Daily Devotionals

The Results of Inner Renewal, January 16

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16.

We are still in probationary time. He that earnestly desires eternal life will strive for it. He will get it by desire and effort. Gold is hid in the earth. Desire and effort combined alone will secure the treasure. If we have aroused an interest in souls that are ready to die, we have aroused our own souls.

What a comfort it is to know that the Lord wants us in His family above. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We need to cherish and exercise faith. Our faith must work. We must have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The leaven has a vital energy, penetrating and absorbing all the elements into which it is introduced. So likewise, the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The Word of the Lord is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. The Word is a power as we practice it. The great change that the truth makes is inward. It begins in the heart, and works outwardly. With the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. “Burnt offerings and sacrifices thou wouldest not.” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. God is not pleased with pharisaical pretense.

We will hide in Jesus Christ. We will trust in His love. We will believe day by day that He loves us with a love that is infinite. Let nothing, nothing discourage you, and make you sad. Think of the goodness of God. Recount His favors and blessings.

I am laboring constantly in writing and speaking. The Lord has been my very best Friend, and you both can testify the same. Let the praise of the Lord be ever in our hearts and in our minds and upon our lips. In this way we can magnify the truth. The Holy Spirit will witness with our spirit that we are indeed children of the heavenly King. Be of good courage; Jesus is our personal Friend and Saviour. He loves us, and if He notices the little brown sparrow, how much more will He love and care for us. The memory grows weak when it is not exercised. So will our faith and hope and courage become feeble unless we look unto Jesus with all the confidence that a little child looks to its mother. By beholding Him, we become changed into His righteousness. Let not one thought of unbelief be woven into our religious experience. The Lord will be our efficiency and exceeding great reward.—Letter 20, January 16, 1898, to “Sister Kelsey.”

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Consecrated Money, January 15

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10.

Both large sums and small sums are to be looked upon by you as God's entrusted treasure. When you are thinking of expending means, pray over the matter, in order that you may use the Lord's goods in a way that shall please Him. The Lord would have all who claim to be His followers imitate His example. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Unbelievers are watching those who profess to be the children of God to see if they are in reality that which they profess to be. Is it consistent for us to talk of Christ's self-denial, of His self-sacrifice, and yet walk and work contrary to His example? The treasures of the world are the Lord's. They are all His both by creation and by redemption.

Why is it that riches are called “unrighteous mammon”? It is because through riches men are made subject to temptation, to deal unjustly, to use them as they shall please in gratifying their desires, and in fulfilling that which their imagination calls for. Those who are in possession of money are in danger of putting the Lord's goods to a wrong use, and by this means they are led to forget God…. The rich young ruler thought that he loved God until Jesus revealed his idol to him, and showed him that he was making a God of his possessions. He had come to Christ asking, “What lack I yet?” The answer was, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (Luke 18:22)….

Those who have the Lord's talents of means are placed under a heavy responsibility. They are not to invest money merely for the gratification of selfish desires, for whatever is spent in this way is just that much kept from the Lord's treasury. Through the sovereign goodness of God, the Holy Spirit works through the human agent, and causes him to make smaller or larger investments in the cause of God, to make them redound to the glory of God.

Whenever you think of using the Lord's money for your own selfish gratification, remember that there are many who are in deep poverty who cannot purchase either food or clothing, and [that] they are God's heritage. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. If those who have abundant means are God's agents in dealing in truth, they will use their treasures wisely, so that none of the household of faith need to go hungry or naked.—Letter 90, January 15, 1895, to a Seventh-day Adventist woman of considerable means.

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The Perfume of Christ's Character in You, January 14

Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on Christ's triumphant way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! 2 Corinthians 2:14, Phillips.

There is no hope for the success of any religious organization where criticism is cherished as a fine art, and called spiritual discernment. Men might far better be blind to others’ faults than to be inspired by that keen, detective spirit that will watch for defects in those whom the Lord loves, and through whom He works. We all need to humble ourselves, not to have an exalted idea of self….

Lose sight of all others except Christ. We want Christ in our humanity, and Christ wants to abide in us. We are human and fallible, every one of us, and unless Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we shall make wonderful blunders in estimating our fellow workers according to our pattern and measurement. God sees beneath the surface. He sees all the good, and He marks all the evil. Leave to Him the work of passing judgment on your brethren.

Have a care for the young men and young women who are now forming their characters. Converse with them, and help them all you possibly can. Let no one educate the young men and young women in the science of picking flaws. Let not the youth hear you finding fault with those who do not please your fancy. The youth are Christ's servants, to be cared for, to be encouraged in good, pure, holy thoughts. They need no lessons in evil surmising. Satan stands ready to instruct them in this line. Teach them to be kind, to respect and love one another as Christ has loved us. Keep the perfume of Christ's character in your own words and actions. Let querulous complaints forever cease. Then there will flow into your heart the sunbeams of the righteousness of Christ. God will bless you, and make you a blessing….

It is the character, not the placing of our names on the church books, that makes us Christians. What manifestations will appear when Christ, abiding in the heart, is shining in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Truth is written there. The man is transformed into Christ's image. A worldling may pass by and not mark the change, but those who have had communion with Christ discern the expression of Christ in word, in spirit. The influence upon the heart is seen in a habitual gentleness, a more than human love. The sweet peace of heaven will be in the soul, and will be revealed in the countenances.—Letter 6, January 14, 1899, to “Brethren and Sisters in Camp Meeting at Ballarat.”

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When Truth Is an Abiding Principle, January 13

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10.

The truth of God revealed in His Word is to be a living, abiding principle. It is not to be looked upon as an influence among many but that which is set over all others. It will exercise a power over the life and conduct until the whole being is assimilated to the image of the Perfect Pattern, and the human agent is complete in Jesus Christ. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up,” not in self, not after men's ideas, but “in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8).

Your greatest danger will be that you will not see the need of contemplating the character of Christ with a set purpose to imitate His life and conform your character to His character. You are to show a marked difference between your character and that of the world. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9, 10).

The grand truths of the Bible are for us individually, to rule, to guide, to control our life, for this is the only way in which Christ can be properly represented to our world in grace and loveliness in the characters of all who profess to be His disciples. Nothing less than heart service will be acceptable with God. God requires the sanctification of the entire man, body, soul, and spirit. The Holy Spirit implants a new nature, and molds through the grace of Christ the human character, until the image of Christ is perfected. This is true holiness….

The spirit and word and influence you carry are making impressions upon the minds of others. The atmosphere which surrounds the soul, if it is evil, will be like a spiritual malaria, which will be poisonous to those around. But it is profitable for the soul to have an atmosphere that will be as a savor of life unto life to others. When the soul is weighted with the truth which works by love and purifies the soul, a heavenly atmosphere will pervade the soul. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Every soul that claims to believe the truth, should manifest uprightness of character, devotion to God, steadfastness of purpose, and represent the character of Christ in a well-ordered life and godly conversation.—Letter 70, January 13, 1894, to “Brethren in Responsible Positions in the Review and Herald Office.”

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Christ, the Mighty Healer, January 12

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.

Christ employed every means to arrest the attention of the impenitent. How tender and considerate were His dealings with all. He longed to break the spell of infatuation upon those who were deceived and deluded by satanic agencies. He longed to give the sin-polluted soul pardon and peace.

Christ was the mighty Healer of all spiritual and physical maladies. Look, O look, upon the sympathetic Redeemer. With the eye of faith behold Him walking in the streets of the cities, gathering the weak and weary to Himself. Helpless, sinful human beings crowd about Him. See the mothers with their sick and dying little ones in their arms pressing through the crowd that they may get within reach of His notice and touch. Let the eye of faith take in the scene. Watch these mothers pressing their way to Him, pale, weary, almost despairing, yet determined and persevering, bearing their burden of suffering in their arms.

As these anxious ones are being crowded back, Christ makes His way to them step by step, until He is close by their side. Tears of gladness and hope fall freely as they catch His attention and look into the eyes expressing such tender pity and love for the weary mother as well as for her suffering child. He invites her confidence, saying, “What shall I do for you?” She sobs out her great want—“Master, that Thou shouldest heal my child.” She has shown her faith in urging her way to Him, though she did not know that He was making His way to her, and Christ takes the child from her arms. He speaks the word, and disease flees at His touch. The pallor of death is gone. The life-giving current flows through the veins. The muscles receive strength.

Words of comfort and peace are spoken to the mother, and then another case just as urgent is presented. The mother asks help for herself and her children, for they are all sufferers. With willingness and joy Christ exercises His life-giving power, and they give praise and honor and glory to His name who doeth wonderful things.

No frown on Christ's countenance spurned the humble suppliant from His presence. The priests and rulers sought to discourage the suffering and needy, saying that Christ healed the sick by the power of the devil. But His way could not be hedged up. He was determined not to fail or become discouraged. Suffering privation Himself, He traversed the country that was the scene of His labor, scattering His blessings, and seeking to reach obdurate hearts.—Letter 31, January 12, 1898, to Uriah Smith, longtime editor of the Review and Herald.

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