God’s Love for Man, Pt. 1

WEEK 1 OF 42

Together we will embark on a devotional adventure with Steps to Christ, till the end of the year. Reading through Mrs. White’s divine writing of this wonderful book. You will also have the option to work on the study guides provided for each week’s devotion. Our main goal is that as you read, study and pray for yourself, your family, your friends and your community, that they will be changed into the image our Savior, Jesus Christ!

STEPS TO CHRIST – FOREWORD

FEW BOOKS ATTAIN A DISTRIBUTION RECKONED IN MILLIONS OR EXERT SO GREAT AN INFLUENCE IN THE UPLIFTING OF HUMANITY AS HAS STEPS TO CHRIST. IN COUNTLESS EDITIONS, THIS LITTLE VOLUME HAS BEEN PRINTED IN MORE THAN SEVENTY LANGUAGES, BRINGING INSPIRATION TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MEN AND WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, EVEN THOSE WHO DWELL IN THE REMOTE CORNERS OF THE EARTH.

FROM THE APPEARANCE OF THE FIRST EDITION IN 1892, THE PUBLISHERS HAVE BEEN CALLED UPON TO ADD PRINTING TO PRINTING TO MEET THE IMMEDIATE AND SUSTAINED DEMAND FROM THE READING PUBLIC. THE AUTHOR OF THIS WORK, ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), WAS A RELIGIOUS SPEAKER AND WRITER, WELL KNOWN ON THREE CONTINENTS. BORN NEAR PORTLAND, MAINE, SHE SPENT HER EARLY LIFE IN THE New England STATES, AND THEN HER TRAVELS AND LABORS LED HER TO THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING CENTRAL AND WESTERN AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE YEARS 1885 TO 1887 SHE DEVOTED TO WORK IN THE LEADING COUNTRIES OF EUROPE, WHERE SHE OFTEN ADDRESSED LARGE AUDIENCES, AND CONTINUED HER WRITING. SUBSEQUENTLY SHE SPENT NINE ACTIVE YEARS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. FROM HER PEN HAVE COME FORTY-FIVE VOLUMES, LARGE AND SMALL, IN THE FIELDS OF THEOLOGY, EDUCATION, HEALTH, AND THE HOME, AND PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY, SEVERAL WITH A DISTRIBUTION EXCEEDING THE MILLION-COPY MARK. OF THESE, STEPS TO CHRIST IS THE MOST POPULAR AND WIDELY READ.

THE TITLE OF THE BOOK TELLS ITS MISSION. IT POINTS THE 6 READER TO JESUS CHRIST AS THE ONLY ONE WHO IS ABLE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SOUL. IT DIRECTS THE FEET OF THE DOUBTING AND HALTING TO THE PATHWAY OF PEACE. IT LEADS THE SEEKER AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS AND WHOLENESS OF CHARACTER, STEP BY STEP, ALONG THE WAY OF CHRISTIAN LIVING, TO THAT EXPERIENCE WHERE HE CAN KNOW THE FULLNESS OF BLESSING WHICH IS FOUND IN THE COMPLETE SURRENDER OF SELF. IT REVEALS TO HIM THE SECRET OF VICTORY AS IT UNFOLDS IN SIMPLICITY THE SAVING GRACE AND THE KEEPING POWER OF THE GREAT FRIEND OF ALL MANKIND.

THIS EDITION MARKS A FORWARD STEP IN STANDARDIZING THE PAGING OF THE BOOK IN FORTHCOMING ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRINTINGS. WITH NO CHANGE IN THE TEXT, BUT WITH A FORMAT, SPELLING, AND CAPITALIZATION IN KEEPING WITH THE TIMES, THIS LITTLE COMPENDIUM OF DEVOTION WILL CONTINUE ON ITS MISSION, BUT NOW IN SUCH FORM, REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE TYPE OR PAGE, AS TO CONFORM TO THE NEW INDEX TO THE WRITINGS OF ELLEN G. WHITE.

Table of Contents:

1. God’s Love for Man

2. The Sinner’s Need of Christ

3. Repentance

4. Confession

5. Consecration

6. Faith and Acceptance

7. The Test of Discipleship

8. Growing up Into Christ

9. The Work and the Life

10. A Knowledge of God

11. The Privilege of Prayer

12. What to Do With Doubt

13. Rejoicing in the Lord

Steps to Christ – Chapter 1

“God’s Love for Man” – Part 1

Nature and revelation alike testify of God’s love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator’s love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures. In the beautiful words of the psalmist– “The eyes of all wait upon Thee; And Thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest Thine hand, And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15, 16. {SC 9.1}

God made man perfectly holy and happy; and the fair earth, as it came from the Creator’s hand, bore no blight of decay or shadow of the curse. It is transgression of God’s law–the law of love–that has brought woe and death. Yet even amid the suffering that results from sin, God’s love is revealed. It is written that God cursed the ground for man’s sake. Genesis 3:17. The thorn and the thistle–the difficulties and trials that make his life one of toil and care–were appointed for his good as a part of the training needful in God’s plan for his uplifting from the ruin and degradation that sin has wrought.

Pg. 10

The world, though fallen, is not all sorrow and misery. In nature itself are messages of hope and comfort. There are flowers upon the thistles, and the thorns are covered with roses. {SC 9.2} “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. {SC 10.1}

The word of God reveals His character. He Himself has declared His infinite love and pity. When Moses prayed, “Show me Thy glory,” the Lord answered, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee.” Exodus 33:18, 19. This is His glory. The Lord passed before Moses, and proclaimed, “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7. He is “slow to anger, and of great kindness,” “because He delighteth in mercy.” Jonah 4:2; Micah 7:18. {SC 10.2}

God has bound our hearts to Him by unnumbered tokens in heaven and in earth. Through the things of nature, and the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He has sought to reveal Himself to us. Yet these but imperfectly represent His love. Though all these evidences have been given, the enemy of good blinded the minds of men, so that they looked upon God with fear; they thought of Him as severe and unforgiving.

Pg. 11

Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice,–one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor. He pictured the Creator as a being who is watching with jealous eye to discern the errors and mistakes of men, that He may visit judgments upon them. It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men. {SC 10.3}

The Son of God came from heaven to make manifest the Father. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27. When one of the disciples made the request, “Show us the Father,” Jesus answered, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:8, 9. {SC 11.1}

In describing His earthly mission, Jesus said, The Lord “hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18. This was His work. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. There were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house, for He had passed through them and healed all their sick. His work gave evidence of His divine anointing. Love, mercy, and compassion were revealed in every act of His life;

Pg. 12

His heart went out in tender sympathy to the children of men. He took man’s nature, that He might reach man’s wants. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach Him. Even little children were attracted to Him. They loved to climb upon His knees and gaze into the pensive face, benignant with love. {SC 11.2}

Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes.

He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Savior, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God.