Living by Principle

Heart Service

In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. Every one should live for himself. The minds of all who are renewed by grace will be an open medium, continually receiving light, grace, and truth from above, and transmitting the same to others. Their works are fruitful. Their fruit is unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.—Testimonies for the Church 2:488. PH048 41.1

Psalm 1:2, 3: His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. PH048 41.2

Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish system, and he swept aside the maxims, injunctions, traditions, and precepts with which men had encumbered the plan of salvation. When he swept away the rubbish with which men had buried up the truth, they thought he was sweeping away the truth itself.... Outward conformity to the letter of the law was not sufficient. The very principles of the law must be planted in the heart, and love to God and love to man must be revealed in the character, words, and actions.—Signs of the Times, October 29, 1896. PH048 41.3

Matthew 23:2-4, 10-12: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders: but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.... Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. PH048 41.4

There is plenty of animal machinery at work. Christ in truth is advocated, but is not represented; and for this reason the truth is dishonored by the very ones who advocate it.—Unpublished Testtimony. PH048 42.1

John 15:5 (margin): He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for severed from me ye can do nothing. PH048 42.2

Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given. The Israelites were in captivity, the temple had been destroyed, their temple services suspended. Their religion had centered in the ceremonies of the sacrificial system. They had made the outward forms all-important, while they had lost the spirit of true worship. Their services were corrupted with the traditions and practises of heathenism; and in the performance of the sacrificial rites they did not look beyond the shadow to the substance. They did not discern Christ, the true offering for the sins of men. The Lord wrought to bring the people into captivity, and to suspend the services in the temple, in order that the outward ceremonies might not become the sum total of their religion. Their principles and practise must be purged from heathenism. The ritual service ceased, in order that the heart might be revived. The outward glory was removed, that the spiritual might be revealed.—Unpublished Testtimony. PH048 42.3

Matthew 23:25, 26, 38, 39: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisees cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also.... Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. PH048 42.4

The offerings of the church have been in many instances more numerous than her prayers. The missionary movement is far in advance of the missionary spirit. Earnest prayers have not, like sharp sickles, followed the workers into the harvest-field.—Unpublished Testtimony. PH048 43.1

Isaiah 58:2-4, 10: They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.... Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.... If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. PH048 43.2

Love works not for profit nor reward; yet God has ordained that great gain shall be the certain result of every labor of love. It is diffusive in its nature, and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose to overcome great evils. It is melting and transforming in its influence, and will take hold of the lives of the sinful and affect their hearts when every other means has proved unsuccessful.—Testimonies for the Church 2:135. PH048 43.3

Jeremiah 31:3: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. PH048 43.4

John 12:32: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. PH048 43.5

It is in proportion as the heart is sanctified by grace, and filled with the active love for God and for our fellow men, that we do nothing for show or by compulsion. Those who love God do that which is pleasant for them to do, and that is to reveal God in character, and submit the whole heart to the sanctification of the truth.—The Review and Herald, October 8, 1895. PH048 43.6

Psalm 40:8: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. PH048 44.1

If we consent, he [Christ] can and will so identify himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity with his will, that when obeying him, we shall but carry out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing his service.—Signs of the Times, November 19, 1896. PH048 44.2

Jeremiah 31:33: This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. PH048 44.3

At his coming the Master will call his servants, and reckon with them. The parable certainly teaches that good works will be rewarded according to the motive that prompted them; that skill and intellect used in the service of God will prove a success, and will be rewarded according to the fidelity of the worker. Those who have had an eye single to the glory of God will have the richest reward.—Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884. PH048 44.4

Matthew 25:21: His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. PH048 44.5

The soul cannot be satisfied with forms, maxims, and traditions. The cry of the soul must be, Give me the bread of life: lift up a full cup to my parched spiritual nature that I may be revived and refreshed.—The Review and Herald, May 12, 1896. PH048 44.6

John 3:1, 2: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night. PH048 45.1

Devotion to God does not consist in groans and sighs and a sad countenance.—Signs of the Times, December 3, 1896. PH048 45.2

Malachi 2:13: And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, and with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good-will at your hand. PH048 45.3

Psalm 43:2-5: Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.... Why art thou cast down. O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. PH048 45.4

There is but one hope for the sinner. Is it in outward ceremonies? in [rigorous] performance of religious duties? is it in mourning and penance, and in devoting hours to prayer and meditation? in practising self-denial? in giving to the poor, and in doing deeds of merit?—No, none of these things will work the salvation of the soul.—Signs of the Times, November 10, 1890. PH048 45.5

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. PH048 45.6

The heathen looked upon their prayers as having in themselves merit to atone for sin. Hence, the longer the prayer, the greater the merit. If they could become holy by their own efforts, they would have something in themselves in which to rejoice, some ground for boasting. This idea of prayer is an outworking of the principle of self-expiation which lies at the foundation of all systems of false religion. The Pharisees had adopted this pagan idea of prayer, and it is by no means extinct, even among those who profess to be Christians. The repetition of set, customary phrases, when the heart feels no need of God, is of the same character as the “vain repetitions” of the heathen.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 125, new edition. PH048 45.7

Luke 18:11, 12: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself. God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. PH048 46.1

There are many whose religion consists in activities. They want to be engaged in, and have the credit of doing, some great work, while the little graces that go to make up a lovely Christian character are entirely overlooked. The busy, bustling service, which gives the impression that one is doing some wonderful work, is not acceptable to God. It is a Jehu spirit, which says, “Come, see my zeal for the Lord.” It is gratifying to self; it feeds a self-complacent feeling; but all the while the soul may be defiled with the plague-spot of unsubdued, uncontrolled selfishness.—Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884. PH048 46.2

2 Kings 10:16, 18, 28, 31: And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot.... And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.... Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.... But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. PH048 46.3

The young are often urged to speak or pray in meeting; they are urged to die to self. At every step of the Christian way they are urged. Such religion is worth nothing. Let the heart be changed, and it will not be such drudgery to serve God.—Signs of the Times, May 1, 1884. PH048 46.4

Psalm 40:2, 3: He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. PH048 47.1

There are many who will be lost because they depend on legal religion, or mere repentance for sin. But repentance for sin alone cannot work the salvation of any soul. Man cannot be saved by his own works. Without Christ it is impossible for him to render perfect obedience to the law of God.—Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889. PH048 47.2

John 5:44, 39: How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? Search the Scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. PH048 47.3

There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies. Thoughts of the inner work, the necessary purity of heart, are not entertained.—The Review and Herald, July 16, 1895. PH048 47.4

Matthew 25:42-45: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. PH048 47.5

The scheme of salvation is not to be worked out under the laws and rules specified by men. There must be no fixed rules; our work is a progressive work, and there must be room left for methods to be improved upon. But under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, unity must and will be preserved.—The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895. PH048 48.1

Proverbs 4:18: The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. PH048 48.2

Circumstances cannot work reforms. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail. God's plan with you is to begin at the very seat of all difficulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principles of righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward.—Special Testimonies, Series A 9:54. PH048 48.3

Philippians 2:12, 13: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. PH048 48.4