August 1 - 8
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
Themistocles, who led the Greeks in the famous naval battle of Salamis, for some reason unknown to his troops, delayed the engagement. It was expected that he would avail himself of the early morning hours; and when what seemed the golden opportunity had gone in inactivity, there were many who suspected him of being a traitor to his country. But he was waiting for the land breeze, which he new would begin to blow at nine o'clock in the morning. He proposed to harness the very winds to his war-galleys, and make them waft his boats to sea; and so, save the strength of his men for the fighting. Thus, those who would have been only rowers, became warriors. Happy is the servant of God, who, waiting for power from on high, thus uses in the work of the Lord, energies that would otherwise be wasted.
"Why labour at the dull mechanic oar,
When the strong winds are blowing?"
(George Henderson - In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert # 2691
"Occupy till I come." (Luke 19:13)
There is no time to let up as long as the doors are still open to the preaching of the gospel.
Strength! Rowing against the tide, or swimming against the tide, gives strong, firm muscles, and working for God against the tide of this world will make us strong in Him and in the power of His might. Do we really want to "Be strong"?
Work makes a strong man, and idleness a weak one. Besides, God always looks for a worker, a busy toiler, when He wants something done for Him.
- MOSES was busy with his flocks at Horeb, when God called him.
- SAUL was busy searching for his father's lost beasts.
- ELISHA was busy plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.
- DAVID was busy caring for his father's sheep.
- AMOS was busy following the flock.
- PETER & ANDREW were busy casting a net into the sea.
- JAMES & JOHN were busy mending their nets.
- MATTHEW was busy collecting customs.
"When He calls me, I will answer;
I'll be somewhere working when He comes?"
(Garments of Strength - Zelma Argue)
N.J. Hiebert # 2692
"Behold he prayeth." (Acts 9:11)
The Lord informed Ananias to go to a certain place and find a man who was praying. This was convincing confirmation that Paul was a true believer. He was praying - not just reciting prayers, but in vital communication with heaven. This opened the way to great things for Paul. The scales on his eyes fell off, and he received his sight. He was baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. He had fellowship with the disciples, and began to preach Christ as the Son of God. May we emulate him. "Lord, teach us to pray!" (Luke 11:1) (Milton Haack)
Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray
This is my heart's cry day unto day;
I long to know Thy will and Thy way -
Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray
(Albert S. Ritz)
N.J. Hiebert # 2693
"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)
How we value a gift which was the giver's own personal possession: what a special token of intimate friendship we feel it to be. The peace which our Lord wants us to enjoy is that which He Himself enjoyed: the same restfulness in danger, the same equanimity in troublous circumstances, the same freedom from anxiety about the happenings of the hour. This He makes over to His people; this is His gift to us all. In the glad possession of it we share His unruffled serenity amid the direst happenings and deepest mysteries of life. The three things which will characterize the "times of the end" - distress, perplexity, fear (Luke 21:25-26) - will be kept at bay from our hearts; and we shall rejoice to find "God's greatness flowing round our incompleteness; round our restlessness, His rest".
(Henry Durbanville - from the book - His Last Words)
N.J. Hiebert # 2694
"Yield . . . your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:13)
What are your members? Hands, feet, lips, eyes, ears, and so on. What are we to do with them? "Yield" them, that is, give them up altogether, hand them over to God. What for? That He may use them as instruments of righteousness. That is, just as we should take an instrument of music, to make music with it, so He may take our hands and feet and all our members, and use them to do right and good things with. If we have given ourselves to God, every part of our body is to be God's servant, an instrument for Him to use. All our members will leave off serving Satan, and find something to do for God, for it we yield them to God, He will really take them and use them. We will be surprised to find in how many ways He will use our members, if we give them and our whole self to Him. We will never be miserable again with "nothing to do!" (Francis Ridley Havergal - Open Treasure)
N.J. Hiebert # 2695
"He hath done all things well." (Mark 7:37)
"Our Jesus hath done all things well" has long been our song. And so it must be, whatever we may feel; for if the Father of an only-begotten Son settles everything for us which is for the glory of that Son, surely all is well. (G.V. Wigram)
N.J. Hiebert # 2696
"And they did all eat and were filled." (Matthew 15:37)
It is not always that there is much food where is much ministry. Food is that which feeds, and you know that often the Lord's crumb is more than a long discourse. (Footprints for Pilgrims)
N.J. Hiebert # 2697
"Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." (Hebrews 10:37)
If we once really tasted the loving-kindness of God we never enjoy it so much as when we have nothing else to enjoy. (J.N. Darby)
N.J. Hiebert # 2698