Thought for the day

There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ. While one class study the Saviour’s life and earnestly seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain, practical truths which expose their errors. Even in her best estate the church was not composed wholly of the true, pure, and sincere. Our Saviour taught that those who willfully indulge in sin are not to be received into the church; yet He connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and correct them. Among the twelve apostles was a traitor. Judas was accepted, not because of his defects of character, but notwithstanding them. He was connected with the disciples, that, through the instruction and example of Christ, he might learn what constitutes Christian character, and thus be led to see his errors, to repent, and, by the aid of divine grace, to purify his soul “in obeying the truth.” But Judas did not walk in the light so graciously permitted to shine upon him. By indulgence in sin he invited the temptations of Satan. His evil traits of character became predominant. He yielded his mind to the control of the powers of darkness, he became angry when his faults were reproved, and thus he was led to commit the fearful crime of betraying his Master. So do all who cherish evil under a profession of godliness hate those who disturb their peace by condemning their course of sin. When a favorable opportunity is presented, they will, like Judas, betray those who for their good have sought to reprove them. GC 43.2

Thought for the day

As they endeavored to represent God by material objects, their minds were blinded to His majesty and power; they ceased to realize the holiness of His character, or the sacred, unchanging nature of His requirements. As sin became general, it appeared less and less sinful, and they finally declared that the divine law was no longer in force; that it was contrary to the character of God to punish transgression; and they denied that His judgments were to be visited upon the earth. 
Today many professed followers of Christ believe his law is no longer in force, to believe this is sure death.

Sin

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. {GC 467,468}

​Christ’s Adherence to Principle, March 11

Living by Principle Not Inclination 

In the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:7, 8 ML 74.1

The life of Christ was distinguished from the generality of children. His strength of moral character and His firmness ever led Him to be true to His sense of duty and to adhere to the principles of right, from which no motive, however powerful, could move Him. Money or pleasure, applause or censure, could not purchase or flatter Him to consent to a wrong action. He was strong to resist temptation, wise to discover evil, and firm to abide faithful to His convictions. ML 74.2

The wicked and unprincipled would flatter and portray the pleasures of sinful indulgences, but His strength of principle was strong to resist the suggestions of Satan. His penetration had been cultivated, that He could discern the voice of the tempter. He would not swerve from duty to obtain the favor of any. He would not sell His principles for human praise or to avoid reproach and the envy and hatred of those who were enemies of righteousness and true goodness. ML 74.3

He took pleasure in discharging His obligations to His parents and to society, without yielding His principles or being contaminated with the impure influence surrounding Him at Nazareth. ML 74.4

Never did Christ deviate from loyalty to the principles of God’s law. Never did He do anything contrary to the will of His Father. ML 74.5

Jesus does not, after giving us general directions, leave us to guess the way amid bypaths and dangerous passes. He leads us in a straight path, and while we follow Him our footsteps will not slide. ML 74.6

Each soul must live in hourly communion with Christ; for he says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” His principles are to be our principles; for these principles are the everlasting truth, proclaimed in righteousness, goodness, mercy, and love. ML 74.7

His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. ML 74.8

​Submit to God’s Training Process


Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness …; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:17, 18, NKJV. BLJ 73.1

There are some who desire to be a ruling power, and who need the sanctification of submission. God brings about a change in their lives, and perhaps places before them duties that they would not choose. If they are willing to be guided by Him, He will give them grace and strength to perform the objectionable duties in a spirit of submission and helpfulness. They are being qualified to fill places where their disciplined abilities will make them of the greatest service. BLJ 73.2

God trains some by bringing to them disappointment and apparent failure. It is His purpose that they shall learn to master difficulty. He inspires them with a determination to make every apparent failure prove a success. BLJ 73.3

Often men and women pray and weep because of the perplexities and obstacles that confront them. But if they will hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end, He will make their way clear. Success will come to them as they struggle against apparently insurmountable difficulties; and with success will come the greatest joy. BLJ 73.4

Many are ignorant of how to work for God, not because they need to be ignorant, but because they are not willing to submit to His training process. Moab is spoken of as a failure because, the Word declares, he “hath been at ease from his youth, … and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, … therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed” (Jeremiah 48:11)…. BLJ 73.5

The Christian is to be prepared for the doing of a work that reveals kindness, forbearance, longsuffering, gentleness, patience. The cultivation of these precious gifts is to come into the discipline – life of Christians, that when called to service by the Master, they may be ready to exercise the energies of heart and mind in helping and blessing those who are ready to die [those who need salvation]. – Manuscript Releases 8:423, 424. BLJ 73.6

The Dead.

​KJV Psalms 115:17 

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.


Popular theology represents the righteous dead as in heaven, entered into bliss and praising God with an immortal tongue; but Hezekiah could see no such glorious prospect in death. With his words agrees the testimony of the psalmist: “In death there is no remembrance of Thee: in the grave who shall give Thee thanks?” “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalm 6:5; 115:17.{GC 546.1}

​The Brazen Serpent 


Here is another case Christ presented before Nicodemus – the serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness – and declared, “Even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). And if He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Verse 15). Now just look at that brazen serpent. The children of Israel had not realized that God had been keeping them by His angels sent to be their help and their protection. The people had not been destroyed by the serpents in their long travels through the wilderness. They had been an ungrateful people. FW 69.1

We are just so. We do not realize the thousand dangers that our heavenly Father has kept us from. We do not realize the great blessing that He has bestowed upon us in giving us food and raiment, in preserving our lives by sending the guardian angels to watch over us. Every day we should be thankful for this. We ought to have gratitude stirring in our hearts and come to God with a gratitude offering every day. We ought to gather around the family altar every day and praise Him for His watchcare over us. The children of Israel had lost sight that God was protecting them from the venomous beasts. But when He withdrew His hand their sting was upon them. FW 69.2

What then? Why, Christ Himself told Moses to set up a pole and make a brazen serpent and put it upon that pole and to raise it in the sight of the Israelites, that everyone who looked upon it might live. They had no great work to do. They were to look because God said it should be. FW 69.3

Now, suppose that they had stopped to reason it out and said, “Why, it cannot be that by looking at that brazen serpent we will be healed! There is no life in it!” But the look of faith did heal them just as God had told them it would. Those who looked lived. Those who stopped to argue and explain it, died. FW 69.4

What are we to do? Look and live. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). The reason? That those who behold Him “should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). FW 69.5

What kind of faith is that? Is it to believe simply, or is it a faith of admission? There are many here who have that kind of faith. You believe that Jesus was the Son of God; but do you have a personal faith in regard to your own salvation? Do you believe that Jesus is your Saviour? that He died on Calvary’s cross to redeem you? that He has offered you the gift of everlasting life if you believe on Him? FW 70.1