The Review and Herald


December 26, 1912

God's Means for Diffusing Light



Very much has been lost to the cause of God because of inattention to the young. Ministers of the gospel should form a happy acquaintance with the youth of their congregations. There is great reluctance on the part of many to become acquainted with the youth, but it is accounted of Heaven a neglect of duty, a sin against souls for whom Christ died. The youth are objects of Satan's special attacks; and the manifestation of kindness, courtesy, tender sympathy, and love, will often work the salvation of those who are under the temptations of the evil one. The love of Jesus will win you an entrance into the hearts of the young; and when you have obtained the confidence of the youth, they will listen to your words and take your counsel. You should bind them to your heart by the cords of love, and then instruct them how to labor in the cause of God. The young may labor for their companions in a quiet, unpretending way. This branch of God's work must not be neglected. Our churches are not doing what they might do for the youth. There seems to be no burden for souls for whom Christ died. Why should this labor for the young in our borders not be thought the highest of missionary work? Why do the ministers leave the young without endeavoring to win them to Christ? Why do they not urge the young to give their hearts to God? This work will require the most delicate tact, the most thoughtful consideration, the most earnest prayer that heavenly wisdom may be imparted; for connected with the church are those who are not ignorant of our faith, yet whose hearts have never been touched by the power of divine grace. Can we who claim to love God pass on day after day and week after week indifferent to those who are out of Christ? If they should die in their sins, unwarned, their blood would be required at the unfaithful watchman's hands. Why is it that personal efforts are not put forth that they may be drawn to Christ by the strong cords of love? There is work for each and all to do, and will any one shrink from sacred responsibility? Shall souls be left to perish because of your unfaithfulness? Jesus has said, “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Let your light shine in clear, steady rays, that you may represent Him who has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. RH December 26, 1912, par. 1

The church has been appointed as the medium through which divine light is to shine into the moral darkness of this world, and the peace-giving beams of the Sun of Righteousness fall upon the hearts of men. Personal labor with individuals and with families constitutes a part of the work to be done in God's moral vineyard. The meekness, the patience, the forbearance, the love of Christ, must be revealed in the homes of the land. The church must arise and shine. Radiant with the spirit and power of the truth, the people of God must go forth to a world lying in darkness, to make manifest the light of the glory of God. God has given to men noble powers of mind to be employed to his honor; and in the missionary work these powers of mind are called into active exercise. Wise improvement and development of the gifts of God will be seen in his service. Day by day there will be growth in the knowledge of Christ. He who once spake as never man spake, who wore the garb of humanity, is still the Great Teacher. As you follow in his footsteps, seeking the lost, angels will draw near, and through the illumination of the Spirit of God, greater knowledge will be obtained as to the best ways and means for accomplishing the work committed to your hands. RH December 26, 1912, par. 2

While Christ would lead his servants out into the highways, into the homes of men, to seek and save the lost, Satan is employing his agents to lead souls to ruin. His most effective agents for this work are those whose names are on the church records but who fail of a record in “the Lamb's book of life.” There are many who are blind leaders of the blind, and leaders and those who are led will come to destruction at last. Satan is ever on the alert that he may lead men into idolatry, that those who profess to love Christ may bow down to rivals of the Lord of heaven. The success which Satan has achieved in leading the religious world into idolatry, has made him bold, and much of what the world calls “advanced thought” is simply progress into error and darkness. RH December 26, 1912, par. 3

In order that we may meet the ranks of the adversary with success, there is earnest work to be done. We must study the Word of God, we must pray in secret, we must assemble and agree as to the explicit things that we would have God do for us and for his cause. We must counsel together, and open every plan to those with whom we are connected, that every method may be critically examined, and the very best chosen. We should pray that God will direct in all our plans, that no mistake may be made. There should be a decided advance seen in our work; growing efficiency should be manifested in every department. We now see more doors open for usefulness than we can find laborers to enter; for many to whom God has entrusted ability do not employ the means within their reach for the improvement of their talents. RH December 26, 1912, par. 4

Those who should have been the light of the world have shed forth but feeble and sickly beams. What is light?—It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life. The gospel is dependent on the personal piety of its believers for its aggressive power, and God has made provision through the death of his beloved Son, that every soul may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Every soul is to be a bright and shining light, showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. “We are laborers together with God,” yes, laborers; that means doing earnest service in the vineyard of the Lord. There are souls to be saved,—souls in our churches, in our Sabbath-schools, and in our neighborhoods. RH December 26, 1912, par. 5

We do not so much need the grand church edifice, the worshipers adorned in costly array to harmonize with the church; this will not move one soul toward the kingdom of heaven. Display will not awaken the tender sympathies whereby soul meets soul. We need faith, obedience, genuine love for God and for humanity. This alone will exert the heaven-born influence that will move the hearts of men. There are moral icebergs in our churches. There are plenty of formalists who can make an imposing display, but can not shine as lights in the world. God looks with pitying tenderness upon a church whose worshipers, although poor and ignorant, are sincere. They may be scorned and neglected by the world, but they are beloved of God. The glory of the church of God is in the piety of its members, for there is the hiding of Christ's power. The influence of the sincere children of God may be esteemed as of little worth, but it will be felt throughout time, and rightly revealed in the day of reward. The light of a true Christian, shining forth in steadfast piety, in unwavering faith, will prove to the world the power of a living Saviour. In his followers Christ will be revealed as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Although scarcely known to the world, they are acknowledged as God's peculiar people, his chosen vessels of salvation, his channels whereby light is to come to the world. RH December 26, 1912, par. 6