Daily Devotionals

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.—Hebrews 12:14

People in responsible positions, who are proclaiming the truth of God in the name of Jesus without the spiritual energy given by the quickening power of God, are doing an unreal work, and cannot be certain whether success or defeat will attend their labors…. It is not the great services and lofty aspirations which receive the approval of God, but the love and consecration through which the service is performed, be it great or little. Storms of opposition and rebuffs are God’s providences to drive us under the shelter of His wing. When the cloud envelops us, His voice is heard: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth….”

The act of Christ in breathing upon His disciples the Holy Ghost, and in imparting His peace to them, was as a few drops before the plentiful shower to be given on the day of Pentecost. Jesus impressed this fact upon His disciples, that as they should proceed in the work entrusted to them, they would the more fully comprehend the nature of that work, and the manner in which the kingdom of Christ was to be set up on earth. They were appointed to be witnesses for the Saviour; they were to testify what they had seen and heard of His resurrection; they were to repeat the gracious words which proceeded from His lips. They were acquainted with His holy character; He was as an angel standing in the sun, yet casting no shadow. It was the sacred work of the apostles to present the spotless character of Christ to men and women, as the standard for their lives. The disciples had been so intimately associated with this Pattern of holiness that they were in some degree assimilated to Him in character, and were specially fitted to make known to the world His precepts and example.

The more that the minister of Christ associates with his Master, through contemplation of His life and character, the more closely will he resemble Him, and the better qualified will he be to teach His truths. Every feature in the life of the great Example should be studied with care, and close converse should be held with Him through the prayer of living faith. Thus will the defective human character be transformed into the image of His glorious character. Thus will the teacher of the truth be prepared to lead souls to Christ.—The Spirit of Prophecy 3:242-244.

Further Reflection: What aspect of Christ’s character should I study and seek to live?

From Jesus, Name Above All Names

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.—Romans 5:19

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Is there any reason why this lively hope should not give us as much confidence and joy at this time, as it gave the disciples in the early church? Christ is not enclosed in Joseph’s new tomb. He is risen, and has ascended up on high, and we are to act out our faith, that the world may see that we have a lively hope, and may know that we have a Friend at the heavenly court.

We are begotten again unto a lively hope, and to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us. Our hope is not without foundation; our inheritance is not corruptible. It is not the subject of imagination, but it is reserved in heaven for us “who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

In seasons of temptations we seem to lose sight of the fact that God tests us that our faith may be tried, and be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus. The Lord places us in different positions to develop us. If we have defects of character of which we are not aware, He gives us discipline that will bring those defects to our knowledge, that we may overcome them. It is His providence that brings us into varying circumstances. In each new position, we meet a different class of temptations. How many times, when we are placed in some trying situation, we think, “This is a wonderful mistake. How I wish I had stayed where I was before.” But why is it that you are not satisfied? … What should you do when you are tried by the providences of the Lord?—You should rise to the emergency of the case, and overcome your defects of character.—The Review and Herald, August 6, 1889.

Further Reflection: What is the incorruptible inheritance awaiting me in heaven?

From Jesus, Name Above All Names

Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.—Luke 23:26

The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther. They were puzzled to find anyone who would bear the humiliating load. The Jews themselves could not do this, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover. None even of the mob that followed Him would stoop to bear the cross.

At this time a stranger, Simon a Cyrenian, coming in from the country, meets the throng. He hears the taunts and ribaldry of the crowd; he hears the words contemptuously repeated, Make way for the King of the Jews! He stops in astonishment at the scene; and as he expresses his compassion, they seize him and place the cross upon his shoulders.

Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden.

Not a few women are in the crowd that follow the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Their attention is fixed upon Jesus. Some of them have seen Him before. Some have carried to Him their sick and suffering ones. Some have themselves been healed. The story of the scenes that have taken place is related. They wonder at the hatred of the crowd toward Him for whom their own hearts are melting and ready to break. And notwithstanding the action of the maddened throng, and the angry words of the priests and rulers, these women give expression to their sympathy. As Jesus falls fainting beneath the cross, they break forth into mournful wailing.

This was the only thing that attracted Christ’s attention.—The Desire of Ages, 742, 743.

Further Reflection: Why does Jesus, an innocent Person who did many good works, inspire such hatred in some?

From Jesus, Name Above All Names

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.—1 Corinthians 15:21, 22

While life is the inheritance of the righteous, death is the portion of the wicked.

The soul that sinneth it shall die an everlasting death—a death that will last forever, from which there will be no hope of a resurrection; and then the wrath of God will be appeased.

It was a marvel to me that Satan could succeed so well in making people believe that the words of God, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” mean that the soul that sinneth it shall not die, but live eternally in misery. Said the angel, “Life is life, whether it is in pain or happiness. Death is without pain, without joy, without hatred.”

Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph’s rent sepulcher proclaiming: “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25).

The question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” has been answered. By bearing the penalty of sin, by going down into the grave, Christ has brightened the tomb for all who die in faith. God in human form has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In dying, Christ secured eternal life for all who believe in Him. In dying, He condemned the originator of sin and disloyalty to suffer the penalty of sin—eternal death.

The possessor and giver of eternal life, Christ was the only one who could conquer death. He is our Redeemer.

Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there.—The Faith I Live By, 177.

Further Reflection: If Jesus Christ is “life itself,” what happens to me when I am not one with Him, when I become disconnected from Him?

From Jesus, Name Above All Names

That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.—Colossians 1:9

The letter to the Colossians is filled with lessons of highest value to all who are engaged in the service of Christ, lessons that show the singleness of purpose and the loftiness of aim which will be seen in the life of him who rightly represents the Saviour.

Renouncing all that would hinder him from making progress in the upward way or that would turn the feet of another from the narrow path, the believer will reveal in his daily life mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, forbearance, and the love of Christ.

The power of a higher, purer, nobler life is our great need. The world has too much of our thought, and the kingdom of heaven too little.

In his efforts to reach God’s ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all. Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life. He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of sin-sick souls. He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. At every step we touch His living power.

God fixes no limit to the advancement of those who desire to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Through prayer, through watchfulness, through growth in knowledge and understanding, they are to be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.” Thus they are prepared to work for others. It is the Saviour’s purpose that human beings, purified and sanctified, shall be His helping hand. For this great privilege let us give thanks to Him who “hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.”—The Acts of the Apostles, 477, 478.

Further Reflection: How committed am I to experiencing the limitless advancement offered by Jesus to me? Do I earnestly desire to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”?

From Jesus, Name Above All Names