The Signs of the Times



January 6, 1904



Christ asks for unreserved consecration, for undivided service. He demands the heart, the mind, the soul, the strength. Outward observances can not take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, “Lord, take my heart; for I can not keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristianlike self. Mould me, fashion me, raise me into a pure, holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.” ST January 6, 1904, par. 1

It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual, earnest, heart-breaking confession of sin, and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by a constant renunciation of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely. ST January 6, 1904, par. 2

There are many who do not make an entire surrender. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. They adopt His name, they wear His badge, but they are not partakers of His nature. They have not overcome their unholy ambition and their love for the world. They do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they can not enter there. Almost, but not wholly saved, means to be wholly lost. ST January 6, 1904, par. 3

We need to examine ourselves, to see whether we are indeed worthy of the name of Christian. We hear Christ's voice, clear and distinct saying, “Follow Me.” “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” “So shall he be My disciple.” Are we following Him? He ordered His life and bore His cross for the honor of His father. Are we doing this? ST January 6, 1904, par. 4

The same devotion, the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of the Word of God, that were manifest in Christ, must be seen in His servants. He left His home of security and peace, left the glory that He had with the Father before the world was, left His position upon the throne of the universe. He went forth, a suffering, tempted man, went forth in solitude, to sow in tears, to water with His blood, the seed of life for a world lost. ST January 6, 1904, par. 5

His servants in like manner must go forth to sow. When called to become a sower of the seeds of truth, Abraham was bidden, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I shall show thee.” “And he went out, not knowing whither he went.” So to the apostle Paul, praying in the temple at Jerusalem, came the message from God, “Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” So those who are called to unite with Christ must leave all in order to follow Him. Old associations must be broken up, plans of life relinquished, earthly hopes surrendered. In toil and tears, in solitude and through sacrifice, must the seed be sown. ST January 6, 1904, par. 6

Those who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to God will constantly receive a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the breath of His own Spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth His highest energies to work in heart and mind. The grace of God enlarges and multiplies their faculties, and every perfection of the divine nature comes to their assistance in the work of saving souls. Through co-operation with Christ, they are made complete in Him, and in their human weakness they are enabled to do deeds of Omnipotence. ST January 6, 1904, par. 7