Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

November 21, 1907

A Call to Consecration

Mrs. E. G. White

(Reading for Sabbath, December 14)

The world's greatest need is consecrated effort for the salvation of souls. Christ desires by the fulness of his power so to strengthen his people that through them the whole world shall be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. When his people shall make a whole-hearted surrender of themselves to God, walking before him in humility and faith, he will carry out through them his eternal purpose, enabling them to work harmoniously in giving to the world the truth as it is in Jesus. He will use all, men, women, and children, in making the light shine forth to the world, and calling out a people who will be true to his commandments.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed his royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside his divinity, came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon him. He who has been transformed into the likeness of Christ, he who cherishes the spirit of the great Missionary Worker, is filled with a desire to bear the tidings of salvation to the regions beyond, to those who know not the Saviour. To the work of soul-saving he consecrates time and strength, means and influence. He uses every jot of his ability in an effort to win souls to Christ. The sacrifice made on the cross of Calvary is the motive that inspires him to put forth untiring efforts and to show unflagging zeal. His determination is, “I will not fail nor be discouraged.” By his consistent life he draws those around him to the Saviour.

Those who give their lives to Christian ministry know the meaning of true happiness. Their interests and their prayers reach far beyond self. They themselves are growing up as they try to reach others. They become familiar with the largest plans, the most stirring enterprises; and how can they but grow when they place themselves in the channel of light and blessing? They become more and more identified with Christ in all his plans. There is no opportunity for spiritual stagnation. Selfish ambition and self-seeking are rebuked by constant contact with the absorbing interests which belong to high and holy aspirations.

All who surrender themselves to God in unselfish service for humanity are in co-operation with the Lord of glory. This thought sweetens all toil, it braces the will, it nerves the spirit for whatever may befall. Working with unselfish heart, ennobled by being partakers of Christ's sufferings, sharing his sympathies, they help to swell the tide of his joy, and bring honor and praise to his exalted name.

Very much more might be done for Christ if all who have the light of truth would practice the truth. There are whole families who might be missionaries, engaged in personal labor, toiling for the Master with busy hands and active brains, devising new methods for the success of his work. There are earnest, prudent, warm-hearted men and women who could do much for Christ if they would give themselves to God, drawing near to him, and seeking him with the whole heart.

The Lord is calling his people to take up different lines of work. Those in the highways and byways of life are to hear the gospel message. Church-members are to do evangelistic work in the homes of their neighbors who have not yet received full evidence of the truth for this time. The presentation of the truth in love and sympathy, from house to house, is in harmony with the instruction that Christ gave to his disciples when he sent them out on their first missionary tour. By songs of praise to God, by humble, heartfelt prayers, by a simple presentation of Bible truth in the family circle, many will be reached. The divine workers will be present to send conviction to hearts. “I am with you alway,” is his promise. With the assurance of the abiding presence of such a Helper, we may labor with hope and faith and courage.

Those who have long known the truth need to seek the Lord most earnestly, that their hearts may be filled with a determination to work for their neighbors. My brethren and sisters, give yourselves to the Lord for service. Allow no opportunity to pass unimproved. Visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness try to reach their hearts. Visit the sick and suffering, and show a kindly interest in them. If possible, do something to make them more comfortable. Through this means you can reach their hearts, and speak a word for Christ. Eternity alone will reveal how far-reaching such a line of labor can be.

Other lines of usefulness will open before those who are willing to do the duty nearest them. It is not learned, eloquent workers that are most needed now, but humble, Christlike men and women, who have learned from Jesus of Nazareth to be meek and lowly, and who, trusting in his strength, will go forth into the highways and hedges to give the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” This work will give life and vigor to the mental and spiritual powers. Light from Christ will shine into the mind. The Saviour will abide in your hearts, and in his light you will see light.

Consecrate yourselves wholly to the work of God. He is your strength, and he will be at your right hand, helping you to carry out his merciful designs. By personal labor reach those around you. Preaching alone will not do the work that needs to be done. A perfect work can not be done by proxy. Money lent or given will not accomplish all that is to be done. By visiting the people, talking, praying, sympathizing with them, you will win hearts. This is the highest missionary work that you can do. To do it, you will need resolute, persevering faith, unwearying patience, and a deep love for souls.

My sisters, do not spend your money lavishly for dress. Fathers and mothers teach your children to dress inexpensively; teach them to save their pennies for missionary work. Let every member of the family practise self-denial. Christ is our example. He was the Prince of glory, but he had such an interest in our world that he left his riches and came to this earth to live a life that should be an example to rich and poor alike. He taught that all should come together in love and unity, to work as he worked, to sacrifice as he sacrificed, and to love as children of God.

Parents, gather your children around you each morning and evening, and in humble supplication lift the heart to God for help. Your dear ones are exposed to temptations. Daily annoyances beset the pathway of old and young. Those who would live patient, loving, cheerful lives, must pray. Only by receiving constant help from God can we gain the victory over self.

Each morning consecrate yourselves and your children to God for that day. Make no calculation for months or years; these are not yours. One brief day is given you. As if it were your last on earth, work during its hours for the Master. Lay all your plans before God, to be carried out or given up, as his providence shall indicate. Accept his plans instead of your own, even though their acceptance requires the abandonment of cherished projects. Thus the life will be molded more and more after the divine example; and “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Brethren and sisters, arouse, and show a living interest in the unworked portions of the Lord's vineyard. Consecrate yourselves unreservedly to the work of giving the rich treasures of truth to those in darkness. Catch the spirit of the great Master Worker. Learn from the Friend of sinners how to minister to sin-sick souls. His heart was ever touched with human woe. Why are we so cold and indifferent? Why are our hearts so unimpressible? Christ placed himself upon the altar of sacrifice, a living sacrifice. Why are we so unwilling to give ourselves to the work to which he consecrated his life? Something must be done to cure the terrible indifference that has taken hold upon us. Let us bow our heads in humiliation as we see how much less we have done that we might have done to sow the seeds of truth.

When we are converted, our desire for ease and elegance will be changed. Christ brought his desires and wishes into strict abeyance to his mission—a mission that bore the insignia of heaven. He made everything subordinate to the great work that he came into the world to accomplish for the fallen race. When in his youth his mother found him in the school of the rabbis, and said to him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing,” he answered—and his answer is the key-note of his life-work—“How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?”

My brethren and sisters, I speak to you in words of love and tenderness. Every earthly interest must be made subordinate to the great work of redemption. Remember that in the lives of the followers of Christ must be seen the same devotion, the same subjection to God's work of every social claim and every earthly affection, that was seen in his life. God's claims must ever be made paramount. “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.”

Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we doing, what are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing? Have our hearts become callous? Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others? My brethren and sisters, are you among those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? Is it in vain that God has sent you a knowledge of his will? Is it in vain that he has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end? Do you believe in the declarations of his Word concerning what is coming upon the world? Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth? How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent?

Every day that passes brings us nearer the end. Does it bring us also nearer God? Are we watching unto prayer? Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word in season will be sent home by the Holy Spirit as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we may never reach them again? What is our influence over these fellow travelers? What effort do we make to win them to Christ?

Time is short, and our working forces must be organized to do a larger work. Workers are needed who comprehend the greatness of the work, and who will engage in it, not for the wages they receive, but from a realization of the nearness of the end. The time demands great efficiency and deeper consecration. O I am so full of this subject that I cry to God, “Raise up and send forth messengers filled with the sense of their responsibility, messengers in whose hearts self-idolatry, which lies at the foundation of all sin, has been crucified.”

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