Chapter 5—Devotional Life of the Remnant
A Twofold Life
In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, such a work as that of John [the Baptist] is to be done. God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord.... In order to give such a message as John gave, we must have a spiritual experience like his. The same work must be wrought in us. We must behold God, and in beholding Him lose sight of self.—Testimonies for the Church 8:332, 333 (1904).
Communion with God will ennoble the character and the life. Men will take knowledge of us, as of the first disciples, that we have been with Jesus. This will impart to the worker a power that nothing else can give. Of this power he must not allow himself to be deprived. We must live a twofold life—a life of thought and action, of silent prayer and earnest work.—.
Prayer and effort, effort and prayer, will be the business of your life. You must pray as though the efficiency and praise were all due to God, and labor as though duty were all your own.—.
No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer.—.
He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray.—.
Firmly Rooted In Christ
The storm is coming, the storm that will try every man's faith of what sort it is. Believers must now be firmly rooted in Christ or else they will be led astray by some phase of error.—.
It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones.—.
The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.—.
Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.—.
Molded By The Holy Spirit
Never will the human heart know happiness until it is submitted to be molded by the Spirit of God. The Spirit conforms the renewed soul to the model, Jesus Christ. Through its influence, enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility. The soul perceives the beauty of truth, and Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character.—.
There is not an impulse of our nature, not a faculty of the mind or an inclination of the heart, but needs to be, moment by moment, under the control of the Spirit of God.—.
The Spirit illumines our darkness, informs our ignorance, and helps us in our manifold necessities. But the mind must be constantly going out after God. If worldliness is allowed to come in, if we have no desire to pray, no desire to commune with Him who is the source of strength and wisdom, the Spirit will not abide with us.—.
The Necessity of Bible Study
No renewed heart can be kept in a condition of sweetness without the daily application of the salt of the Word. Divine grace must be received daily, or no man will stay converted.—.
Let your faith be substantiated by the Word of God. Grasp firmly the living testimony of truth. Have faith in Christ as a personal Saviour. He has been and ever will be our Rock of Ages.—.
Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the Word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts.— (c. 1914)
None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.—.
Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive.—.
Our people need to understand the oracles of God; they need to have a systematic knowledge of the principles of revealed truth, which will fit them for what is coming upon the earth and prevent them from being carried about by every wind of doctrine.—.
Commit Scripture to Memory
Several times each day precious, golden moments should be consecrated to prayer and the study of the Scriptures, if it is only to commit a text to memory, that spiritual life may exist in the soul.—
God's precious Word is the standard for youth who would be loyal to the King of heaven. Let them study the Scriptures. Let them commit text after text to memory and acquire a knowledge of what the Lord has said.—.
Build a wall of scriptures around you, and you will see that the world cannot break it down. Commit the Scriptures to memory, and then throw right back upon Satan when he comes with his temptations, “It is written.” This is the way that our Lord met the temptations of Satan, and resisted them.—.
Hang in memory's hall the precious words of Christ. They are to be valued far above silver or gold.—.
Keep a pocket Bible with you as you work, and improve every opportunity to commit to memory its precious promises.—.
The time will come when many will be deprived of the written Word. But if this Word is printed in the memory, no one can take it from us.—
Study the Word of God. Commit its precious promises to memory so that, when we shall be deprived of our Bibles, we may still be in possession of the Word of God.—.
an Anchor to God's People
In these last days it is our duty to ascertain the full meaning of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. All our transactions should be in accordance with the Word of God. The first, second, and third angels’ messages are all united and are revealed in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation from the sixth verse to the close.—
Many who embraced the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this, and his evil eye was upon them to overthrow them; but the third angel was pointing them to the most holy place, and those who had an experience in the past messages were pointing them the way to the heavenly sanctuary. Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels’ messages and gladly received them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan.—
Educate the Mind to Believe God's Word
Those who feel at liberty to question the Word of God, to doubt everything where there is any chance to be unbelieving, will find that it will require a tremendous struggle to have faith when trouble comes. It will be almost impossible to overcome the influence that binds the mind which has been educated in the line of unbelief, for by this course the soul is bound in Satan's snare and becomes powerless to break the dreadful net that has been woven closer and closer about the soul.
In taking a position of doubt, man calls to his aid the agencies of Satan. But the only hope of one who has been educated in the line of unbelief is to fall all helpless upon the Saviour and, like a child, submit his will and his way to Christ that he may be brought out of darkness into His marvelous light. Man does not have the power to recover himself from the snare of Satan. He who educates himself in the line of questioning, doubting, and criticizing strengthens himself in infidelity.—.
Preparation for Future Trials
The servants of Christ are to prepare no set speech to present when brought to trial for their faith. Their preparation is to be made day by day, in treasuring up in their hearts the precious truths of God's Word, in feeding upon the teaching of Christ, and through prayer strengthening their faith; then, when brought into trial, the Holy Spirit will bring to their remembrance the very truths that will reach the hearts of those who shall come to hear. God will flash the knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures into their memory at the very time when it is needed.—.
When the time of trial shall come there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth.—.
Control the Moral Powers
The ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement.—
Few realize that it is a duty to exercise control over their thoughts and imaginations. It is difficult to keep the undisciplined mind fixed upon profitable subjects. But if the thoughts are not properly employed, religion cannot flourish in the soul. The mind must be preoccupied with sacred and eternal things, or it will cherish trifling and superficial thoughts. Both the intellectual and the moral powers must be disciplined, and they will strengthen and improve by exercise.—
We greatly need to encourage and cultivate pure, chaste thoughts, and to strengthen the moral powers rather than the lower and carnal powers. God help us to awake from our self-indulgent appetites!—.
The Example of Enoch
Enoch walked with God three hundred years previous to his translation to heaven, and the state of the world was not then more favorable for the perfection of Christian character than it is today. And how did Enoch walk with God? He educated his mind and heart to ever feel that he was in the presence of God, and when in perplexity his prayers would ascend to God to keep him.
He refused to take any course that would offend his God. He kept the Lord continually before him. He would pray, “Teach me Thy way, that I may not err. What is Thy pleasure concerning me? What shall I do to honor Thee, my God?” Thus he was constantly shaping his way and course in accordance with God's commandments, and he had perfect confidence and trust in his heavenly Father, that He would help him. He had no thought or will of his own. It was all submerged in the will of his Father.
Now Enoch was a representative of those who will be upon the earth when Christ shall come, who will be translated to heaven without seeing death.—.
Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption the same as ours, yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted.—.
Remember God's Past Blessings
In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.—
A Time for Serious Reflection
If there ever was a time when serious reflection becomes every one who fears God, it is now, when personal piety is essential. The inquiry should be made, “What am I, and what is my work and mission in this time? On which side am I working—Christ's side or the enemy's side?” Let every soul now humble himself or herself before God, for now we are surely living in the great Day of Atonement. The cases even now of many are passing in review before God, for they are to sleep in their graves a little season. Your profession of faith is not your guarantee in that day, but the state of your affections. Is the soul-temple cleansed of its defilement? Are my sins confessed and am I repenting of them before God, that they may be blotted out? Do I esteem myself too highly? Am I willing to make any and every sacrifice for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Do I feel every moment I am not my own, but Christ's property, that my service belongs to God, whose I am?—
We should ask ourselves, “For what are we living and working? And what will be the outcome of it all?”—.
Living With Reference to the Judgment Day
I have questioned in my mind, as I have seen the people in our cities hurrying to and fro with business, whether they ever thought of the day of God that is just upon us. Every one of us should be living with reference to the great day which is soon to come upon us.—
We cannot afford to live with no reference to the day of judgment; for though long delayed, it is now near, even at the door, and hasteth greatly. The trumpet of the Archangel will soon startle the living and wake the dead.—.
Ready for Christ's Return
If we find no pleasure now in the contemplation of heavenly things; if we have no interest in seeking the knowledge of God, no delight in beholding the character of Christ; if holiness has no attractions for us—then we may be sure that our hope of heaven is vain. Perfect conformity to the will of God is the high aim to be constantly before the Christian. He will love to talk of God, of Jesus, of the home of bliss and purity which Christ has prepared for them that love Him. The contemplation of these themes, when the soul feasts upon the blessed assurances of God, the apostle represents as tasting “the powers of the world to come.”—
If you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today.—.
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Jesus showed His disciples through His daily life how to maintain a connection with His Heavenly Father. What He taught them is also vitally important for us today. We pray that you are blessed by this short devotional sharing time with Elder Wilson.