Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

November 6, 1902

Working with God

Multitudes are vainly seeking happiness in worldly amusements. They crave something which they do not have. They are spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not. The hungering, thirsting soul will continue to hunger and thirst as long as it partakes of these unsatisfying pleasures. O that every such one would listen to the voice of Jesus, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Those who drink of the living water will thirst no more for frivolous, exciting amusements. Christ, the well-spring of life, is the fountain of peace and happiness.

God bestows various talents and gifts upon men, not that they may lie useless, nor that they may be employed in amusements or selfish gratification, but that they may be a blessing to others by enabling men to do earnest, self-sacrificing missionary work. God grants man time for the purpose of promoting his glory. When this time is used in selfish pleasure and amusement, it is lost to all eternity.

The youth, as well as those of more advanced age, are accountable to God for their time, their influence, and their opportunities. They hold their destiny in their own hands. They may rise to the highest excellence, or they may sink to the lowest depth of depravity. Every person is a free moral agent, by his daily life deciding his future. What course, then, is it wisest for us, as rational beings, to pursue? Shall we live as candidates for eternal life, or shall we fail of fulfilling the great end of our creation?

In our character-building we must work in union with our Heavenly Father, our will conformed to his will. We are to work in union with him “who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Then why should we doubt him? Let us not stop, my dear young friends, with a work half done. Let us not rest satisfied before we receive a new and sanctified nature, in which will appear the fruits of righteousness. Those who stop short of this are Christians only in name. We are to make diligent work for eternity. Helping one another, and walking in all humility, we shall receive grace for grace.

Let the youth magnify the name of the Lord for his great goodness, his loving mercy, his tender compassion. They can magnify his name by revealing his grace through a well-ordered life and a godly conversation. And as they do this, the disposition is sweetened; irritability passes away.

To every young man and young woman I would say: Come to Jesus just as you are. With humility and contrition express to him your penitence. Make a vigilant, earnest effort to serve him, and perseveringly keep up this effort. Cherish constantly the spirit of gentleness and kindness. Cultivate sympathy—not for yourself, but for others; “in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that can not be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

“The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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