The Review and Herald

474/1902

February 26, 1889

In Him Is Light

[Sermon at South Lancaster, Mass., January 19, 1889.]

EGW

I feel grateful to God for his great mercy and love toward us, and I desire to be able to comprehend more and more of the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we think of what he has done for us, how can we ever doubt him? How can we resist his pleadings and his goodness? Why is it that we have shown such indifference and coldness as we have in the past? I am so anxious that all should drink in the mercy and the love of Jesus. The more we talk of his love and power, the more we shall have to tell of his tender compassion and truth. RH February 26, 1889, par. 1

All heaven has been looking with intense interest upon those who claim to be God's commandment-keeping people. Here are the people who ought to be able to claim all the rich promises of God; who ought to be going on from glory to glory and from strength to strength; who ought to be in a position to reflect glory to God in the works that they do. Jesus has said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” RH February 26, 1889, par. 2

We have received the rich blessing of God; but we must not stop here. We are to catch more and more the divine rays of light from heaven. We are to stand just where we can receive the light and reflect it, in its glory, upon the pathway of others. There has never been a time when we could feel more courage and confidence in the work than at the present time. There are many in our world who do not keep the commandments of God, nor make any profession of so doing, and yet they claim all his blessings. They are willing to accept and appropriate his promises, without heeding the conditions upon which they are based. They have no right to the blessings they claim. But why should not those who are keeping his commandments lay hold of the promises that have been given to the children of God? We can see Christ's righteousness in the law. In the cross of Calvary, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” This is the blending that there should be in our work. Truth and righteousness must be presented with the love of God as it was manifested in Jesus. What purity will then be seen! What a cleansing of every moral defilement will be shown to be necessary! Then, when this is done, the stubbornness of the will which has kept so many away from the light, as they behold the preciousness of the Redeemer, his mercy and pity, will all be melted away from their souls. Every one of us must fall on the Rock and be broken. Will there be one who will retain his stubbornness? Will there be one who will cling to his self-righteousness? Will there be one who will not catch sight of the preciousness of Christ? Is there a heart here that will not be subdued by the love of Jesus? Will any retain one particle of self-esteem? RH February 26, 1889, par. 3

We need to come still closer to God. After Moses had been assured that his request was answered, and that God would go up with him, he pleaded still for greater blessings. “Show me thy glory,” was his prayer. And God listened to that mighty man of faith, and he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee; and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.... And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock; and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.” “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” RH February 26, 1889, par. 4

Why is it that our hearts have been so insensible to the love of God? Why have we had so hard a judgment of our Heavenly Father? From the light that God has given me, I know that Satan has misrepresented our God in every possible way. He has cast his hellish shadow athwart our pathway, that we might not discern our God as a God of mercy, compassion, and truth. This is why the iron has entered into our souls. Then we have talked of the darkness that the evil one has cast upon us, and we have bemoaned our condition; and in so doing, we have only spread the shadow over other souls, and that which has injured us was an injury to them. As we have uttered our words of unbelief, others have been enshrouded in darkness and doubt. We cannot afford to do this work. We thus put our kind Heavenly Father in a false light. All this should change. We must gather up the rays of divine truth, and let our light shine upon the darkened pathway of others. Heaven's light shines for those who will follow Christ, the light of the world. He says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” RH February 26, 1889, par. 5

What kind of recommendation do you give to the world of the religion of Christ, if you go repining and complaining, and filled with sorrow? Those who keep the commandments of God should make it manifest that the truth is sanctifying the soul, refining and purifying the thoughts, and elevating the character and life. Christ has died that the moral image of God might be restored in our souls, and might be reflected to those around us. We need to drink deeper and deeper of the fountain of life. I hope that not a soul will be satisfied without making thorough work for eternity; and from this time on, may it be seen, both by precept and example, that you are representatives of Christ. You may have a living testimony to bear: “Hear what the Lord has done for my soul” The Lord is ready to impart still greater blessings. He permitted all his goodness to pass before Moses; he proclaimed his character to him as a God full of mercy, long-suffering, and gracious—forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Moses was to represent this character to the people of Israel, and we are to do the same. We are to go forth to proclaim the goodness of God, and to make plain his real character before the people. We are to reflect his glory. Have we done this in the past? Have we revealed the character of our Lord by precept and example? Have we not joined in the work of the enemy of souls, and misrepresented our Heavenly Father? Have we not been passing judgment on our brethren, criticising their words and actions? Then the love of God has not been enthroned in our souls. Let us make a decided change. Let us declare the character of God to the people as Moses did to Israel, both in spirit and life. We are to catch the light of his countenance, full of compassion and love, and reflect it to perishing souls. RH February 26, 1889, par. 6

I beseech you to keep reaching out after God, to keep drinking of the fountain of living water. You may be as a tree planted by the rivers of waters, whose leaf does not wither. You may be full of moisture, and may be able to refresh others, and to give them grace and comfort. I love Jesus now; and I want to know more and more of him. I have only begun to know him, but there is an eternity before us in which there will be revealings of his glory, and we shall become better and better acquainted with our divine Lord, and have a more comprehensive knowledge of him. RH February 26, 1889, par. 7

Jesus has said, “Ye are the light of the world” Will we fulfill this statement, and be indeed the light of the world? Or shall we go on in our course of murmuring and complaining, and be the darkness of the world? O, kindle your taper at the divine altar. RH February 26, 1889, par. 8

How was it with the children of Israel in the wilderness?—They were protected on every side; the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night was over them; but they did not appreciate the blessings they enjoyed. They murmured and complained, and God finally permitted the serpents to bite them, that they might be brought to a realizing sense of his care and protection. It was the power of God that had before kept the venomous serpents of the wilderness from stinging them. When the serpents were permitted to bite them, the command came to Moses to lift up a brazen serpent on a pole, and to tell the people that if they would look upon it, they should live. Suppose that one had said, “O, my wounds are too grievous. I am so full of fever and suffering that I cannot raise my eyes. Wait till I am a little better.” Could he get better without following the directions?—No, he would only grow worse and worse, and die. The only remedy was to fasten his eyes on the brazen serpent. The instruction was, “Look and live,” and every soul who did this was healed. RH February 26, 1889, par. 9

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” And every sin-sick soul, bitten and deceived by the serpent, may “look and live.” How many delay to look! They think they must make themselves a little better before they can come to Jesus. But we cannot do this. Our only hope is to look and live. We have abundant reason to praise God that we have not perished by the way, and that he is so ready now to heal us of all our wounds. “Wash you, make you clean.” The fountain has been provided. May God help you to “look and live!” RH February 26, 1889, par. 10