.
Talents misused and treasures lost O'er which I mourn in vain,
A waste as barren to my tears, As desert sands to rain!
Ah, friends! whose eyes today may hold Converse with living eyes,
Whose touch or tone or smile may thrill Sad souls with sweet surprise;
Be instant, like your Lord, with love And constant as His grace,
With dew and light and manna fall - The night comes on apace. (Anon - Northern Messenger))
N.J. Hiebert # 2352