Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 28, 1903

Words of Counsel

Mrs. E. G. White

I have a message for those who are bearing responsibilities in God's institutions. The Lord calls upon them to bring his grace into their thoughts, their words, their deportment. They are not to leave their religion at home when they go to business for the day. Let them not, after praying to the Heavenly Father for grace and strength, go to their work with a surly, dictatorial, overbearing spirit, and a sour, disagreeable countenance. They are Christ's representatives, and they are to exert an influence that is a savor of life unto life.

God holds the managers of his institutions responsible to treat the youth in the employ of these institutions with courtesy, respect, and kindness. They are to deal with them as they themselves wish to be dealt with by Christ. Their first work is to be so kind to the youth, so thoughtful of their interests, that they will feel at home in their presence.

The Lord expects his people to bring religion into their business life as verily as into the assembly for his worship. How does he regard the testimonies borne on the Sabbath by those who during the week left Christ out of their work, and spoke harsh, unfeeling words? What impression do these testimonies make on those who have been hurt and wounded by the harsh words spoken?

Those who control others should first learn to control themselves. Unless they learn this lesson, they can not be Christlike in their work. They are to abide in Christ, speaking as he would speak, acting as he would act,—with unfailing tenderness and compassion. They are not to think, because they are in a position of responsibility, that they are at liberty to deal harshly with those connected with them. To the one who manages, God has given a measure of power, but this power he is ever to exercise in a pleasing and agreeable manner. He is not to feel at liberty to speak and act in an unchristlike way because an error has been made. Thus he aggravates the wrong. He arouses in the workers a spirit of retaliation, causing them to lose confidence in him as a Christian.

The Lord hears the petitions of his people when they mean what they say, and when they reveal a determined purpose to live in harmony with their prayers. But he can not honor those who rise from their knees to speak harsh, angry words, words which are entirely out of place, even though the one to whom they are spoken is in the wrong.

O what a power a converted man, transformed daily, can exert to bring blessing and gladness to those around him! Those who bear responsibilities in God's institutions are to grow in grace and in a knowledge of divine things. Ever they are to remember that the talent of speech is entrusted to them by God for the help and blessing of others. It is left with them to decide whether they will speak words that will honor Christ, or words that will be a hindrance to those who hear. O what a blessing are pleasant, sympathetic words,—words that uplift and strengthen! When asked a question, one should not answer abruptly, but kindly. The heart of the one that is asking may be sorely grieved by a hidden sorrow, that may not be told. This he may not know; therefore his words should always be kind and sympathetic. By a few well-chosen, helpful words, he may remove a heavy load from a fellow worker's mind.

To those bearing responsibilities in our institutions this word is given: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

In this charge there is a threefold duty. “Feed the flock of God,”—by preaching to them his Word, by giving them earnest, personal labor, by setting them a right example. “Feed the flock of God,” “taking the oversight thereof,” having a personal care for the blood-bought heritage committed to your charge, “being ensamples to the flock,” following Christ in self-denial and sacrifice, in the life revealing holiness to the Lord. All this is to be done of a ready, cheerful mind, “neither as being lords over God's heritage,” tyrannizing over them.

Let those who have been exalted to the high position of managers in the Lord's institutions, who are set as guardians of their fellow workers, pray most earnestly for divine grace. Before they take up the work of the day, let them make a solemn covenant with God, promising him that they will keep watchful guard over their lips, not speaking harshly, but kindly, to those who come to them for direction. Let them remember that they themselves are ever to be under the control of the Spirit of God, rendering prompt and cheerful obedience to his commands. Let them remember that they are living epistles, known and read of all men, and that because they are Christ's representatives, they are to be one with him, ever looking to him, and from him receiving strength for every conflict.

“Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” In our institutions let self-seeking give place to unselfish love and labor. Then the golden oil will be emptied from the two olive branches into the golden pipes, which will empty themselves into the vessels prepared to receive it. Then the lives of Christ's workers will indeed be an exposition of the sacred truths of his Word.

The fear of God, the sense of his goodness, his holiness, will circulate through every institution. An atmosphere of love and peace will pervade every department. Every word spoken, every work performed, will have an influence that corresponds to the influence of heaven. Christ will abide in humanity, and humanity will abide in Christ. In all the work will appear not the character of finite men, but the character of the infinite God. The divine influence imparted by holy angels will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers; and from these workers a fragrant influence will go forth to those who choose to inhale it. The goodly fabric of character wrought through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness, pointing to the throne of the living God.

Then the work will move forward with solidity and double strength. A new efficiency will be imparted to the workers. Men will learn of the reconciliation from iniquity which the Messiah has brought in through his sacrifice. The last message of warning and salvation will be given with mighty power. The earth will be lightened with the glory of God, and it will be ours to witness the soon coming, in power and glory, of our Lord and Saviour.

April 28, 1903

Work for the Master

With every age God's plan deepens and broadens. His people are to adjust their movements to his progressive plan. They are to move forward with the force of Omnipotence, because they move in harmony with the divine purpose. They are to seize every opportunity to bless the world lying in darkness.

Our church members should show greater devotion. They should labor with greater zeal for the promulgation of the last message of mercy. Now is the time for all to work. Now is the time to separate from every species of self-indulgence. Those who are engaged in the Lord's service are to labor unselfishly, pressing together in Christian unity. They are to love as brethren; they are to be kind and courteous; their influence is to be a savor of life unto life.

Many young men and women now engaged in secular labor will feel impressed to give themselves to the service of God. Some will feel a desire to enter the canvassing field, and will become able evangelists. Let these be given opportunity to obtain an education for the work of God.

Those who are impressed to enter the work, whether in the home field or in the regions beyond, are to go forward in the name of the Lord. If they depend on God for grace and strength, they will succeed. At the beginning their work may be small, but if they follow the Lord's plans, it will enlarge. God lives. He will work for the unselfish, self-sacrificing laborer, whoever or wherever he may be.

God does not ask his servants to show their devotion to him by burying themselves in monasteries or by going on long pilgrimages. It is not necessary to do this in order to show a willingness to deny self. It is by working for those for whom Christ died that we show true love for him. By humiliation, suffering, and death Christ purchased the salvation of human beings. Those who love him will think how he laid aside his glory, and came to this earth to live the life of the poorest, suffering often from hunger. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” he said: “but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

To each human being God has assigned a work. Abraham was called to go forth from his home, a light-bearer to the heathen. And without questioning, he obeyed. “He went out, not knowing whither he went.” So today Christ's servants are to go where he calls, trusting him to guide them and give them success.

God's people are to feel a noble, generous sympathy for every line of work carried on in the great harvest field. By their baptismal vows they are pledged to make earnest, self-denying efforts to promote, in the hardest parts of the field, the work of soul-saving. God has placed on every believer the responsibility of striving to rescue the helpless.

To those who profess to believe in him, God says, “Go forth to all parts of the world, and diffuse the light of my truth, that men and women may be led to Christ.” Let us awake to our duty. Let us do all that we can to help forward the Lord's work. Let superficial excuses be blown to the winds of heaven. No longer grieve the Spirit of God by delaying. Forget not the words, “We are laborers together with God.” Cooperate with the angels sent down from the heavenly courts to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.

Time is passing; the end is near. While you are unconsecrated, golden opportunities for helping souls to see Jesus as he is—full of grace and truth—are passing by, never to return. That which you have not done as a devoted Christian in the past, you can not now do. But through the grace of Christ you may redeem the time by redoubling your efforts. Let your interest in the souls for whom Christ has died deepen and broaden. Inquire not, “What shall this man do?” for then Christ would say to you, as he said to Peter, “What is that to thee?” Keep your own soul in the love of the truth, and work with untiring endeavor to win souls to the Saviour.

Earnest, self-sacrificing workers are needed, workers who will go to God, and with strong crying and tears plead for the precious souls who are going to ruin. There can be no harvest without seedsowing, no result without effort.

The work is fast closing up, and on every side wickedness is increasing. We have but a short time in which to work. Let us awake from spiritual slumber, and consecrate all that we have and are to the Lord. His Spirit will abide with true missionaries, furnishing them with power for service. God is an overflowing fountain of strength. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes. When this power is utilized, it will be found to be more than sufficient to meet the power of the enemy.

Mrs. E. G. White, in Southern Watchman

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