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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7

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    Chapter 46—Instruction to Workers

    Slowly but surely the wheel of Providence is turning. We know not how soon our Lord will say: “It is done.” His coming is drawing nigh. Soon our opportunities for work will be forever past. Only a little while longer shall we be permitted to labor. My brethren, will you not strive with earnest effort to establish memorials for God throughout the Southern States? Churches should be raised up; houses of worship should be built; small schools and sanitariums should be established; and the publishing interests should be strengthened.7T 235.1

    The lines of work to be established in different places in the South will need men and women of wisdom and prayer, men and women who will carry the work forward from stage to stage soundly, intelligently—toiling, praying, working economically, as laborers of God's appointment. The situation calls for personal, untiring, united effort.7T 235.2

    One brick upon another, and the highest wall is made;
    One flake upon another, and the deepest snow is laid.
    7T 235.3

    Patient continuance in well-doing—this is to be our motto. We are to put forth persevering effort, advancing step by step until the race is run, the victory gained.7T 235.4

    When the publishing work at Nashville was started, it was the avowed purpose of the workers to keep out of debt; but in their desperate effort to make brick without straw, our brethren were led to depart from this purpose, and, as the result, the work has become involved in difficulty. But God's workmen at Nashville are not, because of this, to become discouraged. The work must not cease. Let all now seek most earnestly to avoid the mistakes of the past. Let them guard themselves as with a fence of barbed wire against the inclination to go into debt. Let them say firmly: “Henceforth we will advance no faster than the Lord shall indicate and the means in hand shall allow, even though the good work has to wait for a while. In beginning in new places, we will labor in narrow quarters, rather than involve the Lord's cause in debt.”7T 235.5

    Let not those become disheartened who have labored so earnestly to bring the work in the Southern field to its present state of advancement. Let all do their best to place the work at Nashville on a solid basis. The Lord has in charge those who have striven valiantly to do that which so greatly needed to be done. In His pity and kindness and love, the Lord has mercy on them. He still accepts them as His co-workers. He knows all about every one of them. They have had to pass through the fire of affliction, as they have done the breaking-up pioneer work. God will be glorified in those who have been laborers together with Him in breaking up the ground in fields that have never before been worked.7T 236.1

    Brethren, we have a great work before us in the Southern field, a work that as yet we have only begun. We must not continue to stand as we have stood for years, dreading this work. There are those who have done stern, hard labor, and the Lord recognizes and commends their self-sacrificing efforts. He has blessed them. They have received their reward by seeing those they helped placing their feet on the Rock of Ages and in turn helping others.7T 236.2

    My brethren in the Southern field, I ask you, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, to quit you like men. The Lord is at the helm. He will give His servants grace and wisdom. It is God's purpose that men entrusted with responsibility should counsel and pray together in Christian unity. In unity there is a life, a power, that can be obtained in no other way. There will be a vast power in the church when the energies of the members are united under the control of the Spirit. Then will God be able to work mightily through His people for the conversion of sinners.7T 236.3

    God lives and reigns. He will open the way for the neglected Southern field to be cultivated for Him. Let the workers there come up to the help of the Lord and with joy proclaim His truth. The Lord is soon coming. Talk it, pray it, believe it. Make it a part of the life. You will have to meet a doubting, objecting spirit, but this will give way before firm, consistent trust in God. When perplexities or hindrances present themselves, lift the soul to God in songs of thanksgiving. Gird on the Christian armor, and be sure that your feet are “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Preach the truth with boldness and fervor. Remember that the Lord looks in compassion upon this field and that He knows its poverty and its need. The efforts you are making will not prove a failure.7T 237.1

    Our churches in the South are to have a spiritual resurrection. A great and solemn work is before the members of every church. They are to come close to Christ in self-denial and self-sacrifice, their one aim being to give God's message of mercy to their fellow men. Let them labor guardedly and with humility, each having respect for the work of the others. Some can labor in one way and some in another, as the Lord may call and lead them. But let none mourn that they cannot glorify God in the use of talents that He has not entrusted to their keeping. God holds us responsible only for the work that He has placed in our hands. One thing all can do: They can avoid making the work of others unnecessarily hard by criticizing their efforts, putting stones in front of the car their brethren are trying to push uphill. If any are unwilling to put their shoulder to the wheel, let them at least refrain from hindering those who are working. God calls for laborers who will refuse to discourage their fellow laborers.7T 237.2

    As God's people labor earnestly, humbly, self-sacrificingly, they will gain the rich reward of which Job speaks: “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; ... the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.... I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.” Job 29:11-16.7T 238.1

    The blessing of good works will follow into the eternal world those who deny self for the sake of their Saviour. When the redeemed stand around the throne of God, those who have been saved from sin and degradation will come to those who labored for them, with the words of greeting: “I was without God and without hope in the world. I was perishing in corruption and sin. I was starving for physical and for spiritual food. You came to me in love and pity, and fed and clothed me. You pointed me to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.”7T 238.2

    My brethren in the South, be strong, yea, be strong. The hand of oppression and robbery shall not afflict you if you will exalt the holy principles of God's law. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against him. You are engaged in an important work, and you are to take heed, to watch and pray, to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Work with an eye single to the glory of God, with a sense of your individual responsibility. Remember that the Lord alone can make your efforts successful.7T 238.3

    *****

    The workers in the South must reach the highest spiritual attainments, in order that their work in this field may be a success. Private prayer, family prayer, prayer in public gatherings for the worship of God—all are essential. And we are to live our prayers. We are to co-operate with Christ in His work.7T 239.1

    *****

    Union with Christ and with one another is our only safety. Let us not make it possible for Satan to point to our churches, saying: “Behold how these people, standing under the banner of Christ, hate one another. We have nothing to fear from them while they spend more strength in fighting among themselves than in warfare with my forces.”7T 239.2

    *****

    We are to learn from past experience how to avoid failure. We pray to our heavenly Father, “Lead us not into temptation,” and then, too often, we fail to guard our feet against leading us into temptation. We are to keep away from the temptations by which we are easily overcome. Our success is wrought out by ourselves through the grace of Christ. We are to roll out of the way the stone of stumbling that has caused us and others so much sadness.7T 239.3

    *****

    In establishing the work in new places, economize in every possible way. Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost. The work of soul saving must be carried on in the way that Christ has marked out. He declares: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. Only by obeying this word can we be His disciples. We are nearing the end of this earth's history, and the different lines of God's work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than has yet been manifested.7T 239.4

    *****

    We are in this world to help one another. In Christ's work there were no territorial lines, and those who attempt to make such lines in His work today might better pray: “Lord, give me a new heart.” When they have the mind of Christ they will see the many parts of the Lord's vineyard that are still unworked. Never will they say: “Our means are needed to carry forward the interests we have in hand. It is of no use to call for means from us.”7T 240.1

    Day by day human beings are deciding a question of life or death, deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal destruction. And yet many of those professing to serve the Lord are content to occupy their time and attention with matters of little importance. They are content to be at variance with one another. If they were consecrated to the service of the Master, they would not be contending like a family of unruly children. Everyone would be standing at his post of duty, working with heart and soul as a missionary of the cross of Christ. The Holy Spirit would abide in the hearts of the laborers, and works of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into their service the prayers and sympathies of an awakened church. They would receive their orders from Christ, and would have no time for contention. Messages would come from lips touched by a live coal from the divine altar. Earnest, purified words would be spoken. Humble, heartbroken prayers of faith would ascend to heaven. While with one hand the workers would take hold of Christ, with the other they would grasp sinners and draw them to the Saviour.7T 240.2

    *****

    “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.7T 241.1

    “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:4-10.7T 241.2

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