April 1
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. `Psalm 25:14`

THAT wonderful covenant, shown to all who are seeking the Word in honesty and sincerity, assures us that as our dear Redeemer humbled himself for our and the world's redemption and has been highly exalted, so if similarly faithful we may suffer with him now and by and by share his glory and be co-laborers with him in the kingdom which is to bless all the families of the earth. O, what riches of grace! What loving-kindness! What tender mercy! What evidences of divine wisdom, skill, justice, love, and power! How this view of the Only Begotten of the Father shows him to us as our Redeemer and also as our Lord and Head, who by and by, according to the promise, will present us as his bride, blameless and irreprovable before the Father in love. Viewed from this standpoint, the recognition of Jesus, our dear Redeemer, the Sent of God, the Savior of the world, is not in derogation of the command of the text, “Jehovah, our God, is one,” for the apostle assures us that according to the divine authority all should reverence the Son even as they reverence the Father--not reverence him as the Father, but reverence him as the Son whom the Father has appointed heir of all things, and who, as the Father's associate, is to bless all the families of the earth, and who a thousand years later will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that he may be all in all. `Z'07-263` (Hymn 154)

April 2

The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him. `Deuteronomy 33:12`

ONLY those who trust the Father as a little child would trust its earthly parent can expect to make good progress in the narrow way and have the courage and confidence which it is the privilege of all who are his to have, and without which we cannot have the perfect peace and rest of heart promised. “According to your faith be it unto you,” is the promise. The desire to draw nearer and nearer to God must be in our heart else we shall fail to go on and attain our privilege in Christ. Such a desire is a manifestation of our hunger and thirst after righteousness, which the Lord expects to see before he makes good to such his engagement that they shall be filled. `Z'14-90` (Hymn 226)

April 3

The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. `Proverbs 10:22`

WHEN we see a noble example like that of our Lord, who was rich in everything, and who gave all, we rejoice in it, and realize that as his sacrifice was so great his reward also is proportionately great. When we see the noble example of the Apostle Paul, who possessing some considerable wealth of ability, talent, and influence, and possibly of financial means also, laid these all, a willing, a glad sacrifice, at the feet of the Lord, laying them all down with joy in God's service, in the service of the truth, in the service of the brethren, it causes our hearts to rejoice, and we feel sure that one so rich, and who spent his riches so faithfully, will be one to shine very brightly in the kingdom when it is set up and manifested. And so, undoubtedly, it will be with all the royal priesthood--in proportion as they have sacrificed their possessions. Those who joyfully endure for the Lord's sake, the truth's sake, the greatest shame, the greatest ignominy, the greatest trials, the greatest persecutions in this present life, and thus have experiences most like those of the Master and Pattern, we may be sure will in proportion to their faithfulness manifested in such sacrifices, have a future great reward--as the apostle has declared, “Star differeth from star in glory.” `Z'01-55` (Hymn 277)

April 4

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil. `Matthew 25:8`

NONE can get too much of this Holy Spirit, none can secure an oversupply for his own use so that he could supply others from his abundance. The Bridegroom has made in advance abundant provision by which all those who are invited to go in with him to the marriage may be properly equipped, not only with robes and lamps, but also with the oil; and if any are careless in the procurement of the oil, they thus indicate their unfitness to be of the class who are to enter with the Bridegroom before the door is shut. This is the essence of the Lord's instruction by this parable-- that those who hope to enter into the kingdom and share its glories with him must expect to make preparation in advance. If they wait until the moment for the door to close, however willing they may be, however anxious, they will not be prepared--the preparation requires time, patience, care. `Z'06-314` (Hymn 230)

April 5

The Lord will command his loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me. `Psalm 42:8`

IF WE are not ready to praise God where we are, and with our conditions and circumstances as they are, we should not be likely to praise him if we were differently circumstanced and our conditions just those which now seem to us most desirable. Daniel could sleep better in the den of lions than Darius in the royal palace; he who could not find rest in a lion's den, when that was the place for him, could not gain rest by a mere removal to a palace. It is the man's self which must be changed, not his circumstances or his possessions, in order to his having a heart overflowing with joy and praise. `Z'02-381` (Hymn 236)

April 6

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. `Isaiah 40:31`

EACH member of the body of Christ, the true Israel of God, is privileged to have the continual guidance of the Lord in every experience of our wilderness journey. Heavenly manna is furnished for our daily sustenance. The water of life flows out to us for our daily refreshing, from the smitten Rock of Ages. Our Father's chastening rod restrains us when we are in danger, or when we wander into any forbidden path. How lovingly he brings us back into the right way, and heals our stumblings and weaknesses! Surely we may have implicit confidence in our Heavenly Guide. Thus we may rest in him and be kept in perfect peace. `Z'14-296` (Hymn 185)

April 7

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God. `Ruth 1:16`

ONE thought here is worthy of note; namely, the positiveness with which Ruth made her decision. It was not a proposal to try for a time how it would be to live in Judea. It was a decision unto death. In this respect all true conversions are alike. The Christian, for instance, did not really become a Christian until he made just such a definite, positive consecration of himself to leave the world, its affairs, its loves, its hopes, and ambitions, and to spend and be spent even unto death, in the service of the Lord. The value of positive decision in respect to life we can hardly overestimate. Thousands of lives are blighted because of lack of decision. Positiveness for God is the only condition in which we can hope to “make our calling and election sure.” `Z'15-23` (Hymn 303)

April 8

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility. `Proverbs 15:33`

THE parable of a man with a beam in his own eye trying to pick a mote out of his brother's eye was a forceful method whereby the Master inculcated the necessity of humility on the part of those who would be taught of God. Humility is here as elsewhere put as a foundation virtue. The Latin word for humility is “humus,” ground. This implies that it is the soil out of which other virtues are produced. Those who think they know everything can learn nothing. As Chalmers has said: “The more a man does examine, the more does he discover the infirmities of his own character.” As Wheatley remarked, “Ten thousand of the greatest faults in our neighbors are of less consequence to us than one of the smallest in ourselves.” A knowledge of our sins and imperfections should make and keep all humanity humble; but how beautiful it is to realize that the perfect Jesus was humble, and that all the holy angels are so! `Z'12-165` (Hymn 95)

April 9

And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. `Psalm 107:7`

WITH spiritual Israel it is particularly true that the Lord leads in the right way, in the best way; and that therefore all truly his people should be careful to note his leadings and quick in following them. In the end we will surely see that he has led us in the right way, however different that way may be from the one we would have chosen for ourselves. The difficulty with many is that the way they take is not the one which the Lord led and hence not the best way, even though the Lord may overrule their waywardness so that it shall not work to them a great injury which otherwise might have been theirs. The more of the true knowledge of the Lord we possess--the more of the knowledge which perfects our love for the Lord --the greater will be our faith, the more precious will be the results in this present life as well as in the life to come, in which--as star differeth from star in glory-- the more faithful of the Lord's people, and more zealous and more Christlike will have the more shining, the more blessed part and experience. Let us, then, with full faith in him who has led us hitherto, go forth through the coming days conquering and to conquer, fighting against the world, the flesh, and the Adversary, strong not in ourselves, but in him who has called us and led us hitherto. `Z'07-287` (Hymn 315)

April 10

Not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. `I Thessalonians 2:4`

THE heart represents the will, the intentions; the will must be kept true and centered in God, but it is the governing power of the whole man. Yet, though the will is the controlling power of man, it is also subject to influences. If the thoughts be impure, unjust, or unholy, the power of the will becomes more and more impaired. Hence the wisdom of the admonition of the apostle as to what should be the character of our thoughts. In those who are striving to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord--to adorn themselves with the beauty of holiness--the thoughts must not be neglected and permitted to browse in every pasture, but must be disciplined to feed upon pure and healthful food. `Z'11-165` (Hymn 114)

April 11

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,...he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season. `Psalm 1:1, 3`

WHILE the heights of perfection cannot be reached so long as we still have these imperfect bodies, there should be in every child of God very perceptible and continuous growth in grace, and each step gained should be considered but the steppingstone to higher attainments. If there is no perceptible growth into the likeness of God, or if there is a backward tendency, or a listless standstill, there is cause for alarm. Let us constantly keep before our eyes the model which the Lord Jesus set for our example--that model of the complete fulfilment of the will of God, in which the whole Law was kept blamelessly. Let us follow his steps of righteousness and self-sacrifice as nearly as a full measure of loving zeal and faithfulness and loyalty to God will enable us to do, and we shall have a blessed sense of the divine approval now, and the glorious reward of divine favor in due time. `Z'11-180` (Hymn 78)

April 12

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. `Psalm 103:8`

OUR text reminds us that the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, and we see this well illustrated in the case of fleshly Israel in the wilderness experiences, in the history of the Lord's people of this Gospel age, nominal spiritual Israel, and also in the cases of the faithful ones. Can we not all realize how patient and merciful the Lord has been to us in our various experiences in life? Can we not see how he would have been fully justified in canceling our covenant long ago, and that only of his mercy and love have we been permitted to come thus far on the way toward the heavenly kingdom? Surely a realization of these things should make us both humble and trustful. Moreover the Lord informs us that he has a still further requirement, namely, that if we would appreciate his greatness and mercy through Christ in our own cases we shall exercise similarly mercy and forbearance toward others who may transgress against us. Indeed, so earnest is the Lord in impressing this matter upon us that he positively declares that none of us can maintain relationship with him except as he shall develop this spirit, this character, in relationship to his brethren and fellow-servants. How generous, how considerate, how moderate, how forgiving, all this should lead us to be in our dealings with the brethren, especially with those who have in any measure wounded or injured us or our interests. `Z'07-270` (Hymn 243)

April 13

That...we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. `Hebrews 6:18`

THE saints have indeed in every sorrow and grief a blessed consolation of which the world is wholly in ignorance. None but the child of God can know it. What is this consolation?...It is the gentle whisper of hope and love and courage when heart and flesh are almost failing. This is the divine consolation, the only consolation that has in it any virtue of healing or refreshment. It is reserved alone for those noble souls who are faithfully bearing the burden and heat of the day in the service of the King of kings; while those who listlessly drift with the current of the world and the downward tendencies of the carnal nature can never have an intimation of its sweetness. `Z'15-345` (Hymn 328)

April 14

Great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. `Matthew 15:28`

THE more we study this subject of faith, the more we are convinced that in God's sight faith is not only indispensable, but very precious. We cannot come to God without faith, we cannot abide in his love without faith, we cannot receive day by day his mercies and blessings and leadings except by faith in his promises. We cannot realize ourselves as his children, begotten of the Holy Spirit, and heirs of God, joint- heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, except as we exercise faith in his Word of promise to this effect. We cannot go on day by day following the Lord except as we are willing to walk by faith and not by sight, for this is the test which he puts upon all of his followers. We cannot see how the oppositions of the world, flesh, and devil, which seem so baneful to us, are blessings in disguise, except as we exercise faith in God's promises that it will be so. We cannot therefore be prepared for the heavenly kingdom in its glories and blessings and privileges except as we now have and exercise the faith which will enable us to profit by various lessons given us in the school of Christ. `Z'06-171` (Hymn 174)

April 15

Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. `I Corinthians 15:20`

OTHERS have been awakened from the sleep of death temporarily merely to relapse into it again subsequently, but our Lord Jesus was “the firstborn from the dead,” the “firstfruits of them that slept”--as the apostle declares, he was the first that should rise from the dead. His resurrection was the life resurrection-- to perfection on the spirit plane. In that he was the firstfruits of them that slept, the implication is that others slept similarly and are to come forth in the resurrection as spirit beings after the same manner. To be the firstfruits implies that the others will be of the same kind, for although our Lord was the first- fruits of all that slept in the sense that his resurrection preceded all other resurrections, in another sense he is the firstfruits of the church, which is his body. It is in a still larger sense that The Christ, Head, and body, is the firstfruits brought up to life of the whole world; as the Apostle James expresses the matter, “Of his own will beget he us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” `Z'04-173` (Hymn 285)

April 16

Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. `Matthew 26:26`

AS BREAD stands for and symbolizes all food, so the teaching of this symbol is that whoever would have the life which Christ has to give must accept it as the result of his sacrifice. He died that we might live. The rights and privileges which he surrendered voluntarily may be eaten, applied, appropriated by all who have faith in him and who accept him and his instructions-- such are reckoned as having imputed to them the perfect human nature, with all its rights and privileges lost by Adam, redeemed by Christ. None can have eternal life except by the eating of this Bread from heaven. This applies not only to believers of this present time, but also to those of the future age. Their life rights and privileges must all be recognized as coming to them through his sacrifice. In a word, the bread representing our Lord's body teaches our justification through the acceptance of his sacrifice. `Z'06-334` (Hymn 2)

April 17

Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. `Hebrews 12:3`

THE narrative of our dear Redeemer's shame, endured so patiently on our behalf, is most touching, and perhaps the relating of it and the reading of it brought more hearts to repentance than almost any thing else. Nor does it lose its power with those who have already accepted our Lord and the redemption which his blood effected; it mellows our hearts every time we consider him who endured such great contradiction of sinners against himself, when we remember that it was unmerited by him, and that it was a part of his sacrifice on our behalf. The apostle points one of his most forcible lessons with this subject, urging that all of the Lord's followers should consider the meekness, patience, and sufferings of Christ, endured most unjustly, lest we should be weary or faint in our minds, when enduring comparatively light afflictions while seeking to walk in his footsteps. `Z'98-160` (Hymn 212)

April 18

And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. `Matthew 26:27`

OUR Lord distinctly declares that the cup, the fruit of the vine, represents blood, hence life; not life retained, but life shed or given, yielded up, sacrificed life. He tells us that it was for the remission of sins, and that all who would be his must drink of it--must accept his sacrifice and appropriate it by faith. All who would be justified through faith must accept life from this one source. It will not do to claim that faith in and obedience to any great teacher will amount to the same thing, and bring eternal life. There is no other way to attain eternal life except through accepting the blood once shed as the ransom-price for the sins of the whole world. There is no other name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved. Likewise there is no other way that we can attain to the new nature than by accepting the Lord's invitation to drink of his cup, and be broken with him as members of the one loaf, and to be buried with him in baptism into his death, and thus to be with him in his resurrection to glory, honor, and immortality. Let us, when we celebrate this grand memorial, not forget to give thanks to the Lord for our justification, and also for the grand privilege we enjoy of being fellow sacrificers with our Redeemer, and filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. And while sorrowful and thoughtful, meditative and full of heart searchings on this occasion, let us, as did the Lord, triumph through faith and go forth singing praise to him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and who has privileged us thus to have fellowship in the great transaction now in progress. `Z'01-76` (Hymn 122)

April 19

But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. `Matthew 26:29`

WHEN the kingdom shall come all the sufferings and trials of the present time will be past, the treading of the winepress, the wine making, will all be over, and instead the wine shall be that of joy and exhilaration, representing the joys and the blessings beyond imagination or expression that will be the portion of all those who truly have fellowship with our Redeemer in the sufferings of this present time and also in the glories that shall follow. The kingdom time is very close at hand now--certainly 1,800 years and more nearer than it was when our Lord spoke these words-- and the evidences of its steady inauguration are multiplying on every hand. Our hearts should be proportionately rejoicing in anticipation, and we should proportionately be faithful in the present time in the drinking of the cup of sorrow, suffering, shame, and contumely, and thus testifying of our love and our loyalty. `Z'04-143` (Hymn 225)

April 20

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast. `I Corinthians 5:7, 8`

WHAT a meaning is in these words when seen in connection with the Memorial Supper as the remembrancer of the Jewish Passover! How the light of the type illuminates the antitype! As the firstborn of Israel were exposed to death, so “the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven” are now on trial for life or death everlasting. As then all the typical firstborn were safe so long as they remained in the house and ate of the lamb whose blood was sprinkled upon the doorposts and lintel, so we who abide in the household of faith under the better “blood of sprinkling” and who eat of our Passover Lamb, Jesus, are safe from death--sure of life everlasting under God's providence. We do not now recognize the typical lamb, but instead Jesus, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” On him we feed; not eating his flesh literally, but by faith partaking of the merit of his sacrifice and appropriating it to ourselves. All through this night of the Gospel age do we thus feast on our Lamb--until the morning of the Millennium, when we shall be delivered. The annual Memorial Supper is not our feast, but an illustration or archetype of it--a remembrancer--most beautiful, most solemn, helpful. Let us keep the feast of faith and also the Memorial Supper. `Z'08-37` (Hymn 190)

April 21

Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. `Colossians 3:13`

THE disposition to forgive should be with us always, and should be manifested by us at all times. Our loving generosity and kindness and desire to think no evil--or as little as possible--should be shown in all the words and acts of life. This course is Godlike. God had a kind, benevolent, generous sentiment toward us, even while we were yet sinners; nor did he wait for the sinners to ask forgiveness, but promptly manifested his desire for harmony and his readiness to forgive. The whole Gospel message is to this effect: “Be ye reconciled to God.” Our hearts should be so full of this disposition toward forgiveness that our faces would not have a hard look, nor our words of reproof a bitter sting. On the contrary, they should manifest the loving forgiveness that we should have in our hearts at all times. `Z'12-67` (Hymn 21)

April 22

Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. `Isaiah 53:12`

WELL did the Father know that his Son's faith and obedience would be abundantly rewarded. Well did he know that the soul of Jesus, his being, would constitute the sin-offering for Adam and his race, and well he knew that ultimately the Son should see a reward from this travail of his soul which would satisfy him, which would more than compensate every trial, every tear, every pain. And is it not wonderful that in God's providence the called ones of this Gospel age may apply these same consolations and assurances each to his own heart, and know that all things are working together for good to them that love God--to the called ones according to his purpose? Is it not wonderful that we also have the assurance that if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him, that if we experience travail of soul in following in the footsteps of our Redeemer we shall have more than compensating satisfaction, and that the Word of the Lord so guarantees it? To all who accept the Lord's promises in faith, the matter becomes a certainty--”Faith can firmly trust him, come what may.” `Z'05-206` (Hymn 111)

April 23

The Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake. `I Samuel 12:22`

SAMUEL appealed to fleshly Israel to remember the great things that God had done for them as a ground for thankfulness and faithfulness--their delivery from Egypt, their guidance through the wilderness and their entrance into the land of Israel; but if we apply these words to spiritual Israel, with what greater force do they come to us! The Lord has delivered us from Egyptian bondage, the bondage of sin and death. He has led us out of darkness into his marvelous light. He not only lifted our feet from the horrible pit and the miry clay, but he placed them upon the Rock, Christ Jesus; yea, more! he has put a new song into our mouths, even the loving-kindness of our God. He not only forgave our sins, but accepted us in Jesus, and invited us to joint-heirship with Christ. He not only gave us exceeding great and precious promises to cheer our hearts in the wilderness journey, but has in reservation for us things exceeding great and precious, of which he has given us a glimpse or foretaste through the Holy Spirit, an earnest of our inheritance. `Z'08-203` (Hymn 19)

April 24

These are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit. `Mark 4:20`

LET us, dear brethren, not only be sure that our hearts are of the good ground sort, and be sure that we have received and are developing the good seed, the Word of the kingdom, but let us seek also to bring forth much fruit. Seeing that some of these may bring forth thirty, some sixty, and some an hundredfold to the Master's praise, let us determine that by the grace of God, which we know is ours and will assist us, we will be of those who bring forth fruitage an hundredfold-- to our largest possible capacity and measure of service to our King. How may we increase our faithfulness? We answer, by increasing honesty of heart, which prepares us for increased measure of the seed and which enables us to bring this forward to perfection. The harvest is nigh: let us give diligence, therefore, while still there is opportunity, that the Master may find us fruitbearing to the very largest degree of our possibilities of nature, surroundings, and opportunities. `Z'06-126` (Hymn 225)

April 25

I thank God, whom I serve...that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day. `II Timothy 1:3`

THOSE whose hearts are loving to their enemies, and loving to the household of faith, and above all, loving to the Lord, these would indeed be exceedingly sensitive if their hearts got into any attitude in which they would not be seeking the welfare of others, and praying for them. In such hearts there would be no room for anger, bitterness, strife, envying. In such hearts the love of God is shed abroad as represented by the holy anointing oil, the unction from the Holy One, which lubricates all of the sensibilities, smoothing not only the countenance, but also the tongue and the heart; for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” and bitter water cannot come from a pure fountain. `Z'08-203` (Hymn 239)

April 26

Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. `Romans 13:11,12`

IF THE apostle could say to the saints of his day, “Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep,” etc., because they had then entered upon the Gospel age with its privilege of running the race for the prize of our high calling, with how much greater force do his words apply to these closing days of the age!...Yes, “the night is far spent” and “the day [the glorious millennial day] is at hand.” Even now the gray streaks of dawn appear. It is the day when the kingly Bridegroom shall receive unto himself his ready and waiting bride, and the time is short in which to make ready for our gathering together unto him. It is high time indeed to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation, our glorious deliverance, very near. `Z'06-246` (Hymn 230)

April 27

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. `I John 5:3`

WHO that has gratitude of heart to the Lord for these blessings, who that is appreciative and thankful, would not be indeed seeking to serve the Lord in truth with all his heart! Who that is of this attitude of mind would fail to remember the Lord's Word and to seek divine assistance in complying with its requirements, remembering the statement, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” To such daily the commandments of the Lord amplify, enlarge. Daily he sees new forces, new meanings in these commandments. If he be thankful, if he be appreciative of the Lord's providence toward him in the past, the depths of meaning to God's commands would not be grievous to him; but he will still rejoice to go on day by day in sympathy with our Lord's attitude, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart.” So it will be with us. As the apostle says, we shall do his commandments, and they will not be grievous unto us, and this will be the evidence to us that we love God and that we are loved of him, and being sealed, impressed more and more by his Spirit, the spirit of truth. `Z'08-203` (Hymn 225)

April 28

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. `Luke 6:32, 33`

THE standard for the Lord's people is still higher than that of gratitude, though it must include this. Our standard is benevolence, a forgiveness of those who transgress against us, and who say all manner of evil against us falsely. Such as attain this degree of character likeness to their Lord receive an extra blessing from him in proportion, and are bidden to rejoice and be exceeding glad, and to know that they will have a reward in heaven. `Z'08-202` (Hymn 219)

April 29

Follow peace with all men. `Hebrews 12:14`

AS NEW creatures we should be very vigilant, should continue to grow, should increase in power to overcome the flesh. Then we shall be safe. Self is to be our special battleground. Many of the Lord's people have a great deal of natural combativeness. This is a good trait if controlled and turned in the right direction. Combativeness is necessary, or we could never overcome. But we need to restrain ourselves that we do not fight the brethren; and we are not to enter into a personal combat with the devil. We are no match for him. But we are to resist him. The Lord will soon take hold of him and bind him up for a thousand years. He will conquer the Adversary and will undo all his works. But it will require the entire thousand years to accomplish fully that work. We need not hope to overthrow Satan or his works while we are in the flesh. It is not our mission. What the Lord has given us to do is to conquer ourselves, to control this body which is of the fallen race of Adam, to keep ourselves that that wicked one touch us not. `Z'16-212` (Hymn 242)

April 30

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. `II Timothy 2:15`

IF IT was the wise and proper course for the Master to go aside for the study of the divine plan before beginning his public ministry, how much more should his followers feel it incumbent upon them as fallen beings with imperfect judgments to seek counsel of the Lord's Word and Spirit to ascertain what work the Lord would have them do in his vineyard before beginning any work. If this course were more generally followed there would be far less ranting done in the name of the Lord, fewer would feel that it was their privilege to rush in and work for the Lord without first studying carefully the divine will or program respecting that work--lest they should be hinderers of the Lord's plan which they desire to serve. Let us more and more apply each to himself the apostle's words to Timothy. Until we do study we will have every reason to doubt our preparation or usefulness in the Lord's service. First comes consecration, wholly, unreservedly; and secondly, as the first step in the fulfilling of that vow, comes the study of the divine will, the divine Word, the divine plan; and following that comes labor in the Lord's vineyard. `Z'06-40` (Hymn 154)