Daily Devotional

Daily Inspiration from Pacific Press®

Devocionales diarios

Inspiración Diaria de Pacific Press®

Daily Devotional

Robot Dogs Don't Love

God created humanity with the ability to love, and for love to be love, it must be freely given. Otherwise, God could have created us to be like AIBO, a robot dog that, Sony claims, ?has emotions and instincts programmed into his brain.? He ?acts to fulfill the desires created by his instincts.?

Rather than create us like robot dogs, God created us as moral beings with the capacity to love both Him and others, and this capacity included the freedom inherent in the kind of love that only a moral being could give, even if that capacity contained the potential to do wrong, which humanity, unfortunately, did. In contrast, robot dogs can?t manifest even puppy love?much less the love that a flesh-and-fur dog expresses?which is a smoky phantom compared to the love humans can give and receive because we are human and not cold, sterile machines.

If a robot dog?s ?love? doesn?t do much for you, you can understand, somewhat, why God created us as He did, even at the cost of the Cross for Himself, for the Cross is what it took for God to one day restore the world to what He had first created.


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Secret Prayer

Above all we must not neglect secret prayer, for this is the life of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is neglected. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. In solitude let the soul be laid open to the inspecting eye of God. Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. Calmly, yet fervently, will it reach out after God.

Sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who seeth in secret, whose ear is open to hear the prayer arising from the heart. By calm, simple faith the soul holds communion with God and gathers to itself rays of divine light to strengthen and sustain it in the conflict with Satan. God is our tower of strength.


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Let the Spirit Speak

We all have people in our lives we have been concerned about at times. They may be going through difficult times. Maybe we are concerned about a child away at school and the choices he or she is making. At other times, we pray for a heart change in someone so that he or she will long to know Jesus. Whatever our concerns for others, many of them cannot be dealt with face-to-face. After all, we might say the wrong thing, blow it, or push people the opposite way from where God would have them go. At least, these are some of the fears we entertain. So how can we reach these individuals?

Some time ago God gave me this thought: You may not be able to reach them, but I can. My Holy Spirit can speak the words you cannot say. . . . Wow, how true! If we ask God to speak to individuals we care about, He will. We give God permission to save them, whatever the cost. After all, He loves them even more than we do.

We should always pray for spiritual discerment to know when to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us--and when to keep silent and let the Spirit do all the talking.


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Helpers of the Poor

We can see Jesus in the faces of each of His children who suffer. And as we help them, it is like helping Jesus personally. All who have accepted Jesus as their Savior are in a special sense His brothers and sisters. His love binds us all together as members of His heavenly family.

The people Jesus praises in the judgment may not know much theology, but they understand and love His principles. Many who have never heard of Christianity live with a spirit of kindness. Those who worship God without knowing Him, never contacted by Christian missionaries, will not be lost. They may have been ignorant about God?s written laws, but the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts and it shows in their actions. They may be surprised to hear it, but they are God?s children!

As the Son of Man, Jesus is a brother to every descendant of Adam. His followers are part of the great web of humanity and we should feel like brothers and sisters to all. Jesus? love reaches out to the fallen, sinful people around us, and every act of kindness done for them is accepted as if it were done for Jesus Himself.


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Wee Little Man

The day that Zacchaeus saw Jesus?the day salvation that came to his house?was the greatest day of his life. He would never forget that day. A beautiful legend is told about Zacchaeus in his old age. They say that he continued to live in Jericho and was a very humble and godly man. Every morning at sunrise he would leave his house and go for a walk. When he returned, his face was always radiant and his heart was filled with joy and peace. His wife often wondered where he went and what he did on these morning walks, but he never told her. So one morning out of curiosity she followed him. Down the main road he went till he came to the sycamore tree into which he had climbed that day when he first saw Jesus. He picked up a water pot that he kept there, went to the nearby spring, filled it with water, then brought it back and watered the tree. He didn?t want that tree ever to die. He pulled the weeds from around the foot of the tree, then looked up into the branches where he had sat on that wonderful day. And as he looked he relived that wonderful experience. He remembered the great joy that filled his heart as he saw his blessed Savior and heard those wonderful words, ?Today salvation has come to this house.? He wanted to remember that happy day always; and he did. And that is why he was so humble and godly.


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His Special People

The purpose of all God?s commandments is to reveal man?s duty not only to God, but to his fellow man. In this late age of the world?s history, we are not, because of the selfishness of our hearts, to question or dispute the right of God to make these requirements, or we will deceive ourselves, and rob our souls of the richest blessings of the grace of God. Heart and mind and soul are to be merged in the will of God. Then the covenant, framed from the dictates of infinite wisdom, and made binding by the power and authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords, will be our pleasure. It is enough that He has said that obedience to His statutes and laws is the life and prosperity of His people.

The blessings of God?s covenant are mutual. God accepts those who will work for His name?s glory, to make His name a praise in a world of apostasy and idolatry. He will be exalted by His commandment-keeping people that He may make them ?high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour? (Deuteronomy 26:19).?God?s Amazing Grace, p. 150.

Every day we are making our history. Yesterday is beyond our amendment or control; today only is ours. Then let us not grieve the Spirit of God today, for tomorrow we shall not be able to recall what we have done. Today will then be yesterday.?Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 149.


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The Making of a Covenant

The first explicit appearance of the word covenant occurs in Genesis 6:18 when God promises Noah that He will enter into a covenant with him and his family in order to save a faithful remnant (Genesis 7:23). After the Flood, God makes His covenant with the whole world: Noah, his descendants, and every living thing on the earth (Genesis 8:21, 22; 9:8?17). This Noahic, post-Flood covenant is unilateral, and God Himself states what He will do, regardless of humanity?s response: He will faithfully keep His promise and never again destroy the earth by a flood. The rainbow is the visible sign of God?s unconditional faithfulness?a promise to keep His word (Genesis 9:13?17).

In the Adamic covenant, God declares that He will send the Promised Seed to redeem fallen humanity (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:21). His Word guarantees its fulfillment because what God vows He delivers (Psalm 33:6, 9). In the fullness of time, God sends Jesus Christ into the world to save us (Daniel 9:24?27; John 3:16; Galatians 4:4). He is always committed to us and does everything possible to persuade humanity to follow Him, for He is for us and never against us (Romans 8:31?39).


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American Revival

Will God revive America? The Apocalypse assures its readers the whole world will be brightened one day with the glory of the Spirit of Christ poured out on people eager to be filled with Jesus. But genuine revivals remain hard to come by these days.

Because the truth is the dragon is no dummy, and the rebel angel Satan knows these apocalyptic prophecies better than we do. Why would he want a single human being to experience the real deal of that end-time outpouring of Holy Spirit power? Why, if I were him, I would scramble to concoct false revivals all over the earth, counterfeit revivings that would appear to be genuine but would be seductively embedded with the dragon?s own falsehoods, Satan?s carefully crafted counterfeits to the Creator and His truth. Look, if the dragon and his cohorts can ?even [cause] fire to come from heaven to the earth in full view of the people? (Revelation 13:13), could he not ignite a ?fake fire? of emotional highs, of counterfeit signs and wonders in churches across the land?


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Legislating Faith-Based Morality

[Legislating ?what?s right? based on our understanding of faith is] dangerous indeed, because who decides whose faith it is that needs to be legislated? Is it the Roman Catholic?s faith? The Baptist?s faith? The Presbyterian?s faith? The Seventh-day Adventist?s faith? Who decides whose faith is the right interpretation of the faith? The answer is obvious?whoever has the most votes. How else are you going to decide the correct faith to legislate?

But don?t miss the subsidiary point. The only way a ?voted faith? can pass is if its adherents constitute the majority of voters (be it in a legislative committee or a statehouse or Congress). And the moment the majority decides, what happens to the minority? Just look at what happened to the minorities down through the dark ages of Christendom. Not sure? Trust me?they were ?voted off the island,? or more factually, decimated out of the land. No, when it comes to matters of the heart and faith and religion, majority vote is the death knell of minority faith.


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Eternal Rock of Salvation

The Lord frequently places us in difficult positions to stimulate us to greater exertion. In His providence special annoyances sometimes occur to test our patience and faith. God gives us lessons of trust. He would teach us where to look for help and strength in time of need. Thus we obtain practical knowledge of His divine will, which we so much need in our life experience. Faith grows strong in earnest conflict with doubt and fear. Brother, you may be a conqueror if you take careful heed to your ways. You should devote your young life to the cause of God and pray for success. You should not close your eyes to your danger, but should resolutely prepare for every difficulty in your Christian advancement. Take time for reflection and for humble, earnest prayer. Your talents are marked, and you are hopeful in regard to your future success; but unless you comprehend the weakness of your natural heart you will be disappointed.


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Measureless Love

Heaven and earth are no farther apart today than they were on that night when shepherds heard the angels' song. In those days, God sometimes sent angels to speak to people as they worked in the fields. He is just as close to us today. As we go about our work, as we live according to His will, angels are with us every step of the way.

The story of that night in Bethlehem will never grow old. How can that kind of love be measured? By coming to this earth to be our Savior, Jesus traded His throne and all the angels in heaven for a manger and a barn full of animals. And this was only a small part of what He gave up.

For the Son of God to become a human like Adam and Eve--perfect, before sin entered the world?would have meant giving up more than we can imagine. But what Jesus did was even more amazing. He became one of us after thousands of years of sin had made humans weak. Like all the children of Adam and Eve, Jesus had to live with the weaknesses He inherited from His ancestors. But He came anyway to share our pain and our problems. He came to give us an example of a life fully dedicated to God, a life without sin.


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Secret Prayer

Above all we must not neglect secret prayer, for this is the life of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is neglected. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. In solitude let the soul be laid open to the inspecting eye of God. Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions. In secret prayer the soul is free from surrounding influences, free from excitement. Calmly, yet fervently, will it reach out after God.

Sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who seeth in secret, whose ear is open to hear the prayer arising from the heart. By calm, simple faith the soul holds communion with God and gathers to itself rays of divine light to strengthen and sustain it in the conflict with Satan. God is our tower of strength.


More Info

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