Daily Devotional

The Torch of Truth

Notwithstanding the rage of persecution, a calm, devout, earnest, patient protest against the prevailing corruption of religious faith continued to be uttered after the death of Wycliffe. Like the believers in apostolic days, many freely sacrificed their worldly possessions for the cause of Christ. . . .

When one witness was forced to let fall the torch of truth, another seized it from his hand and with undaunted courage held it aloft. The struggle had opened that was to result in the emancipation, not only of individuals and churches, but of nations. Across the gulf of a hundred years men stretched their hands to grasp the hands of the Lollards of the time of Wycliffe. Under Luther began the Reformation in Germany; Calvin preached the gospel in France, Zwingle in Switzerland. The world was wakened from the slumber of ages, as from land to land were sounded the magic words, "Religious Liberty."

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Generosity Toward All

God has His people in areas and in "flocks" that we know nothing of, and with the humility of Jesus we should be reaching out to other Christians and encouraging them in their spiritual journey, all the while, refraining from statements and actions that offend other Christians who claim to be followers of Jesus, yet do not live their relationship with Christ exactly as we do. These gospel stories invite us to generosity toward all who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Christ's high priestly prayer in John 17 is a reminder that He is still concerned about Christian unity today. His focus is not on organiational or structural unity, but on unity in faith, truth, and love. His prayer should be ours as we seek to solidify our faith in His sanctifying Word. Surely, love for one another should characterize our relationship with fellow Christians, however diverse our understanding of the gospel may be.

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A Perfect Work

Today the One who uttered this prayer is interceding before the Father in behalf of the human beings He has redeemed. He presents them to Jehovah, saying, "I have graven them upon the palms of My hands" (cf. Isaiah 49:16).

Sanctification is to come through the truth; oneness with Christ--this is God's purpose for us. By their sanctification and their unity, Christians are to give evidence to the world that a perfect work has been done for them, in and through Christ. Thus they are to bear witness that God sent His Son to save sinners. Will you not let Christ carry on this work of sanctification in your hearts? You may all be complete in Him. You have the assurance that through the sanctification of the truth you may be made perfect in one.

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Mighty to Save

The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. . . . When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.

There are Christians who think and speak altogether too much about the power of Satan. They think of their adversary, they pray about him, they talk about him, and he looms up greater and greater in their imagination. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but, thank God, we have a mighty Saviour, who cast out the evil one from heaven. Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love?

The rainbow of promise encircling the throne on high is an everlasting testimony that "God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). It testifies to the universe that God will never forsake His people in their struggle with evil. It is an assurance to us of strength and protection as long as the throne itself shall endure.

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Friends for Eternity

There is danger of allowing a needs-based ministry to eclipse the sharing of the gospel message. Some people never go beyond ministering to physical and emotional needs, because it doesn't carry the same risk of offending as does sharing Bible truth. However, unless those for whom we labor are invited to follow Jesus and His Word, what has truly been gained? The gospel is still the world's greatest need. . . .

Even when suffering from illness or disease, the greatest and most urgent need is often the healing of the soul. Christ's pronouncement to the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, which He made prior to healing his body, provides a striking example of this. . . .

If we mingle, sympathize, and minister, but never invite, we are making friends for this life only. But God would have us make friends for eternity.

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Created With a Purpose

The Creation account states that we were made in God's image. This understanding  provides a true concept of the worth of the individual. It leaves no room for a low estimate of ourselves or others. Indeed, we have been given a unique place in creation, with the special privilege of constant communication with the Creator and the opportunity of becoming more like Him.

God's creatorship establishes His Fatherhood and reveals the brotherhood of all humanity. He is our Father; we are His children. Regardless of sex, race, education, or position, all have been created in God's image. Understood and applied, this concept would eliminate racism, bigotry, caste, and any other form of discrimination. . . .

The Creation narrative reveals that, rather than coming into existence because of chance evolution, everything was created with a purpose. The human race was designed for an everlasting relationship with the Creator Himself. When we  understand that we were created for a reason, life becomes meaningful and rich, and the painful emptiness and dissatisfaction that so many express vanishes, replaced by the love of God.

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God Is Our Trust

Jesus sees His true church on earth, whose greatest ambition is to cooperate with Him in the grand work of saving souls. He hears their prayers, presented in contrition and power, and Omnipotence cannot resist their plea for the salvation of any tried, tempted member of Christ's body. . . . Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us. Through our Redeemer what blessings may not the true believer receive? The church, soon to enter upon her most severe conflict, will be the object most dear to God upon earth. . . . Will Christ, our representative and head, close His heart, or withdraw His hand, or falsify His promise? No; never, never.

We do not worry. The cause is the Lord's; He is on board the ship as Chief Director, and He will guide our bark into port. Our Master can command the winds and the waves. We are only His workers, to obey orders; what He saith, that will we do. We have no need to be anxious or troubled. God is our trust. 

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The Heavenly Train

All heaven was waiting the hour of triumph when Jesus should ascend to His Father. Angels came to receive the King of glory and to escort Him triumphantly to heaven. After Jesus had blessed His disciples, He was parted from them and taken up. And as He led the way upward, the multitude of captives who were raised at His resurrection followed. A multitude of the heavenly host were in attendance, while in heaven an innumerable company of angels awaited His coming.

As they ascended to the Holy City, the angels who escorted Jesus cried out, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." The angels in the city cried out with rapture, "Who is this King of glory?" The escorting angels answered in triumph, "The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle!" . . . And the heavenly train passed into the city of God.

Then all the heavenly host surrounded their majestic Commander, and with the deepest adoration bowed before Him and cast their glittering crowns at His feet. And then they touched their golden harps, and in sweet, melodious strains filled all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb who was slain, yet lives again in majesty and glory.

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Only the Love of Christ

Seventh-day Adventists, along with all other Christian groups, cannot afford to take their unity of faith and mission for granted. Like the church in Corinth, today's church can experience division and quarreling that undermines its unity. Paul's timeless words offer a cure to the disease of disunity and internal strife. Only the love and lordship of Christ can transcend dispute and division. . . .

The Bible, written for our instruction, offers many examples of situations that led to disunity. On each occasion, elements of human nature that generate division among God's people include selfishness, self-interest, love of power, and disrespect for God's Word. Human nature is deceitful above all things and naturally leads to a focus on self and disunity. Awareness of this natural, yet sinful, human tendency is the first step in preserving unity among God's people.

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Golden Chain of Love

The golden chain of love, binding the hearts of the believers in unity, in bonds of fellowship and love, and in oneness with Christ and the Father, makes the connection perfect, and bears to the world a testimony of the power of Christianity that cannot be controverted. . . .

Then will selfishness be uprooted and unfaithfulness will not exist. There will not be strife and divisions. There will not be stubbornness in anyone who is bound up with Christ.

Selfishness and pride hinder the pure love that unites us in spirit with Jesus Christ. If this love is truly cultivated, finite will blend with finite, and all will center in the Infinite. Humanity will unite with humanity, and all will be bound up with the heart of Infinite Love.

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