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