One day at at time. — Part 1.

 

ccc“You cannot reach the full measure of the stature of Christ in a day, and you would sink in despair could you behold all the difficulties that must be met and overcome. You have Satan to contend with, and he will seek by every possible device to attract your mind from Christ. But we must meet all obstacles placed in our way, and overcome them one at a time. If we overcome the first difficulty, we shall be stronger to meet the next, and at every effort will become better able to make advancement. By looking to Jesus, we may be overcomers. It is by fastening our eyes on the difficulties and shrinking from earnest battle for the right, that we become weak and faithless.
cccBy taking one step after another, the highest ascent may be climbed, and the summit of the mount may be reached at last. Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day's work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'” — YI January 5, 1893.

ccc“Day by day we are all to be trained, disciplined, and educated for usefulness in this life. Only one day at a time-- think of this. One day is mine. I will in this one day do my best. I will use my talent of speech to be a blessing to some other one, a helper, a comforter, an example which the Lord my Saviour shall approve. I will exercise myself in patience, kindness, forbearance, that the Christian virtues may be developed in me today.
cccEvery morning dedicate yourself, soul, body, and spirit, to God. Establish habits of devotion and trust more and more in your Saviour. You may believe with all confidence that the Lord Jesus loves you and wishes you to grow up to His stature of character. He wishes you to grow in His love, to increase and strengthen in all the fullness of divine love. Then you will gain a knowledge of the highest value for time and for eternity.” — Lt 36, 1901; or 1MCP 15.

ccc“What does conversion mean? Some think when I say that they must be converted, 'Why, don't you think that I must know something about religion?' As if, if they knew something about religion once, they did not need to be converted daily; but we ought every day, every one of us, to be converted. I may take a vessel every morning, and convert it to a certain use. I may convert it to holding a certain article of food that I wish to put in it. And just so the Lord takes every Christian, and converts him every day as He wills, to do His work for that day. We have but one day at a time to be converted to the Master's use, and during that one day we want to spend our abilities and our capabilities to the glory of God, that He may make us vessels of honor. And not as though we had a lifetime before us; we are not to act as though we had many years of life, and that there is no need to be so very much in earnest that one day.” — 4MR 46.

ccc“Day by day we are all to be trained, disciplined, and educated for usefulness in this life. Only one day at a time-- think of this. One day is mine. I will in this one day do my best. I will use my talent of speech to be a blessing to some other one, a helper, a comforter, an example which the Lord my Saviour shall approve. I will exercise myself in patience, kindness, forbearance, that the Christian virtues may be developed in me today.
cccIf you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today. What we need is Christ formed within, the hope of glory. We want that you should have a deep and earnest longing for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Your old, tattered garments of self-righteousness will not give you an entrance into the kingdom of God, but the garment that is woven in the loom of heaven--the righteousness of Jesus Christ--will. It will give you an inheritance among the sanctified. That is what we want. It is worth more than all worldly gain; it is worth more than all your farms; it is worth more than all the honor that finite beings can bestow upon you. . . .
cccAre you individually daily preparing that you can unite with the family of heaven? Are you quarrelsome here? Are you finding fault with your household here? If you are, you will find fault with them in heaven. Your character is being tested and proved in this life, whether you will make a peaceable subject of God's Kingdom in heaven.
cccThe Lord requires us to perform the duties of today and to endure its trials. We are today to watch that we offend not in word or deed. We must today praise and honor God. By the exercise of living faith today, we are to conquer the enemy. We must today seek God and be determined that we will not rest satisfied without His presence. We should watch and work and pray as though this were the last day that would be granted us. How intensely earnest, then, would be our life. How closely would we follow Jesus in all our words and deeds.” — HP 227.
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ccc“We are to live only one day at a time. We do not have to do the work of a life-time in a few hours. We need not look into the future with anxiety; for God has made it possible for us to be overcomers every day, and he will give needed grace, that we may be conquerors. I am glad we have only a day at a time in which to work. We should not undervalue its responsibilities, and devote it to the service of the enemy. We should not spend it in arraying ourselves in fashionable attire, in decorating our homes as if we were to be permanent dwellers upon the earth. We should employ its moments in trading with our intrusted talents, in using our ability to glorify God, instead of glorifying ourselves. Our whole study should be how we may win the approbation of God. If we are doing his will, with an eye single to his glory, we shall be able to say, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' Though heart and flesh should fail, Jesus lives to be my strength and my portion forever.' One who is ever faithful and true among those who are changeable and false, will be our stay, and will prosper us in all we undertake. We shall find, as we seek to please God, that there is One who is working for us, even He whose name is 'Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.'
cccThere is no reason for our being discouraged, no reason for talking of our trials and doubts. We have done altogether too much of this, but let us put it away. When we meet our friends, we should not strive to relate our worst experiences. Let us try to keep our minds upon the open door that Christ has set before us. Let us dwell upon the soul-comforting thought that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. It is not Christian-like to talk of your troubles and trials. It does not rightly represent Christ or his service. Angels are listening to hear what kind of report you are going to bear to the world about your heavenly Master. Christ does not cast across your pathway that dark shadow of which you complain. It is Satan who darkens your way with his own shadow, but we must not talk of his darkness. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth to make intercession for you before the Father. When you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on your lips and in your heart. This will attract his thoughts to Jesus. If you calmly and trustfully contemplate the promises of God, and by simple, childlike faith claim them as your own, you will find that the darkness will vanish. Search the Scriptures, and light will break upon you. Confess the peculiar sins that you have cherished; repent of them, and put them away. If you profess to be followers of Christ while you have cherished worldliness, pride, and formality, you put your Lord to an open shame. The mighty Conqueror has presented toil and struggle as the price of victory. Those who would win the crown must lift and bear the cross. If we keep before us the cross of Calvary, we shall be able to say with Paul, 'I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.'
cccBy faith we should keep our eyes on Jesus our High Priest, who ministers in heaven for us. No other light has shone or ever will shine upon fallen men, save that which has been and shall be communicated by the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We should ever recount our blessings. We should gather them together and hang them in memory's hall. What kind of picture will you hang there to-day? Will you clothe it in crape, and frame it in mourning? Oh, no. Jesus is not in Joseph's new tomb. He has risen. He has burst the fetters of the grave. He has led captivity captive, and given gifts unto men. He has given us an evidence of what he will do for those whom Satan has placed in the prison houses of death. At his resurrection he opened the tombs of many righteous, took the captives out of the narrow cells, and led them away in triumph to his kingdom. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ shall not be holden of death. They shall be rescued from the grave, and restored to life.
cccWhy should we not think of the glorious things that God has promised to his children? You should not keep your mind fastened on the gloom of the grave. You should not mourn that God does not love you. It is Satan that puts these desponding thoughts into your mind. Jesus loves you. I have tested the love of God for many years. I know it is rich and free. He has suffered trials and afflictions to come upon me to draw me nearer to him. He has said, 'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.' This is the work we should do at this present time. We should be more in earnest, and by living faith we should claim the promises of God. There is such a thing as proving God. Says the prophet, 'Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the store-house, that there may be meat in mine house, 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, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'
cccThe more we bring to God's treasure-house, the more we shall have to bring; for he will open ways before us, increasing our substance. I have found this to be true in my own experience. As God multiplies his gifts to us, we must not grow selfish, and withhold from him our tithes and offerings. We each have a part to act in the work of salvation. We are a portion of the great web of humanity, and we should not selfishly separate ourselves from our brethren. By devoting our means to the cause of God, by exercising our talents in his service, by seeking the salvation of souls, we must identify ourselves as those who are interested in the purchase of Christ's blood. 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.'
cccIt will be known by the fruits you bear whether or not you are keeping the commandments of God. Those who are obedient children will not seek to see how little they can do and yet be saved; they will desire to obtain an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God. They will not murmur when afflictions come upon them. They will bear them with patience; for they will know that their faith is to be strengthened by the trial. Says the apostle, 'That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' The Lord, speaking by his prophet, says, 'I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.' Though man is a fallen being, he is to be highly exalted through the merits and righteousness of Christ. God has said it. Will we believe it? Will we submit to his refining, cleansing work in our hearts? or will we pursue such a course that our names will be blotted out of the book of life?” — RH March 26, 1889.
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ccc“Here is a promise to us on condition of obedience. If we will come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean he will receive us. Here are the conditions of our acceptance with God. We have something to do ourselves. Here is a work for us. We are to show our separation from the world. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. It is impossible for us to be friends of the world and yet be in union with Christ. But what does this mean: to be friends of the world? It is to unite hands with them, to enjoy what they enjoy, to love that which they love, to seek for pleasure, to seek for gratification, to follow our own inclinations. We do not in following inclination have our affections upon God; we are loving and serving ourselves. But here is a grand promise: 'Come out from among them and be ye separate.' Separate from what? The inclinations of the world, their tastes, their habits; the fashions, the pride, and the customs of the world. 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you.' In making this move, in showing that we are not in harmony with the world, the promise of God is ours. He does not say perhaps I will receive you; but, 'I wll receive you.' It is a positive promise. You have a surety that you will be accepted of God. Then in separating from the world you connect yourself with God; you become a member of the royal family; you become sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; you are children of the heavenly King; adopted into his family, and have a hold from above; united with the infinite God whose arm moves the world. What an exalted privilege is this to be thus favored, thus honored of God; to be called sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. It is incomprehensible; but still with all these promises and encouragements there are many who question and hesitate. They are in an undecided position. They seem to think that if they were to become Christians, there would be a mountain of responsibilities to be borne in religious duties and Christian obligations. There is a mountain of responsibility, a life-time of watchfulness, of battling with their own inclinations, with their own wills, with their own desires, with their own pleasures; and as they look at it, it seems like an impossibility for them to take the step, to decide that they will be children of God, servants of the Most High.
cccBy this I am reminded of an incident I once read, of an aged gentleman who had been broken down by hard labor yet was seeking some employment by which he could obtain means. A nobleman who had a hundred cords of wood to cut, was informed of the wish of the old gentleman. He told him that if he would cut the wood he should have one hundred dollars for the job. But the old gentleman replied, No, he could never do that. It was impossible. He was an old man, and not able to undertake such a job. 'Well,' said the nobleman, 'we will make a different bargain. Can you cut one cord to-day? if so, I will give one dollar.' The bargain was made, and the cord of wood was cut that day. 'Now,' said the nobleman, 'you may cut another cord to-morrow;' and another cord was cut the next day; and thus the whole job was accomplished. In one hundred days the work was completed, and the laborer was in just as good health as when he commenced the work. He could take it cord by cord, but when presented to him in one large job the accomplishment of it seemed impossible.
cccThis well represents the cases of many who are undecided. They have a desire to be Christians, yet the responsibilities of a Christian life seem so great to them that they fear they will make a failure, are almost certain they can never reach the mark if they make the attempt. But when it is taken into consideration that it is not for them to see the end of the Christian's journey; it is not for them to comprehend and accomplish it at once. Only one day at a time with its burdens and responsibilities is presented to us. Yes, dear friends, dear youth, to-morrow is not yours. It is the duties of to-day that you are to perform. If you resolve to be on the Lord's side, and come out from among the world, and be separate, and choose to be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, to leave the ranks of the enemy, the service of sin and of Satan, make up your mind to always do present duty. Take hold of the duties of to-day, realizing that the Lord has claims upon you, that you are responsible to your Creator; these claims are to be met only a day at a time. In the strength of God take hold believing that you can overcome for that one day. That day must be commenced with watchfulness and prayer. Learn to give your heart's best affections to God. Signify in noble work and in your conversation that you love your heavenly Father. Let him apportion to you your work.” — ST January 31, 1878.
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ccc“Satan, by means of his success in turning man aside from the path of obedience, became 'the god of this world.' 2 Corinthians 4:4.” — PK 682.
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ccc“The children of the world are called the children of darkness. They are blinded by the god of this world, and are led by the spirit of the prince of darkness. They cannot enjoy heavenly things. The children of light have their affections set on things above. They leave behind them the things of this world. They fulfill the command: 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate.' Here is the conditional promise: 'I will receive you.' From the beginning, Christ has chosen His people out of the world and required them to be separate, having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. If they love God and keep His commandments, they will be far from having the friendship, and loving the pleasures, of the world. There is no concord between Christ and Belial.” — 1T 279.
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ccc“The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies especially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world [i.e., please remember the world and more, as discussed in the last three inspired quotes, also] that no difference can be seen. . . .
cccThe message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time, but has not been heeded as it should have been. . . .
cccOnly those who receive the seal of the living God will have the passport through the gates of the Holy City. . . .
cccThose who would have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. . . .
cccMany will not receive the seal of God because they do not keep His commandments or bear the fruits of righteousness.
cccThe great mass of professing Christians will meet with bitter disappointment in the day of God. They have not upon their foreheads the seal of the living God. Lukewarm and halfhearted, they dishonor God far more than the avowed unbeliever. They grope in darkness [i.e., thus, also see this darkness discussed below]. . . .” — 7BC 959; 7BC 961; and 7BC 970.
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ccc“God will test the fidelity of His people. Many of the mistakes that are made by the professed servants of God are in consequence of their self-love, their desire for approval, their thirst for popularity. Blinded in this manner, they do not realize that they are elements of darkness rather than of light. 'Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.' These are the conditions upon which we may be acknowledged as the sons of God--separation from the world, and renunciation of those things which delude, and fascinate, and ensnare. . . .
ccc. . . . The Lord requires His people to maintain their integrity, touching not--that is, imitating not--the practices of the ungodly. . . .
ccc. . . . We are all Judgment bound.” — 5T 12-13, 14.
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cccTherefore, we pray to our Father in heaven that He help those dear friends and brethren reached by this ministry to keep in mind that “only one day at a time with its burdens and responsibilities is presented to us,” and that to-morrow is not ours. ST January 31, 1878. It is the duties of to-day that we are to perform. Thus, through the shed blood of Christ and His atonement, may we have divine grace to sustain and encourage us - - one day at a time. Heavenly Father, give us forgiveness, strength, and persistence as you graciously and tenderly teach us to learn the lesson of quiet trust in Christ - - one day at a time. Forgive us, if we should fail, and help us to ever get back up and try again until we get matters right - - one day at a time. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Michael O. Hodges
FORERUNNER, self-supporting ministries
Home church (since 1983)

 

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Copyright 2003.

one day at a time