The Review and Herald

1170/1902

January 14, 1902

Perfect Service Required by God

EGW

Everything that God could do was done to save a perishing world. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God has made it impossible for it to be said that He could have done more than He has done for the fallen race. When He gave His Son, He gave himself. In one great gift He poured out the whole treasure of heaven. He has revealed a love that defies all computation, a love that should fill our hearts and lives with gratitude. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 1

Christ loves human beings, and He died to save them. At an infinite price He ransomed them from the power of the enemy. He invites them to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. He desires to see them prepared to receive the crown of life. He longs to bestow on them the eternal riches. He came to restore in them the image of divinity. He calls upon those who have accepted Him to join Him in this work. He has chosen us as His instruments. By us He desires to carry out His merciful purposes. He says, You are laborers together with me. Shall we not cooperate with Him in His great plan, working earnestly to save His blood-bought heritage? RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 2

He has given us grand and solemn truths to impart to those who are in darkness. Let us not mar these truths by imperfect utterance. God has given us voices that we may speak His truth. He desires that the music of the voice shall aid in impressing His word upon minds. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 3

We should train ourselves to take deep, full inspirations, and to speak clearly and distinctly. The voice should not be dropped at the end of a sentence, so that the closing words are hardly audible. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 4

Those who open the oracles of God to the people should improve in their manner of communicating the truth, that it may be presented to the world in an acceptable way. Place proper emphasis upon the words that should be made impressive. Speak slowly. Let the voice be as musical as possible. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 5

God desires His ministers to seek for perfection, that they may be vessels unto honor. They are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit; and when they speak, they are to show an energy proportionate to the importance of the subject they are presenting. They are to show that the power about which they speak has made a change in their lives. When they are truly united with Christ, they will give the heavenly invitation with an earnestness that will impress hearts. As they manifest zeal in proclaiming the gospel message, a corresponding earnestness will be produced in the hearers, and lasting impressions for good will be made. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 6

The greater the influence of the truth upon us, the greater will be our earnestness in seeking for perfection in our manner of imparting truth. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 7

Sin brings physical and spiritual disease and weakness. Christ has made it possible for us to free ourselves from this curse. The Lord promises, by the medium of truth, to renovate the soul. The Holy Spirit will make all who are willing to be educated able to communicate the truth with power. It will renew every organ of the body, that God's servants may work acceptably and successfully. Vitality increases under the influence of the Spirit's action. Let us, then, by this power lift ourselves into a higher, holier atmosphere, that we may do well our appointed work. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 8

By constant obedience those who are born again are fitted for service. The entire being is to be placed under the molding, fashioning hand of God, that physical, mental, and spiritual perfection may be attained. Christians are to grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 9

The Lord desires His servants to improve in their manner of praying. He inquires, Where is the vivifying influence of your prayers? He does not accept the tame, lifeless, lengthy prayers, which are so destitute of His Spirit. He calls for a reformation, else He will remove the candlestick out of its place. He desires the candle to burn brightly, sending forth light to all parts of the world. When the Church turns fully to the Lord, lifeless, spiritless prayers will no more be heard. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 10

I urge my ministering brethren to improve in their manner of praying. This can and must be done. I must say to them, The shorter you make your spiritless prayers, the better will it be for the congregation. It is generally the case that the less of heaven's vitality there is in a prayer, the more lengthy it is. Do not spend a long time in prayer before a congregation unless you know that God is inditing the prayer. Let the prayers made in public be short and full of earnestness. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much; but the prayer uttered in a low, monotonous tone and spiritless manner is not accepted by God. The voice of prayer should rise to God from hearts burdened by a sense of need. Let there be a revival of the Holy Spirit, that your prayers may be filled with the power of heaven. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 11

Learn to seek the Lord most earnestly for power to reach sinners. Heed the message God has sent to His Church of today: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 12

The Lord calls for those in His service to make all the improvement He has made it possible for them to make. The truth in our possession is of infinite importance. How essential, then, that it should lose none of its power in passing from us to those who are in darkness. It should not be bereft of its luster by our inefficiency. Our expression of God's wondrous loving-kindness, frame our words as we may, will be tame enough as it falls from our lips. But when, with sanctified lips, we offer praise for God's love, hearts are reached. Let us pray that the wondrous message of Christ's love may reach hearts. Let us watch for the Lord more earnestly than they that watch for the morning. Let us hope in Him and walk in His ways. He is well-pleased when His servants work with implicit faith in Him, asking Him to supply all their needs. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 13

From the experience of Jacob we may learn the power of importunate prayer. On his way to meet Esau, Jacob sent his family across the river Jabbok, while he alone remained behind. He had decided to spend the night in prayer, and he desired to be alone with God. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 14

It was a lonely, mountainous region, the haunt of wild beasts and the lurking place of robbers and murderers. Solitary and unprotected, Jacob bowed in deep distress upon the earth. It was midnight. All that made life dear to him were at a distance, exposed to danger and death. Bitterest of all was the thought that it was his own sin that had brought this peril upon the innocent. With earnest cries and tears he made his prayer before God. Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to free himself from the grasp of his assailant. In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment. While he was thus battling for his life, the sense of guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up before him to shut him out from God. But in his terrible extremity he remembered God's promises, and his whole heart went out in entreaty for His mercy. The struggle continued till near the break of day, when the stranger placed his finger upon Jacob's thigh, and he was crippled instantly. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 15

The patriarch now discerned the character of his antagonist. He knew that he had been in conflict with a heavenly messenger, and this was why his almost superhuman effort had not gained the victory. It was Christ, “the Angel of the covenant,” who had revealed himself to Jacob. The patriarch was disabled, and suffering the keenest pain, but he would not loosen his hold. All penitent and broken, he clung to the angel; “he wept, and made supplication,” pleading for a blessing. He must have the assurance that his sin was pardoned. Physical pain was not sufficient to divert his mind from this object. His determination grew stronger, his faith more earnest and persevering, until the very last. The angel tried to release himself; he urged, “Let me go, for the day breaketh;” but Jacob answered, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 16

Had this been a boastful, presumptuous confidence, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his own unworthiness, yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 17

Jacob “had power over the angel, and prevailed.” Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of infinite Love could not turn away the sinner's plea. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 18

Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer. It is now that we are to learn this lesson of prevailing prayer, of unyielding faith. The greatest victories to the Church or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talents or education, by wealth, or the favor of men; they are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 19

We can do nothing of ourselves. In our helpless unworthiness we must trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour. None will ever perish while they do this. The long, black catalogue of our delinquencies is before the eye of the Infinite. The register is complete; none of our offenses are forgotten. But He who listened to the cries of His servants of old, will hear the prayer of faith, and pardon our transgressions. He has promised, and He will fulfill His word. RH January 14, 1902, Art. A, par. 20