Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4

386/448

Ms 29, 1886

Talk/Gaining a Fitness for Heaven

Nimes, France

October 31, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 3MR 113-116. +Note

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and were thieves break through and steal. ... For were your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21.] 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 1

While it is lawful for us to acquire means, the money that we possess should be regarded as ours only in trust, not to be squandered, but spent in the Lord’s service. It should be our determined purpose to obey the orders of our Captain, and thus lay up for ourselves heavenly riches. Then when everything in this world perishes, we shall have a treasure in the heavens, which faileth not. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 2

There is force in the following words, “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Verse 24.] 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 3

If we are constantly thinking of and struggling for the things that pertain to this life, we cannot keep our thoughts fixed on the things of heaven. Satan is seeking to lead our minds away from God and to center them on the fashions, the customs, and the demands of the world, which bring disease and death. God has given us reasoning powers, and these powers we should use to the best account in preserving the strength of our bodies, that we may have strong, healthy minds. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 4

In this world we are to obtain a fitness for the higher world. God has left a trust with us, and He expects us to use all our faculties in helping and blessing our fellow men. He calls for our best affections, our highest powers, and He is dishonored when we follow a course that brings weakness and disease upon the physical and mental powers. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 5

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.” [Verses 28, 29.] 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 6

Let the mother take her children with her into the field or garden and from the things of nature draw lessons that will point them to nature’s God and aid them in the struggle against evil. Let her point them to the lofty trees, the shrubs, and the carpet of green that covers the earth. Let her teach them how the lily, striking its roots down deep through the mire into the sand below, gains nourishment that enables it to send up a pure, beautiful blossom. Then let her show them how, by rejecting that which is impure, and choosing that which is pure, they may grow up into pure, noble men and women. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 7

The children need to be given lessons that will nurture in them courage to resist evil. Point them from nature to nature’s God, and they will thus become acquainted with the Creator. “How can I best teach my children to serve and glorify God?” should be the question occupying the minds of parents. If all heaven is interested in the welfare of the human race, should not we be diligent to do all in our power for the welfare of our children? 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 8

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” In rightly training and molding the minds of their children, mothers are entrusted with the greatest mission ever given to mortals. Yet how often we see mothers taxing their physical strength in adorning the bodies of their children, and spending thus the precious time that ought to be used in training aright their mental and spiritual faculties. Mothers need to study the Scriptures more and the fashion plates less; for we are on this earth to form characters for eternal life. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 9

Parents should exercise great care in regard to the food placed before their children. Drunkards are only too often made by lessons of intemperance learned in the home. Let the children be given food that will build up mind and body, but keep away from them the highly seasoned dishes that would arouse a desire for still stronger stimulants. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 10

The use of tobacco and strong drink has a great deal to do with the increase of disease and crime. Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison, and its use is working untold harm. Boys begin the use of tobacco at a very early age. The habit thus formed, when body and mind are especially susceptible to its effects, undermines the physical strength and corrupts the morals. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 11

No argument is needed to show the evils of the use of intoxicating drink. The bleared, besotted wrecks of humanity—souls for whom Christ died, and over whom angels weep—are everywhere. They are a blot on our boasted civilization. They are the shame and curse and peril of every land. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 12

Paul declared that he kept his body under, lest after he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway. [1 Corinthians 9:27.] Those who in ancient time ran for a prize realized the importance of temperate habits, and how much more should we, who are running a race for a heavenly crown. We should put forth every effort to overcome evil. Christ came to set us an example of how to overcome. He endured a fast of forty days, and He has made it possible for man to overcome on the point of appetite. The battle is before us. We must fight valiantly. If we are successful, we shall one day realize the fulfilment of the promise, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 13

Precious promises have been given us, and in view of this, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 14

Christ left heaven that we might be redeemed from the depths of sin and degradation, and that we might have eternal riches. Our characters are photographed on the books of heaven, and from these books we are to be judged. What have we done with the talents that God has given us? Have we exerted our influence on the right side? Have we set the proper example, or have we been following the fashions of the world? Have we used our powers in God’s service? Do our lives reflect light to those around us? God expects every one to make the best use of his faculties. If we fulfil the mission that has been assigned us, the results will be seen in the kingdom of God, and to us will be spoken the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:23.] 4LtMs, Ms 29, 1886, par. 15