The Review and Herald


January 13, 1891

The Effect of Daily Living


With us all, and especially with the young, great importance attaches to the present. We should consider, moment by moment, that this time which is now the present will soon become the past, and that it will have its influence upon the future. Each day, as it passes, enters into our life history, and goes to make up our record in heaven,—that record by which we are to be judged; it also tends to shape our character and future life, and thus exerts a more powerful influence upon our destiny. RH January 13, 1891, par. 1

The results of each day's work are influenced by the days that have preceded it. Defeat today prepares the way for still greater defeat tomorrow; victory today insures an easier victory tomorrow. And God will hold us accountable, not only for our words and deeds, in themselves, and in their effect upon others, but for their effect upon our own character and life. For all these he will bring us into judgment. RH January 13, 1891, par. 2

Let the youth remember that all their opportunities and privileges, all the blessings bestowed upon them in innumerable ways, as these have been improved or perverted, are molding the character and forming habits for good or for evil; and in the great day an account must be rendered up for all the advantages received, and for the use made of the gifts of God. All is recorded in heaven. Page after page the history of our life experience is written, with the motives that prompted us to action. All will appear as a real life-picture, showing how much of our life was given to pleasing self, how much to blessing others, how much to honoring God, how much to answering the purpose of God in our creation. The talents intrusted to us must be accounted for, with all the improvement that might have been made on them, if time and influence and means had not been squandered on sinful pleasures. RH January 13, 1891, par. 3

Would that the curtain might be rolled back, so that we could see the solemn and awful position in which we stand in regard to our responsibility to God and to our fellow-men! We would then understand why God will require the past. RH January 13, 1891, par. 4

Take one day of your life, and faithfully record its history. Estimate the time trifled away; the tenor of your conversation; your words of vanity; your influence over others, and theirs over you; the evil resulting from carrying out the suggestions of those whose lives were unholy, and whom you might have avoided in your associations, but whom you have confirmed in their wrong course. Is not this day a sample of many days? RH January 13, 1891, par. 5

O! how sad it is to see young men and women acting as though all they were in the world for was to amuse themselves, to get the greatest amount of pleasure in this life! Not one moment can they give to learning how to form character for the future world: murdering time, abusing the mercies and privileges granted them by God, neglecting opportunities for doing good, wasting health and strength, squandering money on sinful indulgences, gathering about them influences which tend to make them forget their Creator, forget that they are accountable to God for their life and all its possibilities for good, for his grace that they refuse to accept. How will their conduct day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, appear to them when God shall require the past? RH January 13, 1891, par. 6

Every man's life will be examined by the great standard of character, the law of Jehovah. There will be a reckoning up of the blessings provided by God at infinite sacrifice to himself, in the death of his beloved Son; for all this sacrifice was made in order that man might possess the riches of his grace, the abundant righteousness of Christ. But if man has neglected the great salvation, if he has chosen his own way rather than God's way, if the blessings purchased at such immense cost are unimproved, if the things of greatest value are regarded as of no consequence, terrible will be the loss, for it will be eternal. If God's plans are set aside for the working out of plans laid by finite beings, if one regulates his conduct by principles opposed to those laid down by God, his destiny will be in accordance with the course he has taken. RH January 13, 1891, par. 7

When death comes to us, nothing can be done to set right the errors of the past. Not a line of our record can be blotted out, not a sentence corrected. What is written, is written. If the one probation has been misused, if Jesus has been neglected, if darkness has been preferred to light, there stands the record: They did not choose the Lord; they would none of his counsel, and they despised his reproofs. No second probation will be granted; for if the first has not been improved, no better use would be made of a second. RH January 13, 1891, par. 8

If the Spirit of God is received into the heart, it will mold the character into forms of beauty; it will give a loveliness of disposition that will identify the receiver with Jesus. The young may be fashioned after the similitude of the character of Christ, if, with full purpose of heart, they will put their will on Christ's side. There is nothing that can hinder this full surrender to Christ except one's own choice to accept Satan's rule instead of Christ's. RH January 13, 1891, par. 9

Our Heavenly Father presents before us no impossibilities. He requires at our hands nothing which we cannot perform. He has not set before his Church a standard to which they cannot attain. We give the lie to the truth, and glorify Satan, when we walk in sadness and gloom because we think more is required of us in the Christian life than we can perform. Your Redeemer loves you, and he presents to you eternal joys in a life of obedience. There is no one who has ever tasted the joy of full and willing submission to God, who has not felt peace, happiness, and assurance in his love. RH January 13, 1891, par. 10

I appeal to you, my young friends. How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? What depths of iniquity are open to God's sight, that are hidden from all mortal view! Every secret thing shall be brought into judgment, whether it be good or evil. Past sins, unrepented of and unforgiven, will be brought up then, only to condemn us, and appoint our portion with the lost. But the promises of God are full of encouragement for us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” RH January 13, 1891, par. 11

We have the precious promise that every sin, if sincerely repented of, will be forgiven. To turn to God with contrition of soul, claiming the merits of the blood of Christ, will bring to us light, pardon, and peace. But we must turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, with a decision to be doers of the words of Christ. Our past sins will sometimes come to mind, and cast a shadow over our faith, so that we can see nothing but merited punishment in store for us. But at such times, while we feel sorrow for sin, we should look to Jesus, and believe that he has pardoned our transgressions. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” To those who, though they have repented, are troubled over their past sins, who are tempted to think that perhaps they are not forgiven, Christ says, “Go, and sin no more.” You have found peace with God; through his grace you have entered upon a new life; “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Then allow no unbelief to come in. Commit the keeping of your souls unto God as to a faithful Creator; he will keep that which is committed to his trust against that day. Instead of looking inward with regret and despair, look outward and upward in faith. Unless you are constantly fighting the fight of faith, the past will press its shadow over the present. RH January 13, 1891, par. 12

Every Christian will have a hard battle to fight with wrong habits. He must overcome his unbelief, his deformity of character, his inclination to self-indulgence. His long resistance of light, warnings, and appeals has left its mark upon his life; and although God has forgiven him, he feels that he cannot forgive himself. He often thinks of what he might have been in physical and moral strength if it were not for that sinful past. But to him I say, “Look and live.” The Lord declares, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” “As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” His promise is, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” RH January 13, 1891, par. 13

Learn lessons of patience, of meekness and lowliness, of kindness and forbearance toward those in fault, of forgiveness, of faith which, though tried, is ever triumphant. Say to your soul, “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.” Cherish every ray of light. Search the Bible. Feed on the promises. Draw nearer and still nearer to God, inquiring at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” Your lessons, well learned, will be an everlasting possession to you, filling your heart with gladness and love to God because he has forgiven so much. RH January 13, 1891, par. 14

Then make the very best use of your talents. Use them to the honor and glory of God. Many have such meager ideas of what they may become, that they will ever remain dwarfed and narrowed, when, if they would improve the powers that God has given them, they might develop a noble character, and exert an influence that would win souls to Christ. Do not rest short of a perfect union with Christ. Here is your source of strength. RH January 13, 1891, par. 15

Whatever your past life may have been, if you seek in humble penitence the forgiveness of Jesus, and live to his glory, your life will be hid with Christ in God, and you will be more than a conqueror through him who hath loved you. The song will flow from your lips, “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, ... and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.” RH January 13, 1891, par. 16

May the Lord help the youth who claim to be Christians, to see that they need the subduing grace of God, which will make them conscientious, modest, God-fearing, unselfish. A life spent in resisting temptation, in self-denial, in diligence in good works, in gaining victories over sin, will shine forth amid the darkness of the world, and will glorify God. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” RH January 13, 1891, par. 17