The Review and Herald

216/1902

October 10, 1882

Christian Work

EGW

God works with the efforts of his people for the salvation of souls. Wise generalship is as much needed in advancing the cause of Christ as in directing the movements of an army. There is much close thinking to be done. We must not enter into the Lord's work hap-hazard, and expect success. RH October 10, 1882, par. 1

Mechanics, lawyers, merchants, men of all trades and professions, educate themselves for their business, that they may become masters of it. Should the followers of Christ be less intelligent? Should they, while professedly engaged in his service, be ignorant of the ways and means to be employed? The enterprise of gaining everlasting life is above every earthly consideration. In leading souls to Jesus, there must be a knowledge of human nature and a study of the human mind. It requires much careful thought and fervent prayer to know how to approach men and women upon the great subjects that concern their eternal welfare. RH October 10, 1882, par. 2

“The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” Businessmen and politicians study courtesy. It is their policy to make themselves as attractive as possible. They study to render their address and manners such that they may have the greatest influence over the minds of those about them. They use their knowledge and ability as skillfully as possible in order to gain this object. Should not the followers of Christ manifest at least equal wisdom, in a work infinitely more important? There are some persons who will come through every discouragement, and surmount every obstacle in order to gain the truth. But how many more might be rejoicing in its light, if those who have received it were doing all in their power to win their fellow-men! RH October 10, 1882, par. 3

After souls have been converted to the truth, they need watchful attention, help, and encouragement. They should not be left alone, a prey to Satan's temptations; they need to be educated in regard to their duties, to be kindly dealt with, to be led along, visited and prayed with. These souls need the meat apportioned to every man in due season. RH October 10, 1882, par. 4

Without the needed help, some become discouraged and linger by the way, and are left for wolves to devour. Satan is upon the track of all. He sends his agents forth to gather back to his ranks the souls that he has lost. There should be more fathers and mothers to take these newly converted ones to their hearts, and encourage them and pray for them. RH October 10, 1882, par. 5

Preaching is a small part of the work to be done for the salvation of souls. God's Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and he places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires his church to care for those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak to them words that are “like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” RH October 10, 1882, par. 6

We all need to study character and manner, that we may know how to deal judiciously with different minds, that we may use our best endeavors to help them to a correct understanding of the word of God, and to a true Christian life. We should read the Bible with them, and draw their minds away from temporal things to their eternal interests. RH October 10, 1882, par. 7

It is the duty of God's children to be missionaries for him, to become acquainted with those who need help. If one is fiercely assailed by temptation, his case should be taken up carefully and managed wisely; for his eternal interest is at stake, and the words and acts of those laboring for him may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. By patient and judicious labor, many a wanderer may be brought back to the fold of Christ; many a doubting and wavering one may be bound with strong cords to Christ, and led to trust in God. RH October 10, 1882, par. 8

Oh, when a work like this is done, all the heavenly host rejoice; for a precious soul has been rescued from Satan's snare and saved from death! Shall we not work intelligently for the salvation of souls? Christ paid the price of his own life for them; and shall his followers ask, “Am I my brother's keeper? Shall we not work in unison with the Master? RH October 10, 1882, par. 9

Earnest effort should be put forth to interest the children in the great truths of the word of God. Our Sabbath-schools should be made efficient and attractive. The public schools have of late years greatly improved their methods of teaching. Object lessons, pictures, and blackboards are used to make difficult lessons clear to the youthful mind. Just so may present truth be simplified and made intensely interesting to the active minds of children. RH October 10, 1882, par. 10

Parents who could be approached in no other way, are frequently reached through their children. Sabbath-school teachers can instruct the children in the truth, and they will, in turn, take it into the home circle. The modes of teaching which have been adopted with so great success in the public schools, could be employed with similar results in the Sabbath-schools, and be the means of bringing children to Jesus and educating them in Bible truth. This will do far more good than religious excitement of an emotional character that passes off as rapidly as it comes. RH October 10, 1882, par. 11

The love of Christ should be cherished by all his followers. More faith is needed in the work which we believe is to be done before the coming of Christ. There should be more self-denying, self-sacrificing labor in the right direction. There should be thoughtful, prayerful study how to work to the best advantage. Careful plan should be matured. Great results will follow well-directed and intelligent efforts. RH October 10, 1882, par. 12

The prayer and social meetings should be the most interesting gatherings that are held. Plans should be laid, and wisdom sought of God, to conduct these meetings so that they will be interesting and attractive. The people hunger for the bread of life. If they find it at the prayer-meeting, they will go there to receive it. Long, prosy talks and prayers are out of place anywhere, and especially in the social meeting. They weary the angels as well as the people who listen to them. Our prayers should be short, and right to the point. Let the Spirit of God pervade the hearts of the worshipers, and it will sweep away all formality and dullness. RH October 10, 1882, par. 13

In our intercourse as Christians, we lose much by lack of sympathy one with another, by a want of sociability. He who talks of independence, and shuts himself up to himself, is not filling the position that God designed he should. We are all children of God, mutually dependent upon one another for happiness. The claims of God and of humanity are upon us. It is the proper cultivation of the social elements of our nature that brings us in sympathy with our brethren, and affords us happiness in our efforts to bless others. The happiness of Heaven is in the pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels, and with the redeemed who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We cannot be happy while we are wrapped up in our interest for ourselves. We should live in this world to win souls to the Saviour. If we injure others, we injure ourselves also. If we bless others, we bless ourselves; for the influence of every good deed is reflected back upon our own hearts. RH October 10, 1882, par. 14

We are in duty bound to help one another. It is not always that we are brought in contact with social Christians, those who are amiable and mild. Many have not received a proper education, their characters are warped, they are hard and gnarled, and seem to be crooked in every way. While we help these to see and correct their defects, we must be careful not to become impatient and irritable over our neighbor's faults. There are disagreeable ones who profess Christ, but the beauty of Christian grace will transform them if they will set diligently about the work of obtaining the meekness and gentleness of Him they follow, remembering that “none of us liveth to himself.” RH October 10, 1882, par. 15

Co-workers with Christ—what an exalted position! The Lord calls for workers in his vineyard. We should fear to rob God of the time he claims from us; we should fear to spend it in idleness or in the adornment of the body, appropriating to foolish purposes the precious hours which God has given us to become conversant with our Bibles, to devote to prayer, to labor for the good of our fellow-beings, and to fit ourselves and them for the great events of the future. RH October 10, 1882, par. 16

Mothers spend unnecessary labor upon garments with which to adorn themselves and their children. It is our duty to clothe ourselves and our children neatly, without useless ornament, embroidery, or display, taking care not to foster in them a love of dress that will prove their ruin, but seeking rather to cultivate the Christian graces. We can none of us be excused from our responsibilities, and in no case can we stand clear before the throne of God unless we do the work that the Master has left for us to do. RH October 10, 1882, par. 17

Missionaries for God are wanted, faithful men and women who will not shirk responsibility. Judicious labor will accomplish good results. There is real work to do. The truth should be brought before people in a careful manner by those who unite meekness with wisdom. We should not hold ourselves aloof from our fellowmen; for their souls are as precious as our own. We can carry the light into their homes, with a softened and subdued spirit plead with the unconverted to give their hearts to Christ, show the professed followers of Jesus that there are higher attainments for them to reach, pray with them when it seems proper, and carefully present to them the special truths for this time. RH October 10, 1882, par. 18

Those who do little for the salvation of others or to keep themselves right before God, will gain but little spiritual power. We need to use continually the strength which we have, that it may increase and develop. As disease is the result of the violation of natural laws, so is spiritual declension the result of a continued transgression of the law of God. We must place ourselves in close connection with Heaven, and carry out the principles of God's law in our every-day lives, in order to be spiritually whole. God has given his servants ability, talents to be used for his glory, not to lie idle or be wasted. He has given them light and knowledge of his will, to be communicated to others; and, in imparting to others, we become living channels of light. If we do not exercise our spiritual strength, we become feeble, as the limbs of the body become powerless when the invalid is compelled to long inaction. It is use that gives power. RH October 10, 1882, par. 19

Nothing will give greater spiritual strength, or more surely increase earnestness and depth of feeling, than visiting and ministering to the sick and the desponding, helping them to see the light and to fasten their faith upon Jesus. There are duties that somebody must do, or souls will be left to perish. Christians will find a blessing in doing these duties, however unpleasant they may be. Christ took the disagreeable task upon himself of coming from the abode of purity and unsurpassed glory to dwell, a man among men, in a world seared and blackened by crime, violence, and iniquity. He did this to save souls; and shall the objects of such amazing love and unparalleled condescension excuse their lives of selfish ease? shall they choose their own pleasure, and follow their own inclinations, and leave souls to perish in darkness? RH October 10, 1882, par. 20

God wants prayerful, faithful workers, who will sow beside all waters. Those who labor thus will be surprised to find how trials, resolutely borne in the name and strength of Jesus, will give firmness to the faith and renew the courage. In the path of humble obedience is safety and power, comfort and hope. The reward will finally be lost by those who do nothing for Jesus. Weak hands will be unable to cling to the Mighty One, feeble knees will fail to support in the day of adversity. Christian workers will receive the glorious prize, and hear the “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” RH October 10, 1882, par. 21