The Review and Herald

453/1902

August 28, 1888

The Need of Love

EGW

Jesus came down from heaven to reflect his light upon a world that was hardened and corrupted with sin. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. He was not appreciated by those he came to save. He was scorned and rejected of men. He suffered ignominy and reproach, and at last was nailed to the cruel cross, that he might rescue man from his impenitence and hardness of heart. He reached down to the very depths of human woe and degradation, that he might lift fallen man to a place of joy and purity. He loved us, even unto death, and he says, “Love one another, as I have loved you... By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” RH August 28, 1888, par. 1

O how much there is of human exaltation! How much there is of human pride, of selfish thoughts, of cruel feelings, that do not savor of Christ! Can we not get free from this harsh, dictatorial spirit, that has made us look upon one another with suspicion and distrust? Can we not let the tender, winning love of Jesus take possession of our hearts, that it may flow out in refreshing streams to others? The command is, “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” When we look upon each others’ faces, how do we know but it is for the last time? Let us cherish love one for another. RH August 28, 1888, par. 2

Says the apostle, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, ... if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded.” This does not teach that we should sacrifice our principles of truth in order to be charitable; but that we should not be unkind, uncourteous, harsh, and rough to those that are around us. We should not push any away from us, but we should bind them to our hearts with the tenderest words of love. Have we not allowed serious faults to mar our characters? Have we not been greatly wanting in that gentle thoughtfulness and love that is required of the child of God? Who of us can plead guiltless? We need to learn to think more highly of others, and less of self. RH August 28, 1888, par. 3

There are many who seem to find satisfaction in dwelling upon the errors of others. They feel, when a brother's faults are revealed and reproved, that their own faults, in contrast, are not so great, and will not be the subject of disapproval. This is the spirit of Satan. He is represented as standing before the throne, acting as an accuser of the brethren. He presents before God the sins that his people are committing, seeking to excuse his own sin, and hoping that God will not pardon the guilty, for whom Christ has died. But the converting power of God comes down to us who profess his name, as a pledge of his willingness to pardon and receive the soul that is truly penitent. RH August 28, 1888, par. 4

Those who exult over others, because they have been reproved, have the spirit of the self-righteous Pharisee. He thanked God that he was not like other men. He stood in the temple praising himself, while he belittled the character of others; and yet God knew his proud heart. The publican stood afar off. He was humbled with a deep sense of his own unworthiness. He had such a realization of his weakness, and infirmity, and sin, that he dared not lift up his eyes to heaven; but smote upon his breast and cried, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Yet he went down to his house justified, rather than the other. O that we might have the same spirit of self-distrust, the same realization of our utter unworthiness. Shall we not let the grace of Christ come into our souls, that we may go down to our house justified? RH August 28, 1888, par. 5

Said Jesus, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The reason there is so little real rest and settled peace of heart, is because there is such supreme love of self. Self is mingled with all that we do. We must have less of self and more of Jesus. If we could stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and hear what is said of us, what a different estimate would we hear of our characters than we give ourselves. We must fall on the Rock and be broken, that it may be none of self, and all of Jesus. RH August 28, 1888, par. 6

There is need of good home religion, that a saving influence may be exerted in our families. Let us learn to be missionaries within the walls of our own homes, by being tender, compassionate, gentle, and obliging toward the dear ones around the fireside. In many homes there is great need of the spirit of love. The words that are spoken are too often like the pitiless hail, that beats down the tender plant, whereas they should be like the dew and the showers, that fall to refresh and revive. Work in your own vineyard, and cultivate the spirit of love. Do not be so very zealous about the outside work, until there is seen in your hearts and homes a teachable, Christ-like spirit, which will shed blessings upon all within the reach of its power. RH August 28, 1888, par. 7

Jesus loves us, and we should be so imbued with his love, that others will feel its influence when they enter our homes. Where the spirit of love dwells, it permeates the entire household, and the bitter, harsh, and passionate words are all restrained. Open the door of your hearts and houses, fathers and mothers. Let Jesus come in. Let him abide with you. Then you can bring him to church with you; and wherever you go, you will be like lamps, trimmed and burning, shedding rays of light on all around you, whether in the world, or in the privacy of your own homes. Each one of you would be in favor with God. If Jesus were abiding in every home, the church would feel the refreshing of the presence of the Lord. There is labor to be done for the wandering ones. But it will not do to argue with them. When I try to labor with such, and they seek for a controversy, I do not answer them back. I tell them I have not come to argue, but to talk of the love of God to us, and to find out how they are standing in this, the hour of his judgment. I seek to speak words of faith and hope; to take away the unbelief that is leading them away from Jesus. RH August 28, 1888, par. 8

The question with each one of us should be, “How do I stand in spiritual things?” Brethren, do you feel the power of present truth upon your hearts, sanctifying your lives and characters? Are you winning souls to God? When you see one fall in his weakness by the way, do you hasten to him, to strengthen and help him? Do you bow down and plead with God in behalf of his soul? It is said that at one time an infidel came to argue the question of his unbelief with Mr. Moody. The evangelist said to the unbeliever, “Let us pray before we talk of these matters;” and they bowed down, and while Mr. Moody prayed, God changed the man's heart. It was God that wrought where argument would have failed. Let us work upon this plan, and pray for one another, bringing one another right into the presence of God by living faith. The Lord knows all the thoughts and feelings of the heart; and how easily he can melt us, how his spirit, like a fire, can subdue the flinty heart, and, like a hammer, can break the rock into pieces! How he can fill the soul with love and tenderness! How he can give us the graces of his Spirit, and fit us to go in and out, in laboring for souls! This power should be felt in the church today, and it would be felt, if we would but take heed to the doctrines and instructions of Christ. And when Jesus shall come in unto you, he will sweetly say, “Peace be unto you.” He will not give such peace as the world gives; but the peace that passes all understanding. And with the peace of Christ in you, when you see a brother falling away, you will be enabled to say just the right thing at the right time. You will be a skillful workman, that need not be ashamed. RH August 28, 1888, par. 9

God has set a price on the souls of men. He says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Now if a man is so precious in the sight of God, how should he stand in the estimation of his fellow men? Is Jesus ashamed of us today, because we are so far from representing him to the world? Is he ashamed to call us brethren, because we are seeking our own glory, instead of the glory of God? God has done so much for us. What are we doing for Christ, and for each other? RH August 28, 1888, par. 10

O, put away the harsh and critical speech. Do not excuse yourself upon the ground that it is natural for you to speak in a certain way. Never say, “It is my way to be rough and outspoken,” and deem that that is reason enough why you may indulge in the habit. Rend your heart, and not your garment, and turn unto the Lord. Seek to show your love for those for whom Christ has died. And when the righteous nation that keeps the truth, marches in, may you be among that victorious company that shall stand before the great white throne, ascribing salvation unto God, and to the Lamb. You may all have the privilege of standing with that blood-washed throng who have overcome through the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. How your heart will bound with joy, as you hear the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH August 28, 1888, par. 11

If you do not work the works of Christ, there will be those who will rise up in that decisive day to condemn you. The psalmist asks, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” When any one comes to you with a tale about your neighbor, you should refuse to hear it. You should say to him, “Have you spoken of this matter to the individual concerned?” If he has not done so, tell him he should obey the Bible rule, and go first to his brother, and tell him his fault privately, and in love. If the directions of God were carried out, the flood-gates of gossip would be closed. RH August 28, 1888, par. 12

When your brethren and neighbors come in to see you, talk of the wonderful love of Jesus. Rejoice in his intercession for lost man. Tell your friends of the love that you have for their souls, because they are the purchase of the blood of Christ. God forbid that we should make the pathway of other weary travelers harder by magnifying their errors, and by sitting in judgment upon their actions. God help us, that we may speak words of comfort and hope and courage to cheer the life of the lonely, and discouraged, and erring. Let us be like-minded one toward another, and not differ in opinion, merely for the sake of being on the opposite side from our brother. Throw all the sunlight you possibly can, into the pathway of others. It will be dark enough for them, even if you do this; for Satan presses his darkness upon every soul. Let the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon your fellow-pilgrims, that they may rejoice in the Lord. This you can do in your home missionary work, in your neighborhood missionary work, and in your church missionary work. Let your light shine forth in such clear, steady rays, that no man may stand up in the judgment, and say, “Why did not you tell me about this truth? Why did you not care for my soul? Why did you love the world and its amusements so much, that you impressed me with the thought that they could not be wrong? Why did you not walk in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, and make straight paths for your feet? You knew that we were in darkness, and your crooked steps have led us on into utter ruin.” RH August 28, 1888, par. 13

O may God help us! There is only a little time left for us to prepare for the eternal world. If you have wronged any one, you should go right to him, and take him by the hand, and say, “I am sorry I have injured you, by thought, or word, or act.” Heaven would look with approval upon such a scene. We want all this dry, cold Phariseeism broken down. We want the spirit and power of God to work with our efforts in the Sabbath-school, in the church, in the offices of publication, in our institutions of learning, and in our sanitariums. We want the abiding presence of Jesus with every individual member of our churches. RH August 28, 1888, par. 14

As humble, faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ, you are to stand in the world, breasting its opposition,—a little remnant to clear the King's highway. You want to exert such an influence that men will be drawn to give their heart's affections to God, and to take the requisite steps in faith, repentance, conversion, and baptism. It is not enough to be familiar with the arguments of the truth alone. You must meet the people through the life that is in Jesus. Your work will be made wholly successful, if Jesus is abiding with you; for he has said, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” RH August 28, 1888, par. 15

Jesus stands knocking,—knocking at the door of your hearts,—and yet, for all this, some say continually, “I cannot find him.” Why not? He says, “I stand here knocking. Why do you not open the door, and say, Come in, dear Lord?” I am so glad for these simple directions as to the way to find Jesus. If it were not for them, I should not know how to find him whose presence I desire so much. Open the door now, and empty the soul-temple of the buyers and sellers, and invite the Lord to come in. Say to him, “I will love thee with all my soul. I will work the works of righteousness. I will obey the law of God.” Then you will feel the peaceful presence of Jesus. May God help you, that at last you may sing the conqueror's song, have your robe washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, wave the palm branch in your hand, and strike the golden harp before the throne of God, with all those who have gotten the everlasting victory. RH August 28, 1888, par. 16