Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

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

The Signs of the Times

August 25, 1898

Our Work

The Lord has given to His church a work of personal service. He has intrusted the knowledge of the truth of redemption to every converted soul. This knowledge we are to give to others. A responsibility rests upon us to work for all, our friends, our acquaintances, those who are bound up with the world and alienated from God.

How earnestly and untiringly Christ, our great Example, labored to reach all, the most lowly, as well as those in higher positions! His heart was ever touched by human woe. Constantly He walked and worked in the cities, inviting the weary to come to Him, crying: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

Christ is the mighty Healer of all spiritual and physical maladies, and He employed every means to arrest the attention of the impenitent. He longed to break the spell of infatuation upon those who were deceived and deluded by the enemy. He longed to give the sin-polluted soul pardon and peace.

How tender and considerate were Christ's dealings with all! Look upon the sympathetic Redeemer. With the eye of faith behold Him gathering the weak and weary to Himself. Helpless, sinful human beings crowded about Him. See the mothers with their sick and dying little ones in their arms, pressing through the crowd that they might come within reach of the Saviour's notice. Watch them urging their way to Him, pale, weary, almost despairing, yet determined and persevering, bearing in their arms their burden of suffering.

As these anxious ones are crowded back, Christ makes His way to them, step by step, till He is close by their side. Tears of gladness and hope fall freely, as they catch His attention, and look into the eyes which express such tender pity and love for the weary mother as well as for the suffering child. He invites her confidence, saying, What shall I do for thee? She sobs out her great want, “Master, that thou shouldest heal my child.” She has shown her faith by urging her way to Him, tho she did not know that He was making His way to her; and Christ takes the child from her arms. He speaks, and at His touch and word disease flees. The pallor of death is gone; the life-giving current flows through the veins; the muscles receive strength.

The Saviour speaks words of comfort and peace to the mother; and then another case just as urgent, presents itself. A mother asks help for herself and her children; for they are all sufferers. With willingness and joy Christ exercises His power, and the mother and her children praise and glorify Him who doeth all things well.

No frown on Christ's countenance spurned the humble suppliant from His presence. The priests and rulers sought to hinder the suffering from going to Him, saying that He healed the sick by the power of the enemy. But His way could not be hedged up. He was determined not to fail or become discouraged. Suffering privation Himself, He traversed the country, scattering blessings wherever He went, and seeking to reach obdurate hearts.

At one time Christ found Himself in a desert place, surrounded by a multitude who had followed Him to hear His words. “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” The Redeemer's soul was drawn out in heartfelt compassion for the weary people. Their physical weakness and suffering excited His deep interest and sympathy. He longed to relieve the hunger and thirst that made some faint and fall by the way. There was no thought in that heart of infinite love of indifferently passing by, without helping those who needed help.

The compassionate Saviour, who drew hearts to Him by being touched with the feeling of their infirmities, saw a still greater need than bodily suffering. He saw symptoms of a deeper illness. Outward affliction is the result of a diseased heart; and the physical suffering of the people suggested to the Saviour the cause that produced this effect. It was this soul-trouble that led the great Physician to come to the earth as a restorer. The sufferings of the body excited His pity, but He was moved to a still greater compassion by the needs of the soul.

Christ's sympathy for outward necessities was followed by ministry for the soul. Many in that multitude never forgot the experiences of that day. While they were rested, fed, and healed of physical infirmities, their slumbering senses were aroused. They felt their spiritual need, and commenced to live a new life.

So it must be in the work which we as children of God are to do for suffering humanity. While ministering to the physical needs of those who need our help, we are to show them that their hearts must be cleansed from defilement.

The compassion Christ manifested as He looked upon the multitude was not a strange thing to Him; for this love and compassion dwells in the heart of the Father. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It was compassion that brought Christ from heaven. It was compassion that led Him to clothe His divinity with humanity, that He might touch humanity. This led Him to manifest unparalleled tenderness and sympathy for man in his fallen condition.

Today there is a multitude to be reached. The world is full of suffering and distress, of disease of every stripe and type. There is constant need of deep, Christlike sympathy. This sympathy should be manifested at all times and in all places.

God could have sent angels to work for man's reformation, but He did not do this. Humanity must work for humanity. God uses those who are willing to be used. The church is His instrumentality, and if the church had cherished a sense of her responsibility, fervent, earnest messengers would have carried the truth to countries far and near. God's living Word would have been preached in every corner of the earth.

There are heathen at our doors; but there is infidelity in our churches, and this infidelity palsies the working element. The work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a neglect by the church to use her talents in the work of cooperating with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man.

What was Christ's last commission to His disciples?—Lifting up His hands, He blessed them, and said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He who has been truly converted, who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself, can not rest content with doing nothing. He has a longing to save the souls who are out of Christ, and he goes forth proclaiming, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” As he comes to Christ Himself, his whole soul breathes out for Christ. The Holy Spirit molds his heart, and the light that shines into his mind can not be shut in. He receives the knowledge that the Lord gives to every true seeker to impart to others.

It is a most fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on ordained ministers. It is by the Spirit's power that souls dead in trespasses and sins are quickened to hear the Word of life. And the command to work unselfishly and earnestly, rests upon every soul. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow-men. Whatever their work, whatever their business, their first interest should be to seek for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and by precept and example, in word, spirit, and action, show their earnest zeal for Christ. “The Spirit and the 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.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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