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    June 1, 1897

    A Call to the Work


    The Lord has aggressive work to be done. To every human being he has committed a work, and he would have his servants stand at their post of duty. But many are unwilling to do anything for the Master that will incur self-denial and self-sacrifice. They will hover over the ninety and nine who are safely sheltered from danger, but refuse to go out into the highways and hedges with the gospel message, “Come, for all things are now ready.” There must be an awakening among the people of God. The entire church is to be tested. There will be those who will go out into the highways and hedges who will labor with patient earnestness, simplicity, and zeal, united with earnest effort to restore health to the body. On the part of such there will be most decided efforts made to awaken to life the souls that are dead in trespasses and sins.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 1

    The Lord calls upon the churches who know the truth to be converted,—soul, body, and spirit,—to be sanctified and dedicated to his service. They are not to stand saying, “Who is my neighbor?” They are to bear in mind that their neighbor is the one who most needs their help and sympathy. Those who will stand where the Lord can work through them to communicate light to the world, will be chosen as vessels unto honor.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 2

    Humility an Essential Qualification

    Many have no heart, no love for the service of Christ. They do not choose to stand on his side. Christ declared, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” The mission of Christ was a constant work of humility. He came from the throne of God in heaven to be cradled in a manger, to follow the blood-stained path to the cross of Calvary. In his life were made manifest the principles that should govern the life of every Christian missionary worker. He is to make the truth of God known in the world. The love of Christ is to be his study. Christ humbled himself to the nature of man; and in his humiliation he made it the duty of man to proclaim salvation to earth's remotest bounds. As new fields are constantly opening before him, more means are required to accomplish the work, to lift the standard of truth and righteousness. The truth is to sanctify the life of the teacher, and through him to be a sanctifying power upon others. The church is to be trained to obtain a knowledge of missionary work. Every member may, by interested study, gain a practical knowledge of how to treat disease.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 3

    In order to enlarge our ideas of Christian benevolence, it must be worked out. Practical work will accomplish far more than sermons. While on earth Christ sought to sweep away the distinction that had been made by the Jews as to who was their neighbor, and who their enemy. He teaches us to regard every man as our neighbor who is in need of our sympathy, our assistance, and our love. He takes his disciples to the mount of vision, and opens before them the fact that there are no territorial lines, no artificial distinction, no caste, no aristocracy. The only elevation he recognizes is that of pure and undefiled religion, which will constitute them true workers, to make known the word of God, and find their way to the hearts of their fellow men by relieving as far as possible their temporal necessities. This opens the way to present the love of Christ. God's workers are to despair of nothing, and hope for everything. We do not go forth in mere human strength. Christ has promised, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 4

    An Unlimited Field

    The field of labor is vast; agencies of every kind will be set in action to oppose the work of God, and by indifference and unfaithfulness now, we shall range ourselves on the enemy's side. No wall of selfishness is to be erected to prescribe certain limits to any person's work in seeking to get light in any way before the people. One single act in this line is a link in a chain which will extend to others. Let there be no selfish practise in God's work. Let there be no narrow ideas; for they may shut out opportunities and privileges whereby souls may be reached. Limits may be prescribed which will dishonor God, and encourage selfishness; and the spirit of selfishness is strange fire which should not be mingled with God's sacred service.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 5

    The work is one in every place the world over; and any selfish ideas and plans that may be allowed to creep in, even in arrangements for the management of the work of God, is a far greater evil than in common worldly matters. There are to be no selfish confines in dealing with God's work. If prosperity attends the work, it will be because there is not a thread of selfishness interwoven with it. If in any case the natural traits of character would lead to narrow and close dealing in business matters, there is danger. This spirit indulged in any manner of deal, opens the door for Satan to come in and strengthen the detestable root of selfishness. God gives to every man his work, and he is to do his best in every place, working for the recovery of the world. He is to sow the seed beside all waters. Not a hand should be raised, not a barrier be placed to prescribe or limit the work. There is to be no cheap figuring; for this will bring the displeasure of God upon the one who indulges in this business.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 6

    In sending forth the seventy to proclaim the kingdom of God throughout Judea, Christ taught that the piety of his people is to be diffusive. He was educating his church to enlarge the borders of their labor, and eventually to belt the world. “The field is the world.” Christ annihilates the ancient distinctions made between Jew and Gentile. There is to be no boundary to our labor. It must take us from the small circle and plans which would narrow the work to the limits which selfishness would prescribe. He presents to our view the inhabitants of the world, who may become enlightened and lay hold upon immortality through faith in Jesus Christ. They are all exposed to the temptations of Satan, who hopes to see them taken in his snare; but the Lord calls those who would be laborers together with him to bring every power into exercise to work for the deliverance of these souls from satanic agencies.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 7

    Every encouragement is given God's people for unlimited progress and improvement. We are to work as if we knew we were in sight of the whole universe of heaven, and through Christ say, “I will not fail nor be discouraged, but hope for everything in moral advancement and the restoration of the image of God in man.” At every step our prayer should ascend to the throne of God, while working as if everything depended upon our diligence and faithfulness. Yet we must make God our only dependence, doing unto others as we would wish them to do to us. This principle is broad and deep. Not one thread of selfishness must tarnish the work of God. Kill the monster as soon as it shows itself. Teach by precept and example that earth can be assimilated to heaven.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 8

    Co-operation of Heavenly Agencies

    Our means of doing good is never to be limited to any man's ideas or devising. We are empowered of God at every step to work in Christ's lines. Lay hold of the work in any place, and this will set in motion the heavenly agencies to prepare the way for the sowers and the reapers. Study the word. Read it with all your mind, your heart, and your soul; for eternal interests are here involved. Then His lessons will have a voice. They will call to you; they will breathe divine counsels; they will make all who learn of him meek and lowly in heart and wise unto salvation.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 9

    When Christ declared, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me,” he explained the meaning of his words. He said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” It is in eating the words of Christ that we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. In obedience to his word, we become partakers of his divine nature in the same way in which we are composed of the food we eat. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God become one in spiritual life with Christ. No human being can be nourished by the food which another eats. He must eat for himself.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 10

    God has sent his Son to communicate his own life to humanity. Christ declares, “I live by the Father,” my life and his being one. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man.” The head of every man is Christ, as the head of Christ is God. “And ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 11

    These words greatly offended his disciples, but he did not soften down his symbolical representation. All who desired could trace out the truths concerning his person and his office. He told them that his words would be understood after his crucifixion, his resurrection, and his ascension,—the Holy Spirit will bring all things to your remembrance that I have spoken unto you. But all who had heard and believed in him would not turn away from him, but would prepare their hearts to receive him.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 12

    Although the sacramental service is not mentioned here, yet it is embodied in the figures presented. As the believers celebrate the ordinance that keeps before their minds the crucifixion of their Lord, they are eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Through faith these representations of Christ can be clearly understood. The Holy Spirit will prepare the mind and quicken the perceptive faculties to grasp the grand truths conveyed in the figures.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 13

    “And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Here we see that the Lord in his promises ever binds up bodily health and happiness with the spiritual good he would bestow upon Israel upon condition of obedience to his law. “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 14

    Christ was sent of God to represent God in humanity. When he came to our world, his divinity was clothed with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold of the throne of divinity. Thus moral power was brought to man. When God's word is understood by us, we shall better understand the work and mission of Christ. We are to trace out his working in behalf of humanity.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 15

    We read that many of his disciples were offended at his word. This was because of the earthliness of their minds which made his words insufferable to them, and they misconstrued his words. “This,” they said, “is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Who can consent to any such talk? But Christ asks, “Doth this offend you?” It is only those who do him service from pure, loving hearts, that can receive his word. He continues: “What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” In giving his flesh and his blood for the life of the world, Christ gives eternal life to all who will receive it in faith. But “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 16

    Labor in Faith

    Christ will receive all who will come unto him by faith. Yet thousands are perishing in their sins, heedless and reckless in their disobedience of God's law. It is the loving and obedient heart that will come unto him, and his promise is, “Him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out.” Many in their blindness will become offended because they are meeting a false standard.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 17

    “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” These men had joined themselves to Christ as learners. But their carnal mind interpreted the figure Christ presented as though he meant it literally. They were gross in their understanding. This we shall see fulfilled in every age of the world. Jesus knew all about the disaffection. He said, “But there are some of you that believe not.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 18

    We need not be surprised if we pass through a similar experience. Men who do not make Christ their all and in all, but have a superficial faith, will not understand the words of Christ. Many unite themselves with Christ expecting to be benefited by some temporal advantage, but the gospel requirements offend them. Having no spiritual life, they do not unite in heart and true faith with Christ to do the will of God. Had they received his word, they would have had understanding. Said Christ, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 19

    Turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “Will ye also go away?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 20

    The lesson that we are to learn is that every counsel neglected that God chooses to send, will certainly place the human agent in a position of distrust and suspicion. If he does not thoroughly reform the defects in his character; if he does not die to self, he will separate farther and farther from righteousness and truth. As often as his disciples fell into error and were in peril, Christ's word of counsel or reproof recovered them.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 21

    The Wheat and the Tares

    As long as time shall last, the wheat will be found among the tares, and the tares among the wheat. By their fruit they will be known. The desire of the disciples was to be with Christ. “To whom,” said they, “shall we go?” Shall we go back to seek counsel of the formalist? We cannot understand why so many go away. The thought arose in their minds that Christ had made a mistake in speaking words that would offend. These disciples, they thought, might have been held if he had not spoken so decidedly in regard to partaking of his flesh and blood. “But,” said they, “shall we leave the great Teacher? The scribes and Pharisees have dealt most unfairly with Christ. Shall we take sides with them in lifeless formalism, in teaching for doctrine the commandments of men? Shall we teach the tradition of the elders?”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 22

    Christ yearned over his disciples. He longed to have them come into sacred relationship with himself, and understand him. To believe in Jesus Christ is something more than a mere sentiment. It is a living faith in a personal Saviour who can and will ransom from sin.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 23

    Christ foresaw that in the hour of temptation every one of his beloved disciples would be severely tested. He said to them, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 24

    This assurance of our Saviour should be sufficient to teach us the importance of our living the life of Christ here in this life, that we may lay hold of the future, immortal life. There should be kindled in our hearts an earnest desire to put every faculty of mind and heart to diligent effort proportionate to the reward presented—everlasting life. Our service for God is to decide eternal destiny. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” And is it not wholly appropriate that the same question should come to us, How shall we not,—when so great love has been expressed for us in the gift of Christ as our ransom,—how shall we not freely give him all things? What love has been expressed in our behalf! And shall our love and gratitude be only as a ripple on the surface?HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 25

    The Lord requires of every Christian, growth in efficiency and in capability in every sense. He has paid us our wages, even his own blood and suffering to secure our obedience. Do we strive to keep a vital connection with God, that we shall feel our own servitude? Do we feel that all that we have is a loan from Jesus? It is not our own. We are stewards of his grace, placed in charge of his goods. The talent lent must be used, not for self-serving, but in devoted, whole-hearted service. For our sakes Christ became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He descended in humiliation from depth to depth in our behalf until he reached the cross. He could go no farther in self-denial and self-sacrifice. It was impossible for divine condescension to reach a lower depth. This wonderful sacrifice moved all heaven, and can we look upon it without our hearts breaking at the sight? May the Lord have pity upon us in our hardness of heart, and may he give us a new heart to honor and glorify his name.HM June 1, 1897, Art. A, par. 26

    Mrs. E. G. White

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