Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


MR No. 418—Proper Motivation for Christian Service

While doing aggressive work in America, remember how much more difficult it is to labor in foreign fields, where our brethren are deprived of many of the advantages that are enjoyed by those laboring in America. The carrying forward of the work in Germany or in any other foreign country demands the sharing of our advantages more freely with them because of the disadvantages in those fields. Remember that charity—love—is true blessedness. Whether in the Old Country or in America, how can our brethren give a better illustration of the fruit of the tree of life than by sharing their advantages with others in more difficult places? Our spiritual blessings will be proportionate to our self-denying works.... 6MR 415.1

Let all engage in this effort from pure, unselfish motives, cooperating with Elder Conradi and his companions in labor, working not because of personal ambition or for the praise of men, but because they long to act a part with Christ in the work of saving perishing souls. In Christ's service, everything depends upon the motives prompting believers to action. Those who labor for the love of souls will advance His work in our world. 6MR 415.2

Let no one cherish a zeal that is not according to knowledge. Impulse is good when it is controlled by the Holy Spirit of God; but he who does not cherish sanctified principles will practice dishonesty in order to make a wonderful display, that others may see “what I can do.” By “I,” selfishness is wrought out. “I” disregards greater need elsewhere, grasps too much, and selfishly builds up his own work. Such a course of action is a sad spectacle to angels and to men. None are to circumscribe their influence, their God-given talent of means, in order to make a display, which God would have to destroy in order to bring them to their senses. 6MR 415.3

Who has elevated man and given him power? Who upholds and sustains him, increasing his efficiency to do good? Is this done in order that man may glorify himself? No true disciple of Christ can be self-centered. Personal ambition will strive for the mastery with our German brethren in America, as it has been and still is striving with our English-speaking brethren. But, my brethren, watch unto prayer, lest ye enter into temptation. Be neither selfish in withholding means, nor selfish in devising and carrying out unsanctified, ambitious projects that will absorb the means that should be used in other places. Realize that as Christ's disciples you are in duty bound to give the truth to the world.... 6MR 416.1

My German brethren and sisters in America, if you work with self-denial, doing what you can to further the advancement of the cause in new fields, the Lord will help and strengthen and bless you. Trust in the assurance of His presence, which sustains you, and which is light and life. Do all for love of Jesus and the precious souls for whom He has died. Work with a pure, divinely-wrought purpose to glorify God. The Lord sees and understands, and He will use you, despite your weakness, if you offer your talent as a consecrated gift to His service; for in active, disinterested service the weak become strong and enjoy His precious commendation. The joy of the Lord is an element of strength. If you are faithful, the peace that passeth all understanding will be your reward in this life, and in the future life you will enter into the joy of your Lord.—Letter 121, 1902, pp. 4, 5, 7. (To “My German Brethren and Sisters in America,” typed August 7, 1902.) 6MR 416.2