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God's Grace Is Enough

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

You may be disappointed, and your will and your way may be denied; but be assured that the Lord loves you. The furnace fire may kindle upon you, not for the purpose of destroying you, but to consume the dross, that you may come forth as gold seven times purified. Bear in mind that God will give you songs in the night. Darkness may seem to enclose you, but you are not to look at the clouds. Beyond the darkest cloud there is an ever-shining light.



The Lord has light for every soul. Open the door of the heart to hope, peace, and joy. Jesus says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

God has a special work for everyone to do, and each one of us may do well the work which God has assigned him. The only thing we have to fear on our part is that we shall not keep our eyes continually fixed upon Jesus, that we shall not have an eye single to the glory of God, so that if we were called to lay down our armor and sleep in death we might not be ready to give an account of our trust. Forget not for a moment that you are Christ’s property, bought with an infinite price, and that you are to glorify Him in your spirit, and in your body, which are His.

God has provided a balm for every wound. There is a Balm in Gilead, there is a Physician there. Will you not now as never before study the Scriptures? Seek the Lord for wisdom in every emergency. In every trial plead with Jesus to show you a way out of your troubles, then your eyes will be opened to behold the remedy and to apply to your case the healing promises that have been recorded in His Word. In this way the enemy will find no place to lead you into mourning and unbelief, but instead you will have faith and hope and courage in the Lord. The Holy Spirit will give you clear discernment that you may see and appropriate every blessing that will act as an antidote to grief, as a branch of healing to every draught of bitterness that is placed to your lips.

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 135

Even When You Mess Up

"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1

Those who are in connection with God are channels for the power of the Holy Spirit. If one who daily communes with God errs from the path, if he turns a moment from looking steadfastly unto Jesus, it is not because he sins willfully; for when he sees his mistake, he turns again, and fastens his eyes upon Jesus, and the fact that he has erred does not make him less dear to the heart of God. He knows that he has communion with the Savior; and when reproved for his mistake in some matter of judgment, he does not walk sullenly, and complain of God, but turns the mistake into a victory. He learns a lesson from the words of the Master, and takes heed that he be not again deceived. 



Those who truly love God have internal evidence that they are beloved of God, that they have communion with Christ, that their hearts are warmed with fervent love toward Him. The truth for this time is believed with sound confidence. They can say with all assurance, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.... We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:16-19). 

The inner life of the soul will reveal itself in the outward conduct. Let the Word of God bear its testimony in behalf of the messenger whom God hath sent with a message in these last days to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7).

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 134

Ask, Knock, and Praise the Lord

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

Then come, and seek, and find. The reservoir of power is open, is full and free. Come with humble hearts, not thinking that you must do some good thing to merit the favor of God, or that you must make yourself better before you can come to Christ. You can never do anything to better your condition. In the name of Jesus, come with full assurance of faith, because you are a sinner. For Christ said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. You are to ask, to seek, to knock, and to believe that you are accepted through Christ Jesus, trusting Him alone to do those things for you which you can never do for yourself.



Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. We can make no atonement for ourselves, but by faith we can accept the atonement that has been made. “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, ... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18, 19). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). It is by virtue of this precious blood that the sin-stricken soul can be restored to soundness. While you are putting up your petition to God, the Holy Spirit applies the faithful promises of God to your heart. 

In moments of perplexity, when Satan suggests doubt and discouragement, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up as a standard against him the faithful sayings of Christ and the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness will flash into your mind and soul. When Satan would overwhelm you with despair, the Holy Spirit will point you to the intercession made for you by a living Savior. Christ is the fragrance, the holy incense, which makes your petitions acceptable to the Father. When the light of Christ’s righteousness is fully understood and accepted, love, joy, peace, and inexpressible gratitude will pervade the soul, and the language of him who is blessed will be “Your gentleness has made me great” (Psalm 18:35).

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg. 133

Surrounded by a Divine Shield

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." Psalm 50:15

When trials arise that seem unexplainable, we should not allow our peace to be spoiled. However unjustly we may be treated, let not passion arise. By indulging a spirit of retaliation we injure ourselves. We destroy our own confidence in God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. There is by our side a Witness, a heavenly Messenger, who will lift up for us a standard against the enemy. He will shut us in with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Beyond this Satan cannot penetrate. He cannot pass this shield of holy light. 



While the world is progressing in wickedness, none of us need flatter ourselves that we shall have no difficulties. But it is these very difficulties that bring us into the audience chamber of the Most High. 

The Lord says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble” (Psalm 50:15). He invites us to present to Him our perplexities and necessities, and our need of divine help. He bids us be instant in prayer. As soon as difficulties arise, we are to offer to Him our sincere, earnest petitions. By our importunate prayers we give evidence of our strong confidence in God. The sense of our need leads us to pray earnestly, and our heavenly Father is moved by our supplications. 

Often those who suffer reproach or persecution for their faith are tempted to think themselves forsaken by God. In the eyes of men they are in the minority. To all appearance their enemies triumph over them. But let them not violate their conscience. He who has suffered in their behalf, and has borne their sorrows and afflictions, has not forsaken them. 

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 132

The Bible and the Spirit

"I shall delight in Your statutes; I will never forget Your Word!" Psalm 119:16, NASB

In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, RV). 

Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Savior, to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word. 



The Spirit was not given—nor can it ever be bestowed—to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And Isaiah declares, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). 

Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the Word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. 

Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg. 122

Foolproof Direction

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:24

In these days of delusion, everyone who is established in the truth will have to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Every variety of error will be brought out in the mysterious working of Satan, which would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect, and turn them from the truth. There will be human wisdom to meet—the wisdom of learned men, who, as were the Pharisees, are teachers of the law of God, but do not obey the law themselves. There will be human ignorance and folly to meet in disconnected theories arrayed in new and fantastic dress—theories that it will be all the more difficult to meet because there is no reason in them. 



There will be false dreams and false visions, which have some truth, but lead away from the original faith. The Lord has given men a rule by which to detect them: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). If they belittle the law of God, if they pay no heed to His will as revealed in the testimonies of His Spirit, they are deceivers. They are controlled by impulse and impressions, which they believe to be from the Holy Spirit, and consider more reliable than the Inspired Word. They claim that every thought and feeling is an impression of the Spirit; and when they are reasoned with out of the Scriptures, they declare that they have something more reliable. But while they think that they are led by the Spirit of God, they are in reality following an imagination wrought upon by Satan.—Selected Messages 2:98, 99. 

Satan will work in a most subtle manner to introduce human inventions clothed with angel garments. But the light from the Word is shining amid the moral darkness; and the Bible will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations. The truth must be studied, it must be searched for as hidden treasure. Wonderful illuminations will not be given aside from the Word, or to take the place of it. Cling to the Word, receive the ingrafted Word, which will make men wise unto salvation.

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg. 119

This is the Way

"To the Law and to the Testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

The Holy Spirit always leads to the written Word, and calls the attention to the great moral standard of righteousness. To be honored of God in thus being privileged to testify of the truth is a wonderful thing. Said Christ to His disciples just before He ascended up and the clouds of angels received Him out of their sight, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). They were qualified by the heavenly endowment of the Holy Spirit to testify of Christ. 



I wish to impress upon you the fact that those who have Jesus abiding in the heart by faith have actually received the Holy Spirit. Every individual who receives Jesus as his personal Saviour just as surely receives the Holy Spirit to be his Counselor, Sanctifier, Guide, and Witness. The more closely the believer walks with God, the clearer his witness, and, as a sure result, the more powerful will be the influence of his testimony upon others of a Savior’s love; the more he will give evidence that he prizes the Word of God. It is his meat, it is his drink, to satisfy the thirsty soul. He prizes the privilege of learning the will of God from His Word. 

Some souls who claim to be believers have slighted, and turned from, the Word of God. They have neglected the Bible, the wonderful Guidebook, the true tester of all ideas, and claim that they have the Spirit to teach them, that this renders searching the Scriptures unnecessary. All such are heeding the sophistry of Satan, for the Spirit and the Word agree. Say the Scriptures, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” He only is a free man whom the truth makes free.

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 118

In Every Word

"She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness" (Proverbs 31:26).

The Lord will help every one of us where we need help the most in the grand work of overcoming and conquering self. Let the law of kindness be upon your lips and the oil of grace in your heart. This will produce wonderful results. You will be tender, sympathetic, courteous. You need all these graces. The Holy Spirit must be received and brought into your character; then it will be as holy fire, giving forth incense which will rise up to God, not from lips that condemn, but as a healer of the souls of men. Your countenance will express the image of the divine. 



No sharp, critical, blunt, or severe words should be spoken. This is common fire, and must be left out of all our councils and intercourse with our brethren. God requires every soul in His service to kindle their censers from the coals of sacred fire. The common, severe, harsh words that come from your lips so readily must be withheld, and the Spirit of God speak through the human agent. By beholding the character of Christ you will become changed into His likeness. The grace of Christ alone can change your heart and then you will reflect the image of the Lord Jesus. God calls upon us to be like Him—pure, holy, and undefiled. We are to bear the divine image.

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and pray in regard to receiving them; but unless the human agent is worked by the Spirit of God, He reveals that he has Him not. When the Spirit molds and fashions the character after the divine similitude, He will be unmistakably revealed in every word we speak and in everything we do, showing to the world that there is a marked difference between the children of light and the children of darkness. The Lord wants us to stand stiffly for the faith once delivered to the saints. We are to speak the truth in love. Our great Teacher says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29, 30).

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 81

All to the Glory of God

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

God calls for a living sacrifice. The body, He tells us, is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the habitation of His Spirit, and He requires all who bear His image to take care of their bodies for the purpose of His service and His glory. “Ye are not your own,” says the inspired apostle, “ye are bought with a price”; wherefore “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). In order to do this, add to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience. 



It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given. If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. 

It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God’s law. We cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better than we love the Lord. We are daily lessening our strength to glorify God, when He requires all our strength, all our mind. By our wrong habits we are lessening our hold on life, and yet professing to be Christ’s followers, preparing for the finishing touch of immortality.

Closely examine your own hearts, and in your lives imitate the unerring Pattern, and all will be well with you. Preserve a clear conscience before God. In all you do glorify His name.

Ye Shall Receive Power, pg 79

The Fruit of Gentleness

"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

I invite you to look to the Man of Calvary. Look to Him whose head was crowned with the crown of thorns, who bore the cross of shame, who went step by step down the path of humiliation. Look to Him who was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, who was despised and rejected of men. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (verse 5). Look to Calvary until your heart melts at the amazing love of the Son of God. He left nothing undone that fallen man might be elevated and purified. 



And shall we not confess Him? Will the religion of Christ degrade its receiver? No; it will be no degradation to follow in the footsteps of the Man of Calvary. Day by day let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him, that in our conversation, our conduct, our dress, and in all our affairs, we may reveal the fact that Jesus is ruling and reigning over us. God calls upon us to walk in a path that has been cast up for the ransomed of the Lord; we are not to walk in the world. We are to surrender all to God, and confess Christ before men. 

“Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). What right have we to profess to be Christians, and yet deny our Lord in life and deed? “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (verses 38, 39). Day by day we are to deny self, to lift the cross and follow in the footsteps of the Master. 

Oh, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit might come upon you, that you might be imbued with the Spirit of God! Then day by day you will become more and more conformed to the image of Christ, and in every action of your life, the question would be, “Will it glorify my Master?” 

Ye Shall Receive Power, 78

The Fruit of Heaven

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control." Galatians 5:22-23

If we have Christ abiding with us, we shall be Christians at home as well as abroad. He who is a Christian will have kind words for his relatives and associates. He will be kind, courteous, loving, sympathetic, and will be educating himself for an abode with the family above. If he is a member of the royal family, he will represent the kingdom to which he is going. He will speak with gentleness to his children, for he will realize that they, too, are heirs of God, members of the heavenly court. Among the children of God no spirit of harshness dwells; for “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The spirit that is cherished in the home is the spirit that will be manifested in the church. 



Oh, we must educate the soul to be pitiful, gentle, tender, full of forgiveness and compassion. While we lay aside all vanity, all foolish talking, jesting, and joking, we are not to become cold, unsympathetic, and unsocial. The Spirit of the Lord is to rest upon you until you shall be like a fragrant flower from the garden of God. You are to keep talking of the light, of Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, until you shall change from glory to glory, from character to character, going on from strength to strength, and reflecting more and more of the precious image of Jesus. When you do this, the Lord will write in the books of heaven, “Well done,” because you represent Jesus. 

Christians should not be hard-hearted, unapproachable; Jesus is to be reflected in our deportment, and we are to have a character beautiful with the graces of heaven. The presence of God is to be an abiding presence with us; and wherever we are, we are to carry light to the world. Those around you are to realize that the atmosphere of heaven surrounds you.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 75

The Fruit of Joy

"I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!" Psalm 9:1-2

We must have more faith. Let us begin to believe unto salvation. Let us come to God in faith, fully assured that as we surrender all to Him, He will make us Christlike in character. We must tell this to all over and over again. Then, one with Christ, we can reveal Him to the world.  



Let us honor God by showing firm faith and unswerving trust. Let us remember that He is not glorified by the manifestation of a fretful, unhappy spirit. The Lord cares for the flowers. He gives them beauty and fragrance. Will He not much more give us the fragrance of a cheerful disposition? Will He not restore in us the divine image? Then let us have faith in Him. Let us now, just now, place ourselves where He can give us His Holy Spirit. Then we can give to the world a revelation of what true religion does for men and women. The joy of a Saviour filling our hearts gives us that peace and confidence which enables us to say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). {YRP 72.3}

In His Word the Lord has made it plain that His people are a joyful people. True faith reaches up the hand and lays hold upon the One who is behind the promise “Great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13). “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river” (Isaiah 66:12). “Behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isaiah 65:18). In God we may “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). “Men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed” (Psalm 72:17). Let us strive to educate the believers to rejoice in the Lord. Spiritual joy is the result of active faith.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 72

The Fruit of Love

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

No language can express this love; we can describe but a faint degree of love that passeth knowledge. It would require the language of the Infinite to express the love that has made it possible for us to be called the sons of God. In becoming a Christian, a man does not step down. There is no shame in having connection with the living God. 



Jesus bore the humiliation and shame and reproach that justly belonged to the sinner. He was the Majesty of heaven, He was the King of glory, He was equal with the Father; and yet He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, that divinity might lay hold of divinity. Had He come as an angel, He could not have been a partaker with us of our sufferings, could not have been tempted in all points like as we are, He could not have sympathized with our sorrows; but He came in the garb of our humanity, that as our substitute and surety, He might overcome the prince of darkness in our behalf, and make us victors through His merits. 

As we stand under the shadow of the cross of Calvary, the inspiration of His love fills our hearts. When I look upon Him whom my sins have pierced, the inspiration from on high comes upon me; and this inspiration may come upon each one of you through the Holy Spirit. Unless you receive the Holy Spirit, you cannot have the love of God in the soul; but through a living connection with Christ, we are inspired with love and zeal and earnestness. 

We are not as a block of marble, which may reflect the light of the sun, but cannot be imbued with life. We are capable of responding to the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness; for as Christ illuminates our souls, He gives light and life. 

Ye Shall Receive Power, 71

The First Fruit

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." Psalm 51:1, 2

Repentance is one of the first fruits of saving grace. Our great Teacher, in His lessons to erring, fallen man, presents the life-giving power of His grace, declaring that through this grace men and women may live the new life of holiness and purity. He who lives this life works out the principles of the kingdom of heaven. Taught of God, he leads others in straight paths. He will not lead the lame into paths of uncertainty. The working of the Holy Spirit in his life shows that he is a partaker of the divine nature. Every soul thus worked by the Spirit of Christ receives so abundant a supply of the rich grace that, beholding his good works, the unbelieving world acknowledges that he is controlled and sustained by divine power, and is led to glorify God.



There are those who, notwithstanding all the gracious invitation of Christ, continue to reveal ungodliness in their lives. To such ones God says: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? ... Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you” (Proverbs 1:22, 23).

Repentance for sin is the first fruits of the working of the Holy Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects. In Christ all fullness dwells. Science that is not in harmony with Him is of no value. He teaches us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. This knowledge is the highest science that any man can reach.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 70

He Became Sin for Us

"Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none." Psalm 69:20

The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured—the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face—speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise.



In the sufferings of Christ upon the cross prophecy was fulfilled. Centuries before the crucifixion, the Savior had foretold the treatment He was to receive. He said, “Dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” The prophecy concerning His garments was carried out without counsel or interference from the friends or the enemies of the Crucified One. To the soldiers who had placed Him upon the cross, His clothing was given. Christ heard the men’s contention as they parted the garments among them. His tunic was woven throughout without seam, and they said, “Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” 

To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage. 

The enemies of Jesus vented their rage upon Him as He hung upon the cross. Priests, rulers, and scribes joined with the mob in mocking the dying Saviour. At the baptism and at the transfiguration the voice of God had been heard proclaiming Christ as His Son. Again, just before Christ’s betrayal, the Father had spoken, witnessing to His divinity. But now the voice from heaven was silent. No testimony in Christ’s favor was heard. Alone He suffered abuse and mockery from wicked men. For you. For me.

Bringing All Other Blessings

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." John 15:16

The promise with which Jesus consoled His disciples just before His betrayal and crucifixion was that of the Holy Spirit; and in the doctrine of divine influence and agency, what riches were revealed to them; for this blessing would bring in its train all other blessings. The Holy Spirit breathes upon the soul who humbly rests in Christ as the author and finisher of his faith; and from such a believer fruit will come forth unto life eternal. His influence will be fragrant, and the name of Jesus will be music in his ears, and melody in his heart. 



The Christian will be a savor of life unto life to others, although he may not be able to explain the mysteries of his experience. But he will know that when clouds and darkness compassed him about, and he cried unto the Lord, the darkness was dispersed, and peace and joy were in the temple of the soul. He will know what it is to have the pardoning love of God revealed to the heart, to experience the peace that passes all understanding, to have praise and thanksgiving and adoration welling up in the soul unto Him who has loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. He has peace through Jesus Christ, and joy in the Holy Ghost. One with Christ, his soul is filled with submission to His will, and heaven is enshrined in his heart while he is enfolded in the bosom of infinite love. Christians of this order will bear much fruit to the glory of God. They will rightly interpret the character of God, and manifest His attributes unto the world.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 69

Cooperate with Jesus

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Nothing but divine power can regenerate the human heart and imbue souls with the love of Christ, which will ever manifest itself with love for those for whom He died. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. When a man is converted to God, a new moral taste is supplied, a new motive power is given, and he loves the things that God loves; for his life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable promises to the life of Jesus. Love, joy, peace, and inexpressible gratitude will pervade the soul, and the language of him who is blessed will be, “Thy gentleness hath made me great” (Psalm 18:35). 



But those who are waiting to behold a magical change in their characters without determined effort on their part to overcome sin will be disappointed. We have no reason to fear while looking to Jesus, no reason to doubt but that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him; but we may constantly fear lest our old nature will again obtain the supremacy, that the enemy shall devise some snare whereby we shall again become his captives. 

We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. With our limited powers we are to be as holy in our sphere as God is holy in His sphere. To the extent of our ability, we are to make manifest the truth and love and excellence of the divine character. As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ. 

We are to grow daily in spiritual loveliness. We shall fail often in our efforts to copy the divine Pattern. We shall often have to bow down to weep at the feet of Jesus, because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged; we are to pray more fervently, believe more fully, and try again with more steadfastness to grow into the likeness of our Lord.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 64

Resting in Jesus

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

While you have been walking in meekness and lowliness of heart, a work has been going on for you, a work which only God could do; for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. And that good pleasure is to have you abide in Christ, rest in His love. You must not let anything rob your soul of peace, of restfulness, of the assurance that you are accepted just now. Appropriate every promise; all are yours on condition of your complying with the Lord’s prescribed terms. Entire surrender of your ways, which seem so very wise, and taking Christ’s ways, is the secret of perfect rest in His love. 



Giving up one’s life to Him means much more than we suppose. We must learn His meekness and lowliness before we realize the fulfillment of the promise “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” It is by learning the habits of Christ, His meekness, His lowliness, that self becomes transformed—by taking Christ’s yoke upon you and then submitting to learn. There is no one who has not much to learn. All must come under training by Jesus Christ. When they fall upon Christ, their own hereditary and cultivated traits of character are taken away as hindrances to their being partakers of the divine nature. When self dies, then Christ lives in the human agent. He abides in Christ, and Christ lives in him.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 62

The Mind of Jesus

"For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16

As the man is converted by the truth, the work of transformation of character goes on. He has an increased measure of understanding, in becoming a man of obedience to God. The mind and will of God become his will, and by constantly looking to God for counsel, he becomes a man of increased understanding.



This is not a one-sided education, which develops a one-sided character; but there is revealed a harmoniously developed character. Weaknesses that have been seen in the powerless, vacillating character are overcome, and continual devotion and piety bring the man in such close relation to Jesus Christ that he has the mind of Christ. He is one with Christ, having soundness and strength of principle, and clearness of perception, which is that wisdom that comes from God, who is the source of all light and understanding. 

The grace of God has fallen upon the humble, obedient, conscientious soul like the Sun of righteousness, strengthening the mental faculties. And in the most astonishing manner, it makes those who long to use their capacity in the Master’s service, small though it may be, strong continually by obedience and practice to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and be bearers of much fruit to the glory of God, in good works... The opening of God’s Word is followed by remarkable opening in strengthening a man’s faculties; for the entrance of God’s Word is the application of divine truth to the heart, purifying and refining the soul through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 58

A Clean Heart

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

“Create in me a clean heart.” This is beginning right, at the very foundation of Christian character; for out of the heart are the issues of life. If all, ministers and people, would see to it that their hearts are right with God, we should see much larger results from the labor put forth. The more important and responsible your work, the greater the necessity that you have clean hearts. The needed grace is provided, and the power of the Holy Spirit will work with every effort you make in this direction. 


If every child of God would seek Him earnestly and perseveringly, there would be a greater growth in grace. Dissensions would cease; believers would be of one heart and one mind; and purity and love would prevail in the church. By beholding we become changed. The more you contemplate the character of Christ, the more you will become conformed to His image. Come to Jesus just as you are, and He will receive you, and put a new song in your mouth, even praise to God. 

“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11). Repentance as well as forgiveness is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convinced of sin, and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of the Lord that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us. He will hear the prayer of faith; but the sincerity of prayer can be proved only by our efforts to bring ourselves into harmony with the great moral standard which will test every man’s character. We need to open our hearts to the influence of the Spirit, and to experience its transforming power. 

Ye Shall Receive Power, 56

Grace of Great Price

"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." James 3:13. 

Meekness in the school of Christ is one of the marked fruits of the Spirit. It is a grace wrought by the Holy Spirit as a sanctifier, and enables its possessor at all times to control a rash and impetuous temper. When the grace of meekness is cherished by those who are naturally sour or hasty in disposition, they will put forth the most earnest efforts to subdue their unhappy temper. Every day they will gain self-control, until that which is unlovely and unlike Jesus is conquered. They become assimilated to the divine Pattern, until they can obey the inspired injunction, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).



When a man professes to be sanctified, and yet in words and works may be represented by the impure fountain sending forth its bitter waters, we may safely say, that man is deceived. He needs to learn the very alphabet of what constitutes the life of a Christian. Some who profess to be servants to Christ have so long cherished the demon of unkindness that they seem to love the unhallowed element, and to take pleasure in speaking words that displease and irritate. These men must be converted, before Christ will acknowledge them as His children. 

Meekness is the inward adorning, which God estimates as of great price. The apostle speaks of this as more excellent and valuable than gold, or pearls, or costly array. While the outward adorning beautifies only the mortal body, the ornament of meekness adorns the soul, and connects finite man with the infinite God. This is the ornament of God’s own choice. He who garnished the heavens with the orbs of light has by the same Spirit promised that He will “beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). Angels of heaven will register as best adorned, those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk with Him in meekness and lowliness of mind.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 54

Our Minds Made New

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2

The part man has to act in the salvation of the soul is to believe on Jesus Christ as a perfect Redeemer, not for some other man, but for his own self. He is to trust, to love, to fear the God of heaven. There is a certain work to be accomplished. Man must be delivered from the power of sin. He must be made perfect in every good work. In doing the words of Christ is his only assurance that his house is built upon the solid foundation. To hear, to say, to preach, and not to do the words of Christ is building upon the sand. 



Those who do the words of Christ will perfect a Christian character, because Christ’s will is their will. Thus is Christ formed within, the hope of glory. They are beholding, as in a glass, the glory of God. By our making Christ the subject of meditation, He will become the subject of conversation; and by beholding, we will actually be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord. Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” How does he prove this? By the Holy Spirit taking possession of his mind, spirit, heart, and character. Where does the proving come in? “We are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9). 

A real work is wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruits are seen; just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 50

A Healthy Christian

"By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4

A healthy Christian is one who has Christ formed within, the hope of glory. He loves truth, purity, and holiness, and will manifest spiritual vitality, having love for the Word of God. And in order that he may catch every ray of light that God has communicated, he also seeks communion with those who are acquainted with the Word which reveals Christ and makes Him more precious to the soul. He who has sound faith finds that Christ is the life of the soul, that He is in him as a well of water springing up unto everlasting life, and he delights to conform every power of the soul to the obedience of his Lord. The Holy Spirit with its vivifying influence ever keeps such a soul in the love of God. 



To the Christian it is written: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:2-11).

Ye Shall Receive Power, 43


A Temple for the Spirit

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." 1 Corinthians 6:19,20

A power above and outside of man is to work upon him, that solid timbers may be brought into his character building. In the inner sanctuary of the soul the presence of God is to abide. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16).



Everything that God could do has been done for the salvation of man. In one rich gift He poured out the treasures of heaven. He invites, He pleads, He urges; but He will not compel men to come unto Him. He waits for their co-operation. He waits for the consent of the will, that He may bestow upon the sinner the riches of his grace, reserved for him from the foundation of the world.

A man does not build himself into an habitation for the Spirit, and unless there is a co-operation of man’s will with God’s will, the Lord can do nothing for him. Though the Lord is the great Master-worker, yet the human agent has his part to act with the divine worker, or the heavenly building cannot be completed. All the power is of God; yet all the responsibility rests with the human agent, for God can do nothing without the co-operation of man.

The Lord does not design that human power should be paralyzed; but that by co-operation with God, man may become a more efficient agent in his hands. Though weak, erring, frail, sinful, and imperfect, the Lord holds out to man the privilege of co-partnership with Himself.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 42

Qualified for God's Service

"Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

Christ does not acknowledge any caste, color, or grade as necessary to become a subject of His kingdom. Admittance to His kingdom does not depend upon wealth or a superior heredity. But those who are born of the Spirit are the subjects of His kingdom. Spiritual character is that which will be recognized by Christ. His kingdom is not of this world. His subjects are those who are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And this grace is given them of God. 



Christ does not find His subjects fitted for His kingdom, but He qualifies them by His divine power. Those who have been dead in trespasses and sins are quickened to spiritual life. The faculties which God has given them for holy purposes are refined, purified, and exalted, and they are led to form characters after the divine similitude. Though they have misapplied their talents and made them serve sin; though Christ has been to them a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, because they stumbled at the Word, being disobedient, yet by the drawing of His love they are led at last into the path of duty. Christ said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). 

Christ draws them to Himself by an unseen power. He is the light of life, and He imbues them with His own Spirit. As they are drawn into the spiritual atmosphere, they see that they have been made the sport of Satan’s temptations, and that they have been under his dominion; but they break the yoke of fleshly lusts, and refuse to be the servants of sin. Satan strives to hold them. He assails them with various temptations; but the Spirit works to renew them after the image of Him who created them.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 40

The Spirit Patiently Waits

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

All, from the oldest to the youngest, need to be taught of God. We may be taught by man to see the truth clearly, but God alone can teach the heart to receive the truth savingly, which means to receive the words of eternal life into good and honest hearts. The Lord is waiting patiently to instruct every willing soul who will be taught. The fault is not with the willing Instructor, the greatest Teacher the world ever knew, but it is with the learner who holds to his own impressions and ideas, and will not give up his human theories and come in humility to be taught. He will not allow his conscience and his heart to be educated, disciplined, and trained—worked as the husbandman works the earth, and as the architect constructs the building. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). 



Everyone needs to be worked, molded, and fashioned after the divine [pattern]. Christ tells you, my dear friends, young and old, the everlasting truth, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; ... For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (John 6:53-56). Said Christ, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (verse 63). 

Those who search the Scriptures, and most earnestly seek to understand them, will reveal the sanctification of the Spirit through the belief of the truth, for they take into their very heart the truth, and have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. All their spiritual sinew and muscle are nourished by the Bread of Life which they eat.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 38

The Spirit Moves Among Us

"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He is us, because He has given us of His Spirit." 1 John 4:13

Though we cannot see the Spirit of God, we know that men who have been dead in trespasses and sins become convicted and converted under its operations. The thoughtless and wayward become serious. The hardened repent of their sins, and the faithless believe. The gambler, the drunkard, the licentious, become steady, sober, and pure. The rebellious and obstinate become meek and Christlike. When we see these changes in the character, we may be assured that the converting power of God has transformed the entire man. We saw not the Holy Spirit, but we saw the evidence of His work on the changed character of those who were hardened and obdurate sinners. As the wind moves in its force upon the lofty trees and brings them down, so the Holy Spirit can work upon human hearts, and no finite man can circumscribe the work of God. 



The Spirit of God is manifested in different ways upon different men. One under the movings of this power will tremble before the Word of God. His convictions will be so deep that a hurricane and tumult of feeling seem to rage in his heart, and his whole being is prostrate under the convicting power of the truth. When the Lord speaks forgiveness to the repenting soul, he is full of ardor, full of love to God, full of earnestness and energy, and the life-giving Spirit which he has received cannot be repressed.

Christ is in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. His feelings of love are as deep and ardent as was his distress and agony. His soul is like the fountain of the great deep broken up, and he pours forth his thanksgiving and praise, his gratitude and joy, until the heavenly harps are tuned to notes of rejoicing. He has a story to tell, but not in any precise, common, methodical way. He is a soul ransomed through the merits of Jesus Christ, and his whole being is thrilled with the realization of the salvation of God.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 29

God's Family

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14

All our present and future hopes depend upon our kinship with Christ and with God. The apostle Paul speaks strong words to confirm our faith in this respect. To those who are led by the Spirit of God, in whose hearts the grace of Christ is dwelling, he declares: “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16, 17). “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (verse 15). 



We are called by Christ to come out from the world and to be separate. We are called to live holy lives, having our hearts continually drawn out to God, and having in our lives the Holy Spirit as an abiding presence. Every true believer in Christ will reveal that the grace of His love is in the heart. Where once there was estrangement from God, there will be revealed co-partnership with Him; where once the carnal nature was manifest, there will be seen the attributes of the divine.

His people are to become workers of righteousness, constant seekers after God, constant workers of His will. This will make them complete in Christ. To angels and to men and to worlds unfallen they are to make it manifest that their lives are conforming to the will of God, that they are loyal adherents to the principles of His kingdom. The Holy Spirit, dwelling in their hearts by faith, will bring them into fellowship with Christ and with one another, and will yield in them the precious fruits of holiness.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 28

Showers of Grace

"Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone." Zechariah 10:1

In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain, and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.



Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. 

It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 25

Give Me a New Heart

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5. 

In order to serve God acceptably, we must be “born again.” Our natural dispositions, which are in opposition to the Spirit of God, must be put away. We must be made new men and women in Christ Jesus. Our old, unrenewed lives must give place to a new life—a life full of love, of trust, of willing obedience. Think you that such a change is not necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God? Listen to the words of the Majesty of heaven: “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Unless the change takes place, we cannot serve God aright. Our work will be defective; earthly plans will be brought in; strange fire, dishonoring to God, will be offered. Our lives will be unholy and unhappy, full of unrest and trouble. 



The change of heart represented by the new birth can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. It alone can cleanse us from all impurity. If it is allowed to mold and fashion our hearts, we shall be able to discern the character of the kingdom of God, and realize the necessity of the change which must be made before we can obtain entrance to this kingdom. Pride and self-love resist the Spirit of God; every natural inclination of the soul opposes the change from self-importance and pride to the meekness and lowliness of Christ. But if we would travel in the pathway to eternal life, we must not listen to the whispering of self. In humility and contrition we must beseech our heavenly Father, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). As we receive divine light, and cooperate with the heavenly intelligences, we are “born again,” freed from the defilement of sin by the power of Christ. 

Christ came to our world because He saw that men had lost the image and nature of God. He saw that they had wandered far from the path of peace and purity, and that, if left to themselves, they would never find their way back. He came with a full and complete salvation, to change our stony hearts to hearts of flesh, to change our sinful natures into His similitude, that, by being partakers of the divine nature, we might be fitted for the heavenly courts.

Ye shall Receive Power, 24

Water for the Thirsty

"Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

As the plan of redemption begins and ends with a gift, so it is to be carried forward. The same spirit of sacrifice which purchased salvation for us will dwell in the hearts of all who become partakers of the heavenly gift. Says the apostle Peter: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Said Jesus to His disciples as He sent them forth, “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

In him who is fully in sympathy with Christ, there can be nothing selfish or exclusive. He who drinks of the living water will find that it is “in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The Spirit of Christ within him is like a spring welling up in the desert, flowing to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life. 


It was the same spirit of love and self-sacrifice which dwelt in Christ that impelled the apostle Paul to his manifold labors. “I am debtor,” he says, “both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise” (Romans 1:14). “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). 

Our Lord designed that His church should reflect to the world the fullness and sufficiency that we find in Him. We are constantly receiving of God’s bounty, and by imparting of the same we are to represent to the world the love and beneficence of Christ. While all heaven is astir, dispatching messengers to all parts of the earth to carry forward the work of redemption, the church of the living God are also to be co-laborers with Jesus Christ. 

Ye Shall Receive Power, 19

Give Me Oil in My Lamp

"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:3, 4

Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which is brought into the soul through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who earnestly search the Scriptures with much prayer, who rely upon God with firm faith, who obey His commandments, will be among those who are represented as wise virgins. The teachings of the Word of God are not yea and nay, but yea and amen. 



The requirement of the gospel is far-reaching. Says the apostle, “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Practical piety will not be attained by giving the grand truths of the Bible a place in the outer courts of the heart. The religion of the Bible must be brought into the large and the little affairs of life. It must furnish the powerful motives and principles that will regulate the Christian’s character and course of action.... 

The oil so much needed by those who are represented as foolish virgins, is not something to be put on the outside. They need to bring the truth into the sanctuary of the soul, that it may cleanse, refine, and sanctify. It is not theory that they need; it is the sacred teachings of the Bible, which are not uncertain, disconnected doctrines, but are living truths, that involve eternal interests that center in Christ. In Him is the complete system of divine truth. The salvation of the soul, through faith in Christ, is the ground and pillar of the truth. 

Those who exercise true faith in Christ make it manifest by holiness of character, by obedience to the law of God. They realize that the truth as it is in Jesus reaches heaven, and compasses eternity. They understand that the Christian’s character should represent the character of Christ, and be full of grace and truth. To them is imparted the oil of grace, which sustains a never-failing light. The Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer makes him complete in Christ.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 16

Unseen as the Wind

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. He can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. 



By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the Word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God—a patient, protracted process. While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power.

When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.

Ye Shall Receive Power, 15

The Promise of the Spirit

"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." John 14:16

When Christ gave His disciples the promise of the Spirit, He was nearing the close of His earthly ministry. He was standing in the shadow of the cross, with a full realization of the load of guilt that was to rest upon Him as the Sin Bearer. Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, He instructed His disciples regarding a most essential and complete gift which He was to bestow upon His followers—the gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of His grace. 

“I will pray the Father,” He said, “and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17). The Savior was pointing forward to the time when the Holy Spirit should come to do a mighty work as His representative. The evil that had been accumulating for centuries was to be resisted by the divine power of the Holy Spirit.... 



The promise of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or to any race. Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. To all who have accepted Christ as a personal Savior, the Holy Spirit has come as a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness. The more closely believers have walked with God, the more clearly and powerfully have they testified of their Redeemer’s love and of His saving grace. 

Ye shall Receive Power, pg 9

God's Promise of Hope

"Now acquaint yourself with Him and be at peace; thereby good will come to you." Job 22:21

In the days of Elisha, "the outlook for the spiritual regeneration of the nation was as hopeless as is the outlook today before God's servants who are laboring in the dark places of the earth. But the church of Christ is God's agency for the proclamation of truth; she is empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to God, obedient to His commandments, there will dwell within her he excellency of divine power. If she will be true to her allegiance, there is no power hat can stand against her. The forces of the enemy will be more able to overwhelm her than is the chaff to resist the whirlwind.



There is before the church the dawn of a bright, glorious day if she will put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance to the world.

God calls upon His faithful ones, who believe in Him, to talk courage to those who are unbelieving and hopeless. Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save. When in faith we take hold of His strength, He will change--wonderfully change--the most hopeless, discouraging outlook. He will do this for the glory of His name.

Prophets and Kings, 259-260

The Promised Gift

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17

The Comforter is called “the Spirit of truth.” His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. 



In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. 

Of the Spirit Jesus said, “He shall glorify Me.” The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.

“When He [the Spirit of truth] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, “Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.” Acts 5:28. 

Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.

The Desire of Ages, pg 671

Salting the Earth

"You are the salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13

When God compares His children to salt, He would teach them that His purpose in making them the subjects of His grace is that they may become agents in saving others. The object of God in choosing a people before all the world was not only that He might adopt them as His sons and daughters, but that through them the world might receive the grace that bringeth salvation. When the Lord chose Abraham, it was not simply to be the special friend of God, but to be a medium of the peculiar privileges the Lord desired to bestow upon the nations. 

The world needs evidences of sincere Christianity. The poison of sin is at work at the heart of society. Cities and towns are steeped in sin and moral corruption. The world is full of sickness, suffering, and iniquity. Nigh and afar off are souls in poverty and distress, weighed down with a sense of guilt and perishing for want of a saving influence. The gospel of truth is kept ever before them, yet they perish because the example of those who should be a savor of life to them is a savor of death. Their souls drink in bitterness because the springs are poisoned, when they should be like a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.



Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must penetrate, infuse it, that it may be preserved. So it is through personal contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the gospel. They are not saved as masses, but as individuals. Personal influence is a power. It is to work with the influence of Christ, to lift where Christ lifts, to impart correct principles, and to stay the progress of the world’s corruption. It is to diffuse that grace which Christ alone can impart. It is to uplift, to sweeten the lives and characters of others by the power of a pure example united with earnest faith and love. 

As those who have been cleansed and sanctified through a knowledge of Bible truth engage heartily in the work of soul-saving, they will become indeed a savor of life unto life. And as daily they drink of the inexhaustible fountain of grace and knowledge, they will find that their own hearts are filled to overflowing with the Spirit of their Master, and that through their unselfish ministry many are benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually. The weary are refreshed, the sick restored to health, and the sin-burdened relieved. In far-off countries thanksgiving is heard from the lips of those whose hearts are turned from the service of sin unto righteousness. 

“Give, and it shall be given unto you;” for the word of God is “a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” Luke 6:38; Song of Solomon 4:15

Prophets and Kings, 231-232, 234

Faithful in Little Things

"He who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." Luke 16:10.

God had bidden Elijah anoint another to be prophet in his stead. “Elisha the son of Shaphat ... shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room” (1 Kings 19:16), He had said; and in obedience to the command, Elijah went to find Elisha. As he journeyed northward, how changed was the scene from what it had been only a short while before! Then the ground was parched, the farming districts unworked, for neither dew nor rain had fallen for three and a half years. Now on every hand vegetation was springing up as if to redeem the time of drought and famine. 



Elisha’s father was a wealthy farmer, a man whose household were among the number that in a time of almost universal apostasy had not bowed the knee to Baal. Theirs was a home where God was honored and where allegiance to the faith of ancient Israel was the rule of daily life. In such surroundings the early years of Elisha were passed. In the quietude of country life, under the teaching of God and nature and the discipline of useful work, he received the training in habits of simplicity and of obedience to his parents and to God that helped to fit him for the high position he was afterward to occupy.

The prophetic call came to Elisha while, with his father’s servants, he was plowing in the field. He had taken up the work that lay nearest. He possessed both the capabilities of a leader among men and the meekness of one who is ready to serve. Of a quiet and gentle spirit, he was nevertheless energetic and steadfast. Integrity, fidelity, and the love and fear of God were his, and in the humble round of daily toil he gained strength of purpose and nobleness of character, constantly increasing in grace and knowledge. While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God. 

By faithfulness in little things, Elisha was preparing for weightier trusts. Day by day, through practical experience, he gained a fitness for a broader, higher work. He learned to serve; and in learning this, he learned also how to instruct and lead. The lesson is for all. None can know what may be God’s purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities. Every act of life is a revelation of character, and he only who in small duties proves himself “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” can be honored by God with higher service. 2 Timothy 2:15.


Many long for special talent with which to do a wonderful work, while the duties lying close at hand, the performance of which would make the life fragrant, are lost sight of. Let such ones take up the duties lying directly in their pathway. Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service, but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God’s sight.

The Battle is His

"‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's." 2 Chronicles 20:15

Toward the close of Jehoshaphat’s reign the kingdom of Judah was invaded by an army before whose approach the inhabitants of the land had reason to tremble. “The children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.” Tidings of this invasion reached the king through a messenger, who appeared with the startling word, “There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria: and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is Engedi.” 2 Chronicles 20:1, 2. 



Jehoshaphat was a man of courage and valor. For years he had been strengthening his armies and his fortified cities. He was well prepared to meet almost any foe; yet in this crisis he put not his trust in the arm of flesh. Not by disciplined armies and fenced cities, but by a living faith in the God of Israel, could he hope to gain the victory over these heathen who boasted of their power to humble Judah in the eyes of the nations. 

“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”

Standing in the temple court before his people, Jehoshaphat poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God’s promises, with confession of Israel’s helplessness...O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.”

As the people joined with their king in humbling themselves before God, and asking Him for help, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, “a Levite of the sons of Asaph,” and he said: {PK 201.1}

“Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou King Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”

Early in the morning they rose and went into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they advanced to the battle, Jehoshaphat said, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established: believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness.” 2 Chronicles 20:14-21. These singers went before the army, lifting their voices in praise to God for the promise of victory.

It was a singular way of going to battle against the enemy’s army—praising the Lord with singing, and exalting the God of Israel. This was their battle song. They possessed the beauty of holiness. If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase. And would not this strengthen the hands of the valiant soldiers who today are standing in defense of truth? 

“The Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another. 

“And when Judah came toward the watchtower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.” Verses 22-24. 

God was the strength of Judah in this crisis, and He is the strength of His people today. We are not to trust in princes, or to set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring, and that He who has all power is our strong tower of defense. In every emergency we are to feel that the battle is His. His resources are limitless, and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater.

Prophets and Kings, 198-202

Following the Lord

"And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 6:24. 

Until called to the throne at the age of thirty-five, Jehoshaphat had before him the example of good King Asa, who in nearly every crisis had done “that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 1 Kings 15:11. During a prosperous reign of twenty-five years, Jehoshaphat sought to walk “in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside.” 



In his efforts to rule wisely, Jehoshaphat endeavored to persuade his subjects to take a firm stand against idolatrous practices. Many of the people in his realm “offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.” 1 Kings 22:43. The king did not at once destroy these shrines; but from the beginning he tried to safeguard Judah from the sins characterizing the northern kingdom under the rule of Ahab, of whom he was a contemporary for many years. Jehoshaphat himself was loyal to God. He “sought not unto Baalim; but sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in His commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.” Because of his integrity, the Lord was with him, and “stablished the kingdom in his hand.” 2 Chronicles 17:3-5. 

“All Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honor in abundance. And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord.” As time passed and reformations were wrought, the king “took away the high places and groves out of Judah.” Verses 5, 6. “And the remnant of the Sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.” 1 Kings 22:46. Thus gradually the inhabitants of Judah were freed from many of the perils that had been threatening to retard seriously their spiritual development. 

Throughout the kingdom the people were in need of instruction in the law of God. In an understanding of this law lay their safety; by conforming their lives to its requirements they would become loyal both to God and to man. Knowing this, Jehoshaphat took steps to ensure to his people thorough instruction in the Holy Scriptures. The princes in charge of the different portions of his realm were directed to arrange for the faithful ministry of teaching priests. By royal appointment these instructors, working under the direct supervision of the princes, “went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.” 2 Chronicles 17:7-9. And as many endeavored to understand God’s requirements and to put away sin, a revival was effected.

To this wise provision for the spiritual needs of his subjects, Jehoshaphat owed much of his prosperity as a ruler. In obedience to God’s law there is great gain. In conformity to the divine requirements there is a transforming power that brings peace and good will among men. If the teachings of God’s word were made the controlling influence in the life of every man and woman, if mind and heart were brought under its restraining power, the evils that now exist in national and in social life would find no place. From every home would go forth an influence that would make men and women strong in spiritual insight and in moral power, and thus nations and individuals would be placed on vantage ground.

Prophets and Kings, 190-192

Trusting in Jesus

"Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength." Isaiah 45:24

Are you feeing discouraged? Are trials or temptations hounding you? It's good to know we're not alone. Even the mightiest men of faith have gone through dark days like that. This morning, God can lift our burdens through the life of Elijah. He wasn't always the every-strong prophet on the top of Mt. Carmel. He was also hit by doubts and fears. He knew what discouragement was all about.

"It is at the time of greatest weakness that Satan assails the soul with the fiercest temptations. It was thus that he hoped to prevail over the Son of God; for by this policy he had gained many victories over man. When the will power weakened and faith failed, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right yielded to temptation. Moses, wearied with 40 years of wandering and unbelief, lost for a moment his hold on Infinite power. He failed just on the borders of the Promised Lad. So with Elijah. He who had maintained hi trust in Jehovah during the years of drought and famine, he who had stood undaunted before Ahab, he who throughout that trying day on Carmel had stood before the whole nation of Israel, the sole witness to the true God, in a moment of weariness allowed the fear of death to overcome his faith in God.



And so it is today. When we are encompassed with doubt, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan seeks to shake our confidence in Jehovah. It is then that he arrays before us our mistakes and tempts us to distrust God, to question His love. He hopes to discourage the soul and break our hold on God.

Those who, standing in the forefront of the conflict, are impelled by the Holy Spirit to do a special work, will frequently feel a reaction when the pressure is removed. Despondency may shake the most heroic faith and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves. He reads the motives and the purposes of the heart. To wait patiently, to trust when everything looks dark, is the lesson that the leaders in God's work need to learn. Heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity. Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on God.



Not alone for men in positions of large responsibility is the lesson of Elijah's experience in learning anew how to trust God in the hour of trial. He who was Elijah's strength is strong to uphold every struggling child of His, no matter how weak. Of everyone He expects loyalty, and to everyone He grants power according to their need. In his own strength man is strengthless; but in the might of God he may be strong to overcome evil and to help others to overcome. Satan can never gain advantage of him who makes God his defense. "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." Isaiah 45:24.

Fellow Christian, Satan knows your weakness; therefore cling to Jesus. Abiding in God's love, you may stand every test. The righteousness of Christ alone can give you power to stem the tide of evil that is sweeping over the world. Bring faith into your experience. Faith lightens every burden--relieves every weariness...Walk by faith in the path He marks out. Trials will come, but go forward. This will strengthen your faith and fit you for service.

Hold On

"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit." James 5:17-18.

Elijah was a man of great faith. He believed God would do as He promised even when he had no outward evidence. Even when his prayers weren't answered right away, he "did not become impatient or lose faith, but continued his earnest pleading" (Prophets and Kings, 156). 



"His faith reached out and grasped the promise of Heaven and he persevered in prayer until his prayers were answered...It was because Elijah was a man of large faith that God could use him in this grave crisis in the history of Israel. As he prayed, his faith reached out and grasped the promises of Heaven, and he persevered in prayer until his petitions were answered. He did not wait for the full evidence that God had heard him, but was willing  venture all on the slightest token of divine favor. And yet what he was enabled to do under God, all may do in their sphere of activity in God's service,  for of the prophet from the mountains of Gilead, it is written:

"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit."

James 5:17-18

Faith such as this connects us closely with Heaven and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. Through faith God's children "have subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flint the armies of the aliens." Hebrews 11:33-34. And through faith we today are to reach the heights of God's purpose for us. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Mark 9:23.

Faith is an essential element of prevailing prayer. "He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we asked of Him." 1 John 5:14-15.  With the persevering faith of Jacob, with the unyielding persistence of Elijah, we may  present our petitions to the Father, claiming all that He has promised. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His Word."

Prophets and Kings, 156-158

If the Lord is God

"How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." 1 Kings 18:21

Elijah had called the King, the priests and prophets of Baal, and all of Israel to meet him at Mt. Carmel. The time has come to show who is the true God. It was time for a show down.

Before the 3 years of drought, which God had sent to open Israel's eyes to the futility of worshiping idols, Caramel had been a place of beauty. Its streams, once fed from never-failing springs, were all dried up. Its fertile slopes, once covered with trees and flowers, were stripped bare. And on the summit of one of its highest ridges stood the broken-down altar of God. On this mountain, God had been dishonored by the Baal worship happening in all its groves. So this was the spot to show His people that He was their one and true God.



As Elijah looks at the broken-down altar of the Lord, he cries out in words that all can hear, "How long will you falter between 2 opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." 1 Kings 18:21. 

"The people answer him not a word. Not one in that vast assembly dare reveal loyalty to Jehovah. Like a dark cloud, deception and blindness had overspread Israel. Not all at once had this fatal apostasy closed about them, but gradually, as from time to time they had failed to heed the words of warning and reproof that the Lord sent them. Each departure from right-doing, each refusal to repent, had deepened their guilt and driven them farther from Heaven. And now, in this crisis, they persisted in refusing to take their stand for God.

The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work. The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil. The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven?

All through the ages, God has had moral heroes and He has them now--those who, like Joseph and Elijah and Daniel, are not ashamed to acknowledge themselves as His peculiar people. His special blessing accompanies the labors of men of action, men who will not be swerved from the straight line of duty, but who with divine energy will inquire, "Who is on the Lord's side?" (Exodus 32:26), men who will not stop merely with the inquiry, but who will demand that those who choose to identify themselves with the people of God shall step forward and reveal unmistakably their allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Such men make their wills and plans subordinate to the law of God. For love of Him, they count not their lives dear to themselves. Their work is to catch the light from the Word and let it shine forth to the world in clear, steady rays" (Prophets and Kings, 147-148).

In the crisis that is before us, God is calling us not to forsake our true identity. Men and women may see themselves as Americans or citizens of a different country; they may identify themselves as members of a political party. But this is not our true identity. Our unreserved allegiance is to God and God alone. We are His disciples, and in this hour of crisis, He needs our faithfulness and loyalty to be strong. He requires our lives to match the truths we believe and to show everyone that we are following Jesus Christ. He is the only Leader we can safely follow as we near the second coming of Christ and the final events of this world's history.

Are you taking your place on the Lord's side?

Three Steps for a Spiritual Restart

"Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts." Zechariah 4:6

Would you like to experience spiritual renewal together with your church family? Here’s one suggested plan that has led to spiritual awakening and hope for churches in Germany, Switzerland, England, Tajikistan, and the United States. Revival can happen anywhere, even in secular countries, when people continually surrender themselves to Jesus and ask for the blessing of the Holy Spirit.

Pray about how your church or family or prayer group can experience a spiritual “restart” this year. Make a plan, seek input from others, and set a date to begin. You’ll want to adapt your ideas depending on your culture, your community, and the needs of your group.



We want to share the example of just one church in Decatur, Alabama, USA:

1. Restart

Take several weeks or months to pray intently for the Holy Spirit, along with studying Scripture and possibly a short devotional book.

In preparation for an evangelistic series, members of the Decatur church began praying together at church for 30 minutes every Sabbath morning. They shared pointers in the church bulletin to promote prayer, revival, and the work of the Holy Spirit. They also held a video seminar about the Holy Spirit on two Sabbath evenings. After the seminar, they distributed a short book about spiritual revival and asked members to read it over the next six weeks. Later, during Ten Days of Prayer, they prayed for revival and the Holy Spirit and celebrated a Sabbath of prayer and praise.

2. Relationship Care

Begin intercessory prayer for five unreached people, then contact them and maintain a friendship in a way that is sincere and tactful. During this time you may want to study another book about prayer or revival. Consider studying in pairs for support and deeper understanding.

During this second phase, members of the Decatur church started studying the book 40 Days: Prayers and Devotions to Prepare for the Second Coming in groups of two. As a result, their joy in telling others about Jesus grew. As suggested in the book, members also started praying for five unreached people in their lives. Then they got in touch with these acquaintances or former church members and maintained the contact over time. This resulted in baptisms and blessings for both the new members and those who had prayed for them.

Think about it: if 10 church members each pray for and maintain contact with five people, that would be 50 people, and it would grow from there. At the end of the 40 days, you might invite the people you prayed for to a special visitor Sabbath. Next, invite each person to join a small group (Bible study, healthy cooking, exercise, social activities, whatever is appropriate for the person’s interests). You can also invite them to upcoming evangelistic meetings. Remember to attend the meetings with your friends and help them feel welcome.

3. Sharing

Each member can invite the people they’ve been praying for to attend evangelistic meetings, small-group Bible studies, or a one-on-one Bible study. (If some of your prayer contacts aren’t ready for Bible studies, invite them to a small group focused on an area of interest, such as exercise, healthy cooking, hobbies, or social activities.)

When the Decatur church held an evangelistic series, the members experienced revival and a deeper relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit worked on the hearts of invited guests, and 10 people gave their lives to Jesus through baptism (with five more joining later). The results are a testimony to the power of prayer! 

What Can Your Church Do?

Pray together and make a plan for your church today. “All heaven is in activity, and the angels of God are waiting to cooperate with all who will devise plans whereby souls for whom Christ died may hear the glad tidings of salvation. Angels who minister to those that shall be heirs of salvation, are saying to every true saint: ‘There is work for you to do.’ ‘Go, stand and speak . . . to the people all the words of this life’ (Acts 5:20)” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 433, 434).

Praying God's Word

The Holy Spirit will accomplish it.

“What you are planning will neither succeed by the might of an army nor by human strength; rather, my Spirit will accomplish it! I, the Lord God Almighty, promise this” (Zechariah 4:6, translated from the German Hoffnung fuer Alle version).

Dear Father, You tell us that success does not come from human effort. Please forgive us for our lack of Holy Spirit power. Revive us so we are not lukewarm like Laodicea. Awaken us for our own salvation and that of our neighbors. And thank You for the eternal joy You have promised.

Praying with God's Promises

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7

“[God] is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises” (The Desire of Ages, p. 668). “Plead for the Holy Spirit. God stands back of every promise He has made. With your Bible in your hands say, I have done as Thou hast said. I present Thy promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Matthew 7:7)” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 147).



What does it mean to pray with promises? We choose a Bible promise or command and pray those words back to God. We rely on Him to do as He promised. We allow Him to guide our prayers and speak to us through His Word. And if we feel doubt—as everyone does at times—we point to the promises and claim them as God’s personal guarantee. As we fill our hearts and prayers with Scripture, our faith is strengthened and we come to know God’s mind as never before. “To blot the promises of God from the Word would be like blotting the sun from the sky. . . . God has placed the promises in His Word to lead us to have faith in Him. In these promises He draws back the veil from eternity” (My Life Today, p. 338).

The Bible offers clear guidance for our prayers. First, we are told to make our requests in the name of Jesus: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). God also gives a general promise that He answers prayers that are according to His will: “ Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14, 15). God reveals His will in the commands and promises of the Bible, and we can rely on Him to do what He has promised. Verse 15 goes on: “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

What does that mean? When we pray for something that we know is according to God’s will, He is already answering at the same moment. We may not see visible results yet. And usually we don’t notice anything emotionally. But our prayers are answered by faith, not by our feelings. The feelings will follow later, but for now, we trust the promise.

For example, I have learned something when praying with people addicted to alcohol and nicotine. At the moment they pray for deliverance, they may not notice anything. They must receive the deliverance by faith. But perhaps a few hours later they notice they don’t have the old craving for drinking or tobacco. At this moment, they have received the practical deliverance requested in the prayer.

Jesus promises, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). Are you praying His promises every day? When we pray in His name and according to His will, all heaven is moved!

God's Solution to My Struggle

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Luke 9:23, 24

Why Should We Ask Daily for the Holy Spirit?

Years ago I read the story of a gangster who converted to Christ. He wholeheartedly confessed his perjury, theft, and other crimes, and as a result he experienced a tremendous divine intervention. God completely turned his life around.

This impressed me. I said to myself, I’m doing fine in most ways, but I don’t have experiences like that. So I prayed, “Lord, I also want to confess all my known sins and the sins You have yet to show me. In addition, I will get up an hour earlier each day to pray and read the Bible. I want to see if You will also intervene in my life.”



Praise God, He did intervene in my life! Not because I earned some merit by getting up early but because I daily placed myself where the Holy Spirit could reach me. If a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit was a daily necessity for Jesus on this earth, how much more do we need this power? Paul writes about the inward man “being renewed day by day,” and he prays that God’s people would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (2 Corinthians 4:16 and Ephesians 3:16). “The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the daily baptism of the Spirit every worker should offer his petition to God” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 50). Our “inward person” needs daily care.

Why Should We Surrender Daily to Jesus?

Trying to help His disciples understand the sacrificial nature of discipleship, Jesus told them, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). To deny self means giving Jesus control over our lives each day. The apostle Paul explains it like this: “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

As humans we resist surrender, forgetting that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We receive physical life at birth, but we still eat every day to maintain health. We receive spiritual life when we are born again, but we still need daily spiritual food or we will die. Just as we cannot eat our meals ahead of time, neither can we surrender to Christ for tomorrow. Ellen White writes, “However complete may have been our consecration at conversion, it will avail us nothing unless it be renewed daily” (Our Father Cares, p. 144).

How to Get Started

The best way—and only way—to daily receive the Holy Spirit and surrender to Jesus is by having daily personal worship. Unless we choose God each day, our promises and good intentions are like “ropes of sand” (Steps to Christ, p. 47). Will you commit today to sharing the best part of your day with Him? “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Praying God's Word

1. Remain in the best relationship there is. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me...If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:4, 7). Lord, thank You for growing our trust when we daily surrender to You. Lead us to know the Holy Spirit better. Let Your desires be our desires.

Live in the best relationship every day. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33, NIV). 

Dear Lord, teach us to put You first in everything. Show us how to begin each day with You.

Revive Me Again

"Will you not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?" Psalm 85:6

A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word; but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts, then the discourses given will not be without effect.



Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts. The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something besides an imaginary religion, a religion of words and forms, where truth is kept in the outer court. God calls for a revival and a reformation.

A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.

The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another. One member working in right lines will lead other members to unite with him in making intercession for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all will be in harmony with the mind of the Spirit. The barriers separating believer from believer will be broken down, and God’s servants will speak the same things. The Lord will co-operate with His servants. All will pray understandingly the prayer that Christ taught His servants: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

I Surrender All

"My son, give me your heart and let your heart observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

Our Savior claims all there is of us; He asks our first and holiest thoughts, our purest and most intense affection. If we are indeed partakers of the divine nature, His praise will be continually in our hearts and upon our lips. Our only safety is to surrender our all to Him and to be constantly growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. The sanctification set forth in the Sacred Scriptures has to do with the entire being—spirit, soul, and body. Here is the true idea of entire consecration. Paul prays that the church at Thessalonica may enjoy this great blessing. “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).



We must have less trust in what we ourselves can do, and more trust in what the Lord can do for and through us. You are not engaged in your own work; you are doing the work of God. Surrender your will and way to Him. Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Know what it is to be free in Christ. 

Christ has said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” The resolutions you may make in your own finite strength, will be only as ropes of sand; but if you pray in sincerity, surrendering yourself, soul, body, and spirit, unto God, you put on the whole armor of God, and open the soul to the righteousness of Christ; and this alone,—Christ’s imputed righteousness,—makes you able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The work of every soul is to resist the enemy in the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise is that the devil shall flee from us. But let all realize that they are in peril, and there is no assurance of safety except as they comply with the conditions of the text. The Lord says, “Draw nigh to God.” How?—By secret, earnest examination of your own heart; by childlike, heart-felt, humble dependence upon God, making known your weakness to Jesus; and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

All power, all wisdom, are at our command. We have only to ask. Walk continually in the light of God. Meditate day and night upon His character. Then you will see His beauty and rejoice in His goodness. Your heart will glow with a sense of His love. You will be uplifted as if borne by everlasting arms. With the power and light that God imparts, you can comprehend more and accomplish more than you ever before deemed possible.

Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect surrender, there is perfect rest. The Lord says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3. Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we commit ourselves to the wise Master Worker, He will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to His own glory. And that character which expresses the glory—character—of Christ will be received into the Paradise of God.

Pray to Know Jesus

"If you seek Him, He will be found by you." 1 Chronicles 28:9

Simple questions can sometimes be the most important questions we ask. Not too long ago at Prayer Meeting, our pastor asked us a very good question. I've not stopped thinking about it ever since. He asked, "What is prayer?"

I once heard a little boy give this definition-- "Prayer is asking God for things." It's like calling 911 when you're in danger. When troubles come, we get on our knees and pray. And there's nothing wrong with that. In Psalm 34, David prayed, "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears" (verse 4). "The righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles" (verse 17). So whatever we're going through, Jesus is there and always ready to be the answer for whatever we're facing.



But great as that is, is that all there is to prayer? Have you ever thought that it might be a way to KNOW God?

Think about the closest relationships you've ever had. How did that relationship start? If you're like me, it probably began with some kind of pursuit. You wanted to get to know them. Something about that person drew you in. That's what God does for each one of us--He always initiates the relationship. He's the One who woos us with His everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He's the One who fills us with a hunger to know Him. And He doesn't want us to merely know about Him. He wants something much deeper and fuller than any relationship we've ever had.

Jesus says, "Come looking for Me. I'm right here. Come and you'll find Me." Yield to that drawing. I'm tempted, I fall down, I make plenty of mistakes. But Jesus wants me to come anyway. I see it in this precious promise, "If you seek Him, He will be found by you!" (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Jesus wants to be our Provider, our Healer, and Redeemer. But He wants to give us something that goes beyond those gifts. He wants to give us Himself! I see this so clearly in this verse--"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).

Can you hear His love poured out in this verse? I hear Him saying, "My child, I know you're hungry, but what you need most is Me. I know you're lonely, but I am here. You need communion with Me, mind to mind and heart to heart."

Praise the Lord--your prayers and mine can bring us into that kind of companionship with Jesus, into an intimacy with Him that we've never had before. We may know Christ's presence at every step. Sometimes I think it's entering an atmosphere so heavenly, you can almost hear the flutter of angel's wings. Prayer can be like that if we'll take time to linger in His presence and pour out our heart to the One who loves us best.

Wisdom for the Wise

Where do I go for seeking spiritual understanding? Some turn to their pastors or doctors or maybe to politicians or scientists when they're searching for answers. But when King Nebuchadnezzar had a bizarre dream (which he couldn't remember the next day), he turned to the wise men of his realm. These included 5 groups of servants--magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, soothsayers, and Chaldeans.

Many of these people were mentioned in the Scriptures. Magicians in the days of Moses used devilish arts to imitate some of the signs Moses used to urge Pharoah to let God's people go. Astrologers used the stars to predict men's futures. Soothsayers tried to do the same things with animal organs. Sorcerers sought wisdom through seances and trying to communicate with the dead (as the medium did in the last days of King Saul in 1 Samuel 28). And then there was the Chaldeans who used history, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences to interpret dreams and predict the future.



All of them were unable to tell the king what he dreamed and what it meant. But to Daniel, God revealed the whole matter.

What made the difference?

When Daniel stood before the king, he praised God saying, "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His...He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding" (Daniel 2:20-21).

The knowledge of the king's dream wasn't given to the Chaldeans or any of the other wisemen for they didn't have true wisdom and understanding as Daniel did. He had wisdom and spiritual understanding because He knew the Source of all wisdom. Which is why Daniel gives credit to God alone. "I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king's demand" (Daniel 2:23).

Daniel's words remind me of what the apostle Paul once wrote--how spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The Babylonian wisemen are like the natural man in 1 Corinthians 2:14, for they did not "receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him." They couldn't understand what the king dreamed because they needed a spiritual mind to perceive and receive counsel from God.

Many people don't "get" what the Bible teaches for the same reason. What may look plain to the wise is obscure to them. What is truth to the wise is heresy or deception to them. They are lacking the spiritual mind.

To be wise in the ways of God, we must set our preconceived ideas aside and hear Him (1 Peter 1:20-21). We need a humble, teachable, and hungry heart that's willing to be taught by a "Thus says the Lord." Grace only comes when we surrender all. For "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5).

Lord, please give me Your grace to be like Daniel so I can be wise in Your wisdom today!

Born to Be God-Man

"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

About 700 years before the birth of Christ, this prophecy was written, "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son and you shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). In the very first chapter of Matthew's gospel, we find how this prophecy was fulfilled. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18).



Jesus was born of Mary but He was also a child of the Holy Spirit. He became a God-man, a wonderful combination of 100% God and 100% man. Christ united humanity with divinity so you and I could be "partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:4).

When Jesus is born in my heart and I experience new life in Him, I can become a God-woman and all men may become a God-man. We can be filled with the Spirit just as Jesus was. Or as John the Baptist once said, "Of His fullness, we have all received and grace for grace" (John 1:16).

My prayer this Christmas morning is that I will empty myself so fully that the Holy Spirit can live within me forever in all His fullness, that "Christ would dwell in my heart through faith" and that I may know Him deeper, more intimately, and "know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17,19/personalized).

Secret to Contentment

“I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." Philippians 4:12-13

Christmas week is upon us. Soon piles of presents may be under the tree. Children’s eyes may already be shining as they eye the shiny boxes and bags. Plates of cookies and sweet cakes may be luring us to the kitchen. For many of us, Christmas is definitely a time of abundance or maybe over-abundance?



But not with everyone. Not too far away from me is the city of Flint where nearly 400 people are known to be homeless. In my state, 1 in 7 people deal with hunger every day, including 1 in 7 children. That’s about 1,359,650 people needing help! Those numbers speak to me. I remember when my husband went back to school and I had 3 little ones at home under the age of 4. We lived on food stamps back then.

I remember one Christmas, when we received a Christmas box from our church, loaded with extra food, treats, and some stuffed animals for our children. That gift still brings tears to my eyes. We always had enough—even then. But have I always been content?

Paul was. He says, “I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12-13, ESV). He was content no matter where he found himself.

Powerful words when I think he was writing this testimony from prison!

How did he learn such contentment? The more I read his letter to the Philippians, the clearer it becomes to me. I can be content in any and every circumstance when I…

* Pray for others with joy (Phil 1:3-4).
* Love others more than myself (Phil 2:4-7)
* Do all things without grumbling or complaining (Phil 2:14-15)
* Remember Jesus is my greatest treasure (Phil 3:8)
* Keep my thoughts in Heaven (Phil 3:20-21)
* Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4)
* Pray with thanksgiving (Phil 4:6-7)
* Think about what's worthy of praise (Phil 4:8)

All through this letter, I see words like rejoice and joy again and again! Instead of accumulating more, Paul rejoiced in what he had. Instead of grumbling about his chains, he rejoiced that Jesus was being preached, even in his absence. And nothing compared with the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). Absolutely nothing!

I think that’s the whole secret of contentment. Lord, open up my heart to praise You for the incredible gift of sending Your Son to die for me and to fill my life with such an abundance of peace and joy!

Think on These Things

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

It can happen faster than you can blink. Life is good, you feel at peace, then someone says something critical that makes you sound like a loser. You smile a little, no one notices. You cover up, but no one suspects. But inside, you feel knocked down.

But then, you wonder—maybe she’s right. Maybe I am a loser. You begin to agree with all you’ve heard. She’s right. It’s too late for me. Nothing will ever change. There’s nothing I can do about it. And before you know it, discouragement and hopelessness pulls you down. And all your peace flies out the window.



What happened? Was it the criticism or was it my own thoughts? I can’t stop the unkind words people say but I can filter the words that I tell myself. Whatever I hear, I can take charge by deciding how I’m going to think about it. Which is why God has given me the Philippians Filter—“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report—if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

It's a perfect plan to keep the devil from sabotaging our peace and pulling us down.

(1) EVALUATE--Is it true what you heard? If you really made a mistake, does one mistake make you a failure? Does it mean everything you’ll ever do in the future will be riddled with holes? Of course not. So right off, I can tell myself this wasn’t true. Was this person sharing a good report, meant to help me improve? If she had shared some suggestions privately, it could have been. But because it was said in front of a crowd and with cutting words, it’s not likely. So evaluation over, these words are not praiseworthy and worth my time.

(2) ELIMINATE THE BAD—If I find a spoiled piece of fruit in the fridge, I don’t keep it around. I throw it out. The same is true of our thoughts. If it doesn’t line up with God’s filter, it needs to go. Paul points out, “We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Get rid of these obstacles, don’t accept them as facts.

(3) REFOCUS--If they come back, choose to think about what’s really true and praiseworthy. I like to begin thanking God for His love and for other blessings I know I have. Whenever I praise the Lord, the enemy never hangs around and destructive thoughts are shown the door.

“We should keep in our thoughts every blessing we receive from God…The soul may ascend nearer heaven on the wings of praise” (Steps to Christ, 103). And the greatest truth I can think about, no matter what I see or hear is, “He is always at [my] right hand to support, sustain, uphold and cheer” (The Desire of Ages, 670).

And that’s worth thinking about.

Give Your Worries to Me

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

Feeling worried? You’re not alone. Many of us feel worries nibbling away at our faith and end up feeling afraid. We worry about our kids, our health, how to pay all our bills. You name it. And if we focus constantly on the problems we’re facing, it’s all too easy to end up in the pit called worry.

But Jesus has an antidote. He says, “Give your worries to me…Cast all your cares upon Me, for I care deeply for you. I have the answer to anything you’re facing. I am big enough, strong enough, and loving enough to take care of you. Can you trust Me to do it?”



When I worry, I’m letting fear come in the door and take up residence. So, instead of letting it in, I turn to the Psalms for help. This book is jam-packed with power to set my worries packing. It reminds me to put my trust in my caring Father who is always here for me—loving, supporting, and providing for all my needs. So “whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). I soak in God’s precious promises; each one assures me of His unfailing love.

And then I turn to Jesus and tell Him how I’m feeling and give my worries to Him. I can’t handle my problems and the trials going on in my life. But God can. He is bigger than any problem I’ll ever face. And some of the worries eating away at me can be problems that I just anticipate. I’m fearful about what might happen. They haven’t happened and they probably never will. But that’s how worry works. Once we let fear in the door, it manufactures problems that don’t even exist.

“Worry is blind and cannot discern the future, but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty, He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet” (The Desire of Ages, 330).

A Gentle Witness

"Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:5

Jesus is coming and He’s calling me to be His witness. What does He want others to see in me?

The Bible says, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Maybe Jesus wants my faith to be evident to all or my zeal for missionary work. I’m sure that’s it. And yet, Paul the missionary says, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).



Why would Jesus need a gentle witness? We just don’t hear much about gentleness at all. I think it must be an undervalued grace. We think of it more as a weakness than a strength. But it’s really a powerhouse of inner strength.

I think of Jesus standing on trial for His life. Enemies are bringing false accusations against Him. He's spat upon, struck in the face, mocked and whipped, and yet “He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). Most of us would at least defend ourselves, if not fight back. But not Jesus. He never stood up for His rights. He laid them aside in coming to be a servant and pay the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

His life breathed gentleness because gentleness is someone who doesn’t insist on their rights, who doesn’t retaliate when they’ve been wronged, who lays self aside to be kind and peaceable, who’s willing to yield instead of insisting on their own way. Where is self in all of that? It’s got to be dead. Others come first and that’s the way it was with Jesus.

“When he was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). There were no paybacks with Christ, only gentleness. And that’s the kind of witness He needs today because “the Lord is at hand.”

We’re used to seeing people fighting back when things don’t go their way. But when we answer gently in face of angry words, when we accept defeat without retaliation, when we submit instead of insisting on our own way—the character of Jesus Christ shines out. And that’s our mission as followers of Jesus, the suffering Servant.

One of my favorite books sums it up so well—”There is nothing that the Savior desires so much as [disciples] who will represent to the world His Spirit and His character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Savior’s love. All heaven is waiting for men and women through whom God can reveal the power of Christianity” (The Acts of the Apostles, 600).

Rejoice in the Lord Always

"Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

"Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Really, Lord? You want me to rejoice all the time? Does that mean in chronic pain or cancer? When I can’t find a job or I’ve just lost a loved one? How can I rejoice in the face of trouble and suffering? Or when I’m just flat out mad or irritated?

That’s a tough pill to swallow.



But it comes easier when rejoicing is a daily part of my life. That’s why I start each morning with praise, thanking God for several new blessings. I know how easy it is to take so much in my life for granted—the beating of my heart, the food on my table, gas in the car, a warm house. When something is always available, it's easy not to think of them at all--unless my mind is tuned to gratefulness. And the only way I can see every good gift in my life as a blessing is to thank God for it.

Thanksgiving opens my eyes to see how many ways the Lord is caring for me, providing for all my needs, and showering me with His love.

It also opens my heart because it helps me realize that I need Jesus. I can’t provide for every situation I’m going to face today. I can’t handle every obstacle that will be in my path. I can’t do everything by or for myself. And that’s okay. I know I need Jesus every step of the way and saying “Thank You” shows that I depend on Him.

And that smacks right against the selfishness and self-sufficiency in the natural heart. We want to call the shots. We want to be in charge. We want to do everything our way. But whenever I rejoice in the Lord, I'm putting to death that selfish heart because I’m thanking God for His work in my life. And I’m admitting that I need my Father to help me.

“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” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 7). Pride often refuses help because it makes me think, “I’ve got it all together. I’m strong enough to get through this.” But when I thank God, pride is kicked out the door and more love for Christ comes in—because I feel the love of God in every new blessing.

So, every day I’m training my eyes and my heart to look for these blessings and rejoice in my Father’s love. Here’s just one of the ways He's doing it—“His compassions fail not; they are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

You are My Crown

"Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, dearly beloved." Philippians 4:1

How would you like to receive a letter like this? To know you were loved and longed for and someone’s joy and crown?

Paul was inspired to write this letter to a church that was very dear to him. The Philippian church, as far as I know, was the only church in the New Testament that Paul used as a model for other churches to follow. This church was a generous church, committed to helping fellow believers in Judea when they were in great need (2 Corinthians 8:1-5 and 9:1-5). Later in this letter, Paul thanked them for being the only church to stand by him financially when he needed it (Philippians 4:10-19). Even though they could not go where God sent Paul, they could equip him and support him with their generous donations. It’s no wonder Paul longs to see them again!



This church was so dear to the apostle that he calls them his crown. Every person that Paul poured his life into became the jewels in the crown that one day God would place on His missionary’s head. As Paul labored for the church at Philippi (and many others), he wasn’t working for a crown. He didn’t seek glory for himself. His only desire was to serve God with every ounce of his being and spread the hope that he’d found in Christ Jesus.

And yet, he also believed “there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). This promise is for us too. We may not have the opportunity to be a missionary and raise up whole churches as Paul once did, but a crown of righteousness is waiting for every disciple who is looking and longing, waiting and working for Christ’s soon return.

Is this the blessed hope of your heart—to see Jesus coming through the clouds to take His children home? Wouldn’t you like to see that day come sooner? The apostle Peter tells us to not only look for the signs of the 2nd Coming but to hasten it (2 Peter 3:12). Every prayer we pray, every donation we give, every testimony and gospel tract we share is helping the Day to come closer. For Jesus has promised, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

But do you think Jesus is waiting for His church too? Is He waiting to see the same love of the Philippian church grab ahold of us? For its generosity and devotion to spreading the gospel to become the center of all we do? Is Christ waiting to see the passion that Paul had—of pouring his life into others, until they are ready for Christ’s soon coming?

Am I fully consecrated to my Savior—for living His life inside and out? How can I be a more loving and lovable witness today?

Resurrection Power

"I want to know Christ...and the power of His resurrection." Philippians 3:10

Kubera’s mother lived in a village deep in the interior of India. There, she gave birth to a health baby boy. But after the baby was delivered, the physician told the mother she was going to die. The doctor even offered to adopt the baby saying, “You’re not going to live!” But a Christian nurse named Sarala told this mother not to give up hope.



“There is a God whose name is Jesus,” she said. “If you believe in Jesus Christ, everything will be fine.”

“I don’t know that God,” the mother said weakly. “Can you pray for me? Can you help us?”

The mother slipped into a deep sleep. As she slept, Sarala laid a hand on her head and prayed to Jesus. To everyone’s surprise, the young mother recovered and returned home with her baby three days later. The mother heard from several patients about the nurse’s prayer and she realized that Jesus had saved her life.

Jesus may not have saved you from the brink of death. Or has He?

All of us, without God, are actually spiritually dead. Paul says, “And you, He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). We have no life apart from Jesus. We might try to do what’s right, but we have no power to do it. We may know what God says but we want to go our own way.

However, the miracle of God’s grace changes all that. Unbelief turns into faith. Despair into peace. Defeat into victory. The sins we used to love, we now hate. And our greatest and constant prayer is to be like Jesus. This is the power of the resurrection that Paul desired, even after he turned to Christ. Because new life in Christ isn’t a one-time deal--it's a daily choice, to surrender our lives to Christ and be filled with the Spirit.

We can experience Resurrection Power when we walk “in newness of life.”

  •  When we overcome temptation by God’s saving grace

  • When we forgive someone who’s blackened our name

  • When we answer our child patiently when we’re exhausted and stretched to the max

  • When we share our faith with a neighbor and not be afraid

  • When we hold onto Jesus as our mother struggles to breathe in the hospital

As we walk in sync with Jesus, we become a miracle of miracles. “We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Colossians 1:27—Education, 171.

Hear the Angels Sing

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:14

Yesterday morning, our family was singing the Christmas carol, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." As we were singing the last verse, I couldn't help but think, "What a little sermon this is!"

O ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow...


Are you feeling weak or weary? Does it feel like you've got heavy burdens to carry? Jesus offers to carry them for you and give you peace. "Come to Me," He says, "all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I could feel my burdens grow heavier as I moved through the day. At times, I almost felt beaten-down. But then, I spent a refreshing hour with some dear ladies on ZOOM--praying together and studying about the Holy Spirit. It was a miracle--how my burdens became light and peace just covered me, almost like a blanket.



Look now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
and hear the angels sing.


I realized yesterday that the shepherds were the only ones who heard the angels sing on Christmas morning. I can almost see them, huddled around a campfire, with darkness all around. But the stillness of the night is soon broken by a golden sound they've never heard before--"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." The whole sky is lit up by heavenly angels, rejoicing in the birth of Jesus. The shepherds heard that glorious song! But they were the only ones.

Why only the shepherds? "In the fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds were still keeping watch by night. Through the silent hours, they talked together of the promised Saviour and prayed for the coming of the King to David’s throne" (The Desire of Ages, 47). Is it because only the shepherds were keeping the hope of the promised Messiah alive in their hearts? Was it because they were praying for Jesus to come?

"Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels’ song. Humanity is still as much the object of heaven’s solicitude as when common men of common occupations met angels at noonday, and talked with the heavenly messengers in the vineyards and the fields. To us in the common walks of life, heaven may be very near. Angels from the courts above will attend the steps of those who come and go at God’s command" (ibid, 48).

Now You are Citizens

"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..." Philippians 3:20

Have you ever sung the song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue?” It seems to fit with Paul’s words for today, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

But all the turmoil of 2020 can sometimes dim that song in our heart and steal our joy. If we move our focus away from Jesus, it’s all too easy to be caught up in the headlines of today’s problems. Whether it’s a financial meltdown, a shocking wave of violence and racial tension, or a contentious election cycle, we need to look beyond the bad news and take comfort that our hope is not bound to what’s happening in the world.



We need to remember this place isn’t our home. As one author put it, “Rather than setting our affections on things above, we tend to become attached to the things of this earth. It’s all too easy to become absorbed in temporal matters and neglect what is eternally important.”

Ouch. But how spot-on could that be? How much time do I give to bad news compared with God’s Good News? What exactly is absorbing my time? Am I pursuing what’s “eternally important?” Does my life show that my “citizenship is in heaven?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to be a U.S. citizen and to live in a country where I’m free to worship God according to my conscience and spiritual beliefs. But once I surrendered my heart to Jesus, my primary identity and allegiance shifted. I became a royal citizen of the kingdom of God. As Paul says, “Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…in whom you are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19, 22).

As a citizen of heaven, Jesus reminds me, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). “If then, you were raised above, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

My mission as a citizen of heaven is different too. It’s the same mission that my Savior followed. To make disciples of all nations. To shine as a light, pointing all to Jesus. What a fantastic privilege! To follow in the footsteps of my Savior to “preach good tidings to the poor…heal the brokenhearted…proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1,2 and Luke 4:18-19).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can be a citizen of Heaven and a child of God! Help me to be absorbed in what matters for eternity and be about my Father's business, just as Jesus was. I want to be Your witness in this crazy, mixed-up world. Fill me with Your Spirit so I can live for Jesus and be faithful to my mission as a child of God. In Jesus' most loving name I pray. Amen.

The One Thing

"One thing I do...I press on, forgetting those things that are behind." Philippians 3:12-14

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” That’s what resilience is all about. We all have had trials bombard us. We go through storms that can hit us with the force of a hurricane. We may even feel knocked off our feet—physically and spiritually. And we may feel too bruised or broken to get up again, but we have to if we’re going to walk again. If we’re going to find peace and joy.



Your storm can even be from your own blunders. Let’s face it—we all mess up. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. One of Satan’s most successful traps is to get us so focused on our mistakes or the storm swirling around us, that we can’t see the hand of Jesus stretched out to pick us up, wash us clean, and cover us with His white robe of righteousness.

He wants us to stand tall, “forgetting those things that are behind,” and to move forward. Don’t dwell on what went wrong, who hurt you, or the mess you’ve made. Focus on what to do next. Keep your eyes forward and on Jesus. He promises to forgive you and give you strength to forgive. He has a plan for your life—yes, it’s a new one, and it can even be a better one.

God will do for us greater things than we can ask for or even imagine! But we need to pour out our heart to Him, trusting He’s still at our side, He still loves us, and His strength will help us keep on keeping on. When adversity strikes, and we can’t even see two steps ahead, God’s remedy is still, “Move forward and trust in Me.” That’s how faith becomes strong. I like how Martin Luther King put it—“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

I think the first step is thanking God that He loves you. If you trust in His love, you can trust Him to lead you forward, down a new path, and into a new chapter in your life. And believe that even though this new path may be different, God still has many blessings in store for you. Hold onto His promise, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

More Than Diamonds and Pearls

"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ." Philippians 3:7

When I was growing up, you’d often find me in the woods, exploring and hunting for rocks. When I found one just the right shape or color, I’d stuff it in my pocket and bring it home. Then I’d add it to a small bowl of water and watch all the beautiful colors stand out.

I never was so lucky to find any gems and certainly not any colorful diamonds. You might think that diamonds are only white or colorless. But they come in a wide range of colors—blue, yellow, red, green, even black! All colored diamonds are pretty rare, but pink diamonds are, by far, the rarest of them all. These gorgeous gems equal only 0.1% of the diamond market worldwide.



When a pink diamond is brought to auction, it's usually sold for $1 million per carat. In 2017, a stunning pink diamond, known as the “Pink Star” diamond, weighing a little over 59 carats sold for a whopping $71.2 million--that’s $1.19 million per carat! It was definitely a gem of great price, one of the most valuable in the world!

Even if I found such a beauty, there’s no way I’d have enough money to buy it—even if I sold everything I owned. But that’s what it would take to buy one of these rare gems. Which is why Jesus told the story about a “merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).

Jesus is the precious pearl in this story, more valuable than a whole field of pearls or pink diamonds. His love is worth far more than anything this world can offer me. He fills my emptiness with peace and joy. He gives me hope when my life is spinning out of control. He sets me free from habits and addictions that can ruin your life. And above all that, He offers me the gift of salvation—living with Him eternally in a home He’s preparing for me right now (John 14:1-3).

But like the merchantman in the parable, all these treasures will cost me something. Now it’s true that salvation is a free gift; there’s nothing I can do to earn it. But I should still seek for it with “as much interest and perseverance as though [I would] abandon everything in the world for it” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 117). The price I pay must match the value of the gift God offers.

So Jesus says, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Peter once said, “We have left all and followed You” (Matthew 19:27). When Christ called Simon and Andrew, “they immediately left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:20). And when Matthew received Christ’s invitation, he left all to follow Jesus (Luke 5:26-27).

Am I willing to do the same? To give up everything to follow Christ? When I think of all that Jesus offers both you and me, it seems so little to give Him my all! Paul counted it but loss. It wasn’t worth it to hold onto anything in exchange for knowing and following Jesus. He offers us so much! And knowing Jesus—as your very best Friend who gave His life’s blood to bring you salvation—that is the greatest treasure you could ever have! And it’s worth far more than pearls or pink diamonds.

Hold the Rope

"Holding fast the word of life." Philippians 2:16

Have you ever had someone shake your hand with a strong grip? What does their grip tell you? Most of the time, we connect confidence or even power with a strong handshake. But research has shown that a powerful grip is also connected with living longer. They say grip strength is an indicator of your overall strength and health, your risk for heart disease, and how likely you are to survive diseases like cancer. This is especially true after the age of 40 when muscles tend to lose mass as we get older.

It turns out grip strength matters in our walk with Christ too. Solomon points out, “Take fast hold of instruction, let her not go: keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4:13). A fast hold is a firm grip that hangs on. It’s as if you slipped off the side of a mountain and landed on a ledge far below. A team of friends has come to your rescue and let down a rope. “Hold on!” they scream, “and we will pull you up.” You hold on with both hands as if your life depends on it. Because it really does.


That’s the kind of grip the apostle Paul says God’s children have in this dark old world. We’re holding on for dear life to the “word of life.” It’s how we hold onto Jesus through the storms that threaten to shake our faith. A death, divorce, or some other hard trial hits us with the force of a hurricane. They shake us, spin us around, and overwhelm us to the core. You may feel the foundation that’s always held you has slipped away. “Where is God” in all this chaos and suffering?

He’s at the other end of the rope you’re holding onto and He says, “Keep holding on. I’m here for you!”

But how can you keep holding on to the rope? When my faith has been shaken, nothing has given me more holding power than God’s unfailing promises. When I lost my mom to dementia, I held onto the promise of God’s peace (John 14:27). When I battled with depression, I held onto the promise of God’s nearness (Hebrews 13:5). When I go through any dark valley, I go to God’s promise to carry me through it (Deuteronomy 33:27). I’ve found the greatest faith-grip when I use God’s promises in my prayers every day. I also am hiding them in my heart by memorizing them. I believe by reading, praying, and memorizing them, they are like knots in my rope. They make it easier for me to hold on and have an unshakeable faith in what God will do.

Called to Make a Difference

"Do all things without complaining or disputing that you may become blameless and harmless children of God, without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:14-15.

As I sit in the family room this morning, the white pin lights on the Christmas tree are like a galaxy of stars glowing in the night. I love sitting with their light being the only light in the room. I almost feel like I'm camping under a blanket of stars.

Jesus calls me to be one of those lights—shining for Him in this dark world.

He says, “let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16. I might be just a single little pin light, but Jesus still calls me to make a difference for Him. And when my light joins your light, we can be part of a galaxy of loving and faithful Christians who are shining for Jesus.



Shine on by sharing a loaf of bread with a neighbor who’s out of work. Shine on by telling your co-worker how you find peace in the middle of this pandemic. Shine on by donating your time at the local food pantry or Community Service Center. Shine on by sharing your faith in a multitude of ways.

But what about shining when you’re cut off in traffic or when your kids are in a rough-and-tumble fight over who knows what? Can you keep on shining when your husband comes home late—again? Or when dinner isn’t on the table on time?

Complaining is just part of life, isn't it? Everybody does it. We vent, grumble, bellyache. Whatever name you’ve got for it—we do it. It’s become a way of life.

But Jesus still calls us to be different and to make a difference. To make a difference patiently. To make a difference with joy. That’s how we can stand out as “blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation” (vs 16, ESV).

How do we get there? The best way is by practicing gratefulness. Thank God for everything. Even your demanding boss or your critical neighbor. Praise God for His love that will help you see them as a child of God that Jesus died for, who needs His light in their life.

And pray that God will help you to bring them His light. It can come through a smile, sharing words of appreciation or an apology, or by praying for God to bless them. The moment I begin to pray for a sour situation or for someone who’s rubbing me the wrong way, God fills me with an extra dose of peace. I like to think He’s turned up my light-power a bit more and my light is shining brighter in the darkness.

You are Invited

"Come unto Me, all you who are weak and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"The Lord gives the privilege of seeking Him individually in earnest prayer, of unburdening our souls to Him, keeping nothing from Him who has invited us, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Oh, how grateful we should be that Jesus is willing and able to bear all our infirmities and strengthen and heal all our diseases if it will be for our good and for His glory.



Let the soul be drawn out and upward, that God may grant us a breath of the heavenly atmosphere. We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun.

Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him, you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. 'The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy' (James 5:11). His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds.

Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read, here is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel.

As we talk of Jesus, as we call upon Him in prayer, our confidence that He is our personal, loving Savior will strengthen and His character will appear more and more lovely. We may enjoy rich feasts of His love. And as we fully believe that we are His by adoption, we may have a foretaste of heaven.

Wait upon the Lord in faith. The Lord draws out the soul in prayer and gives us to feel His precious love. We have a nearness to Him and can hold sweet communion with Him. We obtain distinct views of His tenderness and compassion, and our hearts are broken and melted with contemplation of the love that is given to us. We feel indeed an abiding Christ in the soul. We abide in Him and feel at home with Jesus. The promises flow into the soul. Our peace is like a river, wave after wave of glory rolls into the heart and indeed we [eat] with Jesus and He with us. We have a realizing sense of the love of God and we rest in His love--Prayer, 9-11.

Working with Jesus

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).

God can do anything—create the world by His word, walk on water, drive out demons, open a dry path through the sea, give sight to the eyes of the blind. He is the God of all creation and nothing is impossible for Him!

But even though He can do anything, He won’t do everything because God won’t step into your life unless you want Him there. He wants to work with you and me, even in the gift of salvation.



Now God provides everything you need—the saving blood to forgive your sins, the power of the Holy Spirit, the work of heavenly angels, His enduring love, forgiveness, and cleansing. His part is huge! It’s infinite and awesome!

And make no mistake—“There is no other name under heaven, given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV). “It is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not from yourselves, not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Through the merits of Christ’s sacrifice and atonement, you and I are saved. God extends His mercy—His saving grace—to each one of us so we can experience the gift of eternal life. No matter how kind or loving you may be, your good works can never replace that gift.

And yet, you and I have an essential part in our salvation. God offers salvation to us and every spiritual gift of heaven but He doesn’t force you to take it. It’s your choice. And that’s a part God won’t do for you. But when we surrender our will to God, when we daily invite Him into our life, this gift is ours. And so much more.

“God cooperates with man in the work of his salvation, but He can do nothing for man unless he is willing to become a co-laborer with Heaven. We must put our will on the side of God’s will [that’s our part], but it is in the strength which Christ imparts, the grace which He gives, that the soul is strengthened and cleansed [this is God’s part] (The Present Truth, 1/30/90).

When we come to Jesus, He gives us absolutely everything we need to live for Him and to live like Him! But we need to do the walking. He won’t walk for us. But He gives us everything we need to do it. I obey through the strength Jesus gives. I want to obey because He’s given me a new heart. I overcome temptation by the power of the Spirit. I can’t do any of those things by myself, but when I cooperate with Jesus, I can be a loving Christian, following in the steps of my Savior.

It’s like the old hymn says, “Sometimes I’m faint and weary. He knows that I am weak. And as He bids me lean on Him, His help I gladly seek. He leads me in the paths of light beneath a sunny sky, and so we walk together—my Lord and I.”

Attitude of Success

"You must have the same kind of attitude that Christ Jesus had." Philippians 2:5

How do we measure success?

Quite often it’s the size of your bank account, the kind of car you drive, how far up in the company you have climbed. Today, I saw a poster that comes closer to God’s definition. “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”



I like that definition best. And my role model is Jesus.

In the world’s eyes, they wouldn’t equate success with Jesus. He died a torturous death—reserved for only the worst criminals of the state. His followers were few and with little status or prestige. He didn’t have a home to call his own. His clothing was commonly worn by the poor. He didn’t have any friends in high places.

No, it didn’t add up to success. And He certainly didn’t push His way to reach the top. In fact, He went in the opposite direction. “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, he humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8, NLT).

He continually stepped down. He came down from heaven where He was surrounded with heavenly angels, always ready to do whatever He asked. He took off His crown, so to speak, and laid aside His glory to come here. As a man. One of us. He was even born into a poor family—no rank here, no special privileges, no cushy life at all. But He stepped down even further to die as a criminal on a cruel cross—spat upon, whipped, and crucified.

Jesus came down so He could lift us up. And this is the same attitude Paul calls us to have today. A selfless attitude that thinks of others first. Set your sights on serving others rather than the perks you can grab. Don’t cling to your rights. Set them aside as Jesus did. Be a humble servant.

Live to point others to Jesus and pray to make a difference in their lives. For them to know Jesus. There’s no greater measure of success than that.

The First Step

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself." Philippians 2:3.

How can I pray so that experience these words? Maybe I can learn a lesson from one man's prayer...

The Pharisee stood before God, and proudly says, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.” Then he reminds God of some of the good things he’s been doing to prove he's better than others—“I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all I possess” (Luke 18:12).



It hardly looks like a prayer. To pray literally means to beg or request because you're in dire need of help from an almighty God. So you might say, the very first step in prayer is to depend on God to do for you what's impossible for you to do for yourself. But there is no dependence in the pseudo-prayer of the Pharisee! He’s trusting only in himself.

Where does this kind of praying take him? He prays, "I'm not like other men." It looks like he's looking down on others—not esteeming them better than himself.

“Whoever trusts in himself that he is righteous, will despise others…His self-righteousness leads to accusing. 'Other men' he condemns as transgressors of God’s law. Thus he is making manifest the very spirit of Satan, the accuser of the brethren. With this spirit, it is impossible for him to enter into communion with God” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 151).

Before I can look on anyone as better than myself, I need to pray with humility. And I can only pray that way when I see myself as God sees me—a lost sinner, in desperate need of cleansing--like anyone else. But here's the rub-- my heart is "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). It’s constantly telling me, “You’re okay. You don’t need any help.” My heart reassures me that "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17). I don't realize how bankrupt I really am.

But when I spend time with Jesus, I see just the opposite of what my heart's been telling me. I see a Savior who sacrifices all, who puts the needs of others above His own, who constantly lives to lift others up. Only when I spend time with Jesus can I see myself as I really am: Lost and hopeless. Empty of love. Filled up with me—just like every other sinner.

There’s no way I can pray humbly on my own because I can’t ever make myself humble!

But I can ask Jesus to do it for me. “Lord, take my heart, for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul" (Christ's Object Lessons, 159).

This is the first step of prayer, and it’s a prayer God will just love to answer!

Family Squabbles

"Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:1,2

Sarah and Kim were best friends forever—except they were sisters. As children, they would play together, sleep together, even hold hands in school. When Sarah went to camp, Kim would write her every day, even writing “I love you” on a card 100 times! But now, in their 30’s, they’ve not spoken to each other for 10 years!

It’s called family estrangement and it happens more times than you think. Conflicts never solved. Feelings hurt. Drifting apart. And then never speaking—or at least, not for a very long time.



Could it happen in a church family too? It must have happened in the Philippian church because when Paul writes to them, he says, “be of one accord” and “one mind” and “do all things without complaining and disputing (arguing).” Sound like family squabbles?

How can we be more like-minded? How can we be so united that we have “one mind?” As I look at Paul’s letter, I see a little bridge, joining like-mindedness and being of one accord or having one mind. Paul urges his church family to have the “same love” (verse 2). Love is the bridge that unites us. The more we love Jesus, the more we will come together in Christian love and unity. The more we live by God’s Word, the stronger will be the bond that unites us.

When Jesus called 11 men to follow Him, they were far from being united. The differed wildly in personality and ideas. Matthew had been a selfish tax-collector, Simon was a fiery patriot, Judas was dishonest, Philip was inclined to doubt, Peter was always talking more than he should, and James and John had hot tempers.

“These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil; but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit. They would have their tests, their grievances, their differences of opinion, but while Christ was abiding in the heart, there could be no dissension. His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to harmonizing all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, til they would be of one mind and one judgment. Christ is the great center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the Center” (The Desire of Ages, 296).

The disciples learned to be like-minded and of one accord when Jesus “was abiding in their heart” and because they  learned the “lessons of the Master.” Being with Jesus day after day made the difference. His love and truth was the glue that bound them all together.

Here's one of the Master's Lessons that made a difference in the lives of the disciples:

“A new commandment I give to you,” Jesus says, “that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your undying love for us. Even when we didn’t want You in our lives, You loved us with a love that knows no end. You loved us with no strings attached. Fill us with that same love as we kneel before You and soak in Your words. Change our self-centeredness into like-mindedness. Help us to think Your thoughts and not our own. Give us a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit so we can abide in You and be changed by Your love. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray. Amen.

Hold the Fort

"Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." Philippians 1:27

Have you heard of Allen Frankenberry? During the Civil War, he sent an important message to the soldiers fighting at Alatoona Pass in Tennessee. The Union army was fighting to hold their position on this strategic mountain. And General Sherman knew it. So he commanded Frankenberry to send the message to General John M. Corse by way of message flags, “Hold fast. I am coming!” 

That’s where the song, “Hold the Fort” came from six years later. Sherman was on his way with reinforcements to Corse and the Union soldiers to win the battle. And he was true to his word. Corse ‘stood fast’ during one of the bloodiest battles of the war. He kept on fighting until victory was won.



Our world is the battleground for an even fiercer war than what Corse and his men went through. The devil is fighting to hold onto this ground as his territory and, in the process, destroy every Christian fighting on the Lord's side.  It’s a battle to the death and it's only growing more intense as we inch closer to the soon coming of Jesus. The forces of evil have escalated in their attack against Christianity. Daily we see a steady increase in the LGBT movement, racial prejudice, and pornography, the spread of deceptions and conspiracies, a lowering of Christian standards even within the church, marriages being abandoned  and homes broken up. These are just a few ways that this world is under attack.

Why are so many turned off by the Bible and indifferent to the gospel? Why is it that only a third of Christians today read God’s Word on a daily basis? Satan knows that his time is short, so he works with even greater “unrighteous deception” (2 Thess 2:10), to “deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

But Jesus hasn’t abandoned us to battle on our own. He says, “Hold the fort, for I am coming!”  Stand your ground, my son and daughter. Hold firmly to My truth and righteousness. Stand together as loyal soldiers in My army. Wage the battle in My strength." This isn’t a time to pull back or retreat. We are fighting in dangerous times, but there is victory in the name of Jesus—over every temptation we encounter and every trial that we face.

How will the battle be won? “Not by might, nor by [your] power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). We have no strength of our own to keep holding on—let alone to move forward in faith to victory. It's only by God’s Spirit dwelling within us that we can “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

Dear Heavenly Father, arm me for the battle that’s waging all around me. I want to be a loyal soldier, standing firmly for the faith of Jesus. Help me to be fortified by Your Word every single day—and find strength and victory through Your precious words of life. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I can’t hold on without Him! Mold me, change me, empower me through Your Spirit. Help me to be faithful and steadfast in standing for Your truth by walking as my Savior walked. And in His name I pray. Amen.

The One Thing

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

The One Thing is a #1 Wall Street Journal best seller. In this book, author Gary Keller points out that behind every successful person is their One Thing. Emphasis on the One. No matter how you measure success, whether personal or professional, only the ability to concentrate on your One Thing stands between you and your goals.



Sometimes your One Thing is the first thing you do. Other times it’s the only thing. But it’s the One Thing that fills you and pushes you to reach that goal you’re striving for.

I can’t help but think that the One Thing is wrapped up in the  apostle Paul's words, "For to me, to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). Paul's whole life was found in Jesus. "His thinking was completed wrapped up in the Savior. His plans, his hopes, his every spiritual aspiration centered in Christ" (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 147).

Jesus was his One Thing.

This unswerving single-minded devotion was also what marked the passion of the early church. Have you ever wondered why they were called Christians? At first, they called themselves "The Way" (Acts 9:1-2). But in Antioch, their name was changed (Acts 11:26). Why did they receive a brand-new name?

"The name was given them because Christ was the main theme of their preaching, their teaching, and their conversation" (The Acts of the Apostles, 157). Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. They couldn't stop talking about Him, living for Him, and following in His footsteps. No wonder they were called Christians--literally "the followers of Christ." He was 100% their One Thing.

Is Jesus my One Thing too? How can I know if He really is? Here's one way to find out:

"Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are Christ's, our thoughts are with Him and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His Spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things" (Steps to Christ, 58).

Dear Heavenly Father, I want my life to be so wrapped up in You that everyone will know that You are living in me. Teach me to give You my all—my thoughts and feelings, my mind and body—so You will be Lord of every part of me. Please give me the fullness of Your Holy Spirit so I can be wrapped up in You as Paul was. I want You to be my One Thing. In Jesus’ wonderful name, I pray. Amen.


"The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident…that my chains are in Christ." Philippians 1:11

Manteo Mitchell felt the pop in his leg and knew it wasn’t good. “It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half,” he said. The American sprinter had half a lap to go in the first leg of the 4x400-meter relay and a choice to make: keep running or stop and lose the race. To him, it was never much of a choice. He finished the lap and limped to the side.  A few hours later, doctors confirmed what he suspected: He had run the last 200 meters with a broken left fibula. 



“I pretty much figured it was broken, because every step I took, it got more painful,” he said. “But I was out there already. I just wanted to finish and do what I was called in to do.” Was he unstoppable?

When Paul the apostle was in a Philippians jail cell, he never let his chains stop him. Whether he was in jail or out on the streets, he was a witness for the Lord. The gospel was his passion and he did all he could to spread it everywhere. So even though he was behind bars, he preached Christ. He lived God’s joy where he was. And  God's joy was seen when he was in prison, in his letters to the churches, in talking with anyone who would listen. Just like Jesus, his food was to “do the will of God who sent [him] and to finish His work” (John 4:34). So even though Paul was in chains,  “the word of God [was] not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9). He was unstoppable.

What are your chains today? Do you feel powerless because your health is poor? Because you’ve lost your job? Because you’re married to an unbeliever? Whatever trial you’re facing, you are not bound by it. Christ can be preached in a more powerful way when you witness through pain. It’s natural to speak of God’s joy when everything’s going well. But when life falls apart, when dreams shatter, and grief dodges your steps, to shine for Christ in that hour is the most amazing witness! Only through the Spirit of God can we “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). When others see your joy-through-pain, they will know it’s only from God. And it will be evident to all that your “chains” are in Christ.

Dear Father, help me to praise You for the chains in my life. Help me to grow in joy through them and be a stronger witness. May the passion of the gospel be my passion. Fill me with Your Spirit so that wherever I am, whatever happens to me, I will always preach Christ—in how I live through pain, in how I respond to trial, and in how I speak for You. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Does Knowledge Make a Difference?

"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment." Philippians 1:9-10

Is joy ever enough? Is it possible to be joyful foolishly? Joy’s no different than any other emotion. Our love and joy can go north or they can go south. They can go east or they can go west. It all depends on us.

You might think you’ve found joy by snorting cocaine. Or you might find joy by tutoring inner city children after school. Our emotions can go this way or that—depending on what we think is right. The Bible says, “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.” Proverbs 15:21.



When our family lived up north, we once took the youth club at our church on a canoe trip. We chose a river that didn’t have much rough water. We didn’t see any rapids or huge boulders on that trip. But my daughter’s canoe got snagged in the branches of a fallen tree. She tried to push her way out of there using one end of her oar. But the oar got wrenched from her hand and ended up floating away. Just at that moment, the canoe broke free, and she was headed downriver with nothing to stop her. And nothing to guide her boat. Both of us knew, at that moment, that she was at the mercy of the currents. And they could take her anywhere!

On the river and anywhere else, we need knowledge to be our oar. For “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12. Jesus wants more for us that that. He wants us to “discern what is best” (Philippians 1:10, NIV), to “approve the things that are excellent” (NKJV) so that “we may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10, RSV).

Dear Father, guide me safely down the river of life by Your holy Word. Your will is the knowledge I need. I can’t detect hidden danger and temptation unless I’m listening to You. So please give me more knowledge—teach me Your will so I’ll always choose what’s best and steer clear of the devil’s traps. In Jesus precious name, I ask this. Amen.

I Have You in My Heart

"Just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as…you are all partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you with the affection of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:7,8

It’s one thing to know that God’s going to do all it takes for me to be in heaven. But what about my next door neighbor? Oh sure, I’m praying for him. But how can I know he’s going to make it? Paul would know. He believed that the seed of faith he’d planted in the church of Philippi wasn’t about to stop growing. He was positive what God would do.



He knew because his fellow believers were always on his heart. He prayed for them with joyful faith, believing that what God started, He was able to finish. He didn’t see himself as stronger or holier than the newest Christian. He was thankful they were both partakers of God’s grace. He'd tasted and seen that the Lord was good. He’d been changed by the love of God. And they had too.

So he was absolutely sure that whatever blessing God had for him, his church at Philippi would have it too. And the love that Paul had for the people he’d brought to Jesus gave him this amazing faith. And that made all the difference in his prayers. It totally changed his outlook. Love changes how we look at our neighbors and how we pray for them. When we have them in our hearts and love them as Jesus loves, our prayers will be different. We’ll have joy—because we know that God’s really working and He’s not going to stop until they’re in the kingdom too.

Dear Father, thank You for teaching me how to pray with joy. Help me to love more deeply so I’ll always keep Your people on my heart and in my prayers. Change me first with your amazing love so my prayers will change. So my prayers will be like Your prayers.  And I’ll really want to see You in them because I love them just like you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

God's Still Working on Me

"Being confident of this, He who begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

The closer I come to Jesus, the more I see of my imperfections. And yet, the more I want to be like Him. Now I could become discouraged if it was MY job to fix all my weak spots or to turn my failures into victory. Because no matter how hard I try or how hard I work on my own, I just can’t change my heart! That’s God’s department, not mine. My part is to cooperate with Jesus—to choose to follow Him today and every moment of the day.



When I look back over the ground we've traveled together, I also see the miracles He’s made in my life. He’s turned emptiness into joy, anger into patience, despair into perfect peace. What I couldn’t do by will-power, Jesus did with His love and through the power of His Word. As I’ve spent time with Him, sitting at His feet, He’s changed me from the inside out. And many of those changes have spilled out. The most beautiful change is the joy I have in the Lord.

So when I look back at what God has done, I’m absolutely positive that as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus—on the matchless charms of my Savior—that His saving work is only going to go on and on and on. And I rejoice that Jesus isn’t going to stop working in me until I see Him coming in the clouds to take me home. And He’s promised that He’ll do that for me. And for you.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also WILL DO IT” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Dear Father, thank You for the power of Your love. Thank You that it’s a life-giving power that restores me into the image of God. Make me a living picture of who You are, so that others can see the joy of knowing You. Thank You for all You’ve done in my life up until now. And thank You that it’s only the beginning of what You’ve planned for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Power to Work with Jesus

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8

It is true that in the time of the end, when God’s work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor. Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church. 



But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down ... the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23. 

But unless the members of God’s church today have a living connection with the Source of all spiritual growth, they will not be ready for the time of reaping. Unless they keep their lamps trimmed and burning, they will fail of receiving added grace in times of special need. {AA 55.2}

Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home, or in a public field of usefulness. 

To the consecrated worker there is wonderful consolation in the knowledge that even Christ during His life on earth sought His Father daily for fresh supplies of needed grace; and from this communion with God He went forth to strengthen and bless others. Behold the Son of God bowed in prayer to His Father! Though He is the Son of God, He strengthens His faith by prayer, and by communion with heaven gathers to Himself power to resist evil and to minister to the needs of men. As the Elder Brother of our race He knows the necessities of those who, compassed with infirmity and living in a world of sin and temptation, still desire to serve Him. He knows that the messengers whom He sees fit to send are weak, erring men; but to all who give themselves wholly to His service He promises divine aid. His own example is an assurance that earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith—faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work—will avail to bring to men the Holy Spirit’s aid in the battle against sin. 

Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth’s harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be “laborers together with God.” 

Acts of the Apostles, 54-56

Build on the Rock

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." Matthew 7:24,25

The people had been deeply moved by the words of Christ. The divine beauty of the principles of truth attracted them; and Christ’s solemn warnings had come to them as the voice of the heart-searching God. His words had struck at the very root of their former ideas and opinions; to obey His teaching would require a change in all their habits of thought and action. It would bring them into collision with their religious teachers; for it would involve the overthrow of the whole structure which for generations the rabbis had been rearing. Therefore, while the hearts of the people responded to His words, few were ready to accept them as the guide of life. 



Jesus ended His teaching on the mount with an illustration that presented with startling vividness the importance of putting in practice the words He had spoken. Among the crowds that thronged about the Saviour were many who had spent their lives about the Sea of Galilee. As they sat upon the hillside, listening to the words of Christ, they could see valleys and ravines through which the mountain streams found their way to the sea. In summer these streams often wholly disappeared, leaving only a dry and dusty channel. But when the wintry storms burst upon the hills, the rivers became fierce, raging torrents, at times overspreading the valleys and bearing everything away on their resistless flood. Often, then, the hovels reared by the peasants on the grassy plain, apparently beyond the reach of danger, were swept away. But high upon the hills were houses built upon the rock. In some parts of the land were dwellings built wholly of rock, and many of them had withstood the tempests of a thousand years. These houses were reared with toil and difficulty. They were not easy of access, and their location appeared less inviting than the grassy plain. But they were founded upon the rock, and wind and flood and tempest beat upon them in vain. 

Like the builders of these houses on the rock, said Jesus, is he who shall receive the words that I have spoken to you, and make them the foundation of his character and life. Centuries before, the prophet Isaiah had written, “The word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8); and Peter, long after the Sermon on the Mount was given, quoting these words of Isaiah added, “This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:25). The word of God is the only steadfast thing our world knows. It is the sure foundation. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” said Jesus, “but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

We build on Christ by obeying His word. It is not he who merely enjoys righteousness, that is righteous, but he who does righteousness. Holiness is not rapture; it is the result of surrendering all to God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father. When the children of Israel were encamped on the borders of the Promised Land, it was not enough for them to have a knowledge of Canaan, or to sing the songs of Canaan. This alone would not bring them into possession of the vineyards and olive groves of the goodly land. They could make it theirs in truth only by occupation, by complying with the conditions, by exercising living faith in God, by appropriating His promises to themselves, while they obeyed His instruction. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 147-148

The Narrow Gate

"Strive to enter the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Matthew 13:24

The belated traveler, hurrying to reach the city gate by the going down of the sun, could not turn aside for any attractions by the way. His whole mind was bent on the one purpose of entering the gate. The same intensity of purpose, said Jesus, is required in the Christian life. I have opened to you the glory of character, which is the true glory of My kingdom. It offers you no promise of earthly dominion; yet it is worthy of your supreme desire and effort. I do not call you to battle for the supremacy of the world’s great empire, but do not therefore conclude that there is no battle to be fought nor victories to be won. I bid you strive, agonize, to enter into My spiritual kingdom. 


West Point Military Academy 2002


The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the victory to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight—the greatest battle that was ever fought by man—is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love. The old nature, born of blood and of the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up...

The victory is not won without much earnest prayer, without the humbling of self at every step. Our will is not to be forced into co-operation with divine agencies, but it must be voluntarily submitted. Were it possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater intensity the influence of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a Christian, a fit subject for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be broken. The will must be placed on the side of God’s will. You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are “willing to be made willing,” God will accomplish the work for you, even “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 141-142

If I Were You

"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

The Jews had been concerned about what they should receive; the burden of their anxiety was to secure what they thought their due of power and respect and service. But Christ teaches that our anxiety should not be, How much are we to receive? but, How much can we give? The standard of our obligation to others is found in what we ourselves would regard as their obligation to us. 



In your association with others, put yourself in their place. Enter into their feelings, their difficulties, their disappointments, their joys, and their sorrows. Identify yourself with them, and then do to them as, were you to exchange places with them, you would wish them to deal with you. This is the true rule of honesty. It is another expression of the law. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:39. And it is the substance of the teaching of the prophets. It is a principle of heaven, and will be developed in all who are fitted for its holy companionship. 

The golden rule is the principle of true courtesy, and its truest illustration is seen in the life and character of Jesus. Oh, what rays of softness and beauty shone forth in the daily life of our Saviour! What sweetness flowed from His very presence! The same spirit will be revealed in His children. Those with whom Christ dwells will be surrounded with a divine atmosphere. Their white robes of purity will be fragrant with perfume from the garden of the Lord. Their faces will reflect light from His, brightening the path for stumbling and weary feet...

The standard of the golden rule is the true standard of Christianity; anything short of it is a deception. A religion that leads men to place a low estimate upon human beings, whom Christ has esteemed of such value as to give Himself for them; a religion that would lead us to be careless of human needs, sufferings, or rights, is a spurious religion. In slighting the claims of the poor, the suffering, and the sinful, we are proving ourselves traitors to Christ. It is because men take upon themselves the name of Christ, while in life they deny His character, that Christianity has so little power in the world. The name of the Lord is blasphemed because of these things.


Of the apostolic church, in those bright days when the glory of the risen Christ shone upon them, it is written that no man said “that aught of the things which he possessed was his own.” “Neither was there any among them that lacked.” “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 4:32, 34, 33; 2:46, 47. 

Search heaven and earth, and there is no truth revealed more powerful than that which is made manifest in works of mercy to those who need our sympathy and aid. This is the truth as it is in Jesus. When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule, the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 134-137

Ask, Seek, Knock

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7, NKJV

 “Ask.” The asking, makes it manifest that you realize your necessity; and if you ask in faith you will receive. The Lord has pledged His word, and it cannot fail. If you come with true contrition you need not feel that you are presumptuous in asking for what the Lord has promised. When you ask for the blessings you need, that you may perfect a character after Christ’s likeness, the Lord assures you that you are asking according to a promise that will be verified. That you feel and know you are a sinner is sufficient ground for asking for His mercy and compassion. The condition upon which you may come to God is not that you shall be holy, but that you desire Him to cleanse you from all sin and purify you from all iniquity. The argument that we may plead now and ever is our great need, our utterly helpless state, that makes Him and His redeeming power a necessity. 



“Seek.” Desire not merely His blessing, but Himself. “Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” Job 22:21. Seek, and you shall find. God is seeking you, and the very desire you feel to come to Him is but the drawing of His Spirit. Yield to that drawing. Christ is pleading the cause of the tempted, the erring, and the faithless. He is seeking to lift them into companionship with Himself. “If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee.” 1 Chronicles 28:9. 

“Knock.” We come to God by special invitation, and He waits to welcome us to His audience chamber. The first disciples who followed Jesus were not satisfied with a hurried conversation with Him by the way; they said, “Rabbi, ... where dwellest Thou? ... They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” John 1:38, 39. So we may be admitted into closest intimacy and communion with God. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1. Let those who desire the blessing of God knock and wait at the door of mercy with firm assurance, saying, For Thou, O Lord, hast said, “Everyone that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” 

But do not forget that in coming to God as a father you acknowledge your relation to Him as a child. You not only trust His goodness, but in all things yield to His will, knowing that His love is changeless. You give yourself to do His work. It was to those whom He had bidden to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness that Jesus gave the promise, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” John 16:24

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 131-133

Where are You Looking?

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3

[These] words describe one who is swift to discern a defect in others. When he thinks he has detected a flaw in the character or the life he is exceedingly zealous in trying to point it out; but Jesus declares that the very trait of character developed in doing this un-Christlike work, is, in comparison with the fault criticized, as a beam in proportion to a mote (i.e. speck). It is one’s own lack of the spirit of forbearance and love that leads him to make a world of an atom. Those who have never experienced the contrition of an entire surrender to Christ do not in their life make manifest the softening influence of the Savior’s love. They misrepresent the gentle, courteous spirit of the gospel and wound precious souls, for whom Christ died.



When the religious experience is devoid of love, Jesus is not there; the sunshine of His presence is not there. No busy activity or Christless zeal can supply the lack. There may be a wonderful keenness of perception to discover the defects of others; but to everyone who indulges this spirit, Jesus says, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” He who is guilty of wrong is the first to suspect wrong. By condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. It was through sin that men gained the knowledge of evil; no sooner had the first pair sinned than they began to accuse each other; and this is what human nature will inevitably do when uncontrolled by the grace of Christ.

If Christ is in you “the hope of glory,” you will have no disposition to watch others, to expose their errors. Instead of seeking to accuse and condemn, it will be your object to help, to bless, and to save. In dealing with those who are in error, you will heed the injunction, Consider “thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1. You will call to mind the many times you have erred and how hard it was to find the right way when you had once left it. You will not push your brother into greater darkness, but with a heart full of pity will tell him of his danger. 

He who looks often upon the cross of Calvary, remembering that his sins placed the Savior there, will never try to estimate the degree of his guilt in comparison with that of others. He will not climb upon the judgment seat to bring accusation against another. There can be no spirit of criticism or self-exaltation on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary’s cross.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 127-128

Thine is the Kingdom

"Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever." Matthew 6:13

The last like the first sentence of the Lord’s Prayer, points to our Father as above all power and authority and every name that is named. The Saviour beheld the years that stretched out before His disciples, not, as they had dreamed, lying in the sunshine of worldly prosperity and honor, but dark with the tempests of human hatred and satanic wrath. Amid national strife and ruin, the steps of the disciples would be beset with perils, and often their hearts would be oppressed by fear. They were to see Jerusalem a desolation, the temple swept away, its worship forever ended, and Israel scattered to all lands, like wrecks on a desert shore.



Jesus said, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8. Yet Christ’s followers were not to fear that their hope was lost or that God had forsaken the earth. The power and the glory belong unto Him whose great purposes would still move on unthwarted toward their consummation. In the prayer that breathes their daily wants, the disciples of Christ were directed to look above all the power and dominion of evil, unto the Lord their God, whose kingdom ruleth over all and who is their Father and everlasting Friend. 

In the vision of the prophet Ezekiel there was the appearance of a hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power which gives them success. Those whom God employs as His messengers are not to feel that His work is dependent upon them. Finite beings are not left to carry this burden of responsibility. He who slumbers not, who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, will carry forward His own work. He will thwart the purposes of wicked men, and will bring to confusion the counsels of those who plot mischief against His people. He who is the King, the Lord of hosts, sitteth between the cherubim, and amid the strife and tumult of nations He guards His children still. He who ruleth in the heavens is our Saviour. He measures every trial, He watches the furnace fire that must test every soul. When the strongholds of kings shall be overthrown, when the arrows of wrath shall strike through the hearts of His enemies, His people will be safe in His hands.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 120

Deliver Us, Lord

"Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:13

Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations. If we venture on Satan’s ground we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us. 



The prayer, “Bring us not into temptation,” is itself a promise. If we commit ourselves to God we have the assurance, He “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. 

The only safeguard against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. It is because selfishness exists in our hearts that temptation has power over us. But when we behold the great love of God, selfishness appears to us in its hideous and repulsive character, and we desire to have it expelled from the soul. As the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, our hearts are softened and subdued, the temptation loses its power, and the grace of Christ transforms the character. 

Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him and be overwhelmed with temptation, but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend. 

To us, as to Peter, the word is spoken, “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. He who “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16), will not desert us in the battle with the adversary of God and man. “Behold,” He says, “I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19. 

Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118-119

Forgive and Be Forgiven

"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Matthew 6:12

Jesus teaches that we can receive forgiveness from God only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us unto Him, and that love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren. 

After completing the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus added: “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us. 



But forgiveness has a broader meaning than many suppose. When God gives the promise that He “will abundantly pardon,” He adds, as if the meaning of that promise exceeded all that we could comprehend: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:7-9. God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. And again he says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12. 

God in Christ gave Himself for our sins. He suffered the cruel death of the cross, bore for us the burden of guilt, “the just for the unjust,” that He might reveal to us His love and draw us to Himself. And He says, “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 , R.V. Let Christ, the divine Life, dwell in you and through you reveal the heaven-born love that will inspire hope in the hopeless and bring heaven’s peace to the sin-stricken heart. As we come to God, this is the condition which meets us at the threshold, that, receiving mercy from Him, we yield ourselves to reveal His grace to others.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 113-114

Give Us Our Daily Bread

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Like a child, you shall receive day by day what is required for the day’s need. Every day you are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Be not dismayed if you have not sufficient for tomorrow. You have the assurance of His promise, “So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” David says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:3, 25. That God who sent the ravens to feed Elijah by the brook Cherith will not pass by one of His faithful, self-sacrificing children. Of him that walketh righteously it is written: “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Isaiah 33:16; Psalm 37:19; Romans 8:32.



When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask for others as well as ourselves. And we acknowledge that what God gives us is not for ourselves alone. God gives to us in trust, that we may feed the hungry. Of His goodness He has prepared for the poor. Psalm 68:10. And He says, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors.... But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14. 

“God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:8, 6. 

The prayer for daily bread includes not only food to sustain the body, but that spiritual bread which will nourish the soul unto life everlasting. Jesus bids us, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.” John 6:27. He says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” Verse 51. Our Saviour is the bread of life, and it is by beholding His love, by receiving it into the soul, that we feed upon the bread which came down from heaven. 

We receive Christ through His word, and the Holy Spirit is given to open the word of God to our understanding, and bring home its truths to our hearts. We are to pray day by day that as we read His word, God will send His Spirit to reveal to us the truth that will strengthen our souls for the day’s need

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 111-112

Not My Will, But Yours

"Your will be done on earth at it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10

The will of God is expressed in the precepts of His holy law, and the principles of this law are the principles of heaven. The angels of heaven attain unto no higher knowledge than to know the will of God, and to do His will is the highest service that can engage their powers. 



But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. 

The petition, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established. Then in earth as in heaven will be fulfilled “all the good pleasure of His goodness.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 109

The Coming Kingdom

"Your Kingdom come..." Matthew 6:10

The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but in giving them this prayer Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God’s own time it will surely come. 



The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. “The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,” is to be given to “the people of the saints of the Most High.” Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them “from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign. 

The heavenly gates are again to be lifted up, and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy ones, our Savior will come forth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jehovah Immanuel “shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.” “The tabernacle of God” shall be with men, “and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 21:3. 

But before that coming, Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” Matthew 24:14. His kingdom will not come until the good tidings of His grace have been carried to all the earth. Hence, as we give ourselves to God, and win other souls to Him, we hasten the coming of His kingdom. Only those who devote themselves to His service, saying, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8), to open blind eyes, to turn men “from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified” (Acts 26:18)—they alone pray in sincerity, “Thy kingdom come.” 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 107-108

Holy is Your Name

"Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name." Matthew 6:9

To hallow the name of the Lord requires that the words in which we speak of the Supreme Being be uttered with reverence. “Holy and reverend is His name.” Psalm 111:9. We are never in any manner to treat lightly the titles or appellations of the Deity. In prayer we enter the audience chamber of the Most High; and we should come before Him with holy awe. The angels veil their faces in His presence. The cherubim and the bright and holy seraphim approach His throne with solemn reverence. How much more should we, finite, sinful beings, come in a reverent manner before the Lord, our Maker! 



But to hallow the name of the Lord means much more than this. We may, like the Jews in Christ’s day, manifest the greatest outward reverence for God, and yet profane His name continually. “The name of the Lord” is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, ... forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:5-7. Of the church of Christ it is written, “This is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 33:16. This name is put upon every follower of Christ. It is the heritage of the child of God. The family are called after the Father. The prophet Jeremiah, in the time of Israel’s sore distress and tribulation, prayed, “We are called by Thy name; leave us not.” Jeremiah 14:9. 

This name is hallowed by the angels of heaven, by the inhabitants of unfallen worlds. When you pray, “Hallowed be Thy name,” you ask that it may be hallowed in this world, hallowed in you. God has acknowledged you before men and angels as His child; pray that you may do no dishonor to the “worthy name by which you are called.” James 2:7. God sends you into the world as His representative. In every act of life you are to make manifest the name of God. This petition calls upon you to possess His character. You cannot hallow His name, you cannot represent Him to the world, unless in life and character you represent the very life and character of God. This you can do only through the acceptance of the grace and righteousness of Christ.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 106

His Father - My Father

"In this manner, therefore, pray: 'Our Father who is in heaven..." Matthew 6:9

Jesus teaches us to call His Father our Father. He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 2:11. So ready, so eager, is the Savior’s heart to welcome us as members of the family of God, that in the very first words we are to use in approaching God He places the assurance of our divine relationship, “Our Father.” 

Here is the announcement of that wonderful truth, so full of encouragement and comfort, that God loves us as He loves His Son. This is what Jesus said in His last prayer for His disciples, Thou “hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:23. 



The world that Satan has claimed and has ruled over with cruel tyranny, the Son of God has, by one vast achievement, encircled in His love and connected again with the throne of Jehovah. Cherubim and seraphim, and the unnumbered hosts of all the unfallen worlds, sang anthems of praise to God and the Lamb when this triumph was assured. They rejoiced that the way of salvation had been opened to the fallen race and that the earth would be redeemed from the curse of sin. How much more should those rejoice who are the objects of such amazing love! 

How can we ever be in doubt and uncertainty, and feel that we are orphans? It was in behalf of those who had transgressed the law that Jesus took upon Him human nature; He became like unto us, that we might have everlasting peace and assurance. We have an Advocate in the heavens, and whoever accepts Him as a personal Savior is not left an orphan to bear the burden of his own sins. 

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17. 

The very first step in approaching God is to know and believe the love that He has to us (1 John 4:16); for it is through the drawing of His love that we are led to come to Him.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 103-104 

Rest in Jesus

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things." Matthew 6:24

When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us, and are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place. We may well have anxiety and anticipate danger and loss, for it is certain to befall us. But when we really believe that God loves us and means to do us good we shall cease to worry about the future. We shall trust God as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, for our will is swallowed up in the will of God. 

Christ has given us no promise of help in bearing today the burdens of tomorrow. He has said, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9); but, like the manna given in the wilderness, His grace is bestowed daily, for the day’s need. Like the hosts of Israel in their pilgrim life, we may find morning by morning the bread of heaven for the day’s supply. 

One day alone is ours, and during this day we are to live for God. For this one day we are to place in the hand of Christ, in solemn service, all our purposes and plans, casting all our care upon Him, for He cares for us. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 30:15. 

If you will seek the Lord and be converted every day; if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God; if with gladsome consent of heart to His gracious call you come wearing the yoke of Christ,—the yoke of obedience and service,—all your murmurings will be stilled, all your difficulties will be removed, all the perplexing problems that now confront you will be solved. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 100-101

Seek First

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

The people who listened to the words of Christ were still anxiously watching for some announcement of the earthly kingdom. While Jesus was opening to them the treasures of heaven, the question uppermost in many minds was, How will a connection with Him advance our prospects in the world? Jesus shows that in making the things of the world their supreme anxiety they were like the heathen nations about them, living as if there were no God, whose tender care is over His creatures.



“All these things,” said Jesus, “do the nations of the world seek after.” “Your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:30; Matthew 6:32, 33. I have come to open to you the kingdom of love and righteousness and peace. Open your hearts to receive this kingdom, and make its service your highest interest. Though it is a spiritual kingdom, fear not that your needs for this life will be uncared-for. If you give yourself to God’s service, He who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for your needs. 

Jesus does not release us from the necessity of effort, but He teaches that we are to make Him first and last and best in everything. We are to engage in no business, follow no pursuit, seek no pleasure, that would hinder the outworking of His righteousness in our character and life. Whatever we do is to be done heartily, as unto the Lord.

God’s everlasting arm encircles the soul that turns to Him for aid, however feeble that soul may be. The precious things of the hills shall perish, but the soul that lives for God shall abide with Him. “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1 John 2:17. The city of God will open its golden gates to receive him who learned while on earth to lean on God for guidance and wisdom, for comfort and hope, amid loss and affliction. The songs of the angels will welcome him there, and for him the tree of life shall yield its fruit. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 98-99

No Worries

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" Matthew 6:25

Jesus pointed His hearers to the birds as they warbled their carols of praise, unencumbered with thoughts of care, for “they sow not, neither do they reap;” and yet the great Father provides for their needs. And He asks, “Are not ye of much more value than they?” 

“No sparrow falls without His care,
No soul bows low but Jesus knows;
For He is with us everywhere,
And marks each bitter tear that flows.
And He will never, never, never
Forsake the soul that trusts Him ever.” 



The hillsides and the fields were bright with flowers, and, pointing to them in the dewy freshness of the morning, Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” The graceful forms and delicate hues of the plants and flowers may be copied by human skill, but what touch can impart life to even one flower or blade of grass? Every wayside blossom owes its being to the same power that set the starry worlds on high. Through all created things thrills one pulse of life from the great heart of God. The flowers of the field are clothed by His hand in richer robes than have ever graced the forms of earthly kings. And “if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

It is He who made the flowers and who gave to the sparrow its song who says, “Consider the lilies,” “Behold the birds.” R.V. In the loveliness of the things of nature you may learn more of the wisdom of God than the schoolmen know. On the lily’s petals, God has written a message for you, written in language that your heart can read only as it unlearns the lessons of distrust and selfishness and corroding care. Why has He given you the singing birds and the gentle blossoms, but from the overflowing love of a Father’s heart, that would brighten and gladden your path of life? He has filled earth and air and sky with glimpses of beauty to tell you of His loving thought for you. The beauty of all created things is but a gleam from the shining of His glory. If He has lavished such infinite skill upon the things of nature, for your happiness and joy, can you doubt that He will give you every needed blessing?

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 95-96

Following You and Only You

"No man can serve two masters." Matthew 6:24

Christ does not say that man will not or shall not serve two masters, but that he cannot. The interests of God and the interests of mammon have no union or sympathy. Just where the conscience of the Christian warns him to forbear, to deny himself, to stop, just there the worldling steps over the line, to indulge his selfish desires. On one side of the line is the self-denying follower of Christ; on the other side is the self-indulgent world lover, pandering to fashion, engaging in frivolity, and pampering himself in forbidden pleasure. On that side of the line the Christian cannot go. 



No one can occupy a neutral position; there is no middle class, who neither love God nor serve the enemy of righteousness. Christ is to live in His disciples and work through their faculties and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to His will; they must act with His Spirit. Then it is no more they that live, but Christ that lives in them.

He who does not give himself wholly to God is under the control of another power, listening to another voice, whose suggestions are of an entirely different character. Half-and-half service places the human agent on the side of the enemy as a successful ally of the hosts of darkness. When men who claim to be soldiers of Christ engage with the confederacy of Satan, and help along his side, they prove themselves enemies of Christ. They betray sacred trusts. They form a link between Satan and the true soldiers, so that through these agencies the enemy is constantly working to steal away the hearts of Christ’s soldiers.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 93-94

Where's Your Focus Today?

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light." Matthew 6:22

Singleness of purpose, wholehearted devotion to God, is the condition pointed out by the Savior’s words. Let the purpose be sincere and unwavering to discern the truth and to obey it at whatever cost, and you will receive divine enlightenment. Real piety begins when all compromise with sin is at an end. Then the language of the heart will be that of the apostle Paul: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Philippians 3:13, 14, 8. 



But when the eye is blinded by the love of self, there is only darkness. “If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” It was this fearful darkness that wrapped the Jews in stubborn unbelief, making it impossible for them to appreciate the character and mission of Him who came to save them from their sins. 

Yielding to temptation begins in permitting the mind to waver, to be inconstant in your trust in God. If we do not choose to give ourselves fully to God then we are in darkness. When we make any reserve we are leaving open a door through which Satan can enter to lead us astray by his temptations. He knows that if he can obscure our vision, so that the eye of faith cannot see God, there will be no barrier against sin.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 91

Where is Your Treasure?

"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:20,21

This treasure, which Christ esteems as precious above all estimate, is “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18. The disciples of Christ are called His jewels, His precious and peculiar treasure. He says, “They shall be as the stones of a crown.” “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Zechariah 9:16; Isaiah 13:12. Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection as the reward of all His sufferings, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory—Christ, the great Center, from whom radiates all glory. 



And we are permitted to unite with Him in the great work of redemption and to be sharers with Him in the riches which His death and suffering have won. The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Christians: “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? for ye are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20. This is the treasure for which Christ bids us labor. Character is the great harvest of life. And every word or deed that through the grace of Christ shall kindle in one soul an impulse that reaches heavenward, every effort that tends to the formation of a Christlike character, is laying up treasure in heaven. 

Where the treasure is, there the heart will be. In every effort to benefit others, we benefit ourselves. He who gives money or time for spreading the gospel enlists his own interest and prayers for the work, and for the souls to be reached through it; his affections go out to others, and he is stimulated to greater devotion to God, that he may be enabled to do them the greatest good. 

And at the final day, when the wealth of earth shall perish, he who has laid up treasure in heaven will behold that which his life has gained. If we have given heed to the words of Christ, then, as we gather around the great white throne, we shall see souls who have been saved through our agency, and shall know that one has saved others, and these still others—a large company brought into the haven of rest as the result of our labors, there to lay their crowns at Jesus’ feet, and praise Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. With what joy will the worker for Christ behold these redeemed ones, who share the glory of the Redeemer! How precious will heaven be to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls! 

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 89-90

A Secret Place with Jesus

"Pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." Matthew 6:6

In the secret place of prayer, where no eye but God’s can see, no ear but His can hear, we may pour out our most hidden desires and longings to the Father of infinite pity, and in the hush and silence of the soul that voice which never fails to answer the cry of human need will speak to our hearts. 



“The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11. He waits with unwearied love to hear the confessions of the wayward and to accept their penitence. He watches for some return of gratitude from us, as the mother watches for the smile of recognition from her beloved child. He would have us understand how earnestly and tenderly His heart yearns over us. He invites us to take our trials to His sympathy, our sorrows to His love, our wounds to His healing, our weakness to His strength, our emptiness to His fullness. Never has one been disappointed who came unto Him. “They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” Psalm 34:5. 

Those who seek God in secret telling the Lord their needs and pleading for help, will not plead in vain. “Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” As we make Christ our daily companion we shall feel that the powers of an unseen world are all around us; and by looking unto Jesus we shall become assimilated to His image. By beholding we become changed. The character is softened, refined, and ennobled for the heavenly kingdom. The sure result of our intercourse and fellowship with our Lord will be to increase piety, purity, and fervor. There will be a growing intelligence in prayer. We are receiving a divine education, and this is illustrated in a life of diligence and zeal. 

The soul that turns to God for its help, its support, its power, by daily, earnest prayer, will have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty, lofty purposes of action, and a continual hungering and thirsting after righteousness. By maintaining a connection with God, we shall be enabled to diffuse to others, through our association with them, the light, the peace, the serenity, that rule in our hearts. The strength acquired in prayer to God, united with persevering effort in training the mind in thoughtfulness and care-taking, prepares one for daily duties and keeps the spirit in peace under all circumstances. 

If we draw near to God, He will put a word in our mouth to speak for Him, even praise unto His name. He will teach us a strain from the song of the angels, even thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. In every act of life, the light and love of an indwelling Saviour will be revealed. Outward troubles cannot reach the life that is lived by faith in the Son of God. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 84-85

What is Your Motive?

"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1

In these words Jesus did not teach that acts of kindness should always be kept secret. Paul the apostle, writing by the Holy Spirit, did not conceal the generous self-sacrifice of the Macedonian Christians, but told of the grace that Christ had wrought in them, and thus others were imbued with the same spirit. He also wrote to the church at Corinth and said, “Your zeal has stirred up very many.” 2 Corinthians 9:2 



Christ’s own words make His meaning plain, that in acts of charity the aim should not be to secure praise and honor from men. Real godliness never prompts an effort at display. Those who desire words of praise and flattery, and feed upon them as a sweet morsel, are Christians in name only. 

By their good works, Christ’s followers are to bring glory, not to themselves, but to Him through whose grace and power they have worked. It is through the Holy Spirit that every good work is accomplished, and the Spirit is given to glorify, not the receiver, but the Giver. When the light of Christ is shining in the soul, the lips will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God. Your prayers, your performance of duty, your benevolence, your self-denial, will not be the theme of your thought or conversation. Jesus will be magnified, self will be hidden, and Christ will appear as all in all. 

We are to give in sincerity, not to make a show of our good deeds, but from pity and love to the suffering ones. Sincerity of purpose, real kindness of heart, is the motive that Heaven values. The soul that is sincere in its love, wholehearted in its devotion, God regards as more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. 

We are not to think of reward, but of service; yet kindness shown in this spirit will not fail of its recompense. “You Father which sees in secret Himself will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:4. While it is true that God Himself is the great Reward, that embraces every other, the soul receives and enjoys Him only as it becomes assimilated to Him in character. Only like can appreciate like. It is as we give ourselves to God for the service of humanity that He gives Himself to us. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 80-81

Be Like Your Father

"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48

The word “therefore” implies a conclusion, an inference from what has gone before. Jesus has been describing to His hearers the unfailing mercy and love of God, and He bids them therefore to be perfect. Because your heavenly Father “is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:35), because He has stooped to lift you up, therefore, said Jesus, you may become like Him in character, and stand without fault in the presence of men and angels. 



With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passes knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued, and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith. 

The Jews had been wearily toiling to reach perfection by their own efforts, and they had failed. Christ had already told them that their righteousness could never enter the kingdom of heaven. Now He points out to them the character of the righteousness that all who enter heaven will possess. Throughout the Sermon on the Mount He describes its fruits, and now in one sentence He points out its source and its nature: Be perfect as God is perfect. The law is but a transcript of the character of God. Behold in your heavenly Father a perfect manifestation of the principles which are the foundation of His government. 

God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love. 

He tells us to be perfect as He is, in the same manner. We are to be centers of light and blessing to our little circle, even as He is to the universe. We have nothing of ourselves, but the light of His love shines upon us, and we are to reflect its brightness. “In His borrowed goodness good,” we may be perfect in our sphere, even as God is perfect in His. 

Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest “in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7 , margin. Through love “the righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 76-77

Love One Another

"I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:43-45

The Jews held that God loved those who served Him,—according to their view, those who fulfilled the requirements of the rabbis,—and that all the rest of the world lay under His frown and curse. Not so, said Jesus; the whole world, the evil and the good, lies in the sunshine of His love. This truth you should have learned from nature itself; for God “makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” 



It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth produces her bounties and continues her motion round the sun. The hand of God guides the planets and keeps them in position in their orderly march through the heavens. It is through His power that summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, day and night follow each other in their regular succession. It is by His word that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom. Every good thing we have, each ray of sunshine and shower of rain, every morsel of food, every moment of life, is a gift of love. 

While we were yet unloving and unlovely in character, “hateful, and hating one another,” our heavenly Father had mercy on us. “After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Titus 3:3-5. His love received, will make us, in like manner, kind and tender, not merely toward those who please us, but to the most faulty and erring and sinful. 

The children of God are those who are partakers of His nature. It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God’s Spirit, will respond to kindness; while they may give hate for hate, they will also give love for love. But it is only the Spirit of God that gives love for hatred. To be kind to the unthankful and to the evil, to do good hoping for nothing again, is the insignia of the royalty of heaven, the sure token by which the children of the Highest reveal their high estate.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 74-75

Swear Not

"But I say to you, do not swear at all." Matthew 5:34

Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight. Truth is of God; deception, in every one of its myriad forms, is of Satan; and whoever in any way departs from the straight line of truth is betraying himself into the power of the wicked one. Yet it is not a light or an easy thing to speak the exact truth. We cannot speak the truth unless we know the truth; and how often preconceived opinions, mental bias, imperfect knowledge, errors of judgment, prevent a right understanding of matters with which we have to do! We cannot speak the truth unless our minds are continually guided by Him who is truth. 



Through the apostle Paul, Christ bids us, “Let your speech always be with grace.” “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:29. In the light of these scriptures the words of Christ upon the mount are seen to condemn jesting, trifling, and unchaste conversation. They require that our words should be not only truthful, but pure. 

Those who have learned of Christ will “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Ephesians 5:11. In speech, as in life, they will be simple, straightforward, and true; for they are preparing for the fellowship of those holy ones in whose mouth “was found no guile.” Revelation 14:5

If these words of Christ were heeded, they would check the utterance of evil surmising and unkind criticism; for in commenting upon the actions and motives of another, who can be certain of speaking the exact truth? How often pride, passion, personal resentment, color the impression given! A glance, a word, even an intonation of the voice, may be vital with falsehood. Even facts may be so stated as to convey a false impression. And “whatsoever is more than” truth, “is of the evil one.”

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 68

Be Reconciled with Your Brother

"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:23-24

Through Moses the Lord had said, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart.... Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Leviticus 19:17, 18. The truths which Christ presented were the same that had been taught by the prophets, but they had become obscured through hardness of heart and love of sin. 



The Savior’s words revealed to His hearers the fact that, while they were condemning others as transgressors, they were themselves equally guilty; for they were cherishing malice and hatred.

The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and it led him to put to death the Son of God. Whoever cherishes malice or unkindness is cherishing the same spirit, and its fruit will be unto death. In the revengeful thought the evil deed lies enfolded, as the plant in the seed. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:15

When one who professes to serve God wrongs or injures a brother, he misrepresents the character of God to that brother, and the wrong must be confessed, he must acknowledge it to be sin, in order to be in harmony with God. Our brother may have done us a greater wrong than we have done him, but this does not lessen our responsibility. If when we come before God we remember that another has aught against us, we are to leave our gift of prayer, of thanksgiving, of freewill offering, and go to the brother with whom we are at variance, and in humility confess our own sin and ask to be forgiven. 

If we have in any manner defrauded or injured our brother, we should make restitution. If we have unwittingly borne false witness, if we have misstated his words, if we have injured his influence in any way, we should go to the ones with whom we have conversed about him, and take back all our injurious misstatements. 

If matters of difficulty between brethren were not laid open before others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, how much evil might be prevented! How many roots of bitterness whereby many are defiled would be destroyed, and how closely and tenderly might the followers of Christ be united in His love!

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 55-56, 58-59

Perfect Righteousness with Jesus

"For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20

The scribes and Pharisees had accused not only Christ but His disciples as sinners because of their disregard of the rabbinical rites and observances. Often the disciples had been perplexed and troubled by censure and accusation from those whom they had been accustomed to revere as religious teachers. Jesus unveiled the deception. He declared that the righteousness upon which the Pharisees set so great value was worthless. The Jewish nation had claimed to be the special, loyal people who were favored of God; but Christ represented their religion as devoid of saving faith. All their pretensions of piety, their human inventions and ceremonies, and even their boasted performance of the outward requirements of the law, could not avail to make them holy. They were not pure in heart or noble and Christlike in character. 


Torah being read at a Bar Mitzvah


A legal religion is insufficient to bring the soul into harmony with God. The hard, rigid orthodoxy of the Pharisees, destitute of contrition, tenderness, or love, was only a stumbling block to sinners. They were like the salt that had lost its savor; for their influence had no power to preserve the world from corruption. The only true faith is that which “worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6) to purify the soul. It is as leaven that transforms the character.

All this the Jews should have learned from the teachings of the prophets. Centuries before, the cry of the soul for justification with God had found voice and answer in the words of the prophet Micah: “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? ... He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:6-8

In their professed service to God, the Jews were really working for self. Their righteousness was the fruit of their own efforts to keep the law according to their own ideas and for their own selfish benefit. Hence it could be no better than they were. In their endeavor to make themselves holy, they were trying to bring a clean thing out of an unclean. The law of God is as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. It presents to men the righteousness of God. It is impossible for man, of himself, to keep this law; for the nature of man is depraved, deformed, and wholly unlike the character of God. The works of the selfish heart are “as an unclean thing;” and “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6

While the law is holy, the Jews could not attain righteousness by their own efforts to keep the law. The disciples of Christ must obtain righteousness of a different character from that of the Pharisees, if they would enter the kingdom of heaven. God offered them, in His Son, the perfect righteousness of the law. If they would open their hearts fully to receive Christ, then the very life of God, His love, would dwell in them, transforming them into His own likeness; and thus through God’s free gift they would possess the righteousness which the law requires.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 53-54

I Have Come to Fulfill

"I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17

It was to Moses that God revealed His glory in those wonderful words that have been the treasured heritage of the ages: “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7. 

The law given upon Sinai was the enunciation of the principle of love, a revelation to earth of the law of heaven. It was ordained in the hand of a Mediator—spoken by Him through whose power the hearts of men could be brought into harmony with its principles. God had revealed the purpose of the law when He declared to Israel, “Ye shall be holy men unto Me.” Exodus 22:31. 



But Israel had not perceived the spiritual nature of the law, and too often their professed obedience was but an observance of forms and ceremonies, rather than a surrender of the heart to the sovereignty of love. As Jesus in His character and work represented to men the holy, benevolent, and paternal attributes of God, and presented the worthlessness of mere ceremonial obedience, the Jewish leaders did not receive or understand His words. They thought that He dwelt too lightly upon the requirements of the law; and when He set before them the very truths that were the soul of their divinely appointed service, they, looking only at the external, accused Him of seeking to overthrow it.

Speaking of the law, Jesus said, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” He here used the word “fulfill” in the same sense as when He declared to John the Baptist His purpose to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15); that is, to fill up the measure of the law’s requirement, to give an example of perfect conformity to the will of God. 

His mission was to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:21. He was to show the spiritual nature of the law, to present its far-reaching principles, and to make plain its eternal obligation. 

“Till heaven and earth pass,” said Jesus, “one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” By His own obedience to the law, Christ testified to its immutable character and proved that through His grace it could be perfectly obeyed by every son and daughter of Adam. On the mount He declared that not the smallest iota should pass from the law till all things should be accomplished—all things that concern the human race, all that relates to the plan of redemption.

He does not teach that the law is ever to be abrogated (i.e. changed), but He fixes the eye upon the utmost verge of man’s horizon and assures us that until this point is reached the law will retain its authority so that none may suppose it was His mission to abolish the precepts of the law. So long as heaven and earth continue, the holy principles of God’s law will remain. His righteousness, “like the great mountains” (Psalm 36:6), will continue, a source of blessing, sending forth streams to refresh the earth.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 48-49

You are the Light of the World

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14

In the brilliant light of the morning, the towns and villages upon the surrounding hills stood forth clearly, making an attractive feature of the scene. Pointing to them, Jesus said, “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” And He added, “Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shines unto all that are in the house.” Most of those who listened to the words of Jesus were peasants and fishermen whose lowly dwellings contained but one room, in which the single lamp on its stand shone to all in the house. Even so, said Jesus, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 



No other light ever has shone or ever will shine upon fallen man save that which emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Savior, is the only light that can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. It was by receiving of His life that His disciples could become light bearers. The life of Christ in the soul, His love revealed in the character, would make them the light of the world. 

Humanity has in itself no light. Apart from Christ we are like an unkindled taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the sun; we have not a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of the world. But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of the divine presence.

Christ’s followers are to be more than a light in the midst of men. They are the light of the world. Jesus says to all who have named His name, You have given yourselves to Me, and I have given you to the world as My representatives. As the Father had sent Him into the world, so, He declares, “have I also sent them into the world.” John 17:18. As Christ is the channel for the revelation of the Father, so we are to be the channel for the revelation of Christ.

But Jesus did not bid the disciples, “Strive to make your light shine;” He said, “Let it shine.” If Christ is dwelling in the heart, it is impossible to conceal the light of His presence...Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love habitually revealed, are the lights that shine forth in the character in contrast with the darkness of the selfish heart, into which the light of life has never shone.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 39

You Are the Salt of the Earth

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." Matthew 5:13

Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must penetrate and infuse in order to preserve. So it is through personal contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the gospel. They are not saved in masses, but as individuals. Personal influence is a power. We must come close to those whom we desire to benefit. 

The savor of the salt represents the vital power of the Christian—the love of Jesus in the heart, the righteousness of Christ pervading the life. The love of Christ is diffusive and aggressive. If it is dwelling in us, it will flow out to others. We shall come close to them till their hearts are warmed by our unselfish interest and love. The sincere believers diffuse vital energy, which is penetrating and imparts new moral power to the souls for whom they labor. It is not the power of the man himself, but the power of the Holy Spirit that does the transforming work. 



Jesus added the solemn warning: “If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Without a living faith in Christ as a personal Savior it is impossible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world. We cannot give to others that which we do not ourselves possess. It is in proportion to our own devotion and consecration to Christ that we exert an influence for the blessing and uplifting of mankind. If there is no actual service, no genuine love, no reality of experience, there is no power to help, no connection with heaven, no savor of Christ in the life. Unless the Holy Spirit can use us as agents through whom to communicate to the world the truth as it is in Jesus, we are as salt that has lost its savor and is entirely worthless. By our lack of the grace of Christ we testify to the world that the truth which we claim to believe has no sanctifying power; and thus, so far as our influence goes, we make of no effect the word of God.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 

When love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not because of favors received from them, but because love is the principle of action. Love modifies the character, governs the impulses, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love is as broad as the universe, and is in harmony with that of the angel workers. Cherished in the heart, it sweetens the entire life and sheds its blessing upon all around. It is this, and this only, that can make us the salt of the earth. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 36-37

Blessings for When You Live for Jesus

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:10

While the Lord has not promised His people exemption from trials, He has promised that which is far better. He has said, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Deut-eronomy 33:25; 2 Corinthians 12:9.



If you are called to go through the fiery furnace for His sake, Jesus will be by your side even as He was with the faithful three in Babylon. Those who love their Redeemer will rejoice at every opportunity of sharing with Him humiliation and reproach. The love they bear their Lord makes suffering for His sake sweet. 

In all ages, Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They revealed in their steadfast faith a mightier One than Satan. Satan could torture and kill the body, but he could not touch the life that was hid with Christ in God. He could incarcerate in prison walls, but he could not bind the spirit. They could look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17. 

Through trials and persecution, the glory—character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The church of God, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence.

Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of His glory. In holy vision the prophet saw the triumph of the people of God. He says, “I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory, ... stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 15:2, 3; 7:14, 15.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 30

Blessed are the Peacemakers

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

Christ is “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. 



There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.

Christ’s followers are sent to the world with the message of peace. Whoever, by the quiet, unconscious influence of a holy life, shall reveal the love of Christ; whoever, by word or deed, shall lead another to renounce sin and yield his heart to God, is a peacemaker. 

And “blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The spirit of peace is evidence of their connection with heaven. The sweet savor of Christ surrounds them. The fragrance of the life, the loveliness of the character, reveal to the world the fact that they are children of God. Men take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. “Everyone that loves is born of God.” “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His;” but “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” 1 John 4:7; Romans 8:9, 14

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 27-28

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

The Jews were so exacting in regard to ceremonial purity that their regulations were extremely burdensome. Their minds were occupied with rules and restrictions and the fear of outward defilement, and they did not perceive the stain that selfishness and malice impart to the soul. 

Jesus does not mention this ceremonial purity as one of the conditions of entering into His kingdom, but points out the need of purity of heart. The wisdom that is from above “is first pure.” James 3:17. Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner. 




But the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” have a deeper meaning—not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.

Only like can appreciate like. Unless you accept in your own life the principle of self-sacrificing love, which is the principle of His character, you cannot know God. The heart that is deceived by Satan, looks upon God as a tyrannical, relentless being; the selfish characteristics of humanity, even of Satan himself, are attributed to the loving Creator. “Thou thought,” He says, “that I was altogether such a one as thyself.” Psalm 50:21. His providences are interpreted as the expression of an arbitrary, vindictive nature. 

But to hearts that have become purified through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, all is changed. These can know God. Moses was hid in the cleft of the rock when the glory of the Lord was revealed to him; and it is when we are hid in Christ that we behold the love of God. 



“He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the King shall be his friend.” Proverbs 22:11. By faith we behold Him here and now. In our daily experience we discern His goodness and compassion in the manifestation of His providence. We recognize Him in the character of His Son. The Holy Spirit takes the truth concerning God and Him whom He hath sent, and opens it to the understanding and to the heart. The pure in heart see God in a new and endearing relation, as their Redeemer; and while they discern the purity and loveliness of His character, they long to reflect His image. They see Him as a Father longing to embrace a repenting son, and their hearts are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 

The pure in heart discern the Creator in the works of His mighty hand, in the things of beauty that comprise the universe. In His written word they read in clearer lines the revelation of His mercy, His goodness, and His grace. The truths that are hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed to babes. The beauty and preciousness of truth, which are undiscerned by the worldly-wise, are constantly unfolding to those who have a trusting, childlike desire to know and to do the will of God. We discern the truth by becoming, ourselves, partakers of the divine nature. 

The pure in heart live as in the visible presence of God during the time He apportions them in this world. And they will also see Him face to face in the future, immortal state, as did Adam when he walked and talked with God in Eden. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 24-26

Blessed are the Merciful

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7

The merciful are “partakers of the divine nature,” and in them the compassionate love of God finds expression. All whose hearts are in sympathy with the heart of Infinite Love will seek to reclaim and not to condemn. Christ dwelling in the soul is a spring that never runs dry. 



To the appeal of the erring, the tempted, the wretched victims of want and sin, the Christian does not ask, "Are they worthy?" but, How can I benefit them? In the most wretched, the most debased, he sees souls whom Christ died to save and for whom God has given to His children the ministry of reconciliation.

The merciful are those who manifest compassion to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed.

Job declares, “I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.” Job 29:12-16

There are many to whom life is a painful struggle; they feel their deficiencies and are miserable and unbelieving; they think they have nothing for which to be grateful. Kind words, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would be to many a struggling and lonely one as the cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of sympathy, an act of kindness, would lift burdens that rest heavily upon weary shoulders. And every word or deed of unselfish kindness is an expression of the love of Christ for lost humanity. 

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 22-23

Blessed are the Hungry and Thirsty

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it. “Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat...without money and without price.” “Their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord,” and, “This is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” Isaiah 55:1; 54:17; Jeremiah 23:6



As we need food to sustain our physical strength, so do we need Christ, the Bread from heaven, to sustain spiritual life and impart strength to work the works of God. As the body is continually receiving the nourishment that sustains life and vigor, so the soul must be constantly communing with Christ, submitting to Him and depending wholly upon Him. 

As the weary traveler seeks the spring in the desert and, finding it, quenches his burning thirst, so will the Christian thirst for and obtain the pure water of life, of which Christ is the fountain. 

As we discern the perfection of our Savior’s character we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity. The more we know of God, the higher will be our ideal of character and the more earnest our longing to reflect His likeness. A divine element combines with the human when the soul reaches out after God and the longing heart can say, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5

If you have a sense of need in your soul, if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon your heart, in order that He may be sought unto to do for you, through the endowment of the Holy Spirit, those things which it is impossible for you to do for yourself. We need not seek to quench our thirst at shallow streams; for the great fountain is just above us, of whose abundant waters we may freely drink, if we will rise a little higher in the pathway of faith.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 19

Blessed are the Meek

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5

Jesus emptied Himself, and in all that He did, self did not appear. He subordinated all things to the will of His Father. When His mission on earth was about to close, He could say, “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gave Me to do.” John 17:4. And He bids us, “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself” (Matthew 11:29; 16:24); let self be dethroned and no longer hold the supremacy of the soul.



Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that our highest place is at the feet of our Savior. We look to Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. The apostle Paul had this experience, and he said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives 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

When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Savior’s life on earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. While angry enemies were constantly pursuing Him, He said, “He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29.

No storm of human or satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.” John 14:27; Matthew 11:29. Bear with Me the yoke of service for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity, and you will find the yoke easy and the burden light.

It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult. “Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not provoked, takes not account of evil; rejoices not in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 14-16

Blessed are Those Who Mourn

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

The Savior’s words have a message of comfort to those also who are suffering affliction or bereavement. Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. God “doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33. When He permits trials and afflictions, it is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10.



If received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not sorrow led them to seek comfort in Him! 

The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.

The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realized...

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 Savior 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

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 10-12

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

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. He bids you exchange your poverty for the riches of His grace. We are not worthy of God’s love, but Christ, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall come unto Him. Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness. He presents us to the Father clothed in the white raiment of His own character. He pleads before God in our behalf, saying: I have taken the sinner’s place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on Me. Does Satan plead loudly against our souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey, the blood of Christ pleads with greater power.

“Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.... In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Isaiah 45:24, 25

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 7-9

Write Them Down

"Let not mercy and truth forsake you...write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 3:3

Have you ever thought of your heart as a journal? How can you write God's love and faithfulness there? One way I've discovered is by memorizing God's promises. I'm writing them in my memory to keep fresh in my mind how great God's love is for me.



But will those words stay with me forever? Reviewing will help but I think I need something stronger than that. Or someone stronger.

Jesus told the disciples that the day was coming when they would stand before governors and kings as His witness. They'd have to defend the faith on that day. What would they say? Would they remember the words of Jesus?

Christ told them, "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you" (Matthew 10:19,20).

This is the key for making sure God's love and faithfulness stays with you forever! If you've written God's word on your heart (either by reading, praying, and/or memorizing), the Holy Spirit will bring those words to your mind exactly when you need it.

You may never stand before a governor for your faith. But you will be tested and tempted. And Jesus has promised, the Spirit will sustain you in the heat of battle. He will put the sword of the Spirit in your hands to fight the battles of the Lord. He'll remind you where your strength lies. In the words of God's love and faithfulness.

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your precious Word! Write your words of love and faithfulness on my heart today. Help me to remember these words always. Strengthen me through Your Word. Bring me peace through Your Word. And give me grace to stand against the wiles of the devil--through the power of Your life-giving Word. Fill me with Your precious Spirit so I can remember Your words and hold onto them in faith. In Jesus' most loving name, I pray. Amen."

Peace Walk by S.L. Gilmore

His Mission is My Mission

"Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Luke, the writer of the Gospel that bears his name, was a medical missionary. In the Scriptures he is called “the beloved physician.” Colossians 4:14. The apostle Paul heard of his skill as a physician, and sought him out as one to whom the Lord had entrusted a special work...  In his work as a physician he ministered to the sick, and then prayed for the healing power of God to rest upon the afflicted ones. Thus the way was opened for the gospel message. Luke’s success as a physician gained for him many opportunities for preaching Christ among the heathen. It is the divine plan that we shall work as the disciples worked. Physical healing is bound up with the gospel commission. In the work of the gospel, teaching and healing are never to be separated.



The giving of the gospel to the world is the work that God has committed to those who bear His name. For earth’s sin and misery the gospel is the only antidote. To make known to all mankind the message of the grace of God is the first work of those who know its healing power.

The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago—a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental, and spiritual, can be accomplished. 

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.

We should ever remember that the object of the medical missionary work is to point sin-sick men and women to the Man of Calvary, who taketh away the sin of the world. By beholding Him, they will be changed into His likeness. We are to encourage the sick and suffering to look to Jesus and live. Let the workers keep Christ, the Great Physician, constantly before those to whom disease of body and soul has brought discouragement. Point them to the One who can heal both physical and spiritual disease. Tell them of the One who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities. Encourage them to place themselves in the care of Him who gave His life to make it possible for them to have life eternal. Talk of His love; tell of His power to save.

The Ministry of Healing, 140-144

Only Believe

Sometimes there's no logical reason for life's challenges. 

Fear says your situation is permanent. Logic says it's impossible. Facts say it doesn't make sense. Science says follow logic and consider the facts. Math says it doesn’t add up. Time says it’s too late.

Age says you’re too young or too old. Education says you’re not qualified. Experience says you’re a novice. People say it’s never been done before. The past says check your history. Scars say you’re about to get hurt again.

Comfort says it is really not worth the trouble. The future says you don’t belong here. The pocket says I can’t afford it.




But faith says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Don't seek logical solutions to every one of life’s challenges.

Sometimes you just have to believe.

"We walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Feed your faith and all the other negative voices will starve to death.

Only Believe! 

The Battle Isn't Yours

"You will not need to fight in this battle...for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:17,15).

When King Jehoshaphat got the news that a huge army was marching to take his city, he rallied God's people to seek Him by fasting and prayer. For years, the king had been fortifying his city and army, thinking of a day like this. But when the threat finally appeared on the horizon, Jehoshaphat knew his only strength lay in God. He must be their defense.



"We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us," he prayed, "nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You!"

In answer to their prayers, God gave the Jehoshaphat his battle plan. But it probably wasn't what the king was expecting. The Lord replied, "You will not need to fight in this battle...for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:17,15).

Did God want Judah to wait for the enemy's attack? Absolutely not! He sent the army out, fully clad in armor and weapons. But the army was not led by a seasoned general. Instead Jehoshaphat sent out a choir of singers who "should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army...saying, "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever" (verse 21).

The song of victory was sung before the battle was fought! Have you ever thanked the Lord for His mercies before you received them? It's pretty normal to say thank you after He's done something marvelous for you--but while the battle is raging around you and you see no hope in sight?

But that's what faith does. And that's how miracles happen.

"Praise is actually the most vital preparation to the working of miracles. Miracles are performed through spiritual power, and our spiritual power is always in proportion to our faith" (J.H. Jowett).

A missionary in China once received bad news from home, and deep shadows of darkness seemed to cover his soul. He prayed but the darkness remained. He forced himself to endure but the shadows only deepened. Then suddenly, one day, as he entered another missionary's home at an inland station, he saw these words on the wall, "Try giving thanks." So he did, and in a moment every shadow was gone, never to return. Yes, the psalmist was right: "It is good to praise the Lord" (Psalm 91:1).

Peace Walk by Sue Gilmore

Jesus is with Me

"I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8

Amid the perplexities that will press upon the soul, there is only One who can help us out of all our difficulties, and relieve all our [stress]. We are to cast all our care upon Jesus, and bear in mind that He is present, and is directing us to commune with Him. We are to keep our minds stayed upon God; and in our weakness, He will be our strength; in our ignorance, He will be our wisdom; in our frailty, He will be our enduring might. 



We may be assured that we need not go into the heavens to bring Jesus down to us, neither into the deep to bring Him up; for He is at our right hand, and His eye is ever upon us. We should ever seek to realize that the Lord is very near us, to be our counselor and guide. This is the only way in which we may have confidence toward God. 

We need to educate and train the mind so that we shall have an intelligent faith, and have an understanding friendship with Jesus. Unless we continually cherish friendship between God and our souls, we shall separate from Him, and walk apart from Him. We shall make friends of those around us, and place our trust in humanity, and our affections will be diverted from the true object of worship.

We must not allow coldness to chill our love for our Redeemer. If we have fellowship with Him, we must ever set the Lord before us, and treat Him as an honored Friend, giving Him the first place in our affections. We should speak of His matchless charms, and constantly cultivate the desire to have a better knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then His Spirit will have a controlling power upon life and character.

 If ever there was a time when men needed the presence of Christ at their right hand, it is now. We need the Captain of our salvation continually by our side.

Sons & Daughters of God, 27

Waiting in Faith

"Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart." Psalm 27:14

Have you ever said, "I'm waiting on the Lord?"

But how does it fit in with a peace walk with Jesus? Waiting on God isn't in the same category as waiting for the nurse to call your name so you can see the doctor. Or waiting to be connected to talk to someone on the phone.

That kind of waiting...well, it's just waiting. One person I know called it "quietly doing nothing."

David prays, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart." Psalm 27:14. How can I be stronger in faith if I'm quietly doing nothing?



If we look at the Hebrew word for WAIT (quavah) that David used in this psalm, we see it actually means "to bind together." To bind together means I'm not sitting around in a corner, waiting for God to do something. It means I'm binding or connecting myself to God.

Binding is what a branch does on a vine. I've been growing pole beans this summer and I've watched as the tendrils of the plant twist round and about the bamboo teepee that I set up. Those tendrils grow to be thick and strong. Even in high winds, the beans are in no danger of being ripped away because they are binded. That's where their strength comes from.

The same is true in our walk with Jesus. When we hold onto God's Word, we're like a binding Kentucky pole bean. God is the pole and I'm clinging to Him by faith through His precious promises. Every day, I pray with these promises, thanking God for the gift in each one. It's my binding time.

It doesn't look like something big is going on, but it is. Tendrils grow stronger a little bit at a time. And that's how my faith grows. One day at a time.  Each day builds on the other, strengthening the confidence and trust that I have in God's Word. And each day, God is filling me with increasing strength.

Peace Walk by Sue Gilmore

Christ is Our Mighty Savior

"Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle." Psalm 24:8

Christ was strong to save the whole world. He wanted all. He could not endure the thought that one should be lost. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, that He could not save every one whom Satan’s power had laid low in death. He had given Himself a ransom for many, even all who would avail themselves of the privilege of coming back to their loyalty to God. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He knew that for that life He must pay the ransom on the cross of Calvary. Every rescue made was to cause Him the deepest humiliation. He was to taste death for every man. 



In His life on earth, Christ developed a perfect character, He rendered perfect obedience to His Father’s commandments. In coming to the world in human form, in becoming subject to the law, in revealing to men that He bore their sickness, their sorrow, their guilt, He did not become a sinner. Before the Pharisees He could say, “Which of you convinces me of sin?” Not one stain of sin was found upon Him. He stood before the world the spotless Lamb of God. 

From the light of His exalted purity, the world’s Redeemer could see that the maladies from which the human family were suffering were brought upon them by transgression of the law of God. Every case of suffering He could trace back to its source. In every case He read the sad and awful end of unrepenting sinners. He knew that He alone could rescue them from the pit into which they had fallen. He alone could place their feet in the right path; His perfection alone could avail for their imperfection. He alone could cover their nakedness with His spotless robe of righteousness. He is strong to deliver. Help has been laid on One that is mighty. He encircles man with His long human arm, while with His divine arm He lays hold of Omnipotence.

Sons & Daughters of God, 25

Help Is On Its Way

"For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." Hebrews 2:18

Though enduring most terrible temptations, Christ did not fail or become discouraged. He was fighting the battle in our behalf, and had He faltered, had He yielded to temptation, the human family would have been lost. 



The Bible gives but a bare mention of the conflict with Satan in the wilderness of temptation, but it was a terrible ordeal. Christ came off conqueror, bearing the test and trial in our behalf. How little is man able to comprehend the strength of the temptation of Christ! How little does he understand of that ordeal upon which hung the destiny of a lost world! The world’s Redeemer was not warring against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. All heaven was interested in this conflict, and what joy, what rejoicing there was in heaven because help had been laid upon One who is mighty to overcome, mighty to save! 

What an event was this when Christ placed Himself in the position of Adam, and endured the test where Adam had failed, and by this act placed man on a vantage ground, in favor with God, where he might overcome on his own account through the merits of Jesus. In His name, through His grace, man may be an overcomer, even as Christ was an overcomer. In Christ, divinity and humanity were united, and the only way in which man may be an overcomer is through becoming a partaker of the divine nature.

Divinity and humanity are blended in him who has the spirit of Christ. The apostle Paul writes, “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.” “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” 

Sons & Daughters of God, 24

Walking with God

"And Enoch walked with God, and he was not because God took him." Genesis 5:24

Of Enoch it is written that he lived sixty-five years, and begat a son. After that he walked with God three hundred years. After the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience; he was drawn into a closer relationship with God. He realized more fully his own obligations and responsibility as a son of God.



Enoch’s righteous life was in marked contrast with the wicked people around him. His piety, his purity, his unswerving integrity were the result of his walking with God, while the wickedness of the world was the result of their walking with the deceiver of mankind. There never has been and never will be an age when the moral darkness will be so dense as when Enoch lived a life of irreproachable righteousness.

In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers. After remaining for a time among the people laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart. Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shines in the face of Jesus. As he came forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance.

We, too, are to walk with God. When we do this, our faces will be lighted up by the brightness of His presence, and when we meet one another, we shall speak of His power, saying, Praise God. Good is the Lord, and good is the word of the Lord. And those who will be translated at the close of time, will be those who commune with God on earth.

Sons & Daughters of God, 20

The Lord is Near

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

God is pleased when we keep our faces turned toward the Sun of Righteousness. When we are in trouble and pressed down with anxieties, the Lord is near, and He bids us cast all our care upon Him, because He cares for us. 



He comes to all His children in their affliction. In time of danger He is their refuge. In sorrow, He offers them joy and consolation. Shall we turn from the Redeemer, the fountain of living water, to hew out for ourselves broken cisterns, which can hold no water? When danger approaches, shall we seek for help from those as weak as ourselves, or shall we flee to Him who is mighty to save? His arms are open wide, and He utters the gracious invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” 

It is not the manifestation of His great and awful majesty and unparalleled power that will leave us without excuse if we refuse Him our love and obedience. It is the love, the compassion, the patience, the long-suffering that He has shown which will witness against those who do not offer Him the willing service of their lives. Those who turn to God with heart and soul and mind will find in Him peaceful security.

He knows just what we need, just what we can bear, and He will give us grace to endure every trial and test that He brings upon us. My constant prayer is for a greater nearness to God.

Every provision has been made to meet the needs of our spiritual and our moral nature. Light and immortality are brought to light through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has said that He has set before us an open door, and no man can shut it. The open door is before us, and through the grace of Christ, beams of merciful light stream forth from the [open gates].

Sons & Daughters of God, 19

Your Father Knows What You Need

"Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8

If God, the divine artist, gives to the simple flowers, that perish in a day, their delicate and varied colors, how much greater care will He have for those who are created in His own image?  If men love and obey God, and do their part, God will provide for all their wants. He watches over us with more tenderness than does a mother over an afflicted child. God is a friend in perplexity and affliction, a protector in distress, a preserver in the thousand dangers that are unseen to us.



God dwells in every abode; He hears every word that is spoken, listens to every prayer that is offered, tastes the sorrows and disappointments of every soul, regards the treatment that is given to father, mother, sister, friend, and neighbor. He cares for our necessities, and His love and mercy and grace are continually flowing to satisfy our need. In His care we may safely rest.

God helps the feeble, and strengthens those who have no strength. In the fields where the trials and the conflicts and poverty are the greatest, God’s workmen must have increased protection. To those laboring in the heat of the conflict, God says, “The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” 

Our Lord adapts Himself to our special needs. He is a shade on our right hand. He walks close by our side, ready to supply all our necessities. He comes very near to those who are engaged in willing service for Him. He knows every one by name. O what assurances we have of the tender love of Christ!

Sons & Daughters of God, 16

God is My Father

"I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18

The Creator of the universe addresses you as an affectionate Father. Your heavenly Father proposes to make you a member of the royal family, that through His exceeding great and precious promises you may be a partaker of the divine nature. The more you partake of the character of the pure, sinless angels, and of Christ your Redeemer, the more vividly will you bear the impress of the divine, and the more faint will be the resemblance to the world.



“I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters...” He promises to be a Father unto you. Oh, what a relationship is this! Higher and holier than any earthly tie. If you make the sacrifice, if you have to forsake father, mother, sisters, brothers, wife, and children for Christ’s sake, you will not be friendless. God adopts you into His family; you become members of the royal household, sons and daughters of the King who rules in the heaven of heavens.

If you call God your Father, you acknowledge yourselves His children, to be guided by His wisdom, and to be obedient in all things, knowing that His love is changeless. You will accept His plan for your life. As children of God, you will hold His honor, His character, His family, His work, as the objects of your highest interest. It will be your joy to recognize and honor your relation to your Father, and to every member of His family.29 {SD 14.4}

God is our Father, a tender parent, solicitous for His spiritual children. He is pledged to be the protector, counselor, guide, and friend, of all who are obedient to Him.

Sons & Daughters of God, 14

He Died So I Can Live

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [sacrifice] for our sins." 1 John 4:10

In redemption God has revealed His love in sacrifice, a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son."



When Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have cut Himself loose from fallen beings. He might have treated them as sinners deserved to be treated...He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” Christ by His human relationship to men drew them close to God. He clothed His divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, how much God loves the children of men. 

The gift of God to man is beyond all computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven. 

The Highest, who was with the Father before the world was, submitted to humiliation, that He might uplift humanity. Prophecy withdraws the veil, that we may behold the throne of heaven, that we may see upon that throne, high and lifted up, One who in human form, came to our world to suffer, to be lacerated with stripes, and bruised for our iniquities.

Thus God showed His love for man. With Christ He gave all heaven, that the moral image of God might be restored in man. His grace in all its vastness is provided for all.

Sons and Daughters of God, 11

Sons and Daughters of the King

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!" 1 John 3:1

People think it a privilege to see a royal personage, and thousands go great distances to see one. How much greater privilege it is to be sons and daughters of the Most High. What greater privilege could be conferred on us than to be given entrance into the royal family? 



In order to become the sons and daughters of God, we must separate from the world. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” the Lord says, “and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” 

There is a heaven before us, a crown of life to win. But to the overcomer only is the reward given. He who gains heaven must be clothed with the robe of righteousness. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.” In the character of Christ there was no discord of any kind. And this must be our experience. Our lives must be controlled by the principles that controlled His life.

Through the perfection of the sacrifice given for the guilty race, those who believe in Christ, coming unto Him, may be saved from eternal ruin.

Let no one be so deluded by the enemy as to think that it is a condescension for any man, however talented or learned or honored, to accept Christ. Every human being should look to heaven with reverence and gratitude, and exclaim with amazement, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”

Sons & Daughters of God, pg 8

He is My Savior

"I, even I, am the Lord and besides Me there is no Savior." Isaiah 43:11

No self-assertion mingled with His life. The homage which the world gives to position, wealth, or talent, was foreign to the Son of man. None of the means that men employ to win allegiance or command homage did Jesus use. Centuries before His birth it had been prophesied of Him, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.”



It is fellowship with Christ, personal contact with a living Savior, that enables the mind and heart and soul to triumph over the lower nature. Tell the wanderer of an almighty hand that will hold him up, of an infinite humanity in Christ that pities him.

O, let no word be spoken to cause deeper pain! To the soul weary of a life of sin, but knowing not where to find relief, present the compassionate Savior. Take him by the hand, lift him up, speak to him words of courage and hope. Help him to grasp the hand of the Savior.

There are no barriers which man or Satan can erect but that faith can penetrate. In faith the woman of Phoenicia flung herself against the barriers that had been piled up between Jew and Gentile. Against discouragement, regardless of appearances that might have led her to doubt, she trusted the Savior’s love. It is thus that Christ desires us to trust in Him. The blessings of salvation are for every soul. Nothing but his own choice can prevent any man from becoming a partaker of the promise in Christ by the gospel.

The Desire of Ages, 403

Praying in Christ's Name

"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13

In Christ’s name His followers are to stand before God. Through the value of the sacrifice made for them, they are of value in the Lord’s sight. Because of the imputed righteousness of Christ they are accounted precious. For Christ’s sake the Lord pardons those that fear Him. He does not see in them the vileness of the sinner. He recognizes in them the likeness of His Son, in whom they believe. 

The Lord is disappointed when His people place a low estimate upon themselves. He desires His chosen heritage to value themselves according to the price He has placed upon them. God wanted them, else He would not have sent His Son on such an expensive errand to redeem them. He has a use for them, and He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises. 



But to pray in Christ’s name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Savior’s promise is given on condition. “If ye love Me,” He says, “keep My commandments.” He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience. 

All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.

The Desire of Ages, 667-668

Reborn in Jesus

"Having having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." 1 Peter 1:23

The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth. Again, it is compared to the germination of the good seed sown by the husbandman. In like manner those who are just converted to Christ are, as “newborn babes,” to “grow up” to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. So from natural life, illustrations are drawn, to help us better to understand the mysterious truths of spiritual life.


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