Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

January 3, 1895

Called to be Burden-Bearers

“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

We have a message to bear to the world, and every one who has a connection with the work of God, is required to be a burden-bearer. Many professed Christians have been self-centered too long. They have been self-sufficient, and without a vital connection with God, and they do not understand their needs. We would urge all now to understand the Gift of God, and ask of him living water, that he may be in you a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Then you will refresh others; then you will not be anxious to have the highest place. You will not have a carnal ambition to crowd and elbow your way into notice, and to be ambitious for the highest position; but you will realize that your highest place is at the feet of the great Teacher, to learn of him who is meek and lowly in heart. You will realize that your part is to behold Jesus, to contemplate his perfections, to talk of him, and to have your hearts all aglow with the love of God. Then you will possess Christ's meekness and lowliness of heart. Then you will be in a condition to listen to words of truth, and to be benefited by them; for you will then practise the truth, and teach others also the truth as it is in Jesus.

You should seek God with all your heart for yourselves, that the faith which you possess may be a working faith,—a faith that is genuine,—a faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through the grace of Christ you will make decided endeavors to overcome all cold, rough, harsh, uncourteous ways and manners. These un-Christlike attributes will be clearly seen as they are, as you behold the Pattern; for it is by beholding Jesus, by talking of Jesus, by contemplating Jesus, that you will see the offensive character of sin, of selfishness, or hardness of heart, and you will do the very thing that God requires you to do, and that you have not yet done. You will put away all self,—self-importance, self-love, self-esteem, envy, evil-surmising, and jealousy, and plead for the Holy Spirit to come into your hearts and abide with you. As you taste and see that the Lord is good, you will hunger and thirst after more of the Holy Spirit, and will make an entire surrender of your will and your way, your plans and ideas, to God, and will keep the way of the Lord. Your words and deportment must be guarded.

The mighty cleaver of truth has taken you out of the quarry of the world. You were rough stones with jagged edges, bruising and marring whoever you came in contact with; there is a work to be done to smooth off the rough edges. If you appreciated the value of the work that is to be done in the workshop of God, you would welcome the blows of the ax and the hammer. Your self-esteem will be hurt, your high opinion of yourself will be cut away by the ax and the hammer, and the roughness of your character will be smoothed off; and when self and carnal propensities are worked away, then the stone will assume proper proportions for the heavenly building, and then the polishing, refining, subduing, burnishing processes will begin, and you will be molded after the model of Christ's character. His own image is to be reflected in the polished character of his human agent, and the stone is to be fitted for the heavenly building. Angels of God look upon the human agent that thus reflects the brightness and glory of the character of Christ, and proclaim in the heavenly courts: “We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” “Here are precious stones growing up into a holy temple in the Lord.”

But we deny Jesus Christ as the one who taketh away the sins of the world, if we do not, after accepting the truth, reveal to the world the sanctifying effects of the truth on our own characters. If we are not better men and women, if we are not more kind-hearted, more pitiful, more courteous, more full of tenderness and love; if we do not manifest to others the love that led Jesus to the world on his mission of mercy, we are not witnesses to the world of the power of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived not to please himself. He gave himself as a living, consuming sacrifice for the good of others. He came to elevate, to ennoble, to make happy all with whom he came in contact. Those who receive Christ will put away all that is uncourteous, harsh, and rough, and will reveal the pleasantness, the kindness, that dwelt in Jesus, because Christ abides in the heart by faith. Christ was the light that shineth in darkness, and his followers are also to be the light of the world. They are to kindle their tapers at the divine altar. The character that is sanctified through the truth adds the perfect polish.

Christ is our model; but unless we behold him, unless we contemplate his character, we shall not reflect his character in our practical life. He was meek and lowly in heart. He never did a rude action, never spoke a discourteous word. The Lord is not pleased with our blunt, hard, unsympathetic ways toward others. All this selfishness must be purged away from our characters, and we must wear the yoke of Christ. Then we shall become laborers together with God, and shall be fitting up for the society of heavenly angels. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We are to be representatives of Jesus Christ. As the Lord of life and glory came to our world to represent the Father, so we are to go to the world to represent Jesus. He says, “I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” “Thy word is truth.” We need, then, to become familiar with the word of God; to study and to practise it in life. Then will the word become to us personally the power of God unto salvation.

Mrs. E. G. White

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