Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

The Review and Herald

June 16, 1903

God's Purpose for His People

Mrs. E. G. White

Paul writes of Christ: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”

Paul could not speak to the Jewish converts as plainly as he desired regarding the mystery of godliness. Because of their spiritual weakness, their lack of perception, he could not utter the truth, which, could they have heard aright, with intelligent comprehension, would have been to them a savor of life unto life.

The fault was not with their instructors, but with themselves. They were dull of understanding. Abundant advantages had been given them. They could have increased in understanding regarding Christ, his work, his power to save to the uttermost all who come to him. But they had not pressed onward and upward, improving their opportunity to learn more and still more of the Saviour. Because they had not received in faith the truths imparted to them, their memory was weak. They could not retain in their minds the truths essential to success in character-building.

The apostle calls their attention to their fault in this respect, which had become their spiritual infirmity. Their misconceptions gave them an indistinct view of Christ's power to make his people a praise in the earth.

How exactly their condition represents the condition of many of the people of God today, who have had every advantage, every privilege, and who, feeling the burden of God's work, ought to be saying with the whole heart, Here I am, Lord; send me. But in the place of being teachers, as they might be, they themselves can not bear the plain application of the Word of God. They do not discern the value of Bible truth. They are not a strength to the church. Had they thoroughly consecrated themselves to the Lord from their first reception of the truth, surrendering themselves unreservedly to him, and obeying the call, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” they would have walked in the companionship of Christ, learning his lessons, receiving his divine impress. They would have recognized the claims of Christ, and would not have been half Christians and half worldlings, but whole-hearted Christians, believing and practicing the word, enlightened continually, not dwelling on vague generalities, but proclaiming Christ as the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.

Many who should be far advanced in Christian experience give evidence that they have forgotten the first principles of Christlike service. They are but children in the things of God. Their greatest desire is to carry out their own plans, while plans that the Lord lays before them they declare can not be followed.

In the most definite terms the Lord through Moses set before his chosen people his purpose for them, and the conditions upon which they would be prospered. “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations: and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.”

God calls for men whose hearts are warmed by the love of Christ. He will choose workers from among those who are willing to hear his voice and obey his words. Their capabilities may be limited, but they are loyal; and loyalty is of far more value in God's sight than mere knowledge.

God calls for earnest, high-principled men. He will use such men in his service. But he will separate from his work the lukewarm, worldly minded, self-exalted ones. Those who have buried their talents will be replaced by men who will put into wise circulation the means God has placed in their hands. Learning lessons of Christ, these workers will combine patience with diligence. Christ's work will be done. His servants will erect plants in every place in which they can find an opening. On the missionary ground next to our doors,—in the cities around us,—monuments to the truth will be established. By unselfish effort the work of God will be bound off. Humble, devoted laborers will find ways of reaching those who have not had an opportunity to hear the truth.

God's Word outlines the work that we are to do. In all parts of the world the gospel is to be preached. God calls for volunteers to engage in his work. The canvassing field is in need of recruits. Those who engage in this work in the spirit of the Master will find entrance to the homes of those who need the truth. To these they can tell the simple story of the cross, and God will strengthen and bless them as they lead others to the light. The righteousness of Christ goes before them, and the glory of God is their rearward.

My brother, my sister, it is not enough to fold your hands, and say “I am in the light.” Are you walking in the light? Is the genuineness of your profession demonstrated by practical, earnest endeavor? He who works for Christ makes steady advancement. It is the doers of the Word who will be justified before God. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

To walk in the light is to walk uprightly, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. The path of obedience is the path to heaven. Following it, we follow on to know the Lord. He who walks uprightly walks surely. The law of God is in his heart, and his steps do not slide. He stands firm in Christ.

There should be constant growth in spirituality, in righteousness, in sanctification. Every faculty of the being is to increase in usefulness. The mind is to be closely united with the mind of the Redeemer, that when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we may appear with him in glory.

The Christian pilgrim does not yield to the desire to rest. He moves steadily forward, saying, The day is far spent; the night is at hand. This is his motto: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.... I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

June 16, 1903

The Canvassing Work

We are living in a time when a great work is to be done. There is a famine in the land for the pure gospel, and the bread of life is to be given to hungry souls. There is no better opportunity to do this work than that offered to the consecrated canvasser. Thousands of books containing the precious light of present truth should be placed in the homes of the people in our large cities.

Canvassers are needed to take up the work of carrying these silent messengers of truth to the people,—canvassers who feel a burden for souls, and who can speak words in season to those who are seeking for light. Some may say, “I am not a minister; I can not preach to the people.” You may not be able to preach, but you can be an evangelist, ministering to the needs of those with whom you come in contact; you can be God's helping hand, working as the disciples worked; you can ask those you meet if they love the Lord Jesus.

The Canvasser an Evangelist

The canvassing work is a work of great responsibility, and it means much not only to those who are engaged in it, but to the people for whom they labor. Let the canvasser remember that his work is evangelistic in its nature, and that God wants those whom he meets to be saved. Let him keep his heart under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Let him keep the Bible near him for reference, and when an opportunity presents itself to speak words of truth, let him pray for grace to speak wisely, that to those to whom he speaks his words may be a savor of life unto life.

The canvasser should make every effort in his power to let the light of truth shine forth in good works. In his discharge of duty he should shed about him the fragrance of Christian courtesy, improving every opportunity to perform acts of helpful service. He should educate himself to speak distinctly and impressively. He should learn daily in the school of the great Teacher. Christ will surely help those who hide in him, depending on him for strength.

Mrs. E. G. White

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»