Bible Gems

Aug 26, 2008 at 02:06 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 26

"And He said, Abba Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt."  (Mark 14:36)  
"The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"  (John 18:11)
You know how the four Gospels tell the story of Gethsemane.  Each is a little different, but all are true.  They fit into one another and make a picture that, if you ever have to suffer, will mean everything to you.  I will take words from only two gospels (Noted above).
    You will have no peace until you pass from those first words to the second.  But this may not come in a day.  Be patient.  He who prayed in an agony that the cup might be removed will be patient with you, for He understands just what you are feeling.  Yet He will not rest until He brings you to the place where He stood when He said, "The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"
    I find much comfort in Psalm 138:3, "In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and stengthenedst me with strength in my soul."  "In the day that I cried": that does not mean the day after, or an hour or two, or even a minute after, but that very day, that very hour, that very minute.  God hears us the moment we cry and strengthens us with the only kind of strength that is of any use at all.  (Amy Carmichael - Candles in the Dark)

N.J. Hiebert # 3443  

August 27

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."  (Ephesians 3:20)
I doubt whether many know the sweetness of going into the presence of God as a channel or pipe to be filled in order to bring out what is wanted for others - saying, "I have got the ear and heart of Christ."  He let the apostle Paul pour out all his thoughts and met them with His grace, far above all that He was asked.  Blessing is not measured merely by the wants of the individual, but by all that is in the heart of God towards those who are in Christ.  (Gleanings of G.V. Wigram) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3444

August 28

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
(Matthew 6:34)
    I recently saw a clever acrostic for the word "FEAR": False Evidence Appearing Real.
    Are you frightening yourself based on false evidence that is appearing real?  Fear in our lives will never change if we look solely toward man-made remedies, a starting point that can never lavish serenity on our hearts.  A secular (pertaining to this world) solution alone can neither give the security that God can give, nor can it even define the evil within the human heart that only God can cure.  As we acknowledge the true evidence of evil in our hearts, let us also allow God to sanctify us from it daily through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
    If you worry constantly due to ungodly fear, take a moment to meditate on these sweet words of Christ:  (Matthew 6:25-34)  (Selected)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3445

Aug 23, 2008 at 21:57 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 24

"When I see the blood, I will pass over you."  (Exodus 12:13)
    The Israelite was saved by blood alone, and not by his thoughts about it.  His thoughts might be deep or they might be shallow; but, deep or shallow, they had nothing to do with his safety; he was not saved by his thoughts or feelings, but only by the blood.  God did not say, "When you see the blood, I will pass over you."  No; but, "When I see. . . . "  What gave an Israelite peace was the fact that Jehovah's eye rested on the blood.  God saw it, and that was quite enough.
    The application of this to the question of a sinner's peace is very plain.  Christ's blood has been shed as a perfect atonement for sin, and God's testimony assures the believer that everything is settled  on his behalf.  All the claims of justice have been fully answered, and the full tide of redeeming love rolls down from the heart of God along the channels which the sacrifice of Christ has opened for it.
    To this truth the Holy Spirit bears witness.  He ever sets forth the fact of God's estimate of the blood of Christ.  He points the sinner's eye to the accomplished work of the cross.  He declares that all is done; that sin has been put far away and righteousness brought nigh - so nigh that it is to all them that believe.  Believe what?  Believe what God says because He says it, not because they feel it.  (C.H. Mackintosh)    
N.J. Hiebert # 3441   

August 25

"Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."  (Acts 5:4)
    One sunny day, four high school boys couldn't resist the temptation to skip classes.  The next morning they explained to their teacher that thy had missed her class because their car had a flat tire.  To their relief, she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a quiz yesterday."  But then she added, "Take your seats and get out a pencil and paper.  The first question is: Which tire was flat?"
    No one gets away with lying.  In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira thought they were lying only to Peter and the other believers.  But the apostle said to them, "You have not lied to men but to God" (v.4).
    Truth is one of the attributes of God.  So when we tell a lie, we offend Him.  And sooner or later He will uncover every falsehood - if not in this life, then at the final judgment, when we each give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:10-12).
    We live in a highly competitive world, and sometimes we may be strongly tempted to shade the truth to get ahead.  But the short-term gains from lying are worth little compared with the long-term benefits of telling the truth.
    If you have deceived someone, confess it to that person and to the Lord.  It may be humbling, but it's the first step to restoring integrity in your life.  (Dennis De Haan)
The road that leads to misery
Is caused by a tongue that wags;
Beware of lying lips, my friend,
And a mouth that boasts and brags. 
If you always tell the truth, you will never be trapped in a lie.
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2006), Grand Rapids, Mi, Reprinted permission.
N.J. Hiebert # 3442

Aug 21, 2008 at 20:03 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 22

"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour." 
(Ecclesiastes 10:1)
This earth could be a wonderful place for those who have plenty of money, if it were not for the flies of death in, ". . . the apothecary's ointment."  So-called "Death Valley Scotty" lived out there in comparative luxury for years, but the one thing that ruined his outlook was the fact of death at the end of the road.  His valley was well named, "Death Valley."  Another man, Mr. Randolph Hearst, built himself a palace in California.  He spent a million dollars a year in entertainment (1961), but was always embarrassed at the thought that at the end of his good time was death.  He was offended if anyone mentioned that word "death" in his hearing.  His close friends knew this and avoided the dreaded word.  It was the end of the way that troubled him.  I believe he had a fifty thousand dollar funeral (1961); but, you know, that only took him to a hole in the ground, or perhaps a crypt  in a mausoleum; money cannot carry beyond death.  (Taken from a talk by C.H. Brown - 1961)  
(Will be continued in tomorrow's "Gems From My Reading" (# 3440)
N.J. Hiebert # 3439

August 23

"And a certain ruler asked Him (Jesus), Good Master, what shall
I do to inherit eternal life?"  (Luke 18:18)
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money;
come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money
and without price."  (Isaiah 55:1)
    The ruler came to the right Person, but he did not couch his question intelligently. There is a measure of self-confidence in that question.  "What shall I DO?" This is innate in the human heart.  And all religions of which man boasts are built upon that concept: "What shall I DO?"  The thought that a salvation has been purchased and is offered on the terms of doing nothing, never seems to enter the heart of men.  That is the reason that the plan of salvation as we find it in Scripture did not have its origin in this earth; it came from heaven.  Man knows practically nothing of grace.  It is not of works.  It has its origin in the great heart of God, coming to man, not with a demand, but with an offer.  God comes out with both hands full.  He offers to man the best He has.  He says, "Come. . ." (Isaiah 55:1).  Yes, the wine of the joy of salvation is offered FREE.
    Come and get it from a giving God, who is anxious to bless.  How few there are who accept the offer!  It is the old story of the fisherman trying to give away herring fish on London Bridge.  "Herrings for nothing." but he could get no takers.  Everybody thought they were soiled or that something was wrong with them.  Herrings at a bargain, a dozen for a penny, that would be all right; but, herrings for nothing, no!  God has come out in grace and is offering man salvation.  (Taken from a talk by C.H. Brown)       
N.J. Hiebert # 3440

Aug 20, 2008 at 02:06 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 19

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall
on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head
are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more
value than many sparrows." 
(Matthew 10:29-31) 
    "Two sparrows sold for a farthing."  A farthing was an infinitesimal coin; yet two sparrows, dressed and spitted, were sold in the markets for this amount.  They were used as food by the poorest of the people.  Nevertheless, God took note of every sparrow's fall.
    "The very hairs of your head are all numbered."  Nothing is too insignificant for God to note, and His care extends to the minutest detail of our lives.
    "Of more value than many sparrows."  God cares for all His creatures, but man has a special place in His heart, and is valued above all other animate beings.  (Harry A. Ironside - Notes on Matthew) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3436

August 20

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 
(2 Peter 3:18) 
    It is said that there was a little boy who was constantly falling out of bed.  No matter what the parents did, the boy could not sleep without rolling out of bed.  Finally one night an uncle came to stay in the house, and in the middle of the night there was the usual thump and cry and Johnnie was on the floor again.  In the morning the uncle teased him about it, and asked him how it happened that he was so frequently falling.  The little boy thought a moment and then replied: "I don't know, Uncle, unless it is that "I stay too close to the place where I get in."
    When you have believed in Christ, saturate yourself with this Book - the Bible.  See that your children and those committed to your teaching get thoroughly saturated with the Scriptures.  It is their armour plate for life
(Donald Grey Barnhouse - Happy Though Poor)
N.J. Hiebert # 3437

August 21

"Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.(James 4:13,14) 
It ill becomes the saints of God to boast of what they will do tomorrow, next month, or next year.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring; but we know Him who knows and controls all the tomorrows, and we can without fear leave the future in His hands.  (Selected) 
N.J. Hiebert # 3438

Aug 16, 2008 at 17:05 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 17

"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from
the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try
them that dwell upon the earth."  (Revelation 3:10) 
"God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in
reverence of all them that are about Him." 
(Psalm 89:7)
You know this is a day of lawlessness, and increasing lawlessness - a day of disregard of all authority, and all source of authority.  It is just the forerunner of what is coming, and coming in a dreadful form, when a vast part of this world will be under the dominion of a man who knows no will but his own; he will do according to his will; he will exalt himself above all that is called God - that is what is developing.  But in spite of all this sad failure of the world, God will be God; and we learn from His Word that those conditions shall not be in full until He allows them, and that lawless one is revealed.  And these conditions are developing.  In a certain place where I was recently I witnessed an incident that reminded me of the way these things will be fulfilled - the wife had prepared in a stove everything for a fire, so that when a fire was wanted she had but to put a match to it.  God is preparing the fire; but He will never put a match to it while His beloved people are here. (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - November 1970)  
N.J. Hiebert # 3434  

August 18

"In the day of adversity, CONSIDER."  (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
- Instead of grumbling because you don't get what you want, be thankful you don't get what you deserve.
- When others think of you, do they think of Christ?
- To conquer your fears, surrender them to the Lord.
- It is difficult to stand on a pedestal and wash the feet of those below.
- The cross of Christ - the crossroads to heaven or hell.
- Fruitful service grows in the soil of faithful worship.
(Submitted by a reader - R.K. - Some Thoughts to Consider)
N.J. Hiebert # 3435

Aug 14, 2008 at 19:17 o\clock

Gems for the Week

August 14

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth.  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet
in my flesh shall I see God."  (Job 19:25-26)
Job was devastated.  He had lost all his children and his earthly possessions.  His health was gone, and he sat covered in boils from head to foot.  His wife told him to "curse God and die!"  Job's salvation was to see beyond this life, to lay hold on eternity.  By faith he affirmed, "I know that my Redeemer lives.  I shall see God."  Being sure of a wonderful future kept him from sin and suicide.  Are you discouraged today?  Take Job's view.  Every believer in Christ has a similar hope.  One day you too will see Him.  (David Croudace)   
N.J. Hiebert # 3431

August 15

"Preach the Word; be instant (prepared) in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."  (2 Timothy 4:2-4)  
Note the emphasis put upon teaching sound doctrine.  Some people say, "I am not interested in doctrine; I like practical preaching, not doctrine."  But we need to know the great truths of Scripture in order that we may learn how to behave in accordance with the revelation God has given.  Sincerity of purpose is not enough.  We are to be sanctified by the truth.  David prayed, "Order my steps in Thy Word."  (Psalm 119:133)  We must know the Word in order that our lives may be as God would have them.  The servant of Christ is therefore responsible to give out sound teaching.  (H.A. Ironside)
N.J. Hiebert # 3432

August 16

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come."
(Revelation 22:17)
What hinders them from thus responding to our Lord? 
- Is it from bad teaching, a lack of spiritual instruction on the subject? 
- Is it worldliness of spirit? for eating and drinking with the drunken is associated in scripture with the unholy sentiment, "My Lord delayeth His coming." 
- Is it carnal-mindedness? allowing fleshly lusts and tempers to grieve and quench the Spirit of God, and thus hinder His teaching.  It may be that malice, guile, hypocrisy, and evil speakings, are not laid aside (for they are natural to us all), and spiritual desires and growth are checked, and thus hinder the cry in the soul, of  COME, LORD JESUS! 
- Is it the habit of carelessness and insubjection to Christ, not keeping His words? for the Church is supposed in Scripture to be subject unto Christ; and those true to Him, who keep His words, sayings, and commandments, are promised the enjoyment of sweet manifestations of Christ, and abiding fellowship with the Father and the Son. 
    Whatever it be that hinders the soul from truly giving utterance to the cry of "Come, Lord Jesus," it should be detected and judged; for the inspired declaration is, "Let him that heareth say, COME."   (H.H. Snell - Notes on the Revelation)
N.J. Hiebert # 3433

Aug 1, 2008 at 20:18 o\clock

Gems for the Week

Aug 11

"Yea the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle (dove) and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My peopleknow not the judgment of the Lord.  How do ye say, we are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made He it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them."  (Jeremiah 8:7-9)   
Would you for a moment say that the instinct of a bird is more sure than the words of the Saviour?  As this world's winter approaches, let us then dwell on the words of Jesus.  He cannot fail to fulfill His promise.  We may not know where the swallows go; but Jesus says to us, "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  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)  Would you say, Yes; Jesus says so, but our educated wise teachers do not say so?  Remember the word, "They have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?"  (Charles Stanley - 1800)
N.J. Hiebert # 3428

Aug 12

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)
    We have three great enemies ever seeking to overcome us: the world, the flesh, and the devil.  And in proportion as we give place to any of these, we depart from God.  These three we find in Peter's case in Luke 22
In verse 45 & 50 he is led away by the flesh:
1. In sleeping when he should have watched,
2  In striking when he should not have resisted.
In Verses 54 & 55 he is led astray by the fear of the world
1. In straying far from Christ's side; 
2. In fellowship with His enemies. 
And, last, in verses 57, 58, and 60, he is thrice led astray by the devil: to deny Christ, to swear, and to deny Him again.
    One might, indeed, say such a course is foreshadowed in Psalm 1:1
1. "The counsel of the ungodly", the dictates of fleshly reason, led to the smiting with the sword  (Luke 22:50);
2. "Standing in the way of sinners"  is illustrated by standing and warming himself; (Mark 14:67)
3. "Sitting in the seat of the scornful" is found in Luke 22: 55"Peter sat down among them."  (A.T. Scofield)   
N.J. Hiebert # 3429

Aug 13

"And she (Anna) coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption."
(Luke 2:38)
"For mine (Simeon) eyes have seen Thy salvation."
(Luke 2:30)
Like Anna, let us continue to delight to speak of Christ to all those who are looking for Him to come; and like Simeon, let us be glad for Christ to come, for the joy of being with Him.  May we ponder in our hearts the things concerning Christ, and seek to carry out in our daily walk the teachings of the sacred Scriptures, which through grace we have been taught to love and revere, because they testify of Christ.  The test of our love to Him is keeping His words and obeying them. (John 14:15,23,24).  (W.E.S. - Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - October 1970)   
N.J. Hiebert # 3430