Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

October 17, 1906

Our Great Treasure-House

By Mrs. E. G. White

Worth of Obedience—Part 20

It is because so many parents and teachers profess to live the Word of God while their lives deny its power, that the teaching of the Scripture has no great effect upon the youth. At times the youth are brought to feel the power of the Word. They see the preciousness of the love of Christ. They see the beauty of His character, the possibilities of a life given to His service. But in contrast they see the lives of those who profess to revere God's precepts. Of how many are the words true that were spoken to the prophet Ezekiel:

“The children of thy people” “speak to one another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.”

It is one thing to treat the Bible as a book of good moral instruction, to be heeded as far as is consistent with the spirit of the time; it is another thing to regard it as it really is—the Word of the living God—the Word that is our life, the Word that is to mould our actions, our words, and our thoughts. To hold God's Word as anything less than this is to reject it. And this rejection by those who profess to believe it is foremost among the causes of skepticism and infidelity in the youth.

Conscience Must Be Quickened

If we would live a Christian life, the conscience must be quickened by constant contact with the Word of God. All the precious things which at infinite cost God has provided for us will do us no good; they can not strengthen us and produce spiritual growth, unless we appropriate them. We must eat the Word of God—make it a part of ourselves.

The increasing knowledge of Christ that is gained by a study of the Scriptures, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, enables the receiver to distinguish between right and wrong in all the affairs of life.

Let us make the Word of God the food of mind and soul. Let the cross of Christ be made the science of all education, the center of all teaching and all study. Let it be brought into the daily experience in practical life. So will the Saviour become to us a daily companion and friend. Every thought will be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. With the apostle Paul we shall be able to say: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Thus, through faith, we shall come to know God by an experimental knowledge. We have proved for ourselves the reality of His Word, the truth of His promises. We have tasted, and we know that the Lord is good.

Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God's Word. There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.

Let the student take the Bible as his guide, and stand like a rock for principle, and he may aspire to any height of attainment. All the philosophies of human nature have led to confusion when God has not been recognized as all and in all. But the precious faith inspired of God imparts strength and nobility of character. As His goodness, His mercy, and His love are dwelt upon, clearer and still clearer will be the perception of truth; higher, holier the desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His Word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love.

The natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the words of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the Word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence may see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power.

“The stability of thy times and the strength of thy happiness shall be wisdom and knowledge”—that wisdom and knowledge that God's Word alone can impart. It is as true now as when the words were spoken to Israel of obedience to His commandments: “This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations.”

Here is the only safeguard for individual integrity, for the purity of the home, the well-being of society, or the stability of the nation. Amidst all life's perplexities and dangers and conflicting claims, the one safe and sure rule is to do what God says. “The statutes of the Lord are right;” and, “he that doeth these things shall never be moved.”

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