- June 1
He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him--John 14: 21.
May this intimate communion and fellowship with Christ impart to us each more and more of His own spirit, so that the world may take knowledge of us, that we have "been with Jesus"; and let the prayer of each be,
Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me
A living, bright reality!
More real to faith's vision keen,
Than any earthly object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh,
Than e'en the sweetest earthly tie.
—Z '95, 75 (R 1789).
The proof of our loving the Lord is in having and keeping His commands. Such a love for the Lord is reciprocated by the Father and the Son, out of their appreciation of this quality in us. This prompts them to give us added expressions of confidence and love, culminating in our being privileged to have heart fellowship with them, from an understanding and an appreciation of their characters—P '33, 79.
Parallel passages: Deut. 30: 19, 20; John 14: 15-17, 22-24; 1 John 2: 5; 4: 13; 5: 3; Prov. 8: 17; 23: 26; John 15: 10, 14; 16: 27; Heb. 12: 6; John 8: 31, 32.
Hymns: 315, 22, 312, 166, 113, 213, 299.
Poems of Dawn, 300: The Touch of the Master's Hand.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 248 (R 5520).
Questions: What have this week's experiences been as to this text? How were they met? What resulted?
THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND
'TWAS battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good folks?" he cried;
"Who will start bidding for me?
"A dollar, a dollar … now two, only two…
"Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
"Three dollars, once…three dollars, twice…
"Going for three" … but no!--
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up all its strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars … and who'll make it two?
"Two thousand … and who'll make it three?
"Three thousand, once … three thousand, twice,
"And going, and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand …
"What changed its worth?" The man replied,
"The touch of the Master's hand.
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game, and he travels on;
He's going once, and going twice,
He's going—and almost gone.
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.
- June 2
I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified--1 Cor. 2: 2.
Our observation of those consecrated ones who have permitted other themes than "this gospel" to engross time and attention leads us to advise such to be very jealous in husbanding time and talent for the ministry of the Gospel, leaving all other subjects, however interesting, to others now, and to the future life for ourselves, when all knowledge shall be ours. Those who for any avoidable cause turn aside from the ministry of the true and only Gospel, we have invariably observed, are quickly turned out of the way or greatly hindered in their course toward the attaining of the Kingdom—Z '95, 116 (R 1811).
Christ Jesus and Him crucified signifies our Ransom and our Example. It therefore comprehends our justification and sanctification and is a brief summary of what Christ is to His followers. Our interest in one another as God's people should have this thought permeating all our relations with one another. We may profitably as fellow-disciples of Christ concentrate our attention upon this thought to the exclusion of all other things—P '32, 62.
Parallel passages: Gal. 6: 14; Phil. 3: 8, 13, 14; Acts 5: 30, 31, 42; 13: 23, 26-33; 16: 31; 17: 2, 3; 18: 5, 6; 19: 4; 20: 20, 21; 26: 22, 23; Rom. 5: 8-11; 1 Cor. 1: 17, 24, 30; 2: 3-8; 4: 1, 2; 3: 5-10; 2 Cor. 3: 3, 6; 4: 5; 6: 1.
Hymns: 116, 13, 44, 78, 91, 130, 136.
Poems of Dawn, 245: The Coming of His Feet.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 193 (R 5044).
Questions: Have I this week sought to serve Jesus only? How? Why? With what results?
THE COMING OF HIS FEET
IN the crimson of the morning, in the whiteness of
In the amber glory of that day's retreat,
In the midnight, robed in darkness, or the gleaming
of the moon,
I listen to the coming of His feet.
I heard His weary footsteps on the sands of Galilee,
On the Temple's marble pavement, on the street,
Worn with weight of sorrow, faltering up the slopes
The sorrow of the coming of His feet.
Down the minster aisles of splendor, from betwixt
Through the wondering throng, with motion strong
Sounds His victor tread approaching, with a music far
The music of the coming of His feet.
Sandaled not with sheen of silver, girded not with
Weighted not with shimmering gems and odors
But white-winged and shod with glory in the Tabor
light of old--
The glory of the coming of His feet.
He is coming, O, my spirit, with His everlasting
With his blessedness immortal and complete,
He is coming, O, my spirit, and His coming brings
I listen for the coming of His feet!
- June 3
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech, there are no words, their voice is not heard; but their melody extendeth through all the earth, and to the end of the world their words--Psa. 19: 1-4, Leeser.
The magnificent pageantry of the heavens daily and nightly should elicit our praise and adoration, and should inspire in our hearts holy and reverent devotion. Let the noiseless activity, the perfect obedience to Divine law, and the blessed shining of the heavenly hosts, impress their wholesome lessons upon us—of zealous activity without commotion or ostentation; of perfect obedience to the will of Him who doeth all things well, who is too wise to err and too good to be unkind; and of letting the glory of the Lord which has illuminated us shine from us in turn upon every beholder—Z '95, 121 (R 1811).
Not only do all the various objects and arrangements of nature manifest the Lord's attributes to our attentive minds, but we find that these objects and arrangements are used to symbolize things that manifest His attributes and Plan. Thus the new heavens will make known His character in the coming Age. The nights with their evils symbolize various times with the evils suffered therein by various evil classes, especially in the Epiphany. The days symbolize the times of dispensational blessings, the preceding ones shadowing forth the following ones, e.g., as in the harvests and parallel dispensations—P '26, 76.
Parallel passages: Gen. 1: 1—2: 7; Isa. 40: 26; Job 9: 8, 9; 12: 7-9; 28: 23-26; 37: 16, 18; 38: 4, 7-10; Psa. 8: 3-9; 104: 2-6, 24; 136: 5-9; Jer. 51: 15, 16; Rom. 1: 19, 20; Heb. 11: 3, 10.
Hymns: 283, 11, 45, 55, 89, 227, 292.
Poems of Dawn, 229: God in Nature.
Tower Reading: Z ' 13, 101 (R 5209).
Questions: What have been my week's meditations regarding the present literal and symbolic world and the future literal and symbolic world? What effect did they have upon my veneration for God?
GOD IN NATURE
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue, ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim:
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display;
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale;
And nightly, to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that 'round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move 'round this dark terrestrial ball,--
What though no real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be found,--
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is Divine."
- June 4
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ--1 Pet. 1: 7.
It is your faith that is on trial now. In the calmer days when the sun of favor shone brightly upon you, you were quietly laying the foundation of a knowledge of the Truth, and rearing the superstructure of Christian character. Now you are in the furnace to be proved; summon therefore all your courage; fortify your patience; nerve yourself to endurance; hold fast to your hope; call to mind the promises, they are still yours; and "cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward." "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him," and faith has gained her victory—Z '95, 135 (R 1822).
As the assayist in putting the gold ore into the fiery crucible seeks not its destruction, but its separation from the dross and its refining, so God gives us fiery experiences, not to destroy our faith, but to separate from it the dross of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness, and to make it in every way valuable, which will be manifested as worthy of praise, honor and glory at our Lord's revelation—during His Epiphany—P '36, 78.
Parallel passages: 1 Chron. 29: 17; Psa. 26: 2; 81: 7; Matt. 13: 19-22; 2 Thes. 1: 3-5; Heb. 6: 13, 18; Jas. 1: 3, 12; Heb. 11: 7, 17-19, 25, 29, 30, 32-39; Job 1:1-22; 2:1-13; Ezra 8: 22; Matt. 8: 23-27; 15: 21-28; 9: 28; 14: 25-33.
Hymns: 197, 12, 57, 93, 110, 124, 137.
Poems of Dawn, 51: Right Was the Pathway.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 320 (R 5114).
Questions: What things did I experience this week in line with this text? How were they borne? What was helpful or hindersome amid them? What did they effect?
RIGHT WAS THE PATHWAY
LIGHT after darkness,
Gain after loss,
Strength after suffering,
Crown after cross.
Sweet after bitter,
Song after sigh,
Home after wandering,
Praise after cry.
Sheaves after sowing,
Sun after rain,
Sight after mystery,
Peace after pain.
Joy after sorrow,
Calm after blast,
Rest after weariness,
Sweet rest at last.
Near after distant,
Gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness,
Life after tomb.
After long agony
Rapture of bliss!
Right was the pathway
Leading to this!
- June 5
In Thee, O LORD, do I put my trust--Psa. 31: 1.
There is nothing that puts the Christian at greater disadvantage in the presence of his foes than for him to let go, even temporarily, his grip upon the anchor of faith. Let him do so for a moment, and of necessity darkness begins to gather round him; he cannot see the brightness of his Father's face, for "without faith it is impossible to please God"; and while he grapples again for the anchor, the powers of darkness fiercely assail him with doubts and fears, based generally upon his human imperfections, which he should ever bear in mind are covered by the robe of Christ's righteousness. If we would have the peace of God reign in our hearts, we must never let go our anchor, "nor suffer Satan's deadliest strife to beat our courage down." The language of our hearts should always be, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him"—Z '95, 157 (R 1832).
The Christian's trust is not in self, nor in the arm of flesh; rather his heart rests in Jehovah; and what rest can be more secure than that experienced on the bosom of Jehovah, the self-existent, eternal, immortal, independent and unlimited One! The promise and oath of such a one are worthy of all trust. Our anchor finds in Him its rest—in His person, character, Plan and works—P '30, 78.
Parallel passages: 1 Chron. 5: 20; 2 Chron. 14: 11; 20: 12; Job 13: 15, 16; Psa. 18: 30; 22: 4, 5; 27: 1; 31: 6, 14, 15; 34: 1-12; 118: 5-9; Prov. 3: 5; Isa. 26: 3; Dan. 3: 17; Mic. 7: 7; Hab. 3: 19; Rom. 4:1-25; 2 Tim. 1: 12; Heb. 11:1-40.
Hymns: 12, 213, 124, 197, 110, 126, 108.
Poems of Dawn, 66: A Perfect Trust.
Tower Reading: Z '16, 341 (R 5990).
Questions: Wherein did I trust God this week? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
A PERFECT TRUST
O BLESSED peace of a perfect trust,
My loving God, in Thee;
Unwavering faith, that never doubts
Thou choosest best for me.
Best, though my plans be all upset;
Best, though the way be rough;
Best, though mine earthly store be scant;
In Thee I have enough.
Best, though my health and strength be gone,
Though weary days be mine,
Shut out from much that others have;
Not my will, Lord, but Thine!
And e'en though disappointments come,
They, too, are best for me,
To wean me from a clam'ring world,
And lead me nearer Thee.
O blessed peace of a perfect trust
That looks away from all;
That sees Thy hand in everything,
In great events or small;
That hears Thy voice—a Father's voice--
Directing for the best:--
O blessed peace of a perfect trust,
A heart with Thee at rest!
- June 6
Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life--Luke 21: 34.
What a work we realize to be before us, and what necessity for sobriety, vigilance, steadfastness! It is a life work, a life battle against a mighty foe entrenched in our flesh. The powers without are strong indeed, but the civil war within is by far the most to be dreaded. If we become in any measure intoxicated with the spirit of the world; if we give way to self-gratification, love of ease, pleasure, a little indulgence of any of the old disposition of envy, malice, pride, vainglory, vaunting of self, headiness, high-mindedness, wrath, strife, or any such thing—even a little, oh, how great is the peril to which we are exposed!—Z '95, 201 (R 1859).
The influence of the world, the flesh and the Adversary tends to fill us with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life. The attitude of watchfulness is necessary, if such an overcharging is to be prevented. Let us therefore be wakeful, alert, incredulous and studious as to ourselves, our thoughts, motives, words, acts, surroundings and the influences operating upon us, to avoid being overcharged. The overcharged one will surely fail of gaining the reward that is for the diligent and faithful only—P '35, 101.
Parallel passages: Rom. 13: 11, 13; 1 Thes. 5: 6-8; 1 Pet. 4: 7; 5: 8, 9; Matt. 13: 12-15, 22; 25: 13; 26: 41; Luke 8: 14; 1 Cor. 16: 13; Rev. 3: 2, 3; 16: 15; Luke 12: 40.
Hymns: 183, 184, 130, 136, 13, 20, 78.
Poems of Dawn, 18: The Nominal Church.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 211 (R 5055).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences connected with this text? How were they met? What helped or hindered therein? In what did they result?
THE NOMINAL CHURCH
THE Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time;
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.
"Come, give me your hand," said the merry World,
"And walk with me this way;
But the good Church hid her snowy hands
And solemnly answered, "Nay,
I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
To my Lord I must be true."
"Nay, walk with me but a little space,"
Said the World, with a kindly air,
"The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there;
Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain;
The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe;
The way you walk is a narrow way,
But mine is amply wide;
There's room enough for you and me
To travel side by side."
Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World clasped it and walked along,
Saying in accents low,
"Your dress is too simple to please my taste,
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair."
The Church looked down at her plain white robes
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.
"I will change my dress for a costlier one,"
Said the Church with a smile of grace;
Then her pure, white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,
Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crimpled in a thousand curls.
"Your house is too plain," said the proud old World,
"I'll build you one like mine;
Carpets of Brussels and curtains of lace,
And furniture ever so fine."
So he built her a costly and beautiful house,
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there,
Gleaming in purple and gold;
Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there;
Laughter and music and feasting were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.
There were cushioned pews for the rich and gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
While the poor, who were clad in shabby array,
But seldom came inside.
"You give too much to the poor," said the World,
"Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?
Go, take your money, and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine,
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine;
My children dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win,
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in."
Then the Church held fast the strings of her purse,
And modestly lowered her head,
And simpered, "No doubt you are right, sir;
Henceforth I will do as you've said."
Then the sons of the World and the sons of the Church
Walked closely, hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.
Then the Church sat down at her ease and said,
"I am rich and my goods are increased;
I have need of nothing, nor aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast."
The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said aside,
"The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church,
And her shame is her boast and pride."
The angel drew near to the mercy-seat,
And whispered in sighs her name,
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.
And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the Throne,
"I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
'I am rich'; and hast not known
That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before My face;
Therefore, from My presence, I cast thee out,
And blot thy name from its place."
- June 7
The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, confirm, and strengthen you--1 Pet. 5: 10; see Diaglott.
It is only through endurance of hardness as good soldiers of Christ that this desirable condition can be attained, namely, perfect self-control and ability to resist evil; established faith, patience and virtue; settled, abiding rest in Christ; and hope through His word of promise. This undoubtedly was the Apostle's own experience as he grew old in the Master's service, and so may it be ours. Let each departing year find us nearer the glorious summit of perfection!—Z '95, 202 (R 1859).
Our having the privilege of the Gospel-Age calling is one of the most marvelous exhibitions of God's grace. No wonder that its realization requires faithfulness under the most crucial tests of suffering! These sufferings effect three things in our development in the new heart, mind and will. They strengthen us in a right attitude toward evil, in good affections, in the graces and in knowledge; they balance the various parts and qualities of Christian character; and finally they perfect, crystallize, them, and all this is accomplished by the Lord through the power of God's Spirit, Word and providence—P '34, 95.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 1: 9; 1 Tim. 6: 12; Psa. 30: 5; Isa. 54: 8; Matt. 5: 12; Rom. 8: 18, 37; 1 Pet. 1: 6; Eph. 3: 16; 6: 10-17; Col. 1: 11; 2 Tim. 2: 1; 2 Thes. 2: 17; 3: 3; 1 Thes. 3: 12, 3; Jas. 5: 8; 2 Pet. 1: 12; Rom. 8: 29; Luke 6: 40; Eph. 4: 12; Heb. 13: 20, 21.
Hymns: 105, 305, 266, 272, 78, 201, 230.
Poems of Dawn, 305: The Needed Strength.
Tower Reading: Z '95, 105 (R 1806).
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How? With what results?
THE NEEDED STRENGTH
I WANDERED o'er the mountain side
Where rocks lay all around,
Within a tiny crevice there
A little tree I found.
Though crushed between two cold, gray rocks
The sapling still did try
To grow into a tree, and reached
Its branches toward the sky.
"You may as well give up," I said,
Your chances there are few;
Against such odds, you try in vain--
Life was not fair to you."
The years rolled by, and once again
I wandered through that land;
And in that crevice, I beheld
A tree both tall and grand.
And as I closer drew, I saw
The rocks were pushed aside,
The crevice, once so very small,
Was many inches wide.
"I might have known," I whispered then,
"That God, who made the seed,
Would put within its tiny form
The strength for every need."
How can we doubt our Father's care,
Who thus cares for a tree?
Will He not give His children strength
To be what we should be?
When obstacles are in the way,
Should we sit down and sigh,
And so fall short of what we'd be,
If we would only try?
We'll win, if we remember this,
For it is very true--
God's strength is quite sufficient for
All things we're told to do.
- June 8
He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins--Jas. 5: 20.
When we see others walking in forbidden paths, in the way of transgressors, we are not to follow them there in order to help them out; but to show them the right path by keeping in it and calling to them. When we see some confusing themselves with doctrines and teachings of men, which we know are fundamentally wrong, we are not to wade through those doctrines in order to help them out; but we are to remind them that the study of any doctrine which will not square with the foundation is not only a misuse of consecrated time, but that all trifling with that which we know to be error is wrong and dangerous, as all violations of conscience and principle are dangerous—Z '05, 203 (R 1860).
The sinner of this passage is in general one who has backslidden, as v. 19 shows. It refers especially to the Great Company, who sinned against their consecration vows. Their course put them continually into danger of going further into willfulness and finally of landing in the Second Death (Heb. 6: 4-6). It has been the privilege of the Lord's people to seek to deliver such from their danger, and thereby to cover with the robe of Christ's righteousness a multitude of the transgressions of the wayward ones—P '33, 79.
Parallel passages: Psa. 19: 7; 51: 13; Matt. 18: 3; Luke 22: 32; Acts 3: 19; Jas. 5: 14-19; Matt. 18: 15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 1 Tim. 1: 19, 20; Heb. 3: 12-14; 10: 25; Gal. 6: 1; 1 John 5: 16; Rev. 7: 14.
Hymns: 275, 135, 194, 28, 104, 103, 101.
Poems of Dawn, 191: O Prodigal, Return!
Tower Reading: Z '02, 199 (R 3033).
Questions: Have I this week sought to recover an erring brother or sister? How? Why? With what result?
O, PRODIGAL, RETURN!
"RETURN, return! Thy Father's voice is pleading,
Tho' far astray, I bid thee turn again!
Thy robe is rent, thy tender feet are bleeding,
Thy heart is faint and sick with famine pain:
Return, My child: a welcome here awaits thee:
No longer in the distant country rove;
Resist the cruel tempter that belates thee,
And keeps thee from My dwelling and My love."
Return, return! Thy Father's loving-kindness
Thou long hast scorned, and done His grace despite;
Yet in His touch is healing for thy blindness,
And He can turn thy darkness into light.
Return in all thy rags of sin's defilement;
Return with all thy want and sore distress;
Thy Father's voice bespeaks His reconcilement:
Flee to thy Savior and thy guilt confess.
Return, return! Thy substance hath been wasted--
Thou hast not aught to bring but thy poor heart;
Yet art thou longing for the bread once tasted.
And for His paths of peace, and faith's good part?
Return, for why shouldst thou delay the pardon
Thy Father's great compassion waits to grant!
Arise and go, before thy doubts shall harden
The homesick yearnings of the penitent.
Return, return! Leave thou the swine and famine
And seek again the plenty of thy home!
Why dost thou toil among the husks of mammon,
When to His rest the Father bids thee come?
Return thou to His arms, His kiss, His blessing,
Accept the robe, the sandals, and the ring,
After thy sinfulness and guilt confessing,
By Jesus found, lost treasure of the King!
Return, return! The angel-hosts bend o'er thee--
They wait to bear the tidings' joyful sound.
They have beheld the Savior dying for thee,
And will rejoice to sing, The lost is found!
Return, for He will heal all thy backsliding--
Will love thee freely, and will thus forgive;
Come, weary soul, rest in His love abiding,
Thou hast been dead—arise today and live!
- June 9
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world--John 16: 33.
There was no reward of earthly prosperity for the Lord's faithfulness, but the reverse—privation and persecution—was realized, even unto death. He was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"; the reproaches of them that reproached God fell upon Him; though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor; so poor that He said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." … And the servant is not above his Master: if they have persecuted Him they will persecute us also; and the reproaches of them that reproached Him will also fall upon us. The only present reward for which the followers of Christ may look is the heartfelt manifestation of the Lord's love and approval—Z '95, 206 (R 4072).
Among the tribulations that the Lord's people must endure may be enumerated the disadvantages of the present evil conditions, the continued opposition of the Adversary, the persecution of the world and the opposition of the flesh, particularly amid exhaustion, sickness and sorrow. The Lord gives us compensating spiritual blessings as an offset to these disadvantages, enabling us to rejoice amid present inequalities, and to hope for victory because of our Lord's victory over the world—P '32, 62.
Parallel passages: John 15: 19-25; 16: 2, 3; Acts 14: 22; Rom. 5: 3-5; 2 Tim. 3: 12; Heb. 10: 32-34; 12: 5-13; Rev. 3: 19; John 14: 1, 27; Rom. 8: 35-37; Gal. 6: 14; 1 John 4: 4; 5: 4.
Hymns: 328, 38, 57, 93, 179, 222, 305.
Poems of Dawn, 189: "Be of Good Cheer."
Tower Reading: Z '14, 291 (R 5544).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences relating to this text? How were they borne? What did they effect in me?
"BE OF GOOD CHEER!"MATT. 14: 27
WHEN tempest-tossed on life's wild sea,
And fair skies disappear,
Above the storm He calls to thee,
" 'Tis I, be of good cheer!"
Though Satan's darts be fiercely hurled,
Beloved, help is near,
Trust Him who overcame the world,
And be thou of good cheer.
In tribulation's darkest hour,
Yield not to doubt or fear,
But calmly rest in His all-power,
Who saith, "Be of good cheer."
Press on, beloved, in the race,
The goal is very near,
Faint not, thou soon shalt see His face,--
Then, be thou of good cheer!
- June 10
Lord, teach us to pray--Luke 11: 1.
In brief, our prayers, to be acceptable to God, must express confident faith, loving esteem and reverence, full sympathy with the Divine Plan and submission to the Divine will, childlike dependence upon God, acknowledgment of sins and shortcomings and desire for forgiveness, with humble craving for the Divine guidance and protection. These may not always all be expressed in words, but such must at least be the attitude of the soul.
"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed"—Z '95, 213 (R 1864).
We need the Lord's instructions in order properly to pray. We would not know for what to ask, why to ask, nor how to ask without His instructions. How necessary then, that we come to Him, with humble petitions that He teach us how to pray. Well for us that we prove as apt pupils as He is an apt Teacher of prayer. He will manifest to us its nature, elements, incentives, objects, conditions, cultivation, repression, expression and results—P '26, 76.
Parallel passages: Psa. 5: 1-3; 42: 8; 109: 4; 116: 2; Dan. 6: 10; Matt. 6: 5-15; Luke 2: 37; 18: 1-13; Acts 6: 4; 10: 2, 9; Rom. 1: 9; 12: 12; Eph. 1: 15, 16; Col. 1: 9; 1 Thes. 3: 10; 5: 17; 1 Tim. 5: 5; 2 Tim. 1: 3.
Hymns: 323, 324, 35, 239, 1, 273, 56.
Poems of Dawn, 116: Communion With Our Father.
Tower Reading: Z '16, 18 (R 5832).
Questions: Have I learned this week better to pray? What helped or hindered? What were the results?
COMMUNION WITH OUR FATHER
OFT when alone in prayer I kneel
Before my Father's throne;
I cannot tell Him all I feel,
Nor make my wishes known.
With heart subdued, and head bowed low,
I lean upon His breast,
And while the tears unbidden flow,
My love for Him confess.
I have no boon to ask of Him,
Save that His will be done,
To make me holy, pure within--
An image of His Son.
But as He smiles and draws me near--
His Spirit from above
Floods all my soul with peace so dear,
And fills my heart with love.
Though from my gaze He hides His face,
My soul, from self apart,
Hath found its happy resting place
Close to His loving heart.
- June 11
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended--Phil. 3: 13.
If any man consider that he has attained a satisfactory spiritual state, from that moment he may date the beginning of his spiritual decline. No present attainments can be satisfactory to a sincere follower of Christ who studiously endeavors to copy the Perfect Pattern. It is only when we turn our eyes away from Christ that self complacency can be exercised; for in full view of the Pattern our shortcomings are ever manifest. And if in pride of heart we do lose sight of them ourselves, they only become the more manifest to others. Only in the realization of a continual growth into the likeness of Christ should the Christian find satisfaction—Z '95, 250 (R 1884).
The Lord laid hold on Paul that he might attain and maintain under the hardest of trials a Christlike character. At the time of writing these words, Paul had not yet crystallized such a character. Many a person with but a meager proportion of Paul's character, would have been self-satisfied; not so the Apostle, whose sober self-estimate enabled him humbly to recognize his lacks and to strive to attain and maintain his ideal—P '36, 78.
Parallel passages: Job 25: 5; Psa. 131: 1; Prov. 15: 33; Isa. 57: 15; Jer. 45: 5; Mic. 6: 8; Matt. 5: 3; 23: 12; Luke 10: 21; 17: 10; Rom. 12: 3, 10, 16; 1 Cor. 13: 4; 9: 24-27; 15: 58; Phil. 1: 21; Rom. 7: 1; 2 Cor. 7: 1; Heb. 5: 14.
Hymns: 266, 114, 192, 198, 196, 201, 315.
Poems of Dawn, 130: Keep Striving.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 255 (R 5080).
Questions: What experiences did this week bring me as to this text? How did I meet them? What did I gain from them?
KEEP striving: The winners are those who have striven
And fought for the prize that no idler hath won;
To the hands of the steadfast alone it is given,
And before it is gained, there is work to be done.
Keep climbing: The earnest and steadfast have scaled
The height where the pathway was rough to the feet;
But the faint-hearted faltered, and faltering, failed,
And sank down by the wayside in helpless defeat.
Keep hoping: The clouds hide the sun for a time,
But sooner or later they scatter and flee,
And the path glows like gold to the toilers who climb
To the heights where men look over landscape and sea.
Keep onward—right on, till the prize is attained;
Front the future with courage, and obstacles fall.
By those, and those only, the victory's gained
Who look not to self, but to God above all.
- June 12
This one thing I do--Phil. 3: 13.
We observe the Apostle's singleness of purpose—"This one thing I do." He did not try to do several things; if he had, he would surely have failed. He devoted his life to the one purpose to which he was called, and to that end dropped every other aim in life. He did it, too, in view of the fact that all through the present life his chosen course would bring certain loss, privation, toil, care, persecution and continual reproach. In this singleness of purpose he was relieved of many temptations to turn aside to enjoy some of the good things of this present life, or to pursue some of its illusive bubbles—Z '95, 250 (R 1884).
The Apostle Paul is to us an example of singleness of purpose. We may be sure that to his varied talents all sorts of appeals with enchanting incentives were made to enlist them for other objects than the one which he made his goal in life; and his sturdiness in refusing to divert his activity from this one thing may well deserve our admiration and imitation. We cannot be a jack of all trades and a master of any one. Realizing that "a rolling stone gathers no moss," let us bend all our energies to attain this one thing—the making of our calling and election sure—P '30, 78.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 2: 2; Matt. 10: 42; Luke 9: 51, 61, 62; Mark 10: 45; John 4: 31-38; Acts 1: 14; 2: 1, 46; 4: 24, 32; 5: 12; 21: 10-15; Rom. 15: 5, 6; 2 Cor. 13: 11; Phil. 1: 27; 3: 18.
Hymns: 130, 136, 78, 1, 8, 160, 267.
Poems of Dawn, 270: Retrospection.
Tower Reading: Z '01, 6 (R 2753).
Questions: Do I have singleness of purpose? What is my purpose? How do I show it?
HE was better to me than all my hopes,
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works
And a rainbow of my tears.
The billows that guarded my sea-girt path
Carried my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on His love for the rest.
He emptied my hands of my treasured store,
And His covenant love revealed;
There was not a wound in mine aching heart,
But the balm of His breath hath healed,
Oh, tender and true was the chastening sore,
In wisdom that taught and tried,
Till the soul He sought was trusting in Him
And nothing on earth beside.
He guided my steps where I could not see,
By ways that I had not known
The crooked was straight and the rough made plain
As I followed the Lord alone.
I praise Him still for the pleasant palms
And the water-springs by the way;
For the glowing pillars of flame by night
And the sheltering cloud by day.
And if to warfare He calls me forth,
He buckles my armor on,
He greets me with smiles and a word of cheer
For battles His Sword hath won;
He wipes my brow, as I droop and faint,
He blesses my hand to toil;
Faithful is He as He washes my feet
From the trace of each earthly soil.
There is light for me on the trackless wild
As the wonders of old I trace,
When the God of the whole earth went before
To search me a resting place.
Hath He changed for me? Nay, He changeth not:
He will bring me by some new way,
Through fire and flood and each crafty foe
As safely as yesterday.
Never a watch in the dreariest halt
But some promise of love endears;
I read from the past that the future shall be
Far better than all my fears,--
Like the golden pot of the wilderness bread,
Laid up with the blossoming rod,
All safe in the ark with the Law of the Lord
In the covenant care of my God.
- June 13
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness--Psa. 17: 15.
Now let our thoughts on wings sublime
Rise from the trivial cares of time,
Draw back the parting veil, and see
The glories of eternity.
Let thoughts of God and Christ and the worthy saints of the past and present, of the Kingdom inheritance, of the blessedness of our future work in cooperation with Christ, of the magnitude and benevolence of the Divine Plan, and of the glory and blessedness of our gathering together unto Christ when our work of the present life is finished, fill our minds and inspire our hearts. And to these contemplations let us also receive the additional comfort and blessedness of personal communion and fellowship with God through prayer and study of the Word and the assembling of ourselves together for worship and praise—Z '95, 251 (R 1884).
By God's likeness here we understand His character, nature and rulership to be meant. He has held these up to us as the goal of our attainment. The vicissitudes of experiences preparatory for their attainment make it impossible for us to be satisfied with our present condition, though content therewith. So completely will the longings of the faithful be realized in the resurrection, that perfect satisfaction with their lot will be their blessed experience forever, which prospect urges on to faithfulness—P '35, 101.
Parallel passages: 1 John 3: 2; Psa. 4: 6; Gen. 17: 1; Luke 1: 6; 2 Cor. 3: 18; 5: 1-8; Job 19: 26, 27; Isa. 61: 10; Matt. 5: 8; 1 Cor. 13: 12; Rev. 22: 4; 1 Cor. 15: 23, 41-48; 1 Thes. 4: 13-17.
Hymns: 105, 21, 32, 53, 92, 133, 201.
Poems of Dawn, 230: Resurrection.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 345 (R 5578).
Questions: What has the resurrection hope been to me this week? How did it affect me? What were its results?
I MOURNED the summer rose that died;
I said: "It will return no more."
But lo! its beauty glorified
I saw next summer's sun restore.
New-born, it crowned with radiant grace
The stalk where last year's blossom came;
I marked its hues, I knew its face;
'Twas the same rose—yet not the same.
I could not trace amid its bloom,
The atoms of a former flower,
Nor tell what waste from nature's tomb
Had robed it for its perfect hour.
I asked not if its form expressed
The very substance that decayed--
But there, in every trait confessed,
My lovely favorite stood displayed.
And when I knew the parent tree
Had planned the rose ere spring begun
To set its prisoned being free,
I felt the old and new were one.
O! not in watched and labeled dust
Lies beauty's resurrection form;
Live in God's mind her likeness must,
His memory keeps her ashes warm.
There is no pattern lost; where'er
The perished parcel blends with earth,
The cast no changes can impair,
Nor death deface the seal of birth.
Of every face that fades away,
Somehow, in custody Divine,
The mould that shaped the featured clay
Preserves its image, line for line.
What though this dust, dispersed, complete,
Shall never, grain for grain, be found?
'Tis but the shoes the pilgrim's feet
Put off to walk on holy ground--
Wherever, from the grave estranged,
To life awaked, he only knows
New grace hath clothed his form and changed
The faded to the freshened rose.
- June 14
God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble--1 Pet. 5: 5.
Above almost everything else, beloved, let us guard well our humility. It is only when we are little in our own eyes that God can use us with safety to ourselves. And yet He does not shield us from every test of fidelity. If therefore the Lord give you a little exaltation today, a little encouragement of success in His service, receive it humbly, meekly, remembering your own unworthiness and insufficiency except as God is pleased to work through you; and be just as ready to receive the humiliations of tomorrow as necessary for your discipline and the proper balancing of your character. If the success of yesterday makes you fret under the humiliation of today, beware! You are not as roundly developed spiritually as you should be—Z '96, 19 (R 1919).
The proud have too high an opinion of themselves, rely upon themselves and seek self-exaltation. The humble of our race have a lowly estimate of themselves, trust God rather than themselves and abase themselves in His interests. The proud, aspiring to positions beyond their abilities and worth, frequently seek to displace others, and always interfere with God's order. Such, of necessity, God must resist; while the humble are continually being advanced by God, for their abilities and worth warrant favors, to which they do not selfishly and wrongly aspire—P '34, 95.
Parallel passages: Jas. 4: 6, 10; Isa. 57: 15; 66: 2; Matt. 20: 26-28; Mark 10: 43-45; Job 22: 29; Prov. 15: 33; 29: 23; Dan. 4: 37; Luke 14: 11; 18: 14; 1 Pet. 5: 6.
Hymns: 63, 47, 114, 134, 191, 229, 307.
Poems of Dawn, 29: Not I, But Christ.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 363 (R 5361).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?
NOT I, BUT CHRIST
NOT I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.
Not I, but Christ, to gently soothe in sorrow;
Not I, but Christ, to wipe the falling tear;
Not I, but Christ, to lift the weary burden;
Not I, but Christ, to hush away all fear.
Not I, but Christ, in lowly, silent labor;
Not I, but Christ, in humble, earnest toil:
Christ, only Christ! no show, no ostentation;
Christ, none but Christ, the gatherer of the spoil.
Christ, only Christ, e'er long will fill my vision;
Glory excelling, soon, full soon, I'll see--
Christ, only Christ, mine every wish fulfilling--
Christ, only Christ, mine All in All to be.
- June 15
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David--Isa. 55: 3.
All who hungered and thirsted after righteousness, whose souls thirsted after God as the hart for the water-brook, and who, having found Him, consecrated themselves to Him and received the anointing of the holy Spirit, witnessing with their spirits as sons of God, and who as anointed sons could discover in themselves the worthy traits of true sons—loyalty, faithfulness, zeal, energy, courage, discretion, etc.—these constitute the class with whom the Lord has made an everlasting covenant and to whom belong "the sure mercies of David"—Z '96, 29 (R 1936).
Covenants are of two kinds, a promise binding unconditionally one party to another, or a contract binding two parties conditionally to one another. The covenant here referred to (the sure mercies of David) is of the former class. David, the Beloved, is the Christ class; the sure mercies of David are the promises belonging to this class. They are sure because secured by God's Oath, and are everlasting because their benefits will be enjoyed eternally. They are a wonderful heritage. How goodly a portion such have from the Lord!—P '33, 79.
Parallel passages: Gen. 22: 16-18; 2 Sam. 23: 5; Psa. 89: 34-37; Acts 13: 34; Rom. 9: 7-13; Gal. 3: 8, 9, 14-19, 26-29; 4: 21-31; Heb. 6: 13-20; 11: 17-19; 2 Cor. 1: 20.
Hymns: 27, 41, 330, 333, 72, 58, 204.
Poems of Dawn, 9: The Oath-Bound Promise.
Tower Reading: Z '09, 27 (R 4318).
Questions: What have the promises meant to me this week? How have I used them? What results followed?
THE OATH-BOUND PROMISE—THE GOSPELGEN. 22: 16-18
. GAL. 3: 8
FROM the Scriptures of truth this conclusion we draw:
—2 Tim. 3: 16
; John 17: 17
Neither wisdom of men nor works of the Law
—1 Cor. 1: 19
; Isa. 5: 21
; Rom. 3: 20
Have the power to cleanse, to forgive, or to save,
—Acts 13: 39
; Rom. 10: 4
; Heb. 7: 19
To restore from the curse, or redeem from the grave.
—Gal. 3: 21
; 2: 16
Men are saved by their faith in the Crucified One,
; Acts 16: 31
; Heb 11: 6
When His love and His goodness to them are made known.
—Rom. 10: 13-15
; 1 Cor. 1: 21
; John 3: 16-18
; 1 Tim. 2: 3-6
Saving faith comes by hearing the life-giving Word,
—Rom. 10: 17
; Phil. 2: 16
And the mercy of God through the Savior conferred.
—2 Cor. 5: 19
; 1 Tim. 2: 3-6
All who will may be saved by obedient faith,
—John 20: 31
; Heb. 5: 9
And may gain life unending through Christ, by His death.
—Mark 10: 30
; Rom. 5: 10
For the Gospel salvation to all is made free:
—Titus 2: 11
As they heed its instruction their judgment will be.
—Rom 2: 16
; John 3: 18
Endless life is for those who the Gospel accept,
—John 3: 16
; Mark 10: 30
; Rom 6: 23
But death is the portion of those who reject.
—Acts 3: 23
; Heb. 10: 26
; Rom. 6: 23
For there's no other way that's revealed by the Lord,
—Acts 4: 12
; John 10: 1
; 14: 6
To redeem fallen man but through Christ and His Word.
—Titus 2: 13
; Gal. 3: 13
; 1 Pet. 1: 18
The heavens are the Lord's, but the earth He hath given
—Psa. 115: 16
; Isa. 45: 18
To the children of men, as their home and their heaven.
—Psa. 37: 29
; Matt. 6: 10
Wicked rulers and nations thus far have borne sway
; 2 Tim. 3: 13
; Isa. 60: 2
And their reign has led down from the gold to the clay.
—Dan. 2: 31-34
But the time for the world's promised blessing is near,
—Gen. 12: 3
; 22: 18
; Psa. 72: 17
; Rev. 15: 4
When the true Light that lighteth all men shall appear.
—John 1: 4
; 8: 12
God has been taking out from the world for His name
—Acts 15: 14
; Psa. 45: 10
A faithful, tried people with Jesus to reign.
—2 Tim. 2: 12
; Rev. 3: 21
; 5: 9
; 14: 1-5
Those sleeping in Christ are the first to arise,
—1 Cor. 15: 23
; 1 Thes. 4: 16
And with "those who remain" meet the Lord in the skies,
—1 Thes. 4: 17
; Mark 13: 27
; John 14: 3
For He comes to the earth, with His chosen, again,
—Zech. 14: 4
; 1 Thes. 3: 13
; Jude 14
And over the people in justice He'll reign.
—Matt. 25: 31
; Luke 1: 32
; Isa. 2: 2
; 9: 6
As a Body perfected the "seed" will then bless
—1 Cor. 12: 27
; Col. 1: 18
; Gen. 22: 18
All the peoples of earth with the blessings of peace.
—Gal. 3: 8
; Luke 2: 10
These elect ones with Christ shall forever abide,
—1 Thes. 4: 17
As His loved and honored and glorified Bride.
—John 3: 29
; Psa. 45: 13
; Rom. 8: 17
; Rev. 21: 9
All the powers of earth to an end shall be brought,
; Rev. 2: 26
; Jer. 25: 2 9
And their rule and authority soon come to naught.
—1 Cor. 15: 24
; Phil. 2: 10
All their glory and pride like the chaff pass away,
—Dan. 2: 35
And Christ and His chosen in mercy bear sway.
—Dan. 7: 27
; Psa. 22: 27
; Luke 22: 29
; 19: 17
When He speaks to the earth she uncovers her slain,
—Isa. 26: 19
; Hosea 13: 14
; Rev. 20: 14
And they all hear His voice and to life rise again.
—John 5: 28
; 1 Cor. 15: 22
He must reign till all things unto Him are subdued,
—1 Cor. 15: 25
; Psa. 110: 1
; Eph. 1: 10
And the face of the earth from the curse is renewed.
—Rev. 22: 3
; 21: 4
These times of refreshing and blessing are near,
—Acts 3: 19
; Matt. 24: 33
Christ's life-giving power will shortly appear.
—Matt 28: 18
; John 11: 25
; Col. 3: 3
; Rev. 22: 17
He will banish the curse and perfection restore,
—Psa. 104: 30
; Isa. 25: 6-9
; Rev. 22: 3
And the earth fill with gladness and beauty once more.
; 51: 11
; 55: 10-13
; Ezek. 36: 35
Then sorrow and death and corruption will cease,
—Psa. 30: 5
; 1 Cor. 15: 26
; Rev. 21: 4
And the world shall be clothed in the garments of peace.
—Zech. 9: 10
; Isa. 2: 4
When He rules in the earth the glad tidings are heard,
—Psa. 22: 28
; Isa. 11: 9
; 45: 23
; Acts 15: 16
And the world shall remember and turn to the Lord.
—Psa. 22: 27
All nations shall worship the Lord then with fear,
—Psa. 67: 4-7
; 86: 9
; Rev. 15: 4
And all men join in praise when His words they shall hear.
—Rev. 5: 13
; Psa. 102: 15
; Isa. 29: 18-24
When the Spirit of grace rests on Israel again,
—Rom. 11: 26
; Jer. 32: 40
And they look upon Him whom in wrath they had slain.
—Zech. 12: 10
; Acts 2: 23
They will bitterly mourn and acknowledge their sin,
—Ezek. 36: 31
; 16: 61
And gladly accept Him, their long-looked-for King.
—Isa. 25: 9
; Matt 23: 39
; Luke 3: 15
Then the promised possession the Lord will restore,
—Ezek. 36: 24
; 37: 21
; Jer. 32: 37
And their numerous sins He'll remember no more.
—Jer. 31: 33
; Ezek. 36: 33
; Rom. 11: 27
Jerusalem will, with the Lord as its Light,
—Acts 15: 15
; Zech. 6: 12
; Isa. 40: 1-11
; 33: 20-24
Be the glory of earth and its joy and delight.
—Isa. 52: 9
; 65: 18
; Psa. 48: 2
From this City most glorious life's waters shall flow,
—Zech. 14: 8
; Joel 3: 18
; Rev. 22: 1
And the life-giving trees on its borders shall grow.
—Ezek. 47: 1
; Rev. 22: 1
As the curse is removed this blest City of love
—Rev. 22: 3
Is enlarged and made one with the City above.
—Rev 21: 10-27
; Dan. 2: 35
All honor and glory to God shall be given,
—Num. 14: 21
; Rev. 5: 12
And His will on the earth will be done as in heaven.
—Matt 6: 10
- June 16
No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby--Heb. 12: 11.
It is under such discipline that the soul is mellowed to a loving submission that calmly says, I can do all things, bear all things, through Christ who strengtheneth me. As gradually the dross of the old nature is consumed, and the gold becomes more and more manifest, these precious souls become ever dearer to their loving Lord. So dear are they to Him that in every affliction He is near with His grace to sustain and His presence to cheer; and the deepest shades of sorrow become memory's most hallowed resting places, where the Day Star shines the brightest—Z '96, 44 (R 1943).
By chastisement God's disciplinary measures are meant, and no recipient of them is at the time happy, but rather sad. However, those who permit themselves to be properly disposed by these chastisements are made fruitful by them in the peaceful development of Christlikeness—P '32, 62.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 10: 13; Heb. 10: 32-34; Job 5: 17; Prov. 3: 11, 12; Psa. 94: 12; 119: 75; Jas. 1: 12; Rev. 3: 19; Acts 14: 22; 1 Pet. 5: 9; Jas. 3: 18.
Hymns: 307, 216, 220, 228, 328, 197, 126.
Poems of Dawn, 187: Life's Storms are Passing.
Tower Reading: Z ' 12, 388 (R 5147).
Questions: What disciplinary experiences were mine this week? How were they met? What were their results?
LIFE'S STORMS ARE PASSING
THE storm hath broken and the heavy blast
That stifled morn's free breath, and shook its dew,
Is dying into sunshine; and the last
Dull cloud hath vanished from yon arch of blue.
I know it is but for a day; the war
Must soon be waged again 'twixt earth and heaven;
Another tempest will arise to mar
The tranquil beauty of the fragrant even.
And yet I joy as storm on storm awakes;--
Not that I love the uproar or the gloom;
But in each tempest over earth that breaks,
I count one fewer outburst yet to come.
No groan creation heaves is heaved in vain,
Nor e'er shall be repeated; it is done.
Once heaved it never shall be heaved again.
Earth's pangs and throes are lessening one by one.
So falls the stroke of sorrow, and so springs
Strange joy and comfort from the very grief,
Even to the weariest sufferer; so brings
Each heavy burden its own sweet relief.
One cross the less remains for me to bear;
Already borne is that of yesterday;
That of today shall no tomorrow share;
Tomorrow's with itself shall pass away.
That which is added to the troubled past
Is taken from the future, whose sad store
Grows less and less each day, till soon the last
Dull wave of woe shall break upon our shore.
The storm that yesterday ploughed up the sea
Is buried now beneath its level blue;
One, storm the fewer now remains for me,
Ere sky and earth are made forever new.
- June 17
Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire … and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver--Mal. 3: 2, 3.
The Great Refiner is watching to see how the precious metal of your character reflects His image. Or, in plain language, in every trial He watches to see what influences control our actions, whether they be influences of present advantage, or worldly policy, or personal friendship, or earthly loves—of husband, or wife, or children, or love of ease, or love of peace at any cost; or whether, on the other hand, we are controlled by the naked principles of truth and righteousness; and whether we will defend these principles with zeal and energy at any cost of labor or suffering, or both, and so fight the good fight of faith to the bitter end—even unto death—Z '96, 45 (R 1943).
The two appearances of our Lord, His first and second advents, have been periods of great trial upon the people of God. These periods of presence have tested crucially the heart attitude of every fleshly and every spiritual Israelite. The severest ordeals have come upon them during these periods, in order that their heart condition might be manifested, and all of these tests have been under the superintendence of our Lord. In the Parousia it was more a question as to whether one would be manifested as a new creature or not; in the Epiphany it has been more a question whether one was manifested as of the Little Flock or of the Great Company. In both times the characters as well as the teachings have been tested—P '26, 76.
Parallel passages: Gen. 22: 1; Deut. 8: 2, 5; Job 1: 8—2: 10; Dan. 12: 10; Jas. 1: 2, 3, 12; 1 Pet. 1: 6, 7; Heb. 12: 1-14; Joel 2: 11; Rev. 6: 17.
Hymns: 67, 63, 130, 57, 120, 328, 197.
Poems of Dawn, 254: The Wrath of God.
Tower Reading: Z ' 16, 195 (R 5916).
Questions: What were this week's experiences in reference to this text? How were they met? What results did they yield?
THE WRATH OF GOD
THE wrath of God is love's severity
In curing sin—the zeal of righteousness
In overcoming wrong—the remedy
Of justice for the world's redress.
The wrath of God is punishment for sin,
In measure unto all transgression due,
Discriminating well and just between
Presumptuous sins and sins of lighter hue.
The wrath of God inflicts no needless pain,
Merely vindictive, or Himself to please;
But aims the ends of mercy to attain,
Uproot the evil, and the good increase.
The wrath of God is a consuming fire,
That burns while there is evil to destroy
Or good to purify; nor can expire
Till all things are relieved from sin's alloy.
The wrath of God is love's parental rod,
The disobedient to chastise, subdue,
And bend submissive to the will of God,
That love may reign when all things are made new.
The wrath of God shall never strike in vain,
Nor cease to strike till sin shall be no more;
Till God His gracious purpose shall attain,
And earth to righteousness and peace restore.
- June 18
In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore--Psa. 16: 11. In the Lord's presence, no matter where we are, is fullness of joy. Let us cultivate the Lord's acquaintance more, drawing near to Him in prayer, in the study of His precious Word, in meditation upon all His goodness, His providential care, the marked manifestations of His grace in our own individual experiences, and His precious promises which are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Thus "draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you" (Jas. 4: 8); He will manifest Himself to you and take up His abode with you. It is indeed the will of God that all His children should be happy in Him, that they should be always rejoicing; and if anyone lack this blessing, he is living below his privileges—Z '96, 54 (R 1948).
By the presence of God, we may understand is meant the condition of God's favor in our present sacrificing state, and in our future glorified position. Fullness of joy, that is joy to one's fullest capacity, is the privilege of either condition; and the Christ class, who enjoy His fullest favor, is blessed with eternal pleasures—P '36, 78.
Parallel passages: Acts 2: 28
; Prov. 4: 18
; 1 John 3: 2
; Matt. 5: 8
; Psa. 17: 15
; 36: 8
; Heb. 12: 2
; Luke 14: 14
; John 6: 39
; 14: 2
; Acts 2: 26-28
; 26: 6
; 1 Cor. 15: 40-57
; 2 Cor. 5: 1-5
; Phil. 3: 10
; Rev. 20: 4
Hymns: 179, 32, 109, 273, 201, 176, 58.
Poems of Dawn, 184: His Will, Not Mine, Be Done.
Tower Reading: Z '96, 53 (R 1948).
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How did I use it in my daily life? What were the results?
HIS WILL, NOT MINE, BE DONE
O THOU of little faith! why dost thou fear?
Didst thou forget that Jesus is so near?
And hast thou thought that thou must walk alone?
Behold now at thy side the loved One!
Aye, more than this, thou'rt held within His hand,
And 'twas Himself that hath thy trial planned!
There was a need be seen by Eye Divine,
Although, perchance, not visible to thine.
And, wherefore wouldst thou see? Thou canst not tell
If what thy heart contends for would be well;
Perhaps thy hope's fruition would be vain,
Or prove a life-long discipline of pain!
Hast thou not seen, in retrospective life,
That will of God which caused thee bitterest strife
Hath turned to sweetness—while the thing He gave
To suit thy will grew darker than the grave?
There's rest supreme for souls that choose His will;
A blest security from every ill.
The things God chooses for us never fail!
They have their anchorage within the veil.
- June 19
Light [Truth] is sown for the righteous, and gladness [the joys of the Truth] for the upright in heart--Psa. 97: 11.
The true children of God love the Truth because they have an affinity for it. … When they have found the Truth they recognize its value; they prize it, and meditate upon it. … They say, It is just like God: it is the manifestation of His glorious goodness, the reflection of His loving, benevolent, wise and just character. And therefore they love the Truth and the God who gave it; they treasure it up in their hearts and con it over again and again; and as they look into it, and admire all its symmetry and beauty, they strive more and more to conform their own characters to the same lines of beauty and seek to commend it by word and conduct to others, that they also may be blessed by it—Z '96, 55 (R 1949).
As the natural light makes the way clear to the natural eye, so Truth makes plain the way to our eyes of understanding. It is God's provision to open the eyes of understanding of those only whose hearts are in sympathy with righteous principles. To others the Truth would be an injury. The Truth is a blessing to the righteous, and they are a blessing through it, hence its blessings fill their hearts with joy—P '30, 78.
Parallel passages: Dan. 2: 28; Amos 3: 7; Rom. 16: 25, 26; John 15: 15; Psa. 29: 9, 11; Prov. 3: 32; Matt.11: 25; 24: 45-47; Luke 8: 10; 12: 42-44; Rev. 19: 9, 10; 22: 8, 9, 16.
Hymns: 22, 296, 260, 238, 46, 97, 300.
Poems of Dawn, 61: Trust Him More.
Tower Reading: Z '09, 231 (R 4444).
Questions: What conditions did I fulfill to receive the Truth? What has helped or hindered therein?
TRUST HIM MORE
SINCE the Father's arm sustains thee,
When a chastening hand restrains thee,
It is He.
Know His love in full completeness
Fills the measure of thy weakness;
If He wounds thy spirit sore,
Trust Him more.
Without measure, uncomplaining,
In His hand
Lay whatever things thou canst not
Though the world thy folly spurneth,
From thy faith in pity turneth,
Peace thine inmost soul shall fill,
Like an infant, if thou thinkest
Thou canst stand,
Child-like, proudly pushing back
The proffered hand,
Courage soon is changed to fear,
Strength doth feebleness appear;
In His love if thou abide,
He will guide.
Therefore, whatso'er betideth,
Night or day,
Know His love for thee provideth
Crown of sorrow gladly take,
Grateful wear it for His sake,
Sweetly bending to His will,
To His own the Savior giveth
To each troubled soul that striveth,
Peace at length.
Weakest lambs have largest share
Of this tender Shepherd's care.
Ask Him not, then, When? or How?
- June 20
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him--1 John 2: 15.
To fellowship the world is to walk in harmony with its ideas and to conform to its ways. In this sense we may not love it, but must be apart from it and in opposition to it. The way thus pointed out to us is, in some respects at least, a difficult way, and a lonely way, but it is the only way of peace and happiness. This world with the lust thereof is rapidly passing away; it is hollow and unsatisfying and eventually leads to disaster and ruin; but those who delight in the Lord's way have blessed communion and fellowship with Him. Their joys come from a source which the world cannot comprehend. They live on a higher plane, breathe a purer atmosphere and enjoy a holier, sweeter friendship than the world could ever offer—Z '96, 67 (R 1955).
The world is the present order of affairs. The things of this world are its various parts and sentiments. To love these would imply sympathy with evil. No child of God could be in sympathy with the present order of affairs, its parts and sentiments, and yet be filled and controlled by the Lord's Spirit, which mainly is the love of God. The Divine love, controlling our conduct, makes us long for the order of affairs that will prevail during the next dispensation; and it will certainly restrain us from loving this world and the things of this world—P '35, 102.
Parallel passages: Matt. 6: 24; Luke 14: 26; Rom. 12: 2; 8: 5; Gal. 1: 4; 6: 14; Jas. 4: 4, 14; 1 John 2: 16, 17; 3: 1, 11-18; 4: 7-21; Psa. 119: 37; 39: 6; 1 Cor. 7: 31; 1 Pet. 1: 24; 1 Cor. 13:1-13.
Hymns: 150, 48, 97, 176, 180, 213, 312.
Poems of Dawn, 38: Whom Will Ye Serve?
Tower Reading: Z '12, 370 (R 5138).
Questions: How did the love of God this week cast out from my heart love for the world? What helped or hindered therein? What was the result?
WHOM WILL YE SERVE?JOHN 19: 12
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.
- June 21
Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart--Matt. 11: 29.
Truly, in a meek and quiet spirit is the secret of rest. To be meek is to cultivate the graces of patience, of loving submission to the will of God, of abiding confidence in His love and care and in the wisdom of His guiding counsel and overruling providences, and persistently to pursue this course through evil and through good report, or through favorable or unfavorable circumstances. Let the beloved children of God seek more and more to copy Christ's meek and quiet spirit, accepting the providences of God and obeying His precepts and leading, as He did, armed with the strength which He alone can supply, and will, to those who take His yoke upon them, and learn of Him—Z '96, 79 (R 1961).
When our Lord said that He was meek, He meant that He was submissive in heart and mind and therefore teachable and tractable. When He said that He was lowly in heart, He meant that He had a proper self-estimate. These two qualities He commends to us for our imitation. If they adorned His character, how much more are they fitting for us who are by nature weak and out of the Way! From Him we can learn these graces—P '34, 95.
Parallel passages: Matt. 7: 29; 22: 16; 23: 8; John 3: 2; 13: 15; Zech. 9: 9; Isa. 50: 5, 6; 53: 7; Matt. 26: 49-53; 2 Cor. 10: 1; Matt. 9: 10; Luke 22: 27; Acts 8: 32, 33; Phil. 2: 5-8.
Hymns: 172, 1, 95, 125, 197, 198, 209.
Poems of Dawn, 31: A Present Help.
Tower Reading: Z '96, 78 (R 1961).
Questions: Have I this week learned of Christ in meekness and humility? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?
A PRESENT HELP
THERE is never a day so dreary,
But God can make it bright;
And unto the soul that trusts Him,
He giveth songs in the night.
There is never a path so hidden,
But God will show us the way,
If we seek for the Spirit's guidance,
And patiently wait and pray.
There is never a cross so heavy,
But the loving hands are there,
Outstretched in tender compassion,
The burden to help us bear.
There is never a heart that is broken,
But the loving Christ can heal;
For the heart that was pierced on Calvary,
Doth still for His people feel.
There is never a life so darkened,
So hopeless and so unblest,
But may be filled with the light of God,
And enter His promised rest.
There is never a sin nor a sorrow,
There is never a care nor a loss,
But that we may carry to Jesus,
And leave at the foot of the cross.
What more can we ask than He's promised?
(And we know that His Word cannot fail,)
Our refuge when storms are impending,
Our help when temptations assail.
Our Savior, our Friend and Redeemer,
Our portion on earth and in Heaven;
For He who withheld not His own Son,
Hath with Him all things freely given.
- June 22
It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. … Every man according to his several ability--1 Cor. 4: 2; Matt. 25: 15.
The "pound," being the same to all, fitly represents that blessing of Divine grace which is common to all God's people—Justification. Other endowments differ in quantity, according to our natural opportunities, and are generally of the Father—for instance, the Word and the Spirit. Our justification, while planned by the Father, is a gift from Jesus, because He paid for it with His own precious blood. The one "pound" each places all on a common footing as acceptable servants and permits each to show his zeal by his sacrificings. But the "talents," being distributed according to every man's ability, represent opportunities for the service of God along the lines of such abilities as we possess. They may be talents of education, or money, or influence, or good health, or time, or tact, or genius, with opportunities for their use in God's service—Z '07, 63 (R 1972).
A steward is one entrusted with the administration of another's goods, and the one who so entrusts him has the right to expect fidelity on his part. Jehovah makes us the stewards of as much of His goods as we have consecrated to Him, expecting us to be faithful in the exercise of this our stewardship. On His part He furnishes us with every opportunity necessary to the exercise of our stewardship in the interests of His cause. His kindness in this respect deserves our most loyal service—P '33, 79.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 2:1-16; 3:1-23; 4:1-21; 2 Cor. 3:1-18; 4:1-18; 5:1-21; 6: 1-10; Matt. 25: 14-30; Luke 12: 37, 38, 42-48; 16: 10-12; 19: 13-27; Rom.12: 6-8; 1 Cor. 12: 7, 11, 29; Eph. 4: 11; Titus 1: 7; 1 Pet. 4: 10.
Hymns: 309, 332, 200, 8, 208, 225, 272.
Poems of Dawn, 160: Cumbered With Much Serving.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 23 (R 5385).
Questions: Have I this week been a faithful steward according to ability? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
CUMBERED WITH MUCH SERVING
CHRIST never asks of us such arduous labor
As leaves no time for resting at His feet;
This waiting attitude of expectation
He ofttimes counts a service most complete.
He sometimes wants our ear, our rapt attention,
That He some sweetest secret may impart;
'Tis always in the time of deepest silence
that heart finds fullest fellowship with heart.
We sometimes wonder why the Lord has placed us
Within a sphere so narrow, so obscure,
That nothing we call work can find an entrance;
There's only room to suffer—to endure.
Well, God loves patience; souls that dwell in stillness,
Doing the little things, or resting quite,
May just as perfectly fulfill their mission,
Be just as useful in the Father's sight,
As they who grapple with some giant evil,
Clearing a path that every eye may see;
Our Savior cares for cheerful acquiescence
Rather than for a busy ministry.
And yet He does love service, where 'tis given
By grateful love that clothes itself in deed;
But work that's done beneath the scourge of duty,
Be sure to such He gives but little heed.
Then seek to please Him, whatso'er He bids thee,
Whether to do, to suffer, to lie still;
"Twill matter little by what path He leads us,
If in it all we sought to do His will.
- June 23
He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty--Matt. 13: 23.
The different measures of fruitage—the thirty, sixty and hundred-fold, or the ten pounds and the five, mark differences in obstacles to be overcome, etc., rather than unfaithfulness in the use of the means of grace. Some may work long and diligently for small results, while the same effort in others of more resolute will and of greater continuity may accomplish great things. Some by slips and occasional backslidings, from which they subsequently recover, lose time and opportunities which can never be regained, although they are forgiven and generously reinstated in the Divine favor, and thenceforth run with diligence and patience to the end—Z '96, 99 (R 1972).
The various kinds of soil represent the different classes of hearers. Good ground represents the faithful. The faithful are they who, understanding and meditating on the Word, diligently apply it to the sanctification of heart and mind; and in proportion to their zeal therein they bring forth fruit. Their final standing will depend on their zeal in this respect—P '32, 62.
Parallel passages: Gen. 26: 12; Isa. 55: 10, 11; Matt. 13: 3-8, 18-23; 25: 20-23; John 12: 24; 15: 5, 8, 16; 1 Pet. 1: 23; Rom. 6: 22; Gal. 5: 22, 23; Phil. 1: 11; 4: 17; Col. 1: 6; Heb. 12: 11; Jas. 3: 18.
Hymns: 196, 315, 311, 95, 198, 74, 114.
Poems of Dawn, 8: How Readest Thou?
Tower Reading: Z ' 10, 202 (R 4634).
Questions: How did I use the Word this week? With what results did I meet?
HOW READEST THOU
?LUKE 10: 16
'TIS one thing now to read the Bible through,
Another thing to read, to learn and do;
'Tis one thing now to read it with delight,
And quite another thing to read it right.
Some read it with design to learn to read,
But to the subject pay but little heed;
Some read it as their duty once a week,
But no instruction from the Bible seek;
Whilst others read it without common care,
With no regard to how
they read or where.
Some read it as a history, to know
How people lived three thousand years ago.
Some read to bring unto themselves repute,
By showing others how they can dispute;
Whilst others read because their neighbors do,
To see how long 'twill take to read it through.
Some read it for the wonders that are there,
How David killed a lion and a bear;
Whilst others read—or rather in it look--
Because, perhaps, they have no other book.
Some read the blessed Book—they don't know why,
It somehow happens in the way to lie;
Whilst others read it with uncommon care,
But all to find some contradictions there.
One reads with father's specs upon his head,
And sees the thing just as his father did;
Another reads through Campbell or through Scott,
And thinks it means exactly what they
Some read to prove a pre-adopted creed,
Thus understand but little what they read;
And every passage in the Book they bend
To make it suit that all-important end.
Some read the Book to find that God is love,
Whilst others read—the opposite to prove.
Some people read, as I have often thought,
To teach the Book, instead of being taught.
- June 24
If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also gloried together--Rom. 8: 17.
Reading the Father's plans for ourselves, in the light of His will exemplified in His dealings with our Master, we may settle it at once that it is not His will to keep us from all pain and trial and sufferings, and to carry us triumphantly to glory on flowery beds of ease. Quite the reverse, indeed, must be our course, if we would follow in the footsteps of Him whom God set forth to be, not only a satisfaction for the sins of the whole world but also a pattern to all of Christ's disciples. And this much learned of God's Plan and will promptly teaches us that we must not expect and should not ask freedom from pain and trouble, which His wisdom has ordained to be the path to glory—Z 96, 151 (R 1997).
We are God's children, who have His Spirit, and we may therefore anticipate an exceedingly great inheritance. Our inheritance under Christ, the Chief Heir, will be undivided throughout all eternity. Who then will be accounted fit to enter into this inheritance? Only those whose devotion to the Father, the Son and the Truth (for the brethren and the world of mankind) prompts them in the Spirit of God to suffer with Christ, will be accounted worthy of this great inheritance—P '26, 76.
Parallel passages: Heb. 2: 10; 2 Tim. 2: 10-13; Col. 3: 4; 1 Pet. 5: 10; 2 Thes. 2: 14; Rom. 8: 18; 9: 23; 2 Cor. 4: 16-18; Isa. 60: 14-22; 1 Cor. 15: 41-57; Phil. 3: 21.
Hymns: 326, 58, 92, 201, 72, 310, 281.
Poems of Dawn, 205: Some Glad, Sweet Day.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 61 (R 4973).
Questions: Have I this week amid suffering with Christ hoped for the Kingdom? How did it affect my spirit?
SOME GLAD, SWEET DAY
SOME day, some glad, sweet day
We shall be like our blessed Lord
And see Him as He is.
Soon we shall strain our
Weary eyes no more
To catch, beyond this earthly
House of fettering clay,
A gleam of heavenly glory
From His radiant face.
Some day, some fair, sweet day
His loving hand will wipe
Away our tears. His tender
Voice will thrill our souls
With rapture, when we
Hear Him say, "Well done,
Dear heart, well done,
My joy is thine; for thee
The victor's crown is won.
"Thou hast been faithful,
Thou hast borne the cross,
The thorns have pierced thy feet;
But now the Night is past--
The Day hath come—bright,
Glorious Day of endless joy and love,
The trial time hath proved thee true,
And thou art safe, beloved,
In thy Father's home."
O, glorious Day, for thee we long!
We will be faithful, will the
Burdens bear, sustained by grace Divine.
In meek submission to Thy holy will,
Dear Lord, by faith we clasp Thy hand
As side by side we tread the Narrow Way
And wait—for it will surely come--
Some day, some dear, sweet day,
O, tarry not too long!
- June 25
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving--Col. 4: 2.
Every trial of faith and patience is an occasion for prayer for the promised succor. Every failure to gain victory is an occasion for a prayer for forgiveness, and as well for Divine blessing, that the lesson of our own weakness may be deeply impressed, so that in the next similar trial we may promptly apply for and lay hold upon the "grace to help" promised. Every victory over self is an occasion for prayer that we be not high-minded and puffed up but kept humble and watchful for the next attack from the great Adversary. Every service for the Truth becomes an occasion for a prayer of thanks for the privilege of serving the Great King, and perhaps to have suffered something for His cause; and a reason for supplication for further opportunities for service and grace to use them wisely—Z '96, 163 (R 2004).
Prayer is the uttered or unuttered heart's sincere desire, going out to God for good things. If we wish to receive an answer to our petitions, we must persevere therein, continually watching as to the things asked for, the motive which prompts the asking, and the manner in which they are presented, that they may be acceptable to the Lord. Thankfulness for past favors should occupy a large part of our prayers—P '36, 79.
Parallel passages: Gen. 32: 24-28; 1 Chron. 16: 11, 35; Psa. 145: 18; Luke 11: 1-13; 18: 1-7; Eph. 5: 4, 19, 20; 6: 18, 19; Phil. 4: 6; 1 Thes. 5: 17, 18; 1 Tim. 2: 1, 8; Heb. 4: 16; Jas. 5: 16; Jude 20; Rev. 5: 8; 8: 3, 4; Matt. 26: 41; Acts 20: 28-31; 1 Pet. 1: 13, 17; 4: 7; Col. 3: 15-17.
Hymns: 35, 9, 37, 176, 199, 239, 323.
Poems of Dawn, 115: Pray Without Ceasing.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 154 (R 5692).
Questions: Has this week been a week of watchful, thankful prayer? How was it so? In what did it result?
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
UNANSWERED yet, the prayer your lips have
In agony of heart these many years?
Doth faith begin to fail, is hope declining,
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer,
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? Tho' when you first presented
This one petition at the Father's throne,
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So anxious was your heart to have it done.
If years have passed since then, do not despair,
For God will answer you sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? But you are not unheeded;
The promises of God forever stand;
To Him our days and years alike are equal.
Have faith in God! It is your Lord's command.
Hold on to Jacob's angel, and your prayer
Shall bring a blessing down, sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? Nay, do not say unanswered;
Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done.
The work began when first your prayer was uttered;
And God will finish what He hath begun.
Keep incense burning at the shrine of prayer,
And glory shall descend, sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet are firmly planted on the Rock.
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence hath heard her prayer,
And cries, "It shall be done, sometime, somewhere!"
- June 26
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus--Heb. 3: 1.
It is God's will that every member of the "body of Christ" would be touched with a feeling of the world's infirmities, in order that, when exalted to the Kingdom, they would be very tender, sympathetic and generous, when, as the Royal Priesthood, they shall judge the world. Our Lord and Master, who had none of the imperfections of the fallen race, but was holy, harmless and separate from sinners, needed to take from men their sicknesses and infirmities in order that He might be touched with a feeling of our infirmities and be a faithful High Priest. It would be thoroughly illogical to suppose that the lessons necessary to the preparation of the High Priest for His office and service were not necessary to the Underpriests, called to suffer with Him and to reign with Him—Z '96, 208 (R 2028).
The brethren are holy because consecrated to the Lord. They are partakers of God's calling, because, having been invited by the Father, they have accepted the call and received the holy Spirit. One of their most profitable activities is a contemplation of Christ as the One sent by the Father and the High Priest of the Priestly order. This enables them to follow in His footsteps—P '30, 78.
Parallel passages: Isa. 53:1-12; John 19: 5; Phil. 2: 5-11; 3: 14; 2 Tim. 1: 9; 2 Pet. 1: 10; Heb. 2: 9, 17, 18; 4: 14; 5: 5; 6: 20; 8: 1; 9: 11; 10: 21; 12: 2, 3; 1 Pet. 2: 21.
Hymns: 96, 139, 168, 167, 259, 212, 349.
Poems of Dawn, 28: Christ Our Teacher.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 122 (R 4802).
Questions: What has considering Jesus done for me? How can I improve therein?
CHRIST, OUR TEACHER
LET Him teach thee, weary soul; (Psa. 27: 11
Let His hands now make thee whole; (Job 5: 18
Let His peace thy heart control,—(Col. 3: 15
Let Him teach thee.
Into paths of righteousness (Psa. 23: 3
Let Him lead and let Him bless; (Psa. 67: 7
Let Him save thee from distress,—(Psa. 107: 13
Let Him teach thee.
Let Him guide thee with His eye: (Psa. 32: 8
Let His hand thy need supply; (Phil. 4: 19
Let His goodness satisfy,—(Psa. 65: 4
Let Him teach thee.
Let His good Word sanctify; (John 17: 17
Let the furnace purify; (1 Peter 1: 7
Let Him say, "Fear not; 'tis I,"—(Mark 6: 50
Let Him teach thee.
Let Him probe thy heart within; (Psa. 66: 10
Let Him search out every sin; (Psa. 139: 23
Let the glorious light shine in,—(2 Cor. 4: 6
Let Him teach thee.
Let the Shepherd kindly feed;
Let Him firmly, truly lead; (Isa. 40: 11
(He'll not break the bruised reed,) (Isa. 42: 3
Let Him teach thee.
Let Him give thee songs at night; (Job 35: 10
Let Him make the darkness light; (Isa. 42: 16
Let Him set thy spirit right,—(Psa. 51: 10
Let Him teach thee.
In the tumult let Him hide, (Psa. 27: 5
; 31: 20
Let Him keep thee at His side; (Ex. 33: 21
Let His name be glorified—(Isa. 61.3
Let Him teach thee.
- June 27
Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us--2 Cor. 1: 21, 22.
The seal or mark of the true disciple is the possession of the Spirit of Christ. The manifestations of this holy Spirit are threefold: (1) love supreme to God and joyful loyalty to His cause even at the cost of suffering; (2) love for the brethren—unselfish, noble, pure—a desire for their welfare, which is always alert to do them good; (3) love, sympathetic, for the world, prompting to good works, as opportunity may afford, and to a desire and effort always to live peaceably with all men—Z '96, 212 (R 2032).
God's people are continually being adjusted to one another by God as disciples of Jesus. He, also, by the anointing continually developed the members of Christ's Body, strengthening them in their places in that Body. He, likewise, worked in them the seal of the Spirit by bringing their hearts into a sympathetic oneness and co-operation with Him in all His arrangements—P '35, 102.
Parallel passages: Rom. 16: 25; Col. 2: 7; 1 Pet. 5: 10; Acts 10: 38; Matt. 3: 16, 17; 1 John 2: 20, 27; 1 Cor. 12: 12, 13; Gal. 2: 20; 3: 16, 29; Eph. 4: 13; 2 Cor. 5: 5; Eph. 1: 13, 14; 4: 30; Rom. 8: 9, 14-16; 5: 5; 2 Tim. 2: 19.
Hymns: 201, 4, 74, 114, 105, 198, 249.
Poems of Dawn, 290: My Life Is But a Weaving.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 213 (R 5498).
Questions: Have I experienced this week God's establishing, anointing and sealing work? How? In what circumstances? What did it accomplish?
MY LIFE IS BUT A WEAVING
MY life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
He chooses all the colors
And works on steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in blinded pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skilful hand,
As the treads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
Not till the loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the fabric,
And show the reason why.
- June 28
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil--Prov. 3: 7.
Nothing is more dangerous to the child of God than self-conceit; it blocks the way to true progress and reformation of heart, and hinders true usefulness to others, and especially usefulness in God's service; for His Word declares, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Instead of self-confidence, Wisdom dictates a distrustfulness of self, remembering its weaknesses and imperfections, and correspondingly the greater reverence for God and reliance upon Him, which more than anything else will strengthen and enable us to depart from the evil of our fallen estate—Z '96, 263 (R 2060).
To be wise in one's own eyes means self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency with respect to one's own knowledge. Such are unteachable and will surely fall from the Truth, unless they mend their ways. If they wish to be recovered from this fault, let them learn to give God the first place in their hearts, and they will thus be enabled to depart from iniquity, and that by practicing good—P '34, 95.
Parallel passages: Deut. 9: 7; 15: 5; Psa. 131: 1, 2; Prov. 10: 8; 22: 4; 30: 32; Rom. 12: 16; 1 Cor. 3: 18; Deut. 10: 12; Josh. 24: 14; 1 Sam. 12: 24; Job 28: 28; 37: 24; Psa. 25: 12-14; 103: 11, 13, 17.
Hymns: 44, 130, 13, 95, 125, 136, 145.
Poems of Dawn, 82: Just To Let Thy Father Do What He Will.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 57 (R 5186).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?
JUST TO LET THY FATHER DO WHAT HE WILL
JUST to let Thy Father do what He will;
Just to know that He is true, and be still.
Just to follow, hour by hour, as He leadeth;
Just to draw the moment's power, as it needeth.
Just to trust Him, this is all. Then the day will
Peaceful, whatso'er befall, bright and blessed, calm
Just to let Him speak to thee, through His Word,
Watching, that His voice may be clearly heard.
Just to tell Him everything, as it rises,
And at once to bring to Him all surprises.
Just to listen, and to stay where you cannot miss His
This is all! and thus today, you, communing, shall
Just to trust, and yet to ask guidance still;
Take the training or the task, as He will.
Just to take the loss or gain, as He sends it;
Just to take the joy or pain as He lends it.
He who formed thee for His praise will not miss the
So today, and all thy days, shall be moulded for
Just to leave in His dear hand little things;
All we cannot understand, all the stings.
Just to let Him take the care sorely pressing;
Finding all we let Him bear changed to blessing.
This is all! and yet the way marked by Him who
loves thee best:
Secret of a happy day, secret of His promised rest.
- June 29
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God--Matt. 5: 8.
The thought of "pure in heart" is not perfection of conduct, nor of word, nor of thought, but perfection of intention as respects all of these. Our desire and effort must be for perfection—in thought, word and deed. The standard before us, to which our hearts, wills, must give assent, is the Divine standard, "Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5: 48). God has set no lower standard than this absolute perfection, but He has provided for us grace, mercy and peace through Christ, if we walk in His footsteps, this purity of heart being one of the essential steps in the narrow way—Z '00, 71 (R 2585).
Purity of heart means being well-intentioned. This signifies a singleness of purpose to glorify God. It will reduce our conduct to terms of loyalty to God. Such hearts indeed make their possessors joyful, and the possessors of such hearts now see God with the eyes of their understanding, and all the elect will eventually see Him as He really is—P '33, 79, 80.
Parallel passages: Psa. 15: 2; 19: 8; 24: 3-5; 51: 7; Prov. 21: 8; Mal. 3: 2, 3; John 15: 12; 1 Tim. 1: 5; Phil. 4: 8; 2 Tim. 2: 21, 22; Titus 1: 15; 1 Pet. 1: 22; 1 John 3: 3; 1 Cor. 13: 12; 1 John 3: 2.
Hymns: 194, 20, 1, 145, 136, 78, 125.
Poems of Dawn, 114: Show Me Thy Face.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 389 (R 5148).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they borne? In what did they result?
SHOW ME THY FACE
SHOW me Thy face—one transient gleam
Of loveliness Divine,
And I shall never think or dream
Of other love than Thine;
All other lights will darken quite,
All lower glories wane,
The beautiful of earth will scarce
Seem beautiful again.
Show me Thy face—the heaviest cross
Will then seem light to bear,
There will be gain in every loss,
And peace with every care.
With such light feet the years will fleet,
Life seem as brief as blest,
Till I have laid my burden down,
And entered into rest.
- June 30
In the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers … gather the wheat into my barn--Matt. 13: 30.
The time is short; the harvest work is great; the laborers are few; our time is consecrated; we must labor while it is called day, knowing that a night cometh wherein no man can work. We have consecrated our lives even unto death; we are commissioned of the great Lord of the harvest to seek for the true "wheat," and to gather it into the barn. What time have we for frivolities or worldliness or the many social amenities? Rather, we must content ourselves with giving very little attention to these things, and must press along the line, engaging heartily in the work given us to do, if we would have the approval of our Master, His "Well done, good and faithful servant"—Z '00, 234 (R 2674).
In the Harvest time the fruitage of all previous Gospel-Age work was gathered. Those who were privileged to reap that Harvest entered into the labors of all God's servants from the beginning of the Gospel Age. With confidence and joy God's servants garnered what was reaped and what others had sown; and both sowers and reapers rejoice together at the Harvest Home—P '32, 63.
Parallel passages: Psa. 50: 5; Isa. 52: 7; Mal. 3: 17; Matt. 3: 11, 12; Luke 3: 17; John 4: 34-38; Rev. 7: 1-4; 14: 14-16; Matt. 13: 41-43; 1 Cor. 15: 42-58.
Hymns: 260, 70, 116, 210, 275, 309, 337.
Poems of Dawn, 169: The Time Is Short.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 269 (R 5761).
Questions: Have I this week spread God's Word? How? Why? With what results?
THE TIME IS SHORT
UP, up, my soul, the long-spent time redeeming;
Sow thou the seeds of better deed and thought;
Light other lamps, while yet the light is beaming;
The time, the time is short.
Think of the eyes that often weep in sadness,
Seeing not the truth that God to thee hath taught;
O bear to them this light and joy and gladness;
The time, the time is short.
Think of the feet that stray from misdirection,
And into snares of error's doctrine brought:
Bear then to them these tidings of salvation;
The time, the time is short.
The time is short. Then be thy heart a brother's
To every heart that needs thy help in aught.
How much they need the sympathy of others!
The time, the time is short.