The Review and Herald


December 29, 1904

Words to Ministers


If the one who feels that he is called of God to be a minister will humble himself and learn of Christ, he will become a true gospel teacher. There should be among our ministers less sermonizing and more tact to educate the people in practical Christianity. The people must be impressed with the fact that Christ is salvation to all who believe. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There are grand themes on which the gospel minister may dwell. Christ has said, “He that believeth on me, hath everlasting life.” RH December 29, 1904, par. 1

If the minister's lips are touched with a coal from the altar, he will lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope. When the heart of the speaker is sanctified through the truth, his words will be living realities to himself and others. Those who hear him will know that he has been with God, and has drawn near to him in fervent, effectual prayer. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon him, his soul has felt the vital, heavenly fire, and he will be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. Power will be given him to break down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts will be melted and subdued by his presentation of the love of God, and many will inquire, “What must I do to be saved?” RH December 29, 1904, par. 2

My brethren, seek God in earnest prayer, that when you stand before the people, you may realize the solemnity of the message that you are about to bear. Talk simply and to the point. Let your discourses be short. Handle only a few points, saving your strength for house-to-house work. Ministers too often give lengthy discourses. The minds of the people are wearied by such discourses, and the truth loses its effect upon them. Let the teacher of the Word first talk with God. Then he can stand before the people with the Holy Spirit working upon his mind. RH December 29, 1904, par. 3

The Lord desires that the truth shall come close to the people, and this can be accomplished only by personal labor. Much is comprehended in the command, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” There is a work to be done in this line that has not yet been done. Let God's workers teach the truth in families, drawing close to those for whom they labor. If they thus co-operate with God, he will clothe them with spiritual power. Christ will guide them in their work, entering the houses of the people with them, and giving them words to speak that will sink deep into the hearts of the listeners. The Holy Spirit will open hearts and minds to receive the rays coming from the source of all light. RH December 29, 1904, par. 4

There are families who will never be reached by the truth of God's Word unless his servants enter their homes, and by earnest ministry, sanctified by the indorsement of the Holy Spirit, break down the barriers. As the people see that these workers are messengers of mercy, the ministers of grace, they are ready to listen to the words spoken by them. But the hearts of those who do this work must throb in unison with the heart of Christ. They must be wholly consecrated to the service of God, ready to do his bidding, ready to go wherever his providence sends them, ready to speak the words he gives them. And if they are what God desires them to be, if they are imbued with his Spirit, they co-operate with heavenly agencies, and are indeed “laborers together with God.” RH December 29, 1904, par. 5

When such a worker offers prayer to God in the family where he is visiting, the hearts of the members are touched as they would not be by prayer offered in a public assembly. Angels of God enter the family circle with him; and the minds of the hearers are prepared to receive the word of God; for if the messenger is humble and contrite, if he has a living connection with God, the Holy Spirit takes the word, and shows it to those for whom he is laboring. RH December 29, 1904, par. 6

Light, light from the Word of God,—this is what the people need. If the teachers of the word are willing, the Lord will lead them into close relation with the people. He will guide them to the homes of those who need and desire the truth; and as the servants of God engage in the work of seeking for the lost sheep, their spiritual faculties are awakened and energized. Knowing that they are in harmony with God, they feel joyous and happy. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they obtain an experience that is invaluable to them. Their intellectual and moral powers attain their highest development; for grace is given in answer to the demand. RH December 29, 1904, par. 7

I was shown two Bible workers seated in a family. With the open Bible before them, they presented the Lord Jesus as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Their words were spoken with freshness and power. Earnest prayer was offered to God, and hearts were subdued by the softening influence of the Holy Spirit. As the Word of God was explained, I saw that a soft, radiant light illumined the Scriptures, and I said softly, “Go ye out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” RH December 29, 1904, par. 8

These workers were not boastful, but humble and contrite, realizing always that the Holy Spirit is the efficiency of every worker. Under the influence of the Spirit, indifference vanished, and an earnest interest was manifested. The precious light was communicated from neighbor to neighbor. Family altars that had been broken down were again erected, and many souls were won to the truth. RH December 29, 1904, par. 9

Teaching the Scriptures, praying in families,—this is the work of the evangelist, and this work is to be mingled with preaching. If it is omitted, preaching will, to a great extent, be a failure. Come close to the people by personal efforts. Teach them that the love of God must come into the sanctuary of the home life. RH December 29, 1904, par. 10

Take no glory whatever to yourself. Do not work with a divided mind, trying to serve God and self at the same time. Keep self out of sight. Let your words lead the weary and heavy laden to carry their burdens to Jesus. Work as seeing Him who is at your right hand, ready to give you his efficiency and omnipotent power in every emergency. The Lord is your counselor, your guide, the captain of your salvation. He goes before your face, conquering and to conquer. RH December 29, 1904, par. 11