Bible Gems

Feb 27, 2009 at 17:23 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 27

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO; and the God of peace shall be with you." 
(Philippians 4:9)
 
The Positive

Two shoe salesmen were sent to a certain part of Africa to open up a new market.  Three days after their arrival, the first salesman sent a message:  "Returning home on next plane.  Can't sell shoes here.  Everyone here goes barefoot."

Nothing was heard from the second salesman for about two weeks.  And then there came a fat airmail envelope with this message for the home office:  "Fifty orders enclosed.  Prospects unlimited.  Nobody here has shoes."  (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3628

February 28

"Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord."  (Exodus 14:13)

One of the most needful lessons in these trying times - and certainly one of the most precious - is to stand still and wait on God to act.  God's vindication of those who are right, sooner or later, is most sure - although it may be delayed till the soul is morally prepared for it.  The restlessness of spirit and impatience so natural to us, especially in persons of great energy of character, practically hinder God's intervention on their behalf.  The living God! - oh, what a stay for the soul!  Your case is in His hands, and He is fully aware of it. (Submitted by R.K.)

"In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength."  (Isaiah 30:15)

N.J. Hiebert # 3629

Feb 24, 2009 at 19:00 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 25

"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." 

(Proverbs 29:23)

A father and his tall young son were walking through a narrow hallway which was crossed overhead by a large beam.  The boy did not notice the beam as they were talking.

Suddenly his father said, "Stoop! Stoop!"  The young fellow didn't understand what he meant until he hit his head against the low beam.

Then his father said to him, "Son, you are young.  You have life before you.  Stoop low as you go, and you will miss  many hard bumps!"

The young man never forgot that lesson on humility from his father.  It was a help to him all through his life.  (Submitted by R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3626

February 26

"Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him."  (1 Samuel 3:18)


How do you confront your mentor (parent, elder, older brother) with bad news?  Eli, the mentor in this case, had not personally done anything wrong.  In fact, it was because he hadn't done anything at all (regarding his sons) that God had to deal in judgment with his house.  A few years later, Samuel had to do the same thing again - only this time he had to confront King Saul for something he didn't do either (see 1 Samuel 15).  Three principles apply here:

1. Be sure of the Scriptures;

2. Be sensitive to the hearer;

3. Be slow to condemn.

Let the Word of God do the work of God!  (Craig Funston)

If advice we would convey, there's a time we should convey it;
If we've but a word to say, there's a way in which to say it.

N.J. Hiebert # 3627

Feb 23, 2009 at 19:25 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 21

"And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  (Philippians 2:8)

To each of us there is something which seems simply impossible to get on top of.  I know my special foe and all this week I have had to live looking off to "Jesus, the Author and (thank God) the Finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2)   Psalm 138:8 is another standby.  "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands." 

Oh! blessed be the eternal Word of God.  Feelings may change (they do), We may change and fall (we do), but His word stands steadfast.  It cannot fail.

Don't you think that some of us must know the trials of misty weather if we are to be enabled to understand when others are in the mist?

My word yesterday was "Even the death of the cross".  There is an "even" in most lives.  God help us not to shrink back from that "even." (Philippians 2:8)

(Candles in the Dark - Amy Carmichael)

N.J. Hiebert # 3622

February 22

"And when they had brought their ship to land, they forsook all and followed Him."
(Luke 5:11)

We see in these disciples the effect of all.  They are absorbed with Christ now.  They not only look to Him for salvation, but they think of nothing else for life, speaking now generally and apart from any particular failure.  "They forsook all, and followed Him."  Christ becomes their life.  It is a new line altogether, not merely obedience to an express command with the reserve of thinking and saying, perhaps, "There is no harm in this or that."  Christ pleased not Himself.  His reason for action was His Father's will, and not the absence of a prohibition.  And we are sanctified unto the obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ.  "They forsook all," and where Christ went they went. They are associated with their Lord in His love to souls and in the walk of life.  This is liberty.  May we, having Christ our life, have Him as our one motive, detached from all to Him, yet channels for all the blessing and grace we have ourselves tasted in Him!  There  is power to attract out of every corruption around, and to gather the soul into the thoughts and ways of God by the revelation of Christ Himself.    (JND - The Man of Sorrows)

N.J. Hiebert # 3623

February 23

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me.  Then the disciples
looked one on another, doubting of whom He spake
." (John 13:21,22)

Judas, a non-believer, walked with Christ for three years as one of the disciples.  He blended so well that when Christ told them that one of them would betray Him, they were mystified as to who it might be.  No mention is made that Judas was singled out for suspicion.  It is possible to blend well with believers in Christ but to never personally accept Him as Saviour and Lord.  Having a Christian family or associating with Christians does not save you.
Are you a blender or a believer? 
(David J. Logan)

I do believe, I will believe,
That Jesus died for me!
That on the cross He shed His blood
From sin to set me free
.

N.J. Hiebert # 3624

February 24

"Quench (suppress) not the Spirit."  (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

Call of the Chickadees

The black-capped chickadee has a surprising level of complexity in the noises it makes for alarm calls.  Researchers found that chickadees use a high-frequency call to warn of danger in the air.  Depending on the situation, the "chickadee" call can cue other birds about food that is nearby or predators that are perched too close for comfort.

Studies have also found that chickadees don't sense danger from large predators such as the great horned owl, because they're not likely to prey on  such a petite bird.  But smaller owls, which are closer to the size of the chickadee and more of a threat, prompt sentinel chickadees to repeat the alarm sound of their calls - the chickadee's distinctive "dee" note.

A similar level of awareness might serve us well.  In the apostle Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, he didn't just condemn the evils of the world.  He also focused his attention on the matters of the heart that can do harm to us with barely a notice.  "See that none render evil for evil unto any man, but ever follow that which is good." "Quench not the Spirit." "Prove all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:15,19,21).

With the Lord's help let's keep attuned to every caution in the Word about our heart.   (Mart De Haan)

How we need a keen awareness
Of God's voice that is His Word,
Quiet whispers, gentle nudgings,
So we'll make Him King and Lord
.
(Anon)
___________________________________________
God speaks to those who are willing to listen.
________________________________________________________________
Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Copyright (2007), Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted permission

N.J. Hiebert # 3625

Feb 19, 2009 at 00:46 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 18

" . . . They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus."  (Act 4:13)

Some years ago, at a social function, one of England's leading actors was asked to recite for the pleasure of his fellow guests.  He consented and asked if there was anything special that his audience would like to hear.  After a moment's pause, an aged minister arose and said,"Could you, sir, recite the Twenty-Third Psalm?"

A strange look passed over the great actor's face.  He paused for a moment, and then said, "I can, and I will upon one condition - after I have recited it, you, my friend, will do the same."

Impressively, the great actor began the Psalm.  His voice and his intonation were perfect.  He held his audience spell bound, and as he finished, a great burst of applause broke from the guests.

Then, as it died away, the aged minister arose and began to recite.  His voice was not remarkable; his intonation was not faultless.  When he finished, no sound of applause broke the silence, but there was not a dry eye in the room, and many heads and hearts were bowed in reverential awe!

The great actor rose to his feet.  His voice shook  with uncontrollable emotion as he laid his hand upon the shoulder of the aged minister, and said to the audience,  "I have reached your eyes, and ears, my friends.  This man has reached your hearts.  The difference is just this: "I know the twenty-third Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd."   (Traveling Toward Sunrise)

N.J. Hiebert # 3619

February 19

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.  And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.  And he said, let me go, for the day breaketh.  And he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." 
(Genesis 32:24-26)

Such will ever be the happy effect of a thorough acquaintance with our hearts.  Jacob now gets his name changed; he must not be any longer know as the "supplanter," but as a "prince," having power with God through the very knowledge of his weakness; for "when I am weak, then am I strong."   We are never so weak as when we fancy ourselves strong.   Peter never displayed more lamentable weakness than when he fancied he had uncommon strength; had he felt somewhat of Jacob's happy condition when his sinew shrank, he would have thought, acted, and spoken differently differently.  "Lord I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death." (Luke 22:33)    (C.H. Mackintosh)

N.J. Hiebert # 3620

February 20

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God."  (James 4:6,7)

The Christian is always solemnly bound to submit himself to the revealed mind of God.  To plead circumstances as an excuse for doing wrong, or for neglecting any truth of God, is simply flying in the face of divine authority, and making God the author of our disobedience.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 23 - March 1970)

N.J. Hiebert # 3621

Feb 16, 2009 at 19:20 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 16

"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved." 
(John 13:23)
"In Him was no sin."  (1 John 3:5)

It is not by accident or chance that the one who leaned on the breast of Christ and could feel the heartbeat of the Saviour would later take up his pen and write of His sinlessness - those tremendous words which have come down through the centuries, "In Him is no sin."  In:
 
- Thought,
- Actions,
- Words,
- Motives,
- HE IS SINLESS.
 
When the world would seek to attack the impeccability of our Lord, may we lay hold upon the words of John today, "IN HIM IS NO SIN."  (John M. Clegg)

N.J. Hiebert # 3617

February 17

"He hath bent His bow like an enemy." 
"He stood with his right hand as an adversary."  (Lamentations 2:4)
"The Lord was as an enemy."  (Verse 5)

Three times in verses 4 and 5 God is said to have acted as though He were their enemy.  It is well to notice the qualifying expressions "like" and "as."  An enemy He never was; though their conduct compelled Him to act as if He were.  How many a Christian has had to know Him in a similar way!  How often has He seemed to become an enemy! but faith looks beyond all that the eye can see, and knows that He is unchanged in His love and tenderness.  It is sin in His children that has broken in on the fellowship He delights to have them enjoy.  He is "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity;" and while He will never give up one of His redeemed, He will not countenance looseness of walk and an unbridled tongue in any, simply because He has saved them.  In fact, it is just the contrary, for "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."  (H.A. Ironside - Notes 0n Lamentations)

N.J. Hiebert # 3618

Feb 14, 2009 at 15:47 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 14

"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."  (Psalm 4:4)

There are three kinds of silence.  Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil.  Silence, or rest from desires and passions, is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit.  But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper regulation and silence in other respects.  (Madam Guyon)

N.J. Hiebert # 3615

February 15

"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."  (John 15:7)

From man's side, the whole secret of answered prayer is in theses words.  "If ye abide in Me," instinctively, habitually; "and My words abide in you" - not by rapturous experiences, but by practical and daily obedience to them; our desires will harmonize with His, and our prayers will be moulded along lines that will bring inevitable response from heaven.  Stated in other words, the secrets of effectual prayer are mainly four in number:

- Unbroken fellowship (Psalm 66:18).."If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
- A forgiving spirit (Mark 11:25)........ "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any."
- Confident faith  (James  1:5-7).........."Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. . . For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
- Loving obedience. (John 14:15)........"If ye love Me, keep my commandments."

Given fulfillment of these conditions, prayer is encouraged by promises more numerous and more absolute, than attach to any other one act and privilege of the believer's life.  God's universal terms are peculiarly associated with it - "all", "any", "every", "whosoever", "whatsoever", and other such words, make clear His purpose to answer true prayer.  (His Last Words - Henry Durbanville)

N.J. Hiebert # 3616

Feb 12, 2009 at 16:56 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 10

"And Moses said unto the Lord, wherefore hast Thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in Thy sight, that Thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? . . . I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me." (Numbers 11:11,14)


Part of our responsibility for each other is developed by relationship.  God has given us a care and concern for one another, which can develop into an intimate relationship.  This however does not always provide comfort but sometimes becomes more of a burden, a disruption in our normal "comfort zone".  We do not always like to be placed in a responsible position.  We don't like to be "put out" for another, but how do I know how much is counting on my participation - a cup of cold water, will be rewarded.  To think that He uses us as His arms, feet, hands, mouth, eyes and ears - what a privilege not a burden, service to any becomes.  How often we feel He shares the burden among others, often those we know not of, or don't associate with us.

It is easy for God's servant to get discouraged.  We often think we are the only ones chosen as capable of meeting the needs of those who need more than we can offer.  Self pity can be a dangerous area for the saint of God.  He alone empowers us to care and comfort His own, for out own selfishness will not provide any powers but only problems.  (Meditations in Numbers - B.R.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3611

February 11

"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between Him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."  (Malachi 3:18)

There is a hidden but real bond between those who love and serve the Lord.  Think of:
- The home,
- The school,
- The workplace,
- The retirement home,  or above all,
- The gatherings of His people.
These can be arenas where the reality of that fellowship bond, if it exists, is played out.  Among those we meet in our daily lives, we soon know who really loves and serves the Lord.  We soon know those with whom we have so much in common.  What a privilege is fellowship in the Lord among those who serve Him!  (Mark Fenn)   


N.J. Hiebert # 3612

February 12

" . . . the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him."  (John 8:29)

It is human to stand with the crowd;  It is divine to stand alone.  It is manlike to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is Godlike to follow a principle, to stem the tide.
It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure;  it is against nature to sacrifice  both on the altar of His will.
"No man stood with me, but but all men forsook me," wrote the battle-scarred apostle in describing his first appearance before Nero to answer with his life for believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world. Truth has been out of fashion since man changed his robe of fadeless light for a garment of fading leaves.

- Noah built and voyaged alone.  His neighbours laughed at his strangeness and and perished in style.

- Abraham wandered and worshiped alone.  Sodomites smiled at the simple shepherd, followed the fashion and fed the flames.

- Daniel watched and prayed alone. 
- EliJah sacrificed and witnessed alone. 
- Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. 
- JESUS loved and died alone.

I'm not alone, though others go  A different way from what I choose;
I'm not alone, though I say "No!"  I know that I will never lose.
I'm not alone, though others tease  And urge that I should go their way;
I'm not alone, though I displease  My friends by what I'll never say.
I'm not alone, for I now choose - Though other folk may call me odd,
 Though now it seems that I might lose - To go the way that Jesus trod
.

(L.E. Dunkin)
(Mountain Trailways for Youth - Mrs. Chase. E. Cowman)

N.J. Hiebert # 3613

February 13

"It is good for me to draw near to God."  (Psalm 123:28)

The nearer we are to the Lord Jesus, the better we understand that he who touches His brethren "toucheth the apple of His eye."

The true effect of being near to Christ puts me into fellowship with Himself about others, instead of being under my own circumstances.  How can I be turning my heart to the joys of one, and the sorrows of another, unless I am living close to Christ, and getting my heart filled with Him instead of self.

Oh! that we . . . had nearness enough to Christ to draw from Him all grace and all devotedness, and correct in ourselves whatever tends to mar the one or the other.

Activity, unless renewing itself in communion with Him, may be sincere, but will degenerate into routine . . . and is even dangerous; the soul gets far from God without knowing it.  (Pilgrim Portions for the Day of Rest - J.N. Darby)

N.J. Hiebert # 3614

Feb 8, 2009 at 07:17 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 7

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
(John 14:27)

Did you ever think that when Christ was dying on the cross, H made a will?  Perhaps you have thought that no one ever remembered you in a will.  If you are saved, Christ remembered you in His.  He willed His body to Joseph of Arimathaea; He willed His mother to John, the son of Zebedee; and He willed His spirit back to His Father.  But to His disciples He said:
"My peace I leave that with you; that is MY legacy.  My joy, I give that to you."
"My joy," think of it!  "My peace" - not our peace, but His peace! 

They say a man can't make a will now that lawyers can't break, and drive a four-in-hand (a four horse team driven by one person) right straight through it.  I will challenge them to break Christ's will; let them try it.  No judge or jury can set that aside.  Christ rose to execute His own will.  If He had left us a lot of gold, thieves would have stolen it in the first century; but He left His peace and His joy for every true believer, and no power on earth can take it from him who trusts.  (D.L. Moody - Daily Gems)

N.J. Hiebert # 3608

February 8

"And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God [one] fourth part of the day; and [another] fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God."  (Nehemiah 9:3) 

The orderly and reverent reading of God's Word ("stood up in their place") not only produced repentance, but gave liberty to worship Jehovah.  The importance and lasting blessing of reverent, daily family reading of the Bible cannot be overemphasized - reverent being the key to family blessing resulting from this happy activity.  Such habitual and reverent reading of the Bible will produce a foundation from which worship and praise to God (even from little children - see Matthew 21:15) can result.  (Christian Shepherd - July 2005)

N.J. Hiebert # 3609

February 9

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust,
that He might bring us to God
." (1 Peter 3:18)

SUBSTITUTION  "The just for the unjust." 

A most blessed truth this is!  The Just One Who knew no sin, Who did no sin, and in Whom is no sin, went to the cross and there took the place of the unjust ones.  Christ died for the ungodly, for sinners and enemies of God.  Yet He Himself was untainted by sin.  He being holy and separate from sinners was thereby qualified to be their Substitute.  Not only was He qualified, but also He was willing to bear our sins in His own body on the tree. Wonderful Saviour!

Yes, Christ stooped down in grace to where we were, in order to lift us up and give us a place with Himself where He now is, that we might dwell with Him forever.  (J. Redekop)

N.J. Hiebert # 3610

Feb 5, 2009 at 19:26 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

February 4

"There came a messenger unto Job, and said: they have slain thy servants. . .  there came another and said . . . fire hath burned up thy sheep . . . There came another and said . . . they have carried away thy camels and slain thy servants . . . there came another and said . . . thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking . . . there came a great wind . . . and they are dead . . . Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
(Job 1:13 - 21)

Even in our feasting here we see a warning to be vigilant.  Bad news always finds a way of reaching us no matter where we are.  Satan ensures this as a tool of discouragement.  He designs, that a servant would survive from each catastrophe to bring him the report.  Job realizes in his soul that all he possesses has been given to him by God who maintains it as He sees fit.  This is proper for us all realizing we are only stewards of God's treasury.  (Meditations in Job - B.R.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3605

February 5

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path."  (Psalm 119:105)

- There are no dead ends in our Spiritual Walk, just places to turn around.
- I'm not telling you it is going to be easy--I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.
- Anything that comes to us from the God of the Word will deepen our love for the Word of God.
- Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition.
- The Scriptures are in print what Christ is in person.
- The Scriptures, to be understood, must be read with the same Spirit that originally inspired them.
- Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love, and love becomes soft if not strengthened by truth.
- The Scriptures were not given for our information, but for out transformation.
- The study of God's Word, for the purpose of discovering God's Word, is the secret discipline which has formed the greatest characters.
- Don't be surprised to discover that many Christian are far more interested in interpretation of the Bible than the application of it. 
(A Collection of Wise Sayings - R.K.)

N.J. Hiebert # 3606

February 6

"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh."  (Ecclesiastes 1:4)

One Falling Leaf - However prominent the place we fill, our death will not jar the world. One falling leaf does not shake the Adirondacks.

When we go others take our spheres - We do not grudge the future generations their places. After a lifetime of preaching, doctoring, selling, sewing, or digging,
let us cheerfully give way for those who come on to do the preaching, doctoring, selling, sewing, and digging.

The Young to take Our Places - As we get older, do not let us be affronted if you men and women crowd us a little. We will have had our day, and we must let
them have theirs. When our voices get cracked, let us not snarl at those who can warble. When our knees are stiffened, let us have patience with those who go fleet
as the deer. Because our leaf is fading, do not let us despise the unfrosted.

(T. De Witt Talmage [Born 1832] - 1000 Gems)

N.J. Hiebert # 3607

Feb 3, 2009 at 02:44 o\clock

Gems worth reading

February 3

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)


I have not the thought of what we shall do in glory:  my thought is, Christ will be there.  I shall be in the place where everything is ruled by the mind of Christ.  Have you known down here the calming effect of realizing His presence, hearing Him breathing out like oil on the waters, "It is I!"  What will it be to be in a world were all is subject to Him who gives such peace even here!  What will heaven be, when all that He is, all His perfect grace, will come out to us in the Father's house!  What will it be where everything will be attuned to the name of Jesus!  The full stream of His affections will flow over and spread blessing everywhere, "His fulness" poured forth to fill every heart, and every heart perfectly filled and satisfied with it..   (Gleanings From the Teaching of G.V.W.)


N.J. Hiebert # 3604

Feb 2, 2009 at 02:32 o\clock

Gems worth reading

January 28

"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler."  (Psalm 91:4)

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained stedfast . . . because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live. (Selected)

N.J. Hiebert # 3598

January 29

"Whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . .pure . . . lovely . . . good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
(Philippians 4:6)

One of the tragic casualties of our age has been that of the contemplative life--a life that thinks, a life that thinks things through, and more particularly, thinks God's thoughts after Him.  A person sitting at his or her desk staring out the window would never be assumed to be working.  No!  Thinking is not equated with work.

What is even more destructive is the assumption that silence is inimical (unfavourable or harmful) to life.  The radio in the car, Muzak in the elevator, and the symphony entertaining callers "on hold" all add up as grave impediments to personal reflection.  In effect, the mind is denied the privilege of living with itself even briefly and is crowded with outside impulses to cope with aloneness.

Is there a remedy?  Nothing ranks higher for metal discipline than a planned and systematic study of God's Word, from whence life's parameters and values are planted in the mind.  Paul, who loved his books and parchments, affirmed the priority of Scriptures: ". . . that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written." (Do not go above what is written) (1 Corinthians 4:6).  And Psalm 119 promises that God's statutes keep us from being double-minded.  

The Bible places supreme value on the thought-life as that which shapes all of life.  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).  Jesus asserted that sin's gravity lay a the level of the idea itself, not just the act.  Paul admonished the church at Philippi to have the mind of Christ, and to the same people he wrote,
The follower of Christ must demonstrate to the world what it means not just to think, but to think justly.  The LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.

Let us serve God with both hearts and minds.  After all, it is not that I think, therefore, I am, but rather, I Am has asked us to think and therefore, we must.  (A Slice of Infinity)

N.J. Hiebert # 3599

January 30

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16)

In the love of God, redemption originated.  Jesus did not die that God might love the sinner; Jesus died because God did love the sinner.  But the gospel is more than a message of love; the cross is more than a revelation of love - it is a demonstration of righteousness also.  And because it is a demonstration of righteousness, as well as a revelation of love, it meets the whole case - the whole moral and spiritual need - of the Spirit-convinced, conscience-stricken, seeking sinner.  (Christian Truth - Vol. 15) 

N.J. Hiebert # 3600 

January 31

"Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you." 
(1 Peter 5:7)

Adolph Monod said that the poor often ask how the promise of God about their daily bread will be fulfilled. But when they look back over the years, they are astonished to see that He has provided for every day, often in ways they cannot remember.

It is the same with those who are ill: "When they look back over weeks, months, years, they are surprised to see that God has given them each day the promised strength." And Adolph Monod adds that "we ought to practice ourselves in casting
away our anxieties."

That is a good word - practice ourselves. Practice will make us perfect in this. It will become natural to us to cast our care at once upon our Lord, instead of carrying it for a while ourselves, until tired out we turn to Him to find the rest that might have been ours at the beginning.
He cares for us. He who has loved will love; He who has led will lead; He who has kept will keep.

(Amy Carmichael - Whispers of His Power)

N.J. Hiebert # 3601 

February 1

"What I (Jesus) do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." (John 13:7)

Today at lunch a friend of mine told me that Spurgeon  said that God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken, and when you cannot trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.   I have been through much that I do not understand.  God does not ask me to understand it but to accept it.
I cannot trace His hand but I can trust His heart.  I know that God is love and back of all His doings is that love.  It sent His Son into this world and reached its climax on Calvary.  It is the hallmark of His disciples.  "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14).  "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to to another" (John 13:35).  WE know and ALL MEN know that we are his because His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  It is inward evidence and outward evidence.  I know that whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.  His corrective discipline proves my sonship.

Back of all the misery and mystery of this world beats that heart of love.  I cannot trace God's hand in news reports and the happenings in this modern madhouse.  Satan is on the loose.  (Vance Havner - Though I walk Through the Valley)

N.J. Hiebert # 3602

February 2

"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.  And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together." (Acts 20:7,8)

Two things are brought into contrast - "midnight" and "many lights."  This is not without significance.  The church was in the prime of its splendour.  The "many lights" represent the many gifts - apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists.  Yet as, in spite of "many lights" and also the memorial of Christ's sufferings upon the table, Eutychus fell into a "deep sleep," so the church was about to lapse into spiritual torpor and death, and in "due time" worldliness and temporal prosperity would eat out its very heart.  This helps us to understand  the reference to "midnight".  After Paul's departure the Church would in due time reach her midnight.  The Middle Ages found her apparently sleeping the sleep of death.  Worldly alliance, spiritual arrogance and moral corruption had done their work.  Gorgeous ceremonial, pomp and carnal display might be there, but spiritual life and power were absent.  Like Eutychus she had sunk down with sleep, and to all appearance she was dead.  (Russell Elliott - Break of Day)  

N.J. Hiebert # 3603