Ms 2, 1903

1903

Ms 2, 1903

Following Christ

NP

January 16, 1903 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 1BC 1095; 5BC 1096; AH 386-387; CG 151, 193, 249, 271-272, 487-488; 2MCP 453-454; CTr 89; 13MR 364-365.

Christ’s true followers will walk in His footsteps. He has left us an example that we should follow where He leads the way. For each one of us there is a live, disordered self to master, or it will master us. There are those who, because they are determined to serve self, will never be able to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Christians who live for self dishonor their Redeemer. They may apparently be very active in the service of the Lord, but they weave self into all that they do. Sowing the seeds of selfishness, they must at last reap a harvest of corruption. It cannot but be thus. Eternal life cannot possibly be the result of their lifework, unless they see their mistake and surrender all to God. Ms2-1903.1

Service for self takes a variety of forms. Some of these forms seem harmless. Apparent goodness gives them the appearance of genuine goodness. But they bring no glory to the Lord. By their service His cause is hindered. Christ says, “He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” [Matthew 12:30.] Ms2-1903.2

Those who bring self into their work cannot be trusted. If they would lose sight of self in Christ, their efforts would be of value to His cause. They would then conform the life to His teachings. They would form their plans in harmony with His great plan of love. Selfishness would be banished from their efforts. Ms2-1903.3

The Lord does not accept the service of those who live an inefficient, do-nothing life. They exert not a high, holy influence, but an influence that leads away from Christ. Self-denial, humility of mind, nobility of purpose, marked the Saviour’s life. He declares that as He lived, so we are to live. He has prepared for us opportunities and has marked out the path in which we may safely follow. His footprints lead along the pathway of self-sacrifice. To His disciples He says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24.] Ms2-1903.4

From the beginning to the close of His earthly ministry, Christ went about doing good. In His life no sin appeared. No selfishness marred word or act. “Which of you convinceth Me of sin?” He asked the Pharisees, knowing that they would find nothing of which to accuse Him. [John 8:46.] And at His trial, Pilate declared emphatically, “I find in Him no fault at all.” [John 18:38.] Ms2-1903.5

As we pass through life there come to us many opportunities for service. All around us there are open doors for ministry. By the right use of the talent of speech we may do much for the Master. Words are a power for good when they are weighted with the tenderness and sympathy of Christ. There are those who have been entrusted with the Lord’s money, and these are to invest this money in such a way that they can bring returns to the Lord as the result of the investment. Ms2-1903.6

As we minister to those in need of help, we co-operate with the heavenly angels. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14.] When Christ was born in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to the shepherds keeping watch by night. Through the silent hours they had been talking together of the promised Saviour and praying for the coming of the King to David’s throne. “And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” [Luke 2:9-11.] Ms2-1903.7

And suddenly the whole plain was lighted with the bright shining of the hosts of God. Earth was hushed, and heaven stooped to listen to the song, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Verse 14.] Ms2-1903.8

Many feel that it would be a great privilege to visit the scenes of Christ’s life on earth, to walk where He trod, to look upon the lake where He loved to teach and the valleys and hills on which His eyes so often rested. But we need not go to Palestine in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find His footprints beside the sickbed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great city, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation. Ms2-1903.9

All may find something to do. “The poor always have ye with you,” Jesus said [John 12:8], and none need feel that there is no place where they can labor for Him. Millions upon millions of souls ready to perish, bound in chains of ignorance and sin, have never so much as heard of Christ’s love for them. Were our condition and theirs reversed, what would we desire them to do for us? All this, so far as lies in our power, we are under the most solemn obligation to do for them. Christ’s rule of life, by which every one of us must stand or fall in the judgment, is, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” [Matthew 7:12.] Ms2-1903.10

“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth the heart, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to ever man according to his works?” [Proverbs 24:11, 12.] In the great judgment day, those who have not worked for Christ, who have drifted along thinking of themselves, caring for themselves, will be placed by the Judge of the whole earth with those who did evil. They will receive the same condemnation. Ms2-1903.11

To every soul a trust is given. Of every one the Chief Shepherd will demand, “Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” And “what wilt thou say when He shall punish thee?” [Jeremiah 13:20, 21.] Ms2-1903.12