Sermons and Talks, vol. 1


Words to Students

I am glad to see so many students here this morning. Students, you may have the best and wisest teachers to be found in our world, but they cannot make your heart ready to receive the Lord. You must do this work for yourself. Your teachers cannot think for you or act for you. The question each student should ask himself is, Am I determined to develop a character which God can approve? You may give yourselves up to float with the current, or you may struggle bravely onward and still onward. Ask yourselves, How can I conduct myself so that I shall be approved by God? The approval of God is worth more than all else in our world. If you will set your mark high, if you will make the most of your opportunities and privileges, wherever you are, whatever your position, you will be given strength and courage to persevere. You will not be wanting in bright, keen ideas. We have the precious Word of God to give us encouragement, and if we are determined to keep ever before us the fear of God—the beginning of wisdom—we shall be learners in the school of Christ. 1SAT 312.1

You may set for yourselves a low standard. You may cling to cheap, common ideas. But if you do this, you will leave the school cheap and common. You may make up your mind that while in school you have not a moment to lose, that this is a time large with important results; and that therefore you must improve every opportunity presented to you. Doing this, you will go from school purer and holier for your stay. 1SAT 312.2

What may come in a few months from now is impossible to say. You may never have another opportunity to attend the school in Cooranbong. But now, just now, at the very beginning of this school year, seek God with the whole heart, and He will be found of you. Our God watches over the children of men. And the angels of light—thousands upon thousands of them—what are they doing? What is their work? “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14]. Constantly the battle between the army of Christ and the army of Satan is going on. The angels of God are round about us as a wall of fire. We need them, for Satan is always seeking to cast his hellish shadow between us and God. But God's angels press back the powers of darkness; Satan cannot hurt us if we trust in the Lord. 1SAT 312.3

God has a church in the world, and this church is nearer to His heart than anything else in this earth. He holds communication with His church. He gives individuals ability and talents, and imparts to them of His Spirit, that they may be the guardians of His church, to watch over the interests of His people. These are His stewards, and He has placed some of them in this school, to watch over the youth who may attend. Students, when you see that they have a kindly interest in you, respond to it for Christ's sake. Place yourselves on the right side. Be determined that you will not be found under the black banner of the prince of darkness, that you will fight under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. 1SAT 313.1

Christ has given you talents, and these talents He expects you to improve. To one He gives ten talents, to another five, and to another one. He gives to each according to his several ability. If the man with one talent will improve that talent to the utmost of his ability, he will be given other talents. To these, as they are faithfully improved, will be added others. Thus the talents continually increase. But supposing a man has only one talent and gains only one? If his work has been in proportion to his ability, he will be just as surely rewarded as the man who gains a larger number of talents. 1SAT 313.2

Those who make the most of their opportunities, who place themselves in right relation with God, will be rewarded even as was Daniel. We read of him, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king; ... for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king” [Daniel 1:8-10]. “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days,” Daniel said, “and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the [portion of the] king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat” [Verses 12-15]. 1SAT 314.1

God gave Daniel and his companions “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; ... and in all matters of wisdom and understanding, ... he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” [Verses 17-20]. 1SAT 314.2

Babylon was at this time the greatest kingdom in the world. God permitted Daniel and his companions to be taken captive that they might take to the king and nobles of Babylon the knowledge of Him, the only true God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. 1SAT 315.1

God brought Daniel into favor with the prince of the eunuchs because he behaved himself. He kept before him the fear of the Lord. His companions never saw in his life anything that would lead them astray. Those who had charge over him loved him because he carried with him the fragrance of a Christlike disposition. You may say, But I have not a good disposition. If in the past your disposition has been bad, now is the time to seek to make it good. The term is just about to commence. Begin now to obtain the victory over self. God will help you. 1SAT 315.2

No one need place himself where he is out of touch with everybody else, where he fancies that no one will care, no matter what he does or says. Students, each one of you has a different disposition, a different mind. The work of your teachers is necessarily very hard. You can make it harder by giving way to selfishness. You may help them by working together in harmony. 1SAT 315.3

God cooperates with human effort. Daniel might have said, Of course, I must eat as the king commands. But instead, he resolved to obey God, and God began at once to help him. So when you are determined that you will obey the divine command, God will cooperate with you, making you witnesses of which heaven approves. Christ says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” [Matthew 5:48]. This is your work—to gain perfection of character. Set your mark high, and then be determined to reach it. If a fellow-student asks you to go contrary to the rules of the school, answer him with a decided No. Say, I will have no part in this matter. The fear of God is before me. I love God, and I will keep His commandments. Act in this way, and you will receive brain-power. God will strengthen you as He strengthened Daniel. 1SAT 315.4

I want to begin to do my talking at the beginning of the school year, because as I shall speak to you from time to time, I do not want you to feel that I have heard of your wrong course, and am hitting at you. I want to stand right by your side. I want to help every one of you. I present you before God in my prayers. I want you to take hold with me. How? “Let him take hold of my strength,” God says, “that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me” [Isaiah 27:5]. Daniel not only made peace with God, in making peace with God he made peace with one who knew not God. 1SAT 316.1

Help your fellow-students to cooperate with God. Help them to cooperate with the prayers which I have heard rising in their behalf. As God's people bow before Him, they pray that His angels may watch over the students in this school. 1SAT 316.2

Students, you know not in what position you may be placed. God may use you as He used Daniel to take the knowledge of the truth to the mighty of the earth. It rests with you to say whether you will have knowledge and skill. God can give you skill in all your learning. He can help you to adapt yourselves to the line of study you shall take up. Place yourselves in right relation to God. Make this your first interest. Gather up right principles, noble principles, uplifting principles. Then when visitors come to the school, they will be impressed that the students are receiving the right education. God desires you to be witnesses for Him. He desires you to draw in right lines. As you do this, he will give you skill and wisdom and understanding. You will advance step by step, for God does not want you to stand still. He wants you to run in the way of His commandments, constantly moving forward and upward. 1SAT 316.3

God is connected with the threads of our existence. He knows every thought of the heart, every action of the life. Then strive to live in harmony with Him. Seek to reach a high standard. Your teachers will help you, heavenly angels will help you, and, more than that, Christ will help you. The Prince of life is more interested than anyone else in your salvation. You can do Him honor by showing that you appreciate what He has done for you. You can glorify Him and make the angels glad by revealing in your life that He has not died in vain. Be determined that opposite your names in the books of heaven shall be written the word, Overcomer. Then all discontent and unhappiness will vanish. Your hearts will be filled with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.—Ms. 13, 1900. (“Words to Students.” Feb. 2, 1900.) (MR 900.4) 1SAT 317.1