Conflict and Courage

The 2017 Revival and Reformation daily devotional messages are from the book Conflict and Courage by Ellen. G. White.

God’s Plan for Me, December 31

For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Isaiah 14:27.

Each actor in history stands in his lot and place; for God’s great work after His own plan will be carried out by men who have prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil. In opposition to righteousness, men become instruments of unrighteousness. But they are not forced to take this course of action. They need not become instruments of unrighteousness, any more than Cain needed to....

Men of all characters, righteous and unrighteous, will stand in their several positions in God’s plan. With the characters they have formed, they will act their part in the fulfillment of history. In a crisis, just at the right moment, they will stand in the places they have prepared themselves to fill. Believers and unbelievers will fall into line as witnesses to confirm truth that they themselves do not comprehend. All will cooperate in accomplishing the purposes of God, just as did Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. In putting Christ to death, the priests thought they were carrying out their own purposes, but unconsciously and unintentionally they were fulfilling the purpose of God.52

God looks into the tiny seed that He Himself has formed, and sees wrapped within it the beautiful flower, the shrub, or the lofty, wide-spreading tree. So does He see the possibilities in every human being. We are here for a purpose. God has given us His plan for our life, and He desires us to reach the highest standard of development....

He desires the youth to cultivate every power of their being, and to bring every faculty into active exercise.... Let them look to Christ as the pattern after which they are to be fashioned. The holy ambition that He revealed in His life they are to cherish—an ambition to make the world better for their having lived in it. This is the work to which they are called.53

You want now to ... so relate yourself to society and to life that you may answer the purpose of God in your creation.54

First Things First, December 30

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.

This promise will never fail. We cannot enjoy the favor of God unless we comply with the conditions upon which His favor is bestowed. By so doing there will come to us that peace, contentment, and wisdom that the world can neither give nor take away.... A humble mind and a grateful heart will elevate…

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God Remembers His Own, December 29

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12.

In all ages God’s appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth’s sake. Joseph was maligned and persecuted.... David, the chosen messenger of God, was…

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We Need Not Despair, December 28

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16.

The pen of inspiration, true to its task, tells us of the sins that overcame Noah, Lot, Moses, Abraham, David, and Solomon, and that even Elijah’s strong spirit sank under temptation during his fearful trial. Jonah’s disobedience and Israel’s idolatry…

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“All Things Through Christ”, December 27

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Psalm 56:3.

Only the sense of God’s presence can banish the fear that, for the timid child, would make life a burden. Let him fix in his memory the promise, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Let him read that wonderful story of Elisha in the mountain city, and, between him…

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Noble Examples, December 26

The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. Job 17:9.

Sacred history presents many illustrations of the results of true education. It presents many noble examples of men whose characters were formed under divine direction, men whose lives were a blessing to their fellow men and who stood in the world as…

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To God be the Glory, December 25

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3.

The Bible has little to say in praise of men. Little space is given to recounting the virtues of even the best men who have ever lived. This silence is not without purpose; it is not without a lesson. All the good qualities that men possess are the gift of God;…

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“Hitherto Hath the Lord Helped Us”, December 24

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Psalm 105:1, 2.

The dealings of God with His people should be often repeated. How frequently were the waymarks set up by the Lord in His dealings with ancient Israel! Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events…

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Keep Your Armor On, December 23

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4.

The history of John affords a striking illustration of the way in which God can use aged workers. When John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, there were many who thought him to be past service, an old and…

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Shut Away with God, December 22

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; ... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelation 2:10.

By the emperor’s decree John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, condemned “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation…

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The Last of the Twelve, December 21

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:11, 12.

John lived to be very old. He witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the ruin of the stately…

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Beyond the Gloom to Glory, December 20

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12.

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…

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Pure in Heart and Life, December 19

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3.

John was a teacher of holiness, and in his letters to the church he laid down unerring rules for the conduct of Christians.... He taught that the Christian must be pure in heart and life. Never should he be satisfied with an empty profession. As God is holy in His sphere, so fallen man, through faith in Christ, is to be holy…

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Perils Within and Without, December 18

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1.

As the years went by and the number of believers grew, John labored with increasing fidelity and earnestness for his brethren. The times were full of peril for the church. Satanic delusions existed everywhere. By misrepresentation…

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“Love One Another”, December 17

1 John 4:7-21

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:10, 11.

After the ascension of Christ, John stands forth as a faithful, earnest laborer for the Master.... The love for Christ which glowed in his heart led him to put forth earnest, untiring…

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A Good Fight, December 16

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.

Through his long term of service, Paul had never faltered in his allegiance…

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Divine Bodyguard, December 15

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me.... Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear. 2 Timothy 4:16, 17.

When Paul was summoned to appear before the emperor Nero for trial, it was with the near prospect of certain death.... Among the Christians…

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To Caesar, December 14

Acts 25

I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged.... For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not do die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Acts 25:10, 11.

Once more, because of hatred born of bigotry and self-righteousness,…

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Toward the Mark, December 13

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13, 14.

Paul did many things. He was a wise teacher. His many letters are full of instructive lessons setting forth correct principles. He worked with…

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A Voice of Gladness, December 12

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4.

The great apostle Paul was firm where duty and principle were at stake; but courtesy was a marked trait of his character, and this gave him access to the highest class of society. Paul never doubted the ability of God or His willingness to give him the grace he needed to live the life of a Christian.... He does not live under a cloud of doubt,…

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The Race Before Us, December 11

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1, 2.

In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the singlehearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life.... Envy, malice, evil thinking,…

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Master and Servant, December 10

Philemon

Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? Philemon 16.

Among those who gave their hearts to God through the labors of Paul in Rome was Onesimus, a pagan slave who had wronged his master, Philemon, a Christian believer in Colosse, and had escaped to Rome. In the kindness of his heart,…

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Mark and Demas, December 9

Colossians 4:7-14

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15.

Among Paul’s assistants at Rome were many of his former companions and fellow workers. Luke, “the beloved physician,” ... was with him still.... Demas and Mark were also with him....

Since the earlier years of his profession of faith,…

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This Dropout Made Good, December 8

Acts 12:25; Acts 13:13; Acts 15:36-41

Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for I find him a useful assistant. 2 Timothy 4:11, N.E.B.

Mark’s mother was a convert to the Christian religion, and her…

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Passing the Torch, December 7

2 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-5

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2…

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