November 11 - 15
"And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpha kissed her mother in law . . . thy sister in law is gone back unto her people,
and unto her gods . . ." (Ruth 1:14,15)
O, how many part with Christ at the crossways! like Orpha, that go a furlong or two with Christ, until He goes to take them off from their worldly hopes, and bids them prepare for hardship, and then they fairly kiss and leave Him; loath indeed to lose heaven, but more loath to buy it at such a rate. (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - 1665)
N.J. Hiebert # 2428
"And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy, seven times, and shall proclaim him clean . . ."
"Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures;
and that He was buried,
and that he rose again the third day,
according to the Scriptures. "
(1 Corinthians 15:3)
The plan of deliverance was divine; the provision of the sacrifice was divine; the shedding of the blood was divine; the sprinkling of the blood was divine; the record as to the result was divine: in short it was all divine.
It is not that we should undervalue realization, or, to speak more correctly communion, through the Holy Spirit, with all the precious results of Christ's work for us. . . . But then, we are no more saved by realization, than the leper was cleansed by it. The gospel, by which we are saved, is that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." There is nothing about realization here. No doubt, it is happy to realize. It is a very happy thing for one, who was just on the point of being drowned, to realize himself in a life-boat; but, clearly, he is saved by the boat and not by his realization. So it is with the sinner that believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is saved by death and resurrection. Is it because he realizes it? No; but because God says it. It is "according to the Scriptures." Christ died and rose again; and, on that ground, God pronounces him clean. (C.H. Macintosh)
N.J. Hiebert # 2429
"They shall take to every man a lamb . . . shall kill it." (Exodus 12:3,6)
"I (Jesus) am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth
His life for the sheep." (John 10:11)
Observe the wondrous contrast suggested in the verses quoted; for while under the old economy (order) the lamb died for the shepherd, under the new one, the Shepherd died for the lambs. While it is true that all we like sheep had gone astray and thus merited only wrath, still the sword awoke, not against us, but against the Shepherd - the Man Who was Jehovah's Fellow; and by a lovely parable Christ makes known to us the joy which He has in the salvation of the lost. And while it is also true that "none of the ransomed ever shall know how deep were the waters the Saviour crossed", yet, through grace, they all may know that the waters have been crossed, that the judgment has been borne, and that in consequence "Justice now withstands no more and mercy yields her boundless store." (George Henderson - The Pearl of Psalms)
N.J. Hiebert # 2430
"Salute Apelles approved in Christ." (Romans 16:10)
"Look not every man on his own things, but . . . on the things of others." (Philippians 2:4)
"Salute Apelles, approved in Christ." Nothing more is known of Apelles then this. It is enough. His was the ministry of the unnoticed - obscure, unseen, but approved.
We once knew a poor old Christian man who trudged miles to repair the country stiles that they might be a little easier for the aged and infirm. The people voted him mentally strange but, in the Great Day he will outshine Napoleon.
To take a stumbling block out of our brother's way and to help the cripple over the stile, is to reveal the mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Traveling Toward Sunrise)
N.J. Hiebert # 2431
"I have seen the affliction of my people . . . I have heard their groaning and am come down to deliver them." (Acts 7:34)
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
Driving along the African forest road, Nenuco encountered an old woman carrying a large basked of firewood on her back. Desiring to help her he stopped and offered the lady a ride. Thankfully she mounted the back of the truck and off they went. Looking in the mirror Nenuco noticed that the old lady was standing, carefully holding onto the side racks of the truck, but still had her heavily loaded basket strapped on her back. He stopped and told the old woman to take the basket off and set it down, there was no need to carry it any longer. "Oh, thank you, my son," was her reply, "But I do not wish to be too much of a burden to you. You have been so kind to help me so I wanted to do my share and carry the load, so that it would not be too much for you."
We may chuckle at this woman's simplicity and misunderstanding, but do we not do the same? We have a burden that is heavy for us, we go to the Lord, He helps us, but we do not entirely discharge the load we are carrying. We may leave it there with Him briefly but soon, for whatever reason, we pick it up again. Is it ignorance on our part or lack of faith? The Lord desires that we give Him all of our burdens, not only every one, but also the whole of each burden. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Not only is nothing too difficlt for Him; He cares for us, He wants to carry our burdens. He did it on the cross in relation to our sin. There we were unable to help, we could only surrender that burden to Him, He is the only One capable of delivering us from that burden. It is the same with our daily burdens, too. He desires to take them, to free us from them. He cares for us. (A Blok)
N.J. Hiebert # 2432