The Signs of the Times

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February 10, 1890

God's Object in Blessing His People

(Concluded.)

EGW

There is a work for every Christian to do right at his own door, in his own neighborhood. But how many lose sight of eternal interests and are completely swallowed up in their temporal affairs. There is no necessity for this, for Jesus says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Make your own and your neighbor's eternal welfare the first and most important consideration. Your neighbors have souls to save or to lose, and God expects those to whom he has given the light, to make decided, interested efforts for others. They must remember the holy claims of the truth in every transaction of life. Let believers and unbelievers see in the life of those who claim to have a knowledge of advanced truth, a steady, clear, strong light shining forth in zeal, in devotion, in nobility of character, in their dealings with men. Then the Lord will deal bountifully with you, his servants. We should take time to pray. The time is all the Lord's, and we should be careful not to give others, in our example, a specimen of how we may rob God. Do not steal the time that should be given to God's service, and for gaining spiritual strength, and appropriate an extra half hour to your temporal affairs. May God forbid that those who have had the light of the truth, shall be found as were the foolish virgins, without oil in their vessels. ST February 10, 1890, par. 1

Suppose that you let your light shine, and through your devotion to the cause of God, a few others are led to consecrate their service to him, then they will be a blessing to still others that you could not reach by your personal influence. The Lord says, “I will make the places round about a blessing.” Your light is to be far-reaching. You are God's hired servant to give light, to give time, thought, tact, to his work; and if you do this, you will receive the approbation of your heavenly Father and the gift of eternal life. Talk of the Bible truth, live it out, and when Jesus comes the “Well done” will be spoken to you. ST February 10, 1890, par. 2

May the Lord open the eyes of our brethren that they may see the precious opportunities on every hand, and improve them. Be much in prayer. Let no person, or personal interest, separate you from God, who is the source of your strength. When you arise in the morning, gather all the members of your household together, as did Abraham, and invite them to seek God with you. If your business presses strongly, and urges you to your work, then there is still greater need to take time to pray, to present your petitions to a throne of grace, and secure the protecting care, the aid, the mercy and blessing of God. Do not grudge the time that God requires, and hurry through a faithless, formal prayer, that you may rush to your business. God can do much for you, even in your labor, if you ask him. He can send his angels to preserve you from accidents, from breakage, and losses of life and property. The reason why those who neglect the privileges that God has provided, have no more comfort and peace and joy, is that they do not pause to have communion with God, who is the source of their strength. Can God pour out his Spirit, can he bless us, when there is so much indifference to his service? He cannot give us his rich blessing without our co-operation in his plans. He says, “Them that honor me I will honor.” ST February 10, 1890, par. 3

It is just as convenient, just as essential, for us to pray three times a day as it was for Daniel. Prayer is the life of the soul, the foundation of spiritual growth. In your home, before your family, and before your workmen, you should testify to this truth. And when you are privileged to meet with your brethren in the church, tell them of the necessity of keeping open the channel of communication between God and the soul. Tell them that if they will find heart and voice to pray, God will find answers to their prayers. Tell them not to neglect their religious duties. Exhort the brethren to pray. We must seek if we would find, we must ask if we would receive, we must knock if we would have the door opened unto us. If there are only a few assembled, there are enough to claim the precious promises of God. The Father, the Son, and the holy angels will be present with you to behold your faith, your steadfast principle, and there you will have of the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit. God has rich blessings in store for those who will bring not only all the tithes into his store-house, but also time and strength of bone and brain and muscle into his service. Those who will do this, will walk in the light, and will triumph in God. ST February 10, 1890, par. 4

Let each professed follower of Christ carry out the principles of practical godliness in his own house. Religion in the home is the best proof of genuine piety. It is not the stranger, the visitor, the minister, that can best judge of your Christian devotion; it is your children, your servants, the workmen who toil in your fields, who can best tell whether or not you love God and keep his commandments. If your household, your workmen, are not better for your Christianity, then the truth has not wrought its designed work upon your soul. Let not your workmen say; “This man for whom we work has a queer sort of religion. There are no morning or evening prayers in his house. We begin and end the day with drudgery, and we have so much to do on the Sabbath that we can scarcely get time for secret prayer.” ST February 10, 1890, par. 5

Carry your Christianity into your family. Let a bright, steady light be burning. Let impressions be left upon minds of the truth of your God, and the value of his service, that will be as far-reaching as eternity. Oh, how much need there is of prayer, of tears, of faith! You should pray for the ministers, for those who are weak in faith. You should let your prayers follow the laborers as sharp sickles in the great harvest-field. You should wrestle with God as did Jacob. We may have pentecostal seasons even now, if the people will pray fervently, and believe in the promises of God. And when prayer and faith abound among God's people, the world will see a steady light shining forth from them. ST February 10, 1890, par. 6

We should study the experience of past life, study it just as we study the proof-sheets of an article, to find the errors and to note them on the margin of the page. We should do this daily, and note our faults so that we may avoid them in the future. Do not forget to examine yourselves whether you are in the faith. Prove your own selves, for unless Christ is in you, you are reprobates. Reform every unchristlike action, seeking the Spirit of your divine Master. Take your hearts, by nature cold as an iron wedge, and let melting mercy fall upon them, that they may be subdued by the grace of God, and impressed by the Spirit with the image of your divine Lord. ST February 10, 1890, par. 7