Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 10

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Lt 96, 1895

Friend [McCann, William?]

Armadale, Victoria, Australia

November 12, 1895

Portions of this letter are published in TMK 41.

My dear young Friend:

I am interested in every member of my family. I feel a special interest that you should be a sincere, humble child of God. You need now to make the most of your opportunities, [to] be daily learning lessons of Christ, that you may know how to act under all circumstances. Through the grace given you of Christ, be circumspect, manly, noble, elevated. Of yourself you can do nothing. You will need to watch and pray in order to resist evil, and to discern temptations when they shall come from any source. Let it never be that religion is to you only a profession, and not a living, daily reality. If you practice the precious truth, it will sanctify your soul, and strengthen you under all circumstances to do right because it is right. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 1

You can be a living witness for Christ only as you shall seek the strength and grace which He is willing to give all who ask Him for heavenly wisdom. He will withhold from none who come to Him in humble, earnest prayer, feeling their great need. There is joy in believing that God through Jesus Christ will help you. Every time you seek Him with all your heart He will be found of you. Let your prayer go forth from unfeigned lips, “Oh God, impress more deeply upon my heart thine own precious promises, and teach me how to appropriate them to my own soul, that I may perfect holiness in thy fear.” 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 2

Every child and every youth should bear in mind, “I am of value in the sight of God; I am bought with a price, and I am the property of Jesus Christ. As a follower of Christ I am to practice His virtues, that I may represent my Saviour.” Pray much. While at your work, let your heart be uplifted to God. When you have committed to God the keeping of your soul, do not go away and act directly contrary to the prayer you have made. Watch as well as pray, lest you be overcome with temptation. Resist the first inclination to do wrong. Pray in your heart, “Jesus, help me; preserve me from evil,” and then do what you know Christ would be pleased to have you do. This is being a laborer together with God. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 3

You may ask, as many others have done, How may I know that Jesus receives me and loves me? Shall I know by my feelings? No; by obedience to His Holy Word. Appropriate to yourself the rich promises of God. Believe His Word that Jesus is abiding in your heart by faith. Through faith and trust in God, you may have His peace, and you can then say, “I know in whom I have believed. I will listen to every whisper of His Holy Spirit.” 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 4

There is but one way to be victorious. Serve God with all your heart because you love Him. Seek Him daily because you love Him, and know what He is to you. Be faithful in the little things, although no eye but the Lord may review your work. Remember that you are doing service for Christ. You may now be obtaining a precious experience every day in serving God. Plant the principles of truth in your own soul, and reveal Christ in your character. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 5

Do not be satisfied with a common, low level. You can be a Christian gentleman, and that means to resemble Christ in character. Let your words be select, refined. Think before you speak. With your Bible open before you, ask yourself the question, “Is this the way of the Lord?” God cannot commend any coarse or unkind act. If you pray to God for light and guidance every day, you will have discernment to detect many things that are unholy in your practice. Every habit and plan will be repressed that does not have a tendency to make you pure and clean in the sight of God. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 6

In my family are younger persons who will be inclined to catch your ways, so that unless you guard yourself strictly, you will become an agent by whom Satan will sow tares in their minds and hearts. The religion of Jesus in the home life will lead to the practice of purity and modesty. If you receive grace day by day you will diffuse it. Look unto Jesus constantly if you would advance step by step in the narrow path cast up for the chosen of the Lord to walk in, saying in your heart, “Thee will I seek, O God; thee will I follow; thee will I serve; under thy guidance I can and will go forward.” 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 7

I beseech you to make diligent work; seek peace and righteousness that you may make your calling and election sure. Then out of the mouth will proceed pure, chaste, select words, because the heart is cleansed from moral defilement. There are many youth growing up unrestrained in wickedness, casting the word of God behind them, searing the conscience, hardening the heart, ruining the soul. Do not cherish a desire for such company. Keep away from them. Resist every temptation to be cheap, common, careless in attitude and words. Be very careful in your association with women and girls and young children. Study to show yourself approved unto God, and you will then be pure and refined in all your habits and practices. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 8

Do not speak one cheap word, or perform an unseemly act. Let the thought, “Thou God seest me,” be ever in your mind. [Genesis 16:13.] Never by word or action place yourself in opposition to orderly, cleanly habits. Let all your influence be on the right side; respect authority, and practice undeviating obedience to home rules; seek to make home as pleasant and cheerful, as holy and happy, as it is possible. Everyone should feel a sacred responsibility to act his part in making his abiding place a home where the honor of God shall dwell. The home should be a sanctuary where God is welcomed and worshiped. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 9

You can do much toward securing a Christian training for your own individual self. You are to co-operate with God in the development of your own character. We are laborers together with God. The Lord does nothing without the earnest cooperation of the human agent. Christ died for us in order to bring about the changes essential to fit man for the companionship of angels in the courts above. If the moral image of God is restored in you, you must work, and God must work. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] Be diligent to make your calling and election sure. Entertain no cheap ideas as to what constitutes Christian character. Set your mark high, and reach it through Jesus Christ. This world is our training school, for the future, immortal life or for perdition; which shall it be? Now is your opportunity to study the lessons and follow the example of Christ. 10LtMs, Lt 96, 1895, par. 10