Bible Gems

Feb 17, 2007 at 16:28 o\clock

Gems for the Week

February 9 - 16

"Thou art good, and doest good; teach me Thy statutes." 
(Psalm 119: 68)
    That is a wonderful thing to be able to say.  It was in connection with affliction too.  The heart in submission bows and says, "Thou art good, and doest good."
    That is real fruit - something that is precious in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That is fruit - "Herein is My Father glorified . . ."  When a soul bows in affliction and trial, and justifies God and says, "Thou art good," it is a wonderful thing.  The natural heart will not do that.  The natural heart says, Why?  If God is good, Why?  Faith says, "Thou art good, and doest good,"  and that is very precious to the heart of Christ; and it is a blessed experience for your soul and mine, if we reach that place through grace where we can actually say that.  (From The Young Christian)
N.J. Hiebert # 2882

"He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16:14,15)

Occupation with Christ is, therefore , the Alpha and the Omega of the Christian life; occupation with His death - that death which laid the foundation not only of our own redemption and deliverance, but also of the reconciliation of all things - occupation with Him in incarnation, when, though He were the Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, when, as the obedient and dependent Man, He found His meat in doing the Father's will and in finishing His work, and thus glorified God in every detail of that wondrous life; and, above all, occupation with Him in the glory, as the glorified Man, the center of all God's counsels, and the object of all His delight, yea, the satisfying portion of His heart.  (Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert # 2883
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11)
We know from Acts 2 that this psalm is the language of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is essentially a psalm connected with the path of a dependent man through this world.  To us it is indeed a wonderful privilege to be put into the same path, and in our little measure to be called upon to have some of the same experiences which the blessed Lord, as a man, down here upon earth, passed through.  Now it is a great thing to bear in mind that we never find the Lord Jesus acting other than in obedience to His Father.  He never did a single thing for Himself.  His was a life of ceaseless activity.  He was always doing good, yet never doing anything for Himself.  (F.C.) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2884
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.  And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He
that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore,
Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." 
(Revelation 1:17,18)  
Every one of us must have to do with the Lord Jesus.  Each person will yet come before Him.  Nothing can possibly hinder this.  The joyful expectation of the Christian is, that he will see his Saviour's face and be like Him.  Those who are not born again - unbelievers - will assuredly see Jesus too, but not with joy: as a wicked man once said, "I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh." (Numbers 24:17)  Many persons now turn away from the Saviour's name; they like to banish His blessed gospel from their thoughts; but then, "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 3:10,11)  This is God's decree, and it must be accomplished.  "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations." (Psalm 33:11)  There is, therefore, no possibility of escape from having to do with Jesus; and I doubt not that those who will go away into everlasting punishment will send up a cry continually from the pit of torment. . . .  This is very solemn, and makes the gospel a matter of such individual application and importance.  The Scripture says, "every knee," "every tongue," "every one of us shall give account of himself in the day of judgment!" "Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall Him!" plainly showing that men must have to do personally with the Lord JesusNow He graciously pardons and saves; then He will righteously condemn, and punish with everlasting destruction.  What folly, then, it is to neglect His great salvation!  (H.H. Snell - Streams of Refreshing)    
N.J. Hiebert # 2885
". . . this same JESUS, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." 
(Acts 1:11) 
"And I beheld, and, Lo. . . in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb as it had been slain. . . .  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy
to take the book,and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was
slain, and  hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out
of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." 
(Revelation 5:6,9)
One of the old writers wished he could have seen three things: 
1. Rome in its prosperity;
2. Paul preaching;
3. Christ in the body.
I have three wishes:
1. To see Christ in glory, surrounded by His redeemed;
2. To see Christ in glory, surrounded by His redeemed,
3. To see Christ in glory, surrounded by His redeemed.
N.J. Hiebert # 2886
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all . . . especially unto them who are of the household of faith."  (Galatians 6:10)
"He giveth goodly words."  (Genesis 49:21)
The memory of a kindly word for long gone by,
The fragrance of a fading flower sent lovingly,
The gleaming of a sudden smile or sudden tear,
The warmer pressure of the hand, the tone of cheer.
The hush that means "I cannot speak, but I have heard!"
The note that only bears a verse from God's own Word -
Such tiny things we hardly count as ministry;
The givers deeming they have shown scant sympathy;
But, when the heart is overwrought, oh who can tell
The power of such tiny things to make it well!
(Frances Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)
N.J. Hiebert # 2887
"My grace IS sufficient for thee."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)
    Some years ago a young minister and his wife went to the seashore with their youngest child.  After being there three days, their little one was suddenly taken away to be with the Lord.  The young parents took the little body home, with heavy hearts.
    After the funeral, he began to prepare a sermon to preach to his people, taking for his text 2 Corinthians 12:9.  He spent about two hours preparing it, then said to himself, "It is not true.  I do not find His grace sufficient for this heavy trial that has befallen me."  He cried to the Lord to make His grace sufficient for him in this hour of sore need and crushing sorrow.
    As he wiped the tears from his eyes, he glanced up and saw over his study table an illuminated text card that his mother had given him.  The words read, "My grace IS sufficient for thee," the word "IS" being in bold type and in a different color from all the other words in the text. He seemed to hear a voice saying to him: "How dare you ask Him to make what is?  Believe His word.  Trust Him, and you will find it true in every way."
    He took Him at His Word, and believed it to be true.  He at once had rest and peace, such trust in a sufficient Saviour as he never before dreamed could be possible.  Within a month a friend of the family said to his wife, "The farmers are remarking how changed your husband is.  He does not seem fretful any more, but is quiet and gentle about everything."
    From that day the life of this minister of the gospel was a testimony to the sufficiency of His grace, and His strength that is made perfect in weakness.
    Eternity will not be long enough to praise and thank our Lord Jesus Christ for the simple, glorious fact that His grace is sufficient for us in every trial.  (The Christian Newsletter) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2888
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and it there be any praise,
think on these things."  (Philippians 4:8)
    Two children were gathering grapes.   One was happy.  "Oh," he exclaimed, aren't they sweet !" "Yes," grunted the unhappy one, "but they have seeds in them."
    They came to a rose garden.  "My what a beautiful rose garden," shouted the happy one.  "Ouch!" cried the other,   "Look out for the thorns."
    Walking through the clover they made their way to a beehive.  One got honey, the other got stung.  "See that honeybee," said one.  "That's a stinging bee," protested the other.
    On their way home they stopped for a soft drink.  They poured it into paper cups.  "Mine is half full," rejoiced one.  "Mine is half empty," grumbled the other. 
    How do you look at life?   (Selected)
Some persons grumble because there are thorns among roses.  Why not rejoice because there are roses among thorns?
N.J. Hiebert # 2889

Feb 17, 2007 at 16:19 o\clock

Gems for the Week

February 1 - 8

"He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for
He shall bear their iniquities."  (Isaiah 53:11)
One of the greatest blessings the soul can have is the power of entering into the refreshment the Lord Jesus Christ had while He was on the earth, and it is that which makes the scene between Himself and the dying thief so precious; not only that poor thing finding light through an open door, but the thought is so exceedingly precious, that He who saved that thief saw in him one of the fruits of the travail of his soul; so precious, that He should there see fruit of His travail, before he could turn and crave a blessing; and to hear Him speak of blessing to that poor thing before he cried out with a loud voice and gave up the ghost.  (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2874
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."  (Romans 1:22) 
    Sometimes I am puzzled by the shortsightedness of intelligent people.  I recall, for example, when once-noted American psychologist John B. Watson (1878-1958) published theories about human nature that inspired widespread excitement in academic circles.  Watson contended that we can control behavior and make people act in any way we desire.  He scoffed at the biblical teaching that we are made in God's image ["And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." (Genesis 1:26)]  He argued  that we are essentially the same as animals and can be manipulated like puppets.
    Although Watson's radical theories enjoyed only short-lived influence, a review of one of his books actually declared, "Perhaps this is the most important book ever written.  One stands for a moment blinded with a great hope."
    What an absurd appraisal!  Even non-Christian scholars agree that the most important book ever written is the BIBLE, the Book that has had an influence on our world for centuries.  The psalmist put it well when he said that God's Word made him wiser than his enemies and gave him more understanding than all his teachers (Psalm 119:98-99)
    That Book, the Word of God, gives us real hope - a hope backed by all the authority, truth, and power of God. (VCG) 
  My Bible to me is a guidebook true
That points for my feet the way,
That gives me courage and hope and cheer
And guidance for every day.  (Anon)
"Our Daily Bread", RBC Ministries, Copyright 1999, Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission.
N.J. Hiebert # 2875
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion
of the body of Christ?"  (1 Corinthians 10:16) 
The bread and wine before us each Lord's Day are only that - bread and wine.  We could use these staples in countless other ways.  Psalm 104:15 speaks of "wine that maketh glad the heart of man . . . and bread which strengtheneth man's heart."  But when we gather to remember our Lord Jesus, they take on an additional benefit.  They picture His body and blood.  They are something we bless because of the blessing they now represent - the communion between our Lord Jesus Christ and ourselves. 
(Tom Steere)  
N.J. Hiebert # 2876
"This one thing I do; forgetting those things which are
behind . . . I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:13-14) 
If we had always acted on Paul's advice here, how much sorrow would have been obviated!  "The greatest thing I learned from my mother," says Dean Farrar - "the thing which has most contributed to my peace of mind in life - was the acceptance of the inevitable; and the rigid exclusion of that form of self-torture which comes from regret."  When the great enemy of God and man taunts the children of God with past failures, the only answer to these tauntings is to be found in the Book of God.  To the truly penitent heart, God gives the assurance in words that shall never pass away, that the shortcomings of the days that are gone, are:
FORGIVEN - 1 John 2:12
CLEANSED - 1 John 1:7
OBLITERATED - Isaiah 44:22
FORGOTTEN - Hebrews 10:17
Build upon Christ and not upon regret the structure of your future; and  
"Waste no time
Upon the blotted record of past years,
But turn the leaf and smile, oh smile, to see
The fair white pages that remain for thee."
(George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 2877
"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all
authority and power . . . and when all things shall be subdued 
unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto
Him that put all things under Him, that God may be
all in all."  (1 Corinthians 15:24,28)
    After Arturo Toscanini finished conducting a brilliant performance of Beethoven's Symphony, the audience rose to its feet and applauded, shouting its delight.  But Toscanini waved his arms violently for it all to stop.  He turned to the orchestra and shouted hoarsely,"You are nothing!"  He pointed to himself and shouted, "I am nothing!"  Then he shouted, "Beethoven, is everything, everything, everything."   
    Christian worship must say, "God is everything, everything, everything."  What we do on Sunday mornings (or whenever we gather), the order of events and the manner in which we enact the drama, must always point to God, must reinforce again and again that God has taken the initiative and called us together, that God's grace is more important than our sin, that God's will is more important than our desires, and that God's glorification is more important than our edification.
    All worship ought to be ordered toward God; service should be put together in a way that keeps our attention centered on God.  As we look up to the One seated on the throne, we lose sight of everything else; the Holy God commands and consumes our attention.  What we really need when we show up for worship is for our attention  to be turned toward the glory of God . . . it is only then, before the Holy One that our deepest needs will be met, for only then will we enter into our full humanity as sons and daughters of God."  (Submitted by Dick Gorgas - 2004) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2878
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the
greater condemnation.  (James 3:1)
It is a serious thing to teach God's Word, involving both preparation and application.  Regarding the first, as Warren Weirsbe has said, "What some people call Bible study is often just a group of unprepared people exchanging their ignorance."  If you are going to preach - prepare for it.  For the second Weirsbe goes on to say that some of the finest Bible teachers have been ordinary people who learn the truth of the Word on their knees, and on the battlefields of life.  If you are going to preach - live it.  (Brian Russell)
Tell me about the Master!  Of the wrong He freely forgave;
Of His love and tender compassion, of His love that is mighty to save.
(Choice Gleanings)
N.J. Hiebert # 2879
"I am . . . the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Exodus 3:6) 
"Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God?"
(Matthew 22:31).
    These passages will prove that the ground which our Lord took with the scribes, Pharisees, etc., was that they should have know what was revealed in the Scriptures.  "Have ye not read."  He asks. Alas! might not the same be often said to us?  When some difficulty or testing time comes have we read and understood?  Have we the light from God's Word which will guide us aright?
    Our Lord quoted Hosea 6:6, :I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13, 12:7); and on both He told the Pharisees that they ought to have known the meaning of the words.  They had the letter of Scripture, but they did not comprehend its meaning or application.  This is a most practical and important consideration for us.  For, while we would strongly maintain the value of the very words of Scripture, being inspired and therefore a divine and unimpeachable foundation for faith, yet, on the other hand, we may have an intellectual acquaintance with the letter and not understand the meaning or application.  To have a true intelligence in Scripture we must be "taught of God" and instructed by the Holy Spirit, Who is given to the believer in order that he may understand the things which are freely given to him of God.  "When thine eye is single," says the Lord, "thy whole body also is full of light."  Christ, not self, must, be our object.  If any man desires to do God's will, he shall know of the doctrine (John 7:17); God's will, not our own, must be the motive spring.  Thus, when there is simplicity and a true desire to learn, God gives the wisdom and understanding needed; and the Scripture becomes daily more precious, for it ever reveals Christ to the soul.  (F.G.B.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2880
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee
these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove  
thee, to know what was in thine heart." 
 (Deuteronomy 8:2)
God says, in substance, "Your heart and Mine want to have a little talk together.  I am going to show you what is in your heart, and show you that I know it."  He has brought you to Himself; and do you think that, if all that is in your heart is not brought out to Him, it will be all right between you?  Do you think a father likes to have his heart all different to His child's heart?  He desires that the whole spirit, soul, and mind of His child be suited to His mind.  God passes us through the wilderness that we may learn this.  (J.N. Darby) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2881

Feb 17, 2007 at 16:13 o\clock

Gems for the Week

January 23 - 31

"The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.   From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment."  (Isaiah 1:5,6) 
Reading of a biographical character is always interesting, and it is frequently profitable.  But the Spirit of God, when recording the life-stories of men, differs from all others in the line that He pursues.  Human biographers aim at presenting the commendable side of the characters with which they deal, and they either draw a veil over their ugly features, or touch them lightly or apologetically.  But the Spirit of God tells us the whole truth about the men whose lives He is pleased to record.  It could not be otherwise.  The Bible is the revelation of God Himself - all that He is is told out there; and the same Book must needs also show us man as he really is.  The goodness of God and the badness of man are there presented side by side for our instruction and blessing.  (W.W. Faraday - Peter the Apostle)   
N.J. Hiebert # 2866
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." 
(Romans 3:19,20)
    It is very surprising to many people to discover that the purpose of the law was never to make a man right with God.  All the law can do is to declare a standard and condemn a person for failure.  It's just like a mirror.  A mirror can show you that your face is dirty, but it cannot wash your face for you.
    The law is like those pass/fail tests that I can remember having in school.  Back then, I thought it was good news to have a pass/fail test - anything above a 70 was passing.  But in regard to the law of God, the only acceptable grade is an unblemished 100 percent!  It's pass/fail all right.  You just have to be perfect, or you have failed, and are doomed to judgment.  (Selected)
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment."(Matthew 5:21,22)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."     
(Romans 3:23)
N.J. Hiebert # 2867
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God believe 
also in Me. "  (John 14:1)
    Many can say with Job (chapter 5:7) that man is born unto trouble; for their passage through life is marked by a succession of happenings that have turned existence into one long-drawn-out catastrophe.  They tread a path that is beset with difficulties; it is "through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God".  To us all, therefore, the words in the opening verses of John 14 come laden with comfort, with healing, and with uplifting power.  They are words that have consoled the prisoner in his lonely dungeon, the slave in his little cabin, the pilgrim on his weary journey, the martyr marching to his painful death.  For heart trouble there is but one remedy, and it is prescribed by the Good Physician. 
    "Let not your heart be troubled."  The italicized word includes the entire personality - intellect, emotion, and will. "Let not your heart be troubled."  The word means, to be agitated, to be disturbed, or thrown into confusion, as its use in John 5:7 indicates.  To counter-act the sorrows which were filling their hearts, the Master imparts to His disciples consolations appropriate to their griefs, and encouragements adapted to their fears.  He claims their faith, strengthens their hope, deepens their love.  (Henry Durbanville - His last Words)
N.J. Hiebert # 2868
"How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough
and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father." 
(Luke 15:17,18)
How can I progress, unless I accept the place God has put me in?  How can I progress, unless I am in the Father's house.  (Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 2869
"I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)  
Faith is, at once, the power of ministry, the power of testimony, and the power of worship.  If we are not living "by faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave Himself for us," we shall neither be effectual servants, faithful witnesses, nor true worshippers.  (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2870
"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand
words in an unknown tongue."  (1 Corinthians 14:19)
Our care should ever be, not to suffer ourselves to proceed for a single moment beyond the energy of the Spirit, as the time for the Spirit will always keep us directly occupied with Christ.  If the Holy Spirit produces "five words" of worship or thanksgiving, let us utter the five and have done.  If we proceed further, we are eating the flesh of our sacrifice beyond the time; and so far from its being "accepted," it is really"an abomination."  (Adapted) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2871
"And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron."  (Deuteronomy 28:23)
Mysterious providences in the lives of God's people abound.  Why must some pass from deep unto deep, from sorrow unto sorrow, from loss unto loss?  Why are others, so promisingly endowed with gifts for great service to God and humanity, suddenly cut off?  Why do tragedies of a shocking character overtake the most saintly of the household of faith?  And so we could continue.  There is no answer.  True faith bows in trusting submissionfaith looks up and knows "He does all things well," and hope awaits that day, when the mists have rolled away, when our all-wise Lord will answer every "why" and unravel to our eternal joy and glory His ways with His own, which down here are past finding out.  (Arno Clemens Gaebelein - Listen! - God Speaks)
N.J. Hiebert # 2872
"Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this Man's disciples?  He saith, I am not. . . .they said therefore unto
him, art thou not also one of His disciples?  He denied it, and said,
I am not. . . . Did not I see thee in the garden with Him (Jesus)? 
Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew." 
(John 18:17,25,26,27) 
We never know what is in our hearts until circumstances arise to draw it out.  Peter did not imagine that he could deny his Lord, but when he got into circumstances which were calculated to act upon his peculiar weakness (self-confidence), he showed that the weakness was there.  (C.H. Mackintosh - The Lord's Coming - The Call of God)
N.J. Hiebert # 2873
"He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities."  (Isaiah 53:11)
One of the greatest blessings the soul can have is the power of entering into the refreshment the Lord Jesus Christ had while He was on the earth, and it is that which makes the scene between Himself and the dying thief so precious; not only that poor thing finding light through an open door, but the thought is so exceedingly precious, that He who saved that thief saw in him one of the fruits of the travail of his soul; so precious, that He should there see fruit of His travail, before he could turn and crave a blessing; and to hear Him speak of blessing to that poor thing before he cried out with a loud voice and gave up the ghost.  (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V. Wigram) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2874