Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 249

Self-Sacrifice in the Church, August 12

If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.—1 John 4:12.

The lawyer’s question to Jesus had been, “What shall I do?” And Jesus, recognizing love to God and mankind as the sum of righteousness, had said, “This do, and thou shalt live.” The Samaritan had obeyed the dictates of a kind and loving heart, and in this had proved himself a doer of the law. Christ bade the lawyer, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:25, 28, 37.) Doing, and not saying merely, is expected of the children of God. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (1 John 2:6.)

The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession, we are not Christians.

Christ has linked His interest with that of humanity, and He asks us to become one with Him for the saving of humanity. “Freely ye have received,” He says, “freely give.” (Matthew 10:8.) Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.

“Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” (Galatians 6:1.) By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to that one of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.—The Desire of Ages, 504, 505.

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