December 29 - January 2
"They presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11)
These gifts pictured wonderfully our Saviour. GOLD speaks of Kingship; He was born King of the Jews. The FRANKINCENSE was used in worship, reminding us that He would minister as a priest. The MYRRH, used for embalming the dead, reminds us that He was born to fulfill the words of the prophets, to die that we might live. His birth brought God to man, but it was His cross that brought man to God. On this day, can we give Him the gold of untarnished love; the frankincense of unmixed devotion; the myrrh of unfailing consecration? Come let us worship at His feet. (Les Rainey)
The wise men worship, shepherds come, and shall I silent be?
I, who have been redeemed by blood, to bring no gift to Thee?
N.J. Hiebert # 2841
"Jesus. . . having loved His own which were in the world,
He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)
Most of us know that "to the end" there means on and on, through every day. That is, He has loved and loves us with a love that nothing can stop; nothing can make Him cease to love us. We are loved with a love that will never cease to love us!
It is a little remarkable too, right in that connection, we find a passage in Hebrews 13 which says, "Let brotherly love continue." What does that mean? Just exactly what it says: that it is to continue - to never cease. Our brethren cannot act worse toward us, nor we toward them, than the disciples did toward the Lord. "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12) This means that we are to love our brethren in the same way - the same manner - on and on - through and through - in spite of everything. (W.P.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2842
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2)
Until we are at home in the glory, we must look above our path to be able to walk in it.
A Christian who has heaven before him, and a Saviour in glory as the Object of his affections, will walk well upon the earth. He who has only the earthly path for his rule, will fail in the intelligence and motives needed to walk in it; he will become a prey to worldliness, and his Christian walk in the world will be more or less on a level with the world in which he walks.
The eyes upward on Jesus will keep the heart and steps in a path conformable to Jesus, and which, consequently, will glorify Him and make Him known in the world.
Seeing what we are, we must have a motive above our path to be able to walk in it. This does not prevent our needing also for our path the fear of the Lord to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear, knowing that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. (Christian Truth - Vol. 21 - September 1968)
N.J. Hiebert # 2843
"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great
is Thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22,23)
Yea, "new every morning," though we may awake,
Our hearts with old sorrow beginning to ache;
With old work unfinished when night stayed our hand,
With new duties waiting, unknown and unplanned;
With old care still pressing, to fret and to vex,
With new problems rising, our minds to perplex;
In ways long familiar, in paths yet untrod,
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
His faithfulness fails not; it meets each new day
With guidance for every new step of the way;
New grace for new trials, new trust for old fears,
New patience for bearing the wrongs of the years,
New strength for new burdens, new courage for old,
New faith for whatever the day may unfold;
As fresh for each need as the dew on the sod;
Oh, new every morning the mercies of God!
(Annie Johnson Flint)
N.J. Hiebert # 2844
"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put
away concerning faith have made shipwreck." (1 Timothy 1:19)
There were those who had turned from the great fundamental principles of Christianity, and were living in ways displeasing to God; they had put away a good conscience. They knew what God's Word required of them, but they went against their own consciences; and little by little they got to the place where they were no longer very much exercised. The conscience is like a rubber band. You pull it, and it snaps back; you pull it again, and it snaps back; but if you keep on pulling it by-and-by it loses its elasticity, and finally it does not snap back at all. It is very dangerous to trifle with conscience, for if we act contrary to this inward monitor we find the reaction becomes less and less, until eventually there is no reaction at all. Then we are likely to make shipwreck of the faith.
It is easy to lose the truth of God if we do not live in obedience to the Word. We do not hold the truth simply in the mind; we learn it through the heart and the conscience, and we hold it by keeping a conscience that is void of offence. (H.A. Ironside)
N.J. Hiebert # 2845