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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 17 (1902) - Contents
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    Ms 22a, 1902

    A Call to Service


    February 26, 1902 [typed]

    Previously unpublished.

    The fields are ripe, ready for the harvest. “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” This is indeed true. “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:35, 36.]17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 1

    As a people, we have had great light. O that we were awake to the purposes of God and to our individual responsibility! Then would we use every gift, every talent, in the work of giving to the world the truth for this time. The number of laborers would greatly increase, and the work would grow in influence and extent.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 2

    What shall we say, what can we say, to arouse those who know the truth, both ministers and lay members, to a sense of their responsibility? How can they be led to feel the burden of imparting to others the truth God has entrusted to them? Darkness has covered the world and gross darkness the people. Men and women are in need of the light of heaven. God’s people are to be light-bearers shining amid the darkness of this degenerate age.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 3

    All who know the truth should be impressed with the importance of giving this knowledge to others. We need now to train men, and set them at work, giving them every facility for the impartation of truth. There is at this time a great dearth of laborers. Scores of men and women might be set at work. This need should have been foreseen. We must learn to provide for emergencies.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 4

    Do we realize how large a number in the world are watching our movements? From quarters where we least expect will come voices urging us forward in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy. Ministers and people, wake up! Be quick to recognize and seize every advantage offered in the turning of the wheel of providence. God and Christ and the heavenly angels are working with intense activity to hold in check the fierceness of Satan’s wrath, that God’s plans may not be thwarted. God lives and reigns. He is conducting the affairs of the universe. Let every soul who knows the way of salvation move forward to victory. Let there be perfect unity throughout the ranks of God’s servants. Let them press the battle to the gates. As a mighty conqueror the Lord will work for them.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 5

    Our faith is not proportionate to the light God has given us. The reason for this is that the carnal mind, which is at enmity with God, has not been cleansed. When our hearts are emptied of all selfishness, and cleansed by the Spirit of Christ, we shall be vessels meet for the Master’s use.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 6

    God is waiting for men and women to awaken to a sense of their responsibilities. He is waiting for them to link themselves with Him. Let them mark the signals for advance, and no longer be laggards in working out the will of the Lord.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 7

    God has given us all something to do. Those who are willing to work in self-denial and self-sacrifice will find their place. Let them press forward in harmonious action in a place that marks the work as elevating and ennobling.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 8

    Those who are successful in working for God must obtain wisdom from on high. Of himself man can do nothing aright. And when success crowns the efforts of a worker, he is in no case to glorify himself. Those who work for God must hide self in Christ. “Learn of Me,” said the great Teacher, “for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Even in the busiest activities of life we are to hold quiet communion with Jesus; only thus can we gain the clear discernment that enables us to seize every advantage that God presents for the blessing of the world.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 9

    God has no use for those who seek a safe and easy place. By an unreserved consecration we are to prepare ourselves for God’s service. Our ministers are not to hover over the churches, regarding the churches in some particular territory as their special care. Believers are to have root in themselves, striking firm root in Christ, that they may bear fruit to His glory. As one man, they are to strive to attain one object—the saving of souls.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 10


    The Work of Soul-Saving


    If any work is more precious than another, it is the work of soul-saving. The same intensity of desire for the salvation of souls that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. He has no desire to live for self. He delights to consecrate all he has and is to the Master’s service. He is filled with an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ. Those who have nothing of this desire might better begin to feel concerned for their own soul’s salvation. Let them wrestle with God in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth for the spirit of labor.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 11

    To secure your present and future good, Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice. Will you draw back from making a covenant with God by sacrifice? Christ died on the cross to save the world from perishing in sin. He asks your co-operation in His work of soul-saving. You are to be His helping hand to do in this world the work that needs to be done, to place the truth before as many as possible. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 12

    Refuse to admit the worldly interests that strive for the supremacy in your life. Regard yourself as pledged to Christ’s service for time and for eternity. Enter into no business that will make you indifferent to His claims. Say to those who seek to draw you from His work: “I am not my own; Jesus has bought me. I belong to Him. Every particle of my influence is to be used to magnify the principles of His law. God is mine, and I am His, united to Him by a perpetual covenant of service. I must devote myself wholly to the service of the Lord God of hosts. He has put it out of my power to give Him anything that is not already His. Every part of my being, every talent, every faculty, belongs to Him. If I had more than one life, I would give it to Him; for it would be His. My children belong to God. From their birth I must do all in my power to train them for Him, that in their lives He may be glorified.”17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 13

    I have a message for all our people. They must awaken, spread their tents, and enlarge their borders. Men and women must act an earnest part in saving souls. The present state of things must be changed. Our church members must awake to the situation and begin work where they are. Everywhere are persons who know not the truth.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 14

    We are living in solemn times. The world is to be warned. Workers are needed. The money God has entrusted to men of the world is needed. The truth is to be taken to these men, that they may see the duty the Lord has placed on them. Those belonging to the class called monied men have been neglected. God says, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.” [Luke 14:23.]17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 15


    Christ said to Nicodemus, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ... God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ... And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:7, 8, 14-16.] Well may the apostle say, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.]17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 16

    Do those who present the truth to the people fasten the faith of their hearers to Christ? Do they make the Saviour the most prominent figure? He whose faith is not firmly fastened to Christ is far from being what God desires him to be. He whose faith centers in any human being is converted to a man, not to Christ. He needs a reconversion.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 17


    The Lord calls for self-sacrificing workers, who will labor quietly and unobtrusively, living so close to the Lord that they continually receive grace to impart.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 18

    Let not church members wait for a verbal command to enter God’s service. They know their duty. Let them do it in humility and quietness. There are hundreds who should be at work who need to be encouraged to make a beginning.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 19

    Every new-found power is to be held as a precious trust, for use in God’s service. Remember that it was your sins that made the cross necessary. When you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour, you pledged yourself to unite with Him in bearing the cross. You are to unite with Him in carrying out the great plan of redemption. For life and for death you are bound up with the Saviour. You are a part of His great scheme of mercy and love. Your knowledge and wisdom will increase as you seek to grasp the great science of salvation. Before the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds and before fallen human beings you are to live the life of Christ, that unbelievers may be constrained to acknowledge, “He has been with Christ, and has learned of Him.” [See Acts 4:13.] The purity of your language and the unselfishness of your actions are to bear witness to the power of Christ’s grace.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 20



    Those who receive the truth must be taught to communicate it to others. As they take up this work in earnestness and sincerity, asking the Lord to give them tact and skill, they will reach hearts. The transforming power of Christ’s grace molds the one who yields himself to the Saviour. Imbued with the Spirit of the Redeemer, he is ready to deny self, ready to take up the cross, ready to make any sacrifice in the service of the Master. No longer can he be indifferent to the souls perishing around him. He is lifted above self-serving. He has been created anew in Christ Jesus, and self-serving has no part in his life. His eye is single to the glory of God. The truly converted soul realizes that every part of his being belongs to Christ, who has redeemed him from the slavery of sin; that every moment of his future has been bought with the precious life-blood of God’s only begotten Son.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 21

    God opens ways whereby such ones can work for Him. Let them look ever to Him, that they may know what He wants them to do. Let them do what they can: even though it be little, it may result in great good. How many have a sufficient understanding of the plan of redemption to appreciate the value of human beings? How many have so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that they are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? Why is it that blood-bought souls have not a deeper sense of their obligation to serve Him to whom they belong?17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 22

    Our question is to be, How can I best glorify Him whose I am by creation and by redemption? With anxious solicitude the truly converted soul seeks to rescue those who are still in Satan’s power. The one aim and object of his life is the saving of souls. He refuses to do anything that would hinder him in this work. If he has children, he realizes that his work must begin in his own family. The souls of his children are exceedingly precious to him. Remembering that they are the younger members of the Lord’s family, he strives with all his power to place them where they will stand on the Lord’s side. He has pledged himself to serve, honor, and obey Christ, and he puts forth patient, untiring effort so to train his children that they will never be hostile to the Saviour.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 23

    God has placed on fathers and mothers the responsibility of saving their children from the power of the enemy. This is their work—a work that they should on no account neglect. Those who have a living connection with Christ will labor for their children. They will not rest until they see them safely in the fold. They will make this the burden of their lives.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 24

    Parents, why do you neglect the work waiting for you in the little church in your own family? The home is your first field of missionary effort. The most important work you can do is to place your children on the Lord’s side. When they err, deal with them tenderly but always decidedly. Take them with you into the work of opposing the evil by which Satan seeks to destroy the souls and bodies of human beings. As you take them with you into the service of the Lord, what a victory you gain! Share with them secret of the cross, the secret that to you means sanctification, redemption, and eternal victory.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 25

    If the families around you are opposed to the truth, strive to lead them to yield to the claims of Christ. Work patiently, wisely, considerately, winning your way by the tender ministry of love. Thus the walls of prejudice will be broken down. Present the truth in such a way that it will be seen in all its beauty, exerting an influence that cannot be resisted.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 26

    If this work were faithfully done, if fathers and mothers worked for the members of their own families and then for those around them, uplifting Christ by a godly life, thousands of souls would be saved. When God’s people are truly converted, when they realize the obligation resting on them to labor for those within their reach, when they leave no means untried to rescue sinners from the power of the enemy, the reproach will be removed from our churches.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 27

    The Lord has presented before me the work that must be done in our cities. The believers in these cities can work for God in the neighborhood round their homes. They are to work quietly and in humility, carrying with them wherever they go the atmosphere of heaven. If they keep self out of sight, pointing always to Christ, the power of their influence will be felt on the side of truth.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 28

    As the human agent gives himself unreservedly to the work of the Lord, he gains an experience that enables him to work more and more successfully for his Master. The influence that drew him to Christ helps him to draw others to Christ. He may never have laid upon him the work of a public speaker, but he is none the less a minister for God; and his work testifies that he is born of God.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 29

    Why do not believers feel a deeper, more earnest concern for those who are out of Christ? Why do not two or three meet together and plead with God for the salvation of some special one, and then still another? In our churches let companies be formed for service. There are to be no idlers in the Lord’s vineyard. Let different ones combine to be fishers of men. Let them seek to gather precious souls from the corruption of the world into the saving purity of Christ’s love.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 30

    The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort is a plan that has been presented before me by One who cannot err. If there are a large number in the church, let the members be formed into small companies, to work not only for the church members, but for unbelievers. If in one place there are only two or three who know the truth, let them form themselves into a band of workers. Let them keep their bond of union unbroken, pressing together in love and unity, encouraging one another to advance, each gaining encouragement and strength from the assistance of the other. Let them exercise Christ’s forbearance and patience, speaking no hasty words, but using their talent of speech to build up one another in the most holy faith. Let them labor in Christlike love for those outside of the fold, forgetting self in the endeavor to help others. As they work and pray in Christ’s name, their numbers will increase; for the Saviour declares, “I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:19.]17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 31

    Let us never forget that we are not our own, that we have been bought with a price. Our powers are to be regarded as sacred trusts, to be used to the glory of God and the good of our fellow men. We are a part of the cross of Christ. With earnest, unwearying fidelity we are to seek to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Lord has put it out of our power to give Him anything that does not already belong to Him. He gave His life for us. We are His, bought with an infinite price. His sacrifice on Calvary has made it possible for us to live a new, transformed life. For life and for death we are bound up with His mercy and His love. We are included in His great plan for the saving of the lost. We are to be laborers together with Him, drawing others within the circle of His love.17LtMs, Ms 22a, 1902, par. 32

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