August 1
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me. `John 12:26`

IT IS time for the establishment of the true kingdom-- it is just at hand. It is time for the gathering of the elect out of every quarter, every district of this figurative Babylon in which the Lord's people are captives to these devices of Satan; it is time for a reassertion of the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free; it is time that the Lord's people should recognize him as their only King and Director; it is time for them to hear the words, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (`Isa. 2:22`) It is time for the Lord's people to realize that the Lord is entirely competent to conduct his own work in the way most pleasing to himself, and most advantageous to those who are truly his; it is time for them to look to the Lord to see what agents, what channels of truth, what ministries of service in spiritual Israel he has provided or is providing. When we come to realize the situation, we find that all this matter of recognizing popes, cardinals, bishops, doctors of divinity, etc., is contrary to the divine arrangement--in direct antagonism to the same; but that, nevertheless, it has not hindered and will not be permitted to hinder, the accomplishment of the Lord's work and the gathering of the true Israelites, the elect, the precious, the Lord's jewels, out of nominal Israel. This work of the Lord is going gradually on, regardless of what the people in general may do. `Z'03-203` (Hymn 312)

August 2

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. `Psalm 42:11`

DO ANY of the faithful in tribulation for Christ's sake yet lack the peace? It is because you lack faith to lay hold of the promises--the exceeding great and precious promises made to those who take up their cross and follow in his footsteps--suffering with him. But if you have peace without the suffering, while all men speak well of you, beware! That is the peace of a sleep in which one dreams that he is filled and crowned and awakes to find himself empty--the peace of a dead calm on the ocean. `Z'82-May, p.2` (Hymn 106)

August 3

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. `Jeremiah 31:3`

THE whole world is seeking for happiness. The few who have truly found Jesus, and who have made a full consecration of their hearts to him, and to whom he has given the water of life--these few have found the happiness which the world is seeking in other directions in vain. They have found a heart satisfaction which is able even to offset trials, sorrows, difficulties and disappointments from other sources, and to glory in this realization, that their experiences are working to their advantage, proving them, preparing them for still greater riches of glory by and by. `Z'05-31` (Hymn 129)

August 4

And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church. `Ephesians 1:22`

DEARLY beloved, the time is short, the great prize we seek is near, the “mark” or standard of character to be attained is plainly set before us, and the Scriptures are luminous with illustrations of the necessity for complete consecration to the Lord, showing us that it means deadness to self. Shall we not each see to it that by the grace of God every other head and authority is completely cut off and cast aside, and that henceforth, as the apostle expressed it, “For me to live is Christ”--as a member of the body of Christ, guided by his will as discerned through his Word and providence and example? This is another picture of full completion of character likeness to our Lord. Did he not fully give up his own headship, his own will, to the Father's will? He surely did; and as that full consecration was rewarded by the Father, so we have the assurance that our full consecration (and nothing less than this) will be fully rewarded by our Lord and Head in the kingdom. `Z'01-229` (Hymn 326)

August 5

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful. `I Timothy 1:12`

AH, YES, what a blessed satisfaction it is to us to know that while the Lord knows of our every word and every deed he is pleased to count us something different, even from our words and our deeds--something better! Our words do not always represent the full sentiments of our hearts; our conduct does not come up to the standard: after the words have been spoken and after the deeds have been done--perhaps to the very best of our ability--we realize that they have come short of the glory of God, and short of our own ideals, desires, and efforts. How consoling it is to us, then, to know that our imperfect work shall be acceptable through Christ to God; that the Lord counts us according to our intentions, according to our wills. Praise his name! We would have no hope of coming up to any standard of perfection which he would approve, were it not for his gracious arrangement by which our imperfections are covered by our Redeemer's perfection and sacrifice, and our works accepted according to the intentions and desires of our hearts. `Z'02-133` (Hymn 125)

August 6

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. `Proverbs 14:12`

THIS text is worthy of being committed to memory by all. Its lesson is that we are not competent to guide and direct our own affairs; that we need divine counsel. Human judgment would be unreliable even if supported by absolute knowledge; but in view of our deficiency in knowledge as well as in judgment, very evidently to man many ways seem right and wise and advantageous and desirable which, pursued, lead to disappointment and chagrin and ultimately would lead to death--second death. The wise, proper course for all, therefore, is to realize and acknowledge our own insufficiency, unwisdom, and to look to our great Creator for guidance. Happy are those who heed the scriptural injunction, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” The earlier this right course is begun the better will be the results every way, the easier will it be for us to bend our wills to the will of the Lord; and the lessons and satisfaction and peace coming to us through the Lord's guidance will be the more precious. A full consecration of the heart and life and all our interests to the Lord, that his will may be done in us in all things, is the consecration necessary to the bringing of every justified believer into fellowship in the body of Christ, which is the church. `Z'03-351` (Hymn 12)

August 7

Ye are the light of the world. `Matthew 5:14`

IN ORDER to have the Holy Spirit in large measure, we must keep near to the Lord, for if we get away from him, the light will go out. If we neglect the privilege of prayer or of study of the Scriptures or of fellowship with the Lord through failure to think of him, the illumination of the Spirit will grow dim. On the other hand, it will become brighter in proportion to our realization of our own imperfections and to the degree of our consecration to the Lord. This we manifest by the zeal with which we study his will as expressed in his Word, and with which we practice that will in the affairs of life. These are the means by which we may supply the oil to keep our light burning brightly. `Z'12-343` (Hymn 230)

August 8

Every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. `I John 5:1`

HE WHO loveth the Father must love the Son also, who is the Father's express image and who has manifested to us in his own flesh the glorious character of the Father. As the Son loved the Father, prayed to the Father, and felt that he must be about the Father's business, and finally died in the accomplishment of the Father's will--the work unto which the Father had sent him--so with us imbued with the Spirit of our dear Redeemer, our Head. We as his members must have such a reverence for the Father and for his will as is here specified. The nation of Israel could not love the Lord with all its heart, with its soul, with its might; this exhortation must be understood to be of an individual kind. Similarly the church, spiritual Israel, is not called upon to love the Lord with heart, soul, being, strength, but the individuals who are the Lord's and who are seeking to please him, to serve him, to lay down their lives in obedience to his will and in the forwarding of the divine purposes, are called upon so to do. `Z'07-264` (Hymn 240)

August 9

Remember Lot's wife. `Luke 17:32`

WE BELIEVE there are some now who need to have their attention called to the antitype of this typical incident referred to by our Lord. Quite a number are disposed to sympathize and fraternize with those who have come under divine condemnation. We are told by St. Jude that the destruction of Sodom was “set forth as an example” or type. Those who assume to be more gracious or long-suffering than the Lord, make of themselves opponents, who instead of being students of the principles of righteousness, attempt to be judges and teachers of Jehovah. The proper attitude of heart accepts God's decisions as not only wiser but more just than our own. Consequently when we see any who have enjoyed the light of present truth abandoned by the Lord and led into outer darkness, we are to conclude that before being thus abandoned there must have been in them “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” `Z'16-261` (Hymn 161)

August 10

Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. `I Thessalonians 5:4`

OUR present attitude, dear brethren, should be one of great gratitude toward God, increasing appreciation of the beautiful truth which he has granted us the privilege of seeing and being identified with, and increasing zeal in helping to bring that truth to the knowledge of others. In the meantime, our eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress; and our faith, guiding our eyes of understanding through the Word, should enable us to see the glorious outcome --Messiah's kingdom. Furthermore we can be fully content not to know how long the harvest work will last--content that the great Captain, who by divine appointment has the entire matter in charge, is too wise to err, and has promised us that all our experiences shall work together for our good if we love him and are of the called ones according to his purpose, seeking to make our calling and election sure. `Z'16-265` (Hymn 289)

August 11

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. `Psalm 89:15`

OUR Lord in symbol pointed out to us the fact that the message of his grace in the closing days of this Gospel age would be so different from the commonly accepted message, misnamed the Gospel, that it would properly be termed a new song, although it would be the old song of Moses--the message of blessing typified by the writing of Moses and by all the ceremonies of the Law;...and the testimony of all the apostles respecting the Lamb of God and the great work to be accomplished by him in taking “away the sin of the world.” It is merely this same song that is now being sung by those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of present truth--it is the “joyful sound” which only the people thus blessed know or can sing....Our text implies that in order to be of the people who will know the joyful sound it will be necessary to walk in the light of God's countenance. Or, reversing the statement, the thought is that all who walk in the light of God's countenance shall be his blessed people, and shall know the joyful sound. `Z'00-37` (Hymn 315)

August 12

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. `Romans 5:1`

THIS scripture would not apply to any who have not come to the point of consecration and acceptance and who are merely approaching through the court. These do, however, have a measure of peace in proportion as they progress. A certain measure of peace and joy comes from finding that there is a way back to God through the endeavor to put away sin and to draw near to him; but the peace of the church mentioned by the apostle in this text can apply only to those who have come into the condition of the sons of God. God is not at peace with any others. `Z'16-281` (Hymn 182)

August 13

Lord, Increase our faith. `Luke 17:5`

IF WE believe that we are in the harvest time of this age, and that the harvest work is in progress, and we participators in it, let us believe also that the great Chief Reaper is thoroughly able to use us as well as bless us in his service; and let none look at clouds and discouragements, but let each do with his might what his hands find to do, with the eye of faith “looking unto Jesus,” our Captain, and determined that, whether or not he shall be able to bring many unto the kingdom, the King shall at least have evidence of his love and zeal and effort so to do. `Z'99-205` (Hymn 232)

August 14

Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him. `Matthew 4:11`

OUR Lord's utter refusal of every other way of carrying out his mission than the one which the Father had marked out, the way of self-sacrifice, the narrow way, was indeed a great victory. The Adversary left him, finding nothing in him that he could take hold of or work upon, so thoroughly loyal was he to the very Word and the Spirit of Jehovah. And then, the trial being ended, the holy angels came and ministered unto the Lord--doubtless supplying him with refreshment such as he had refused to exercise the divine power to obtain for himself. And such we may recognize as being the experience of our Lord's followers: with victory comes a blessing from the Lord, fellowship of Spirit, refreshment of heart, a realization of divine favor that makes stronger for the next trial. `Z'00-32` (Hymn 65)

August 15

The true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. `John 4:23`

WORSHIP in Spirit and in truth does not apply simply to prayer, praise, supplication, and thanksgiving. It goes deeper than all these and takes hold upon the affections, upon the heart, and hence signifies not an “act of worship” but rather a life of worship--a life in which, through the begetting of the Spirit and the knowledge of the divine plan, the individual becomes so at one with God and so in unison with the law of God and all the features of the plan of God that it is, in the words of our Lord, his meat and his drink to do the Father's will. This is worship in Spirit and in truth. It will find its expression in bended knee and in orderly and reverential demeanor in approach to God in personal prayer, in family prayer and in company with the household of faith, and it will find its expression also in all the acts and words of life. The captivated heart will seek to bring every talent of the body into complete subjection to the will of God and of Christ. The whole of this is the worship which God seeketh; and, surely, only those who are thus captivated to the Lord in heart, and who serve him in Spirit and in truth and endeavor to have his will done in their hearts, words, and conduct are in the full sense the true worshipers whom the Lord seeketh; the “little flock,” the faithful “royal priesthood.” `Z'96-287` (Hymn 202)

August 16

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. `Psalm 122:6`

THESE words are as true of the Jerusalem the higher and her children of peace as of the earthly Jerusalem. Those who are praying the Lord's blessing upon his cause are seeking to serve it and are proportionately blessed. Those who are indifferent to the welfare of Zion and the Lord's cause now are standing in a slippery place and are in great danger of falling....It keeps us humble as we remember our needs, and it strengthens us as we remember the Lord's sufficiency and his willingness to pour out his blessing in answer to our prayers. These prayers, and the divine power to which they are attached are to our hearts a bulwark against the many Satan-blinded foes who beset us continually because of our loyalty to the Lord and to his Word. `Z'00-47` (Hymn 18)

August 17

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. `I John 3:18`

THIS is a personal matter. Each one of us is under this testing. If not yet, sooner or later, undoubtedly, this willingness to sacrifice in the interests of the brethren will prove each one of us either loyal, faithful to our covenant, or contrariwise--unfaithful. Let us make this matter of love for the brethren and laying down our lives for the brethren a matter of personal study and of practical application to our own hearts, minds, thoughts, words, actions. And let us pray for one another, as well as exhort one another along these lines, striving to be filled with our Master's Spirit. `Z'16-261` (Hymn 166)

August 18

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. `II Peter 3:17`

ALL who seek to teach the divine plan to others are exposed to peculiar temptations, so that the honor of serving the Lord and his people demands a correspondingly larger measure of the graces of the Holy Spirit, as well as of knowledge. The tendency of knowledge, the apostle points out, is merely to puff up, make vain and conceited, and to become a temptation of the Adversary, to draw away followers after them. (`Acts 20:30`) Whoever therefore would be an instructor of others, a mouthpiece of the Lord should cultivate all the various graces of the Holy Spirit, including meekness; that these combined (love) with knowledge, may build up himself as well as build up those to whom he ministers. “Knowledge (alone) puffeth up, but love buildeth up.” `Z'97-277` (Hymn 200)

August 19

Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you. `Haggai 2:4`

ALL who have confidence in the Lord may rely upon his assurance that he has all things needful for the accomplishment of his purposes. “The Lord knoweth them that are his.” Therefore, in the language of the text, let us all be strong and work, for God is with us; we are merely co-workers with him. He will surely accomplish the great work he has promised; the spiritual temple shall be built; but our individual blessing in connection with it will be in proportion as we have been strong in the Lord and full of faith and full of zeal, as co-workers together with him. `Z'99-221` (Hymn 210)

August 20

He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted. `Isaiah 61:1`

THE anointed ones are not to spend their time endeavoring to break the hard hearts of the worldly, for this is not a part of their commission....The message is to “bind up the brokenhearted.” How much there is of this very kind of work that needs doing! The poor in spirit, contrite and mellowed of heart, disappointed with the world, vexed with the flesh and the Adversary, are to be found in nearly every quarter of the world; and whosoever has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit should realize that this power upon him is given to be exercised upon this needy class-- pouring in the oil and the wine of the divine promises, to cheer and comfort and bless, and prepare for joint- heirship in the kingdom some of the very class whom the Lord will be pleased to accept. `Z'00-55` (Hymn 73)

August 21

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen [nations], I will be exalted in the earth. `Psalm 46:10`

THIS command, “Be still,” corresponds to the still small voice which Elijah heard--to what we as the antitypical Elijah are now hearing from the Word of God, namely, that not by earthly might nor by earthly power will the Lord establish his rule, but that in the coming time his King shall reign in Zion and execute judgments in the earth, rewarding the righteous and punishing the evildoer, with the result that all shall come to a knowledge of the Lord from the least to the greatest; that the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea; and with the further result that the Spirit of the Lord shall be poured upon all flesh, as the mouth of the Lord has promised. `Z'04-249` (Hymn Appendix R)

August 22

Grow up into...Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. `Ephesians 4:15, 16`

THE apostle's thought seems to be that while each new creature may be considered as a complete member of Christ, and have all the parts of his own character thoroughly lubricated with the spirit of love, in addition to this all the new creatures are to recognize themselves as members one of another, and of the body of Christ, the church, and are to exercise toward one another in their various efforts toward co-operation in obedience to the will of the Lord such love, such unction, such anointing, such lubrication, as will prevent friction and enable the whole body of Christ to co-operate for its own upbuilding in the graces as well as for its own completion in numbers. `Z'97-295` (Hymn 198)

August 23

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. `Galatians 5:25`

THE apostle explains that those who have become Christ's followers have crucified the flesh with the passions and desires thereof. They have voluntarily agreed that they will live contrary to the emotions and desires of the fallen flesh. He urges, If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk! It is the Spirit of God which has quickened us and which ultimately is to perfect us. But it can perfect us only if we are led by it and walk in its ways. Otherwise we will not be fit for a place in the kingdom, whatever other place in God's arrangement we may have. One of the most dangerous besetments of the Christian is vanity. It leads to more trouble, provokes more quarrels and envyings than is generally supposed. If we are walking after the Spirit of our Master it will mean that instead of being vainglorious we will be meek, humble, teachable. And only such will eventually be ready for the glory, honor, and immortality which God will bestow upon the faithful at the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. `Z'10-302` (Hymn 91)

August 24

For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. `Psalm 30:5`

IN VIEW of this knowledge of the wonderful day about to dawn, how shall we who are hoping to be of the kingdom class of that day deport ourselves now? How shall we live? Ah! says the apostle, if we are “children of the day,” we are to show it. We are God's representatives and ambassadors. We are to tell the people about the light and knowledge and glory of God that is to come so soon, that will fill the whole earth by and by. We are to help them to contrast the present with the glorious conditions that will then exist, so that all who love the light may take heed to the Word of God and get ready to be members of that kingdom class....Let us remember that we belong to the new dispensation, and not to the old, and should, therefore, live in accordance with our citizenship and our responsibilities toward the Prince of Light and in opposition to the prince of darkness, his works and his ways. `Z'13-325` (Hymn 289)

August 25

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. `Psalm 92:1`

THERE are millions of people in the world who have never heard of God's wonderful plan; therefore our mouths should be used in praising God. We should be continually remembering the Lord in all of our moments of rest, whether upon a bed, or wherever it may be. The great and holy laws of God find expression in him. We should think of God as the personification of all that is just, loving, kind, wise, in character and in principle. This should stimulate us to be like him. The more we appreciate a noble character the more we desire to emulate it. The more we see of God's mighty works in nature and his mercies toward us, in that same proportion our hearts and lips will praise him. If there is a prophetic thought connected with this passage, it is that all through the Dark Ages, all through the nighttime of this age, God's faithful people have been praising him. All of his true people have been praising him and have done so with joyful lips. Those who have not been doing this are not of this class. We should, therefore, render praise to our God. We should meditate more and more upon his holy will and ways, and strive to conform ourselves thereto. Thus shall we become more and more like unto our Father in heaven. `Z'15-312` (Hymn 235)

August 26

In the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. `Ephesians 2:7`

ALL this abundance of grace and glory is the possible inheritance of even the weakest saint who, trusting not to his own ability to make his calling and election sure, humbly looks to God for strength from day to day to endure hardness as a good soldier. If any man attempts to do this in his own strength he must surely fail, for the fiery trial that is to try every one will prove too much for the mind of the flesh; but God who worketh in the consecrated to will and to do his good pleasure will so fortify and equip those who depend upon his grace that with the Psalmist they can say, “It is God that girdeth me with strength....By thee I have run through a troop, and by my God have I leaped over a wall”; and with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.” `Z'97-146` (Hymn 261)

August 27

Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee. `Mark 5:19`

OH, THAT we all might be diligent to be thus faithful stewards of the grace of God, and faithful representatives of our great Redeemer--not only witnessing with our lips, but in all the departments of life testifying that we are now sane, that we have now the spirit of a sound mind, that we love the things that are right and true and noble and good, that we hate and are living in opposition to the things which are sinful and contrary to the mind of the Lord and the ways of righteousness! `Z'06-143` (Hymn 118)

August 28

Help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee. `II Chronicles 14:11`

LET the world fight its fight: the Lord will supervise and the results will be glorious eventually. Let us who belong to the new nation, to the new kingdom that is not of this world, who use no carnal weapons, but the sword of the Spirit--let us fight the good fight of faith, lay hold upon the glorious things set before us, and not only stand ourselves, but help all those begotten of the same Spirit and members of the same heavenly army corps to stand, complete in him who is the Head of the body, the Captain of our Salvation. By and by God's loving care over all his creatures will be manifested in the glorious kingdom of his dear Son, which shall bless and rule, instruct, and uplift mankind in general. “The groaning creation” will then be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God--so many of them as will then accept the blessings. Then all will see that God so loved the world as to give his Son to die for us and to thus open the way for his kingdom blessings. `Z'04-205` (Hymn 164)

August 29

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. `Colossians 3:23`

THE Lord leaves his people free from restraints; free from threats; free from compulsion; to the intent that they may present their bodies living sacrifices day by day. Now, as then, whoever grows cold may discontinue his sacrificing, but himself will be the loser. We want to keep distinctly before our minds that while God condemns sin, and while his people have no liberty in this respect, but are obligated to do their best to withstand sin, it is different in the matter of sacrifice. The Lord is calling for freewill offerings, and whatever is not given with a hearty good will, yea, with an earnest desire, with zeal, may as well be kept --but the rewards promised to those who imitate the spirit of the Master and his devotion will be lost also. `Z'02-149` (Hymn 299)

August 30

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. `Psalm 37:3`

AS WE think of the Lord's goodness promised to the world in general in his own due time, in the sweet by and by, and as we look back also and see his gracious care over those of ancient times who trusted him, what shall we say respecting ourselves of this Gospel age, who have much advantage every way over those of olden times as well as over those of the age to come, in that we have the special favor and blessing of the Lord in the knowledge of his gracious plan and an adoption into his family? Shall we not reckon that he who was careful in the past, who will delight in giving blessings in the future, is now ready and willing to pour out to each of us as his children blessings, especially spiritual, to the extent of our willingness and faith to receive? If while we were yet sinners God loved us so as to redeem us, much more now that we are forgiven and accepted into his family, and adopted and made joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus prospectively, may we not expect of the Lord continually, day by day, the blessings and favors which he assures us he is well pleased to bestow upon us? Surely faith can trust him, come what may! While the Lord is now pouring out his Spirit upon his servants and handmaidens, it is for them to see that they are emptied vessels-- empty that he may fill them--enlarged more and more that they may be more and more filled with the Spirit of God. `Z'04-283` (Hymn 313)

August 31

Keep yourselves in the love of God. `Jude 21`

WHETHER I am something or nothing in God's estimation is to be measured by my love for him, for his brethren, for his cause, for the world in general, and even for my enemies, rather than by my knowledge, or fame, or oratory! Yet we are not to understand that one could have a knowledge of the deep mysteries of God without having been begotten by the Holy Spirit of love; for the deep things of God knoweth no man, but by the Spirit of God; but one might lose the Spirit before losing the knowledge it brought him. In the measure of character, therefore, we are to put love first, and to consider it the chief test of our nearness to and acceptance with the Lord. `Z'11-422` (Hymn 166)