March 1

March 1

The Two Great Commandments

Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the
second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt. 22:37-40.

The law of God existed before man was created. It was adapted to the condition
of holy beings; even angels were governed by it. After the fall, the principles of
righteousness were unchanged. Nothing was taken from the law; not one of its holy
precepts could be improved. And as it has existed from the beginning, so will it
continue to exist throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.
The first four of the Ten Commandments are summed up in the one great
precept, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” The last six are
included in the other, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Both these
commandments are an expression of the principle of love. The first cannot be kept
and the second broken, nor can the second be kept while the first is broken.
This supreme and universal law, the decalogue, originally written by God
Himself on two tables of stone, is given to the willing for the preservation of their
precious gifts: their religion, their homes and their very lives, the homes and lives of
their families, their properties, their cities, their nations; and peace and goodwill to
all mankind.
And since all the commandments are summed up in love to God and man, it
follows that not one precept can be broken without violating this principle. Thus
Christ taught His hearers that the law of God is not so many separate precepts,
some of which are of great importance, while others are of small importance and
may with impunity be ignored. Our Lord presents the first four and the last six
commandments as a divine whole.
We should now pray that the law of God be written in our hearts; that we obey
the law because we want to, not because we have to; that we realize that our keeping
God’s commandments is for our own good. And above all, let us pray that our
highest joy may be in doing His will. Thus may God’s will be done on earth as it is
done in heaven.”
Knowing that, “he that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his
prayer shall be abomination.” Prov. 28:9.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccles. 12:13.

February 29

February 29

The United And Intelligent Army

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my
meditation. Ps. 119:99.

Leaders… should be men and women of quick intuitions, who have the Spirit of
God to aid them in reading character, who have managing ability, who can
understand different phases of character, and display tact and wisdom in dealing
with varied minds. There are many who can fill the place of superintendent in
name, but what is needed is men who can fill the place in every sense of the word.
There are many who can go through the form cleverly enough; but they fail to
impart courage and hope, to inspire thought, to quicken energy, and to impart such
life that… become a living, growing power for good.
The gospel minister is accordingly to be decently informed in the practical
pursuits of life and to be expert in at least one thing. Certainly any preacher getting
ten per cent (the tithe) of a farmer’s income, should study to become capable of
helping him to improve his farming methods in a practical way should ever the
occasion arise. In short, he should be competent to assist the members of his church
in organizing, correcting, or improving their work and business. Jesus taught His
disciples not only to pray, to preach and practice the Truth, to give and forgive, but
also to serve, to fish, to feed and clothe, and to pay bills in a business-like way.
Thus we see that true religion does indeed consist of something more than
merely praying, fasting, giving, and preaching; and that it most certainly does not
include “begging”.
The members of the Kingdom-church, are, according to Isaiah, to be skilled in
their respective trades and professions. As builders, engineers, carpenters, masons,
mechanics, or whatever, they are to “build the old wastes… raise up the former
desolations, and… repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” Isa.
61:4. They are also to be animal husbandmen, vinegrowers, expert agriculturists.
And as such, they are to be skilled in the science of management, employing
thousands of aliens…. Showing that, “the more intelligent a man becomes, the more
should religious influence be radiating from him….”
Besides being skilled agronomists, artisans, and tradesmen, these governors of
the Kingdom, as living embodiments of genuine Christianity, are to be expert
international bankers, economists, personnel and traffic engineers, and
provisioners, together handling “the forces” and “the riches of the Gentiles.” Isa. 6:5,
11; 61:6. And thus variously equipped with these excellent proficiencies, they are,
above all, to be “Priests of the Lord…. Ministers of our God” — “men wondered at.”
Isa. 61:6; Zech. 3:8.
God’s true people will indeed be “a great people and a strong; there hath not
been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many
generations.” [Joel 2:2]. They will indeed be a perfectly united army!

February 28

February 28

Actions That Promotes Unity

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord
hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him
for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. Mal. 3:16.

Let small companies assemble in the evening, at noon, or in the early
morning to study the Bible. Let them have a season of prayer, that they may be
strengthened, enlightened, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit…. If you
yourselves will open the door to receive it, a great blessing will come to you.
Angels of God will be in your assembly…. The fact that the Lord has been
represented as hearkening to the words spoken by His witnesses, tells us that
Jesus is in our very midst….
Christ has said “Where two or three are gathered together in My name,
there am I in the midst.” The… meetings, the assemblies… and all occasions
where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for
giving the early and the latter rain.
It is impossible to tell what may be the result of the small…. meetings…
held regularly, and those… invited to attend, precious seed may be sown
which will bear fruit in the kingdom of God. It is not the greatness of the
effort, but the unconquerable persistence, that wins. If each will labor on to
the utmost of his capacity, large results will be seen by and by. Success in any
enterprise can be gained only through sincere prayer, earnest effort, and stern
conflicts. Let none become discouraged because of the feebleness of the
impressions they are able to make on the world, and thus become weary in
well-doing. It is true that you are few in numbers; but united with the world’s
Redeemer, you may be mighty through God to the pulling down of the
strongholds of the enemy. Go to God for strength; ask Him for wisdom, for
right words, for opportunities to come close to hearts. God will hear you;
angels will be round about you, and will second your efforts.
Today the question may well be asked, “Whose side are you on — the side
of the rabble, or the side of those who were met together…?” God calls, whose
side are you on — the side of Christ or the side of the apostate?
Let those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God meet together to
bring hope to one another’s hearts. We keep apart from God and from one
another, but the scripture declares that “they that feared the Lord spake often
one to another.” Mal. 3:16.
If we give undivided attention to God’s Word, if we do all He asks us to do,
we shall indeed be His people, His “jewels.” Then a book of remembrance
shall be written of us and our good and heroic deeds shall be read by the
redeemed throughout eternity!

February 27

February 27

United By Right Doing

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations…. 2 Pet. 2:9.

A righteous man does not go around seeking “pity from others, neither does he
pity himself; he refuses to waste time blaming others for unpleasant situations or
reverses or limitations; neither does he expect praise for his deeds of worth. He
never blows his own horn. It is enough for him to know that he is serving God, that
God will reward him openly.”
His decisions in all matters are… based on sound logic and reason, not on
emotions, partiality, or on “respect of persons,” nor on selfish gain. God’s way is
always his measuring rod. He therefore never lives in regret of anything but his sins.
He is not known to vacillate. He changes his mind only when he finds himself
wrong or mistaken. He is indeed the David of the day. He is steady and dependable
in whatever he is given to do, and ever accepts correction.
He does not resent criticism, but is grateful for it and puts into use all that is
constructive. He makes no excuses for his blunders, but uses them as stepping
stones to improvement. He has unshakable courage.
He forgets the past, and is always pressing for the high mark ahead. He therefore
does all he can to remedy the cause of his troubles, and what cannot be remedied he
accepts and adjusts himself to. He is the Moses of the day. He may fall seven times a
day, but he quickly arises and runs ahead, and is ever hoping and watching God’s
providence.
Through faith and experience he is confident that God is leading him and that
He will freely give the wisdom and strength needed to cope with even the most
trying of life’s problems. In this respect he is like Ruth, the Moabitess. He never lets
an opportunity slip by, and he has perfect peace of mind.
His mind is set to win and advance the Kingdom of God and, therefore, he fears
neither hunger nor death. He is not at all anxious for the future. He never
complains in his infirmities; he is ever thankful and conscious that there are
thousands of cases worse than his. He knows that he cannot die if God wants him
living, and that he cannot live if God wants him dead. He is the Job and he is the
Paul of the day. He patiently waits, knowing that… every dark, gloomy, and stormy
cloud has also a bright silver-lined side, and ever looks on the bright side.
He knows that “God giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and
knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner He giveth travail, to gather and to heap up,
that he may give to him that is good before God….” Ecc. 2:26.

February 26

February 26

Christian United With Christ

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to
be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:17.

The true Christian rejoices over the good fortune of others, and loves to have
others receive credit for something he himself may have accomplished. He expects
his credit from the Lord only. What his right hand does his left hand is kept in the
dark about (Matt. 6:3, 4).
He knows no fear but the fear of God. He has courage to stand firmly but
tactfully for right principle regardless of the consequences to himself. He knows that
no one can do him harm if God does not permit. Moreover, he knows that though
men may kill his body, they cannot touch his soul (Matt. 10:28).
He is honest in his personal appraisal of himself and charitable with all others,
realizing that if his own background were the same as theirs, he himself would
precisely be like them; that while others offend in one thing he himself may offend
in another. He knows that God is able to correct His own servant (Rom. 14:4-7),
and he keeps his hands off.
He is thankful in the face of the most disheartening difficult situations or
environment. He does not dissipate his energies in complaining and repining, and
he does not seek to escape responsibility and unpleasant facts. Nor does he allow
himself to be beaten down in time of crisis, but he is ever on hand to “stand his
post,” and he draws on his spiritual resources to attain a mastery of his
circumstances. He does not fall behind ancient Joseph, he is even ahead of him for
he knows that he is living in an advanced season.
Foolish accusations never trouble him. He does not get upset about them. He
never needs to be handled with gloves. His mind never dwells on anything that
would make him feel hurt. If something is said against him, he never gets hurt over
it, especially if he is not guilty of the thing. He does not retaliate, he lets the vain
thing die of itself. He lets no discouragement come into his thoughts, not even if all
forsake him. He well remembers that even the Lord Himself was forsaken by His
own followers, and that out of several million people, there were but two persons
one hundred percent for Moses, only Calab and Joshua. He is ever mindful of the
scripture which says: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord
of hosts.” Zech. 4:6.
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is
peace.” Ps. 37:37.

February 25

February 25

Ever Seeking Peace And Unity

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of
our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it. Ps. 90:17.

There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the
same direction. But while this is so, there may be unity in diversity. Christ is our
root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore….
Look at… and notice the different colored threads. All are not pink, all are not
green, all are not blue. A variety of colors are woven together to perfect the pattern.
So it is in the design of God. He has a purpose in placing us where we must learn to
live as individuals. We are not all fitted to do the same kind of work, but each man’s
work is designed by God to help make up His plan.
The mature Christian well knows that he was born into the world to improve it,
both spiritually and materially, that he did not come simple to selfishly live in it and
depart from it with a big “thank you,” but to bless it, to leave a memorial of what
God has been able to accomplish through him for mankind, both spiritually and
materially; that he is like a fruitful bough in a desert land, for he knows that “every
tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matt.
3:10. Then, too, such a fully matured Christian has a vision and an aim.
He sees that he gets a vision of what God would have him do. He never moves
on in a butterfly fashion; he knows what is to be done and does it. He gives no place
to any beckoning that would detract his attention and energies from reaching his
goal. He well knows that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Prov. 29:18.
He is, moreover, considerate of others.
His eye is sensitive to the needs of others, and he does all he can to relieve those
needs regardless what personal inconvenience and effort may be required of
himself. He is considerate of others’ time, feelings, age, reputation, and capacities,
especially of other people’s property, for “love worketh no ill to his neighbor.”
Rom. 13:10.
He is altogether unselfish. And seeks only for peace and unity.
We all then should ensure that we “Let nothing be done through strife or
vainglory; but in lowliness of mind”. And that “each esteem other better than”
themselves. And that we purpose to, “look not every man on his own things, but
every man also on the things of others.” [Phil. 2:3, 4]. These things do, so that
heaven can be well pleased and pronounce the well done though good and faithful
servants upon us.

February 24

February 24

United In Intelligence And Purpose

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and
caused them to understand the reading. Neh. 8:8

What is the reason that there are many found in our churches who are not
settled, rooted, and grounded in the truth? Why are there found in the church
those who walk in darkness and have no light, whose testimonies are halfhearted,
cold, and full of complaint? Why are there those whose feet seem ready to stray
into by and forbidden paths, who always have a pitiful tale to tell of temptation and
defeat? Have the members of the church felt their responsibility? Have the elders
and deacons of the church looked after the weak and straying ones? And have they
realized that the wavering are in danger of losing their souls? Have you tried both
by precept and example to plant the feet of the straying on the eternal Rock? Have
Sabbath school teachers and officers realized that they have a work to do in leading
the feet of the young into safe paths, and that they should count every selfish
interest as nothing, that they may be winners of souls for the Master? There is a
decided need of reformation in every branch of the work.
There is a dearth of educated ability among us, and we have not men who are
sufficiently trained to do justice to the work of managing our Sabbath schools and
churches. Many who know the truth, still do not understand it in such a way that
they could hold their own in its presentation. They are not prepared to present it in
such a way that its sacred, majestic character will be clear to the people. Instead of
less discipline, they need more thorough training. It is impossible for any one to
foresee to what he may be called. He may be placed in situations where he will need
quick discernment and well-balanced arguments, and therefore it is for the honor
of Christ that well-educated workers should be multiplied among us; they will be
better able to communicate the truth in a clear, intelligent way, and the truth
should be presented in a way that will be as free as possible from defects.
Jesus said that “wisdom is justified of all her children” [Luke 7:35]. We ask
then, where are wisdom’s children?
Well may we cry: “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail
from among the children of men.” Ps. 12:1.
God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can
reach….
In the school of Christ, students are never graduated. Among the pupils are
both old and young. Those who give heed to the instructions of the Divine Teacher
constantly advance in wisdom, refinement, and nobility of soul, and thus they are
prepared to enter that higher school where advancement will continue throughout
eternity.

February 23

February 23

Showing Sympathy Always Results In Unity

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer
adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Heb. 13:3.

Paul sometimes worked night and day, not only for his own support, but that he
might assist his fellow laborers. He shared his earnings with Luke, and he helped
Timothy. He even suffered hunger at times, that he might relieve the necessities of
others. His was an unselfish life….
However, for the gospel’s sake, he was finally arrested and sent off to Rome to be
tried as a criminal.
Upon his arrival at Rome, Paul was placed in a gloomy dungeon, there to
remain until his course should be finished. Accused of instigating one of the basest
and most terrible of crimes against the city and nation, he was the object of
universal execration.
The few friends who had shared the burdens of the apostle, now began to leave
him…. Phygellus and Hermogenes were the first to go. Then Demas, dismayed by
the thickening clouds of difficulty and danger, forsook the persecuted apostle….
Writing to Timothy of this experience, Paul said, “only Luke is with me.”
2 Timothy 4:11. Never had the apostle needed the ministrations of his brethren
as now, enfeebled as he was by age, toil, and infirmities, and confined in the
damp, dark vaults of a Roman prison. The services of Luke, the beloved
disciple and faithful friend, were a great comfort to Paul and enabled him to
communicate with his brethren and the world without.
In this trying time Paul’s heart was cheered by frequent visits from Onesiphorus.
This warmhearted Ephesian did all in his power to lighten the burden of the
apostle’s imprisonment. His beloved teacher was in bonds for the truth’s sake, while
he himself went free, and he spared himself no effort to make Paul’s lot more
bearable.
In the last letter that the apostle ever wrote, he speaks thus of this faithful
disciple: “The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed
me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but, when he was in Rome, he sought me
out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy
of the Lord in that day.” 2 Timothy 1:16-18.
The desire for love and sympathy is implanted in the heart by God Himself….
And Paul, though apparently indifferent to hardship and suffering, yearned for
sympathy and companionship. The visit of Onesiphorus, testifying to his fidelity at
a time of loneliness and desertion, brought gladness and cheer to one who had
spent his life in service for others.

February 22

February 22

Members United As One Body

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the
same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer
with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Cor. 12:25, 26.

No organ of the body could live, should it confine its service to itself. The heart,
failing to send its life-blood to the hand and the head, would quickly lose its
power. We are members one of another, and the soul that refuses to impart will
perish.
As all the different members of the human system unite to form the entire body,
and each performs its office in obedience to the intelligence that governs the
whole, so the members of the church of Christ should be united in one symmetrical
body, subject to the sanctified intelligence of the whole.
Those who wear Christ’s yoke will draw together. They will cultivate
sympathy and forbearance, and in holy emulation will strive to show to
others the tender sympathy and love of which they feel such great need
themselves. He who is weak and inexperienced, although he is weak, may be
strengthened by the more hopeful and by those of mature experience.
Although the least of all, he is a stone that must shine in the building. He is a vital
member of the organized body, united to Christ, the Living Head….
“Therefore, my brethren”, Paul writes. “Dearly beloved and longed for, my
joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” [Phil. 4:1]. Who was
Paul’s dearly beloved? His brethren! Who was his joy and his crown? His
brethren! Whom was his heart longing for? His brethren! These his brethren he
encouraged to stand fast in the Lord! “Therefore,” let us all follow after and speak
the things that promote unity and peace among us.
The Christian principles and graces of the whole society of believers are to gather
strength and force in harmonious action. Each believer is to be benefited
and improved by the refining and transforming influence of the varied
capabilities of the other members, that the things lacking in one may be more
abundantly displayed in another. All the members are to draw together, that
the church may become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
We should now pray that we put forth the effort to grow as Christians, to love
and work for others, to reproduce Christ’s character in us, then this old world will
come to an end, and the new world will for us commence.

February 21

February 21

United Companions

Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah. Dan. 1:6.

Daniel and his companions… did not choose as friends those who were
agents of the prince of darkness. They did not go with a multitude to do evil….
Daniel and his companions honored and glorified God in their daily life. They
determined to avoid all evil, to refuse to place themselves in the enemy’s
path. And with rich blessings God rewarded their steadfast loyalty.
“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and
made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors
over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon:
but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.” Dan. 2:47-49.
Daniel’s example of friendship is truly worthy of our emulation. How many
professing Christians, have ever “requested” of their employer about employment
on behalf of their fellow Christian brothers or sisters who are in need of a job?
“Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,
over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king,” a
place where judgment was dispensed, and his three companions were made
counselors, judges, and rulers in the midst of the land….
Real charity helps men to help themselves…. true beneficence means more
than mere gifts. It means a genuine interest in the welfare of others. We should
seek to understand the needs of the poor and distressed, and to give them the
help that will benefit them most. To give thought and time and personal effort
costs far more than merely to give money.
Those who are taught to earn what they receive will more readily learn to make
the most of it. And in learning to be self-reliant, they are acquiring that which
will not only make them self-sustaining, but will enable them to help others….
Everything in heaven is noble and elevated. All seek the interest and
happiness of others. No one devotes himself to looking out and caring for self.
It is the chief joy of all holy beings to witness the joy and happiness of those
around them.