Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

February 13, 1902

God's Purpose for the Youth

Wonderful are the possibilities before the youth who grasp the assurances of God's word. Scarcely can the human mind comprehend the spiritual attainments which can be reached by them as they become partakers of the divine nature. Daily correcting mistakes and gaining victories, they grow into wise, strong men and women in Christ.

The Lord says to every one of you, “My son, give me thine heart.” He sees your disorders. He knows that your soul is diseased with sin, and he desires to say to you, “Thy sins are forgiven.” The Great Physician has a remedy for every ill. He understands your case. Whatever may have been your errors, he knows how to deal with them. Will you not trust yourself to him?

Before you are two ways,—the broad road of self-indulgence and the narrow path of self-sacrifice. Into the broad road you can take selfishness, pride, love of the world; but those who walk in the narrow way must lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset. Which road have you chosen,—the road which leads to everlasting death, or the road which leads to glory and immortality?

The Lord has given you your life as a sacred trust. Spend it for him. Visit the sick; comfort the poor and sorrowful, speaking to them of the compassionate Redeemer. This work will bring to you health of body and peace of mind. Your countenance will reflect the joy that comes as the reward of unselfish service. The price of Christlike love is beyond computation; it makes human beings like Him who lived not to please himself.

In the history of Timothy are found precious lessons. He was a mere lad when chosen by God as a teacher; but so fixed were his principles by a correct education that he was fitted for this important position. He bore his responsibilities with Christlike meekness. He was faithful, steadfast, and true, and Paul selected him to be his companion in labor and travel. Lest Timothy should meet with slights because of his youthfulness, Paul wrote to him, “Let no man despise thy youth.” He could safely do this, because Timothy was not self-sufficient, but continually sought guidance.

There are many youth who move from impulse rather than from judgment. But Timothy inquired at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” He had no specially brilliant talents, but he consecrated all his abilities to the service of God, and this made his work valuable. The Lord found in him a mind that he could mold and fashion for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

God will use the youth today as he used Timothy, if they will submit to his guidance. It is your privilege to be God's missionaries. He calls upon you to work for your companions. Seek out those you know to be in danger, and in the love of Christ try to help them. How are they to know the Saviour unless they see his virtues in his followers?

Take time to ask yourself, What am I doing for the Master? Work for him while the day lasts; the night is coming, and then you will not be able to work. Do not seek some great undertaking. Do the work nearest you, be it ever so humble. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” At the close of each day review your record, noting where you have failed to improve the precious opportunities that have come to you. Ask the Lord to pardon your neglect, and seek for strength to act with greater fidelity on the morrow.

Many youth are ready to make excuses for not entering the service of Christ. “I do not profess to be a Christian,” one says, “and those who make a profession are no more Christlike than I am. If I professed to be a Christian, I would certainly do the works of a Christian.” To the self-deceived ones who speak thus, come the words, He that knoweth his Master's will, and doeth it not, “shall be beaten with many stripes.” If you have a clear understanding of the duties of the Christian life, and yet refuse to accept Christ, choosing rather to make yourself a stumbling-block by pointing to the errors of others, great will be your punishment.

At the eleventh hour the Lord will call into his service many faithful workers. Self-sacrificing men and women will step into the places made vacant by apostasy and death. To young men and young women, as well as to those who are older, God will give power from above. With converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues, their lips touched with a living coal from the divine altar, they will go forth into the Master's service, moving steadily onward and upward, carrying the work forward to completion.

Mrs. E. G. White

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