Daily Devotionals

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Romans 14:7.

Ask yourselves the question, “What is my life toward God and toward my fellow men?” There is no one that liveth to himself. No life is lived on neutral ground. Our conceptions of life may be influenced by the enemy of all righteousness so that we do not realize its vast importance, but … we cannot cast off our responsibility and live without reference to the future, immortal life, and still do our duty to God and to our fellow men. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and each one has a far-reaching influence. We cannot fulfill the obligations that rest upon us in our own strength alone. We must have divine aid in meeting our responsibilities, that our influence may … gather with Christ.

All our talents of time, ability, and influence were bestowed by God, and are to be given back to Him in willing service. The great object of the life which God has given is not the securing of temporal advantages, but the securing of eternal privileges in the kingdom of heaven. The Lord has bought all that there is of us by the precious blood of Christ, and it is the worst kind of robbery that could be practiced to withhold from Him His own.32The Youth’s Instructor, September 13, 1894.

Our life is not our own, never was, and never can be. The question of importance to us is, Is our life interwoven with that of Jesus? … We shall come into judgment for the very atmosphere that surrounds the soul, for it is vital and is influencing souls for good or evil….

If you connect with God, fearing Him, loving Him, obeying Him, and giving to the world a living example of what the Christian’s life should be, you will fulfill your obligation to God and to your fellow men. You are to show forth in your life what it means to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself. Connected with the God of wisdom and love, you will demonstrate to the world the fact that you are not living for this world, but for that which is not temporal but eternal.33The Youth’s Instructor, June 21, 1894.

From That I May Know Him

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. Deuteronomy 32:7.

Life is like a voyage. We have storm and sunshine, but we bear in mind that we are nearing the desired haven. We shall soon be beyond the storms and tempests. Our present duty is to hearken to the voice that says, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). We must accept this invitation daily. The past is contained in the book where all things are written down. We cannot blot out the record, but we can learn many things if we choose. The past should teach us its lessons. As we make the past our monitor, we may also make it our friend. As we call to mind that in the past which has been disagreeable, let it teach us not to repeat it. In the future let nothing be traced which will cause regret in the by-and-by. We may now avoid a bad showing. Every day we live we are making our history. Today is ours, yesterday is beyond our amendment or control. Then let us not grieve the Spirit of God today, for tomorrow we shall not be able to recall this day; it will be yesterday to us….

Jesus Christ has plentiful help and grace for all who will appreciate it. The Lord is our helper; with Him is forgiveness. He alone can blot out the sins of the past. He can strengthen the mind. If we regard the past as no longer our enemy but as a friend to warn us off the ground we should not approach, it will prove a true friend….

Will we grasp and appreciate the good, and refuse the evil? Will we walk humbly with God? … We must not fail nor be discouraged; then the present work, now passing beyond our control, will be our paymaster…. We have only a little period in which to work. We are not to educate ourselves to worry. Keep the eye upward, fixed upon the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus. We have a work to do; let us do it as in the sight of the whole universe of heaven. We are not to faint, to stumble on in unbelief. God desires us to look to Him as our sufficiency and strive to be complete in Him.31Letter 66, 1898.

From That I May Know Him

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Isaiah 43:7.

Our life is the Lord’s, and is invested with a responsibility that we do not fully comprehend. The threads of self have become woven into the fabric, and this has dishonored God.

Nehemiah, after gaining so great an influence over the monarch in whose court he lived and over his people in Jerusalem, instead of ascribing praise to his own excellent traits of character, his remarkable aptness and energy, stated the matter just as it was. He declared that his success was due to the good hand of God that was upon him. He cherished the truth that God was his safeguard in every position of influence. For every trait of character by which he obtained favor he praised the working power of God….

We need to sense deeply that all influence is a precious talent to be used for God…. We need to appreciate every capability we possess, because it is lent capital, to be improved to God’s glory…. There is constant temptation for human beings to consider that any influence they have gained is the result of something valuable in themselves. The Lord does not work with these, for He will not give to any human being the glory that belongs to His own name…. He makes the humble, trustful servant His representative—the one who will not lift himself up and think of himself more highly than he ought to think. The life of such a one will be dedicated to God as a living sacrifice, and that life He will accept and use and sustain. He longs to make men wise with His own wisdom, that that wisdom may be exercised in His own behalf. He manifests Himself through the consecrated humble worker….

Carry every entrusted capability as a sacred treasure, to be used in imparting to others the knowledge and grace received. In this you will answer the purpose for which God gave them. The Lord requires us to sink self in Jesus Christ, and let the glory be all of God.30Letter 83, 1898.

From That I May Know Him

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. John 12:35.

This is the warning we would give to you who claim to believe the truth. “Yet a little while is the light with you.” We would ask you to consider the shortness of human life, how swiftly time is passing. Golden opportunities and privileges are within our reach. The plenteous, abundant mercy of God is waiting your demand upon its richest treasures. The Saviour is waiting to dispense His blessings freely, and the only question is, Will you accept them? The rich provisions have been made, and light is shining in a variety of ways; but this light will lose its preciousness to those who do not appreciate it, who do not accept and respond to it, or, having received it, do not pass the light along to others.

Your life, your soul, your strength, your capabilities, your powers of mind and body, are to be regarded by you as entrusted capital to be improved for your Lord during the period of your life. You are to stand in your allotted order in God’s great army, to work out His plan in saving your own soul and the souls of others. This you may do by living a consistent Christian life, by putting forth earnest efforts, by learning in the school of Christ His ways, His purposes, and subordinating your will and way to the will and way of Christ….

The Christian is to live a life distinctly different from that of the worldling. The worldling lives a cheap quality of life. He consents not to spiritual life. It is he who has the love of God that has life; it is he whose hope is centered, not in this world, but in Christ, the great center….

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). Those who believe in Christ derive their motive power and the texture of their characters from Him in whom they believe. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).29The Youth’s Instructor, January 10, 1895.

From That I May Know Him

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14.

Only one lease of life is granted us here, and the inquiry with every one should be, How can I invest my life that it may yield the greatest profit? Life is valuable only as we improve it for the benefit of our fellow creatures and the glory of God. Careful cultivation of the abilities with which the Creator has endowed us will fit us for usefulness here and eternal life in the world to come.

That time is well spent which is directed to the establishment and preservation of sound physical and mental health…. It is easy to lose health, but it is difficult to regain it….

We can ill afford to dwarf or cripple a single function of mind or body by overwork or by abuse of any part of the living machinery. So sure as we do this, we must suffer the consequences. It is our first duty to God and our fellow beings to develop all our powers. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. The grace of Christ is needed to refine and purify the mind; this will enable us to see and correct our deficiencies, and to improve that which is excellent in our characters. This work, wrought for ourselves in the strength and name of Jesus, will be of more benefit to society than any sermon we might preach. The influence of a well-balanced, well-ordered life is of inestimable value….

There are few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. All should understand in regard to their own physical frames, that with the psalmist they may be able to exclaim, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” 28The Review and Herald, September 23, 1884.

From That I May Know Him