The Review and Herald

611/1902

March 15, 1892

The Enduring Treasure

(Concluded.)

EGW

The apostle continues, speaking of Christ, “Whom having not seen, we love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Then why are you mourning? Christ has said: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” It is for us to choose whether we will abide in his love, or by indulging selfishness will separate ourselves from him. He says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” In him there is joy that is not uncertain and unsatisfying. If the light that flows from Jesus has come to you, and you are reflecting it upon others, you show that you have joy that is pure, elevating, and ennobling. RH March 15, 1892, par. 1

Why should not the religion of Christ be represented as it really is, as full of attractiveness and power? Why should we not present before the world the loveliness of Christ? Why do we not show that we have a living Saviour, one who can walk with us in the darkness as well as in the light, and that we can trust in him? While we have been on this ground, we have seen clouds interpose between us and the sun, but we did not mourn and clothe ourselves in sackcloth for fear that we should never see the sun again. We manifested no anxiety about it, but waited as cheerfully as possible until the cloud passed away and revealed the sun. Just so in our trials and temptations. Clouds may seem to shut from us the bright beams of the sun of righteousness; but we know that the face of our Redeemer is not forever hidden. He is looking upon us with love and tender compassion. Let us not cast away our confidence, which hath great recompense of reward, but when clouds hang over the soul, let us keep our eyes fixed where we can see the sun of righteousness, and rejoice that we have a living Saviour. Think how beautiful was the light which we enjoyed, keep the mind stayed on Jesus, and the light will again shine upon us, and dismal thoughts will flee. We shall have joy in Christ, and shall go singing on our way to Mount Zion. This is what the Lord wants us to do. RH March 15, 1892, par. 2

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says, speaking of the gospel, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Why not keep your minds fixed on the unsearchable riches of Christ, that you may present to others the gems of truth? In the word of God there are rich mines of truth that we may spend our whole lifetime in exploring, and yet we shall find that we have only begun to view their precious stores. Sink the shaft deep, and bring up the hidden treasures. But it is impossible to do this while we indulge an idle, restless spirit, seeking constantly for something that will merely gratify the senses, something to amuse, and cause a foolish laugh. Well has the wise man said, “As the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool.” We should not set our minds upon such things as these, when there are unsearchable riches for us. It will take us all eternity to comprehend the riches of the glory of God and of Jesus Christ. But minds that are occupied with frivolous reading, with exciting stories, or with seeking after amusement, do not dwell upon Christ, and cannot rejoice in the fullness of his love. The mind that finds pleasure in foolish thoughts and trifling conversation, is as destitute of the joy of Christ as were the hills of Gilboa of dew or rain. Does not your own experience testify to this? How much peace of mind do you have at the close of a day spent in frivolity, in light and trifling conversation? Can you retire to rest at night, saying, “It is well, it is well with my soul; my life is hid with Christ in God, and when He who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in glory”? How often when you come into the house of God, into the solemn assembly, your thoughts are turned to that foolish remark which some one has made, to that idle story, or that comical thing which you read or saw. And the thought will come at just such a time as to eclipse a bright ray of the glory of Christ, and you lose the benefit of the heaven-sent light which you ought to receive. Keep the mind free from all such trash. RH March 15, 1892, par. 3

We need to be constantly filling the mind with Christ, and emptying it of selfishness and sin. When Christ came into the world, the leaders of the Jews were so permeated with Phariseeism that they could not receive his teachings. Jesus compared them to the shriveled wine skins which were not fit to receive the new wine from the vintage. He had to find new bottles into which to put the new wine of his kingdom. This was why he turned away from the Pharisees, and chose the lowly fishermen of Galilee. Jesus was the greatest teacher the world ever knew, and he chose men whom he could educate, and who would take the words from his lips, and send them down along the line to our time. So, by his Spirit and his word, he would educate you for his work. Just as surely as you empty your mind of vanity and frivolity, the vacuum will be supplied with that which God is waiting to give you,—his Holy Spirit. Then out of the good treasure of the heart you will bring forth good things, rich gems of thought, and others will catch the words and will begin to glorify God. Then you will not have the mind centered upon self. You will not be making a show of self; you will not be acting self; but your thoughts and affections will dwell upon Christ, and you will reflect upon others that which has shone upon you from the sun of righteousness. RH March 15, 1892, par. 4

Christ has said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Have you exhausted the fountain?—No; for it is inexhaustible. Just as soon as you feel your need, you may drink, and drink again. The fountain is always full. And when you have once drank of that fountain, you will not be seeking to quench your thirst from the broken cisterns of this world; you will not be studying how you can find the most pleasure, amusement, fun, and frolic. No; because you have been drinking from the stream which makes glad the city of God. Then your joy will be full; for Christ will be in you, the hope of glory. RH March 15, 1892, par. 5

Let us read further from Ephesians: “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known to the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Then why not receive the heavenly wisdom, and impart of it to others? God has declared what your wisdom is; he says it is foolishness, and that the weak things of God are stronger than men. We need the “manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have boldness by the faith of him.” This boldness is not presumption, but we come with confidence, as the children of God; as branches of the True Vine, we draw nourishment from it. RH March 15, 1892, par. 6

“Wherefore I desire that you faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” RH March 15, 1892, par. 7

When Christ dwells in your heart by faith, this rich experience will be yours. Then you will know that love is flowing into your hearts, and subduing every affection and every thought, and bringing them into captivity to Christ. You cannot explain it; human language can never explain how the love of Christ can take possession of the soul, and lead captive every power of the mind. But you will know it by a personal experience. RH March 15, 1892, par. 8

“Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus.” Praise and flattery of one another is forbidden in the Scriptures. It is an offense to God, and is an injury both to him who gives and him who receives praise. It is a snare to them; for it separates the soul from God. We must learn to place God's estimate upon men. Certain ones, you say, do not please you, and you do not enjoy their society; but these very ones may be nearer to God than you are. When we come to the judgment, we shall find that there are some whom we have esteemed very highly, whose names are not registered in the book of life. Your finite judgment approved their actions, when God did not approve them. And others, of whom you have a very low estimate, may be found to be precious jewels in the sight of God. Jesus never makes a mistake, as men do. In the scale of heaven, character is weighed. Let every tribute of praise that flows from the heart be offered to the Lord God of hosts. Praise him that he has given Jesus to be our righteousness, that he is weaving for us a garment in the loom of heaven, that we may be clothed, not unclothed, but clothed upon with the righteousness of Christ. RH March 15, 1892, par. 9

There is no need for us to hunger; there is no need for us to thirst, while the store-house of heaven is open for us, and the key is given into our possession. What is the key?—Faith, which is the gift of God. Unlock the store-house; take of its rich treasures. May God help us to lay hold upon the eternal realities, and “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” RH March 15, 1892, par. 10