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Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)

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    Co-Operation Among the Churches

    [From a Sermon preached to the General Conference of 1883.]

    There is a great dearth of spirituality in the Conferences of the different States; the churches are suffering, not so much for the want of sermons as for lack of ministry. The members of the churches need personal labor; they need to be instructed as to how they can engage in the work of God. In the winter, special efforts should be put forth. Let the different churches visit one another from time to time. Thus one church may encourage another by the manifestation of friendly, Christ-like interest in the spiritual welfare of the brethren. Those who will engage in active service for the good of others will find that their own souls will be revived and quickened, and those whom they visit will be encouraged and strengthened by the interest of their brethren in their behalf.GW92 241.2

    When the harvest is gathered and the sowing is over, it is a favorable season for religious work. During the long evenings the lessons of the Scriptures should be carefully studied. Precious opportunities may be improved in conversing and praying together, in relating experiences, in making diligent search of the Bible; by such Christian association we may build up one another in the most holy faith.GW92 242.1

    Let those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God meet together to bring hope to one another's hearts. We keep apart from God and from one another, but the scripture declares that “they that feared the Lord spake often one to another.” [Malachi 3:16.] Coldness, formality, and indifference are quenching the vital spark of piety. Wherever we go we should carry an atmosphere of Christian hopefulness and cheer; then those who are out of Christ will see some attractiveness in the religion we profess. We need to get more distinct glimpses of heaven, the land where all is brightness and joy. We need to know more of the fullness of the blessed hope.GW92 242.2

    Will not the representatives from the different Conferences make arrangements to have meetings in the various churches in their districts, and see to it that one church shall be a help to another? Some may be called to go twenty, fifty, or one hundred miles from home to attend meeting with those of like precious faith; but they should not count it a sacrifice. If they call upon God to imbue them with the Holy Spirit, to give them words to speak that will be as meat in due season, they will find their own hearts refreshed, and they will be richly repaid. It has often been found that where there was but a limited number, the most precious and profitable seasons have been enjoyed. In such meetings there had been ample time for conversation on religious topics, time for prayer together, time for rejoicing in the love of God. Every member of the church could learn the needs of his brethren and sisters, and by so doing could pray more intelligently for them. It is impossible to do this so fully at large camp-meetings or other gatherings, but at these smaller meetings we have found our hearts knit together in bonds of love and Christian fellowship.GW92 242.3

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