The Signs of the Times


November 30, 1888

God's Requirement of His People


The Lord cannot use men and women in his service, in any branch of his work, unless they possess a meek and teachable spirit. Those whom God employs in his service must be true to principle, but, while they must not swerve from the plain path of duty for any selfish interest, they are not to be bigoted and puffed up with self-esteem. Unless the heart is in connection with the Source of all wisdom, there will not be an abiding sense of the sacredness of the work. Workers for Christ must derive all their life and inspiration from God. They must seek to be conformed to his will and his ways, and not seek to have their own will and way. He who would become a living channel of light, must be governed by something more than habit or opinion. He must live hourly in conscious communion with God. His life must be brought into contact with the principles of truth and righteousness. He must become a partaker of divine nature. ST November 30, 1888, par. 1

The servant of God must be continually seeking for intellectual power, and every acquisition of the mind must be devoted to glorifying God. We must have enlarged conceptions of what the requirement of God is of his people. We are to love God with all our heart, might, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. This love will elevate the taste, subdue the appetite, and control the passions. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, these are the fruits of the Spirit. “They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” They are endowed with the heavenly endowment, even with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is of great value in the sight of God. God requires us to reach the highest standard. ST November 30, 1888, par. 2

We must not be content with anything short of the divine illumination from the central Light of the universe. When we have this illumination, we shall see the necessity of pressing onward and upward, of elevating the standard, of cultivating the loftiest ambition, and of reaching the highest attainments. We shall constantly draw from the Source of all wisdom, and live as in the sight of the Lord. We should consecrate all our powers to the service of Christ. He has loved us; he has died to redeem us, and to wash us from our sins in his own blood. Self must die. All success and honor must be accredited to Him who has died that we might live. Christ must be inscribed upon our banners. How slow we are to understand that God requires the service of our whole heart, an unreserved consecration of all the powers of our being. He claims all there is of us. All that mortal man can render of service in any direction, must be devoted to the work of Christ, if we would meet the requirement of God. ST November 30, 1888, par. 3

Your talent has been intrusted to you by the Lord, and you will be held responsible for its employment and improvement. It is the design of the Giver that it shall be used in accordance with his divine will. We are not only to work out our own salvation, but we are to love our fellow-men as we love ourselves. We must manifest the glory of God. This is the high aim of our existence. We must be in such a condition that we can appreciate the light that God has brought into the experience of others. Our lives and characters are influenced by the physical, intellectual, and moral acquirements of past generations. If we remain in ignorance, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we put to the stretch every power, and task every ability to the utmost, with an eye single to the glory of God, we shall not fail of doing a valuable work for God. ST November 30, 1888, par. 4

The time in which we live is full of the most solemn importance. There is nothing that can be more acceptable to God than to have the youth dedicate their lives to his service in the bloom and freshness of their years. Their talents may become a power for God, when they are properly cultivated. Their characters may be characters that will be acceptable to Heaven; but they must be shaped by line upon line, and precept upon precept. They must be modeled after the divine pattern. ST November 30, 1888, par. 5

Those who are educating the youth in the service of God, are doing a solemn and sacred work. They are channels through which flows the current of spiritual light from the throne of God. Without being conscious of it, they are doing a work that is far-reaching in its influence. In the work of saving souls, we are to know whereof we speak. The words of John are full of significance when he says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” He affirmed that he had known him that was from the beginning, and because of this, he was able to impart knowledge to those whom he sought to teach. We are to remember the experiences of the past, to recall the days of old, and then to be able to give the trumpet no uncertain sound, because we can affirm whereof we know. We can encourage others to reach forward for a better life, because we have had an experience ourselves in the things of God. ST November 30, 1888, par. 6

When your soul is the temple for the indwelling Spirit of the Saviour, the gross elements of your nature will be consumed, and the whole being will become a living purpose. He who is truly Christ's will have an experience like that of Daniel, and the fruits of the Spirit will appear in his life. There are powers within us that are paralyzed through sin, that need the vivifying influence of the grace of Christ, that they may be restored. A mighty power from the Life-giver must quicken them to life, and rouse them to action. When this is your experience, you can work as Jesus has given you an example. Divine light and love will be reflected upon those who feel that they are sick in both soul and body. Jesus invites his own presence to your soul. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Shall we not open the door of our hearts to the divine guest? ST November 30, 1888, par. 7

Those who engage in the work of God must be pure in heart, and circumspect in deportment. The souls of God's people should not be like a barren waste, as are so many souls at this time. God has given to every man some ability to use in his service, and it is God's design that it should be employed to his glory, and man's good. Many are losing much, simply because they will not learn in the school of Christ. They might gain eternal treasure, but, in turning away from the divine Teacher, their consciences are violated and seared, and the admonitions of God's word lose all power to stir their hearts. But there is no need of making such a failure. Christ will come into the heart and abide there if you will but cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. ST November 30, 1888, par. 8