Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)


No Respect of Persons With God

The religion of Christ uplifts the receiver to a higher plane of thought and action, while at the same time it presents the whole human race as alike the objects of the love of God, being purchased by the sacrifice of his Son. At the feet of Jesus, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, meet together, with no thought of cast or worldly pre-eminence. All earthly distinctions are forgotten as we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced. The self-denial, the condescension, the infinite compassion of him who was highly exalted in heaven, put to shame human pride, self-esteem, and social caste. Pure and undefiled religion manifests its heaven-born principles in bringing into oneness all who are sanctified through the truth. GW92 313.1

All meet as blood-bought souls, alike dependent upon One who hath redeemed them to God. The Lord has lent them talents to improve. Those whom he has intrusted with money, bring their talent of means to the Master. The men and women of influence use that which God has given them. The ones whom he has endowed with wisdom, bring to the cross of Christ this gift to be used to his glory. And the poor have their talent, which perhaps may be larger than any other mentioned. It may be simplicity of character, humility, tried virtue, and confidence in God. Through patient toil, through their entire dependence upon God, they are pointing those with whom they associate to Jesus, their Redeemer. They have a heart full of sympathy for the poor, a home for the needy and oppressed, and their testimony is clear and decided as to what Jesus is to them. They seek for glory, honor, and immortality, and their reward will be eternal life. In the human brotherhood it takes all classes of talents to make a perfect whole; and the church of Christ is composed of all ranks, all classes, and varied talents. God never designed that the pride of men should dissolve that which his own wisdom had ordained,—the combination of all classes of minds, of all the varied talents that make a complete whole. There should be no depreciating of any part of God's great work, whether the agencies are higher or lowlier. All have their part to act in diffusing light in different degrees. There should be no monopolizing of what belongs, in a measure, to all, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. Not a ray of light must be undervalued, not a ray shut out, not a gleam unrecognized or acknowledged reluctantly. Let all act their part for truth and righteousness. The interests of the varied classes of society are indissolubly united. We are all woven together in the great web of humanity, and we cannot without loss withdraw our sympathies from one another. It is impossible for a healthful influence to be maintained in the church when this common interest and sympathy does not exist. GW92 314.1

God moves in his own way in preparing men to be laborers together with him. The value of men and women is not to be estimated by the class of labor they perform. It is fixed by the Lord Jesus, who paid the same price for every soul. In charity, in simplicity, and integrity, all who have Christ formed within, the hope of glory, are workers together with God. They are God's husbandry; they are God's building. The heart in which the love of Christ abides, will constantly manifest more and more refinement, for the spring of the life is love to God and man. This is Christianity. This is “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Luke 2:14.] This is the carrying out of God's purpose. Divine harmony, worthy of the wisdom and mercy which God has manifested to men! True Christian growth tends upward to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. True culture, real refinement of thought and manners, is better obtained through the lessons in the school of Christ, than through the most labored, pains-taking effort to observe forms and set rules, when the heart is not under the holy discipline of the Spirit of God. GW92 315.1

The follower of Jesus should be constantly improving in manners, in habits, in spirit, and labor. But this is done by keeping the eye, not on mere outward, superficial attainments, but on Jesus, the model. A transformation takes place in mind, in spirit, in character. The Christian is educated in the school of Christ to cherish the graces of his Spirit in all meekness and lowliness of mind. He is fitting for the society of heavenly angels. GW92 315.2

There is no caste with God. He ignores everything of the kind. All souls are of value with him. Laboring for the salvation of the soul is employment worthy of the highest honor. It matters not what may be the form of our labor, or among what class, whether high or low. In God's sight these distinctions will not affect its true worth. The sincere, earnest, contrite soul, however ignorant, is precious in the sight of the Lord. He places his own signet upon men, not by their rank, not by their wealth, not by intellectual greatness, but by their oneness with Christ. The unlearned, the outcast, the slave, if he has made the most of his opportunities and privileges, if he has cherished the light given him of God, has done all that is required. The world may call him ignorant, but God calls him wise and good, and thus his name stands registered in the books of heaven. God will fit him up to do him honor, not only in heaven, but on the earth. The princes of this world, the honored and great men, would be glad to exchange places with him when the Lord comes to make up his jewels; for in the kingdom of heaven he is greater than the great men of the world. The great and worldly honored would then consider it an honor to be in his company. The divine rebuke is upon him who refuses the companionship of those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life, simply because they are not rich, learned, and honored in this world. Christ, the Lord of glory, is satisfied with those who are meek and lowly in heart, however humble may be their calling, whatever their rank or degree of intelligence. To drink deeply of the waters of life is essential for all. The Spirit of Christ will beget sentiments of the highest order. GW92 315.3

How many useful and honored workers in God's cause have received a training amid the humble duties of the most lowly positions in life. Moses was the prospective ruler of Egypt, but God could not take him from the king's court to do the work appointed him. Only when he had been for forty years a faithful shepherd was he sent to be the deliverer of his people. Gideon was taken from the threshing of wheat to be the instrument in the hands of God for delivering the armies of Israel. Elisha was called to leave the plow and do the bidding of God. Amos was husbandman, a tiller of the soil, when God gave him a message to proclaim. GW92 316.1

These lessons should be kept in view by those who have to do with the training of workers for the cause of God. All who become co-workers with Christ will have a great deal of hard, uncongenial labor to perform, and their lessons of instruction should be wisely chosen, and adapted to their peculiarities of character, and the work which they are to pursue. GW92 317.1

The Lord has presented to me in many ways, and at various times, how carefully we should deal with the young,—that it requires the finest discrimination to deal with minds. Every one who has to do with the education and training of youth, needs to live very close to the Great Teacher, to catch his spirit and manner of work. Lessons are to be given which will affect their character and life-work. GW92 317.2

They should be taught that the gospel of Christ tolerates no spirit of caste, that it gives no place to unkind judgment of others, which tends directly to self-exaltation. The religion of Jesus never degrades the receiver, nor makes him coarse and rough; nor does it make him unkind in thought and feeling toward those for whom Christ died. GW92 317.3

There is danger of attaching too much importance to the matter of etiquette, and diverting much time to education upon the subject of manner and form, that can never be of any great use to many youth. Some are in danger of making the externals all-important, of overestimating the value of mere conventionalities. The results will not warrant the expenditure of time and thought given to these matters. Some who are trained to give much attention to these things, will manifest little true respect or sympathy for anything, however excellent, that in any way fails to meet their standard of conventionality. Anything that would encourage ungenerous criticism, a disposition to notice and expose every defect or error, is wrong. It fosters distrust and suspicion, which are contrary to the character of Christ, and detrimental to the mind thus exercised. Those who are engaged in this work, gradually depart from the true spirit of Christianity. While the gospel constantly sanctifies and ennobles the receiver, it will never lead us to cherish selfish and exalted ideas of our own ability or merit in contrast with that of others. It never nurtures pride and self-esteem. Every soul who sees Christ as he is, will abase self. He will exalt the Saviour as the “chiefest among ten thousand,” the One “altogether lovely.” [Song of Solomon 5:10, 16.] GW92 317.4

The most essential, enduring education is that which will develop the nobler qualities, which will encourage a spirit of universal kindliness, leading the youth to think no evil of any one lest they shall misjudge motives and misinterpret words and actions. The time devoted to this kind of instruction will yield fruit to everlasting life. GW92 318.1

The young people among us should be preparing to work for the Master in the saving of souls for whom Christ died. Attention to mere conventionalities, or even to mental and social improvement, should be regarded as of secondary importance. These things have their place in the formation of character, but we should remember that the world is in gross darkness; irreligion, vice, and depravity are steadily strengthening and increasing; every teacher should feel in his very soul that the great needs of those under his care, are the regenerating power of God's Spirit in the heart, the living practice, the preparation for higher Christian attainments. This education will give to the character those softening, refining touches that proceed from Christ himself. These graces will give a sweetness of character, a gentleness of manner, which can never be equaled by the superficial polish of fashionable society. GW92 318.2

Let every worker for Christ make it his highest aim to win souls to God, rather than to be looking at and teaching mere superficial acquirements. Direct your energies to the fitting of living stones for the building of God's temple.—MS. GW92 319.1