Selected Messages Book 1


Chapter 11—What Are We Worth?

[Portion of a sermon delivered in the St. Helena Sanitarium chapel, January 23, 1904, and appearing in Notebook Leaflets, The Church, No. 7.]

The Lord desires every one of us to be decidedly in earnest. We cannot afford to make a mistake in spiritual matters. The life-and-death question with us is, “What shall I do that I may be saved, eternally saved?” “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life—a life that measures with the life of God?” This is a question that it becomes every one of us to consider carefully.…  1SM 98.1

While living in this world we are to be God's helping hand. Paul declared, “Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). We are to cooperate with God in every measure that He desires to carry out. Are we fulfilling the purpose of the eternal God? Are we daily seeking to have the mind of Christ and to do His will in word and work? 1SM 98.2

What a condition the human family is in today! Have you ever seen before such a time of confusion—of violence, of murder, theft, and every other kind of crime? In this time, where are we individually standing? 1SM 98.3

In the fifty-eighth of Isaiah we have read of those who “fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness” and we have learned that God will not accept such a fast. “Ye shall not fast as ye do this day,” He declares, “to make your voice to be heard on high” (Isaiah 58:4). 1SM 98.4

“Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? 1SM 99.1

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens [instead of binding them on], and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” (Isaiah 58:5-7). 1SM 99.2

The Reward

“Then [after they do these works of mercy and necessity] shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward” (Isaiah 58:8). 1SM 99.3

We are to put into practice the precepts of the law, and thus have righteousness before us; the rearward will be God's glory. The light of the righteousness of Christ will be our front guard, and the glory of the Lord will be our rearward. Let us thank the Lord for this assurance. Let us constantly stand in a position where the Lord God of heaven can favor us. Let us consider that it is our high privilege to be in connection with God—to be His helping hand. 1SM 99.4

In God's great plan for the redemption of a lost race, He has placed Himself under the necessity of using human agencies as His helping hand. He must have a helping hand, in order to reach humanity. He must have the cooperation of those who will be active, quick to see opportunities, quick to discern what must be done for their fellow men. 1SM 99.5

Christ gave His life for sinful men and women. He desired to rescue the race from a life of transgression to a life of obedience and righteousness; and to those who accept Him as their Redeemer He offers the richest reward that Heaven can bestow—even the inheritance of life eternal.…  1SM 100.1

O that we might comprehend more fully the infinite price that has been paid for our redemption! Paul declares, “Ye are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20); and it is true; for the price paid is nothing less than the life of the only-begotten Son of God. Let us all consider this. We may refuse the invitations that Christ sends to us; we may neglect His offer of pardon and peace; but still it remains a fact that every one of us has been bought with a price, even with the precious blood of the Son of God. Therefore, “Consider him” (Hebrews 12:3). 1SM 100.2

You have cost much. “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:20). That which you may regard as your own is God's. Take care of His property. He has bought you with an infinite price. Your mind is His. What right has any person to abuse a body that belongs not to himself, but to the Lord Jesus Christ? What satisfaction can anyone take in gradually lessening the powers of body and mind by selfish indulgence of any form? 1SM 100.3

God has given to every human being a brain. He desires that it shall be used to His glory. By it, man is enabled to cooperate with God in efforts to save perishing fellow mortals. We have none too much brain power or reasoning faculties. We are to educate and train every power of mind and body—the human mechanism that Christ has bought—in order that we may put it to the best possible use. We are to do all we can to strengthen these powers; for God is pleased to have us become more and still more efficient colaborers with Him. 1SM 100.4

Of those who do their part faithfully, it is said, “We are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Apart from divine aid, man can do very little; but the heavenly Father and His Son are ready to work through everyone who consecrates himself wholly on the altar of service. Every soul before me may cooperate with God, and labor for Him acceptably. The Lord desires us all to come into line. To every man He has given an appointed work, according to their several ability.…  1SM 100.5

Personal Experience

At the age of seventeen, when all my friends thought I was an invalid for life on account of a severe accident I had sustained in my girlhood, a heavenly visitant came and spoke to me, saying, “I have a message for you to bear.” “Why,” I thought, “there certainly must be a great mistake somewhere.” Again were spoken the words: “I have a message for you to bear. Write out for the people what I give you.” Up to that time, my trembling hand had not been able to write a line. I replied, “I cannot do it; I cannot do it.” “Write! write!” were the words spoken once again. I took the pen and paper, and I began to write; and how much I have written since, it is impossible to estimate. The strength, the power, was of God. 1SM 101.1

Since that time, the books that I have written have been published in many, many languages, and have gone to all parts of the earth. Just a short time ago I received word that a copy of one of my books had been graciously received by the queen of Germany, and that she had written a kind letter expressing her appreciation of the volume. To the Lord be all the praise. 1SM 101.2

Of ourselves we can do nothing good. But it is our privilege to place ourselves in right relation to God, and to determine that by His help we will do our part in this work, to make it better. In the lives of those who humbly yet unfalteringly carry out this resolution, will be revealed the glory of God. I know this by experience. I have had no power of my own. I have realized that I must hang my helpless soul on Jesus Christ; and as the result of doing this, of praying, and of believing, the salvation of God has gone before me, and the glory of the Lord has followed. 1SM 101.3

I tell you that which I know, for your encouragement and comfort. Let us all place ourselves in right relation to God. What satisfaction is to be found in keeping pace with the fashions of this world? You have a better work to do. Fashion character. Use every ability, every nerve, every muscle, every thought, every action, to the glory of God. Then you will see, as you have never seen before, the salvation of God going before you. 1SM 101.4

Oh, I have nought to complain of. The Lord has never failed me. I laid my husband in the grave twenty-two years ago; and several years afterward, when the decision was made that more missionaries must go to Australia to unite with the few who had been sent, we went there ourselves to strengthen the hands of our brethren, and to establish the work on right lines in this new center. There we did much pioneer work. 1SM 102.1

Helping Establish a School

We saw the great need for a school in which promising young men and young women could be trained for the Master's service; and we went right into the woods in New South Wales, purchased fifteen hundred acres of land, and there established a training school away from the cities.…  1SM 102.2

Three years ago we returned to America. Others were sent to Australia to take our places. The work has continued to grow; prosperity has attended every effort. I wish you could read the letters that come to us. Doubtless you have heard of the dreadful drought that has caused famine in so many places in Australia during the past two years. Hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle and horses have perished. In all the colonies, and especially in Queensland, the suffering and the financial loss have been great. 1SM 102.3

But the spot that was chosen for our training school, has had sufficient rainfall for good pasture land and bountiful crops; in fact, in legislative assemblies and in the newspapers of the great cities it has been specified as “the only green spot in all New South Wales.” 1SM 102.4

Is not this remarkable? Has not the Lord blessed? From one of the reports received, we learn that last year seven thousand pounds of honey of the best quality has been made on the school estate. Large quantities of vegetables have been raised, and the sale of the surplus has been a source of considerable revenue to the school. All this is very encouraging to us; for we took the wild land, and helped to bring it to its present fruitful state. To the Lord we ascribe all the praise. 1SM 102.5

In every land and in every community there are many opportunities for helpful service. Even in these valleys in which we are now living, there are families that need help along spiritual lines. Look these ones up. Use your talent, your ability, by helping them. First give yourself to the Master; then He will work with you. To every man He gives his work. 1SM 103.1

Is Sister White Getting Rich?

Sometimes it has been reported that I am trying to get rich. Some have written to us, inquiring, “Is not Mrs. White worth millions of dollars?” I am glad that I can say, “No.” I do not own in this world any place that is free from debt. Why?—Because I see so much missionary work to be done. Under such circumstances, could I hoard money?—No, indeed. I receive royalties from the sale of my books; but nearly all is spent in missionary work. 1SM 103.2

The head of one of our publishing houses in a distant foreign land, upon hearing from others recently that I was in need of means, sent me a bill of exchange for five hundred dollars; and in the letter accompanying the money, he said that in return for the thousands upon thousands of dollars royalty that I had turned over to their mission field for the translation and distribution of new books and for the support of new missionary enterprises, they regarded the enclosed five hundred dollars as a very small token of their appreciation. They sent this because of their desire to help me in my time of special need; but heretofore I have given, for the support of the Lord's cause in foreign lands, all the royalties that come from the sale of my foreign books in Europe; and I intend to return this five hundred dollars as soon as I can free myself from debt. 1SM 103.3

For the glory of God, I will tell you that about four years ago He enabled me to finish writing a book on the parables of Jesus, and then He put it into my heart to give this book for the advancement of our denominational educational work. 1SM 103.4

At that time some of our larger training schools and colleges were heavily in debt; but through the efforts of our people to sell this book and to devote the entire proceeds to the liquidation of these debts, over two hundred thousand dollars has already been raised and applied on the debts; and the good work is still going on. The success of this plan has been a source of great satisfaction to me. I am now completing another book, to be used in a similar way for other enterprises. 1SM 104.1

But the financial gain is not the most encouraging feature to me. I love to dwell on the thought that the circulation of these books is bringing many souls into the truth. This thought makes my heart glad indeed. I have no time to sit down and mourn. I go right on with my work, and constantly keep writing, writing, writing. Early in the morning, when the rest of you are asleep, I am generally up, writing. 1SM 104.2

Even affliction has not caused me to cease writing. Not long after going to Australia, I was stricken with disease. Because of the dampness of the houses, I suffered an attack of inflammatory rheumatism, which prostrated me for eleven months. At times I was in intense agony. I could sleep in one position for only about two hours, then I had to be moved so that I could lie in another position. My rubber air mattress gave me very little relief, and I passed through periods of great suffering. 1SM 104.3

But in spite of this I did not cease my work. My right arm, from the elbow to the finger tips, was free from pain; the rest of the arm, the whole of the left arm, and both shoulders, could not be moved voluntarily. A framework was devised, and by the aid of this, I could write. During these eleven months, I wrote twenty-five hundred pages of letter paper, to send across the broad waters of the Pacific for publication in America. 1SM 104.4

I feel so thankful to the Lord that He never disappoints me; that He gives me strength and grace. As I stood by the side of my dying husband, I placed my hand in his, and said, “Do you know me, husband?” He nodded. Said I: “All through the years I have allowed you to bear the business responsibilities, and to lead out in new enterprises. Now I promise you to be a pioneer myself.” And I added, “If you realize what I say, grasp my hand a little more firmly.” He did so; he could not speak. 1SM 104.5

After my husband had been laid away in the grave, his friends thought of putting up a broken shaft as a monument. “Never!” said I, “never! He has done, singlehanded, the work of three men. Never shall a broken monument be placed over his grave!” 1SM 105.1

God has helped me. Today I glorify His name in the presence of His people. I spent nearly ten years in Australia. A wonderful work has been done there; but more than twice as much could have been accomplished, if we had had the men and the means that we should have had. We thank God, nevertheless, for His sustaining presence, and for what we can now see in that field as the result of the efforts put forth.—Manuscript 8, 1904. 1SM 105.2

Earnest, Untiring Activity

Camp meetings should be held in our large cities. And if the speakers are careful in all they say, hearts will be reached as the truth is proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. The love of Christ received into the heart will banish the love of error. The love and benevolence manifested in the life of Christ is to be manifested in the lives of those who work for Him. The earnest, untiring activity that marked His life is to mark their lives. The character of the Christian is to be a reproduction of the character of Christ. 1SM 105.3

Let us never forget that we are not our own, that we have been bought with a price. Our powers are to be regarded as sacred trusts, to be used to the glory of God and the good of our fellow men. We are a part of the cross of Christ. With earnest, unwearying fidelity we are to seek to save the lost.—Manuscript 6, 1902. 1SM 105.4