Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

April 29, 1909

The Need of Earnest Labor for Others

Mrs. E. G. White

Those who become children of God are under obligation to him to do all in their power to seek and to save the lost. They are to make use of every possible means to give to sinners the word of life and the saving grace of Christ. Remembering the sacrifice that Christ made that he might give to men a perfect example, church-members are to follow his example of self-denial and self-sacrifice, that they may save the souls that are perishing in unbelief and sin.

Heavenly beings are greatly interested in the salvation of the souls for whom the Father has done so much. God gave his only begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the fallen race. Christ gave himself to a life of humiliation and poverty that he might be able to leave to all an example of what life should mean to every member of the human family. He tasted death for all, that every soul might have the privilege of becoming acquainted with God. And heavenly angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”

And yet how many church-members there are who feel little responsibility to make Christ known to their friends and neighbors. If all had carried the love of Christ in their hearts, and the truth on their lips, if we had been diligent in opening the word of life to those about us, showing what Christ is to us, and what he is willing to be to them, hundreds more would be rejoicing in the truth today. But we shut ourselves up within ourselves. We seem to think that it is well with us, and that it is not in our line to speak of Christ. Is he not all in all to us? If we obtain any victories, is it not through his grace that they are wrought? Then why should we not lift him up? The parables of the lost piece of silver and the lost sheep teach most precious lessons. They deal with the subject of man lost and man recovered. Many, many more would be recovered if they were labored for as represented in these parables.

Growth in grace is shown in an increasing ability to work for God. He who learns in the school of Christ will know how to pray, and how to speak for the Master. Realizing that he lacks wisdom and experience, he will place himself under the training of the Great Teacher, knowing that only thus he can obtain perfection in God's service. And daily he becomes better able to comprehend spiritual things. Every day of diligent labor finds him at its close better fitted to help others. Abiding in Christ, he bears much fruit.

My brethren in the ministry, a most solemn, sacred work is given you to do. Labor to give the light to those who know not the truth. Church-members, ask God to give you a burden to open the Scriptures to others, and to do missionary work for those who need help. Some will be rescued in one way, and some in another, but the work must always be done as the Lord shall lead.

Let us prepare to raise the standard of the Lord, the standard of purity and holiness. Let every soul purify his own heart, and prepare for the Lord when he shall come in power and great glory. Let believers be quickened by the grace of Christ to work for the saving of their fellow beings. Let the publications containing Bible truth be scattered like the leaves of autumn. Lift him up, the Saviour of souls, lift him up higher and still higher before the people. It is time now to gather strength from the source of all strength, to cry aloud and spare not, to press back the clouds of darkness, that the light of heaven may be revealed.

Christ's last act before leaving the earth was to commission his ambassadors to go to the world with his truth. His last words were spoken to impress the disciples with the thought that they held in trust the message of heaven for the world. In obedience to the Saviour's command, the disciples returned to Jerusalem, and there waited for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Heavenly intelligences co-operated with them, and gave power to the message that they bore. The Holy Spirit gave efficiency to their missionary efforts, and on one occasion three thousand were converted in a day.

The delegated servants of Christ are to bear their testimony in the power of the Spirit. The yearning desire of the Saviour for the salvation of sinners is to mark all their efforts. The gracious invitation first given by Christ, is to be taken up by human voices and sounded throughout the world: “The Spirit and bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The church is to say, Come. Every power in the church is to be actively engaged on the side of truth. The followers of Christ are to combine in a strong effort to call the attention of the world to the fast-fulfilling prophecies of the Word of God.

O, how solemn and important is the work entrusted to us! How far reaching this work is in its results! How are we to obtain strength and wisdom necessary for its successful accomplishment? As Daniel sought the Lord, so we are to seek him. Daniel declares, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” We are to seek the Lord in humility and contrition, confessing our own sins, and coming into close unity with one another. Brethren and sisters, pray, pray, for your own sakes, and for the sake of others.

We are to come to God in faith, and pour out our supplications before him, believing that he will work in our behalf, and in behalf of those we are seeking to save. We are to devote more time to earnest prayer. With the trusting faith of a little child, we are to come to our Heavenly Father, telling him of all our needs. He is always ready to pardon and help. The supply of divine wisdom is inexhaustible, and the Lord encourages us to draw largely from it. The longing that we should have for spiritual blessings is described in the words, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” We need a deeper soul-hunger for the rich gifts that heaven has to bestow. We are to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

O that we might have a consuming desire to know God by an experimental knowledge, to come into the audience-chamber of the Most High, reaching up the hand of faith, and casting our helpless souls upon the One mighty to save. His loving-kindness is better than life.

If we but realized how earnestly Jesus worked to sow the world with the gospel seed, we, living at the very close of probation, would labor untiringly to give the bread of life to perishing souls. Why are we so cold and indifferent? Why are our hearts so unimpressible? Why are we so unwilling to give ourselves to the work to which Christ consecrated his life? Something must be done to cure the terrible indifference that has taken hold of us. Let us bow our heads in humiliation as we see how much less we have done than we might have done to sow the seeds of truth.

My brethren and sisters, I speak to you in word of love and tenderness. Arouse, and consecrate yourselves unreservedly to the work of giving the light of truth for this time 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. Remember that in the lives of his followers must be seen the same devotion, the same subjection to God's work of every social claim, every earthly affection, that was seen in his life. God's claims must always be made paramount. Christ's example is to inspire us to put forth unceasing effort for the good of others.

God calls upon every church-member to enter his service. Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted to others, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Every one must learn to work, and to stand in his lot and place as a burden-bearer. Every addition to the church should be one more agency for the carrying on of the great plan of redemption. The entire church, acting as one, blending in perfect union, is to be a living, active, missionary agency, moved and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

As surely as we seek the Lord earnestly, he will make the way plain before us. All around us are doors open for service. Let us prayerfully study the work to be done, and then enter upon it with full assurance of faith. We are to labor in quietness and humility, in the meekness and lowliness of Christ, realizing that there is a trying time before us, and that we shall always need heavenly grace in order to understand how to deal with minds. It is the patient, humble, godlike worker who will have something to show for his labors.

As a people, and as individuals, our success depends, not on numbers, on standing, nor on intellectual attainments, but on walking and working with Christ. The more fully we are imbued with his Spirit, the greater will be our love for the work, and the greater our delight in following in the footsteps of the Master. Our hearts will be filled with the love of God; and with earnestness and power we shall speak of the crucified Saviour. And as he is uplifted before the people, as they behold his self-sacrifice, his goodness, his tender compassion, his humiliation, and his suffering, their hearts will be melted and subdued, and they will be won to his cause.

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