The excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Eccl. 7:12
Pointing out the way of salvation, the Bible is our guide to a higher, better life.
In turning from God’s Word to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. It is not brought in contact with deep, broad principles of eternal truth. . . .
The work of every teacher, every parent, should be to fasten the minds of the children and youth upon the grand truths of the Word of inspiration. This is the education essential for this life and for the life to come. And let it not be thought that this will prevent the study of the sciences or cause a lower standard in education. The knowledge of God is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe. There is nothing so ennobling and invigorating as the study of the great themes which concern our eternal life. Let the youth seek to grasp these God-given truths, and their minds will expand and grow strong in the effort. It will bring every student who is a doer of the Word into a broader field of thought and secure for him a wealth of knowledge that is imperishable.
In God’s Word only we find an authentic account of creation. . . . In this Word only can we find a history of our race unsullied by human prejudice or human pride. . . Here we may hold communion with patriarchs and prophets and listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men. Here we behold the Majesty of Heaven, as He humbled Himself to become our substitute and surety, to cope single-handed with the powers of darkness and to gain the victory in our behalf. A reverent contemplation of such themes as these cannot fail to soften, purify, and ennoble the heart and at the same time to inspire the mind with new strength and vigor.
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Prov. 9:10
Christ was the greatest teacher the world ever saw. He brought to man knowledge direct from heaven. The lessons which He has given us are what we need for both the present and the future state. He sets before us the true aims of life and how we may secure them.
In the school of Christ students are never graduated. Among the pupils are both old and young. Those who give heed to the instructions of the divine Teacher constantly advance in wisdom, refinement, and nobility of soul, and thus they are prepared to enter that higher school where advancement will continue throughout eternity.
Infinite Wisdom sets before us the great lessons of life–lessons of duty and happiness. These are often hard to learn, but without them we can make no real progress. They may cost us effort and tears, and even agony, but we must not falter or grow weary. We shall at last hear the Master’s call, “Child, come up higher.” . . .
Every faculty, every attribute, with which the Creator has endowed the children of men is to be employed for His glory; and in this employment is found its purest, holiest, happiest exercise. While religious principle is held paramount, every advance step taken in the acquirement of knowledge or in the culture of the intellect is a step toward the assimilation of the human with the Divine, the finite with the Infinite.
If the youth will but learn of the heavenly Teacher, . . . they will know for themselves that the fear of the Lord is indeed the beginning of wisdom. Having thus laid a sure foundation, they . . . turn every privilege and opportunity to the very best account, and may rise to any height in intellectual attainments.
From My Life Today – Page 111
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Ps. 61:1-3
Have you ever watched a hawk in pursuit of a timid dove? Instinct has taught the dove that in order for the hawk to seize his prey, he must gain a loftier flight than his victim. So she rises higher and still higher into the blue dome of heaven, ever pursued by the hawk, which is seeking to obtain the advantage. But in vain. The dove is safe as long as she allows nothing to stop her in her flight, or draw her earthward; but let her once falter, and take a lower flight, and her watchful enemy will swoop down upon his victim. Again and again have we watched this scene with almost breathless interest, all our sympathies with the little dove. How sad we should have felt to see it fall a victim to the cruel hawk!
We have before us a warfare–a lifelong conflict with Satan and his seductive temptations. The enemy will use every argument, every deception, to entangle the soul; and in order to win the crown of life, we must put forth earnest, persevering effort. We must not lay off the armor or leave the battlefield until we have gained the victory, and can triumph in our Redeemer.
As long as we continue to keep our eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of our faith we shall be safe. But our affections must be placed upon things above, not on things on the earth. By faith we must rise higher and still higher in the attainments of the graces of Christ. By daily contemplating His matchless charms, we must grow more and more into His glorious image. While we thus live in communion with Heaven, Satan will lay his nets for us in vain.
From My Life Today – Page 110
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Prov. 4:18
The youth may receive grace from Christ daily, and find their light growing brighter and brighter as they follow in the path of holiness. . . .
Growth in grace will not lead you to be proud, self-confident, and boastful, but will make you more conscious of your own nothingness, of your entire dependence upon the Lord. He who is growing in grace will be ever reaching heavenward, obtaining clear views of the fullness of the provisions of the gospel.
The youth may be free in Christ; they may be the children of light, and not of darkness. God calls upon every young man and young woman to renounce every evil habit, to be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Jesus will help you, so that you need not remain in indolence, making no effort to correct your wrongs or improve your conduct. The sincerity of your prayers will be proved by the vigor of the effort you make to obey all of God’s commandments. You may move intelligently, and at every step renounce evil habits and associations, believing that the Lord will renovate your heart by the power of His Spirit. . . .
Do not excuse your defects of character, but in the grace of Christ overcome them. Wrestle with the evil passions which the Word of God condemns; for in yielding to them, you abase yourself. Repent of sin while Mercy’s sweet voice invites you; for it is the first step in the noblest work you can do. Strive for the mastery with all the powers God hath given you.
The path of the just is a progressive one, from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory. The divine illumination will increase more and more, corresponding with our onward movements, qualifying us to meet the responsibilities and emergencies before us.
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God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.) 2 Cor. 9:8, 9
Many are longing to grow in grace; they pray over the matter, and are surprised that their prayers are not answered. The Master has given them a work to do whereby they shall grow. Of what value is it to pray when there is need of work? The question is, Are they seeking to save souls for whom Christ died? Spiritual growth depends upon giving to others the light that God has given to you. You are to put forth your best thoughts in active labor to do good, and only good, in your family, in your church, and in your neighborhood.
In place of growing anxious with the thought that you are not growing in grace, just do every duty that presents itself, carry the burden of souls on your heart, and by every conceivable means seek to save the lost. Be kind, be courteous, be pitiful; speak in humility of the blessed hope; talk of the love of Jesus; tell of His goodness, His mercy, and His righteousness; and cease to worry as to whether or not you are growing. Plants do not grow through any conscious effort. . . . The plant is not in continual worriment about its growth; it just grows under the supervision of God.
The only way to grow in grace is to be interestedly doing the very work Christ has enjoined upon us to do–interestedly engaged to the very extent of our ability to be helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. . . . Christians who are constantly growing in earnestness, in zeal, in fervor, in love–such Christians never backslide. . . . Their wisdom is increasing, their ability how to work. They seem to comprehend the largest plans. They are ready to engage in the most stirring enterprises, and they have no room for slothfulness; they cannot find a place for stagnation.
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The treasures of grace are absolutely unlimited.
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The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Ps. 84:11
There are many who do not grow in grace because they fail of cultivating home religion.
The members of the family are to show that they are in constant possession of a power received from Christ. They are to improve in every habit and practice, thus showing that they keep constantly before them what it means to be a Christian.
Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world.
Grace can thrive only in the heart that is being constantly prepared for the precious seeds of truth. The thorns of sin will grow in any soil; they need no cultivation; but grace must be carefully cultivated. The briers and thorns are always ready to spring up, and the work of purification must advance continually.
That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions. If you are . . . to be the light of the world, that light is to shine in your home. Here you are to exemplify the Christian graces, to be lovable, patient, kind, yet firm. . . . You need to seek constantly the highest culture of mind and soul. . . . As a humble child of God, learn in the school of Christ; seek constantly to improve your powers, that you may do the most perfect, thorough work at home, by both precept and example. . . . Let the light of heavenly grace irradiate your character, that there may be sunlight in the home.
The measure of your Christianity is gauged by the character of your home life. The grace of Christ enables its possessors to make the home a happy place, full of peace and rest.
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Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
God requires that every human agent shall improve all the means of grace Heaven has provided, and become more and more efficient in the work of God. Every provision has been made that the piety, purity, and love of the Christian shall ever increase, that his talents may double and his ability increase in the service of his divine Master. But though this provision has been made, many who profess to believe in Jesus do not make it manifest by growth that testifies to the sanctifying power of the truth upon life and character. When we first receive Jesus into our hearts, we are as babes in religion; but we are not to remain babes in experience. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; we are to attain to the full measure of the stature of men and women in Him. We are to make advances, to gain new and rich experiences through faith, growing in trust and confidence and love, knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.
The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man’s sanctification, and man is to cooperate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they need in their struggle against the evils that beset them. . . . Glorious is the hope before the believer as he advances by faith toward the heights of Christian perfection!
From My Life Today – Page 106
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:4-7
We would never have learned the meaning of this word “grace” had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels who do His service and are obedient to all His commands, but He does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know naught of grace; they have never needed it, for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace on everyone who hungers for it, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we will receive this gift.
But God does not use this grace to make His law of none effect or to take the place of His law. “The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” His law is truth. . . .
God’s grace and the law of His kingdom are in perfect harmony; they walk hand in hand. His grace makes it possible for us to draw nigh to Him by faith. By receiving it, and letting it work in our lives, we testify to the validity of the law; we exalt the law and make in honorable by carrying out its living principles. . . .
How may we witness for God? . . . By rendering pure, wholehearted obedience to God’s law. If we will let Him, He will manifest Himself in us, and we shall be witnesses, before the universe of heaven and before an apostate world who are making void the law of God, to the power of redemption.
There is but one power that can bring us into conformity to the likeness of Christ, that can make us steadfast and keep us constant. It is the grace of God that comes to us through obedience to the law of God.
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By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Cor. 15:10
There are those who attempt to ascend the ladder of Christian progress; but as they advance, they begin to put their trust in the power of man, and soon lose sight of Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. The result is failure–the loss of all that has been gained. Sad indeed is the condition of those who, becoming weary of the way, allow the enemy of souls to rob them of the Christian graces.
The love of God in the soul will have a direct influence upon the life and will call the intellect and the affections into active, healthful exercise. The child of God will not rest satisfied until he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ and sustained by His life-giving power. When he sees a weakness in his character, it is not enough to confess it again and again; he must go to work with determination and energy to overcome his defects by building up opposite traits of character. He will not shun this work because it is difficult. Untiring energy is required of the Christian; but he is not obliged to work in his own strength; divine power awaits his demand. Everyone who is sincerely striving for the victory over self will appropriate the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Through personal effort joined with the prayer of faith the soul is trained. Day by day the character grows into the likeness of Christ. . . . It may cost a severe conflict to overcome habits which have been long indulged, but we may triumph through the grace of Christ. . . .
If we are true to the promptings of the Spirit of God, we shall go on from grace to grace and from glory to glory until we shall receive the finishing touch of immortality.
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But thou, O man of God, . . . follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 1 Tim. 6:11
We must have a close and intimate connection with heaven, if we bear the grace of godliness. Jesus must be a guest in our homes, a member of our households, if we reflect His image and show that we are sons and daughters of the Most High. Religion is a beautiful thing in the home. If the Lord abides with us, we shall feel that we are members of Christ’s family in heaven. We shall realize that angels are watching us, and our manners will be gentle and forbearing. We shall be fitting up for an entrance into the courts of heaven by cultivating courtesy and godliness. . . .
Enoch walked with God. He honored God in every affair of life. In his home and in his business he inquired, “Will this be acceptable to the Lord?” And by remembering God and following His counsel, he was transformed in character, and became a godly man, whose ways pleased the Lord. We are exhorted to add to godliness, brotherly kindness. O how much we need to take this step, to add this quality to our characters! . . . We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts. . . . Seek God with a broken and contrite spirit, and you will be melted with compassion toward your brethren. You will be prepared to add to brotherly kindness, charity, or love. . . .
It will bring heaven nearer to us. We may have the sweet peace and consolation of God in doing this work. These steps will take us into the atmosphere of heaven.
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