The Review and Herald

226/1902

May 1, 1883

Christian Work

(Concluded.)

EGW

Professed follower of Christ, when you are devoting time and means to the indulgence of pride, ask yourself whose gifts you are thus squandering. When you spend precious hours in fashioning what is merely to please the fancy, but will benefit no one, inquire how that day's record will stand in the books above. Your works will be brought into Judgment, whether they be good or evil. Suppose you were to keep an account of the manner in which each day is spent, how often would you have to make such records as these? “Spent one or two hours in bed after daylight, because I was disinclined to rise and begin the day's duties. Spent several hours in crocheting. Devoted the day to making ruffles to ornament my children's dresses. They must look like other people, or I shall have no influence. Passed this afternoon in entertaining visitors. The name of Jesus was not mentioned. We talked of the wrong course of our brethren and sisters, of our worldly affairs, and our perplexities and trials.” Are such persons honoring God in their lives? Is their light shining? Are souls saved through their instrumentality? RH May 1, 1883, par. 1

Many do not know how to win souls to Christ, because they have never tried to learn. If they would enter upon the work cheerfully and heartily, endeavoring to exert a right influence in the position where God has placed them, they would gain strength and experience with every effort. They would learn how to adapt themselves to the wants of others, and might thus become successful in winning souls to Christ and the truth. A large share of the Christian world are endeavoring to serve God by proxy. Men educate themselves for trades, for business, but not for Christian work, which is more important than everything besides. There is an appropriate division of labor in the same manufactory. Men are set apart for special branches of the business. While one can do his own work successfully, he may not be qualified to do that of his neighbor. The carpenter would blunder at the anvil, and the blacksmith with the plane. In the professions, greater difficulties would exist. The lawyer could not take charge of critical cases of sickness, and the physician would make poor work at pleading a case in court. In the same manner the followers of Christ have different positions and duties, and each should seek to qualify himself for the place which the Master has assigned him. “To every man his work.” RH May 1, 1883, par. 2

Those who excuse themselves from labor to save other souls, will not be saved themselves. There is work to be done for Christ in our families, in our neighborhoods, everywhere. By kindness to the poor, the sick, or the bereaved, we may obtain an influence over them, so that divine truth may find access to their hearts. Opportunities for usefulness are on every hand. All who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ will show themselves to be fruit-bearing branches of the living Vine. RH May 1, 1883, par. 3

It is a sad fact, that many professors of religion gauge their piety by the lowest standard which they deem safe for themselves. They mean to escape the wrath of God, but are not seeking to do all the good that the Lord has given them ability to do. They fall into the observance of certain forms, which they term religion, and argument and entreaty are alike powerless to move them from their stereotyped position. They are well satisfied with themselves. They will not be aroused to pray more or to give more. Many pass on month after month, year after year, without a genuine experience in the love of God, or a burden for the salvation of souls. By their lack of religious fervor, by their worldliness and selfishness, they lead others to skepticism or contempt for the truth. RH May 1, 1883, par. 4

Could the ledger of Heaven be opened before us, we would be greatly astonished at the large proportion of professing Christians who really contribute nothing toward the upbuilding of Christ's kingdom, who put forth no efforts for the salvation of souls. Such are slothful servants. Many who are satisfied not to do much good, flatter themselves that they are doing no harm so long as they do not oppose the earnest, active workers. But this class are doing much harm by their example. For the influence thus exerted, they must render an account to God. Sinners, misled by these false lights, are going down to ruin. Every person will be held accountable for the good which he might have done, but failed to perform because he was too careless and indolent to gain a knowledge of the will of God. RH May 1, 1883, par. 5

The slothful servant was not condemned for what he had done, but for what he had not done. There is no more dangerous enemy to the cause of God than an indolent Christian. An open profaner does less harm; for he deceives no one, he appears what he is, a brier, a thorn. The do-nothings are the greatest hindrance. Those who will not bear burdens, who shun all disagreeable responsibilities, are the first to be taken in Satan's snare, the first to lend their influence to a wrong course. RH May 1, 1883, par. 6

Watch, pray, work—these are the Christian's watch-words. Let none excuse themselves from labor for the salvation of souls. Let none deceive themselves into the belief that nothing is required of them. No less is required of any than was expected of the man with one talent. That unfaithful servant hid his talent in the earth, and then sought to justify his course by murmuring against his lord. In like manner, those who do the least in the cause of Christ are most ready to doubt and murmur. If they would connect with the living Vine, and bear fruit to the glory of God, they would find so much to do, and feel so great joy in the work, that they would have no time or disposition to complain. RH May 1, 1883, par. 7

It is ours to make the record which we desire to meet hereafter. Would we have its pages filled with the history of earnest work for God and humanity? Let us follow in the footsteps of Him who declared, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. RH May 1, 1883, par. 8