The Youth’s Instructor


September 13, 1894

Words to the Young


“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” YI September 13, 1894, par. 1

When you present your petitions to the Lord, it should be in humility, without boasting of superior attainments, but with real soul hunger for the blessing of God. Christ always knows what is cherished in the heart. We must come in faith that the Lord will hear and answer our prayers; for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Genuine faith is the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. A living faith will be a working faith. Should we go into the garden, and find that there was no sap in the plants, no freshness in the leaves, no bursting buds or blooming flowers, no signs of life in stalk or branches, we would say, “The plants are dead. Uproot them from the garden; for they are a deformity to the beds.” So it is with those who profess Christianity, and have no spirituality. If there are no signs of religious vigor, if there is no doing of the commandments of the Lord, it is evident that there is no abiding in Christ, the living vine. YI September 13, 1894, par. 2

Jesus said: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, ... and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” We are to take God's words into the very heart, and believe them as the words of one who will not deceive us. Make the promises of God your living trust until you can say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” “With the heart, man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” YI September 13, 1894, par. 3

If we have this quality of faith, we shall be able to bear an intelligent testimony in meeting, and it will be of a character to edify those who listen. We want our character and conduct both to be of such a nature as will be expressive of our faith. The religion of Jesus Christ means progress; it means to be ever reaching upward to a holier and higher standard. The Christian whose heart has been touched with the beauty of the Saviour's character, is to put into practice that which he learns in the school of Christ. We must be apt pupils in the school of Christ, readily learning that which he teaches us from day to day. YI September 13, 1894, par. 4

The talents which God had given us we are to employ to his honor and glory. The Lord has given us reason and intelligence, and he expects us to use them in the right direction. Thus we shall increase them; for a higher power than that of man's alone, works in us to will and to do of God's good pleasure. The ability which we possess is not of our own creating. The apostle asks, “Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” Our talents belong to God, and to him we should render them in joyful service, becoming workmen that need not be ashamed. YI September 13, 1894, par. 5

Jesus represents us as his children. He declares that he is our Father, and that we are to come to him as children come to an earthly parent. He says: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” A parent would not believe that a child was very hungry if he should come and ask in a whisper for something to eat. The hungry, thirsty child comes to ask for bread in real earnestness, and if the parent fails to give attention, the child takes hold of the parent, and reminds him or her of his wants, and will finally become importunate, so that you cannot put him off with an excuse. The hungry child does not cease to plead till its wants are supplied. The Lord says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Let no unbelief separate you from the source of your strength. Live by faith on the Son of God. YI September 13, 1894, par. 6

It is certainly proper for us to manifest the same zeal in religious matters that we manifest in our earthly, temporal concerns. We should manifest zeal proportionate to the value of the object of which we are in pursuit. But how does the devotion we manifest in eternal things compare with the zeal we manifest in the things of this world? Does our devotion to God call forth the same animation that we reveal when in the service of the world? The eternal interests are as much higher than temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth; and when we consider this fact, how can we account for the attitude of indifference, the want of earnestness, that many manifest in their religious life? Many do not seem to realize what claims God has upon them. Those who profess to be soldiers of Jesus Christ should realize that it is their duty to work for the interest of the cause of God, to strengthen his kingdom, and to magnify his name. We see that wisdom, tact, and skill are exercised in connection with temporal matters, and that much study and zeal are put forth in order to make this fleeting life a success in earthly things; but how few seem to feel under any obligation to devote to God the very best of their ability! YI September 13, 1894, par. 7

Ask yourselves the question, “What is my life toward God and toward my fellowmen?” There is no one that liveth to himself. No life is lived on neutral ground. Our conceptions of life may be influenced by the enemy of all righteousness, so that we do not realize its vast importance; but although we may not be awake to the importance of life, it is nevertheless true that we cannot cast off our responsibility, and live without reference to the future, immortal life, and still do our duty to God and to our fellowmen. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and each one has a far-reaching influence. We cannot fulfil the obligations that rest upon us in our own strength alone. We must have divine aid in meeting our responsibilities, that our influence may have a right direction, and be an influence that will gather with Christ. YI September 13, 1894, par. 8

All our talents of time, ability, and influence were bestowed by God, and are to be given back to him in willing service. The great object of the life which God has given is not the securing of temporal advantages, but the securing of eternal privileges in the kingdom of heaven. The Lord has bought all that there is of us by the precious blood of Christ; and it is the worst kind of robbery that could be practised to withhold from him his own. “What! know ye not that ... ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price [even with the precious blood of Christ]: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” YI September 13, 1894, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White