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 >
September
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1
  • September 1
    All day
    2019.09.01-2020.08.28

    But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel--Acts 9: 15.

    It is because we see Jesus to be the Father's choice that we unite ourselves to Him; it is because we see the Father's character manifested in Him that we leave all to follow Him. Similarly, if we lend our aid, our support to any human being in connection with the Divine Plan and service, it should be simply upon this ground—not merely a personal magnetism or favoritism, but because our hearts are touched by the Lord with a realization of the leader's being of His appointment—Z '03, 206 (R 3218).

    Expressive is the figure here used. As a vessel is used by one to convey some blessing to another, so the servants of God are instruments for conveying the Lord's blessings to others. As a choice vessel would be used to convey the highest blessings, so Paul, a choice vessel in every way, has been used by the Lord to confer some of the richest blessings of Truth ever offered by the Almighty. As he ministered to Jews, Gentiles and even kings, so he left a permanent blessing, whose sweet odor permeates even to our times. His service has been of the largest fruitfulness. Like Paul we should seek to be choice vessels—P '32, 136.

    Parallel passages: Acts 13: 2; 22: 21; 25: 22, 23; 26: 1, 17; Rom. 1: 1, 5; 12: 6-8; 1 Cor. 15: 10; Gal. 1: 15; 2: 7, 8; Eph. 3: 7, 8; 1 Tim. 2: 7; 2 Tim. 1: 11.

    Hymns: 44, 70, 116, 164, 210, 260, 309.
    Poems of Dawn, 164: My Heart's Desire.
    Tower Reading: Z '01, 182 (R 2823).

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

     

     
    MY HEART'S DESIRE

    DEAR Master, long I've sought
    A grain of "wheat" to find,
    My heart's desire has been,
    Just one with truth to bind!

    Perhaps Thou canst not trust
    Thy servant with this work,
    Because some earth-born pride
    Within my breast doth lurk.

    If thou dost find this, Lord,
    Oh, send affliction's fire,
    Burn out the dross, the gold refine,
    And grant my heart's desire!

    Perhaps I've sought a path,
    Thou hast not marked for me,--
    Forgive, I only thought
    Some work to do for Thee!

    I own no will of mine,
    The place I would not choose,
    But simply give mine all
    To Thee as Thou canst use.

    My thoughts, my words, my deeds,
    Dear Lord, make pure by fire,--
    Ah, then, I know that Thou
    Canst grant my heart's desire!
2
  • September 2
    All day
    2019.09.02-2020.08.29

    Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently--1 Pet. 1: 22.

    Knowledge is to be highly esteemed in the Church and is to be regarded as an evidence of progress, of growth; for none can grow strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, in grace, unless he grows also in knowledge. We properly esteem more highly those whose love for the Lord and for His Truth are evidenced by zeal in the study of His Word, and whose favor with God is evidenced by their being guided more and more into the deep things of God. Nevertheless, as in the earthly family we love and care for the babes and immature, so also in the household of faith the little ones and the dwarfs are to be cared for and loved and helped that they may grow strong in the Lord and in the power of His might—Z '03, 207 (R 3219).

    Whenever the Truth is received through the Spirit, it is obeyed; and whenever it is obeyed, it effects a cleansing of our minds and hearts, ridding them of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness. But it does more than this: it builds up in every good thought, quality, word and deed. It incites us to remain dead to self and the world, and in remaining alive to God, to grow in knowledge, watchfulness, prayer, service, character building and endurance of evil. Especially does it fill the heart with love to God and man, and enable us to render both duty love and disinterested love to the brethren in Christ—P '26, 125.

    Parallel passages: Acts 15: 9; 2 Cor. 7: 1; John 17: 17; 15: 3, 12, 17; Eph. 5: 2; 1 Thes. 4: 9; 1 John 2: 9, 10; 3: 11, 23; 4: 21; Rom. 12: 9, 10; 1 Tim. 1: 5; Heb. 13: 1; 1 Pet. 2: 17; 3: 8; 4: 8.

    Hymns: 105, 170, 201, 165, 166, 23, 208.
    Poems of Dawn, 297: The Arrow and the Song.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 57 (R 4766).

    Questions: What experiences of the week exemplified the cleansing power of the Word unto duty love and disinterested love for the brethren? What were the successes or failures therein? What were the lessons learned thereby?

     

     
    THE ARROW AND THE SONG

    I SHOT an arrow into the air:
    It fell to earth, I know not where,
    For so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.

    I breathed a song into the air:
    It fell to earth, I know not where,
    For who has sight so keen and strong
    That it can follow the flight of a song?

    Long, long after, in an oak,
    I found the arrow still unbroke;
    And the song from beginning to end
    I found again in the heart of a friend.
3
  • September 3
    All day
    2019.09.03-2020.08.30

    I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings--Hosea 6: 6.

    He who gives his will, his heart, to the Lord, gives all; he who gives not his will, who comes not in obedience of heart unto the Lord, can offer no sacrifice to the Lord that could be acceptable. "Behold to obey is better than sacrifice" is a lesson which should be deeply engraved upon the hearts of all the sanctified in Christ Jesus. To have the spirit of obedience is necessary, too, and whoever has the spirit of obedience will not only obey the Divine will but also will seek to know the Divine will more and more that he may obey it. It is of this class that the Scriptures declare, "His word was found and I did eat it"; and again, in the words of our Lord, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart"—Z '03, 220 (R 3224).

    Mercy is compassion relieving the unfortunate. Sacrifice and burnt offering in this passage are a feverish activity contrary to the Truth and its Spirit. The knowledge of God is the Divine Truth. We are not to understand the Lord to mean that He does not desire our service; rather the thought is that the Lord prefers by far to have us keep the Truth and its spirit of sympathy in our hearts even apart from service, rather than to have us serve ever so diligently contrary to the Truth and its Spirit. A merciful and intelligent saint is more pleasing to the Lord than an active and ignorant worker who is unsaintly in his character. Mercy, service and knowledge blended are the ideals to be sought—P '36, 109, 110.

    Parallel passages: 1 Sam. 15: 22; Psa. 50: 7-15; Eccles. 5: 1; Isa. 1: 10-20; 58; Matt. 12: 7; Mic. 6: 6-8; Jer. 7: 21-28; Dan. 4: 27; Amos 5: 21-26; Matt. 5: 7; 9: 13; Prov. 21: 3; Mark 12: 33; Hosea 4: 1; 6: 6; 1 Chron. 29: 9; Jer. 22: 16; 1 John 2: 3; 3: 6.

    Hymns: 154, 22, 49, 160, 134, 299, 326.
    Poems of Dawn, 160: Cumbered With Much Serving.
    Tower Read Z '13, 275 (R 5309).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What did they result?

     

     
    CUMBERED WITH MUCH SERVING

    CHRIST never asks of us such arduous labor
    As leaves no time for resting at His feet;
    This waiting attitude of expectation
    He ofttimes counts a service most complete.

    He sometimes wants our ear, our rapt attention,
    That He some sweetest secret may impart;
    'Tis always in the time of deepest silence
    that heart finds fullest fellowship with heart.

    We sometimes wonder why the Lord has placed us
    Within a sphere so narrow, so obscure,
    That nothing we call work can find an entrance;
    There's only room to suffer—to endure.

    Well, God loves patience; souls that dwell in stillness,
    Doing the little things, or resting quite,
    May just as perfectly fulfill their mission,
    Be just as useful in the Father's sight,

    As they who grapple with some giant evil,
    Clearing a path that every eye may see;
    Our Savior cares for cheerful acquiescence
    Rather than for a busy ministry.

    And yet He does love service, where 'tis given
    By grateful love that clothes itself in deed;
    But work that's done beneath the scourge of duty,
    Be sure to such He gives but little heed.

    Then seek to please Him, whatso'er He bids thee,
    Whether to do, to suffer, to lie still;
    "Twill matter little by what path He leads us,
    If in it all we sought to do His will.
4
  • September 4
    All day
    2019.09.04-2020.08.31

    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment--1 John 4: 18.

    Mighty, imposing and terrifying indeed is the influence of fear, except upon those who have learned to know the Lord through previous experiences, and to trust Him even where they cannot trace Him. The giant of fear and despair must be met with the pebble from the brook, "It is written." The sling of faith must propel the word of promise with such force as to slay the Adversary and to deliver us from his domination. … Thus armed only with the Word of God, and trusting in His rod and staff, we may well be courageous and answer imposing sectarianism as David answered the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of … Israel, which thou hast defied"—Z '03, 329 (R 3230).

    Love delights in and feels with God. It is conscious of its oneness with God and feels the spirit of sonship toward Him coursing through its possessor's heart. Such a love is based upon an intimate acquaintance with God through His Spirit, Word and providence. In its communion with Him it finds Him thoroughly reliable, hopeable, lovable and obeyable; therefore, while it reverences Him as supremely perfect in person, character, plan and works, it does not stand in dread of Him. Dread of God would work such a restraint Godward in our hearts as would cast out love for Him. Reversely, love for Him rids us of such a dread of Him—P '30, 151.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 20: 8; Judges 7: 3; Prov. 28: 1; 29: 25; Isa. 51: 12, 13; Matt. 8: 26; 26: 69-74; Rom. 8: 15; 1 Cor. 13: 4-7; 2 Tim. 1: 7; 1 John 4: 16, 17.

    Hymns: 95, 87, 12, 284, 288, 261, 307.
    Poems of Dawn, 134: Be Strong.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 188 (R 4841).

    Questions: Have I succumbed to or overcome the spirit of fear this week? How? Why? What did love do in the experience?

     

     
    BE STRONG

    BE strong to bear, O heart of mine,
    Faint not when sorrows come.
    The sum of all these ills of earth
    Prepares thee for thy home.
    So many burdened ones there are
    Close toiling by thy side,
    Assist, encourage, comfort them,
    Thine own deep anguish hide.
    What though thy trials may seem great?
    Thy strength is known to God,
    And pathways steep and rugged lead
    To pastures green and broad.
5
  • September 5
    All day
    2019.09.05-2020.09.01

    Jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame--Song of Solomon 8: 6.

    Jealousy is one of the great foes that confront every Christian. It should be slain on sight as an enemy of God and man and of every good principle; and to the extent that its presence had defiled the heart even for a moment, a cleansing of the spirit of holiness and love should be invoked. Jealousy is not only a cruel monster of itself, but its poisonous fangs are almost certain to inflict pain and trouble upon others, as well as to bring general woe and, ultimately, destruction upon those who harbor it. Jealousy is sin in thought, wickedness in thought, and is very apt to lead speedily to sin and wickedness in action. The mind, if once poisoned with jealousy, can with great difficulty ever be cleansed from it entirely, so rapidly does it bring everything within its environment to its own color and character—Z '03, 330 (R 3231).

    Sheol, the death state, is cruel in the sense that it feelinglessly destroys its victims, and thereby remorselessly afflicts those that love them. It is an enemy of mankind that has been triumphing over the race. Nor will anything short of its destruction free its victims from its grasp. Jealousy is sheol-like. It destroys the happiness of those against whom it exercises itself, as well as frequently destroys them. If we have this quality in our hearts, we may be sure that we are wronging others and injuring ourselves. Against this evil we should wage a relentless warfare until we have destroyed it, or it will surely destroy us beyond deliverance—P '35, 117.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 6: 34; 27: 4; Eccles. 4: 4; Ex. 20: 5; 34: 14; 2 Cor. 11: 2; Dan. 6: 3-5; Jas. 3: 14, 16; Gen. 4: 5, 6, 8; 37: 4-11, 18-28; 1 Sam. 18: 8-30; 2 Sam. 3: 24-27; Luke 15: 25-32.

    Hymns: 183, 333, 139, 167, 172, 195, 322.
    Poems of Dawn, 200: Lean Hard.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 93 (R 4789).

    Questions: What have been the experiences of this week in line with this text? How were they met? What helped or hindered amid them? What were their effects?

     

     
    LEAN HARD

    CHILD of My love, lean hard.
    And let Me feel the pressure of thy care.
    I know thy burden, child; I shaped it,
    Poised it in Mine own hand, made no proportion
    In its weight to thine unaided strength;
    For even as I laid it on, I said,
    "I shall be near, and while she leans on Me,
    This burden shall be Mine, not hers:
    So shall I keep My child within the circling arms
    Of Mine own love." Here lay it down, nor fear
    To impose it on the shoulder, which upholds
    The government of worlds. Yet closer come;
    Thou art not near enough; I would embrace thy care,
    So I might feel My child reposing on My breast.
    Thou loves Me? I know it. Doubt not then;
    But, loving Me, lean hard.
6
  • 6 September
    All day
    2019.09.06-2020.09.02

    There shall no evil befall theePsa. 91: 10.

    Nothing shall by any means hurt us. Things may interfere with our fleshly interests or comfort or course of affairs; but when we remember that we are not in the flesh but in the spirit, that it is to the new heart, mind and will that the Lord has promised the Kingdom in His due time, we can realize that no outside influence can interfere with our real interests, our spiritual interests, nor hinder our attaining to the glories of the Kingdom which the Lord has promised to His faithful ones. Only our loss of confidence in the Lord and our unfaithfulness to Him could separate us from His love and His promises—Z '03, 331 (R 3231).

    The general Biblical teaching on consecration, as well as the experience of Jesus, Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus and every other faithful child of God, proves that this verse does not refer to earthly evils. Manifestly, therefore, it refers to spiritual evils, against which God protects His Own. All things work together for good to the spiritual lives of the faithful. God's promises and our experiences abundantly prove this. And what saint has not repeatedly rejoiced in this fact? The security of the faithful is a Scriptural, comforting and experiential doctrine. It may well make us brave and joyful in every experience, be it toward or untoward—P '34, 128.

    Parallel passages: Job 17: 9; Psa. 37: 24; 138: 8; Matt. 24: 13; Mark 4: 3-8; Luke 10: 42; 22: 31, 32; John 6: 39; 10: 28, 29; 15: 4, 7, 9; Rom. 8: 33-39; 1 Cor. 1: 8, 9; Eph. 6: 13; Col. 1: 22, 23; 2 Tim. 4: 18; Heb. 12: 11-13.

    Hymns: 120, 99, 63, 110, 293, 294, 328.
    Poems of Dawn, 218: The Bridegroom's Dove.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 58 (R 4767).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences regarding this text? How were they met? In what did they result?

     

     
    THE BRIDEGROOM'S DOVE
    SONG 2: 14

    "MY DOVE!" The Bridegroom speaks to whom?
    Whom think'st thou, meaneth He?
    Say, O my soul! Canst thou presume
    He thus addresseth thee?
    Yes, 'tis the Bridegroom's voice of love,
    Calling thee, O my soul! His dove!

    The Dove is gentle, mild and meek:
    Deserve I, then, the name?
    I look within in vain to seek
    Aught which can give a claim:
    Yet, made so by redeeming love,
    My soul, thou art the Bridegroom's Dove!

    Methinks, my soul, that thou mayst see,
    In this endearing word,
    Reasons why Jesus likens thee
    To this defenseless bird;
    Reasons which show the Bridegroom's love
    To His poor, helpless, timid Dove!

    The Dove hath neither claw nor sting,
    Nor weapon for the fight;
    She owes her safety to her wing,
    Her victory to flight.
    A shelter hath the Bridegroom's love
    Provided for His helpless Dove!

    As the poor Dove, before the Hawk,
    Quick to her refuge flies,
    So need I, in my daily walk,
    The wings which faith supplies
    To bear me where the Bridegroom's love
    Places beyond all harm His Dove!

    My soul, of native power bereft,
    To Calvary repairs:
    Immanuel is the rocky cleft,
    The secret of the stairs!
    Since placed there by the Bridegroom's love,
    What evil can befall His Dove?

    My soul, now hid within a rock,
    (The "Rock of Ages" called)
    Amid the universal shock
    Is fearless, unappalled.
    A cleft therein, prepared by love,
    In safety hides the Bridegroom's Dove!

    O happy Dove! Thus weak thus safe;
    Do I resemble her?
    Then to my soul, O Lord! Vouchsafe
    A dove-like character.
    Pure, harmless, gentle, full of love,
    Make me in spirit, Lord, a Dove!
7
  • 7 September
    All day
    2019.09.07-2020.09.03

    If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new--2 Cor. 5: 17.

    These new creatures in Christ Jesus know each other not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. In each other's spirits or new minds there are the noblest sentiments, the highest aspirations, that which is good, true, noble, pure, whatever may be their weaknesses according to the flesh. They love each other from the new standpoint of intention, will, harmony with God, and their friendship for one another grows increasingly as they perceive each other's energy in fighting the good fight of faith against the evil influences of the world, the flesh and the Adversary. Nor tongue nor pen can properly express the love, the friendship, which subsists between these new creatures in Christ Jesus, to whom old things have passed away, and all things have become new—Z '03, 333 (R 3232).

    To be in Christ Jesus implies deadness to self and aliveness to God, as a member of the Body of Christ. Such a one is a new creature, because spiritual capacities have been given to every organ of his brain, fitting him to exercise his various faculties of mind and heart on appropriate spiritual objects. Therefore he detaches his affections from the things prized by the natural man and attaches them to the things prized by the spiritual man. Accordingly his former ambitions, desires and aspirations are given up. He now has a new set of desires, ambitions and aspirations, and he bends all his powers, physical, mental, moral and religious to attain the things on which these are fixed, and he finds them decidedly superior to the former objects of his affections—P '33, 147.

    Parallel passages: 2 Cor. 5: 16; Gal. 5: 6, 16-24; 6: 1, 2, 7, 8, 14-16; Col. 3: 1-17; Rom. 8: 4-16; Heb. 12: 1, 5, 9-16; Rom. 12: 2, 9-21; 1 John 2: 15-17, 20, 27; 5: 4, 5.

    Hymns: 201, 20, 117, 192, 312, 170, 204.
    Poems of Dawn, 248: All Things New.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 300 (R 5325).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences connected with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?

     

     
    ALL THINGS NEW

    THERE is something in the sunlight
    Which I never saw before;
    There's a note within the robin's song
    I did not hear of yore;
    There's something—ah! I know not what!
    But something everywhere
    That makes the world this morning seem
    Most marvelously fair!

    I awakened very early
    And I watched the sun arise,
    And it seemed to me that heaven
    Must be dawning in the skies;
    For a glory and a gladness,
    Passing words of mine to show,
    Flashed from out the eastern portals
    On the waking world below.

    All the water gleamed with gladness;
    Every streamer in the sky
    Seemed the arms of little children
    Flung in joyousness on high;
    All the birds on all the bushes
    Joined their melody to pour--
    Surely never was a morning
    Ushered in like this before!

    Is it fact or is it fancy?
    Doth the secret in my heart
    Unto everything it shines on
    Spurious joyousness impart?
    Or hath the world grown gladder,
    As it seems to me today?
    Is it true or is it seeming?
    Who shall tell? I cannot say.

    Ah! I care not! Doth it matter?
    'Tis enough for me to know
    that the world to me is gladder
    Than it was a year ago.
    That on earth and sky and water
    Lies a radiance, false or true,
    That shall never fade or falter,
    Never be less strange or new!

    If my heart thus gilds creation
    Well it may, for it is glad,
    Past the power of shade or shining
    Any more to make it sad.
    Never yet on earth or heaven,
    Never yet on land or sea,
    Shone the light of that great gladness
    Which my God hath given me.
8
  • 8 September
    All day
    2019.09.08-2020.09.04

    Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God--Jas. 4: 4.

    God has purposely placed the matter in such a position that His people must take their choice, and lose either the Divine friendship and fellowship, or the worldly friendship and fellowship; because those things which the Lord loves are distasteful to the worldly, and those things which the worldly love, evil deeds and evil thoughts, evil-speaking, are an abomination in the sight of the Lord, and those who love and practice such things lose His fellowship—they are not of His Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his"—Z '99, 70 (R 2442).

    The friendship of this world implies the good will, approval and confidence that those who are in harmony with the present order of affairs give others; and because the present order is out of harmony with the principles of the Divine character and government, the world withholds friendship from the Lord's people and bestows it upon those who love the present order. The worldly are at heart at enmity with God. Since there is no friendship between them, to obtain the friendship of the world of necessity implies that we become at enmity with God. This is too costly a price to pay for the world's friendship—P '32, 136.

    Parallel passages: 1 Sam. 8: 19, 20; Psa. 49: 16-18; 73: 2-22; Eccles. 2: 1-12; 11: 9, 10; Matt. 16: 26; Luke 8: 14; John 15: 19; Rom. 12: 2; 1 Cor. 7: 29-31; 2 Tim. 3: 2-8; 1 John 2: 15-17.

    Hymns: 312, 48, 97, 109, 115, 162, 192.
    Poems of Dawn, 48: A Solitary Way.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 56 (R 4765).

    Questions: Was I this week worldly or spiritual? Why was I so? How did I become so? What was the result?

     

     
    A SOLITARY WAY

    PSA. 107: 1-9; PROV. 14: 10; 1 COR. 2: 11.

    THERE is a mystery in human hearts,
    And though we be encircled by a host
    Of those who love us well, and are beloved,
    To every one of us, from time to time,
    There comes a sense of utter loneliness.
    Our dearest friend is "stranger" to our joy,
    And cannot realize our bitterness.
    "There is not one who really understands,
    Not one to enter into all I feel;"
    Such is the cry of each of us in turn.
    We wander in a "solitary way,"
    No matter what or where our lot may be,
    Each heart, mysterious even to itself,
    Must live its inner life of solitude.

    JOB 7: 17; MATT. 10: 37.

    And would you know the reason why this is?
    It is because the Lord desires our love.
    In every heart He wishes to be first.
    He therefore keeps the secret-key Himself,
    To open all its chambers, and to bless
    With perfect sympathy and holy peace
    Each solitary soul which comes to Him.
    So when we feel this loneliness, it is
    The voice of Jesus saying, "Come to Me;"
    And every time we are "not understood,"
    It is a call to us to come again;
    For Christ alone can satisfy the soul,
    And those who walk with Him from day to day
    Can never have "a solitary way."

    ISA. 48: 16; PSA. 34: 22.

    And when beneath some heavy cross you faint,
    And say, "I cannot bear this load alone,"
    You say the truth. Christ made it purposely
    So heavy that you must return to Him
    The bitter grief, which "no one understands,"
    Conveys a secret message from the King,
    Entreating you to come to Him again.
    The Man of Sorrows understands it well.
    In all points tempted, He can feel with you.
    You cannot come too often, or too near.
    The Son of God is infinite in grace;
    His presence satisfies the longing soul;
    And those who walk with Him from day to day
    Can never have "a solitary way."
9
  • 9 September
    All day
    2019.09.09-2020.09.05

    That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life--Phil. 2: 15, 16.

    It is the duty of every child of God to be very active in the dissemination of the Truth—in letting his light shine, and in keeping it trimmed and burning. "Trimmed and burning!" What does it mean? It means that we must give very close attention to the words of life that we may come to an exact knowledge of the Truth, and that we must carefully and faithfully trim away every vestige of error as fast as it becomes apparent to us—whether it be an error in doctrine or in our daily walk and conversation—so that the pure light of Divine truth may shine out with as little obstruction as possible through the medium of a clear and transparent character—Z '03, 358 (R 3243).

    As far as lieth in us let us prevent our conduct from becoming blameworthy or harmful. So like our Lord are we to be that we become constantly engaged in well-doing. Then if fault be found with us, it will be due, not to wrongdoing on our part, but to the wrong condition in the hearts or minds of the fault-finders. Like our Lord, even among the evil, are we to shine as lights in the world, seeking to bless and not to injure; and if for our light we receive hatred from the children of darkness, it will be well for us to remember our Lord's similar experiences, that like Him, when rejected by some, we may still seek others whom it may be our privilege to bless with our earthly or heavenly good—P '26, 125.

    Parallel passages: Eph. 5: 1, 2; Matt. 5: 45-48; Luke 6: 27-36; 1 Pet. 2: 12; Deut. 32: 5; Matt. 5: 14, 16; Eph. 5: 8; Psa. 27: 1; 36: 9; John 1: 9; 8: 12; 12: 46; 2 Cor. 4: 6; 1 Thes. 5: 5; 1 John 2: 10.

    Hymns: 275, 315, 29, 32, 72, 155, 230.
    Poems of Dawn, 165: A Little Light.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 28 (R 5390).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences along the line of this text? What were their results and lessons?

     

     
    A LITTLE LIGHT

    'TWAS but a little light she bore,
    While standing at the open door;
    A little light, a feeble spark,
    And yet it shone out through the dark
    With cheerful ray, and gleamed afar
    As brightly as the polar star.

    A little light, a gentle hint,
    That falls upon the page of print,
    May clear the vision, and reveal
    The precious treasures doubts conceal,
    And guide men to an open door,
    Where they new regions may explore.

    A little light dispels the gloom
    That gathers in the shadowed room,
    Where want and sickness find their prey,
    And night seems longer than the day,
    And hearts with many troubles cope
    And feebler glows the spark of hope.

    Oh, sore the need that some must know
    While journeying through this vale of woe!
    Dismayed, disheartened, gone astray,
    Caught in the thickets by the way,
    For lack of just a little light
    To guide their wandering steps aright.

    It may be little we can do
    To help another, it is true;
    But better is a little spark
    Of kindness, when the way is dark,
    Than one should walk in paths forbidden
    For lack of light we might have given.
10
  • 10 September
    All day
    2019.09.10-2020.09.06

    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers--Eph. 4: 29.

    The depraved taste hedges itself behind conscience, and declares that it is always right to speak the truth, and hence God cannot have meant that speaking the truth would be slander; but that in condemning evil-speaking and slander, as works of the flesh and the devil, He must have meant the speaking of that which is false, untrue. This is a great mistake; a slander is equally a slander, whether it be true or whether it be false, and is so regarded, not only in the law of God but also in the laws of civilized men. A slander is anything which is uttered with the intention of injury to another, whether true or false, and the laws of men agree with the law of God, that such injury to another is wrong—Z '99, 70 (R 2442).

    Corrupt communications consist of all language which tends to deprave others physically, mentally, morally or religiously. So much of such language is spoken that by contrast we should be on the alert to counteract its influence. As the salt of the earth, we should express only such thoughts as have a seasoning, nourishing and preserving effect on people's bodies, minds and hearts. Words are the most potent things in the world; and the most potent words are those that express God's thoughts. So far as possible let us use our language to express God's thoughts only, and thereby we will prove a blessing to all rightly disposed hearts—P '36, 110.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 5: 9; 52: 2; 73: 7-9; 1 Cor. 15: 33; Eph. 5: 3, 4; Col. 3: 8; 4: 6; 1 Thes. 5: 11; Col. 3: 16; Deut. 6: 6, 7; Mal. 3: 16, 17; Prov. 15: 7; Matt. 12: 36, 37; Titus 3: 2; Jas. 3: 2-8; 4: 11; 1 Pet. 2: 1.

    Hymns: 116, 154, 275, 122, 49, 44, 296.
    Poems of Dawn, 106: What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 62 (R 4770).

    Questions: What was the character of this week's speech? Why was it so? What were its effects?

     

     
    WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS

    "WHAT a friend we have in Jesus,"
    Sang a little child one day;
    And a weary woman listened
    To the darling's happy lay.

    All her life seemed dark and gloomy,
    All her heart was sad with care;
    Sweetly rang out baby's treble,--
    "All our sins and griefs to bear."

    She was pointing out the Savior
    Who could carry every woe;
    And the one who sadly listened
    Needed that dear Helper so!

    Sin and grief were heavy burdens
    For a fainting soul to bear;
    But the baby singer bade her
    "Take it to the Lord in prayer."

    With a simple, trusting spirit,
    Weak and worn, she turned to God,
    Asking Christ to take her burden,
    Owning Him as her dear Lord.

    Jesus was her only refuge,
    He could take her sin and care,
    And He blessed the weary woman
    When she came to Him in prayer.

    And the happy child, still singing,
    Little knew she had a part
    In God's wondrous work of bringing
    Peace unto a troubled heart.
11
  • 11 September
    All day
    2019.09.11-2020.09.07

    Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my discipleLuke 14: 27.

    The Lord's cross-bearing consisted in the doing of the Father's will under unfavorable conditions. This course brought upon Him the envy, hatred, malice, strife, persecution, etc., of those who thought themselves to be God's people, but whom our Lord, who read their hearts, declared to be of their father, the devil. Since we are walking in the same way that our Master walked, we may reasonably expect that our crosses will be of a similar kind to His—oppositions to our doing the will of our Father in Heaven—oppositions to our serving His cause and letting the light shine out as our Master and Leader directed—Z '03, 345 (R 3235).

    The cross means the untoward experiences that we must undergo, while seeking to subject our conduct to the principles of God's Word. Such conduct and no other is implied in the words "come after me." The vast majority will not even manifest such conduct in ordinary circumstances. A small minority will do it in such circumstances; but few indeed of Jesus' followers will do this in every condition. And at times this taxes their strength almost to the snapping point. Yes, if it were not for the Lord's special help, they would be unable to bear their cross. His help, freely and gladly vouchsafed, keeping them from falling, maintains them in discipleship—P '30, 151.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 7: 13, 14; 8: 19, 20; 10: 37-39; 13: 45-47; 16: 24; Luke 14: 26, 28; 18: 28-33; Acts 20: 22-24; Rom. 14: 1—15: 3; 1 Cor. 9: 25-27; Gal. 5: 16, 17, 24; 1 Pet. 2: 11-16.

    Hymns: 8, 114, 134, 279, 160, 14, 67.
    Poems of Dawn, 170: The Changed Cross.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 90 (R 5425).

    Questions: What and how have I done with my cross this week? What was the effect?

     

     
    THE CHANGED CROSS

    IT was a time of sadness, and my heart,
    Although it knew and loved the better part,
    Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife,
    And all the needful discipline of life.

    And while I thought of these as given to me--
    My trial tests of faith and love to be--
    It seemed as if I never could be sure
    That faithful to the end I should endure.

    And thus no longer trusting to His might,
    Who saith we "walk by faith and not by sight,"
    Doubting, and almost yielding to despair,
    The thought arose—My cross I cannot bear.

    Far heavier its weight must surely be
    Than those of others which I daily see;
    Oh! if I might another burden choose,
    Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose.

    A solemn silence reigned on all around--
    E'en Nature's voices uttered not a sound;
    The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
    And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.

    A moment's pause, and then a heavenly light
    Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
    Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
    And angels' music thrilled the balmy air.

    Then One, more fair than all the rest to see--
    One to whom all others bowed the knee--
    Came gently to me as I trembling lay,
    And, "Follow Me," He said, "I am the Way."

    Then speaking, thus, He led me far above;
    And there beneath a canopy of love,
    Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
    Larger and smaller than mine own had been.

    And one there was most beauteous to behold--
    A little one, with jewels set in gold;
    Ah! this, methought, I can with comfort wear,
    For it will be an easy one to bear.

    And so the little cross I quickly took,
    But all at once my frame beneath it shook;
    The sparkling jewels, fair were they to see,
    But far too heavy was their weight for me.

    This may not be, I cried, and looked again,
    To see if any here could ease my pain;
    But one by one I passed them slowly by,
    Till on a lovely one I cast mine eye;

    Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined,
    And grace and beauty seemed in it combined;
    Wondering, I gazed, and still I wondered more
    To think so many should have passed it o'er.

    But, oh! that form so beautiful to see
    Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
    Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colors fair:
    Sorrowing, I said, "This cross I may not bear."

    And so it was with each and all around--
    Not one to suit my need could there be found;
    Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
    As my Guide gently said, "No cross, no crown!"

    At length to Him I raised my saddened heart;
    He knew its sorrow, bid its doubts depart.
    "Be not afraid," He said, "but trust in Me--
    My perfect love shall now be shown to thee."

    And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
    Again I turned, mine earthly cross to meet,
    With forward footsteps, turning not aside,
    For fear some hidden evil might betide.

    And there, in the prepared, appointed way--
    Listening to hear and ready to obey--
    A cross I quickly found of plainest form,
    With only words of love inscribed thereon.

    With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
    And joyfully acknowledged it the best--
    The only one of all the many there
    That I could feel was good for me to bear.

    And while I thus my chosen one confessed,
    I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
    And as I bent, my burden to sustain,
    I recognized mine own old cross again!

    But, oh! how different did it seem to be,
    Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
    No longer could I unbelieving say,
    Perhaps another is a better way.

    Ah, no! henceforth mine own desire shall be
    That He who knows me best should choose for me;
    And so whate'er His love sees good to send,
    I'll trust it's best, because He knows the end.
12
  • 12 September
    All day
    2019.09.12-2020.09.08

    In your patience possess ye your souls--Luke 21: 19

    "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing," the Apostle explains. Very evidently patience, therefore, includes other graces of character—implies their possession to a certain extent. Among the Lord's people patience surely must be preceded by faith, and the degree of patience very generally measures the amount of faith. The Christian who finds himself impatient and restless evidently is lacking in faith toward the Lord; for otherwise he would be able to rest in the Lord's gracious promises and wait for their fulfillment. After using reasonable diligence and energy, he should be content to leave the results and times and seasons with the Lord—Z '03, 361 (R 3245).

    The text should read: "By your patience preserve ye your souls." The word here translated patience is not from the Greek word meaning longsuffering, but from the one meaning steadfastness. It is the strength of character whereby, through perseverance in well-doing amid difficulties which are cheerfully endured we press on in well-doing by reinforcing self-control therein. This definition makes the text transparent. Jesus' exhortation encourages us to press on, cheerfully enduring obstacles in the way of well-doing; for by such a course alone will we be able to gain the preservation of our spiritual lives—P '35, 117.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 37: 7-9; Eccles. 7: 8; Lam. 3: 26, 27; Luke 8: 15; Rom. 2: 7; 5: 3, 4; 12: 12; 15: 4, 5; Gal. 6: 9; Col. 1: 10, 11; 1 Thes. 1: 3; Heb. 6: 12, 15; 10: 36; 12: 1; Jas. 1: 3, 4; 5: 7, 8.

    Hymns: 267, 25, 57, 134, 307, 179, 200.
    Poems of Dawn, 134: Be Strong.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 312 (R 5332).

    Questions: Was I patient this week? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?

     

     
    BE STRONG

    BE strong to bear, O heart of mine,
    Faint not when sorrows come.
    The sum of all these ills of earth
    Prepares thee for thy home.
    So many burdened ones there are
    Close toiling by thy side,
    Assist, encourage, comfort them,
    Thine own deep anguish hide.
    What though thy trials may seem great?
    Thy strength is known to God,
    And pathways steep and rugged lead
    To pastures green and broad.

    Be strong to love, O heart of mine,
    Live not for self alone;
    But find, in blessing other lives,
    Completeness for thine own.
    Seek every hungry heart to feed,
    Each saddened heart to cheer;
    And when stern justice stands aloof,
    In mercy draw thou near.
    True, loving words and helping hands
    Have won more souls for Heaven
    Than all the mixed and various creeds
    By priests and sages given.

    For every grief a joy will come,
    For every toil a rest;
    So hope, so love, so patient bear--
    God doeth all things best.
    Be strong to hope, O heart of mine,
    Look not on life's dark side;
    For just beyond these gloomy hours
    Rich, radiant days abide.
    Let hope, like summer's rainbow bright,
    Scatter thy falling tears,
    And let God's precious promises
    Dispel thine anxious fears.
13
  • 13 September
    All day
    2019.09.13-2020.09.09

    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!--Psa. 133: 1.

    Like our Lord, let us seek to be peacemakers, and to dwell together with all the brethren in the unity of the Spirit, in the bonds of peace. Let our activities, our combativeness, etc., be engaged against the great enemy and all the works of sin, including those in our members, our own fallen flesh. We, and all the brethren, will thus find sufficient engagement for every combative element of our nature, in ways well-pleasing to the Lord, and employment for every lovable and helpful quality we possess, in building one another up, and doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith—Z '03, 363 (R 3245).

    The brethren here are not the natural but the spiritual brethren, as the next verse proves by showing them to be the antitype of Aaron. The unity here mentioned is the same as that for which our Lord prayed, that they all may be one, as the Father and the Son are one. This unity, of course, is not a personal or essential oneness; but a oneness of faith, hope, love and purpose, for the one Father, under the one Lord and in the one baptism. Good and pleasant is this unity. No earthly relation is comparable to it. May it be ours now in development and to all eternity in blessed realization—P '34, 128.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 55: 14; 119: 63; Amos 3: 3; Mal. 3: 16; Matt. 18: 20; 20: 25-28; 23: 8; Luke 22: 32; 24: 13-15; John 13: 34; 17: 11, 21-23; Acts 1: 14; 2: 1, 42, 44-47; Rom. 15: 1-7; 1 Cor. 1: 10; 10: 16, 17; 12: 12, 13; Gal. 2: 9; 6: 2, 10; Eph. 2: 14-22; 5: 2, 19, 30; Phil. 1: 3, 5, 27; 2: 1, 2; Col. 2: 2; 1 Thes. 4: 18; Heb. 10: 24, 25; 13: 1; Jas. 5: 16; 1 Pet. 2: 17; 3: 8, 9; 1 John 3: 14; 4: 7, 11-13.

    Hymns: 23, 6, 94, 326, 95, 322, 170.
    Poems of Dawn, 97: In My Name.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 133 (R 5229).

    Questions: Have I experienced the truth of this text this week? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    IN MY NAME

    THERE were only two or three of us
    Who came to the place of prayer--
    Came in the teeth of the driving storm;
    But for that we did not care,
    Since after our hymns of praise had risen,
    And our earnest prayers were said,
    The Master Himself was present there,
    And He gave us the living bread.

    We noted the look in each other's face,
    So loving, and glad, and free;
    We felt His touch when our heads were bowed,
    We heard His "Come to Me!"
    Nobody saw Him lift the latch,
    And none unbarred the door;
    But "Peace" was His token in every heart,
    And how could we ask for more?

    Each of us felt the relief from sin,
    Christ's purchase for one and all;
    Each of us dropped his load of care,
    And heard the Heavenly call;
    And over our spirits a blessed calm
    Swept in from the Jasper Sea,
    And strength was ours for the toil of life
    In the days that were yet to be.

    It was only a handful gathered in
    To the little place of prayer,
    Outside were struggle and strife and sin,
    But the Lord Himself was there.
    He came to redeem the pledge He gave--
    Wherever his loved ones be,
    To give His comfort and joy to them,
    Though they count but two or three.
14
  • 14 September
    All day
    2019.09.14-2020.09.10

    Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully--1 Pet. 2: 12, 19.

    We may be evil reported of and slandered, but all who know us, who have dealings with us, should find from experience our loyalty to principle, our endeavor that the words of our mouths as well as the meditations of our hearts and the conduct of life should be pleasing to the Lord and an honor to His name and cause, that God may be glorified through Christ, to whom belongs the glory and the Kingdom forever—Z '03, 365 (R 3246).

    The Lord's people are often undeservedly slandered. It should be their constant care so to live as not to deserve reproach. However, if it comes, let them not weary in well-doing; let them continue the course of honest conduct, certain that even if they now fail to bless others with their good works, the latter, in the Day of Christ, when visited with an opportunity of salvation, will receive such a blessing from the remembrance of these good works as will inure to God's glory. The seed, though long delayed in sprouting, will then yield an abundant crop. Therefore we may thank God for the privilege of suffering evil for our well-doing—P '33, 147.

    Parallel passages: 2 Cor. 8: 21; Rom. 12: 17; Phil. 4: 8; Neh. 5: 9; 1 Pet. 2: 15; 3: 13-18; Matt. 5: 16; John 13: 34, 35; 1 Pet. 2: 20-24; Rom. 8: 17-19; 2 Tim. 2: 10-12; Heb. 13: 10-14.

    Hymns: 299, 134, 208, 224, 302, 315, 325.
    Poems of Dawn, 287: The Rainy Day.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 323 (R 5116).

    Questions: Have I been mistreated this week? How did I endure it? What were the effects?

     

     
    THE RAINY DAY

    THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
    It rains, and the wind is never weary;
    The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
    But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
    And the day is dark and dreary.

    My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
    It rains, and the wind is never weary;
    My thoughts still cling to the moldering past,
    But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
    And the days are dark and dreary.

    Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
    Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
    Thy fate is the common fate of all,
    Into each life some rain must fall,
    Some days must be dark and dreary.
15
  • 15 September
    All day
    2019.09.15-2020.09.11

    Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you--2 Cor. 6: 17.

    Those who conscientiously live separate from the world in spiritual matters, and recognize as brethren only those who confess to circumcision of the heart and adoption into God's family, will find themselves opposed by moralists, liberalists and higher critics, as well as by the masses, who hate the light, because it condemns their darkness—doctrinal and otherwise. Nevertheless, this is the only good and safe course to pursue. Better far is it that only true Israelites should be recognized as brethren, and thus the true wheat be separated from the tares—Z '99, 203 (R 2510).

    It is God's will that His people be separate from all obligations to, and co-operation and sympathy with, institutions and practices that are of Satan's control and spirit. This would imply separation from the communion and spirit of all people who are servants of Satan, whether knowingly or unknowingly so; and as far as possible separation from association with them. Thus we largely avoid the contamination of any unclean thing. What if it does make us at times walk alone? We may at least comfort ourselves with the reflection that the Lord had the same experience before us, and that God receives and companions us. Such acceptance and companionship compensates all losses—P '32, 136.

    Parallel passages: Num. 16: 21, 26; Ezra 10: 11; Psa. 50: 5; Prov. 9: 6; Isa. 8: 11; 52: 11; Jer. 51: 6, 9; Acts 2: 40; 2 Cor. 6: 14-16; Eph. 5: 11; Rev. 18: 4.

    Hymns: 196, 213, 226, 299, 303, 305, 145.
    Poems of Dawn, 200: Sweet Day of Rest.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 230 (R 5737).

    Questions: Did the cleansing work proceed in me this week? How? With what results?

     

     
    SWEET DAY OF REST

    I KNOW some day my Lord will come,
    And stand within my humble home,--
    His glorious presence in the room
    Will make it like a rose in bloom.

    His voice, like music on mine ear,
    Will banish every thought of fear,
    He'll fold me closely to His breast
    And there in peace I'll sweetly rest.

    And, oh, my Lord, on that sweet day
    I know the words that Thou wilt say,
    "It is enough, my child, come home,
    thy work is done, beloved, come."

    Then I'll arise and go with Thee
    Across the shining, crystal sea,
    Until we reach that blissful shore
    Where we shall dwell for evermore.
16
  • 16 September
    All day
    2019.09.16-2020.09.12

    The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace--Psa. 29: 11.

    If you have trials and temptations which you are able to overcome, and which are working out in your character patience, experience, brotherly kindness, sympathy and love, rejoice and offer the prayer of thanksgiving and acknowledgment of Divine mercy and help. If your trials seem heavier than you can bear, and likely to crush you, take the matter to the great Burden-bearer, and ask His help in bearing whatever would do you good, and release from all that would do you no good, but which would injure you—Z '96, 163 (R 2004).

    The strength that the Lord gives His people is spiritual, the power of character whereby they are able in every circumstance to do His will. Glorious indeed is this strength! The Word of God, appropriate to our providential surroundings, is the means of its bestowal. The stronger God's people become the more are they blessed with the assurance that gives and increases peace. Like a river which ever increases in depth and breadth as it is joined by other streams, their peace becomes deeper, wider and fuller by God's increasing gifts. Blessed the people that have Jehovah as their God!—P '26, 125.

    Parallel passages: Job 34: 9; Psa. 18: 2, 35; Isa. 26: 3, 12; 27: 5; 23: 12; Eph. 1: 19; 3: 7, 16; Col. 1: 29; 2: 12; Phil. 4: 7, 9; Matt. 11: 28-30; John 14: 1, 27; Rom. 5: 1; Col. 3: 15.

    Hymns: 1, 249, 244, 266, 252, 93, 164.
    Poems of Dawn, 197: Peace, Perfect Peace.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 149 (R 4817).

    Questions: Did God bless me this week with strength and peace? How? Whereby? With what results?

     

     
    PEACE, PERFECT PEACE

    PEACE, perfect peace! in this dark world of sin?
    The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

    Peace, perfect peace! by thronging duties pressed?
    To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

    Peace, perfect peace! with sorrows surging 'round?
    On Jesus' bosom nought but calm is found.

    Peace, perfect peace! 'mid suffering's keenest throes?
    The sympathy of Jesus brings repose.

    Peace, perfect peace! with loved ones far away?
    In Jesus' keeping we are safe, and they.

    Peace, perfect peace! our future all unknown?
    Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

    Peace, perfect peace! death shadowing us and ours?
    Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

    It is enough: earth's struggles soon shall cease,
    And Jesus call us to Heaven's perfect peace.
17
  • 17 September
    All day
    2019.09.17-2020.09.13

    Christ in you, the hope of glory--Col. 1: 27.

    Every true child of God must have a definite individual Christian character which is not dependent for its existence upon the spiritual life of any other Christian. He must from the Word of Truth, proclaimed and exemplified by other Christians, draw those principles of life, etc., which give him an established character, a spiritual individuality of his own. So positive and definite should be the spiritual individuality of everyone, that, should even the beloved brother or sister whose spiritual life first nourished ours and brought us forward to completeness of character fall away (which the Apostle shows is not impossible, Heb. 6: 4-6; Gal. 1: 8), we would still live, being able to appropriate for ourselves the Spirit of Truth—Z '03, 375 (R 3250).

    The "Christ in you," the new creature, was promised to be in the hearts and minds of God's Gospel-Age Spirit-begotten people, giving both hearts and minds new capacities, spiritual in their scope. It was to be the holy anointing, fitting them for their earthly and heavenly offices. This is the mystery of God, the mystery of all mysteries, that Christ was to consist of many members Jesus the Head member and the Church the Body members. High, holy and heavenly was to be this glorious "Christ in you." Its possession was to be the basis for the hope of glory, the hand payment of the inheritance—the Divine heart and mind, a part of the inheritance promised to the saints—P '36, 110.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 3: 16; Acts 10: 38; 2: 1-4; 10: 45-47; 2 Cor. 1: 21; 1 John 2: 20, 27; 1 Cor. 12: 12, 13; 15: 23; Gal. 3: 16, 29; Eph. 4: 13, 23, 24; Col. 1: 23; 1 Pet. 4: 13; Heb. 3: 14; Rom. 8: 10; John 14: 19; 17: 23, 24; Gal. 2: 20; Phil. 1: 21; 2 Cor. 4: 16; Eph. 3: 16; John 15: 2-7; Rom. 12: 4, 5; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Rom. 6: 3; 13: 14; Gal. 3: 26, 27; 2 Cor. 5: 17; Col. 3: 10; Rom. 8: 4, 5.

    Hymns: 58, 21, 23, 27, 170, 72, 310.
    Poems of Dawn, 43: The Transformation.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 131 (R 5227).

    Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? In what circumstances? With what effects?

     

     
    THE TRANSFORMATION

    TO the Potter's house I went down one day,
    And watched him while moulding the vessels of clay,
    And many a wonderful lesson I drew,
    As I noted the process the clay went through.

    Trampled and broken, down-trodden and rolled,
    To render more plastic and fit for the mould
    How like the clay that is human, I thought,
    When in Heavenly hands to perfection brought!

    For Self must be cast as the dust at His feet,
    Before it is ready, for service made meet.
    And Pride must be broken, and self-will lost--
    All laid on the altar, whatever the cost.

    But lo! by and by, a delicate vase
    Of wonderful beauty and exquisite grace.
    Was it once the vile clay? Ah! yes; yet how strange,
    The Potter hath wrought such a marvelous change!

    Not a trace of the earth, nor mark of the clay--
    The fires of the furnace have burned them away.
    Wondrous skill of the Potter!—the praise is his due,
    In whose hands to perfection and beauty it grew.

    Thus with souls lying still, content in God's hand,
    That do not His power of working withstand--
    They are moulded and fitted, a treasure to hold,
    Vile clay now transformed into purest of gold.
18
  • 18 September
    All day
    2019.09.18-2020.09.14

    My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest--Exodus 33: 34.

    The Lord is ever present with his people. He is always thinking of us, looking out for our interests, guarding us in danger, providing for us in temporal and spiritual things, reading our hearts, marking every impulse of loving devotion to Him, shaping the influences around us for our discipline and refining, and hearkening to our faintest call for aid or sympathy or fellowship with Him. He is never for a moment off guard, whether we call Him in the busy noon hours or in the silent watches of the night. How blessed the realization of such abiding faithfulness! And no real child of God is devoid of this evidence of his adoption—Z '03, 376 (R 3250).

    The word here translated presence means face. The Lord's face represents His favor. His disfavor to the race has been manifested by His turning His back to them; as when His favor shall return, His face will beam with kindness, healing and benediction upon them. Now the Lord gives His people His favor as their special portion. Whatever else we lack its possession makes us supremely rich. His favor guarantees that we will overcome our spiritual enemies; and after our victory we will be blessed with a Canaan rest of eternal peace from sin, error, selfishness and worldliness in wisdom, justice, love, power and Kingdom-mindedness—God's ideal of real rest—P '30, 151, 152.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 5: 12; 11: 7; 41: 11, 12; 102: 13; Prov. 16: 7; Ezek. 39: 29; Luke 2: 52; John 14: 16-23; Acts 10: 35; Eph. 1: 6; Heb. 4: 14-16; 1 Pet. 2: 9.

    Hymns: 46, 283, 235, 68, 244, 94, 179.
    Poems of Dawn, 66: A Perfect Trust.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 25 (R 5387).

    Questions: What experience of God's favor and of rest in Him did I have this week? What did I have to do to obtain them? How did I use them?

     

     
    A PERFECT TRUST

    O BLESSED peace of a perfect trust,
    My loving God, in Thee;
    Unwavering faith, that never doubts
    Thou choosest best for me.

    Best, though my plans be all upset;
    Best, though the way be rough;
    Best, though mine earthly store be scant;
    In Thee I have enough.

    Best, though my health and strength be gone,
    Though weary days be mine,
    Shut out from much that others have;
    Not my will, Lord, but Thine!

    And e'en though disappointments come,
    They, too, are best for me,
    To wean me from a clam'ring world,
    And lead me nearer Thee.

    O blessed peace of a perfect trust
    That looks away from all;
    That sees Thy hand in everything,
    In great events or small;

    That hears Thy voice—a Father's voice--
    Directing for the best:--
    O blessed peace of a perfect trust,
    A heart with Thee at rest!
19
  • 19 September
    All day
    2019.09.19-2020.09.15

    Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth--John 17: 17.

    Our Lord always links the progress and development of our spiritual life with our receiving and obeying the Truth, and every child of God should beware of that teaching which claims to be in advance of the Word, and that Christ or the holy Spirit speaks to such advanced Christians independently of the Word. It cultivates spiritual pride and boastfulness, and renders powerless the warnings and expostulations of the sacred Scriptures because the deluded ones think they have a higher teacher dwelling in them. And Satan, taking advantage of the delusion, leads them captive at his will—Z '03, 377 (R 3250).

    Sanctification sets one apart from sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, and dedicates one to the Lord's service. As it continues its work, it keeps our wills dead, sacrifices our bodies for the Lord and makes our characters like His. The Word sanctifies us, first by working in our hearts a consecrating faith and love, whereby it enables us to present ourselves to the Lord as sacrifices. It continues the work by beginning in us the new heart, mind and will, and by enabling us to sacrifice unto death, while keeping our human will dead and God's will alive in us. It proceeds with the work by energizing us to grow, cleansing, strengthening and balancing us. It completes the work by perfecting us—and all this by Jesus' ministry—P '35, 117, 118.

    Parallel passages: Jer. 1: 5; Acts 26: 17, 18; Rom. 15: 16; 1 Cor. 1: 2, 30; 6: 11; Gal. 2: 20; 6: 14; Eph. 1: 3, 4; 3: 19; 4: 7, 12-16; 5: 25-27; Col. 2: 11; 1 Thes. 4: 3, 4; 5: 23; 2 Thes. 2: 13, 14; 2 Tim. 2: 21; Heb. 2: 11.

    Hymns: 49, 4, 47, 78, 196, 198, 267.
    Poems of Dawn, 120: Master, Say On.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 292 (R 5319).

    Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How? Under what circumstances? With what effects?

     

     
    MASTER, SAY ON!

    MASTER, speak! Thy servant heareth,
    Longing for Thy gracious word,
    Longing for Thy voice that cheereth;
    Master, let it now be heard.
    I am listening, Lord, for Thee;
    What hast Thou to say to me?

    Often through my heart is pealing
    Many another voice than Thine,
    Many an unwilled echo stealing
    From the walls of this Thy shrine.
    Let Thy longed-for accents fall;
    Master, speak! and silence all.

    Master, speak! I cannot doubt Thee;
    Thou wilt through life's pathway lead;
    Savior, Shepherd, oh! without Thee
    Life would be a blank indeed.
    Yet I seek still fuller light,
    Deeper love, and clearer sight.

    Resting on the "faithful saying,"
    Trusting what Thy gospel saith,
    On Thy written promise staying
    All my hope in life and death;--
    Yet I ask for more and more
    From Thy love's exhaustless store.

    Master, speak! And make me ready,
    As Thy voice is daily heard,
    With obedience glad and steady
    Still to follow every word.
    I am listening, Lord, for Thee:
    Master, speak, speak on, to me!
20
  • 20 September
    All day
    2019.09.20-2020.09.16

    Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place … to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones--Isa. 57: 15.

    Let us ever keep in memory that a broken and contrite heart the Lord never despises, will never spurn. Therefore, into whatever difficulty any of the Lord's people may stumble, if they find themselves hungering for the Lord's fellowship and forgiveness, if they find their hearts contrite and broken, let them not despair, but remember that God has made a provision through the merit of Christ which enables Him to accept and justify freely from all sin all that come unto Him through Jesus—through faith in His blood. … Those who have broken and contrite hearts on account of their sins may know that they have not committed "the sin unto death", for their condition of heart proves this, as the Apostle declares: "It is impossible to renew again unto repentance" any who have committed the sin unto death—Z '03, 383 (R 3253).

    Jehovah is sublime in His person, character, Plan and works. Infinite is He in His exaltation. Though supreme above all other beings, He is quite unlike the great among men and fallen angels. Few of the former, and none of the latter, condescend to beings of low estate, especially to give them an uplift in heart and mind. Of necessity, all of Jehovah's dealings are with inferiors; nevertheless, He delights to use His position, Spirit, Plan, works and possessions for the lowly and contrite. He even gives up unto death His human sons for their blessing. Where can another be found so worthy? Worthy is He of faith, love, obedience, thanks, praise, service and faithfulness—P '34, 128.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 10: 17; Psa. 8: 9; 57: 5; 97: 2, 6, 9; 145: 5, 11, 12; Isa. 2: 10; 6: 1, 3; 35: 2; Ezek. 1: 26-28; Gen. 19: 16; Ex. 15: 13; 22: 27; 34: 6, 7; Num. 14: 18-20; Judg. 2: 18; 2 Sam. 12: 13; Ezra 9: 9, 13; Neh. 9: 17, 27-31; Job 33: 14-30; Psa. 30: 5; 32: 1, 2, 5; 85: 10; 103: 3, 8-14, 17; Matt. 18: 11-14, 23-27; Luke 1: 50, 77, 78; Eph. 2: 4-7; Heb. 4: 16; 1 Pet. 3: 8, 15; 1 John 1: 9.

    Hymns: 176, 68, 67, 63, 121, 286, 293.
    Poems of Dawn, 31: A Present Help.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 115 (R 5217).

    Questions: How did God this week show me His grace? How did I receive and use it? What were the 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.
21
  • 21 September
    All day
    2019.09.21-2020.09.17

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil--Psa. 23: 4.

    The Sheep of the Lord's true flock fear no evil, because of the Lord's favor, because He is with them, on their side, and has shown His favor in the redemption price already imputed. He is with them, too, in His Word of promise—His assurance that death shall not mean extinction of life, but merely, until the resurrection, an undisturbed sleep in Jesus. What wonder that these can walk through the valley of the shadow of death singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord, calling upon their souls with all that is within them to praise and laud and magnify His great and holy name, who loved us and bought us with His precious blood, and has called us to the Kingdom inheritance with our dear Redeemer!—Z '03, 413 (R 3268).

    The condition of the curse is the valley of the shadow of death. Death's shadow goes before it (death), in the sin, error, degradation, sorrow, trouble, pain, sickness, losses, disappointments and dying that darken this valley. From birth to death we pass through this dark vale. The vast majority pass through it in fear and reach its end in despair. God's children have blessings in this valley that enable them to bear its rigors bravely and calmly. Whatever of evil reaches them affects but their humanity; their new heart, mind and will is secure, because God, their Helper, is making all things work together for their good, and is giving them hope of eternal deliverance from all evil in the resurrection. Therefore, while in this valley they fear no evil—P '33, 147.

    Parallel passages: Job 3: 13; 14: 2, 5, 7-12, 13, 14, 19-21; 17: 13-16; 21: 23-26, 32, 33; 38: 17; Psa. 3: 6; Rom. 5: 12, 14, 17; Hos. 13: 14; 1 Cor. 15: 21-23, 26, 41-58; 1 Thes. 4: 13-17; Rev. 1: 18; Rom. 14: 8; Phil. 1: 21; Heb. 13: 14; Psa. 27: 1; 56: 4, 11; 118: 6; 44: 19; Rom. 8: 15.

    Hymns: 284, 63, 87, 93, 137, 252, 330.
    Poems of Dawn, 202: Why Should I Fear?
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 90 (R 5653).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? With what results?

     

     
    WHY SHOULD I FEAR?

    WHENE'ER the storms come down on thee,
    And days of peace all seem to flee,
    This thought thy peace again shall bring,
    Why should I fear?—the Lord is King.

    E'en when the tempest rages high,
    And darkest clouds are drawing nigh,
    With hands of faith to this, oh, cling,--
    Why should I fear?—the Lord is King.

    Amid the stormy waves of life,
    Above the tumult and the strife,
    The chimes of hope still sweetly ring,--
    Be not afraid,—the Lord is king.

    Thy ship is toss'd by wind and wave,
    But there is One whose power can save;
    Across the sea He hastes to bring
    Both rest and peace,—the Lord is King.

    Yes, Jesus walks upon the sea,
    And in the storm He comes to thee;
    Then trust in Him, rejoice and sing;
    He calms the waves,—the Lord is King.

    He stretches out His hand to thee,
    And from thy fears He sets thee free;
    Beneath the shadow of His wing
    He keeps thee safe,—the Lord is King.
22
  • 22 September
    All day
    2019.09.22-2020.09.18

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever--Psa. 23: 6.

    The goodness and mercy which we anticipate … in the Kingdom has its beginning here already and is thus to be appreciated. Whoever knows nothing of the joys of the Lord in the present time will evidently not be prepared for the joys of the Lord in the Kingdom, whatever blessings and joys he may attain to under the administration of the Kingdom during the Millennial Age. There is, then, joy and rejoicing, granted to the Lord's faithful ones, not a momentary matter connected with their first acceptance of the Lord and their consecration of themselves to Him. The goodness and mercy of the Lord is not to be looked back to as a thing of the remote past, but it is to be recognized and appreciated as a thing of the present. Day by day God's goodness and mercy follow us, refresh us, strengthen us, bless us—Z '03, 413 (R 3268).

    God's goodness and mercy bless our new minds and humanity, though goodness here refers more especially, though not exclusively, to our spiritual privileges, while mercy here refers more especially, though not exclusively, to our human privileges. It is our glorious privilege to have these, not for a part only, but for the whole of our journey to the Kingdom. Let us not for a moment doubt the loyalty of the Lord to give us all the grace, mercy and Truth necessary for our entire journey. He will never fail, leave nor forsake us. And after we have proven faithful unto the end, our everlasting portion will be membership in God's family—P '32, 136.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 15: 13; 20: 6; 33: 19; 34: 6; 2 Chron. 5: 13; Neh. 9: 17, 27-31; Psa. 23: 1-5; 33: 5; 73: 1; 103: 1-17; Jas. 1: 17; John 14: 2, 3; Eph. 2: 19-22; 1 Pet. 2: 5.

    Hymns: 288, 11, 45, 46, 176, 92, 58.
    Poems of Dawn, 239: Courage! Morning Dawns.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 109 (R 5437).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences along the line of this text? How were they met? What did they effect in me?

     

     
    COURAGE! MORNING DAWNS

    THOUGH the night be dark and dreary,
    Though the way be long and weary,
    Morn shall bring thee light and cheer;
    Child, look up, the morn is near.

    Though thine eyes be sad with weeping,
    Through the night thy vigils keeping,
    God shall wipe thy tears away,
    Turn thy darkness into day.

    Though thy spirit faint with fasting
    Through the hours so slowly wasting,
    Morn shall bring a glorious feast.
    Thou shalt sit an honored guest.
23
  • 23 September
    All day
    2019.09.23-2020.09.19

    Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints--Jude 3.

    Our good fight of faith consists in a considerable measure in our defense of the Word of God, which includes also our defense of the character of God. This will mean our willingness to stand for the Truth at any cost and against any number of assailants—against the creeds and theories of men, which would misrepresent the good tidings of great joy which the Lord and the Apostles have announced, and which shall, thank God, yet be unto all people. As the Apostle again says, "I am set for the defence of the Gospel." We can do no less than defend the Truth. The Truth is God's representative, Christ's representative, and hence our standard, and as true soldiers we must defend our standard, even unto death—Z '03, 423 (R 3272).

    The faith once delivered to the saints consists of the doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types of the Bible given by God to His true Gospel-Age people. These have been attacked with all the ability and malice that fallen angels and men could concentrate into the onslaught. As the custodians of the oracles of God, we would be untrue to our stewardship, if like craven cowards we inactively permitted the attack to go on. We should arm ourselves with the whole armor of God and repel the attacks of error against the Truth; and, assuming the aggressive, we should, with all our wisdom, power, justice and love, destroy the opposing errors, and deliver from their chains our captive brethren and friends—P '26, 125, 126.

    Parallel passages: Acts 17: 2; 18: 4, 19; 20: 27; 24: 25; 1 Cor. 9: 23-27; Gal. 2: 2-5, 12-14; 5: 7; 2 Pet. 2: 1; Phil. 2: 16; 2 Tim. 2: 5; 4: 7.

    Hymns: 44, 78, 118, 183, 145, 272, 266.
    Poems of Dawn, 152: Heroism.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 215 (R 5056).

    Questions: Did I this week defend the Truth? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    HEROISM

    IT takes great strength to train
    To modern service your ancestral brain;
    To lift the weight of the unnumbered years
    Of dead men's habits, methods and ideas;
    To hold that back with one hand, and support
    With the other the weak steps of new resolve!
    It takes great strength to bring your life up square
    With your accepted thought, and hold it there,
    Resisting the inertia that drags back
    From new attempts to the old habit's track.
    It is so easy to drift back—to sink--
    So hard to live abreast of what you think!

    It takes great strength to live where you belong,
    When other people think that you are wrong;
    People you love, and who love you, and whose
    Approval is a pleasure you would choose.
    To bear this pressure, and succeed at length
    In living your belief—well, it takes strength--
    Courage, too. But what does courage mean
    Save strength to help you face a pain foreseen;
    Courage to undertake this life-long strain
    Of setting yourself against your grandsire's brain:
    Dangerous risk of walking alone and free,
    Out of the easy paths that used to be;
    And the fierce pain of hurting those we love,
    When love meets truth, and truth must ride above!

    But the best courage man has ever shown,
    Is daring to cut loose, and think alone.
    Dark are the unlit chambers of clear space,
    Where light shines back from no reflecting face.
    Our sun's wide glare, our heaven's shining blue,
    We owe to fog and dust they fumble through;
    And our rich wisdom that we treasure so,
    Shines from a thousand things that we don't know.
    But to think new—it takes a courage grim
    As led Columbus over the world's rim.
    To think—it costs some courage—and to go--
    Try it—it taxes every power you know.

    It takes great love to stir a human heart
    To live beyond the others, and apart;
    A love that is not shallow, is not small;
    Is not for one or two, but for them all.
    Love that can wound love for its higher need;
    Love that can leave love, though the heart may bleed;
    Love that can lose love, family and friend,
    Yet live steadfastly, loving to the end.
    A love that asks no answer, that can live,
    Moved by one burning, deathless force--to give!
    Love, strength and courage; courage, strength and love--
    The heroes of all time are built thereof.
24
  • 24 September
    All day
    2019.09.24-2020.09.20

    I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection: lest … I myself should be a castaway--1 Cor. 9: 27.

    There is a tendency for the body, the flesh, to arise from its condition of reckoned deadness; hence, the new nature needs to be continually on the alert to maintain its ascendency, to fight the good fight of faith and to gain the prize as an overcomer. These battlings of the new mind against the flesh are a good fight in the sense that they are fightings against sins and weaknesses that belong to the fallen nature. They are a fight of faith in the sense that the entire course of the Christian is a course of faith, as the Apostle says, "We walk by faith and not by sight." … It is a fight of faith in the sense that no one could keep up this battle against his own flesh and its propensities and desires, except as he can exercise faith in the promises and in the Lord as his Helper—Z '03, 425 (R 3272).

    There is a distinction between keeping the body under and bringing it into subjection. We keep the body under when we suppress its efforts to control us, detach our earthly affections from its objects and prove impenetrable to its attacks. We bring it into subjection when the new heart, mind and will, laying hold of and enslaving it to God's will, makes it serve Truth, righteousness and holiness. Both of these things we must do to gain the prize of our calling. While other things must be done to gain eternal life, these are indispensable to overcoming. Whoever fails in this does not overcome. He will be a castaway as respects the prize—P '36, 110.

    Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 9: 25, 26; 2 Cor. 6: 4, 5; Rom. 8: 13; Acts 1: 25; 2 Pet. 2: 15; Eph. 4: 22; Col. 3: 5; Jer. 6: 30; Luke 9: 25; 2 Cor. 13: 5, 6.

    Hymns: 78, 47, 4, 8, 114, 150, 196.
    Poems of Dawn, 48: A Solitary Way.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 296 (R 5777).

    Questions: How did my experiences this week accord with this text? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the effects?

     

     
    A SOLITARY WAY

    PSA. 107: 1-9; PROV. 14: 10; 1 COR. 2: 11.

    THERE is a mystery in human hearts,
    And though we be encircled by a host
    Of those who love us well, and are beloved,
    To every one of us, from time to time,
    There comes a sense of utter loneliness.
    Our dearest friend is "stranger" to our joy,
    And cannot realize our bitterness.
    "There is not one who really understands,
    Not one to enter into all I feel;"
    Such is the cry of each of us in turn.
    We wander in a "solitary way,"
    No matter what or where our lot may be,
    Each heart, mysterious even to itself,
    Must live its inner life of solitude.

    JOB 7: 17; MATT. 10: 37.

    And would you know the reason why this is?
    It is because the Lord desires our love.
    In every heart He wishes to be first.
    He therefore keeps the secret-key Himself,
    To open all its chambers, and to bless
    With perfect sympathy and holy peace
    Each solitary soul which comes to Him.
    So when we feel this loneliness, it is
    The voice of Jesus saying, "Come to Me;"
    And every time we are "not understood,"
    It is a call to us to come again;
    For Christ alone can satisfy the soul,
    And those who walk with Him from day to day
    Can never have "a solitary way."

    ISA. 48: 16; PSA. 34: 22.

    And when beneath some heavy cross you faint,
    And say, "I cannot bear this load alone,"
    You say the truth. Christ made it purposely
    So heavy that you must return to Him
    The bitter grief, which "no one understands,"
    Conveys a secret message from the King,
    Entreating you to come to Him again.
    The Man of Sorrows understands it well.
    In all points tempted, He can feel with you.
    You cannot come too often, or too near.
    The Son of God is infinite in grace;
    His presence satisfies the longing soul;
    And those who walk with Him from day to day
    Can never have "a solitary way."
25
  • 25 September
    All day
    2019.09.25-2020.09.21
    Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness [justification], and sanctification, and redemption [deliverance]--1 Cor. 1: 30.

    He who redeemed us, or bought us with the sacrifice of His own life, gives us, as our Prophet or Teacher, wisdom by His Gospel, to see our fallen state and Himself as our Helper; as our Priest, He first justifies us and then sanctifies or consecrates us … and finally, as King, He will fully deliver the faithful from the domination of sin and death, to a glorious share in His Kingdom; for "God will raise up [from the dead] us also, by Jesus."
    "Hallelujah! What a Savior!"
    Truly He is able and willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him—Z '03, 440 (R 3279).

    God appointed Jesus to supply our every need. He is our Wisdom in that He teaches us the whole counsel of God. He is our Righteousness in that He imputes His merit to us and enables us to practice justice. He is our Sanctification in that He enabled us to consecrate our humanity to death, and enables us to carry out our consecration fully … enables us to grow in every good thought, quality, word and deed. He is our Deliverance in that He enables us to gain victory over all our spiritual enemies through helping us to exercise an overcoming faith, hope, love and obedience; and ultimately, if we are faithful, will give us victory over death and the grave by raising us from the dead. Hallelujah! What a Savior!—P '30, 152.

    Parallel passages: Jer. 9: 23, 24; Matt. 23: 8, 10; 1 Cor. 1: 18-29; Col. 3: 2; Rom. 3: 21-26; 4: 20-25; 5: 1; 10: 3-14; John 17: 17-19; Acts 26: 17, 18; 1 Cor. 1: 2; Eph. 5: 25-27; Heb. 2: 11; Rom. 11: 26; Luke 4: 18; Matt. 6: 13; Rom. 7: 24, 25; 2 Tim. 4: 18; Heb. 2: 15.

    Hymns: 96, 139, 167, 170, 240, 15, 178.
    Poems of Dawn, 265: Deliverance.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 228 (R 5506).

    Questions: How have I this week appropriated Jesus as my Teacher, Justifier, Sanctifier and Deliverer? What helped or hindered therein? What resulted therefrom?
     

     
    DELIVERANCE

    STILL o'er Earth's sky the clouds of anger roll,
    And God's revenge hangs heavy on her soul.
    Yet shall she rise—though first by God chastised--
    In glory and in beauty then baptized.

    Yea, Earth, thou shalt arise; thy Father's aid
    Shall heal the wound His chastening hand hath made;
    Shall judge the proud oppressor's ruthless sway
    And burst his bonds, and cast his cords away.

    Then on thy soil shall deathless verdure spring;
    Break forth, ye mountains, and ye valleys, sing!
    No more your thirsty rocks shall frown forlorn,
    The unbeliever's jest, the heathen's scorn;

    The sultry sands shall tenfold harvests yield,
    And a new Eden deck the thorny field.
    E'en now we see, wide-waving o'er the land,
    The mighty angel lifts his golden wand,

    Courts the bright vision of descending power,
    Tells every gate, and measures every tower;
    And chides the tardy seals that yet detain
    Thy Lion, Judah, from His destined reign!
26
  • 26 September
    All day
    2019.09.26-2020.09.22

    Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit--Eph. 2: 20-22.

    Let us, as day after day rolls by, remember our threefold relationship to this Temple: (1) We are still in process of preparation as living stones. (2) As members of the Royal Priesthood carrying the Ark, we are marching from the Tabernacle into the Temple condition; some of our number have already entered in and some are still on the way. (3) As the Lord's people, the time has come for us to know, to sing with the spirit and understanding, the new song of Divine mercy, justice, love and truth. Let us be faithful in each of these respects, fulfilling our parts, and soon our course will be ended and the glory of the Lord will fill the Temple—Z '03, 443 (R 3282).

    The Christ is the Temple of the Living God. In it the Apostles and the Gospel-Age prophets are the foundation stones—Jesus, the chief cornerstone, and the rest of the faithful, the other stones. During the Gospel Age the stones are undergoing preparation at the hands of God and Christ. They must submit to the necessary sawing, breaking, chiseling, cutting, grinding, rubbing and polishing, each individually and in harmony with one another. Unity, harmony and diversity mark their preparation. When placed in the building harmoniously, cohesively and beautifully, they will be filled with the Lord's glory and become God's resting place, His meeting place with mankind and His blessing place for the world—P '35, 118.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 16: 16-18; 1 Pet. 2: 4, 5; Isa. 28: 16; Matt. 21: 42; Psa. 118: 22, 23; Eph. 4: 14-16; 1 Cor. 6: 19; 2 Cor. 6: 16; John 14: 16-18, 23; Rom. 8: 9.

    Hymns: 281, 67, 21, 23, 6, 7, 58.
    Poems of Dawn, 193: The Voice in the Twilight.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 188 (R 5713).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What proved helpful or hindersome therein? Under what circumstances did they occur? In what did they result?

     

     
    THE VOICE IN THE TWILIGHT

    I WAS sitting alone in the twilight,
    With spirit troubled and vexed,
    With thoughts that were morbid and gloomy,
    And faith that was sadly perplexed.

    Some homely work I was doing
    For the child of my love and care,
    Some stitches half wearily setting,
    In the endless need of repair.

    But my thoughts were about the "building,"
    The work some day to be tried;
    And that only gold and the silver,
    And the precious stones, should abide.

    And remembering mine own poor efforts,
    The wretched work I had done,
    And, even when trying most truly,
    The meager success I had won:

    "It is nothing but 'wood, hay and stubble,'"
    I said; "it will all be burned--
    This useless fruit of the talents
    One day to be returned.

    "And I have so longed to serve Him,
    and sometimes I know I have tried;
    but I'm sure when He sees such building,
    he never will let it abide."

    Just then, as I turned the garment,
    That no rent should be left behind,
    Mine eye caught an odd little bungle
    Of mending and patchwork combined.

    My heart grew suddenly tender,
    And something blinded mine eyes,
    With one of those sweet intuitions
    That sometimes make us so wise.

    Dear child! She wanted to help me.
    I knew 'twas the best she could do;
    But oh! what a botch she had made it--
    The gray mismatching the blue!

    And yet—can you understand it?--
    With a tender smile and a tear,
    And a half compassionate yearning,
    I felt she had grown more dear.

    Then a sweet voice broke the silence;
    And the dear Lord said to me,
    "Art thou tenderer for the little child
    than I am tender for thee?"

    Then straightway I knew His meaning,
    So full of compassion and love,
    And my faith came back to its Refuge
    Like the glad, returning dove.

    For I thought, when the Master-builder
    Comes down His temple to view,
    To see what rents must be mended,
    And what must be builded anew,

    Perhaps as He looks o'er the building
    He will bring my work to the light,
    And seeing the marring and bungling,
    And how far it all is from right,

    He will feel as I felt for my darling,
    And will say, as I said for her,
    "Dear child! She wanted to help me,
    And love for Me was the spur.

    "And for the true love that is in it,
    the work shall seem perfect as Mine,
    And because it was willing service,
    I will crown it with plaudit Divine."

    And there in the deepening twilight
    I seemed to be clasping a hand,
    And to feel a great love constrain me,
    Stronger than any command.

    Then I knew, by the thrill of sweetness,
    'Twas the hand of the Blessed One,
    That will tenderly guide and hold me
    Till all my labor is done.

    So my thoughts are nevermore gloomy,
    My faith no longer is dim,
    But my heart is strong and restful,
    And mine eyes are looking to Him.
27
  • 27 September
    All day
    2019.09.27-2020.09.23

    Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God--Matt. 4: 7.

    Temptations continually assail the Lord's people—suggestions to do some wonderful works in His name, and thus to prove to themselves and to others that they are heaven's favorites. The lesson for us to learn is that the work which the Father has given us to do is not the work of convincing the world or of showing His favor toward us and our greatness in Him, but rather that we should quietly and humbly, yet as effectively as reason and propriety will permit, let our lights shine, and show forth the praises of Him who hath called us from darkness into His marvelous light, and from a desire to be wonder-workers to the reasonable position of servants, ministers of the Truth—Z '04, 9 (R 3298).

    To tempt God means to banter Him, to presume on His goodness and to tamper with His arrangements. Whoever does so takes his life in his own hands. God does not permit Himself to be mocked, though as in Pharaoh's case, He is long-suffering with the one who tempts Him. He will ultimately make the tempter feel the weight of His displeasure. Our reverence for the Lord should be so great as to prevent our tempting Him. In this, as in everything else, our dear Redeemer gives us an example of that reverential carefulness and obedience which will safeguard us against tempting Jehovah, our God. Reverence for Jehovah is also in this particular the beginning of wisdom—P '34, 128.

    Parallel passages: Deut.6: 16; Ex. 5: 2; Num. 15: 30; 1 Kings 20: 28; 22: 24; Job 15: 25; Psa. 19: 13; 131: 1; Isa. 10: 15; 14: 13, 14; 45: 9; 65: 5; Matt. 4: 5, 6; Luke 18: 11, 12; Rom. 9: 20, 21; 1 Cor. 10: 9-12; 2 Thes. 2: 3, 4; 2 Pet. 2: 10, 11.

    Hymns: 196, 95, 125, 130, 136, 145, 198.
    Poems of Dawn, 80: Loving Submission.
    Tower Reading: Z '04, 5 (R 3296).

    Questions: Have I this week tempted or honored God? How? With what results?

     

     
    LOVING SUBMISSION

    I MAY not understand just why the clouds obscure
    the sun,
    But I can trust Him still, and feebly say, "Thy will
    be done."
    I know not why each door of service He sees fit to
    close,
    But I rejoice to find my will would ne'er His way
    oppose.
    I can but wonder why it seemeth to my Father best,
    To loosen from its resting place upon my throbbing
    breast
    The priceless jewel fastened there by His own hand,
    —but then,
    I joy to feel the mother-heart can still respond, Amen!

    I do not always clearly see the lesson I should learn,
    But hour by hour I'll strive to let the hallowed
    incense burn.
    I know not why the sweet must turn to bitter in the
    cup,
    But still I press it to my lips, and through my tears
    look up
    To Him who is "too wise to err, too good to be
    unkind,"
    Assured that, when the cup is drained, a blessing there
    I'll find.

    Press hard, then, Master Workman, and refrain not,
    If I weep,--
    The marble's fairest beauty grows beneath the chiseling deep--
    Yea, Lord, let skies be overcast, as seemeth best to
    thee,
    Take from my arms the dearest thing Thy love hath
    given me;
    Let sweet or bitter fill my cup, according to Thy will,
    I'll closer clasp Thy hand in mine and in the flame
    hold still.
    And thus, although Thou slay me, I will praise Thee
    night and day,
    I'll lay each burden at Thy feet, and bear a song away!
28
  • 28 September
    All day
    2019.09.28-2020.09.24

    Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith--1 Pet. 5: 8, 9.

    This thought of Satan's opposition to us, and that we are contending not merely with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high positions of power, would be appalling to us did we not on the other hand realize that by positiveness of decision we acquire great helps and assistances by other unseen powers. From that moment of our positive resistance of temptation and positive standing up for the Lord and His cause, we become stronger in the Lord and in the power of His might, and greater is He that is for us than all that be against us. … Hesitancy after the wrong is seen increases the power of the temptation—Z '04, 11; '00, 32 (R 3300, 2565).

    Satan is not only the enemy of mankind in general, but especially of the Lord's people, and that because of their loyalty to God. Satan desires to destroy their lives; and nothing gives him more pleasure than the destruction of the new heart, mind and will. A veritable lion he is, seeking to devour us as his prey. Mere passivity on our part will not overcome him. Nor will even a strong temporary resistance finally repulse him. We must persevere in resistance, using not carnal but spiritual weapons, even the Word and Spirit of the Lord. The Spirit, cutting with the keen, Damascene blade of the Word into his vitals, effectually drives him away from us—P '33, 147.

    Parallel passages: 1 Pet. 1: 13; Luke 21: 34; Rom. 13: 13; 1 Cor. 16: 13; 1 Thes. 5: 6, 8; 1 Pet. 4: 7; Job 1: 7, 9-12; 2: 2-7; Luke 22: 31; John 8: 44; 1 Chron. 21: 1; Zech. 3: 1, 2; Matt. 4: 1-11; 13: 19, 38, 39; John 13: 2, 27; 2 Cor. 2: 11; 11: 3, 14, 15; Eph. 6: 11-17; Jas. 4: 7.

    Hymns: 145, 1, 13, 20, 130, 136, 183.
    Poems of Dawn, 130: Be Vigilant.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 54 (R 5183).

    Questions: Have I this week soberly guarded myself against Satan? How? With what results?

     

     
    BE VIGILANT

    UP then, and linger not, thou saint of God,
    Fling from thy shoulders each impending load;
    Be brave and wise, shake off earth's soil and sin,
    That with the Bridegroom thou mayst enter in.
    O watch and pray!

    Clear hath the voice been heard, Behold I've come--
    That voice that calls thee to thy glorious home,
    That bids thee leave these vales and take swift wing,
    To meet the hosts of thy descending King;--
    And thou mayst rise!

    Here's a thick throng of foes, afar and near;
    The grave in front, a hating world in rear;
    Yet flee thou canst not, victory must be won,
    Ere fall the shadows of thy setting sun:--
    And thou must fight.

    Gird on thine armor; face each weaponed foe;
    Deal with the Sword of heaven the deadly blow;
    Forward, still forward, till the prize Divine
    Rewards thy zeal, and victory is thine;
    Win thou the crown.
29
  • 29 September
    All day
    2019.09.29-2020.09.25

    Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD--Prov. 16: 5.

    One of the severe ordeals of the Christian is the conquering of the love of the spirit of worldliness under the leadership of pride. Worldly pride challenges faith in God and obedience to Him, and only those who are of good courage and full of confidence in the Lord can overcome this giant. It is necessary, too, that the victory should be made complete—that pride should be thoroughly humiliated, killed, so that it can never rise up again to destroy us. It is an individual battle, and the only proper armament against this giant is a stone from the brook, the message of the Lord, showing us what is pleasing and acceptable in His sight, and assuring us that he that humbles himself shall be exalted and he that exalts himself shall be abased. As the poet has expressed it:
    "Where boasting ends, true dignity begins."
    --Z '03, 329 (R 3230).

    Pride is exaggerated self-esteem. It may manifest itself in an overweening self-respect and self-confidence as well as in self-satisfaction and self-exaltation. The one who is proud in heart loves these qualities in himself, though he invariably despises them in others. Such a spirit leads one to contempt for others. It is one of the most dangerous characteristics to a Christian. It unfits one for every good word and work. It estranges one from God, Christ and his fellows. God cannot use such for His purposes. Knowing their wicked hearts, He resists them and thrusts them aside, and when they prove incorrigible completely, He rejects and abhors them—P '32, 136.

    Parallel passages: 1 Sam. 2: 3; Psa. 10: 2-7, 11; Prov. 3: 32; 6: 16-19; 11: 20; 12: 22; 15: 8, 9, 26; 21: 27; 24: 9; 28: 9; 29: 27; Jer. 9: 23, 24; 13: 15; Mark 7: 21, 22; 2 Tim. 3: 2; Jas. 4: 6; 1 John 2: 16.

    Hymns: 125, 95, 130, 136, 145, 183, 198.
    Poems of Dawn, 299: "Pride Goeth Before Destruction."
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 110 (R 5000).

    Questions: Was I this week proud or lowly in heart? How did I become so? What were the results?

     

     
    "PRIDE GOETH BEFORE DESTRUCTION"

    A KING in procession had come to the town,
    Riding an ass that was playing the clown:
    For as people hailed and saluted their king
    And started in joy his great praises to sing,
    The ass made a curtsy and smiled and bowed
    And sat down to salute the worshiping crowd.
    The king in his rage had the ass fully stripped,
    And there on the street had him publicly whipped.

    Which reminds us of some that our Master has used
    Who, puffed up in pride, their office abused;
    And not honoring Him in all their ways,
    They took to themselves His honor and praise--
    But pride brings destruction, or something quite near it,
    And so they were stripped of the Truth and its spirit;
    For they are devoid of true wisdom, alas,
    Who possess the audacity of the ass!
30
  • 30 September
    All day
    2019.09.30-2020.09.26

    The love of Christ constraineth us--2 Cor. 5: 14.

    It seems impossible to describe love itself; the best we can do is to describe its conduct. Those who possess a love with such characteristics are able to appreciate it, but not able otherwise to explain it—it is of God, Godlikeness in heart, in the tongue, in the hands, in the thoughts, supervising all the human attributes and seeking fully to control them. As disciples or pupils of Christ, we are in His school; and the great lesson which He is teaching us day by day, and the lesson which we must learn thoroughly, if we would attain the mark of the prize of our calling in all its various features and ramifications, is the lesson of love. It takes hold upon and relates to all the words and thoughts and doings of our daily lives. As the poet has said:
    "As every lovely hue is light—so every grace is love."
    —Z '03, 55, 58 (R 3150).

    By the love of Christ we may understand three things: the love that our Lord Jesus has in His heart; the love that we have in our hearts for Him; and the love that we have in our hearts like that which He has in His heart. The latter two meanings apply in this verse. Our love for Christ animates us to do and suffer. Loving Him we keep His teachings. In even a fuller sense a Christlike love for God, Jesus, the brethren, the world of mankind and our enemies prompts us in our conduct. Beautiful indeed is the heart in which such a love reigns supreme! And rich and choice blessings indeed does it receive and bestow unto God's glory!—P '26, 126.

    Parallel passages: John 14: 15, 21, 23, 28; 15: 9; Rom. 5: 5; 8: 28; 1 Cor. 8: 3; Gal. 5: 6, 22; Eph. 3: 17-19; Phil. 1: 9; Col. 3: 14; 2 Thes. 3: 5; Heb. 6: 10; 1 John 2: 5, 15; 3: 16-18; 4: 12, 16-21; 5: 1-3; 2 John 6.

    Hymns: 165, 166, 201, 95, 198, 196, 113.
    Poems of Dawn, 223: My Beautiful Secret.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 182 (R 4836).

    Questions: What has the love of Christ constrained me to do this week? How? What were the results?

     

     
    MY BEAUTIFUL SECRET

    I HAVE learned a beautiful secret,
    I know not how nor where--
    But I know it is sweet and precious,
    And true, and glad, and fair;
    And that God in heaven reveals it
    To all that have ears to hear.

    And I know that ere I learned it,
    My way was weary and hard;
    And somewhere in life's music
    There was always that which jarred--
    A hidden and dreary discord,
    That all its sweetness marred.

    But my harp of life was lifted
    By One who knew the range
    Of its many strings—for He made it,
    And He struck a keynote strange;
    And beneath the touch of the Master
    I heard the music change.

    No longer it failed and faltered;
    No long sobbed and strove;
    But it seemed to soar and mingle
    With the song of heaven above;
    For the pierced hand of the Master
    Had struck the keynote—Love.

    Thy heart's long-prisoned music
    Let the Master's hand set free!
    Let Him whisper His beautiful secret
    To thee, as He hath to me:
    "My Love is the Golden Keynote
    Of all My will for thee."
October
October
October
October
October

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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