The Review and Herald


April 24, 1883

Christian Work


“Do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Every Christian is a light bearer. “Ye are,” says Christ to his followers, “the light of the world.” While the work of preaching the gospel is committed to the minister, all the members of the church are to demonstrate its power by representing Christ in their lives. Says the apostle, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by which worldlings judge the gospel. RH April 24, 1883, par. 1

God will have co-laborers in the earth. He gives every Christian a work to do. Every one has his special post of duty, and each should have a close connection with God, that he may be enabled to do his work wisely and well. The apostle exhorts his brethren to “do all things without murmurings or disputings.” We are not only to refrain from murmurings and disputings, but to do “all things” which God and duty require. RH April 24, 1883, par. 2

The Lord has appointed to every person talents, great or small, according to his ability. Each individual has a mission to fulfill which involves weal or woe to some other soul. If faithful to his trust, he is a light that shines to God's glory; by his Christian example, his constancy and fidelity, he represents Christ to the world. If he is unfaithful, he becomes a false light, an agent of Satan to allure souls to ruin. As the sentinel who sleeps at his post endangers the liberty and life of his comrades, so does the professed Christian who is untrue to his high calling endanger the eternal welfare of his fellow-men. RH April 24, 1883, par. 3

The salvation of sinners requires earnest, personal labor. We are to bear to them the word of life, not to wait for them to come to us. With personal piety and a consistent course of life our earnest heart-felt appeals will be, through God, as sharp arrows of the Almighty to pierce the sin-hardened heart, as sharp sickles to reap a precious harvest for the heavenly garner. If we are co-laborers with Christ, we shall all have sheaves to bring to the Master,—souls saved through our instrumentality. RH April 24, 1883, par. 4

The injunction to be blameless and harmless does not teach that we may remain in a passive state. If Christians aspire no higher than a mere negative virtue, we may well anxiously inquire, what is to become of those who know not Christ nor the truth? Who will reach out their hands to save them? “Blameless” here means unadulterated, sincere; it expresses an active piety. We are to let our light shine upon others, that its bright beams may reflect glory to the great Source of light. Our Heavenly Father is not a hard master; he requires of no man more or less than he gives him ability to do. “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Every one has earnest work to do for God. Every one upon whom God has bestowed the gift of reason has some influence over others. By the blessing of God, that influence can be used to save souls. We shall individually be held responsible for doing an iota less than God has given us ability to do. He measures our strength; he gives us work which we can do, and which we must do if we ever hear from his lips the heavenly benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” RH April 24, 1883, par. 5

Some persons array before their imagination a large number of Christian duties which they should perform, and then they tremble and shrink at the task, and in many cases leave it altogether undone. There are faults in themselves to be corrected, wrong habits to be reformed, temptations to be resisted. As followers of Christ, there must go forth from them a steady, certain light, whose bright beams shall so represent Jesus that the unbelieving world shall be led to respect Christianity and to glorify God. The preparation essential for the Christian's work requires an effort. There must be a daily searching of heart, in obedience to the injunction of the apostle, “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith.” Secret prayer must be maintained; to neglect this duty would be to throw aside one's weapons before going into battle. The prayer-meeting must be attended, and a cheerful testimony borne; souls may be discouraged, perhaps led in the wrong direction, if the testimonies do not breathe the right spirit. There are persons who need the help of kindly words and deeds, and who need prayer offered for them and with them. Here is indeed earnest work for every follower of Christ. But we should not be disheartened by the magnitude of the work. All is not to be done at once. God requires today only the work of the day. We should take things in their order, one thing at a time. The willing mind, the earnest purpose, will go forward. God has promised grace according to our need. RH April 24, 1883, par. 6

Have you put off the work until this eleventh hour? I entreat you to begin now. Do you feel incompetent to do some great thing, and therefore neglect to do anything? Do what you can, be it ever so little. Go about your work calmly, relying upon God for that strength which he alone can give. Look not anxiously into the morrow. Today employ your time to the very best account, let your light shine for Christ, even in the performance of little duties. Tomorrow again present yourself to Jesus as one ready to do any work, be it ever so humble. The faithful performance of today's duties will prepare you to take hold of tomorrow's work with new courage and new zeal, saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped me.” Ever stand as minute men before God; let the prayer of your heart be, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do now? Imbue me with thy Spirit; strengthen me for thy work.” Then may you grow up to the full stature of men in Christ. RH April 24, 1883, par. 7

We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care and trouble and perplexity in the Lord's work. We need to trust him, believe on him, and go forward. We should not shadow the lives of others with our sorrows or disappointments, or discourage them by leaving our work for them to do. All have Satan and his host to meet, and need to put forth their utmost efforts to resist the powers of darkness. All have trials, griefs hard to bear, temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow-mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the lives of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer, even when your own heart is weighed down with unspoken sorrow. RH April 24, 1883, par. 8

There is many a brave soul sorely pressed by temptation, fainting in the conflict with self and with the powers of darkness, yet at the same time seeking to do good to others. Do not censure or discourage such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with brave, hopeful words that shall urge him on his way. Thus the light of Christ may shine from you. Thus you confess Jesus and his transforming grace to the world. “No man liveth to himself.” By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged and repelled from Christ and the truth. RH April 24, 1883, par. 9

(Concluded next week.)