The Signs of the Times


February 3, 1890

God's Object in Blessing His People


Christ's church is to be a blessing, and its members are to be blessed as they bless others. The object of God in choosing a people before all the world, was not only that he might adopt them as his sons and daughters, but that through them he might confer on the world the benefits of divine illumination. When the Lord chose Abraham it was not simply to be the special friend of God, but to be a medium of the precious and peculiar privileges the Lord desired to bestow upon the nations. He was to be a light amid the moral darkness of his surroundings. Whenever God blesses his children with light and truth, it is not only that they may have the gift of eternal life, but that those around them may also be spiritually enlightened. Jesus has said of his followers, “Ye are the light of the world,” “a city set upon a hill” that “cannot be hid;” “Ye are the salt of the earth.” And when God makes his children salt, it is not only for their own preservation, but that they may be agents in preserving others. The religion of Christ is not a selfish religion. It is not to be kept under lock and key, but it is to be an influence of power going forth from every genuine Christian to enlighten those that sit in darkness. Every soul connected with a true Christian will be made better thereby. We are to be God's light-bearers, reflecting the steady beams of heaven upon others. ST February 3, 1890, Art. A, par. 1

It is through the merits of Christ that all our spiritual and temporal blessings are given us to enjoy. The salvation of Christ was placed within our reach that we might lay hold upon it by faith, that we might weave the love of Christ into our characters, and practice it in our lives, that we might be a blessing to all our race. But not one of us can shed light upon others unless we ourselves have gathered rays of divine illumination from the word of God. We must have the Christ-like mould of character or we cannot be true representatives of our Lord. We can do nothing without the help of God. The Spirit of God must work with our efforts, and if God's blessing attends us, we shall be channels of light. The Lord is willing to give us all an experience, which, if improved, will bring us from the lowlands of earth into close, heavenly relationship with God, and every fiber of selfishness will be uprooted from our natures. Do you shine as living stones in God's building? There are many who say, “I am so full of business, I cannot give time to religious things.” But if they cannot give time to the service of the Lord, can they expect that he will command his angels to prosper the work of their hands? We have not the genuine religion, unless it exerts a controlling influence upon us in every business transaction. We should have practical godliness to weave into our life-work. We should have the transforming grace of Christ upon our hearts. We need a great deal less of self, and more of Jesus. ST February 3, 1890, Art. A, par. 2

Many who profess to believe the truth, deal too closely with their hired help, and God is not well pleased, and cannot bless and prosper such in their business. They need the converting, sanctifying power of the truth in their souls. They need to become Christ-like. Everyone who has to deal with others, should make their case his own; for just as we deal with others will God deal with us. We are treating Christ as we treat his children; for he is represented in the person of his saints. The truth of God must sanctify the soul, refine and elevate the character, and we must obtain the heavenly mould, before we shall be fitted for the courts above. ST February 3, 1890, Art. A, par. 3

Many are situated where they are brought in contact with believers in present truth, and with those who do not believe, and how important that all the lower lights should be trimmed and burning, that all may catch rays of light from the shining lamps of those who profess to be the followers of Christ. We need plenteous grace for this time of spiritual declension. We need plenteous grace to keep us humble, to make us prayerful, pitiful, tender-hearted, and courteous, that we may deal with others as the Lord designs we should. ST February 3, 1890, Art. A, par. 4

Have you, who have hired help, let your light shine to your workmen, that they, too, may be laborers together with God? God has given you precious privileges and advantages in sending you the light of his truth, and you are to improve these blessings, and let others share your mercies. What large missionary fields there are right around your homes, what opportunities every day for you to speak of the value of God's promises, to revive poor souls who are compelled to labor hard for small wages, to encourage the hearts of those who are struggling with poverty, who have scarcely the bare necessities of life! The children of God are called upon to show forth the praises of him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light; for they are to be Christ's representatives. They should ever seek to teach those with whom they come in contact, of higher, holier truths than the questions of commonplace life. The Lord says through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” ST February 3, 1890, Art. A, par. 5

(Concluded next week.)