Daily Devotional

The 2018 Revival and Reformation daily devotional messages are from the book Reflecting Christ by Ellen. G. White.

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Affliction Spreads Knowledge of God, December 18

Take ... the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. James 5:10.

There was never one who walked among men more cruelly slandered than the Son of man. He was derided and mocked because of His unswerving obedience to the principles of God’s holy law. They hated Him without a cause. Yet He stood calmly before His enemies, declaring that reproach is a part of the Christian’s legacy, counseling His followers how to meet the arrows of malice, bidding them not to faint under persecution.

While slander may blacken the reputation, it cannot stain the character. That is in God’s keeping. So long as we do not consent to sin, there is no power, whether human or satanic, that can bring a stain upon the soul. A man whose heart is stayed upon God is just the same in the hour of his most afflicting trials and most discouraging surroundings as when he was in prosperity, when the light and favor of God seemed to be upon him. His words, his motives, his actions, may be misrepresented and falsified, but he does not mind it, because he has greater interests at stake. Like Moses, he endures as “seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27)....

In every age God’s chosen messengers have been reviled and persecuted, yet through their affliction the knowledge of God has been spread abroad. Every disciple of Christ is to step into the ranks and carry forward the same work, knowing that its foes can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God’s means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber.

How often this result has been seen in the history of God’s messengers! When the noble and eloquent Stephen was stoned to death at the instigation of the Sanhedrin council, there was no loss to the cause of the gospel. The light of heaven that glorified his face, the divine compassion breathed in his dying prayer, were as a sharp arrow of conviction to the bigoted Sanhedrist who stood by, and Saul, the persecuting Pharisee, became a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 32-34.

Love for Jesus Makes Suffering Sweet, December 17

Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Jesus does not present to His followers the hope of attaining earthly glory and riches, and of having a life free from trial, but He presents to them the privilege of walking with their Master in the paths of self-denial and reproach, because the world knows them not....

In an unpitying confederacy, evil men and evil angels arrayed themselves…

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Christ Lifts Us Through Sorrow, December 16

Happy is the man whom God correcteth.... He maketh sore, and bindeth up: he wounded, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. Job 5:17-19.

When tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob! We think it the hand of an enemy; and in the darkness we wrestle blindly until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance. To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with…

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John Met Errors Unflinchingly, December 15

This ... is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5.

John was not to prosecute his work without great hindrances. Satan was not idle. He instigated evil men to cut short the useful life of this man of God, but holy angels protected him from their assaults.... The church in its peril needed his testimony.

By misrepresentation and falsehood the emissaries of Satan had sought to stir…

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Trials Educate, Purify, and Strengthen, December 14

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.... But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12, 13.

Looking forward with prophetic vision to the perilous times into which the church of Christ was to enter, the apostle [Peter] exhorted the believers to steadfastness in the face of trial and suffering. “Beloved,” he wrote, “think…

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Peter Strengthened Those Enduring Trial, December 13

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7.

Human beings, themselves given to evil, are prone to deal untenderly with the tempted and the erring. They cannot read the heart; they know not its struggle and its pain. Of the rebuke that is love, of the blow that wounds to heal, of the warning that speaks hope, they…

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Paul’s Godly Life had Irresistible Power, December 12

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3.

Nero pronounced the decision that condemned Paul to a martyr’s death....

Few spectators were allowed to be present; for his persecutors, alarmed at the extent of his influence, feared that converts might be won to Christianity by the scenes of his death. But even the hardened soldiers who attended him listened to his words and with amazement saw him cheerful…

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Meekness Under Trial, December 11

Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Philippians 1:14, N.I.V.

By his [Paul’s] example, Christians were impelled to greater energy as advocates of the cause from the public labors of which Paul had been withdrawn. In these ways were the apostle’s bonds influential, so that when his power and usefulness seemed cut off, and to all appearance he could do the least, then it was that…

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God Teaches Self-Distrust Through Trials, December 10

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.

The worker for God often regards the activities of life as essential for the advancement of the work. He looks upon himself as a necessity, and self is mingled with all that is said and done. Then God interposes. He draws His child away from the earthly, which holds his attention, that he may behold His glory. He says: “This poor soul has lost sight of Me and My sufficiency. His…

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The Value of Pain, December 9

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18.

In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty. Often the gospel laborer carries on his…

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Whatever Our Trial, Christ is Near, December 8

Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled.... But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Matthew 14:25-27.

We are to watch. Christ said, Watch unto prayer. He does not deceive any of us. He takes us to an eminence, shows us the confederacy of evil and the strength of the powers of darkness that are arrayed against all who would have faith in Jesus Christ, and…

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God’s Grace Sweetens Every Affliction, December 7

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:1, 2.

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you.” The very same sap and nourishment that nourishes the parent stock, nourishes the branch abiding in the vine. Christ is represented by the vine that imparts the nourishment,…

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Instead of Murmuring, Let Us Exercise Faith, December 6

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. John 14:8.

Shortly before Christ’s ascension, Philip said to Him, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Grieved at his unbelief, Christ turned to him, saying, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?” Is it possible that I have walked with you, and talked with you, and fed you by miracles, and yet you have not comprehended that I was the Sent of God, “the way,…

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God Tests Our Loyalty to Him, December 5

And all the congregation of the children of Israel ... pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Exodus 17:1.

By the command of God, the children of Israel were brought to Rephidim, a place destitute of water. He who was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud was leading them, and it was by His express command that they were encamped at this place. God knew of the lack of water at Rephidim, and He brought His people hither to test their faith; but how…

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We Fight Life’s Battles in Christ’s Strength, December 4

Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13.

Let everyone who names the name of Christ read this scripture again and again, and then inquire, Am I clothed with the whole armor of God, that I may be a successful colaborer with Christ? The more we know of ourselves, the more we probe our motives and desires, the more heartfelt will be our consciousness of our utter inability to fight…

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God has a Tender Care for His People, December 3

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. Psalm 34:15.

You must not sink down discouraged. The fainthearted will be made strong; the desponding will be made to hope. God has a tender care for His people. His ear is open unto their cry. I have no fears for God’s cause. He will take care of His own cause. Our duty is to fill our lot and place, live...humble at the foot of the cross, and live faithful, holy lives before Him. While we…

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We Rejoice in Tribulation, December 2

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15.

Praise the Lord, that we have a compassionate, tender High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. We do not expect rest here. No, no. The way to heaven is a cross-bearing way; the road is straight and narrow, but we will go forward with cheerfulness knowing that the King of glory…

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God Leads Us to Perfect Trust, December 1

He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:3.

The refining process is hard for human nature to endure; but only by it can the dross be purged from the character. In the furnace of trial we are purified from the dross that prevents us from reflecting the image of Christ. God measures every trial; He watches the furnace fire that must test…

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God’s People to Reveal Principles, November 30

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. John 17:18.

It is God’s purpose to manifest through His people the principles of His kingdom. That in life and character they may reveal these principles, He desires to separate them from the customs, habits, and practices of the world. He seeks to bring them nearer to Himself, that He may make known to them His will.

His purpose for His people today is the same that He had for Israel…

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Revealing the Triumphs of Grace, November 29

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Isaiah 43:12.

The faithful ambassador of Christ is not ashamed of the banner of truth. He does not cease from proclaiming the truth, however unpopular it may be. In all places, in season, out of season, he heralds the glad tidings of salvation. Missionaries for God are called to face dangers, endure privations, and suffer reproach for the truth’s sake, yet amid dangers, hardships, and reproach they are still to hold the…

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Those Who Return to the Old Paths, November 28

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10.

The world is full of men and women who manifest no sense of obligation to God for their entrusted gifts. They do not realize that God has entrusted them with talents, not for self-glorification, but for His own name’s glory. They are eager for distinction....

There are…

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The Essential Qualification for Service, November 27

Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. John 21:15.

Little mention is made in the book of Acts of the later work of the apostle Peter.... As the number of believers multiplied in Jerusalem and in other places visited by the messengers of the cross, the talents possessed by Peter proved of untold value to the early Christian church. The influence…

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Paul Warns Against “Tradition” and “Philosophy”, November 26

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8.

Surrounded by the practices and influences of heathenism, the Colossian believers were in danger of being drawn away from the simplicity of the gospel, and Paul, in warning them against this, pointed them to Christ as the only safe guide.... “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in…

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Lydia’s Hospitality, November 25

A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, ... heard us.... And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. Acts 16:14, 15.

“On the Sabbath,” Luke [declared], “we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a…

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Though Suffering, Paul and Silas Sing, November 24

At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. Acts 16:25, 26.

As the messengers of the cross went about their work of teaching, a woman possessed of a spirit of divination followed them, crying, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto…

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