Gospel Workers 1915

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Christ's Example a Rebuke to Exclusiveness

In every age since Christ was among men, there have been some who chose to seclude themselves from others, manifesting a Pharisaical desire for preeminence. Shutting themselves away from the world, they have not lived to bless their fellow-men. GW 334.3

There is no example in the life of Christ for this self-righteous bigotry; His character was genial and beneficent. There is not a monastic order upon earth from which He would not have been excluded for overstepping the prescribed rules. In every religious denomination, and in almost every church, are to be found erratics who would have blamed Him for His liberal mercies. They would have found fault with Him because He ate with publicans and sinners; they would have accused Him of worldly conformity in attending a wedding feast, and would have censured Him unmercifully for permitting His friends to make a supper in honor of Him and His disciples. GW 334.4

But on these very occasions, by His teachings, as well as by His generous conduct, He was enshrining Himself in the hearts of those whom He honored with His presence. He was giving them an opportunity to become acquainted with Him, and to see the marked contrast between His life and teachings and those of the Pharisees. GW 335.1

Those with whom God has entrusted His truth, must possess the same beneficent spirit that Christ manifested. They must adopt the same broad plans of action. They should have a kind, generous spirit toward the poor, and in a special sense feel that they are God's stewards. They must hold all they have—property, mental powers, spiritual strength—as not their own, but only lent them to advance the cause of Christ in the earth. Like Christ, they should not shun the society of their fellow-men, but should seek it with the purpose of bestowing upon others the heavenly benefits they have received from God. GW 335.2

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Do not be exclusive. Do not seek out a few with whom you delight to associate, and leave others to take care of themselves. Suppose you do see weakness in one and folly in another; do not stand aloof from them, and associate with those only who you think are about perfect. GW 335.3

The very souls you despise need your love and sympathy. Do not leave a weak soul to struggle alone, to wrestle with the passions of his own heart without your help and prayers, but consider yourself, lest you also be tempted. If you do this, God will not leave you to your own weakness. You may have sins greater in His sight than the sins of those you condemn. Do not stand off and say, “I am holier than thou.” GW 336.1

Christ has thrown His divine arm around the human race. He has brought His divine power to man, that He might encourage the poor, sin-sick, discouraged soul to reach up for a higher life. O, we need more of Christ's spirit, and much less of self! We need the converting power of God upon our hearts daily. We need the mellowing spirit of Christ, to subdue and soften our souls. The only way for those to do who feel that they are whole, is to fall upon the Rock and be broken. Christ can change you into His likeness, if you will submit yourself to Him. GW 336.2

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If we follow in Christ's footsteps, we must come close to those who need our ministry. We must open the Bible to the understanding, present the claims of God's law, read the promises to the hesitating, arouse the careless, strengthen the weak. GW 336.3