Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22 (1907)


Ms 153, 1907

Sermon/“Behold, What Manner of Love”

Loma Linda, California

October [29?], 1907

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2MCP 789. +Note

(Address by Mrs. E. G. White, Medical Missionary Convention, Loma Linda, California, October, 1907.)

“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. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” [1 John 3:1-3.] 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 1

I woke up this morning, repeating this scripture. It is for the best interests of every one in attendance at this meeting to realize that the angels of God are commissioned to be round about the children of God in such assemblies as these, if you are careful to recognize the principles pointed out in this scripture. The aged apostle knew better than many of us about some of these things, because he had had repeated trials. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 2

It is not the escaping from trials that makes a happy people. No; trials and grievances are permitted to come upon us, that we may be led to seek the Lord. In seeking the Lord, His promise is verified, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7, 8.] During this meeting, we should be weeding out of our thoughts all complaining and fault-finding. Let us not continue to look upon any defects that we may see. It is our business individually to “behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (the children) of God.” [1 John 3:1.] This scripture includes us all. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 3

If this hope is in us, we shall reveal it at this meeting. And if we would get the right hold on God, we must keep beholding the most precious things—the purity, the glory, the power, the kindness, the affection, the love that God bestows upon us. And thus beholding, our minds will become so fixed upon these things of eternal interest, that we shall have no desire to find the flaws in others while we are here. A spirit of fault-finding, if cherished, would open the way for Satan and his angels to come into the midst of this gathering and work with you. You cannot afford this. The hours that we shall spend in associating together here are altogether too precious to be used in criticism of one another. This meeting may be the most blessed season that we have ever enjoyed in our lives. Let us determine not to let a spirit of criticism come in. If, perchance, any criticism springs up, let us kill the root of the evil at once. When we see a brother in the wrong, it is our privilege to go right to him and tell him and seek to help him. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 4

Oh, that our minds might be sanctified! Sometimes God may give us things to do that seem quite unpleasant to our natural temperament; nevertheless, in the exercise of willing obedience to duty, the unpleasantness disappears, and the beauty and light of heaven come in, because the angels of God are waiting to give us the most precious representations, if we will labor in harmony with right principles and keep our minds fixed on elevating, ennobling themes. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 5

But if we allow our minds to become fixed on disagreeable representations, there is no room for the Spirit of God to make impressions. The evil angels quickly surround such a one and oppose every good thought and word and action. So long as Satan can control the mind, he hinders the human agent from coming into unity with the heavenly intelligences. By beholding the crucified and risen Saviour, we shall become changed into His image and thus enter into that oneness with the family of God for which Christ prayed to His Father. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 6

We do not begin to comprehend the love of God for us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] He gave Him that we might be called the sons of God, that we might become one with Him. This is a revelation of His love for the world. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 7

And since God loves the world, with all its imperfections and shortcomings, we should reveal our gratitude for His goodness and mercy by contemplating His matchless love. As we allow our minds to dwell upon the One who has made our salvation possible, we cannot help loving Him because of the beauty of His character and because of the generosity and nobility He manifested in our behalf. No sacrifice we can make will be too great, if it leads to the attainment of loveliness of disposition, if it transforms us into the likeness of Him whom we behold. Let us put away the evil suggestions that the enemy seeks to bring in. He is ever watchful, ready to take advantage of any opportunity to lead us astray. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 8

We are seeking that city whose builder and maker is God. The gates of that city will be thrown open to all who overcome by the blood of the Lamb. It is our privilege, and should be our aim, while in this world, to overcome every wrong tendency. We need a pattern higher than any human being. We must turn away from self, and behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. As we behold His wonderful love, we shall have no occasion for unhappiness or fault-finding. Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall not desire to dwell on anything that would create in our minds a disagreeable feeling. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 9

We may have very straight truths to present at this meeting; but if these truths are in accordance with the principles given in God’s Word, they will help us to perfect right characters. The Bible is to be our instructor. During this meeting—yes, at the very beginning of the meeting—every root of bitterness should be removed; for we desire that angels of God shall work upon our minds and give us a precious revelation of what the religion of Jesus Christ can do for us. Let us cultivate the living faith that enables us to grasp the hand of the Infinite. Let us manifest a kindly, tender, compassionate feeling toward all that are around us. It does not pay to cherish disagreeable feelings, because we are to behold the character of God as revealed in His love for us. We are to pray, and believe, and trust. Constantly we are to rejoice that God has loved us so much that He permitted one equal with Himself to come to this world to give His life as a ransom for sinners, in order that the wicked, even the very wickedest, might be saved. Like the thief on the cross, every poor, trembling sinner may grasp by faith the salvation offered through the gift of God in His only begotten Son. Some may think they cannot grasp this salvation; but every one, no matter how weak and sinful, may lay hold of it and finally receive the gift of everlasting life in the kingdom of glory. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 10

In view of our faith in the Bible and our wonderful hope of eternal life, the Lord would be pleased to have us as a people give to all with whom we associate such a representation of His love that they will be won to allegiance to Him. We should reveal to the world that the Lord Himself is our strength, our grace, our efficiency, our delight, our exceeding great reward. May God help us to come up to the high standard of our calling in Christ Jesus. May He help us to make the best possible use of the time of this meeting. Let us give special attention to the devotional meetings. Pray, pray, as you have never prayed before. It is your privilege to draw nigh unto God. He has promised to draw nigh unto all those who seek Him diligently. Let us represent His character so fully in words, in acts, in disposition, that others will be attracted by what they see and will inquire of us how to find the Saviour and the joy and peace we have found. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 11

Good is the Lord, and greatly to be praised! When we praise Him, we glorify Him before whomsoever we may be with. If we have the praise of God in our hearts, it will be manifested. If we have the goodness of God in our hearts, others will know of it. Let us be faithful representatives of God the Father, and of His Son, Christ Jesus, who has made an infinite sacrifice in our behalf, in order that we might live forever with Him in His kingdom. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 12

Following a short praise service, Sister White offered prayer, as given below. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 13

(Praying) Our blessed heavenly Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast invited us to come unto Thee in our necessities and in our perplexities, to ask of Thee that Thou wouldst pardon our transgressions, that Thou wouldst forgive our sins, and that Thou wouldst let Thy Holy Spirit come into our hearts. May we remove all the rubbish from the door of the heart, that we may let Thy glory in. O my Father, my Father, for Christ’s sake, whom Thou didst give to a shameful death, in order to redeem us—for His sake wilt Thou help us, that we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Help Thy people at this meeting. We must have Thy presence, we must have Thy wisdom, we must have Thy grace; and we will not let Thee go, unless Thou dost bless us. We take hold of the arm of the Infinite, by faith, and we ask Thee that Thou wouldst reveal Thyself, to uphold, to strengthen, to give wisdom in every decision, to let Thy grace come into the hearts of the people, that they may have wisdom and judgment to plan aright for the advancement of Thy precious work. May the great grace of God be upon us. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 14

Pity us, my Lord. Strengthen us. Help us to represent Thee in every word and act. May we reveal our appreciation for the life Thou dost give us. We give ourselves unto Thee this morning. We desire to make a covenant with Thee by sacrifice, that while associating with one another on this ground, we may reveal the grace that was in the heart of Christ Jesus while He walked and talked with the sons of men on the earth. We desire to receive of the grace of God, that we may impart it to those that are around us. We cannot let Thee go, my Father. We cannot be denied Thy presence. We must have Thy power in this meeting. We must see of the salvation of God. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 15

While we shall assemble together to glorify Thee, let every thread of selfishness be put away. Let the benevolence and the love of God take possession of our hearts; and O put Thy praise there, that we may thank Thee, and praise Thee, and glorify Thee, for whoso offereth praise glorifieth God. And we want praise in our hearts; we want it upon our lips. We want to honor Thee during this meeting, and therefore we ask Thee to honor us by granting us Thy presence in rich measure. Grant us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification. We lay hold on these blessings by living faith. Let Thy grace rest upon us this morning in large measure. Come sacredly near unto us. Be with us, my Father. For Christ’s sake we ask these favors. Amen. 22LtMs, Ms 153, 1907, par. 16