Receive Light, and Walk in It, July 22

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14, NKJV. BLJ 216.1
There is one thing in this world which is the greatest object of Christ’s solicitude. It is His church on earth; for its members should be representatives, in spirit and character, of Him. The world is to recognize in them the representatives of Christianity, the depository of sacred truths in which is stored the most precious jewels for the enrichment of others. Through the ages of moral darkness and error, through centuries of strife and persecution, the church of Christ has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations to the present time, the pure doctrines of the Bible have been unfolding within its borders. BLJ 216.2
But in order that the church on earth may be an educating power in the world, it must cooperate with the church in heaven. The hearts of those who are members of the church must be open to receive every ray of light that God shall choose to impart. God has light to impart to us according to our ability to receive, and as we receive the light, we shall be capable of receiving more and more of the rays of the Sun of Righteousness…. BLJ 216.3
Every one of us is upon probation, in school, where we are required to be diligent students. It is enjoined upon us to walk in the light, as Christ is in the light. It is by walking in the light that we learn of God, and “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). These are the words of Him who was with the Father before the world was, and He uttered these words while praying for all those who should believe in God through the words of His disciples. To know God in His works is true science. Let us follow on to know the Lord till we shall know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning…. BLJ 216.4
Faithful souls have constituted the church of God on earth, and He has taken them into covenant relation with Himself, uniting His church on earth with His church in heaven. He has sent forth heavenly angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.—Manuscript Releases 2:265, 266. BLJ 216.5

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When in Trial, Review God’s Great Mercy, July 21

Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip. I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Psalm 17:5, 6, NKJV. BLJ 215.1
The Lord directed Moses to recount to the children of Israel His dealings with them in their deliverance from Egypt and their wonderful preservation in the wilderness. He was to call to mind their unbelief and murmuring when brought into trial, and the Lord’s great mercy and loving-kindness, which had never forsaken them. This would stimulate their faith and strengthen their courage…. BLJ 215.2
It is just as essential that the people of God in this day should bear in mind how and when they have been tested, and where their faith has failed; where they have imperiled His cause by their unbelief and also by their self-confidence. God’s mercy, His sustaining providence, His never-to-be-forgotten deliverances, are to be recounted, step by step. BLJ 215.3
As God’s people thus review the past, they should see that the Lord is ever repeating His dealings. They should understand the warnings given, and should beware not to repeat their mistakes. Renouncing all self-dependence, they are to trust in Him to save them from again dishonoring His name. In every victory that Satan gains, souls are imperiled. Some become the subjects of his temptations, never to recover themselves…. BLJ 215.4
God sends trials to prove who will stand faithful under temptation. He brings all into trying positions to see if they will trust in a power out of and above themselves. Everyone has undiscovered traits of character that must come to light through trial. God allows those who are self-sufficient to be sorely tempted, that they may understand their helplessness. BLJ 215.5
When trials come to us; when we can see before us, not an increase of prosperity, but a pressure necessitating sacrifice on the part of all, how shall we receive Satan’s insinuation that we are to have a very hard time? If we listen to his suggestions, unbelief in God will spring up…. We should look at the work He has done, the reforms He has wrought. We should gather up the evidences of Heaven’s blessings, the tokens for good, saying: “Lord, we believe in Thee, in Thy servants, and in Thy work.”—Testimonies for the Church 7:210, 211. BLJ 215.6

To Find True Happiness, Obey God, July 20

This is my happy way of life: obeying your commandments. Psalm 119:56, NLT. BLJ 214.1
Happiness must be sought in the right way, and from the right source. Some think they may surely find happiness in a course of indulgence in sinful pleasures, or in deceptive worldly attractions. And some sacrifice physical and moral obligations, thinking to find happiness, and they lose both soul and body. Others will seek their happiness in the indulgence of an unnatural appetite, and consider the indulgence of taste more desirable than health and life. Many suffer themselves to be enchained by sensual passions, and will sacrifice physical strength, intellect, and moral powers to the gratification of lust. They will bring themselves to untimely graves, and in the judgment will be charged with self-murder. BLJ 214.2
Is this … happiness desirable which is to be found in the path of disobedience and transgression of physical and moral law? Christ’s life points out the true source of happiness, and how it is to be attained. His life points the direct and only path to heaven. Let the voice of wisdom be heard. Let it mark out the path. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” BLJ 214.3
Temptations are on every side to allure the steps of youth to their ruin. The sad deficiency in the education of children leaves them weak and unguarded, vacillating in character, feeble in intellect, and deficient in moral strength, so that so far from imitating the life of Christ, the youth generally are like a reed trembling in the wind. They have not physical constitution or moral power, because they yield to temptations. Through sinful indulgences, they stain their purity, and their manners are corrupted. They are impatient of restraint, and flatter themselves if they could only have their own way they should then be very happy…. BLJ 214.4
If children and youth would seek their highest earthly good, they must look for it in the path of faithful obedience. A sound constitution, which is the greatest earthly prize, can only be obtained by a denial of unnatural appetite. If they would be happy indeed, they should cheerfully seek to be found at the post of duty, doing the work which devolves upon them with fidelity, conforming their hearts and lives to the perfect pattern.—Youth’s Instructor, April 1872. BLJ 214.5

Stay Close to Jesus and Become Like Him, July 19

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11, NKJV. BLJ 213.1
This world is our school—a school of discipline and training. We are placed here to form characters like the character of Christ, and to acquire the habits and the language of the higher life. Influences opposed to good abound on every hand. The developments of sin are becoming so full, so deep, so abhorrent to God, that soon He will arise in majesty to shake terribly the earth. BLJ 213.2
So artful are the plans of the enemy, so specious the complications which he brings about, that those who are weak in the faith do not discern his deceptions. They fall into the snares prepared by Satan, who works through human instrumentalities to deceive if possible the very elect. Those only who are closely connected with God will be able to discern the falsehoods and the intrigues of the enemy. BLJ 213.3
There are in this world only two classes, those who serve God, and those who stand under the black banner of the prince of darkness. Those who enter the gates of the City of God must, in this world, live in union with Christ. BLJ 213.4
The principles of God’s government—the only principles that will endure from everlasting to everlasting—are to be followed by those who are seeking for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The line of demarcation between those who serve God and those who serve Him not is to be kept clear and distinct. BLJ 213.5
Let us allow God to control our minds. Let us not say or do anything that will turn a fellow being from the right way. I feel very sad as I think of how few there are who show that they have tasted the deep blessedness of communion with a risen, ascended Savior. Men and women of the world are striving for the supremacy. God’s followers are to keep Christ ever in view, inquiring at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” A holy desire to live the life of Christ is to fill their hearts. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. BLJ 213.6
Oh, that our people could realize what advantages would be theirs if they would look constantly to Jesus…. He is our Alpha and our Omega. Pressing close to Him, and holding communion with Him, we become like Him. Through the transforming power of the Spirit of Christ, we are changed in heart and life.—(Australasian) Union Conference Record, February 1, 1904. BLJ 213.7

Motive Determines Value of Our Acts, July 18

So He called His disciples to Him and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:43, 44, NKJV. BLJ 212.1
It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth. Not the great things which every eye sees and every tongue praises does God account most precious. The little duties cheerfully done, the little gifts which make no show, and which to human eyes may appear worthless, often stand highest in His sight. A heart of faith and love is dearer to God than the most costly gift. BLJ 212.2
The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give those two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won the Savior’s commendation. BLJ 212.3
Among the poor there are many who long to show their gratitude to God for His grace and truth. They greatly desire to share with their more prosperous fellow church members in sustaining His service. These souls should not be repulsed. Let them lay up their mites in the bank of heaven. If given from a heart filled with love for God, these seeming trifles become consecrated gifts, priceless offerings, which God smiles upon and blesses. BLJ 212.4
When Jesus said of the widow, She “hath cast in more than they all,” His words were true, not only of the motive, but of the results of her gift. The “two mites, which make a farthing” have brought to God’s treasury an amount of money far greater than the contributions of those rich Jews. The influence of that little gift has been like a stream, small in its beginning, but widening and deepening as it flowed down through the ages. In a thousand ways it has contributed to the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel. BLJ 212.5
Her example of self-sacrifice has acted and reacted upon thousands of hearts in every land and in every age. It has appealed to both the rich and the poor, and their offerings have swelled the value of her gift. God’s blessing upon the widow’s mite has made it the source of great results. So with every gift bestowed and every act performed with a sincere desire for God’s glory. It is linked with the purposes of Omnipotence. Its results for good no one can measure.—The Desire of Ages, 615, 616. BLJ 212.6

Maintain Integrity, Whatever the Cost, July 17

Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Hebrews 13:7, NKJV. BLJ 211.1
Every plan and purpose of life should be subjected to this unerring test [the Word of God]. The Word of inspiration is the wisdom of God applied to human affairs. However advantageous a certain course may appear to finite judgment, if denounced by that Word it will be only evil in its results. BLJ 211.2
It may be a difficult matter for those in high positions to pursue the path of undeviating integrity whether they shall receive praise or censure. Yet this is the only safe course. All the rewards which they might gain by selling their honor would be only as the breath from polluted lips, as dross to be consumed in the fire. Those who have moral courage to stand in opposition to the vices and errors of their fellow beings—it may be of those whom the world honors—will receive hatred, insult, and abusive falsehood. They may be thrust down from their high position, because they would not be bought or sold, because they could not be induced by bribes or threats to stain their hands with iniquity. BLJ 211.3
Everything on earth may seem to conspire against them; but God has set His seal upon His own work. They may be regarded by other people as weak, … unfit to hold office; but how differently does the Most High regard them. Those who despise them are the really ignorant. While the storms of calumny and reviling may pursue persons of integrity through life, and beat upon their graves, God has the “well done” prepared for them. Folly and iniquity will at best yield only a life of unrest and discontent, and at its close a thorny dying pillow. And how many, as they view their course of action and its results, are led to end with their own hands their disgraceful career. And beyond all this waits the judgment, and the final, irrevocable doom, Depart! … BLJ 211.4
The Son of God has set an example for all His followers. They are not to court praise from others, not to seek for themselves ease or wealth, but to emulate His life of purity and self-denial at whatever cost…. They will not manifest a disregard for the rights of others. God’s law commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, to suffer no evil to be instituted against them which we can hinder. But the rule which Christ has given extends still further. Said the world’s Redeemer, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Nothing short of this can reach the standard of Christianity.—The Signs of the Times, February 2, 1882. BLJ 211.5

Meeting Difficulties Develops Spiritual Muscle, July 16

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9, NKJV. BLJ 210.1
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. BLJ 210.2
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? It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice; but nothing is revealed but that which was in you. 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. BLJ 210.3
It is coming in contact with difficulties that will give you spiritual muscle and sinew. You will become strong in Christ if you endure the testing process and the proving of God. But if you find fault with your situation and with everybody around you, you will only grow weaker. I have seen people who were always finding fault with everything and everybody around them, but the fault was in themselves. They had need to fall upon the Rock and be broken. They felt whole in their own self-righteousness. The trials that come upon us come to prove us. The enemy of our souls is working against us continually, but our defects of character will be made manifest to us, and when they are made plain, instead of finding fault with others, let us say, “I will arise and go to my Father.” BLJ 210.4
When we begin to realize that we are sinners, and fall on the Rock to be broken, the everlasting arms are placed about us, and we are brought close to the heart of Jesus. Then we shall be charmed with His loveliness, and disgusted with our own righteousness. We need to come close to the foot of the cross. The more we humble ourselves there, the more exalted will God’s love appear.—The Review and Herald, August 6, 1889. BLJ 210.5

Be Faithful in Small, Common Tasks, July 15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV. BLJ 209.1
By faithfulness in little things, Elisha was preparing for weightier trusts. Day by day, through practical experience, he gained a fitness for a broader, higher work. He learned to serve; and in learning this, he learned also how to instruct and lead. The lesson is for all. None can know what may be God’s purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities…. BLJ 209.2
Those who feel that it is of no consequence how they perform the smaller tasks prove themselves unfit for a more honored position. They may think themselves fully competent to take up the larger duties; but God looks deeper than the surface. After test and trial, there is written against them the sentence “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Their unfaithfulness reacts upon themselves. They fail of gaining the grace, the power, the force of character, which is received through unreserved surrender. BLJ 209.3
Because they are not connected with some directly religious work, many feel that their lives are useless, that they are doing nothing for the advancement of God’s kingdom. If they could do some great thing, how gladly they would undertake it! But because they can serve only in little things, they think themselves justified in doing nothing. In this they err…. BLJ 209.4
Many long for special talent with which to do a wonderful work, while the duties lying close at hand, the performance of which would make the life fragrant, are lost sight of. Let such ones take up the duties lying directly in their pathway. Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service, but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God’s sight.—Prophets and Kings, 218, 219. BLJ 209.5

Bible Holiness Is Our Great Need, July 14

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27, NKJV. BLJ 208.1
It is difficult for those who feel secure in their attainments, and who believe themselves to be rich in spiritual knowledge, to receive the message [to the Laodiceans] which declares that they are deceived and in need of every spiritual grace. The unsanctified heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” I was shown that many are flattering themselves that they are good Christians, who have not a ray of light from Jesus. They have not a living experience for themselves in the divine life. They need a deep and thorough work of self-abasement before God before they will feel their true need of earnest, persevering effort to secure the precious graces of the Spirit. BLJ 208.2
God leads His people on step by step. The Christian life is a constant battle and a march. There is no rest from the warfare. It is by constant, unceasing effort that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. As a people we are triumphing in the clearness and strength of the truth. We are fully sustained in our positions by an overwhelming amount of plain scriptural testimony. But we are very much wanting in Bible humility, patience, faith, love, self-denial, watchfulness, and the spirit of sacrifice. We need to cultivate Bible holiness. Sin prevails among the people of God. The plain message of rebuke to the Laodiceans is not received. Many cling to their doubts and their darling sins while they are in so great a deception as to talk and feel that they are in need of nothing. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. BLJ 208.3
Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge. They lack almost every qualification necessary to perfect Christian character. They have not a practical knowledge of Bible truth, which leads to lowliness of life and a conformity of their will to the will of Christ. They are not living in obedience to all God’s requirements. BLJ 208.4
It is not enough to merely profess to believe the truth. All the soldiers of the cross of Christ virtually obligate themselves to enter the crusade against the adversary of souls, to condemn wrong and sustain righteousness. But the message of the True Witness reveals the fact that a terrible deception is upon our people, which makes it necessary to come to them with warnings, to break their spiritual slumber, and arouse them to decided action.—Testimonies for the Church 3:253, 254. BLJ 208.5