Gospel Workers 1915

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Need of Mental Culture

Mental culture is what we as a people need, and what we must have in order to meet the demands of the time. Poverty, humble origin, and unfavorable surroundings need not prevent the cultivation of the mind.... GW 280.1

Difficulties will be met in all studies; but never cease through discouragement. Search, study, and pray; face every difficulty manfully and vigorously; call the power of will and the grace of patience to your aid, and then dig more earnestly till the gem of truth lies before you, plain and beautiful, all the more precious because of the difficulties involved in finding it. Do not, then, continually dwell upon this one point, concentrating upon it all the energies of the mind, and constantly urging it upon the attention of others: but take another subject, and carefully examine that. Thus mystery after mystery will be unfolded to your comprehension. GW 280.2

Two valuable victories will be gained by this course. You will not only secure useful knowledge, but the exercise of the mind will increase your mental power. The key found to unlock one mystery, may reveal also other precious gems of knowledge heretofore undiscovered. GW 280.3

Many of our ministers can present to the people only a few doctrinal discourses. The same exertion and application which made them familiar with these points would enable them to gain an understanding of others. The prophecies and other doctrinal subjects should be thoroughly understood by all ministers. But some who have been preaching for years are content to confine themselves to a few subjects, being too indolent to search the Scriptures diligently and prayerfully, that they may become giants in the understanding of Bible doctrines and the practical lessons of Christ. GW 281.1

The minds of all should be stored with a knowledge of the truths of God's word, that they may be prepared, at any moment when required, to present from the storehouse things new and old. Minds have been crippled and dwarfed for want of zeal and earnest, severe taxation. The time has come when God says, Go forward, and cultivate the abilities I have given you. GW 281.2

The world is teeming with errors and fables. Novelties in the form of sensational dramas are continually arising to engross the mind; and absurd theories abound, which are destructive to moral and spiritual advancement. The cause of God needs men of intellect, men of thought, men well versed in the Scriptures, to meet the inflowing tide of opposition. We should give no sanction to arrogance, narrow-mindedness, and inconsistencies, although the garment of professed piety may be thrown over them. Those who have the sanctifying power of the truth upon their hearts will exert a persuasive influence. Knowing that the advocates of error cannot create or destroy truth, they can afford to be calm and considerate... GW 281.3

There are many, even among our preachers, who want to rise in the world without effort. They are ambitious to do some great work of usefulness, while they disregard the little, every-day duties which would render them helpful and make them ministers after Christ's order. They wish to do the work that others are doing, but have no relish for the discipline necessary to fit them for it. This yearning desire by both men and women to do something far in advance of their present capabilities, is causing them to make decided failures at the outset. They indignantly refuse to climb the ladder, wishing to be elevated by a less laborious process.—Testimonies for the Church 4:411-417. GW 282.1

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I am astonished that with the examples before us of what man may be and what he may do, we are not stimulated to greater exertion to emulate the good works of the righteous. Not all may occupy positions of prominence; yet all may fill positions of usefulness and trust, and may, by their persevering fidelity, do far more good than they have any idea that they can do.—Testimonies for the Church 4:399. GW 282.2

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The value of men and women is not to be estimated by the class of labor they perform. It is fixed by Him who paid the price for every soul. In charity, in simplicity, in integrity, all who have Christ formed within, the hope of glory, are to be workers together with God. They are God's husbandry, God's building. GW 282.3

The heart in which the love of Christ abides will constantly manifest more and more refinement; for the spring of life is love to God and man. Christ is Christianity. This is glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. This is the carrying out of God's purpose. GW 282.4

True Christian growth tends upward to the full stature of men and women in Christ. True culture, real refinement of thought and manners, is better obtained by learning lessons in the school of Christ, than by the most labored, painstaking effort to observe forms and set rules, when the heart is not under the discipline of the Spirit of God. GW 283.1

The follower of Jesus should be constantly improving in manners, in habits, in spirit, in labor. This is done by keeping the eye, not on mere outward, superficial attainments, but on Jesus. 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. He is fitting for the society of heavenly angels. GW 283.2

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Above all other people on the earth, the man whose mind is enlightened by the word of God will feel that he must give himself to greater diligence in the perusal of the Bible, and to a diligent study of the sciences; for his hope and his calling are greater than any other. The more closely man is connected with the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, the more he can be helped intellectually as well as spiritually. The knowledge of God is the essential education, and this knowledge every true worker will make it his constant study to obtain.—Counsels to Teachers, 510. GW 283.3