Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 228

aglow with the spirit of the truth you present to others. After you have labored to convict souls of the claims that the law of God has upon them, teaching them repentance toward God and faith in Christ, then your work is but just begun. You too frequently excuse yourself from completing the work and leave a heavy burden for others to take up in finishing the work that you ought to have done. You say that you are not qualified to finish up the work. Then the sooner you qualify yourself to bear the burdens of a shepherd, or pastor, of the flock, the better.

As a true shepherd you should discipline yourself to deal with minds and to give to each of the flock of God his portion of meat in due season. You should be careful and study to have a store of practical subjects that you have investigated and that you can enter into the spirit of and present in a plain, forcible manner to the people at the right time and place as they may need. You have not been thoroughly furnished from the word of Inspiration unto all good works. When the flock have needed spiritual food, you have frequently presented some argumentative subject that was no more appropriate for the occasion than an oration upon national affairs. If you would task yourself and educate your mind to a knowledge of the subjects with which the word of God has amply furnished you, you could build up the cause of God by feeding the flock with food which would be proper and which would give spiritual health and strength as their wants require.

You have yet to learn the work of a true shepherd. When you understand this, the cause and work of God will rest upon you with such weight that you will not be inclined to jest and joke, and engage in light and frivolous conversation. A minister of Christ who has a proper burden of the work and a high sense of the exalted character and sacredness of his mission will not be inclined to be light and trifling with the lambs of the flock.

A true shepherd will have an interest in all that relates to the welfare of the flock, feeding, guiding, and defending them.

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