February 7 - 12
"Present your bodies . . . holy . . . unto God." (Romans 12:1)
The moral standards are being lowered each year in this and other English - speaking countries - the very countries that took the lead in circulating the Word of God and spreading the gospel. Corruption has set in and is growing apace. This, however, need not cause alarm to the children of God, for His Word has foretold that such conditions would come. . . .
Is God indifferent to all this? No! no! no! He has said that He will judge the doers of these things. The Old Testament gives the account of His governmental dealings with the world at the flood, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the inhabitants of Canaan, and then of Israel when they followed in the ways of the heathen who before them had polluted the land. And it is common knowledge that the Roman Empire had lapsed into awful, sordid corruption before it fell. "God is not mocked," and men and nations shall reap the just consequences of their wickedness. (Paul Wilson)
N.J. Hiebert # 2516
"I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia,
yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day." (Acts 22:3)
Paul testifies that he was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. In Acts 5 we find that Gamaliel stood up among his fellow citizens and students and told them to leave these men who talk of Jesus to themselves. He said that others, such as Theudas, boasted themselves to be something, but were brought to nothing; and if these men who were followers of Jesus were not of God, their work could come to nothing. Gamaliel knew that if the teaching of these men was of God, no man could overthrow it. Did Paul obey his instructor's advice? No, he was in effect a student activist. The next time we read of Paul (Saul), we find that he was consenting to the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1). He was persecuting the Christians with great zeal.
God spoke to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) in a miraculous but solemn way. He accepted Christ as his Saviour and immediately began to serve the Lord. What did Paul say of the days when he was a student activist? In 1 Timothy 1, after delineating what he was characterized by before he was saved, Paul refers to himself as the chief of sinners. He realized that what he had been doing as a result of his independent, youthful ideas led him to a place of deep transgression against God. (F.F.A. - Christian Truth - Vol. 22)
N.J. Hiebert # 2517
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings . . . Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." (Ephesians 1:3,5)
On a flight to California, a chaplain from Stanford University, talked with a Christian woman who had adopted a Jewish daughter. She explained that after Hitler had annexed Poland, the Nazis came to her village to round up Jews. She had been shopping near the train station where German soldiers were loading Jews into rail cars. Those helpless victims were destined to die in a concentration camp.
That woman saw a soldier pushing a Jewess toward the station, and she had a little girl toddling behind. He stopped her and demanded, "Is she your daughter?" The terrified mother looked straight into the Christian woman's eyes, who then was standing nearby and said, "No, the child is hers." From that moment the Christian woman took that Jewish girl as her own daughter.
By grace God has claimed us for His own. We were condemned, not as innocent victims, but justly as sinners. We were powerless to save ourselves. We were headed for the second death, which is eternal exile from heaven's eternal life and light and love. But the very God we rebelled against has redeemed us through Jesus' death on the cross.
Praise God - once alienated; now by faith adopted!
Redeemed - how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy -
His child, and forever, I am. (Fanny Crosby)
GOD CLAIMS BY GRACE THOSE WHO HAVE NO CLAIM TO GRACE.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1993), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission
N.J. Hiebert # 2518
"Ahab went to eat and to drink . . . Elijah went up to the top of Carmel." (1 Kings 18:42)
Every day we live we have to choose whether we shall follow in the way of Ahab or of Elijah. If we put self first, whether in great things or small, we are like Ahab. And the habit grows with life till we end as Ahab ended. "The king died and was brought to Samaria" (1 Kings 22:37) - that poor little hill which never saw anything glorious till One, Who was wearied by His journey, sat on the well-side there.
If we put the things which concern the Lord first, then life will be a climb. Every day will see us higher up the mountain which is our Carmel; and in the end, even though a whirlwind does not carry us home, either angels, or our Lord Himself, will call us to meet Him in the air, far, far above all mountain tops. We shall not be sorry then that we chose Carmel. (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)
N.J. Hiebert # 2519
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Psalm 40:2)
"He does all things well." (Mark 7:37)
The answer to our sometimes unbelieving questions "why" is heard in the amazement and awe of the multitude as they bear testimony to the power and perfection of the Lord Jesus - "He does all things well." Why is some trial or difficulty happening to you? Because the Lord is allowing it in order to shape and mold you to what He wants and He makes no mistakes. Remember, the purpose of our Potter's pressure is not only formative, but also protective. (In The Potter's Hands)
N.J. Hiebert # 2520
"For He is our peace." (Ephesians 2:14)
The loving heart of Jesus was broken for my peace,
The tender hands of Jesus were pierced for my release.
This is the sure foundation on which my faith is built;
This is the one salvation from sin, its power and guilt;
This is the only glory my clouded life can claim,
Redemption's wondrous story of love and death and shame,
This - my assurance voicing, and this - my only plea,
My song and my rejoicing forevermore shall be.
The broken heart of Jesus alone could save from sin;
The wounded hands of Jesus alone my peace could win.
(Annie Johnson Flint - Flint's Best Loved Poems)
N.J. Hiebert # 2521