Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 360

Present Duty, December 14

Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11.

The present duty of every true child of God is to wait patiently, to watch vigilantly, to work faithfully, until the coming of the Lord, that we may be prepared for the solemn event. The characteristics of the true follower of Christ, the perfect man and woman in Christ Jesus, will be manifested in working, watching, and waiting for the Lord. They will not be wholly given up to contemplation and meditation or be so engrossed in some busy works that they will neglect the exercise of personal piety; but in the symmetrical Christian, personal devotion will be blended with earnest work, and the followers of Christ will be “not slothful in business” but “fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” The lamps must be kept trimmed and burning, that they may send forth bright rays of light into the moral darkness of the world....

The Lord is soon coming, and for this very reason we need our schools, not that we may be educated after the order of the world, but that our institutions of learning may be more like the schools of the prophets—places where we may learn the will of God and reach to the very highest branches of science, that we may better understand God and His works and the character of Jesus Christ whom He has sent.... The people of God must be gaining more and more skill and experience; for there will be increased work for all, and especially for those in positions of trust. As we near the end, Satan will be moved to make a desperate effort to overthrow all those who dispute his claim to supreme authority on earth, and the people of God must be prepared for the struggle. God requires the full exercise of all the ability He has given to men and women, that they may do to the extent of their natural and cultivated powers all that is possible for them to do.... The followers of Christ cannot leave their posts of duty without betraying sacred trusts, without endangering the salvation of their own souls and the souls of others. You are to be true to your entrusted work and not to be seeking after something new and strange.

As Christ opened before the disciples the great work that was to be done, and promised to them the gift of the Holy Spirit, they were anxious to know if they should then see the fulfillment of their long-cherished hope. They asked, “Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” The Lord rebuked their curiosity and said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”—General Conference Bulletin, fourth quarter 1896, p. 764.

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