The Review and Herald

1130/1902

May 14, 1901

“No Other Gods Before Me”

EGW

Every true child of God will be sifted as wheat, and in the sifting process every cherished pleasure which diverts the mind from God must be sacrificed. In many families the mantel-shelves, stands, and tables are filled with ornaments and pictures. Albums filled with photographs of the family and their friends are placed where they will attract the attention of visitors. Thus the thoughts, which should be upon God and heavenly interests, are brought down to common things. Is not this a species of idolatry? Should not the money thus spent have been used to bless humanity, to relieve the suffering, to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry? Should it not be placed in the Lord's treasury to advance His cause and build up His kingdom in the earth? RH May 14, 1901, par. 1

This matter is of great importance, and it is urged upon you to save you from the sin of idolatry. Blessing would come to your souls if you would obey the word spoken by the Holy One of Israel, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Many are creating unnecessary cares and anxieties for themselves by devoting time and thought to the unnecessary ornaments with which their houses are filled. The power of God is needed to arouse them from this devotion; for to all intents and purposes it is idolatry. RH May 14, 1901, par. 2

He who searches the heart desires to win His people from every species of idolatry. Let the word of God, the blessed book of life, occupy the tables now filled with useless ornaments. Spend your money in buying books that will be the means of enlightening the mind in regard to present truth. The time you waste in moving and dusting the multitudinous ornaments in your house, spend in writing a few lines to your friends, in sending papers or leaflets or little books to some one who knows not the truth. Grasp the word of the Lord as the treasure of infinite wisdom and love; this is the guide-book that points out the path to heaven. It points us to the sin-pardoning Saviour, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Oh that you would search the Scriptures with prayerful hearts, and a spirit of surrender to God! Oh that you would search your hearts as with a lighted candle, and discover and break the finest thread that binds you to worldly habits, which divert the mind from God! Plead with God to show you every practice that draws your thoughts and affections from Him. God has given His holy law to man as His measure of character. By this law you may see and overcome every defect in your character. You may sever yourself from every idol, and link yourself to the throne of God by the golden chain of grace and truth. RH May 14, 1901, par. 3

The apostle writes: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” “The night is far spent; the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” RH May 14, 1901, par. 4

There is none too much self-denial, none too much self-sacrifice, none too much overcoming evil with good. If all the inclinations to gratify the taste for frivolous things were firmly resisted, there would be more money to use for God. Shall we not make decided changes in this respect? Shall we not set money flowing in channels where it will glorify God? RH May 14, 1901, par. 5

When I see families poorly clad, and houses destitute of those things that are necessary for comfort, and then visit the homes where every niche and corner is filled with useless ornaments, I am tired of the sight of my eyes. Let us search the Word and see if there is not some instruction there that will teach us how to relieve the maladies that have become chronic in the spiritual life of many. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?” God asks, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.... If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” RH May 14, 1901, par. 6

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,” Paul declares, “I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” RH May 14, 1901, par. 7

The Son of the infinite God came to this earth, and honored it with His presence. He emptied himself of His glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and reveal to fallen man the perfect love of God. Christ did not come to earth to live a life of pleasure, of self-indulgence. He lived not to please himself. “The Son of man,” He said, “is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” RH May 14, 1901, par. 8

We have great changes to make before we reach perfection. God calls for complete self-surrender. We must guard diligently our lips, lest they speak guile. We must be strict with ourselves, that we bring not false principles into our dealings with others, and lead souls from the safe path. We must work the works of God. Adhere to correct principles, whatever the cost to yourself. In appeals and warnings let your light shine forth to others. Economize your pence, that you may have pounds with which to help the cause of truth. Keep your tables free from many pictures and ornaments, which are as nothing in comparison with the word of God. Let your holy example lead the sympathies of your friends heavenward; “for he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Jesus Christ: that ye may with one mind and with one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” RH May 14, 1901, par. 9