February 16

2019-02-16 - 2020-02-12 All day
Through honour and dishonour, through evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true … giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed–2 Cor. 6: 8, 3.

While in the discharge of duty to the best of our ability, and when apparently we have the Lord’s blessing and favor upon us and our affairs in a most marked degree, suddenly trouble may arise, adversity come, the powers of darkness seem to triumph, and for a moment we may be apparently culprits in the judgment of our fellow-men, and apparently forsaken by Divine providence. Such experiences, doubtless, are needful to us; for though we may sing:
“I would rather walk in the dark with God,
Than go alone in the light”,
yet this might be but an empty boast unless we were put through the trying experiences which would develop such faith, trust, as would hold to the Lord’s hand, and trust Divine providence in the darkest hour—Z ’01, 314 (R 2885).

The Christian life is one of contrasted experiences, and amid these contrasted experiences the Christian must keep himself in the love of God and in the hatred of selfishness. No amount of love, honor or praise should sway him from loyalty to God, and no amount of dishonor, disrepute or false accusation should mar his heart and change him to a reprobate. Loyalty to righteousness under all circumstances is his slogan, which must finally triumph—P ’33, 16.

Parallel passages: Acts 20: 17-35; 24: 16; Rom. 12: 3-8; 1 Cor. 2: 1-8; 3: 5-15; 4: 1-4, 9-16; 9: 12-23; 2 Cor. 2: 12-17; 3: 1-12; 4; 5: 11-21; 6: 1-12; 1 Tim. 5: 17; 2 Tim. 2: 10; Heb. 13: 7.

Hymns: 134, 277, 307, 273, 322, 325, 326.
Poems of Dawn, 281: The Love light in His Eyes.
Tower Reading: Z ’15, 291 (R 5773).

Questions: Have I this week suffered for witnessing to the Truth? How did it occur? How did I bear it? What were the results?

 

 
THE LOVELIGHT IN HIS EYES

IN my mem’ry there’s a picture,
In a frame of gold ’tis placed,
And the years that fast are fleeting
Not one line have yet effaced;
‘Tis the likeness of “that Servant,”
And fond memories arise
Of his wise and faithful service
And the lovelight in his eyes!

I have seen the smoke-wrapped sunset
Sink into a sea of blood,
And mirages in the desert
‘Neath the sun’s resplendent flood;
From the mast watched livid lightning
Leap across the tropic skies,
But their gleam had not the splendor
Of the lovelight in his eyes!

Not the canopy of starlight,
With the moon appearing new,
Nor the twilight dim and distant,
Fading to the deeper blue,
Nor the summer’s silver moonlight,
With its halo in the skies,
E’er could light the way of Heaven
Like the lovelight in his eyes!

Related events

  • 2016-02-01 - 2017-01-31 All day
    And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left--Isa. 30: 21.

    If we have come to the forks of the road—to some crisis in our experience—and know not whether to turn to the right or to the left, we should stop at once and listen to the voice. Or, in other words, we should turn at once to the Word of the Lord, and by pondering its precepts and principles, and its illustrations bearing on the perplexing subject, seek to learn the will of the Lord, asking also the leading of His Spirit, and endeavoring to bring the mind into a loving, submissive and trustful attitude—Z '95, 6 (R 1753).

    The word behind us is the teachings of the Old and New Testament Scriptures. These teachings are applicable to every condition and experience of life; therefore to these marvelous teachings are we to look for instruction along life's pathway with the assurance that they will guide our steps aright in the ways of wisdom, justice, love and power—P '34, 15.

    Parallel passages: Luke 11: 28; 8: 21; Matt. 7: 21-29; Jas. 1: 21-27; Col. 2: 2; 3: 16; Heb. 1: 1, 2; Isa. 66: 4; Eph. 5: 26; 1 Thes. 2: 13; 2 Thes. 2: 14, 15; 2 Tim. 3: 15-17; Heb. 2: 1-3; 4: 2, 12; 1 Pet. 2: 2; 2 Pet. 3: 1, 2; 1 John 2: 14; Jude 17; Rev. 1: 3; Heb. 6: 4-6; 10: 26-29; 2 Pet. 2: 20-22.

    Hymns: 49, 22, 79, 154, 296, 315, 306.
    Poems of Dawn, 96: This is My Will for Thee.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 359 (R 4881).

    Questions: Have I this week followed the Word? Under what circumstances? With what results?
     

     
    THIS IS MY WILL FOR THEE

    JUST to hear my dear Master say,
    "This is My will for thee;"
    Then to whisper the dark night through,
    "This is His will for me."

    Just to keep in the narrow way,
    Painful how'er it be,
    Just to follow Him day by day,--
    All shall be well with me.

    Just to joyfully bear the pain,
    All that He sendeth me,
    Just to suffer the scorn and shame,--
    Trust where I cannot see.

    Just to hear, when the day seems long,
    "This is My will for thee;"
    Then shall my faith and love grow strong,
    Knowing His will for me.

    Oh, to hear, when the work is done,
    "This is My will for thee,--
    Faith and Patience and Love have won,--
    Sit in My throne with Me!"
  • 2016-02-02 - 2017-02-01 All day
    For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die--Rom. 8: 13.

    What is it to live after the flesh? We answer, It is to live after, in conformity to, and in gratification of, the inclinations and cravings of the fallen human nature. And it is the easiest thing possible to do this. All we have to do is just listlessly to abandon ourselves to the current of our old nature, and cease to strive against it. As soon as we do this, we begin to float down the stream, and by and by we find the current more and more rapid and resistance more and more difficult—Z '95, 8 (R 1748).

    The flesh is both the natural and the acquired sinful disposition, as well as the natural and acquired selfish disposition. To live after these would therefore mean to act out the principles of the natural and acquired depravity, as well as those of the natural and acquired selfishness. Such a course will kill the new heart, mind and will; and since the humanity is offered as a sacrifice, it is inevitable that those individuals who backslide, and who continue to live after the flesh, must eventually die and remain dead forever—P '33, 16.

    Parallel passages: Job 4: 8; Prov. 14: 12; Matt. 26: 41; Rom. 6: 1-23; 8: 4-12; Gal. 6: 7, 8; Heb. 6: 4-8; 10: 26-31; Jas. 1: 15; 4: 4; 2 Pet. 2: 20-22; 1 John 5: 16; Jude 11-13; 2 Cor. 6: 16; Eph. 4: 22.

    Hymns: 192, 13, 48, 71, 78, 337, 145.
    Poems of Dawn, 292: A Dead Sea or a Galilee?
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 136, 169 (R 4809, 4830).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences in relation to this text? How were they met? What were the helps, hindrances and results?
     

     
    A DEAD SEA OR A GALILEE?

    LIFE adorns the Sea of Galilee:
    Its bosom teems with fish; its shores are green;
    But to the south there lies the Salty Sea,
    So desolate: no fish, no life is seen.

    And yet from Jordan's waters both receive.
    Then why doth one have life; the other death?
    'Tis Nature's law, to take and then to give;
    For every breath we take we give a breath.

    The Dead Sea drinks far more than Galilee,
    But has no outlet in its selfishness;
    While Galilee bestows its bounties free--
    It issues forth its life mankind to bless.

    Am I a Dead Sea, or a Galilee?
    More blessed 'tis to give than to receive;
    If I confine my thoughts to my and me
    I'll not bless others, but myself deceive.
  • 2016-02-03 - 2017-02-02 All day
    My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh--Prov. 4: 20, 22.

    Few recognize the influence of the mind over the body. God has so organized our beings that pure, noble, holy thoughts in general have not only an elevating and ennobling effect upon the mental and moral constitution, but also an invigorating influence upon the physical system. And, on the contrary, every unclean, ignoble, unchaste, unholy thought (as well as act) has a direct effect not only toward debasement of mind and morals, but also toward the germination of seeds of disease already in the constitution of the fallen race—Z '96, 180 (R 2013).

    God exhorts His children to apply both their minds and their hearts to His teachings. No wonder He wishes us to learn His Word, since through the Word of God we are fitted for life everlasting. Not only to the elect of the Gospel Age, but also to the non-elect of the Millennial Age will the Word give life. It is the fountain of eternal life as well as of perpetual youth; and he who finds and drinks this water finds what the Spaniard sought in vain—the fountain of perpetual youth and life—P '27, 15.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 13: 9; Deut. 29: 29; Josh. 1: 8; Job 23: 12; Psa. 12: 6; 17: 4; 19: 7-11; 119: 9, 11-20; Prov. 6: 20-23; Matt. 7: 24-27; Luke 11: 28; John 5: 24; 17: 17.

    Hymns: 296, 79, 49, 311, 306, 322, 22.
    Poems of Dawn, 8: How Readest Thou?
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 163 (R 5246).

    Questions: Have I this week meditated on the Word? How? When? With what results?
     

     
    HOW READEST THOU?
    LUKE 10: 16

    'TIS one thing now to read the Bible through,
    Another thing to read, to learn and do;
    'Tis one thing now to read it with delight,
    And quite another thing to read it right.

    Some read it with design to learn to read,
    But to the subject pay but little heed;
    Some read it as their duty once a week,
    But no instruction from the Bible seek;

    Whilst others read it without common care,
    With no regard to how they read or where.
    Some read it as a history, to know
    How people lived three thousand years ago.

    Some read to bring unto themselves repute,
    By showing others how they can dispute;
    Whilst others read because their neighbors do,
    To see how long 'twill take to read it through.

    Some read it for the wonders that are there,
    How David killed a lion and a bear;
    Whilst others read—or rather in it look--
    Because, perhaps, they have no other book.

    Some read the blessed Book—they don't know why,
    It somehow happens in the way to lie;
    Whilst others read it with uncommon care,
    But all to find some contradictions there.

    One reads with father's specs upon his head,
    And sees the thing just as his father did;
    Another reads through Campbell or through Scott,
    And thinks it means exactly what they thought.

    Some read to prove a pre-adopted creed,
    Thus understand but little what they read;
    And every passage in the Book they bend
    To make it suit that all-important end.

    Some read the Book to find that God is love,
    Whilst others read—the opposite to prove.
    Some people read, as I have often thought,
    To teach the Book, instead of being taught.
  • 2016-02-04 - 2017-02-03 All day
    Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues--Rev. 18: 4.

    Whoever are worthy the name, "My people," will hear and obey the Lord's voice and come out of Babylon and "receive not of her plagues"; because their obedience in fleeing out as soon as they see Babylon's real condition will prove that they were never in real accord with her sins. Those who remain after seeing Babylon and her blasphemous doctrines in the light now shining are reckoned as endorsing the blasphemies and deserving the "plagues" most thoroughly—as much as or more than the "tare" class of Babylonians, because they have greater light—Z '00, 3 (R 2553).

    Where have God's people been but in the various sects of Christendom, and where has more light been sinned against than in these sects, and upon what will God's plagues come with more severity than upon these sects? Therefore, how reasonable that God should save His people from being contaminated with their sins and make them immune from their plagues by inviting them to leave Babylon? In a secondary sense this passage well applies to the Lord's people coming out of the sects of Little Babylon—P '32, 15.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 47: 10; 48: 20; 52: 11; Jer. 50: 8; 51: 6, 9; 2 Cor. 6: 17; 7: 1; Zech. 2: 7; Gen. 19: 16, 17, 29; Luke 17: 32; Matt. 24: 15-20; Jude 23; Num. 16: 21; Rev. 16: 19; 18: 1-24.

    Hymns: 332, 18, 25, 41, 216, 310, 333.
    Poems of Dawn, 128: Let Us Go Forth.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 179 (R 5478).

    Questions: Have we "come out of her" locally, sympathetically, doctrinally, practically and spiritually? Why? With what results?
     

     
    LET US GO FORTH
    HEBREWS 13: 13.

    SILENT, like men in solemn haste,
    Girded wayfarers of the waste,
    We pass out at the world's wide gate,
    Turning our back on all its state;
    We press along the narrow road
    That leads to life, to bliss, to God.

    We cannot and we would not stay;
    We dread the snares that throng the way;
    We fling aside the weight and sin,
    Resolved the victory to win;
    We know the peril, but our eyes
    Rest on the splendor of the prize.

    What though with weariness oppressed?
    'Tis but a little and we rest.
    This throbbing heart and burning brain
    Will soon be calm and cool again,
    Night is far spend and morn is near--
    Morn of the cloudless and the clear.

    No idling now, no slothful sleep,
    From Christian toil our pow'rs to keep;
    No shrinking from the desperate fight,
    No thought of yielding or of flight;
    No love of present gain or ease,
    No seeking man or self to please.

    No sorrow for the loss of fame,
    No dread of scandal on our name;
    No terror for the world's sharp scorn,
    No wish that taunting to return;
    No hatred can to hatred move
    The soul that's filled with pitying love.

    No sigh for laughter left behind,
    Or pleasures scattered to the wind;
    No looking back on Sodom's plains,
    No listening still to Babel's strains;
    No tears for Egypt's song and smile,
    No thirsting for its flowing Nile.

    'Tis but a little and we come
    To our reward, our crown, our home!
    Another year, or more, or less,
    And we have crossed the wilderness;
    Finished the toil, the rest begun,
    The battle fought, the triumph won!

    We grudge not, then, the toil, the way;
    Its ending is the endless day!
    We shrink not from these tempests keen,
    With little of the calm between;
    We welcome each descending sun;
    Ere morn our joy may be begun!
  • 2016-02-05 - 2017-02-04 All day
    This is the will of God [concerning you], even your sanctification--1 Thes. 4: 3.

    Coming to the Scriptures to ascertain God's will, we find that the great work which God asks of us is not work for others, but work in ourselves, subduing, conquering, ruling self. Everything else, therefore—our service to the household of faith, and our doing good unto all men, by home and foreign missions, etc.—is subservient to this most important work within. For, as the Apostle by inspiration declares, Though we should preach the gospel eloquently to others, and though we should give all our goods to feed the poor, or become martyrs for a good cause, without love, the Spirit of Christ and the Father, developed in us as the ruling principle of life, we would be nothing, from the Divine standpoint—Z '99, 4 (R 2411).

    Sanctification implies separation from self and the world, and the dedication of self to God's service. Its full operation will develop in us a character like that of our Heavenly Father. No less than the development of a God-like character is the will of God for His children, and he who during the time of the elective call has submitted himself to the will of God will ultimately be like God on the spirit plane of being, while in the Mediatorial Reign of Christ such submission will be rewarded with perfect human life—P '36, 14.

    Parallel passages: Lev. 20: 7, 8; Mic. 6: 8; John 17: 17; Acts 20: 32; 1 Cor. 1: 2, 30; 6: 11; Eph. 5: 10, 26, 27; 1 Thes. 5: 23; 2 Thes. 2: 13; Titus 3: 5, 6; Heb. 2: 10; 10: 10, 14; 13: 12; 1 Pet. 1: 22; Jude 1.

    Hymns: 125, 4, 198, 78, 114, 74, 196.
    Poems of Dawn, 173: Disappointment.
    Tower Reading: Z '16, 99 (R 5876).

    Questions: What sanctifying experiences were mine this week? How did I act amid them? What gains did I derive from them?
     

     
    DISAPPOINTMENT

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

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

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

    "Disappointment—His appointment,"
    Lord, I take it, then, as such.
    Like the clay in hands of potter,
    Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
    All my life's plan is Thy moulding,
    Not one single choice be mine;
    Let me answer, unrepining--
    Father, "Not my will, but Thine."
  • 2016-02-06 - 2017-02-05 All day
    Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another--Psa. 75: 6, 7.

    We may have desires and aspirations for usefulness which will never be gratified. The Lord may see that we could not bear the exaltation and honor which we seek. He knows far better than we do what is for our good, and so He would have us rest contented in His providence, not idle, but diligent; not careless, but watchful; not indifferent, but full of intense, earnest longing to do the will of God; yet patient under restraint, and content to be neglected and forgotten, remembering that "they also serve who only stand and wait" and that the Lord in His own well-chosen hour can lead us forth to fulfill His purposes—Z '95, 11 (R 1756).

    There are no accidents in the experiences of God's people. Both their exaltations and their humiliations, their prosperities and their adversities, are under the Divine direction. His unerring judgment suits to our varying needs His changing providences, working all things together for good to them that love God. Therefore, we may rest content in His hand—P '30, 14.

    Parallel passages: Jas. 4: 10-12; 1 Pet. 5: 6; Luke 6: 37; 1 Sam. 2: 7; Dan. 2: 21; Psa. 113: 7, 8; Luke 1: 46-55; Matt. 13: 10-17; Rom. 9: 6-33; 11: 1-33; 14: 4, 13.

    Hymns: 67, 11, 63, 83, 199, 176, 296.
    Poems of Dawn, 162: Waiting.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 265 (R 5304).

    Questions: What have been this week's abasing and exalting experiences? How were they met? What motives ruled therein? In what did they result?
     

     
    WAITING

    "THEY also serve who only stand and wait."
    Behold me here,
    Dear Lord! With eager, watchful eye and quick
    attentive ear,
    I stand, and if a message Thou wouldst send o'er land
    or sea--
    (Today, tomorrow, night or day), Lord, here am I,
    send me!
    But, if in Thine all-wisdom, Thou shouldst choose
    another one,
    My heart in swift submission shall respond, Thy will
    be done!
    Let me learn well the lesson that Thy blessed Word
    doth teach,
    To rest in humble silence, not to murmur, nor to
    reach
    For what appears my service, with an over-confident
    zeal,
    But watch and pray until Thy will for me Thou shalt
    reveal;
    Thus patient, waiting ever, keeping very close to
    Thee,
    Perhaps, dear Lord, some wondrous day Thou wilt
    have need of me!
  • 2016-02-07 - 2017-02-06 All day
     
  • 2016-02-08 - 2017-02-07 All day
    O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?--Matt. 14: 31.

    What must be done to overcome this lack of faith, and to have an increase of faith? We answer that, like the Apostles of old, we should pray, "Lord, increase our faith." And then, acting in harmony with this prayer, each should cultivate faith in his own heart: (a) by refreshing his memory continually with the Divine promises, becoming very familiar with these in the Father's Word and (b) by seeking more and more to remember that, having made his covenant with the Lord, these promises are his, and in his heart and with his lips he should claim them as his before the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving. He should claim them in his own thoughts, and in his conferences on holy things with the brethren—Z '00, 170 (R 2642).

    One of the strangest phenomena to solve is a doubting Christian. With a God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power pledging Himself under oath to make all things work together for his good, with a Savior made unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and deliverance, supplying all lacks, ridding him of all faults, perfecting in him all good, and with the Spirit making him a candidate for the Kingdom, furnished with everything for its attainment, why should he doubt?—P '34, 15.

    Parallel passages: Job 30: 20; Psa. 22: 2; 31: 22; 42: 5, 6; 49: 5; 73: 13-17; 77: 3, 7-9; Prov. 24: 10; Isa. 40: 27, 28; 49: 14, 15; Jer. 8: 18; 15: 18; 45: 3; Lam. 3: 8, 17, 18; 5: 20; Matt. 8: 23-27; 14: 29-31; 17: 14-21; 28: 17; Mark 4: 38-40; Gen. 12: 12, 13; Ex. 14: 10-15.

    Hymns: 197, 63, 110, 293, 305, 328, 330.
    Poems of Dawn, 65: "O, Thou of Little Faith."
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 88 (R 5424).

    Questions: Did I this week exercise faith or doubt? Under what circumstances? With what results?
     

     
    "O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH"

    O THOU of little faith, why dost thou fear?
    The tempest hath no power when I am near;
    Will not the angry waves be still at My command?
    Step out, I'll hold thy hand,
    Then, wherefore dost thou fear?

    O thou of little faith, why dost thou doubt?
    Doth not Mine Angel compass thee about?
    Are not My Father's promises as sure to thee
    As they have proved to Me?
    Then, wherefore dost thou doubt?

    O thou of little faith, what dost thou dread?
    Are not the lilies clothed, the sparrows fed?
    Heed not the world, nor marvel that it hateth thee,
    For so it hated Me,--
    What, therefore, dost thou dread?

    O thou of little faith, why dost thou shrink?
    Why dost thou tremble at the river's brink?
    Oh, hark! Above its tumult sweetly sounds My
    "Come,
    Thou art not far from home!
    Then, wherefore wouldst thou shrink?"
  • 2016-02-09 - 2017-02-08 All day
    Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee--Psa. 116: 7.

    The Christian's habit of thought has much indeed to do with his spiritual progress or retrogression, as it is also an index of his spiritual state; and good habits of thought need to be carefully cultivated. By "habit of thought" we mean that normal condition to which the mind habitually (characteristically) returns in the moments of mental leisure. While engaged in the active duties of life, we must of necessity bend our mental energies to the work at hand, for if we do anything merely mechanically and without concentrating thought upon it, we cannot do it well; yet even here Christian principle, well established in the character, will unconsciously guide. But when the strain of labor and care are lifted for a time, the established habit of thought, like the needle to the pole, should quickly, return to its rest in God—Z '95, 250 (R 1884).

    The Christian life is one in which, from the standpoint of the flesh, there is much perplexity and unrest, and the Christian's danger under these circumstances is permitting this perplexity and unrest to become a part of his character. To overthrow this tendency a constant returning in confidence in the Lord's good will and purpose toward him as expressed in the Word is necessary; for in such reliance upon the Lord through the Word, he finds rest and peace amid trouble and perplexity—P '33, 16.

    Parallel passages: Job 34: 29; Psa. 1: 1, 2; 4: 8; 25: 12; 29: 11; 85: 8; 119: 165; 125: 1, 5; Prov. 3: 13-26; Isa. 26: 3, 12; 28: 12; 32: 2, 17, 18; 53: 5; Luke 1: 79; John 14: 27; 16: 33; Acts 10: 36; Rom. 10: 15; Phil. 4: 7, 9.

    Hymns: 244, 220, 339, 296, 90, 97, 22.
    Poems of Dawn, 25: Let Not Doubts O'erwhelm.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 25, 204 (R 5387, 5492).

    Questions: What have been this week's experiences with the Word as our resting place? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
     

     
    LET NO DOUBTS O'ER WHELM

    HOW oft we doubt
    And fear we shall be overwhelmed in sin,
    Because temptation grows so strong without,
    Because our courage is so faint within.


    And thus we sigh:
    Then can it be that I have known the Lord?
    Can I be one with Him that sits on high?
    Have I e'er felt the power of His Word?

    Is this poor life
    Fit prelude for a high eternity?
    Alas! Have I not yet begun the strife,
    Or must I fail before the victory?

    O heart of doubt!
    When wilt thou, O thou foolish heart, be wise?
    Thou lookest everywhere, within, without,
    Forgetting only to lift up thine eyes.

    No more despair,
    There is no help for thee in things below;
    Search not within for hope—it is not there,
    But unto Christ do thou for comfort go.

    Christ is thy Rock;
    Doubt not this firm foundation, true and tried;
    Fear not the gathering tempest's angry shock;
    It harms not those that on this Rock abide.

    Christ is thy Friend,
    He knows thy weakness, He will give thee strength;
    Trust! In His name is victory; He will end
    The conflict for thee; thou shalt win at length.

    Christ is thy Peace;
    From penalty and stain He sets thee free;
    And in the white robe of His righteousness,
    Before the approving God presenteth thee.

    Christ is thine ALL:
    Forget thyself, and in Him sweetly rest;
    And thou shalt enter, whatsoe'er befall,
    The everlasting mansions of the blest.
  • 2016-02-10 - 2017-02-09 All day

    Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity--1 Tim. 4: 12.

    Every Christian should strive to be a pattern worthy of imitation—a pattern of earnest, faithful endeavor to copy Christ in his daily life, and of active zeal in His service. Patterns of perfection, of the ultimate moral glory and beauty of holiness, we cannot expect to be in the present life. Such a pattern we have only in Christ our Lord. In no such sense did Paul ever say, Follow me, or Follow us; but he did say, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11: 1). The Apostle was a grand example of earnest endeavor to attain perfection, but not of the ultimate perfection which was in Christ only; and it is his zeal and intense earnestness in striving to copy Christ and to accomplish His will that we should seek to imitate—Z '95, 251 (R 1884).

    Those set in prominent positions as teachers in the Church have double need of Christlikeness, first to inure to making their calling and election sure, and second to helping others by their example to develop Christlikeness. Their influence over those who hold them in love and confidence is great, and to support their influence with Christlike character will prove helpful to those whom they teach—P '27, 15.

    Parallel passages: Titus 2: 7; 1 Pet. 2: 21; 5: 3; Lev. 18: 2, 3; 2 Chron. 30: 7; Prov. 22: 24, 25; Matt. 23: 1-3; John 13: 15; 1 Cor. 8: 9-13; Phil. 2: 5; 1 Thes. 1: 6-8; Heb. 13: 7; Jas. 5: 10, 11; 1 Pet. 3: 5, 6; 1 John 2: 6.

    Hymns: 267, 198, 78, 74, 150, 196, 114.
    Poems of Dawn, 63: Follow the Pattern.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 200 (R 5493).

    Questions: Have I this week been an example of and to the brethren? How? Why? With what results?

     

     

    FOLLOW THE PATTERN

    LET us take to our hearts a lesson—no lesson can braver be--
    From the ways of the tapestry weavers on the other side of the sea.
    Above their heads the pattern hangs; they study it with care;
    The while their fingers deftly work, their eyes are fastened there.

    They tell this curious thing, besides, of the patient,
    plodding weaver:
    He works on the wrong side evermore, but works for the
    right side ever.
    It is only when the weaving stops, and the web is loosed and turned,
    That he sees his real handiwork—that his marvelous
    skill is learned.

    Ah! The sight of its delicate beauty, how it pays him
    for all his cost!
    No rarer, daintier work than his was ever done by
    the frost.
    Then the master bringeth him golden hire, and giveth
    him praise as well;
    And how happy the heart of the weaver is, no tongue
    but his own can tell.

    The years of man are the looms of God, let down
    from the place of the sun,
    Wherein we are weaving always, till the mystic web
    is done--
    Weaving blindly, but weaving sure, each for himself
    his fate,
    We may not see how the right side looks, we can only weave and wait.

    But looking above for the pattern, no weaver need
    have fear;
    Only let him look clear into heaven—the perfect pattern is there,
    If he keeps the face of the Savior forever and always
    in sight,
    His toil shall be sweeter than honey, his weaving is
    sure to be right.

    And when his task is ended, and the web is turned
    and shown,
    He shall hear the voice of the Master, who shall say
    to him, "Well done!"
    Since in copying thus the pattern, he had laid his own
    will down;
    And God for his wages shall give him, not coin, but
    a glorious crown.

  • 2016-02-11 - 2017-02-10 All day
    Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity--1 Tim. 4: 12.

    Every Christian should strive to be a pattern worthy of imitation—a pattern of earnest, faithful endeavor to copy Christ in his daily life, and of active zeal in His service. Patterns of perfection, of the ultimate moral glory and beauty of holiness, we cannot expect to be in the present life. Such a pattern we have only in Christ our Lord. In no such sense did Paul ever say, Follow me, or Follow us; but he did say, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11: 1). The Apostle was a grand example of earnest endeavor to attain perfection, but not of the ultimate perfection which was in Christ only; and it is his zeal and intense earnestness in striving to copy Christ and to accomplish His will that we should seek to imitate—Z '95, 251 (R 1884).

    Those set in prominent positions as teachers in the Church have double need of Christlikeness, first to inure to making their calling and election sure, and second to helping others by their example to develop Christlikeness. Their influence over those who hold them in love and confidence is great, and to support their influence with Christlike character will prove helpful to those whom they teach—P '27, 15.

    Parallel passages: Titus 2: 7; 1 Pet. 2: 21; 5: 3; Lev. 18: 2, 3; 2 Chron. 30: 7; Prov. 22: 24, 25; Matt. 23: 1-3; John 13: 15; 1 Cor. 8: 9-13; Phil. 2: 5; 1 Thes. 1: 6-8; Heb. 13: 7; Jas. 5: 10, 11; 1 Pet. 3: 5, 6; 1 John 2: 6.

    Hymns: 267, 198, 78, 74, 150, 196, 114.
    Poems of Dawn, 63: Follow the Pattern.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 200 (R 5493).

    Questions: Have I this week been an example of and to the brethren? How? Why? With what results?
     

     
    FOLLOW THE PATTERN

    LET us take to our hearts a lesson—no lesson can braver be--
    From the ways of the tapestry weavers on the other side of the sea.
    Above their heads the pattern hangs; they study it with care;
    The while their fingers deftly work, their eyes are fastened there.

    They tell this curious thing, besides, of the patient,
    plodding weaver:
    He works on the wrong side evermore, but works for the
    right side ever.
    It is only when the weaving stops, and the web is loosed and turned,
    That he sees his real handiwork—that his marvelous
    skill is learned.

    Ah! The sight of its delicate beauty, how it pays him
    for all his cost!
    No rarer, daintier work than his was ever done by
    the frost.
    Then the master bringeth him golden hire, and giveth
    him praise as well;
    And how happy the heart of the weaver is, no tongue
    but his own can tell.

    The years of man are the looms of God, let down
    from the place of the sun,
    Wherein we are weaving always, till the mystic web
    is done--
    Weaving blindly, but weaving sure, each for himself
    his fate,
    We may not see how the right side looks, we can only weave and wait.

    But looking above for the pattern, no weaver need
    have fear;
    Only let him look clear into heaven—the perfect pattern is there,
    If he keeps the face of the Savior forever and always
    in sight,
    His toil shall be sweeter than honey, his weaving is
    sure to be right.

    And when his task is ended, and the web is turned
    and shown,
    He shall hear the voice of the Master, who shall say
    to him, "Well done!"
    Since in copying thus the pattern, he had laid his own
    will down;
    And God for his wages shall give him, not coin, but
    a glorious crown.
  • 2016-02-12 - 2017-02-11 All day

    Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing--Jas. 1: 4.

    Not one step of progress can be gained without the exercise of this grace of patience; and not one of the graces more beautifully adorns the Christian character, or wins the approval of the world's conscience, or glorifies the God of all grace whose Truth inspires it. It is long-suffering meekness earnestly striving to stem the tide of human imperfection and weakness, and endeavoring with painstaking care to regain the Divine likeness; it is slow to wrath and plenteous in mercy; it is quick to perceive the paths of truth and righteousness, and prompt to walk in them; it is mindful of its own imperfections and sympathetic with the imperfections and shortcomings of others—Z '93, 295 (R3090).

    Patience is that quality of heart and mind that, meeting obstacles in a cheerful spirit, perseveres unto the end in the course it is following. This quality is absolutely essential to the attainment of a perfect character, under the conditions of obstacles connected with the Christian life; and such a quality will permeate and perfect every other quality required in the Christian; therefore it is one of the universal graces—P '36, 14.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 37: 7-9; Eccles. 7: 8; Lam. 3: 24-27; Luke 8: 15; 21: 19; Rom. 2: 7; 5: 3; 8: 25; 12: 12; 15: 4, 5; 2 Cor. 12: 12; Gal. 6: 9; Col. 1: 10, 11; 1 Thes. 1: 3; Heb. 6: 12, 15; 10: 36; 12: 1.

    Hymns: 1, 130, 11, 44, 125, 136, 183.
    Poems of Dawn, 288: He Leads Us On.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 83 (R5650).

    Questions: What experiences of the week were along the line of patience? How did I meet them? How did they affect my character? What proved helpful therein?

     

     
    HE LEADS US ON

    HE leads us on, by paths we did not know,
    Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
    Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
    Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day,
    Yet when the clouds are gone
    We know He leads us on.

    He leads us on through all the trialsome years;
    Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts, and fears
    He guides our steps. Through all the tangled maze
    Of sin, of sorrow, and o'erclouded days
    We know His will is done;
    And still He leads us on.

    And then, at last, after the weary strife,
    After the restless fever we call life,
    After the dreariness, the aching pain,
    The wayward struggles which have proved in vain,
    After our toils are past--
    He'll give us rest at last.

     

  • 2016-02-13 - 2017-02-12 All day
    Love … thinketh no evil--1 Cor. 13: 5.

    Whoever neglects the Lord's commands along this line of "evil surmisings" weaves a web for his own ensnarement, however "circumspectly" he may walk as respects other matters; for a heart impregnated with doubt and suspicion toward fellow creatures is more than half prepared to doubt God: the spirit of sourness and bitterness is at war with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. Either the one or the other will conquer. The wrong spirit must be gotten rid of, or it will defile the Christian and make of him a "castaway." On the contrary, if the new nature conquer, as an "overcomer," it will be along this line: if evil surmisings are overcome, half the battle against present difficulties and besetments is won—Z '05, 212 (R 3594).

    Love in its ultimate analysis is good will, a good will, however, which expresses itself variously as circumstances require. When its possessor is wronged he gives the wrongdoer credit for good motives, though his knowledge may have been deficient. Such a spirit cannot harbor suspicion, nor will it to another's disadvantage put an evil construction upon another's words and acts—P '30, 14.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 9: 3, 4, 33-35; Prov. 10: 12; 24: 17; Psa. 119: 139; Acts 11: 23; 1 John 3: 14; 4: 7, 8; 2 John 4; 1 Tim. 6: 4; 1 Pet. 1: 22; 4: 8; 3: 8; Col. 3: 2-14.

    Hymns: 165, 1, 4, 15, 166, 198, 201.
    Poems of Dawn, 139: If We Only Understood.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 195 (R 5265).

    Questions: Have I been lovingly unsuspicious or not this week? What helped or hindered? What resulted?
     

     
    IF WE ONLY UNDERSTOOD

    COULD we draw aside the curtains
    That surround each other's lives,
    See the naked heart and spirit,
    Know what spur the action gives--
    Often we would find it better,
    Purer than we judge we would;
    We would love each other better
    If we only understood.

    Could we judge all deeds by motives,
    See the good and bad within,
    Often we would love the sinner
    All the while we loathe the sin.
    Could we know the powers working
    To o'erthrow integrity,
    We would judge each other's errors
    With more patient charity.

    If we knew the cares and trials,
    Knew the efforts all in vain,
    And the bitter disappointments--
    Understood the loss and gain--
    Would the grim external roughness
    Seem, I wonder, just the same?
    Would we help where now we hinder?
    Would we pity where we blame?

    Ah, we judge each other harshly,
    Knowing not life's hidden force;
    Knowing not the fount of action
    Is less turbid at its source.
    Seeing not amid the evil
    All the golden grains of good,
    Oh, we'd love each other better
    If we only understood.
  • 2016-02-15 - 2017-02-14 All day
    Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected--1 John 2: 5.

    The test is obedience. In proportion as we keep the Lord's Word, in like proportion the love of God is perfected in us; for if we have received the mind of Christ, the holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the effect will be to cause us both to will and do His good pleasure—to the extent of our ability. And this ability should be continually on the increase year by year. And although we may not hope to be perfected until we shall be raised and be granted our new resurrection bodies, nevertheless all the while we may keep so closely in touch with the Lord in the spirit of our minds that we may have continual fellowship with Him (1 John 1: 7)—Z '97, 312 (R 2235).

    To keep God's Word is to hold by the new will the Word upon the affections until the affections respond to the Spirit of the Word. To continue in this process perseveringly amid all the circumstances of life will inevitably develop unto perfection in our hearts the Divine love, which consists in supreme love to the Father, a love next to supreme love to the Son, a love to the brethren more than to self, and a love equal to that for self to the world and to our enemies—P '34, 15.

    Parallel passages: John 14: 15, 16, 21, 23; Gen. 18: 19; Ex. 19: 5; 20: 6; 24: 7; Num. 9: 23; 14: 24; 1 Kings 3: 14; Psa. 18: 44; 25: 10; 111: 10; 143: 10; Prov. 19: 16; Matt. 5: 19; 12: 50; 13: 23; Luke 6: 46-48; John 15: 10, 14, 16; Acts 4: 19; 5: 29; Rom. 6: 17; 1 John 3: 22, 24; 2 John 1: 6, 9; Rev. 12: 17.

    Hymns: 315, 145, 20, 125, 130, 136, 1.
    Poems of Dawn, 266: A Life Well Spent.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 387 (R 4896).

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

     
    A LIFE WELL SPENT

    SOFTLY, oh softly, the years have swept by thee,
    Touching thee gently with tenderest care;
    Sorrow and death they have often brought nigh thee,
    Yet have they left thee but beauty to wear;
    Growing old gracefully,
    Gracefully fair.

    Far from the storms that are lashing the ocean,
    Nearer each day to the pleasant home-light;
    Far from the waves that are big with commotion,
    Under full sail and the harbor in sight;
    Growing old cheerfully,
    Cheerful and bright.

    Past all the winds that were adverse and chilling,
    Past all the islands that lured thee to rest;
    Past all the currents that urged thee unwilling,
    Far from thy course to the home of the blest;
    Growing old peacefully,
    Peaceful and blest.

    Never a feeling of envy and sorrow
    When the bright faces of children are seen;
    Never a year from the young wouldst thou borrow--
    Thou dost remember what lieth between;
    Growing old willingly,
    Thankful, serene.

    Rich in experience that angels might covet;
    Rich in a faith that hath grown with thy years;
    Rich in a love that grew from and above it,
    Soothing thy sorrows and hushing thy fears;
    Growing old wealthily,
    Loving and dear.

    Hearts at the sound of thy coming are lightened,
    Ready and willing thy hand to relieve;
    Many a face at thy kind word hath brightened--
    "It is more blessed to give than receive."
    Growing old happily,
    Ceasing to grieve.

    Eyes that grow dim to the earth and its glory
    Have a sweet recompense youth cannot know;
    Ears that grow dull to the world and its story
    Drink in the songs that from Paradise flow;
    Growing old graciously,
    Purer than snow.
  • 2016-02-17 - 2017-02-16 All day
    Take my yoke upon you … for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light--Matt. 11: 29, 30.

    Those who wear this yoke have the assurances of the Divine Word that all things are working together for good to them; that the heavier the burden that may be attached, the greater will be the blessing and the reward by and by; the more severe the experiences during the present time, the brighter shall be the glory, and the brighter shall be their character, and the more sure shall they be of being fitted and polished for the Kingdom. From this standpoint every burden is light, because our yoke is appreciated, and is so easy, so reasonable; and additionally it is so light, because the Lord is with us in this yoke—Z '00, 137 (R 2623).

    The yoke is our general acceptance of the Lord's will; the burden is the details the Lord wills us to do, even unto suffering for His will. In taking the yoke in the spirit of love, we find its weight is indeed light; and in drawing the burden of the details of the Lord's will, even unto suffering, by the assistance of the yoke of love, we find the burden is lightened. Love lightens every burden, eases every task, gladdens every sorrow, sanctifies every pain and surrounds with a halo of bliss even the smallest tasks and the most commonplace things—P '27, 15.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 16: 24; Mark 8: 34-38; Luke 9: 23, 24; 1 John 5: 3; Lev. 26: 13; Isa. 9: 4; 10: 27; Jer. 2: 20; 5: 5; 30: 8; Lam. 3: 27; Prov. 23: 26; Rom. 6: 13, 16, 19; 12: 1; 2 Cor. 8: 5.

    Hymns: 160, 8, 14, 114, 191, 208, 244.
    Poems of Dawn, 190: "Come Unto Me."
    Tower Reading: Z '00, 134 (R 2623).

    Questions: How have I found Jesus' yoke and burden this week? Why? What were the results?
     

     
    "COME UNTO ME"
    MATT. 11: 28, 30.

    COME to Me, all ye that labor,
    Come, and I will give you rest.
    Come to Me, ye heavy laden,
    Come, and lean upon My breast!

    Take Mine easy yoke upon you,
    For My burden, it is light,
    And My heart is meek and lowly,
    Ever pleasing in His sight.

    Come to Me, ye broken-hearted,
    Let Me all your sorrows bear,
    Faithful be till life is ended,
    Then My glory ye shall share
  • 2016-02-18 - 2017-02-17 All day
    The LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul--Deut. 13: 3.

    The Kingdom is intended only for those who by God's grace shall at heart become like to the Lord Jesus, in that they will love the Lord with all their hearts, with all their souls, and be able to say, "Not my will, but thy will, O Lord, be done." No other condition than this of full submission to the Lord can make us acceptable for the Kingdom; for no other condition represents full self-submission and full love to God. And let us not forget that all the heavenly things which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man," God has reserved for them that love Him supremely—Z '98, 40 (R 2257).

    God seeks a tested people, proven loyal in every point of character. For this reason He arranges the various providences in the lives of His people, so that they may demonstrate amid these providences their hearts' attitude, whether it be one of devotion to Him, to self, or to the world; and blessed is the Christian who demonstrates devotion to God!—P '32, 15.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 22: 1-14; Deut. 8: 2, 5; 2 Chron. 32: 31; Job 1: 8-22; 2: 3-10; Psa. 66: 10-13; Dan. 12: 10; Zech. 13: 9; Mal. 3: 2, 3; 2 Thes. 1: 4, 5; Heb. 12: 5-11; Jas. 1: 2, 3, 12; 1 Pet. 1: 6, 7; 4: 12-19; Rev. 2: 10.

    Hymns: 13, 3, 38, 56, 57, 93, 179.
    Poems of Dawn, 286: Let It Rest.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 341 (R 5799).

    Questions: Have I had trials this week? What were they? How were they met? In what did they result?
     

     
    LET IT REST

    I LONGED for something—O so much:
    So near it came, I almost touched
    My heart's desire—when far away
    'Twas drawn. Then seemed a voice to say:
    "There, let it rest—God knoweth best."

    Like children crying for the moon
    I pleaded for this priceless boon;
    I wanted it within my hand--
    How could I then in patience stand
    And let it rest? Doth God know best?

    Then He who calmed the stormy sea
    Came near to soothe and quiet me;
    And to my longing, restless will
    He gently whispered, "Peace, be still."
    I let it rest—God doth know best.
  • 2016-02-19 - 2017-02-18 All day

    Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unfaithful nothing is pure; but both their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to have known God; but by their works they renounce him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work worthless--Titus 1: 15, 16.

    What a terrible condition this is, and how careful all of the Lord's people should be, not only to have pure hearts, pure minds, but also to keep their consciences very tender, in close accord with the Word of the Lord! This condition can only be maintained by judging ourselves, and that strictly and frequently, by the standard which God has given us, His law of love.
    I want the first approach to feel
    Of pride or fond desire;
    To catch the wand'ring of my will,
    And quench the kindling fire.
    --Z '99, 214 (R 2516).

    One's quality of heart attaches itself to everything he touches; to him it is either good or evil, as he is good or evil. They who are pure attach purity to that with which they come into contact, while the impure defile whatever they touch. This world of difference exists on account of the difference in their moral quality. If one who once belonged to God has become impure, he contaminates more than one who never was pure. His being is defiled—P '36, 14.

    Parallel passages: Matt. 15: 11; Luke 11: 39-41; Acts 10: 15, 28; Rom. 14: 14, 17, 20, 23; 1 Cor. 6: 12; 10: 23-25; 1 Tim. 5: 8; 2 Tim. 3: 5; Heb. 6: 4-8; 10: 26-31; 2 Pet. 2: 20-22; 1 John 5: 16; Jude 11-13.

    Hymns: 20, 13, 1, 196, 198, 266, 267.
    Poems of Dawn, 254: The Wrath of God.
    Tower Reading: Z '15, 245 (R 5746).

    Questions: Have I this week kept myself back from presumptuous sins? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?

     

     

    THE WRATH OF GOD

    THE wrath of God is love's severity
    In curing sin—the zeal of righteousness
    In overcoming wrong—the remedy
    Of justice for the world's redress.

    The wrath of God is punishment for sin,
    In measure unto all transgression due,
    Discriminating well and just between
    Presumptuous sins and sins of lighter hue.

    The wrath of God inflicts no needless pain,
    Merely vindictive, or Himself to please;
    But aims the ends of mercy to attain,
    Uproot the evil, and the good increase.

    The wrath of God is a consuming fire,
    That burns while there is evil to destroy
    Or good to purify; nor can expire
    Till all things are relieved from sin's alloy.

    The wrath of God is love's parental rod,
    The disobedient to chastise, subdue,
    And bend submissive to the will of God,
    That love may reign when all things are made new.

    The wrath of God shall never strike in vain,
    Nor cease to strike till sin shall be no more;
    Till God His gracious purpose shall attain,
    And earth to righteousness and peace restore.

  • 2016-02-20 - 2017-02-19 All day
    If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue … this man's religion is vain--Jas. 1: 26.

    Because the tongue is the index of the heart, because "out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," therefore the unbridled tongue, speaking selfishly, enviously, bitterly, boastfully, slanderously, proves that the heart from whose fullness these overflow is unsanctified, unholy, grievously lacking of the spirit of Christ; hence, whatever religion it may have attained is thus far vain, as that heart is not saved, nor in a salvable condition. But the Good Physician has pointed out antidotes for soul-poisoning—medicines which, if properly taken according to directions, will sweeten the bitter heart—Z '99, 215 (R 2517).

    To bridle the tongue means to control and direct it. Controlling the tongue from saying evil things, and directing it in saying good things, is a part of the bridling of the tongue. He who allows his tongue to become the instrument of a depraved disposition is not a man of true religious character, whose chief element is love for God and man. Such a tongue violates the law of love, inasmuch as it inflicts injury upon all whom it berates. Therefore let us control our tongues, keeping them from running away in evil and directing them in talking rightly—P '30, 14.

    Parallel passages: Jas. 3: 1-12; Psa. 18: 21; 12: 3; 34: 13; 39: 1; 140: 3; Prov. 16: 27; Matt. 15: 18, 19; Acts 5: 3; 2 Tim. 2: 23-25; Matt. 6: 5-9; 23: 14-22, 27; Eccles. 5: 2; Jas. 1: 27.

    Hymns: 136, 78, 13, 20, 1, 82, 130.
    Poems of Dawn, 301: A Wrecker or a Builder?
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 245 (R 5517).

    Questions: How have I used my tongue this week? What helped or hindered therein? What resulted therefrom?
     

     
    A WRECKER OR A BUILDER

    I WATCHED them tear a building down,
    A crew of men in a busy town;
    With a ho and a heave and a lusty yell,
    They swung a beam and down the wall fell.

    I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled?
    The kind you would hire if you would build?"
    The foreman replied, "Why, no, indeed!
    Common laborers are all I need,
    For they can wreck in a day or two
    That which has taken years to do."

    So I asked myself as I went on my way,
    "What part in the game of life do you play?
    Are you shaping your life to a well-made plan,
    Patiently doing the best that you can?
    Or are you a wrecker that walks the town,
    Content with the pleasure of tearing down?"
  • 2016-02-21 - 2017-02-20 All day
    Thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me--Psa. 31: 3.

    After the Lord has given us certain lessons and experiences, some of which come to us under quiet and restful conditions, the order of procedure may be changed, and the indication of the Lord's providences may lead to some breaking up of conditions which had been both favorable and unfavorable in some respects, leading into new circumstances and conditions. It is not for the true spiritual Israelite to murmur or complain, or even to express a choice; but to look to the Lord for guidance. If he can discern the leadings of Divine providence, even though it be to a wilderness condition more arid and undesirable than that in which he has previously been, he is to follow the Lord's leadings unquestioningly, and with songs of faith and confidence—Z '02, 249 (R 3060).

    God, as our Rock, is our Protector, even as a rock rising high above the stormy waves protects the one who has taken refuge upon it from the storm. As our Fortress, not only does He protect us against the onslaughts of our enemies, but also He strengthens us to repel their attacks, and to inflict all the greater injury upon them. As our Protector and Strengthener, He leads us by His Truth and guides us by His providences for our attainment of His character. As our Leader, He directs our steps; as our Guide, He shows us our course over ways unknown to us, even to the Kingdom—P '35, 15.

    Parallel passages: Gen. 28: 15; 49: 24, 25; Ex. 6: 6, 7; 12: 13, 17, 23; 14: 29, 30; 19: 4; 23: 20; Num. 23: 23; Deut. 32: 4; Job 1: 10; Psa. 34: 15, 17, 19, 20; 41: 1-3; 46: 1-7; 91; 121; 125: 1-3; 146: 7, 8; Matt. 10: 29-31.

    Hymns: 126, 63, 67, 99, 286, 288, 293.
    Poems of Dawn, 112: Lead Me.
    Tower Reading: Z '02, 248 (R 3060).

    Questions: How have I submitted to God this week as my Strengthener and Guide? Why? In what circumstances? What helped or hindered therein? With what results?
     

     
    LEAD ME

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

    I do not ask, dear Lord, that Thou shouldst shed
    Full radiance here;
    Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread
    Without a fear;
    I do not ask my cross to understand,
    My way to see;
    Better, in darkness, just to feel Thy hand,
    And follow Thee.
    Joy is like restless day, but peace Divine
    Like quiet night;
    Lead me, O Lord, till perfect day shall shine,
    Through peace to light.
  • 2016-02-22 - 2017-02-21 All day
    Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have--Heb. 13: 5.

    Selfish prayers are too expensive. Some have gained wealth and lost the Truth and its service; some have gained health, only to find that with it they gained other trials no less severe; some have had their dear ones restored to them from the very jaws of death, only to wish afterward that God had not answered their prayers—or, more correctly, to wish that they had accepted the Lord's wisdom and providences trustfully, contentedly, uncomplainingly. … Spiritual Israel should use wisely such things as are within their reach, accepting all as God's gifts with thanksgiving; but their petitions should be for spiritual gifts, including patient endurance and heart contentment—Z '02, 250 (R 3061).

    For the Christian's life to be one of covetousness not only would make him selfish but also would prompt him to inflict injury upon others; therefore, it is not a quality to be cultivated in one whose highest aim is to give up all things for others' good. The spirit of contentment with what we have will prove a wholesome restraint upon the disposition of covetousness—P '34, 15.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 18: 21; 20: 17; Job 31: 24, 25, 28; Psa. 10: 3; 119: 36; Prov. 11: 24; 21: 25, 26; 23: 4, 5; 30: 8; Isa. 5: 8; Matt. 6: 19-21, 24, 25, 31-33; 16: 26; 1 Tim. 6: 6-10; Psa. 37: 16; Prov. 16: 8; 17: 1; Eccles. 4: 6; 1 Cor. 7: 17, 20-22, 24; Phil. 4: 11, 12.

    Hymns: 145, 22, 60, 94, 170, 321, 322.
    Poems of Dawn, 278: This Too Will Pass!
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 349 (R 4876).

    Questions: Was I covetous or contented this week? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?
     

     
    THIS TOO WILL PASS!

    POOR heart, break not, though cruel be thy wound--
    This too will pass!
    The weariest day will end in sunset light,
    And dawn must follow e'en the darkest night!

    Nor drink too deeply of Joy's honeyed cup--
    This too will pass!
    Caressing hands will lose their loving touch,
    And words mean nothing, that once meant so much.

    Ah, then, whate'er thy state, seek thou content--
    This will not pass!
    True rest is found in God, He knows and cares.
    His heart of love thy every sorrow shares!
  • 2016-02-23 - 2017-02-22 All day
    I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye--Psa. 32: 8.

    One of the most important lessons for the spiritual Israelite to learn is to look to the Lord for leading in all of life's affairs—never to attempt any undertaking, either temporal or spiritual, without seeking to note the will of the Lord concerning the same. … We are marching toward Canaan and know that other experiences are due us and must be undergone ere we are to inherit the promises. The lesson for us is prompt and thorough obedience to the Lord's leadings without murmurings—with joyfulness; and this can only be expected on the part of those who have learned the lessons previously given them, and above all the lesson of faith, confidence in the Lord's power and goodness and faithfulness—Z '02, 251, 249 (R 3062, 3061).

    Our Heavenly Father trains His children in their course of life. Three means are used whereby He gives the instruction. The primary one is His Word, whereby He enlightens their minds and guides their hearts. The secondary one is His Spirit, whereby He energizes them in knowledge, grace and service. The tertiary one is His providences, amid which they are given the opportunities through the exercise of their various qualities of heart and mind to develop their characters by the power and along the lines of His Word. Thus His wisdom guides them in their conduct—P '33, 16.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 13: 21; 15: 13; 33: 13-15; Psa. 23: 2, 3; 25: 5, 8, 9; 27: 11; 31: 3; 48: 14; 73: 24; 78: 52; 107: 7; 139: 9, 10, 24; Prov. 8: 20; Isa. 40: 11; 42: 16; 48: 17; 54: 13; Luke 1: 79; John 10: 3, 4; 16: 13.

    Hymns: 87, 293, 46, 63, 11, 110, 99.
    Poems of Dawn, 122: Divine Guidance.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 223 (R 4858).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What helps and hindrances accompanied them? How did they affect me?
     

     
    DIVINE GUIDANCE

    LORD, when I strive to serve Thee most,
    Yet toil in vain;
    When I can see but labor lost,
    Instead of gain;

    When plans fall out another way
    From what seems best,
    And failure comes though I obey
    Thy clear behest;

    When hopes whereon I dare to lean
    Thou dost deny;
    When Thou forbiddest me to glean
    The fields near by;

    When fairest prospects, opening wide
    Before mine eyes,
    Thou wallest in on every side,
    And mountains rise

    That faith seems powerless to remove--
    Then, dearest Lord,
    Draw near to me, draw near and prove
    Thy written Word!

    That Thou in all things dost ordain
    Thy children's good;
    That joy shall be the fruit of pain,
    When understood.

    I know, and yet—O, slow of heart--
    But half believe;
    And when I fail, in secret smart,
    And fret and grieve,

    Fill me with faith's complete content
    In Thee, O, lord,
    And make me willing to be spent
    Without reward--

    Of earthly sort, but heavenly gain--
    To seek alone
    For other's good, by toil and pain,
    Not for mine own.

    And when my failures cast me down,
    Make me to rest,
    In glorious hope of victor's crown,
    Forever blest.

    I would not look at "things behind"
    With wistful eye;
    Nor seek in earthly things to find
    A comfort nigh.

    The weary sea-bird goes to sleep
    On tossing waves,
    Untroubled by the storm, the deep,
    In trust that saves.

    It is the hollow of Thy hand
    That shapes its nest;
    So, though I may not understand,
    Make me to rest.
  • 2016-02-24 - 2017-02-23 All day
    I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye--Psa. 32: 8.

    One of the most important lessons for the spiritual Israelite to learn is to look to the Lord for leading in all of life's affairs—never to attempt any undertaking, either temporal or spiritual, without seeking to note the will of the Lord concerning the same. … We are marching toward Canaan and know that other experiences are due us and must be undergone ere we are to inherit the promises. The lesson for us is prompt and thorough obedience to the Lord's leadings without murmurings—with joyfulness; and this can only be expected on the part of those who have learned the lessons previously given them, and above all the lesson of faith, confidence in the Lord's power and goodness and faithfulness—Z '02, 251, 249 (R 3062, 3061).

    Our Heavenly Father trains His children in their course of life. Three means are used whereby He gives the instruction. The primary one is His Word, whereby He enlightens their minds and guides their hearts. The secondary one is His Spirit, whereby He energizes them in knowledge, grace and service. The tertiary one is His providences, amid which they are given the opportunities through the exercise of their various qualities of heart and mind to develop their characters by the power and along the lines of His Word. Thus His wisdom guides them in their conduct—P '33, 16.

    Parallel passages: Ex. 13: 21; 15: 13; 33: 13-15; Psa. 23: 2, 3; 25: 5, 8, 9; 27: 11; 31: 3; 48: 14; 73: 24; 78: 52; 107: 7; 139: 9, 10, 24; Prov. 8: 20; Isa. 40: 11; 42: 16; 48: 17; 54: 13; Luke 1: 79; John 10: 3, 4; 16: 13.

    Hymns: 87, 293, 46, 63, 11, 110, 99.
    Poems of Dawn, 122: Divine Guidance.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 223 (R 4858).

    Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What helps and hindrances accompanied them? How did they affect me?
     

     
    DIVINE GUIDANCE

    LORD, when I strive to serve Thee most,
    Yet toil in vain;
    When I can see but labor lost,
    Instead of gain;

    When plans fall out another way
    From what seems best,
    And failure comes though I obey
    Thy clear behest;

    When hopes whereon I dare to lean
    Thou dost deny;
    When Thou forbiddest me to glean
    The fields near by;

    When fairest prospects, opening wide
    Before mine eyes,
    Thou wallest in on every side,
    And mountains rise

    That faith seems powerless to remove--
    Then, dearest Lord,
    Draw near to me, draw near and prove
    Thy written Word!

    That Thou in all things dost ordain
    Thy children's good;
    That joy shall be the fruit of pain,
    When understood.

    I know, and yet—O, slow of heart--
    But half believe;
    And when I fail, in secret smart,
    And fret and grieve,

    Fill me with faith's complete content
    In Thee, O, lord,
    And make me willing to be spent
    Without reward--

    Of earthly sort, but heavenly gain--
    To seek alone
    For other's good, by toil and pain,
    Not for mine own.

    And when my failures cast me down,
    Make me to rest,
    In glorious hope of victor's crown,
    Forever blest.

    I would not look at "things behind"
    With wistful eye;
    Nor seek in earthly things to find
    A comfort nigh.

    The weary sea-bird goes to sleep
    On tossing waves,
    Untroubled by the storm, the deep,
    In trust that saves.

    It is the hollow of Thy hand
    That shapes its nest;
    So, though I may not understand,
    Make me to rest.
  • 2016-02-25 - 2017-02-24 All day
    Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God--Matt. 4: 4.

    We are to learn the lesson that a man's life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesses—food and raiment—but that his life, in the fullest, grandest, highest sense, is dependent upon his complete submission to the Divine will—his careful attention to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God—every admonition, every encouragement, every promise, is necessary to the development of those whom God is now calling to eternal life as heirs with His Son in the Kingdom. Let us then, more and more, as the disciples, pupils, of the Lord Jesus, keep in memory and act upon the suggestion of the words of this text—Z '02, 246, 248 (R 3058).

    A man's life consists not in the abundance of the earthly things he enjoys. The things that really count, both in giving and sustaining life, are the teachings of the Word of God. Greatly mistaken, therefore, are those who seek to sustain their lives with sin through earthly things. Since to responsive and obedient hearts the Word of God is spirit and life, it is to them powerful and life-giving—P '32, 15.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 8: 3; Psa. 17: 4; 19: 7-11; 43: 3; 107: 19, 20; 119: 11, 14, 24, 25, 28, 41, 54, 69, 72, 77, 81, 92, 93, 103, 144, 159, 173, 174; Isa. 30: 21; Jer. 15: 16; Ezek. 3: 3; Amos 8: 11, 12; Matt. 7: 24-27; Luke 11: 28; John 5: 24, 39; 15: 3; 20: 31; Acts 20: 32; 1 Tim. 4: 5, 6.

    Hymns: 22, 332, 264, 49, 296, 79, 311.
    Poems of Dawn, 52: He Leadeth Me.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 387 (R 4896).

    Questions: By what have I been living this week? How? Why? With what results?
     

     
    "HE LEADETH ME"

    IN pastures green? Not always; sometimes He
    Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me
    In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
    Out of the sunshine, warm and soft and bright,
    Out of the sunshine into darkest night;
    I oft would faint with terror and with fright,
    Only for this—I know He holds my hand;
    So, whether in the green or desert land,
    I trust, although I may not understand.

    And by still waters? No, not always so;
    Ofttimes the heavy tempests round me blow,
    And o'er my soul the waves and billows go.
    But when the storm beats loudest, and I cry
    Aloud for help, the Master standeth by,
    And whispers to my soul, "Lo, it is I!"
    Above the tempest wild I hear Him say,
    "Beyond this darkness lies the perfect day,
    In every path of thine I lead the way."

    So, whether on the hill-tops, high and fair,
    I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
    The shadows lie—what matter? He is there.
    And more than this, where'er the pathway lead,
    He gives to me no helpless, broken reed,
    But His own hand, sufficient for my need.
    So, where He leads me I can safely go;
    And in the blest hereafter I shall know,
    Why, in His wisdom, He hath led me so.
  • 2016-02-26 - 2017-02-25 All day
     
  • 2016-02-27 - 2017-02-26 All day
    Let your moderation be known unto all men--Phil. 4: 5.

    The Greek word here rendered "moderation" seems to carry with it the thought of reasonableness (gentleness), and of not exacting our rights too vigorously. Mercy and leniency are certainly qualities required of all who would be in the Kingdom with our Lord. Faithfulness in the performance, as far as possible, of all that justice would require of us, and mercifulness in respect to all our requirements of justice from others should be our rule; so shall we be the children of our Father which is in heaven, for He is kind and merciful to the unthankful—Z '03, 7 (R 3128).

    True Christianity does not breed fanaticism. Blending as it does in the character wisdom, justice, love and power, it is considerate of others' rights; full of justice and love to them and powerful to hold one in harmony with these principles. It therefore avoids extremes of thought, word and action and takes a middle course in life's affairs, whereby it exercises gentleness, which is the meaning of the word rendered moderation in our text. True to God, it is just to man. It preserves the love of devotion in harmony with respect for others' rights, and is therefore gentle toward all—P '30, 30.

    Parallel passages: Isa. 40: 11; 42: 3; 2 Cor. 10: 1; Matt. 11: 29; 23: 37; 2 Sam. 22: 36; Psa. 18: 35; Gal. 5: 22; 2 Tim. 2: 24-26; Titus 3: 1; Jas. 3: 17; Heb. 2: 17, 18; 4: 15.

    Hymns: 198, 23, 38, 43, 96, 104, 293.
    Poems of Dawn, 62: Our Bow of Promise.
    Tower Reading: Z '13, 167 (R 5249).

    Questions: Was I gentle this week? Why? Amid what circumstances? What helped or hindered therein? What were its results?
     

     
    OUR BOW OF PROMISE

    A RAVELED rainbow overhead
    Lets down to earth its varying thread--
    Love's blue, joy's gold; and fair between
    Hope's shifting light of emerald green.
    On either side in deep relief
    A crimson pain, a violet grief.
    Wouldst thou amid their gleaming hues
    Snatch after those, and these refuse?
    Believe, could thine anointed eyes
    Follow their lines, and sound the skies,
    There where the fadeless glories shine
    Thine unseen Savior twists the twine!
    And be thou sure what tint soe'er
    The broken ray beneath may wear,
    It needs them all that, fair and white,
    His love may weave the perfect light.
  • 2016-02-28 - 2017-02-27 All day
    Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God--Phil. 4: 6.

    The question may arise, Why will not God give us the things which He sees us to need without our making petition to Him and claiming His promises? Undoubtedly because we need previously to come into the proper attitude of heart to receive His favors and to be advantaged by them. Even as it is, we may be sure that we do not sufficiently appreciate the Divine care bestowed upon us hitherto and now. Even in the attitude of prayer and thanksgiving we probably do not discern one-half of our causes for gratitude, as we shall see them by and by, when we shall know even as we are known—Z '03, 8 (R 3128).

    Anxiety fits a Christian as little as distrust of mother-love becomes a child. In the heart where reliance on God reigns, and thankfulness for many favors received sits enthroned, worry can find no lodgment. The child of God knows that for his every need he has a responsive Father, who is ever accessible to His suppliant children; therefore, in telling his needs to his Father, he drives away anxious care—P '35, 15.

    Parallel passages: Psa. 127: 2; Matt. 6: 25-34; 13: 22; Luke 21: 34; 1 Cor. 7: 32, 33; 2 Tim. 2: 4; Psa. 37: 5; 55: 22; Prov. 16: 3; Jer. 17: 7, 8; Heb. 13: 5; 1 Pet. 5: 6, 7; Gen. 32: 24-29; 1 Sam. 12: 23; Psa. 86: 3, 6; 130: 1, 2; Col. 4: 2; Matt. 15: 22-28; Luke 18: 1-7; 22: 44; Rom. 8: 26; Eph. 6: 18; Heb. 5: 7, 8.

    Hymns: 313, 56, 57, 35, 99, 106, 239.
    Poems of Dawn, 234: Our Burden Bearer.
    Tower Reading: Z '14, 230 (R 5508).

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

     
    OUR BURDEN BEARER

    THE little sharp vexations,
    And the briers that catch and fret,
    Why not take all to the Helper,
    Who hath never failed us yet?
    Tell Him about the heartache,
    And tell Him the longings, too;
    Tell Him the baffled purpose,
    When we scarce know what to do.
    Then, leaving all our weakness
    With the One divinely strong,
    Forget that we bore the burden,
    And carry away the song
  • 2016-02-29 - 2017-02-28 All day
    God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him--1 John 4: 16.

    Justice fills the measure full, but love shakes it, presses it down, heaps it up and overflows justice. It is therefore something not to be demanded, nor its lack to be complained of, but to be gratefully appreciated as a favor and to be generously reciprocated. Everyone who craves it at all should crave it in its highest sense-the sense—of admiration and reverence. But this sort of love is the most costly, and the only way to secure it is to manifest that nobility of character which calls it forth from others who are truly noble—Z '02, 266 (R 3070).

    The highest characteristic of Jehovah's attributes is love working in harmony with wisdom, justice and power. To dwell in love is to continue in its exercise, subjecting all the faculties of heart and mind to its sway in harmony with wisdom, justice and power. Such dwell in God, because only when self-will is surrendered and God's will is taken instead can such conduct result, and such conduct persisted in fills the heart with the Divine love and thus God by His Spirit dwells in such as so do—P '33, 163.

    Parallel passages: Deut. 4: 37; Psa. 63: 3; 146: 8; Jer. 31: 3; John 3: 16; Rom. 5: 8; 1 John 3: 1; Psa. 31: 23; 73: 25, 26; 91: 14; Rom. 8: 28; John 14: 15, 21, 23; 16: 27; 1 Cor. 16: 22; 2 Cor. 5: 14; John 3: 34, 35; 15: 12, 13; Rom. 12: 9, 10; Matt. 5: 41-47; 19: 19.

    Hymns: 39, 95, 114, 198, 165, 194, 166.
    Poems of Dawn, 290: God's Boundless Love.
    Tower Reading: Z '11, 421 (R 4917).

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

     
    GOD'S BOUNDLESS LOVE

    COULD we with ink the ocean fill,
    Were every blade of grass a quill,
    Were all the world of parchment made
    And every man a scribe by trade,
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

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