Daily Meditations for April

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April 11

Psalm 86:10, 11

As a versification of Psalm 86:10, 11 we sing:

    In all thy deeds how great Thou art!
    The one true God Thy way make clear;
    Teach me with undivided heart
    To trust Thy truth, Thy name to fear.

And the Scripture version reads, "For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone, Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: Unite my heart to fear Thy name."

We do well to give serious thought to this truth today. For the greatness of God in the work we considered yesterday is so universally denied.

No one can deny that God chose some to everlasting life and not others. As we noted yesterday from Psalm 33:12, "Blessed is the nation Whose God is the Lord: and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance."  But we must not make this choice one made in time and on the condition that one believes. That is limiting God's greatness and takes away from the wonderful work He has wrought upon us and for us. For it makes God's desire dependent upon man's help. Man must save himself from his unbelief, and then God will save him from his guilt and the curse.

Surely, as we saw three days ago, man is spiritually dead and cannot then fulfill any conditions. Dead men do not make it possible for the living God to do what He wants to have done. If they can, then what the psalmist in Psalm 86:10 wrote is not true.

Let us make the psalmist's prayer in verse 11 ours:

"Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name." Pray that you may see the way in which God saves us, and that it is a great and marvelous way, a miracle of His grace. Pray that you may walk in that truth that our salvation is a miracle and that we contributed absolutely nothing to it, and owe God all the thanks and praise. Pray that your heart may be united to fear Him as such a sovereign and powerful God, Who wrote our names in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world.

Read: Psalm 86
Psalter versification: 233:6

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 29
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 3 ; Joshua 4
Luke 14:7-35
Psalm 80:1-19
Proverbs 12:27-28


Quote for Reflection:

Herman Hoeksema: "In our ecumenical age, it is almost like a voice crying in the wilderness when we insist that the church must still exercise its power of the keys. Under the slogan of a wrong interpretation and application of John 17:21, ‘that they may all be one,’ most churches have long discarded the truth of the gospel, abrogated their confessions, and strive to unite into one ecumenical church ... In the light of this ecumenical striving the subject of the keys of the kingdom of heaven has become antiquated. Yet, the true church, however small, may not follow this false ecumenical trend, but must insist on the exercise of the power of the keys" (The Triple Knowledge, vol. 2, p. 693).

April 12

Psalm 32:1

If there is one thing that we all need, it is the forgiveness of our sins. Since there is none that doeth good, no not one, we all need to have our sins blotted out, or everlasting punishment lies before us. As Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." In Adam all of us are guilty, and the wages of sin is death. Unless we have our guilt removed, we will enter everlasting punishment.

But thanks be to God, those whom He chose in Christ have their sins covered, as we read in Psalm 32:1: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."  And that one's sin is covered does not mean that it is hidden from God's eyes. No one and nothing can be hid from His everywhere-present and powerful eyes. Psalm 139:4-12 states that loudly and clearly. And in Psalm 32:1 David says that our sins are forgiven. God sent His Son to suffer fully the punishment, and to do fully the work of love we failed to begin to do. Therefore our sins are covered, as an insurance policy covers all the damages and expenses. Our sins will cost us nothing, for the Son of God paid the full price of our salvation.

One truth clearly and repeatedly taught in the book of Psalms is that we have atonement, the blotting out of our sins. And one of the beautiful songs God gives us to sing is this versification of David's words:

    How blest is he whose trespass
    Hath freely been forgiven,
    Whose sin is wholly covered
    Before the sight of heav'n.
    Blest he to whom Jehovah
    Imputeth not his sin,
    Who hath a guileless spirit,
    Whose heart is true within.

Learn that song and take it with you all the rest of our life. Sing it every day for your comfort, for we add to our sins every day of our lives. Atonement is reconciliation and means that God's justice is satisfied. Full payment has been made for all our sins by God's Son. And that gives us the right to sing that we are blessed by God's grace. But then let us bless and praise God for this wonderful gift which is so freely given us. It cost His Son His life. It costs us nothing. Salvation is a free gift.

Read: Psalm 32
Psalter versification: 83:1

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 200
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 5 ; Joshua 6 ; Joshua 7:1-15
Luke 15:1-32
Psalm 81:1-16
Proverbs 13:1


Quote for Reflection:

The law may break the heart with fear; it is only grace that works that sweet humility that becomes joy to the soul as its second nature. It was the revelation of God in His holiness, drawing nigh to make Himself known in His grace that made Abraham, Jacob, Job and Isaiah bow so low.... It is the sinner basking in the full light of God’s holy, redeeming love, in the experience of that indwelling divine compassion of Christ, who cannot but be humble. Not to be occupied with your sin but to be fully occupied with God brings deliverance from self. — Andrew Murray

April 13

Psalm 135:3,4

God is particular. Let us take hold of and maintain that truth with all of our strength. Every day we are bombarded with a denial of this truth. On bumper stickers, over the radio, from off the pulpit, and displayed where passers-by may read it, these unscriptural words are presented: "Smile, God loves you."

Whosoever reads or hears these words is supposed to be the object of God's love; and it is shouted out that Christ died so that every one who hears them has a chance to be saved. But let us get it deeply into our souls that God is not a gambler or a beggar. He is not one who strives to get His way and to save as many as He can. He chose certain definite people and sent Christ to die only for their sins. As clear as you could want it, He through Paul tells us in Romans 9:11-13 that before they were born, or had done good or evil, it was stated that the elder should serve the younger, "For Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated."

The Psalms also speak of a particular atonement. For we read in Psalm 135:3, 4, "Praise the Lord: for the Lord is good: sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure." And plainly Israel consisted of a relatively small part of the human race in the Old Testament dispensation. God's election then was very particular. And the blood of Christ would be shed for a very particular people.

Jesus said that same truth in John 10:15, "As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep."  THAT is very particular, for there were wolves as well as sheep, and the atonement is only for the sheep.

Sing this truth then in the words of our versification:

O praise ye the Lord for His goodness;
'Tis pleasant His praises to sing;
His people, His chosen and precious,
Your praises in gratitude bring.

Read: Psalm 135
Psalter versification: 374:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 245
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 7:16-26 ; Joshua 8; Joshua 9:1-2
Luke 16:1-18
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 13:2-3


Quote for Reflection:

“With a view to the truth, we also instruct the youth of the congregation.  We do this in common.  Don’t think that the consistory or the minister instructs the youth; the congregation does.  It is the common calling of the congregation.  With a view to preserving the truth, we have societies for Bible study.  As an organism, we have Christian schools.  Supporting Christian schools belongs to our common calling to maintain the truth….  Because there are many things that we do together, the apostle exhorts, “Be of the same mind.” (Romans 12:16).”  -Herman Hoeksema

April 14

Psalm 148:3-6

All the heavenly bodies have their God-given places and move in a divinely prescribed course. Therefore man can tell just when the sun shall arise or set on a particular day in the future, and when the moon shall be full, or a new moon appears. God has it all under His perfect control. And the psalmist declares this in Psalm 148:3-6 with these words, "Praise ye Him, sun and moon: praise Him all ye stars of light, Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for He commanded and they were created. He hath also established them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree that shall not pass."

Note that they came into being by His command, were established by Him, and made by a decree that shall not pass away. And since this is true of His work of creating, how much more wonderful and comforting is it to know that what He does in His grace comes by a command, and not by a wish, is established, and cannot be made to pass away or fail by man and his sinful will.

Why then should we say that God pleads with man to accept Christ, rather than that He commands it, and that man decides how many God will save? Look at the last verse of the Psalm which is versified thus:

    By all let God be praised,
    For He alone is great;
    Above the earth and heav'n
    He reigns in glorious state;
    Praise Him, ye saints,
    Who know His grace
    And ever dwell before His face.

How comforting to know that all those who were eternally written in the Lamb's book of life will irresistibly be drawn by God's grace out of unbelief into faith, and out of spiritual death into everlasting spiritual life.

Surely we have undeniable reason to praise God for the salvation which He works in us by irresistible grace.  Do that then today and every day of your life here below. You will do that in glory.

Read: Romans 9:1-21
Psalter versification: 404:5

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 367
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 9:3-27 ; Joshua 10
Luke 16:19-31 ; Luke 17:1-10
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 13:4


Quote for Reflection:

the afflictions and vexations of the pious have little or nothing of bitterness, if compared with the boundless blessings of everlasting glory. -- John Calvin

April 15

Psalm 52:9

It is not without good reason that God in His word warns us not to boast of our faith and new life. Through Paul He tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace in such a way that faith also is a gift, so that there is no room for us to boast of having contributed even the desire for salvation. That too He gives us through His Son.

This truth He gave us the very day we fell into sin. For then He told us that through His Son He would put enmity in us against the devil and the sin into which he led us. David says this too in Psalm 52:9, where we read, "I will praise Thee forever, because Thou hast done it: and I will wait on Thy name; for it is good before the saints."

A few lines we may fruitfully commit to memory are the versification:

    I put my trust in God alone,
    For evermore I trust His grace,
    And like the trees within His courts
    I flourish in a favored place.
    With endless thanks, O Lord, to Thee.
    Thy wondrous works will I proclaim:
    And in the presence of Thy saints
    Will ever hope in Thy good name.

Yes, in the most absolute sense, when we speak of salvation we must say with David, "Thou didst it, and I will wait on Thy name." Always and every step of our way we must sing: "I put my trust in God alone, for evermore I trust His grace.''

Be conceited and think that you stand in your own strength, and you have already fallen. And your trust in God has been replaced by trust in self. Boast of having accepted Christ before He came into your heart, and you cannot sing: "I will praise Thee forever, because Thou hast done it.''

No, let us love the truth we sing every Sabbath day: "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow." Let us wait on God's name and then confess that even this waiting is His gift unto us. May our thanks to God be endless so that it includes the desire for salvation. One of the things from which we must he saved is the idea that we let Christ come into our hearts,. May we receive grace to say of His entrance, "I will praise Thee for ever, because Thou didst it."

Read: John 10:14-29
Psalter versification: 145:5-6

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 20
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 11 ; Joshua 12
Luke 17:11-37
Psalm 84:1-12
Proverbs 13:5-6


Quote for Reflection:

"The way then may be dark and dreary, steep and almost impassable, a way of suffering and affliction. And we may not understand the way of the Lord. Nor do we have to understand. We know that both the way and the end are determined by the same love which He revealed in the death of His only begotten Son. And we trust, simply trust, following where He leads; asking no question; knowing that all things work together for our good.

            His counsel is a counsel of love, of perfect wisdom, of never failing power. All is well!" -- Rev. Herman Hoeksema

April 16

Psalm 16:8-10

Once a believer, always a believer. Once a child of God, always a child of God. Once on the way to heavenly glory, always on the way to that unending glory. That is the comforting assurance in the Word of God.

This does not mean that we will never sin anymore, will look always like believers, and never as those on the way to the lake of fire. In all our life here below we will still have the old man of sin, and, like Peter, may even by word or deed deny all connection with Christ, and say that we do not know Him. It does not mean that we will never doubt our salvation and always be strong in our faith.

It does mean what Paul says in Philippians 1:6, namely, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Christ." It means what the psalmist says in Psalm 16:8-10, "I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption."  What God began, He will finish. He is the unchangeable, almighty God. Having begun the work of salvation in us, He will continue it until we are perfect in every respect.

The proof that He did begin a good work in us is our sorrow over our sin. If we find that in us, He has begun the work of salvation in us. Then the Spirit of His Son came into us, and He will bring us back from every sin.

Do you hate your sins? Do you desire to be sinless and so fully freed from sin so that you can walk in perfect love to God? Then sing:

    I keep before me still
    The Lord Whom I have proved;
    At my right hand
    He guards from ill,
    And I shall not be moved.
    My heart is glad and blest,
    My soul its joy shall tell;
    And, lo, my flesh in hope shall rest,
    And still in safety dwell.

Read: Ephesians 2
Psalter versification: 29:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 420
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 13 ; Joshua 14
Luke 18:1-17
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 13:7-8


Quote for Reflection:

            "... When the infant grows up and comes to years of discretion, he will assume his part in the covenant of God and therefore become active. Nevertheless, baptism is the sign and seal of our being ingrafted into Christ, of our being incorporated into Him; and our becoming active, so as to assume our part in the covenant of God, is entirely the fruit of God's work in us."  -- Rev. Herman Hoeksema

April 17

Psalm 119:9

Throughout the day we wash our hands. Our clothes also need periodic washing to remove the grime they collect. But far more important is it that we cleanse our way. And cleansing our way is straightening out our walk of life so that we walk in love toward God.

That is why the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:9, "Where. withal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." And it is not because young men sin more than older people that the psalmist writes these words. It is because if we do not learn how to cleanse our way in the days of our youth, we will spend our whole pilgrimage here below walking to destruction.

Now it is God's law that points out for us the way of life. And since we are born on the way that leads to everlasting woe in the lake of fire of God's holy wrath, we need to know this and where to walk to be pleasing in the sight of Him Who created us in His own image and calls us to walk in love to Him.

We all, whether we are young or old, wisely sing:

    How shall the young direct their way?
    What light shall be their perfect guide?
    Thy word, O Lord, will safely lead,
    If in its wisdom they confide.

And although in His grace God will reward us for such a walk, we do not earn anything by serving Him. Consider once that we walk on His earth, breathe His air, eat His food and drink His water, are given every heartbeat by Him, have received bodies and souls from Him with their talents and abilities. We owe Him for everything we have and are. Yea, we owe Him for His Son and the salvation we have in Him. Can we earn something by our good works? No, we are everlastingly indebted to God and owe Him everlasting and continuous thanks. We need, therefore, to be cleansed of our pride whereby we think that we have given God something. Cleanse your way of that conceit by taking heed to His Word that teaches us that in Him we live, move, and have all our being.

Read: Psalm 119:9-24
Psalter versification: 322:1

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 380
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 15
Luke 18:18-43
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 13:9-10


Quote for Reflection:

 “Although many pretend to be Christians, they neither worship God, nor pay him homage, nor render him that service that is properly his. For how does the name of God fare? Men cannot even trade for a quart of wine without swearing…And if our zeal for God arouses our anger when his name is thus disrespected, then look out for the quarreling, the spitefulness, and grinding of teeth that will follow. The fact the world has such spite for God and has become callous toward his name is a sign that people no longer know his majesty. Moreover, they justify it under the pretext that it is the customary thing to take God’s name in vain. Yet in the end, God reveals that his name is dearer to him than men have held it, and that if we make it cheap we will dearly pay for it.” (John Calvin, Sermons on the 10 Commandments).

April 18

Psalm 119:10

To find a particular object one must go in a definite direction and upon a particular way. Go north when the object is south of the place where you are, and you will not reach that object. And the same is true about things spiritual. Therefore the psalmist in Psalm 119:10 writes, "With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments."

Two truths are evident here: We must seek God with our whole heart; and if we wander from His commandments, we are not going to find Him and enjoy His covenant fellowship. Wander the slightest bit from one of His commandments and we are going away from God, for we are going in the wrong direction.

Consider once that if on a stretch of highway you drive your automobile only one inch toward the lane of the oncoming traffic, and keep that up for a few minutes, you are headed for a head-on collision. Even more so, if we wander for just one moment from one of God's commandments, we are on a collision course with the almighty, holy God. And instead of finding Him in His love and mercy, we will have Him find us in His holy wrath. For that law is a very, very narrow path.

Therefore it is essential that we seek God with our whole heart, that is, constantly, by walking in His commandments which call us to love God.

Listen to the versification of the psalmists words:

    Sincerely I have sought Thee, Lord,
    O let me not from Thee depart;
    To know Thy will and keep from sin
    Thy word I cherish in my heart.

In order to keep on the path that leads to God's fellowship, and the assurance of His love, our hearts must be directed to God. That steering wheel in your automobile will determine the direction in which you go. Your heart will determine the spiritual direction of your whole being.

Seeking God sincerely, seeking Him in His Son Who fulfilled that law for us, you will find His love. Beware, therefore, of wandering, and pray with the psalmist that God may keep you walking where you may know and enjoy God's love.

Read: Isaiah 55
Psalter versification: 322:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 336
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 16 ; Joshua 17 ; Joshua 18
Luke 19:1-27
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 13:11


Quote for Reflection:

       It is above all by faith in Christ that believers are enabled—in spite of all the riddles that perplex them—to cling to the conviction that the God who rules the world is the same loving and compassionate Father who in Christ forgave them all their sins, accepted them as his children, and will bequeath to them eternal blessedness.  In that case faith in God’s providence is no illusion, but secure and certain; it rests on the revelation of God in Christ and carries within it the conviction that nature is subordinate and serviceable to grace, and the world to the kingdom of God. Thus, through all its tears and suffering, it looks forward with joy to the future. Although the riddles are not resolved, faith in God’s fatherly hand always again arises from the depths and even enables us to boast in afflictions.     (Herman Bavinck)

April 19

Psalm 119:11-12


Of fire prevention we have all heard. Crime prevention likewise is not only a matter we desire but one whose need we become aware of more and more every day. Sin prevention, however, is far more necessary and, sad to say, of very little concern even in the church world today.

Yes, we can make a distinction between crime and sin. Crime is sin, but all sin is not crime. Crime is what the world calls any deed that breaks a man-made law, and that is sin before God when that law is made by the authorities God placed over us. But there are sins against the first table of the law of God which do not bother the world. Trust in a creature, make an idol to worship, take God's name in vain, and desecrate the Sabbath, and the world will not call it a crime.

We ought to be concerned about such sins and seek to prevent them and all other sins, as the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11-12 in these words: "Thy word have I kept in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes." Or, as we sang yesterday:

    Sincerely I have sought Thee, Lord,
    O let me not from Thee depart;
    To know Thy will and keep from sin
    Thy word I cherish in my heart.

Quite plainly sin prevention requires knowing God's statutes, or if you will, having God's word in our hearts. How important then is the reading and studying of God's word in our homes.

You may have smoke detectors and take many fire prevention actions. You may vote for higher taxes to get more policemen for crime prevention. But are you interested in stopping and preventing all sin in your home and life?

God's word will show you which of your thoughts, desires, and actions are sin in His sight. His word is a mirror, and when you stand before it you will see yourself as God sees you. You will in it see His Son in all His righteousness and holiness. Take heed to what His Son calls you to do, even if it costs you your earthly life. Trust in Him to bring you into His kingdom when He returns upon the clouds of heaven. There you will everlastingly be prevented from all sin forever.

Read: James 1
Psalter versification: 322:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 106
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 19; Joshua 20
Luke 19:28-48
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 13:12-14


Quote for Reflection:

 "... when men of understanding and parts come to hear, this temptation is ready to come upon them, that unless they hear some new thing that they did not understand before, why should they come? I am able to understand as much in such a point as can be said, and when I have come and heard many times, I have only heard that which I knew before. Upon that they think there is no use in coming to hear. Now this is a great mistake. When you come to hear the Word, you do not always come to hear what you did not know. It may be sometimes God may dart something that you did not think of before or so fully understand. But suppose it is not so. You are to come to it as an ordinance of God for the conveyance of spiritual good to your souls" Jeremiah Burroughs (Gospel Worship, p. 201).

April 20

Psalm 119:13-14

"Like father, like son." So the expression goes, and very often this is true. Sons often resemble their fathers to such a degree that you do not need to ask the child who his father is. Then too fathers' mannerisms, talents, and the like show up in sons.

Now there is one instance where the son will always look exactly like the father in thinking, willing, and acting. When God the Father begets a child through His Son and His Spirit, that child will look exactly like God from a spiritual point of view. Do we not in Psalm 17:15 read, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake with Thy likeness"?

The psalmist in Psalm 119:13-14 declares a similar truth, when he writes, "With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches."  Did you note that what God speaks, the psalmist declares with his lips? That he rejoices in God's testimonies means that he thinks as God thinks and wills what He wills.

Therefore, if you are a child of God, this will be true also of you, not only in the new Jerusalem but also in principle in this present life. You will love what God loves, think as He thinks, will what He wills, judge to be good what He calls good. In this life already you will sing:   

    O blessed Lord, teach me Thy law,
    Thy righteous judgments I declare;
    Thy testimonies make me glad,
    For they are wealth beyond compare.

In this life already you will with your lips declare all His judgments to be right. You will not go against or speak against His testimonies, but will with joy keep them. You will with your lips and walk say that you are glad to be one with Him in thought, word, and deed.

How about it? Do your words and works make plain that God is your Father? Do you find in you a delight in God's law that is above joy in earthly treasures? We were created in the image of God but fell into accepting Satan's lie and becoming his children. Do you long to awake with God's likeness and be like His holy and righteous Son?

Read: Psalm 19
Psalter versification: 322:3

Daily  Meditations
 on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 276
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Joshua 21 ; Joshua 22:1-20
Luke 20:1-16
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 13:15-16

Quote for Reflection:

 "Every day, you say, one hears the same things [in sermons]. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use?" Chrysostom (Commentary on II Thessalonians 2:5).

Go to April 21.
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Last modified, 22-Jan-2007