Ms 101, 1902

Ms 101, 1902

Ministers and Teachers to Take Time to Talk With God


July 21, 1902 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in 2SM 187-188; VSS 304.

There are many things that need to be adjusted, that will be adjusted if we adhere strictly to principle. Special instruction has been given me in regard to our ministers. It is not the will of God that they shall seek to be rich. They should not engage in worldly enterprises; for this disqualifies them for giving their best powers to spiritual things. But they are to receive wages enough to support themselves and their families. And they are not to have so many burdens laid upon them that they cannot give proper attention to the church in their own home. It is their duty to teach their children as did Abraham to keep the way of the Lord and to do justice and judgment. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 1

It is a great mistake to keep a minister constantly at work in business lines, going from place to place, called to attend board meetings and committee meetings, sitting up late at night. This kind of work brings to the minister weariness and discouragement. Ministers must have time to rest, to obtain from the Word of God the rich nourishment of the bread of life. They must have time to drink refreshing draughts of consolation from the stream of life, whose waters are never dry. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 2

Let ministers and teachers remember that God holds them accountable to fill their office to the best of their ability, to bring into their work their very best powers. They are not to take up duties that conflict with the work God has given them. When ministers and teachers, pressed continually under the burden of financial responsibility, enter the pulpit or the schoolroom weary and tired, with throbbing brain and over-taxed nerves, what can be expected but that common fire will be used instead of the sacred fire of God’s kindling? The strained, tattered efforts hurt the speaker and disappoint the listeners. He has had no time to seek the Lord, no time to ask in faith for the unction of the Holy Spirit. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 3

Shall we not change this way of working?

In order for the efforts of those who work for God to be successful, they must receive that grace, that efficiency that He alone can give. “Ask, and ye shall receive,” is the promise. Then why not take time to ask, to open the mind to receive the impressions of the Holy Spirit, that the heart may be revived by a fresh supply of life. Christ Himself was much in prayer. Whenever He had opportunity, He went apart by Himself to be alone with God. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 4

As we bow before God in humble prayer, He places a live coal from His altar on our lips, sanctifying them to the work of giving Bible truth to the people. I am instructed to say to my fellow workers, If you would have the rich treasures of heaven, you must hold private communion with God. Unless you do this, your soul will be as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. When you hurry from one thing to another, when you have so much to do that you cannot take time to commune with God, how can you expect power in your work? 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 5

Unless there is constant growth in grace, we shall be wanting in words suitable for the occasion. The reason so many of our ministers preach tame, lifeless discourses is that they allow a variety of things of a worldly nature to take their time and attention. Commune with your own heart and then commune with God. Unless you do this, your efforts will be fruitless, made Christless by the unsanctified hurry and confusion of worldly things. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 6

Let your work be fragrant with rich spiritual grace. Do not make your work common by mixing it with common things. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 7

Ministers and teachers, move upward and onward. We need to be converted daily. Our prayers should be more fervent; then they will be more effectual. Stronger and stronger should be our confidence that God’s Holy Spirit will be with us, making us pure and holy, as upright and fragrant as the cedar of Lebanon. 17LtMs, Ms 101, 1902, par. 8