Ellen G. White Writings

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Lift Him Up, Page 207

Estimate of a Lost Sheep, July 12

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. 1 John 4:10.

The Pharisees said that if Jesus were a true prophet, He would harmonize with them, and voice their precepts and maxims, and treat the wretched publicans and sinners as they treated them. In giving His Son to die for the sins of the world, the Lord God made manifest what was the estimate He placed upon men; for in giving Jesus to the world, He gave heaven's best gift. For this costly sacrifice the most profound gratitude is demanded from every soul. Whatever may be the nation, kindred, or tongue, whether a man is white or black, he still bears the image of God, and “the proper study of mankind is man,” viewed from the fact that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ. To show contempt for, to manifest hatred toward any nation, is to reveal the characteristic of Satan.

God has placed His estimate upon man in giving Jesus to a life of humiliation, poverty, and self-sacrifice, to contempt, rejection, and death, in order that man, His lost sheep, might be saved. Is it then a remarkable thing that all heaven is interested in the ransom of man? Is it a wonderful fact that ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels are employed in ascending and descending on the mystic ladder to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation? Angels do not come to the earth to denounce and to destroy, to rule and to exact homage, but are messengers of mercy to cooperate with the Captain of the Lord's host, to cooperate with the human agents who shall go forth to seek and save the lost sheep. Angels are commanded to encamp round about those who fear and love God.

The sympathy of all heaven is enlisted on behalf of the sheep that is wandering far from the fold. If the Pharisees had been working in harmony with God, in place of uniting with the adversary of God and man, they would not have been found despising the purchase of the blood of Christ. As the delusions of Satan are broken from human minds, as the sinner looks to Calvary, and sees the costly offering that has been given to save an apostate and ruined race, he contemplates and is deeply moved by the love of God, and becomes repentant. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.”

Oh, that we might comprehend the love of God, and even to a faint degree take in the compassion that has been manifested toward fallen man! How would we look and live! By beholding Christ man becomes changed and transformed in character from glory to glory. The conflict between light and darkness is entered upon. Look, poor sinner, represented by the lost sheep after whom the shepherd is seeking, look to the cross! ... In the poor blind man restored to sight by the compassionate Shepherd was one whom the self-righteous Pharisees thought only worthy of ... hatred (The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893).

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