Bible Gems

Jul 28, 2007 at 16:47 o\clock

Gems for the Week

July 23 - 29

"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."  (Galatians 5:9) 
    We couldn't figure it out.  My son and I had purchased an old powerboat for fishing and couldn't make it run properly.  We were unable to get it up to speed, and it shuddered when we tried to go faster.  We figured that the trouble was with the fuel system, so we adjusted the carburetor and changed the fuel filter.  But still didn't solve the problem.
    When we took the boat out of the water, my son found the cause of the trouble.  One of the propellers fins had a 3/4-inch nick in it.  That can't be it, I thought.  That nick is too small.  But when we installed a new propeller, what a difference it made!  We had been slowed down by a tiny nick.
    A similar problem is often at work in our lives as Christians.  Sinful practices in Galatians 5:16-21 have their root in the seemingly insignificant thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Matthew 5:28; 15:18-19).  If we ignore or tolerate these "little" sins, they will eventually grow, corrupting more of our thoughts and actions - even harming people around us.  Just as a little yeast leavens a whole lump of dough (Galatians 5:9), so also a "little" sin can eventually weaken our service for Christ and His ministry.
Remember, little nicks can cause big trouble. (Dave Enger) 
One little sin, what harm can it do?
Give it free reign and soon there are two.
Then sinful deeds and habits ensue -
Guard well your thoughts, lest they destroy you. - D. DeHaan
(Submitted by a reader of the "Gems" in Queensland - Aug. 7, 2003)
N.J. Hiebert # 3044
"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."  (Psalm 34:18)
God uses broken things.  It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to produce rain, broken grain to give bread and broken bread to give strength.  It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.  Not only that, God also mends broken things.  He loves those with a contrite heart and a broken spirit.  He restores them with His love.  (Gems for the Singing Pilgrims)
N.J. Hiebert # 3045
"And one cried unto another and said,
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:
the whole earth is full of His glory."  (Isaiah 6:3)
A boy went with his father to the zoo.  He became so interested in the monkeys that he refused to look at the beautiful birds, the graceful deer, or the powerful buffalo.  When he returned home, he could talk only of the monkeys.  Is it possible that we can go through life looking at so many trinkets and toys that we never notice God or His many blessings?
Two men were looking at the sea -
But one saw only quantity.
The other soul was filed with awe,
The handiwork of God is what he saw.
  And then the singing of a bird -
A noise is all the first one heard.
The other felt uplifted all day long,
And loved the Lord more dearly for the song.
Eyes see when opened by His touch,
And ears unstopped can hear so much.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)
N.J. Hiebert # 3046
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called
the children of God."  (Matthew 5:9)
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for
peace."  (Romans 14:19)
- First, keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to make peace among others.
- A peaceful man doth more good than he that is well learned.
- A passionate man draweth even good into evil, and easily believeth the worst.
- A good and peaceable man turneth all things to good.
- He that is in peace is not suspicious of any.  But he that is discontented and troubled is tossed with divers suspicions; he is neither quiet himself, nor suffereth others to be quiet.
- If thou wilt thyself be borne with, bear also with another
(Thomas A. Kempis - 1902)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3047
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." 
(Psalm 23 :6) 
    Thus "goodness" is manifested in the provision of One Who ever lives to intercede; while "mercy" follows us to remove entirely all traces of those sad footprints which we make when, through unwatchfulness, we go astray.
    A servant of the Lord once asked an artist if he could paint a picture of an Eastern shepherd, and the artist replied that he could.  "And can you paint the sheep which follow the shepherd?"  "Yes, I can."  "And can you paint the goodness and mercy which follow the sheep?" was the next query; to which the artist had to reply that that was quite beyond him.  It reminds one of the aged Christian, who, after fifty years' experience of the goodness of God, said that if she had raised a stone of remembrance every time the Lord had helped her, she would have built a solid wall fifty years in length. ("Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, hitherto hath the Lord helped us."1 Samuel 7:12)   (The Pearl of Psalms - George Henderson)
N.J. Hiebert # 3048
"Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more."  (Nahum 1:12) 
    There is a limit to affliction.  God sends it, and removes it.  Do you sigh and say, "When will the end be?"  Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He cometh.  Our Father takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served.
    If the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the Lord has made us bear witness to His praise.
    We would not wish the affliction to depart until God has gotten out of us all the honour which we can possibly yield Him.
    There may be today "a great calm."  Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves?
    After long tribulation, the flail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner.  We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful.
    It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day.  He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies.  Let us be of good cheer.  It is better farther on.  Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation.  (C.H. Spurgeon)
N.J. Hiebert # 3049
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they now not what they do." 
"And he (the malefactor) said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou
comest into Thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee,
To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise."   (Luke 23:34,42,43)
It is with a dying Christ that we find grace and deliverance.  A sigh sent up to Him is enough that one can be freed from the enemy who is oppressing us.  This salvation is offered to the most wretched, to the most unworthy, who may thus become an instrument of deliverance for others.  What an honour and what a privilege!  But the heart's natural unbelief paralyzes the action of the Spirit and reduces all God's good will towards man to nothing.  As long as we allow ourselves to be directed by the Word in every movement we must make, success is assured to us; once the least thing is left to our responsibility, we grind to a halt and thus thwart the Lord's plans of grace.    (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on the Second Book of Kings) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3050

Jul 21, 2007 at 17:43 o\clock

Gems for the Week

July 16 - 22

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."  (Romans 8:22)  "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."  (Romans 8:19)
There is no question whether this world in the end is to be a place of blessing.  It will eventually be abundantly blessed.  But God alone will bless it.  It is folly for men to attempt to bless it.  Six thousand years of fruitless effort have told them that they cannot do it.  The world has rejected Christ and is judged in consequence, though execution of judgment may be stayed in the long-suffering mercy of God.  "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:22)  There will be no blessing to the world until the "manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19)  (Christian Truth - Vol. 13 -1962)
N.J. Hiebert # 3037
"The heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not show me which of us isfor the king of Israel?  And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber."  (2 Kings 6:11,12)     
Seeing his plans continually foiled, the king of Syria suspected treachery in his court, for the idea of God and of His intervention -- does not even occur to him.  The world always thinks this way.  It attributes all the events of life to second causes rather than seeing the hand of God in them.  One of the king's servants, more alert than his king to the true state of affairs, opens his eyes.  Generally discernment and spiritual understanding diminish with a man's elevation, and those that should have the most interest in knowing the truth are those who know it the least.  (H.L. Rossier - Meditations on 2 Kings)
"Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  Thou compassest (discerns) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether."  (Psalm 139:2-4) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3038
"He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man inthe name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward."  (Matthew 10:40,41)  
He proves that his own heart is right with God.  We show our real state of soul by the opinion we pronounce.  Supposing I speak or act unwarrantably against a good man doing his duty, I show that I am not with God in that particular thing.  On the other hand, if I have faith to discern what is of God, and to take my part with him in the face of general desertion, happy am I indeed.  God alone enables a man to do so.  We show where our hearts are by our judgments of and conduct toward others.  (William Kelly - Matthew)
N.J. Hiebert # 3039
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.  And, let every one that nameth  the name of Christ depart from iniquity."  (2 Timothy 2:19)
In God's faithfulness lies eternal security.  I once asked my father what predestination was.  He answered, "The ground on which I build my faith is not in me, but in the faithfulness of God."  (Corrie Ten Boom - This Day is the Lord's)
N.J. Hiebert # 3040
"And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel."  (Nehemiah 8:1)
This chapter contains the key to providing delight and satisfaction for children dwelling in the protected, separated Christian home.  In materially well favoured Western lands - especially the North American continent - the world presents very much to attract the hearts of our children.  Parents who have built a moral wall and gates for their home - keeping the world out - must also be careful that such an environment supplies joy and satisfaction for their children.  Otherwise they will begin looking to the world to discover what ought to be provided for them within their home.  The key for preventing this is simple and wonderful - your personal daily delight in, and the reverent reading of, the precious Word of God - as a family - as one.  Don't read the Word of God in the spirit of something you have to do - but in the spirit of "How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth." (Psalm 119:103)   (TCS - June 2005)
N.J. Hiebert # 3041
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ."  (2 Peter 3:18) 
One frequently observes this in the history of Christians; the evils which in after life prove their greatest snares are those against which there is the greatest watchfulness at first.  Most happy is it when the spirit of watchfulness increases with our increasing knowledge of the tendencies and capabilities of our hearts.  But this is not always the way: on the contrary, how frequently do we find Christians of some years' standing indulging in the things which at first their consciences would have shrunk from.  This may seem to be but a growing out of a legal spirit; but should it not rather be viewed as a growing our of a tender and sensitive conscience?  To grow in the knowledge of truth is to grow in the knowledge of God, and to grow in the knowledge of God is to grow in practical holiness.  The conscience that can let pass without reproof things from which it would formerly have shrunk is, it is much to be feared, instead of being under the action of the truth of God, under the hardening influence of the deceitfulness of sin.  (C.H. Mackintosh)    
N.J. Hiebert # 3042
"John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this
Man (Jesus) were true."  (John 10:41)
    You may be very discontented with yourself.  You are no genius, have no brilliant gifts, and are inconspicuous for any special faculty.  Mediocrity is the law of your existence.  Your days are remarkable for nothing but sameness and insipidity.  Yet you may live a great life.
    John did no miracle, but Jesus said that among those born of women there had not appeared a greater than he.   
    John's main business was to bear witness to the Light, and this may be yours and mine.  John was content to be only a voice, if men would think of Christ.
    Be willing to be only a voice, heard but not seen; a mirror whose surface is lost to view, because it reflects the dazzling glory of the sun; a breeze that springs up just before daylight, and says, "The dawn! the dawn!" and then dies away.  (George Matheson - submitted by Richard K. (Dick) Gorgas - Feb. 24, 2001)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3043

Jul 14, 2007 at 17:00 o\clock

Gems for the Week

July 11 - 15

"I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He
is able to keep that which I have committed unto
him against that day."  (2 Timothy 1:12)
Now Lord, I give myself to Thee,
I would be wholly thine;
As Thou hast given Thyself to me,
And Thou art wholly mine;
O take me, seal me for Thine own,
Thine altogether, Thine alone.
(Frances Ridley Havergal - Kept for the Master's Use)
N.J. Hiebert # 3032
"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect
in weakness."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The father does not give to his son at school enough money to last him several years, but, as the bills of tuition and board and clothing and books come in, pays them.  So God will not give you grace all at once for the future, but will meet all your exigencies as they come.  (T. De Witt Talmage - Born 1832)
N.J. Hiebert # 3033
"And Jesus said . . . Give ye them to eat.  And they say, We have but five loaves . . . He saith, Bring them to me."  (Matthew 14:16-18)
He might have turned the stones to bread, Who once had
made the water wine,
Or called the manna down from heaven  To show His power divine;
But, "Give ye them to eat," He said, And took His servants' little store;
Though scarce enough for one it seemed,  He blessed and made it more.
And so He let them share with Him  His joy, His work of feeding men,
And all they gave Him He returned  A thousand-fold again.
Here in the wilderness to-day  The starving nations wait for bread;
And still He saith, "Give ye to them  And let the world be fed."
What matter though our loaves be few?  Alike the little and the much
When He shall add to what we have  His multiplying touch.
(Annie Johnson Flint - Best Loved Poems)
N.J. Hiebert # 3034
"And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."  (1 John 3:19-21)
To have a good conscience, we must keep the conscience pure.  Paul exercised himself to have in everything a conscience without offense toward God and man.  When we have grieved the Holy Spirit, we do not feel the love of God in the same way.  A conscience defiled cannot be at its ease before God; and when God enters, there are dark corners that one hides from Him.  it is impossible then to have that perfect confidence in reasoning with God as a friend.  If we have beforehand the sense of our feebleness, we shall be forced to seek strength in God.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 15 - 1962)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3035
"One of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith
came there out blood and water."  (John 19:34)
God forbid that a word should be said to obscure that blood, or to turn a soul from its justifying value.  But out of the Lord's side flowed water and blood, and we need both.  The blood atones, the water purifies; and as the blood abides shed and efficacious once for all, in contrast with the ineffectual and many sacrifices of the Jews, the washing of water by the Word is not only applied at the first but is needed to purge all through.  Where this is not seen, confusion follows, and the enfeebling, if not destruction, of fundamental truth.  (William Kelly) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3036

Jul 9, 2007 at 06:46 o\clock

Gems for the Week

July 5 - 10

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."  (Ephesians 2:1)
"We . . . shall be caught up . . . in the clouds, to meet
the Lord in the air." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
The air is Satan's sphere, so the believer being "caught up," raptured, is a triumphal gathering in open defiance of the devil right in his own stronghold.  Think of what is included in these verses (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)!  The earth and the sea yielding up the dust of all dead in Christ.  Then the transforming miracle by which this dust is formed into glorified bodies, free forever from sickness, pain and death.  Then the space-flight to heaven.  And all of this in the twinkling of an eye! (1 Corinthians 15:52)  (Christian Newsletter)
N.J. Hiebert # 3026
"I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5,6)
Repentance is the judgment of my sin that I have in the light of love, and grace known.  Remorse is produced by viewing the sin in the light only of its probable results.  Repentance begets  hope, remorse leads only to despair.   Repentance leads the soul back to God, remorse drives it to deeper sin, and further into Satan's hands.  This is all illustrated in the consequent pathway of Peter and Judas.  Judas, who did not know what grace was, went out and, in remorse over this consummate wickedness, hanged himself; Peter, who did know what grace was, and who knew better than ever then how deeply the Lord loved him, went our and wept bitterly.  (Wolston)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3027
"For I am in a strait (between) two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. "  (Philippians 1:23)   
If I stay here, Christ gains.  If I am called to leave the body, I gain.  (Food for the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 3028
". . . two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he (Moses) said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said . . . intendest thou to kill me as thou killest the Egyptian?" 
(Exodus 2:13)
"Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou (Moses) mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.  And Moses said unto God, Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh . . ."
(Exodus 3:10,11) 
Forty years of wilderness life are sure to make grave changes in men and things.  (Selected)   
N.J. Hiebert # 3029
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. . . ."
(Genesis 1:27,28)
    What sweet and cherished thoughts are awakened in the mind, and what chords of affection are touched in the human bosom by that sweet word, "Home."  And even more endearing is the memory of the "Christian Home" to those who have had the wonderful privilege of such a centre where God was reverenced and acknowledged.
    The home was established by God, and is His mind for mankind.  When God made Adam and Eve and joined them together in holy matrimony, charging them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, He instituted the first human family and home.
    The family unit is that upon which the whole human social structure rests.  And the home, the dwelling-place of the family, be it but a hut or a mansion, is the fortification and defense of the community.  Thus it is often said, "The home is the bulwark of the nation."  Upon it the whole fabric of civilization rests.  If it goes the nation goes; for the nation is but a unit of individuals welded together in family relationship.  The importance of the home and of home-life according to the thoughts of God is thus readily seen. (R.K. Campbell - The Christian Home) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3030
"I (Jesus) am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world.  Amen."
(Matthew 28:20)
May we know what it is to have Jesus to take care of us, and produce a great calm, whatever may be the effect of the stirring up of Satan's power against us.  The Lord give us to look at Jesus.  If it be from our first knowledge of sin to our last trial in this world, it is all a question of whether I trust in myself or in the Lord.  (William Kelly - Gospel of Matthew)
N.J. Hiebert # 3031

Jul 4, 2007 at 17:12 o\clock

Gems for the Week

June 28 - July 4

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." 
(Matthew 5:7) 
    There is nothing on which God more takes His stand (as the active principle of His being in a world of sin) than His mercy.  The only possibility of salvation to a single soul is that there is mercy in God; that He is rich in mercy; that there is no bound to His mercy; that there is nothing in man, if he only bows to His Son, which can hinder His constant flowing spring of mercy.
    It is not only a question of the forgiveness of their sins, but of mercy in everything.  It is a blessed thing to hail the smallest sign of mercy in the saints, to take the little, and look for much more.
    They will find, not that there is not difficulty and trial, but that though they shall know the cost of it, they shall know the sweetness of it; they shall taste afresh what the mercy of God is towards their own souls, in the exercise of mercy towards others.  (William Kelly - Lectures on Matthew)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3019
"If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." 
(Galatians 2:21) 
    The Epistle to the Galatians is God's answer to this teaching of Christ AND something else.
    In our day this teaching is most common.  Even as I write a friend has put a book in my hands. . . .  This book boldly teaches that salvation is only by the death of Christ AND the Ten Commandments.  This is the teaching of the false teachers at Galatia, and God says to all such "Cursed be he!" (Galatians 3:10)  How many preachers and  teachers in China,* some even true Christian men, tell their hearers to "Believe in Christ AND keep the law!"  "Believe in Christ, AND do the best you can!"  "Believe in Christ AND Do something besides."  A friend told me only last week, "I try to keep the law to be saved, AND I trust Christ to forgive me for the times I break it."
    God says to such teachers, "Cursed be he!"  Again let me repeat: this is the devil's way of salvation.  This ends in the lake of fire.  God's way of salvation is this: CHRIST, and CHRIST aloneChrist has done all the work"It is finished!"  There is nothing left for me to do, but accept it, and give thanks to God.  (G.C. Willis - Meditations on Galatians)
(*Mr. Willis was a missionary to China)
N.J. Hiebert # 3020
"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." 
(Proverbs 4:23)
    We must be right ourselves, in our own inner lives, if we would be right towards others.  What I am when alone in the presence of God is what I really am.  What I am before my fellows should be the outcome of this, otherwise my public life will be largely a sham.  (H.A. Ironside - Colossians)
N.J. Hiebert # 3021
"Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee?  In tithes and offerings."  (Malachi 3:8)
If I do not get what is mine in spiritual things, I will not give God what is His in spiritual things.  If I fail to enjoy my portion, I will not give God His portion. . . You say perhaps in your inmost heart, if I am not enjoying the highest kind of spiritual life, it is my own fault, it is my own loss.  No, it is God's loss.  He is the loser.  What He craves from you is the obedience and worship of a heart which is so full of His blessing that it has got to express itself in worship and service.  No, you are not the chief sufferer, not the chief loser.  Our blessed God is the loser.  "Will a man rob God?"  (S. Ridout - Lectures on the Book of Judges)
N.J. Hiebert # 3022
"I have called you friends."  (John 15:15)
Who has not longed for an ideal and yet a real friend - one who should exactly understand us, to whom we could tell everything, and in whom we could altogether confide - one who should be very wise and very true - one of whose love and unfailing interest we could  be certain?  There are other points for which we could not hope - that this friend should be very far above us, and yet the very nearest and dearest, always with us, always thinking of us; always doing kind and wonderful things for us; undertaking and managing  everything; forgetting nothing, failing in nothing; quite certain never to change and never to die - so that this one grand friendship should fill our lives, and that we never need trouble about anything for ourselves any more.  Such is our Royal Friend, and more; for no human possibilities of friendship can illustrate what He is to those to whom He says, "Ye are my friends."  We, even we, may look up to our glorious King, our Lord and our God, and say, "This is my beloved, and this is my Friend!"  And then we, even we, may claim the privilege of being the King's companion and the King's friend. (Frances Ridley Havergal - Opened Treasures)    
N.J. Hiebert # 3023
"Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." 
(Psalm 119:11)
    This, truly, is a wise and safe thing to do.  Let us ponder it.  Let us understand it.  Let us imitate it.
1. What have I hid?  "Thy Word."  It is not man's word, but the Word of God, that liveth and abideth for ever.  This is the thing to hide.  It is a treasure worth hiding.  No thief can steal it, no moth corrupt it.  It increases by being hidden in the way here spoken of.  We cannot set too high a value upon the Word of God.  So the psalmist thought when he "hid" it.  This expression sets forth how intensely he prized the Word.  "I have hid it."  He placed it out of the reach of every one and every thing that could deprive him of it.  May we ponder it - may we understand it - may we imitate it!
2. Where have I hid it?  "In my heart."  It was not in his head or in his intellect: but in his heart - the seat of his affections - the center of his moral being - the source of all the influences that swayed his entire career.
3. Why have I hid it?  For a very weighty reason - a most important reason.  "That I might not sin against Thee."  It was not that he might have a rich fund of new ideas to talk about and show off upon.  Nor yet was it that he might be able to confound in argument all his opposers, and silence them. . . .  He had a horror of sin - a holy horror; He knew that the most effectual safeguard against sin was the Word of God.  (The Young Christian - Vol. 3)    
N.J. Hiebert # 3024
"Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification." 
(Romans 15:2)
Maturity is the stage in life when you don't see eye to eye but can walk arm in arm.
N.J. Hiebert # 3025