Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14

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Ms 115, 1899

Words of Exhortation to the Workers

NP

August 15, 1899 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1MR 236-241. +Note

The Lord sends His messages again and again to urge His people to reach a higher standard. Christ humbled Himself to humanity, that He might give expression to the mind of God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14.] The Son of God clothed Himself with humanity, and became a servant, that He might show human beings what constitutes true ministry. Man needed a divine Instructor to teach him what he might become in character and practice if he would be a son of God. The Word of the Eternal is given to the world in the teachings of Christ, not only in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament Scriptures as well. The lessons of Christ are to be sacredly cherished and obeyed. We shall not long behold Christ’s example of ministry before our own lives will bear testimony to a reformation, and light will be reflected to all with whom we are connected. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 1

The church of Christ is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock. He places His people in church capacity, and makes them responsible for the medical missionary work which should be done. They are to minister to the sick and the needy. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 2

Many have chosen to work in medical missionary lines to the neglect of other work. Appeals have been made for medical missionary workers, and they have considered this a call from God, and have thought that it would be wicked for them to refuse to go. But God does not design that this work shall become all-absorbing. There is a great work to be accomplished in our camp meetings, where all, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, are to hear the message of warning. Every child of God should have sanctified judgment to consider the work as a whole and the relation of each part to the other. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 3

Never again must eighty thousand dollars be invested in any one building; for this is a disproportionate outlay of means. We are not to build the tower without first considering what it will cost, and what effect the expenditure will have on other portions of the field. This large planning is closing the way for the erection of necessary buildings in other places, buildings which would not cost more than ten thousand dollars. It is not as though we as a people had hoarded up wealth, for we have been constantly drawn upon, and must continue to impart. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 4

The immense buildings which have been reared by the people in Battle Creek and other places bear witness against them, for while they have every facility, other portions of the Lord’s vineyard lie barren and desolate. Some places must be centers, in which workers can be prepared for the different fields. We must have centers for the education of the youth. This will require more facilities than may be needed in other places. But in every undertaking let us count the cost. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 5

I have been called to behold things nigh and afar off, and at the sight my head is dizzy and my heart sick. God has not ordered things as they now stand. Are we not too fond of doing, when God would have us stand as minute men, watching and praying, prepared to do what He commanded through consecrated agencies? Men who want to do something for God say, “We will do this or that;” and so a line is marked out for all to follow. [See James 4:15.] Thus selfishness is growing all the time. Man is grasping all the advantages possible, bringing in all the material he can obtain for the work he wants to do, while he deprives his fellow workers of that which they need. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 6

Let not the men in responsible positions grow selfish and ambitious to accumulate buildings in one locality. The command is given, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” [Philippians 2:4.] If men would work in Christ’s lines, they must yoke up with Him in meekness and lowliness of heart, pleading earnestly, “Lord, teach me thy way. What is thy purpose and will?” and asking at every step, “Am I trying to live for God or for myself?” 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 7

Work we must, and work cheerfully. We often neglect to work at the very time when our help is most needed and when a prompt attendance to duty would bring glory to God. Men interpose self between God and the work he could have done. My brethren, cut away from your large plans for any one place, and give a portion of your facilities to the more destitute fields. Consider that the Lord is impartial in all His work. If you will place your mind where God can come in and control, if you will prepare Him a place and give Him an opportunity to work, currents of life and truth will flow to all the barren places of the earth. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 8

Men bring upon themselves great and unceasing responsibility, and tax both brain and body, in seeking to carry the many plans they have devised. This is one of the greatest disadvantages we have to meet, and one the solving of which will wear out the human energies. Activity is needed in God’s cause, but let not this talent be misdirected. When men learn to be servants of Jesus Christ, they will understand that in every church workers are to be set to work to take the oversight of things. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 9

Pastors and teachers are to work intelligently in their lines, instructing church members how to work in medical missionary lines. When the professed followers of Christ have an indwelling Saviour, they will be found doing as Christ did. They will have no opportunity to rust through inaction. They will have enough to do. And the work which they do under the auspices of the church will be their greatest means of communicating light. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 10

The man who is working according to God’s plan will pray, Let it be known this day in my work for suffering humanity that there is a God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant. Let it be seen that I am working not according to my own impulse and wisdom, but according to Thy word. When man places himself in this attitude, and realizes that he is working out God’s plan, and that God is working out His plan through him, he is in possession of divine power, which knows nothing of defeat. All the power of counter-agencies is of no more account than the chaff of the threshing floor. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 11

We must recognize God’s absolute ownership of us. Our mind, our talents, our skill and money, are to be put to the best use to advance His work, that His character may be revealed in clear lines in every part of the world. God has given to every man his work, and He does not excuse those in high positions who get out of their place, and through some neglect get their work into a tangle. Let each man stand at his post of duty, and keep in right relation to God. There is important work to be done, and no man is to neglect his work in order to take hold of the work which belongs to another. God is not honored by such a course. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 12

There are some workers who feel superior in wisdom. They feel that they do not need to seek counsel from God. Nor do they consider whether their fellow workers have facilities with which to work. God needs all-sided men, men who will keep the windows of their soul open heavenward, and let His light shine into the chambers of the mind. The Lord has a large interest in His servants, and especially in those who are lowly in heart. He makes impressions upon the mind of the humble workers. They are just as precious in His sight as those who carry large responsibilities, and who look with superiority upon those who do not stand in such exalted positions. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 13

God cannot work with those who are lifted up in their own estimation, and He leaves them to be filled with their own doings. A Christian is a Christlike man, and for the very reason that he carries heavy responsibilities, he feels it degrading to himself to be in the slightest degree oppressive. If those who are in command have not self-control, they place themselves below the servant. God expects the steward whom He honors to represent the Master. If he cannot represent the patience, the kindness, the long-suffering love, the honesty and self-denial of Christ; if he forgets that he is a servant, and lifts himself up, it would be well for the people to discharge him. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 14

God expects every man to be faithful in his stewardship. Self is not to be glorified. The man who is faithful to his trust will not stop to consider if he is going to be honored by any course of action, but will ask, Will God be honored? His soul will be filled with a holy desire to see God magnified. When something tries his patience, he will pray, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” [Psalm 62:5.] 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 15

We are very eager to have our work present a good appearance, and if our plans and methods receive approbation, we are satisfied. If they languish, we groan in spirit. We cannot see afar off. The water must run freely in our pools, if other pools have to go dry as the hills of Gilboa. It is not easy for us to remember that the great fountain is from God. God will never give His glory to another or His praise to graven images of man’s conceit or ambition. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 16

The Lord is willing to do great things for those who have His mind and bear His credentials. But man cannot meet the high purposes of God unless he sinks self in Christ, and becomes a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God is willing to help every soul who will yoke up with Christ and learn His meekness and lowliness of heart. When men learn of Christ, they will have the gentleness of Christ, and Christ will not be ashamed to call them His brethren. He will give them the richest experience, and bring them up to His lofty ideal. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 17

God’s workmen must be refined and purified by test and trial. All corrupting ideas, all selfish grasping, irrespective of other’s needs, must be cut away. Selfishness must be rooted out of every practice, for it will corrupt the whole man and defile everything it touches. The truth of God in the soul will make a man a laborer together with God. His growth is in Christ. It is natural for him to act the part of the compassionate Samaritan, who had only to see the bruised and wounded man to help him. The Samaritan was controlled by the Holy Spirit, and he gave evidence of an indwelling Christ. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 18

God will show us many ways in which we can work. Sometimes matters will so shape themselves that we cannot doubt they are of God. At others they will run contrary to our ideas and feelings. The Lord surprises us sometimes by revealing our duty in lines altogether different from what we have planned for, and we declare, It is not so. This is untrue. But nevertheless, it is true to the letter; and the message will not come to men again until they can discern the work of God. When they are ready to see and comprehend, the Lord will speak to them again. If we would have divine supplies, if we would keep step with the divine plan, we must move under divine guidance. The Lord wants us to yield to His molding, to be emptied of self and surrendered to God, that Christ may pervade the soul. The fire can only burn when we purify the altar according to the Word of God. 14LtMs, Ms 115, 1899, par. 19