Daily Devotionals

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Psalm 121:1.

Dear Children, Edson and Emma: Here I am at Mr. Fair’s, husband to your cousin, Addie Clough Fair, looking out and upward upon mountains of perpendicular rocks estimated at five hundred feet high….

Mr. Walling took us up, up, up the mountains. We feared sometimes that we should never reach the top. We had a commanding view of the country. We could look down upon Black Hawk and Central, and see all there was of both cities….

The mountain scenery of Colorado can never be described so that the imagination can gather distinct and correct ideas of this country. It is wonderful! It is marvelous! The scenery of the grand old mountains, some bald and others covered with trees! Instinctively the mind is awed and deep feelings of reverence bow the soul in humiliation as the imagination gathers a sense of the power of the Infinite. I would not be deprived of the privilege of seeing what I have of the mountain scenery of Colorado for [a] considerable [sum]….

I walked miles yesterday up the steep mountains and I did not get to rest until past eleven o’clock. But this morning I am up at five, bright and active. This trip among the mountains is doing much for my health. None of you were aware of my miserable state of health. I knew it would not make home better to complain when I left Battle Creek.

Father is better, we are sure, but he has times of shortness of breath and faintness or giddiness. He is careful of his diet….

Mr. Walling is very earnest that we should go with him across the snowy mountain range to what is called the Park, on the other side of the snowy range…. We should have to ride on ponies over the mountains. Our provisions for three or four weeks would be taken in a wagon. All of us would have to ride on the ponies over the mountains while two horses would draw the provisions and blankets for lodging. When there, over the mountains, we are away from all settlements and must carry everything along that we need….

Be sure, my children, to keep your souls free in the Lord, and then He will lead you. The meek will He guide in judgment; the meek will He teach His way.

Your father is perfectly cheerful and happy. We had precious seasons of prayer before God in the groves and mountains in behalf of ourselves and you and the cause and work of God at Battle Creek.—Letter 12, July 31, 1872, to Edson and Emma White.

From The Upward Look – Page 226

As touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

Truth, precious truth, is to sanctify, subdue, refine, elevate, and finally to exalt us to a seat at the right hand of the Majesty of heaven. Shall we grow feeble in spiritual power for want of exercise? Shall we go day after day without a marked and clear experience in the religious life because we permit our minds to be absorbed in worldly business?

Here, my dear son [Edson], is your danger. Here are the wiles of Satan entangling you. The very powers or organs that you cultivate become strong, and you are imperceptibly placing yourself where you will be in a position unfitted to engage in the work of God. The time that you should be giving yourself earnestly to the work, you are really unfitting yourself for the work God would honor you to do in His cause. One pretext after another has arisen to your mind to excuse you from taking hold of the work which you could do at once while you are waiting till this object is gained or that project is accomplished. It is not the great work you are fitted to do now. But it is the little duties connected with the work of God, the small responsibilities borne with humbleness and fidelity, that will qualify you for higher responsibilities, more important trusts. Purity of motives, unselfish interest, you must cultivate.

Press close to your younger brother, Willie. Let no emulation or strife separate your heart and affections from him. Let no selfish feelings or jealousy find a place in your heart. Empty it of all these things. Cultivate love, confidence, and trust. Live up to the Bible standard. Carry out the light God has given you. Show in kindly acts and words and unselfish acts your true interest and affection for Willie. All the advances you make will be reflected back on you. I shall never be satisfied until I see you both, firmly and strongly, lovingly, united in the closest bonds of brotherly love. God help you to work to this end. You are older than Willie and you should seek in every way to help him and bind him to your heart. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.

Religion, my son, is not as some take it, head work, theory. It must be practically carried out in all the byways and broadways of life. It must regulate the life as well as to convince the mind. It alone must purify the heart. God requires everyone who professes His name to be good citizens and that the life of strict integrity and pure devotion should leave a bright light to the world.—Letter 35, July 30, 1876, to “Dear Children.” Edson had just turned 27; Willie was 21.

From The Upward Look – Page 225

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:2.

Must we wait until we are translated before we eat of the leaves of the tree of life? He who receives into his heart the words of Christ knows what it means to eat the leaves of the tree of life….

The knowledge that comes from God is the bread of life. It is the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. The current of spiritual life thrills the soul as the words of Christ are believed and practiced. Thus it is that we are made one with Christ. The experience that was weak and feeble becomes strong. It is eternal life to us if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end.

All truth is to be received as the life of Jesus. Truth cleanses us from all impurity, and prepares the soul for Christ’s presence. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory….

It is essential that those who pledge themselves to keep God’s commandments have an intelligent knowledge of the Scriptures. Thus we learn to deny self and to be strictly honest with God in using His goods. It was in order that we might understand the divine will that God gave us the Bible. We cannot obey His commandments until we know what these commandments are.

Parents are without excuse if they fail to obtain a clear understanding of God’s will, that they may obey the laws of His kingdom. Only thus can they lead their children to heaven. My brethren and sisters, it is your duty to understand God’s requirements. How can you educate your children in the things of God unless you first know yourselves what is right and what is wrong, unless you realize that obedience means eternal life and disobedience eternal death?

We must make it our lifework to understand the will of God. Only as we do this can we train our children aright. Your every word and action is to be in accordance with the will of God, irrespective of the opinions and practices of those who refuse to obey God….

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7). The Lord has kept back nothing that is necessary for the enlightenment of His children. No one can plead in excuse for transgression that he was left in ignorance, that the way to heaven was not clearly marked out. We have not been left to serve God in a vague, uncertain way.—Manuscript 103, July 29, 1902, “Doing God’s Will.”

From The Upward Look – Page 224

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10.

Satan had declared to his synagogue that not a single human soul would maintain his loyalty to God’s commandments. One soul saved would prove this statement to be false. One soul saved would demonstrate the righteousness of God’s government. Created in the image of God, man must not be left for Satan to rule and ruin. Christ came to this earth, and by a life of obedience showed that man could obey. He canceled the guilt resting upon the sinner. That the sinner might stand before God clothed with His robe of righteousness, He clothed Himself with the robe of sorrow.

Who can fathom the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He felt to its fullest extent the weight of the sin of the world? So keenly did He feel the sinfulness of sin that for a moment the cup trembled in His hand, and all heaven heard the agonizing cry, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). The omnipotent God suffered with His Son.

Stand before the cross of Calvary, and learn from it the cost of redemption. With breaking heart the holy Sufferer upon the cross of Calvary looks up to God, and cries, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The angels of heaven sympathized with their loved Commander. Gladly would they have broken their ranks and gone to His assistance. But this was not God’s plan. Our Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.

The plan of redemption was laid to bring salvation within reach of sinners. Christ has carried out His purpose. His death has brought eternal life to all who will accept Him as a personal Saviour. But many, many of those He died to save refuse to return their loyalty. The world is fast becoming as it was before the Flood….

Christ declares, “As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

Let not those who have had great light fold their hands, content to do nothing.—Manuscript 66, July 28, 1901, “Fragments: Work in the South.”

From The Upward Look – Page 223

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5.

Dear Husband: I received your telegram….

Satan will not sift the chaff, because he gains nothing in this. He sifts the wheat. The devil will not try and tempt and persecute those whom he is sure of, because [they are] living in known transgression of the law of God. Those who have enlisted in the army of the Lord standing under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, Satan will seek to harass and destroy. Christians will meet and have many and severe conflicts with the wily foe, who is merciless. He will bring them into the most difficult places and then exult in their distress. But, thank God, Jesus lives to make intercession for every one of us. Our safety is in committing ourselves to God and resting by faith in His merits who has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

I rejoice that Jesus has a firm hold of us. Our grasp is feeble and easily broken, but our safety depends upon the firm hold Jesus has upon us. I rejoice in Jesus today. We have, my husband, walked for more than thirty years side by side in the trials and conflicts of life amid temptations and the buffetings of Satan, his arrows aimed at us to wound and destroy; but Jesus has been our defense. Satan has been repulsed. The Spirit of the Lord has lifted up a standard for us against the enemy. Our sun is westering, but it will not set in darkness. Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. We will in the latter days of our pilgrimage repose in God and wait upon Him. If we walk with God, our faith will grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day, and the reward of the faithful will be ours at last.

My spirit at times is triumphant in God. I see in prospect just before us the eternal weight of glory. We have not earned it. Oh, no, Jesus earned it for us and it is a free gift, not for any righteousness and goodness of our own. Let us, in the few probationary hours left us, walk humbly with God and do the work He has committed to our hands with fidelity.

I am glad you are in the grand old mountains [of Colorado]. I mean to be there soon. To be thus brought near to God through His created works is refreshing and inspiring…. While viewing the grand works of God’s creation, we may walk with God. We may talk with Him. To have God as our companion, as our guest, will be the most exalted honor that heaven can bestow upon us.

May the Lord bless you all is the prayer of your Ellen.—Letter 42, July 27, 1878, to James White, General Conference president.

From The Upward Look – Page 222