Bible Gems

Nov 28, 2007 at 18:29 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 29 - 30

"So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
'Simon, son of Jonas lovest thou Me more than these?'"  (John 21:15)
The moment the Lord seized for this question appears to carry a great lesson for us.  Supposing a brother gets astray, and backslides a little, do you know the way to restore him?  Would you go and tell him he has slipped away?  That will not do him much good.  Very likely if you were to say to him "Brother, come and have a cup of tea with me," and then talk to him about the Lord, that would help him.  What had the seven disciples been up to till now?  Cold and hungry; out all night they had caught nothing, and were disappointed.  What does the Lord do?  He says, "Come and dine."  They get both warmth and food.  Do you know a spiritually cold and, consequently, hungry brother?  Feed him, warm him up.  Give him food, spiritually I mean.  The great thing for you and me to do is to warm him.  He wants cherishing and nourishing, warmth and food.  It is always thus put in Scripture.  "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church" (Ephesians 5:29).  What is the nourishing?  Food.  What is the cherishing?  Warmth.  (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3172
"Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in (love),
in spirit, in faith, in purity."  (1 Timothy 4:12)
We can present Christ to the hearts of men in our lives as well as by our words.  We may not be able to explain a single passage of scripture, but we can live Christ.  You may teach a Sunday school, or visit among the poor, and that is all right and good, but there is something far better - live Christ, present Christ.  (Edward Dennett)
N.J. Hiebert # 3173

Nov 26, 2007 at 18:52 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 26 - 28

"Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. 
And He said, 'Come.'"  (Matthew 14:28-29)
It's a little more comfortable to stay, but if you're going to walk on water, you'll need to get out of the boat.  Our life storms arise suddenly and without warning.  Grief, depression, failures and family trouble tend to keep us cowering in the boat.  Step onto the water; Jesus will be there with you; He will not let you sink.  Peter may have failed that night, but the others didn't even try.  Success had nothing to do with Peter and sinking had nothing to do with the storm.  By faith we too can walk on the roughest waters of life.  (R.M.B.) 
He didn't bring us this far to leave us,
He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown.
He didn't lift you up to let you down.
(J. CLEVELAND)
N.J. Hiebert # 3169
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  (Hebrews 10:31)
    The fact is that God is a God of love - He is love, and has so loved the world as to give His Son.  And what has man done?  Spat in His face and crucified Him, mocking Him as He died.  Is this a small sin?  But people today may say, We did not do that.  Yet each one has taken sides either for Christ or against Him.
    The proudest will must bow.  It is no use "to kick against the pricks." (Acts 9:5) 
    No one need be lost in hell, for God has provided a Saviour for all.  Only man must bow, repent, and believe the gospel.  Saul of Tarsus had to yield and own that he was the chief of sinners, though outwardly his was a blameless life.
    The only place we can adequately measure sin is at the cross of Christ.  By comparing ourselves with one another we get very poor ideas of what sin is.  The greatest crime that could be committed was the murder of the Son of God, and we must remember that each one of us belongs to a world that has cast God out of it when He came in grace and love.
    All the human reasoning as to the inconsistency between a few years of sin and everlasting punishment is folly.  The fact is, men love sin and hate Christ more than they fear hell.  (A.H. Barry)
N.J. Hiebert # 3170
"Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
The labouring and the heavy laden are called to hearken to the most touching, gracious, winning word, "Come!"  Every weary, burdened heart, every crushed and broken spirit is invited to come to Jesus, who alone is able and willing - willing as He is able, and able as He is willing - to give rest.  What a soothing word is "rest!"  How it falls upon the poor heart like showers upon the parched and thirsty ground!  (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - September 1970) 
N.J. Hebert # 3171

Nov 23, 2007 at 21:10 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 23 - 25

"But he that received one (talent) went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money."  (Matthew 25:18)
 
    A Christian once said to John Wesley. "My talent is to speak my mind."  "Well, brother," replied the great preacher, "The lord would not mind if you buried that talent."
    "Speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) is much better.  (TCN - 1983)
 
N.J. Hiebert # 3166

"Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave." 
(Song of Solomon 8:6)
 
Does death take a strong hold of its victim?  Oh, how strong! - what a hold! - such is the strength  - the hold of the Saviour's love.  Think of the grasp - the hold which death takes - think of the almighty grasp,  the eternal hold of the Saviour's love.  The similitude is appalling - overwhelming - the reality, consoling, comforting, refreshing, and strengthening, beyond all measure.  Oh! the deep, vast, profound, immeasurable, untraceable, glories of the Saviour's love!  - No Equal  (Selected)
 
N.J. Hiebert # 3167

"Think on these things."  (Philippians 4:8)
 
- The age of responsibility is when we put our own will in opposition to God's will.
 
- If we're honest with ourselves, what we want is our own way - and our own way is what always gets us into trouble.  The blessing comes from God's will.
 
- The worst thing that could happen, once we're saved, is to be allowed to go our own way.  We are always in His sovereign will; let us seek to be in His directive will.
 
- God always desires grace and peace for His family.  Peace is always in the measure in which we understand and appreciate grace.
 
- There can be no communion without self-judgment, and no worship without communion.
 
- Holiness is the abhorrence of evil, with delight in good.  (Things to Think About - Sep-Oct. 1983)
 
N.J. Hiebert # 3168

Nov 20, 2007 at 18:59 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 18 - 22

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
(2 Corinthians 8:9)
    Time is short, remember "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich" (in all the glory which He had with the Father before the world was), "yet for your sakes He became poor" (even to the shedding His precious blood on Calvary's cross to make us His own and fit us for Himself), "that ye through His poverty might be rich."  (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3161
"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God,
and into the patient waiting for Christ."  (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
There are two things which constitute the joy of a Christian. The first is the hope of the coming of the Lord; the second is present communion and fellowship with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.  And these two cannot be separated without loss to our souls, for we cannot have all the profit without both of them.  If we are not looking for the coming of the Lord, there is nothing whatever that can separate us in the same way from this present evil world; neither will Christ Himself be so much the object before the soul; nor yet shall we be able, in the same measure, to apprehend the mind and counsels of God about the world.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 14 - February 1991)
N.J. Hiebert # 3162
"Why have I found grace in thine eyes,
that thou shouldest take knowledge of me,
seeing I am a stranger?"  (Ruth 2:10)
These words of Ruth, a Gentile stranger, long ago, could be repeated by any Christian believer today.  Like Ruth, a woman who by nature had no claims on God's covenant with Israel, so we were partakers of Adam's fallen nature, but now we have been brought near to God.  Best of all, she came to know and love Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, and hence was overcome with thankfulness.  When we consider that we too have been redeemed by Christ's saving grace, when many all around us are perishing, we might exclaim, "Why have I found grace in Thy sight?"  (Robert Steele)
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
N.J. Hiebert # 3163
"Aristarcus my fellow prisoner."  (Colossians 4:10)
Aristarchus - "my fellow prisoner,"  He had endured hardship for Christ.  He knew what it was to suffer for Christ.  He had identified himself with a man of God.  At the close of his own life, Paul said, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."  Those wounds and scars that Paul had in his body showed that he had suffered for Christ.  Aristarchus had the honour of sharing some of those sufferings for his Lord and Master.  Folks, that is a privilege.  If we suffer, we are going to reign.  Have you ever had the privilege of suffering for Christ?  I wonder if we try to avoid it. Oh, remember, "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake."  Shame on us if we seek to avoid that path.  Shame on us if we keep our mouths closed when we should speak.  Shame on us if we would rather not be associated with those who are godly, if we are ashamed to be characterized as a saint.  (C.H. Brown) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3164
"Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which
he seemeth to have."  (Luke 8:18) 
A man's heart reveals itself, no matter how concealed.  "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" - for in the heart the revelation of Christ when it hits the conscience,  creates turmoil until reconciled.  The Spirit of God in us requires us to be doing God's plan not just what we think should be done.  Sometimes we bury ourselves with activity instead of listening and waiting for instructionSometimes we sit still under the guise of waiting in our laziness and ignore His commands for action.  The Lord keeps accurate accounts and rewards accordingly.  (B.R)
N.J. Hiebert # 3165

Nov 10, 2007 at 16:44 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 15 - 17

"Thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, . . ."  (Deuteronomy 28:14)
"Observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant
commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to
the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever
thou goest."  (Joshua 1:7)
    "Right" and "left" are words that have come into common usage to describe politicians and governments in this day of ideological conflicts.  Those who lean to the right are those who favor the rights of the individual, while those who go to the left are those who favor state socialism. . . .
   
    Christians may also become extremists in their thinking and practice.  They may turn to the right hand or to the left from that pathway which God has marked out in His Word.  Now God does not want us to become "rightists" or "leftists," for neither is according to His mind.  He knew the tendencies of the human heart and warned Israel four times in Deuteronomy and twice in Joshua, not to turn to the right hand or to the left from all that was enjoined.
   It is needful that we should take heed to all the Word of God if we are to be in the ordered path.  What heresies! what divisions! have come into the Church on earth through stressing one-sided truth.  When part of the truth is emphasized at the expense of the rest, it can become positive error.
    The Lord Jesus said to the Father, "Sanctify them through Thy truth [not just a part of it]: Thy word is truth." (John 17:17)
    May the spirit of our hearts be, Lord, "show me now Thy way," and, Lord, "where wilt Thou?"  Then we shall  be neither "rightists" nor "leftists."  (Paul Wilson) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3158
"That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement
of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in Whom
are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." 
(Colossians 2:2,3)  
Faith takes God's Word and locks it up in the very innermost chamber of the heart, and there it remains as hid treasure.  The happy possessor of this treasure is rendered thoroughly independent of the world.  (Extract)
N.J. Hiebert # 3159
"Let the words of my mouth . . . be acceptable."  (Psalm 19:14)
God is in the business of speaking to the world.  Is God able to speak through me?  In telecommunications, there may be some sort of blockage or possible  interruption, and so the message cannot get through.  Likewise, in divine things, if there is sin in the life, the message of Christ does not get through.  Our psalm presents two tests to avoid this situation. First of all, is my mouth matching my heart?  That's courage.  And two, is my life matching my mouth?  That's consistency.  If I am able to pass these two tests, then I will be used by God fully and effectively as He speaks through me.  (Craig Funston)
N.J. Hiebert # 3160

Nov 7, 2007 at 17:36 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 8 - 14

"Now the end of the commandment is (love) out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." 
(1 Timothy 1:5)
    When you set sail on the high seas, you need to know three important facts: your location, your destination, and your course.  By referring to a map and using a compass, you can end up where you want to go.
    The hard part comes in determining where you are at any given moment.  Foul weather (strong wind, high waves, and limited visibility) creates conditions that can sometimes confuse sailors.  I heard about some one who set out across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Grand Haven.  After sailing for two hours, trusting his own sense of direction, he spotted a large city on the horizon - Milwaukee!  Somehow, thinking he was headed east, he had gone in a huge circle.
    How does a follower of Christ stay on course and avoid spiritual shipwreck?  Paul wrote of the importance of holding on to "faith and a good conscience."  (1 Timothy 1:19)  We can do that by carefully reading and following the directions in God's Word, depending on the Spirit's leading and moment-by moment help, and listening to the wise counsel of concerned Christian friends.
    How are you doing?  Are you on course or in danger of ship wreck?  Determine right now to live in faith and holiness, staying on course until you are safely Home.  (DCE)   
When you rely upon the Lord
To show you what to do,
He will incline your heart and mind,
To choose His course for you.
(DJD)
To stay on course, Trust the compass of God's word.
Our Daily Bread Ministries, RBC Ministries, Copyright (1999), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission
N.J. Hiebert # 3151
"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."  (1 John 1:5)
    It is a solemn statement which shows the necessary exclusion of evil from His presence.  The cross is the measure of this.  There we see His awful abhorrence of sin when He abandons His own Son, and commands the sword to awake against Him as made sin for us.  Abandoned of God on that cross, the suffering Victim was overwhelmed in darkness, in unfathomable sorrow, left to drink the cup of God's wrath against sin.  That bitter cry of anguish, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" shows the utter impossibility of the darkness mingling with the light, or of sin having a place in the presence of God.
    All this is unspeakably solemn if we look at the flesh or the old nature and what flows from it; and yet it is unspeakably blessed when we realize that we are in the Son, and that our life is in Him.  We are brought to God in Christ"As He is, so are we in this world."  (A.H. Rule) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3152
"When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto Him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They said, Seven. And He said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?"  (Mark 8:19-21)   
When the multitude was greater and the supply less, they had twelve large baskets of fragments; and, on the other hand, when the multitude was less and the supply greater, they had only seven small baskets.  The greater the demand, and the deeper the need, the more the magnificence of divine grace shines out.  Eternal and universal homage to the peerless name of our adorable Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!  (C.H. Macintosh)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3153
"That ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." 
(Colossians 4:12)
Moon Contrasts
They ascended - then descended.
Our Lord descended first.  Now He has ascended back to glory.
They glorified man by accomplishing this great feat.
Our Lord glorified God by accomplishing the great work of redemption.
They picked up samples to bring to earth.
Our Lord picked up samples (us) to bring to glory.
They walked - sinners - on the MOON.
Our Lord walked (the sinless ONE) on the earth.
They were provided with uniforms - $300,000 each.
Our Lord has provided us with ROBES of righteousness.
Garments of Salvation. Cost? - no one knows or ever shall.
He paid the price in full. Blessed be His Name.
They went to the MOON - knowing not what they would find.
Our Lord came to earth, knowing full well what HE would FIND -
"A treasure hid in a field," "A pearl of great price."
Their wives were waiting for them on their return to earth.
His BRIDE is waiting for Him from heaven.
On the MOON - they were dependent on men below on earth.
On earth - we are dependent on the MAN in the glory.
It took them four days to reach the MOON.
"In a moment" we shall be "translated" to the "third heaven."
Praise the Lord.
(E.W.W.)
N.J. Hiebert # 3154
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:
for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."  (1 Peter 5:5)   
If we resent authority and do not bow to the Word of God  by leading "a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty," we will find that God will speak to us.  If a person accepts the word of one in authority only when it coincides with his own thoughts, then there is no authority.  Authority implies that our will is kept passive.  We have the authority of the Word of God, and we are called to bow to it.   (F.F.A)
N.J. Hiebert # 3155
"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." 
(Matthew 28:20)
God now gives light to His people as to their pathway, but He also charges Himself to carry them through every circumstance and every difficulty.  If they but have confidence in God who does this, they will find how great a God He is with whom they have to do.  (Christian Truth - Vol 22 - October 1969)
N.J. Hiebert # 3156
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."  (1 John 2:16)
The world is ever the same world; Satan is its prince; and all that is in it - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life - is not of the Father, but of the world.  The heart of man - the flesh - has since the fall been always enmity against  God.  It is often thought and said, that since the death of Christ, Satan is no longer the prince of this world; but it was precisely then that he declared himself as it prince, leading on all men, whether Jews or Gentiles, to crucify the Saviour.  And although men now bear the name of Christ, the opposition of the world to His authority remains the same.  (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 3157

Nov 2, 2007 at 21:58 o\clock

Gems for the Week

November 3 - 7

"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."  (Malachi 3:3)
Our Father, who seeks to perfect His saints in holiness, knows the value of the refiner's fire.  It is with the most precious metals that the assayer takes the most pains, and subjects them to the hot fire, because such fires melt the metal, and only the molten mass releases its alloy or takes perfectly its new form in the mould.  The old refiner never leaves his crucible, but sits down by it, lest there should be one excessive degree of heat to mar the metal.  But as soon as he skims from the surface the last of the dross, and sees his own face reflected, he puts out the fire.  (Arthur T. Pierson)
N.J. Hiebert # 3146
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."  (Malachi 3:3)
He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho' we fain would have said Him 'Nay,'
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire - not the Master's hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o'er the fire, tho' unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.
(Author Unknown)
N.J. Hiebert # 3147
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by
the blood of Jesus . . .let us draw near."  (Hebrews 10:19,22)
Access to God's presence and fellowship, the right and the power to make that our abiding dwelling-place, to live our life there, has been provided in Christ: let us draw near, here let us abide.  God does in very deed mean that every child of His should always dwell in His presence. (Andrew Murray - Let Us Draw Near)
N.J. Hiebert # 3148
"The spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you."  (1 Peter 4:14)
Mankind wants rest.  They pursue it desperately and in the pursuing have even less rest.  Christ offers rest to us.  In matchless grace, He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest."  The dove that Noah released from the ark found no resting place for its feet.  But at the Lord's meeting with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended and rested on Christ.  The same Holy Spirit dwells in us and gives us rest as we rejoice in our Saviour.  (R.E. Harlow)
N.J. Hiebert # 3149
"My strength is made perfect in weakness."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)
"Thou hast a little strength."  (Revelation 3:8)
What marvelous display of love comes out to fill the soul with joy at the very time that the Lord is teaching us our own nothingness and misery.  When one sees the thought of God and of Christ, in the breaking down of the flesh in us, how one should joy in Him and  rejoice!  Better, saith Christ, be a poor weak creature in utter weakness, than have any amount of power without "my strength."  (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3150

Nov 1, 2007 at 16:18 o\clock

Christ Above All

The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves at home here on earth.
         ...
Malcolm Muggeridge
 When Christ reveals Himself there is satisfaction in the slenderest portion, and without Christ there is emptiness in the greatest fulness. 
         ...
Alexander Grosse
Above all, desire to please Christ; dread his disapproval above everything else.
         ...
Rowland Croucher, Sunrise Sunset
We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own.
         ...
John Owen