The Review and Herald

597/1902

October 6, 1891

Missionary Work

(Concluded.)

EGW

Every work is to be brought in review before God. Every intrusted talent is to be estimated, to see what improvements have been made upon it. God knows what you have done in blessing others, and what you have not done. The True Witness says, “I know thy works.” He sees who are the willing, faithful workers, and who are the slothful servants. RH October 6, 1891, par. 1

I appeal to every man and woman who shall read these words, to remember that a reckoning is to be made by the One whom God hath appointed to judge the world. Every one must then give account of the talents intrusted to him. “None of us liveth to himself.” Christ said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Jesus, “for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame,” sacrificing his life that all who should believe on him might not perish, but have everlasting life. By this great act the love of God was revealed, and as many as believe on Christ are saved. RH October 6, 1891, par. 2

Here are the mighty agencies for moving the world. The cross of Calvary brings under tribute every power of those who believe on Christ, that they may be instrumentalities for the saving of souls. Human effort is to be united with the divine; it must derive its efficacy from heaven. We are to be laborers together with God. The Lord is represented as opening the hearts of men and women to receive the word, and the Holy Spirit makes the word effective. Those who receive the truth have that faith which leads to decided action, which works by love, and purifies the soul. Thus the truth is a sanctifier. Its transforming power is seen on the character. When it has been admitted into the inner sanctuary of the soul, it does not operate superficially, leaving the heart unchanged; it does not awaken the emotions merely, to the neglect of the judgment and will; but it goes down to the very depths of the nature, and brings the whole being into harmonious action. RH October 6, 1891, par. 3

Now the work of him who is truly converted, begins in earnest. He must work as Christ worked. He must not live any longer to himself, but wholly for the Lord. The world has lost him; for his life is hid with Christ in God. That means that self no longer has the supremacy. The light shining from the cross of Calvary holds him in its bright rays, and the Spirit has taken of the things of Christ, and revealed them to him in such an attractive light as to have a transforming effect on his habits and practices, showing that he is a new creature in Christ Jesus. Every dollar he recognizes as of value, not to gratify his taste or lust, not for him to hide in the earth, but to do good with, to help win souls to the truth, to build up the kingdom of Christ. His enjoyment is the same as that of Christ,—in seeing souls saved. Why are we doing so little for the salvation of men, when there is so much to do? Why are we doing so little to draw men and women and children to Christ? RH October 6, 1891, par. 4

In union there is strength; in disunion there is only weakness. We should work most diligently to answer the prayer of Christ that his disciples might be one, as he is one with the Father. If we are united to Christ, the formation of a church will be a benefit to all its members; for by entering into this church union, we pledge ourselves to help one another. The Holy Spirit does not lead us into this to be a mutual admiration society, but to put forth all the powers of our being to help one another, in sympathy, in love, to be more like Jesus. RH October 6, 1891, par. 5

The wrongs existing in the society of the world should never, never find sanction among Christians. There should be no sympathy with the rich in their oppression of the poor, no encouragement given the poor in their jealousy and envy of the rich. There should be no sanctioning of the strong and influential in trampling upon the weak and helpless. “All ye are brethren.” Exact and impartial is the Lord God of heaven. More than this, God demands that you open your hand wide to the needy, and have the tenderest compassion for those who are afflicted, or who are suffering from want. If you turn carelessly from their cry, the Lord will just as surely turn away from your prayer, and he will not hear you in your distress. RH October 6, 1891, par. 6

If you have the spirit of Christ, you will love as brethren; you will honor the humble disciple in his poor home, because God loves him as much as he loves you, and it may be more. He recognizes no caste. He places his own signet upon men, not by their rank, not by their wealth, not by intellectual greatness, but by their oneness with Christ. It is purity of heart, singleness of purpose, that constitutes the true value of human beings. The attention that is shown to the wealthy, and the neglect of the poor, will be remembered by the Lord, and he will place you where you will pass through experiences similar to those of the afflicted ones who suffered while you passed by on the other side. RH October 6, 1891, par. 7

All who are living in daily communion with Christ, will place his estimate upon men. They will reverence the good and pure, although these are poor in this world's goods. James says, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my foot-stool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” RH October 6, 1891, par. 8

Here is a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Who will be a doer of the word, and not a forgetful hearer? Here is plainly stated the course that the Lord has marked out for Christians to pursue. In social and religious life they should be governed by a resolute purpose to help and bless the needy poor. Avarice, selfishness, and covetousness are idolatry, and are dishonoring to God. “Let your conversation be without covetousness.” Tenderness, compassion, and benevolence are enjoined upon Christians. RH October 6, 1891, par. 9

“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase.” “Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also,”—Christian liberality. “But to do good and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” RH October 6, 1891, par. 10

Here the obligation is laid upon every one who has been trusted with our Lord's goods, to communicate the same to the worthy poor, and to give to God's cause as its needs demand. As God has bounteously given us, we should give back to him his own as he makes a place for it to be invested. Thus we honor God with the substance he has placed in our hands. Thus we shall not be living to ourselves. RH October 6, 1891, par. 11

God's claims underlie all other claims. He lays his hand upon all that he, from his fullness and beneficence, has intrusted to man, and says: “I am the rightful owner of the universe, and these goods are mine. Use them to advance my cause, to build up my kingdom, and my blessing shall rest upon you.” RH October 6, 1891, par. 12

Those who would have the character of Christ must practice his teachings. They must study the Pattern. Then they will reveal a Christ-like character in their association with one another, and their united influence will be exerted in helping to transform the character of others. They will drink in the sympathy of Jesus, and exercise the same forbearance, supporting, encouraging, and animating one another in the work, each being a vital member of the organized body, allied to Jesus, growing up into Christ, the living head, unto the full stature of men and women. Then they will shine as lights in the world, being of one judgment, moved by the same Spirit. They will be a distinct power in the world. The mighty cleaver of truth has detached us from the world, and placed us apart, a separate people. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Dwelling in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, we shall shine as lights in the world. RH October 6, 1891, par. 13

How important that, as we are chosen out of the world, to be separate from it, we should educate and train all our powers in obedience to God's supreme will, that no selfishness may exist among us, that all our work may be done as if done for Christ, not for wages or for applause; that we should not use our intrusted talents of influence and means to please ourselves, but that in all we do, we should manifest the self-denying spirit of Christ. We are not to profess to be Christ's, and then live a lie in our self-care and self-indulgence. We are to come out from the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” RH October 6, 1891, par. 14