Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

February 29, 1912

Following Christ

Mrs. E. G. White

For each one of us there is a live, disordered self to master, or it will master us. Christians who live for self dishonor their Redeemer. They may apparently be very active in the service of the Lord, but they weave self into all that they do. Sowing the seed of selfishness, they must at last reap a harvest of corruption. It can not but be thus. Eternal life can not possibly be the result of their life-work, unless they see their mistake, and surrender all to God.

Service for self takes a variety of forms. Some of these forms seem harmless. Apparent goodness is regarded as genuine goodness. But they bring no glory to God. Christ says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

The Lord does not accept the service of those who live an inefficient, do-nothing-life. They exert an influence that leads away from Christ. Self-denial and nobility of purpose marked his life. From the beginning to the close of his earthly ministry he went about doing good. In his life no sin appeared. No selfishness marred word or act. “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” he asked the Pharisees, knowing that they could find nothing of which to accuse him. And at his trial, Pilate declared emphatically, “I find in him no fault at all.”

Christ declares that as he lived, so we are to live. “Whosoever will come after me,” he says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” His footsteps lead along the pathway of sacrifice.

As we pass through life, there come to us many opportunities for service. All around us there are open doors for ministry. By the right use of the talent of speech, we may do much for the Master. Words are a power for good when they are weighted with the tenderness and sympathy of Christ. Money, influence, tact, time, and strength,—all these are gifts entrusted to us to make us more helpful to those around us, and more of an honor to our Creator.

Many feel that it would be a privilege to visit the scenes of Christ's life on earth, to walk where he trod, to look upon the lake where he loved to teach, and the valleys and hills where his eyes so often rested; but we need not go to Palestine in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find his footprints beside the sick-bed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great city, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation.

All may find something to do. “The poor always ye have with you,” Jesus said, and none need feel that there is no place where they can labor for him. Millions upon millions of souls ready to perish, bound in chains of ignorance and sin, have never so much as heard of Christ's love for them. Were our conditions and theirs reversed, what would we desire them to do for us? All this, as far as lies in our power, we are under the most solemn obligation to do for them. Christ's rule of life, by which every one must stand or fall in the judgment, is, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” In the great judgment-day, those who have not worked for Christ, who have drifted along thinking of themselves, caring for themselves, will be placed by the Judge of the whole earth with those who did evil. They will receive the same condemnation.

To every soul a trust is given. Of every one the Chief Shepherd will demand, “Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” And “what wilt thou say when he shall punish thee?”

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