The Review and Herald

1469/1902

January 31, 1907

Self-Denial—Self-Sacrifice

EGW

How many there are who accept Christ, and apparently live a Christian life, until their circumstances change! Perhaps they come into the possession of property. Thus God tests them, to see if they will be wise stewards. But they fail to endure the proving. They use for self-gratification that which they should devote to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. In want and distress, God's children are calling to him. Many are dying for want of the necessaries of life. Their cries have entered the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. He will call to a strict account those who have neglected his needy ones. What will these selfish rich men do when the Lord asks them, “What did you do with the money I gave you to use for me?” “These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” The Lord will say to them, “Depart from me, ye cursed; ... for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” RH January 31, 1907, par. 1

The wails of a world's sorrow are heard all around us. Sin is casting its shadow over us. Let us make ourselves ready to co-operate with the Lord. The pleasure and power of this world will pass away. No one can carry his earthly treasures into the eternal world. But the life spent in doing the will of God will abide forever. The result of that which is given to advance the work of God will be seen in the kingdom of God. RH January 31, 1907, par. 2

There is a world to be warned. To us has been entrusted this work. At any cost we must practise the truth. We are to stand as self-sacrificing minutemen, willing to suffer the loss of life itself, if need be, in the service of God. There is a great work to be done in a short time. We need to understand our work, and to do it with fidelity. Every one who is finally crowned victor will, by noble, determined effort to serve God, have earned the right to be clothed with Christ's righteousness. To enter the crusade against Satan, bearing aloft the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ—this is the duty of every Christian. RH January 31, 1907, par. 3

This work calls for self-sacrifice. Self-denial and the cross stand all along the way of life. “He that will come after me,” Christ said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Those who secure the treasures of this world are obliged to toil and sacrifice. Should those who are seeking for an eternal reward think that they need make no sacrifices? RH January 31, 1907, par. 4

The most difficult sermon to preach and the hardest to practise is self-denial. The greedy sinner, self, closes the door to the good which might be done, but which is not done because money is invested for selfish purposes. But it is impossible for any one to retain the favor of God and enjoy communion with the Saviour, and at the same time be indifferent to the interests of his fellow beings who have no life in Christ, who are perishing in their sins. Christ has left us a wonderful example of self-sacrifice. He pleased not himself, but spent his life in the service of others. He made sacrifices at every step, sacrifices which none of his followers can ever make, because they have never occupied the position he occupied before he came to this earth. He was commander of the heavenly host, but he came here to suffer for sinners. He was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that through his poverty we might be made rich. Because he loved us, he laid aside his glory and took upon him the form of a servant. He gave his life for us. What are we giving for him? Shall we not, in the new year just before us, consecrate ourselves entirely to him? Shall we not make him a New-year's offering of a portion of the means he has given us? As we follow him in the path of self-denial, lifting the cross and bearing it after him to his Father's home, we shall reveal in our lives the beauty of the Christ-life. At the altar of self-sacrifice,—the appointed place of meeting between God and the soul,—we receive from the hand of God the celestial torch which searches the heart, revealing the need of an abiding Christ. RH January 31, 1907, par. 5