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Christian Service

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    Chapter 10—Methods

    House to House

    Of equal importance with special public efforts is house-to-house work in the homes of the people. In large cities there are certain classes that cannot be reached by public meetings. These must be searched out as the shepherd searches for his lost sheep. Diligent, personal effort must be put forth in their behalf. When personal work is neglected, many precious opportunities are lost, which, were they improved, would advance the work decidedly.—Testimonies for the Church 9:111.ChS 113.1

    Deeds as well as words of sympathy are needed. Christ prefaced the giving of His message by deeds of love and benevolence. Let these workers go from house to house, helping where help is needed, and, as opportunity offers, telling the story of the cross. Christ is to be their text. They need not dwell upon doctrinal subjects; let them speak of the work and sacrifice of Christ. Let them hold up His righteousness, in their lives revealing His purity.—Testimonies for the Church 7:228.ChS 113.2

    God is no respecter of persons. He will use humble, devoted Christians, even if they have not received so thorough an education as some others. Let such ones engage in service for Him by doing house-to-house work. Sitting by the fireside, they can—if humble, discreet, and godly—do more to meet the real needs of families than could an ordained minister.—Testimonies for the Church 7:21.ChS 113.3

    Among the members of our churches there should be more house-to-house labor, in giving Bible readings and distributing literature.—Testimonies for the Church 9:127.ChS 113.4

    Those who engage in house-to-house labor will find opportunities for ministry in many lines. They should pray for the sick, and should do all in their power to relieve them from suffering. They should work among the lowly, the poor, and the oppressed. We should pray for and with the helpless ones who have not strength of will to control the appetites that passion has degraded. Earnest, persevering effort must be made for the salvation of those in whose hearts an interest is awakened. Many can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. Their physical wants must first be relieved. As they see evidence of our unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 6:83, 84.ChS 113.5

    Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls.—Testimonies for the Church 9:123.ChS 114.1

    Our Saviour went from house to house, healing the sick, comforting the mourners, soothing the afflicted, speaking peace to the disconsolate. He took the little children in His arms and blessed them, and spoke words of hope and comfort to the weary mothers. With unfailing tenderness and gentleness, He met every form of human woe and affliction. Not for Himself, but for others did He labor. He was the servant of all. It was His meat and drink to bring hope and strength to all with whom He came in contact.—Gospel Workers, 188.ChS 114.2

    The presentation of the truth, in love and simplicity, from house to house, is in harmony with the instruction that Christ gave His disciples when He sent them out on their first missionary tour. By songs of praise, by humble, heartfelt prayers, many will be reached. The divine Worker will be present to send conviction to hearts. “I am with you always,” is His promise. With the assurance of the abiding presence of such a helper, we may labor with faith and hope and courage.—Testimonies for the Church 9:34.ChS 114.3

    House-to-house laborers are needed. The Lord calls for decided efforts to be put forth in places where the people know nothing of Bible truth. Singing and prayer and Bible readings are needed in the homes of the people. Now, just now, is the time to obey the commission, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Those who do this work must have a ready knowledge of the Scriptures. “It is written” is to be their weapon of defense.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 540.ChS 114.4

    My brethren and sisters, visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness seek to reach their hearts. Be sure to work in a way that will remove prejudice instead of creating it. And remember that those who know the truth for this time, and yet confine their efforts to their own churches, refusing to work for their unconverted neighbors, will be called to account for unfulfilled duties.—Testimonies for the Church 9:34.ChS 115.1

    On this first tour the disciples were to go only where Jesus had been before them, and had made friends. Their preparation for the journey was to be of the simplest kind. Nothing must be allowed to divert their minds from their great work, or in any way excite opposition and close the door for further labor. They were not to adopt the dress of the religious teachers, nor use any guise in apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor. They were not to waste time in needless salutations, or in going from house to house for entertainment. But in every place they were to accept the hospitality of those who were worthy, those who would welcome them heartily as if entertaining Christ Himself. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, “Peace be to this house.” That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle.—The Desire of Ages, 351, 352.ChS 115.2

    Visit your neighbors in a friendly way, and become acquainted with them.... Those who do not take up this work, those who act with the indifference that some have manifested, will soon lose their first love, and will begin to censure, criticize, and condemn their own brethren.—The Review and Herald, May 13, 1902.ChS 115.3

    The apostle's efforts were not confined to public speaking; there were many who could not have been reached in that way. He spent much time in house-to-house labor, thus availing himself of the familiar intercourse of the home circle. He visited the sick and the sorrowing, comforted the afflicted, and lifted up the oppressed. And in all that he said and did, he magnified the name of Jesus. Thus he labored, “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” He trembled lest his teaching should reveal the impress of the human rather than the divine.—The Acts of the Apostles, 250.ChS 115.4

    Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray with them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the Word of God to their darkened minds. Keep watching, as he who must render an account for the souls of men, and make the most of the privileges that God gives you of laboring with Him in His moral vineyard. Do not neglect speaking to your neighbors, and doing them all the kindness in your power, that you “by all means may save some.” We need to seek for the spirit that constrained the apostle Paul to go from house to house pleading with tears, and teaching “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.ChS 116.1

    The Lord has presented before me the work that is to be done in our cities. The believers in these cities are to work for God in the neighborhood of their homes. They are to labor quietly and in humility, carrying with them wherever they go the atmosphere of heaven.—Testimonies for the Church 9:128.ChS 116.2

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