Author Archives: therford

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

March 24, 2019

Scripture’s Grand Themes Expand the Mind

He shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book…. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes. Deuteronomy 17:18, 19, NKJV.

Light reading fascinates the mind, and makes the reading of God’s Word uninteresting. The Bible requires thought and prayerful research. It is not enough to skim over the surface. While some passages are too plain to be misunderstood, others demand careful and patient study. Like the precious metal concealed in the hills and mountains, its gems of truth are to be searched out, and stored in the mind for future use.

And when you search the Scriptures with an earnest desire to learn the truth, God will breathe His Spirit into your heart, and impress your mind with the light of His Word. The Bible is its own interpreter, one passage explaining another. By comparing scriptures referring to the same subject, you will see harmony and beauty of which you have never dreamed. There is no other book whose perusal strengthens and enlarges, elevates and ennobles, the mind as does the perusal of this Book of books.

The injunction of the Word of God is “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.” God and the human being are to cooperate. All are to work out that which God works in. Students of the Word of God are to use the knowledge they have gained. They are to improve the opportunities that are thrown in their way. With a settled conviction of duty, they are to use their knowledge and influence in any channel, to the end that they may gain more by their use….

Study the life of Christ in this respect. Follow Him from the manger to Calvary, and act as He acted. The great principles which He maintained, you are to maintain. Your standard is to be the character of Him who was pure, holy, and undefiled. – Youth’s Instructor, June 30, 1898.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 120.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

March 23, 2019

God’s Word the Standard of Judgment

God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14, NKJV.

The Bible is an unerring guide for the human race in every phase of life. In it the conditions of eternal life are plainly stated. The distinction between right and wrong is clearly defined, and sin is shown in its most revolting character, clothed with the robes of death. If this guide is studied and obeyed, it is to us as the pillar of cloud, which led the children of Israel through the wilderness; but if it is ignored and disobeyed, it will witness against us in the day of judgment. God will judge all by His Word; according as they have fulfilled or disregarded its requirements, they will stand or fall….

“All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,” said Christ, “do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” These words are of the highest importance, and should be our rule of life. But do we carry out this divine principle? Do we, when brought into contact with our fellow beings, deal with them just as we would desire them to deal with us in similar circumstances?

God tests men and women by their daily life. But many who make high professions of service to Him cannot bear this test. In their eagerness for gain they use false weights and deceitful balances. The Bible is not made their rule of life, and therefore they do not see the necessity of strict integrity and faithfulness. Anxious to amass wealth, they allow scheming dishonesty to come into their work. The world watches their conduct, and is not slow to measure their Christian worth by their business dealings….

The Bible always tells the same story. With it sin is always sin, whether committed by the possessor of millions or by the beggar in the streets. Better a life of deepest poverty crowned with God’s blessings, than all the world’s treasure without it. We may be very rich; but unless we have the consciousness that God honors us, we are poor indeed. – The Signs of the Times, December 24, 1896.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 119.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

March 22, 2019

Earnest Study Produces True Conversion

Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10, NKJV.

Born of the sons of Aaron, Ezra, in addition to his priestly training, had acquired a familiarity with the writings of the magicians, the astrologers, and the so-called wise men of the Medo-Persian realm. But he was not satisfied with his spiritual condition. He longed to be in full harmony with God: he longed for wisdom to carry out God’s will. And so he “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it.”

This led him to apply himself diligently to a study of the history of God’s people, as given in the writings of Old Testament prophets and kings. He was impressed by the Spirit of God to search the historical and poetical books of the Bible, to learn why the Lord had permitted Jerusalem to be destroyed, and His people to be carried captive into a heathen land.

Ezra gave special study to the experiences of God’s chosen people, from the time the promise was made to Abraham, to the deliverance from Egyptian bondage and the exodus. He studied the instruction given them at the foot of Mount Sinai, and throughout the long period of the wilderness-wandering. As he learned more and still more concerning God’s dealings with His children, and began to realize how sacred was the law given at Sinai, Ezra’s heart was stirred as never before. He experienced a new and thorough conversion, and determined to master the records of Old Testament history, that he might use this knowledge, not for selfish purposes, but to bring blessing and light to his people. Some of the prophecies were about to be fulfilled; he would search diligently for the light that had been obscured.

Ezra took pains with his studies. He endeavored to gain a heart-preparation for the work he believed was appointed him. He sought God earnestly, that he might be a workman of whom his Lord would not be ashamed. He searched out the words that had been written concerning the duties of God’s denominated people; and he found the solemn pledge made by the Israelites, that they would obey the words of the Lord; and the pledge that God, in return, had made, promising them His blessing as a reward of obedience. – The Review and Herald, January 30, 1908.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 118.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

March 21, 2019

Hear Christ’s Voice Through the Word

Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29, NKJV.

The voice of God is speaking to us through His Word, and there are many voices that we will hear; but Christ has said we should beware of them who will say, Here is Christ or there is Christ. Then how shall we know that they have not the truth, unless we bring everything to the Scriptures? Christ has warned us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in His name, saying that they are Christ.

Now, if you should take the position that it is not important for you to understand the Scriptures for yourselves, you will be in danger of being led away with these doctrines. Christ has said that there will be a company who in the day of retributive judgment will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” But Christ will say, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Now, we want to understand what sin is; that it is the transgression of God’s law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from Him and His law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead His people; for He says that His sheep will follow if they hear His voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth; for it will be seen in their characters.

The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the Word of God, the Bible, before your heavenly Father, and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth. And when His Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. – The Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 117.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

March 20, 2019

Do Not Merely Read the Scriptures, but Search

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. John 5:39, NKJV.

We are thankful that we have a sure word of prophecy, so that none of us need be deceived. We know that there are heresies and fables in our world at the present time, and we want to know what is truth. It becomes us to search carefully for ourselves that we may gain this knowledge. We cannot do this with a mere reading of the Scriptures, but we must compare scripture with scripture.

We must search the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we shall not be led astray; and while many may be led astray because there are all kinds of doctrines in our world, there is one truth. Many may come to you and tell you that they have the truth, but it is your privilege to search the Scriptures for yourself. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” We must be acquainted with the Scriptures ourselves, that we may understand the true reason of the hope that is within us.

The apostle tells us that we are to give to everyone that asks us a reason of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” It is not enough to merely read, but the Word of God must enter into our hearts and our understanding, in order that we may be established in the blessed truth. If we should neglect to search the Scriptures for ourselves, that we may know what is truth, then if we are led astray we are accountable for it. We must search the Scriptures carefully, so that we will know every condition that the Lord has given us; and if we have minds of limited capacity, by diligently searching the Word of God we may become mighty in the Scriptures, and may explain them to others.

Every church that shall be raised up … should be educated in regard to this truth. “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.” The teachers that shall present the truth cannot stand by you to see that you do not embrace the errors that are flooding our land; but if you are established in the Scriptures, you will feel the responsibility and will search the Scriptures for yourselves, so that you may be a help to others. – The Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.

From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 116.