"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
A certain man when asked about his family tree said: "I am ashamed of my ancestors! My mother was a thief; my father was a receiver of stolen property; and my elder brother was a murderer!"
When told by his shocked hearers that he did not look as though he came from that type of ancestry, he said: "My mother was EVE, my father was ADAM, and my elder brother was CAIN who killed his brother, ABEL!"
Our old standing in Adam is nothing to boast about; but if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature - or there is a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We lose our old standing in Adam, and gain a new standing in Christ, where we can say:
- God is my Father;
- Christ is my Lord and Saviour;
- The Holy Spirit is my Comforter, Guide and Teacher;
- The people of God are my companions! (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3508
"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34)
- A word from your heart speaks volumes about your heart.
- To be a disciple is to be a loyal subject of the King of kings.
- God's unseen work in our hearts produces fruit in our lives.
- God's armour is tailor made for us, but we must put it on.
- Will your life be a blessing or a blot.
- The wonder of it all - just to think that God loves me.
(Some Thoughts to Consider - R.K.)
N.J. Hiebert # 3509
"We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)
"The dead in Christ shall rise first."
What a stupendous scene! All that are Christ's, including, therefore, saints of the past, as well as of the present dispensation, shall rise at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:23) Tracing down the line of the ages from Adam till the last saint to be gathered in, all this countless multitude will, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," spring up from their graves - raised incorruptible. And not only so, but all the saints then living will be changed, so that all alike will be clothed upon with their resurrection bodies, in fashion like unto Christ's body of glory. (Philippians 3:21) It is, then, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, that the saying that is written will be brought to pass, "Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54) (see also 2 Corinthians 5:1-4)
But no sooner has this marvelous change been wrought, than all its subjects will be caught up "in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Then the Lord Himself enters for the first time, as far as His people are concerned, upon the full fruit of His redemption-work, of the travail of His soul.
And what tongue could tell, or pen describe, His joy when He thus redeems from the grave the very bodies of His people, and when He brings by the word of His power all His chosen ones into His presence, and all conformed to His own image! Nor is it possible to express even our own joy, the joy on which we then shall enter, when the longing desires of our hearts are all realized, and, like Him, we shall behold His face, see Him as He is, and be with Him for ever. (Edward Dennett - The Blessed Hope)
N.J. Hiebert # 3502
"Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
"It's unsinkable!" That was the proud boast made by the builders of the Titanic, the magnificent ocean liner that on April 14, 1912, went down during its maiden voyage. Most of the 2,100 passengers were sent to their deaths.
In an article for the Danish magazine Evangelisten, Ingvald Andersen told about one of the passengers, John Harper, who was a fervent witness for Christ. According to a survivor, on the evening of the disaster John had led a young Englishman to faith in the Saviour.
Soon afterward, John went for a walk on the deck with his daughter and a niece. As they were admiring the spectacular sunset, Harper said, "It is going to be beautiful in the morning."
For him and any other Christian who died that night, the next morning was beautiful.
Theirs was sunrise on their first day in heaven. Andersen, as he related all of this, urged his readers to be certain of their own relationship to Jesus.
No matter how safe and serene your life may be, it can end in shipwreck at any moment. So if you have never done so, you need to do as that young Englishman did - accept Christ as your Saviour NOW. Then regardless of when or how you die, yours will be sunrise in heaven. (VCG)
When life is over and daylight is past,
In heaven's harbour my anchor is cast,
When I see Jesus my Saviour at last,
Oh, that will be sunrise for me!
Salvation deferred too long
Becomes the tragedy of too late.
N.J. Hiebert # 3503
"It is appointed unto men once to die, BUT after this the judgment."
"God is a consuming fire."
In the panicked circumstance of a raging forest fire, the safest place to be is where the fire has already burned. The terrified sinner, facing the fiery wrath of God's judgment of sin, has but one place to be safe - where the flames have already blazed. On the cross of Calvary, Christ bore the terrible inferno of God's righteous judgment on sin. Accept Him as Saviour; take refuge where the fire has been. Come today. (D. Logan)
N.J. Hiebert # 3504
"Surely I come quickly, AMEN." (Revelation 22:21)
How sweetly solemn is the addition of that "AMEN." There is no mistake about it. The response from the heart of the Church comes at once,
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Meanwhile, be the time short or long, circumstances easy or difficult - and surely they will be difficult - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. AMEN" (verse 21) is sufficient for each fainting heart.
Surely the coming of the Lord draws very nigh. An earnest spirit of expectation is upon the hearts of His people.
Events in the world, happening with bewildering rapidity, proclaim the fact that the events narrated in The Revelation from chapter 4, are soon to begin.
How happy it is that before that time arrives Christ will come for His Church. "A little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:37). How sweet and happy is our prospect. (A.J. Pollock - Things Which Must Shortly Come to Pass - 1918)
"EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS."
N.J. Hiebert # 3500
"Here am I; send me. And He said, Go, and tell this people . . ." (Isaiah 6:8,9)
Even though the Word seemed to have no other effect than to harden them in their sins and rebellion, Isaiah was to proclaim the message faithfully.
The servant of God is responsible to the Lord Himself. Having received his commission, he is to go forth in the name of the One who sends him, declaring the message committed to him. The results must be left with God. Whether men hear or whether they forbear (Ezekiel 2:3-5), he who proclaims the Word faithfully has delivered his soul. The Apostle Paul entered into this when he spoke of being a sweet savour of Christ unto God both in them that are saved and in them that perish (2 Corinthians 2:15). God is honoured when His truth is preached, no matter what attitude the hearers take toward it, and that Word will not return void, but will accomplish the divine purpose. (Isaiah 55:11) (H.A. Ironside)
N.J. Hiebert # 3501
"Return to thine own house, and SHOW how great things God hath done unto thee . . ." (Luke 8:39)
"Go home to thy friends, and TELL them how great things the Lord hath done for thee . . ." (Mark 5:19)
In traveling a few years ago," says a Christian gentleman, "I stopped at a hotel where the apartments were of the finest, and where the service was the best I had ever known. The proprietor has a chain of hotels, and is considered the most successful man in the business. Behind the desk of each employee, but hidden from the public view, hangs a little sign with these words: "MY REPUTATION IS IN YOUR HANDS."
For all who name the name of Christ there is a great lesson there. We are his representatives and witnesses; and in the Gospels, there are two words which indicate how we may discharge our responsibilities as such. These words are found in the two accounts set out in the verses above.
- "Go home and SHOW" - that is the testimony of the life-what we are.
- "Go home and TELL" - that is the testimony of the lip - what we say.
(George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 3498
"Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this, said, this is an hard saying; who can hear it?" (John 6:60)
In the world of men we find nothing approaching the virtues of which Jesus spoke in the opening words of the famous Sermon on the Mount.
- Instead of poverty of spirit we find the rankest kind of pride;
- Instead of meekness, arrogance,
- Instead of mourners we find pleasure seekers;
- Instead of hunger after righteousness we hear men saying, "I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing";
- Instead of mercy we find cruelty;
- Instead of purity of heart, corrupt imaginings;
- Instead of peacemakers we find men quarrelsome and resentful;
- Instead of rejoicing in mistreatment we find them fighting back with every weapon at their command!
Into a world like this the sound of Jesus' words comes wonderful and strange, a visitation from above. It is well that He spoke, for no one else could have done it as well; and it is good that we listen, for His words are the essence of truth.
Jesus does not offer an opinion for He never uttered opinions. He never guessed; He knew, and He knows! His words are not as King Solomon's were, the sum of sound wisdom or the results of keen observation. He spoke out of the fullness of His Godhead, and His words are very Truth itself. He is the only one who could say "blessed" with complete authority for He is the Blessed One come from heaven above to confer blessedness upon mankind!
Best of all, His words were supported by deeds mightier than any performed on this earth by another man.
It is wisdom for us to listen. (A.W. Tozer - Renewed Day By Day)
N.J. Hiebert # 3499
" . . . Keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22)
Sir Joshua Reynolds used to give a coat of white paint to all the canvas he used for his pictures before commencing to work. He said it gave luminousness and brilliance to the whole picture. That is a little parable for you. You are just beginning to paint a life picture. Let Jesus in to make the groundwork of your life white and pure.
Take the flower that hangs in the morning, impearled with dew, arrayed as no queenly woman ever was arrayed in jewels. Once shake it, so that the beads roll off, and you may sprinkle water over it as carefully as you please, yet it can never again be made what it was when the dew fell silently upon it from heaven.
On the frosty morning you may see the panes of glass covered with landscapes - mountains, lakes, trees, blended in a beautiful, fantastic picture. Now lay your hand upon the glass, and by the scratch of your finger, or by the warmth of your palm, all the delicate tracery will be obliterated! So there is in Youth a beauty and purity of character which, when once touched and defiled, can never be restored; a fringe more delicate than frost-work, and which, when torn and broken, will never be re-embroidered. (H.W. Beecher)
- The crimson of the sunset;
- The azure of the ocean;
- The green of the valleys;
- The scarlet of the poppies;
- The silver of the dewdrop;
- The gold of the gorse (spiney evergreen shrub):
- These are exquisitely beautiful
- God paints in many colours,
- But He never paints so gorgeously as when He paints in white!
(From - Mountain Trailways for Youth)
N.J. Hiebert # 3496
"It pleased King Darius to set over the kingdom 120 princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three presidents of whom Daniel was first; and that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents, and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion or fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him." (Daniel 6:1-4)
What a testimony! How truly refreshing to the heart! "No error or fault!" Even his most bitter enemies could not put their finger upon a single blemish in his character, or a flaw in his practical career. Truly this was a rare and admirable character - a bright witness for the God of Israel, even in the dark days of the Babylonish captivity - an unanswerable proof of the fact that no matter where we are situated, or how we are circumstanced, no matter how unfavourable our position, or how dark the day in which our lot is cast, it is our happy privilege so to carry ourselves, in all the details of daily life, as to give no occasion to the enemy to speak reproachfully.
How sad when it is otherwise! How humiliating when those who make a high profession are found constantly breaking down in the most common place affairs of domestic and commercial life! There are few things which more tend to discourage the heart than that. (C.H. Macintosh)
N.J. Hiebert # 3497
"Jesus answered and said unto them (Sadducees), Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29)
Do you know what the Scripture says about Jesus Christ, you and eternity?
Jesus told the "religious" of His day, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures."
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the Scriptures - the prophets - spoke of His coming. The world should have known and welcomed Him, but their ignorance and blindness concerning the teaching of Scripture led them to fail to recognize who He was. The world was and is without excuse. Look what the Scriptures revealed about Christ long before He came:
- He would be of the tribe of Judah. (Genesis 49:9,10)
- He would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
- He would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
- He would be called out of Egypt. (Hosea 11:1)
- He would come as a prophet. (Deuteronomy 18:18,19)
- His own people would reject Him. (Isaiah 53:3)
- He would make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. (Zechariah 9:9)
- He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12,13)
- He would be put to death by crucifixion. (Psalm 22)
- His hands and His feet would be pierced. (Psalm 22:16)
- Soldiers would cast lots for His clothing. (Psalm 22:18)
- He would be raised from the dead. (Psalm 16:9)
- He would ascend into heaven. (Psalm 68:18)
(TCS - January 1993)
N.J. Hiebert # 3492
"Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously." (Exodus 15:1)
Only the redeemed can truly sing. It is a new song they sing, praising God for what they now possess and never of their own doing but all of His. His provision and protection of His people follow them, surround them and goes before them as they travel. He expects nothing form us but praise, for our strength only tends to interfere and is puny in comparison to His. It is the one time there is unity for all have seen the accomplishments of His power and are affected by it. (B.R. - Meditations on Exodus)
N.J. Hiebert # 3493
". . . to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10)
An amazing sight to us all during the war in the Persian Gulf was the abundance of yellow ribbons on display across the United States. They could be seen tied to trees, telephone poles, fenceposts, road signs, porch railings and hanging on doors as a sign of love, support and welcome home to those who were serving our country.
Events around us are pointing to the near return of the Lord Jesus for His blood-bought children. What sort of message are we conveying to Him concerning His "homecoming"? When He looks in our hearts (as only He can), does He see "yellow ribbons" of welcome? Have we grown cold or indifferent to the truth of His second coming?
One ribbon manufacturer interviewed during the conflict said that in a normal year his company would make five million yards of yellow ribbon. This year, however, they made fifty million yards to meet the demand. Oh that the desire to see our blessed Lord would be increased tenfold! (Moments For You - November 1994)
N.J. Hiebert # 3494
"All things are lawful unto me but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (1 Corinthians 6:12)
If all things are lawful to the Christian, certainly all do not profit. As Christ never did what did not profit, so neither should the Christian. He is free, but it is only according to Christ for good, and this in love, the good of others. But there is another guard: if all things are lawful to the Christian, he refuses to be brought under the power of anything: were it not so, it would be bondage, not liberty. Thus to have regard for others' good must be kept up, as well the liberty itself intact. The Christian is called to serve others, never to be the slave of a habit in anything great or small. (W. Kelly)
N.J. Hiebert # 3495
"I call to remembrance my song in the night." (Psalm 77:6)
I have read somewhere of a little bird that will never sing the melody his master wishes while his cage is full of light. He learns a snatch of this, a bar of that, but never an entire song of its own until the cage is covered and the morning beams shut out.
A good many people never learn to sing until the darkening shadows fall. The fabled nightingale carols with his breast against a thorn. It was in the night that the voice of the angels was heard. It was at midnight that they cry came, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him."
Indeed it is extremely doubtful if a soul can really know the love of God in its richness and in its comforting, satisfying completeness until the skies are black and lowering.
Light comes out of darkness, morning out of the womb of the night.
James Creelmam, in one of his letters, describes his trip through the Balkan States in search of Natalie, the exiled Queen of Serbia. "In that memorable journey," he says,
"I learned for the first time that the world's supply of attar (fragrant oils) of roses comes from the Balkan Mountains. And the thing that interested me most, "he goes on, "is that the roses must be gathered in the darkest hours. The pickers start out at one o'clock and finish picking them at two.
"At first it seemed to me a relic of superstition; but I investigated the picturesque mystery, and learned that actual scientific tests had proven that fully forty percent of the fragrance of roses disappeared in the light of day."
And in human life and human culture that is not a playful fanciful conceit; it is a real veritable fact. (Malcolm J. McLeod - Streams in the Desert)
N.J. Hiebert # 3490
"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death." (Song of Solomon 8:6)
The story of love is a promise, set as a seal upon the heart and arm of God. Promised by a heart that cares; provided by an arm that bears - a seal that cannot be broken in a world of broken dreams. The glory of love is its power - strong as death. Wedding vows limit love's responsibility - "Until death do us part," but His love knows no limit. It weds love and death together, pronouncing, "greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," (John 15:13) and then goes beyond even that - He laid down His life for us when we were enemies. What a Saviour!
N.J. Hiebert # 3491
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)
Since redemption's work is accomplished and Jesus glorified, the personal presence of the Holy Spirit on earth is the consequence; and He is the strength and joy of our hearts during the absence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The disciples seem to have had a foretaste of this joy on the occasion referred to above.
Nevertheless the Lord's absence still leaves a blank in the hearts of His own, which can never be filled till they see Him. Therefore the disciples hail with joy the words which fell from the lips of the two heavenly witnesses, who assured these "men of Galilee," who stood looking up into heaven, that this same Jesus, who had been taken up from them into heaven, should so come in like manner as they had seen Him go into heaven.
"Tis the treasure we've found in His love
That has made us now pilgrims below."
And when the Treasure was taken to heaven, the hearts of them that were set upon it were taken there too; "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21) (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3486
"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)
Whatever may be their ignorance, if the children of God make any alliance with the world, and thus pursue a line of conduct opposed to their true character, they will assuredly find disappointment. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 3487
"While He (Jesus) yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith . . . BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE." (Mark 5:35,36)
The Lord took no notice of the messenger. He thought only of the effect of the message upon the ruler's heart; and in His infinite grace He immediately covered him with the shield of faith. "Be not afraid, only believe." Precious words!
- Words which can carry the soul through every difficulty and every danger,
- Words for a sickbed or a chamber of death,
- Words for all circumstances, all places, and all conditions,
- Words of comfort and consolation for the poor, sinking, fainting, tottering heart.
"Be not afraid, only believe." (C.H. Mackintosh)
N.J. Hiebert # 3488
"Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:8,9)
Cain threw back an accusation against God when he was challenged, "Where is Abel thy brother?" He replied with a lie, "I know not," and then added, "Am I my brother's keeper?" By this last remark Cain charged God with not looking after the one whom He had approved and accepted. This is the world's plight now. God sent His beloved Son into it in love, and men killed Him. God has not forgotten this, though it may seem so to Cain's present followers; nor is God in the least indifferent to it. He will yet vindicate His Son and judge the world in righteousness "by that man whom He hath ordained" (Acts 17:31); and the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the evidence that Christ will be the judge. (Selected)
N.J. Hiebert # 3489
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman (Eve), yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1)
The first question of the Bible belongs to Satan and he used it to project doubt on what God said. It was a leading question, designed not to provoke rational thought, but to instill doubt and invoke rebellion. The tactic worked on the woman, who quickly slid from the ground of faith into human reasoning. The first question was rank with unfairness, "Could God be good and yet limit you in such an unfair way?" Satan still tries the same tactics. Trust God. His Word alone is utterly trustworthy. (Warren Henderson)
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know "Thus saith the Lord." (L.S.)
N.J. Hiebert # 3482
"But he (Stephen) . . . looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God . . . and they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." (Acts 7:55,59,60)
Looking at past failure, you will constantly find that it arose from settling things according to circumstances. I cannot settle anything myself; if I am in His presence, I get my guidance from the Lord in His circumstances - from the Son of God up there. It is a blessed fact that there is a Man in heaven, in the highest possible glory on the throne of God, and that Man has a heart to enter into everything, where His people would not be able to move for themselves. Is His heart less occupied, His eye less fixed on me than it was on Stephen? No; the curtain was drawn back for him, and I never expect that, but it is equally true to faith. (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V Wigram)
N.J. Hiebert # 3483