Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ — 2 Tim. 2:3.
The true soldier does not debate his cause. He is rightly supposed to have settled upon its justice and righteousness before he enlisted to serve it. Thereafter he avouches it and defies contradiction of it. He is ready to spend all and be all spent in its defense. It is glorious to serve Christ in honesty and in fullness of fidelity. There is an ineffable joy in being on the right side, in knowing that beyond the field of blood and the valley of shadows is an abundant entrance into the joys and peace of the triumphant King of kings. For that hope none should shrink from the hardness of battle, none quail before the rage of the enemy, and none tremble before the certainty of hunger, thirst, nakedness, wounds or death—Z ’03, 84 (R 3162).
The Lord’s people are soldiers in that army of which Jesus is the Commander. Their warfare requires strong endurance because of the many hardships to which they are exposed. Self-denial must be persevered in amid their many privations. Their many defects tax their endurance almost unto fainting. Their faults call for endurance against discouragement, and the strenuousness of their trials and sufferings can be borne only by a spirit that is inured to hardship and is sustained by the Lord—P ’35, 32.
Parallel passages: Heb. 2:10; Isa. 59:16, 17; 54:17; Eph. 6:10-17; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:7; 10:4, 5; 1 Thes. 5:8; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Phil. 1:27; 4:1; Josh. 1:6, 7; Dan. 11:32.
Hymns: 272, 20, 183, 164, 44, 266, 13.
Questions: What have I endured in the Christian warfare this week? How? Why? What helped or hindered? What were the effects?
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
2016-03-01 - 2017-02-28 All day
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus--Phil. 4: 7.
It is not our own peace that is here referred to. It is the peace of God—the peace which comes to us from a realization of God's power and goodness and willingness to hold us by His right hand as His children. The thought is that this peace stands guard continually, as a sentinel, to challenge every hostile or worrying thought or fear. It keeps the Christian's mind so that he at heart has peace with the Lord, fellowship, communion; and it guards his mind also, his reasoning faculties, instructing him and assuring him respecting the Divine power and wisdom and love—Z '03, 8 (R 3128).
The peace of God is that rest of heart and mind which results from consciousness of harmony with God and God's arrangements. Its being maintained and ruling in the heart amid conditions untoward to the natural man make it surpass all human understanding, and through Christ's office, it guards heart and mind, both from evil and amid and unto good—P '34, 31.
Parallel passages: John 14: 1, 27; 16: 33; Rom. 5: 1; 8: 6; Col. 1: 20; 3: 15; Job 34: 29; Psa. 4: 8; 25: 12, 13; 29: 11; 85: 8; 119: 165; 125: 1, 5; Prov. 3: 17, 24; Isa. 26: 3; 28: 12; 32: 2, 17, 18; 53: 5; 54: 13; 57: 1, 2, 19; Jer. 33: 6; Luke 1: 79; 2: 14; Acts 10: 36.
Hymns: 108, 54, 106, 107, 109, 179, 244.
Poems of Dawn, 303: Daylight and Darkness.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 397 (R 4898).
Questions: Have I this week had this peace? What helped or hindered it? How did I use it? What resulted from it?DAYLIGHT AND DARKNESS
I PRAYED to God in the morning,
"Thy yoke is easy, Lord,
And light indeed is Thy burden,
And crystal clear is Thy word,
And I am ready for service,
Whatever Thou wilt," I said,
As blithely I started forward,
The pathway bright ahead.
The night came down with its darkness,
And long indeed was the road,
And I was tired and weary,
And fainting beneath my load.
I lost the words of His promise,
And none of my work was done.
I cried aloud for the daylight,
For a smooth road, and the sun.
Then a voice came out of the shadows,
The voice of my unseen Friend:
"Lo, I am with you always,
Even unto the end."
It took the night and its darkness,
And a long road, rough and dim,
And the faithful care of my Shepherd,
To bring me close to Him.
2016-03-13 13:22 - 2017-03-12 13:22
2016-03-27 - 2017-03-26 All day
2016-03-31 - 2017-03-30 All day
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses--1 Tim. 6: 12.
Whether our warfare be of the more public kind or of the more private sort, there must be warfare; and, more than this, there must be progress and victory, else we can never be accepted of the Lord as "overcomers." Another thought should be borne in mind by us all. The Lord in making His estimate will take knowledge of the spirit which actuated us, rather than of the results secured by our efforts. In view of this, let us see to it, not only that we do with our might what our hands find to do, but also that our every sacrifice and gift to the Lord and His cause is so full of love and devotion that the Lord will surely approve it, as done from love for Him and His, and not from vainglory—Z '03, 91 (R 3166).
The Lord's people are called upon to stand on God's side in battling for righteousness. A strong love for the prize of God's calling will be an efficient help by way of stimulating hope and courage in this good fight of faith; and having publicly taken their stand on God's side in this warfare, let them bring no shame upon the cause of God and Christ by cowardice in ignoble flight from, or surrender to, the enemy—P '32, 30.
Parallel passages: 1 Tim. 1: 18; Eph. 6: 12; 2 Tim. 2: 5; 4: 7; Phil. 3: 12-14; 1 Tim. 6: 19; Matt. 7: 21-23; 10: 32, 33; John 9: 22-28; Rom. 2: 7; 10: 9, 10; 1 John 4: 15.
Hymns: 266, 9, 272, 225, 58, 32, 201.
Poems of Dawn, 308: We Still Can Serve.
Tower Reading: Z '98, 153 (R 2309).
Questions: Have I this week fought to win eternal life in harmony with my profession? Why? How? With what effects?WE STILL CAN SERVE
YOU'RE growing old? Your task is done?
And now you rest with setting sun,
Lamenting that your work is o'er,
That you can't labor any more?
Ah, weary not to do God's will!
Go, labor on, your task fulfill.
You'll always have the Master's care--
The oldest trees some fruit must bear;
For age has labors none the less
Than youth, though in another dress.
As evening twilight fades away
New glories shine, not seen by day.
2017-03-02 - 2018-03-01 All dayWhatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest [worthy of reverence] … think on these things — Phil. 4:8.
Whoever sympathizes with falsehood or exaggeration is more or less defiling himself. Whoever cleanses his thoughts, and avoids exaggeration, etc., is in that degree purifying his mind and his entire character. Nor is it sufficient that we are sure of the truth of matters. We are to test them further, and discern to what extent they are honorable, noble; for, although the Lord has covered the ignoble features of our characters, and proposes to cover them to the end with His own merit, nevertheless we cannot be in sympathy with our fallen condition, but on the contrary must desire true nobility and the highest standards of honor in our hearts, in our thoughts, in all our dealings with our God and with our fellows—Z '03, 9 (R 3129).
The true things are the things of God's Plan. The things worthy of reverence are those which are venerable, sacred, holy and which must be considered in order to act reverentially. The Apostle exhorts the Lord's people to meditation on these things because such meditation will impart and develop true wisdom in the heart and mind—the wisdom which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and of good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy—P '33, 45.
Parallel passages: Ex. 34:6; Psa. 33:4; 91:4; Prov. 3:3; Isa. 65:16; Dan. 4:37; 10:21; Zech. 8:16; John 8:31, 32; 14:6; 17:17; Eph. 4:25; 2 Tim. 2:15; Lev. 19:35, 36; Deut. 25:13-16; Psa. 24:4; Isa. 33:15, 16; Acts 24:16; 2 Cor. 4:1, 2; 8:21; 1 Thes. 4:11, 12; Heb. 13:18; 1 Pet. 2:12.
Hymns: 22, 49, 296, 130, 136, 145, 315.
Poems of Dawn, 249: Light and Truth.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 183 (R 4838).
Questions: Have I this week meditated on the true and honorable things? How? Why? With what results?
LIGHT AND TRUTH
THE light is ever silent;
It sparkles on morn's million gems of
It flings itself into the shower of noon,
It weaves its gold into the cloud of sunset,
Yet not a sound is heard; it dashes full
On yon broad rock, yet not an echo answers;
It lights in myriad drops upon the flower,
Yet not a blossom stirs; it doth not move
The slightest film of floating gossamer,
Which the fain touch of insect's wing would shiver.
The light is ever pure,
No art of man can ever rob it of its beauty,
Nor stain its unpolluted heaven lines.
It is the fairest, purest thing in nature;
Fit type of heavenly truth, which is all pure.
Truth, too, with noiseless grandeur
Upon its heavenly mission goeth forth.
It shines upon a sin-polluted earth
Until its vileness doth so vile appear,
That men despise, then banish it from sight.
It shineth on, till 'neath its rays benign
The buds of heav'nly virtue do appear,
And earth gives promise of a summer time.
And so 'twill ever shine, till fruit and flower
Of virtue, peace and praise bedeck the earth.
Truth, like the light, is pure;
And no device to rob it of its glory,
Or drag it down base purposes to serve,
Can e'er succeed. Ah, no! its heav'nly glory
Shall in due time the universe pervade.
2017-03-03 - 2018-03-02 All dayWhatsoever things are just … think on these things — Phil. 4:8.
We are not to allow our minds to run along lines that would be unjust; and we are to learn to apply this test of justice to every thought and word and act of ours, while learning at the same time to view the conduct of others from a different standpoint, so far as reason will permit, from the standpoint of mercy, forgiveness, pity, helpfulness. But we cannot be too careful how we criticize every thought we entertain, every plan we mature, that the lines of justice shall in no sense of the word be infringed by us with our heart's approval—Z '03, 9 (R 3129).
Justice is the good will that we owe out of thankfulness for the good done us; and in order to its development in our characters a consideration of our obligation to God and man in all the affairs of our lives must be kept in the heart; and such thoughtfulness on the things that are just will develop justice, the foundation of Christian character, as it is the foundation of God's character and God's Throne—P '32, 30.
Parallel passages: Ex. 23:1-3, 6-8; Lev. 19:13-15; Ezra 7:26; Psa. 82:2-4; 89:14; Prov. 17:15; Eccles. 3:16, 17; Isa. 1:17; 59:14; Zech. 8:16; Matt. 5:23, 24; John 7:24.
Hymns: 14, 130, 196, 145, 23, 267, 49.
Poems of Dawn, 117: Thus May He Bless and Keep Thee.
Tower Reading: Z '04, 21 (R 3304).
Questions: Have I this week thought on things just or not? How? Why? With what results?
THUS MAY HE BLESS AND KEEP THEE
THE Lord bless thee!
How shall He bless thee?
With the gladness that knoweth no decay;
With the riches that cannot pass away;
With the sunshine that makes an endless day—
Thus may He bless thee!
And keep thee!
How shall He keep thee?
With the all-covering shadow of His wings;
With the strong love that guards from evil things;
With the sure power that safe to glory brings—
Thus may He keep thee!
2017-03-04 - 2018-03-03 All dayWhatsoever things are pure, lovely, and of good report … think on these things — Phil. 4:8.
We are to love and cultivate that which is pure to such an extent that that which is impure will become painful to us, distressing, and we will desire to drop it from memory, and this will only be accomplished by continually thinking upon those things that are pure, and avoiding the giving of thought to the things that are impure. We are to recognize true loveliness, and to esteem it. When we would think on the purest of things we must of necessity lift our mental vision to as high a point as possible, and, as nearly as we may be able, discern the loveliness of the perfect character of our God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, and proportionately the loveliness manifested in one or another of the followers of Jesus, who walk closely in His footsteps—Z '03, 9 (R 3129).
By the pure, sinlessness of purpose in glorifying God is meant; by the lovely, appreciation of good character and principles is meant; and by the reputable, that which is in harmony with correct standards is meant. To think on such things cannot but purify our purposes, develop disinterested love, and elevate character—P '26, 28.
Parallel passages: Psa. 12:6; 19:8; 24:3-5; 119:40; Prov. 15:26; 20:9; Matt. 5:3-12; John 15:9-17; 1 Tim. 1:5; 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:22; Rom. 12:9-21; 1 Cor. 13; 2 Cor. 6:8; Col. 3:12-17; Heb. 11:2, 39; 1 John 4:7-21; Prov. 22:1; Eccles. 7:1.
Hymns: 1, 4, 95, 196, 198, 201, 267.
Poems of Dawn, 290: God's Boundless Love.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 165 (R 4826).
Questions: Have I thought this week on the pure, lovely and reputable, or on their opposites? What were the circumstances and effects?
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
2017-03-05 - 2018-03-04 All dayIf there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things — Phil. 4:8.
Things of any virtue or value, things in any degree praiseworthy—the noble words or noble deeds or noble sentiments of anybody—we may safely meditate upon, and as a consequence find ourselves growing toward those ideals on which our new hearts, minds and wills thus feed. We shall become more and more transformed by the renewing of our minds, and approach nearer and nearer to the glorious likeness of our Lord and Master, being changed from glory to glory, inch by inch, step by step, little by little, during the present life; and our thoughts being in this attitude and our union with the Lord maintained, we shall have part in the resurrection of the just, which will perfect us in the Lord's image and likeness—Z '03, 9 (R 3129).
The virtues refer more to the graces of justice, and the praises to the graces of charity. Since the mind is bound to think, how much more noble it is to contemplate good thoughts and qualities, the virtues and the praises! A low plane of contemplation is that of things; a higher is that of persons; but the highest is the contemplation of noble thoughts and qualities, especially as they exist in God, in Christ and in the saints; and this is also the best way of becoming like them—P '36, 31.
Parallel passages: 2 Pet. 1:3, 5; Josh. 1:8; Psa. 1:2; 4:4; 19:14; 39:3; 49:3; 63:5, 6; 77:10-12; 104:34; 119:11, 15, 16, 23, 48, 59, 97, 99; 139:17, 18; 143:5; 1 Tim. 4:13.
Hymns: 198, 95, 141, 1, 125, 150, 196.
Poems of Dawn, 290: My Life Is But a Weaving.
Tower Reading: Z '16, 166 (R 5908).
Questions: Have I this week meditated on the virtues and praises? How? What helped or hindered therein? In what circumstances? With what results?
MY LIFE IS BUT A WEAVING
MY life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
He chooses all the colors
And works on steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in blinded pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skilful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
Not till the loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the fabric,
And show the reason why.
2017-03-06 - 2018-03-05 All dayI have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound — Phil. 4:11, 12.
If we find our experiences in life very checkered, we may conclude that the Lord sees that we need both the heights and depths of prosperity and adversity to properly instruct us and qualify us for the position He designs for us in the future. Let us, then, as the Apostle did, learn how to abound, not allowing the abundance of earthly good things to swerve us from our consecration vows; and let us learn also how to be in want (need) and yet not to want anything beyond what the Lord's wisdom and providence see best to give—to be content—Z '03, 10 (R 3129).
To be contented under all circumstances is a glorious achievement, and is an ideal toward which the Lord's people should constantly strive. Few indeed are they, who can suffer abasement contentedly, still fewer are they who can receive success contentedly. It is only through many experiences of abasement and exaltation that we learn to receive all things contentedly—P '30, 30.
Parallel passages: Psa. 37:7; Prov. 16:8; 17:1, 22; 30:8; Eccles. 4:6; 5:12; Luke 3:14; 1 Cor. 7:20, 24; 2 Cor. 6:9, 10; 1 Tim. 6:6-12; Heb. 13:5, 6; Psa. 16:6; 37:7, 16; Prov. 14:14; 15:13, 15, 30.
Hymns: 50, 94, 15, 170, 176, 179, 244.
Poems of Dawn, 297: Our Father's at the Helm.
Tower Reading: Z '98, 243 (R 2351).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences as to this text? In what did they result?
OUR FATHER'S AT THE HELM
THE boisterous waves with awful roar
A little boat assailed,
And pallid fear's distracting power
O'er all on board prevailed.
Save one, the captain's darling child,
Who steadfast viewed the storm;
And, cheerful, with composure smiled
At danger's threatening form.
"Do you feel safe," a seaman cried,
"While terrors overwhelm?"
"Why should I fear?" the boy replied—
"My father's at the helm."
So when our worldly all is reft,
Our earthly helpers gone,
We still have one true anchor left—
God helps, and He alone.
He to our prayers will bend an ear,
He gives our pains relief;
He turns to smiles each trembling tear,
To joy each torturing grief.
Then turn to Him 'mid sorrows wild,
When want and woes o'erwhelm,
Remembering, like the fearless child,
Our Father's at the helm!
2017-03-07 - 2018-03-06 All dayIf we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us — 1 John 4:12.
Whether I am something or nothing in God's estimation is to be measured by my love for Him, for His brethren, for His cause, for the world in general, and even for my enemies, rather than by my knowledge or fame or oratory. In the measurement of character, therefore, we are to put love first, and to consider it the chief test of our nearness and acceptance to the Lord. Those who have received the holy Spirit should all be good tempered. In no way can we better show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light than by the exhibition of the spirit of love in the daily affairs of life—Z '03, 56, 57 (R 3150).
The Scriptures declare that God is love, and that He dwells in His people, not personally, but by His Spirit, His qualities. Consequently, whoever exhibits this quality of love is indwelt by God, and he who continues to manifest this quality amid the various experiences of life will have the joy of seeing the Divine love perfected in him—P '35, 31.
Parallel passages: John 3:16; 6:54-56; 13:34; 14:21-23; 15:7-12; 17:21; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 John 3:16-18, 22-24; 4:7, 13, 15-19; Rom. 8:8-17; Gal. 4:5, 6.
Hymns: 165, 166, 23, 47, 74, 114, 105.
Poems of Dawn, 97: In My Name.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 205 (R 4849).
Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? What assisted or hindered therein? In what did they result?
IN MY NAME
THERE were only two or three of us
Who came to the place of prayer—
Came in the teeth of the driving storm;
But for that we did not care,
Since after our hymns of praise had risen,
And our earnest prayers were said,
The Master Himself was present there,
And He gave us the living bread.
We noted the look in each other's face,
So loving, and glad, and free;
We felt His touch when our heads were bowed,
We heard His "Come to Me!"
Nobody saw Him lift the latch,
And none unbarred the door;
But "Peace" was His token in every heart,
And how could we ask for more?
Each of us felt the relief from sin,
Christ's purchase for one and all;
Each of us dropped his load of care,
And heard the Heavenly call;
And over our spirits a blessed calm
Swept in from the Jasper Sea,
And strength was ours for the toil of life
In the days that were yet to be.
It was only a handful gathered in
To the little place of prayer,
Outside were struggle and strife and sin,
But the Lord Himself was there.
He came to redeem the pledge He gave—
Wherever his loved ones be,
To give His comfort and joy to them,
Though they count but two or three.
2017-03-08 - 2018-03-07 All dayGod hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him — 1 Cor. 12:18.
No member of the Body of Christ can say that he has no need for another member, and no member may say that there is nothing whatever that he can do in the service of the Body. Under the guidance of our glorious Head each member who is filled with His Spirit, and desirous of serving Him, may do so. When the time for rewards shall have come, who knows how much of the usefulness of Paul and Apollos may be accredited to some of the humble ones, such as Aquila and Priscilla, who in various ways ministered to and encouraged and supported their abler brethren in the Lord's work—Z '03, 59 (R 3152).
If we could but learn the lesson that God sets the members in the Body as it pleases Him, not only would we not envy the fellow-members their places, but we would cheerfully co-operate with them in fulfilling the privileges of their places. God is pleased to place each member in the Body, where he can best help the others, and where he can best be helped by the others—P '34, 31.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 12:5-31; 3:5; 4:1-16; Rom. 12:3-8; 8:29; Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:15; 4:3-6, 11-15; 5:23, 30; Col. 1:24; 2:10; Acts 2:36; Heb. 3:3, 6; Rev. 1:13; 2:1.
Hymns: 21, 23, 94, 96, 170, 6, 322.
Poems of Dawn, 232: In the Garden of the Lord.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 295 (R 5321).
Questions: How have I acted this week toward the brethren? Why did I so act? What were the results?
IN THE GARDEN OF THE LORD
LAST night I dreamed the Master came to me and
"Beloved, lay thy cross aside, and come with me
For I would have thee rest within the garden of the
And then He took my trembling hand and led me
through the gloom
Until we came to where a massive gateway barred
The gates were closed, but opened at the Master's
We entered, and the shadows fled before His radiant
Oh, vision rapturous, can words be found to tell how
Ten thousand roses beckoned with Love's crimson
hue, and round
About our feet the violets nestled in their purple grief;
While velvet pansies, clothed in royalty, together grew
With lovely, clinging, pink and white sweet peas, and
The lilies of the valley bent in sweet humility,—
And everywhere, the tender grass, a carpet soft and
And often as we passed, the Master's hand with
Did rest upon some drooping flower, and lo! at once
Refreshed. At last we came to where a stately lily
Its snowy crown uplifted like a chime of silvery bells,
Whose swaying filled the garden with a fragrance
sweet and rare.
We closer drew, and then I saw, alas! how here and
A petal fair was torn and brown, as though by some
Or scorching heat. I wondered greatly at the sight,
The question on my lips,—when suddenly there rose
So fierce that every flower in the garden bent its head;
And then a shower of flaming arrows, hurled by
Outside the garden's ivy-covered walls, rained down
The lilies, while I clung in terror to my Heavenly
A moment only did the storm prevail, and then I
The Master's "Peace, be still!" The tempest ceased,
and there was calm,
The wonderous light grew dim, the garden vanished,—
and I woke.
The Master had not spoken thus, and yet I seemed
The fair dream-garden was a picture of his "little
(He neither sleeps nor slumbers in His watch-care
And then the thought,—if in this garden I might
choose my place,
Would I be like the rose? Ah! no, lest in my
To show by works my heart of love, I should forget
Dear Lord, and wound Thy loving hand! Ah! then,
perhaps I would
The lily be, and sound Thy blessed Truth o'er land
In clear-toned eloquence. Ah! no, I might not bear
That beat upon the one whose head Thou hast
Above his fellows,—and a shining mark for Satan's
And thus I thought on each and all that garden's
Then cried, "My blessed Lord, if I might choose,
Oh, let me be
The tender grass, that I may rest and soothe Thy
A lowly place, safe-sheltered from the wind and fiery
What rapture this,—to lay down life itself beneath
2017-03-09 - 2018-03-08 All dayGod is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister — Heb. 6:10.
No child of the Lord should be content to let the days of the present harvest time go by with their golden opportunities for service and co-operation without seeking each day to lift the royal banner himself, and publicly to show forth the praises of Him who has called him out of darkness into light, or without assisting and co-operating with others whom the Lord in His providence has placed in more advantageous positions for public service—Z '03, 59 (R 3152).
The work and labor flowing out of love, which the saints perform for the development and perfection of one another in Christlikeness, should primarily be shown for His name, for the glory of God; and such work and labor of love--marvelous thought!—God owns with appreciation, and thus His justice forbids His forgetting the same—P '33, 46.
Parallel passages: Prov. 14:31; 22:9; 28:27; 31:20; Matt. 10:40-42; 18:5, 6; Acts 11:29; 24:17; Rom. 12:13; 15:25, 26; 2 Cor. 8, 9; 1 Thes. 1:3, 6, 7; 2 Tim. 1:18.
Hymns: 46, 11, 19, 45, 235, 286, 333.
Poems of Dawn, 220: She Hath Done What She Could.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 380 (R 5818).
Questions: What were this week's experiences as to the text? How were they undergone? What were their results?
"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD"
THE Feast was spread at Simon's house, and as
they sat at meat,
A woman came and silent stood within the open
Close pressed against her throbbing heart an alabaster
Of purest spikenard, costly, rare, she held. With modest fear,
She dreaded to attract the curious gaze of those
And yet her well-beloved Friend was there, her
With wondrous intuition she divined that this might
Her last, her only opportunity to show her love;
She thought of all that He had done for her, the
She spent enraptured at His feet, unmindful of all
If only she might hear those words of Truth, those
words of Life.
She thought of that dark hour when Lazarus lay
within the tomb
And how He turned her night to day, her weeping
Her fair face flushed, with deepening gratitude her
pure eyes shone;
With swift, light step she crossed the crowded room.
She bravely met
Those questioning eyes (for Love will find its way
through paths where lions
Fear to tread); with trembling hands she broke the
seal and poured
The precious contents of the box upon her Savior's
And all the house was filled with fragrance wonderful
She could not speak, her heart's devotion was too
deep, her tears
Fell softly, while she took her chiefest ornament, her
And silken hair and wiped His sacred feet,—when
A rude voice broke the golden silence with, "What
waste! this might
Have sold for much, to feed the poor!" She lower
bent her head—
To her it seemed so mean a gift for love so great to
Again a voice re-echoed through the room, her
(He half arose and gently laid His hand upon her
And how it thrilled her fainting heart to hear Him
"Rebuke her not, for she hath wrought a good work,
what she could;
Aforehand, to anoint Me for my burying, she hath
and this her deed of love throughout the ages shall
How oft since first I read the story of this saint of old,
My own poor heart hath burned with fervent, longing,
That I might thus have ministered unto my Lord and
"The chiefest of ten thousand, altogether lovely One."
And now, to learn—oh! precious thought, 'tis not
too late, I still
May pour Love's priceless ointment on "the members"
of His Feet!
Dear Lord, I pray, oh! help me break with sacrificial
The seal of Self, and pour the pent-up odors of my
Upon Thy "Feet!" Oh! Let me spend my days and
nights in toil,
That I, perchance, may save from needless wandering,
To keep them in the narrow way that leads to light
Oh! let me lay within their trembling hands a rose of
A lily's pure and holy inspiration on their breast!
Dear Master, let me kneel with them in dark
Oh! help me boldly stand and meekly bear the scoffs
Of cruel, mocking tongues! Oh! may I count no
cost, e'en life
Itself, too great to serve, to bless, to comfort Thy
And when the last drop of my heart's devotion hath
Oh, may I hear Thy sweet voice say, "She hath done
what she could!"
2017-03-10 - 2018-03-09 All dayExhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin — Heb. 3:13.
If we realize that a spiritual lethargy has to any extent been creeping over us, imperceptibly benumbing our spiritual senses, so that the Truth is losing its inspiring power upon us, our first duty is to betake ourselves to prayer and to communion with God and His Word, that its sanctifying power may be realized. For we are made partakers of the Kingdom with Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end (Heb. 3:14)—Z '03, 54 (R 3149).
Sin through its various avenues of access is exceedingly deceitful, and its specious entreaties certainly have a hardening effect upon the yielding heart. Therefore the disciples of Christ have the privilege throughout the Gospel Age to exhort one another daily as need may be, that thus they may be preserved blameless. How much more this duty and this privilege are incumbent upon us as the day is rapidly nearing!—P '32, 30.
Parallel passages: Acts 13:15; 20:2; Rom. 12:8; 2 Cor. 9:5; 1 Tim. 6:2; Titus 2:15; Heb. 12:3, 4; 13:22; Deut. 29:18; Psa. 9:15, 16; Prov. 5:22; Isa. 57:20, 21; Mark 7:21-23; Gal. 6:7, 8; 1 Pet. 4:3.
Hymns: 145, 198, 34, 114, 196, 4, 130.
Poems of Dawn, 107: O, Use Me, Lord!
Tower Reading: Z '03, 53 (R 3149).
Questions: Have I this week sought to encourage the brethren to fight the good fight of faith? Why? How? What were the effects?
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!
2017-03-11 - 2018-03-10 All dayWherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us — Heb. 12:1.
You that discern the prize of Jehovah's calling, and who are endeavoring to press along the line toward the mark, "gird up the loins of your mind"; strengthen and fortify your purposes and efforts; renew your determination; redouble your diligence; cast aside the weights of unnecessary worldly cares; increase your zeal; and, as the Apostle urges, run with patience the race set before you. Run, not like one who is merely beating the air, but like one who has a purpose in view, and who, in desperate earnest, is determinedto make his calling and election sure—Z '03, 54 (R 3149).
The noble example of the Ancient Worthies, as they, enclosing us as a type circumscribes its antitype, testifies of God's faithfulness to the loyal, and admonishes us to cast aside our besetting sins and errors and our weights of selfishness and worldliness which encumber us in the race for the prize. So stripped, we may the more readily persevere in the race of attaining and retaining Christlikeness—P '26, 28.
Parallel passages: Heb. 11:2-40; Jas. 5:10, 11; Psa. 19:12, 13; 2 Cor. 7:1; Col. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:1; Phil. 3:13, 14; 1 Cor. 9:24, 26; Heb. 6:1; Luke 21:19; Heb. 10:36; Jas. 1:4; 5:7.
Hymns: 20, 200, 136, 95, 221, 78, 145.
Poems of Dawn, 41: The Call Divine.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 291 (R 5318).
Questions: What have I been doing with my "weights," besetting sin and the race for the prize this week? What were my motives, helps or hindrances and results?
THE CALL DIVINE
TO-DAY, to-morrow, evermore,
Through cheerless nights without a star,
Not asking whither or how far,
Rejoicing though the way be sore,
Take up thy cross
And follow Me.
I cannot promise wealth or ease,
Fame, pleasure, length of days, esteem—
These things are vainer than they seem—
If thou canst turn from all of these,
Take up thy cross
And follow Me!
I promise only perfect peace,
Sweet peace that lives through years of strife;
Eternal love, immortal life,
And rest when all these wanderings cease.
Take up thy cross
And follow Me!
My yoke is easy—put it on;
My burden very light to bear.
Who shareth this, My crown shall share—
The present cross insures the crown.
Take up thy cross
And follow Me!
2017-03-12 - 2018-03-11 All day
The end of the commandment is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an undissembled faith — 1 Tim. 1:5.
We are to have clearly before our minds the fact that the ultimate object of all the Divine dealings for us and with us, and the ultimate significance of all the Divine promises made to us, is the development of love, which is Godlikeness, for God is love. And to have this love developed in us, in the sense and to the degree intended by the Lord, it is necessary that it shall come from a pureheart, in full accord with the Lord and His law of love, and wholly antagonistic to the Adversary and his law of selfishness—Z '00, 360 (R 2733).
The beautiful attributes of the ripe Christian character, like those of God's character, consist of wisdom, justice, love and power. While these characteristics support one another, the one that shines out the brightest among them is love; the object of the other three is its development; and the ultimate goal of character development is the supremacy of Divine love, in harmony with, supported by, and flowing out of wisdom, justice and power—P '36, 31.
Parallel passages: Matt. 7:12; Rom. 13:8-10; John 13:35; Eph. 1:4; Gal. 5:14; Col. 3:14; 1 Cor. 13; Jas. 2:8; 1 John 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 3:8; 4:8; Heb. 9:14; Acts 15:8, 9; 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; Phil. 2:13.
Hymns: 201, 165, 105, 125, 154, 130, 1.
Poems of Dawn, 79: Love's Alchemy.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 261 (R 5755).
Questions: What has this text done to me? How? What helped or hindered? What were the circumstances? What were the results?
LOVE is the filling from one's own
Love is a daily laying down
And taking up;
A choosing of the stony path
Through each new day
That other feet may tread with ease
A smoother way.
Love is not blind, but looks abroad
Through other eyes;
And asks not "Must I give?" but "May
Love hides its grief, that other hearts
And lips may sing;
And burdened, walks, that other lives
May, buoyant, wing.
Brother, hast thou a love like this
Within thy soul?
'Twill change thy name to saint when thou
Dost reach thy goal.
2017-03-14 - 2018-03-13 All dayHe that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city — Prov. 16:32.
While anger, in the nature of hatred, malice, strife, envy, should be put away by all who are seeking to be copies of God's dear Son, anger in the sense of righteous indignation against wrong-doing, sin in its various forms, is proper; and although it should be used with great moderation, backed by love, there are circumstances in which it would be wrong not to have righteous anger and use it—Z '96, 279 (R 2068).
The reason why those slow to anger are better than the mighty is that love and sympathy prompt them to make allowances for the weaknesses of others, which the mighty are indisposed to do; and the reason why he that rules his spirit is greater than he that takes a city is that trying to dislodge Satan, the world and the flesh from their fortress in his heart requires greater perseverance, strategy and valor than that of him who takes a city. Such self-rule is a real conquest—P '35, 31, 32.
Parallel passages: Prov. 25:28; 1 Cor. 13:4, 7; 2 Cor. 6:4-6; Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 4:1, 2, 26, 31, 32; Col. 1:11; 3:12, 13; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2; 1 Sam. 10:27; 24:1-15; Matt. 27:12-14; 1 Cor. 9:25, 27; Titus 2:2.
Hymns: 13, 44, 1, 244, 179, 274, 99.
Poems of Dawn, 133: Steadfast, Immovable.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 59 (R 5635).
Questions: Was I long-suffering and self-controlling this week? In what circumstances? What helped or hindered therein? What were the effects?
TO play through life a perfect part,
Unnoticed and unknown;
To seek no rest in any heart
Save only God's alone;
In little things to own no will,
To have no share in great,
To find the labor ready still,
And for the crown to wait;
Upon the brow to bear no trace
Of more than common care;
To write no secret in the face
For men to read it there;
The daily cross to clasp and bless
With such familiar zeal
As hides from all that not the less
Its daily weight you feel;
In toils that praise will never pay
To see your life go past;
To meet in every coming day
Twin sister of the last;
To hear of high, heroic things,
And yield them reverence due,
But feel life's daily offerings
Are far more fit for you;
To woo no secret, soft disguise,
To which self-love is prone;
Unnoticed by all other eyes,
Unworthy in your own;
To yield with such a happy art
That no one thinks you care,
Yet say to your poor bleeding heart,
How little you can bear;—
Oh! 'tis a pathway rough to choose,
A struggle hard to share,
For human pride would still refuse
The nameless trials there;
But since we know the gate is low
That leads to heavenly bliss,
What higher grace could God bestow
Than such a life as this!
2017-03-15 - 2018-03-14 All dayThe just shall live by faith — Heb. 10:38.
It is not enough that, by faith, we receive the first impulse of life, but, having passed from death unto life, by the same means, we must continue to receive and appropriate spiritual nourishment, that we may grow thereby; we must walk by faith, following the leading of the holy Spirit through the Word of Truth. The life of faith is an individual matter, as well of the heart as of the head. It is far more than an acceptance of doctrines which we consider Scriptural and therefore true; it is the assimilation of that which we have proved to be the Truth, so that its principles become our principles, and its promises our inspiration—Z '95, 92, 93 (R 1798).
Mankind's efforts under the fallen condition to gain everlasting life by works have proven disastrous. The sacrifice of Christ has made it possible that a righteousness apart from the law might be given all who exercise faith therein. Whoever, therefore, accepts Christ as his Savior, gains reckoned eternal life through faith, and thus the just shall live—gain everlasting life reckonedly through faith. The consecrated also live by faith in that theirs is a life of faith as distinct from living by sight. And, finally, actual eternal life is gained on all planes of being by faithfulness. Thus in three senses the just shall live by faith—P '34, 31.
Parallel passages: Hab. 2:4; John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 6:40; Rom. 1:17; 3:19—5:1; 10:4; Gal. 2:16-21; 3:5-13, 21-26; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 3:9; Heb. 11:3-39; Jas. 2:17-26.
Hymns: 174, 15, 54, 124, 178, 246, 295.
Poems of Dawn, 71: Have Faith in God.
Tower Reading: Z '94, 146 (R 1652).
Questions: Have I this week lived by faith? What helped or hindered therein? What were the results?
HAVE FAITH IN GOD
WHEN the stormy winds are blowing,
And the angry billows roll,
When the mighty waves of trouble
Surge around thy stricken soul,
Have faith in God,
Who reigns above;
Yea, trust in Him,
For He is love.
When the way is rough and thorny,
Danger all along the path,
When the foe is ever planning
How to crush thee in his wrath,
Have faith in God;
His loving care
Shall keep thee safe
From every snare.
When thine eyes are dim with weeping,
And thy heart is full of woe
For the loved that now are sleeping
In the silent grave so low,
Have faith in God;
The dead shall rise
And meet the Savior
From the skies.
Art thou filled with eager longing
For the night to pass away?
Art thou weary of the watching
For the dawning of the day?
Have faith in God;
He is our stay;
Soon, soon will come
The perfect day.
Art thou hoping, waiting, praying,
For the presence of the Lord?
Art thou waiting for the Kingdom,
And the glorious reward?
Have faith in God;
Our King is here,
And soon His glory
2017-03-16 - 2018-03-15 All dayWe know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. … And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren — 1 John 3:14, 16.
One of the final and most searching tests of these "brethren," and the one under which probably the most of those once awakened and armed will fall, will be love for the brethren. Seemingly many will fail at this point and be therefore accounted unworthy of an abundant entrance to the Kingdom on this score. Should any be specially weak and liable to stumble, the true soldier of the cross will not despise him, nor revile him, even as the Elder Brother, the Captain, would not do so. On the contrary, he will be the more watchful and helpful toward the weaker, even though he most enjoy himself in the company of the stronger—Z '99, 88 (R 2450).
One of the evidences of our justification and of Spirit-infilling is love for the brethren, disciples of Christ Jesus. He who has this quality in the self-denying measure that thankfully and appreciatively lays down life for the brethren, because of his relation to them in Christ, may rest assured of his possession of the Spirit. We who have been received into the Divine family owe it to the Lord that we lay down our lives for the brethren. This is a debt that the covenant under which we are requires us to discharge—P '33, 46.
Parallel passages: John 13:34, 35; 15:9-19; Rom. 12:9, 10; 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 5:13, 22; Col. 2:2; 3:12-14; 1 Thes. 3:12; 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; 1 John 2:10; 3:11, 17, 18, 23; 4:7, 11, 12, 20, 21.
Hymns: 299, 208, 165, 166, 167, 22, 170.
Poems of Dawn, 38: Lord, Here I Bring Myself.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 339 (R 5346).
Questions: Have I this week loved and served the brethren? How? Why? With what results?
LORD, HERE I BRING MYSELF
LORD, here I bring myself,
'Tis all I have to give,
My heart's desire is wholly this,
Henceforth for Thee to live;
To own no will but Thine,
To suffer loss or shame,
All things to bear, if only I
May glorify Thy name;
Henceforth mine every power
Each day for thee to use,
My hands, my feet, my lips, mine all,
As Thou, my Lord, shalt choose.
Dear Lord, my constant prayer
Is for increase of grace,
That I by faith may walk with Thee,
Till I behold Thy face.
2017-03-17 - 2018-03-16 All dayTake therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath — Matt. 25:28, 29.
Why is the one-talented man chosen as an illustration of these talent-burials? It is to show the responsibility of those who have least—that the Lord expects even the least of His consecrated people to know of and to use the talents (opportunities) he has in his possession, and that he will not hold guiltless even those who have the smallest ability (opportunity) to serve Him and His brethren and His Truth, and who neglect to use it—Z '01, 59 (R 2764).
The talents are the opportunities that God gives each according to his ability for service. Those who fail to use their opportunities will be deprived of these altogether; while those who use them will not only retain their own, but gain others in addition—even those lost by the negligent. Let this admonish each of us to seize and use the golden opportunities of service now—P '32, 30.
Parallel passages: 1 Cor. 4:1, 2; Matt. 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 12:35-38, 42; 16:2; 19:26; 1 Cor. 15:10; Lev. 10:1-7; Acts 1:20; Matt. 24:45-51; 1 Pet. 4:10.
Hymns: 208, 13, 130, 136, 145, 183, 299.
Poems of Dawn, 145: I'll Do My Very Best.
Tower Reading: Z '06, 315 (R 3869).
Questions: Have I this week been a faithful or an unfaithful steward? How? Why? With what results?
I'LL DO MY VERY BEST
I MAY perform no deed of great renown
No glorious acts to millions manifest;
Yet in my little labors up and down,
I'll do my best.
I may not paint a perfect masterpiece,
Nor carve a statue by the world confessed
A miracle of art; yet will not cease
To do my best.
My name is not upon the rolls of fame,
'Tis on the page of common life impressed;
But I'll keep marking, marking just the same,
And do my very best.
Mine may not be the beautiful and grand,
But I must try to be so careful, lest
It fail to be what's put into my hand—
My very best.
2017-03-18 - 2018-03-17 All dayGird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ — 1 Pet. 1:13.
Having "girded up the loins of your mind" for a long, steady and determined effort, "be sober"; do not allow yourself to become excited and, under the spur of excitement, to exhaust all your spiritual vitality in a very short time, and then to suffer a relapse into coldness or discouragement. Strive thoughtfully to consider and prepare for a long and patient endurance of all the discipline and trial of faith and patience necessary to prove an overcomer and worthy of the blessed reward promised "to him that overcometh." The race before us is not one to be run by fits and starts, but by "patient continuance in well doing"—Z '03, 54 (R 3149).
The Christian should ever stand with his knowledge so arranged as to be ready for service. Not impulsiveness but sober thoughtfulness should characterize his mental habits. With such a disposition the earnest hope for the glorious prize offered, which he will receive during our Lord's Second Advent, will be a constant inspiration to do, to be and to endure for the glory of the Lord—P '26, 28.
Parallel passages: Luke 12:34, 35; Rom. 13:13; Eph. 6:14; 1 Thes. 5:6, 8; 1 Pet. 4:7; 5:8; 1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13; Heb. 6:18, 19; 2 Pet. 3:12.
Hymns: 21, 25, 32, 58, 92, 216, 320.
Poems of Dawn, 179: Beyond the Shadows.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 177 (R 5035).
Questions: Have I, or have I not, this week been sober-minded, ready for service and full of the blessed hope? How did this affect me?
BEYOND THE SHADOWS
FARTHER on—beyond the shadows
Falling darkly o'er my way,
There is home, and rest and shelter,
Where no storms can e'er dismay.
Though the way be rough and narrow,
And a cross must needs be borne,
Farther on—the night is waning
Soon will dawn the welcome morn.
Meekly to His will submitting,
In His love secure and strong,
Jesus whispers, "Bide the shadows,
It is better farther on."
Farther on—O blest assurance!
How it thrills my raptured heart,
Just to know that I shall see Him
When the shadows all depart.
Let me still be strong and patient,
Trusting where I cannot trace,
Farther on—beyond all darkness
Faith can see God's smiling face.
Only waiting, ever praying,
Let my heart be filled with song.
Sweet the promise Jesus gives me,
"It is better farther on."
2017-03-19 - 2018-03-18 All day
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation — 1 Pet. 1:14, 15.
Some Christians have the erroneous idea that God does all the fashioning, and that His children are to be merely passive in His hand; but Peter does not so express it. He exhorts us to fashion ourselves according to the Divine instructions. There is work to be done in us and about us, and those who are not up and doing, but who passively sit and wait for the Lord to work miracles in their behalf, are greatly deceived and are giving the enemy great advantage over them, which he will certainly use to bind them hand and foot and cast them into outer darkness, unless they bestir themselves to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling—Z '03, 55 (R 3150).
We were once Satan's servants, governing our conduct by sinfulness, selfishness, worldliness, ignorance and error. Now as God's children we would obey the will of Him who is holy, whose perfect will, blending wisdom, justice, love and power, and taken into the heart, transforms His children into His own character likeness; and the contrast between the old disposition and the new is greater than that between night and day—P '36, 31.
Parallel passages: Gal. 4:6; 3:26; Rom. 12:2; 8:14-16; 1 Pet. 4:2; 1 John 2:15; 3:3; Luke 1:74, 75; Eph. 2:10; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thes. 4:7; Heb. 12:14; 2 Pet. 3:11; Col. 1:22; Lev. 11:44; 19:2.
Hymns: 91, 21, 74, 78, 90, 194, 267.
Poems of Dawn, 43: The Transformation.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 184 (R 5481).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? With what results?
TO the Potter's house I went down one day,
And watched him while moulding the vessels of clay,
And many a wonderful lesson I drew,
As I noted the process the clay went through.
Trampled and broken, down-trodden and rolled,
To render more plastic and fit for the mould
How like the clay that is human, I thought,
When in Heavenly hands to perfection brought!
For Self must be cast as the dust at His feet,
Before it is ready, for service made meet.
And Pride must be broken, and self-will lost—
All laid on the altar, whatever the cost.
But lo! by and by, a delicate vase
Of wonderful beauty and exquisite grace.
Was it once the vile clay? Ah! yes; yet how strange,
The Potter hath wrought such a marvelous change!
Not a trace of the earth, nor mark of the clay—
The fires of the furnace have burned them away.
Wondrous skill of the Potter!—the praise is his due,
In whose hands to perfection and beauty it grew.
Thus with souls lying still, content in God's hand,
That do not His power of working withstand—
They are moulded and fitted, a treasure to hold,
Vile clay now transformed into purest of gold.
2017-03-20 - 2018-03-19 All dayIf ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free — John 8:31, 32.
Divine Truth is never found except in the Divinely appointed channels, and those channels are the Lord and the Apostles and Prophets. To continue in the doctrines set forth in their inspired writings, to study and meditate upon them, to trust implicitly in them, and faithfully to conform our characters to them, is what is implied in continuing in the Word of the Lord. If we thus continue in the Word of the Lord, as earnest and sincere disciples, we shall indeed "know the truth"; we shall be "firm in the faith," and "able to give a reason for the hope that is in us," to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints," to "war a good warfare," to "witness a good confession," and firmly to "endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ," even unto the end of our course—Z '03, 61 (R 3153).
Our Lord assures us that God's Word is the Truth. Those who remain in His Word—continue as its learners and doers—will eventually know it as the Truth, from its self-evidencing power in the responsive heart. This will make them true learners of Christ, and with hearts subject to the Word, they will be freed from sin, selfishness, worldliness and error, and free to practice righteousness, truth, love and Kingdom-mindedness—P '30, 30.
Parallel passages: Gen. 18:19; Ex. 19:5; 24:7; Num. 9:23; 14:24; Neh. 1:5; Psa. 1:2; 99:7; 111:10; 143:10; Isa. 1:19; Matt. 5:19; 13:23; Luke 6:46-48; John 8:36; 14:15.
Hymns: 315, 22, 44, 154, 296, 54, 246.
Poems of Dawn, 91: Into His Marvelous Light.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 227 (R 5506).
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How? Why? With what results?
INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT
OUT of disaster and ruin complete,
Out of the struggle and dreary defeat,
Out of my sorrow, and burden, and shame,
Out of the evils too fearful to name,
Out of my guilt and the criminal's doom,
Out of the dreading, and terror, and gloom;
Into the sense of forgiveness and rest,
Into inheritance with all the blest,
Into a righteous and permanent peace,
Into the grandest and fullest release,
Into the comfort without an alloy,
Into a perfect and permanent joy.
Wonderful love that hath wrought all for me!
Wonderful work that hath thus set me free!
Wonderful ground upon which I have come!
Wonderful tenderness, welcoming home!
Out of the terror at standing alone,
Out, and forever, of being my own,
Out of the hardness of heart and of will,
Out of the longings which nothing could fill,
Out of the bitterness, madness and strife,
Out of myself and of all I called life;
Into the light and the glory of God,
Into the holy, made clean by His blood,
Into His arms, the embrace and the kiss,
Into the scene of ineffable bliss,
Into the quiet, the infinite calm,
Into the place of the song and the psalm.
Wonderful holiness, bringing to light!
Wonderful grace, putting all out of sight!
Wonderful wisdom, devising the way!
Wonderful power that nothing can stay!
2017-03-21 - 2018-03-20 All dayLove your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you — Matt. 5:44.
Here is a way to examine the real disposition of your own heart toward such. Would you cheerfully do them kindness and help them to the extent of your ability to see the error of their way and to overcome it? Can you tenderly pray for them and patiently bear with their weakness, their ignorance and lack of development, and try by a noble example to show them a more excellent way? If such be the case, then it is the sin that you despise, and not the sinner. The sin you should hate, but the sinner, never. Not until God's unerring judgment declares that the sin and the sinner are inseparably linked together may love let go its hold upon a brother man—Z '91, 141 (R 1330).
The perfection of love is love for enemies; nor is there anything in love harder to develop than love for enemies. He who can love, bless, do good to and pray for his enemies, is indeed rich in character; and if he maintains this quality firm unto the end, he will be sure of an entrance into the everlasting Kingdom; for this presupposes proper love for God, Jesus, the brethren and the world of mankind, all of which combined constitute perfect love—P '35, 32.
Parallel passages: Ex. 23:4, 5; Prov. 20:22; 24:29; 25:21; Luke 6:27, 35; Rom. 12:14, 17, 19, 20; Matt. 5:10-12, 45-47; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 1 Cor. 4:12, 14; 1 Pet. 2:23.
Hymns: 322, 105, 134, 93, 130, 136, 25.
Poems of Dawn, 22: Tell Me About the Master.
Tower Reading: Z '02, 57 (R 2957).
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? How did I act in its light? What helped or hindered? What effects came?
TELL ME ABOUT THE MASTER
TELL me about the Master!
I am weary and worn tonight;
The day lies behind me in shadow,
And only the evening is light!
Light with a radiant glory
That lingers about the west.
My poor heart is weary, aweary,
And longs, like a child, for rest.
Tell me about the Master!
Of the hills He in loneliness trod,
When the tears and blood of his anguish,
Dropped down on Judea's sod.
For to me life's seventy mile-stones
But a sorrowful journey mark;
Rough lies the hill country before me,
The mountains behind me are dark.
Tell me about the Master!
Of the wrongs He freely forgave;
Of His love and tender compassion,
Of His love that is mighty to save;
For my heart is aweary, aweary,
Of the woes and temptations of life,
Of the error that stalks in the noonday,
Of falsehood and malice and strife.
Yet I know that whatever of sorrow
Or pain or temptation befall,
The infinite Master hath suffered,
And knoweth and pitieth all.
So tell me the sweet old story,
That falls on each wound like a balm,
And my heart that is bruised and broken
Shall grow patient and strong and calm.
2017-03-22 - 2018-03-21 All dayIf we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world — 1 Cor. 11:31, 32.
The ascertainment of gains and losses as Christians, and how and when and where these came to us in the constant battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, will surely profit all who make such reckonings with an eye single to the pleasement of the Lord. Spiritual Israelites are to live a daily, an hourly life of nearness to the High Priest. The blood of the dear Redeemer is to be continually invoked for the cleansing of the slightest defilement of conscience, that thus the garment of our Lord's imputed righteousness may not become draggled, but that the slightest spot being removed, we may have it "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing"—Z '03, 3, 4 (R 3125).
To judge one's self, means such an inspection, criticism and regulation of one's conduct as keeps him in the love of God. Such who so do are faithful Christians and do not need constantly to be driven on by the scourge of chastisement. Yet, if we are remiss in such activity, the Lord, in seeking to reform us, resorts to the rod of chastisement to prevent our becoming reprobates, and to secure our reformation—P '34, 31.
Parallel passages: Job 13:23; Psa. 4:4; 19:12; 26:2; 77:6; 119:59; 139:23, 24; Jer. 17:9; Lam. 3:40; Hag. 1:7; Matt. 26:22; 1 Cor. 5:7, 8; 11:27-29; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:3; Psa. 32:5; 94:12; Heb. 12:5-13; 1 Pet. 2:20; Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:2, 3, 19.
Hymns: 130, 78, 13, 82, 1, 105, 154.
Poems of Dawn, 174: Perfect Through Suffering.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 247 (R 5519).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they borne? In what did they result?
PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING
GOD never would send you the darkness,
If He felt you could bear the light;
But you would not cling to His guiding hand,
If the way were always bright;
And you would not care to walk by faith,
Could you always walk by sight.
'Tis true He hath many an anguish,
For your sorrowful heart to bear,
And many a cruel thorn-crown,
For your poor, tired head to wear;
He knows how few would reach heaven at all,
If pain did not guide them there.
So He sends you the blinding darkness,
And the furnace of seven-fold heat:
'Tis the only way, believe me,
To keep you close to His feet—
For 'tis always so easy to wander,
When our lives are glad and sweet.
Then nestle your hand in your Father's
And sing, if you can, as you go;
Your song may cheer some one behind you,
Whose courage is sinking low;
And, well, if your lips do quiver—
God will love you better so.
2017-03-23 - 2018-03-22 All dayYe endured a great fight of afflictions, partly whilst ye were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches and afflictions, and partly whilst ye became the companions of them that were so used — Heb. 10:32, 33.
The strongest of the brethren need the help, the encouragement, the assistance of others. The Lord has so arranged it that we may not feel ourselves entirely self-sufficient, and that even our proper leaning upon the Lord shall seem to require also the co-operation, encouragement, sympathy and love of the fellow-laborers in the vineyard. Who that has borne any measure of the labor and heat of the day in the gospel service cannot sympathize with this thought? Here, then, is a way in which many of the Lord's dear people, who have not themselves the largest amount of talent or opportunity for service, may be co-laborers and assistants in the gospel work—Z '03, 40 (R 3143).
The Lord's people may suffer for the Truth in two ways: their advocating it prominently will draw down upon them a deluge of reproaches and a multitude of afflictions from those who hate the Truth. Others, standing by their more prominent brethren who are so used, will bring upon themselves persecution in various ways. All persecution willingly endured for the sake of the Lord is precious in His sight—Z '33, 46.
Parallel passages: Gal. 3:4; 2 John 8; 2 Cor. 4:8-18; Phil. 1:29, 30; Col. 2:1; Psa. 71:7; Acts 16:22-31; 17:5-9; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 11:36; Phil. 1:7; 4:14; 1 Thes. 2:14.
Hymns: 134, 168, 200, 302, 305, 307, 312.
Poems of Dawn, 176: Sometimes I Almost Wonder.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 275 (R 5090).
Questions: Have I this week been persecuted, and have I companioned with those who suffered for righteousness? How? Why? With what results?
SOMETIMES I ALMOST WONDER
SOMETIMES I almost wonder if my Lord doth
About the many little things that wound my poor
I can but wonder if He knows the anguish of my
When tempests beat upon my head, and surging
I wonder if He hears at night my weary, longing
I wonder if He sees the tears that tremble in mine
I wonder if my burdens weigh upon His tender
And in my many sorrows, if His great love shares a part!
* * *
Ah! no, I will not wonder, I will silence every
I've read that "in His bottle He doth treasure up
I know that He who heeds the smallest sparrow when
Will surely, surely hearken when His own child
I know that He who stilled the waves on Galilee's
Will bid the storms of life, "Be still," that rudely
Ah! no, I do not wonder, I am sure my Lord doth
About the many, many things that wound my poor
2017-03-24 - 2018-03-23 All dayI will never leave thee, nor forsake thee — Heb. 13:5.
Why, then, should we fear what man may do unto us, or be distressed in regard to the Lord's work, as though Satan or any other evil power could prevail against it? Nevertheless, it is for us to show our devotion, not only by our zeal, but also by our prudence … therefore we are to proceed in the Lord's work as though the entire responsibility rested upon us, but in our hearts we are to recognize that the entire weight and responsibility rests with the Lord. Long ago someone said, "I am immortal until my work is finished"; and we may rely upon it that this is practically true of all engaged in the Lord's service that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints"—Z '03, 41 (R 3144).
Amid the loss of all things earthly, the faithful follower of Christ finds a compensating blessing far transcending his losses. The consciousness of the Lord's presence in sympathy, appreciation and co-operation (which the world neither knows, can give nor take away) encourages him in his darkest hours and makes his sorrows joyous; for he knows that God is with him, and will not leave, fail nor forsake him—P '32, 30.
Parallel passages: Gen. 28:15; Ex. 33:14; Num. 6:24-26; Deut. 31:6, 8; Josh. 1:5, 7, 9; 1 Chron. 28:20; Psa. 37:25; Isa. 41:10, 13; 49:13-16; Matt. 28:20; John 14:1-3, 16-18, 26; 16:7, 13; 2 Cor. 13:14.
Hymns: 293, 333, 63, 110, 120, 328, 67.
Poems of Dawn, 77: Not Seeing, Yet Believing.
Tower Reading: Z '14, 295 (R 5547).
Questions: What experiences of the week showed the Lord's present aid? How did I receive them? What were the results?
NOT SEEING, YET BELIEVING
THE clouds hang heavy 'round my way,
I cannot see.
But through the darkness I believe
God leadeth me;
'Tis sweet to keep my hand in His
While all is dim;
To close my weary, aching eyes
And follow Him;
Through many a thorny path He leads
My tired feet.
Through many a path of tears I go,
But it is sweet
To know that He is close to me,
My God, my Guide;
He leadeth me, and so I walk
To my blind eyes He may reveal
No light at all;
But while I lean on His strong arm
I cannot fall.
2017-03-25 - 2018-03-24 All dayYe therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — 2 Pet. 3:17, 18.
We grow in knowledge as we take note of the promises of God, and by faith apply them to ourselves, and seek to discern in our lives the fulfillment of those promises; we grow in grace simultaneously, for unless each item of knowledge be received into a good and honest heart, and bring forth its measure of obedience and righteousness (grace), we shall not be prepared for the next step of knowledge, and would thus be stopped, or possibly turned back. And as a loss of knowledge would mean a measurable loss of grace, so also a loss of grace would mean a corresponding loss of knowledge—going into darkness, the promises of the Lord's Word becoming more and more dim and obscured, in proportion as our goodness or grace would be lost in worldliness or sin—Z '03, 70 (R 3156).
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. In this evil day the Lord has forewarned us of coming evils against which we will be immune, if we cultivate the proper spirit; but which will as errors of the wicked surely entrap us, if we do not so do, thus bringing us to a loss of our reward. Our only safety in the presence of these evils is daily growth in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus—P '26, 28.
Parallel passages: Prov. 4:14; Mark 13:23; 2 Pet. 1:10-12; 2:18; 1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 4:14, 15; 1 Tim. 4:1, 2; 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 John 2:18-21, 26.
Hymns: 49, 145, 130, 22, 267, 198, 196.
Poems of Dawn, 304: 'Twas a Sheep.
Tower Reading: Z '11, 120 (R 4802).
Questions: How have I been affected by my knowledge of the evil conditions coming? Have I grown in grace and knowledge? How? Why? With what results?
'TWAS A SHEEP
'TWAS a sheep, not a lamb, that went astray
In the parable Jesus told;
'Twas a grown-up sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And out on the hilltops and out in the cold
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd sought,
And back to the flock, and back to the fold,
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.
Now, why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for still today?
One reason is that if they go wrong
They will lead the lambs astray;
For lambs often follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever they wander, wherever they go.
And if sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till some lambs are as wrong as they;
So, still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
Some sheep will have to pay!
2017-03-26 - 2018-03-25 All day
The Christian, as a disciple of the Lord, as a pupil in the school of Christ, is being fitted for a place in the Millennial Kingdom—for a share in its wonderful blessings and rewards. Hence we see the necessity for the frequent admonitions of the Scripture that the Lord's people shall be awake—not of those who slumber; not of those who are idle; not of those who are overcharged with the cares of this life; but that they be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Their service toward the Lord is primarily the bringing of themselves into as close harmony with the Lord's will, and into as close likeness to the Divine pattern as possible; and secondly, it is that by precept and example they may help others of the called ones in the same narrow way—Z '03, 70 (R 3155).
In the Scripture symbolism, night represents sin, and darkness represents error, in which the poor world of mankind lies under the manipulation of Satan. Amid this night the light of the Lord has been shining, and some, unlike the world, have been awakened; and seeing its rays, and following them, they have been led into righteousness and truth. These, the Lord's people, are constantly alert to the light and walk therein—P '36, 31.
Hymns: 297, 272, 47, 4, 183, 196, 78.
Poems of Dawn, 214: The Day Is At Hand.
Tower Reading: Z '13, 181 (R 5256).
Questions: What has this text meant to me this week? Why? How did it become so? What were the results? What should be done with them?
THE DAY IS AT HAND
POOR, fainting spirit, still hold on thy way—
The dawn is near!
True, thou art weary; but yon brighter ray
Becomes more clear.
Bear up a little longer; wait for rest;
Yield not to slumber, though with toil oppressed.
The night of life is mournful, but, look on—
The dawn is near!
Soon will earth's shadowy scenes and forms be gone;
Yield not to fear!
The mountain's summit will, ere long, be gained,
And the bright world of joy and peace attained.
"Joyful through hope," thy motto still must be—
The dawn is near!
What glories will that dawn unfold to thee!
Be of good cheer!
Gird up thy loins; bind sandals on thy feet;
The way is dark and long; the end is sweet.
2017-03-29 - 2018-03-28 All dayBy grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God — Eph. 2:8.
As members of the fallen race we were incapable of doing any work which our holy God could accept. Our present standing, therefore, as Christians, is not the result of anything that the old creature did, or could have done. It is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. This lesson must be thoroughly appreciated, else we shall be continually in danger of falling. … So far from considering the new heart, mind and will as an evolution of the old creature, the Apostle would have us understand distinctly that it is a new and separate creation. We were created in Christ Jesus, God's workmanship—prepared forgood works, but not by good works—Z '03, 90 (R 3166).
Our salvation is an unmerited favor of our Heavenly Father. Every gift or blessing comes from Him without our deserving it. While He requires faith as a condition, our faith no more merits His favor than the beggar's receiving alms earns them by right. It is of His grace that the salvation of justification and the salvation of God's calling have come to us. How we should thank and appreciate our great Benefactor!—P '34, 31.
Parallel passages: Rom. 3:19-5:2; 11:5, 6; Deut. 9:5; Gal. 5:4; Eph. 1:19; 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Matt. 16:17; Rom. 10:13, 14, 17; Phil. 1:29; Jas. 1:17; Rom. 11:28, 29.
Hymns: 251, 187, 246, 291, 295, 67, 176.
Poems of Dawn, 24: Christ, All in All.
Tower Reading: Z '90, 6 (R 1262).
Questions: What have this week's experiences been in line with this text? How were they borne? What helped or hindered therein? What did they effect?
CHRIST, ALL IN ALL
IN Christ all fullness dwells: from Him proceeds
All that fall'n man, poor, wretched, guilty, needs.
In Him the contrite, bruised in spirit, find
Whate'er can heal the sorrows of the mind—
Forgiving love, that saves from blank despair,
Rich grace, that banishes each anxious care,
Soft pity, that relieves the bursting sigh,
And truth, revealing joys that never die.
Thrice happy they, who to His word attend,
His favor seek, and on His strength depend.
'Tis theirs to know His heart-consoling voice,
To share His smile, and in His name rejoice.
To them, reclaimed in mercy from the fall
And heav'nward marching, Christ is all in all:
In want, their treasure—in distress, their stay—
In gloom, their day-spring—vigor, in decay—
'Mid foes, their guard—in solitude, their guest—
In storms, their hiding place—in toils, their rest—
In bonds, their freedom—their relief, in pain—
In life, their glory—and in all things, gain.
2017-03-30 - 2018-03-29 All daySeeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness — 2 Pet. 3:11.
Godlikeness certainly cannot include any harmful gossip, any unclean or unholy conversation, any disloyal or rebellious words. Let such things be put far away from all who name the name of Christ in sincerity and truth. And let us remember daily to settle our accounts with the Lord, to make sure that no record of idle words, unrepented of, and consequently unforgiven, stands against us. If daily we render up our accounts to God and seek His grace for greater overcoming power with each succeeding day, we shall be acquitted in judgment and stand approved before God through Christ, having the testimony of His holy Spirit with our spirits that we are pleasing and acceptable to Him—Z '96, 33 (R 1937).
The consideration of the dissolution of the present evil order of affairs, to be followed by a good order of affairs, constitutes a powerful appeal for holy and just living—for just living, that we may not be involved in this dissolution; for holy living, that we may be a part of the new order of affairs, for which our justice and love will make us fit as administrators of blessings to mankind—P '33, 46.
Parallel passages: Psa. 46:2-9; Isa. 2:19, 21; Jer. 25:31-38; Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:35; 2 Pet. 3:7, 10, 12; Rev. 6:14-17; 20:11; 21:1; Heb. 12:28; 1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:14; Phil. 2:15.
Hymns: 196, 171, 216, 310, 78, 125, 198.
Poems of Dawn, 262: The Day of His Preparation.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 227 (R 5735).
Questions: What have been this week's experiences as to this text? How were they met? What were their results?
THE DAY OF HIS PREPARATION
LAY down your rails, ye nations, near and far,
Yoke your full trains to steam's triumphal car;
Link town to town, unit in iron bands
The long-estranged and oft-embattled lands.
Peace, mild-eyed seraph; knowledge, light Divine,
Shall send their messengers by every line.
Men joined in amity shall wonder long
That hate had power to lead their fathers wrong;
Or that false glory lured their hearts astray,
And made it virtuous and sublime to slay.
How grandly now these wonders of our day
Make preparation for Christ's royal way,
And with what joyous hope our souls
Do watch the ball of progress as it rolls,
Knowing that all, completed or begun,
Is but the dawning that precedes the sun!