July 1
And Isaac went out to meditate [to pray--margin] in the field at eventide. `Genesis 24:63`

HOW impossible it is for a child of God, remembering and impressed by the events of the day, as to the Lord's wisdom and care and the surety that all things shall work for good--how impossible, we say, for such a one to retire to rest without thankfulness of heart to him upon whose power and promises they have leaned throughout the day: and how appropriate to bow the knee as well as the heart, to render homage as well as thanks. `Z'85-Nov., p.4` (Hymn 274)

July 2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:...And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. `Romans 5:1, 3-5`

THIS thought is very precious to us as new creatures. “The peace of God which passeth all understanding” is to rule and keep our minds and hearts! ...We have peace, no matter what the outward conditions may be. The trials and difficulties of life come to the Lord's people commingled with joys--the rain and storm, then the sunshine. They enjoy all righteous pleasures that are in harmony with their consecration. They learn to cultivate patience in trial, knowing that patience works out experience, and experience works out more and more that hope which maketh not ashamed. `Z'16-102` (Hymn 312A)

July 3

The Lord shall judge his people. `Hebrews 10:30`

IF THE Lord's people get into trouble through not being sufficiently watchful, the Lord will give them some experiences which will be good for them, if rightly received. Let us remember the warning words of the Apostle Paul: “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged of the Lord.” (`I Cor. 11:31`) This means that when we neglect to judge ourselves, he has to do it for us. Then we are being chastened with a view to our correction, that we might attain unto the heavenly reward and favor that is to be ours as new creatures in Christ, if we remain humble and faithful unto death. If we continue to be meek and filled with the spirit of humility, not craving present honors and exaltation, but willing in perfect patience to await the Lord's own good time, our exaltation will come; and we shall share our Savior's throne and his glory forever more. `Z'16-132` (Hymn 67)

July 4

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. `Psalm 60:4`

WE ARE to tell forth this glorious message. We are to tell it in our actions, in our words, by the printed page, by pictorial presentations to the eye, and in every way that the Lord shall give us the opportunity....If we refrain from telling the glad tidings, the result will be that the fire of God's Holy Spirit will become extinguished within us. The possession of the truth --God's message--brings with it great responsibility. Shall we prove faithful to it? Shall we show to our God our deep appreciation of his loving-kindness in granting us the knowledge of his wonderful message of salvation, his glorious plan, with its times and seasons? `Z'14-198` (Hymn 280)

July 5

Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. `Psalm 121:4`

THINK for a moment of the memory that never fails; of the judgment that never errs; of the wisdom that plans for eternity without the possibility of failure, and that times that plan with unerring precision for the ages to come; of the power and skill which can harness even every opposing element, animate or inanimate, and make them all work together for the accomplishment of his grand designs; of the tireless vigilance that never ceases, nor seeks relief from the cares of universal dominion--whose eye never sleeps, whose ear is ever open, and who is ever cognizant of all the necessities, and active in all the interests of his broad domains. `Z'93-227` (Hymn 293)

July 6

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it. `Ecclesiastes 5:4`

WHOEVER has not seen his need of making resolutions, making vows to the Lord, has not recognized the first principle of Christian development. He who finds from the enemy's attack where his wall is weakest, and who then repairs the weak places as quickly as ascertained, does so by resolution to the Lord--by vows. He who has not discovered any weaknesses in his character is duly blind and “cannot see afar off.” He who has not attempted to correct his weaknesses by resolutions to the Lord, vows to the Lord, has not begun that character development which must be completed before he can be pronounced an overcomer. `Z'09-76` (Hymn 192)

July 7

And he [Abraham] removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, ...and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. `Genesis 12:8`

IT WAS doubtless to be free from the immoral influences of the Canaanites, and to have his people separated from these, that Abraham removed subsequently to the mountainous country near Bethel. There he established his home, there he reared an altar to the Lord and prayed. Would that each head of a family were thus careful to look out for the interests of those under his charge, that these interests should be advantageous to their welfare everywhere! Would that more could realize how indispensable it is to have an altar to the Lord in their home, where the prayer incense would ascend to the Father through the merit of the Redeemer. `Z'07-42` (Hymn 153)

July 8

These last have wrought but one hour, and Thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. `Matthew 20:12`

WHOEVER is begotten of the Spirit, and therefore able to appreciate and run for the prize of the “high calling” of the Gospel age, may know that he is called by the only call yet issued: and if willingly he shall sacrifice his all, he may be as sure of the prize as any other one running the same race. Such a disposition is an evidence of a timely consecration and acceptance and therefore of a begetting of the Spirit. Press nobly on, then, dear fellow-laborers, whether you have entered the harvest field recently or earlier; we serve the one Lord, in the one faith; and by the one baptism into his death; and for all such he has the crown of life reserved. `Z'88-June, p.8` (Hymn 263)

July 9

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord. `Psalm 132:4, 5`

AS IT was in David's heart to build the temple, so naturally the desire comes to the Lord's people in the present time to establish the things of the Lord and his kingdom....Now is the time for gathering the various elements, gold, silver, precious stones, etc., which by and by shall constitute the Lord's temple. Now is the time, not only for the quarrying of the stones, but also for the shaping of them for their various positions in the temple of God. Now, as the Scriptures suggest, we are living stones, to be built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. `Z'08-312` (Hymn 332)

July 10

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. `Psalm 4:8`

WE ARE invited to cast all our cares upon the Lord, knowing that he careth for us. And we have the encouraging assurance in the midst of present trials that we shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away, if in stedfast sobriety and humility we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, having been first redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, and thus through faith having gained the privilege of working it out. And we are comforted in the midst of trials with the blessed assurance that while God resisteth the proud, and they also resist him, he giveth grace to the humble. `Z'88-Aug., p.2` (Hymn 65)

July 11

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places. `Isaiah 45:3`

WE MUST come into Christ, as members of his body, the true church, by sacrifice, before we can have the opportunity of even searching for these hidden treasures, or of finding any of them. And then, as we progress faithfully in our sacrificial service as priests, walking in the footsteps of the great High Priest, we find more and more of these true “riches of grace” day by day and year by year as we progress....The apostle declares that these treasures of wisdom and grace --knowledge of divine good things in reservation, and the fellowship with God which permits us to anticipate and enjoy those blessings in a measure now--are all hidden in Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” `Z'01-55` (Hymn 221)

July 12

These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. `John 20:31`

THE only faith that will stand the test and bring us off conquerors over the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the Adversary, is the hope set before us in the Gospel, of which Jesus as the Messiah is the center. That is the hope of the world--the hope that Christ having redeemed the world with his precious blood will grant, in due time, a blessing of opportunity to every creature, that whosoever will may come through knowledge and obedience to life eternal, and that the disobedient shall be destroyed in the second death. A further part of this hope of which Jesus, the Messiah, is the center, is that those who are now called, the obedient through faith, shall be joint-heirs with the Master in the great kingdom which shall bless the world. No wonder the apostle said of this messianic hope, this kingdom hope, “He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” `Z'05-188` (Hymn 215)

July 13

Likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. `Matthew 18:35`

FORGIVENESS in your hearts is the condition which is always to obtain there: we should never harbor any other feeling than that of forgiveness and good will toward all, no matter how seriously they may have trespassed against us: and if this be the case, we will be longing and anxious to exercise the forgiveness outwardly and to express it to the repentant ones. Hence we will not seek to compel the most elaborate statement on the part of the penitent, but like the father of the prodigal, to see the repentant one coming in an attitude of humility will touch our hearts and prompt us to go out part way to meet him, and to forgive him, and to put on the robe of fullest fellowship and brotherhood. `Z'98-126` (Hymn 183)

July 14

Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. `John 16:24`

IN THE cultivation of the spirit of praise, thanksgiving, and loving appreciation of all the manifest goodness of God is the Christian's secret of a happy life. And in order to the cultivation of such a spirit it is necessary that we continually call to mind his acts of mercy and of grace; that in our prayers we frequently tell him how all his goodness is remembered, how every fresh evidence of his love and care causes faith to take deeper root and makes the sense of his presence and favor more fully realized; and how through such experiences our love and joy are made to abound more and more. We love him because he first loved us; and every time we see some new mark of his love, our love, if we have truly appreciative hearts, is called out more and more, and we are made to rejoice in God, in whose presence is fulness of joy. It is to this end that our Lord encourages our frequent coming to God in prayer with large requests for his favor, saying, “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” `Z'96-211` (Hymn 115)

July 15

Through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. `Acts 13:38`

THE apostle does not refer to something that was done by our Lord as the Archangel before “he was made flesh,” nor does he refer to any work to be done by him in his new, highly exalted condition, “set down with his Father in his throne” and partaker of his divine nature; but he here refers to the work done by “the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.” Thus the apostle again emphasizes the fact that “as by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.” Yes, this is the center of the Gospel proclamation that the failure of the first perfect man was fully offset by the sacrifice of the Man Christ Jesus, and that it was to this end that it was needful for our Lord to leave the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, to become poor (in the sense of taking our lower nature--but not its blemishes, for he was “holy, harmless, and separate from sinners”); and yielding up this human nature a ransom- price or corresponding price for the life forfeited by father Adam for himself and his race. This is the basis upon which every offer to grace is presented by the Scriptures. And now, he who was the Father's agent in the redemptive work is to be the Father's agent also in the work of “blessing” all the redeemed with ample opportunities for return to divine favor--the first step of which is the forgiveness of sins. `Z'97-138` (Hymn 68)

July 16

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. `Acts 14:22`

OUR word tribulation is derived from the Latin <tribulum>, the name of a roller or threshing machine used in olden times for cleaning wheat, removing from it the outer husk or chaff. How appropriate the thought when applied to the Lord's consecrated people, who in the Scriptures are symbolized by wheat. Our new natures are the kernel, the real grain; yet this treasure or valuable part is covered with the husk of earthly conditions. And in order that the wheat may be made properly ready for the “garner” and for usefulness, it is necessary that each grain shall pass through the tribulation necessary to separate those qualities which, until separated, render us unfit for the future service to which we are called by the Lord. In proportion as we are able to realize our own imperfections, and the perfect will of God concerning us, we will be enabled to bear patiently, and even with a certain kind of rejoicing, all the tribulations which the Master shall see best to let come upon us. “We glory in tribulations also.” `Z'97-265` (Hymn 67)

July 17

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,...and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing. `Malachi 3:10`

IT BEHOOVES us, dear friends, to look about us to note to what extent we have been faithful to our covenant of sacrifice and to remember that it is not a sacrifice for a day or a year, but “even unto death.” A little while and the trials will be over, but until that little while is past we are in the trial time, and it is proving us either worthy or unworthy of the glorious favors which we seek, the chief blessing, joint-heirship. If we appreciate it let us seek it in the Lord's way, let us see to what extent there are other things in our lives that we might render unto the Lord and which he will accept, not through the worthiness of the deeds or the sacrifices, but through the merit of Christ. Let us see if the days and hours as they pass are spent in a consecrated manner; let us note to what extent moments and days are spent in some selfish manner, or wasted upon others beyond the reasonable requirements of duty as marked out in the divine Word. Let us see to what extent we perform our vows unto the Lord; let us take note of what of time or influence or money we are using in the divine service and what proportion this bears to the whole. `Z'05-380` (Hymn 177)

July 18

Blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it. `Luke 11:28`

IT IS important that we should hear the Word of the Lord, that we search the Scriptures, that we have them well at our command, that we be able to give an answer to him that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us, and we need more than all this. We need to obey the Word, to practice it to the extent of our ability. True, we cannot come up to the demands of perfection, for God's law is perfect, but we can have the perfect attitude of heart, and nothing less than this will be acceptable to the Lord. We can show him and to some extent show to others the endeavor of our lives in the direction of righteousness and all the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. If we had all knowledge and zeal and had not the spirit of obedience it would evidence a lack of the spirit of love, and prove us unworthy of the divine favor and blessings promised to those who are rightly exercised by the message from above. `Z'05-366` (Hymn 267)

July 19

God...hath made us able ministers of the New Testament. `II Corinthians 3:5, 6`

OUR position is that of ambassadors for God, explaining to men his mercy and his provision of the New Covenant, through which all may be blessed and recovered if they will. So many as receive our message with joy and turn from sin to follow our Lord may be invited to become members of the body of Christ, the body of Messiah, the body of the Mediator, the body of the great Prophet, the body of the great Priest, the body of the great King of the millennial age. So, then, we are ministers of the New Covenant in that we are laying down our lives in its service, in its interest, although it is not yet a covenant, but merely a promise. We are not only laying down our lives, but seeking out fellow-members of the body of the Anointed One and assisting them in the laying down of their lives, under the assurance that these better sacrifices will soon be finished and their application be made by our glorious Head, and we with him in glory. `Z'09-51` (Hymn 148)

July 20

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day. `Acts 26:22`

IN REFERRING to the preservation of his life, the apostle does not give credit to Lysias, the commander of the garrison at Jerusalem, but declares that he obtained help of God, by whom he had been sustained to the time of his speaking....There is a good lesson in this for all the Lord's people. How apt many are to give credit to “luck” or “chance” or human instrumentality, overlooking the fact that the Lord's saints are the special objects of his care, and that the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them and delivereth them. `Z'03-158` (Hymn 61)

July 21

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. `John 15:4`

OUR Lord gives us an intimation that the growing of much fruit is not wholly dependent upon ourselves, and that even while we abide in him as fruitbearing branches the quality and quantity of the fruit is to be improved by our having proper ideals before our minds, and earnestly seeking their realization. Thus he says, “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” The intimation is that the desire and the asking of the Father at the throne of heavenly grace is a means by which we may more and more receive of the sap of the Vine, the Holy Spirit, and be enabled to develop the fruits of the Spirit. It will be noticed that nothing here implies the seeking or finding of earthly good things. These are to be left wholly to the Lord's wisdom and providence, and his people, the true branches of the Vine, are to desire and to seek for the Holy Spirit, which the Father is more willing to give to them than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. `Z'99-111` (Hymn 91)

July 22

Faith without works is dead. `James 2:20`

SELF-EXAMINATION along this line is very proper. If we have heard, seen, tasted, of the grace of God and enjoyed it, and if no desire to serve our gracious Father or to assist others to the same blessings that we enjoy has been manifested, it implies that our spiritual vitality is very weak and in danger of perishing. But if, on the contrary, we find ourselves burning with fervency of love for the Lord, and with appreciation of his great plan of salvation, and are consumed with a desire to tell the good tidings to others for the blessing, strengthening, upbuilding, and participation in the divine faith, it should encourage us. We should notice, too, that Jesus specially loved and favored the more zealous, vigorous, and energetic of the apostles, Peter, James, John, and we may be sure, Paul also. `Z'09-121` (Hymn 210)

July 23

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. `Nahum 1:7`

WHILE appreciating very gratefully this special love and care for us as his people, in the comfort, encouragement, and protection afforded us by our Heavenly Father in the midst of the world's great tribulation, we would come far short of having his Spirit if we would regard the matter with self-complacency, forgetful of his great love for the whole world also, which, veiled behind the clouds of his righteous indignation against their sins, in wisdom strikes the heavy blow which will shatter all their idols and humble their pride in the dust....If God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son,...he loves them still, and it is his love that wields the rod for their correction. So also he would have his people regard his judgments, and while rejoicing in the sunshine of his favor,...he would have them share his Spirit toward the world; and while the blows of his righteous indignation fall heavily upon them, he would have us point them to the cause of their calamities, and to the only remedy. `Z'95-72` (Hymn 171)

July 24

With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. `Acts 4:33`

OUR text tells us that this witnessing was done with power, great power. It was not made secondary to politics, to social questions, to evolutionary theories or higher critical dissertations. It, and it alone, constituted the apostolic theme. And so it should be with us. The resurrection of the Lord and its value and signification to the church and the world through the divine plan should be ever prominent in our witnessing. Not only by their words and logical presentations did the apostles witness, but their lives were witnesses. As the apostle said, “Ye are our epistle,...known and read of all men.” The lives of the Early Church were the special witness to the Lord. Without the consistency of their lives and their consecration to the Lord and to the truth, it is evident, the message would have had no such import as it bore. So it is with us today. It is well that we preach the Word. It is still more important that we live it. But it is the ideal thing to both preach and live the truth. `Z'09-140` (Hymn 267)

July 25

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. `I Peter 2:21`

OUR text is especially appropriate and should always be remembered, not only in severe persecutions but also in the lesser ones, when our names are cast out as evil, when men “shall separate you from their company,” when they make all kinds of misrepresentations against you falsely because of your faithfulness to the Lord and to his Word and to the principles of righteousness. Then remember this text, and assure your heart in harmony with it and with other statements of the Lord's Word, that all these experiences of opposition the Lord is willing to overrule for your highest welfare, causing them to work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. All who will be of the kingdom of heaven class must pass through some such experiences for the development and testing of their characters. `Z'05-254` (Hymn 299)

July 26

They...went everywhere preaching the Word. `Acts 8:4`

SOME dear Christian people make the mistake of preaching on sociology, the beauties of nature, the things of the world. Others continually dabble with errors and errorists. Such things may have their time and place in connection with the message; but all who would serve the Lord should remember that we are commissioned to preach the Gospel of Christ only. Christ and his message constitute the light which came into our minds--the light which we are to let shine for the blessing of others. The darkness hateth the light and battles against the light; but the light is to keep on shining. Thus said our Lord, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The light is not merely the message which we bear upon our lips, but also the influence which emanates from our daily lives. More and more we are convinced that the will of the Lord is that his message shall be borne by those who are pure of heart. “Be ye clean that bear the message of the Lord's house.” `Z'09-45` (Hymn 154)

July 27

Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day, declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. `Psalm 96:2, 3`

ALL who are of the truth hear the truth, and love to bear witness to the truth. Yet in our case, as in the Master's case, the world knoweth us not. It knows us not because it knew him not. The world, especially the religious world of Christendom, is disposed to crucify us as it crucified him, only we are living in a more civilized time, and the scribes, the Pharisees, and the doctors of the Law apparently find it more difficult today than of old to incite the people to destroy our lives. But by God's grace we will continue to bear witness to the truth until the dark night comes “wherein no man can work,” should our lives be spared till then. `Z'16-151` (Hymn Appendix H)

July 28

The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life. `John 6:63`

OUR text shows that however dark and parabolic were our Lord's teachings, nevertheless, rightly understood, his message is one that is spiritually helpful and life-giving to those who can and do understand it. It is this quality of the Lord's message which makes the religion of the Bible different from that of all the heathen. It is a message of life as well as a message of holiness. It is a message of forgiveness as well as a message of condemnation. It is a message of love as well as a message of justice. His wonderful words of life--they are charming, beautiful, forceful! We may read them over year after year and we see still more beauty in them, still deeper significance, and that in proportion to our own growth in grace, our growth in knowledge, and in the Spirit of our Master. `Z'10-219` (Hymn 49)

July 29

Continuing instant in prayer. `Romans 12:12`

PRAYER, communion with God, is indispensably necessary to our spiritual welfare; and the appreciation of the privilege of communion with the most High and with our Redeemer, or the lack of such appreciation, as the case may be, indicates tolerably clearly our fervency or our coldness with reference to the things of the Lord. People may be fervent in serving schemes or plans of their own, or human systems and theories, and have little desire for prayer, but those who serve the Lord and his truth from a hot, fervent heart, will so realize their imperfection and their own inability in the divine service, that they will desire and will continually seek the Master's guidance and direction with reference to the service they are rendering to him. `Z'97-265` (Hymn 239)

July 30

Who is a God like unto thee, that...retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy. `Micah 7:18`

THE heathen Gods are all vengeful. The God of the Bible alone lays claim to being a God of love “whose mercy endureth forever,” as one of the Psalms repeats again and again. Alas, how terribly our God of wisdom, justice, love, and power has been misrepresented to the world, and to the church, as a God delighting in the eternal torture of the vast majority of his creatures; for if such were his provision for them, and he knew the end from the beginning, it would surely prove that he delighted in, and intended their torture. But when our eyes open to a proper interpretation of God's Word, his character becomes glorious before our eyes and commands our love and our devotion! As the apostle declares, it is the divine love which constrains us to be faithful and obedient. `Z'11-378` (Hymn 296)

July 31

Thy saints shall bless Thee. They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power; to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. `Psalm 145:10-12`

THE prophet intimates that all the saints shall have the privilege of thus declaring the kingdom, and of thus honoring the name of our God; and this seems to be literally fulfilled today, for the Lord seems to be bringing to the attention of all his saints (his consecrated people everywhere) the present truth; to the intent that they may have its light upon their pathway, making manifest unto them the glorious character of our God, through a knowledge of his great plan of the ages. Moreover, the Lord seems to be putting it within the power of every one of his saints to thus glorify his name and to speak forth the truth to others. To some he has granted the talent of oratory and opportunity to use it and to speak forth his praises in this way; to others he has granted a talent for private conversation, that they may thus tell of his kingdom and speak of his glorious majesty and make known his plans to such as have hearing ears. To others still he has given the privilege of declaring his message through the circulation of the printed page; and to some he seems to have given opportunities for using all of these various methods of singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. And we may rest assured that none can be of the company of the Lord's saints in this time, and know of his goodness and his wonderful honor and majesty, and not have a desire to tell the good tidings of great joy to all who have an ear to hear; and those who are most earnest, most zealous in proclaiming the message are sure to have the most blessing in their own hearts, and in their own experiences, and to grow the most in grace, in knowledge, and in love. `Z'00-313` (Hymn 118)