BIRMINGHAM BIBLE STUDENTS

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

DAILY MANNA

< 2019 >
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1
  • December 1
    All day
    2019.12.01-2020.11.27
    Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself--Matt. 22: 39.

    You would not want your neighbor to use brain and tongue in evil surmises and slanders against you; and you should not do so to him. The law of the Lord commands that all under His Covenant shall take heed not to utter one solitary suspicion against a neighbor; and that if suspicion beyond knowledge be forced upon the mind by associated circumstances, the new mind shall promptly, with its native benevolence, counterbalance the suspicions by suggestions of the possibility of misinformation or misinterpretation and always give the apparently guilty the benefit of the doubt—Z '99, 72 (R 2442).

    Every free moral agent is our neighbor, regardless of race, nationality, sex, station, age, clime, relation or plane of being. Especially do we have two classes of neighbors, i.e., those in Adam and those in Christ. Some neighbors are nearer than others; and their varying degrees of nearness to us govern our varying degrees of obligation to them. Thus we are under more obligation to our families than to strangers, to the consecrated than to the tentatively justified, and to the tentatively justified than to the unjustified. The following seems to be the practical application of this text: to give our neighbor the same good will and service as we, ruled by our knowledge of the Lord's will pertaining to the circumstances, would have him give us, if we were in his place, and he in ours. This is the rule of duty love, i.e., justice toward our fellows. Sacrifice in violation of this rule is unacceptable to God—P '32, 197.

    Parallel passages: Lev. 19: 18; Mic. 6: 8; Matt. 7: 12; 9: 13; Mark 12: 31; Rom. 13: 9; Gal. 5: 14; Jas. 2: 8; 1 Tim. 1: 5; 1 Pet. 1: 22; 2 Pet. 1: 7; 1 John 3: 18.

    Hymns: 166, 165, 95, 196, 198, 267, 125.
    Poems of Dawn, 124: "God Bless You!"
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 168 (R 5699).

    Questions: Did I this week love my neighbor as myself? What were the circumstances and results?
     

     
    "GOD BLESS YOU!"

    I SEEK in prayerful words, dear friend,
    My heart's true wish to send you,
    That you may know that far or near
    My loving thoughts attend you!

    I cannot find a truer word,
    Nor fonder to caress you;
    Nor song nor poem I have heard
    Is sweeter than "God bless you!"

    "God bless you!" so I've wished you all
    Of brightness life possesses;
    For can there any joy at all
    Be yours unless God blesses!

    "God bless you!" so I breathe a charm,
    Lest grief's dark night oppress you,
    For how can sorrow bring you harm,
    If 'tis God's way to bless you!
2
  • December 2
    All day
    2019.12.02-2020.11.28
    And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized--Acts 22: 16.

    There is a directness in this address that is worthy of being copied by all who have an influence upon others, and who are seeking to bring them along in the right way. Urge them to promptness, to full and complete obedience, to a full confession of the Lord and the Truth. If they are not inclined promptly to obey after their eyes of faith have seen the Lord, and after their ears have heard His voice, they will be much less likely after a while, when the world and the flesh and the devil will say to them, Do not be an extremist; be moderate; do not make a full consecration of yourself to the Lord. Your neighbors and friends will think you beside yourself, and it will interfere with your hopes and prospects, and turn your friends into enemies. It will cost you too much; go slowly—Z '01, 186 (R 2823).

    Saul of Tarsus, according to our text, seems to have waited before entering into the activities that his circumstances, experiences and condition seem to have warranted, until encouraged by the Lord's messenger so to do. In this he is an example to us. We are to stand still and wait upon the Lord, even if our circumstances, experiences and condition seem to urge us forward, until the Lord's Word through its principles as well as His Spirit and providence agree to the course to which we are urged. But like Saul, let us not hesitate to go forward after the Lord's Word bids us advance. It is a glorious degree of attainment in character development successfully to resist wrong pressure to go forward, and victoriously to wait upon the Lord, until He bids us go forward, and then promptly to obey. Perhaps on no other point of Christian character are we, especially if we are leaders among the Lord's people, more frequently tested—P '26, 172.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 22: 29; Matt. 8: 21, 22; 19: 16-22; Luke 9: 61, 62; Acts 24: 25; Josh. 24: 15; 1 Kings 18: 21; Isa. 50: 7; 1 Cor 15: 58; 2 Pet. 1: 10.

    Hymns: 1, 14, 203, 80, 94, 13, 25.
    Poems of Dawn, 53: Baptismal Hymn.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 248 (R 5520).

    Questions: Was I promptly obedient this week? Why? With what results?
     

     
    BAPTISMAL HYMN

    O WELL-BELOVED Son of God
    Be in our midst, we pray;
    Our feet are in obedience shod,
    To tread the narrow way.

    Who giveth, gain; who loseth, finds;
    Who dieth, lives to Thee--
    Teach us this Law. Incline our minds
    To drink Thy cup with Thee.

    As drop by drop its bitter draught
    Thy sinless lips did lave,
    The uttermost of woe was quaffed,
    This sin-sick world to save.

    Death kissed Thy feet on Jordan's shore,
    Thy hands on Calvary,
    His Sovereign Thou! Our hearts adore
    Thy glorious majesty.

    Baptize us, Lord, into Thy death,
    And may we chosen be
    From out the world, as royal priests,
    As sons and heirs with Thee.
3
  • December 3
    All day
    2019.12.03-2020.11.29
    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth--Rev. 3: 10.

    This is the special reward of those who are running the race with patient endurance in the present time, in the Laodicean period. While it was not our privilege to escape the hour of temptation, it is our privilege to have a counter-balancing special blessing as a result of living in the time of our Lord's parousia (presence). We may have His fellowship, His instruction, His dispensing of spiritual food which is now "meat in due season," in a manner and to a degree in which none of the faithful of past periods enjoyed these. But as we might expect, this greatest favor is correspondingly offset by the subtlety and severity of the trials of this hour of temptation coming upon the whole world. If ever patient endurance was necessary it is necessary now—Z '01, 118 (R 2790).

    It is called the hour of temptation because throughout its duration great tests involving the whole human race, particularly the Church, real and nominal, have prevailed. To the nominal and real people of God these temptations have been severe, especially along six general lines, i.e., No-Ransomism, Infidelism, Combinationism, Reformism, Contradictionism and Revolutionism. While the Philadelphian Church was spared these particular trials, the Laodicean Church has had to meet them. To His Laodicean faithful, however, the Lord has given special help in the light due in the Lord's Parousia and Epiphaneia. The Revolutionism feature of the hour of temptation has been operating coincident with the Epiphany, the "bright shining." It is bringing it and many other things to light—P '36, 166.

    Parallel passages: Rev. 1: 9; 13: 10; 14: 12; Matt. 6: 13; 26: 41; 1 Cor. 10: 13; Eph. 6: 13; 2 Pet. 2: 9; Matt. 24: 24; Isa. 24: 17; Dan. 12: 10; Jas. 1: 12; 1 Pet. 4: 12.

    Hymns: 13, 145, 56, 57, 99, 119, 137.
    Poems of Dawn, 125: The Trial Hour.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 327 (R 5981).

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

     
    THE TRIAL HOUR
    EPHESIANS 6: 10-18.

    THE "hour of temptation" hath come to the
    Church,
    The time of her testing is here,
    And storm clouds of ominous portent roll up,
    Betokening the tempest is near.

    The carnage grows fiercer 'twixt error and truth,
    The hosts of the foe press around,
    As the day waxes late, and the shadows grow long,
    And their tauntings and boastings abound.

    And many who fought in the ranks by our side,
    Have been pierced by the enemy's dart;
    Their "shield" and their "helmet" lie prone in the
    dust,
    And the "arrow" hath smitten their heart.

    Their arm lost its cunning in wielding the "sword,"
    Their "breastplate" was loosed from its place,
    The "helmet" was lost, and the shafts of the foe
    Smote them down, and they sank in disgrace.

    O, dear fellow-soldiers! O, brethren in Christ!
    Let us gird up our "armor" anew!
    Let us heed the sure Word of our Leader and "Head,"
    And be loyal and steadfast and true.

    The night hastens on—only one hour to fight;
    No thought now of wavering or fear;
    Our captain calls "Onward!" Then close up the
    ranks,
    For the hour of our victory is near.

    Courage, comrades! The banner of truth waves
    aloft;
    No such banner was ever unfurled!
    We will follow its lead, e'en thro' carnage and blood,
    For by it we shall conquer the world.

    Tho' feet may grow weary, and hearts throb with
    pain,
    Let us never give up in the fray;
    Our Captain is strong, and can know no defeat,
    And will guide to the end of the way.

    Soon the fight will be over, the conflict be past,
    And the "roll-call" will sound thro' the sky;
    Will you answer your name? Shall I answer to
    mine?
    Can we gladly respond: "Here am I?"

    O, God of the battle, our Father, to Thee
    With strong supplication we cry!
    The conflict is deadly, and wily our foe,
    Yet we know that deliverance is nigh.

    And Thou who has guided and led all the way,
    Wilt guide till the victory is won,
    Till the night is all spent and the glad day hath
    dawned,
    And we hear Thy sweet plaudit, "Well done!"
4
  • December 4
    All day
    2019.12.04-2020.11.30

    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?--Luke 11: 13.

    If the Lord's consecrated people could all be brought to the point where the chief aim in life, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might have a larger measure of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of the Truth, the Spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, what a blessing it would mean! If then they should wrestle with the Lord until the breaking of the day, their hold upon Him would be sure to bring the desired blessing. The Lord has revealed Himself to His people for the very purpose of giving them this blessing; nevertheless, He withholds it until they learn to appreciate and earnestly desire it—Z '01, 271 (R 2864).

    When our Lord tells His disciples that they are evil, He does not mean that their intentions are wicked; rather that they are fallen in mind and heart; yet He implies that they still have vestiges of God's image whereby they know how, and are enabled, to give natural good gifts to their children. From the imperfect who can do some good, He reasons that the Absolutely Perfect One can do more good, i.e., can and will give His holy Spirit to His children who ask it at His hand. The gift of the holy Spirit is the highest spiritual gift; in fact, it is the sum of all our present spiritual blessings, and "the earnest" of our eternal inheritance. Therefore, requests for the holy Spirit should be the main burden of all our prayers to our Heavenly Father. God gives it to His own—P '30, 183, 184.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 103: 13; Prov. 1: 23; 3: 12; Joel 2: 29; Matt. 7: 7-11; 21: 22; Mark 11: 24; John 14: 16; 15: 7; 4: 10; Eph. 1: 3; Titus 3: 4, 5.

    Hymns: 35, 239, 1, 90, 91, 95, 198.
    Poems of Dawn, 102: Lord, Give Me This!
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 38 (R 5623).

    Questions: Did I this week pray for the holy Spirit? How? Why? What was the effect?

     

     

    LORD, GIVE ME THIS!
    LUKE 11: 13.

    O HEAVENLY Father, Thou hast told
    Of a gift more precious than pearls and gold;
    A gift that is free to every one,
    Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son.
    For His sake, give this to me.

    O give it to me, for Jesus said
    That a father giveth his children bread,
    And how much more Thou wilt surely give
    The gift by which the dead shall live!
    For Christ's sake, give this to me.

    I cannot see, and I want the sight;
    I am in the dark, and I want the light;
    I want to pray, and I don't know how;
    O give me Thy Holy Spirit now!
    For Christ's sake, give this to me.

    Since Thou hast said it, I must believe
    It is only "ask" and I shall receive:
    Since Thou hast said it, it must be true,
    And there's nothing else for me to do!
    For Christ's sake, give this to me.

    So I come and ask, because my need
    Is very great and real indeed.
    On the strength of Thy Word I come and say,
    Oh, let Thy Word come true today!
    For Christ's sake, give this to me!

5
  • December 5
    All day
    2019.12.05-2020.12.01
    Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD--Josh. 24: 15.

    Let others reverence whom and what they will; we who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we who have come to know Him through His Word, and through His providences, and through the power of the Spirit by which we are energized to newness of life—we can do naught else than reverence our God; and reverencing Him we must trust Him implicitly; and trusting Him implicitly we will gladly walk in whatever way He may mark out for us; and thus trusting and thus walking we are content, whatever lot we see, since 'tis His hand that leadeth us. And let us be assured that, following the true Shepherd after this manner, we shall ultimately reach the Kingdom fold. In these assurances we have joy and peace and blessing of heart, even in the house of our pilgrimage—Z '01, 284 (R 2872).

    Prompt decision to do the Lord's will after discerning it, is the course of the faithful. It is characteristic of the measurably unfaithful to hold back from doing God's will and measurably to compromise with evil, even after discerning the Lord's will respecting the good and the evil. While the Lord is long-suffering, ultimately He will force these to come to a decision; for He will so shape their experiences that they must decide for or against His will. Like Joshua of old, let the faithful seek by word and example to encourage the measurably unfaithful to a righteous decision; but whether the latter accept the encouragement so given, or not, let the faithful under Christ, their Head, continue to remain dead to self and to the world, and alive to God, and thus, with as many as we can influence, serve the Lord—P '35, 172.

    Parallel passages: 1 Kings 18: 21; Ezek. 20: 39; Luke 16: 13; Rom. 6: 16; Gen. 18: 19; John 6: 67-69; Matt. 19: 16-22; 26: 33, 35; Josh. 24: 16-18; 23: 15; 1 Chron. 28: 9.

    Hymns: 160, 1, 8, 14, 78, 130, 136.
    Poems of Dawn, 38: Whom Will Ye Serve?
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 78 (R 4780).

    Questions: Have I exercised decisiveness this week? How? Under what circumstances? With what results?
     

     
    WHOM WILL YE SERVE?
    JOHN 19: 12, 13.

    CASESAR'S friends? or friends of Jesus?
    Solemn question for to-day!
    Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!
    Take your sides without delay.
    If ye pause for man's forbidding,
    Caesar's friendship ye secure;
    If ye do the Father's bidding,
    Scorn, reproach, ye shall endure.

    Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!
    Stand revealed! your choice declare!
    Who in truth two masters pleases?
    Who may rival banners bear?
    Jesus' friends account Him precious,
    Lose for Him all other gain:
    Dearer far the smile of Jesus
    Than the praise of worldly men.

    Free from Caesar, friends of Jesus!
    Stand in phalanx! never fear!
    Love, severely tried, increases;
    Courage yet! The Lord is near!
    Onward still, His name confessing,
    Weaving crowns to grace His brow;
    Lo! His hands are full of blessing,
    Lifted for your succor now.

    Caesar's friends were we, but Jesus
    Owns us for His friends to-day!
    What! Shall rival friendship please us,
    While the Bridegroom is away?
    No! through grace would we surrender
    Caesar's things to Caesar's care,
    whilst to God, our God, we render
    Filial homage, praise, and prayer.
6
  • December 6
    All day
    2019.12.06-2020.12.02
    He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls--Prov. 25: 28.

    The battle with self is the greatest battle, and we have the Lord's word for it that he that "ruleth his spirit [his own mind, will] is better than he that taketh a city," because he has to that extent learned to exercise the combativeness of a true character in the right direction, in self-control. It is after we have had considerable experience in battling with sin and selfishness in ourselves, in casting the beam out of our own eyes, in subduing anger, malice, hatred and strife in our own hearts and flesh—it is then, and by means of this severe battle and experience, that we shall be prepared to assist the brethren, and to assist our neighbors in their difficulties—to help them to overcome their besetments and weaknesses—Z '01, 295 (R 2877).

    The word spirit here means disposition; and to have no rule over one's spirit means to lack self-control. Such a person, from the standpoint of character, is a wreck. Solomon illustrates this by a city that is broken down and without walls. Accordingly, in our dispositions we are like a city, our various good qualities corresponding to the homes, our good thoughts to the soldiers defending the city and self-control to the wall of the city. Outside are sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, as soldiers under Satan, their general, and the flesh and the world, his lieutenants. These will chiefly assault our self-control, which breaking down, they will desolate every good thought and quality in our possession. Our chief concern is to prevent a breach in the wall of self-control. So doing, we will prove victors in our defensive warfare, preserving our symbolic city from ruin—P '34, 174, 175.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 116: 11; Prov. 14: 29; 16: 32; 19: 2; 21: 5; 23: 2; 25: 8; 29: 20; Eccles. 5: 2; 7: 9; Luke 14: 26, 27; Rom. 8: 12, 13; 13: 14; 14: 1—15: 5; 1 Cor. 6: 12; 8: 13; 9: 12, 15, 18, 19, 23, 25-27; Col. 3: 5; Titus 2: 12; 1 Pet. 4: 1, 2; 2 Pet. 1: 6.

    Hymns: 145, 136, 125, 267, 1, 183, 130.
    Poems of Dawn, 206: Wait Upon the Lord.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 87 (R 5652).

    Questions: Have I this week exercised or failed to exercise self-control? Why? How? With what results?
     

     
    WAIT UPON THE LORD

    WHEN clouds hang heavy o'er thy way,
    And darker grows the weary day,
    And thou, oppressed by anxious care,
    Art almost tempted to despair,
    Still wait upon the Lord.

    When friends betray thy loving trust,
    And thou art humbled in the dust,
    When dearest joys from thee have fled,
    And Hope within thy heart lies dead,
    Still wait upon the Lord.

    When Death comes knocking at thy door,
    And in thy home are sorrows sore,
    Though age comes on and eyes grow dim,
    Still look to Christ, still trust in Him,
    And wait upon the Lord.

    Whate'er thy care, believe His word;
    In joy or grief, trust in the Lord.
    Good courage He will give to thee,
    And strong, indeed, thy heart shall be,
    By waiting on the Lord.
  • December 6
    All day
    2019.12.06-2020.12.01
    He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls--Prov. 25: 28.

    The battle with self is the greatest battle, and we have the Lord's word for it that he that "ruleth his spirit [his own mind, will] is better than he that taketh a city," because he has to that extent learned to exercise the combativeness of a true character in the right direction, in self-control. It is after we have had considerable experience in battling with sin and selfishness in ourselves, in casting the beam out of our own eyes, in subduing anger, malice, hatred and strife in our own hearts and flesh—it is then, and by means of this severe battle and experience, that we shall be prepared to assist the brethren, and to assist our neighbors in their difficulties—to help them to overcome their besetments and weaknesses—Z '01, 295 (R 2877).

    The word spirit here means disposition; and to have no rule over one's spirit means to lack self-control. Such a person, from the standpoint of character, is a wreck. Solomon illustrates this by a city that is broken down and without walls. Accordingly, in our dispositions we are like a city, our various good qualities corresponding to the homes, our good thoughts to the soldiers defending the city and self-control to the wall of the city. Outside are sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, as soldiers under Satan, their general, and the flesh and the world, his lieutenants. These will chiefly assault our self-control, which breaking down, they will desolate every good thought and quality in our possession. Our chief concern is to prevent a breach in the wall of self-control. So doing, we will prove victors in our defensive warfare, preserving our symbolic city from ruin—P '34, 174, 175.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 116: 11; Prov. 14: 29; 16: 32; 19: 2; 21: 5; 23: 2; 25: 8; 29: 20; Eccles. 5: 2; 7: 9; Luke 14: 26, 27; Rom. 8: 12, 13; 13: 14; 14: 1—15: 5; 1 Cor. 6: 12; 8: 13; 9: 12, 15, 18,19, 23, 25-27; Col. 3: 5; Titus 2: 12; 1 Pet. 4: 1, 2; 2 Pet. 1: 6.

    Hymns: 145, 136, 125, 267, 1, 183, 130.
    Poems of Dawn, 206: Wait Upon the Lord.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 87 (R 5652).

    Questions: Have I this week exercised or failed to exercise self-control? Why? How? With what results?
     

     
    WAIT UPON THE LORD

    WHEN clouds hang heavy o'er thy way,
    And darker grows the weary day,
    And thou, oppressed by anxious care,
    Art almost tempted to despair,
    Still wait upon the Lord.

    When friends betray thy loving trust,
    And thou art humbled in the dust,
    When dearest joys from thee have fled,
    And Hope within thy heart lies dead,
    Still wait upon the Lord.

    When Death comes knocking at thy door,
    And in thy home are sorrows sore,
    Though age comes on and eyes grow dim,
    Still look to Christ, still trust in Him,
    And wait upon the Lord.

    Whate'er thy care, believe His word;
    In joy or grief, trust in the Lord.
    Good courage He will give to thee,
    And strong, indeed, thy heart shall be,
    By waiting on the Lord.
7
  • December 7
    All day
    2019.12.07-2020.12.03
    When he was reviled, he reviled not again--1 Pet. 2: 23.

    Not because Jesus' enemies had found in Him something that could properly and justly be reviled and evil spoken of; nor because His enemies were so nearly perfect that He could find nothing in them to revile and speak evil of; but because He was so full of submission to the Divine will that He was enabled to take the scoffs and railings of the people, and to bear these humbly and patiently, and to remember that even hereunto He was called, did Jesus endure patiently and learn the lessons, and prove Himself faithful, and develop and demonstrate His true character, and feel and manifest His pity for the people, in their blindness and ignorance, and His love for them—Z '01, 298 (R 2877).

    To revile means unjustly and needlessly to say and do uncomplimentary things to others. Jesus was more especially reviled after His sentence, by the soldiers in Caiaphas' and Pilate's palaces, and by the people and soldiers on His way to, and at, Calvary. But while He was not, and they were, deserving of reviling, He returned it not to them. Doubtless Satan sought to keep their vile words and deeds upon His mind, to stir up in Him the spirit, words and deeds of reviling. In this he failed, because our dear Redeemer, "despising the shame," looked upon it as of little consequence, and fixed His will upon pleasing the Father amid and despite their reviling. In this as well as every other respect, our blessed Lord is an example to us. Whatever reviling falls to our lot, whatever temptation comes to us to return reviling for reviling, let us, like Him, "despising the shame," fix our wills upon pleasing the Lord, amid and despite the reviling that is our portion—P '33, 177.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 26: 65; 27: 13, 27-30, 39-44, 49; Psa. 22: 6, 7, 16, 17; 31: 11-13; 35: 20, 21; 71: 10, 11; 109: 25; Isa. 50: 6; 53: 7; Heb. 12: 3.

    Hymns: 168, 5, 28, 132, 190, 325, 326.
    Poems of Dawn, 22: Tell Me About The Master.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 35 (R 5172).

    Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? In what relations and experiences?
     

     
    TELL ME ABOUT THE MASTER

    TELL me about the Master!
    I am weary and worn tonight;
    The day lies behind me in shadow,
    And only the evening is light!
    Light with a radiant glory
    That lingers about the west.
    My poor heart is weary, aweary,
    And longs, like a child, for rest.

    Tell me about the Master!
    Of the hills He in loneliness trod,
    When the tears and blood of his anguish,
    Dropped down on Judea's sod.
    For to me life's seventy mile-stones
    But a sorrowful journey mark;
    Rough lies the hill country before me,
    The mountains behind me are dark.

    Tell me about the Master!
    Of the wrongs He freely forgave;
    Of His love and tender compassion,
    Of His love that is mighty to save;
    For my heart is aweary, aweary,
    Of the woes and temptations of life,
    Of the error that stalks in the noonday,
    Of falsehood and malice and strife.

    Yet I know that whatever of sorrow
    Or pain or temptation befall,
    The infinite Master hath suffered,
    And knoweth and pitieth all.
    So tell me the sweet old story,
    That falls on each wound like a balm,
    And my heart that is bruised and broken
    Shall grow patient and strong and calm.
8
  • December 8
    All day
    2019.12.08-2020.12.04
    If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you--John 15: 18.

    As our Master was hated without a cause, so let it be with us so far as possible, that the hatred, malice, envy and murder which may be poured out against us may be wholly unmerited by us—that our lives shall be as nearly pure as possible; that so far as we are able, our thoughts and words and deeds may show forth the praises of our Lord, and speak of our love for all men, especially for the household of faith. By and by, when the new dispensation is fully inaugurated, those who hate us now, largely because they are blinded by the Adversary and misled, will bow before the Lord's Anointed, and we shall have the great pleasure of lifting them up, blessing them, encouraging them and forgiving them, and assisting them back to the full image and likeness of God—Z '01, 300 (R 2880).

    The word world is in the Scriptures used in various senses, i.e., the universe, the earth, a dispensational order of affairs, the people in harmony with it, and the entire human race. Evidently the whole human race did not hate our Lord; for the few heathen with whom He came in contact honored Him. Rather, the Jewish religious leaders and those influenced by them hated Him. They hated Him because His teachings refuted their errors; His example disparaged their hypocrisy; His exposures injured their prestige; His reforms endangered their ambitions; His religion subverted their sects; and His influence diminished their power. Because "the darkness hateth the light," God's faithful people during the Gospel Age have been hated by the nominal people of God—even for the same reasons as Jesus was hated. It will be so even to the end—P '32, 197.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 41: 9; John 15: 17, 19-25; Isa. 53: 1-3; Matt. 10: 16-39; 24: 9; Mark 13: 13; Luke 21: 17; 19: 14; John 16: 2, 3; 17: 14; 1 John 3: 1, 13.

    Hymns: 312, 47, 48, 134, 150, 8, 114.
    Poems of Dawn, 56: Why Dost Thou Wait?
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 141 (R 4813).

    Questions: Have I this week for the sake of the Truth experienced others' hatred? How? With what results?
     

     
    WHY DOST THOU WAIT?

    POOR, trembling sheep! Ah! Who outside the fold
    Hath bid thee stand, all weary as thou art,
    Dangers around thee, and the bitter cold
    Creeping and growing into thine inmost heart?
    Who bids thee wait till some mysterious feeling,
    Thou knowest not what—perchance mayst never know--
    Shall find thee, when in darkness thou art kneeling,
    And fill thee with a rich and wondrous glow
    Of love and faith; and change to warmth and light
    The chill and darkness of thy spirit's night!

    For miracles like this who bids thee wait?
    Behold, God's precious word to thee is, "Come!"
    The tender Shepherd opens wide the gate,
    And in His love would gently lead thee home,
    Why shouldst thou wait? Long centuries ago,
    O timid sheep, the Shepherd paid for thee!
    Thou art His own. Wouldst thou His beauty know,
    Nor trust the love which yet thou canst not see?
    Thou hast not learned this lesson to receive:
    More blest are they who see not, yet believe.

    Still dost thou wait for feeling? Dost thou say,
    "Fain would I love and trust, but hope is dead;
    I have no faith, and without faith, who may
    Rest in the blessing which is only shed
    Upon the faithful? I must stand and wait."
    Not so. The Shepherd doth not ask of thee
    Faith in thy faith, but only faith in Him;
    And this He meant in saying, "Come to Me."
    In light or darkness, seek to do His will,
    And leave the work of faith to Jesus still.
9
  • December 9
    All day
    2019.12.09-2020.12.05
    Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him--Jas. 1: 12.

    If we could but keep in memory the fact that every trial, every persecution, every difficulty of life, permitted to come upon those who have made the covenant of sacrifice with the Lord, is intended to prove them, to test their love, to see whether or not their characters are fixed, rooted and grounded in righteousness, and being built up in love, it would put all these trials, difficulties and temptations in a new light before us, and greatly assist us in fighting a good fight and overcoming. We would say, If by these little trials the Lord is proving my love and devotion to Him, then, however trifling they may be or however important, I will diligently use them as favorable opportunities to demonstrate to my Lord the fullness of my love and devotion to Him and His cause—Z '98, 41 (R2257).

    Temptation in this verse means trial, test. To endure temptation means while cheerfully bearing tests, to persevere victoriously amid them in well-doing. The Christian life is full of trials; we must be tested and stand approved in every point of character, before we can be accounted worthy. Blessed are we, if we expect trials; for such expectation will prepare us for them. Twice blessed are we, if we are being tested; for this gives us opportunities to overcome. And thrice blessed are we, if we faithfully endure our trials unto complete victory; for after our testing is successfully completed, the fruition of our hope will be ours. Life everlasting in the Kingdom, with all that it implies in disposition, nature, sights, honors, associations, inheritance and work, will surely become ours. By an oath God has covenanted this to "the seed"; and "the seed" consists of those consecrated ones who love God supremely—P '26, 173.

    Parallel passages: Job 5: 17; Psa. 94: 12; 119: 67, 71; Prov. 3: 11, 12; Matt. 24: 13; 1 Cor. 9: 25; 2 Tim. 4: 8; 1 Pet. 5: 4; Matt. 19: 28, 29; Jas. 2: 5; Rev. 2: 10.

    Hymns: 93, 56, 57, 67, 197, 200, 313.
    Poems of Dawn, 45: The Refining.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 83 (R 5650).

    Questions: In what trials did I gain victory this week? How? With what results?
     

     
    THE REFINING
    MAL. 3: 3

    "TIS sweet to feel that He who tries
    The silver takes His seat
    Beside the fire that purifies,
    Lest too intense a heat--
    Raised to consume the base alloy--
    The precious metals, too, destroy.

    'Tis good to think how well He knows
    The silver's power to bear
    The ordeal through which it goes;
    And that with skill and care
    He'll take it from the fire when fit,
    With His own hand to polish it.

    'Tis blessedness to know that He
    The piece He hath begun
    Will not forsake till He can see--
    To prove the work well done--
    His image, by its brightness known,
    Reflecting glory like His own.

    But ah! how much of earthly mould,
    Dark relics of the mine,
    Lost from the ore, must He behold--
    How long must He refine,
    Ere in the silver He can trace
    The first faint semblance of His face!

    Thou great Refiner! sit Thou by,
    Thy promise to fulfil!
    Moved by Thy hand, beneath Thine eye,
    And melted at Thy will,
    O may Thy work forever shine,
    Reflecting beauty pure as Thine!
10
  • December 10
    All day
    2019.12.10-2020.12.06
    Them that honour me I will honour--1 Sam. 2: 30.

    In whatever department of the Lord's service He is pleased to open the door of opportunity to us, we should enter it promptly and with energy—with zeal for Him and for the cause to which He has called us. This is one condition of our acceptableness to Him. If we are slothful, inattentive to opportunities, undoubtedly they will be removed from us, and given to others, for the Lord is abundantly able to raise up one or another to serve His cause without interfering with, or overruling our free moral agency. Let us more and more appreciate what a privilege we enjoy in being co-laborers together with God, and especially in connection with this great service which our Lord and Master Jesus is exercising, and to fellowship in which we have been called—Z '01, 318 (R2888).

    To honor God implies putting God first in our lives. On the one hand, this means that we set ourselves constantly and successfully against that against which God sets Himself, i.e., Satan, the world and the flesh, as they appear in sin, error, selfishness and worldliness within and without. On the other hand, it means to set ourselves constantly and successfully in favor of that in favor of which God sets Himself, i.e., meditation on and spread of God's Word, character development in harmony with God's Word, endurance of evil for loyalty to God's Word, and watchfulness and prayer in harmony with God's Word. Such God will truly honor. In this life He honors them with the holy Spirit, with the understanding of His Word, with the privilege of prayer, with privileges of service, with separateness from sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, with development of Christlikeness and with victory in their battles. In the next life He will honor them with great Kingdom blessings, in disposition, nature, sights, glorification, association, inheritance, office and work—P '36, 166.

    Parallel passages: Jer. 18: 9, 10; Psa. 18: 20; 91: 14; 50: 23; Prov. 3: 9, 10; Isa. 29: 13, 14; Dan. 4: 34; Mal. 1: 6; John 5: 23, 44; 8: 49; 12: 26; 13: 31, 32; 17: 4, 5; 1 Cor. 4: 5; 1 Pet. 1: 7.

    Hymns: 235, 11, 45, 46, 89, 83, 219.
    Poems of Dawn, 278: "Amen!"
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 173 (R 5703).

    Questions: Has this text been this week fulfilled in me? How? Under what circumstances? With what effects?
     

     
    "AMEN!"

    SO let it be! The prayer that Christ enjoins
    Lives ever in our soul and on our tongue!
    So let it be! The worship He assigns--
    Our great Creator—with thanksgiving song,
    From hearths, in temples, yea, the woods among,
    Pour forth! So let it be! As drooping vines
    Drink the reviving shower, so sink along
    Our hearts His precepts! Lo, one word enshrines
    Full attestation of our faith! "Amen"
    Includes the sum of our assent, and bears
    The seal of truth: it is the wing of prayers,
    Speeding the voice of millions, not in vain,
    To God's high throne, borne on seraphic airs,
    To ratify in Heaven our glorious gain!
11
  • December 11
    All day
    2019.12.11-2020.12.07

    My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways--Prov. 23: 26.

    The heart, the will, thus given over to God, seeks to know the Divine will, to catch the Divine thought and to obey it in word and in act; and in proportion as this condition of the new mind is attained, in that same proportion will there begin to be a newness of life in every respect—in ambitions, hopes, sentiments and efforts. It is for this reason that the revelation of the Divine will and Plan is furnished to believers—that by growing in the knowledge of it, by thinking on these things, by filling the mind with the Divine Plan and will, the transforming influence may extend into every avenue of life—Z '01, 324 (R 2890).

    The Lord desires our intellects, our affections and our wills. He wants our intellects, so that emptying them of sinful, erroneous, selfish and worldly thoughts, and filling them with just, truthful, loving and spiritual thoughts, our intellects, so emptied and so filled, might become vessels sanctified and meet for the Master's use for the blessing of others and ourselves. He wants our affections and our wills, so that, purging them from sinful, selfish, worldly and erroneous affections and intentions, and filling them with just, truthful, loving and spiritual affections and intentions, our hearts, so purged and filled, might become vessels sanctified and meet for the Master's use for the blessing of others and ourselves. Therefore our text lovingly encourages us to yield our hearts and intellects to God; and blessed in the consequent enrichment of heart and intellect is he who so yields himself—P '30, 184.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 119: 9; Eccles. 12: 1; Matt. 13: 15; 16: 24; John 17: 17; Rom. 6: 13, 16, 19; 12: 1; 15: 16; 2 Cor. 8: 5; Gal. 2: 20; Col. 2: 11; Heb. 10: 5-7, 10.

    Hymns: 8, 14, 114, 244, 208, 134, 325.
    Poems of Dawn, 36: I Offer Thee.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 163 (R 5905).

    Questions: What and how did I do with my consecration this week? Why did I do it? What was the result?

     

     

    I OFFER THEE

    EVERY heart's throb, it is Thine;
    Every human tie of mine;
    Every joy, and every pain;
    Every act of mind, or brain--
    My blessed God!
    Every hope, and every fear;
    Every smile, and every tear;
    Every song and every hymn
    "Laudamus Te."

    Take them all, my blessed Lord,
    Bind them with Thy secret cord;
    Glorify Thyself in me—Adored One!
    Multiply them by Thy Word,
    Strengthen, bless, increase, my Lord,
    Perfect in Love!
    Thou first, and last!

12
  • December 12
    All day
    2019.12.12-2020.12.08
    As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he--Prov. 23: 7.

    It behooves the Lord's consecrated people carefully to strain out the impurities, and see that they do not enter into our hearts, our thoughts, realizing that if they enter, the result will be to work our defilement, to a greater or less degree. Whoever maintains purity of thought will have comparatively little effort in maintaining purity of word and of action. Whether the impurity come from one direction or another—from the world or the flesh or the devil—its attack must first of all be upon the mind; and if repelled there the victory is won; if not repelled, we cannot know what the consequences might be, as the Apostle James (1: 15) declares: "When lust [selfish desire of any kind], hath conceived [in the mind], it bringeth forth sin [develops sinful words or deeds]; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"—Z '01, 325 (R 2890).

    To think in the head and to think in the heart are two distinct things. All kinds of thoughts enter the intellect. Some of these thoughts are injected into our minds by Satan, the world and the flesh; and some are given to us by God, His servants and His people. Nor are we necessarily responsible for the first entrance of thoughts cast into our minds by outside sources. Only then do we become responsible for our thoughts, when we harbor them; for this makes us think them in our hearts, which implies that our affections cleave to them, and our wills, laying hold of them, make them our own. Only such thoughts mold our characters. If they are impure, vicious, distrustful, resentful, proud, vain, cowardly, lazy, contentious, brutal, covetous and hypocritical, they give us characters of the same qualities. If they are pure, noble, trustful, long-suffering, humble, simple, brave, active, peaceable, gentle, liberal, sincere, they will impart to us characters of the same attributes. Thus, we become in character like the thoughts that we cherish—P '35, 172.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 6: 5; Deut. 5: 29; 6: 5; 1 Sam. 16: 7; 1 Chron. 28: 9; 2 Chron. 12: 14; Psa. 22: 26; 34: 18; 51: 10, 17; 57: 7; Prov. 4: 23; 15: 13-15; Jer. 17: 1, 9, 10; Matt. 15: 19-21.

    Hymns: 196, 130, 198, 1, 136, 145, 8.
    Poems of Dawn, 118: Thy Will Be Done.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 163 (R 5246).

    Questions: Have I kept my heart this week? How? Why? Where?
     

     
    THY WILL BE DONE

    MY Lord, Thy will not mine be done:
    Whatever path Thy love shall choose for me,
    Through desert sands, or if beside the sea,--
    Thy will be done!

    Oh, may Thy will in me be done:
    Should "harvest" labor be for me Thy will,
    Or if I may but suffer and be still,--
    Thy will be done!

    My Father, let Thy will be done:
    If sweet the cup Thou pourest for me to drink,
    I'll praise Thee, but if bitter, I'll not shrink,--
    Thy will be done!

    Forever may Thy will be done:
    I would not choose, I leave it all with Thee,--
    The pilgrimage, if short or long it be,--
    Thy will be done!
13
  • December 13
    All day
    2019.12.13-2020.12.09
    Lay not this sin to their charge--Acts 7: 60.

    How great a blessing it would be for all spiritual Israelites to learn well this lesson; namely, that if we accept the results of any matter as being good, and if we realize that we were guided to those results by Divine providence, we should think and feel most generously, most kindly, toward those who were the instruments used by providence, notwithstanding the fact that they might have been unwilling instructors or, like Joseph's brethren, have verily intended opposite results. Those who are enabled to take such a view of affairs and forces operating in their daily lives are enabled "always to triumph through the Lord," as the Apostle expresses it. And such find no room for bitterness or railing, either against Satan or against any of his servants—Z '01, 331 (R 2895).

    St. Stephen is a splendid example of forgiving one's enemies. It is easy to think and to say: "I will forgive my enemies," when one has none. It is quite a different thing to refrain from resentment in the heart toward those who wrong us. It is harder still to cherish no resentment toward people, while to their and our knowledge, they are doing us wrong. But the hardest of all things is to wish and do them good, while they are in the act of wronging us. Such was the sublime height of character to which St. Stephen climbed. While the rocks and stones were striking him with most painful force, he prayed God to forgive his tormentors. If we would attain to a like character, we must be very self-oblivious, meek, zealous, loving and faithful. These qualities practiced in the small things of life gradually impart to our characters strength that is equal to the demands of our hardest experiences. While failure to meet our daily small trials aright will result in defeat in great crises—P '34, 175.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 40-48; 6: 12, 14, 15; 18: 21-35; Luke 6: 28; 23: 34; Rom. 12: 14, 17, 19, 20; Ex. 23: 4, 5; Prov. 19: 11; 24: 17; Eccles. 7: 21; Mark 11: 25; Luke 6: 35-37; 17: 3, 4; 1 Cor. 4: 12; Eph. 4: 32; Col. 3: 13; Philemon 1: 10; 1 Pet. 3: 9.

    Hymns: 190, 132, 290, 101, 113, 165, 166.
    Poems of Dawn, 94: Trust.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 185 (R 5259).

    Questions: Have I been forgiving this week? How? Why? What helped or hindered? With what results?
     

     
    TRUST

    "BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED."

    CHILD of Mine, I love thee, listen now to Me,
    And make answer truly while I question thee.
    For I see that shadows do thy soul oppress,
    And thy faith so weakens, that I cannot bless.

    Thou hast craved My power and presence in thy soul.
    Wilt thou yield thee truly unto My control?
    Wilt thou let Me ever with thee have My way,
    Yield thyself in all things simply to obey?

    Though My presence ofttimes seem to be withdrawn,
    Of Mine inward workings not a trace be shown,
    Wilt thou count Me present notwithstanding all,
    Still believe I'm working ever in thy soul?

    When I give to others what I thee deny,
    Flood them with My sunshine, wholly pass thee by,
    Wilt thou still believe in My strong love for thee,
    Yield thee to My purpose whatsoe'er it be?

    When I to thy pleadings seem no heed to pay,
    And thy foes grow bolder, claim thee as their prey,
    Though toward thee I'm silent, wilt thou stand the test,
    On My Word of promise lay thee down to rest?

    If to these My questions thou canst answer "Yes,"
    Thou shalt be forever one I love the best.
    To the inner circle of My favored few,
    Thou shalt be admitted, and My glory view.
  • December 13
    All day
    2019.12.13-2020.12.08
    Lay not this sin to their charge--Acts 7: 60.

    How great a blessing it would be for all spiritual Israelites to learn well this lesson; namely, that if we accept the results of any matter as being good, and if we realize that we were guided to those results by Divine providence, we should think and feel most generously, most kindly, toward those who were the instruments used by providence, notwithstanding the fact that they might have been unwilling instructors or, like Joseph's brethren, have verily intended opposite results. Those who are enabled to take such a view of affairs and forces operating in their daily lives are enabled "always to triumph through the Lord," as the Apostle expresses it. And such find no room for bitterness or railing, either against Satan or against any of his servants—Z '01, 331 (R 2895).

    St. Stephen is a splendid example of forgiving one's enemies. It is easy to think and to say: "I will forgive my enemies," when one has none. It is quite a different thing to refrain from resentment in the heart toward those who wrong us. It is harder still to cherish no resentment toward people, while to their and our knowledge, they are doing us wrong. But the hardest of all things is to wish and do them good, while they are in the act of wronging us. Such was the sublime height of character to which St. Stephen climbed. While the rocks and stones were striking him with most painful force, he prayed God to forgive his tormentors. If we would attain to a like character, we must be very self-oblivious, meek, zealous, loving and faithful. These qualities practiced in the small things of life gradually impart to our characters strength that is equal to the demands of our hardest experiences. While failure to meet our daily small trials aright will result in defeat in great crises—P '34, 175.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 40-48; 6: 12, 14, 15; 18: 21-35; Luke 6: 28; 23: 34; Rom. 12: 14, 17,19, 20; Ex. 23: 4, 5; Prov. 19: 11; 24: 17; Eccles. 7: 21; Mark 11: 25; Luke 6: 35-37; 17: 3, 4; 1 Cor. 4: 12; Eph. 4: 32; Col. 3: 13; Philemon 1: 10; 1 Pet. 3: 9.

    Hymns: 190, 132, 290, 101, 113, 165, 166.
    Poems of Dawn, 94: Trust.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 185 (R 5259).

    Questions: Have I been forgiving this week? How? Why? What helped or hindered? With what results?
     

     
    TRUST

    "BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED."

    CHILD of Mine, I love thee, listen now to Me,
    And make answer truly while I question thee.
    For I see that shadows do thy soul oppress,
    And thy faith so weakens, that I cannot bless.

    Thou hast craved My power and presence in thy soul.
    Wilt thou yield thee truly unto My control?
    Wilt thou let Me ever with thee have My way,
    Yield thyself in all things simply to obey?

    Though My presence ofttimes seem to be withdrawn,
    Of Mine inward workings not a trace be shown,
    Wilt thou count Me present notwithstanding all,
    Still believe I'm working ever in thy soul?

    When I give to others what I thee deny,
    Flood them with My sunshine, wholly pass thee by,
    Wilt thou still believe in My strong love for thee,
    Yield thee to My purpose whatsoe'er it be?

    When I to thy pleadings seem no heed to pay,
    And thy foes grow bolder, claim thee as their prey,
    Though toward thee I'm silent, wilt thou stand the test,
    On My Word of promise lay thee down to rest?

    If to these My questions thou canst answer "Yes,"
    Thou shalt be forever one I love the best.
    To the inner circle of My favored few,
    Thou shalt be admitted, and My glory view.
14
  • December 14
    All day
    2019.12.14-2020.12.10
     
15
  • December 15
    All day
    2019.12.15-2020.12.11
    The Lord is my shepherd--Psa. 23: 1.

    The Lord, in calling His people His sheep, chose a very significant emblem of the character He would have manifested in them. The most noticeable characteristics of the sheep are meekness, docility and obedience to the shepherd to whose care they fully entrust themselves. … The true sheep will carefully listen for the faintest accents of the voice of the Shepherd--i.e., he will treasure up His words in his heart, he will study His providences; and he will cultivate that communion and personal fellowship with the Lord which are his privilege. Those who thus abide in Him can never go astray. "They can never, never lose their way"—Z '02, 365 (R 3116).

    Jehovah is our Shepherd, and certainly, as our Shepherd, is good; for He is gentle, loving, active, self-denying, intelligent, strong and constant toward us. And He renders us the service that we as His sheep need; He gives us prenatal care, accompanies us, gathers us, bears us up when weak, calls us by name, gives us food and drink, prepares our course for us, leads us in right paths, restores us to health, eases our hardships, rests our weariness, comforts us in trouble, warns us of, and protects us from, danger, watches over us, guards our surroundings, trains us, washes us from earth's defilements, seeks us when astray, restrains us from injuring our fellow sheep, separates us from the sheep of others, delivers us from hirelings, entrusts us to good shepherds, and causes us to be profitable. Yes, Jehovah, our Shepherd, is good—P '32, 197.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 49: 24; Psa. 23: 2-6; 27: 1; 37: 25; 56: 4, 11; 118: 6; Isa. 40: 11; Luke 15: 3-7; John 10: 1-16; Heb. 13: 6, 20; 1 Pet. 2: 25; 5: 4.

    Hymns: 257, 284, 286, 288, 121, 293, 294.
    Poems of Dawn, 277: May Heaven Sustain Thee.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 198 (R 5490).

    Questions: Have I had special Shepherd care this week? How? How did I respond?
     

     
    MAY HEAVEN SUSTAIN THEE

    MAY Heaven sustain thee day by day,
    And make thy generous heart of love
    Rejoice through all the pleasant way
    That God directs thy feet to move,
    Inclining thee, just, generous, true,
    Nobly thy Christian work to do;
    Honored and loved and blessed of God,
    O! sweet may be the pathway trod;
    May heavenly light around thee shine,
    Divinely blessing thee and thine!
16
  • December 16
    All day
    2019.12.16-2020.12.12
    How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, follow him--1 Kings 18: 21.

    We need to have some touchstone, as it were, some matter which will help us to decide, which will enable the mind to reach a decision quickly. This touchstone should be God's will, so that to perceive the Lord's will in respect to any question would be to settle it—as quickly as discerned. … Ability to decide quickly, and to decide always on the right side, what the Lord's will is, requires some experience and discipline; but the sooner we begin the sooner we shall become proficient. The more energetically we set ourselves to know the Lord's will and to do it, and to show Him by our promptness that we delight to do His will, the better and the more quickly shall we find our characters established on proper lines—Z '02, 42 (R 2950).

    To serve Jehovah implies deadness to self and the world and aliveness to God. He serves God who, refusing to obey the flesh and the world, obeys God. By Baal, primarily Satan as the god of this world is meant. To serve Baal implies aliveness to self, the world and the Adversary. More particularly those serve Baal, who, whether knowingly or unknowingly, imitate Satan by grasping for power, or who support others in their grasping for power. Leaders among God's people are Satan's especial targets for temptation along this line; and some of such leaders among them have more or less yielded to this temptation. The special trial of this, the Epiphany period of our Lord's Second Advent, is along this line. Promptly let us herein act—P '26, 173.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 22: 29; Matt. 6: 24; 8: 21, 22; 19: 16-22; Luke 9: 61, 62; Acts 24: 25; Josh. 24: 15; Isa. 50: 7; 1 Cor. 15: 58; 2 Pet. 1: 10.

    Hymns: 14, 8, 48, 114, 134, 302, 312.
    Poems of Dawn, 26: Jesus Only.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 296 (R 5322).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences that called for a decision? How were they met? What effects did they work?
     

     
    JESUS ONLY

    JESUS only! In the shadow
    Of the cloud so chill and dim,
    We are clinging, loving, trusting,
    He with us and we with Him;
    All unseen, though ever nigh,
    Jesus only—all our cry.

    Jesus only! In the glory,
    When the shadows all are flown,
    Seeing Him in all His beauty,
    Satisfied with Him alone;
    May we join His ransomed throng,
    Jesus only—all our song!
17
  • December 17
    All day
    2019.12.17-2020.12.13
    Beloved … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure--Phil. 2: 12, 13.

    It was God that provided for us the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and it is God who has drawn us unto Himself and who has promised us all needed grace to walk in the paths of righteousness; and more, even to follow in the footprints of Jesus in the way of self-sacrifice. While, therefore, with fear and trembling—with great carefulness—we endeavor to work out our salvation, it is our privilege always to realize the promised grace to help in every time of need, and to be confident that our best efforts toward righteousness are acceptable to God when presented through the merit of the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us by faith—Z '97, 147 (R 2154).

    To work out our own salvation means to fulfill the terms of our consecration, i.e., to remain dead to self-will and world-will, while sacrificially using up our human all unto death for God's cause, and to remain alive to God's will in meditation, watchfulness, prayer, witnessing, character development and endurance according to God's Word. The issues, persons and results involved require that we do this with that fear and trembling which characterize reverence for God; for in the work of our salvation—our deliverance from Satan, the world and the flesh—God works in us by His Spirit and Word, whereby He, as we co-operate with Him, makes us to will and do in overcoming evil and in developing good. Therefore, it behooves us to co-operate with Him with that fear and trembling that mark reverence for God in all things—P '36, 166.

    Parallel passages: John 3: 27; 6: 27-29; Heb. 4: 1, 11; 2 Cor. 7: 1; 1 Pet. 1: 5-8; 2 Pet. 1: 10; Heb. 6: 11, 12; 2 Cor. 3: 5; Eph. 2: 8, 9; Prov. 10: 16; 16: 1; Jer. 32: 39; Heb. 13: 20, 21; Isa. 26: 12.

    Hymns: 130, 191, 13, 95, 8, 192, 208.
    Poems of Dawn, 71: Have Faith in God.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 55 (R 5854).

    Questions: How did I this week co-operate with the Lord in working out my salvation? What helped or hindered therein? How was I affected by this co-operation?
     

     
    HAVE FAITH IN GOD

    WHEN the stormy winds are blowing,
    And the angry billows roll,
    When the mighty waves of trouble
    Surge around thy stricken soul,
    Have faith in God,
    Who reigns above;
    Yea, trust in Him,
    For He is love.

    When the way is rough and thorny,
    Danger all along the path,
    When the foe is ever planning
    How to crush thee in his wrath,
    Have faith in God;
    His loving care
    Shall keep thee safe
    From every snare.

    When thine eyes are dim with weeping,
    And thy heart is full of woe
    For the loved that now are sleeping
    In the silent grave so low,
    Have faith in God;
    The dead shall rise
    And meet the Savior
    From the skies.

    Art thou filled with eager longing
    For the night to pass away?
    Art thou weary of the watching
    For the dawning of the day?
    Have faith in God;
    He is our stay;
    Soon, soon will come
    The perfect day.

    Art thou hoping, waiting, praying,
    For the presence of the Lord?
    Art thou waiting for the Kingdom,
    And the glorious reward?
    Have faith in God;
    Our King is here,
    And soon His glory
    Will appear.
18
  • December 18
    All day
    2019.12.18-2020.12.14

    The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me--Heb. 13: 6.

    To have the proper course in life, to be able to meet the trials and difficulties of life as they come to us, and to meet them in the proper spirit which the Lord directs—in the spirit of rejoicing in tribulation, and counting such experiences all joy—it is necessary that all fear of man, which brings a snare, shall be removed. And it is our Lord's direction that we shall fear Jehovah, and not fear our mortal fellows. The righteous are bold as a lion, as well as gentle as a dove, and meek as a lamb. This peculiar combination should be found in every Christian, and we doubt if it will be found elsewhere—Z '02, 45 (R 2951).

    This verse contains one of the precious assurances from the Lord to us amid the oppositions of men to the course of the faithful. At most men can but kill the body; they cannot destroy the new heart, mind and will; it will come forth in the resurrection awakening. Moreover there are metes and bounds placed by the Lord upon their opposition to us; for to them the words apply: "so far and no further." The Lord will permit them to do nothing to us except what will, if we are rightly exercised, do good to our new heart, mind and will. The Father has repeatedly demonstrated this in His helping us against and amid their opposition, whether this opposition has had to be met in church, state, capital, labor, family or society. Sometimes His help has seemed long delayed; yet it has always come in due time in harmony with the assurance of this text. This assurance, backed by God's providences in our lives, causes us to be courageous amid "the contradiction of sinners against" ourselves—P '30, 184.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 3:1-8; 27:1-14; 28: 1; 29: 2-5; 56: 1-11; 118: 5-16; 8: 2; Isa. 51: 12, 13; Dan. 3: 17, 18; Matt. 8: 26; 10: 28; Rom. 8: 15, 33-39; 2 Tim. 1: 7; 1 Pet. 3: 13, 14; 1 John 4: 4, 16-18.

    Hymns: 56, 63, 124, 197, 313, 331, 333.
    Poems of Dawn, 72: Courage! My Soul.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 88 (R 5424).

    Questions: How has God helped me this week? Has man sought to make me fear? How? How did God's help affect my fear of man?

     

     

    COURAGE! MY SOUL

    LET nothing make thee sad or fretful,
    Or too regretful--
    Be still;
    What God hath ordered must be right;
    Then find in it thine own delight,
    His will.

    Why shouldst thou fill to-day with sorrow
    About to-morrow,
    My heart?
    One watches all, with care most true.
    Doubt not that He will give thee, too,
    Thy part.

    Only be steadfast, never waver,
    Nor seek earth's favor,
    But rest;
    Thou knowest that God's will must be
    For all His creatures—so for thee--
    The best.

19
  • December 19
    All day
    2019.12.19-2020.12.15
    Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off--1 Kings 20: 11.

    The test of endurance is certainly one of the severest tests of faithfulness to which the elect Church is subjected. It is the test which gauges and registers the strength of every other virtue and grace, and no soldier of the cross will be crowned with the laurels of victory who has not stood this test. … In the battle of this day, as in all other battles, the effort of the enemy is to surprise and suddenly attack and overwhelm the Lord's people; and the only preparation, therefore, that can be made for such emergencies is constant vigilance and prayer and the putting on of the whole armor of God—the Truth and the Spirit of the Truth—Z '94, 155 (R 1656).

    While the Lord's people may and do glory in the Lord, it is unseemly for them to boast; for that is nothing less than self-laudation. There may be some justification to speak at times of our past achievements modestly, but never boastingly. Much less is it in order to boast of future acts whose performance is uncertain. Such boasting exalts self, usually disparages others, and almost invariably insults God. The boaster not only usually fails to make good but also usually achieves disaster. There is no room for boasting in ourselves. What have we that we have not received? Should the beggar boast of the alms that he receives? Is not the good that we have attained of the Lord's grace? Let us, therefore, be zealous to give Him the glory for our place and attainments, and to think of ourselves as the objects of His unmerited goodness and love—P '35, 172.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 27: 1; Isa. 10: 15; Psa. 49: 6-9; 52: 1; 94: 4; Rom. 3: 27; 11: 17-21; 1 Cor. 1: 17-31; 4: 6, 7; 2 Cor. 10: 12-17; Eph. 2: 8-10.

    Hymns: 184, 13, 15, 63, 123, 135, 291.
    Poems of Dawn, 236: Deeds, Not Words.
    Tower Reading: Z '94, 155 (R 1656).

    Questions: Have I boasted this week? How? Why? With what results?
     

     
    DEEDS, NOT WORDS
    THEY do the least
    Who talk the most,
    Whose good designs
    Are all their boast;
    Let words be few.

    They do the most
    Whose lives possess
    The sterling stamp
    Of righteousness;
    For deeds are true.
20
  • December 20
    All day
    2019.12.20-2020.12.16
    Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth2 Tim. 2: 15.

    There is much significance in that word "study"; and only the studious find the narrow way to the Divine approval and acceptance. Study to show thyself approved—study the doctrine; study your course of conduct, to keep it in harmony with the doctrine. Study how to promote the peace and prosperity of Zion, and how to shield yourself and others from the missiles of error and from the poison of an evil, worldly spirit. Study to perform the duties of a faithful soldier of the cross—the seemingly insignificant, as well as the bravest and noblest deeds—Z '02, 318 (R 3096).

    God's children, especially those who are teachers, should not accept with blank, unquestioning minds any opinions offered them. They are to study and test them as to their harmony or disharmony with themselves, Bible passages and doctrines, God's character and Christ's Ransom, facts and the designs of the Bible Godward, Christward, Churchward and Worldward. Only such things as are proven to be in harmony with these seven things, should the Lord's people accept. Such study, testing, is necessary, if we would be workmen approved unto God, and will result in our never having to hang our heads with the shame of defeat and controversy with gainsayers, and will enable us more and more rightly to distinguish one feature of the Word from another, giving us clear and correct views of the separate doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types of the Bible, and giving us ability to use them—P '34, 175.

    Parallel passages: Josh. 1: 8; 2 Chron. 29: 11; Isa. 40: 9; 52: 11; 57; 14; Jer. 1: 7, 8, 17-19; Ezek. 2: 6-8; 3: 8-10, 17-21, 27; Matt. 7: 6; 10: 7, 11-13, 16, 25, 27, 28; 20: 25-28; 28: 19, 20; John 21: 15-19; Acts 20: 28; Rom. 12: 6-8; 1 Cor. 4: 1, 2; 9: 16, 17; 2 Cor. 1: 24; 4: 1, 2, 5; 1 Tim. 1: 3, 4, 11, 18, 19; 4: 6, 7, 12-16; 2 Tim. 4: 2, 5.

    Hymns: 22, 49, 70, 116, 164, 210, 309.
    Poems of Dawn, 5: Great Truths.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 232 (R 5511).

    Questions: Have I this week served the Truth? How? Why? Under what circumstances? What helped or hindered? With what results?
     

     
    GREAT TRUTHS

    GREAT truths are dearly bought. The common truth,
    Such as men give and take from day to day,
    Comes in the common walk of easy life,
    Blown by the careless wind across our way.

    Great truths are dearly won; not found by chance,
    Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
    But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
    Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.

    Sometimes, 'mid conflict, turmoil, fear and grief,
    When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
    Ploughs up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
    It brings some buried truth-seeds to the light.

    Not in the general mart, 'mid corn and wine;
    Not in the merchandise of gold and gems;
    Not in the world's gay hall of midnight mirth,
    Nor 'mid the blaze of regal diadems;

    Not in the general clash of human creeds,
    Nor in the merchandise 'twixt church and world,
    Is truth's fair treasure found, 'mongst tares and weeds;
    Nor her fair banner in their midst unfurled.

    Truth springs like harvest from the well-ploughed
    fields,
    Rewarding patient toil, and faith, and zeal.
    To those thus seeking her, she ever yields
    Her richest treasures for their lasting weal.
  • December 20
    All day
    2019.12.20-2020.12.15
    Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth2 Tim. 2: 15.

    There is much significance in that word "study"; and only the studious find the narrow way to the Divine approval and acceptance. Study to show thyself approved—study the doctrine; study your course of conduct, to keep it in harmony with the doctrine. Study how to promote the peace and prosperity of Zion, and how to shield yourself and others from the missiles of error and from the poison of an evil, worldly spirit. Study to perform the duties of a faithful soldier of the cross—the seemingly insignificant, as well as the bravest and noblest deeds—Z '02, 318 (R 3096).

    God's children, especially those who are teachers, should not accept with blank, unquestioning minds any opinions offered them. They are to study and test them as to their harmony or disharmony with themselves, Bible passages and doctrines, God's character and Christ's Ransom, facts and the designs of the Bible Godward, Christward, Churchward and Worldward. Only such things as are proven to be in harmony with these seven things, should the Lord's people accept. Such study, testing, is necessary, if we would be workmen approved unto God, and will result in our never having to hang our heads with the shame of defeat and controversy with gainsayers, and will enable us more and more rightly to distinguish one feature of the Word from another, giving us clear and correct views of the separate doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types of the Bible, and giving us ability to use them—P '34, 175.

    Parallel passages: Josh. 1: 8; 2 Chron. 29: 11; Isa. 40: 9; 52: 11; 57; 14; Jer. 1: 7, 8, 17-19;Ezek. 2: 6-8; 3: 8-10, 17-21, 27; Matt. 7: 6; 10: 7, 11-13, 16, 25, 27, 28; 20: 25-28; 28: 19, 20;John 21: 15-19; Acts 20: 28; Rom. 12: 6-8; 1 Cor. 4: 1, 2; 9: 16, 17; 2 Cor. 1: 24; 4: 1, 2, 5; 1 Tim. 1: 3, 4, 11, 18, 19; 4: 6, 7, 12-16; 2 Tim. 4: 2, 5.

    Hymns: 22, 49, 70, 116, 164, 210, 309.
    Poems of Dawn, 5: Great Truths.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 232 (R 5511).

    Questions: Have I this week served the Truth? How? Why? Under what circumstances? What helped or hindered? With what results?
     

     
    GREAT TRUTHS

    GREAT truths are dearly bought. The common truth,
    Such as men give and take from day to day,
    Comes in the common walk of easy life,
    Blown by the careless wind across our way.

    Great truths are dearly won; not found by chance,
    Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
    But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
    Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.

    Sometimes, 'mid conflict, turmoil, fear and grief,
    When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
    Ploughs up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
    It brings some buried truth-seeds to the light.

    Not in the general mart, 'mid corn and wine;
    Not in the merchandise of gold and gems;
    Not in the world's gay hall of midnight mirth,
    Nor 'mid the blaze of regal diadems;

    Not in the general clash of human creeds,
    Nor in the merchandise 'twixt church and world,
    Is truth's fair treasure found, 'mongst tares and weeds;
    Nor her fair banner in their midst unfurled.

    Truth springs like harvest from the well-ploughed fields,
    Rewarding patient toil, and faith, and zeal.
    To those thus seeking her, she ever yields
    Her richest treasures for their lasting weal.
21
  • December 21
    All day
    2019.12.21-2020.12.17
    Who is worthy?--Rev. 5: 2.

    Let us, dearly beloved, as we realize that thus far God has counted us worthy to look upon the scroll of His Plan which has been unsealed for us by our blessed Lord Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, prove our worthiness to continue to look therein and to read the wondrous things of His law, by faithful obedience and loyalty to it in all things. Let us not undervalue our great privilege in being counted worthy to have some part in the blessed ministry of reflecting the light of Divine Truth; let us prove ourselves jewels of rarest value, diamonds indeed, heartily receiving and beautifully transmitting to others the light of Truth, and faithfully enduring the severest pressure that God may permit to come upon us; for, if faithful in these small things we shall in due time be counted worthy also to be with Christ in power and great glory—Z '02, 333 (R 3103).

    The question of our text is with reference to who was worthy to become the Interpreter and Executor of God's Plan. The strong angel that asked the question represented the Law Covenant, which found none during the Jewish Age worthy to become the Interpreter and Executor of God's Plan; and the God-fearing of that and of this Age grieved at the Law-proven sinfulness of the human family. But blessed be the grace of our God, who has found for us a fountain of Life through the Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power operating in and by Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world! The Strong One among the leaders of God's people has not only fulfilled every demand of Justice in keeping perfectly its every precept, and in meeting its sentence against Adam and his race, but also has fulfilled every suggestion of Love in fully meeting every occasion of sacrifice. He is worthy! Yes, He is altogether lovely!—P '33, 177.

    Parallel passages: Rev. 5: 6, 9-14; Psa. 45: 2; Isa. 11: 5; 53: 9; Mic. 5: 4; Matt. 12: 41, 42; 27: 3, 4; Luke 3: 16; 23: 41; John 1: 14; 5: 30, 34, 41; 7: 18; Acts 13: 28; 1 Cor. 1: 24; 2 Cor. 4: 4; 5: 21; Col. 1: 19; 2 Tim. 2: 13.

    Hymns: 167, 10, 59, 155, 157, 190, 268.
    Poems of Dawn, 34: Jesus.
    Tower Reading—Z '16, 252 (R 5943).

    Questions: What has Christ been to me this week? How? With what results?
     

     
    JESUS

    THE gently sighing of the wind among the pines,
    The joyous singing of the lark at break of day,
    The rippling of the water-brooks through cooling shade,
    The patter of the softly falling rain at night,
    Are sounds less sweet by far than His most precious name.

    No art can show a form so gracious and so fair,
    No master's hand hath drawn a smile so sweet,
    Nor could depict the majesty of that pure brow;
    No canvas ever glowed with such a holy light
    As shines from His most radiant image in my heart.

    The dearest earthly friend may fail in time of need,
    The sweetest and the loveliest grow cold at heart,
    The nearest may not heed the throbbing heart's sad cry,
    The gayest throng may hold the loneliest solitude,
    But Jesus, Jesus never fails my call to hear.

    Oh, may the music of Thy name more clearly fall
    Upon my ears attuned to catch that sweetest sound!
    Oh, may Thine image in my heart so bright become
    That I by gazing may be changed into the same;
    Oh, blessed Jesus, let Thy presence ne'er depart,
    Oh, come and reign forevermore within my heart!
22
  • December 22
    All day
    2019.12.22-2020.12.18
    If a man therefore purge himself … he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work--2 Tim. 2: 21.

    If a man desire honor from God, let him not fail to seek it in God's appointed way—along the pathway of humility; for the Lord gives His favors to the humble. If you would be a vessel fit for the Master's use and a vessel of honor, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time. Do not be in a hurry about it either; but "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," beginning and ever continuing to cleanse your earthen vessel, that it may be fit for the Master's use—Z '02, 319 (R 3096).

    The things from which we are to purge ourselves are those that constitute the filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. This implies that we rid ourselves of evils that root not only in our bodies, such as uncleanliness of person, tobacco, liquor and drug habits, gluttony, unchastity, etc., but that root also in our minds and hearts, such as error, unbelief, despair, irresoluteness, impatience, impiety, unbrotherliness, selfishness, pride, vanity, cowardice, laziness, strife, hatred, insincerity, covetousness, etc. A leading part of our Christian warfare is our fight against sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, whereby we overcome evil and purge ourselves. Such purging is done by the activity of the holy Spirit and strengthens this Spirit. It makes us honorable before God, sets us apart to Him, fits us for His service, and prepares us for every good word and work. To all of us, especially to the Pilgrims and Elders, the charge applies: "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord"—P '32, 197.

    Parallel passages: Lev. 21: 6; Isa. 6: 5-8; 52: 11; Jer. 15: 19; Matt. 20: 25-28; Rom. 2: 21-23; 1 Cor. 5: 1-8; 6: 9-20; 11: 28-32; 2 Cor. 6: 3-7, 16-18; 2 Cor. 7: 1; 13: 5; Gal. 5: 19-21; Eph. 5: 3, 4; 1 Tim. 3: 1-15; 6: 11; Jas. 3: 10.

    Hymns: 105, 44, 20, 125, 130, 229, 267.
    Poems of Dawn, 181: The Master's Touch.
    Tower Reading: Z '02, 318 (R 3096).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How have they been met? What have been their results?
     

     
    THE MASTER'S TOUCH

    IN the still lute the music lies unheard;
    In the rough marble beauty hides unseen:
    To make the music and the beauty, needs
    The Master's touch, the Sculptor's chisel keen.

    Great Master, touch us with Thy skillful hand;
    Let not the music that is in us die!
    Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let,
    Hidden and lost, Thy form within us lie!

    Spare not the stroke! do with us as Thou wilt!
    Let there be naught unfinished, broken, marred;
    Complete Thy purpose, that we may become
    Thy perfect image, Thou our God and Lord!
23
  • December 23
    All day
    2019.12.23-2020.12.19
    A word spoken in due season, how good it is! A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver--Prov. 15: 23; 25: 11.

    We are to remember, when talking with those who have an ear to hear and are inquiring the way to the Lord, that there are great crises in the lives of men, momentous occasions, in which one word may be more valuable, more potent, than would be a hundred words or a thousand words at another time, under different circumstances; and we are to be instant in the Lord's service, whether seasonable or unseasonable to ourselves, gladly ready to lay down our lives for the brethren. … We are to distinguish, however, between out-of-season to ourselves and out-of-season to others; and to be willing to serve others at any time, however out-of-season to ourselves, if it be in season and opportune for them. We are not to intrude even the Gospel itself at inopportune times, however convenient the occasion may be to ourselves—Z '02, 381, 382 (R 3122).

    There are times for silence and times for speech. There are things to be said and things to be left unsaid. He who speaks when he should be silent, who says what should be left unsaid, and who withholds what should be said, is unwise and injurious. But he who is silent when silence is in order, who suppresses unsuitable and injurious remarks, and who utters in the right spirit and manner the thing that the time, place, occasion and person require, is wise and helpful. The ability to say the right thing in the proper spirit and manner, at the right time, occasion and place, to the right person, is a grace of rare attainment, value and fruitfulness. Let us study more carefully to select the things of which we speak, the spirit and manner in which we speak, the times, occasions and places at which we speak, and the persons to whom we speak. Then more and more will our words be good, because in season—P '26, 173.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 37: 30; 39: 1; 119: 13, 46, 172; 141: 3; Prov. 12: 18-20; 15: 1, 2, 4, 7; 16: 21, 23, 24; 31: 26; Eccles. 12: 9-11; Eph. 4: 25, 29; Col. 4: 6; 1 Pet. 3: 15, 16; Rev. 14: 5.

    Hymns: 260, 116, 272, 275, 22, 49, 16.
    Poems of Dawn, 106: What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 245 (R 5517).

    Questions: How did I use my tongue this week? What were the 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.
24
  • December 24
    All day
    2019.12.24-2020.12.20
    Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins--Matt. 1: 21.

    The noting of those little incidentals by which Divine providence prepared for our Savior's birth and for the sending forth of the Gospel message, is strengthening to the faith of the Lord's people. Realizing God's care in the past over even the little things, gives a foundation for confidence in His wisdom and provision for the features of His Plan which are yet future—the fulfillment of all the exceeding great and precious promises which centered in Him who was born in Bethlehem. And so also a realization of the Divine providence in the larger affairs of the Divine Plan stimulates faith also in the Lord's providences as respects the personal and more private affairs of His people—Z '00, 8 (R 2555).

    Names given to Biblical characters, etc., are significant of the character, work, office, experience and typical relations of the person or thing involved. This accounts for the name selected for the Messiah by God. Jesus is the Latin word for the Hebrew word Joshua, or Jeshua (Jehovah is salvation), and signifies the office work of our Lord. His people are all that in this and the next Age approach God by Him. The race is under the condemnation, power and effects of sin. His merit, now imputed on behalf of the consecrated, delivers them from the condemnation of sin. By the Lord's Spirit, Word and providence, He gradually delivers them from the power or rulership of sin, and ultimately in the resurrection will deliver them from all the effects of sin. Later, by the application of His merit, He will deliver the world from the condemnation of sin; and by His Priestly, Mediatorial, Kingly, Legislative, Judicial, Prophetic and Paternal office, will deliver all who obediently become His people from the power and effects of sin. Hallelujah, what a Savior! He is mighty to save!—P '36, 167.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 49: 18; Job 33: 23, 24; Psa. 72: 4, 12-14, 17; 80: 17; 89: 19; Isa. 28: 16; 40: 10, 11; 42: 6, 7; 53: 10-12; 62: 11; Zech. 9: 9; Matt. 15: 24; 18: 11-13; Luke 1: 68-77; 2: 11, 30-34; Acts 16: 31; Rom. 3: 24-26.

    Hymns: 132, 260, 144, 345, 342, 116, 347.
    Poems of Dawn, 23: Our Master.
    Tower Reading: Z '09, 375 (R 4534).

    Questions: What does the name Jesus mean to me? Why? How? What does it effect in me?
     

     
    OUR MASTER

    NO fable old, nor mythic lore,
    Nor dream of bards and seers,
    No dead fact stranded on the shore
    Of the oblivious years;--

    But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
    A present help is He,
    And faith hath still its Olivet,
    And love its Galilee.

    The healing of His seamless dress
    Is by our beds of pain;
    We touch Him in life's throng and press,
    And we are whole again.

    O Lord and Savior of us all!
    O blessed Christ Divine!
    We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
    We test our lives by Thine.

    We faintly hear, we dimly see,
    In various phrase we pray;
    But, dim or clear, we own in Thee
    The light, the Truth, the Way.

    Our Friend, our Brother, and our Lord,
    What may Thy service be?
    Not name, nor form, nor ritual word,
    But simply following Thee.

    To do Thy will is more than praise,
    As words are less than deeds,
    And simple trust can find Thy ways
    We miss with charts of creeds.
25
  • December 25
    All day
    2019.12.25-2020.12.21

    Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord--Luke 2: 10, 11.

    Although we cannot agree that this is the proper day for celebrating the birth of our dear Redeemer, but must insist that it was about October first (Studies, Vol. 2, p. 54), nevertheless, since He did not intimate His desire that we should celebrate His birthday, it is quite immaterial upon what day that event, of so great importance to all, is celebrated. Upon this day, so generally celebrated, we may properly enough join with all whose hearts are in the attitude of love and appreciation toward God and toward the Savior. The habit of giving little remembrances one to another at this time of year seems to us specially appropriate. God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. He is continually giving; and we are continually receiving from Him; but among all His gifts the One of greatest importance to us is the Gift of His Son to be our Redeemer—Z '03, 457 (R 3289).

    The good tidings of great joy for all people announce blessings consisting of a number of things, i.e., the forgiveness of sins, resulting in the awakening of all the dead; an accurate knowledge of the Truth; the race being placed amid conditions inconducive to sin and error, and conducive to truth and righteousness; a favorable influence Christward operating on all; bringing every knee to bowing to, and every mouth to confession of, His Lordship; the offer of the holy Spirit to all and the privileges of the Highway of Holiness for all. These are the blessings that the Oath-bound Covenant assures "the seed" that it will administer to mankind. The Ransom-price, a perfect human being, had to exist before it could be given as the basis of all these blessings. Therefore the human birth of Him who was to be both Lord and Christ had to take place. And it having taken place the Angel could in announcing it as an embryonic event tell of the blessed growth that had its roots in the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem, and its fruit in man's restitution—P '30, 184.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 12: 3; Psa. 22: 27-29; Isa. 9: 6; 29: 18, 24; 35: 5, 6, 10; Luke 2: 30-32, 34; John 1: 9; 12: 32; Rom. 14: 9; Phil. 2: 9-11.

    Hymns: 342, 345, 347, 246, 144, 16, 15.
    Poems of Dawn, 259: Coming By and By.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 376 (R 3700).

    Questions: Has the Gospel been good tidings to me this week? Why? How? How did it influence my conduct?

     

     

    COMING BY AND BY

    A BETTER day is coming, a morning promised
    long,
    When truth and right, with holy might, shall over-
    throw the wrong;
    When Christ the Lord will listen to every plaintive
    sigh,
    And stretch His hand o'er sea and land, with justice
    by and by.

    The boast of haughty tyrants no more shall fill the
    air,
    But age and youth shall love the truth and speed it
    everywhere.
    No more from want and sorrow shall come the hopeless cry
    But war shall cease, and perfect peace will flourish
    by and by.

    The tidal wave is coming, the Year of Jubilee;
    With shout and song it sweeps along, like billows of
    the sea,
    The jubilee of nations shall ring through earth and
    sky;
    The dawn of grace draws on apace—'tis coming
    by and by.

    O! for that glorious dawning we watch and wait and
    pray,
    Till o'er the height the morning light shall drive the
    gloom away;
    And when the heavenly glory shall flood the earth
    and sky,
    We'll bless the Lord for all His works and praise
    Him by and by.

26
  • December 26
    All day
    2019.12.26-2020.12.22
    Be thou strong and very courageous--Josh. 1: 7.

    "Be strong and of a good courage." There are different kinds of courage; one sort is begotten of egotism and self-reliance; another kind is begotten of a recklessness which fails to take into account the difficulties of the situation; but the courage which the Lord inculcates, and which all the spiritual Israelites are to seek to possess, is the one which, while coolly and calmly discerning the trials and difficulties of the way, and while humbly realizing its insufficiency for the occasion, is supported by a faith in the Lord—a trust in the Divine promises which enables them to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might—Z '02, 285 (R 3079).

    Courageous strength does not merely mean physical power and bravery; but also mental, moral and religious power and bravery, born of faith in God, hope for victory, delight in, and obedience to, Divine principles. It, therefore, consists of self-control, patience and bravery. It is necessary because of the untoward times in which we live; because of the issues Godward, Christward, Truthward, Churchward and Worldward involved; because of the foes that oppose us, as principles consisting of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness, and as persons, consisting of Satan, self and the world; because of the work that we have to do, each for himself, for the Church and for the world; because of the victories to be gained; and because of the final rewards to be attained. Such courageous strength cannot be developed by idleness or mere wishing. It can be gained by no other way than by a faithful use of the Lord's Spirit, Word and providences amid our daily experiences and conflicts, small and great—P '35, 172.

    Parallel passages: Josh. 1: 5-9; Deut. 5: 32, 33; 31: 7, 8; Isa. 35: 4; 41: 10-14; Rom. 8: 31, 37; 1 Cor. 16: 13; Eph. 6: 10-16; Psa. 27: 1; 46: 1, 7; 119: 42; Prov. 2: 7; Judges 6: 14.

    Hymns: 272, 13, 44, 71, 183, 184, 266.
    Poems of Dawn, 196: Sometime We'll Understand.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 179 (R 5705).

    Questions: Have I been strong and courageous this week? Why? Where? What helped or hindered? With what results?
     

     
    SOMETIME WE'LL UNDERSTAND

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

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

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

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

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

    Then trust in God, thro' all thy days,
    Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand;
    Tho' dark thy way, still sing and praise;
    Sometime, sometime, we'll understand.
27
  • December 27
    All day
    2019.12.27-2020.12.23
    Little children, keep yourselves from idols--1 John 5: 21.

    We are not to put our trust in leaders, but in the Lord. This does not signify that we are not to trust leaders, and not to acknowledge leaders, for all the history of the Lord's dealings with His people, the typical as well as the antitypical, shows us that He is pleased to use human agencies as His representatives in the teaching and leading of His people from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge. The lesson to be learned is that the Lord is thoroughly competent to manage His own work, and that while we may look for His leading through human agencies, our trust is not in them, their wisdom, their strength, but in the Lord's wisdom and strength, guiding them and us through them—Z '02, 284 (R 3077).

    Idols are not always gross physical images. They are all physical, mental, moral and religious objects other than Jehovah to which people bow down and render supreme devotion. That to which one renders supreme devotion is his God; and if this be not Jehovah, it is an idol. Thus viewed, we see that some make idols of their creeds, denominations, sects, themselves, their ambitions, appearance, clothes, ease, education, position, popularity, safety, opinions, rights, appetites, home, property, families, titles, friends, country, leaders, the opposite sex, etc. It is these idols that are alluring to us who refrain from serving the gross idols of the heathen; and it is especially from these idols that the Apostle exhorts us to keep ourselves. To indulge in such idolatry, means to go back on our consecration—whereby we vowed to be dead to self and the world and to be alive to God—and to become servants of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness at the behest of Satan—P '34, 175.

    Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 10: 7-14; Ex. 32: 23-26; 2 Cor. 6: 17; Ex. 20: 3-6; 1 Sam. 15: 23; Psa. 16: 4; 44: 20; Josh. 24: 23; Jonah 2: 8, 9; 1 Cor. 6: 9; Rev. 9: 20; 21: 8.

    Hymns: 4, 197, 172, 192, 312, 224, 47.
    Poems of Dawn, 95: My Hymn.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 253 (R 5297).

    Questions: Have I kept myself this week from idols? How? Under what conditions? What helped or hindered therein? With what results?
     

     
    MY HYMN

    I CANNOT think but God must know
    About the thing I long for so;
    I know He is so good, so kind,
    I cannot think but He will find
    Some way to help, some way to show
    Me to the thing I long for so!

    I stretch my hand: it lies so near.
    It looks so sweet, it looks so dear!
    "Dear Lord," I pray, "oh, let me know
    If it is wrong to want it so!"
    He only smiles; He does not speak;
    My heart grows weaker and more weak
    With looking at the thing so dear,
    Which lies so far and yet so near.

    "Now, Lord, I leave at Thy dear feet
    This thing which looks so near, so sweet;
    I will not seek, I will not long;
    I almost fear I have been wrong.
    I'll go and work the harder, Lord,
    And wait till by some loud, clear word
    Thou callest me to Thy loved feet
    To take this thing so dear, so sweet!"
28
  • December 28
    All day
    2019.12.28-2020.12.24

    He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head--Psa. 110: 7.

    We want to ask the Lord, our Master and Head, that He will bless us more and more, as with fresh zeal we shall endeavor faithfully and rejoicingly to drink of the brook of life's experiences, and gain wisdom therefrom that will fit and prepare us for His service by and by; and which will the better fit and prepare us for His service also in the present time, and enable us by His grace to show forth His praises in all the trying circumstances and vicissitudes of life so as to glorify Him in our bodies and spirits which are His. Let us, as we drink of the brook, take a lesson from the little birds, which when drinking, repeatedly lift the head as though giving thanks to God. Let us continually give thanks to our Lord for every taste of life's experience, for every lesson, for every trial, appropriating them all to our spiritual development—Z '02, 14 (R 2935).

    The brook of this text represents the Word of God and life's experiences. The picture is that of a journey over a road along which the clear waters of a brook flow. From it the thirsty travelers may drink and quench their thirst. Our dear Redeemer found the brook of the Word flowing for His refreshment along His entire journey; and from it He drank and was refreshed. Like Him, let us, as we journey toward the Heavenly Zion, drink from this cooling, refreshing brook whenever in need of its reinvigoration. Likewise from the brook of life's experiences Jesus drank, learning new lessons, preparing Him for new experiences. Life's experiences will also teach us new lessons helpful for future experiences. Only the dullest pupils fail to learn from experience, the most thorough of teachers. Not being of this class, let us learn both from the Word of God and from the experiences of life the lessons which the Lord teaches us—P '33, 177, 178.

    Parallel passages: Luke 22: 27; Acts 8: 32, 33; 2 Cor. 8: 9; 10: 1; Phil. 2: 5-8; Isa. 50: 5, 6; Matt. 26: 51-54; Heb. 12: 2-14; Ezra 7: 10; Psa. 78: 2-8; 143: 8, 10; Prov. 23: 12.

    Hymns: 63, 9, 10, 22, 67, 154, 315.
    Poems of Dawn, 213: From Glory Unto Glory.
    Tower Reading: Z '02, 12 (R 2935).

    Questions: What have I this week learned from the Word and from experience? How? With what results?

     

     
    "FROM GLORY UNTO GLORY"

    "FROM glory unto glory!" Thank God that even
    here
    The starry words are shining out, our heavenly way
    to cheer!
    From "glory that excelleth" all that human heart
    hath known,
    Our "onward, upward," shall begin in the presence
    of the throne.

    "From glory unto glory" of loveliness and light,
    Of music and of rapture, of power and of sight;
    "From glory unto glory" of knowledge and of love
    Shall be the joy of progress awaiting us above.

    "From glory unto glory" that ever lies before,
    Still wondering, adoring, rejoicing more and more;
    Still following where He leadeth, from shining field
    to field,
    Himself the goal of glory, revealer and revealed!

    Then let our hearts be surely fixed where truest joys
    are found,
    And let our burning, loving praise yet more and more
    abound;
    And gazing on the "things not seen," eternal in the
    skies,
    "From glory unto glory," O Savior, let us rise!
29
  • December 29
    All day
    2019.12.29-2020.12.25
    In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good--Eccles. 11: 6.

    All the Lord's people, in proportion as they desire to be the servants of the Truth, should be continually on the alert to note opportunities for service, and should expect to be guided and used of the Lord. Wherever we see evidences of devotion to the Lord and His Word, we should be on the alert to extend a helping hand. … We are to be on the alert to pass along the blessing which we have received, and to esteem that this is the chief business of life with those who have consecrated themselves to the service of the King of kings—Z '02, 71 (R 2964).

    We cannot read the hearts of others. God only can do this. Therefore, we are to sow beside all waters. We are authorized to withhold our holy things and pearls of Truth and character from but two classes: the "dogs"—those who contentiously snap, snarl and growl at, and bite us—and the "swine"—those who wallow in the mire of sin. To all others are we to give appropriate parts of the Word. Nor are we to do this work but once or twice. It is to be repeated as often as the needs of those with whom we deal require, regardless of our own convenience. We cannot tell at which repetition the Word will find lodgment; nor can we tell which person will respond. Like Samuel we often think those to be the Lord's anointed whom God rejects; and those not to be His anointed whom He accepts. Therefore we should be cautious in judging. God alone judges infallibly the hearts, and reveals their attitude by the touchstone of the Spirit, Word and providences. They prove whether the characters are genuine or alloy. Therefore let us wait upon His assays, which prove each case aright—P '32, 197.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 49: 24-26; Psa. 1: 3; 127: 1, 2; 128: 1, 2; Prov. 11: 18, 19, 30; Isa. 58: 6-14; 62: 1; John 18: 37; 1 Cor. 15: 58; Gal. 6: 9; 2 Tim. 4: 2, 5.

    Hymns: 210, 70, 164, 260, 200, 275, 309.
    Poems of Dawn, 147: Only.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 197 (R 5489).

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

     
    ONLY

    ONLY a word for the Master,
    Lovingly, quietly said,
    Only a word!
    Yet the Master heard,
    And some fainting hearts were fed.

    Only a look of remonstrance,
    Sorrowful, gentle and deep,
    Only a look!
    Yet the strong man shook,
    And he went alone to weep.

    Only some act of devotion,
    Willingly, joyfully done,
    "Surely 'twas nought!"
    (So the proud world thought),
    But yet souls for Christ were won.

    "Only"—but Jesus is looking
    Constantly, tenderly down
    To earth, and sees
    Those who strive to please,
    And their love He loves to crown.
30
  • December 30
    All day
    2019.12.30-2020.12.26
    Thou crownest the year with thy goodness--Psa. 65: 11.

    As we review the leadings of Divine providence during the year that is past, let God's goodness and mercy stimulate our faith and confidence in Him as respects the new incoming year. A proper retrospect on the part of a proper child of God will enable him not only to render thanks for the past but also to look up and lift up his head, realizing that our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed; and that He that began a good work in us is both able and willing to complete it, if we will but continue to submit our wills, our lives, our all, to His wisdom and loving care—Z '00, 365 (R 2737).

    The word year in the Bible is sometimes used for a period averaging nearly 365¼ days, and sometimes for an Age. Both kinds of years the Lord crowns with His goodness. He crowns the natural year with His goodness, bearing up the Universe, and operating its stupendous machinery for His glory and the good of His creatures, giving them the blessings of the seasons. Thus amid the limitations of the curse the Lord abundantly blesses. Viewed as "the acceptable year of the Lord," the Gospel Age has been crowned with the Lord's goodness, in redeeming, teaching, justifying, sanctifying, completing, delivering and glorifying the Church; bringing the Great Company to eternal life; developing the non-Spirit-begotten consecrated for princeship in the earth; and preparing Jews and Gentiles for the Millennial Reign. So, too, the Millennial Age will be crowned with the Lord's goodness—forgiving, awakening, instructing, compassionating, drawing and blessing the whole race; lifting up the earth and the obedient to perfection, and giving the faithful everlasting life in Paradise—P '26, 173.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 33: 19; 34: 6; Psa. 33: 5; 34: 8; 73: 1; 107: 8, 9, 43; 145: 7, 9; Isa. 61: 1, 2; 63: 7; Matt. 7: 11; Luke 4: 18, 19; Rom. 2: 4; Titus 3: 4.

    Hymns: 11, 45, 46, 55, 83, 89, 293.
    Poems of Dawn, 272: These Many Years.
    Tower Reading: Z '07, 364 (R 4100).

    Questions: What were this year's special blessings? How did they affect me?
     

     
    THESE MANY YEARS

    THESE many years! What lessons they unfold
    Of grace and guidance through the wilderness,
    From the same God that Israel of old
    In the Shekinah glory did possess!
    How faithful He, through all my griefs and fears
    And constant murmurings, these many years!

    God of the Covenant! From first to last,
    From when I stood within that sprinkled door,
    And o'er my guilt the avenging angel passed,
    Thy better angel hath gone on before;
    And naught but goodness all the way appears,
    Unmerited and free, these many years!

    Thy presence wrought a pathway through the sea;
    Thy presence made the bitter waters sweet;
    And daily have Thy hands prepared for me
    Sweet, precious morsels—lying at my feet.
    'Twas but to stoop and taste the grace that cheers,
    And start refreshed, through all these many years!

    What time I thirsted and earth's streams were dry,
    What time I wandered and my hope was gone,
    Thy hand hath brought a pure and full supply,
    And, by a loving pressure, lured me on.
    How oft that hand hath wiped away my tears
    And written "Pardoned!" all these many years!

    And what of discipline Thy love ordained
    Fell ever gently on this heart of mine;
    Around its briers was my spirit trained
    To bring forth fruits of righteousness Divine;
    Wisdom in every check, and love appears
    In every stroke, throughout these many years!

    Lord, what I might have been, my spirit knows--
    Rebellious, petulant, and prone to stray;
    Lord, what I am, in spite of flesh and foes,
    I owe to grace that kept me in the way.
    Thine be the glory! Merit disappears,
    As back I look upon these many years.

    Thine be the glory! Thou shalt have the praise
    For all Thy dealings, to my latest breath;
    A daily "Ebenezer" will I raise,
    And sing "Salvation" through the vale of death--
    To where the crown, the golden harp appears,
    There to rehearse Thy love through endless years!
31
  • December 31
    All day
    2019.12.31-2020.12.27
    What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people--Psa. 116: 12-14.

    The close of the year is an excellent time for the making of new resolutions for the year to come. Let us, beloved brethren, make plenty of good resolves respecting what we shall be willing to be, to do, to suffer, to fellowship with our Lord; that we may by His grace make of it the best year thus far of our lives—the year of largest hopes, of largest endeavors, and by the Lord's grace, of largest successes in self-sacrifice, in overcoming the world and its spirit, in vanquishing self and the desires of the flesh, in resisting the Adversary, and in glorifying our Lord and blessing His people—Z '99, 286 (R 2551).

    The present benefits of the Lord to us are His creative, providential, redemptive, instructional, justifying, sanctifying and delivering blessings; while His future benefits to us center in our attaining the Kingdom, in disposition, nature, sights, honors, associations, inheritance and office. The first return that we would make for the benefits is to take the cup of salvation. A cup usually symbolizes blissful and woeful experiences. The cup of salvation represents the experiences of bliss and woe connected with our obtaining our salvation. We will, therefore, with thankful and appreciative hearts accept such experiences. Further, we will call upon the name of the Lord, trustfully accepting His grace, mercy and truth, in our time of need. Finally, we will fulfill our general consecration vow of deadness to self and the world and aliveness to God, as well as our special vows under our general vow. We will do this now in the interests of all God's people, now and hereafter—P '36, 167.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 51: 12, 13; 103: 2, 3; Isa. 6: 5-8; Rom. 12: 1, 2; 1 Cor. 6: 20; 2 Cor. 5: 14, 15; Psa. 23: 5; 63: 6; Luke 22: 17, 18, 20; Matt. 20: 22, 23; 26: 39, 42; John 18: 11; Num. 15: 2-5; Deut. 23: 21; Jonah 2: 9; Psa. 66: 13-15.

    Hymns: 325, 224, 324, 8, 47, 10, 277.
    Poems of Dawn, 275: New Year's Wishes.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 279 (R 5538).

    Questions: What were the week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What helped or hindered therein? In what did they result?
     

     
    NEW YEAR'S WISHES

    WHAT shall I wish thee?
    Treasures of earth?
    Songs in the spring-time,
    Pleasure and mirth?
    Flowers on thy pathway,
    Skies ever clear?
    Would this ensure thee
    A happy new year?

    What shall I wish thee?
    What can be found,
    Bringing thee sunshine
    All the year round?
    Where is the treasure,
    Lasting and dear,
    That shall ensure thee
    A happy new year?

    Faith that increaseth,
    Walking in light,
    Hope that aboundeth,
    Happy and bright;
    Love that is perfect,
    Casting out fear:
    These shall ensure thee
    A happy new year!

    Peace in the Savior,
    Rest at His feet,
    Smile of His countenance
    Radiant and sweet;
    Joy in His presence!
    Christ ever near!
    This will ensure thee
    A happy new year!
January
January
January
January

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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