Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 6, 1885

The Spirit of Service

Basel, Switzerland


Previously unpublished.

I know that the Lord is good. I know that He hears prayer and that He is a present help in every time of need. O that we might have faith to ask Him for strength, according to our great need! God’s Word is sure. Why should we not take Him at His Word? 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 1

I believe that the Lord will lay upon us no burden greater than we can bear by His strength and grace. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 2

“Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 3

Will not the Lord be pleased to let the light of His countenance shine upon us? O that His arm of power might be revealed! 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 4

Much work remains to be done in proclaiming the third angel’s message. The Master is asking us, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” [Matthew 20:6.] We should engage in His service, however great a sacrifice this may at first appear to us. Poor, deluded souls must be aroused from the fatal lethargy of sin. The power of sin must be broken, else it will strengthen and result in complete and final ruin. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 5

Faith, hope, and love are, as it were, lying inactive, paralyzed. Faith is the hand by which the human agent grasps the hand of the mighty Helper. Man must become one with Christ. Christ abides in the hearts of those who abide in Him. Rich clusters of fruit are borne by such men. Christ desires to quicken into activity the paralyzed powers of every man, in order that every faculty may be wisely improved. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 6

O what glorious possibilities are set before the fallen race! Through the merits of Christ, man is lifted from his depraved state, purified, and made more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. It is possible for him to become a companion of the angels in glory, and to reflect the image of Jesus Christ, shining even in the bright splendor of the eternal throne. It is his privilege to have faith that through the power of Christ he shall be made immortal. Yet how seldom he realizes to what heights he could reach if he would allow God to direct his every step! 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 7

How often a worker is satisfied to do but little service for the Master in comparison with what the Master did for him in this world! Why, O why is man willing to remain so inactive, so helpless, when he could be accomplishing a great work in saving souls? 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 8

God invites His workers to call upon Him for help and promises to hear and answer them. Why do they not enlist the help of Omnipotence? In these precious, golden days of probation, let every laborer reach forth the hand in faith for the help and strength that will enable him to be a strong worker in the Lord’s vineyard. Let him pray for soundness of judgment and for heavenly wisdom. God is a mighty Helper. He will sustain every laborer who trusts in Him. He is a sure, tried anchor, holding His children fast to Himself amid every storm of opposition, every tempest of trial and adversity. When the heavens seem dark, when the strength seems to fail, He will give light and confidence to all who believe in Him. On every troubled heart He will breathe the Spirit of peace. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 9

Christ Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. I fear that with many of us, faith does not reach any further than we can see. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Let no one allow his strength to be wasted by vain conflicts, or his heart to be wearied and saddened because of unanswered desires. Even amid the fiercest conflicts of life, there is rest for the weary. Christ gives rest to all who trust in Him. To those who are afflicted with physical and spiritual maladies, He is saying, “Wilt thou be made whole?” [John 5:6.] He is ready and willing to do great things for all who place their dependence on Him. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 10

With tenderness and pity the Saviour is looking upon us. He offers help to all who, doing the best they can, plead for capabilities that will enable them to do more for Him. Every truly converted person has the spirit of service. If Christ is indeed formed within, the hope of glory, His Holy Spirit works through the human agent to save other souls for whom He has died. If His followers take up the cross, fully resolved to do what they can, He gives them strength to bear the burden. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 11

What more can we say to impress the members of the church of Christ with the importance of using aright the talents that have been entrusted to them? How shall they be made to realize what a power for good they might become, if they would endeavor to use their talents to God’s glory? Satan has great success in preventing men from using their talents. He controls the talents of many who claim to believe the present truth. A very large number of professing Christians are daily robbing God, dwarfing their powers by engaging in frivolous amusements and by gratifying selfish ambition. Constantly they are degrading their God-given powers by allowing their minds to become absorbed in commonplace matters, when the most important themes that can be contemplated by the mind are within their grasp. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 12

God’s lessons are presented in such a form that they will not only instruct those who are endowed with the loftiest intellect, but will interest those who have a feeble understanding. Those who, conscious of their weakness, are willing to be learners, becoming as little children, will be instructed in divine things by the Great Teacher. He will impart to them greater wisdom than has ever been imparted in schools of human philosophy. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 13

The greatest work, the noblest effort, in which man can engage is to point his fellow men to the Lamb of God. O let us urge the importance of this work more than we have urged it! Let the laymen begin to work. In manner, thought, word, and action they should give a correct representation of Christ. If they represent Him aright, they will receive the reward of life eternal and a home in heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 6, 1885, par. 14