Daily Devotionals

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

There are so many who, when they are in trouble, … forget the invitations God has abundantly given, and begin to look and plan for human help. They go to human beings for aid, and this is the way in which their experience becomes feeble and confused. In all our trials we are directed to seek the Lord most earnestly, remembering that we are His property, His children by adoption. No human being can understand our necessities as Christ [can]. We shall receive help, if we ask Him in faith. We are His by creation; we are His by redemption. By the cords of divine love we are bound to the Source of all power and strength. If we will only make God our dependence, asking Him for what we want, as a little child asks his father for what he wants, we shall obtain a rich experience. We shall learn that God is the source of all strength and power….

God has been greatly dishonored by His people leaning upon human beings. He has not told us to do this. He has told us that He will teach us, He will guide us. We may come to Him and receive help….

What did Christ promise His disciples if they would believe in Him as their personal Saviour? “Lo, I am with you alway,” He said, “even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Again He says, “I am at thy right hand to help thee” (see Psalm 16:8). Think of how many promises He has given us, which we may grasp by the hand of faith. When we go to the Source of power, we know that we shall receive that intelligence and wisdom which comes from a pure source, which is not mixed with anything of humanity. As we pray, it is our privilege to know that God wants us to pray, to ask Him for help. “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24). It is for you to believe that you will receive. He wants us to become acquainted with Him, to speak to Him, to tell Him of our difficulties, and obtain an experience in asking of One who never misjudges and never makes a mistake….

We dishonor God by striving to get someone who we think understands our case to help us. Has He not given us His only begotten Son? Is not Christ close beside us, and will He not give us the help we need? …

We forget that the threshold of heaven is flooded with the glory proceeding from the throne of God, that the light may fall directly on those who are seeking the help that Christ alone can give.—Manuscript 144, April 3, 1901, “Early Morning Meeting.”

From The Upward Look – Page 107

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.

“If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15). This is the way in which misunderstandings are to be settled. Speaking alone, and in the spirit of Christ to the one who is in fault, will often remove the difficulty. Show Christlike love for your brother by seeking to adjust the difficulty “between thee and him alone.” Talk quietly together. Let no angry words escape your lips. Present the subject in a way that will appeal to his best judgment. And if he will hear you, you have gained him as a friend.

Whatever the character of the offense may be, this does not change the plan God has made for the settlement of misunderstandings and personal injuries. Act out the spirit of Christ. Take the recipe God has provided, and carry it to the spiritually diseased [one]. Give him the remedy that will cure the disease of disaffection. Do your part to help him. Feel that it is a duty and privilege to do this, for the sake of the unity and peace of the church, which is very dear to the heart of Christ. He does not want any wound to remain unhealed on any member of His church. All heaven is interested in the interview between the injured member and the one who has been guilty of error. After settling the difficulty, pray together, and angels of God will come to you and bless you. There is music in heaven over this union.

As the erring one accepts the testimony borne, and gives evidence of true repentance, the sunshine of heaven fills his heart. Hearts are drawn together. The healing oil of love removes the disease and soreness of the wrong. The Holy Spirit binds heart to heart.

Those who have been united in Christian fellowship offer prayer to God, and pledge themselves to deal justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. If they have wronged others, they continue the work of repentance, confession, and restitution; and the disease is healed. They are fully set to do good to one another. This is the fulfilling of the law of Christ.

Repentance, confession, and restitution are all required. But these cannot atone for the sin, for God has been wronged in the person of His saints. The Lord Jesus alone is able to atone for sin, by the application of His blood, shed for the guilt of the sinner. His blood cleanses from all sin.—Manuscript 47, April 2, 1902, “Lessons From the Eighteenth of Matthew.”

From The Upward Look – Page 106

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. Malachi 3:2.

Those who profess to be sons and daughters of God should represent Him in character…. Opportunity is now given us to form characters that will fit us for an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Those who keep the commandments of God will have a right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city. In love, God has given us a law, that we may know and put away those traits of character that cannot be tolerated in heaven. No one can enter there to whom is charged robbery, adultery, evil-speaking, or false dealing, for this would lead to another war in heaven. The law of God was given to lead men away from these practices, that their characters might be fashioned after the character of God.

To follow the ever-changing fashions of this world is the chief study of many today. Should we not be as diligent to fashion our characters after the pattern given us in the Word of God? Do not think that you can conform to the world now, [laying] up your treasures here below, and then, merely because you have made a profession of faith, be among those who enter the City of God. We cannot be in harmony with the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven, unless we first conform to those laws here below. It is high time for us all to give our hearts unreservedly to God, and serve Him intelligently, as obedient children. His Holy Spirit can mold and fashion us after the divine similitude.

The members of the heavenly family are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ—heirs to the treasures of heaven. They will not follow the ambition and madness of this world, to heap up treasures here below, at the loss of a Christian character that would insure them a life that measures with the life of God—a life free from sin, sickness, sorrow, and death.

Many are today being led away from the simplicity of true religion by the study of so-called science. There is a true science, the science of eternal life. When Jesus came to our world, He might have opened to the minds of men a vast storehouse of scientific knowledge. But He did not do this. He devoted His life to the teaching of those truths that pertain to the salvation of the soul….

God has claims upon every power of our being. His service demands the action of the whole man—all the heart, all the soul, all the strength, and all the mind. How to render this complete service to God is the only subject of any value in this life.—Manuscript 38a, April 1, 1905, “Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?”

From The Upward Look – Page 105

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Ephesians 4:12.

God is love. The love of the Father and the Son is an attribute of every believer. The Word of God is the channel through which divine love is communicated to man. God’s truth is the medium by which the intellect is reached. The Holy Spirit is given to the human agent who works in cooperation with divine agencies. It transforms mind and character, enabling man to endure as seeing Him who is invisible. Perfect love can be enjoyed only through the belief of the truth and the reception of the Holy Spirit….

Christ prayed that His disciples might realize the importance of the love that He expressed by giving His life for the world. He desired them to understand something in regard to His infinite sacrifice. If they had more fully understood His self-sacrificing love, they would never have engaged in alienation and strife.

I urge all who claim to believe present truth to practice that truth. If they do this, they will have a stronger and more powerful influence for good. The world will see that the love expressed by believers is the central and controlling principle of Christ’s followers. Christlike love blends heart with heart. The truth draws men together. It brings into harmony and unity all who have an earnest, living faith in the Saviour. Christ designs those who believe in Him to develop and become strong by association with one another. All who work unselfishly in the Master’s service bear credentials to the world that God has sent His Son to this earth.

Although a company of Christians united in church capacity have not all the same talents, yet it is the duty of everyone to work. Talents differ, but to every man is given his work. All are dependent upon Christ in God. He is the glorious Head of all grades and classes of people associated through faith in the Word of God. Bound together by a common belief in heavenly principles, they are all dependent on Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. He has created the principles that produce universal oneness, universal love. His followers should meditate upon His love. They should not stop short of reaching the standard set before them. If the principles of Christianity are lived, they will produce universal harmony and perfect peace. When the heart is imbued with the Spirit of Christ, there is no quarreling, no seeking for the supremacy, no striving to be reigning lords.—Manuscript 46, March 31, 1902, “Unity a Sign of Discipleship.”

From The Upward Look – Page 104

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace. Ephesians 2:7.

Disobedience has closed the door to a vast amount of knowledge that might have been gained from the Word of God. In eternity we shall learn that which, if we had received the enlightenment that it was possible for us to obtain here, would have opened our understanding. And understanding means obedience to all God’s commandments. The plan of God’s government would have been understood. The heavenly world would have opened its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would have been altogether different from what they now are in form, in speech, in song, for, by exploring the mines of truth, they would have been ennobled. The mystery of redemption, the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ in His mediatorial character, the incarnation of Christ our Redeemer, His atoning sacrifice, would not be, as they now are, vague in our mind. They would have been, not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated.

These themes will employ the hearts and minds and tongue of the redeemed through the everlasting ages, and new developments of them will be opened up, which Christ longed to open to His disciples, but which they did not have faith to seek and grasp. Forever and ever, new views of the perfection and glory of Christ will appear.

Men of decided piety and talent catch views of eternal realities, but they are not understood, because the things that are seen eclipse the glory of the unseen. By many, man’s wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher. So God’s Lesson Book, containing treasure, is looked upon as old-fashioned, so much so as to be thought tame and stale. But it is not so regarded by those who have been quickened and vivified by the Holy Spirit. They see the priceless treasure, and would sell all to buy the field that contains it….

Many drink at the low, turbid waters of the valley, having forsaken the fountain of living water, the pure, snow-water of Lebanon. But those who make the Word of God their study, those who dig for the treasures of truth, will appreciate the weighty principles taught, and will digest them. As a result, they will themselves become imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and by beholding, they will become changed into His likeness. Those who appreciate the Word will teach like disciples who have been sitting at the feet of Jesus, and have accustomed themselves to learn of Him, that they might know Him whom to know aright is life eternal.—Manuscript 45, March 30, 1898, 45, “Hidden Treasure.”

From The Upward Look – Page 103