Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

August 17, 1909

Words to the Young

“God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” He who believes in Christ becomes one with Christ, to show forth the glory of God; for God hath put a new song into his mouth, even praise unto the Lord. He daily desires to know more of Christ, that he may become more like him. He discerns spiritual things, and enjoys contemplation of Christ; and by beholding him, he is changed, imperceptibly to himself, into the image of Christ. He is after the Spirit, and understands the things of the Spirit. He does not place his dependence for acceptance with God upon what he can do, but relies wholly upon the merits of Christ's righteousness. Yet he knows that he can not be slothful and be a child of God. He searches the Scriptures that testify to him of Christ, that present before him the perfect Pattern.

The believer finds in the Word of God counsel and comfort; and in following the direction, he walks in the path of life. Precious truth is unfolded to his mind, and he receives it into the inner sanctuary of the soul. The attractions of the world become tame to him; for the glory and value of eternity are opened before him. He can say with the apostle, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” How can any one persuade himself that the Word of God is but a cunningly devised fable? How can he imagine that the life vitally connected with Christ is uninteresting? O that all might count the cost, and conclude that the most profitable thing for any soul to do is to make his calling and election sure, that day by day he may stand on vantage-ground, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith!

He who has a genuine experience in the things of God will not be indifferent to those who are in darkness, but will inquire, What would Jesus say to these poor, needy souls? He will seek to let his light shine forth. He will pray for wisdom, grace, and tact, that he may know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. In place of engaging in trifling conversation, in jesting and joking, he will, as a faithful steward of the grace of God, make the most of his opportunity, and the seed sown will spring up and bear fruit unto life eternal. The treasure of truth is in his heart, and he brings forth good things. The well-spring of life is in his soul, and the living waters flow forth.

Young men and women, is this your experience? Are you growing up into Christ, your living head? Are you laborers together with God, bearing fruit unto his glory? If not, you are not children of God, for you have not the image and superscription of Christ. You have not a clear title to the heavenly inheritance, and should sickness and death come upon you while you are thus neglecting the salvation so richly provided for you, what record would the books of heaven present? Could you meet that record with joy?

The Lord has given to the youth abundant privileges whereby they may become laborers together with God. They are to be living witnesses for Christ. Their lives and characters should bear decided testimony concerning the riches of Christ; for they should represent the Master, and make manifest the power of the truth upon the soul. But O, how many in life and character show that they are not consecrated to the service of Christ! They live to please themselves. They do not strengthen the church by their efficient efforts, but are rather a burden than burden-bearers. The church is what its members make it, and if names only are added to its records, and there is in the members no zeal, no purity, no intelligence in spiritual things, the church does not have increased power. Those who remain stationary in their religious experience, who do not grow up into Christ, their living head, seeking for perfection of character, are dead weights upon the church. They do not follow Jesus, the light of the world, and therefore have no light to diffuse to those who are sitting in darkness, and the world is no better because of their profession of godliness. Without an accession of spiritual power with its members, the church will fail to meet the expectation of the heavenly intelligences.

O that the youth may consider the life of Christ, and copy the Pattern! If they will do this, they will not be like the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their vessels with their lamps; but they will be wise, having their lamps trimmed and burning, and the cause of truth will not retrograde, the church will not become sickly and ready to die, but its members will become spiritual, and be able to discern spiritual things.

Mrs. E. G. White

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