Friday, February 28, 2014

The Right Choice

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
- Hebrews 11:24-25

In the schools of Egypt, Moses received the highest civil and military training. Of great personal attractions, noble in form and stature, of cultivated mind and princely bearing, and renowned as a military leader, he became the nation's pride.

All who occupied the throne of the Pharaohs must become members of the priestly caste; and Moses as the heir apparent,was to be initiated into the mysteries of the national religion. . . .

But while he was an ardent and untiring student, he could not be induced to participate in the worship of the gods. He was threatened with the loss of the crown, and warned that he would be disowned by the princess should he persist in his adherence to the Hebrew faith. But he was unshaken in his determination to render homage to none save the one God. . . .

Moses was fitted to take pre-eminence among the great of the earth, to shine in the courts of its most glorious kingdom, and to sway the scepter of its power. His intellectual greatness distinguishes him above the great men of all ages. As historian, poet, philosopher, general of armies, and legislator, he stands without a peer. Yet with the world before him, he had the moral strength to refuse the flattering prospects of wealth and greatness and fame. . . .

Moses had been instructed in regard to the final reward to be given to the humble and obedient servants of God, and worldly gain sank to its proper insignificance in comparison. The magnificent palace of Pharaoh and the monarch's throne were held out as an inducement to Moses; but he knew that the sinful pleasures that make men forget God were in its lordly courts. He looked beyond the gorgeous palace, beyond a monarch's crown, to the high honors that will be bestowed on the saints of the Most High in a kingdom untainted by sin. He saw by faith an imperishable crown that the King of heaven would place on the brow of the overcomer.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Happiest People

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11.

Do not think that when you walk with Jesus you must walk in the shadow. The happiest people in the world are those who trust in Jesus and gladly do His bidding. From the lives of those who follow Him, unrest and discontent are banished.... They May meet with trial and difficulty, but their lives are full of joy; for Christ walks beside them, and His presence makes the pathway bright....

When you arise in the morning, rise with the praise of God on your lips, and when you go out to work, go with a prayer to God for help.... Wait for a leaf from the tree of life. This will soothe and refresh you, filling your heart with peace and joy. Fix your thoughts upon the Saviour. Go apart from the bustle of the world and sit under Christ’s shadow. Then, amid the din of daily toil and conflict, your strength will be renewed. It is positively necessary for us to sit down sometimes and think of how the Saviour descended from heaven, from the throne of God, to show what human beings May become if they will unite their weakness to His strength. Having gained renewal of strength by communion with God, we May go on our way rejoicing, praising Him for the privilege of bringing the sunshine of Christ’s love into the lives of those we meet....

Heavenly intelligences are waiting to cooperate with human instrumentalities, that the world May see what human beings May become through a union with the divine. Those who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to God’s service will constantly receive a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the life of His life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in mind and heart. Through the grace given us we May achieve victories which, because of our defects of character and the smallness of our faith, May have seemed to us impossible.

To every one who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Preparatio​n for Future Trials

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
- Matthew 10:19
The servants of Christ are to prepare no set speech to present when brought to trial for their faith. Their preparation is to be made day by day, in treasuring up in their hearts the precious truths of God's Word, in feeding upon the teaching of Christ, and through prayer strengthening their faith; then, when brought into trial, the Holy Spirit will bring to their remembrance the very truths that will reach the hearts of those who shall come to hear. God will flash the knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures into their memory at the very time when it is needed.

When the time of trial shall come there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth.

Now is the time for us to prepare for the final events of earth's history by studying God's Word day by day.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it]. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst." Amos 8:11-13

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Blessed Partnershi​p

And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man. . . . And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
- Genesis 39:2, 3

Arriving in Egypt, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, captain of the king's guard, in whose service he remained for ten years. He was here exposed to temptations of no ordinary character. He was in the midst of idolatry. The worship of false gods was surrounded by all the pomp of royalty, supported by the wealth and culture of the most highly civilized nation then in existence. Yet Joseph preserved his simplicity and his fidelity to God. The sights and sounds of vice were all about him, but he was as one who saw and heard not. His thoughts were not permitted to linger upon forbidden subjects. The desire to gain the favor of the Egyptians could not cause him to conceal his principles. Had he attempted to do this, he would have been overcome by temptation; but he was not ashamed of the religion of his fathers, and he made no effort to hide the fact that he was a worshiper of Jehovah. . . . Potiphar's confidence in Joseph increased daily, and he finally promoted him to be his steward, with full control over all his possessions. . . .

The marked prosperity which attended everything placed under Joseph's care was not the result of a direct miracle; but his industry, care, and energy were crowned with the divine blessing. Joseph attributed his success to the favor of God and even his idolatrous master accepted this as the secret of his unparalleled prosperity. Without steadfast, well-directed effort, however, success could never have been attained. God was glorified by the faithfulness of His servant. It was His purpose that in purity and uprightness the believer in God should appear in marked contrast to the worshipers of idols--that thus the light of heavenly grace might shine forth amid the darkness of heathenism.

Joseph's gentleness and fidelity won the heart of the chief captain, who came to regard him as a son rather than a slave. The youth was brought in contact with men of rank and learning, and he acquired a knowledge of science, of languages, and of affairs--an education needful to the future prime minister of Egypt.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

True to Our Name

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:6.

We bear the name of Christian. Let us be true to this name. To be a Christian means to be Christlike. It means to follow Christ in self-denial, bearing aloft His banner of love, honoring Him by unselfish words and deeds. In the life of the true Christian there is nothing of self—self is dead. There was no selfishness in the life that Christ lived while on this earth. Bearing our nature, He lived a life wholly devoted to the good of others.... In word and deed Christ’s followers are to be pure and true. In this world—a world of iniquity and corruption—Christians are to reveal the attributes of Christ. All they do and say is to be free from selfishness....

Said the great apostle to the Gentiles, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). By faith Paul appropriated the grace of Christ, and this grace supplied the necessities of his soul. By faith he received the heavenly gift, and imparted it to souls longing for light. This is the experience we need.... Pray for this faith. Strive for it. Believe that God will give it to you....

Learn of Him who has said, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Learning of Him, you will find rest. Day by day you will gain an experience in the things of God, day by day realize the greatness of His salvation and the glory of a union with Him. Constantly you will learn better how to live Christlike, and constantly you will grow more like the Saviour.

If we will die to self, if we will enlarge our idea of what Christ can be to us and what we can be to Him, if we will unite with one another in the bonds of Christian fellowship, God will work through us with mighty power. Then we shall be sanctified through the truth. We shall indeed be chosen by God and controlled by His Spirit. Every day of life will be precious to us, because we shall see in it an opportunity to use our entrusted gifts for the blessing of others.

This devotional is from In Heavenly Places, by Ellen G. White.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Inspired Resolution

Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall.
- Genesis 49:22

Joseph regarded his being sold into Egypt as the greatest calamity that could have befallen him; but he saw the necessity of trusting in God as he had never done when protected by his father's love.

As the caravan journeyed southward toward the borders of Canaan, the boy could discern in the distance the hills among which lay his father's tents. Bitterly he wept at thought of that loving father in his loneliness and affliction. Again the scene at Dothan came up before him. He saw his angry brothers and felt their fierce glances bent upon him. The stinging, insulting words that had met his agonized entreaties were ringing in his ears. With a trembling heart he looked forward to the future. What a change in situation--from the tenderly cherished son to the despised and helpless slave! . . .

But, in the providence of God, even this experience was to be a blessing to him. He had learned in a few hours that which years might not otherwise have taught him. His father, strong and tender as his love had been, had done him wrong by his partiality and indulgence. This unwise preference had angered his brothers and provoked them to the cruel deed that had separated him from his home. Its effects were manifest also in his own character. Faults had been encouraged that were now to be corrected. . . .

His thoughts turned to his father's God. In his childhood he had been taught to love and fear Him. Often in his father's tent he had listened to the story of the vision that Jacob saw as he fled from his home an exile and a fugitive. . . . His soul thrilled with the high resolve to prove himself true to God--under all circumstances to act as became a subject of the King of heaven.

He would serve the Lord with undivided heart; he would meet the trials of his lot with fortitude and perform every duty with fidelity. One day's experience had been the turning point in Joseph's life. Its terrible calamity had transformed him from a petted child to a man, thoughtful, courageous, and self-possessed.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blinded by Tears

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth: . . . He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee."
- Job 5:17-19

To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence.

God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about. We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace.

Think of this, children of suffering and sorrow, and rejoice in hope. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4.

Blessed are they also who weep with Jesus in sympathy with the world's sorrow and in sorrow for its sin. In such mourning there is intermingled no thought of self. Jesus was the Man of Sorrows, enduring heart anguish such as no language can portray. His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men. He toiled with self-consuming zeal to relieve the wants and woes of humanity, and His heart was heavy with sorrow as He saw multitudes refuse to come to Him that they might have life. All who are followers of Christ will share in this experience. As they partake of His love they will enter into His travail for the saving of the lost. They share in the sufferings of Christ, and they will share also in the glory that shall be revealed. One with Him in His work, drinking with Him the cup of sorrow, they are partakers also of His joy.

It was through suffering that Jesus obtained the ministry of consolation. In all the affliction of humanity He is afflicted; and "in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Isaiah 63:9; Hebrews 2:18. In this ministry every soul that has entered into the fellowship of His sufferings is privileged to share. "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:5. The Lord has special grace for the mourner, and its power is to melt hearts, to win souls. His love opens a channel into the wounded and bruised soul, and becomes a healing balsam to those who sorrow. "The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort . . . comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.

"Blessed are the meek." Matthew 5:5.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blessed are the poor in spirit

"A new heart also will I give you. . . . And I will put My Spirit within you."
- Isaiah 1:18; Ezekiel 36:26, 27

Jesus had presented the cup of blessing to those who felt that they were "rich, and increased with goods" (Revelation 3:17), and had need of nothing, and they had turned with scorn from the gracious gift. He who feels whole, who thinks that he is reasonably good, and is contented with his condition, does not seek to become a partaker of the grace and righteousness of Christ. Pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give. There is no room for Jesus in the heart of such a person. Those who are rich and honorable in their own eyes do not ask in faith, and receive the blessing of God. They feel that they are full, therefore they go away empty. Those who know that they cannot possibly save themselves, or of themselves do any righteous action, are the ones who appreciate the help that Christ can bestow. They are the poor in spirit, whom He declares to be blessed.

Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent, and it is the office of the Holy Spirit to convince of sin. Those whose hearts have been moved by the convicting Spirit of God see that there is nothing good in themselves. They see that all they have ever done is mingled with self and sin. Like the poor publican, they stand afar off, not daring to lift up so much as their eyes to heaven, and cry, "God, be merciful to me the sinner." Luke 18:13, R.V., margin. And they are blessed. There is forgiveness for the penitent; for Christ is "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. God's promise is: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." " A new heart also will I give you. . . . And I will put My Spirit within you." Isaiah 1:18; Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Of the poor in spirit Jesus says, "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This kingdom is not, as Christ's hearers had hoped, a temporal and earthly dominion. Christ was opening to men the spiritual kingdom of His love, His grace, His righteousness. The ensign of the Messiah's reign is distinguished by the likeness of the Son of man. His subjects are the poor in spirit, the meek, the persecuted for righteousness' sake. The kingdom of heaven is theirs. Though not yet fully accomplished, the work is begun in them which will make them "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." Colossians 1:12.

All who have a sense of their deep soul poverty, who feel that they have nothing good in themselves, may find righteousness and strength by looking unto Jesus. He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden." Matthew 11:28.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Game of Life

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
- 1 Corinthians 16:13
The truth of God obeyed, the living by every word of God, is alone sufficient to make any of us stand in these evil times. Satan is playing the game of life for the soul. . . .

There are opportunities and advantages which are within the reach of all to strengthen the moral and spiritual powers. The mind can be expanded and ennobled and should be made to dwell upon heavenly things. . . . Unless it flows in a heavenward direction it becomes an easy prey to the temptation of Satan to engage in worldly projects and enterprises that have no special connection with God. And all zeal and devotion and restless energy and feverish desire are brought into this work, and the devil stands by and laughs to see human effort wrestling so perseveringly for an object that it will never gain, which eludes its grasp. . . . Schemes and projects which Satan invents ensnare the soul, and poor, deceived human beings go on blindfolded to their own ruin. . . .

There is one safeguard against Satan's deceptions and snares, that is the truth as it is in Jesus. The truth planted in the heart, nourished by watchfulness and prayer, nourished by the grace of Christ, will give us discernment. The truth must abide in the heart, be felt in its power in spite of all the alluring enchantments of Satan, and your experience and mine must be that the truth can purify, guide, and bless the soul. . . .

The enemy is on the track of every one of us, and if we would resist temptations which assail us from without and from within, we need to make sure we are on the Lord's side, that His truth is in our hearts, that it keeps watch in our souls, ready to sound an alarm and summon us to action against every enemy. Without this defense amid unseen foes we shall be like the willow bending to the blast, driven of the wind and tossed. But if Christ abides in the soul we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Price of Perfection

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
- Hebrews 2:10
Christ's invitation to us all is a call to a life of peace and rest--a life of liberty and love, and to a rich inheritance in the future immortal life. . . . We need not be alarmed if this path of liberty is laid through conflicts and sufferings. The liberty we shall enjoy will be the more valuable because we made sacrifices to obtain it. The peace which passeth knowledge will cost us battles with the powers of darkness, struggles severe against selfishness and inward sins. . . .

We cannot appreciate our Redeemer in the highest sense until we can see Him by the eye of faith reaching to the very depths of human wretchedness, taking upon Himself the nature of man, the capacity to suffer, and by suffering putting forth His divine power to save and lift sinners up to companionship with Himself. O why have we so little sense of sin? Why so little penitence? It is because we do not come nearer the cross of Christ. Conscience becomes hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, because we remain away from Christ. Consider the Captain of our salvation. He suffered shame for us that we might not suffer everlasting shame and contempt. He suffered on the cross, that mercy might be granted to fallen man. God's justice is preserved, and guilty man is pardoned. Jesus dies that the sinner might live. Shame is borne by the Son of the Highest for the sake of poor sinners, that they might be ransomed and crowned with eternal glory. . . .

We must hide self in Jesus Christ, and let Him appear in our conversation and character as the One altogether lovely, and the chief among ten thousand. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize Christ and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. We shall bind ourselves in willing, happy, captivity to Jesus Christ.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Condition of Sonship.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Cor. 6:17-18

Do you desire to become the sons and daughters of the Most High? Here is stated the condition of this great privilege. Come out, be separate, touch not the unclean. You cannot keep the fellowship of the world, participate in its pleasures, identify yourself with its interests, and still be the sons of God. Says John, "The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1). But shall we let the desire for the favor of our Lord's enemies weigh against our accepting the conditions of salvation? . . .

It is thought a great honor to be invited into the presence of a king of this earth. But let us consider the amazing privilege that is proffered to us. If we obey the requirements of God we may become the sons and daughters of the King of the universe. Through a crucified and risen Saviour we may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, and be fitted to shine in the courts of the King of kings through unending ages. The world does not know the exaltation of the sons and daughters of the Most High. Those around them do not see that the humble, self-denying spirit, the patient meekness of heart, has any extraordinary value. They did not know or appreciate Christ. . . .

They could not understand Him; and the greater our likeness to the divine character of our Lord, the more we shall be misunderstood by the world. The more we come into fellowship with Christ and heaven, the less will be our fellowship with the world, for we are not of the world.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Christian Race

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
- 1 Cor. 9:24-25

Here Paul makes a sharp contrast, to put a shame the feeble efforts of professed Christians who plead for their selfish indulgences, and refuse to place themselves by self-denial and strictly temperate habits in a position that they will make a success of overcoming. All who entered the list in the public games were animated and excited by the hope of a prize if they were successful. In like manner a prize is held out before the Christian, the reward of faithfulness to the end of the race. . . . All ran in the race, but only one received the prize. The other strugglers for the perishable laurel wreath, however thorough their preparation, however earnest and determined their efforts, were doomed to failure. It is not so with the Christian race. . . . The weakest saint as well as the strongest may obtain the crown of immortal glory if he is thoroughly in earnest and will submit to privation and loss for Christ's sake. . . .

If we create unnatural appetites and indulge them in any degree we violate nature's laws, and enfeebled physical, mental, and mortal conditions will result. We are hence unfitted for that persevering, energetic, and hopeful effort which we might have made had we been true to nature's laws. If we injure a single organ of the body we rob God of the service we might render to Him.

The apostle calls our attention to the care and diligence which were required to secure the victory in these ancient games. He exhorts all who start in the Christian race to give all diligence to make success certain, while he presents before them for their encouragement the crown of glory which the righteous Judge will award to all who are faithful to the end of the race. . . . This crown is not a perishable chaplet of flowers, but the glorious crown of everlasting life, which awaits all who, having completed the Christian race, love the appearing of our Lord.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Test of Our Actions

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
- Proverbs 16:3

Let us feel thankful that we have the privilege of committing our works to God. We are to remember that we are not pieces of inanimate mechanism, but intelligent beings, able to choose the right and refuse the wrong, with a clear conscience and a pure purpose. We are to aim at consistency in all our works.

We are to commit our way to the Lord, testing it by His searching laws. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass" (Ps. 37:5). We cannot commit our way to God if we are working out deeds of injustice. "If I regard iniquity in my heart," the psalmist declares, "the Lord will not hear me" (Ps. 66:18). When we commit our way to the Lord we are to search the heart through and through, casting out all evil, that Christ may fill it with His righteousness. We are to seek the Lord in prayer, putting at the beginning of our petitions repentance for sin. . . .

God's law is the test of our actions. His eye sees every act, searches every chamber of the mind, detecting all lurking self-deception and all hypocrisy. All things are naked and open to the sight of Him with whom we have to do. But He will receive all who come to Him with contrite hearts and a true purpose to forsake every wrong. . . .

In all our business transactions, in every word and deed, we are to maintain a pure purpose and a clear conscience. We are to commit our works to God and then leave them in His hands. Our work is to be done in the strictest integrity. Nothing is to be cherished that we cannot carry into the heavenly courts. As we labor let us ask God's help, realizing that this is the only thing that can keep our work free from selfishness. . . . Look upward with intense sincerity, for you need constant draughts of the refreshing air of heaven. We need to live in constant communion with our heavenly Father. . . . Perform your duties as if in the sight of a holy God.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Marked Distinctio​n

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
- John 17:15
Christians are to stand out distinct from the world as God's standard bearers, showing in their lives the influence of the transforming grace of Christ. They are raised up together to sit with Christ in heavenly places that they may reveal to the world, to angels, and to men an enduring representation of the eternal world. They are to hold forth the Word of life, warning men of the binding claims of God's law. God wants His servants to be of a high order. He wants them to obey laws of a higher order than the laws of the world--laws which are the transcript of His character.

God's work is supreme. He calls for all the powers of the intellect, all the spiritual endowments. They are to be consecrated to Him and to the service of humanity. He calls for workers who are partakers of the divine nature. Those who really believe in Jesus will be colaborers with Him, showing to the unfallen worlds and to the fallen world a character which is after the divine similitude. They are to show that they have a higher, holier order of enjoyment than the world can bestow. God will bestow the power of the Holy Spirit upon all who will cooperate with Him in the cultivation of all their endowments and talents, that they may stand on vantage ground. . . .

Christ's followers are to seek to improve the moral tone of the world, under the influence of the impartation of the Spirit of God. They are not to come down to the world's level, thinking that by doing this they will uplift it. In words, in dress, in spirit, in everything, there is to be a marked distinction between Christians and worldlings. This distinction has a convincing influence upon worldlings.

They see that the sons and daughters of the Lord do separate themselves from the world, and that the Lord binds them up with Himself. . . . "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power" (1 Cor. 6:14). Who is willing to be raised to the highest level?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bring Your Troubles to God

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
- James 1:2-4

The Word does not say that we are to count it all joy when we fall under temptation, but when we fall into temptation. It is not necessary to fall under temptation, for temptation comes upon us for the trying of our faith. And the trying of our faith worketh patience, not fretfulness and murmuring. If we put our trust in Jesus, He will keep us at all times, and will be our strength and shield. We are to learn valuable lessons from our trials. Paul says, "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope . . ." (Rom. 5:3-5).

Many seem to think that it is impossible not to fall under temptation, that they have no power to overcome, and they sin against God with their lips, talking discouragement and doubt instead of faith and courage. Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). What does this mean? It means that the prince of evil could find no vantage ground in Christ for his temptation. And so it may be with us....

When we talk discouragement and gloom Satan listens with fiendish joy, for it pleases him to know that he has brought us into his bondage. Satan cannot read our thoughts, but he can see our actions, hear our words, and from his long knowledge of the human family he can shape his temptations to take advantage of our weak points of character. And how often do we let him into the secret of how he may obtain the victory over us!

We must learn to come to God in any and every emergency  , as a child would come to its parents. . . . Don't go to others with your trials and temptations; God alone can help you. If you fulfill the conditions of God's promises, the promises will be fulfilled to you. . . .You will have an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

God's Law Changeless and Eternal

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
- Matt. 5:17-18

If Satan's work had succeeded in heaven the law of God would have been changed, but this could not be, for His law was a transcript of His character and as unchangeable as His character. If any change was possible in the law of God it would have been made then and there and saved the rebellion in heaven. But as it was not altered to meet the request of Satan, he . . . lost his high and holy position in the heavenly courts. Isaiah 14:12
After his fall he worked upon the minds of Adam and Eve and seduced them from their loyalty. . . . Now if the law of God could have been changed and altered to meet man in his fallen condition, then Adam would have been pardoned and retained his home in Eden; but the penalty of transgression was death, and Christ became man's substitute and surety. Then was the time, could the law of God have been changed, to have made this change and retained Christ in the heavenly courts, that the immense sacrifice made to save a fallen race might have been avoided. But no, the law of God was changeless in its character and therefore Christ gave Himself a sacrifice in behalf of fallen man, and Adam lost Eden and was placed with all his posterity upon probation.

Had the law of God been changed in one precept since the expulsion of Satan from heaven, he would have gained on earth after his fall that which he could not gain in heaven before his fall. He would have received all that he asked for. We know that he did not. . . . The law . . . remains unalterable as the throne of God, and the salvation of every soul is determined by obedience or disobedience. . . .

Jesus, by the law of sympathetic love, bore our sins, took our punishment, and drank the cup of the wrath of God apportioned to the transgressor. . . . He bore the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice for us, that we might have life, eternal life. Will we take up our cross daily and follow Jesus?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Heavenly Adorning

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quite spirit, whi
- 1 Peter 3:3-4

The charms that consist only in the outward apparel are shallow and changeable; no dependence can be placed upon them. The adorning which Christ enjoins upon His followers will never fade. . . .

If half the time spent by the youth in making themselves attractive in outward appearance were given to soul culture, to the inward adorning, what a difference would be seen in their deportment, words, and actions! Those who are truly seeking to follow Christ will have conscientious scruples in regard to the dress they wear; they will strive to meet the requirements ... so plainly given by the Lord.

Many dress like the world to have an influence. They spend hours that are worse than thrown away, in studying this or that fashion to decorate the poor, mortal body. But here they make a sad and fatal mistake. If they would have a saving influence, if they would have their lives tell in favor of the truth, let them imitate the humble Pattern. Let them show their faith by righteous works, and make the distinction broad between themselves and the world. The words, the dress, and the actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them, that they have been with Jesus. Unbelievers will see that faith in Christ's coming affects the character. . . .

The external appearance is an index to the heart. When hearts are affected by the truth there will be a death to the world, and those who are dead to the world will not be moved by the laugh, the jeer, and the scorn of unbelievers. They will feel an anxious desire to be like their Master, separate from the world. They will not imitate its fashions or customs. The noble object will be ever before them, to glorify God and gain the immortal inheritance, and in comparison with this everything of an earthly nature will sink into insignificance.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I have prayed for thee

I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.
- Luke 22:32
To every Christian comes the word that was addressed to Peter, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:31, 32). Thank God we are not left alone. This is our safety. Satan can never touch with eternal disaster one whom Christ has prepared for temptation by His previous intercession, for grace is provided in Christ for every soul, and a way of escape has been made, so that no one need fall under the power of the enemy.

Satan is preparing many and strong temptations with which to assail the people of God. He is represented as walking to and fro like a roaring lion, seeking for some unguarded soul whom he may be successful in deceiving through his subtlety, and may finally destroy. We are not safe without Christ for a single step. But what comfort is treasured for us in the words, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not"! Satan does not sift chaff; it is the wheat that he desires to have in his hands. Then let us take courage and pray at all times.

Christ offers our prayers to the Father, mingled with the merit of His sacrifice, and they come up before God as sweet incense. . . . Whenever you are tempted to sin remember that Christ's eye is upon you, and that Satan desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat. Remember to send your petitions heavenward, and see Jesus making intercession for you. Send up an earnest cry to God, "Lord, save me; I perish," and you will not be overcome; you will not enter into sin. Take your stand firmly on the words of Paul, and in the strength of Jesus say, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:37-39).


Monday, February 3, 2014

Christ Exemplified God’s Law

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:7, 8.

In the councils of heaven it was determined that there must be given to mankind a living exemplification of the law. Having decided to make this great sacrifice, God left nothing obscure, nothing indefinite, in regard to the salvation of the human race. He gave to mankind a standard by which to form character. With an audible voice and in awful grandeur He spoke His law from Mount Sinai. Distinctly He stated what we must do in order to render acceptable obedience to Him and ... remain loyal to His law. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

So deep was the Lord’s interest in the beings He had created, so great His love for the world, that He “gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Christ came to bring moral power to man, to elevate, ennoble, and strengthen him, enabling him to be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. He proved to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds and to human beings that the law can be kept. While possessing the nature of man, He obeyed the law of God, vindicating God’s justice in demanding that it be obeyed. In the judgment His life will be an unanswerable argument in favor of God’s law.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quiet Rest in God

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
- Psalm 57:1

I am so sorry that men who want to be obedient to God put so much confidence in human sympathy and human help which disappoint so often. But God, the living God, is unchangeable. He is the same kind, tender, pitiful, loving Saviour today, yesterday, and forever. Satan is now working with all his might, and leaving no means untried to unsettle minds because they see men of long experience make mistakes. But Jesus is faultless. . . . Make God your entire trust. Pray, pray, pray, pray in faith. Then trust the keeping of your soul to God. He will keep that which is committed to Him against that day. . . . Walk humbly with God. The Lord sees every sorrow, every grief, every trial that besets the human soul, and He knows how to apply the balm. . . .

In God you can do valiantly. Tell it to the Lord in prayer, talk it to the Lord by the way. "Thee I seek; Thee I will follow; Thee I will serve. Under the shadow of Thy wings will I abide. Command me as Thou wilt; I will obey Thy voice." Yield always to the heavenly guidance. When trials come, possess your soul in patience. Wait on the Lord and have one purpose in view, to seek the eternal good of all those with whom you are connected, holding fast your integrity in the strength of your God. He will redeem His promise. Your bread shall be provided; your water shall be sure. This means not only temporal bread and water but the bread and water of eternal life.

Stand in God. Work under the sweet influence of His grace. The truth of God sanctifying the heart of the believer guides his life. We may stand firmly and assuredly. If you make the face of clay your dependence you lean on a reed that has oft broken in your hand and will break. Trust fully, unwaveringly, in God. He is the wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. We may keep the conscience unsullied and in peace and quiet rest in God.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Praise, Like Clear-flow​ing Streams

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.
- Psalm 92:1, 2

When the truth is appreciated, . . . we have a sense of the great mercy and loving-kindness of God. While we review not the dark chapters in our experience to complain, but the manifestations of His great mercy and unfailing love and power revealed in our deliverance, we will praise far more than complain. We will talk of the loving faithfulness of God, as the true, tender, compassionate Shepherd of His flock, which He has declared none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining, but praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God's truly believing ones. . . .

The Lord is full of resources. He has no lack of facilities. It is because of our lack of faith, our earthliness, our cheap talk, our unbelief, that dark shadows gather about us. . . .

The temple of God is opened in heaven, and the threshold is flushed with the glory that is for every church that will love God and keep His commandments. We need to study, to meditate, and to pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of song and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and precious songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assembly of the saints. Murmurings, complainings, and lamentations over little disappointments and difficulties will be lost sight of. As we apply the golden eyesalve we shall see the glories beyond. Faith will cut through the hellish shadow of Satan, and we shall see our Advocate offering up the incense of His own merits in our behalf. . . .

Let us take up the praise of God here below. Let us unite with the heavenly company above. Then we shall represent the truth as it is--a power to all who believe.