August 31

2020-08-31 - 2021-08-26 All day

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up–Dan. 3: 17, 18.

The answer of the Hebrews to Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God whom we serve,” is worthy of note. They not only acknowledged God and worshiped Him, but they additionally served Him, according as they had opportunity. … Let us resolve, dear brethren, as did the three Hebrews, that we will worship and serve only the Lord our God, that we will neither worship nor serve sectarianism, in any of its many forms, nor mammon, with its enticements and rewards, nor fame, nor friends, nor self. God “seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth,” is the declaration of our Lord and Head—Z ’99, 172 (R 2494).

Whenever threats are made to God’s servants to influence them to the wrong or to restrain them from the right, let them remember that it is their part to persevere in well-doing and leave their deliverance or non-deliverance to the Lord’s will and power. Let them have the full assurance of faith that He is able to deliver them, if He will; and even if He does not deliver their humanity, which at most is devoted to death, let them remember that if they are faithful, their new heart, mind and will, receiving no harm, will by the fiery furnace be freed from the cords that bind them to earth, as in the type He delivered the three Hebrew youths—P ’33, 111.

Parallel passages: Gen. 32: 11; 50: 20; Num. 20: 16; Deut. 23: 4, 5; 2 Kings 19: 16, 19; 1 Chron. 5: 20; 2 Chron. 14: 11; Esth. 7: 10; Psa. 31: 1-4, 9, 14-17; 50: 15; 105: 14, 15; 146: 8, 9; Prov. 16: 7, 9; Rom. 8: 28; Phil. 1: 12.

Hymns: 67, 56, 57, 216, 313, 330, 333.
Poems of Dawn, 206: Wait Upon the Lord.
Tower Reading: Z ’99, 168 (R 2494).

Questions: Have I this week trusted the Lord in trouble? How? Why? 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.

Related events

  • 2016-08-01 - 2017-07-31 All day

    Death and life are in the power of the tongue--Prov. 18: 21.

    The tongue's influence exceeds that of all our other members combined; and to control it, therefore, in the Lord's service, is the most important work of the Lord's people in respect to their mortal bodies and the service of these rendered to the Lord. A few words of love, kindness, helpfulness—how often have such changed the entire course of a human life! yes, how much they have had to do with molding the destiny of nations! And how often have evil words, unkind words, slanderous words, done gross injustice, assassinated reputations, etc., or, as the Apostle declares, "set on fire the course of nature," awakening passions, strifes, enmities, at first unthought of! No wonder he declares such tongues are "set on fire of Gehenna," the Second Death!—Z '99, 75 (R 2442).

    Scripturally, the tongue symbolizes knowledge—true or false—expressed in language. Therefore, the thought of the text, that life is in the power of the tongue, agrees with James' exhortation, "Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls." Its thought that death is in the power of the tongue agrees with St. Paul's statement on false teachers, that their word does eat as a cancer. Surely we ought to guard our thoughts and utterances, since they bring life or death to us and our hearers. The world's present woes and future bliss lie closely related to speech, good and true, or evil and false—P '35, 116.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 12: 3; 34: 11-13; 140: 3; Matt. 12: 36, 37; 15: 18, 19; Jas. 3: 2-13; 1: 26; Prov. 10: 20, 21, 31; 11: 30; 16: 27; 18: 4-8; 2 Tim. 2: 23-25; Rom. 10: 14, 15; 2 Cor. 2: 16; Eph. 4: 29; Col. 4: 6.

    Hymns: 116, 70, 164, 200, 210, 154, 315.
    Poems of Dawn, 261: Clear the Way.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 245 (R 5517).

    Questions: What kind of a power has my tongue exerted this week? What were the circumstances and results?

     

     
    CLEAR THE WAY

    MEN of thought, be up and stirring
    Night and day.
    Sow the seed, withdraw the curtain,
    Clear the way.
    Men of action, aid and cheer them
    As you may.
    There's a fount about to stream;
    There's a light about to beam;
    There's a warmth about to glow;
    There's a flower about to blow;
    There's a midnight blackness changing
    Into gray.
    Men of thought, and men of action,
    Clear the way!
    Once the welcome light hath broken,
    Who shall say
    What the unimagined glories
    Of the day?
    What the evil that shall perish
    In its ray?
    Aid the dawning, tongue and pen;
    Aid it, hopes of honest men;
    Aid it, paper; aid it, type;
    Aid it, for the hour is ripe;
    And our earnest must not slacken
    Into play.
    Men of thought, and men of action,
    Clear the way!

    Lo! a cloud's about to vanish
    From the day;
    Lo! the right's about to conquer--
    Clear the way!
    Many a brazen wrong to crumble
    Into clay.
    With that right shall many more
    Enter smiling at the door;
    With the giant wrong shall fall
    Many others, great and small,
    That for ages long have held us
    For their prey.
    Men of thought, and men of action,
    Clear the way!
  • 2016-08-02 - 2017-08-01 All day

    O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker--Psa. 95: 6.

    Our judgment is that it is impossible for any Christian to maintain a proper, consistent walk in life, and to build up such a character and faith structure as are represented by the Apostle as composed of "gold, silver and precious stones," without prayer; more than this, without regularity in prayer, we would almost be inclined to say, without kneeling in prayer; and we believe that the experiences and testimonies of the truest and best of the Lord's people who have ever lived will corroborate this—Z '99, 184 (R 2501).

    The only reasonable attitude for us, who as God's creatures are so dependent upon His bounty and so blessed by His goodness, is worship. Worship not only implies prayer in its elements of invocation, praise, thanksgiving, confession, petition, communion and assurance, but also a wholehearted deadness to self and the world, and aliveness to God. The heart of worship is entire consecration made and kept. We should render this complete devotion in grateful and appreciative faith, hope, love and obedience as our reasonable sacrificial service, and invite one another to join us in so doing—P '34, 109, 110.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 20: 3; 34: 8; Psa. 22: 22; 26: 6-8; 29: 2; 66: 4, 13, 14; 100; 116: 12-14, 17; 119: 108; Isa. 38: 20; 56: 6, 7; Jer. 31: 12; Matt. 4: 10; John 4: 23, 24; Phil. 3: 3; Heb. 12: 28; Rev. 14: 7.

    Hymns: 160, 11, 45, 55, 219, 8, 277.
    Poems of Dawn, 103: Prayer of the Consecrated.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 154 (R 5692).

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

     

     
    PRAYER OF THE CONSECRATED

    WE seek not, Lord, for tongues of flame,
    Or healing virtue's mystic aid;
    But power thy Gospel to proclaim--
    The balm for wounds that sin hath made.

    Breathe on us, Lord; Thy radiance pour
    On all the wonders of the page
    Where hidden lies the heavenly lore
    That blessed our youth and guides our age.

    Grant skill each sacred theme to trace,
    With loving voice and glowing tongue,
    As when upon Thy words of grace
    The wondering crowds enraptured hung.

    Grant faith, that treads the stormy deep,
    If but Thy voice shall bid it come;
    And zeal, that climbs the mountain steep,
    To seek and bring the wanderer home.

    Give strength, blest Savior, in Thy might;
    Illuminate our hearts, and we,
    Transformed into Thine image bright,
    Shall teach, and love, and live, like Thee!
  • 2016-08-03 - 2017-08-02 All day

    Separate yourselves from the people of the land--Ezra 10: 11.

    Someone has well said, "The Christian in the world is like a ship in the ocean. The ship is safe in the ocean so long as the ocean is not in the ship." One of the great difficulties with Christianity today is that it has admitted the strangers, the "people of the land," and recognized them as Christians. It does injury, not only to the Christians, by lowering their standards (for the average will be considered the standard), but it also injures the "strangers," by causing many of them to believe themselves thoroughly safe and needing no conversion, because they are outwardly respectable, and perhaps frequently attendants at public worship—Z '99, 203 (R 2510).

    God's people are a holy nation, severed from all others unto God's service. Their faith, spirit, hopes and aims differ from those of the natural man. So dissimilar are these two classes that the attempt to fellowship one another would prove painful and disastrous. Especially would God's people be disadvantaged by such association. For the welfare of both classes separation from each other is necessary. Hence the exhortation, "Come out of her, my people." And when this separation is made, the faithful enter into closer fellowship with the Lord and with one another—P '33, 110, 111.

    Parallel passages: Num. 16: 21, 26; Ezra 6: 21; Prov. 9: 6; Isa. 48: 20; 52: 11; Jer. 51: 9; Acts 2: 40; 2 Cor. 6: 17—7: 1; Rev. 18: 4; 1 Cor. 6: 11; Eph. 5: 25-27; 1 Thes. 4: 3, 4; 2 Tim 2: 21; 2 Pet. 1: 4.

    Hymns: 130, 78, 48, 71, 13, 196, 312.
    Poems of Dawn, 224: The Rose.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 370 (R 5138).

    Questions: Have I this week cleansed myself from evil persons and things? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    THE ROSE

    WITHIN my hand I gently hold the Garden's
    Queen, a rose,--
    The softly-sighing summer wind about it faintly blows,
    And wafts its wondrous fragrance out upon the
    evening air.
    And as I gaze upon the rose, so perfect and so fair,
    In memory's halls there wakes, the while, a legend,
    quaint and old,
    How once upon a time, one day, a sage picked up,
    we're told,
    A lump of common clay, so redolent with perfume
    rare,
    He marveled, and the question wondering asked,
    "Whence dost thou bear
    Such fragrance, O, thou lump of clay?" In tones
    of deep repose
    There came the sweet reply, "I have been dwelling
    with the rose."

    The while the legend stirs my soul, within my hand
    still lie
    The petals of the rose, and from my heart of hearts
    I cry,
    "Thou lovely Rose of Sharon, may I ever dwell with
    Thee,
    So closely that the fragrance of Thy love shall cling
    to me!
    Oh, fill me with the spirit of Thy sweet humility,
    Then all shall see and know, dear Lord, that I have
    learned of thee;
    And let mine earthly pilgrimage, until its blessed close,
    Each day and hour bear witness, I've been dwelling
    with the Rose!
  • 2016-08-04 - 2017-08-03 All day

    The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves--2 Tim. 2: 24, 25.

    Some of the Lord's dear people have greatly injured their influence in the Truth by display of too large a degree of self-confidence, self-assurance, in speaking of the Divine Plan to others especially to the learned. Meekness is a jewel wherever found, and is especially desirable as an adjunct and sling for the Truth. Let the Truth be shot forth with all the force it can carry, but always with meekness and humility; and the question form of suggesting Truth will often be found the most forceful—Z '00, 14 (R 2558).

    The qualities enumerated in this text are such as will enable the servant of the Truth to realize the object of his office: efficiency for the Lord and His cause and His people. The lack of these qualities unfits one for the service of the Truth, and makes one an injurer of the brethren and others instead of a helper, however great his natural talents may be. Well-balanced people resent in a religious teacher the marks of priestcraft but readily respond to the spirit of the Master, whose manner and spirit of teaching are well expressed in the Apostle's words in this text—P '32, 112.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 13: 8; Prov. 15: 2; 16: 13; Jude 3; Titus 3: 2; 1 Tim. 3: 2, 3; 6: 11; Rom. 12: 18; 14: 19; 1 Cor. 4: 21; 10: 31, 32; Phil. 2: 3, 14; Col. 3: 12; Jas. 1: 19; 2 Thes. 3: 15; 2 Tim. 2: 25.

    Hymns: 44, 95, 125, 145, 198, 116, 210.
    Poems of Dawn, 107: O Use Me, Lord.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 166 (R 5698).

    Questions: Have I this week ministered the Word to others? Under what circumstances? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    O, USE ME, LORD!

    LORD, speak to me, that I may speak
    In living echoes of Thy tone;
    As Thou hast sought, so let me seek
    Thine erring children, lost and lone.

    O, lead me, Lord, that I may lead
    The wandering and the wavering feet;
    O, feed me, Lord, that I may feed
    Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.

    O, strengthen me, that while I stand
    Firm on the Rock, and strong in Thee,
    I may stretch out a helping hand
    To wrestlers in the troubled sea.

    O, teach me, Lord, that I may teach
    The precious things Thou dost impart;
    And wing my words, that they may reach
    The hidden depths of many a heart.

    O, give Thine own sweet rest to me,
    That I may speak with soothing power
    A word in season, as from Thee,
    To weary ones in needful hour.

    O, fill me with Thy fulness, Lord,
    Until my very heart o'erflow
    In kindling thought and glowing word,
    Thy love to tell, Thy praise to show,

    O, use me, Lord, use even me,
    Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where;
    Until Thy blessed face I see,
    Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share!
  • 2016-08-05 - 2017-08-04 All day

    We know that all things work together for good to them that love God … the called according to his purpose--Rom. 8: 28.

    Remembering this, all the Lord's people should be content with the lot which Providence seems to mark out for them—not indolent, but content, when they have done all that their hands find to do—not restless, peevish, dissatisfied, complainers against God and His providence. It may be that the Lord is fitting and preparing us individually for some special service, and that the permitted experiences alone will prepare us for that service. We are to remember also that we are incompetent to judge of our own imperfections, and hence incompetent to judge of the experiences which would be most helpful to us
    —Z '00, 22 (R 2562).

    What blessed comfort the child of God who, as one of His called ones, wholeheartedly loves God finds in the assurance of this text that all his interests are under Divine care and supervision, and that all his experiences, under Divine direction, are conspiring to his development as a Christian. Unlike the poor world, whose interests are exposed to all sorts of accidents, the Christian, assured that there are no accidents in his experiences, knows that whatever befalls him is an expression of God's love and care, and that it helps him to attain his life's ambition—Christlikeness—P '26, 108.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 5: 20; Deut. 8: 2; Jer. 24: 5-7; 2 Cor. 4: 15-18; Heb. 12: 9-11; Rev. 3: 19; Rom. 1: 6; 9: 11, 23, 24; 1 Pet. 5: 7, 10; Psa. 76: 10; Isa. 51: 2; Prov. 16: 7.

    Hymns: 63, 43, 56, 57, 93, 293, 305.
    Poems of Dawn, 136: Discipline.
    Tower Reading: Z '10, 72 (R 4566).

    Questions: Do I love God supremely? What evidence have I of being of the called? Wherein have "the all things" of this week wrought good to me?

     

     
    DISCIPLINE

    THE hammer of Thy discipline, O Lord,
    Strikes fast and hard. Life's anvil rings again
    To Thy strong strokes. And yet we know 'tis then
    That from the heart's hot iron all abroad
    The rich glow spreads. Great Fashioner Divine,
    Who spareth not, in Thy far-seeing plan,
    The blows that shape the character of man,
    Or fire that makes him yield to touch of Thine,
    Strike on, then, if Thou wilt! For Thou alone
    Canst rightly test the temper of our will,
    Or tell how these base metals may fulfill
    Thy purpose—making all our life Thine own.
    Only we do beseech Thee, let the pain
    Of fiery ordeals through which we go
    Shed all around us such a warmth and glow,
    Such cheerful showers of sparks in golden rain,
    That hard hearts may be melted, cold hearts fired,
    And callous hearts be taught to feel and see
    That discipline is more to be desire.
    Than all the ease that keeps us back from Thee.
  • 2016-08-06 - 2017-08-05 All day

    Resist the devil, and he will flee from you--Jas. 4: 7.

    If we are positive in our rejection of temptation, it increases our strength of character, not only for that time but also for subsequent temptations; and it disconcerts to some extent our Adversary, who, noting our positiveness, knows well that it is useless to discuss the matter with persons of strong convictions and positive characters; whereas if the question were parleyed over, the result would surely be an advancing of further reasons and arguments on the Adversary's part, and a danger on our part that we would be overmatched in argument, for, as the Apostle declares, the devil is a wily adversary, and "we are not ignorant of his devices." Prompt and positive obedience to the Word and Spirit of the Lord is the only safe course for any of the "brethren"—Z '00, 30 (R 2565).

    Satan acts not only defensively but also offensively against us. His offensive is cunning, sudden, sharp and persistent. It behooves us to repel him vigorously. We should repulse him by watchfulness, prayer, faith in our equipment, hope for victory, love for defeating him, persistent determination to gain victory, exertion against him, detaching our affections from evil, evasion of evil, diversion of attention from evil, displacement of evil by the opposite good, restraint of evil by other than the opposite good and by presentation of an impenetrable heart and mind to Satan's attacks. Such resistance steadfastly maintained, will defeat and put him to disastrous flight—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: 1 Pet. 5: 8, 9; Eph. 4: 27; 6: 10-13; Matt. 4: 1-11; 1 Chron. 21: 1; Job 1: 6-12; 2: 3-7; Zech. 3: 1, 2; Matt. 13: 19, 38, 39; Luke 22: 31; John 8: 38, 41, 44; 12: 31; 13: 2, 27; Rom. 16: 20; 2 Cor. 2: 11; 4: 4; 11: 3, 14, 15; 1 John 3: 8, 10, 12; 5: 18.

    Hymns: 145, 323, 13, 130, 184, 266, 272.
    Poems of Dawn, 135: Endurance.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 147 (R 5896).

    Questions: Have I this week resisted the devil? How? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the results?

     

     
    ENDURANCE

    YET nerve thy spirit to the proof,
    And blanch not at thy chosen lot.
    The timid good may stand aloof,
    The sage may frown—yet faint thou not.

    Nor heed the shaft so surely cast,
    The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
    For with thy side shall dwell at last
    The victory of endurance born.
  • 2016-08-07 - 2017-08-06 All day

    If any one contend in the games, he is not crowned unless he strive lawfully--2 Tim. 2: 5, Diaglott.

    Jesus observed God's times and seasons and methods. He never recklessly exposed His life until from the Prophets He recognized that His hour had come to be delivered into the hands of His enemies. He did not make long prayers on the street corners to be heard of men, nor exhort the multitude with noisy harangue; as the prophet indicated, He did not lift up His voice nor cry aloud in the streets (Isa. 42: 2). He chose God's methods, which are rational and wise, and which are effective in selecting from among men the class which He desires to be heirs of the promised Kingdom. Let those who would so run as to obtain the prize, mark these footprints of the Master, and be filled more and more with His Spirit—Z '02, 265 (R 3069).

    Whenever a prize is offered for performance of worthy deeds, rules and conditions to govern the contestant's conduct are laid down; and only when these are observed is the winner awarded a prize. This was true of the games among the Greeks, and is true in our race for eternal life. The Lord has ordained that only those who develop a Christlike character, while laying down life for God's Plan, can have the prize of eternal life in the Kingdom. Nor will these conditions be altered or abridged for some who assume themselves to be special favorites. All are herein treated alike, and the worthy only are crowned with eternal life in the Kingdom—P '30, 109.

    Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 9: 24-26; Eph. 6: 11-17; 1 Tim. 6: 12; Phil. 3: 14; Heb. 12: 1, 2; 2 Tim. 2: 3; 4: 7, 8.

    Hymns: 13, 20, 78, 183, 266, 272, 200.
    Poems of Dawn, 42: Courage! Press On.
    Tower Reading: Z '02, 264 (R 3069).

    Questions: How have I striven this week, lawfully or unlawfully? What encouraged me thereto? What hindered therefrom? How did I overcome hindrances? What was the effect on others and me?

     

     
    COURAGE! PRESS ON

    TIRED! Well, what of that?
    Didst fancy life was spent on beds of ease,
    Fluttering the rose leaves scattered by the breeze?
    Come, rouse thee! work while it is called to-day:
    Courage! arise! go forth upon thy way.

    Lonely! and what of that?
    Some must be lonely; 'tis not given to all
    To feel a heart responsive rise and fall,
    To blend another life within its own:
    Work can be done in loneliness. Work on.

    Dark! Well, what of that?
    Didst fondly dream the sun would never set?
    Dost fear to lose thy way? Take courage yet!
    Learn thou to walk by faith, and not by sight;
    Thy steps will guided be, and guided right.

    Hard! Well, what of that?
    Didst fancy life one summer holiday,
    With lessons none to learn, and naught but play?
    Go—get thee to thy task! Conquer or die!
    It must be learned; learn it, then, patiently.
  • 2016-08-08 - 2017-08-07 All day

    Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again--Luke 10: 56.

    Each laborer in the present harvest should note well the Lord's instruction in these verses. Wherever the Lord's representatives go, peace should go, not strife, confusion, turmoil, quarreling. True, the Truth will prove to be a sword that will arouse opposition, yet it should be the Truth that causes the opposition and division, and not any rudeness or unkindness of word or action on the part of the Lord's representatives. There are plenty of things to aggravate mankind in this our busy day, and all who have received the Truth should receive also its spirit "speaking peace through Jesus Christ"—Z '04, 108 (R 3346).

    The Lord always prepares for His servants a welcome in such families as He desires to entertain them. Wherever His servants are not welcomed, He has made no preparation for them; and it would be well for them to move on. Wherever they go, they are to manifest the Lord's Spirit, prepared to confer spiritual blessings far superior to the earthly blessings bestowed upon them. If their blessings are not desired or appreciated, let them be withdrawn. Let them content themselves with the thought that elsewhere a worthy family awaits their coming—P '35, 117.

    Parallel passages: 1 Sam. 25: 6, 17; Isa. 9: 6; 57: 19; Matt. 10: 11-13; Psa. 35: 13; 1 Cor. 9: 4-7; 1 Tim. 5: 18; Luke 19: 5-9; Acts 10: 36; 2 Cor. 5: 18-20; Eph. 2: 2, 3; 5: 6; 2 Thes. 3: 16; 2 Cor. 2: 15, 16.

    Hymns: 275, 23, 170, 107, 139, 179, 303.
    Poems of Dawn, 148: The Servant's Path In A Day Of Rejection.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 325 (R 5979).

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

     

     
    THE SERVANT'S PATH IN A DAY OF REJECTION

    SERVANT of Christ, stand fast amid the scorn
    Of men who little know or love thy Lord;
    Turn not aside from toil: cease not to warn,
    Comfort and teach, trust Him for thy reward;
    A few more moments' suffering, and then
    Cometh sweet rest from all thy heart's deep pain.

    For grace pray much, for much thou needest grace.
    If men thy work deride—what can they more?
    Christ's weary foot thy path on earth doth trace;
    If thorns wound thee, they pierced him before;
    Press on, look up, tho' clouds may gather round,
    Thy place of service He makes hallowed ground.

    Have friends forsaken thee, and cast thy name
    Out as a worthless thing? Take courage then:
    Go tell thy Master; for they did the same
    To Him, who once in patience toiled for them;
    Yet He was perfect in all service here;
    Thou oft hast failed: this maketh Him more dear.

    Self-vindication shun; if in the right
    What gainest thou by taking from God's hand
    Thy cause? If wrong, what dost thou but invite
    Satan himself thy friend in need to stand?
    Leave all with God; if right, He'll prove thee so;
    If not, He'll pardon; therefore to Him go.

    Be not men's servant: think what costly price
    Was paid that thou might'st His own bondsman be,
    Whose service perfect freedom is. Let this
    Hold fast thy heart. His claim is great to thee.
    None should thy soul enthrall to whom 'tis given
    To serve on earth, with liberty of Heaven.

    All His are thine to serve: Christ's brethren here
    Are needing aid, in them thou servest Him.
    The least of all is still to Him most dear,
    The weakest cost His life-blood to redeem.
    Yield to no "party" what He rightly claims,
    Who on His heart bears all His people's names.

    Be wise, be watchful, wily men surround
    Thy path. Be careful, for they seek with care
    To trip thee up; see that no plea be found
    In thee thy Master to reproach. The snare
    They set for thee will then themselves enclose
    And God His righteous judgment thus disclose.

    Cleave to the poor, Christ's image in them is;
    Count it great honor if they love thee well;
    Nought can repay thee after losing this,
    Tho' with the wise and wealthy thou shouldst dwell.
    Thy Master oftentimes would pass thy door
    To hold communion with His much-loved poor.

    The time is short, seek little here below:
    Earth's goods would cumber thee and drag thee down.
    Let daily food suffice; care not to know
    Thought for tomorrow: it may never come.
    Thou canst not perish, for thy Lord is nigh,
    And His own care will all thy need supply.
  • 2016-08-09 - 2017-08-08 All day

    If therefore the light that is in thee be[come] darkness, how great is that darkness!--Matt. 6: 23.

    The "harvest" is a time for winnowing the "wheat"—a sifting, a separating time, and it is for each of us to prove our characters: "Having done all, stand!" The tests of this "harvest" must be like those of the Jewish or typical "harvest." One of them is the cross, another is the presence of Christ, another is humility, another is love. The Jews were reproved because they "knew not the time of their visitation." The matter is doubly distressing for those who have once seen the light of Present Truth, and afterward go into the "outer darkness." It implies unfaithfulness—Z '04, 297 (R 3436).

    The light in us is the holy Spirit. It is possible for it to become darkness. This occurs when the mind gives up the Truth, and the heart, the Spirit of the Truth. Such an effect can occur only when, losing wisdom, power, justice and love, the heart learns to love sin, error, selfishness and worldliness. Such an one cannot be renewed unto repentance. The darkness in him is great and unending. With what watchfulness, prayer and activity we should guard ourselves against such an outcome! Better never to have begun than end our Christian career in this manner—P '34, 110.

    Parallel passages: Luke 11: 34-36; Psa. 119: 105; Prov. 6: 23; Isa. 8: 20; 58: 8; Matt. 4: 16; 5: 16; Luke 16: 8; John 1: 4-9; 3: 19-21; 12: 35, 36; Acts 26: 18; Eph. 5: 14; 1 Thes. 5: 5; 1 Pet. 2: 9; Matt. 8: 12; John 11: 9, 10; 1 John 2: 8-11.

    Hymns: 315, 1, 49, 90, 91, 130, 154.
    Poems of Dawn, 285: How Are the Mighty Fallen.
    Tower Reading: Z '09, 231 (R 4444).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences with Light and Darkness? How were they met? In what did they result?

     

     
    HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN

    HOW are the mighty fallen!
    Those who once stood so strong,
    Defending the Truth and their brethren
    Through battles severe and long!

    Their lives they counted not precious;
    No price was too great to pay--
    Led by "that faithful Servant,"
    They fought in the thick of the fray.

    How are the mighty fallen!
    Those leaders we learned to love--
    Alas! They turned and as traitors
    Deserted the Truth from above.

    Oh, words too sad to utter!
    Oh, hearts too broken to weep!
    God's grace 'neath their feet lies trampled;
    Deserted, His cause and His sheep!

    Oh, how are the mighty fallen!
    Though feigning God's friends still to be,
    They led His sheep into error
    In subtle hypocrisy!

    Our heads we'll not uncover,
    Nor mourn for those who have sold
    Their Lord and their brethren for power--
    As Judas in days of old.

    Alas! How the mighty are fallen!
    Lord, who will be able to stand?
    Oh, that I may be found worthy
    To receive a "Well done" at thy hand!
  • 2016-08-10 - 2017-08-09 All day

    If there be therefore any consolation [comfort] in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind--Phil. 2: 1, 2.

    What exhortations these are to unity, peace, brotherly kindness! How they suggest to us patience, forbearance, gentleness, helpfulness and comfort one toward another in the Church; that thus the Spirit of the Lord may abound in all, that each may make the greatest possible progress in the right way. Dear brethren, let us more and more be worthy of the name of Barnabas—Comforter of the brethren. Let us have the holy Spirit abounding in us more and more, for this is the Lord's good pleasure; that with it dwelling in us richly we may be all sons and daughters of comfort in Zion, representatives of our Father, and channels of the holy Spirit, as well as of the Truth—Z '04, 296 (R 3434).

    Nothing pleases the Lord's servants more than the spiritual prosperity of those whom they serve; for these are their spiritual children, for whose welfare they labor and for whose ultimate victory they lay down their lives. This thought should move the Lord's people to strive to gladden the hearts of those who minister to them. And let the Lord's servants rejoice in seeing the rich fruits of the Spirit, particularly in the various forms of love, abundantly growing in their spiritual children; and so the spiritual mother and children will rejoice together in the Lord—P '33, 111.

    Parallel passages: 2 Cor. 13: 14; John 7: 39; 1 John 3: 24; Phil. 1: 8; Col. 3: 12; John 3: 29; Rom. 12: 16; 1 Cor. 1: 10; Phil. 3: 16; 2 Cor. 13: 11; Phil. 1: 26, 27.

    Hymns: 90, 166, 198, 92, 23, 170, 95.
    Poems of Dawn, 99: The Secret of His Presence.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 362 (R 5810).

    Questions: What were the week's experiences in line with this text? What did they effect?

     

     
    THE SECRET OF HIS PRESENCE

    IN the secret of His presence
    How my soul delights to hide:
    Oh, how precious are the lessons
    Which I learn at Jesus' side.
    Earthly cares can only vex me,
    Trials never lay me low,
    And when Satan comes to tempt me,
    To the secret place I go.

    When my soul is faint and thirsty,
    'Neath the shadow of His wing
    There is cool and pleasant shelter,
    And a fresh and crystal spring.
    And my Savior rests beside me,
    As we hold communion sweet;
    If I tried, I could not utter
    What He says, when thus we meet.

    Only this: I know, I tell Him
    All my doubts, and griefs, and fears;
    Oh, how patiently He listens,
    And my drooping heart He cheers.
    Do you think He ne'er reproves me?
    What a false friend He would be,
    If He never, never told me
    Of the faults which He must see.

    Do you think that I could love Him
    Half so well, or as I ought,
    If He did not plainly tell me
    Each displeasing word and thought?
    No! for He is very faithful,
    And that makes me trust Him more,
    For I know that He doth love me,
    Though sometimes He wounds me sore.

    Would you like to know the sweetness
    Of this secret of the Lord?
    Go and hide beneath His shadow,
    This shall then be your reward.
    And whene'er you leave the silence
    Of that happy meeting place,
    You must mind and bear the image
    Of the Master in your face.
  • 2016-08-11 - 2017-08-10 All day
    Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life--Rev. 2: 10.

    In a little while the trials will be over, but until that little while is past we are in the trial time, and it is proving us either worthy or unworthy of the glorious favors which we seek. … If we appreciate them let us seek them in the Lord's way; let us see to what extent there are other things in our lives that we might render unto the Lord and which He will accept, not through the worthiness of the deeds or the sacrifices but through the merit of Christ. Let us see if the days and hours as they pass are spent in a consecrated manner; let us note to what extent moments and days are spent in some selfish manner, or wasted upon others beyond the reasonable requirements of duty as marked out in the Divine Word. Let us see to what extent we perform our vows unto the Lord—Z '05, 380 (R 3685).

    To be faithful implies a wholehearted devotion to a person, cause or principle. All of these are implied in a Christian's faithfulness to God, which prompts to the use of our all for Him in the things, spirit and manner pleasing to Him. Nor is such devotion for a brief time. It must be unto death, i.e., it must produce death and last until death. For such, a crown of life everlasting is reserved as a gift-reward. Light indeed will then seem to them the hardships incidental to their gaining life everlasting; and blessed indeed will be the lot which will be theirs to all eternity—P '32, 112.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 28: 20; Matt. 10: 22; 24: 13; 25: 14-23; Luke 16: 10-12; 1 Cor. 4: 2; Heb. 3: 14; Rom. 8: 17, 18; Gal. 6: 7-9; Jas. 1: 12; 1 Pet. 1: 4-8; 2 Pet. 1: 4; 1 John 3: 2, 3; Rev. 3: 21.

    Hymns: 326, 21, 27, 32, 58, 92, 78.
    Poems of Dawn, 204: Oh! To Be Ready.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 150 (R 5688).

    Questions: Have I been faithful or not this week? Wherein? How did this affect my hope for life everlasting?
     

     
    OH! TO BE READY

    OH! to be ready when death shall come,
    Oh! to be ready to hasten home!
    No earthward clinging, no lingering gaze,
    No strife at parting, no sore amaze;
    No chains to sever that earth hath twined,
    No spell to loosen that love would bind.

    No flitting shadows to dim the light
    Of the angel-pinions winged for flight,
    No cloud-like phantoms to fling a gloom
    'Twixt heaven's bright portals and earth's dark tomb,
    But sweetly, gently, to pass away
    From the world's dim twilight into day.

    To list the music of angel lyres,
    To catch the rapture of seraph fires,
    To lean in trust on the risen One,
    Till borne away to a fadeless throne;
    Oh! to be ready when death shall come,
    Oh! to be ready to hasten home!
  • 2016-08-12 - 2017-08-11 All day

    Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. … Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer--Psa. 19: 12-14.

    It would appear that every intelligent Christian would continually pray this inspired prayer, for cleansing from secret faults, that he might thus be restrained from presumptuous sins; and thus praying heartily, he would also watch against these beginnings of sin and keep his heart in a cleansed and pure condition, by going continually to the fountain of grace for help in every time of need. He who seeks to live a life of holiness and nearness to the Lord by merely guarding against outward or presumptuous sins, and who neglects the beginnings of sin in the secrets of his own mind, is attempting a right thing in a very foolish and unreasonable way—Z '98, 22 (R2248).

    All of us have secret faults, which have come to us mainly by heredity, though associates, surroundings and training have measurably increased them. These defile us; hence the desirability of our prayer for cleansing from them. The Father reveals them to us, and thus enlists our co-operation in purging them away. Especially dangerous are presumptuous sins. Well may we pray that the Lord keep us back from them and prevent their gaining control over us. We will be enabled to gain victory over these, if the meditations of our hearts and the words of our lips are acceptable unto God, our Strength and Redeemer—P '26, 109.

    Parallel passages: Job 13: 23; Psa. 24: 3-5; 26: 1, 2; 51: 10; 139: 23, 24; Ezek. 36: 25, 26; 1 John 1: 7, 9; 3: 3; Heb. 6: 4-9; 10: 26-31; 1 John 5: 16; 2 Pet. 2: 1-20; Jude 4-25.

    Hymns: 13, 130, 125, 136, 145, 183, 20.
    Poems of Dawn, 69: How Strong and Sweet My Father's Care!
    Tower Reading: Z '98, 22 (R 2248).

    Questions: How has the Father cleansed me this week? What were the circumstances, agents and effects?

     

     
    HOW STRONG AND SWEET MY FATHER'S CARE!
    1 PETER 5: 7.

    HOW strong and sweet my Father's care!
    The words, like music in the air,
    Come answering to my whispered prayer--
    He cares for thee.

    The thought great wonder with it brings--
    My cares are all such little things;
    But to this truth my glad faith clings,
    He cares for me.

    Yea, keep me ever in Thy love,
    Dear Father, watching from above,
    And let me still Thy mercy prove,
    And care for me.

    Cast me not off because of sin,
    But make me pure and true within,
    And teach me how Thy smile to win,
    Who cares for me.

    O still, in summer's golden glow,
    Or wintry storms of wind and snow,
    Love me, my Father: let me know
    Thy care for me.

    And I will learn to cast the care
    Which like a heavy load I bear
    Down at Thy feet in lowly prayer,
    And trust in Thee.

    For naught can hurt me, shade or shine,
    Nor evil thing touch me, nor mine,
    Since Thou with tenderness Divine
    Dost care for me.
  • 2016-08-13 - 2017-08-12 All day

    We are ambassadors for Christ--2 Cor. 5: 20.

    If we as Christians could keep this thought always prominent before our minds, what a dignity it would add to our character! what a transforming power it would be! what an assistance to the new nature in its battle with the low and groveling tendencies of the old nature now disowned by us and reckoned dead! "Our citizenship is in heaven," says the Apostle. While still living in the world, we are not of it but have transferred our allegiance and citizenship to the Kingdom. … And now, as appointees of our Kingdom, while still living in the world among aliens and strangers, we as representatives and ambassadors should feel both the dignity and the honor of the position and the weighty responsibilities and ever keep in memory the Apostle's words, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"—Z '04, 72 (R 3329).

    God is the rightful King of the earth, though its scepter now by usurpation is in the hands of Satan. God has selected His people to be His ambassadors, acting as Christ's mouthpieces. As such we are demanding of Satan the release of God's people, present and prospective, as well as are preparing for their release. We likewise are announcing to others the transfer of the kingdom from Satan to Christ. Such an office is for its incumbents a high honor, and requires that we act with such tact, nobility and grace as befits our office, and thus commend our cause to all right-minded persons. If earthly ambassadors so act as to honor their countries, much more ought we so to do—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: Job 33: 23; Mal. 2: 6, 7; 2 Cor. 3: 6, 9; 6: 1; Eph. 6: 20; 1 Sam. 2: 35; 12: 8; Ezra 7: 10; Isa. 52: 1-12; Jer. 20: 9; Ezek. 34:1-31; Matt. 10: 16-24; 20: 25-28; 24: 8-11; John 10: 1-15; Acts 20: 22-24; Rom. 2: 21-23; 1 Cor. 2: 2.

    Hymns: 116, 70, 164, 210, 260, 272, 275.
    Poems of Dawn, 77: Amen, Amen.
    Tower Reading: Z '04, 71 (R 3329).

    Questions: Have I been an ambassador for Christ this week? How? Why? Under what circumstances? What was helpful or hindersome? What were the results?

     

     
    AMEN, AMEN

    I CANNOT say,
    Beneath the pressure of life's cares today,
    I joy in these;
    But I can say
    That I would rather walk this rugged way,
    If Him it please.

    I cannot feel
    That all is well when dark'ning clouds conceal
    The shining sun;
    But then I know
    God lives and loves; and say, since it is so,
    "Thy will be done."

    I cannot speak
    In happy tones; the tear-drops on my cheek
    Show I am sad;
    But I can speak
    Of grace to suffer with submission meek,
    Until made glad.

    I do not see
    Why God should e'en permit some things to be,
    When He is love;
    But I can see,
    Though often dimly, through the mystery,
    His hand above.

    I may not try
    To keep the hot tears back; but hush that sigh,
    "It might have been;"
    And try to still
    Each rising murmur, and to God's sweet will
    Respond—"AMEN."
  • 2016-08-14 - 2017-08-13 All day

    It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?--Matt. 10: 25.

    However graciously stated, the Truth is a sword which penetrates in every direction, and which as our Lord foretold, frequently sets parents against children and children against parents, because the darkness hates the light and opposes it in every possible manner. In view of the Lord's teachings regarding this subject, and of how the wisest presentation of it may be ultimately misconstrued, it behooves everyone who would serve the Truth faithfully to be as careful as possible not to be misunderstood; to let it be clearly understood that we neither participate in nor advocate anarchy of any kind; but on the contrary, are standing for righteousness and the highest of laws, the Divine law—Z '03, 13 (R3130).

    It is indeed from every standpoint enough that the pupil be as his Teacher and the servant as his Master. It is honor enough, dignity enough, reward enough, distinction enough, approval enough and recommendation enough from the Teacher and Master to the pupil and servant. What more desirable thing suitable to our sojourn in the flesh could we seek than treatment like our Lord's? If this brings us ridicule, slander, excommunication, expatriation, violence even unto death, we should congratulate ourselves that we are being honored in being accorded treatment similar to our Lord's. Let us be glad and rejoice in the goodly fellowship into which this introduces us, as well as in the goodly inheritance to which it leads us—P '30, 109.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 12: 24; Mark 3: 22; Luke 6: 40; 11: 15; John 8: 48, 52; 17: 14; 13: 16; 15: 20; 2 Tim. 3: 12; 2: 11, 12; Acts 14: 22; 1 Pet. 2: 19-24.

    Hymns: 167, 168, 170, 322, 299, 325, 326.
    Poems of Dawn, 40: The Cost of Discipleship.
    Tower Reading: Z '09, 154 (R 4398).

    Questions: Have I this week suffered reviling for loyalty to the Lord? How did I bear it—as an honor and privilege, or as a disgrace and a burden? What helped or hindered therein?

     

     
    THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
    LUKE 9: 23.

    WOULD ye be My disciples? Consider again:
    Can ye follow My footsteps through trial and pain?
    Can ye throw away pleasure, and glory, and fame,
    And live but to honor My cause and My name?

    Can ye turn from the glitter of fashion and mirth,
    And dwell like a pilgrim and stranger on earth,
    Despising earth's riches, and living to bless?
    Can you follow the feet of the shelterless?

    Can ye ask from your heart the forgiveness of men?
    Can ye list to reproaches, nor answer again?
    Can ye pray that repentance to life may be theirs
    Who've watched for your falling, who've set for you snares?

    When ye hear I am come, then can ye arise,
    The joy of your heart springing up in your eyes?
    Can ye come out to meet Me, whate'er the cost be,
    Though ye come on the waves of a storm-crested sea?

    When I call, can ye turn and in gladness "come out"
    From the home of your childhood, the friends of your heart?
    With naught but My promise on which to rely,
    Afar from their love—can ye lie down and die?

    Yea, we'll take up the cross and in faith follow Thee
    And bear Thy reproach, Thy disciples to be.
    Blest Savior, for courage, to Thee we will fly;
    Of grace Thou hast promised abundant supply.
  • 2016-08-15 - 2017-08-14 All day

    Now we exhort you, brethren … be patient toward all--1 Thes. 5: 14.

    This seems to imply that the better balanced among the Lord's people should look with sympathy upon and exercise patient forbearance not only toward the weak and those who lack courage, but toward all, including those who have too much courage and self-push. … Growth in knowledge helps us to grow in this grace of patience, for as we appreciate more and more the Heavenly Father's patience with us, it helps us to apply the same principle toward others. … The thought that our Heavenly Father has favored and called anyone should make us extremely careful how we would co-operate with the Lord in respect to the call, and be as helpful as possible to all those who are seeking to walk with us in the footsteps of our Lord in our narrow way—Z '03, 24 (R 3135).

    The original word here rendered, "be patient," is makrothymeo, which means "to be long-suffering." Appropriate, indeed, is this exhortation and necessary is this quality. The physical, mental, moral and religious lacks, faults and weaknesses of ourselves, the brethren, the world and our enemies, call upon us to exercise long-suffering. Few, indeed, of the secondary graces are required for use more frequently than this grace; and hardly any of them is so rarely in evidence and is so difficult to practice. Therefore there is all the more need for the exhortation: "Now we exhort you, brethren … be long-suffering toward all"—P '35, 117.

    Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 13: 4; 2 Cor. 6: 4-6; Gal. 5: 22; Eph. 4: 1, 2; Col. 1: 11; 3: 12, 13; 1 Tim. 1: 16; 2 Tim. 3: 10; 4: 2; Heb. 6: 12, 15; Jas. 5: 7, 8, 10.

    Hymns: 95, 198, 23, 143, 170, 21, 322.
    Poems of Dawn, 209: Wait, O Thou Weary One, a Little Longer.
    Tower Reading: Z '03, 23 (R 3135).

    Questions: Have I been long-suffering this week to all? Why? How? With what results?

     

     
    WAIT, O THOU WEARY ONE, A LITTLE LONGER

    WAIT, O thou weary one, a little longer,
    A few more years—it may be only days;
    Thy patient waiting makes thee all the stronger;
    Eternity will balance all delays.

    Wait, O thou suffering one, thy days of sorrow
    Bring to thy weary soul its richest gain;
    If thou a Christian art, a brighter morrow
    Will give thee ten-fold joy for all thy pain.

    Wait, O thou anxious one; the cloud that hovers
    In gathering gloom above thine aching head
    Is sent of God in mercy, and He covers
    Thee with His heavenly mantle overspread.

    Be patient and submissive; each disaster
    Will bring thee nearer to thy loving Lord.
    These trials make thee like thy blessed Master,
    Who knows them all, and will His grace afford.

    Be patient and submissive; strength is given
    For every step along the weary way.
    And for it all thou'lt render praise to Heaven,
    When dreary night gives place to perfect day.

    Yes, perfect day, the day of God eternal,
    When not a shadow shall flit o'er the scene
    In that fair land where all is bright and vernal,
    And we will be with Christ, and naught between.

    Wait, then, dear heart; control thy sad emotion;
    God will subdue each angry wind and wave,
    And when the voyage ends across life's ocean,
    Within the haven of sweet rest will save.
  • 2016-08-16 - 2017-08-15 All day

    In every thing give thanks--1 Thes. 5: 18.

    Having the condition of heart which is in fellowship with the Lord and fully devoted to the doing of His will, the Lord's people not only implore His blessing at the beginning of each day, and present their thanks at the close of each day, but in all of life's affairs they seek to remember that they have consecrated their all to the Lord, and by faith look up to Him in all the affairs of life; and in proportion to the importance of their undertakings they, by faith, realize the association of God's providence with all the interests of life and give thanks accordingly. This is the will of God concerning us; He wills that we live in such an attitude of constant regard for His will and for His blessing; and He wills it in respect to us because it will be the condition most favorable to our progress in our narrow way, and which will best assist us in making our calling and election sure—Z '03, 25 (R 3135).

    The noble natural man recognizes the appropriateness of gratitude for benefits; yet frequently, because of our shortsightedness in overlooking the fact that our untoward experiences, though working earthly disadvantages, are means of great spiritual blessings to us, we fail to give thanks for them. These, as well as toward experiences, should be regarded as blessings calling upon us to render thanks to the Lord. All things work together for good to them that love God. Therefore let us give thanks for all things—the hard and the easy, the joyful and the sorrowful, the toward and the untoward. All of them are love letters and tokens from our dear Father and are intended to work our truest, highest good—P '34, 110.

    Parallel passages: Eph. 5: 20; Col. 1: 12; 2: 7; 3: 15-17; 4: 2; Psa. 50: 14, 15; 105: 1, 5; 106: 1; 107: 1, 2, 15, 22; Joel 2: 26; Phil. 4: 6; 1 Tim. 2: 1; 4: 3, 4; Heb. 13: 15.

    Hymns: 324, 9, 19, 37, 55, 199, 219.
    Poems of Dawn, 131: Count Your Blessings.
    Tower Reading: Z '02, 12 (R 2935).

    Questions: Have I been thankful in everything this week? How? Why? With what results?

     

     
    COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

    DO not count, when day is o'er,
    Daily loss from life's rich store;
    But the gains, however small,
    Count them daily, one and all:

    Every sweet and gracious word,
    Every pleasant truth you've heard;
    Every tender glance and tone,
    Every kindly deed you've known;

    Every duty nobly done,
    Every rightful victory won--
    Treasure all, and count them o'er
    As a miser counts his store.

    But if bitter word or thought
    Have a bitter harvest brought;
    If some foeman hath assailed you,
    Or the friend most trusted failed you;

    If unkindness and untruth
    Have to you brought saddest ruth,
    Blot the score without delay--
    Keep no record of the day.

    Keep no record of the care,
    Loss and cross we all must bear;
    On the page of memory write
    Only what is fair and bright.

    Let all evil things go by;
    Still, with brave endeavor, try
    Simple joys to multiply.
    Thus you'll learn how large a sum
    Will with faithful reckoning come.

    Long as after cloud and rain
    Blessed sunshine comes again,
    Long as after winter's gloom
    Summer roses bud and bloom,

    Long as we have with us here
    One sad heart that we may cheer,
    Long as love gilds sorrow's cross,
    Life's rich gain o'erpays the loss.
  • 2016-08-17 - 2017-08-16 All day

    Quench not the Spirit--1 Thes. 5: 19.

    The Spirit of the Lord among His people is compared to "a flame of sacred love" for the Lord and all connected with His cause; this flame is enkindled through the Divine message in each one individually, when receiving the holy Spirit, and pertains to the Church collectively, under the guidance of that Spirit. In proportion as the Church grows in knowledge and in love and in fellowship with the Lord this "flame of sacred love" will make it a light in the world, a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid—Z '03, 25 (R 3135).

    From this verse it is apparent that the Spirit is not Jehovah; for if it were, such an exhortation would be both unnecessary and absurd. How foolish and unnecessary to exhort us not to annihilate the Almighty and Self-existent One! Understanding the Spirit as the Lord's disposition in us, the exhortation is both wise and necessary. Just as a candle light can be extinguished, so can the Spirit, a holy light, be quenched by sin, error, selfishness or worldliness gaining dominance over us. The Spirit once quenched, unlike the candle, which may be relighted, cannot be rekindled. Therefore let us give all diligence not to quench this priceless light, else we will remain in perpetual darkness; and how great would that darkness be!—P '33, 111.

    Parallel passages: Rom. 8: 1-16; 1 Cor. 2: 10-16; Isa. 11: 2, 3; John 7: 39; 1: 12, 13; Gal. 5: 22, 23; Eph. 1: 17, 18; 1 John 4: 1, 6; 2 Tim. 1: 7; Eph. 4: 30; Isa. 7: 13; 63: 10.

    Hymns: 90, 267, 95, 125, 196, 1, 249.
    Poems of Dawn, 89: Filled With Christ's Fulness.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 343 (R 5129).

    Questions: Have I this week increased or quenched the Spirit? How? What helped or hindered therein?

     

     
    FILLED WITH CHRIST'S FULNESS

    JESUS, my Lord, Thou art my life,
    My rest in labor, strength in strife;
    Thy love begets my love of Thee;
    Thy fullness that which filleth me.

    Long, long I struggled ere I knew
    My struggling vain, my life untrue.
    I sought by efforts of mine own
    What is the gift of Christ alone.

    I prayed, and wrestled in my prayer,
    I wrought, but self was ever there;
    Joy never came, nor rest, nor peace,
    Nor faith, nor hope, nor love's increase.

    Mine effort vain, my weakness learned,
    Weary, from self to Christ I turned,
    Content to let His fulness be
    An unbought fulness unto me.

    Life's heavenly secret was revealed--
    In Christ all riches are concealed.
    We try and fail; we ask, He gives,
    And in His rest our spirit lives.

    O peaceful rest! O Life Divine!
    Mine efforts cannot make Thee mine.
    I yield my sinful heart to Thee,
    And in Thy love Thou fillest me.
  • 2016-08-18 - 2017-08-17 All day

    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good--1 Thes. 5: 21.

    However much they should ever come to respect prophesyings, or public speaking, the Lord's people should learn proportionately not to receive what they might hear without proper examination and criticism. They should prove all things that they hear, should exercise discrimination of mind, as to what is logically and Scripturally supported, and what is mere conjecture and possibly sophistry. They should prove what they hear with a view to holding fast everything that stands the test of the Divine Word and shows itself to be in accordance with the holy Spirit; and they should as promptly reject whatever will not stand these tests—Z '03, 26 (R 3135).

    Satan has caused the doctrine of the Divine right of the clergy to prevail, claiming for them that they are the Divinely authorized mouthpieces, to whom the people are to render blank and unquestioning credence and obedience. Through this doctrine he has succeeded in deceiving almost the whole world. God does not desire His sons to be under the influence of a doctrine capable of such results. Therefore He bids them carefully to examine all things presented to them for acceptance, and to require that they be harmonious with themselves, Scriptural passages and doctrines, God's character, the Ransom, facts and God's purposes, and to adhere to things only which stand such thorough and reasonable tests—P '32, 112.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 23: 7; Prov. 28: 5; Jer. 29: 8; Matt. 24: 4; John 5: 39; 1 Cor. 2: 15; 14: 29; Phil. 4: 8; Heb. 10: 23, 24; 2 Pet. 1: 15-21; 1 John 4: 1-3; Rev. 2: 2.

    Hymns: 79, 22, 49, 296, 306, 311, 332.
    Poems of Dawn, 5: Great Truths.
    Tower Reading: Z '10, 297 (R 4684).

    Questions: Have I this week examined what was presented for my belief? How? Why? 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
  • 2016-08-19 - 2017-08-18 All day

    Abstain from every form of evil (ASV)—1 Thes. 5: 22.

    The exhortation is that everything that is evil, whether it have a good form or a bad form, is to be resisted and opposed. … To abstain from every appearance of evil is another thought—a different one from what the Apostle's words in the original would warrant; nevertheless, they represent a sound principle. We surely should abstain not only from evil things, whatever their form or garb, but also we should abstain so far as possible from doing things that we know to be good, which our friends or neighbors might misunderstand and consider to be evil things. The spirit of a sound mind dictates that not only evil in its every form but also everything that has an evil appearance, even, should be avoided, that our influence for the Lord and the Truth may be the greater—Z '03, 26 (R 3135).

    Whether we accept the KJV or the ASV translation of this text, it makes but little difference, since both give a thought worthy of our acceptance and practice. Surely as lovers of righteousness and haters of wickedness, we will abstain from every form of wickedness, be it ever so small. So, too, will we abstain from every appearance of evil, be it ever so innocent. We will avoid both the former, because wrong, and the latter, because wrong may result from it to us and to others, if it is not avoided. The latter has been the cause of undermining the influence of some of God's children for good, as well as causing the weak and erring to stumble. Blessed are we, if we practice both precepts!—P '26, 109.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 23: 7; 1 Cor. 6: 18; 8: 1-13; Eph. 4: 25-32; 2 Cor. 8: 20, 21; 1 Thes. 4: 3, 12; Phil. 4: 9; Rom. 14: 1-23; 2 Tim. 2: 21-23.

    Hymns: 266, 44, 20, 78, 125, 183, 145.
    Poems of Dawn, 136: What Would Jesus Do?
    Tower Reading: Z '10, 392 (R 4728).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences along the lines of the text? How were they met? What were their results?

     

     
    WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

    WHEN the morning paints the skies,
    And the birds their songs renew,
    Let me from my slumbers rise,
    Saying, "What would Jesus do?"

    When I ply my daily task,
    And the round of toil pursue,
    Let me every moment ask,
    "What would Jesus do?"

    Would the foe my heart beguile,
    Whispering thoughts and words untrue?
    Let me to his subtlest wile
    Answer, "What would Jesus do?"

    Countless mercies from above
    Day by day my pathway strew,
    Father, I would prove my love,
    Asking, "What would Jesus do?"

    Ever let Thy love, O God,
    Fill my spirit through and through,
    While I tread where He hath trod,
    Whispering, "What would Jesus do?"
  • 2016-08-20 - 2017-08-19 All day

    Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you--Acts 17: 23.

    The Apostle's method is worthy of imitation. All wise people distrust novelty, and incline to say that whatever is valuable has long been. We, like the Apostle, should endeavor to show that the true Gospel is not a new theology, but the old theology; not a new gospel, but the old Gospel; the one foretold to Abraham; the one declared by the Lord Jesus Himself and by all His Apostles. In proportion as we would show that errors prevail today, which had their origin in the "dark ages," we must show that we are not forging a new theory equally erroneous, but that we have discarded the errors of the Dark Ages, and have gone back to the first principles and precepts and instructions of the Gospel, as announced by the Lord and His authorized representatives, the Apostles—Z '03, 29 (R 3138).

    Few things effect larger results for God's servants than tact. One may be ever so talented, but, if tactless, he sways but little influence for good; while tactful persons with small talents generally effect greater results than tactless men of large talents. Paul affords us an example of the blending of large tact and great talent; therefore he accomplished the greatest results. Tactfully and talentedly he dealt with the Athenians. Had he been tactless though talented, he would have effected nothing with them except to prompt them to put him to death, thereby enforcing their law that required his death under the existing circumstances. Like him, we do well to use our talents, better to use our tact, but best of all to use a combination of both, thereby gaining best results—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 15: 1; 25: 15; 1 Cor. 9: 19-22; 2 Cor. 12: 6; Judges 8: 1-3; 1 Sam. 10: 27; 11: 7, 12-15; 25: 18-37; 2 Sam. 3: 28-37; 20: 16-22; 1 Kings 3: 24-28; Acts 16: 3; Phil. 1: 10-22; Acts 23: 6-10; 21: 20-25.

    Hymns: 280, 136, 95, 198, 315, 145, 44.
    Poems of Dawn, 147: Only.
    Tower Reading: Z '03, 27 (R 3138).

    Questions: Have I been tactful in presenting the Truth this week? Why? What were the circumstances? What helped or hindered? What were the 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.
  • 2016-08-21 - 2017-08-20 All day

    Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness--Matt. 6: 33.

    The Lord's people of spiritual Israel will do well to bear this thought continually in mind—that spiritual interests are to be given the preference always; that temporal affairs are to be managed and controlled from the standpoint of the everlasting welfare—from the standpoint of spiritual growth and development and prosperity—from the standpoint of the best interests and influences upon their children. They should not only hesitate to follow any suggestion that would take themselves and their families into unfavorable, godless surroundings, but they should determine that not under any consideration would they follow such a suggestion—that on the contrary the Lord's people should be their people, even though this would mean less of the comforts and luxuries of this present life—Z '02, 350 (R 3110).

    In this verse Christ sets before us an ambition worthy of our best efforts; for what is more valuable than Christ Jesus, and everlasting life in the Kingdom with Jesus? Nor need the magnitude of these ambitions affright us; since God Himself has invited us thereto, binding Himself by an oath to give us all necessary help; since Jesus exercises His High Priestly office on our behalf, to insure our successful attainment thereof, and since our participation in the holy Spirit furnishes us with all the capacities therefore. These three things furnish us with all the helps both external and internal, necessary for our overcoming. More than these would injure us. Less than these would make us fail—P '30, 109.

    Parallel passages: 1 Kings 3: 13; Mark 10: 30; Rom. 8: 32; 14: 17, 18; 2 Tim. 4: 8; Rom. 12: 9-21; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; Gal. 5: 22-25; Eph. 4: 1-7, 12-16; 5: 1, 2; Col. 3: 10-25.

    Hymns: 58, 66, 72, 73, 95, 198, 267.
    Poems of Dawn, 144: Take Time To Be Holy.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 69 (R 5862).

    Questions: What was my chief ambition this week: self, the world, sin, error; or love, justice, wisdom, and Kingdom-mindedness? How did my chief ambition express itself? What results did it gain?

     

     
    TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY

    TAKE time to be holy! Speak oft with the Lord;
    Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word;
    Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
    Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

    Take time to be holy! The world rushes on;
    Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
    By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
    Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

    Take time to be holy! Let Him be thy guide,
    And run not before Him, whatever betide;
    In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
    And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His word!

    Take time to be holy! Be calm in thy soul,
    Each thought and each motive beneath His control;
    Thus led by His spirit to fountains of love,
    Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
  • 2016-08-22 - 2017-08-21 All day

    Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?--Luke 2: 49.

    Should we not all have the Master's spirit, expressed by His words? The Lord's true saints have no business of their own, for they gave their all to the Lord at consecration. Their business they manage as trustees for the Lord—not to be turned over at their death, in prosperous condition, to their children or their friends, possibly to their injury. It is to be used by the trustee as wisely as he knows how before death; for then his trusteeship ends, and he must render his account—Z '03, 53 (R 3148).

    To the perfect boy Jesus, it was natural to be engaged in matters pertaining to the Lord. Hence it seemed strange to Him that Joseph and Mary failed to see the propriety of His conduct. Here is a lesson for both young and old—the propriety of engaging in matters pertaining to God. Blessed are they who take to this spontaneously; nor need they be surprised if others, even those nearest and dearest to them, fail to understand their conduct and consider them as acting unjustly, or at least thoughtlessly toward them. Let them content themselves with the reflections that some day others will understand, and that in the meantime they will be satisfied with the Master's praise, if others blame—P '35, 117.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 40: 7-9; Heb. 10: 7, 9; John 2: 16, 17; 4: 31-34; 7: 14, 15, 46; 9: 4; Matt. 7: 28, 29; 10: 37; Isa. 50: 4; Luke 4: 22, 32; Josh. 1: 8; Isa. 8: 20; Jer. 8: 9; Luke 24: 27; Acts 17: 11; Psa. 1: 1-3; 1 Pet. 1: 10; 11.

    Hymns: 309, 49, 315, 154, 116, 260, 22.
    Poems of Dawn, 47: The Pilgrim.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 30 (R 4957).

    Questions: Have I this week studied and spread God's Word? Why? How? With what fruits?

     

     
    THE PILGRIM

    STILL onward through this land of foes
    I pass in Pilgrim guise;
    I may not stop to seek repose
    Where cool the shadow lies;
    I may not stoop amid the grass
    To pluck earth's fairest flowers,
    Nor by her springing fountains pass
    The sultry noontide hours.

    Yet flowers I wear upon my breast
    That no earth-garden knows--
    White lilies of immortal peace,
    And love's deep-tinted rose;
    And there the blue-eyed flowers of faith
    And hope's bright buds of gold,
    As lone I tread the upward path,
    In richest hues unfold.

    I keep mine armor ever on,
    For foes beset my way;
    I watch, lest passing on alone
    I fall a helpless prey.
    No earthly love have I—I lean
    Upon no mortal breast;
    But my Beloved, though unseen,
    Walks near and gives me rest.

    Painful and dark the pathway seems
    To distant earthly eyes;
    They only see the hedging thorns
    On either side that rise;
    They cannot know how soft between
    The flowers of love are strewn.
    The sunny ways, the pastures green,
    Where Jesus leads His own;

    They cannot see, as darkening clouds
    Behind the Pilgrim close,
    How far adown the western glade
    The golden glory flows;
    They cannot hear 'mid earthly din
    The song to Pilgrims known,
    Still blending with the angels' hymn
    Around the wondrous throne.

    So I Thy bounteous token-flowers
    Still on my bosom wear;
    While me the fleeting love-winged hours
    To Thee still nearer bear;
    So from my lips Thy song shall flow,
    My sweetest music be;
    So on mine eyes the glory grow,
    Till all is lost in Thee.
  • 2016-08-23 - 2017-08-22 All day

    And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love--1 Cor. 13: 13.

    As love is the most excellent thing, so is it the most enduring … for will not faith practically come to an end when we shall see and know thoroughly? And will not hope practically be at an end when we shall reach the fruition of all our hopes and be possessors of the fullness of our Heavenly Father's promises? Love, however, will never fail, even as it had no beginning. God is love, and since He was without beginning, so love was without beginning; because it is His character, His disposition; and as He endures forever, so love will endure forever—Z '03, 58 (R 3150).

    Faith, hope and love are among the greatest graces. Faith enables us in confidence to apply the promises of God in life's battles; hope enables us to be courageous in doing and daring for the Lord in these battles; and love enables us to have the power to rejoice and delight in the hardships of these battles, making them easy, and turning them into glorious victories. Faith and hope are handmaidens of love, the glorious and beautiful mistress of the house beautiful, a character like God's and Christ's. It is because love is the most Godlike and Christlike of all the graces that it is the greatest of these three graces—P '34, 110.

    Parallel passages: 2 Sam. 22: 31; Psa. 9: 9, 10; 32: 10; 34: 8, 22; Prov. 3: 5: Jer. 17: 7, 8; Matt. 21: 21, 22; Mark 9: 23; John 11: 25-27; Rom. 3: 19—5: 2; 9: 31-33; 10: 4-10; Gal. 3:1-29; Eph. 6: 16; Heb. 4: 1-10; 11; Jas. 2:1-26; Psa. 16: 9, 10; 31: 24; 33: 18; 43: 5; 71: 5, 14; 119: 74, 81, 116, 166; Acts 23: 6; 24: 14, 15; 26: 6, 7; Rom. 5: 2-5; 8: 24; 12: 12; 15: 4, 13; Eph. 1: 18; Col. 1: 5, 23, 27; 1 Thes. 1: 3; 5: 8; Titus 2: 13; Heb. 6: 11, 18, 19; 1 Pet. 1: 3, 13, 21; 1 John 3: 3; John 3: 16; 17: 23, 26; Rom. 5: 8; John 10: 11, 15; 13: 1, 34; 21: 17; 1 Cor. 13:1-13.

    Hymns: 198, 174, 197, 21, 92, 165, 166.
    Poems of Dawn, 110: The Pilgrim's Wants.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 115 (R 5668).

    Questions: Have I exercised faith, hope and love this week? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?

     

     
    THE PILGRIM'S WANTS

    I WANT that adorning divine,
    Thou, only, my God, canst bestow;
    I want in those beautiful garments to shine,
    Which distinguish thy household below.

    I want, oh, I want to attain
    Some likeness, my Savior, to Thee:
    That longed-for resemblance once more to regain,
    Thy comeliness put upon me.

    I want to be marked for Thine own;
    Thy seal on my forehead to wear;
    To receive that "new name" on the mystic white stone,
    Which only Thyself canst declare.

    I want so in Thee to abide,
    As to bring forth some fruit to Thy praise;
    The branch that Thou prunest, though feeble and
    dried,
    May languish, but never decays.

    I want Thine own hand to unbind
    Each tie to terrestrial things,
    Too tenderly cherished, too closely entwined,
    Where my heart too tenaciously clings.

    I want, by mine aspect serene,
    Mine actions and words, to declare
    That my treasure is placed in a country unseen,
    That my heart and affections are there.

    I want, as a traveler, to haste
    Straight onward, nor pause on my way,
    No forethought or anxious contrivance to waste
    On my tent, only pitched for a day.

    I want (and this sums up my prayer)
    To glorify Thee till I die;
    Then calmly to yield up my soul to Thy care,
    And breathe out in prayer my last sigh.
  • 2016-08-24 - 2017-08-23 All day

    Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are--John 17: 11.

    As we come to consider this beautiful expression of the Lord's sentiments with reference to the Church, we catch a glimpse of the glory of the blessed oneness of the Divine family. It is a oneness of purpose, a oneness of confidence, a oneness of sympathy, a oneness of love, a oneness of honor, and a oneness of mutual possession. This oneness our Lord described as already existing between Himself and the Father, but so far as His disciples are concerned it was and still is prospective; and its full accomplishment is the ideal goal toward which we are taught to aspire—Z '03, 77 (R 3160).

    The Redeemer's prayer for His own is beautiful in its simplicity and comprehensive in its scope. He requests the Father, whose holiness He reverently acknowledges, to use His glorious attributes, plan and works in the interests of His disciples—guiding, directing, restraining, correcting, encouraging and ennobling them to the end that they all might grow into the fullness of the one holy Spirit of God and thus attain the same kind of unity as that which exists between the Father and the Son—not a unity of being, which would imply that all the Lord's people would be one being, but a unity of heart, mind, purpose and will. A glorious family oneness is this and is devoutly to be sought—P '33, 111.

    Parallel passages: 1 Pet. 1: 5; Jude 1, 24; John 6: 39; 17: 2, 9, 10, 12-18, 21-23; Rom. 12: 5; 1 Cor. 1: 10; Gal. 3: 28; John 10: 30, 38; 14: 9, 11, 20; 1 John 1: 3; 3: 24.

    Hymns: 78, 27, 165, 23, 326, 281, 170.
    Poems of Dawn, 68: Bringing Home the Flock.
    Tower Reading: Z '03, 77 (R 3160).

    Questions: Have I this week grown into more of the unity of the Divine family? How? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?

     

     
    BRINGING HOME THE FLOCK

    THROUGH pastures fair,
    And sea-girt paths all wild with rock and foam,
    O'er velvet sward, and desert stern and bare,
    The flock comes home.

    A weary way,
    Now smooth, then rugged with a thousand snares;
    Now dim with rain, then sweet with blossoms gay,
    And summer airs.

    Yet, safe at last,
    Within the fold they gather, and are still;
    Sheltered from driving shower and stormy blast,
    They fear no ill.

    Through life's dark ways,
    Through flowery paths where evil angels roam,
    Through restless nights, and long, heart-wasting days,
    Christ's flock comes home.

    Safe to the fold,
    The blessed fold, where fears are never known,
    Love-guarded, fenced about with walls of gold,
    He leads His own.

    O Shepherd King,
    With loving hands, whose lightest touch is blest!
    Thine is the Kingdom, Thine the power, to bring
    Thy flock to rest!
  • 2016-08-25 - 2017-08-24 All day

    We know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is--1 John 3: 2.

    Let the hope that we shall soon experience our resurrection change, and be made like our dear Redeemer, and see Him as He is, and share His glory in the great epiphaneia, or shining forth of the sons of God in the glory of the Kingdom, enthuse us—let this energize our hearts, loose our lips and strengthen us for every duty, privilege and opportunity—to serve our Master and the household of faith. If this hope has been an anchor to the Lord's people for so many centuries, how much more does it mean to us who are living now in the very time of His presence, waiting for His full apokalupsis—His revealing in the glory of the Kingdom!—Z '03, 151 (R 3191).

    By Christ's appearance His manifestation of Himself to the world is meant. This will occur through the afflictions of the Time of Trouble. We were given the assurance, therefore, that before the trouble would be fully over, the whole Church would be glorified with Her Lord. Their appearance with Him will not be in the flesh, just as His appearance will not be in the flesh. They are resurrected like Him—changed from corruptibility to incorruptibility; from mortality to immortality; from humanity to divinity! In this glorious condition they see and are like Him, as well as are with Him! Well may we be content with present unfavorable conditions with Kingdom prospects before our longing eyes!—P '32, 112.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 16: 11; 17: 15; Matt. 5: 8; 8: 11; 1 Cor. 13: 12; Rom. 8: 29; 1 Cor. 15: 49; Phil. 3: 21; Col. 3: 4; 2 Pet. 1: 4.

    Hymns: 92, 7, 25, 29, 53, 72, 105.
    Poems of Dawn, 260: The World is Old with Centuries.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 61 (R 4973).

    Questions: How has this hope affected me this week? What were the results?

     

     
    "THE WORLD IS OLD WITH CENTURIES"

    THE world is old with centuries,
    But not for these she bows her head;
    Close to her heart the sorrow lies:
    She holds so many dead!
    Sad discords mingle in her song,
    Tears fall upon her with the dew,
    The whole creation groans—How long
    Ere all shall be made new?

    Yet brightly on her smiles the sun,
    A bounteous heaven delights to bless;
    O! what shall be that fairer one,
    Wherein dwells righteousness?
    O happy world! O holy time!
    When wrong shall die, and strife shall cease,
    And all the bells of heaven chime
    With melodies of peace.

    No place shall be in that new earth
    For all that blights this universe;
    No evil taint the second birth--
    There shall be no more curse.
    Ye broken-hearted, cease your moan;
    The day of promise dawns for you;

    For He who sits upon the throne
    Says, "I make all things new."
    We mourn the dead, but they shall wake!
    The lost, but they shall be restored!
    O! well our human hearts might break
    Without that sacred word!
    Dim eyes, look up! Sad hearts, rejoice!
    Seeing God's bow of promise through,
    At sound of that prophetic voice:
    "I will make all things new."
  • 2016-08-26 - 2017-08-25 All day

    Love … is kind--1 Cor. 13: 4.

    It is no more obligatory upon the Lord's people to denounce every wrongdoer whom they may meet in the street than it is for them to tell all homely persons they may see of their lack along the lines of beauty. … Politeness is always a part of Christian character. In the world it may be polish, but in the Christian it is not merely a veneer; rather, it represents the true sentiments of the heart, developed along the lines of the spirit of life, love. Love leads to gentleness, patience, kindness, etc., and even in the case of disobedience it will hesitate to utter an unkind word and will avoid the same so far as duty will permit—Z '03, 153 (R 3194).

    The word translated love here means disinterested good will in distinction from duty good will. It is the good will which, apart from obligation, but based upon a delight in good principles, delights in giving appreciation, heart's oneness, sympathy or pity, and sacrifice. Appreciating good in principle and character, it delights to advance good in principle and character; sympathizing with or pitying those who are treated contrary to, or who are out of harmony with, good principles, it delights to help them out of these conditions. It is therefore on the alert to plan and do acts of kindness for the blessing of others. It perseveres in this course, sacrificing even unto death in ministering blessings to others. It is kind—P '26, 84.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 10: 12; 17: 19; 19: 22; 1 Pet. 4: 8; Matt. 5: 44, 45, 48; 25: 34, 36, 40, 45; Luke 6: 35; Rom. 12: 10; Gal. 5: 6, 22, 23; Eph. 4: 32; Col. 3: 12-14; 1 Thes. 4: 9; 2 Thes. 1: 3; 1 Tim. 1: 5; 1 Pet. 3: 8; 4: 8; 2 Pet. 1: 7; 1 John 3: 16, 17.

    Hymns: 23, 21, 90, 95, 165, 166, 198.
    Poems of Dawn, 146: Scatter Seeds of Kindness.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 77 (R 5417).

    Questions: Has this week been filled with kindness? What were the circumstances, forms, motives and effects?

     

     
    SCATTER SEEDS OF KINDNESS

    LOVING words will cost but little,
    Journeying up the hill of life;
    But they make the weak and weary
    Stronger, braver for the strife.
    Do you count them only trifles?
    What to earth are sun and rain?
    Never was a kind word wasted,
    Never was one said in vain.

    When the cares of life are many,
    And its burdens heavy grow
    For the ones who walk beside you,
    If you love them, tell them so.
    What you count of little value
    Hath an almost magic power,
    And beneath that cheering sunshine
    Hearts will blossom like a flower.

    So, as up life's hill we journey,
    Let us scatter all the way
    Kindly words, to be as sunshine
    In the dark and cloudy day.
    Grudge no loving word, my brother,
    As along through life you go,
    To the ones who journey with you;
    If you love them, tell them so.
  • 2016-08-27 - 2017-08-26 All day

    Henceforth know we no man after the flesh--2 Cor. 5: 16.

    The Apostle did not mean that we should pay no attention to the shortcomings of the flesh, either in ourselves or in other disciples of Christ. All fleshly weaknesses should be striven against, and they may frequently demand rigorous treatment in the interest of the new heart, mind and will; but nevertheless, we are to differentiate distinctly between it and the weak mortal body, and are to love and sympathize with the brother or sister, while it may be necessary for us, in his or her interest, and also in the interest of the Church, to reprove or rebuke or otherwise correct the wrong course. The Apostle's definition as to how we are to know the two classes apart is that the unregenerate will mind the things of the flesh, while the regenerate will mind the things of the Spirit—Z '03, 170 (R 3200).

    To know others after the flesh is to think of and to appreciate them from the standpoint of human nature. He knows others after the flesh who esteems and treats them according to something in their humanity, such as beauty, sex, wealth, strength, position, reputation, affiliation, etc. If we find ourselves more favorable toward some of the brethren for these and similar advantages than we would be if they lacked them, we know them according to the flesh. Our esteem of others should be based upon their relation to the Lord and His Truth. The more Christlikeness we see in them, the more we should esteem them; the less Christlikeness we see in them, the less we should esteem them, thus knowing them according to the Spirit—P '36, 95.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 33: 9; 1 Sam. 2: 29; 1 Tim. 5: 21; 2 Cor. 11: 22; Gal. 2: 11-14; Matt. 10: 37; 12: 48-50; John 2: 4; 6: 63; 15: 14; Gal. 2: 5, 6; 5: 6.

    Hymns: 170, 230, 6, 105, 78, 23, 21.
    Poems of Dawn, 307: Not Really Growing Old.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 300 (R 5325).

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

     

     
    NOT REALLY GROWING OLD

    THEY say that I am growing old--
    I've heard them tell it times untold;
    They think that I have lost my youth,
    But I am glad I know the truth:

    This frail old shell in which I dwell
    Is failing fast—I'm not the shell;
    With hopes eternal, still unsung,
    My "inward man" is really young.

    My "outward man" may feeble be,
    And that is all the people see;
    Inside I'm young and bright and gay,
    I'm growing stronger every day.

    What if my hair is turning white
    And I am weak? I still can fight
    The fight of faith, nor suffer loss,
    For I'm a soldier of the cross.

    What if my eyes are growing dim?
    I still can see to follow Him
    Who sacrificed His life for me
    Upon the cross at Calvary.

    My hearing may not be as keen
    As in the past it might have been,
    Still I can hear my Savior say,
    In whispers soft, "I am the way."

    My legs may bow, my back may bend,
    As I approach my journey's end,
    But in His strength I walk upright--
    To do His will is my delight.

    What though I falter in my walk?
    What though my tongue refuse to talk?
    I still can walk the righteous way,
    And run the race, and praise, and pray.

    Why should I care if time's old plow
    Has left its furrow on my brow?
    Another house, made by God's hand,
    Awaits me in my promised land.

    These few short years can't make me old;
    Eternal ages will unfold
    The glorious life He'll give to me--
    The best of life is yet to be!
  • 2016-08-28 - 2017-08-27 All day

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season--2 Tim. 4: 2.

    This cannot mean that we are to violate the laws of reason and decency by intruding the good tidings upon others at times inconvenient and unseasonable to them; but it does mean that we are to have such a love for the Truth, such an earnest desire to serve it, that we shall gladly accept the opportunity to do so, however inconvenient it may be for ourselves. It is the chief business of our lives, to which life itself even is subservient, and hence, no opportunity for service must be laid aside—Z '03, 189 (R 3210).

    The Word of God consists of the thoughts that God has revealed in the Bible. These consist of doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. To preach the Word means to make these known to others. We may do this in our language, in the language of others, as literature distributors; and in helping others to preach in these two ways. We should do it in season and out of season; always in the other's season, regardless as to whether it is in or out of our season. Our convenience is to be disregarded, if it is in the season of others. So only will we lay down our life unto death for the Lord's cause. If we consult our own season, we will fail to sacrifice—P '30, 110.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 40: 8; 96: 2, 3; Eccles. 11: 6; Isa. 6: 8; 61: 1-3; Jer. 20: 9; Matt. 5: 14-16; Luke 24: 47-49; John 18: 37; Acts 1: 8; 8: 4-6, 31, 32, 35; 10: 42; Rom. 10: 14-18; 12: 6-8; Eph. 4: 15; 1 Thes. 1: 8; 1 Tim. 2: 6, 7; 4: 13.

    Hymns: 70, 116, 210, 260, 275, 309, 18.
    Poems of Dawn, 293: Endure As Seeing Him Who is Invisible.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 140 (R 5893).

    Questions: Have I this week preached the Word? Was it in or out of season for me? If I failed, what caused the failure? What contributed to success? What were the results to others and to myself? What lessons can I learn from the week's experiences on this line?

     

     
    ENDURE AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE

    ENDURE as seeing Him who is
    Invisible. He'll point the way,
    And solve thy deepest mysteries,
    And turn thy darkest night to day.
    Though storms may break on every side,
    Though lightnings crash and thunders roar,
    We have in Him a constant guide--
    Just lean on Jesus more and more.

    Endure in Him! He cannot fail!
    Press firmly on! The goal is near!
    Ascend the mountain! Breast the gale!
    Look upward, onward—never fear!
    Why shouldst thou faint? God smiles above,
    Though clouds and storms may intervene;
    That Sun shines on, whose name is Love,
    Serenely o'er Life's shadowed scene.

    Endure! Though many times thy feet
    Slip back and stumble, rise again;
    Succumb to neither cold nor heat;
    Fear not the threats or jeers of men,
    But run with patience; look not back;
    True victory comes if we faint not.
    He fails indeed whose pace is slack,
    Whose zeal is neither cold nor hot.

    Endure, though oft misunderstood;
    Thy sacrifice is not in vain.
    Remember, all things work for good;
    Eternal joy is born of pain.
    Oft 'mid the forest's deepest gloom
    A bird sings from some blighted tree,
    And 'mid the thorns the roses bloom--
    Thy joy springs from Gethsemane.

    Therefore endure as seeing Him
    Who is invisible; for He
    With cherubim and seraphim
    And heavenly hosts will fight for thee.
    Fear not! Press on! And reach the goal;
    Rejoice in His unfailing grace.
    Victory to the steadfast soul!
    Eternal life in His embrace!
  • 2016-08-29 - 2017-08-28 All day

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season--2 Tim. 4: 2.

    This cannot mean that we are to violate the laws of reason and decency by intruding the good tidings upon others at times inconvenient and unseasonable to them; but it does mean that we are to have such a love for the Truth, such an earnest desire to serve it, that we shall gladly accept the opportunity to do so, however inconvenient it may be for ourselves. It is the chief business of our lives, to which life itself even is subservient, and hence, no opportunity for service must be laid aside—Z '03, 189 (R 3210).

    The Word of God consists of the thoughts that God has revealed in the Bible. These consist of doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. To preach the Word means to make these known to others. We may do this in our language, in the language of others, as literature distributors; and in helping others to preach in these two ways. We should do it in season and out of season; always in the other's season, regardless as to whether it is in or out of our season. Our convenience is to be disregarded, if it is in the season of others. So only will we lay down our life unto death for the Lord's cause. If we consult our own season, we will fail to sacrifice—P '30, 110.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 40: 8; 96: 2, 3; Eccles. 11: 6; Isa. 6: 8; 61: 1-3; Jer. 20: 9; Matt. 5: 14-16; Luke 24: 47-49; John 18: 37; Acts 1: 8; 8: 4-6, 31, 32, 35; 10: 42; Rom. 10: 14-18; 12: 6-8; Eph. 4: 15; 1 Thes. 1: 8; 1 Tim. 2: 6, 7; 4: 13.

    Hymns: 70, 116, 210, 260, 275, 309, 18.
    Poems of Dawn, 293: Endure As Seeing Him Who is Invisible.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 140 (R 5893).

    Questions: Have I this week preached the Word? Was it in or out of season for me? If I failed, what caused the failure? What contributed to success? What were the results to others and to myself? What lessons can I learn from the week's experiences on this line?

     

     
    ENDURE AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE

    ENDURE as seeing Him who is
    Invisible. He'll point the way,
    And solve thy deepest mysteries,
    And turn thy darkest night to day.
    Though storms may break on every side,
    Though lightnings crash and thunders roar,
    We have in Him a constant guide--
    Just lean on Jesus more and more.

    Endure in Him! He cannot fail!
    Press firmly on! The goal is near!
    Ascend the mountain! Breast the gale!
    Look upward, onward—never fear!
    Why shouldst thou faint? God smiles above,
    Though clouds and storms may intervene;
    That Sun shines on, whose name is Love,
    Serenely o'er Life's shadowed scene.

    Endure! Though many times thy feet
    Slip back and stumble, rise again;
    Succumb to neither cold nor heat;
    Fear not the threats or jeers of men,
    But run with patience; look not back;
    True victory comes if we faint not.
    He fails indeed whose pace is slack,
    Whose zeal is neither cold nor hot.

    Endure, though oft misunderstood;
    Thy sacrifice is not in vain.
    Remember, all things work for good;
    Eternal joy is born of pain.
    Oft 'mid the forest's deepest gloom
    A bird sings from some blighted tree,
    And 'mid the thorns the roses bloom--
    Thy joy springs from Gethsemane.

    Therefore endure as seeing Him
    Who is invisible; for He
    With cherubim and seraphim
    And heavenly hosts will fight for thee.
    Fear not! Press on! And reach the goal;
    Rejoice in His unfailing grace.
    Victory to the steadfast soul!
    Eternal life in His embrace!
  • 2016-08-30 - 2017-08-29 All day

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven--Matt. 5: 16.

    Not only shall it be true that the Lord's Anointed One shall be head and shoulders above all others, "the chiefest among ten thousand, the one altogether lovely," but it should also be true to a considerable extent that all those who have been intimately associated with the members of the Body of Christ in the present life—before He is proclaimed King of the whole world—should have been able to recognize the largeness and grandeur of character in those whom the Lord has chosen for this place of honor in the affairs of men. They should have been able to take knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus, should have seen their largeness of heart, their moral heights should have discerned in them the spirit of a sound mind—Z '03, 206 (R 3218).

    Our light is the Truth and its resultant Spirit and acts. To let them shine before men would mean to bring these to the attention of others as instruction by precept and example. Our motive therein should not be to make ourselves shine in others' estimation; but rather that thereby credit may be reflected upon the Lord, who is the Author of all our good. With great carefulness should we seek to keep our own selves in oblivion; and with greater carefulness should we endeavor to cause the Lord's glory to shine before and upon others through our teachings, spirit and acts. Thus we will accomplish the purpose of our call—P '34, 110.

    Parallel passages: Prov. 4: 18, 19; Isa. 58: 8-10; 60: 1-3; Rom. 13: 11-14; Eph. 5: 8; 1 Thes. 2: 12; 5: 5-8; 1 John 1: 5-7; 1 Pet. 2: 12; John 15: 8; 1 Cor. 14: 25.

    Hymns: 249, 154, 196, 230, 260, 297, 315.
    Poems of Dawn, 138: Instant in Season.
    Tower Reading: Z '12, 96 (R 4992).

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

     

     
    "INSTANT IN SEASON"

    IF while I walk the busy mart,
    I find there one whose fainting heart
    By some kind, sympathetic word
    To new life might be stirred,
    Lord, help me say it now!

    Or, if upon the thorny road
    I meet another 'neath a load
    Of sorrow, which my tears might share,
    And thus the burden bear,
    Lord, help me shed them now!

    If any ointment, rare and sweet,
    I long to pour upon "His feet,"
    To rest and soothe them by the way,
    My hand let nothing stay,
    Lord, help me bring it now!

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