Daily Devotional

Daily Inspiration from Pacific Press®

Devocionales diarios

Inspiración Diaria de Pacific Press®

Daily Devotional

Sharing the Word

God is working on hearts all around us. If we have the spiritual discernment to see where God already is working, we will regularly observe opportunities to share His Word with others. As God prepares the soil of the heart, we have the opportunity to sow the seed of the gospel. The Holy Spirit prepared the hearts of Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the woman with the issue of blood, the thief on the cross, the Roman centurion, and many others to receive His Word before Jesus ever met them. Through the circumstances of their lives and the impressions of the Holy Spirit, they were prepared to receive Christ?s message.

We may have a natural hesitancy to ask people if we can pray with them, share a Bible promise, or give them a piece of literature. More often than not, when we feel impressed to share our faith with someone else, it is because the Holy Spirit who has impressed us already has impressed that person to receive our witness.


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The Sabbath and Freedom

It is impossible to over-invest in the Sabbath. If you observe this day the way God intends, you will always get more out of it than you put in. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said, ?The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath? (Mark 2:27). When we offer God our worship and adoration through Sabbath obser-vance, we open a channel through which He can bless and refresh us abundantly. Enjoying nature on the Sabbath can provide just such a glimpse into God?s generous and loving heart. ? ?God is love? is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green?all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy.?


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The Sabbath and Freedom

It is impossible to over- invest in the Sabbath. If you observe this day the way God intends, you will always get more out of it than you put in. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said, ?The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath? (Mark 2:27). When we offer God our worship and adoration through Sabbath obser-vance, we open a channel through which He can bless and refresh us abundantly. Enjoying nature on the Sabbath can provide just such a glimpse into God?s generous and loving heart. ? ?God is love? is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green?all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy.?


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The Value of a Soul

Today Jesus is still looking for genuine disciples who will be moved with compassion to labor for those "having no shepherd." To have no shepherd means that they need someone to lead them into the truth. . . . If we are Christians, then the burden of Christ has become our burden. Jesus paid too much, and the value of a soul is too high, to allow inconvenience, reputation, or fear to prevent us from giving our best to lead souls into the truth.

In laboring for the salvation of others, we are never alone. "We are to be laborers together with the heavenly angels in presenting Jesus to the world. With almost impatient eagerness the angels wait for our cooperation. . . . And when we give ourselves to Christ in wholehearted devotion, angels rejoice that they may speak through our voices to reveal God's love" (The Desire of Ages, p. 297). 

Not only are we colaborers with the angels, but by sharing the burden of Christ for lost souls we will find a fellowship with our Savior that can be experienced in no other way. His reassuring promise is especially given to all those who carry the gospel to the world: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).


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The Power of His Words

When you stand on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, you realize that it's not a major body of water like Lake Michigan or the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It is a relatively small lake, but it was the center of life for many of those who lived around its edges. Their livelihood depended on the fishing in the lake and the boats that transported goods to the other side.

But when you stand there, you can't help but think about that morning long ago when Jesus met an enthusiastic crowd at the water's edge. From there, He led them farther up the hillside to a spot where all could sit and listen. There He shared the words that continue to impact us today. These words of blessing need to come alive in our imagination. His words have the power to touch our hearts and change our lives - just as they did for the people who sat around Him on that morning long ago beside the Sea of Galilee. 


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Like the Stars

The Saviour's coming was foretold in Eden. When Adam and Eve first heart the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first-born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried. Century after century passed away; the voices of the prophets ceased.

But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay.When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.


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Only Jesus

The way to lead humans back to God was to show them what God was really like. This could be done by only One. Only Jesus, who knew the limitless love of His Father, could make that love clear. The plan to save humans was not an afterthought. It was in place before Adam and Eve sinned. The plan was a natural result of the law of selfless love. From eternity, God and Jesus know of Lucifer's fall and that his lies would lead humans to rebel also.

God didn't create sin. He did not want it to exist. But He knew that it would happen and made a plan to deal with that most critical emergency. His plan revealed the great love He had for this world and humanity.


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Repairing the Breach

Many Christians do not recognize that there is a deeper cause of many of their struggles. They do not recognize that Satan has snuck in through a back door and is binding them with his chains of deception. Thankfully, Christ came to set the captives free, to make our crooked ways straight, and to break apart the chains that bind us (see Isaiah 58:6 and Isaiah 45:2).

As we recognize that the enemy is trying to weaken our spiritual fortresses so he can overcome us, we should prayerfully ask the Lord to search our hearts. Before we can move forward effectively by repairing the breaches in our spiritual walls, we have to know exactly where the holes are and what access points he has into our lives. Praying Psalm 139:23, 24 will help show us where to look.


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Unlimited Possibilities

The correct understanding of the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts brings unity to the church. The recognition that each one of us is valuable and a needed member of the body of Christ is a unifying thought. Every member of the church is necessary for the accomplishment of Christ?s mission. Every member is gifted for service.

?To everyone there is given a work to do for the Master. To each of His servants are committed special gifts, or talents. ?Unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability.? Every servant has some trust for which he is responsible; and the varied trusts are proportioned to our varied capabilities. In dispensing His gifts, God has not dealt with partiality. He has distributed the talents according to the known powers of His servants, and He expects corresponding returns.??Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 282.


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Prayer is the Answer

One thing is for certain. We cannot face the devil on our own strength. Prayer is the answer. Through prayer God bathes us with His presence and power. Through prayer He touches the hearts of our loved ones. Armored with prayer, we can face the enemy at the end times. It is impossible to live godly lives today with an inconsistent prayer life.

When our connection with God is broken, our power from God is cut off. When there is little prayer, there is little power. Prayer is our humble acknowledgment that we cannot live the Christian life without His strength. It is the admission of our inability to cope with Satan's temptations alone. Through prayer we are more than able to handle Satan's temptations. The devil is no match for the praying, trusting child of God.


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Steps to Forgiveness

Failure to accept responsibility for your own acts is a dysfunctional habit. It promotes irresponsibility and a self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude.

Living with an accuser is psychologically damaging because accusers blame everyone, including the innocent. Once the accusation is cast, doubts are planted in the minds of others. Who should others believe? You or your accuser? Your character is questioned. It takes a lot of willpower to keep from repaying evil with evil.

Don't let your family members succeed in blaming others; don't tolerate it in yourself. Let them know that it's OK to be wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. That's how we learn. Be quick to admit your own mistakes. Be an example for your children by saying: "I should have known better." "I goofed. Next time I'll ask first." "I shouldn't have gotten angry."

It's a magnanimous person who can own up to his or her own mistakes. Such a person commands respect. You'll respect yourself more when you, too, are willing to take personal responsibility.


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Praying for the Unvirtuous

God wants to develop His virtues in us, forming us into His image as we run the race He sets out for us. Sometimes we get tired of the race and start comparing ourselves with others who seem to have easier races to run. But what if the unique trials and difficulties we experience are the very things God wants to use to help us become more like Him and to protect and prepare us for future challenges? What if the ?annoying? people we wish we could avoid are the very people God is trying to use to help us become more like Him? 

Character development is the process through which we allow the Holy Spirit to grow God?s virtues in our lives. This process takes time. It often takes longer than we think should be necessary. But we must be patient with the process. Being patient with our own growth in grace is essential if we wish to be patient with others. As we think of the patience and forgiveness God has shown us in our slow growth process, it will be easier to extend patience and forgiveness to the difficult people we interact with.

Allowing God to be the Master of all areas of our lives will lead to a gradual change in our characters. This is an ongoing process. But if we are willing to allow God to change things in our lives, He will do it. 


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