Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24

150/196

Ms 83, 1909

Sermon/“Seek Ye the Kingdom of God”

Council Grove, Kansas

August 29, 1909

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 237-238; 3SM 248-249.

August, 29, 1909

Sermon, Mrs. E. G. White, Council Grove, Kansas,

“In the mean time when there were gathered together innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trod one upon another, He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you, My friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 1

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” [Luke 12:1-7.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 2

Often when our workers present the testing Sabbath truth to the people, some stand hesitating for fear of bringing poverty and hardships on themselves and their families. They say, Yes, I see what you are trying to show me in regard to the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath; but I am afraid if I keep the Sabbath I shall lose my position, and shall not be able to provide for my family. And so many keep their worldly position and disobey the command of God. But these Scriptures teach us that the Lord knows all about our experiences; He understands about our inconveniences, and that He has a care for all who follow on to know the Lord. He will never allow His children to be tempted above [that] they are able to bear. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 3

Christ declared to His disciples: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? And if ye then be not able to do that which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?” [Verses 22-26.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 4

Holding up before them the lily of the field in its beauty and purity, the Saviour continued: “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 5

“Seek ye not what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Verses 27-31.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 6

Christ is here teaching a precious lesson in regard to His service. Whatever experiences may come to you, He says, serve God. Whatever inconveniences and hardships you may encounter, trust in the Lord. We have no cause to worry and fear, if we take our position for the truth, that we and our families will suffer. To do this is to manifest unbelief in God. “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,” the Saviour says. [Matthew 6:8.] If we would study the Word more faithfully, we would increase in faith. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 7

We have not time now to give to anxious thought as to what we shall eat and drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed. Let us live simply and work in simplicity. Let us dress in such a modest, becoming way that we will be received wherever we go. Jewelry and expensive dress will not give us influence; but the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit—the result of devotion to the service of Christ—will give us power with God. Kindness and forethought for those about us are qualities precious in the sight of heaven. If you have not given attention to the acquirement of these graces, do so now; for you have no time to lose. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 8

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Luke 12:32-34.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 9

Let us thank God for this precious promise, and hold fast to its assurance of eternal joys awaiting the redeemed ones. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 10

“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning,” the Saviour continued; “and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom their lord, when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” [Verses 35-40.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 11

In this chapter Christ brings to view the enmity that exists between good and evil: “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth: I tell you, Nay; but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” [Verses 51-53.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 12

It is coming to be seen and felt by religionists in every community that in the hearts of the majority of men there is very little respect for truth and righteousness. Unbelief in God and His Word is everywhere manifest. Those who are not for Him are against Him. Satan is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, seeking to gain control of human minds. And he leads his followers to believe that he will be conqueror because of the large numbers who are uniting with him. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 13

While such conditions prevail in the world, we are not to shut ourselves in our homes and think that an assent to truth is all that is required of us. Christ gave Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He suffered death that He might make it possible for humanity to lay hold upon His divine power. The gift of God in Jesus Christ should awaken in the heart of every believer a spirit of self-sacrifice, leading them to deny themselves anything that will further the cause of God in the earth. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 14

My brethren and sisters, There are many souls to whom you can speak a word in season, to whom you can read the Scriptures, and with and for whom you can pray. There are many who take no interest in divine things. You can be a blessing to these souls if you will. Do not allow yourselves to associate with them as one who is in harmony with them, thinking that by this means you can win them to Christ. Tell them of the preciousness of the truth of God. Read the Scriptures to them; pray with them. God wants you to associate with believers and unbelievers, that you may help all to a fuller knowledge of the Word. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 15

Consider how Christ was nailed to the cross, how He gave His life a sacrifice for others’ sin. Then consider how much you have done for His cause. How many times have you spoken to neighbors and friends, that they might understand the position you occupy and the reasons for your faith? Have you labored according to your abilities? Have you walked before your associates in holiness of life? Can Christ put upon your head the crown of the overcomer, acknowledging you before heaven as one who has done his best in the army of the Lord? These are questions you need to consider. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 16

If you have the riches of the grace of Christ in your heart, you will not keep them to yourself while the salvation of souls depends upon a knowledge of the way of salvation that you can give. They may not come to you and tell you their heart longings, but many are hungry, unsatisfied. And Christ died that they might have the riches of His grace. What are you going to do, that these souls may share the blessings that you have enjoyed? You are called to be laborers together with God. You may never be called to the desk to preach, but you have a work to do—the most blessed work that mortals can do. You may co-operate with the Holy Spirit of God in convincing men of sin and revealing to them the righteousness of Christ. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 17

I see before me many who occupy humble positions in life who, perhaps, do not understand all that God requires of them. You are to devote yourselves to the service of God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” [Matthew 6:33.] You are to let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Simplicity is of the highest value in the sight of heaven. Learn to labor according to Christ’s methods. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 18

There is a world to be saved, but it is represented to me that little is being done by those who claim to be the servants of God to win souls for eternal life. Did the Son of God spare Himself, and leave you to ruin? No; He gave up the glory that He had with the Father and gave His life that He might impart life to all. Let us consider Him as He bows in His last prayer to the Father for His disciples, pleading that they might be given grace to walk in His footsteps and continue the work He had begun. We have an eternity of blessings to win or to lose. It rests with us whether we shall hear the words spoken to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” [Matthew 25:23; 7:23.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 19

My brethren and sisters, Present the truths of the third angel’s message to your neighbors and friends who do not understand them and who see nothing to interest them in the Word of God. You can tell them of the hope of immortality. You can pray with and for them. Some of you can gather your neighbor’s children together and tell them the simple stories of the Bible, explaining their meaning in simple language. Let the Word speak for itself. Let your works be of such a character that they shall not exert an influence contrary to the faith you profess. If you will come into this position of consecration to the work of God, He will multiply your influence for good. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 20

Our church members are not doing their work for the Master as they should. If they would lay hold of the power of Christ, and in His spirit seek to bring salvation to others, heavenly agencies would co-operate with them. Christ wants men to receive of His salvation. He waits to give His rich grace to all who will seek for it. If you will speak the simple words of truth to those not in the faith, the righteousness and grace of Christ will appear in the soul, and they will accept the truth as it is in Jesus. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 21

I will read a few words from the Second Epistle of Peter and then close. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you,” the apostle writes, “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, and overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 22

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of God our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:2-11.] 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 23

This is the message I bring you today. If you will do these things, if you will live on the plan of addition, you will never fall. Whatever experience may come to you, you will be established. An everlasting life insurance policy is held out to you. Will you strive for it, pray for it, win it? 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 24

My brethren and sisters, let us proclaim the truth to others in the little time we have left. Let us live day by day on the plan of addition. To all who do this, the promise is given: “Ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [Verses 10, 11.] May God bless you, is my prayer. 24LtMs, Ms 83, 1909, par. 25