Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

June 15, 1893

Words to the Young

God has given to every man according to his ability, and the measure of the obligation of each one is in proportion to the largeness of the talents intrusted, the gift bestowed. We are under obligation to use our talents for the service of God through all our life, and I wish that our youth would consider this fact, and not ignore their responsibility to their heavenly Benefactor. We shall all be held accountable for the diligent use of our talents. We shall be judged according to the light we have had, according to the privileges we have been granted, according to the opportunity we have had to hear and understand the word of God. These privileges have been given us through an infinite cost to the Father and the Son. The plan of redemption has been devised and carried out so far through the sacrifice of all heaven, and the gift of the Holy Spirit has been provided, that the divine may unite with the human, and man be elevated in moral and spiritual worth.

The Lord Jesus clothed his divinity with humanity, and came from heaven to earth to show the world how they might become the obedient children of God. His life was not one of ease and splendor. He was the King of glory, but he left the riches and adoration of heaven, and came to the world as a helpless babe. The enmity of Satan was set against Christ, and he determined to destroy him from his infancy. Through all his life Satan worked to overcome Christ, and to take from him his life.

He was intrusted to the care of poor parents, and honored common humanity by partaking in the struggles of the poor. Jesus knows how to sympathize with the poor and oppressed. He practiced self-denial, and lived not to please himself, but for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. He disputed the power and claims of Satan, and broke the yoke of oppression which the prince of evil had bound upon the children of men; and because of this gracious work, Satan opposed him, and invented snares for his feet, even to the bitter end, when Jesus was crucified on Calvary's cross. The world's Redeemer was crucified in order that a way might be made for the salvation of man through the operation of the Spirit of God, which would work upon the heart, convicting of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. The Holy Spirit presents the high standard of the law of God before man, and yet man is left free to choose for himself. He would not be a free moral agent if not thus left free to exercise his own will.

But though the Lord does not compel us to do him service, it is yet a fact that we are not our own in any sense, since the Lord is both our Creator and Redeemer. Soul, body, and spirit belong to him. All our powers belong to the Lord Jesus Christ; and yet, though we may choose to render them to him to do a grand service for him and humanity through the operation of his Holy Spirit, we also may choose to render them to Satan, and work untold harm by cherishing satanic attributes of character. We are left free to serve whom we will serve; but the time is coming when the books will be opened, and every man will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. John says: “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

All our capabilities for usefulness and enjoyment are the gift of God, for which we shall be called to give an account. The youth and children who have praying parents have been greatly privileged; for such have an opportunity to know and to love God. In respecting and rendering obedience to their parents, they may learn how to respect and obey their heavenly Father. If they walk as children of the light, they will be kind and courteous, loving and respectful, to their parents, whom they have seen, and thus be better qualified to love God, whom they have not seen. If they are faithful representatives of their parents, practising the truth through the help given them of God, then by precept and example they acknowledge the ownership of God, and honor him by a well-ordered life and godly conversation.

I would urge those who do not use their intrusted ability to do good, to repent and reform, and cherish the light which is sent from heaven. If you fail to make use of your intrusted gifts of reason, of knowledge, of opportunity to know and obey the truth; if you bar the door of your mind, and close the chambers of your soul lest you should be convinced by the word of God, you pervert your intrusted powers, and fail to occupy the position in the world that God has designed you should. You are to build up the kingdom of God in the world. You may not profess to be Christians, yet this does not lessen in the least your responsibility. In refusing to render service to God, you rob him of the service which is his due, and you are accountable for the work that you should do as a faithful soldier of Christ. God is dishonored by your resistance against his love, and the church is dishonored in that you have had opportunities, and have stood in stubborn rebellion against God, and by this have led other souls astray. You have refused to become a vessel meet for the Master's use, to communicate blessing to those who are ready to perish. Those who venture to neglect the great salvation that has been provided for them, are responsible for the consequences and results of their influence; are accountable for what might have been done had they cooperated with the heavenly agencies which God provided for their help. Christ has suffered and died to bring salvation within the reach of all, and how can we refuse to be obedient? How can we refuse to be qualified for the work that will bring blessing to our own soul, and to the souls of others?

Mrs. E. G. White

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