Daily Devotional

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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Like Sunshine

The Jews thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but Christ showed them that salvation is like sunshine. It belongs to the whole world. The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a book, nor within the walls of a church. It is not to be brought out occasionally for our own benefit, and then to be carefully laid aside again. It is to sanctify the daily life, to manifest itself in every business transaction and in all our social relations.

True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. If we wish to direct others in the path of righteousness, the principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our own hearts. Our profession of faith may proclaim the theory of religion, but it is our practical piety that holds forth the word of truth. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godlly example--these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world.

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The Success of the Harvest

In the parable of the sower, Jesus described a man who went out to plant seeds. Some of the seeds fell by the wayside, some fell on stony ground, some fell among thorns, but only the seed that fell on good ground bore fruit. From this parable we discover that it was not the farmer, the type of seed, or the method of planting that determined success. The success of the harvest depended instead upon the type of soil in which the seed was planted.

This lesson should give encouragement and instruction to every disciple of Christ. It is not primarily our eloquence, timing, ability, or exact methodology that determines the success of our soul-winning efforts. What is more important is the condition of the heart in the one for whom we labor. The more seed we sow, the more likely we are to find "good ground"--a heart prepared for the seeds of truth to grow and bear fruit to salvation.

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Astounding Truth

The missions of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit were totally interdependent. The fullness of the Holy Spirit could not be given until Jesus had completed His mission. And Jesus, in turn, was conceived of the Spirit, baptized by the Spirit, led by the Spirit, performed His miracles through the Spirit, offered Himself at Calvary through the Spirit and was, in part, resurrected by the Spirit.

Jesus was the first person to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The astounding truth is that our Lord is willing to pour out His Spirit on all who earnestly desire Him. 

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Our Only Safety

Whatever the position we are called to fill, our only safety is in walking humbly with God. The man who glories in his supposed capabilities, in his property, in his position of power, in his wisdom, or in anything else than Christ, will be taken into Satan's net. Not a ray of glory is to be diverted to any human agent. . . .

No man is so high in power and authority but that Satan will assail him with temptation. And the more responsible the position a man occupies, the fiercer and more determined are the assaults of the enemy. Let God's servants in every place study His Word, looking constantly to Jesus, that they may be changed into His image. The inexhaustible fullness and the all-sufficiency of Christ are at our command if we walk before God in humility and contrition.

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