Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 10, 1888

Missionaries for God

[Morning talk at Copenhagen, Denmark, July 20, 1886.]

By Mrs. E. G. White

Text: “For the disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord.” Matthew 10:24.

Here we see that those go out to do the work of God are not to feel sufficient of themselves. In the 16th verse, the apostle speaks of them as being as sheep among wolves. There is to be a hatred against those who proclaim God's law, and therefore there is to be a necessity of our having a living connection with God if we engage in his work. Christ says, “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” While we are to be harmless in a crooked and perverse generation, we are to shine as lights in the world. We should have our hearts filled with wisdom and the grace of Christ, so that we shall make no mistakes to prove an injury to those for whom we labor. If any man “lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

It will not answer for us to take hold of the work of God in a loose, careless manner. We are “a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” We are to watch our words and actions, and show that we really believe the truth which we accept. Our conduct should be blameless and harmless before men and angels. We need not be discouraged and feel that we never can attain to this position; because we can be overcomers through God. We must remember that we are right amid the perils of the last days, and if we are conscious that we have defects of character in the sight of God, we must at once cease from sin and iniquity. We must seek for a Christian character, and the Christian will be distinct from the worldling. His words, his deportment, will be very different. Out of the treasures of the heart will proceed either good or evil. If the good is there, the words will be of that elevating character that others will see that we have been with Jesus and learned of him.

Every one of us should be missionaries for God. There are places into which we shall be brought where we will need his special help. Christ says that we shall be “as sheep among wolves.” We want, then, to be in that position where we may know that our influence is right before God. We must guard our every action, so that others will have no occasion to speak against the truth. We are working right among wolves, but God's angels are found all around in these elements, and we want to conduct ourselves in such a way that we will not be ashamed to go to God and ask him for help. “Wise as serpents.” This means a great deal. “Harmless as doves.” This, also, means a great deal. The Spirit of God must be with us in order that we may exercise a right influence over those around us.

The missionary life is not one of contentment and ease. There is not a soul that follows Jesus but is a missionary. If we should be so unwise as to lessen in any way our influence, we do not rightly represent Christ. We should guard ourselves with jealous care wherever we are, because we are in the sight of God. Wherever we are, the eye of God is upon us, and we want strength that comes from God, in order to do his work acceptably. We want that confidence in God that we may lay our souls open before his scrutinizing eye, and then come with boldness to the throne of God, believing and claiming the promises. Now we know that our precious Saviour never designed that his disciples should be as sheep among wolves, unless he was to have a care for them. He has special blessings for those whom he describes as sheep among wolves.

Every one needs to cultivate Christian politeness. You need all the intelligence and knowledge that it is possible for you to obtain, that you may be wise to answer those who will bring up objections against the truth. You do not want to feel while you have the plain Scriptures at your command, that this is any ability of your own, but you want to acknowledge that it is God's manifestation of special help to you, and you should humble yourselves before him.

We are to sense the evil and the oppositions that we are to meet against the truth; and how very foolish we would be not to make the most of our privileges and opportunities, that we may be prepared for every emergency! The very weakest of us can take the Bible and search its pages, and so establish himself in the truth that nothing can swerve him from it. Every one of us should believe that the Bible was written so that we can understand it, and we want to be wise so that we can bring others to the light and understanding of the truth. Make it a point when you have a moment's leisure, to store your mind with Scripture truth, and especially with what is brought to view in the Revelation, because some of us are to be the very actors who will be on the stage in the last days when these things are revealed; and as you make a persistent effort to understand, the angels of God will enlighten your mind. You will never feel that you have completed your knowledge of the Bible—that you have graduated in the Scriptures. Why, through all eternity the Scriptures will be shining forth brighter and brighter, like precious gems; but we do not half understand these truths. The precious Bible truth that we have accepted must do a great work for us, and the more we understand these things, the better will we understand how to make an impression upon other minds.

The Lord wants to bring us up to an elevated stand-point. And when Christ says, “Be... wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” we shall know what it means. We must have our lives so hid with Christ in God that when bitter speeches and scornful words and unkind looks meet us, we shall not permit our feelings to be stirred up against this class, but shall feel the deepest sympathy for them, because they know nothing about the precious Saviour whom we claim to know. We must remember that they are in the service of one who is the bitterest enemy of Jesus Christ, and that while all heaven is opened to the sons and daughters of God, they have no such privilege. You ought to feel that you are the happiest people upon the face of the whole earth; notwithstanding, as Christ's representatives, you are as sheep in the midst of wolves, you have One with you who can help you under all circumstances; and you will not be devoured by these wolves, if you keep close to Jesus. How careful you should be to represent Jesus in every word and action! You should feel when you arise in the morning, and when you go out upon the street, and when you come in, that Jesus loves you, that he is by your side, and that you must not cherish a thought that will grieve your Saviour. You should keep your mind in a frame of prayer. It is your only safety. Remember that this is what Christ exhorted his disciples to do.

We cannot always be upon our knees in prayer, but we can let the heart be ascending to God continually for his blessing, and we will have help just as sure as we keep in this state of mind. The evil angels may be all around you to press their darkness upon you, but the will of God is greater than their power. And if you do not in word or action, or in any way, make Christ ashamed of you, the sweet blessing and peace of God will be in your heart every day you live. May the sweet blessing and peace of Christ rest upon us here, as we assemble from morning to morning, so that we can serve him. We must meet difficulties, and in order to meet and overcome them we must have Jesus with us. Satan will say to you that you are a very great sinner, and that you need not pray, for Jesus will not hear you. But you can tell him that because you are a sinner is the very reason why you need to pray; for Christ came to save sinners, and he died upon Calvary's cross in order that sinners might come to him and be saved. Build a wall of scriptures around you, and you will see that the world cannot break it down. Commit the Scriptures to memory, and then throw right back upon Satan when he comes with his temptations, “It is written.” This is the way that our Lord met the temptations of Satan, and resisted them. Be determined that you will not live without the presence and light and love of Jesus, and then you will have precious victories, and will know who is the Source of your strength.

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