The Review and Herald

1001/1902

July 11, 1899

The Christian's Duty

EGW

Probationary time is our period of test and trial. It cost a price that can not be computed,—the life-blood of the Son of the infinite God. This time is an entrusted talent, a precious gift, to be improved in God's service. The Christian will not trifle one hour away. He will spend it in working the works of Christ. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

The Lord calls for the whole heart, the entire affections. He will not accept any divided service. When we give all we have and are to him, our love for those for whom he died is strengthened. Finding its source in Christ, this pure, holy affection flows forth in a rich current to those who come within the sphere of our influence. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

In doing Christ's will, we stand on a high and holy field of action. He is the foundation, the source of all power. All his workers are to be tributary to him. They are to realize that they are under obligation to use his gifts with grateful liberality. They are to be cheerful almoners of his treasures. Thus, one with Christ, they walk and work in harmony with him. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

The lack of practical obedience will constitute the ground of the condemnation of those that are lost. Those who refuse his counsel, who will not co-operate with him, in probationary time, would not co-operate with him in heaven. They reject his offer of help when it is essential for them to represent his character, and it would not be safe to take them to heaven. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

The Lord is displeased with many who claim to believe the truth. They act like unreasonable, passionate children. Christ can not accept their work. He does not need the service of those who are inspired by the enemy of all good. Many connected with the work of God give way to their temper. They fret and grumble when things do not move in a way that pleases them. The Lord is dishonored by this discontent and faultfinding. Those who give way to these traits of character can not inspire confidence as Christians. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

Christ is always calm and dignified, and those who labor with him will use, in their work, the oil of grace. Their words and actions will be soothing. They will realize that the wrath of man is altogether unnecessary for the advancement of God's work. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

“All ye are brethren.” When our ministers visit the churches, let them not think to help the people by finding fault with them. Let those who visit the churches cultivate a spirit of meekness and brotherly love. Let their words be Christlike. Let them show that they are hidden with Christ in God. Then their words will have a power that will impress the hearts of the people. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

If those who fight for their own way would take time to think; if they would plead with God to give them self-control; if they would watch unto prayer, their words of complaint and faultfinding would be much fewer. They would not find pleasure in criticizing. Thankfulness would take possession of their poor, worrying, fretting hearts, and they would rest in God, trusting in him to steer the ship. God could manage if we had nothing to do or say, but he permits us, yes, he invites us, to co-operate with him. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

What work are we doing for the Lord? Have we consecrated ourselves to him? When we join the church, we enter into solemn covenant to use our God-given powers in exerting a healthful influence. This God desires us to do at all times and in all places. In this age of the world, when iniquity abounds, discouragement will come to every soul. Let us take all our perplexities to God in prayer. He is our refuge in time of trouble. Do we desire to have our prayers answered? Then we must not be faint-hearted. We must not allow Satan to cast his hellish shadow between our souls and God. This he will strive every day to do. And many of the professed children of God wrap themselves about with this dark shadow. But this need not be. When Satan tempts us to doubt, faith must rise in unfaltering strength, refusing to yield to the darkness, saying, Lord, I cast my helpless soul on thee. I must have light. I must feel the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining into my soul. When we seek the Lord with full purpose of heart, our sincere prayers will cleave the darkness, and the light of Christ's glory will clothe the soul. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

In the last great day every man will be rewarded according as his work has been. In unmistakable lines, Christ has laid down the terms of his settlement. So definite are they that no one can offer an excuse for not walking in the way of the Lord. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 10

Diligence in worldly business is not enough. Busy activity in things that are as nothingness will not tell one jot or tittle in favor of any soul. The sum and substance of pure and undefiled religion is specified in God's word: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This is the outgrowth of inward piety, tenderness, and love. The church whose members live this scripture will be a living power. Its members will not banish the love of God from their hearts by gossiping and recounting their grievances. The voice will not be used to weaken and destroy souls. Subjects will be dwelt upon that will bring rest to souls; words will be spoken that will comfort the feeble-minded and support the weak. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 11

God calls upon us to be his agencies in dispensing his gifts to others. When men appropriate everything for their own advantage, he withdraws his gifts from them, and places them in the hands of those who will be faithful stewards. Christ gave himself for our salvation, and in turn we must without reserve give ourselves to him. This is God's plan for the discipline of his people. Those who love God sincerely watch for opportunities to prove to the world that they are new men and women in Christ. They do not live to amuse and glorify self. The Lord is their strength, and he enables them to perform holy, beneficent actions. Our outflow of charity is to be proportionate to Christ's liberality to us. Thus we live true religion. Rich and poor need to study what God's word teaches on this subject. They may find culture and education in learning how to give. Christ declared, “The poor always ye have with you.” He has plainly stated that the decisions of the last day will turn upon the question of practical benevolence. To have ministered to the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the sick, are the credentials which will testify that we are Christ's disciples. “Thou hast been faithful over a few things,” he says, “I will make thee ruler over many things.” RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 12

How closely Christ has linked himself with suffering humanity! In reckoning with his heritage he places himself on the poor man's side, and registers any neglect to the poor as done to the One to whom man belongs by creation and by redemption; and every act of self-denial, performed to help the suffering, he acknowledges as done to himself. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 13

The hearts of those who reveal the attributes of Christ glow with divine love. They are imbued with a spirit of gratitude. But the heart that is destitute of love is unthankful. Christ calls upon his disciples to cut away from their lives every defilement of soul and body. Clear foresight and discernment are required, that we may help those who need help. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 14

Christ is our example. He gave his life as a sacrifice for us, and he asks us to give our lives as a sacrifice for others. Thus we may cast out the selfishness which Satan is constantly striving to implant in our hearts. This selfishness is death to all piety, and can be overcome only by manifesting love to God and to our fellow men. Christ will not permit one selfish person to enter the courts of heaven. No covetous person can pass through the pearly gates; for all covetousness is idolatry. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 15

Satan will continue to play the game of life for our souls as long as time shall last. And the end of all things is at hand. “Ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Watch therefore, that when he cometh, ye may be found ready. Prepare to meet thy God. There are sins to be confessed, and wrongs to be righted. Time should now be devoted to earnest preparation for the Master. In this solemn day of atonement we must humble our hearts before God, and confess our sins. We must have faith corresponding to the important, solemn truths which we profess. This is the only evidence we can give to the world to show that our religion is genuine. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 16

Of the virgins who went forth to meet the bridegroom, five were wise, and five were foolish. In which of these classes shall we be found? This question we must answer for ourselves. If we are fully consecrated to God, seeking earnestly to do his will, we shall stand at our post of duty, doing what we can to advance his work. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 17

The churches are to be looked after and cared for, but they are not to demand continuous labor. The members are to receive help and instruction from the Great Teacher, and then, girded with the heavenly armor, they are to stand in the army of God. Do not educate our churches to expect constant ministerial help. If they do the work of God has given them to do, the truth will grow and flourish in their hearts. They will reveal the fact that they are determined to increase their abilities by exercise. In order to have God's approval, we must come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Armed with the sword of the Spirit, we are to go to the battle, holding forth the word of life, seeking to save souls. If the churches desire to guard against becoming narrow and selfish, let them work for the souls for whom Christ gave his life. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 18

Our Redeemer made the greatest possible sacrifice for the human race. Thus he has shown the estimate he places on us. Do you desire to work so as best to please him? Gird on the armor, and fight manfully the battles of the Lord. Christ will give grace to those who are hunters and fishers of men. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 19

Lift up Jesus. Lift him up, the man of Calvary, with the voice of song and prayer. Seek earnestly to spread the gospel. Tell the precious story of God's love for man. In this work you will find a satisfaction that will last through the eternal ages. Christ has given us this work as our special charge, and he is the source of our wisdom and efficiency. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 20

Talk the truth, pray it, sing it. Point sinners to Christ, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Co-operate with Christ and the heavenly intelligences in the work of reinstating the economy which Christ instituted. Declare with power and assurance that Christ came to live the law of Jehovah. God desires his people to be ready, with souls aglow with his love, to impart as fast as they receive. They are to show what the truth has done for them, that God may be glorified. RH July 11, 1899, Art. A, par. 21