The Review and Herald

1588/1902

March 4, 1909

Labor in Faith and Humble Dependence

EGW

I wish that I could present before all our people the light God has given me regarding the spirit of labor and of humble dependence upon him that should be encouraged throughout our churches. Many of the members of our churches are Christians only in name; if they truly believed in Christ, they would, as his disciples, be doing works of Christ. “If any man will come after me,” the Saviour declared, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 1

Sinners make a fatal mistake in continuing in impenitence and unbelief. But professed Christians make a more grievous error when they refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities, and leave those without the fold to perish. If they were truly Christians, they would follow the example of Christ. He left the heavenly courts, where he was the adored of angels, to come to earth and accept a life of poverty and self-denial, that he might unite humanity to the infinite God, fallen beings with the sinless inhabitants of unfallen worlds. By sacrifice of self he would make men the recipients of his grace, and bind them to the family of heaven by the golden cords of mercy and love. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 2

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Wonderful divine economy! Notwithstanding their fallen state, men, through the redeeming power of Christ, are enabled to co-operate with him for the salvation of the race. Their influence, no longer destructive, becomes God's helping hand to correct the existing evils. Their powers and capabilities become agencies for the restoration of good. That which heretofore has helped on the work of destruction, brought under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, becomes a means of recovery to souls that are ready to perish. That which in the past has driven from the paths of right and truth now binds souls to the throne of God. This is God's purpose for those who accept his name and character. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 3

This is no time for any of the Lord's workers to lose heart. The commission to the first disciples was, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Very shortly after these words were spoken, Christ was received up into heaven. As the disciples were gazing up into heaven for a last glimpse of their departing Lord, two angels stood by them, and said, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This promise is soon to be fulfilled. We are watching and waiting for its fulfilment. And while we watch and wait, God bids us work courageously to proclaim the message of his return, “unto the uttermost part of the earth.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 4

The promise of the Saviour's presence was given in connection with the great commission. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” the Saviour said; “go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 5

These are the words of inspiration. You need not fear that you are making a mistake by believing fully in them. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” Here is set forth the life of the church. The Son of God gave his life that he might become the propitiation for the sins of the world. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 6

The promise of the Father concerning his Son had been, “He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” At the close of his work on earth the Saviour could say, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Christ claims his own recompense for his conquests. “I am glorified in them,” he says. His ransomed church is to be the chief source of his glory. Through them, unto principalities and powers in heavenly places is to be made known the manifold wisdom of God. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 7

“I have given them thy word,” Christ said; “and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 8

“As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 9

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 10

It is the privilege of every believer first to talk with God in his closet, and then, as God's mouthpiece, to talk with others. In order that we may have something to impart, we must daily receive light and blessing. Men and women who commune with God, who have an abiding Christ, who, because they co-operate with holy angels; are surrounded with holy influences, are needed at this time. The cause needs those who have power to draw with Christ, power to express the love of God in words of encouragement and sympathy. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 11

As the believer bows in supplication before God, and in humility and contrition offers his petition from unfeigned lips, he loses all thought of self. His mind is filled with the thought of what he must have in order to build up a Christlike character. He prays, “Lord, if I am to be a channel through which thy love is to flow day by day and hour by hour, I claim by faith the grace and power that thou hast promised.” He fastens his hold firmly on the promise, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 12

How this dependence pleases the Master! How he delights to hear the steady, earnest pleading! How quickly the sincere, fervent prayer is recognized and honored! How intensely interested the heavenly angels are! “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” With wonderful and ennobling grace the Lord sanctifies the humble petitioner, giving him power to perform the most difficult duties. All that is undertaken is done unto the Lord, and this elevates and sanctifies the lowliest calling. It invests with new dignity every word, every act, and links the humblest worker, the poorest of God's servants, with the highest of the angels in the heavenly courts. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 13

True believers are the light of the church and of the world. God has true messengers of healing in the world. They are those who are taught of God, who are imbued with his Spirit, ministers who experience the sanctification of the Spirit. The sons and daughters of God have a great work to do in the world. They are to accept the Word of God as the man of their counsel, and to impart it to others. They are to diffuse light. All who have received the engrafted word will be faithful in giving that word to others. They will speak the words of Christ. In conversation and in deportment they will give evidence of a daily conversion to the principles of truth. Such believers will be a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men, and God will be glorified in them. RH March 4, 1909, Art. A, par. 14