The Youth’s Instructor


February 20, 1896

Talents Are to Be Consecrated to God



Nothing entrusted to us is our own. When we feed our pride by dwelling upon what we consider our superior points, when we regard our talents as of our own creating, and look upon ourselves as better than our neighbors, we make a wrong use of our advantages. We act as though we had a perfect right to honor and glorify ourselves, and were justified in doing as our inclinations lead. YI February 20, 1896, par. 1

We should recognize the fact that in employing our talents, we are dealing with the Lord's goods, and must render to him a strict account. Have we lived for self? Have we studied our convenience, our inclination, our will, or way? Have we been slothful servants? If we have, our portion will be with hypocrites and unbelievers. There is no place for idle dreamers in the kingdom of God. There is great need that every one shall do his best. Time and opportunity have been lost through self-service. Talents have been wrapped in a napkin and buried in the earth, when the talent was the entrusted gift of God, to be used in the Master's service. We are individually responsible, and shall have to render an account for the cultivation of every gift that was to have been used decidedly for the interests of God. O that your youth would not disappoint and dishonor God by being selfish and slothful, and by not putting to use the talents which God has given them! YI February 20, 1896, par. 2

Those who love Christ will love those for whom he has died. They will interest themselves not alone in the most promising human subjects, but in the most needy, the most commonplace and unattractive. By faith they will see that if these can be won to love Christ, they will be workers for others, they will echo the words of Christ, and point to him who said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” They will repeat the invitation, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? harken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” YI February 20, 1896, par. 3

This is a work that is neglected, and even untouched, in many portions of the Lord's vineyard, because so many who claim to believe the truth do not consecrate themselves to the work of the Master. They do not work close by and far off. If they did this, they would drink of the living water, and would not be longing for some chance to go to some place of amusement, or be eager for some change in their lives. They would see the necessity of yoking up with Christ, and of being faithful stewards of his grace. They would receive grace and impart grace. Self would be forgotten in earnest work to do others good. YI February 20, 1896, par. 4

Why should we not perfect a Christlike character? Why should we not manifest his indwelling by corresponding works? The Master's vineyard comprises the whole world. There is a large field for our efforts. We should study the word of God, not in a stupid, sleepy, indifferent way, but with zeal and earnestness, longing for a knowledge of the truth. We should keep the mind pure by avoiding the reading of novels. He who allows himself to become infatuated with fiction, will have no genuine interest in the study of the word of God; for the mind becomes diseased by contact with evil imaginations. YI February 20, 1896, par. 5

While searching for hidden treasures of truth, rich jewels will be discovered, and the more you contemplate them, the more valuable they will appear. You will say, in comparing the word of God to the factitious, light reading that you have loved in the past. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” The word of God provides rich food for the intellect, and provides nourishment for the spiritual faculties of the humblest learner in the school of Christ. Those who study the word of God, and practise the piety that is revealed in clear lines, will testify to the complete nothingness of the human agent when Christ is not abiding in the soul. When Christ dwells in the heart by faith, we have all that is essential to constitute the human agent an active, cheerful, happy, obedient laborer together with God. The heart is filled with thankfulness, with praise, joy, and love. The sunshine of Christ's righteousness is in the soul, and Christ's love abounding in the heart flows out in beneficent works to others. YI February 20, 1896, par. 6

Christ has withdrawn his personal, human presence from the world; but he has told us that if we ask anything in his name, he will speak to the Father as our Advocate, and we shall have the request of our hearts. If our youth will place entire dependence upon Christ, if they will enter his ranks as faithful soldiers, realizing that they must render an account to God for the time and talents entrusted to them, they will have works corresponding to their faith, and will receive the approval of God. On the day of final accounts, they will hear the benediction, “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.” YI February 20, 1896, par. 7

Mrs. E. G. White