The Review and Herald

543/1902

September 2, 1890

Ye Are Laborers Together With God

EGW

Greater and wiser efforts must be put forth to help the churches in our land. The elders and those who have leading places in the church should give more thought to their plans for conducting the work. They should arrange matters so that every member of the church shall have a part to act, that none may lead an aimless life, but that all may accomplish what they can according to their several ability. It is in working for others that we forget ourselves, but those who do nothing for their fellow-men, become morbid and self-centered, and time hangs heavily upon their hands. It is very essential that such an education should be given to the members of the church that they will become unselfish, devoted, efficient workers for God; and it is only through such a course that the church can be prevented from becoming fruitless and dead. It is those who are not engaged in this unselfish labor who have a sickly experience, and become worn out with struggling, doubting, murmuring, sinning, and repenting, until they lose all sense as to what constitutes genuine religion. They feel that they cannot go back to the world, and so they hang on the skirts of Zion, having petty jealousies, envyings, disappointments, and remorse. They are full of fault-finding, and feed upon the mistakes and errors of their brethren. They have only a hopeless, faithless, sunless experience in their religious life. This is the condition of the church of which Christ speaks when he says, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” RH September 2, 1890, par. 1

Let every member of the church become an active worker,—a living stone, emitting light in God's temple. Those who bear responsibilities in the church should devise ways in which an opportunity will be given to every member of the church to act some part in the work. This has not been done in the past, and there are but few who realize how much has been lost on this account. Plans have not been formed whereby the talent of all could be employed in the service of the cause. The enemy is not slow in employing those who are idlers in the church, and he uses the unappreciated talent of the members of the church for his own work. RH September 2, 1890, par. 2

A greater work than has ever been done must be done for the young. They must be won with sympathy and love; all barriers must be broken down between them and those who would help them. The most good is not accomplished by long speeches and many words of exhortation or reproof. The greatest tact must be manifested, for human minds must be dealt with carefully, and the Lord will work with those who are fully consecrated to his service. Jesus is drawing the youth, and we must all work with him, putting no forbidding aspects upon our holy religion. We must partake of the divine nature ourselves, and then present Christ to others as the friend of sinners in such a way as to attract souls to leave the ranks of the evil one, and no longer work as agents to destroy souls. We must seek to press the youth with all their fresh vigor and ability, into the ranks of Christ, enlisting them as valiant soldiers in the great fight for truth. We have sadly neglected our duty toward the young, for we have not gathered them in, and induced them to put out their talents to the exchangers. A different mold should be placed upon the work. There should be less sermonizing and more personal labor. Fresh manna must be gathered from the word of God, and every man have his portion in due season. A great work can be done by dropping a word privately to your young friends, and to those you meet in your daily walks. RH September 2, 1890, par. 3

Long sermons fail to do good, for both the speaker and the hearer become weary. Discourses should be shortened, and the physical mental powers of the minister should be preserved for ministering, and a far greater work could be accomplished. If you were in connection with Christ, bright jewels of truth would flash their light into the minds of your listeners. The ambassadors of Christ should educate themselves in such a way that they may be able to minister effectually, not only in word and doctrine, but in watching for souls as those who shall have to give an account. No man can be a faithful steward of the grace of God who does not do this essential, but much neglected work. I have been shown that great neglect and indifference have existed in regard to the proper feeding of the flock of God. All should have their portion of meat in due season. Those who have ministered, have drifted out of the grace of Christ, and have been content with a legal religion, becoming self-righteous and self-sufficient. The minister cannot give to others that which he himself does not possess. If Christ is not abiding in the soul, how can he be presented to others in harmonious words of love? Many are able to talk upon doctrinal points, but they are ignorant of the lessons of Christ. Such men cannot be a blessing either in the pulpit or at the fireside. RH September 2, 1890, par. 4

A special work must be done for the children. Do not neglect the lambs of the flock. Christ said to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” and again he said, “Feed my lambs.” The best results would follow proper labor for the youth. Souls have gone to ruin that might have been saved if they had been labored for with perseverance and love. There must be a constant effort put forth both by precept and example, to save our children. Do not think that scolding will bring them to the fold of Christ. The youth are to be won by love. Be interested in them, speak with them, pray with and for them. Do not be found speaking light and trifling words, jesting and joking, but let all your conversation give a holy evidence that you possess genuine piety. Those in whose hearts Christ abides by faith, know how to speak a word in season, they know how to pray with the sinner, they know how to present the truth as it is in Jesus. The lessons must be given in such a manner that Christ may receive all the praise. All that we have, all that we are, all that we can do, is God's; it belongs to him; therefore when we give the best, and all there is of us, it is only that which belongs to God. RH September 2, 1890, par. 5

When we look to the cross, and there behold the suffering Son of the infinite God, our hearts are moved to repentance. Jesus volunteered to meet the highest claims of the law, that he might be the justifier of all who believe on him. We look to the cross, and see in Jesus a fully satisfied and reconciled God. Jesus is righteousness. What fullness is expressed in these words! And when we can say individually, “The Lord is my righteousness,” then we may indeed rejoice; for the atoning sacrifice seen through faith brings peace and comfort and hope to the trembling soul weighed down beneath the sense of guilt. The law of God is the detector of sin, and as the sinner is drawn to the dying Christ, he sees the grievous character of sin, and repents and lays hold on the remedy, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. RH September 2, 1890, par. 6

We feel deeply thankful that some of our brethren are making an application of the truth to their own souls, through which new hopes and joys are sure to find place within the heart. A deeper Christian experience is greatly needed. The promises are sure; they stand fast forever; we must individually take them to ourselves. Christ is speaking to us in his word. May the Sun of Righteousness send his bright beams into the chambers of the mind and into the soul temple, that the mist of doubt and uncertainty may be dispelled. Then may the soul, all warm with the love of God, in earnestness and power preach Christ and him crucified. Such preaching will not be in vain, but as it was when Christ, the great teacher, was upon the earth, many will be astonished and charmed, and hearts will be melted and subdued as they contemplate his matchless love. As the Saviour is lifted up before the people, they will see his humiliation, his self-denial, his self-sacrifice, his goodness, his tender compassion, his sufferings to save fallen man, and will realize that the atonement of Christ was not the cause of God's love, but the result of that love. Jesus died because God loved the world. The channel had to be made whereby the love of God should be recognized by man, and flow into the sinner's heart in perfect harmony with truth and justice. RH September 2, 1890, par. 7