June 25 - 30
"And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man before him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went to him, and said to him: 'Art thou for us, or for our enemies?' And he said, 'No; for as captain of the army of Jehovah am I now come.' Then Joshua fell upon his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, 'What saith my Lord unto his servant?' And the captain of Jehovah's army said to Joshua, 'Lose thy sandal from off thy foot: for the place whereon thou standest is holy.' And Joshua did so." (Joshua 5:13-15)
How often we claim the Lord is for us, or on our side in an issue! Joshua had to learn that the man with the drawn sword he saw was not taking sides, but coming as the captain of Jehovah's host. Joshua's place was to fall on his face to the earth, and to ask "What saith my Lord unto his servant?"
A sense of the holiness of the ground we stand on becomes us, not claims of the Lord being for us, and not for others. (From "Gems From The Singing Pilgrims" by Dick Gorgas)
N.J. Hiebert # 2654
"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." (2 Corinthians 6:10)
Our Exemplar here is our Lord. He was a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3); yet He was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows (Psalm 45:7). To understand how that was possible, you will have to recognize the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness depends upon happenings; upon the hap of life. Joy is independent of these things; its thermometer is not at the mercy of outside atmospheres. It is a condition of heart; the music that flows from qualities that exist within the soul; the unconscious ripple of a life of which God has control. It may exist in times of prosperity (Psalm 45:15); or in times of adversity (Habakkuk 3:17-18); it may exist always (Philippians 4:4). Paul and Titus filled dungeons with doxologies (Acts 16); and flooded the darkest hours with heavenly light. Indeed, it will be found one day that trials form the basis of our sweetest songs:
"For many a rapturous minstrel Among the sons of light,
Will say of his sweetest music: 'I learnt it in the night'.
And many a rolling anthem That fills the Father's Home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal In the shade of a darkened room."
Now, let us remember, the next time we are up to the neck in hot water, to be like the kettle and sing! (George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 2655
"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for
a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14)
Each day is like a furrow lying before us;
Our thoughts, desires, actions, are the seed that each minute we drop into it.
The furrow finished, we commence upon another - sowing, ever sowing.
And all we have sown springs up and bears fruit.
How swift and how short is the span of life! Abraham declared "I am a stranger and a sojourner." David said, "My days are like a shadow that declineth." Job said, "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." Isaiah writes, "My dwelling is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent; I have rolled up like a weaver my life. He will cut me off from the loom." James says, "What is your life? Even a vapour that appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away."
We shall not always continue here. Life is transient. From cover to cover the Bible tells us of the shortness of our days. Once the fleeting moments are gone from us, they are gone beyond recall. Time is infinitely precious, with the golden opportunities it presents - just once, in so many cases. We cannot gain back one grain of sand once it has gone through the hourglass, nor can we call back one priceless opportunity to help a fellow mortal, once it has gone beyond our recall. (Zelma Argue - Garments of Strength)
N.J. Hiebert # 2656
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1)
Crucifixion was the terrifying death of the Roman and far worse than the flaming stake, the shining sword, the awful axe, the poisonous hemlock or the swinging rope. At Calvary our Saviour met the cross and when He did, He took our place. The sharp clear ring of steel to steel was heard and the suffering substitute died, but not before His cry of abandonment rose to the heavens: "My God, My God, why ?" Greater than His physical suffering was that of being forsaken of God. Today may we adore, praise, and worship by faith at the nail-pierced feet of our beloved Saviour. (Arnot P. McIntee)
N.J. Hiebert # 2657
"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be make known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7)
The Lord comfort your heart and teach you daily how to practice walking in dependence on Himself, without any subsidy or aid. Accustom yourself to look for it. Try to walk, with ever so small steps, in simple rest in Him, making known to Him all your heart. You may rest assured that the reason why our machinery is so often or ever out of working order, or dragging heavily, is because there is some pressure on our hearts, which we have not disposed of to Him. The finer the machinery, the more easily is its action impeded; a hair will interrupt the wheels of a watch. Every pressure on the soul must be disposed of to God, or its action will be clogged and interrupted, and the whole be out of gear. Unburden everything to Him. Dispose of every pressure to His keeping, and the peace of God through Christ Jesus shall keep your heart and mind. Make but His glory your concern; He will make your wants his care. (Helps for the Poor of the Flock - Vol 3 - 1898)
N.J. Hiebert # 2658
"He that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:28)
Preach simply. The word of God is too sacred a thing, and preaching too solemn a work, to be toyed and played with, as is the usage of some, who make a sermon but matter of wit and fine oratory. Their sermon is like a child's doll, from which if you take its dress, the rest is worth nothing. It is well indeed when the people can keep pace with the preacher. To preach truths and notions above the hearers' capacity, is like a nurse that should go to feed a child with a spoon too big to go into its mouth." (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - Gleanings from the complete work published in 1665)
N.J. Hiebert # 2659