The Youth’s Instructor


January 24, 1901

The Christian Pathway


To be a Christian means to possess the attributes of Christ's character, to have a heart imbued with love for God, to delight to honor God, to reach earnestly after heavenly attainments. It means to render to God grateful songs of praise from a heart swelling with gratitude, to appreciate all that has its origin in God and heaven. The Christian loves what God loves. A heart filled with Christian love is lifted far above the atmosphere of selfishness. It lives in a pure, bright, holy atmosphere. The love that God puts into the heart is a love dictated by holy impulses, sustained by a sense of duty, and cherished by a resolute will. In the soul where this love is cherished, virtue will grow like a tree in a well-cultivated garden. YI January 24, 1901, par. 1

To be a Christian means to possess the Christian graces, to bear fruit unto righteousness, even the fruits of the Spirit,—“love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” To be a Christian means to practice religion in the home. Where is it more needed? Home influence, all-powerful for good, is such only as it is carefully cherished. It can not bear the blast of rudeness or neglect without receiving a wound which can with difficulty be healed. YI January 24, 1901, par. 2

The motives and tastes of the Christian are entirely opposite to those of the worldling. It is impossible to be in harmony with Christ and with the world at the same time. But among the people of God, the love of the world has been increasing to an alarming extent. We feel alarmed as we see so many who profess to accept Christ going on from day to day the same as before. Too often believers act in such a way that unbelievers have no cause to think that they are living any nearer Christ than they themselves. Their conversation is flippant, their actions are unlike Christ. Many who take upon themselves baptismal vows do not live these vows even for one day. They have not come out from the world. They do not know what it means to hold communion with God. We fear that many youth have stopped short of genuine conversion. By their actions they testify that they have no part with Christ,—that they are only pretenders. YI January 24, 1901, par. 3

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” A genuine change of heart carries its evidence with it. The life of the one who is truly converted is separate and distinct from the life of the worldling. Instead of being absorbed in worldly pleasure, the Christian hungers and thirsts for the bread of life and the water of salvation. He is more anxious to learn the way of the Lord, and to secure his favor, than to please himself or those who are not in harmony with God. YI January 24, 1901, par. 4

“Enter ye in at the strait gate.... Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” When Christ spoke these words, many of his hearers were convinced of his doctrine, but they needed to be aroused to greater earnestness in regard to their eternal welfare. They had come to the place where two roads met, the wrong one apparently the most attractive. They had good desires, but they were not wholly decided to serve God. They followed the Saviour “afar off.” The world's Redeemer saw their peril, and sought to rouse them to a realization of their danger. He longed to see them making an entire surrender to God. It pained him to see them living in a state of indecision. YI January 24, 1901, par. 5

His voice was raised in earnest entreaty in their behalf. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,” he said, “and many there be which go in thereat.” This road is wide; and in it the pleasure-lovers and the proud will find abundant room. The selfish, the covetous, the hypocrite, the sons and daughters of levity, the unthankful and unholy, will find the broad road well suited to their taste. YI January 24, 1901, par. 6

To walk in the narrow road requires earnest, self-denying effort. It is because of the straitness of this way that so few find it. Many seek to enter, but fail because of lack of earnestness. And in the end they step into the broad road, failing to see that the narrow way has joys that would compensate for any trials. YI January 24, 1901, par. 7

Some who have entered the broad road hear God's voice calling to them, “Enter ye in at the strait gate,” and make a decided stand, determined to proceed no farther in the broad road. Through repentance and faith in Christ they enter the strait gate. They realize that all self-indulgence must be given up, that pride must be humbled, and self crucified. They see that they must lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets them. They must urge their way through every obstacle, denying self, lifting the cross, resisting temptation, grasping all the help that God has placed within their reach. In deed and in truth they must accept the Saviour. They must press their way along the narrow path of self-sacrifice; for it is the path of salvation. Although the voices of pleasure-lovers invite them to carelessness and selfish enjoyment, they must turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. YI January 24, 1901, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White