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    October 1, 1902

    The Definite Aim in Service

    Reading for Sabbath, December 27

    (From manuscript prepared for a forthcoming volume on Education, by Mrs. E. G. White.)


    Life's Great Aim

    Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success in life must choose and keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The Heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being. It opens a field of effort to every one whose heart Christ has touched.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 1

    God's purpose for the children growing up beside our hearths is wider, deeper, higher, than our restricted vision has comprehended. From the humblest lot, those whom He has seen faithful have in times past been called to witness for Him in the world's highest places. And many a lad of today, growing up as did Daniel in his Judean home, studying God's Word and His works, and learning the lessons of faithful service, will yet stand in legislative assemblies, in halls of justice, or in royal courts, as a witness for the King of kings. Multitudes will be called to a wider ministry. The whole world is opening to the gospel. Ethiopia is stretching out her hands unto God. From Japan and India and China, from the still-darkened lands of our own continent, from every quarter of this world of ours, comes the cry of sin-stricken hearts for a knowledge of the God of love. Millions upon millions have never so much as heard of God or of His love revealed in Christ. It is their right to receive this knowledge. They have an equal claim with us on the Saviour's mercy. And it rests with us who have received the knowledge; with our children to whom we may impart it, to answer their cry. To every household and every school, to every parent, teacher, and child, upon whom has shone the light of the gospel of the Son of God, comes at this crisis the question put to Esther the queen at that momentous crisis in Israel's history, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 2

    God's Participation in Suffering

    The result of hastening or hindering the gospel, we think of, if at all, in relation to ourselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ's agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that sin, from its very inception, has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach God's ideal, brings grief to Heaven. When there came upon Israel the calamities that inevitably followed separation from God,—subjugation by their enemies, oppression, cruelty, and death,—it is said of God, that “His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” Judges 10:16. “In all their affliction He was afflicted; ... and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 3

    His Spirit “maketh intercession for us with groanings, which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26. As the “whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain” (Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar-house, a scene of misery that no pen can picture, misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, by co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 4

    Mistakes in Education

    “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” is Christ's command to His followers. Not that all are called to be ministers or missionaries in the ordinary sense of the term; but all may be workers with Christ in giving the “glad tidings” to their fellow men. To all, great or small, learned or ignorant, old or young, the command is given.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 5

    In view of this command, can we educate our sons and daughters for a life of respectable conventionality, a life professedly Christian, but lacking His self-sacrifice, a life on which the verdict of Him who is truth must be, “I know you not”?GCB October 1, 1902, par. 6

    Thousands are doing this. They think to secure for their children the benefits of the gospel, while they deny its Spirit. But this can not be. Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service, reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with Him in His glory. They reject the training that in this life gives strength and nobility of character. Many a father and mother, denying their children to the cross of Christ, have learned too late that they were thus giving them over to the enemy of God and man.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 7

    Training in Service

    He who came from heaven to be our example spent nearly thirty years of His life in common, mechanical labor; but during this time He was studying the word and the works of God, and helping, comforting, teaching all whom His influence could reach. When His public ministry began, He went about healing the sick, comforting the sorrowful, and preaching the gospel to the poor. This is the work of every one of His children.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 8

    “He that is greatest among you,” Christ said, “let him be as the younger, and he that is chief as he that doth serve. For... I am among you as he that serveth.” Luke 22:26, 27.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 9

    Personal love and loyalty to Christ are the spring of all true service. In the heart touched by His love, there is begotten a desire to work for Him. Let this desire be encouraged and rightly guided. Whether in the home, the neighborhood, or the school, the presence of the poor, the afflicted, the ignorant, or the unfortunate, should be regarded, not as a misfortune, but as affording precious opportunity for service.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 10

    Skill in this work, as in every other, is gained in the work itself. It is by training in the common duties of life and in ministry to the afflicted and suffering, that efficiency is assured. Without this the most sincere purposes and efforts are often useless, and even harmful. It is in the water, not on the land, that men learn to swim.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 11

    Church Relationship

    There is another obligation, too often lightly regarded, which to the youth awakened to the claims of Christ, needs to be made plain,—the obligation of church relationship.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 12

    Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church,—He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 13

    The church is organized for service; and in a life of service to Christ, connection with the church is one of the first steps. Loyalty to Christ demands the faithful performance of church duties. This is an important part of one's training; and in a church imbued with its Master's life, will lead directly to effort for the world without.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 14

    Young People's Societies

    There are many lines in which the youth can find opportunity for helpful effort. Let them organize into bands for Christian service, and the co-operation will prove an assistance and an encouragement. Parents and teachers, by taking an interest in the work of the young people, will be able to give them the benefit of their own larger experiences, and can help them to make their efforts effective for good.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 15

    Foreign Missions

    It is acquaintance that awakens sympathy, and sympathy is the spring of effective ministry. To awaken in the children and youth sympathy and the spirit of sacrifice for the suffering millions in the “regions beyond,” let them become acquainted with these lands and their peoples. Instead of dwelling on the exploits of the Alexanders and the Napoleons of history, let the pupils study the lives of such men as the apostle Paul and Martin Luther, as Moffat and Livingstone and Carey, Judson, and Williams, and Morrison, and the present daily-unfolding of history of missionary effort. Instead of burdening their memories with an endless array of names and theories that have no bearing upon their lives, and to which, once outside the schoolroom they rarely give a thought, let them study all lands in the light of missionary effort, and become acquainted with the people and their needs.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 16

    Workers from the Common People

    In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the plow, from the vineyard, and from various other branches of labor, and sent forth by the Master to give His message. Many of these have had little opportunity for education. To human wisdom the outlook for them would seem discouraging. But Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to take their place in His vineyard. If they put their hearts into the work, and continue to be learners, He will fit them to labor for Him.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 17

    He who understands the terrible depths of the world's misery and despair, understands by what means to bring relief. He sees on every hand souls in ignorance and darkness, bowed down with sin and sorrow and pain. But He sees also man's possibilities, the height to which he may attain. Even though human beings have abused their mercies, wasted their talents, and lost the dignity of God-like manhood, the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 18

    The burden of labor for these needy ones in the rough places of the earth Christ lays upon those who can feel for the ignorant and for such as are out of the way. He will be present to help those who are susceptible to pity though their hands may be rough and unskilled. He will work through those who can see mercy in misery, and gain in loss. When the Light of the world passes by, privilege will be discerned in hardship, order in confusion, success in apparent failure. In calamities will be recognized disguised blessings; in woes, mercies. Laborers from the common people, sharing the sorrows of their fellow men as their Master shared the sorrows of the whole human race, will by faith see Him working with them.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 19

    “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.” Zephaniah 1:14. And a world is to be warned.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 20

    With such preparation as they can gain, thousands upon thousands of the youth and those older in years should be giving themselves to this work. Already many hearts are responding to the call of the Master Worker; and their numbers will increase. Let every Christian educator give such workers sympathy and co-operation. Let him encourage and assist the youth under his care in gaining a preparation to join the ranks.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 21

    Results of True Service

    There is no line of work in which it is possible for the youth to receive greater benefit. All who engage in ministry are God's helping-hand. They are co-workers with the angels; rather, they are the human agencies through whom the angels accomplish their mission. Angels speak through their voices, and work by their hands. And the human workers, co-operating with heavenly agencies, have the benefit of their education and experience. As a means of education, what “university course” can equal this?GCB October 1, 1902, par. 22

    With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come,—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin. How soon, in place of a possession here, with its blight of sin and pain, our children might receive their inheritance where “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4.GCB October 1, 1902, par. 23

    E. G. White.

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