monthly archive http://biblegems.blogspot.com
monthly archive http://biblegems.blogspot.com
December 19 - 25
December 13 - 18
"The cloud covered it (tabernacle) by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode there the children of Israel pitched their tents." (Numbers 9:16,17)
"I (Jesus) am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Perplexity and uncertainty is very often the fruit of the working of the will. We are bent upon dong something which God does not want us to do at all - upon going somewhere that God does not want us to go. We pray about it, and get no answer; We pray again and again, and get no answer. How is this? The simple fact is that God wants us to be quiet - to stand still - to remain just where we are. Instead of racking our brain and harassing our souls about what we ought to do, let us do nothing, but simply wait on God.
This is the secret of peace and calm elevation. . . . if we move when we ought to rest, or rest when we ought to move, we shall not have the divine presence with us. (C.H. Mackintosh - Notes on Numbers)
N.J. Hiebert # 2460
"Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute, to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven." (Luke 18:22)
Why did our Lord tell this young man to sell all that he had? He did not permit him to keep even ten per cent for himself. I do not recall that the Lord ever proposed this to anybody else. Why single out this poor man? It is because the Lord is acting here in the capacity of a skilled physician. When such is giving an examination, he finally puts his finger on a certain part; there is a wince and a groan; ah, that's it - he has located the trouble.
Our Lord is here diagnosing the case. He is going to make plain to this young man something about himself of which he was not conscious. In spite of all that lovely personality - that beautiful exterior - down beneath, there was a hidden malignancy at work. The Lord exposed it - COVETOUSNESS! Yes, there it was.
With all its ugliness covered up by a beautiful veneer, there it was. That is the reason for our Lord's prescription to the young man to go and sell all that he had and give to the poor. Come, follow Me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. (C.H. Brown - A Gospel Address)
N.J. Hiebert # 2461
"The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh know to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living. . . . " (Daniel 2:27,28,30)
Daniel, when introduced into the presence of the king, is not elated; he conceals himself, so to speak, behind the glory of God. It is when we understand how to humble ourselves thoroughly, that we are truly exalted. If Daniel disappears, God Himself is manifested in him. Oh that we might have wisdom and spiritual power to hide ourselves thus behind Jesus, in order that He might be put into the foreground! Every such act is a great and precious triumph. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 2462
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministry: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation." (Romans 12:6,7)
The importance of occupying the position given us to fill, and of exercising the special gift, or function in the body, bestowed upon us, cannot be too much pressed. Every Christian has his own place, which no one else can fill, and his own work, which no other can do; and the health and prosperity of the assembly depend upon the recognition and the practice of this truth. (Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert # 2463
"Tell us, we pray thee, For what cause this evil is upon us: What is thine occupation? And whence comest thou? What is thy country? And of what people art thou?" (Jonah 1:8)
The presence of a Christian, a saint of God (for every true Christian is truly "a saint") - the presence of such a one should be a blessing to any company of people. He should be like a light shining in a dark place, a little candle to give light to those about him; but Jonah was very different. Rather than being a blessing to the company of men on that ship, he brought a curse with him. It was he who brought that storm, or at least God sent it for his sake. How very solemn a thing it is if God in dealing with us for our unfaithfulness and sin must bring trouble and distress to those about us! The Bible says truly, "None of us liveth to himself." (Romans 14:7) We cannot say, "this is my own business and makes no difference to anybody else." Jonah's disobedience made a great difference to those mariners. They got into a terrible storm, they lost their cargo by throwing it overboard in order to try to save the ship, and all because of the sin of a saint of God. It is a very searching question to ask ourselves, "Am I a blessing or a curse in the circle where I move?" For certain it is, you have an influence one way or the other. True it is that God brought blessing out of all this sin and trouble, and those sailors learned to know the true God through the disobedient prophet. That does not at all excuse him, however, and the sad, sad answer to the mariners' questions was just this, if Jonah spoke the truth: "It is entirely for my cause. It is my fault, and only my fault that you have had all this danger and loss." May God deliver us from ever putting our friends and companions to sorrow and loss through our sin and unfaithfulness! (G.Christopher Willis - Lessons From the Book of Jonah)
N.J. Hiebert # 2464
"Tell us, we pray thee . . . What is thine occupation?" (Jonah 1:8)
The second question is a searching one also. Let us face it honestly, "What is thine occupation?" You may have heard of the man about whom it was said, "Yes, that man is a Christian, but he is not working at it." How many of us are Christians, but not working at it! It would be hard for the world to know of some of us whose first occupation is to be down here "to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:14)
"And whence comest thou?" Very often we forget that we are "coming" from "the city of destruction," and that the world from which we have come is already condemned, that we no longer are of it, but that now our citizenship is in heaven. Too often nobody could guess that we are pilgrims and strangers down here (1 Peter 2:11), on our way to the Father's house.
"What is thy country?" This is a common question in China. How often foreigners are asked, "What is your honorable country?" Can we truthfully reply, "My honorable country is heaven!" Does our manner of life show this forth? Dear fellow-Christian, you and I are not of the world, even as the Lord Jesus Christ was not of the world. (John 17:16) Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20) May that question of the heathen sailors, on Jonah's ship, sink down deeply into our hearts. (G.C. Willis)
N.J. Hiebert # 2465
December 6 - 12
November 27 - December 5