Selected Messages Book 1


Chapter 8—Willing to Spend and Be Spent

[Appeared in Notebook Leaflets, Christian Experience, No. 3.]

He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself will work with the constant realization that he is a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Making God's will his will, he will reveal in his life the transforming power of the grace of Christ. In all the circumstances of life, he will take Christ's example as his guide. 1SM 86.1

Every true, self-sacrificing worker for God is willing to spend and be spent for the sake of others. Christ says, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25). By earnest, thoughtful efforts to help where help is needed, the true Christian shows his love for God and for his fellow beings. He may lose his life in service. But when Christ comes to gather His jewels to Himself, he will find it again. 1SM 86.2

My brethren and sisters, do not spend a large amount of time and money on self, for the sake of appearance. Those who do this are obliged to leave undone many things that would have comforted others, sending a warm glow to their weary spirits. We all need to learn how to improve more faithfully the opportunities that so often come to us to bring light and hope into the lives of others. How can we improve these opportunities if our thoughts are centered upon self? He who is self-centered loses countless opportunities for doing that which would have brought blessing to others and to himself. It is the duty of the servant of Christ, under every circumstance, to ask himself, “What can I do to help others?” Having done his best, he is to leave the consequences with God. 1SM 86.3

I desire so to live that in the future life I can feel that during this life I did what I could. God has provided for every one pleasure that may be enjoyed by rich and poor alike—the pleasure found in cultivating pureness of thought and unselfishness of action, the pleasure that comes from speaking sympathizing words and doing kindly deeds. From those who perform such service the light of Christ shines to brighten lives darkened by many shadows. 1SM 87.1

God is dishonored when we fail to speak the truth plainly to one another. But we are to speak the truth in love, bringing tenderness and sympathy into our voices. 1SM 87.2

The perils of the last days are upon us. Those who live to please and gratify self are dishonoring the Lord. He cannot work through them, for they would misrepresent Him before those who are ignorant of the truth. Be very careful not to hinder, by an unwise expenditure of means, the work that the Lord would have done in proclaiming the warning message to a world lying in wickedness. Study economy, cutting down your personal expense to the lowest possible figure. On every hand the necessities of the cause of God are calling for help. God may see that you are fostering pride. He may see that it is necessary to remove from you blessings which, instead of improving, you have used for the gratification of selfish pride.... 1SM 87.3

Help in Every Time of Need

Those who are laboring in places where the work has not long been started, will often find themselves in great need of better facilities. Their work will seem to be hindered for lack of these facilities; but let them not worry. Let them take the whole matter to the Lord in prayer. When trying to build up the work in new territory, we have often gone to the limit of our resources. At times it seemed as if we could not advance farther. But we kept our petitions ascending to the heavenly courts, all the time denying self; and God heard and answered our prayers, sending us means for the advancement of the work. 1SM 87.4

Lay every care at the feet of the Redeemer. “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24). Work, and pray, and believe with the whole heart. Do not wait until the money is in your hands before doing anything. Walk out by faith. God has declared that the standard of truth is to be planted in many places. Learn to believe, as you pray to God for help. Practice self-denial; for Christ's whole life on this earth was one of self-denial. He came to show us what we must be and do in order to gain eternal life. 1SM 88.1

Do your best, and then wait, patiently, hopefully, rejoicingly, because the promise of God cannot fail. Failure comes because many who could put their means into circulation for the advancement of God's work are lacking in faith. The longer they withhold their means, the less faith they will have. They are barrier builders, who fearfully retard the work of God. 1SM 88.2

My dear fellow workers, be true, hopeful, heroic. Let every blow be made in faith. As you do your best, the Lord will reward your faithfulness. From the life-giving fountain draw physical, mental, and spiritual energy. Manliness, womanliness—sanctified, purified, refined, ennobled—we have the promise of receiving. We need that faith which will enable us to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. As you fix your eyes upon Him, you will be filled with a deep love for the souls for whom He died, and will receive strength for renewed effort. 1SM 88.3

Christ is our only hope. Come to God in the name of Him who gave His life for the world. Rely upon the efficacy of His sacrifice. Show that His love, His joy, is in your soul, and that because of this your joy is full. Cease to talk unbelief. In God is our strength. Pray much. Prayer is the life of soul. The prayer of faith is the weapon by which we may successfully resist every assault of the enemy.—Manuscript 24, 1904. 1SM 88.4