Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

August 7, 1888

Are You Light-Bearers?

By Mrs. E. G. White

The disciples of Christ are required to represent their Lord to the world. They have been set as torch-bearers on the road to heaven. The light is not given to any soul to be put under a bushel, or under the bed; but to be put on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. If we are neglecting any duty, or shrinking from any responsibility, or avoiding any position of trust for which the Lord has qualified and called us, we are not letting our light so shine that men, seeing our good works, may glorify the Father which is in heaven. We should every one be active and enterprising in trading with the talents which God has given to us. We must work in faith. We must not allow doubts to cloud the mind. We must not allow our attention to be drawn from Jesus to our surroundings.

The lower lights must be kept burning. Jesus is the great light which lights every man that comes into the world. All heaven is interested in the conflict that is going on in this world between truth and error, light and darkness. The great Source of all light is constantly shining, and those who will catch his rays, and will reflect them upon others will be light-bearers in this darkened world. We are not pleasing God when we permit our minds to dwell upon our imperfections, mourning constantly over our condition, with our eyes directed continually upon our mistakes and errors. Come to Jesus; he is the light of the world. Take hold of his strength by faith, and make peace with him. Shall you talk of your weakness?—No; no; for that pleases the enemy. Dwell upon the great help that has been provided for you in Jesus, your Redeemer.

If we would dwell in the light, we must abide in the presence of Jesus. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In all our business meetings, as well as our social and religious meetings, we want Jesus by our side as a guide and counselor. There will be no tendency to lightness where the presence of the Saviour is felt and recognized. Self will not be made prominent. There will be a realization of the importance of the work that is to be done. There will be a desire that the plans to be laid may be directed by Him who is mighty in counsel.

Could our eyes but be opened, we would behold the angels of heaven in our assemblies. Could we but realize this, there would be no desire to hold to our own opinions upon little and unimportant points, which so often retard the progress of the meeting and the work. If there was more real praying done, if there was more solemn consideration given to weighty and mighty matters, the tone of our business meetings would be changed, and elevated. All would feel that the assembly had met to lay plans for the future advancement of the work, and that the aim and object of the work is only to save souls.

There is nothing in this world that is of so much value as the human soul, and in planning for the work, nothing should be done hastily, or in an indifferent manner. Each one of those assembled should feel that he must give the matters discussed the careful thought and prayer demanded by the subject that has called the meeting together. The responsibility of dealing with human minds is no small responsibility. The soul of man has been purchased by the infinite price of the blood of the Son of God; and should any one lose sight of the sacredness of every movement that is made for the salvation of souls?

All that we do, and all that we say is transferred to the books of heaven. Let us not be guilty of bringing down God's work to the level of common business transactions. Our standard must be high; our minds must be elevated. There are always a few who think, when their brethren are pulling forward, that it is their duty to pull back. They object to everything that is proposed, and make war on every plan that they have not themselves originated. Here is an opportunity for individuals to develop inordinate self-confidence. They have never learned in the school of Christ, of the precious and all-important lessons of becoming meek and lowly of heart. There is nothing harder for those who possess strong wills to do, than to give up their own way, and submit to the judgment of others. It is difficult for such to become teachable, gentle, and easy to be entreated.

In our business meetings it is important that hours of precious time should not be consumed by debating little points that are of small consequence. How does Jesus, our Counselor, whom we have invited to be present at these meetings, look upon these things? If there is that love among brethren that will lead them to esteem others better than themselves, there will be a giving up of their own ways and wishes to others. In these important meetings, it is our duty to study daily and hourly, how we may answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples may be one, as he and the Father are one. Precious lessons may be learned by keeping our Saviour's prayer before the mind, and by acting our part to fulfill his desire.

In our business connection with the work of God, and in handling sacred things, we cannot be too careful to keep the standard high, reverencing sacred things; and never, for an instant, should the word of God be used deceitfully, to carry a point which we are anxious to see succeed. Honor, integrity, and truth must be preserved at any cost to self. Our very thought, word, and action, should be subject to the will and mind of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. Let every one consider that he is in the presence of Christ. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly and impart his wisdom, his grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to his Spirit, and contrary to his work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in the midst. Then there will be no levity, jesting, or lightness. An elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God, will pervade the assembly. Unfaltering truth, as a counselor, will be beside every one who is truly interested in the welfare of the cause. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions, there will be that charity that “seeketh not her own,” which is “not easily provoked,” that “thinketh no evil,” that “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” that “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.

The habit of petty criticism should not be indulged in; for it perplexes and confuses minds, and shrouds in mystery the things that are most plain and simple. The Judge of all the earth is transferring everything to the courts above. “I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” In all our religious life, God should be in our thoughts; for he is a silent witness to every action of our lives. We should ever be careful that we may not grieve the Spirit of God. We need special help from Heaven, and God is more than willing to give the grace we need, if we ask him in humility and faith. We may be in close relationship with our Heavenly Father.

While Jesus was talking to the people, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him; and one told Jesus. And “he said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” If we are doing the will of God, we are counted as the brethren and sisters of our Master. We are to remember this in our daily life. We are to be in harmony with God, but at enmity with Satan. There is too much fellowship with the prince of darkness. It is not natural for us to bruise Satan under our feet; but we are to close our hearts to the temptations of the evil one, and to open them to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. We are to press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling, exerting every God-given power, that we may be overcomers. We must be constantly drawing nigh to God. We must talk of Jesus, expressing his love in a devoted life of entire consecration to his service. The more we dwell upon the purity of the character of Christ, the more we shall desire to become like him, and thus we shall be brought nearer to him. The more we behold his loveliness, the more we shall reflect his divine image.

“For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” The more exalted opinion we have of ourselves, the less need shall we feel of Jesus. True goodness never exalts self; but the self-righteous are always reaching out for the honor and praise of men. They have set up a false standard, and have too high an opinion of themselves. All who fall upon the rock, and are broken, Christ shall build up in true purity and holiness. We should be grateful every moment of our lives, for such a compassionate Redeemer. True humility will lead us to know our sins, and to confess them. It will lead us to accept Jesus, as the only one who can forgive our sins, and who can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

While we can have only humble views of self, as we behold the purity and completeness of the character of our Redeemer, still God is not well pleased to have his followers bowed down in sadness and gloom. His arm is mighty to save, his grace is strong to deliver. He would have us wear a cheerful face, and bear hearts full of rejoicing. But we are not to indulge in jesting and joking, and in trifling conversation. For “as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” The sharper the assaults of the enemy, the nearer will Jesus draw, and the more will his grace be bestowed upon us. In place of yielding to discouragements, and gathering about us the gloom of unbelief, we should take advantage of our high privilege, and come into the sunshine of the presence of the Lord. We should ever press forward to meet a higher standard of excellence in our life and deportment.

Every time you are called upon to meet temptation, it is your duty to obtain a victory through the grace of Christ; and when you endure temptation in the strength of Christ, you are a conqueror. Cease worrying, and begin to count up your blessings and privileges. Your temper will be tried. Your patience will be tested. Prayer alone, and earnest faith, will bring you through these things like a Christian. We are in the school of Christ. We are to be disciplined and trained, until our characters shall become Christlike. We are to grow daily in spiritual loveliness. We shall fail often in our efforts to copy the divine Pattern. We shall often have to bow down to weep at the feet of Jesus, because of our short-comings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged. Pray more fervently. Believe more fully, and try again with more steadfastness to grow into the likeness of your Lord. As we distrust our own power, we shall trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise God who is the health of our countenance.

We are to talk of heavenly things. Our conversation must be holy. We must train our minds to dwell upon pure and holy thoughts. When the enemy thrusts into our souls his subtle doubts and temptations, we are to close the door quickly, and dispel the influence of his suggestion, by repeating the Scripture. Jesus met and overpowered Satan with, “It is written.” Speak forth the promises of God. Talk of the wondrous love that he has manifested toward fallen man. Dwell upon the theme of salvation.

The enemy of our souls is constantly seeking to urge upon us his temptations. He would have us weave self into all that we do. It is his delight, to have us demerit others, and find fault with the brethren. May God help us to bring the love of Jesus into our religion. We shall have help, when we feel our weakness, and when we ask God for his strength. He has invited us to come to him with all our burdens, and to cast our care upon Him who cares for us. Will we obey this gracious invitation? Will we lay our burdens down at the feet of our compassionate Lord? Many act as though they had been to Jesus, and that he had refused to help them. In this you dishonor your Saviour. If, after you pray to the Lord concerning your anxieties, you gather up the old troubles, and go forth fretting and complaining, you do not glorify the God you profess to serve.

Is not God our Father? Has he not told us that he loves us? Has he not given his promise, that he will in nowise cast out, but that he will give us help in every time of need, if we ask him for his grace? Why not accept the help that he has so freely and generously offered? Let us show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. When tempted to speak that which will lead to levity, remember the injunction, “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

We are now in the workshop of God, to be hewed, and squared, and chiseled, and polished for the heavenly building. All our preparation for heaven must be completed here. When Christ comes, our characters will not be changed. These vile bodies will be changed, and fashioned after the likeness of his glorious body; but there will not be a moral change wrought in us then. At that time, those who have endured the work of the Master-builder, and have been hewed and squared and polished, will come together into that glorious temple, each in his place, without the sound of ax or hammer. The work of preparation will be close and trying to our natural hearts; but it is the only way that has been provided by the God of wisdom, whereby we may become living stones in his great spiritual and eternal temple.

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