The Review and Herald

1217/1902

August 26, 1902

Words to Lay Members

EGW

Our ministers are to go forth to proclaim the message of present truth to those who have not heard it. And our churches should not feel jealous and neglected if they do not receive ministerial labor. They should themselves take up the burden, and labor most earnestly for souls. Believers are to have root in themselves, striking firm root in Christ, that they may bear much fruit to his glory. As one man, they are to strive to attain one object,—the salvation of souls. RH August 26, 1902, par. 1

Let not church members wait for a verbal command to enter God's service. They know their duty. Let them do it in humility and quietness. There are hundreds who should be at work, who need to be encouraged to make a beginning. RH August 26, 1902, par. 2

Let church members begin to work where they are. Everywhere there are souls who know not the truth. Humble men, willing to make sacrifices, to work as Christ worked, are needed. The Lord calls for self-sacrificing workers, who will labor quietly and unobtrusively, living so near to the Lord that they continually receive grace to impart. As they take up their work in earnestness and sincerity, asking the Lord to give them tact and skill, hearts will be reached by their efforts. RH August 26, 1902, par. 3

It is not God's purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the gospel ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their neighbors and friends, they could do a great work for the Master. God is no respecter of persons. He will use humble, devoted Christians who have the love of the truth in their hearts. Let such ones engage in service for him by doing house-to-house work. Sitting by the fireside, such men—if humble, discreet, and godly—can do more to meet the real needs of families than could a minister. RH August 26, 1902, par. 4

The Lord has a work for women, as well as for men. They may take their places in his work at this crisis, and he will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they will have just the self-possession required for this time. The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of his countenance, and will give them a power that exceeds that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is needed. RH August 26, 1902, par. 5

It is not meet for us, my sisters, to wait for greater opportunities or holier dispositions. We are inexcusable if we allow God-given talents to rust from inaction. Christ asks, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” Let us consecrate all that we have and are to him, believing in his power to save, and having confidence that he will use us as instrumentalities to do his will and to glorify his name. RH August 26, 1902, par. 6

My brethren and sisters, do not pass by the little things to look for larger work. You might do successfully the small work, but fail utterly in attempting a larger work, and fall into discouragement. Take hold wherever you see that there is a work to be done. It is by doing with your might what your hands find to do, that you will develop talent and aptitude for large work. It is by slighting the daily opportunities, neglecting the little things, that so many become fruitless and withered. RH August 26, 1902, par. 7

There are many ways in which all may do personal service for God. Some can write a letter to a far-off friend, or send a paper to one who is inquiring for truth. Others can give counsel to those who are in difficulty. Those who know how to treat the sick can help in this way. Others who have the necessary qualifications can give Bible readings or conduct Bible classes. RH August 26, 1902, par. 8

The very simplest modes of work should be devised, and set in operation among the churches. If the members will unitedly accept such plans, and perseveringly carry them out, they will reap a rich reward; for their experience will grow brighter, their ability will increase and through their efforts souls will be saved. RH August 26, 1902, par. 9

The Waste Places of the Earth

The waste places of the earth are to be cultivated. In humble dependence upon God, families are to go forth and settle in the unworked places of his vineyard. As the reward of their self-sacrifice in order to sow the seeds of truth, they will reap a rich harvest. As they visit family after family, giving Bible studies, opening the Scriptures to those in spiritual darkness, many hearts will be touched. RH August 26, 1902, par. 10

Consecrated men and women are needed to stand as fruit-bearing trees of righteousness in the desert places of the earth. In fields where the conditions are so objectionable and disheartening that many workers refuse to go to them, most remarkable changes for the better may be brought about by the efforts of self-sacrificing lay members. These humble workers will accomplish much, because they put forth patient, persevering effort, relying upon no human power, but upon God, who gives them his favor. The amount of good that these workers accomplish will never be known in this world. RH August 26, 1902, par. 11

Self-Supporting Missionaries

Self supporting missionaries are often very successful. Beginning in a small, humble way, their work enlarges under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Let two or more persons start out together in evangelistic work. They may not receive any particular encouragement from those at the head of the work that they will get financial support; nevertheless, let them go forward, praying, singing, teaching, and living the truth. They may take up the work of canvassing, and in this way introduce the truth into many families. As they move forward in their work, they gain a blessed experience. They are humbled by a sense of their poverty and helplessness, but the Lord manifestly goes before them. Among the wealthy and the poor they find favor and help. They come close in friendship to those for whom they work, the one imparting the treasures of the word, the other imparting temporal sustenance. And both are blessed. Even the poverty of the people is a means of finding access to them. As these devoted missionaries pass on their way, they are helped in many ways by those to whom they bring spiritual food. Providence opens the way for them to go to isolated places, and if they bear the message God gives them, their efforts are crowned with success. Many will be brought to a knowledge of the truth, who, but for these humble teachers, would never have been won to Christ. RH August 26, 1902, par. 12

What more can I say than I have said to impress upon our churches the realization of the eternal loss they are suffering in not putting to use in God's service the ability that he has given them? If the members of our churches would but put their powers to use in well-directed efforts, following well-matured plans, they would do a hundredfold more for Christ than they are now doing. If they went forth with earnest prayer, with meekness and lowliness of heart, seeking personally to impart to others the knowledge of salvation, the message might reach the inhabitants of the earth. RH August 26, 1902, par. 13

God calls for workers to enter the whitening harvest field. Shall we wait because the treasury is exhausted, because there is scarcely enough to sustain the workers now in the field? Go forth in faith, and God will be with you. The promise is, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” RH August 26, 1902, par. 14

Nothing is so successful as success. Let this be secured, and the work will move forward. New fields will be opened. Many souls will be won to the truth. What is needed is increased faith in God. RH August 26, 1902, par. 15

As humble, God-fearing men and women consecrate themselves to the Lord, he will accept them and work through them. As they place themselves in right relation to him, light from the throne above will shine upon them, making them channels of blessing to others. All that they accomplish may not now be seen, but they are sowing seed that will yield fruit unto eternal life. RH August 26, 1902, par. 16