Bible Gems

May 27, 2007 at 21:38 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 25 - 27

"I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."  (Philippians 3:13)  
    It has been said that if we look at ourselves, we shall become discouraged; if we look at others, we shall be perplexed; But if we look at Christ, we shall walk in the light of victory.
    Forgetting, and remembering!  "Forgetting the things which are behind!"  Reaching forward to the prize before us!  Remembering that in mercy He has buried our sins in the sea of His forgetfulness!  "Forget not all His benefits."
(Zelma Argue - Garments of Strength)
N.J. Hiebert # 2986
"Mary . . . sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word."  (Luke 10:39)
"Lord, teach us to pray."  (Luke 11:1)
God and Father, we Thy children
Would in meekness hear Thy word;
Undistracted, hearts responsive,
As Thy Spirit strikes the chord.
All Thy mind we would be learning,
As the desert path we trace;
Thine we are, and would be leaning,
Ever on Thy boundless grace.
N.J. Hiebert # 2987
"And they shall see His face."  (Revelation 22:4)
Wendell Phillips greatly loved his invalid wife.  At the close of a lecture, friends urged him not to start for home in stormy weather. "It will be difficult," he agreed, "but at the end of my trip, I shall see my beloved Anne."  The child of God travels life's difficult road, but does so excitedly, anticipating the welcoming face of his beloved Lord.  "As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with Thy likeness."   (Arnot P. McIntee)
Face to face! O blissful moment!
Face to face - to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loved me so.
(Mrs. F.A. Breck)
N.J. Hiebert # 2988

May 24, 2007 at 23:44 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 18 - 24

"A very present help."  (Psalm 46:1)
He's guiding me now - this moment,
In pathways easy or hard,
Perhaps by a door wide open,
Perhaps by a door fast barred,
Perhaps by a joy withholden,
Perhaps by a gladness given;
In ways that I know and know not,
He's using me now - this moment,
And whether I go or stand,
Perhaps by a plan accomplished,
Perhaps when He stays my hand,
Perhaps by a word in season,
Perhaps by a silent prayer;
In ways that I know and know not,
His labour of love I share.
N.J. Hiebert # 2980
"His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree."  (1 Peter 2:24)
There is, in this short text, a problem, a Person and a place.  The problem, "our sins"!  How awful their power and their penalty.  The Person, "His own self."  The Son of God, Himself alone, with none to help and none other able.  The place, Calvary!  The tree!  Peter had preached it in those early days "Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a tree," he had proclaimed in Acts 5:30.  Now, so many years later, his message is just the same.  In His own body, on the tree, Christ finished the work.  (Jim Flanigan)
They nailed my Lord upon the tree,
And left Him, dying there;
Through love He suffered there for me,
'Twas love beyond compare.
(C.Austin Miles)
N.J. Hiebert # 2981
"And Elijah said unto Ahab, get thee up, eat and drink; for
there is a sound of abundance of rain."  (1 Kings 18:41) 
Elijah goes up to the top of Carmel.  His patience emerges victor from the trial; his faith has its perfect work.  The showers of blessing come after God's judgment has fallen upon the burnt offering and only after Israel, in presence of this event, has acknowledged the Lord and turned their hearts back to Him.  In our days abundance of rain is sought without the conscience being reached.  This desire can be crowned with but one result.  The rain was not given to Israel until after the work of God had been done for them and in them.  (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 1 King)
N.J. Hiebert # 2982
"I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am,
there ye may be also."  (John 14:2,3) 
- Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
- Our heavenly home is our real estate.
- We can endure this life's trial because of next life's joys.
N.J. Hiebert # 2983
"Arise, shine."  (Isaiah 60:1)
Love must be active, as light must shine.  As someone has said: "A man may hoard up his money; he may bury his talents in a napkin; but there is one thing he cannot hoard up, and that is love."  You cannot bury it.  It must flow out.  It cannot feed upon itself; it must have an object.  (D.L. Moody)
N.J. Hiebert # 2984
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to
God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek Him."  (Hebrews 11:6)
It is tragically true that some men, because of the pride of their countenance, will not seek after Him, and that they banish Him from their thoughts (Psalm 10:4); but the word of God and human experience alike testify that such men live incomplete lives; that to be without Him is to be without hope in the world; that, indeed, without personal knowledge of Him, life is an existence destitute of significance.  "We have been so framed that God alone is the adequate portion of our souls; in Him alone can we find enjoyment for ever.  It was a keen sense of this that drew from one, the oft-quoted exclamation: 'Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our heart hath no rest until it rest in Thee.'  As the eye was formed for the light, the ear for sound, the palate for taste, the intellect for truth, and as these faculties can find pleasure only in their respective objects, so, the soul was formed by God for Himself, and can never know real or abiding enjoyment except in Him."  (George Henderson - Heaven's Cure for Earth's Care")  
N.J. Hiebert # 2985

May 18, 2007 at 23:18 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 11 - 17

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  (Isaiah 40:31)
To wait upon God is to be silent that He may speak, expecting all things from Him, and girded for instant unquestioning obedience to the slightest movement of His will.  That is waiting upon God.  All the spiritual senses alive, alert, expectant; separated unto Him His servant and soldier - waiting.  It is not the waiting of an idler, it is not the waiting of a dreamer.  It is the quiet waiting of one who is girt and ready, One who looks upon life as a battlefield and a sphere for service, who has one Master and but one, to whom he looks for everything, from whom alone he expects anything.  This is waiting upon God according to the Scriptures.  (C.I. Scofield)  
N.J. Hiebert # 2973
"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come."  (1 Corinthians 11:26)
"When blood from a victim must flow,
This Shepherd by pity was led
To stand between us and the foe,
And willingly died in our stead."
If saints on earth had been left to conjure up some method of remembering Him, some might have set up ways that only the rich could keep - as with Mary, whose precious ointment would cost about a year's wages for a workman.  Most of us could not do such a thing.  Caste and society might have entered into it in other cases.  But to take a loaf - that which unbroken reminds us of His body now composed of all true believers on earth, Himself the Head in heaven, and when broken reminds us of His body, the body prepared for Him, in which He suffered on the accursed tree - and thus remember Him in His body given for us is the simple way He ordained.  And to take the cup, that which reminds us of His precious blood that flowed from His wounded side as the cost of our redemption, is blessedly simple and not costly.  (Paul Wilson)
N.J. Hiebert # 2974
"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you." 
(Isaiah 66:13)
    Mother's Day is here and though we attach no spiritual significance to it, it is well that we be reminded of the blessings of godly motherhood.  Is your mother alive?  How long has it been since you found time to visit her?  Today pay a visit to mother - or if the distance is too great, give her a call on the phone.  The cheapest thing one can do is just sending a card written by others.  Why not write a personal letter to her today?  Think of all the sacrifices she has made for you - doing without that you might have!
    A teacher asked little Katie a question in fractions.  She said, "If your mother made a pie and there were ten at the table: father, mother, and eight children, how much of the pie would you get?"  She replied, "One-ninth, teacher. "Don't you mean one-tenth, Katie?  Don't you know your fractions?"  "Yes," said she," I know my fractions - but you don't know my mother.  She would say, I'll do without - I don't care for any tonight."  (Selected)  
No one knows the work it makes  To keep the home together;
Nobody knows the steps it takes,  Nobody knows but mother.
Nobody knows the lessons taught  Of loving one another;
Nobody knows the patience sought, Nobody knows - but MOTHER!
N.J. Hiebert # 2975

"These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)

Flesh ought never to work; your life ought never to be an expression of the flesh, but the obedience of a child.  The youngest child in Christ cannot walk as a father in Christ, but he can walk in the obedience of a child with Christ.  I have the flesh; but if I am in the light practically with God I know all about the flesh; then all that I am is judged.  A child of two years old can be as obedient as a child of twelve years.  It is not a question of age, of strength, but obedience.  We have the pattern of Christ at twelve years old.  He was obedient to His father and mother, and went home with then, being subject unto them.  (J.N. Darby - Nine Lectures on the First Epistle of John) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2976
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with Him in glory."  (Colossians 3:4)  
    The new nature longs, especially in view of the very near coming of the Lord, to be morally more  detached from earth and the things of earth.  What will produce this?
- "Dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world."
- "Risen with Christ."
- Your affection (mind) set "on things above."
- Your life, "Hid with Christ in God."
- The "blessed hope" of His coming.  
- The certain prospect of appearing "with Him in glory"
    These, if anything, will produce that detachment the renewed nature desires.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 20 - 1967)
N.J. Hiebert # 2977
"Then he (Elisha) said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours,even empty vessels; borrow not a few."  (2 Kings 4:3)   
Whatever be the state or condition of the soul - whether it be a question of sorrow, difficulty, or disappointment - the message from God is one and the same.  "Go, borrow thee vessels" - and, mark, it is "empty vessels" - vessels "not a few."  What magnificent grace shines in the words "empty" and "not a few"!
Our vessels must be empty.  God will not pour into a vessel half filled with creature supplies.  In every case, the vessel must be absolutely empty, for only then is it fully manifest that the "oil" has come directly from God Himself.  The word "empty" shuts out the creature.  The words "not a few" leave room for God to come in.  (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2978
"They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and
are at their wit's end."  (Psalm 107:27)
    Wits' end is one of the most frequented stopping places on life's journey.  We reach the end of our resources, our judgment, our calculations, and still no decision seems best or even good.  It can be the fork of the road for either good or bad.  King Jehoshaphat was at wits' end when he said, "We know not what to do," but he was on the way out when he added, "but our eyes are upon Thee."
    It may be declining health, shrinking finances, family trouble, the choice of a trade or profession - you name it - that brings us to our wits' end.  The prodigal son came to wits' end when he came to himself as he fed the swine.  He said, "I will arise and go to my father."
    Wits' end is a good place to start, because our own wits are not so good anyway.  We may acquire knowledge, but wisdom comes from God, and we get that when we ask for it in faith.  When we are a the end of ourselves, there God begins.  We must place ourselves in God's hands without reservation.  We can expect an answer, maybe not what we want, but what glorifies Him
    If you are at your wits' end, cheer up.  It is a great place to start over!  (Vance Havner - Don't Miss your Miracle)
N.J. Hiebert # 2979

May 11, 2007 at 21:20 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 9 - 10

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."  (James 1:6)
There is nothing so heart-searching as the prayer of faith.  It teaches you to discover and confess, and give up everything that hinders the coming of the blessing; everything there may be not in accordance with the Father's will.  It leads to closer fellowship with Him who alone can teach to pray, to a more entire surrender to draw nigh under no covering but that of the blood, and the Spirit.  It calls to a closer and more simple abiding in Christ alone.  (Andrew Murray)
N.J. Hiebert # 2971
"And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
And he cried unto the Lord."  (Exodus 15:24,25)
How much better this than to rebuke the people, or to threaten to throw up his appointment, or to sit down in despondency as utterly out of heart!  The disciples when they had buried John the Baptist, went and told Jesus.  And in all ages the servants of God have been glad to turn from their discouragements and the ingratitude of those for whom they would gladly have laid down their lives, to Him whose heart is open to every moan, and whose love is over all, and through all, and in all. . . .Ah, fellow-workers, let us not carry the burdens of responsibilities arising out of His work.  Our one thought should be to be on His track, and to be living in union with Himself.  We may leave all the rest with Him.  (F.B. Meyer) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2972

May 9, 2007 at 22:51 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 6 - 8

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."  (Ephesians 6:16) 
- There is not a single operation of the Spirit of God, nor a single form of His working, that Satan does not imitate.
- The Spirit and the word of God are sufficient to preserve us from the most dangerous simulations of the truth that Satan may present to our souls.
- We may rest confidently, whatever the present seeming success of the evil one, for "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."
- Satan is never so completely defeated as in his apparent victories.
(Footprints for Pilgrims)
N.J. Hiebert # 2968
"We remember . . .  the leeks."  (Numbers 11:5)
    Leeks, like onions, are mentioned only once in the entire Bible, and then only in association with the fruits of Egypt as contrasted to the heavenly manna.  Leeks, together with the onions, melons, and cucumbers of Numbers 11:5, are symbolic of the works of the flesh and the old nature.  When Moses delivered Israel, they went out of Egypt, but Egypt was not yet OUT of them.  Egypt was still IN them, though they were no longer in Egypt. This is a picture of our salvation.  When we are saved, we do not lose our "old" nature,
but instead we receive a "new" nature, which must ultimately overcome the old.  The Bible nowhere teaches eradication of the old man in this life.  Instead it teaches that every believer has two natures: the old, received by natural birth from father Adam, and the new, received in the new birth by the Spirit of God. 
    Hence there is the struggle for mastery between the two.  Paul tells us "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other" (Galatians 5:17).  Every true born-again believer is conscious of this struggle between the flesh and the Spirit - between the appetite for "leeks" and learning to feed upon the manna. 
    Someone has said,"A man is what he eats."  This is surely true of the believer, for his entire spiritual development depends on his diet, even more than his exercise.  Will you take a careful inventory and seriously examine your spiritual menu for today?  How much time for the word, for prayer, for witnessing?  That's manna for the soul.  And then add up the time you spend in frivolous pursuits, idle talk, questionable entertainment.  Study the long list of "leeks" to be avoided in Colossians 3:5-9: Uncleanness, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, filthy communications, and lyingThe nature you feed is the nature which will be victorious.  (M.R.D. - Bread for Each Day) 
(RBC Ministries, Copyright (1975), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission)
N.J. Hiebert # 2969
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned."  (1 Corinthians 2:14)
How do we read the Bible?  This is a searching question.  If we approach the imperishable Word with the thought of our own competency to discern and understand it, then let it not be surprising if we get nothing from it, or fall into the most grievous errors.  If, on the contrary, the reader, on opening the sacred volume, takes his true place of utter inability to discern the deep things of God, and waits on God to guide and teach him by the Holy Spirit, then he will never be disappointed  and, mixing faith with the Word, will find much profit and blessing.
Again, we may remind ourselves of the tendency to read certain favorite chapters or books, instead of "all scripture"; consequently we do not get a grasp of the scope of the written Word, and are always uncertain as to what the sacred volume really contains.  We are not now referring to the reading of the Scriptures publicly or in the family, but of reading them privately to honour God, to find food and blessing for our souls, as well as intelligence as to how to walk and please God.  (C.H. Macintosh)  
N.J. Hiebert # 2970

May 5, 2007 at 19:22 o\clock

Gems for the Week

May 1 - 5

"Sirs, be of GOOD CHEER: for I believe God,
that it shall be even as it was told me."  (Acts 27:25)
    It really is just that simple.  Do you want to be happy and comforted in the midst of the difficulties that surround you?  The answer is obvious!
    The key is to say I believe God (not circumstances, feelings, or what others think or say).  And how can you know what to believe - how can you know for sure  what God is telling you?  By reading, meditating on and obeying His precious Word in faith.  Remember what the little child said one time about faith? "God said it, that settles it, I believe it"!
    Believe the goodness of God.  Believe the infinite power of God.  Believe the unfathomable love of God.  Believe that He is eagerly waiting for one of His erring children to turn around saying "I have sinned against heaven . . . ." Believe that, "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse from all unrighteousness." Believe and turn in true repentance back to God.  You will be met by your Father who waits now, longing to bring blessing to you.
    Whatever the seemingly hopeless condition of your life which has resulted from sin and self-will, He can and will bring about peace and joy.  Our God is the God of all comfort and hope - the One and the only One who can and will bring light into a dark scene of misery and ruin.  Oh! Do run to Him - do come back to Him - right now!  (The Journey of Life - D.N.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2963
"I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions,
in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 
(2 Corinthians 12:10) 
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.  God hath many sharp-cutting instruments, and rough files for the polishing of His jewels; and those He especially loves, and means to make resplendent, He hath often set His tools upon.  (Submitted by a reader of the "Gems.") 
N.J. Hiebert # 2964
"And when he had come to himself, he said, 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) 
The prodigal found a higher place, and tasted higher communion than ever he had know before.  "The fatted calf" had never been slain for him before.  "The best robe" had never been on him before.  And how was this?  Was it a question of the prodigal's merit?  Oh! no; it was simply a question of the Father's love.  (Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 2965
"Then Jesus beholding him (young man) loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come take 
up thy cross and follow Me.  And he was sad at that saying,
and went away grieved: for he had great possessions" 
(Mark 10:21)
"Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise:
why shoudest thou destroy thyself."  (Ecclesiastes 7:16) 
Self-righteousness. Take heed uprightness proves not a snare to thee.  The young man in the gospel might have been better, had he not been so good.  His honesty and moral uprightness was his undoing, or rather his conceit of them.  Better he had been a publican, driven to Christ in the sense of his sin, than a Pharisee, kept from Him with an opinion of his integrity.  May be thou art honest and upright in thy course.  Bless God for it, but take heed of blessing thyself in it: there is the danger; this is one way of being "righteous over much."  There is undoing in this over-doing, as well as in any under-doing.  (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - Gleanings from the compete work published in 1665
N.J. Hiebert # 2966
"For there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." 
(1 Samuel 14:6)
By many or by few - Jonathan affirms nothing can restrain Jehovah's salvation.  But how about by one?  Consider our Saviour "who when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down."  Nothing could restrain God's Son from going to Calvary.  But in those dark hours at Calvary, as His visage was marred, and the thorn-crowned Son cried in His loneliness, what restrained Jehovah from redirecting judgment to us, the deserving recipients?  Bands of love (Hosea 11)!  By many, by few, or by One, may nothing restrain us from praising that wonderful Man of Calvary.  (David J. Reed)
N.J. Hiebert # 2967 

May 5, 2007 at 19:19 o\clock

Gems for the Week

April 26 - 30

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and His love is perfected in us."  (1 John 4:12) 
You are writing a Gospel, a chapter a day,
By deeds that you do, by words that you say.
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel according to you?"
A great many men never read the Gospel according to Matthew, they never put in any time on the Gospel according to Luke, they never look into the Gospel according to Mark, never weigh the Gospel according to John, but they are reading the gospel according to you, and weighing you; they are watching you, listening to what you say, observing what you do, and getting their ideas of Christ and their ideas of God from what they see in you.  (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 2958
"I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."  (Hebrews 13:5) 
    There is a legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage.
    His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.
    He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.  He cannot cry out for help to anyone.  Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
    He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.  The boy is naturally terrified.  He can hear all kinds of noises.  Wild beasts must surely be all around him.  Maybe even
some human might do him harm.  The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold.  it would be the only way he could become a man!
    Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.  He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
    We, too, are never alone.  Even when we don't know it, God,  our Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us.  When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to HIM.  (Submitted by a reader of the "Gems")
N.J. Hiebert # 2959
"And he (prodigal son) arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry."  (Luke 15:20-24)      
The extent of Christ's love for those given Him by the Father, the Father alone can understand.  Look at the prodigal - what a pitiable object! and yet there he is in the father's arms, all the expression of the father's love put on him, all the joy of the house flowing out in response to the gladness of the father's heart.  What did the prodigal bring?  Nothing save the marks of misery.  Starvation and rags.  The angels did not understand God's mercy till then.  They could not know it till Christ became man.  When they saw the Babe lying in the manger, they knew that Babe to be the eternal God from off the throne.  And it was only by the church that they learnt the manifold wisdom of God.  (Gleanings - G.V.Wigram) 
N.J. Hiebert # 2960
"A merry hear doeth good like a medicine."  (Proverbs 17:22)
"A time to weep and a time to laugh."  (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
God means us to be happy; His fills the short-lived years
With loving, tender mercies - With smiles as well as tears. 
A close friend of mine, who is now with the Lord, was endowed with a great sense of humor.  We know that humor used ill-advisedly can hurt and be counter-productive.  However, my friend used it to alleviate many a problem between the Lord's people, often at the expense of himself.  A little smile and laugh can be such a blessing, an uplift to the heart, not to mention the testimony of joy it witnesses to the world.  How many of the saints miss that God-given medicine?  Try to pass on a smile today.  (Brian Russell)
N.J. Hiebert # 2961
"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth."
(Isaiah 40:25,26)
A businessman with a keen mind once wrote, "It takes a girl in our factory about two days to learn to put the seventeen parts of a meat chopper together.  There may be those who say that these millions of worlds, each with its separate orbit, all balanced so wonderfully in space, just happened - that by a billion years of tumbling about they finally arranged themselves. I am merely a manufacturer of cutlery,  but this I know, that you can shake the seventeen parts of a meat chopper around in a washtub for the next seventeen billion years, and you will never have a meat chopper."  (Dr. J.M. - TCN - July/ August 1990)
N.J. Hiebert # 2962