Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

July 28, 1892

Words to the Young

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”

It becomes us to seek God with all the heart in the days of youth, health, and prosperity, when the evil days draw not nigh when we shall say, “I have no pleasure in them.” God and his cause should hold the first place in our regard; and in order that this may be so, we should observe regular seasons for prayer. The youth who would serve God, should go away by himself, seeking some retired place to pray, or, if he cannot do this, he should pray while he labors, coming often to the throne of grace, asking the Lord to breathe upon him the spirit of prayer, and teach him how to ask for the things that he needs. The child-like, humble spirit, the living faith that should animate the heart of the Christian, will lead him to make earnest supplication at a throne of mercy, and he will appreciate the intercession of Jesus, his advocate.

Jesus knows our weakness; he is acquainted with our besetments and our infirmities; and he loves to help us. There is a great advantage in beginning to love and serve God in early youth; for the earlier in life you begin the service of God, the more distinctly you will reveal the impression of the heavenly Spirit. Let the youth who would serve God remember that only one day at a time is his own. Let him begin his day as if it were the last day he should pass upon earth, and let him close it in earnest prayer that God will bless his efforts and influence.

While your hands are engaged in labor, if you desire to become intelligent in spiritual things, if you desire to have your mind directed heavenward, you might commit to memory texts or portions of the Scriptures, and thus train your mind to dwell upon things that are pure and lovely. The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God's word, is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions. It is essential that we search the Scriptures for ourselves; for we want to understand what is truth. The youth should read the Bible thoughtfully and prayerfully, and to some purpose, earnestly desiring to understand the sacred instruction of Christ. Whoever comes to the Bible with such a spirit, will receive the pure light of truth, full of inspiration; and the soft, subduing power of the Holy Spirit will cleanse and sanctify the heart of the honest seeker. The angels of God will be near to instruct him who is of a teachable spirit. Then read the precious utterances of God's word slowly, patiently, reverently.

In searching the word of God, do not be content with superficial work. Many of the gems of truth lie deep, and one who looks only on the surface will not discover them. You must dig deep in the mine of truth if you would find its richest treasures. Comparing scripture with scripture, you may find the true meaning of the text; but if you do not make the sacred teachings of God's word the rule and guide of your life, the truth will be nothing to you. The efficiency of truth is discovered only when it is carried out in practical life. If any part of God's word condemns any habit you have cherished, any feeling you have indulged, any spirit you have manifested, turn not from the word of God; but turn away from the evil of your doings, and let Jesus cleanse and sanctify your heart. Confess your faults, and forsake them wholly and determinedly, believing the promise of God, and showing your faith by your works.

Mrs. E. G. White

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