Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 61, 1898

True Greatness


May 8, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 173; 7BC 962.

The work of Christ in our world as a physician was given us for an example. He says to all, “Follow me.” Men may aspire to renown. They may desire to possess a great name. With some the possession of houses and lands and plenty of money, that which will make them great according to the measure of the world, is the height of their ambition. They desire to reach the place where they can look down with a sense of superiority upon those who are poor. All such are building on the sand, and their house will fall suddenly. Superiority of position is not true greatness. That which does not increase the value of the soul, is of no real value in itself. That which alone is worth obtaining is greatness of soul in the sight of heaven. The true and exalted nature of your work, you may never know. The value of your own being you can only measure by the value of that Life given to save all who will receive it. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 1

Every man will have some estimate of his own worth when he becomes a laborer together with Christ, doing the work that Christ did, filling the world with Christ’s righteousness, bearing a commission from the Most High. The Lord Jesus expects you to do His work, to proclaim, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 3:2.] You are to work to bless those who have no sense of their need of a new heart, a new life, a new purpose. Some one must tell these of their great want, and those whom God has accepted as His sons and daughters are to work as Christ worked. They are to obey the call, “Follow me.” The Son of God came to give to the world the example so much needed of a pure and spotless character. “He that will come after me,” He said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] Those who heed this call will study the meekness and lowliness of Christ, and will join with Him in His efforts to make the world better. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 2

The commission given to the disciples is given to all who are connected with Christ. They are to make any and every sacrifice for the joy of seeing the souls saved who are perishing out of Christ. Whatever is done in the name of Jesus to bless and elevate and restore to human beings the image of God, is as acceptable to God as was the work of Moses. You who are the elect and chosen ones are to receive the divine commission to yoke up with Christ. You must never grow weary in well doing, for only in this can you represent Christ. The highest honor that can be conferred upon human beings, be they young or old, rich or poor, is to be permitted to lift up the oppressed, to comfort the feeble-minded. The world is full of suffering; go, and preach the gospel to the poor, heal the sick. This is the work to be connected with the gospel message. “The poor have the gospel preached unto them.” [Matthew 11:5.] 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 3

Co-laborers with God are to fill the space they occupy in the world with the love of Jesus. The world needs spiritual workers who will plant the seeds of truth in every heart. Then with Job they can say, “The cause which I knew not I searched out.” [Job 29:16.] Prayer for the grace and peace of Christ will be as the breath of the soul. This Christ represents as being “instant in prayer.” [Romans 12:12.] By this He means that the heart is constantly going out after God, and watching for opportunities of doing good, of speaking to the souls who are ready to die. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 4

Let us listen to the words of John under the revelation of Jesus Christ on the Isle of Patmos: 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 5

“These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not: and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.” [Revelation 2:1-3.] 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 6

But there follows a reproof, for the church is in danger: 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 7

“Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” [Verses 4, 5.] 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 8

The mighty truths of God’s Word have been presented, and if these truths are received, men, women, and children will be doers of God’s Word. They will have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The great object of Christ’s mission will become vivid and soul absorbing. But when apathy comes over the soul, when the name and efficiency of Christ is not a sanctifying, abiding power upon the heart and character, then the truth is believed in vain. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 9

If the truth has not a sanctifying influence upon those who profess to believe it, it reveals that they are not doing the will of God, that they are false witnesses to the truth. They are guideposts pointing the wrong way. They are filled with a sense of their own importance and have not the sweet peace of Christ in their hearts. They do not walk in the footsteps of Christ. Their hearts, once so full of love for God and for their brethren, are cold and frozen. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 10

The Saviour’s spirit governs His church by the principles of love and truth. Love for one another reveals that the love of God is abiding in the heart. Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste. “Because thou art neither cold nor hot,” He says, “I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and in need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” [Revelation 3:16-18.] 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 11

True riches are genuine faith and genuine love. These make the character complete in Christ. If there were more faith, simple, trusting faith in Jesus, there would be love, pure love, which is the gold of Christian character. If the professed followers of Christ all understood His words with a will to practice them, everything would be changed. But men do not possess that life in Christ which would constitute them the light of the world. They are satisfied with a low, common level. There is a want of sensibility with many claiming conversion. They profess to believe the truth, but they do not practice it. 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 12

To these Christ says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” [Verses 18-20.] 13LtMs, Ms 61, 1898, par. 13