Bible Gems

Nov 26, 2009 at 19:10 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

November 25

"There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both."
(Luke 7:41,42)

We are conscious of how much depends upon the style of an action.  Indeed, there is frequently far more power in the style than in the substance.  How often have we heard such words as these, "Yes, I own he did me a favour; but then he did it in such a way as to take away all the good of it."  Now, the Lord has His style of doing things, blessed he His name.  He not only does great things, but He does them in such a way as to convince us that His heart is in the doing of them.  Not only is the substance of His acts good, but the style most charming.

Look, for instance, at Christ's touching word to Simon the Pharisee, Luke 7:41,42 (above).  Now, so far as the mere matter of the debt was concerned, the result would have been the same whatever style had been adopted.  But what heart does not perceive the moral power of the word "frankly"?  Who would part with it?  Who could bear to see the substance stripped of its style?  The creditor might forgive with a murmur about the amount.  That murmur would, in the judgment of a sensitive heart, rob the act of all its charms.  On the other hand, the frankness of the style enhances, beyond expression, the value of the substance. (C.H. MACKINTOSH)    

N.J. Hiebert - 3899 

November 26

"In every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols 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 1:8-10)

To repent is to change the mind: that is, to reverse one's attitude; and so these who had been idolators turned to the true and living God; they were through with idolatry.  Today when men trust in Christ and bow before God in repentance they turn from the things of a godless world and yield themselves to the One who died to redeem them.  Following the conversion of these Thessalonians, as intimated above, two words set forth their new attitude. They sought to SERVE the living and true God while they WAITED for His Son from heaven.  (H.A. IRONSIDE - ADDRESSES ON THESSALONIANS)

N.J. Hiebert - 3900  

November 27

"Pray without ceasing."   (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

When Jesus was praying, Peter was sleeping.
When Jesus was submitting as a Lamb to the slaughter, Peter was fighting.
When Jesus was confessing in suffering, Peter was denying Him with oaths and curses.

Failure to pray always makes us insensitive to sin.  
If we do not take time to pray, we often will not recognize sin for what it is.  
When we pray in the time of victory, we will not have to plead in the time of defeat.
(SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert - 3901

Nov 23, 2009 at 17:11 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

November 19

" . . . your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him."
(Matthew 6:8)

He knoweth the way that I take;
Each step of that way He hath planned:
And, walking through sunshine or storm,
I walk in the shade of His hand.
In deserts untrodden and drear,
Where foes in the darkness may hide, 
He leaveth me never alone;
He sendeth me light and a guide.

He knoweth the need of my soul -
The trial that calls for His grace,
The weakness that leans on His strength,
The fear that looks up to His face.
He knoweth what sifting is best
To scatter the chaff from the wheat
And lay all my self-righteous pride
Low down in the dust at His feet.
(ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3893

November 20

"Unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise 
with healing in His wings."  
(Malachi 4:2)

A south American traveler tells of a curious conflict which he once witnessed between a little quadruped and a poisonous reptile of great size.  The little creature seemed no match for its antagonist that threatened to destroy it by a blow, as well as its helpless young, but it fearlessly faced its mighty enemy and rushing at him, struck him with a succession of fierce and telling blows, but, received at the onset a deep and apparently fatal wound from the poisonous fangs, which flashed for a moment with an angry fire, and then fastened themselves deep into the flesh of the daring little assailant.

For a moment it seemed as if all were over, but the wise little creature immediately retired into the forest, and hastening to the plantain tree eagerly devoured some of its leaves, and then hurried back, seemingly fresh and restored, to renew the fray with vigor and determination.  Again and again this strange spectacle was repeated: the serpent, although greatly exhausted, ferociously attacked, and again and again wounded its antagonist to death, as it seemed; but the little creature each time repaired to its simple prescription, and returned to renewed victory.  In the course of an hour or two the battle was over - the mammoth reptile lay still and dead and the little victor was unharmed, in the midst of the nest and the helpless little ones.

How often we are wounded by the dragon's sting - wounded it would seem to death! and if we had to go through some long ceremony to reach the source of life, we must faint and die.  But blessed be His Name! as near at hand as that which the forest holds in it shade, there is ever for us a Plant of healing to which we may continually repair and come back refreshed, invigorated, transfigured - like Him Who shone with the brightness of celestial light as He prayed in the mount; Who, as He prayed in the garden, arose triumphant over the fear of death, strengthened from on high to accomplish the mighty battle of our redemption.  (A. B. SIMPSON         
 - SPRINGS IN THE VALLEY)

It is His wings that heal our pains,
And soothe the serpent's poisoned stings;
Close to His bosom we must press
To feel His healing wings.


N.J. Hiebert - 3894

November 21

"But he (Jesus) said unto them, Give ye them to eat.  And they  said, 
We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we 
should go and buy meat for all this people." 
(Luke 9:13)

So it is with us.  No faith.   Memory is not faith.  "He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed.  Can He give bread also?"   He gave us water, but can He give us food?  We know he has done that one thing, but can He do this other thing to-day?  We want to count on the energy of the Lord's love, and expect Him to be interested for us.  When He said, "Give ye them to eat" they should have expected He would give them the power.  Jehovah was among them exercising His own power, but we see in their answer the horrid principle of unbelief.  Unbelief shuts out God, and limits itself to what it sees; "except we go and buy meat."  (J. N. DARBY)

N.J. Hiebert - 3895

November 22

"While they beheld, He (Jesus) was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, 
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
which also said, 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 1:9-11)

No sooner did our Lord leave this earth for heaven than a message was sent to the disciples as they still gazed upward where they had seen  Him disappear.  It was a message of His coming back again.  "Two men," evidently angelic messengers, stood by the disciples, as they wonderingly gazed toward heaven.  This is what these messengers said: (Acts 1 noted above.)

Angels usually call Him Lord.  Yet when He ascended in glory the angels say, "This same Jesus."  Now that our Lord has gone to heaven, clothed with all the majesty that rightly belongs to Him, our God does not want us to think that He is not still the same as when He walked the roads of Judea and Galilee, dispensing mercy and healing everywhere.  Though shining with a glory above the brightness of the sun, He is the very same Saviour as when He sat on Sychar's well.   (LEONARD SHELDRAKE - OUR LORD JESUS , A PLANT OF RENOWN)

N.J. Hiebert - 3896

November 23

"So the dead which he (Samson) slew at his death were more
than they which he slew in his life."(Judges 16:30)

What a marvel that Samson's death was more productive than his life.  It is a reminder of our Lord Jesus.  He also accomplished His greatest work in His death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  Though they both spread their arms wide to die, there the similarity ends.  While Samson's motive was revenge, our Lord's motivation was LOVE.  Samson's death brought more death; the Lord's death brought life eternal.  (WARREN HAGEY - CHOICE GLEANINGS)  

Behold His arms extended wide, on the cross!
Behold His bleeding hands and side, on the cross!
And now the mighty deed is done, on the cross!
The battle fought, the victory won, on the cross!
(JOSEPH HOSKINS)

N.J. Hiebert - 3897

November 24

"The LORD bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth
the stroke of their wounds."
(Isaiah 30:26)

When some friend has proved untrue - betrayed your simple trust; used you for his selfish end, and trampled in the dust the Past, with all its memories, and all its sacred ties, the light is blotted from the sky - for something in you dies.

Bless your false and faithless friend, just smile and pass along - God must be the judge of it: He knows the right and wrong. . . . Life is short - don't waste the hours by brooding on the past;  His great laws are good and just; Truth conquers at the last.

Red and deep our wounds may be - but after all the pain - God's own finger touches us, and we are healed again. . . .  With faith restored, and trust renewed - we look toward the stars - the world will see the smiles we have - but God will see the scars.  (SCARS, BY PATIENCE STRONG)

Love grows stronger when assailed;
Love conquers where all else has failed.
Love ever blesses those who curse;
Love gives the better for the worse.
Love unbinds others by its bonds;
Love pours forgiveness from its wounds.

N.J. Hiebert - 3898

Nov 17, 2009 at 15:12 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

November 13

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
(James 1:14-15)

For years, twice a day, a circus man called a large pet snake from a cage and had it wrap itself around his body. At a command, the snake would uncoil and return to its cage. One night the snake refused to uncoil and after repeated commands, it suddenly choked the man to death. Our flesh is like the snake. What the man thought was controllable brought him to his death. Unchecked lusting leads to sin and unrepentant sin brings separation from God. Don't trust in your flesh, it is more dangerous than you know! (WARREN HENDERSON)

N.J. Hiebert - 3887

November 14

"Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law." (2 Chronicles 15:3)

It is the work of the teacher to minister the truth to the people of God. The Word of God is to be unfolded, its perfections to be exhibited, its doctrines expounded, and its difficulties explained. The teacher is the student of this Book, devoted to it. In days like these when all sorts of error abound, professing to be derived from the Scriptures, when the very foundations are being undermined, we need teachers to turn us back "to the law and the testimony," and show us that, in the midst of the confusion of tongues, there is still a Voice that speaks with no uncertain sound. It is the teacher who must meet the assaults of the many evils which have fastened themselves upon the very vitals of professing Christendom. It is the teacher who leads us into the deep things of God's Word, and by satisfying us with good, leaves no relish for evil. (S. RIDOUT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3888

November 15

"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."
(Proverbs 15:33)

Humility is selflessness - pride is selfishness.

---------------------------------------------

"If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee."
(Proverbs 25:21-22)

He that does good for good's sake seeks neither nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end.

---------------------------------------------

"But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." (Colossians 3:25)

If you do what you should not, you must bear what you would not.
(ANON)

--------------------------------------------

N.J. Hiebert - 3889

November 16

"His disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities."
(Matthew 14:12-13)

The forerunner of the Messiah (John) was dead; unjustly and cruelly murdered. The chilling news, when conveyed to Jesus caused Him to retreat to a solitary place. He knew that He, too, would face death with all its violence and judgment, the Just for the unjust to bring us to God. Such contemplation required solitude and communion with His Father. Spiritual reflection on this will draw out our hearts in adoring worship. (DREW CRAIG)

Was it for crimes that I had done?
He groaned upon the tree,
Amazing pity, grace unknown
And love beyond degree
.
(ISAAC WATTS)

N.J. Hiebert - 3890

November 17

"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)

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 always been 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 its 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.

Only observe and see if the name of Christ is not dishonoured. Man may indeed be taught to honour it; but it is nonetheless true that where he finds his enjoyment, where his will is free, he shuts out Christ, lest he should come in and spoil his pleasures. If left alone, he does not think of Him. He does not like to be spoken to of the Saviour. He sees no beauty in Him, that he should desire Him. Man likes to do his own will, and he does not want the Lord to come and oppose it; he prefers vanity and pleasures. (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - MARCH 1967 - VOL. 20)

N.J. Hiebert - 3891

November 18

"Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God."
(Hebrews 10:9)

Christ's only purpose in everything down here was to do the will of God, and He did it most entirely. He was one bright unwavering testimony to God, and nothing but God; and the more strength there was in that purpose, the more suffering there would be in such a world as this. But whether the Lord would in obedience go down so low as the death of the cross, was the question. He did so, and the wrath of God broke over Him; that was essentially His cross, such as ours could not be. (GLEANINGS of G.V. WIGRAM)

N.J. Hiebert - 3892

November 19

Nov 11, 2009 at 20:04 o\clock

Gems worth pondering

October 30

"How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth and thy want as an armed man."
(Proverbs 6:9-11)

You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.
___________________________________________________________________


"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
(Galatians 6:2)

Test your strength by lifting a burden from another's shoulder.
___________________________________________________________________

"We spend our days as a tale that is told---for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
(Psalm 90:9,10)

A minute is a little thing, but minutes make a day. So crowd in some kind deeds before it slips away.
___________________________________________________________________


"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."
(Proverbs 11:25)

No man can be good to others without being good to himself.
___________________________________________________________________
(SELECTED)

N.J. Hiebert - 3873

October 31

"For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better . . ." (Philippians 1:23)

The last for which the first was made - that was Paul's highest aspiration, to be with Christ. But do not forget that Christ is with us now. We are hampered by our limitations and not as aware of Him as we should be. There, no longer blinded by our eyes, we shall know as we are known and we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. But He is with us all the days when we see through a glass as in a riddle and to know Hm better now is our chief business. Tomorrow can wait and we have only today. (ALL THE DAYS - VANCE HAVNER)

N.J. Hiebert - 3874

November 1

What shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God
? “
(1 Peter 4:17)

You can choose eternal anguish,
Live the life that suits you best;
Turn your back on heavenly treasures;
Vainly seek for peace and rest;
God will never make you serve Him.
Never force you to be saved;
You can go to judgment Christ-less,
And the price forever pay
!

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
(Matthew 22:13)

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
(Acts 16:31)

(SUBMITTED BY A READER OF THE "GEMS" - T.R.)

N.J. Hiebert - 3875

November 2

"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?"
(Song of Solomon 8:5)

Ah me, I'm never well
But when I on my Best Beloved lean,
And then I'm never ill:
Crosses and trials all are right
And pain is sweet and trouble light,
When Christ my heart doth fill
.
(ANON)

God sends rain and fruitful seasons, but though they come, they never come in the same way in any one year, and I find that, as a rule, when I need anything, that it come from a quarter that I never expected, and that from the quarter where it had come before it does not now. Thus God keeps the eye on Himself and not on the donor.  The tendency is to lose dependence when we are enjoying the results of dependence. (FOOTPRINTS FOR PILGRIMS)

N.J. Hiebert - 3876

November 3

"The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him." (Lamentations 3:25)

The fact that God and His claims must be supreme - is beautifully illustrated in an incident of which I recently (1958) read. A man, addressing some children, said: "You all know the verb 'I am, thou art, he is' ; and you know that verbs in English, French, German, Italian and Latin run in this way: 'I love, thou lovest, he loves' ; or, 'I walk, thou walkest, he walks'. But how many of you know that the old Hebrew people arrange their verbs the other way round: 'He is, thou art, I am'?"

Then he said to them: "That is the way to look at life. Say to yourself, looking up to God: 'He is' ; then look at your neighbour, and say: 'You are' ; last of all, think of yourself, and say: 'I am'. First God, then your neighbour, then yourself. That is the best way to think and live." (HEAVEN'S CURE FOR EARTH'S CARE)

N.J. Hiebert - 3877

November 4

"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
(Ephesians 4:2,3)

Not My Yardstick

It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the unity of the Spirit cam be kept in a legal way. It must be grace. It must be the fruit of communion with Christ, and living of His life. I cannot take my own yardstick and measure everybody else by that. I cannot lay down my interpretations of Scripture and say every man must walk by this rule. That is to make law of Scripture and put everybody on legal ground. This is the worst kind of legalism.

If our minds are formed by the Word and Spirit of God, others will feel the power . . . and they will be edified. If I am handling the Word of God in a legal way, I will only provoke the flesh, and no good will result. I cannot teach you the Word of God with a sledge hammer. The teaching must be through the operation of the Spirit. And grace characterizes this operation. So I must be gracious, patient, and loving.

Let brotherly love abound, and bitterness be put away -- edifying one another in love. (A.H. RULE AS SUBMITTED BY M.S.)

N.J. Hiebert - 3878

November 5

"If riches increase, set not your heart upon them."
(Psalm 62:10)

Once in Malaysia an aged Indian friend came to me with a smile on his face and a gift in his hand - a million ringgit note! But it was worthless, being old Japanese currency introduced during World War II and of no value when the war ended. Soon all earth's currencies will count for nothing; soon all material things will fade away. "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out" (1 Timothy 6:7). Where is your treasure? (W.P.W McVEY)

Out of this world I shall never take
Things of gold and silver I make;
All that I cherish and hoard away,
After I leave, on the earth must stay
.

N.J. Hiebert - 3879

November 6

"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus."
(Romans 15:5)

He presents God in the very character in which we need Him. Our small stock of patience would soon be exhausted in seeking to meet the varied characters which cross our path, even in relationship with our brethren. There are constant claims upon our patience and forbearance; and most surely others have need of patience and forbearance with us. Where are we all to get the means of meeting all these claims? At the exhaustless treasury of "the God of patience and consolation." Our tiny springs would soon dry up if not kept in unbroken connection with that ever-flowing Fountain. The weight of a feather would be an overmatch for our patience; how much more the ten thousand things that come before us even in the Church of God! (C.H. MACINTOSH)

N.J. Hiebert - 3880

November 7

"But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
(Hebrews 13:16)

A little girl was playing with some alphabet blocks, arranging them to make various words. Suddenly she exclaimed, "O mother, look! I can get two words out of this one. See, if I take GOOD, I can make it say GO and DO." The mother smiled her approval. She thought to herself, my child unknowingly has just preached a powerful sermon: A believer must translate faith into daily practice. I must go and do if I am to be a good ambassador for Jesus Christ.

We've all heard the old saying, "Talk is cheap." It reminds us as Christians that appropriate action must always accompany our words, lest they be nothing more than pious platitudes and we lose our testimony before the world. The genuineness of our salvation is seen when we live a Christ-centered, sacrificial life that reaches out in love to others. The author of Hebrews therefore strongly cautions against a mental assent to Divine truth that does not result in warmhearted giving. He wrote, ". . . to do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."

Even the weakest, humblest believer can radiate a wondrous light of blessing in his daily round of activity. He does this not only by his kind words, but also by giving sympathetic attention to those who cross his pathway. He must clearly mirror to everyone the attitudes and actions of the Saviour, who "went about doing good."

Yes, to be a good Christian means we will be constantly looking for opportunities to go and do the things that please the Lord and bring joy to others. (H.G.B.)

Your theology is what you are when the talking stops
and the action starts.

N.J. Hiebert - 3881

November 8

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

The secret of a disciple's quietness under trial, is the knowing that things do not happen by chance. If we see them in the light of God, we have rest immediately; not only rest in the future, but rest for to-day. Seeing things in the light, and under the power of the hand of God, makes all the difference as things roll in upon you. My walk may be inconsistent and unsteady, I may need deep humiliation, and have loss and very dearly bought experience, in order to be able to say that I see the Father's hand present in everything. (GLEANINGS OF G.V.WIGRAM)

N.J. Hiebert - 3882

November 9

"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."
(John 1:3)

How awesome to gaze up into the night sky and view the vast universe above us. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has an estimated 200 billion stars, and a diameter of 100 light years, meaning that if we were able to travel at 386,000 miles per second, it would take 100 years to cross our galaxy alone! We are looking at a universe with the imprint of the infinite, eternal God upon it. Yet wonder of wonders, the Creator came among us in lowly guise. He visited this insignificant planet and gave His life to save those who had dared to rebel against the God of the universe. What mercy! What grace! (W.H. BURNETT)

Thou Lord of all transcendent, Thou life creating sun
To worlds on Thee dependent, yet bruised and spit upon
.
(GERHARDT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3883

November 10

"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
(1 Thessalonians 4:12)

The tone and spirit of our walk is an important point. Confidence in God, and gentleness of spirit, is that which becomes the saint. For this, we must be at home with God. The effect of thus walking in Christ, setting the Lord ever before us, is always to make us walk with reverence, lowliness, adoration, quietness, ease, and happiness. Because of the heart's joy in God, anxieties disappear, and it will move through the ten thousand things that would trouble and prove anxieties to another, without being troubled. No matter what it may be, we bring quietness of spirit into all circumstances while abiding in God. (CHRISTIAN TRUTH - VOL. 14 - FEBRUARY 1961)

N.J. Hiebert - 3884

November 11

"He that is slow to wrath is of great UNDERSTANDING."
(Proverbs 14:29)

"A man of UNDERSTANDING holdeth his peace."
(Proverbs 11:12)

"
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man
of UNDERSTANDING is of an excelled spirit
."
(Proverbs 17:27)

"Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath UNDERSTANDING."
(Proverbs 14:33)

"
My mouth shall speak of wisdom;
And the meditation of my heart
Shall be of understanding
."
(Psalm 49:3)

N.J. Hiebert - 3885

November 12

"I can do all things through Christ Who strengtheneth me."
(Philippians 4:13)

It seems like distrust of oneself, and deep lowliness of spirit, to shrink from heavy responsibility, but all we need to inquire is, Has God imposed that responsibility? If so, He will be assuredly with me in sustaining it; and having Him with me, I can sustain anything. With Him, the weight of a mountain is nothing; without Him the weight of a feather is overwhelming. (FOOD FOR THE DESERT)

N.J. Hiebert - 3886