Author Archives: therford

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

May 20, 2019


Choices Being Made Between Two Sides

You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. Exodus 23:6, 7, NKJV.

Christ pronounces a woe upon all who transgress the law of God. He pronounced a woe upon the lawyers in His day because they exercised their power to afflict those who looked to them for justice and judgment. All the terrible consequences of sin will come to those who, even though they may be nominal church members, regard it as a light matter to set aside the law of Jehovah, and to make no distinction between good and evil.

In the representations the Lord has given me, I have seen those who follow their own desires misrepresenting the truth, oppressing their brethren, and placing difficulties before them. Characters are now being developed, and many are taking sides, some on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ, some on the side of Satan and his angels. The Lord calls for all who will be true and obedient to His law to come out of and away from all connection with those who have placed themselves on the side of the enemy. Against their names is written, “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27)….

There are many men and women, apparently moral, but who are not Christians. They are deceived in their estimate of what constitutes true Christians. They possess an alloy of character that destroys the value of the gold, and they cannot be stamped with the impress of divine approval. They must be rejected as impure, worthless metal.

We cannot, of ourselves, perfect a true moral character, but we can accept of Christ’s righteousness. We can be partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Christ has left before us a perfect pattern of what we are to be as sons and daughters of God. – This Day With God, 222.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 179.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

May 19, 2019


God’s Word Approves the Judicial Oath

You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Exodus 23:1, NKJV.

I saw that the Lord still has something to do with the laws of the land. While Jesus is in the sanctuary, God’s restraining Spirit is felt by rulers and people. But Satan controls to a great extent the mass of the world, and were it not for the laws of the land, we should experience much suffering. I was shown that when it is actually necessary, and they are called upon to testify in a lawful manner, it is no violation of God’s Word for His children to solemnly take God to witness that what they say is the truth, and nothing but the truth.

Human beings are so corrupt that laws are made to throw the responsibility upon their own heads. Some men and women do not fear to lie to other people; but they have been taught, and the restraining Spirit of God has impressed them, that it is a fearful thing to lie to God. The case of Ananias and Sapphira his wife is given for an example. The matter is carried from humans to God, so that if one bears false witness, it is not to mortals, but to the great God, who reads the heart, and knows the exact truth in every case. Our laws make it a high crime to take a false oath. God has often visited judgment upon false swearers, and even while the oath was on their lips, the destroying angel has cut them down. This was to prove a terror to evildoers.

I saw that if there is anyone on earth who can consistently testify under oath, it is Christians. They live in the light of God’s countenance. They grow strong in His strength. And when matters of importance must be decided by law, there is no one who can so well appeal to God as the Christian….

Jesus submitted to the oath in the hour of His trial. The high priest said unto Him: “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said unto him: “Thou hast said.” If Jesus in His teachings to His disciples referred to the judicial oath, He would have reproved the high priest, and there enforced His teachings, for the good of His followers present.

Satan has been pleased that some have viewed oath taking in a wrong light; for it has given him opportunity to oppress them and take from them their Lord’s money. The stewards of God must be more wise, lay their plans, and prepare themselves to withstand Satan’s devices; for he is to make greater efforts than ever before. – Testimonies for the Church 1:202, 203.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 178.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

May 18, 2019


Public Service Demands Strict Integrity

It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Proverbs 31:4, 5, NKJV.

Intemperate persons should not by vote of the people be placed in positions of trust. Their influence corrupts others, and grave responsibilities are involved. With brain and nerve narcotized by tobacco and stimulus they make a law of their nature, and when the immediate influence is gone there is a collapse. Frequently human life is hanging in the balance; on the decision of those in these positions of trust depends life and liberty, or bondage and despair. How necessary that all who take part in these transactions should be those who are proved, those of self-culture, those of honesty and truth, of staunch integrity, who will spurn a bribe, who will not allow their judgment or convictions of right to be swerved by partiality or prejudice.

Thus saith the Lord, “Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.” – The Signs of the Times, July 8, 1880.

Only men and women of strict temperance and integrity should be admitted to our legislative halls and chosen to preside in our courts of justice. Property, reputation, and even life itself are insecure when left to the judgment of those who are intemperate and immoral. How many innocent persons have been condemned to death, how many more have been robbed of all their earthly possessions, by the injustice of drinking jurors, lawyers, witnesses, and even judges! …

There is need now of people like Daniel – men and women who have the self-denial and the courage to be radical temperance reformers. Let every Christian see that his or her example and influence are on the side of reform. Let ministers of the gospel be faithful in instructing and warning the people. And let all remember that our happiness in two worlds depends upon the right improvement of one. – The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1886.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 177.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

May 17, 2019


Build Character on Jesus, the Rock

I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…. Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Psalm 73:3-17, NKJV.

The very first step in the path to life is to keep the mind stayed on God, to have His fear continually before the eyes. A single departure from moral integrity blunts the conscience, and opens the door to the next temptation. “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; but he that perverteth his ways shall be known” (Proverbs 10:9).

We are commanded to love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves; but the daily experience of life shows that this law is disregarded. Uprightness in deal and moral integrity will secure the favor of God, and make men and women a blessing to themselves and to society; but amid the varied temptations that assail them whichever way they may turn, it is impossible to keep a clear conscience and the approval of heaven without divine aid and a principle to love honesty for the sake of the right.

A character that is approved of God and humanity is to be preferred to wealth. The foundation should be laid broad and deep, resting on the rock Christ Jesus. There are too many who profess to work from the true foundation, whose loose dealing shows them to be building on sliding sand; but the great tempest will sweep away their foundation, and they will have no refuge.

Many plead that unless they are sharp, and watch to advantage themselves, they will meet with loss. Their unscrupulous neighbors, who take selfish advantages, are prospered; while they, although trying to deal strictly in accordance with Bible principles, are not so highly favored. Do these persons see the future? Or are their eyes too dim to see, through the miasma-laden fogs of worldliness, that honor and integrity are not rewarded in the coin of this world? Will God reward virtue with mere worldly success? He has their names graven on the palms of His hands, as heirs to enduring honors, riches that are imperishable. – The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, vol. 3, p. 1158.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 176.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

May 16, 2019


Even “Small” Sins Have Big Consequences

The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Proverbs 11:3, NKJV.

Christ has said: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” The deeds of people’s lives are the fruit they bear. If they are unfaithful and dishonest in temporal matters, they are bringing forth briers and thorns; they will be unfaithful in the religious life and will rob God in tithes and offerings.

The Bible condemns in the strongest terms all falsehood, false dealing, and dishonesty. Right and wrong are plainly stated. But I was shown that God’s people have placed themselves on the enemy’s ground; they have yielded to his temptations and followed his devices until their sensibilities have become fearfully blunted. A slight deviation from truth, a little variation from the requirements of God, is thought to be, after all, not so very sinful, when pecuniary gain or loss is involved. But sin is sin, whether committed by the possessor of millions or by the beggar in the streets. Those who secure property by false representations are bringing condemnation on their souls. All that is obtained by deceit and fraud will be only a curse to the receiver.

Adam and Eve suffered the terrible consequences of disobeying the express command of God. They might have reasoned: This is a very small sin, and will never be taken into account. But God treated the matter as a fearful evil, and the woe of their transgression will be felt through all time. In the times in which we live, sins of far greater magnitude are often committed by those who profess to be God’s children. In the transaction of business, falsehoods are uttered and acted by God’s professed people that bring His frown upon them and a reproach upon His cause.

The least departure from truthfulness and rectitude is a transgression of the law of God. Continual indulgence in sin accustoms the person to a habit of wrongdoing, but does not lessen the aggravated character of the sin. God has established immutable principles, which He cannot change without a revision of His whole nature. If the Word of God were faithfully studied by all who profess to believe the truth, they would not be dwarfs in spiritual things. Those who disregard the requirements of God in this life would not respect His authority were they in heaven. – Testimonies for the Church 4:311, 312.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 175.