Daily Devotionals

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight, February 28

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.

You need at every step the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. This faith quickens and uplifts the soul by the nobility of holy practice. It is essential to everyone who is running in the race for eternal life. It raises the soul into a purer, holier atmosphere, enabling its possessor to look forward to higher and still higher attainments and to discern clearly the dangers of a life of self-indulgence. Look by faith above yourself and see in the work of God the way to gain the riches that can be laid up beside the throne of God. O the height and depth of the knowledge that may be obtained by unreserved consecration to God. The Lord will have the whole man, or none at all. His favor cannot be purchased with gifts of money. He calls for the gift of the whole heart.

It is not necessary for us to know the results of our course of action before we surrender wholly to God. We do not need to see the way, or to know what the future will be. One thing we do know, because God has said it—the man that fears God and works righteousness will be accepted by Him. This is enough for us to know. Day by day walk before the Lord in humility and contrition. Your future destiny depends on your own course of action. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15). “If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). Be one thing or the other. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). Your present happiness and your future well-being depend on your own choice. If you choose to follow Jesus, you must obey the word, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Eternal life is for all who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God—living by every word that proceeds out of His mouth. Those who do this will gain a clear understanding of what it means to be one with Christ.

“The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17, 18). Two people may engage in the same acts of outward worship, yet the service of one, when weighed in the golden scales of the sanctuary, may be found wanting, while the service of the other may be accepted. Only the service that is performed in sincerity, with a humble, contrite heart, is acceptable to God.—Letter 39, February 28, 1903, to a Seventh-day Adventist businessman.

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Exercise Increases Faith, February 27

But let them ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6.

Faith … reaches out to grasp the hand of Christ, knowing that He will hold more firmly than it is possible for the human hand to hold, and that He will never let go. While the human agent is willing to be led, Christ will lead him….

Faith is the very lifeblood of the soul. Its presence gives warmth, health, consistency, and sound judgment. Its vitality and vigor exert a powerful though unconscious influence. The life of Christ in the soul is as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. It leads to a constant cultivation of the heavenly graces and to a kindly submission in all things to the Lord. It enables us to reveal that Christ is abiding in the soul….

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Have we not proved this in the past as we have moved out in faith to produce the things now seen? … Faith is not only to look forward to things unseen; it is to be confirmed by looking at past experience, at tangible results, the verification of God's Word…. Pray, “Lord, increase my faith.” Faith quickens the senses to work diligently to produce results. Faith elevates and ennobles the powers of the soul, enabling it to lay hold upon the unseen….

Entanglements in secular business are sometimes permitted by God to stir the sluggish faculties to more than common action, that He may honor faith by the bestowal of rich blessings. This is a means of advancing His work. But those who are without faith will never learn. By unbelief they dishonor their Lord. Unless they are converted, they will make shipwreck of their faith. They stand in the way of advancement, and this the Lord will not tolerate. He desires His people, even in the darkest shadow, to trust in Him.

Satan is permitted to throw his shadow across their pathway that their dormant faith may be aroused to pierce the cloud, and find light and courage and life beyond….

Looking unto Jesus, not only as our Example, but as the Author and Finisher of our faith, let us go forward, having confidence that He will supply us with all the strength that is needed for every duty. Eternal life is presented to us. Let us do all in our power to gain it.—Manuscript 18, February 27, 1901, “Canvassing for Christ's Object Lessons.”

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Put on the Armor of Christ, February 26

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16.

The light of truth must shine forth to the world. Those who love God and keep His commandments are called to aggressive warfare, not against one another, but against the armies of the invisible foe. There is to be no such thing as laying off the armor. At no time are those who claim to be Christ's disciples to feel at ease in their church capacity, content to do nothing to rescue fallen human beings, and bring them back to their loyalty.

Heavenly angels are constantly ascending and descending between heaven and earth, engaged in unselfish service for the building up of the kingdom of Christ. Where are the men and women who will unite with these heavenly messengers? Where are those who will use their abilities in cooperation with divine power?

Think of what God has done for you. When you were perishing out of Christ, did not the warning message come to you, convincing you of sin and arousing you to repentance? Did not Christ reveal Himself to you as a sin-pardoning Saviour? And in the light and glory of your first love, were you not full of unselfish love to impart to others the grace which gave you newness of life in Christ?

Do not allow your zeal for Christ to decrease. Now that you have become the helping hand of Christ, you are to work earnestly for those whom, before your conversion, you looked upon with indifference. Remember that they are in as favorable a condition as you were … [when you were] brought to repentance, and that their salvation may be of higher value to the church than yours was. Grudge not earnest, tender words and kindly deeds. Draw those around you to the cross of Calvary. Be so greatly in love with the truth that you will daily receive fresh grace to impart. Open the windows of the soul heavenward, that the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness may shine into your hearts. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Truth, precious, essential truth, will open before all who will keep their souls in the love of God. Duty and sacrifice will be precious to them, because of their love for the purchase of the blood of Christ. Human beings upon whom they would once scarcely look now assume a preciousness in their eyes. Once they had no interest in them; now they are united with Christ, and they are bound up in love with His heritage. The heart once frozen by icy selfishness is now melted by the influence of the Spirit.—Manuscript 17, February 26, 1901, “Neglected Duties.”

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God's Standard Is Perfect, February 25

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13.

The standard of character which Christ has made it possible for us to reach … is a perfect standard. In trying to measure [up to] it, the senses become confused. The question is asked, “Who by searching can find out God?” (See Job 11:7.) Yet He has made it possible for us to become like Him in character. Oh, what will impress men and women with their need of that transformation which will enable them to reflect the divine image?

Many who claim to follow Christ present to the world an inferior representation of Christianity because they do not reach the standard which makes them the elect of God. He who fails to keep constantly before him the standard of God's holy law creates a standard of his own. He becomes destitute of the life-giving principles of the gospel. He is an unprofitable servant, for he lives and works on a low plane of action. Christ's presence does not sustain him, and his spiritual representations are deformed. His life is a farce. He does not draw the higher life from God, and is unfitted to become a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. Spiritually he is dead, for he does not assimilate into his own life the life which Christ has provided. He does not grasp the power which heaven has provided to enable him to be an overcomer.

No one can take to heaven his natural and cultivated traits of character. He who has carried these traits with him through his period of probation has misrepresented Christ by acting upon principles which God cannot endorse. The principles of true spiritual life are not understood by those who know the truth, but fail to practice it.

The Lord calls for reforms, marked, distinct reforms. Those in whose hearts Christ dwells will reveal His presence in their dealing with their fellow men. But the principles of some have been so long perverted that they have lost their discernment, and the arrow seldom reaches its mark. How can this be cured? Only by heeding Christ's prayer, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:17-19). There is no roundabout way in which the work of sanctification can take place.—Manuscript 16, February 25, 1901, “Testimony to the Battle Creek Church.”

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Stand Fast in the Faith, February 24

Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27.

I pray that the people of God may not cast aside the peculiarities of their faith. Christ is glorified by a life of constant, well-defined faith. Paul declares, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Christ is to be glorified by the living, working faith of His people. The just shall live by faith. Christ has not left His people to stumble along in darkness. He has marked out the way before them. He says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). It is along the path of self-denial, the royal highway cast up by the Redeemer, that God's people are to travel.

My brother, bow in submission before Him who has brought life and immortality to light. Let your will and the will of Christ be one. Talk this, pray this, live this. God's word to us is, “Go forward,” and this word we are to obey, though we shall meet with obstacles seemingly as insurmountable as the Red Sea. Let us trust the Lord God of heaven to open the way before His people. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5). This patience of the soul is the rest of faith. The Lord will bless His tried, faithful people. He will not leave them to become confused.

In the last great day every word, every act, will be subjected to the crucial test of the Judge of all the earth…. The Lord calls for heartfelt repentance from those who claim to be His people. Self-indulgence is to find no place in their lives. The church of God is to be jealously guarded from every phase of dishonesty, every taint of corruption. The love of Christ is directly opposed to all avarice, all pride, all pretense. The Lord calls for humble, contrite hearts. He will work by His Holy Spirit upon all who will be worked, all who love Him and keep His commandments. And they will make the presence and power of God so manifestly to appear that the enemies of the truth will be compelled to say that God and His angels are indeed the friends and helpers of those who serve Him.

Schism and division are not the fruits of righteousness; they are of the wicked one. The great hindrance to our advancement at this time is the selfishness that prevents believers from having true fellowship with one another. The last prayer that Christ offered for His disciples before His trial was that they might be one in Him. Satan is determined that this oneness shall not be, for it is the strongest witness that can be borne that God did indeed send His Son to reconcile the world to heaven.—Letter 41, February 24, 1903, to Dr. F. E. Braucht, a physician laboring in Chicago.

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