The Review and Herald

1082/1902

August 21, 1900

Words of Counsel to Young Ministers

EGW

Writing to Timothy, his son in the gospel, and to every young man who engages in the work of the ministry, Paul says: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.... Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth: and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” And to Titus he writes: “Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded; in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that can not be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” RH August 21, 1900, par. 1

Young men, you have a faith of which you need not be ashamed; and you have solemn, serious work before you, in laboring for souls as they that must give an account. You need a knowledge of God, deeper, fuller, clearer, than you have ever had. You need to press forward, every day receiving grace and power from the Source of all power. You have a high and holy calling; and if you would have souls for your hire, you must take firm hold upon God. Let it be seen that you are intensely in earnest. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” RH August 21, 1900, par. 2

As laborers together with God, we need to know what is required of us. Let none sit down at their ease and say, Christ has done all that is necessary. Surely it were better that Christ's sacrifice had never been made, than that it should be made to minister to sin. It is this kind of religion that makes the cross of Christ of no effect. Throw your energies into the contemplation of eternal interests. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Respond to the operations of the Holy Spirit. Your soul will be lifted into a purer, holier atmosphere as you consider the important question, What shall I do to be saved? RH August 21, 1900, par. 3

“I have written unto you, young men,” John writes, “because ye are strong.” What makes them strong?—Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Thus they grow up into Christ, their living head. “And the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” This battle is to be fought over and over again. Be not content with your present experience. Sink the shaft deep in the quarry of truth. Truth, eternal truth, is the treasure for which you must seek with unremitting diligence. Do not rest until all that is superficial in your life is supplanted by a deep, fervent, solid experience. This will make you reliable in every place, because the Lord is your strength, his word your daily bread. Your religious experience will then give you strength to brace your mind against the counter-working influence of hereditary and cultivated-tendencies. RH August 21, 1900, par. 4

This fallen world is in strange hands. Men rule for hire, and preach for hire. In all business transactions there is a strife for the supremacy. If Christ should walk through the streets of our cities today, few would have interest enough to follow him. Those who act a part in the government of the world have no part with Christ, who has declared, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Can they be successful statesmen who have not learned the ways and methods of the Great Teacher? The men in high positions of trust should be educated in the school of Christ. Do not shun these influential men. Men of talent and influence need to understand the word of God in its purity, that they may labor with a knowledge of what saith the Scriptures. If a man were drowning, you would not stand by and see him sink beneath the waves because he was a mayor, a lawyer, a minister, or a judge. Neither must you leave these souls to perish. Thus, while you do not neglect to do the work essential for winning souls in the humble walks of life, you may win to Christ those who can fill responsible places in the cause and work of God. RH August 21, 1900, par. 5

Seek conversion of body, soul, and spirit. Unfold your napkin, and begin to trade with your Lord's goods. In so doing, you will gain other talents. Every soul intrusted with talents is to use them to benefit others. Who in the great day of final reckoning will say, “I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine”? To such the Lord will say, “Thou wicked and slothful servant: ... thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” RH August 21, 1900, par. 6

The Lord is still calling those who are apparently blind to their deficiencies, the self-complacent ones, who plan and devise how they can best serve themselves. God help the spiritually blind to see that there is a world to be saved. The truth is to be made manifest to those who know it not, and this work calls for the self-denying grace of Christ. Thousands who are now of no use in God's cause should be digging up their buried talents, and putting them out to the exchangers. Those who think that they will surely reach heaven while they follow their own ways and imaginations, might better break the seal, and re-examine their title to the treasures of heaven. The men and women who feel at ease in Zion might better become anxious about themselves, and inquire: What am I doing in the Lord's vineyard? Why am I not yoked up with Christ, a laborer together with God? Why am I not learning in Christ's school his meekness and lowliness of heart? Why have I no burdens to bear in the service of Christ? Why am I not a decided Christian, employing all my powers in laboring for the salvation of the souls who are perishing around me? Saith not the Word, “We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building”? Shall I not with God's help build a character for time and eternity, and promote godliness in myself and in others through the sanctification of the truth? RH August 21, 1900, par. 7

Selfishness and unbelief are spoiling many lives. The church is made weak by the inefficiency of those who should wear the yoke of Christ and lift his burdens. Christ has need of persons of genuine experience. Shall he have in his army men each with some spiritual defect, soldiers who must seek the easiest place, lest the rough path hurt their slippered feet? We are on the battlefield, enlisted for service. When the trumpet call is heard, “Advance!” do not stop to nurse your little infirmities. Forget that you have them, and move on. Where are the active soldiers, who, clad in all the armor of God, are prepared to do aggressive warfare? Where are the soldiers who are ready to lift the standard, and bear it through the battle, under the Captain's order, unto victory? RH August 21, 1900, par. 8

Earnest engagements must be entered into; for the Lord is coming. Away with the ease-loving indolence that holds so many from the work. Unearth your buried talents. You are under obligation to be active, diligent workers. “Whosoever will come after me,” Christ said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Do not refuse to see your responsibilities. Unite in earnest work for God. Go forth to labor, carrying your colors with you. RH August 21, 1900, par. 9

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” RH August 21, 1900, par. 10