Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 73a, 1900

Our Life-Work

NP

December 18, 1900 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 154-157.

We read of One who walked this earth in meekness and lowliness, who went about “doing good,” who spent His life in loving service, comforting the sorrowing, ministering to the needy, lifting up the bowed down. [Acts 10:38.] He had no home in this world, only as the kindness of His friends provided it for Him as a wayfarer. Yet it was heaven to be in His presence. Day by day He met trials and temptations, yet He did not fail or become discouraged. He was surrounded by transgression, yet He kept His Father’s commandments. He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace and health. He saw the needs of men and women, and to all He gives the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 1

What an example Christ has left for us in His life-work! Who of His children are living, as He did, for the glory of God? He is the light of the world, and he who works successfully for the Master must kindle his taper from His divine life. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 2

To His disciples Christ said, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, it is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” [Matthew 5:13.] How careful then we should be to follow the example of Christ in our life-work. Unless we do this, we are worthless to the world—salt which has lost its savor. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 3

“Ye are the light of the world,” the Saviour continued. “A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” God calls upon us to live in such a way that all who come within the sphere of our influence will be benefited. “Let your light so shine before men,” He says, “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Verses 14-16.] All the light possible is to be given to the world. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 4

No man is justified in selfishly wronging his neighbor, believer of unbeliever. Not one thread of selfishness is to be drawn into the web of our work. Those who labor in the service of God are to draw together in even cords, bearing one another’s burdens. But many forget this. The church today needs cleansing as verily as did the temple in Christ’s day, when the Saviour drove forth the buyers and sellers from the sacred courts, exclaiming, “Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” [John 2:16.] 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 5

God uses a diversity of talents in His cause. He carries on His work for the church by a variety of instruments. No man who desires to make of himself the only teacher in the church is working for God. No one who says, I want my influence only to tell in the church over which I preside, is letting his light shine for God. Those who are uncourteous to their fellow workers must reckon with God. By their influence they keep out of the church the light which God desires His people to have. They manifest a spirit which God does not endorse. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 6

Christ was sent to the world to look after His Father’s interests. He is our pattern in all things. The variety of His teaching is a lesson we need to study. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 7

All workers are not alike in their understanding and experience or in their administration of the Word. Some are constantly partaking of Christ’s flesh and blood. They eat the leaves of the tree of life. They are constant learners in the school of Christ. They make daily progress in goodness and gain an experience which fits them to labor for the Master. Their influence is a savor of life unto life. So spiritual minded are they that they readily discern spiritual things. The Bible is their study. Magazines, newspapers, and books which treat of nothing heavenly or divine have no attraction for them. But the Word of God grows constantly more precious to them. God draws near and speaks to them in language which cannot be misunderstood. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 8

There are others who have not learned how to fix their minds so intently upon the Scriptures that they draw from them each day a fresh supply of grace. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 9

Some men have a special message from heaven. They are to be sent forth to waken the people, not to hover over the churches to their own detriment and the hindrance of the work of God. It does a church no good to have two or three ministers waiting upon it. Were these ministers to go forth to labor for those in darkness, their work would show some results. Let the experienced men take the young men who are preparing for the ministry and go forth into new territory to proclaim the message of warning. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 10

Those who believe the truth will be greatly blessed as they impart the blessings God has given them, letting their light shine forth in good works. As they let their light shine by personal piety, by revealing sound principles in all business transactions, they will magnify the principles of God’s law. God calls upon His workers to annex new territory for Him. With intense earnestness we are to work for those who are without hope and without God in the world. There are rich fields of toil waiting for the faithful worker. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 11

The laborers in God’s cause should bow before Him in humble, earnest prayer, and then go forth, Bible in hand, to arouse the benumbed senses of those represented in the Word as dead in trespasses and sins. Those who do this work will be greatly blessed. Those who know the truth are to strengthen one another, saying to the ministers, “Go forth into the harvest field in the name of the Lord, and our prayers shall go with you as sharp sickles.” Thus our churches should bear decided witness for God, and they should also bring Him their gifts and offerings, that those who go forth into the field may have wherewith to labor for souls. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 12

Who is working faithfully for the Master in this age of the world, when the corruption of the earth is even as the corruption of Sodom and Gomorrah? Who is helping those around him to win eternal life? Are we cleansed and sanctified, fit to be used by the Lord as vessels unto honor? Will every church member now remember that deformity is not from God? The Divine Being is to be worshiped in the beauty of holiness, for He is excellent in majesty and power. How can He cooperate with those who are controlled by the enemy of truth and righteousness? 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 13

Christ is the vine, His disciples are the branches. He says to them, “Abide in me.” It is impossible for them to live and work apart from Him. He says plainly, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:4, 5.] True Christians are members of Christ’s body. God’s Word declares, “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” [1 John 5:12; 3:1, 2.] 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 14

God desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness. We are to live so that God can use us in His work of converting men and women and leading them to wash their garments of character <and make them white> in the blood of the Lamb. We are His workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” [Ephesians 2:10.] Through us God desires to reveal His manifold wisdom. Therefore He bids us let our light shine forth in good works. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 15

The church is weak because the members do not use their talents in seeking to save those who have no knowledge of the truth. The apathy of the church is making backsliders. O, that the members might be imbued with the spirit of aggressive warfare! God calls upon His people to show more of the true missionary spirit. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 16

Many have lost their first love. A spirit of consecration and self-surrender is needed. This will cause a fervent zeal to spring up in the heart for the salvation of souls. Infidelity is stealing with stealthy step upon those in our publishing houses. A work needs to be done for them that will quicken their faith. But preaching will not do this work. Self must be crucified. The powers must be consecrated to the work of saving souls. 15LtMs, Ms 73a, 1900, par. 17