​Will You Open the Door? December 12

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20. OHC 352.1

Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” Will we let Him in? He would not have us stand at this time, amid the perils of the last days, in our own finite strength…. It is our privilege to walk in the sunshine of His presence, and to weave into the characters we are forming the golden threads of cheerfulness, gratitude, forbearance, and love. We may thus show the power of divine grace, and reflect light from Heaven amid all the frets and irritations that come to us day by day…. Then why do we go stumbling along without light? OHC 352.2

Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world’s care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond. OHC 352.3

Many have so much rubbish piled up at the door of the heart that they cannot admit Jesus. Some have difficulties between themselves and their brethren to remove; others have evil tempers, pride, covetousness; with others, love of the world bars the entrance. All this must be taken away, before they can open the door and welcome the Saviour in. OHC 352.4

How precious is the promise, “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Oh, the love, the wondrous love of God! After all our lukewarmness and sins He says, Return unto Me, and I will return unto thee, and will heal all thy backslidings. OHC 352.5

Our work is to open the door of the heart and let Jesus come in. He is knocking for entrance…. Will you open the door? Jesus is standing at the door of your heart. Let Him in, the heavenly Guest. OHC 352.6

Advertisements

How can we know if God accepts our worship?

​ 

 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Revelation 14:6-7.

By the first angel, men are called upon to “fear God, and give glory to Him” and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law. Says the wise man: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. Without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” 1 John 5:3; Proverbs 28:9. GC 436.1

The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator and that to Him all other beings owe their existence. And wherever, in the Bible, His claim to reverence and worship, above the gods of the heathen, is presented, there is cited the evidence of His creative power. “All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.” Psalm 96:5. “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things.” “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it: … I am the Lord; and there is none else.” Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18. Says the psalmist: “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” Psalm 100:3; 95:6. And the holy beings who worship God in heaven state, as the reason why their homage is due to Him: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things.” Revelation 4:11. GC 436.2

In Revelation 14, men are called upon to worship the Creator; and the prophecy brings to view a class that, as the result of the threefold message, are keeping the commandments of God. One of these commandments points directly to God as the Creator. The fourth precept declares: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: … for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:10, 11. Concerning the Sabbath, the Lord says, further, that it is “a sign, … that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. And the reason given is: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17. GC 437.1

“The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God” – because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. “The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.” – J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God, “Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” It follows that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment. GC 437.2

​Charmed with Christ’s Love, November 30


If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1, 2. OHC 340.1

When we are tempted to place our affections on any earthly object that has a tendency to absorb our love, we must seek grace to turn from it, and not allow it to come between us and our God. We want to keep before the mind’s eye the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for us. We must not allow our houses and lands, our business transactions and worldly enterprises to come between us and our God. We should keep before us the rich promises that He has left on record. OHC 340.2

We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living…. We should now pray most earnestly that we may be prepared for the struggles of the great day of God’s preparation. We should rejoice in the prospect of soon being with Jesus in the mansions He has gone to prepare for us…. Jesus can supply your every need…. As you behold Him you will be charmed with the riches of the glory of His divine love. The idolatrous love of things that are seen will be superseded by a higher and better love for things that are imperishable and precious. You may contemplate eternal riches until your affections are bound to things above, and you may be an instrument in directing others to set their affections on heavenly treasures…. OHC 340.3

Those who rightly value money are those who see its availability in bringing the truth before those who have never heard it, and by this means rescuing them from the power of the enemy. If one soul accepts the truth, his love for earthly things is dislodged. He sees the surpassing glory of heavenly things, appreciates the excellency of that which relates to everlasting life. He is charmed with the unseen and eternal. His grasp loosens from earthly things. He fastens his eye with admiration upon the invincible glories of the other world. He realizes that his trials are working out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and in comparison to the riches that are his to enjoy he counts them light afflictions which are but for a moment. OHC 340.4

​A Superficial Experience Not Enough

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:15. OHC 330.1

There is always danger of being satisfied with a superficial work; there is always danger that souls will not anchor themselves in God, but be content to drift hither and thither, the sport of Satan’s temptations…. The work of the Spirit of God in the heart will develop true penitence, which will not end with confession, but will work a decided reformation in the daily life. There will be manifested an earnestness, a perseverance, and a determination that can be properly represented by agonizing…. OHC 330.2

The fact that iniquity abounds, that we are surrounded by infidels and skeptics, or by professed Christians who have a name to live, and are dead, is no reason why one of us should be swept away by the current toward perdition. Because there is an almost universal forsaking of God, there is the greater need that we stand firm and loyal…. We must gather the divine rays from the Sun of Righteousness, and reflect them to the world. In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, we must show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. OHC 330.3

Nothing but a deep personal experience will enable us to stand the test of the trials and temptations we shall meet in the Christian warfare. Too often we feel well when everything goes smoothly; but when doubts assail the soul, and Satan whispers his suggestions, our defense is gone, and we yield quickly to the arts of the tempter, with scarcely an effort to resist and repulse him, It is not enough to have good impulses. The soul must be barricaded by prayer and study the Scriptures. Armed with these weapons, Jesus encountered our wily foe on the field of battle, and overcame him. We may all conquer in His strength; but it will not answer for us to suppose that we can dispense with His help. He says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. But no truly humble soul who walks in the light as Christ is in the light, will be ensnared by Satan’s deceptive devices. OHC 330.4

​The Stamina of Pure Religion


And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. Psalm 119:45. OHC 333.1
There are some who talk in a regretful way concerning the restraints that the religion of the Bible imposes upon those who would follow its teachings. They seem to think that restraint is a great disadvantage, but we have reason to thank God with all our heart that He has raised a heavenly barrier between us and the ground of the enemy. There are certain tendencies of the natural heart that many think must be followed in order that the best development of the individual may result, but that which man thinks essential God sees would not be the blessing to humanity which men imagine; for the development of these very traits of character would unfit them for the mansions above. The Lord places men under test and trial that the dross may be separated from the gold; but He forces none. He does not bind with fetters and cords and barriers; for they increase disaffection rather than decrease it…. Genuine religion does not have a narrowing influence; it is a lack of religion that cramps the faculties and narrows the mind. OHC 333.2

Religion is an active, working principle, and furnishes a stamina sufficient for the stern realities of life…. Religion ever imparts power to its possessor to restrain, control, and balance the character and intellect and emotions. It has a power to persuade, entreat, and command with divine authority all the ability and affections. Religion – oh, I wish we all understood its workings! It lays us under the weightiest obligations. As we connect ourselves with Christ we solemnly pledge ourselves to walk as Christ walked. OHC 333.3

It is our privilege to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light…. The Lord’s way must be kept, and His way is exalted in righteousness. Christians, in their manner and words and character, are to reveal their heavenly extraction. We are never to apologize to the world for being Christians and daring to be right. OHC 333.4

Pure religion brings peace, happiness, contentment; godliness is profitable to this life and the life to come. OHC 333.5

​No Taproot? 


Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58. OHC 332.1

In order to be firmly anchored, there must be something firm to hold us; and nothing will avail until Christ takes possession of the soul…. Many who now appear strong, and talk in vindication of the truth, are not rooted and grounded. They have no tap – root; and when the storms of opposition and persecution come, they are like a tree uprooted by the blast. OHC 332.2

We shall be attacked on every point; we shall be tried to the utmost. We do not want to hold our faith simply because it was handed down to us by our fathers, Such a faith will not stand the terrible test that is before us. We want to know why we are Seventh – day Adventists – what real reason we have for coming out from the world as a separate and distinct people…. OHC 332.3

When men are willing to become intelligent in regard to the cause of God because they have invested faith and means in it, God will help them to understand, and they will be steadfast in the faith; but when they have merely a theory, a shallow faith they cannot explain, a sudden temptation will cause them to drift away with the current bearing toward the world…. OHC 332.4

Our minds must be prepared to stand every test, and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within. We must know why we believe as we do, why we are on the Lord’s side. The truth must keep watch in our hearts, ready to sound an alarm, and summon us to action against every foe. The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. OHC 332.5

​Rooted in Christ, 


The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Psalm 92:12. OHC 331.1

The Christian is likened to the cedar of Lebanon. I have read that this tree does more than send down a few short roots into the yielding loam. It sends strong roots deep down into the earth, and strikes down farther and still farther in search of a still stronger hold. And in the fierce blast of the tempest, it stands firm, held by its network of cables beneath. OHC 331.2

So the Christian strikes root deep into Christ. He has faith in his Redeemer. He knows in whom he believes. He is fully persuaded that Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of sinners…. The roots of faith strike deep down. Genuine Christians, like the cedar of Lebanon, do not grow in the soft surface soil, but are rooted in God, riveted in the clefts of the mountain rocks. OHC 331.3

If the Christian thrives and progresses at all, he must do so amid strangers to God, amid scoffing, subject to ridicule. He must stand upright like the palm tree in the desert. The sky may be as brass, the desert sand may beat about the palm tree’s roots, and pile itself in heaps about its trunk. Yet the tree lives as an evergreen, fresh and vigorous amid the burning desert sands. Remove the sand till you reach the rootlets of the palm tree, and you discover the secret of its life; it strikes down deep beneath the surface, to the secret waters hidden in the earth. OHC 331.4

As the palm tree, drawing nourishment from fountains of living water, is green and flourishing in the midst of the desert, so the Christian may draw rich supplies of grace from the fountain of God’s love, and may guide weary souls, that are full of unrest and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to those waters of which they may drink, and live. The Christian is ever pointing his fellow men to Jesus, who invites, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37. This fountain never fails us; we may draw, and draw again. OHC 331.5

​Faith Must Pierce the Gloom


Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…. He also shall be my salvation. Job 13:15, 16. OHC 324.1

The true Christian does not allow any earthly consideration to come in between his soul and God…. OHC 324.2

When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body will be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job’s, that you may declare, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”… OHC 324.3

The most trying experiences in the Christian’s life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at His word. You must study the promises, and appropriate them as you have need. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17…. OHC 324.4

It is faith that familiarizes the soul with the existence and presence of God; and when we live with an eye single to His glory, we discern more and more the beauty of His character. Our souls become strong in spiritual power, for we are breathing the atmosphere of heaven, and, realizing that God is at our right hand, we shall not be moved…. We should live as in the presence of the Infinite One…. OHC 324.5

Divine wisdom will order the steps of those who put their trust in the Lord. Divine love will encircle them, and they will realize the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. OHC 324.6

​God Measures Every Trial


There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13. OHC 323.1

Each one has his own battles to fight, his own Christian experience to gain, independent in some respects from any other soul; and God has lessons for each to gain for himself that no other one can gain for him…. Our heavenly Father measures and weighs every trial before He permits it to come upon the believer. He considers the circumstances and the strength of the one who is to stand under the proving and test of God, and He never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance. If the soul is overborne, the person overpowered, this can never be charged to God, … but the one tempted was not vigilant and prayerful and did not appropriate by faith the provisions God had abundantly in store for him. Christ never failed a believer in his hour of combat. The believer must claim the promise and meet the foe in the name of the Lord…. OHC 323.2

Oh, there is a great work to be done for the people of God, ere they are prepared for translation to heaven! The heat of the furnace upon some must be severe to reveal the dross. Self will have to be crucified. When each believer is to the very extent of his knowledge obeying the Lord, and yet seeking to give no just occasion to his fellow men to oppress him, he should not fear the results, even though it be imprisonment and death…. OHC 323.3

The tender compassion of God is toward His people. Faith, wondrous faith – it leads the people of God in straight paths. Without this faith we shall certainly misunderstand His dealings with us, and distrust His love and faithfulness. Whatever may be the trials and sufferings, … let there be no faintheartedness, no peevish repining, no complaining…. OHC 323.4

A single ray of the evidences of the undeserved favor of God shining into our hearts will overbalance every trial of whatever character and however severe it may be. OHC 323.5