BIRMINGHAM BIBLE STUDENTS

logo Birmingham Bible StudentsThe Birmingham class have been meeting together for 45 years since 1967, we are a small group of individuals who fellowship in harmony with the bible teachings (Matt 18:20). We meet once a week in an informal setting where we are able to relax & learn from the bible, everyone has the opportunity to ask questions, give their opinion, share their thoughts so that we ALL fully understand the TRUTH, whilst promoting and encouraging FAITH and erasing fears based on common misperceptions of the Bible. It is not our intention to attack or denigrate the beliefs of others. The Birmingham Bible Class are supporters of the Bible Standard Ministries.  You can read more about the movement here. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.  If you do not live in Birmingham but would like to fellowship, there are other similar classes around the UK (Hyde, London, Sheffield, Cardiff, etc.) and the World (USA, France, Germany, Brazil, Poland, India, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, etc.) .

DAILY MANNA

< 2019 >
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1
  • July 1
    All day
    2019.07.01-2020.06.27

    Walk as children of light … proving what is acceptable unto the Lord--Eph. 5: 8, 10.

    If we be sanctified to God by the Truth—if our wills be dead, and the Lord's will be fully accepted as ours, in thought, word and act—we have attained the will of God and shall win the prize as "overcomers"; even if, opportunities being denied us, we never preached, never gave to the poor and never suffered as martyrs for the Truth's sake. Let us all note well this point, "This is the will of God [concerning you], even your sanctification." Let nothing becloud or obscure this truth—neither other truths nor errors. Let it dominate our course in life, and then, if God's will is really our will, we have a clearly marked pathway before us, which is very important—Z '99, 4 (R 2411).

    The children of the light are God's consecrated people who have the Truth. They conform their conduct to the doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types of God's Word. They constantly study the Word and seek to apply its principles to the circumstances of their lives, that they may thus ascertain what is pleasing to the Lord, and then do it—P '26, 95.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 14-16; John 12: 46; 2 Cor. 4: 6; 1 Thes. 5: 5; 1 John 1: 7; 2: 6, 9, 10; Rom. 12: 2; 13: 13; Eph. 5: 2, 10, 17; 1 Thes. 4: 3; 5: 24; Phil. 1: 10; 1 Tim. 2: 3.

    Hymns: 315, 1, 20, 196, 71, 125, 154.
    Poems of Dawn, 77: Not Seeing, Yet Believing.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 126 (R 5446).

    Questions: Did I this week seek as a child of the light to prove my disposition, motives, thoughts, words and deeds? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?

     

     
    NOT SEEING, YET BELIEVING

    THE clouds hang heavy 'round my way,
    I cannot see.
    But through the darkness I believe
    God leadeth me;
    'Tis sweet to keep my hand in His
    While all is dim;
    To close my weary, aching eyes
    And follow Him;
    Through many a thorny path He leads
    My tired feet.

    Through many a path of tears I go,
    But it is sweet
    To know that He is close to me,
    My God, my Guide;
    He leadeth me, and so I walk
    Quite satisfied.
    To my blind eyes He may reveal
    No light at all;
    But while I lean on His strong arm
    I cannot fall.
2
  • July 2
    All day
    2019.07.02-2020.06.28

    Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it--1 Cor. 4: 12.

    If you are a faithful pupil (in the school of Christ), it will not be long until you see that the perfect law of liberty, the law of Christ, is a discerner of the very thoughts and intents of the heart, and that while you must hate all sin, you cannot hate any sinner, and yet have the love of God perfected in your heart. If even so much as a bitter feeling against our traducers and maligners arise, it is to be fought, and so complete a victory gained over it that every fiber of our beings will be in sweet accord with our Great Teacher's instructions, "Love your enemies. Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Bless and injure not"—Z '99, 5 (R 2411).

    Because of their loyalty to God and His cause, God's people are made the targets of bitter upbraidings from the wicked. These they are not to meet with counter-revilings, but rather with kindly benedictions. They must endure various forms of refined and gross persecution but instead of returning evil for evil are quietly to bear the mistreatment—P '36, 94.

    Parallel passages: Acts 23: 2; 16: 23; 14: 19; 2 Cor. 11: 23-27; 1 Tim. 4: 10; Matt. 5: 44; 1 Pet. 2: 23; 3: 9; Luke 23: 34; Acts 7: 60; Rom. 12: 20; Acts 22: 22; 24: 5.

    Hymns: 299, 3, 57, 93, 305, 325, 326.
    Poems of Dawn, 67: If I Could Know.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 35 (R 5172).

    Questions: What experiences of this week were along the lines of this text? How were they met? What benefits came through them?

     

     
    IF I COULD KNOW

    IF I could only surely know
    That all these things that tire me so
    Were noticed by my Lord--
    The pang that cuts me like a knife,
    The noise, the weariness, the strife,
    And all the nameless ills of life--
    What peace it would afford!

    I wonder if He really shares
    In all these little human cares,
    This mighty King of Kings!--
    If He who guides through boundless space
    Each radiant planet in its place,
    Can have the condescending grace
    To mind these petty things.

    It seems to me, if sure of this,
    Blent with each ill would come such bliss
    That I might covet pain,
    And deem whatever brought to me
    The blessed thought of Deity,
    And sense of Christ's sweet sympathy,
    Not loss, but richest gain.

    Dear Lord, my heart shall no more doubt
    That Thou dost compass me about
    With sympathy Divine.
    The Love for me once crucified
    Is not the love to leave my side,
    But waiteth ever to divide
    Each smallest care of mine.
3
  • July 3
    All day
    2019.07.03-2020.06.29

    I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved--Psa. 16: 8.

    He who has buried his own will completely in the will of the Lord can know no disappointment; but in every affair of his life he sees by faith Divine appointment or supervision, and hears the Word of the Lord in all of life's affairs assuring him, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." It is one of the evidences of reaching the graduating condition of heart, when we are able to take the oppositions of the great Adversary and of the world and of our own flesh patiently, uncomplainingly, unmurmuringly, "joyfully"—as a part of the disciplinary experience meted out to us by our all-wise and all-loving Lord—Z '99, 6 (R 2411).

    God's people place God first in all the affairs of life. When their interests conflict with the Lord's, they sacrifice their own desires on behalf of the Lord. He is, therefore, the goal of all their endeavors. He is their chief favorite. He also loves them above all others. He is on their side and will in nowise permit them to fall from their steadfastness and standing before him—P '30, 78.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 15: 2; Deut. 10: 12; 13: 3; Psa. 37: 4; 45: 10; 66: 8, 9; 73: 25, 26; 91: 14; Isa. 12: 2; 33: 22; Dan. 3: 17; Mark 12: 29-33; Rom. 8: 35-39; Jude 24.

    Hymns: 176, 177, 165, 339, 114, 307, 228.
    Poems of Dawn, 297: Our Father's at the Helm.
    Tower Reading: Z '07, 281 (R 4060).

    Questions: How have I set God first in this week's experiences? How did this keep me standing?

     

     
    OUR FATHER'S AT THE HELM

    THE boisterous waves with awful roar
    A little boat assailed,
    And pallid fear's distracting power
    O'er all on board prevailed.

    Save one, the captain's darling child,
    Who steadfast viewed the storm;
    And, cheerful, with composure smiled
    At danger's threatening form.

    "Do you feel safe," a seaman cried,
    "While terrors overwhelm?"
    "Why should I fear?" the boy replied--
    "My father's at the helm."

    So when our worldly all is reft,
    Our earthly helpers gone,
    We still have one true anchor left--
    God helps, and He alone.

    He to our prayers will bend an ear,
    He gives our pains relief;
    He turns to smiles each trembling tear,
    To joy each torturing grief.

    Then turn to Him 'mid sorrows wild,
    When want and woes o'erwhelm,
    Remembering, like the fearless child,
    Our Father's at the helm!
4
  • July 4
    All day
    2019.07.04-2020.06.30

    Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the Arm of the LORD revealed?--Isa. 53: 1.

    The call of the Church in the present time is to let the light shine and thus attract persecution, and to endure the persecution for righteousness' sake, and to be rightly exercised by it in patience, brotherly kindness, pity and love—toward the persecutors and toward all men. Let all, then, who see the prize, and who see the light of God's glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, be faithful to the Father's conditions, calling, service. Let all such give attention to this ministry (service) which we have received, and faint not. Be not discouraged, whether men hear or whether they forbear, whether they think ill of us or whether they speak ill of us; let us remember that our report at the end of the trial is to be rendered to the Lord Himself, when He is making up His jewels—Z '99, 10, 11 (R 2413).

    God's people bring a most heart-cheering message to our poor fallen race, a message that is thoroughly adapted to their needs; yet how few there are that receive it into good and honest hearts! The heart of this message is Christ crucified, the power and wisdom of God; but because of their failure to receive this message, the world cannot recognize Christ as Jehovah's mighty Agent nor should we be discouraged at their unbelief, since this is the way Christian discipleship is regarded by the world—P '35, 102.

    Parallel passages: John 1: 7, 12; 12: 38; Rom. 10: 16, 17; John 7: 5; 1 Cor. 1: 18, 19, 24; 2: 8; 2 Cor. 4: 3, 4; Matt. 11: 25; 13: 13-15; 16: 17; Rom. 1: 16, 17.

    Hymns: 116, 70, 260, 54, 23, 49, 315.
    Poems of Dawn, 91: Into His Marvelous Light.
    Tower Reading: Z '05, 204 (R 3589).

    Questions: Have I witnessed to the Lord this week? Under what circumstances? How was my witness received? What was the effect on myself and others?

     

     
    INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT

    OUT of disaster and ruin complete,
    Out of the struggle and dreary defeat,
    Out of my sorrow, and burden, and shame,
    Out of the evils too fearful to name,
    Out of my guilt and the criminal's doom,
    Out of the dreading, and terror, and gloom;

    Into the sense of forgiveness and rest,
    Into inheritance with all the blest,
    Into a righteous and permanent peace,
    Into the grandest and fullest release,
    Into the comfort without an alloy,
    Into a perfect and permanent joy.

    Wonderful love that hath wrought all for me!
    Wonderful work that hath thus set me free!
    Wonderful ground upon which I have come!
    Wonderful tenderness, welcoming home!

    Out of the terror at standing alone,
    Out, and forever, of being my own,
    Out of the hardness of heart and of will,
    Out of the longings which nothing could fill,
    Out of the bitterness, madness and strife,
    Out of myself and of all I called life;

    Into the light and the glory of God,
    Into the holy, made clean by His blood,
    Into His arms, the embrace and the kiss,
    Into the scene of ineffable bliss,
    Into the quiet, the infinite calm,
    Into the place of the song and the psalm.

    Wonderful holiness, bringing to light!
    Wonderful grace, putting all out of sight!
    Wonderful wisdom, devising the way!
    Wonderful power that nothing can stay!
5
  • July 5
    All day
    2019.07.05-2020.07.08

    The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ--2 Cor. 10: 4, 5.

    Let us remember that the first condition of acceptance with God is loyal obedience to His Word, the evidence of love for Him and faith in Him. Let us remember, also, that the second qualification He will look for in us is love for the brethren, readiness to be, to do and to suffer, to die on behalf of those who are really, truly consecrated children of God, seeking to walk in His ways—Z '99, 11 (R 2413).

    The weapons of our warfare are the reverse of carnal weapons; they are the Spirit and Word of our God. These, however, are sufficient to overthrow the strongholds of evil within us, root up imaginations and every pride-producing thing, and to enable us to subject our dispositions, thoughts, motives, words and acts to Christ, our Head, which proves our weapons to be effective—P '34, 95.

    Parallel passages: Eph. 6: 12-18; 1 Thes. 5: 8; 1 Tim. 1: 18; 6: 12; 2 Tim. 2: 3; 4: 7; 1 Cor. 2: 4; 2 Cor. 6: 7; 13: 3, 4; 1 Cor. 1: 19.

    Hymns: 266, 20, 272, 198, 183, 130, 13.
    Poems of Dawn, 127: Gideon's Army In Antitype.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 131 (R 5889).

    Questions: What have I done this week in the Christian warfare? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    GIDEON'S ARMY IN ANTITYPE

    ARISE! Then, O! Army of Gideon,
    Let him that is fearful return;
    Jehovah wants only the zealous,
    Whose hearts with the love of truth burn.

    Ten thousand remain! Still too many;
    Once more He their loyalty proves,
    To see who most faithfully serves Him,
    To see who most fervently loves.

    O! ye, who have sworn Him allegiance,
    Mark well! He is now testing you,
    With the water of truth He will prove you,
    To see who is loyal and true.

    Look well to your drinking, then, brother,
    That you no impurities trace,
    Take your lamp, your pitcher and trumpet,
    And stand every man in his place!

    Your sword is the "Sword of the Spirit,"
    Your lamp is the light from His Word,
    Your pitcher, this poor earthen vessel,
    You break at the voice of your Lord.

    Is your lamp burning bright in your pitcher?
    Doth your trumpet give forth "certain sound?"
    Soon the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon
    The enemy's host will confound.

    For sure is the victory promised,
    And great is the peace He awards--
    Then, "stand" in your place, all ye faithful,
    The battle's not yours, but the Lord's!
6
  • July 6
    All day
    2019.07.06-2020.07.02

    What man is he that feareth the LORD? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose--Psa. 25: 12.

    It is not for us to supervise the trials and difficulties which may beset us. It is for us to make an unreserved consecration of ourselves to the Lord and then leave to Him the decision of how great shall be our trials and besetments, how great our sacrifices in following His leadings. The Lord may see that some need special trials more than others, and those things which to some would be great trials and imply great sacrifices, to others, because of greater love to the Lord and His cause, and greater zeal for service, the sacrifice might be, as the Apostle expresses it of his own, "light afflictions, which are but for a moment, and which are working out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory"—Z '99, 13 (R 2416).

    To fear the Lord means to reverence Him; and the man who reverences God obeys Him, from duty and from disinterested love. Such an one God undertakes to teach the way of life, directing his heart and mind to eschew and reject the paths of evil and to love and choose the paths of right. If our reverence for God is genuine, we may trust with implicit faith that He will make our pathway bright. And our faith will be realized—P '33, 80.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 4: 10; 10: 12, 20, 21; Josh. 24: 14; 1 Sam. 2: 30; 12: 24; 2 Chron. 19: 7; Psa. 2: 11; 4: 4; 25: 13, 14; 33: 8, 18; 34: 7, 9, 11; 89: 7; 103: 13; 145: 19; Prov. 1: 7; Isa. 8: 13; Matt. 10: 28; Acts 13: 16, 26; 2 Cor. 7: 1; Heb. 12: 28; Rev. 11: 18.

    Hymns: 145, 11, 45, 55, 83, 46, 136.
    Poems of Dawn, 112: Lead Me.
    Tower Reading: Z '97, 256 (R 2208).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they used? In what did they result?

     

     
    LEAD ME

    I DO not ask, dear Lord, that life may be
    A pleasant road;
    I do not ask that Thou wouldst take from me
    Aught of its load;
    I do not ask that flowers should always spring
    Beneath my feet;
    I know too well the poison and the sting
    Of things too sweet.
    For one thing only, Lord, dear Lord, I plead:
    Lead me aright,
    Tho' strength should falter, and tho' heart should
    bleed,
    Through peace to light.

    I do not ask, dear Lord, that Thou shouldst shed
    Full radiance here;
    Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread
    Without a fear;
    I do not ask my cross to understand,
    My way to see;
    Better, in darkness, just to feel Thy hand,
    And follow Thee.
    Joy is like restless day, but peace Divine
    Like quiet night;
    Lead me, O Lord, till perfect day shall shine,
    Through peace to light.
7
  • July 7
    All day
    2019.07.07-2020.07.03

    Behold the Lamb of God--John 1: 36.

    All of the Lord's servants should call attention to the Lord and not to themselves. Let us each bend our energies to pointing men to the Lamb of God, and not to self-seeking. Modesty is a gem, wherever found, one of the graces of the Spirit, which all of the Lord's consecrated ones should seek to have largely developed and well polished. And let us remember that following Jesus, in the best sense, means that we walk in His paths, strive to do as nearly as we are able what He would do today, taking our lessons from what He did and said personally, and from the instructions which He has left for us, through the Apostles, respecting the path of fellowship in His sufferings, the path to glory and reward in His Kingdom—Z '99, 14, 15 (R 2417).

    Christ is the Lamb of God, because as an unblemished One He was chosen on the tenth of Nisan, and put to death on the fourteenth as the Passover for God's people. Lamblike He submitted to death; and His blood sprinkling the lintels and doorposts of God's House, stays the hand of the Second Death from injuring us. Of His roasted flesh it is our privilege to partake with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth and with the bitter herbs of persecution, etc., while we stand girded, shod, with staff in hand for our journey to antitypical Canaan—P '32, 95.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 45: 22; 65: 1, 2; Heb. 12: 2; Gen. 22: 7, 8; Ex. 12: 3; Isa. 53: 7; John 1: 29; Acts 8: 32; 1 Pet. 1: 19; Rev. 5: 6-14; 14: 1, 4; 19: 7-9; 21: 14, 22, 23; 22: 1, 3.

    Hymns: 190, 5, 28, 168, 178, 157, 155.
    Poems of Dawn, 31: A Present Help.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 107 (R 4998).

    Questions: Have I this week beheld the Lamb of God? How? With what results?

     

     
    A PRESENT HELP

    THERE is never a day so dreary,
    But God can make it bright;
    And unto the soul that trusts Him,
    He giveth songs in the night.

    There is never a path so hidden,
    But God will show us the way,
    If we seek for the Spirit's guidance,
    And patiently wait and pray.

    There is never a cross so heavy,
    But the loving hands are there,
    Outstretched in tender compassion,
    The burden to help us bear.

    There is never a heart that is broken,
    But the loving Christ can heal;
    For the heart that was pierced on Calvary,
    Doth still for His people feel.

    There is never a life so darkened,
    So hopeless and so unblest,
    But may be filled with the light of God,
    And enter His promised rest.

    There is never a sin nor a sorrow,
    There is never a care nor a loss,
    But that we may carry to Jesus,
    And leave at the foot of the cross.

    What more can we ask than He's promised?
    (And we know that His Word cannot fail,)
    Our refuge when storms are impending,
    Our help when temptations assail.

    Our Savior, our Friend and Redeemer,
    Our portion on earth and in Heaven;
    For He who withheld not His own Son,
    Hath with Him all things freely given.
8
  • July 8
    All day
    2019.07.08-2020.07.04

    The house of God, which is the Church of the living God--1 Tim. 3: 15; see Diaglott.

    The Lord's Church, the only one to which the name ecclesia … or Church, is properly applicable, is so insignificant, so unostentatious, and comparatively so poor in this world's riches, that it is not recognized nor recognizable from the worldly standpoint. It is neither man-made nor man-ruled; nor are its members enrolled on earth, but in heaven (Heb. 12: 23). Its Head and Bishop is the Lord; its law is His Word; it has but one Lord, one faith, one baptism; and it is built upon the testimonies of the holy Apostles and prophets—Jesus Christ Himself being its chief Cornerstone—Z '99, 37 (R 2427).

    The word "Church," in Greek, designates the elect character of God's people. They are indeed the "called out"; for they are separated by the Lord from the kingdom of darkness and the rule of Satan into the Kingdom of God's dear Son, and brought under the rule of Christ. The pillar that sustains Her and the foundation upon which She is built is Jesus Christ, Her Lord; and founded upon this Rock, She will remain to all eternity—P '26, 95.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 62: 12; Matt. 15: 13; 16: 18; Heb. 12: 23; Eph. 1: 22, 23; 2: 20-22; 5: 23-32; John 15: 1-8; Rom. 12: 4, 5; 1 Cor. 3: 9; 12: 12-28; 2 Cor. 6: 16; Heb. 3: 6; Rev. 21: 2, 9, 10.

    Hymns: 281, 6, 23, 170, 322, 58, 72.
    Poems of Dawn, 13: The True Church.
    Tower Reading: Z '03, 37 (R 3142).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in respect to the Church? How did they affect me? What were the results?

     

     
    THE TRUE CHURCH

    I.
    ONE Sabbath morn I roamed astray,
    And asked a Pilgrim for the way:
    "O tell me, whither shall I search,
    That I may find the one true Church?"
    He answered, "Search the world around;
    The one true Church is never found.
    Yon ivy on the abbey wall
    Makes fair the falsest Church of all."
    But, fearing he had told me wrong,
    I cried, "Behold the entering throng!"
    He answered, "If a Church be true,
    It hath not many, but a few!"
    Around a font the people pressed,
    And crossed themselves on brow and breast.
    "A cross so light to bear," he cried,
    "Is not of Christ, the Crucified!
    Each forehead, frowning, sheds it off:
    Christ's cross abides through scowl and scoff!"
    We entered at the open door,
    And saw men kneeling on the floor;
    Faint candle, by the daylight dimmed,
    As if by foolish virgins trimmed;
    Fair statues of the saints, as white
    As now their robes are, in God's sight;
    Stained windows, casting down a beam,
    Like Jacob's ladder in the dream.
    The Pilgrim gazed from nave to roof,
    And, frowning, uttered this reproof:
    "Alas! Who is it understands
    God's Temple is not made with hands?"

    II.
    We walked in ferns so wet with dew
    They plashed our garments trailing through,
    And came upon a church whose dome
    Upheld a cross, but not for Rome.
    We brushed a cobweb from a pane,
    And watched the service in the fane.
    "Do prayers," he asked, "the more avail,
    If offered at an altar rail?
    Does water sprinkled from a bowl,
    Wash any sin from any soul?
    Do tongues that taste the bread and wine
    Speak truer after such a sign?"
    Just then, upon a maple spray,
    Two orioles perched, and piped a lay,
    Until the gold beneath their throats
    Shook molten in their mellow notes.
    Resounding from the church, a psalm
    Rolled, quivering, through the outer calm.
    "Both choirs," said I, "are in accord,
    For both give praises to the Lord."
    "The birds," he answered, "chant a song
    Without a note of sin or wrong:
    The church's anthem is a strain
    Of human guilt and mortal pain."
    The orioles and the organ ceased,
    And in the pulpit rose the priest.
    The Pilgrim whispered in my ear,
    "It profits not to tarry here."
    "He speaks no error," answered I,
    "He teaches that the living die;
    The dead arise; and both are true;
    Both wholesome doctrines; neither new."
    The Pilgrim said, "He strikes a blow
    At wrongs that perished long ago;
    But covers with a shielding phrase
    The living sins of present days."
    We turned away among the tombs--
    A tangles place of briers and blooms.
    I spelled the legends on the stones:
    Beneath reposed the martyrs' bones,
    The bodies which the rack once brake
    In witness for the dear Lord's sake,
    The ashes gathered from the pyres
    Of saints whose zeal our soul inspires.
    The Pilgrim murmured as we passed,
    "So gained they all the crown at last.
    Men lose it now through looking back,
    To find it at the stake, the rack;
    The rack and stake are old with grime;
    God's touchstone is the living time!"

    III.
    We passed where poplars, gaunt and tall,
    Let twice their length of shadow fall.
    Then rose a meeting-house in view,
    Of bleached and weather-beaten hue.
    Men, plain of garb and pure of heart,
    Divided church and world apart.
    Nor did they vex the silent air
    With any sound of hymn or prayer.
    God's finger to their lips they pressed,
    Till each man kissed it and was blessed.
    I asked, "Is this the true Church, then?"
    He answered, "Nay, a sect of men:
    And sects that shut their doors in pride
    Shut God and half His saints outside.
    The gates of Heaven, the Scriptures say,
    Stand open wide, by night and day.
    So, then, to enter, is there need
    To carry key of church or creed?"

    IV.
    Still following where the highway led,
    Till elms made arches overhead,
    We saw a spire and weathercock,
    And snow-white church upon a rock--
    A rock, where centuries before,
    Came sea-tossed pilgrims to the shore.
    My sandals straightway I unbound,
    Because the place was holy ground.
    I cried, "One church at last I find,
    That fetters not the human mind."
    "This church," said he, "is like the rest;
    For all are good, but none is best."

    V.
    Then far from every church we strayed--
    Save Nature's pillared aisles of shade.
    The squirrels ran to see us pass,
    And God's sweet breath was on the grass.
    I challenged all the creeds, and sought
    What truth, or lie, or both, they taught.
    I asked, "Had Augustine a fault?"
    The Pilgrim gazed at heaven's high vault,
    And answered, "Can a mortal eye
    Contain the sphere of all the sky?"
    I said, "The circle is too wide."
    "God's truth is wider!" he replied.
    "Though Augustine was on his knee,
    He saw how little he could see;
    Though Luther sought with burning heart,
    He caught the glory but in part;
    Though Calvin opened wide his soul,
    He comprehended not the whole.
    Not Luther, Calvin, Augustine,
    Saw visions such as I have seen."
    While yet he spake, a rapture stole
    Through all my still inquiring soul.
    I looked upon His holy brow,
    Entreating, "Tell me, who art THOU?"
    But such a splendor filled the place,
    I knew it was the Lord's own face!
    I was a sinner, and afraid!
    I knelt in dust, and thus I prayed:
    "O Christ, the Lord! end Thou my search,
    And lead me to the one true Church."
    He spake as never man may speak--
    "The one true Church thou shalt not seek,
    Seek thou, forevermore, instead,
    To find the one true Christ, its Head!"
    The Lord then vanished from my sight,
    And left me standing in the light.
9
  • July 9
    All day
    2019.07.09-2020.07.05

    When he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice--John 10: 4.

    The voice of the Good Shepherd is a blending of various sounds in a manner in which they are blended by no other voice. His voice sounds forth the chord of justice commingled with the chord of love, and the whole intoned with wisdom and with power. Other theories, plans and schemes of men and devils have no such harmony of sound as has the message which the Great Shepherd has sent us through His Son. Moreover, when the true sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, it satisfies their longings as nothing else could do. They will no longer be in danger of being attracted by other sounds or voices, theories or schemes, but will reply to all,
    "Jesus has satisfied, Jesus is mine."
    —Z '00, 230 (R 2672).

    The Lord put forth His sheep from the Mosaic Covenant fold by His death and their consecration into Him. Like a true shepherd, He did not drive but led them; and they followed Him to the green pastures and the quiet waters of the Word and the blessed paths of righteousness. They recognize His voice—the Truth—by its sweet, comforting and harmonious ring, which is life to them—P '36, 94.

    Parallel passages: Ezek. 34: 2, 12, 14, 23; John 14: 6; Rom. 5: 1, 2; Heb. 10: 19-22; John 10: 1-18; 15: 13; Psa. 23: 1-4; Heb. 13: 20; 1 Pet. 5: 4; Zech. 11: 17; Nah. 1: 7; 1 Cor. 8: 3; 2 Tim. 1: 12; Isa. 53: 6.

    Hymns: 284, 286, 288, 257, 12, 87, 145.
    Poems of Dawn, 70: The Lord My Shepherd.
    Tower Reading: Z '10, 398 (R 4732).

    Questions: How did Jesus as Shepherd and I as a sheep act toward one another this week? Under what circumstances? With what results?

     

     
    THE LORD MY SHEPHERD

    THE Lord my shepherd feeds me,
    And I no want shall know;
    He in green pastures leads me,
    By streams which gently flow.

    He doth, when ill betides me,
    Restore me from distress;
    For His name's sake He guides me
    In paths of righteousness.

    His rod and staff shall cheer me,
    When passing death's dark vale;
    My Lord will still be near me,
    And I shall fear no ill.

    My food He doth appoint me,
    Prepared before my foes;
    With oil He doth anoint me;
    My cup of bliss o'erflows.

    His goodness shall not leave me,
    His mercy still shall guide,
    Till God's house shall receive me,
    Forever to abide.
10
  • July 10
    All day
    2019.07.10-2020.07.06
11
  • July 11
    All day
    2019.07.11-2020.07.07

    Whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not; but … keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not--1 John 5: 18.

    So long as the heart (the mind, the will) is holy, in harmony with God and righteousness, that is to say, so long as the … spirit of holiness continues in us, the new mind cannot approve of sin, but must and will be its opponent. Even though many of the battles fought are with the members of our fallen and weak human nature, their appetites and desires, we nevertheless … are separate and distinct from the flesh; and the weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh are not imputed to the new mind in Christ Jesus, but are reckoned as covered, hidden under the merit of our Lord's redemptive sacrifice—Z '99, 58 (R 2438).

    A new creature is begotten of God. It is a spiritual quality in every organ of the brain, enabling each organ to co-operate in willing God's will. The new creature, therefore, as the will to will and to do God's will, never sins. This new creature keeps guard over all the thoughts, motives, words and deeds, to subject them to God's will, and this prevents the Adversary from contaminating the one begotten of God—P '35, 102.

    Parallel passages: John 1: 13; 3: 3-5; Jas. 1: 18; 1 Pet. 1: 5, 23; Rom. 7: 17; Jude 20, 21, 24, 25; Luke 22: 31, 32; Rom. 16: 20; 2 Cor. 4: 4; 11: 3; John 8: 44; 1 John 2: 13, 14.

    Hymns: 136, 183, 21, 82, 78, 130, 184.
    Poems of Dawn, 50: God Knows.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 237 (R 5742).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What resulted therefrom?

     

     
    GOD KNOWS

    GOD knows—not I—the devious way
    Wherein my faltering feet must tread,
    Before into the light of day
    My steps from out this gloom are led.
    And since my Lord the path doth see,
    What matter if 'tis hid from me?

    God knows—not I—how sweet accord
    Shall grow at length from out this clash
    Of earthly discords which have jarred
    On soul and sense; I hear the crash,
    Yet feel and know that on His ear
    Breaks harmony—full, deep and clear.

    God knows—not I—why, when I'd fain
    Have walked in pastures green and fair,
    The path He pointed me hath lain
    Through rocky deserts bleak and bare.
    I blindly trust—since 'tis His will--
    This way lies safety, that way ill.

    His perfect plan I may not grasp,
    Yet I can trust Love Infinite,
    And with my feeble fingers clasp
    The hand which leads me into light.
    My soul upon His errand goes--
    The end I know not—but God knows.
12
  • July 12
    All day
    2019.07.12-2020.07.08

    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed--John 8: 36.

    The true disciples, heeding the Word of the Great Teacher, and continuing in all things to be His pupils, are not only set free from superstitions and ignorance but also from the service of sin, and receive instead a correct appreciation of their own natural weaknesses and blemishes, and of the Divine mind—the Truth. In consequence, their freedom is one which blesses instead of injuring them; one which brings humility instead of pride and boastfulness; one which brings patience instead of anger; one which brings generosity and benevolence instead of spitefulness and selfishness; one which brings joy and peace instead of discontent and bitterness of spirit. Truly, the Son alone can make us free indeed—Z '99, 57 (R 2438).

    The Son of God is the great Emancipator. He frees the most pitiable kind of slaves from the most oppressive kind of bondage (Satan's) at the hands of the most cruel kind of taskmasters (sin, error, selfishness, worldliness, death and hell). He gives them the best kind of glorious liberty, that of willing the will of God, exercised from the purest motives—faith, hope, love and obedience—unto life everlasting, and all this as a gift of His love, made possible by the most unique sacrifice and ministry recorded in the annals of the world's history—P '34, 95.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 49: 24-26; 61: 1-3; 63: 4; Luke 4: 18; John 8: 31-35; Rom. 7: 22, 23; 8: 2; 2 Cor. 3: 17; Gal. 3: 28; 5: 1; Col. 3: 11; 1 John 1: 7-9; Rev. 1: 5; 5: 9.

    Hymns: 246, 54, 15, 132, 194, 255, 95.
    Poems of Dawn, 98: A Little Talk With Jesus.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 227 (R 5506).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in Christian freedom? How were they met? In what did they result?

     

     
    A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS

    A LITTLE talk with Jesus,--
    How it smoothes the rugged road!
    How it seems to help me onward,
    When I faint beneath my load!
    When my heart is crushed with sorrow,
    And mine eyes with tears are dim,
    There is naught can yield me comfort
    Like a little talk with Him.

    I tell Him I am weary,
    And I fain would be at rest;
    But I still will wait His bidding,
    For His way is always best.
    Then His promise ever cheers me
    'Mid all the cares of life:--
    "I am come, and soon in glory
    Will end thy toil and strife."
13
  • July 13
    All day
    2019.07.13-2020.07.09

    Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness--2 Cor. 11: 14, 15.

    If it be asked, How could Satan be interested in doing a good work? we answer, the Adversary thus assumes the garment of an angel of light and mercy, not to lead to the Light of the World—not to lead to the cross of Christ—not to lead to the Bible—but to lead away from these, to another hope of salvation, and to another teacher, to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. And be it remembered that our Lord's words indicate that when matters come to this condition, where Satan will cast out Satan and heal disease, it is a marked evidence that his throne is tottering to its fall—that, so to speak, this is the last extremity of the Adversary's efforts to deceive—Z '99, 62 (R 2669).

    In Satan we have a foe testful of our hearts. In conflict with him, we, alone and unassisted would, because of his great cunning, be as pygmies in the hands of a giant. So cunning is he that he can make good appear evil and evil appear good; and for his own selfish purposes he causes his servants to appear as servants of righteousness, so that he might, if possible, deceive the very elect. Hence we should be ever vigilant against his and his servants' machinations, which are always deceitful—P '33, 80.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 3: 1-5, 13-15; John 8: 44; 2 Cor. 11: 3, 4, 13; 2 Thes. 2: 9; Rev. 12: 9; 20: 1-3, 7-9; Acts 20: 29-31; Rom. 16: 17; Gal. 1: 8; Phil. 3: 18, 19; 2 Tim. 3: 1-9; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 1 John 4: 1-6; 2 John 7-10; Jude 4-19; Rev. 2: 2, 13-15, 20-24.

    Hymns: 49, 22, 296, 311, 315, 332, 343.
    Poems of Dawn, 109: My Prayer.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 341 (R 5799).

    Questions: Have Satan and his servants sought this week to deceive me? How? Did I succumb or overcome? How? With what results?

     

     
    MY PRAYER

    BEING perplexed, I say,
    Lord, make it right!
    Night is as day to Thee,
    Darkness is light.
    I am afraid to touch
    Things that involve so much.
    My trembling hand may shake,
    Mine unskilled hand may break;
    Thine can make no mistake.

    Being in doubt, I say,
    Lord, make it plain!
    Which is the true, safe way,
    Which would be vain?
    I am not wise to know,
    Nor sure of foot to go;
    My poor eyes cannot see
    What is so clear to Thee--
    Lord, make it clear to me.
14
  • July 14
    All day
    2019.07.14-2020.07.10

    Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice--Eph. 4: 31.

    From his high standpoint of appreciation of the Divine law, the advanced Christian sees that in the Lord's sight hatred is murder, slander is assassination, and the destruction of a neighbor's good name is robbery and rapine. And any of these things done in the Church, among the professed people of God, is doubly evil—the assassination and robbery of a brother. The only exception to this rule, "Speak evil of no man," would come in where we might know of an absolute necessity for making known an evil—where the relating of the evil would be contrary to our heart's wishes, and only mentioned because of necessity—because of love for others who, if not informed, might be injured—Z '99, 71 (R 2442).

    Bitterness, wrath, anger, evil-speaking and malice are works of the flesh. Therefore, it behooves saints to put them aside. We should exercise faith, hope, love and persistent determination as well as the cleansing power of the Word against them. Let us by these good qualities seek to detach our sentiments and divert our attention from, and restrain, displace and become impervious to, them—P '32, 95.

    Parallel passages: Rom. 12: 14, 18-21; Col. 3: 8, 13, 19; Titus 3: 2; Jas. 3: 5-18; 4: 11; 1 Pet. 2: 1, 23; 3: 9; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Eph. 4: 26, 32; 5: 1, 2; 2 Cor. 3: 12-18.

    Hymns: 194, 130, 198, 215, 95, 196, 165.
    Poems of Dawn, 199: "So As By Fire."
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 43 (R 4759).

    Questions: What experiences of this week were connected with this text? How were they met? What were the results?

     

     
    "SO AS BY FIRE"

    I SOMETIMES feel so passionate a yearning
    For spiritual perfection here below,
    This vigorous frame with healthful fervor burning,
    Seems my determined foe.

    So actively it makes a stern resistance,
    So cruelly it sometimes wages war
    Against the higher spiritual existence,
    Which I am striving for.

    It interrupts my soul's intense devotions;
    Some hope it strangles at its very birth
    With a swift rush of violent emotions
    Which link me to the earth.

    It is as if two mortal foes contended
    Within my bosom in a deadly strife;
    One for the loftier aims Jesus intended,
    One for the "Mammon" life.

    And yet I know this very war within me,
    Which brings out all my will-power and control;
    This very conflict yet through Christ shall win me
    The loved and longed-for goal.

    And when in the immortal ranks enlisted,
    Sometimes I wonder if we shall not find
    That not for deeds alone, but also what's resisted,
    Our places were assigned.
15
  • July 15
    All day
    2019.07.15-2020.07.11

    Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor … and have not love, it profiteth me nothing--1 Cor. 13: 3.

    In our ministrations to others we are not to forget that money is not the only thing of which people are sorely in need—some need love and sympathy who do not need money. Our Lord was one of these; His own heart, full of love, found comparatively little companionship in the more or less sordid minds of even the noblest of the fallen race represented among His Apostles. In Mary He seemed to find the depth of love and devotion which was to Him an odor of sweet incense, of refreshment, of reinvigoration, a tonic; and Mary apparently appreciated, more than did others, the lengths and breadths of the Master's character. She not only delighted to sit at His feet to learn of Him but also delighted, at great cost, to give Him some manifestation of her devotion, her love—Z '99, 77 (R 2447).

    The Apostle's words imply the possibility of giving without charity and as we think of the matter, we recognize the truth of his statement from the fact that some give for vainglory, some for show, some for profit and some from envy and strife. Instead of such giving benefiting, it positively depraves character. In order to bless both him who gives and him who receives, giving must flow from Divine love—P '26, 95.

    Parallel passages: John 13: 34; 1 Cor. 13: 1, 2, 4-13; 16: 14; 2 Cor. 9: 7; Matt. 6: 1-4; 7: 22, 23; Prov. 17: 9; Gal. 5: 6; 1 Thes. 4: 9; 2 Thes. 1: 3; 1 Tim. 1: 5; 1 Pet. 4: 8; 1 John 3: 14-18.

    Hymns: 170, 165, 166, 22, 201, 95, 105.
    Poems of Dawn, 157: I Was Longing to Serve My Master.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 215 (R 5926).

    Questions: From what motives did I do good this week? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the circumstances and results?

     

     
    I WAS LONGING TO SERVE MY MASTER

    I WAS longing to serve my Master,
    But, alas! I was laid aside
    From the busy and happy workers,
    Who toiled in the field so wide.
    They were few, yes, few in number,
    And I could not understand
    Why I should be kept inactive,--
    It was not as I had planned.

    I was longing to serve my Master,
    I knew that the work was great,
    For me it was easy to labor,
    But, oh, it was hard to wait;
    To lie quite still and be silent,
    While the song was borne to mine ear
    Of the reapers with whom I had mingled
    In the work to my heart so dear.

    I was longing to serve my Master,
    Oh, this was my one fond thought,
    For this I was ever pleading,
    When His footstool in prayer I sought;
    And the seasons of sweet communion
    Were few and far apart,--
    Not of Him so much as His service,
    Were the thoughts that filled my heart.

    I was longing to serve my master,--
    He led to a desert place
    And there as we stopped and rested
    His eyes looked down in my face,
    So full of tender reproaching,
    That filled me with sad surprise.
    Did He think I had grudged my service
    And counted it sacrifice?

    "Oh, Master, I long to serve Thee,
    The time is so short at best,
    Let me go to the field," I pleaded,
    "I care not to stay and rest!"
    I knelt at His feet, imploring,
    I gazed in His face above;
    "My child," He said gently, "your service
    Is nothing without your love."

    I was longing to serve my Master,
    I thought that His greatest care
    Was to keep all His workers busy
    In reaping the sheaves so fair.
    But there on the lonely desert,
    Afar from the busy scene,
    It dawned on me slowly and sadly
    Where the great mistake had been:

    My mind was so full of service,
    I had drifted from Him apart,
    And he longed for the old confiding,
    The union of heart with heart.
    I sought and received forgiveness,
    While mine eyes with tears were dim,
    And now tho' the work is still precious,
    The first place is kept for Him.
16
  • July 16
    All day
    2019.07.16-2020.07.12

    Be ye filled with the Spirit--Eph. 5: 18.

    The measure of our filling will correspond with the measure of our emptying of the spirit of self-will, and filling with the spirit of faith and obedience. And although the obedience cannot do otherwise than manifest itself in the daily life, nevertheless, it is the obedience of the intention, of the will, of the heart, that the Lord regards in His consecrated people. Hence some whose hearts are thoroughly loyal to the Lord may be pleasing to Him, while not the most pleasing to some of those with whom they come in contact; while others, "highly esteemed among men" because of outward moralities, may be an "abomination" in the sight of God, because of coldness or dishonesty of heart. Nevertheless, he that hath the new hope in him, and the new spirit, will seek to purify himself, not only in his thoughts but also in his words and deeds and all his affairs, inward and outward—Z '99, 92 (R 2455).

    To be filled with the Spirit means, as disciples of Christ, to be dominated by the primary graces, harmoniously adjusted one to another. To receive such a filling implies a faithful use of the Spirit, Word and providences of God; and to remain so filled results not only in the crystallization of a character like Christ's but also in a fitness for the Kingdom with Him. Such Spirit-filling has the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come—P '36, 94.

    Parallel passages: Mark 13: 11; Luke 11: 13; John 3: 34; 7: 38, 39; 14: 16, 17, 26; Acts 4: 8, 31; 5: 32; 6: 5; 9: 31; 11: 24; 13: 52; Rom. 5: 3-5; 8: 1-16; 1 Cor. 2: 4, 10-14; 3: 16; 2 Cor. 3: 3, 6, 17, 18; Gal. 5: 16, 17, 22, 25.

    Hymns: 198, 90, 91, 95, 128, 1, 201.
    Poems of Dawn, 150: The Watered Lilies.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 182 (R 5912).

    Questions: Was I filled with the Spirit this week? How did it take place? What was helpful or hindersome? With what results?

     

     
    THE WATERED LILIES

    THE Master stood in His garden,
    Among the lilies fair,
    Which His own right hand had planted,
    And trained with tend'rest care;

    He looked at their snowy blossoms,
    And marked with observant eye
    That the flowers were sadly drooping,
    For their leaves were parched and dry.

    "My lilies need to be watered,"
    The heavenly Master said;
    "Wherein shall I draw it for them,
    And raise each drooping head?"

    Close to His feet on the pathway,
    Empty, and frail, and small,
    An earthen vessel was lying,
    Which seemed of no use at all;

    But the Master saw, and raised it
    From the dust in which it lay,
    And smiled, as He gently whispered,
    "This shall do My work today:

    "It is but an earthen vessel,
    But it lay so close to Me;
    It is small but it is empty--
    That is all it needs to be."

    So to the fountain He took it,
    And filled it full to the brim;
    How glad was the earthen vessel
    To be of some use to Him!

    He poured forth the living water
    Over His lilies fair,
    Until the vessel was empty,
    And again He filled it there.

    He watered the drooping lilies
    Until they revived again;
    And the Master saw with pleasure
    That His labor had not been vain.

    His own hand had drawn the water
    Which refreshed the thirsty flowers;
    But He used the earthen vessel
    To convey the living showers.

    And to itself it whispered,
    As he laid it aside once more,
    "Still will I lie in His pathway,
    just where I did before.

    "Close would I keep to the Master,
    Empty would I remain,
    And perhaps some day He may use me
    To water His flowers again."
17
  • July 17
    All day
    2019.07.17-2020.07.13

    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee--Isa. 26: 3.

    This is not worldly peace, not the peace of indifference, not the peace of sloth, not the peace of self-indulgence, not the peace of fatalism; but it is the peace of Christ—"My peace." Looking back we can see that the Master preserved His peace with God under all conditions. It is a peace which implicitly trusts to the Divine wisdom, love, justice and power—a peace which remembers the gracious promise made to the Lord's faithful, that nothing shall by any means hurt His faithful, and that all things shall work together for good to them that love God. This peace can accept by faith whatever Divine providence permits, and can look through its tears with joyful expectancy, for the ultimate blessings which the Master has promised, and of which the present peace and joy are merely foretastes—Z '99, 95 (R 2455).

    For the mind to be stayed on the Lord, implies not only justification and consecration but also a faithful compliance with their terms. To such and to such only does God promise perfect peace. Nor is this peace the rest of the heart and mind of their humanity; it is the peace of God that as consecrated ones they are privileged to enjoy—a peace that increases in length and depth and height and breadth in proportion to the thoroughness of their spirit of consecration—P '30, 79.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 29: 11; 119: 165; Isa. 54: 10, 13; John 14: 27; Rom. 8: 6; 15: 13, 33; Eph. 2: 14-17; Phil. 4: 7, 9; Col. 1: 20; 3: 15; Heb. 4:1-16.

    Hymns: 56, 109, 110, 244, 273, 233, 307.
    Poems of Dawn, 178: God's Perfect Peace.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 102 (R 5431).

    Questions: Have I kept perfect peace this week? Why and how? What hindered or helped therein? With what results?

     

     
    GOD'S PERFECT PEACE

    LIKE a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
    Over all victorious in its glad increase.
    Perfect; yet it floweth fuller every day;
    Perfect; yet it groweth deeper all the way.
    Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are truly blest,
    Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

    Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
    Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
    Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
    Not a blast of hurry toucheth spirit there.
    Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are truly blest,
    Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

    Every joy or trial cometh from above,
    Traced upon our dial by the Sun of love.
    We may trust Him solely, all for us to do;
    They who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true.
    Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are truly blest,
    Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
18
  • July 18
    All day
    2019.07.18-2020.07.14

    In the last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be … traitors, heady … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God--2 Tim. 3: 1, 4.

    The true Christian is not "heady"; on the contrary, his consecration to the Lord figuratively decapitated him. He lost his head, renounced his own will and self-rule, and submitted himself as a disciple of Jesus Christ, to the absolute control of Jesus, the Head. … The true Christian therefore, in every affair of life, in respect to its pleasures as well as in respect to its burdens and trials, appeals to his Head for direction, to know how and what to do or say—yes, to have even the very thoughts of his mind in full conformity to the will of God in Christ—Z '99, 102 (R 2459).

    We are in the last days; and, true to the Apostle's description, these are perilous times, not only in the world but also among Christians. "The [so the Greek] men," here described, belong to the antitypical Jannes and Jambres classes (v. 8). Treacherous, indeed, have they been against their Lord and former brethren, whom they, like Judas of old, sell for gain. In their stubbornness, they are truly heady. The life of self-denial, flowing from love to God, has lost its charm for them, and is dead by reason of their love of selfish and worldly indulgence—P '35, 102.

    Parallel passages: 1 Tim. 4: 1, 2; 2 Pet. 2: 1-3, 10-22; 3: 3; 1 John 2: 18, 19; 2 John 7, 10, 11; 3 John 9-11; Jude 3, 4, 8-19; Heb. 6: 4-6; 10: 26-29; 1 John 5: 16.

    Hymns: 318, 1, 12, 78, 130, 136, 198.
    Poems of Dawn, 265: The Coming Storm.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 70 (R 5413).

    Questions: What have been this week's observations as to this text? What did they effect in me?

     

     
    THE COMING STORM

    O SAD is my heart for the storm that is coming;
    Like eagles the scud sweepeth in from the
    sea;
    The gull seeketh shelter, the pine trees are sighing,
    And all giveth note of the tempest to be
    A spell hath been whispered from cave and from
    ocean,
    The shepherds are sleeping, the sentinels dumb,
    The flocks are all scattered on moorland and
    mountain,
    And no one believes that the Master is come.

    He's come, but whom doth He find their watch
    keeping?
    O where—in His presence—is faith the world
    o'er?
    The rich, every sense in soft luxury steeping;
    The poor, scarce repelling the wolf from the door.
    O man, and O maiden, drop trifling and pleasure,
    O! hark, while I tell of the sorrows to be,--
    As well might I plead in the path of yon glacier,
    Or cry out a warning to wave of the sea!
19
  • July 19
    All day
    2019.07.19-2020.07.15

    The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?--John 18: 11.

    How the grace of humility shines out in all the little affairs of our dear Redeemer's ministry; even at the moment of His surrender to His enemies He does not boast that His course is a voluntary one, nor seek praise as a martyr! He declares the simple truth that the Father required this of Him as an evidence of His personal loyalty to Him. He confesses Himself a servant of God, a Son who learned obedience by the things which He suffered. No other lesson, perhaps, is more needed by the Lord's followers than the one of willingness to drink the cup which the Father pours—a recognition that the Father is guiding and directing in our affairs because we are His, as disciples of the Anointed One—Z '99, 118; '01, 91 (R 2467, 2778).

    The cup symbolizes experiences of bliss or woe; and as nothing happens to the saints, and as all things coming into their lives are of the Father's will, they recognize their experiences as the cup that the Father offers them to drink. As it was to their Master, it should be to them a self-evident matter that they drink it always with a contented mind and, as far as possible, with a thankful and appreciative heart, to God's glory and others' and their own profit—P '34, 95.

    Parallel passages: Job 13: 15; Psa. 119: 75; Jer. 10: 19; Matt. 20: 22; 26: 39, 42; Luke 22: 20; Rom. 5: 3-5; 1 Cor. 10: 16, 21; 2 Cor. 7: 4; Phil. 3: 8; Psa. 23: 5; 116: 13; Isa. 51: 22, 23.

    Hymns: 168, 276, 5, 299, 325, 326, 134.
    Poems of Dawn, 237: The Angel of Gethsemane.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 84 (R 5421).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they borne? In what did they result?

     

     
    THE ANGEL OF GETHSEMANE

    'TWAS midnight, and the Man of Sorrows took
    His chosen three,
    And sought with weary step the shelter of Geth-
    semane
    To pray, His soul exceeding sorrowful, e'en unto
    death,
    And heavy laden with the sin and woe of all the
    world.
    In agony of bloody sweat He fell upon His face,
    And cried, with tears, "My God, My Father, if it
    be Thy will,
    Oh, let this cup of shame and numbering with trans-
    gressors pass,--
    If it be possible! Yet not My will, but Thine be
    done!"
    And then His thoughts turned to the sacrifice,—a
    fear bore down
    With agonizing weight upon His heart, lest to comply
    With every jot and tittle of the Law, He might have
    failed!
    He saw the priestly type, He knew eternal death
    awaited,
    Should He seek to pass the second veil unworthily.
    Eternal death! Oh, anguish inexpressible, to see
    No more His Father's face! He sought His well-
    beloved three,
    Perchance they might refresh His fainting heart with
    some sure word
    Of prophecy. Alas! Their eyes were heavy and
    they slept.
    Three times He sought them, and three times in vain!
    Yet He was heard
    In that He feared. The Father sent a heavenly
    comforter
    To touch with tender, strengthening hand that dear,
    devoted head,
    And whisper, " 'I, the LORD, in righteousness have
    called Thee, I
    Will hold Thine hand, and keep Thee.' Neither shalt
    Thou 'fail nor be
    Discouraged.' Lo, Thou art 'a Priest forever, and a
    King
    Upon Thy throne, like to Melchisedec.' And Thou
    shalt see
    The travail of Thy soul, and shalt be satisfied.'"
    His heart
    Revived, He knew His Father's faithful Word could
    never fail;
    He knew it would accomplish that whereunto it was
    sent.
    He rose, and from that hour went forth to trial and
    to death,
    In peace,—a calmness born of perfect confidence in
    God.

    How oft, throughout the many-centuried "night" of
    this dark Age,
    The Father's "little ones" have knelt in sad Geth-
    semane
    To pray! E'en now the Garden's shade re-echoes
    with the cry
    Of God's elect, "How long, oh, Lord, how long
    until we see
    The travail of our soul? How long until Thou shalt
    avenge
    Thine own elect, who cry to Thee, with tears, both
    night and day?

    *   *   *

    Dear Lord, oh, use me as the Angel in Gethsemane!
    Oh, fill me with Thy holy Spirit of Divinest love!
    Oh! make me sympathetic, wise, that every anguished
    heart
    May come, nor seek in vain for consolation from
    Thy Word,
    And strengthened, comforted, go forth to prison or
    to death,
    To suffer patiently the cruel mockings of the tongue;
    To bear the cross unto the bitter end, then calmly say,
    " 'Tis finished," and with faith unwavering pass be-
    neath "the veil!"
20
  • July 20
    All day
    2019.07.20-2020.07.16

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. … Every branch in me … that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit--John 15: 1, 2.

    As even the best branches in the vine, which give evidence of fruit-bearing, require pruning, so even the most honest and earnest of the Lord's people require the Lord's discipline and providential care—otherwise they might soon run to wood-making also, and fail to bring forth much fruit. The true child of God whose will has been entirely immersed into the will of the Lord is neither offended nor discouraged by these prunings. He has learned something at least of his own unwisdom, and has confidence in the wisdom of the great Husbandman. Hence when Divine providence estops his efforts in some directions, he takes the thwarting of his plans joyfully, assured that the Lord's will and the Lord's way are the best, and intended to work out a blessing—Z '99, 109 (R 2464).

    The objects in nature furnished our Lord with much illustrative matter in teaching His disciples. Our text brings to our attention the Vine, Christ, out of whom His members have grown as branches. Under the care of the Father each of these branches has borne the fruit of Christlikeness. They have needed the continual cleansing and pruning work of the Husbandman, to the end that they would yield rich spiritual fruitage—P '33, 80.

    Parallel passages: John 15: 3-8; Heb. 12: 2-17; 13: 20; Eph. 5: 23; Luke 1: 69; John 14: 6; Heb. 6: 7, 8; John 13: 10; 17: 17; Eph. 5: 26; 1 Pet. 1: 22; Heb. 12: 4-14; 2 Pet. 1: 2-10; 1 John 1: 9.

    Hymns: 67, 95, 109, 130, 136, 198, 267.
    Poems of Dawn, 173: Disappointment.
    Tower Reading: Z '05, 121 (R 3544).

    Questions: What were the week's pruning experiences? How were they met? In what did they result?

     

     
    DISAPPOINTMENT

    "DISAPPOINTMENT—His appointment,"
    Change one letter, then I see
    That the thwarting of my purpose
    Is God's better choice for me.
    His appointment must be blessing,
    Tho' it may come in disguise,
    For the end from the beginning
    Open to His wisdom lies.

    "Disappointment—His appointment,"
    Whose? The Lord's who loves me best,
    Understands and knows me fully,
    Who my faith and love would test;
    For, like loving earthly parent,
    He rejoices when He knows
    That his child accepts, Unquestioned,
    All that from His wisdom flows.

    "Disappointment—His appointment,"
    "No good thing will He withhold,"
    From denials oft we gather
    Treasures of His love untold.
    Well He knows each broken purpose
    Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
    And the end of all His dealings
    Proves our God is wise and just.

    "Disappointment—His appointment,"
    Lord, I take it, then, as such.
    Like the clay in hands of potter,
    Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
    All my life's plan is Thy moulding,
    Not one single choice be mine;
    Let me answer, unrepining--
    Father, "Not my will, but Thine."
21
  • July 21
    All day
    2019.07.21-2020.07.17

    To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth--John 18: 37.

    It was our Lord's faithfulness to the Truth that brought upon Him the opposition of those who were blinded by the Adversary. It was His witness to the Truth that cost Him His life, and it was the giving of His life in defense of the Truth that constituted the redemption price. Similarly all of the Lord's followers are to bear witness to the Truth—the truth in respect to God's character and Plan. It is such witness to the Truth that is to cost all the true followers of Jesus their lives in presenting themselves living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God through Christ Jesus. Let each one who hopes to be a sharer with the Prince of Life in the Kingdom witness to the Truth—a good confession respecting the Kingdom, its foundation and ultimate superstructure in glory—Z '99, 123 (R 2470).

    Our Lord had a specific mission in this world. It was to be a witness to the truth, not in all its domains, but in its religious aspects, and faithfully did He carry out the mission entrusted to Him by the Father. He used every opportunity, whether in season or out of season, to carry His mission forward. Neither fear of opposition nor desire for favor could tempt Him from His course of faithfulness—P '32, 95.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 55: 4; 1 Tim. 6: 13; Rev. 1: 5; 3: 14; Rom. 15: 8-12; Matt. 7: 21-23; 10: 32, 33; John 1: 15-18; 9: 22-38; 12: 42, 43; Rom. 10: 8-10.

    Hymns: 44, 116, 210, 164, 260, 272, 275.
    Poems of Dawn, 46: The Narrow Way.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 201 (R 5720).

    Questions: Have I this week witnessed to the Truth? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    THE NARROW WAY
    MATT. 7: 14.

    "DEAR Lord, the way seems very dark,
    I cannot see."
    "Yes, child, I know, but I will be thy Light--
    Come, follow Me!"

    "Dear Lord, so lonely is this way--
    Where are my friends?"
    "My child, dost thou forget how far from Me
    Their pathway tends?"

    "Dear Master, I am growing weak,
    I scarce can stand."
    "O, foolish child, trust not in thine own strength,
    Come, take My hand;

    "For I have trod this way before,
    So dark to thee.
    I know each step, its weariness and pain,
    Wilt trust in Me?"

    "Yea, Lord, though friendless, lonely, dark,
    This way may be,
    I will be strong. Beloved Guide, lead on,
    I follow Thee!"
22
  • July 22
    All day
    2019.07.22-2020.07.18

    The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all--Psa. 34: 18, 19.
    A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again--Prov. 24:16.

    If at any time we find we have taken a wrong course which is irretrievable, we may expect it to bring the disappointments, as the Lord has foretold; but He may permit it to bring, as well, some blessings in the way of contrition of heart, and humility toward the Lord, and greater zeal, watchfulness and faithfulness for the future. Thus even some of the blunders of life may become stepping-stones to higher planes of grace and truth—Z '03, 217 (R 3222).

    Failures should never be permitted to discourage us. While they give evidence of weakness, against which we must be on our guard, they also bring us instruction and correction highly useful to us. In spite of them the Lord gives comfort to our hearts, assuring us of His sympathy, His forgiveness and His help in every time of need. We should rise from them as quickly as possible, and, undaunted, go forward in the Lord's name—P '26, 95.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 4: 29-31; Job 22: 29; Psa. 51: 17; 95: 7, 8; 147: 3; Prov. 1: 23; 28: 13, 14; Isa. 57: 15; 61: 1-3; Hos. 14: 1, 2; Jonah 2: 4-9; Mic. 7: 19; Luke 18: 10-14; John 6: 37; 15: 7, 17-24; Jas. 4: 8; 1 John 1: 9.

    Hymns: 104, 103, 101, 231, 233, 293, 305.
    Poems of Dawn, 140: Stumbling Stones or Stepping Stones.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 115 (R 5217).

    Questions: Have I stumbled and failed this week? What has my heart's attitude been amid such experiences? How did the Lord manifest His corrections, sympathy and help?

     

     
    STUMBLING STONES OR STEPPING STONES?

    I HAVE been sorely tried, dear Lord, been sorely
    tried today,
    The sun hath veiled his brightness, and a cloud hangs
    o'er my way;
    Why is my heart so heavy, and the daylight cold
    and gray?
    I've tried to please Thee, I have striven to faithful be
    and true,
    I've sought for heavenly wisdom in the thing that I
    should do;
    Yet I've been "put to grief"; and oh, can I have
    grieved Thee, too?
    A fellow-pilgrim on the road a wound hath given
    to me,
    Its sting and smart I keenly feel—its need I can-
    not see.
    Stumbling stone or stepping stone, O Lord, which
    shall it be?

    A sorrow came to me today—a grief so dense and
    deep,
    The shades of deepest darkness about my heartstrings
    creep;
    The tears have flowed unceasing, till no power is left
    to weep.
    I bow beneath my weight of woe, speechless and
    stunned; my heart
    Sinks down like lead within my breast; its bitter ache
    and smart
    Seem almost more than I can bear. A sharp and
    cruel dart
    Hath pierced me, and I prostrate lie. O Father,
    speak to me!
    Thy hand lies hard upon me; can this trial come from
    Thee?
    Stepping stone or stumbling stone, which shall this
    sorrow be?

    *   *   *

    A blessing came this day to me, a joy surpassing
    sweet,
    A glad way opens up to me, wherein my willing
    feet
    Turn joyfully; how blest I am within this dear
    retreat!
    My way had dark and lonely been for many a weary
    year;
    My Lord hath brought this gift to me when all was
    sad and drear;
    Now, where my path was bleak, the flowers of love
    and bliss appear.
    And, yet, dear Lord, this blessing which Thy love
    hath given to me
    May fill my heart too fully, and may wean my soul
    from Thee--
    Then, stepping stone or stumbling stone, my God,
    which shall it be?

    Momentous question! on its answer my eternal joy
    Hangs trembling; shall I be refined as gold without
    alloy?
    These woes and blessings potent are to save or to
    destroy.
    The time flies on! the "harvest" wanes, the glorious
    end is near!
    O Master, shall I lose e'en now the "prize" I hold
    so dear?
    Shall woes or joys of life have power to dull my lis-
    tening ear?
    Shall I be lured by siren song, while strains of heaven
    break
    On ears attuned? Oh, guide me, Lord, and keep me
    still awake.
    May I rejoice to walk with Thee, and suffer for Thy
    sake!

    But I am weak; O Master, dear, do thou my spirit
    thrill,
    Grant me thy grace, and strength impart to do Thy
    perfect will,
    And in affliction or in joy obey and love Thee still.
    Almighty Lord, to thee I fly—no other help I know;
    Oh, aid me in my need, I pray, and make my heart
    to glow
    With holy fire, and on me, Lord, Thy precious love
    bestow.
    I hear Thee speak, I will obey, I stretch my hands
    to Thee,
    In every providence of Thine, Thy changeless love
    I see,
    And stepping stones to heavenly heights each pain
    And joy shall be.
23
  • July 23
    All day
    2019.07.23-2020.07.19

    If any provide not for his own … he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever--1 Tim. 5: 8.

    "The faith" includes thoughts of love, sympathy, interest and care for others, especially for them of the household of faith. How it gives us an insight into our Lord's sympathetic nature, to find Him thinking in the interest of others at the very time when He Himself is overwhelmed in trouble! His own agony did not hinder Him from thinking of His mother, and making provision for her comfort. … We note the choice of John: it was doubtless because of, first of all, his loving, tender disposition; secondly, his zeal for the Lord and the Truth; and thirdly, his courage in pressing near to be with his dying Master in His closing hours, at the risk of his own life. Let us note these characteristics, as being those which the Lord approves, that noting them we may cultivate them in ourselves, and thus be granted special opportunities for service by this same Master—Z '99, 127 (R 2473).

    Upon each one in this life some responsibility is placed, varying in nature according to his position. Those who are placed in families have special responsibilities incumbent upon them, according to their place therein. The head of a family is duty-bound to provide for his dependents. A refusal to recognize and discharge this responsibility is a repudiation of the faith. Such a one is worse than an infidel—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 18: 19; 30: 30; Prov. 13: 22; Isa. 58: 7; Rom. 12: 17; 2 Cor. 8: 21; 12: 14; Gal. 6: 10; Eph. 6: 4; Matt. 18: 17; Titus 2: 4, 5.

    Hymns: 196, 343, 94, 99, 121, 129, 186.
    Poems of Dawn, 93: Bearing God's Burdens.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 218: (R 4854).

    Questions: Did I this week provide for my own? Why? How? With what results?

     

     
    BEARING GOD'S BURDENS

    I LONG had borne a weary load
    Along life's rough and thorny road,
    And oftentimes had wondered why
    My friend walked burdenless, while I
    Was forced to carry day by day
    The cross which on my shoulders lay.
    When, lo, one day the Master laid
    Another cross on me! Dismayed
    And faint, and trembling and distressed,
    I cried, "Oh, I have longed for rest
    These many days. I cannot bear
    This other heavy load of care.
    I pray Thee, Lord, behold this one--
    Shall I bear both while he hath none?"
    No answer came. The cross was laid
    On my poor back, and I was weighed
    Down to the earth. And as I went
    Toiling along and almost spent,
    Again I cried, "Lord, have I been
    Untrue to Thee? Is it for sin
    That I have done, that I must still
    Carry this cross against my will?"
    "My child," the Master's voice returned,
    "Hast thou not yet the lesson learned?
    The burden thou hast borne so long
    Hath only made thee grow more strong,
    And fitted thee to bear for Me
    This other load I lay on thee.
    Thy brother is too weak as yet
    To have a cross upon him set.
    God's burdens rest upon the strong--
    They stronger grow who bear them long,
    And each new burden is a sign
    That greater power to bear is thine."
    So now no longer I repine,
    Because a heavy cross is mine,
    But struggle onward with the prayer,
    Make me more worthy, Lord, to bear!
24
  • July 24
    All day
    2019.07.24-2020.07.20

    The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much--Jas. 5: 16.

    Communion with the Lord in prayer brings increased confidence in the Lord's supervision of our affairs; increased faith in all the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word; increased realization of His leadings, past and present; increased love for all the brethren of Christ; and increased solicitude for their welfare and spiritual progress. Prayer is thus closely and actively identified with progress in spiritual things, progress in the fruits of the Spirit, toward God, the brethren and all men—Z '00, 268 (R 2692).

    A righteous man is one who is both justified and consecrated. As such he has access in Christ by one Spirit unto the Father, fully assured that his prayers offered up in the name and merit of Christ will be answered. Accordingly his prayers are effectual in securing the Divine response. So also are his prayers fervent, flowing as they do from ardent desires for things that will glorify God in Christ—P '30, 79.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 9: 18-20; Josh. 10: 12; 1 Sam. 12: 18; 2 Kings 20: 2-5; Psa. 10: 17; 34: 15; 145: 18; Prov. 15: 29; 28: 9; John 9: 31; 1 John 3: 22.

    Hymns: 1, 35, 50, 218, 323, 239, 274.
    Poems of Dawn, 61: Trust Him More.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 243 (R 5744).

    Questions: For what did I effectually pray this week? How did I overcome hindrances thereto?

     

     
    TRUST HIM MORE

    SINCE the Father's arm sustains thee,
    Peaceful be;
    When a chastening hand restrains thee,
    It is He.
    Know His love in full completeness
    Fills the measure of thy weakness;
    If He wounds thy spirit sore,
    Trust Him more.

    Without measure, uncomplaining,
    In His hand
    Lay whatever things thou canst not
    Understand.
    Though the world thy folly spurneth,
    From thy faith in pity turneth,
    Peace thine inmost soul shall fill,
    Lying still.

    Like an infant, if thou thinkest
    Thou canst stand,
    Child-like, proudly pushing back
    The proffered hand,
    Courage soon is changed to fear,
    Strength doth feebleness appear;
    In His love if thou abide,
    He will guide.

    Therefore, whatso'er betideth,
    Night or day,
    Know His love for thee provideth
    Good alway.
    Crown of sorrow gladly take,
    Grateful wear it for His sake,
    Sweetly bending to His will,
    Lying still.

    To His own the Savior giveth
    Daily strength;
    To each troubled soul that striveth,
    Peace at length.
    Weakest lambs have largest share
    Of this tender Shepherd's care.
    Ask Him not, then, When? or How?
    Only bow!
25
  • July 25
    All day
    2019.07.25-2020.07.21
    There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?--Jas. 4: 12.

    It is in harmony with this thought that the Apostle Paul declares in one place that neither the world nor the brethren were capable of judging him—that only the Lord, who could read the heart and know all the conditions and testings and weaknesses to be striven against, could properly judge. He even declares, "Yea, I judge not mine own self" (1 Cor. 4: 3). It is an excellent plan neither to condemn others who claim to be walking conscientiously as children of the Lord, nor even to condemn ourselves under similar circumstances. We should simply press along day by day, doing the best we can to cultivate the heavenly graces and to serve our Master, leaving all the results with the Lord—Z '99, 139 (R 2479).

    God is the Lawgiver in the sense that the laws governing all His free moral agents originate from His heart and mind, and have been written by Him in their hearts and minds. Accordingly, by right is He the law enforcer, dispensing life to those who remain in harmony with His law, and death to those who violate His law. This office precludes any, apart from His appointment, from occupying His judgment seat—P '35, 102.

    Parallel passages: Eph. 4: 31; Luke 6: 37; Rom. 2: 1; 9: 20; 14: 4, 13; 1 Cor. 4: 5; Ex. 20: 16; Matt. 10: 28; Isa. 8: 12, 13; Luke 12: 4, 5; 1 Pet. 3: 14, 15; Heb. 7: 25.

    Hymns: 11, 45, 46, 83, 227, 23, 95.
    Poems of Dawn, 144: Judge Not by Outward Appearance.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 120 (R 4798).

    Questions: Have I this week felt and acted in harmony with God's judgeship? What experiences were helpful or hindersome therein? What were the results?
     

     
    JUDGE NOT BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE

    JUDGE not; the workings of the brain
    And of the heart thou canst not see;
    What looks to thy dim eye a stain,
    In God's pure light may only be
    A scar, brought from some well-won field,
    Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.

    The look, the air, that frets thy sight,
    May be a token that below
    The soul hath closed in deadly fight
    With some internal, fiery foe,
    Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace,
    And cast thee, shuddering, on thy face.

    The fall thou darest to despise;
    May be the angel's slackened hand
    Hath suffered it that he may rise
    And take a firmer, truer stand;
    Or, trusting less to earthly things,
    May henceforth learn to use his wings.

    And judge none lost; but wait and see,
    With hopeful pity, not disdain;
    The depth of the abyss may be
    The measure of the height of pain
    And love and glory that may raise
    This soul to God in after days.
26
  • July 26
    All day
    2019.07.26-2020.07.22

    To him that overcometh will I give … a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it--Rev. 2: 17.

    The overcomers must all be proven to be such as would sacrifice every other thing for the Lord; such as would sacrifice the love and fellowship and approval, if necessary, of every other being, in order to retain the love and favor of the Lord. We believe that this test is coming daily closer and closer to the Lord's consecrated people, and it behooves every one of us to remember that this is one of the elements of our trial, and to set our affections on the spiritual things accordingly, and to mortify or deaden all such affections toward earthly beings and things as would bring these into competition with our Lord in our affections, service, etc.—Z '99, 140 (R 2479).

    The overcomer is one who conquers sin, error, selfishness and worldliness. These are arrayed against him by Satan, the world and the flesh. Such indeed will be made living stones in the temple of God, and will receive the Divine nature, a nature so grand that none but its recipients can fully understand or appreciate it—P '34, 95.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 73: 24; Hos. 12: 6; Matt. 24: 13; John 8: 31; 10: 28; Acts 11: 23; Rom. 2: 6, 7; 8: 30-39; 1 Cor. 16: 13; Gal. 6: 9; Col. 1: 10, 22, 23; Heb. 2: 1; 3: 6, 14; 10: 23, 35, 36; 12: 1-15; Jas. 1: 4, 12; 1 Pet. 1: 4-8; 2 Pet. 1: 10, 11; Rev. 2: 7, 10, 11, 25-28; 3: 5, 11.

    Hymns: 272, 21, 27, 32, 58, 72, 78.
    Poems of Dawn, 298: How Will You Die?
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 315 (R 5113).

    Questions: Have I been overcoming this week? How? In what respects? With what results?

     

     
    HOW WILL YOU DIE?

    WILL you tackle that trouble that came your way
    With a stalwart heart and cheerful?
    Or hide your face from the light of day
    With a craven heart and fearful?
    O, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
    Or a trouble is what you make it,
    And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
    But only, How will you take it?

    You're beaten to earth? Well, what of that?
    Come up with a smiling face;
    It's nothing against you that you fell down flat,
    But to lie there—that's disgrace.
    The harder you're thrown, the higher you bounce,
    Your Physician will make you whole.
    You fell seven times? That's not what counts--
    Press on to your promised goal!

    The battle is hard, severe the cross?
    And others cry, "Turn back"?
    Ah, soldier true, count all else loss,
    And nothing you will lack.
    And as your courage higher mounts
    Your foes from you will fly;
    You'll die, of course—that's not what counts,
    But only, How will you die?
27
  • July 27
    All day
    2019.07.27-2020.07.23

    We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God--Dan. 6: 5.

    All are not leading spirits, as was Daniel, nor are all given to visions and revelations and interpretations, as was he; but all will have the same spirit of devotion to principles of righteousness, which devotion will be tested under Divine providence, step by step, through the narrow way, as they seek to walk in the footsteps of Him who set us an example—our Daniel, our Leader, our Lord Jesus. Let all, then, who have named the name of Christ depart from iniquity; let all such be faithful: "Dare to be a Daniel"—Z '99, 167 (R 2492).

    Daniel's character is worthy of our imitation. Like him we should seek to be so careful in physical, mental, moral and religious respects that no faults can be justly charged against us by the natural man. Inevitably he will stumble over our religious activity, if it be in harmony with the Truth. Gladly would the enemies of the Truth charge us with delinquencies along other lines. We should give them no occasion for this, even as Daniel did not—P '33, 80.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 49: 23; Job 12: 4; Psa. 11: 2; 38: 20; 44: 15-18, 22; Isa. 29: 20, 21; Matt. 5: 10-12, 44; 10: 16-18, 21-23, 28; 24: 9, 10; Luke 6: 22, 23; 21: 12-19; John 15: 18, 19; 16: 1, 2; 17: 14; Acts 4: 16-20; 5: 40-42; Rom. 8: 17, 35-37; 2 Cor. 11: 23-27; Heb. 12: 3, 4.

    Hymns: 200, 13, 134, 259, 307, 299, 325.
    Poems of Dawn, 186: "Think It Not Strange!"
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 347 (R 4874).

    Questions: Have I been persecuted this week for righteousness? How did I endure it? With what results?

     

     
    "THINK IT NOT STRANGE!"
    1 PET. 4: 12.

    THINK it not strange, beloved,
    When fiercely burns the fiery flame!
    Think it not strange, but praise His name,
    Who counts thee worthy to partake
    Of painful sufferings for His sake.
    Nor think it strange
    When loved ones scornful from thee turn,
    The Truth reject, the message spurn;
    Consider Him who thus endured,
    And Immortality secured!

    Think it not strange, beloved,
    If sometimes every door seem closed,
    And all thine efforts be opposed,
    But calmly wait in patience till
    The master shall reveal His will.
    Nor think it strange
    When darker grown the "narrow way,"--
    Press on, thy Master soon shall say,
    "Enough, My child, thou hast well done,
    Come, enter in, the Prize is won!
28
  • July 28
    All day
    2019.07.28-2020.07.24

    If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye--1 Pet. 3: 14.

    It is only when we are hated because of our loyalty to the Truth (directly or indirectly) that we are to take satisfaction therein, or to think that we are suffering for righteousness' sake. As the Apostle points out, some suffer as evil-doers and as busybodies in other men's matters, or because of ungentleness, uncouthness, or lack of the wisdom of moderation, which the Lord's Word counsels. 
    It is our duty not only to study the Lord's will but also to consider well the circumstances and the conditions which surround us, and to seek to adopt such a moderate course in life as would first of all have Divine approval, and secondly, cause as little trouble, inconvenience and displeasure to others as possible, and then to rely confidently upon the Lord's supervising wisdom and providence—Z '99, 166, 167 (R 2492).

    To suffer for righteousness' sake implies bringing evil upon ourselves by our zeal in being dead to self and the world and alive to God in watching, praying, in studying and spreading God's Word and in developing a character in harmony with it. Happy indeed are they who so do; for theirs is the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the saints, the possession of God's Spirit, Word and providence and the glorious hope of sharing in the Kingdom with Christ; yes, all things are theirs!—P '32, 95, 96.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 10-12; Jas. 1: 2, 12; 5: 10; 1 Pet. 2: 19-21; 4: 12-19; Acts 9: 16; Rom. 8: 17, 18, 23; 1 Cor. 4: 12, 13; 2 Cor. 1: 5-7; 4: 16-18; Phil. 1: 29; 3: 10; Col. 1: 24; 2 Thes. 1: 4, 5; 2 Tim. 2: 12.

    Hymns: 326, 325, 93, 272, 299, 322, 179.
    Poems of Dawn, 196: Sometime We'll Understand.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 291 (R 5544).

    Questions: Have I suffered for righteousness? How? What helped or hindered? With what results?

     

     
    SOMETIME WE'LL UNDERSTAND

    PERHAPS 'twill be in coming years,
    It may be in the better land,
    We'll read the meaning of our tears,
    And thus, sometime, we'll understand.

    We'll catch the broken threads again,
    And finish what we here began;
    Heav'n will the mysteries explain,
    And then, ah! then, we'll understand.

    We'll know why clouds instead of sun
    Were over many a cherished plan;
    Why song hath ceased when scarce begun.
    Ah, yes! sometime, we'll understand.

    Why what we longed for most of all,
    Eludes so oft our eager hand;
    Why hopes are crushed and castles fall--
    Some day, sometime, we'll understand.

    God knows the way, He holds the key,
    He guides us with unerring hand;
    Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see;
    Yes, there, beyond, we'll understand.

    Then trust in God, thro' all thy days,
    Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand;
    Tho' dark thy way, still sing and praise;
    Sometime, sometime, we'll understand.
29
  • July 29
    All day
    2019.07.29-2020.07.25

    Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us--Dan. 3: 17.

    The Lord's providences vary, and it is not for His people to decide when shall come remarkable deliverances, and when they shall apparently be left entirely to the will of their enemies without any manifestation of Divine favor on their behalf. Sometimes, the Lord's people who are bound, restrained of liberty to proclaim the Truth, find, as did the three Hebrews, that the fire burns the cords and sets them free, and really gives them larger opportunities to testify to the glory of our God than they could have had by any other course. It is not, therefore, for us to predetermine what shall be the Divine providence in respect to ourselves; we are to note the point of right and duty and to follow it regardless of consequences, trusting implicitly to the Lord—Z '99, 171 (R 2494).

    These Hebrews had such faith in God's delivering power as armed them with unflinching courage and obedience, despite the threat and danger of the fiery furnace. Small wonder that they were honored by the presence of the Son of Man, who quenched the deadliness of the fire. Similarly, as we, the children of God, are threatened with and enter the antitypical fiery furnace for not bowing down to Militarism, Romanism or Federationism, we may exercise the faith that will be honored with the Son of Man's presence, who will make the fiery furnace the means of freeing us, uninjured by the experience, from the cords of this earth—P '26, 96.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 49: 22-26; Ezra 8: 31; Psa. 23:1-6; 34: 7, 9, 10; Matt. 5: 10-12; Acts 5: 29, 40-42; Rom. 8: 17, 35-37; Heb. 11: 33-38; Rev. 20: 4.

    Hymns: 93, 25, 179, 200, 216, 222, 293.
    Poems of Dawn, 183: Your Father Knoweth What Things Ye Have Need Of.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 55 (R 5633).

    Questions: In what experiences of the week did I gain deliverance? How? What helped or hindered? In what did it result?

     

     
    "YOUR FATHER KNOWETH WHAT THINGS YE HAVE NEED OF"
    MATT. 6: 8.

    OUR Father knows what things we need
    Each step along the way,
    His eye of love doth never sleep,--
    He watches night and day.

    He knows sometimes, like ripening grain,
    We need the sunshine bright,
    Again He sends the peace that comes
    With shadows of the night.

    Sometimes our pride would fain unfurl
    Ambition's flaunting sail,--
    Ah! then He knows we need to walk
    Humiliation's vale.

    Sometimes He takes our eager hands
    And folds them on our breast,
    He gently lays our work aside,--
    He knows we need to rest.

    Sometimes we need companionship,
    Sometimes, "the wilderness,"--
    How sweet to feel He'll know and give
    The state that most will bless!

    Then let us leave it all with Him.
    Assured that, come what may,
    Our father knows just what we need.
    Upon our pilgrim-way.
30
  • July 30
    All day
    2019.07.30-2020.07.26

    Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines--Song of Solomon 2: 15.

    Many deal slackly with themselves in respect to little violations of their consecration vow, saying, "What's the use of such carefulness and so different a life from that of the world in general?" Ah! there is great use in it; for victories in little things prepare for greater things and make them possible; and on the contrary, surrender to the will of the flesh in the little things means sure defeat in the warfare as a whole. We who have become footstep followers of Jesus Christ know that we are to be tested (if our testing has not already commenced), and should realize that only as we practice self-denials in the little things of life, and mortify (deaden) the natural cravings of our flesh in respect to food, clothing, conduct, etc., shall we become strong spiritually and be able to "overcome"—Z '99, 172 (R 2494).

    Our faults, great and small, injure our spiritual fruitage. This thought should prompt us to wage unceasing warfare against them, not by beating the air, but by intelligent effort. We can overcome them by detaching our affections from, abhorring, avoiding and opposing them. In opposing them we are to attack them as well as to repel their attacks. We attack them by displacement with opposite graces, and by restraint through other than opposite graces. We repel them by diversion of attention from, and by presentation of impenetrable hearts and minds to them, and all this by the Lord's Spirit—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: 2 Chron. 12: 14; Prov. 4: 23; Eccles. 5: 6; Isa. 1: 18; 44: 20; Jer. 17: 9; Ezek. 20: 16; Matt. 12: 31, 33-35; 15: 2-20; 1 Cor. 5: 6; Eph. 2: 1-5; Heb. 3: 13; 12: 5; Jas. 1: 14, 15; 2: 10, 11; 4: 1-3, 17; 2 Pet. 1: 4; 1 John 3: 4-15; 5: 17.

    Hymns: 78, 272, 130, 136, 1, 145, 183.
    Poems of Dawn, 169: The Time is Short.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 118 (R 5886).

    Questions: What have I done this week with my faults? How? Why? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?

     

     
    THE TIME IS SHORT

    UP, up, my soul, the long-spent time redeeming;
    Sow thou the seeds of better deed and thought;
    Light other lamps, while yet the light is beaming;
    The time, the time is short.

    Think of the eyes that often weep in sadness,
    Seeing not the truth that God to thee hath taught;
    O bear to them this light and joy and gladness;
    The time, the time is short.

    Think of the feet that stray from misdirection,
    And into snares of error's doctrine brought:
    Bear then to them these tidings of salvation;
    The time, the time is short.

    The time is short. Then be thy heart a brother's
    To every heart that needs thy help in aught.
    How much they need the sympathy of others!
    The time, the time is short.
31
  • July 31
    All day
    2019.07.31-2020.07.27

    Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire--1 Cor. 3: 13.

    The Apostle speaks of this time of fiery trial, and, likening the faith and works of a zealous Christian to a house built of gold, silver and precious stones, he declares that the fire of this day, in the end of this Age, shall try every man's work of what sort it is, and shall consume all but genuine faith and character structures. But we are to remember that such loyal characters grow not suddenly, in a few hours or days—mushroom-like—but are progressive developments, fine-grained and strong like the olive tree—Z '99, 171 (R 2494).

    The text refers to the consecrated only. Its day in a general way includes the Gospel Age, but particularly refers to its close—now here. At this time the Lord has been pleased to permit fiery trials to come upon all His people. Among these are losses, disappointments, delays, restraints, shelvings, ours and others' faults, chastisements, hardships, necessities, oppositions, contradictions, weariness, sickness, pain, sorrow, persecution, error and temptations. These will infallibly reveal whether one is wholly, partly or not at all the Lord's. Happy are we, if we have as our work the "gold and silver" of Divine Truth and the "precious stones" of a Christlike character, which stand the tests—P '30, 79.

    Parallel passages: Eccles. 12: 14; Mal. 3: 2, 3; Matt. 7: 22-27; 12: 36, 37; Mark 4: 22; Luke 2: 35; 12: 2, 3; 1 Cor. 3: 12, 14, 15; 4: 5; 1 Pet. 1: 7; 4: 12.

    Hymns: 119, 93, 230, 63, 228, 305, 67.
    Poems of Dawn, 180: Tempted and Tried.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 195 (R 5916).

    Questions: What special trial did I have this week? Did it manifest gold, silver and precious stones, or wood, hay and stubble? How was I exercised thereby?

     

     
    TEMPTED AND TRIED

    TEMPTED and tried, oh! the terrible tide
    May be raging and deep, may be wrathful and wide;
    Yet its fury is vain for the Lord will sustain,
    And forever and ever Jehovah shall reign.
    Tempted and tried, yet the Lord at thy side
    Will guide thee, and keep thee, tho' tempted and tried.
    Tempted and tried, there is One at thy side
    And never in vain shall God's children confide.
    He will save and defend, for He loves to the end,
    Adorable Master, and glorious Friend.
    Tempted and tried, whatever betide,
    In His secret pavilion His children shall hide.
    'Neath the shadowing wing of eternity's King,
    His children may trust, yea, His children may sing.
    Tempted and tried, yet the Lord will abide,
    Thy faithful Redeemer, and keeper, and guide,
    Thy shield and thy sword, thine exceeding reward;
    Then enough for the servant to be as his Lord.
    Tempted and tried, the Savior who died
    Hath called thee to suffer—then reign by His side.
    If His cross thou wilt bear, His crown thou shalt wear,
    And forever and ever His glory shalt share.
August
August
August

2019: Motto Text – Cross Bearing

“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

~Luke 14:27~

WE HAVE MANY INTERESTING ARTICLES

God’s Word is a great storehouse of food for hungry pilgrims on the shining pathway. There is milk for babes (new members), meat (intermediate members) and strong meat for those more developed (1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 5:14); and not only so, but it contains food adapted to the different seasons and conditions; and Jesus said the faithful servant should bring forth meat in due season for the household of faith–“things new and old,” from the storehouse.

adv1MILK FOR THE BABES

inter1MEAT FOR THE INTERMEDIATES

Beg1STRONG MEAT FOR THE ADVANCED

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