The Signs of the Times

October 21, 1889

The Service of Love

[Morning talk at Stockholm, Sweden, June 27, 1886.]


“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.” ST October 21, 1889, par. 1

Those who are looking and waiting for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, will purify their hearts. They will realize that they must make continual progress in the divine life, that they must have a daily increasing faith, so as to be able to overcome. ST October 21, 1889, par. 2

We have no right to study our own pleasure and convenience; for we have been bought with a price, even with the life of the Son of God, therefore we should glorify God in our bodies, and in our spirits, which are his. Our Saviour has given to every man his work, and it is for each one to do his work to the very best of his ability. It is not for us to overlook the duties that lie directly in our pathway; but in the fear and love of God we must take them up in order, and the blessing of God will abide upon us. You should let your light shine before those who are in darkness. How carefully you should walk before those who do not have a knowledge of the truth, that you may recommend it to them. Our work does not end in simply living an exemplary life in a passive way; we are to work aggressively, and follow up our work with prayer, that God may prosper our efforts. If we do this we shall be as lights in the world. We need living faith, that we may take God at his word; for there is a battle for every soul to fight and it must be fought manfully, or we shall never see the city of God. Lack of faith has been manifested by the professed people of God in every age, and even at the present time the same want of faith is apparent. ST October 21, 1889, par. 3

When God sought to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, they manifested lack of faith by fearing the result of leaving the bondage of Pharaoh. When they came up to the Red Sea, with mountains on either side, and the armies of their enemies in their rear, they forgot how God had wrought for them with mighty signs and wonders, and they allowed unbelief to control their minds. They began to accuse the Lord, and to blame Moses for bringing them out of Egypt into the wilderness; but God commanded them to go forward, and when their feet touched the waters in obedience to his word, the sea opened before them and they passed through it on dry land. Our greatest need today is an increase of faith. We may be bound about by circumstances that make it seem impossible to advance, but if we do the best we can, the Lord will open the way before us. ST October 21, 1889, par. 4

The Lord does not propose to do that which we can do ourselves. He will educate us to do his work, and as we go forth to his service, he will work mightily with our efforts. God claims our talents, he requires that they shall be employed in his service. A portion of our substance is the Lord's also, and if we render him his just dues, he will recognize the offering and commend our course. He does not estimate the value of our gifts to his cause by their amount in money, he looks upon our motives. It is the heart service that makes the gift valuable. When we fulfill our obligations in faith, we shall not rob God even in little things, but we shall bear every responsibility that he places upon us to his glory. ST October 21, 1889, par. 5

When the Majesty of Heaven became a babe, and was intrusted to Mary, she did not have much to offer for the precious gift; but when she brought her two doves to the altar, they were received as an acceptable offering to the Lord. She could not offer the rare treasure that the wise men came to Bethlehem to lay before the Son of God, and yet the mother of Jesus was not rejected because of the smallness of her gift. It was the willingness of her heart that the Lord looked upon, and her love made her offering sweet. ST October 21, 1889, par. 6

Everyone who will do his best, to the utmost of his ability, will find that God will open ways before him. Everyone who will put his talents out to the exchangers will find that they will increase. We should ever remember that Christ for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich, and in faith and love we should act well our part. Let us show by our actions that we believe that we are responsible to God for the best use of our talents. In return for his mercies and blessings, let us render to him all he claims, and his favor will rest upon us. ST October 21, 1889, par. 7

I love Jesus, and I must plead with him that I may have more of his Spirit. God is willing to bless us, and he wants us to have a part in his kingdom. As we go out to labor for souls, our hearts should go up to God in gratitude and love for his rich blessing which he has so bountifully bestowed upon us. Let us all make it a principle that we will serve God through all time. Let us not neglect secret prayer. Let us meditate much on the goodness of our God, and on that love that has been manifested toward us in the gift of Christ. In our association with one another in public or in private life, may we ever seek to breathe an influence that will tell on the side of truth. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ST October 21, 1889, par. 8

Let us show by our works how much we value the truth and the souls of our fellowmen. Let us be diligent, sincere, and faithful. Let us trade with the talents that God has bestowed upon us, and intrusted to us as his stewards, and if we work with disinterested, self-sacrificing effort, the Lord will bless us, and by and by we shall have a glorious reward, even eternal life. ST October 21, 1889, par. 9