The Review and Herald

1135/1902

June 11, 1901

“Laborers Together With God”

EGW

“We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, ... of what sort it is.” RH June 11, 1901, par. 1

Let us study these words carefully and prayerfully. In order to be understood, the Bible requires much thought. When we are preparing to go to a new country, and have received from our friends letters of instruction, how carefully we study those letters! We are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, journeying to a better country, even a heavenly, and to us have been given letters of instruction. Again and again we are enjoined to study these directions carefully, so that we shall make no mistake. God is faithful. If we are willing to be taught, He will do His part in teaching us. Let us not neglect our part. We are to labor together with God, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we are faithful in doing our part, in co-operating with Him, God will work through us the good pleasure of His will. But God cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly. If we lack in spiritual strength, we may know that we have failed of doing our part. Just as soon as the plan of salvation was devised, Satan began to work; and if we hope to stand against him, we, too, must work. We must follow the example Christ has left us, submitting to Him in everything. Our will must be in harmony with His will. RH June 11, 1901, par. 2

“Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Are we placing the right kind of material upon the right foundation? If we lay upon the foundation wood, hay, stubble, sad indeed will be the result! Will that which we are bringing to the foundation endure the fire of the great day of God? Are we using our talents in the Master's service? Are we kind and courteous to all around us? Do we cherish in our hearts, and reveal in our lives, the principles of the truth? RH June 11, 1901, par. 3

The characters we form here will decide our eternal destiny. What kind of material are we using in our character building? We must guard well every point, seeking to gain that purity which will make our lives harmonize with the saving truth we profess to believe. Our part is to put away sin, to seek with determination for perfection of character. As we thus work, God co-operates with us, fitting us for a place in His kingdom. RH June 11, 1901, par. 4

If we constantly receive grace from God, we shall be vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use. Daily receiving blessings, we shall daily impart blessings to those around us. But in order to be successful in this work, we must deny self. We cannot at the same time please self and serve Christ. We are not to follow our own inclinations, but look to Jesus, waiting to receive orders from our Captain. RH June 11, 1901, par. 5

Our one desire should be to do God's will in a way that He will approve. All our blessings come from Him, and He desires us in return to give Him our glad and willing service. Are we doing this? Are we receiving and imparting His grace? Are we standing under His banner as faithful sentinels? Are we learning precious lessons, that we may teach others? Let us not rob God. All things come from Him, and He expects us to return Him of His own. RH June 11, 1901, par. 6

Our money belongs to God, and He calls upon us to acknowledge this by paying a faithful tithe and giving willing offerings. The children of Israel were taught that their possessions came from God, and that by the paying of tithe and freewill offerings they were to acknowledge this. Thus we, too, may acknowledge whence our blessings flow. By giving of our means to save those for whom Christ died, we may show our appreciation of His goodness. RH June 11, 1901, par. 7

Is it possible that we are robbing God? If so, His blessing cannot rest upon us. This may be the reason why there is not more of the power of God with us. Let each one examine himself, and see whether he is obeying the directions God has given. Remove from your lives everything which separates you from God. Serve Him to the very best of your ability. Show your faith by your works. Cling with living faith to Jesus. Come up to the help of the Lord. Labor earnestly for the Saviour. Then the rich blessing of God will be your portion. RH June 11, 1901, par. 8

The doing of God's will is essential if we would have an increased knowledge of Him. Let us not be deceived by the oft-repeated assertion, “All you have to do is to believe.” Faith and works are two oars which we must use equally if we press our way up the stream against the current of unbelief. “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” The Christian is a man of thought and practice. His faith fixes its roots firmly in Christ. By faith and good works he keeps his spirituality strong and healthy, and his spiritual strength increases as he strives to work the works of God. RH June 11, 1901, par. 9

There is a crown of eternal life to win, a heaven of bliss to gain. The way is rough, and there is much climbing to do. But those who endure the toil, urging their way through all obstacles, will receive the overcomer's reward. RH June 11, 1901, par. 10

Christ has a right to our entire obedience. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” RH June 11, 1901, par. 11

When we claim to accept Christ as our Saviour, and yet continue to cherish sinful practices, we misrepresent Him and put Him to open shame. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” RH June 11, 1901, par. 12

No one should deceive himself by thinking that his defects are not very grievous. If he does not guard against these defects, they will be his ruin, and will be reproduced in those with whom he associates. Those who do not think that God requires them to watch and pray unceasingly, striving against every imperfection, are deluded by the enemy. Until they change their attitude, they cannot grow in grace. We all need to pray earnestly for determination to overcome every defect of character. Pray that, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; ... ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” RH June 11, 1901, par. 13

How many there are who retain wrong habits because they think they cannot overcome them. They do not make determined efforts to overcome. They cherish their sins as if they were precious jewels. If they are reproved, they murmur against the one who is watching for their souls as he that must give an account. Some, when reproved, act disrespectfully toward the one who, in the fear of God, showed them that they were misrepresenting their Saviour. They need to learn the meaning of true conversion. Paul writes, “If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.... Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” RH June 11, 1901, par. 14

Let us not be impatient and angry when our friends show us our mistakes and dangers. Some have followed their own way so long that they do not realize that they have serious defects of character, which influence others to their hurt. Let these remember that they are sowing seeds of imperfection, and that for this God will bring them into judgment. RH June 11, 1901, par. 15

We are enjoined to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” If your influence leads others astray, something is wrong. You are not obeying God's directions. Take advice. Do not dispute with the one who labors for your good. Put yourself under discipline. Remember that if you cannot see that you are guilty, you are in danger. Self-indulgence has blinded your eyes. Put forth an effort proportionate to the value of the object of which you are in pursuit. Remember that you are seeking for eternal life. It will not pay to be indolent and slothful on the very borders of the eternal world. Put to the stretch every spiritual sinew and muscle. Infinite resources have been provided for you. Then do not fail of being complete in Christ. God's work will triumph. The question we should each ask ourselves is. Shall I triumph with it? RH June 11, 1901, par. 16