"Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2.
The Work of Soulsaving
God has given me a message for His people. They must awake, spread their tents, and enlarge their borders. My brethren and sisters, you have been bought with a price, and all that you have and are is to be used to the glory of God and for the good of your fellow men. Christ died on the cross to save the world from perishing in sin. He asks your co-operation in this work. You are to be His helping hand. With earnest, unwearying effort you are to seek to save the lost. Remember that it was your sins that made the cross necessary. When you accepted Christ as your Saviour you pledged yourself to unite with Him in bearing the cross. For life and for death you are bound up with Him, a part of the great plan of redemption.
The transforming power of Christ's grace molds the one who gives himself to God's service. Imbued with the Spirit of the Redeemer, he is ready to deny self, ready to take up the cross, ready to make any sacrifice for 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, and self-serving has no place in his life. He 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 lifeblood of God's only-begotten Son.
Have you so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that you are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? The same intensity of desire to save sinners that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. The Christian has no desire to live for self. He delights to consecrate all that he has and is to the Master's service. He is moved by an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ. Those who have nothing of this desire might better be concerned for their own salvation. Let them pray for the spirit of service.
How can I best glorify Him whose I am by creation and by redemption? This is to be the question that we are to ask ourselves. With anxious solicitude the one who is truly converted seeks to rescue those who are still in Satan's power. He refuses to do anything that would hinder him in his work. If he has children he realizes that his work must begin in his own family. 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.
On fathers and mothers, God has placed 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 parents who have a living connection with Christ will not rest until they see their children safe in the fold. They will make this the burden of their life.
Parents, do not neglect the work waiting for you in the church in your own family. This 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, yet firmly. Let them unite with you in opposing the evil by which Satan seeks to destroy the souls and bodies of human beings. Share with them the secret of the cross, the secret that to you means sanctification, redemption, and eternal victory. As you take your children with you into the service of the Lord, what a victory you gain.
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. Present the truth in such a way that it will be seen in all its beauty, exerting an influence that cannot be resisted. Thus the walls of prejudice will be broken down.
If this work were faithfully done, if fathers and mothers would work 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.
We have now only a little time in which to prepare for eternity. May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may realize that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe. May they see the importance of giving so pure and righteous a representation of God that the world shall see Him in His beauty. May they be so filled with the Spirit that dwells in Him that the world will have no power to divert them from the work of presenting to men the wonderful possibilities before every soul who receives Christ.
In all lines of our work there is need of greater earnestness. Time is passing. God's servants are to be "not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." People need the truth, and by earnest, faithful effort it is to be communicated to them. Souls are to be sought for, prayed for, labored for. Earnest appeals are to be made. Fervent prayers are to be offered. Our tame, spiritless petitions are to be changed into petitions of intense earnestness. God's word declares: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
The world is our field of missionary toil, and we are to go forth to labor surrounded with the atmosphere of Gethsemane and Calvary.
The Signal of Advance
It is an eternal law of Jehovah that he who accepts the truth that the world needs is to make it his first work to proclaim this truth. But who is there that makes the burden of perishing sinners his own? As I look upon the professed people of God, and see their unwillingness to serve Him, my heart is filled with a pain that I cannot express. How few are heart to heart with God in His solemn, closing work. There are thousands to be warned, yet how few consecrate themselves wholly to the work, willing to be or to do anything if only they may win souls to Christ. Jesus died to save the world. In humility, in lowliness, in unselfishness, He worked and is working for sinners. But many of those who ought to co-operate with Him are self-sufficient and indifferent.
Among God's people today there is a fearful lack of the sympathy that should be felt for souls unsaved. We talk of Christian missions. The sound of our voices is heard; but do we feel Christ's tender heart longing for those outside the fold? And unless our hearts beat in union with the heart of Christ, how can we understand the sacredness and importance of the work to which we are called by the words: "Watch for . . . souls, as they that must give account"? Hebrews 13:17.
God is waiting for men and women to awake to their responsibilities. He is waiting for them to link themselves with Him. Let them mark the signal of advance, and no longer be laggards in working out the will of the Lord. 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 opportunity and 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 His soldiers move forward to victory. Let there be perfect unity in their ranks. Let them press the battle to the gates. As a mighty Conqueror, the Lord will work for them.
Let the gospel message ring through our churches, summoning them to universal action. Let the members of the church have increased faith, gaining zeal from their unseen, heavenly allies, from a knowledge of their exhaustless resources, from the greatness of the enterprise in which they are engaged, and from the power of their Leader. Those who place themselves under God's control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. Inspired with the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still in impotency, pointing to what they cannot do. Putting on the armor of heaven, they will go forth to the warfare, willing to do and dare for God, knowing that His omnipotence will supply their need.
An Ever-Widening Work
God's servants are to make use of every resource for enlarging His kingdom. The apostle Paul declares that
it is "good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," that "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." 1 Timothy 2:3,4,1. And James says: "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:20. Every believer is pledged to unite with his brethren in giving the invitation, "Come; for all things are now ready." Luke 14:17. Each is to encourage the others in doing wholehearted work. Earnest invitations will be given by a living church. Thirsty souls will be led to the water of life.
The apostles carried a weight of responsibility to enlarge their sphere of labor, to proclaim the gospel in the regions beyond. From their example we learn that there are to be no idlers in the Lord's vineyard. His servants are constantly to enlarge the circle of their efforts. Constantly they are to do more, never less . The Lord's work is to widen and broaden until it encircles the world.
After making a missionary tour, Paul and Barnabas retraced their steps, visiting the churches they had raised up and selecting men to unite with them in the work. Thus God's servants are to labor today, selecting and training worthy young men as colaborers. God help us to sanctify ourselves, that by our example others may be sanctified, enabled to do successful work in winning souls to Christ.
We are nearing the close of this earth's history; soon we shall stand before the great white throne. Soon your time for work will be forever past. Watch for opportunities to speak a word in season to those with whom you come in contact. Do not wait to become acquainted before you offer them the priceless treasures of truth. Go to work, and ways will open before you.
At the day of judgment there comes to the lost a full realization of the meaning of the sacrifice made on Calvary. They see what they have lost by refusing to be loyal. They think of the high, pure association it was their privilege to gain. But it is too late. The last call has been made. The wail is heard: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20.
Upon us rests the weighty responsibility of warning the world of its coming doom. From every direction, from far and near, are coming calls for help. God calls upon His church to arise and clothe herself with power. Immortal crowns are to be won; the kingdom of heaven is to be gained; the world, perishing in ignorance, is to be enlightened.
The world will be convinced, not by what the pulpit teaches, but by what the church lives. The minister in the desk announces the theory of the gospel; the practical piety of the church demonstrates its power.
Enfeebled and defective, needing constantly to be warned and counseled, the church is nevertheless the object of Christ's supreme regard. He is making experiments of grace on human hearts and is effecting such transformations of character that angels are amazed and express their joy in songs of praise. They rejoice to think that sinful, erring human beings can be so transformed.
As the third angel's message swells into a loud cry, great power and glory will attend its proclamation. The faces of God's people will shine with the light of heaven.
The Lord will fit men and women--yes, and children, as He did Samuel--for His work, making them His messengers. He who never slumbers or sleeps watches over each worker, choosing his sphere of labor. All heaven is watching the warfare which, under apparently discouraging circumstances, God's servants are carrying on. New conquests are being achieved, new honors won, as the Lord's servants, rallying round the banner of their Redeemer, go forth to fight the good fight of faith. All the heavenly angels are at the service of the humble, believing people of God; and as the Lord's army of workers here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in thanksgiving, ascribing praise to God and to His Son.
Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of such a one, rather than allow him to be overcome.
The battle cry is sounding along the line. Let every soldier of the cross push to the front, not in self-sufficiency, but in meekness and lowliness, and with firm faith in God. Your work, my work, will not cease with this life. For a little while we may rest in the grave, but, when the call comes, we shall, in the kingdom of God, take up our work once more.
Work for Church Members
We have a message from the Lord to bear to the world, a message that is to be borne in the rich fullness of the Spirit's power. Let our ministers see the need of seeking to save the lost. Direct appeals are to be made to the unconverted. "Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?" the Pharisees asked Christ's disciples. And the Saviour responded: "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Matthew 9:11,13. This is the work He has given us. And never was there greater need of it than at the present time.
God has not given His ministers the work of setting the churches right. No sooner is this work done, apparently, than it has to be done over again. Church members that are thus looked after and labored for become religious weaklings. If nine tenths of the effort that has been put forth for those who know the truth had been put forth for those who have never heard the truth, how much greater would have been the advancement made! God has withheld His blessings because His people have not worked in harmony with His directions.
It weakens those who know the truth for our ministers to expend on them the time and talent that should be given to the unconverted. In many of our churches in the cities the minister preaches Sabbath after Sabbath, and Sabbath after Sabbath the church members come to the house of God with no words to tell of blessings received because of blessings imparted. They have not worked during the week to carry out the instruction given them on the Sabbath. So long as church members make no effort to give to others the help given them, great spiritual feebleness must result.
The greatest help that can be given our people is to teach them to work for God, and to depend on Him, not on the ministers. Let them learn to work as Christ worked. Let them join His army of workers and do faithful service for Him.
There are times when it is fitting for our ministers to give on the Sabbath, in our churches, short discourses, full of the life and love of Christ. But the church members are not to expect a sermon every Sabbath.
Let us remember that we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. Let us work with such earnestness, such devotion, that sinners will be drawn to Christ. Those who have united with the Lord in the covenant of service are under bonds to unite with Him in the great, grand work of soul saving. Let church members, during the week, act their part faithfully, and on the Sabbath relate their experience. The meeting will then be as meat in due season, bringing to all present new life and fresh vigor. When God's people see the great need of working as Christ worked for the conversion of sinners, the testimonies borne by them in the Sabbath service will be filled with power. With joy they will tell of the precious experience they have gained in working for others.
Our ministers are not to spend their time laboring for those who have already accepted the truth. With Christ's love burning in their hearts, they are to go forth to win sinners to the Saviour. Beside all waters they are to sow the seeds of truth. Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up. Those who take their stand for the truth are to be organized into churches, and then the minister is to pass on to other equally important fields.
Just as soon as a church is organized, let the minister set the members at work. They will need to be taught how to labor successfully. Let the minister devote more of his time to educating than to preaching. Let him teach the people how to give to others the knowledge they have received. While the new converts should be taught to ask counsel from those more experienced in the work, they should also be taught not to put the minister in the place of God. Ministers are but human beings, men compassed with infirmities. Christ is the One to whom we are to look for guidance. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth." "And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:14,16.
The power of the gospel is to come upon the companies raised up, fitting them for service. Some of the new converts will be so filled with the power of God that they will at once enter the work. They will labor so diligently that they will have neither time nor disposition to weaken the hands of their brethren by unkind criticism. Their one desire will be to carry the truth to the regions beyond.
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 of their homes. They are to labor 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.
As a worker gives himself unreservedly to the service of the Lord, he gains an experience that enables him to labor more and more successfully for the Master. The influence that drew him to Christ helps him to draw others to Christ. The work of a public speaker may never be laid upon him, but he is nonetheless a minister for God, and his work testifies that he is born of God.
It is not the Lord's purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their friends and neighbors, they could do a great work for the Master. 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.
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 for still another? In our churches let companies be formed for service. Let different ones unite in labor as fishers of men. Let them seek to gather souls from the corruption of the world into the saving purity of Christ's love.
The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort has been presented to me by One who cannot err. If there is 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 courage and strength from the assistance of the others. Let them reveal Christlike forbearance and patience, speaking no hasty words, using the talent of speech to build one another up in the most holy faith. Let them labor in Christlike love for those outside the fold, forgetting self in their endeavor to help others. As they work and pray in Christ's name, their numbers will increase; for the Saviour says: "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.
The Waste Places of the Earth
In humble dependence upon God, families are to settle in the waste places of His vineyard. Consecrated men and women are needed to stand as fruit-bearing trees of righteousness in the desert places of the earth. As the reward of their self-sacrificing efforts to sow the seeds of truth, they will reap a rich harvest. As they visit family after family, opening the Scriptures to those in spiritual darkness, many hearts will be touched.
In fields where the conditions are so objectionable and disheartening that many workers refuse to go to them, most remarkable changes for the better may be brought about by the efforts of self-sacrificing lay members. These humble workers will accomplish much because they put forth patient, persevering effort, not relying upon human power, but upon God, who gives them His favor. The amount of good that these workers accomplish will never be known in this world.
Self-supporting missionaries are often very successful. Beginning in a small, humble way, their work enlarges as they move forward under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Let two or more start out together in evangelistic work. They may not receive any particular encouragement from those at the head of the work that they will be given financial support; nevertheless let them go forward, praying, singing, teaching, living the truth. They may take up the work of canvassing, and in this way introduce the truth into many families. As they move forward in their work they gain a blessed experience. They are humbled by a sense of their helplessness, but the Lord goes before them, and among the wealthy and the poor they find favor and help. Even the poverty of these devoted missionaries is a means of finding access to the people. As they pass on their way they are helped in many ways by those to whom they bring spiritual food. They bear the message God gives them, and their efforts are crowned with success. Many will be brought to a knowledge of the truth who, but for these humble teachers, would never have been won to Christ.
God calls for workers to enter the whitening harvest field. Shall we wait because the treasury is exhausted, because there is scarcely sufficient to sustain the workers now in the field? Go forth in faith, and God will be with you. The promise is: "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126:6.
Nothing is so successful as success. Let this be secured by persevering effort, and the work will move forward. New fields will be opened. Many souls will be brought to a knowledge of the truth. What is needed is increased faith in God.
Our people have received great light, yet much of the ministerial force has been spent on the churches, teaching those who should be teachers; enlightening those who should be "the light of the world;" watering those from whom should flow rivers of living water; enriching those who might be mines of precious truth; repeating the gospel invitation to those who, scattered to the uttermost parts of the earth, should be giving the message of heaven to those who have not heard; feeding those who should be in the highways and byways giving the call: "Come; for all things are now ready."
Those for whom the fetters of sin have been broken, who have sought the Lord with brokenness of heart and have obtained answer to their yearning request for righteousness, are never cold and spiritless. Their hearts are filled with unselfish love for sinners. They put away from them all worldly ambition, all self-seeking. Contact with the deep things of God makes them more and more like their Saviour. They exult in His triumphs; they are filled with His joy. Day by day they are growing unto the full stature of men and women in Christ.
Workers from the Ranks
With intense interest God is looking on this world. He has noted the capacity of human beings for service. Looking down the ages, He has counted His workers, both men and women, and has prepared the way before them, saying: "I will send My messengers to them, and they shall see great light shining amid the darkness. Won to the service of Christ, they will use their talents to the glory of My name. They will go forth to work for Me with zeal and devotion. Through their efforts the truth will appeal to thousands in a most forcible manner, and men spiritually blind will receive sight and will see of My salvation. Truth will be made so prominent that he who runs may read. Ways will be devised to reach hearts. Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the past, but let no one, because of this, block the way by criticism."
Those whom God chooses as workers are not always talented, in the estimation of the world. Sometimes He selects unlearned men. To these He gives a special work. They reach a class to whom others could not obtain access. Opening the heart to the truth, they are made wise in and through Christ. Their lives inhale and exhale the fragrance of godliness. Their words are thoughtfully considered before they are spoken. They strive to promote the well-being of their fellow men. They take relief and happiness to the needy and distressed. They realize the necessity of ever remaining under Christ's training, that they may work in harmony with God's will. They study how best to follow the Saviour's example of cross bearing and self-denial. They are God's witnesses, revealing His compassion and love, and ascribing all the glory to Him whom they love and serve.
Constantly they are learning of the Great Teacher, and constantly they reach higher degrees of excellence, yet all the time feeling a sense of their weakness and inefficiency. They are drawn upward by their strong, loving admiration for Christ. They practice His virtues; for their life is assimilated to His. Ever they move onward and upward, a blessing to the world and an honor to their Redeemer. Of them Christ says: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5.
Such workers are to be encouraged. Their work is done, not to be seen of men, but to glorify God. And it will bear His inspection. The Lord brings these workers into connection with those of more marked ability, to fill the gaps they leave. He is well pleased when they are appreciated, for they are links in His chain of service.
Men who are self-important, who are filled with the thought of their own superior abilities, overlook these humble, contrite workers; but not for one moment does God lose sight of them. He marks all that they do to help those in need of help. In the heavenly courts, when the redeemed are gathered home, they will stand nearest the Son of God. They will shine brightly in the courts of the Lord, honored by Him because they have felt it an honor to minister to those for whom He gave His life.
God will move upon men in humble positions to declare the message of present truth. Many such will be seen hastening hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to give the light to those in darkness. The truth is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, will proclaim the word of the Lord. Children will be impelled by the Holy Spirit to go forth to declare the message of heaven. The Spirit will be poured out upon those who yield to His promptings. Casting off man's binding rules and cautious movements, they will join the army of the Lord.
In the future, men in the common walks of life will be impressed by the Spirit of the Lord to leave their ordinary employment and go forth to proclaim the last message of mercy. As rapidly as possible they are to be prepared for labor, that success may crown their efforts. They co-operate with heavenly agencies, for they are willing to spend and be spent in the service of the Master. No one is authorized to hinder these workers. They are to be bidden Godspeed as they go forth to fulfill the great commission. No taunting word is to be spoken of them as in the rough places of the earth they sow the gospel seed.
Life's best things--simplicity, honesty, truthfulness, purity, unsullied integrity--cannot be bought or sold; they are as free to the ignorant as to the educated, to the black man as to the white man, to the humble peasant as to the king upon his throne. Humble workers, who do not trust in their own strength, but who labor in simplicity, trusting always in God, will share in the joy of the Saviour. Their persevering prayers will bring souls to the cross. In co-operation with their self-sacrificing efforts Jesus will move upon hearts, working miracles in the conversion of souls. Men and women will be gathered into church fellowship. Meetinghouses will be built and schools established. The hearts of the workers will be filled with joy as they see the salvation of God.
When the redeemed stand in the presence of God, they will see how shortsighted were their conclusions as to what heaven records as success. As they review their efforts to achieve success they will see how foolish were their plans, how petty their supposed trials, how unreasonable their doubts. They will see how often they brought failure to their work by not taking God at His word. And one truth will stand out in clear lines: that position does not prepare a man for entrance into the heavenly courts. They will see, too, that the honor given to man is due to God alone, that to Him belongs all the glory. From the lips of the angelic choir and the redeemed host will peal forth the chorus: "Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy." Revelation 15:3, 4.
Extending the Triumphs of the Cross
"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?" Romans 8:32.
As this wonderful, priceless Gift was bestowed, the whole heavenly universe was mightily stirred in an effort to understand God's unfathomable love, stirred to awaken in human hearts a gratitude proportionate to the value of the Gift. Shall we, for whom Christ has given His life, halt between two opinions? Shall we return to God only a mite of the capabilities and powers lent us by Him? How can we do this while we know that He who was Commander of all heaven laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and, realizing the helplessness of the fallen race, came to this earth in human nature to make it possible for us to unite our humanity to His divinity? He became poor that we might come into possession of the heavenly treasure, "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Corinthians 4:17. To rescue us He descended from one humiliation to another until He, the divine-human, suffering Christ, was uplifted on the cross to draw all men to Himself. The Son of God could not have shown greater condescension than He did; He could not have stooped lower.
This is the mystery of godliness, the mystery that has inspired heavenly agencies so to minister through fallen humanity that in the world an intense interest will be aroused in the plan of salvation. This is the mystery that has stirred all heaven to unite with man in carrying out God's great plan for the salvation of a ruined world.
The Work of the Church
To human agencies is committed the work of extending the triumphs of the cross from point to point. As the Head of the church, Christ is authoritatively calling upon everyone who claims to believe on Him to follow His example of self-denial and self-sacrifice in working for the conversion of those whom Satan and his vast army are exerting every power to destroy. God's people are called upon to rally without delay under the bloodstained banner of Christ Jesus. Unceasingly they are to continue their warfare against the enemy, pressing the battle even to the gates. And everyone who is added to the ranks by conversion is to be assigned his post of duty. Everyone should be willing to be or to do anything in this warfare. When church members put forth earnest efforts to advance the message, they will live in the joy of the Lord and will meet with success. Triumph always follows decided effort.
The Holy Spirit our Efficiency
Christ, in His mediatorial capacity, gives to His servants the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the efficiency of the Spirit that enables human agencies to be representatives of the Redeemer in the work of soul saving. That we may unite with Christ in this work we should place ourselves under the molding influence of His Spirit. Through the power thus imparted we may co-operate with the Lord in the bonds of unity as laborers together with Him in the salvation of souls. To everyone who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results.
The Lord God is bound by an eternal pledge to supply power and grace to everyone who is sanctified through obedience to the truth. Christ, to whom is given all power in heaven and on earth, co-operates in sympathy with His instrumentalities--the earnest souls who day by day par take of the living bread, "which cometh down from heaven." John 6:50. The church on earth, united with the church in heaven, can accomplish all things.
Power Given the Apostles
On the Day of Pentecost the Infinite One revealed Himself in power to the church. By His Holy Spirit He descended from the heights of heaven as a rushing, mighty wind, to the room in which the disciples were assembled. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now heaven rejoiced in being able to pour upon the church the riches of the Spirit's power. And, under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession were mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. All heaven bent low to behold and to adore the wisdom of matchless, incomprehensible Love. Lost in wonder, the apostles and disciples exclaimed: "Herein is love." 1 John 4:10. They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief.
The hearts of the disciples were surcharged with a benevolence so full, so deep, so far-reaching, that it impelled them to go to the ends of the earth testifying: God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were filled with an intense longing to add to the church of such as should be saved. They called on the believers to arouse and do their part, that all nations might hear the truth and the earth be filled with the glory of the Lord.
By the grace of Christ the apostles were made what they were. It was sincere devotion and humble, earnest prayer that brought them into close communion with Him. They sat together with Him in heavenly places. They realized the greatness of their debt to Him. By ear nest, persevering prayer they obtained the endowment of the Holy Spirit, and then they went forth, weighted with the burden of saving souls, filled with zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross. And under their labors many souls were brought from darkness to light, and many churches were raised up.
Shall we be less earnest than were the apostles? Shall we not by living faith claim the promises that moved them to the depths of their being to call upon the Lord Jesus for the fulfillment of His word: "Ask, and ye shall receive"? John 16:24. Is not the Spirit of God to come today in answer to earnest, persevering prayer, and fill men with power? Is not God saying today to His praying, trusting, believing workers, who are opening the Scriptures to those ignorant of the precious truth they contain: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world"? Matthew 28:20. Why, then, is the church so weak and spiritless?
As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God's servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord's work.
He gives us our part to do in co-operation with Him, and He will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward His work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.
Why has the history of the work of the disciples, as they labored with holy zeal, animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, been recorded, if it is not that from this record the Lord's people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the apostles did, every church member today is to do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance.
Everyone on whom is shining the light of present truth is to be stirred with compassion for those who are in darkness. From all believers, light is to be reflected in clear, distinct rays. A work similar to that which the Lord did through His delegated messengers after the Day of Pentecost He is waiting to do today. At this time, when the end of all things is at hand, should not the zeal of the church exceed even that of the early church? Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today than in the time of the apostles?
The Work in the Cities
The Work in the Cities
Oakland, California, April 1, 1874.
I dreamed that several of our brethren were in counsel considering plans of labor for this season. They thought it best not to enter the large cities, but to begin work in small places, remote from the cities; here they would meet less opposition from the clergy and would avoid great expense. They reasoned that our ministers, being few in number, could not be spared to instruct and care for those who might accept the truth in the cities, and who, because of the greater opposition they would there meet, would need more help than would the churches in small country places. Thus the fruit of giving a course of lectures in the city would, in a great measure, be lost. Again, it was urged that, because of our limited means, and because of the many changes from moving that might be expected from a church in a large city, it would be difficult to build up a church that would be a strength to the cause. My husband was urging the brethren to make broader plans without delay and put forth, in our large cities, extended and thorough effort that would better correspond to the character of our message. One worker related incidents of his experience in the cities, showing that the work was nearly a failure, but he testified to better success in the small places.
One of dignity and authority--One who is present in all our council meetings--was listening with deepest interest to every word. He spoke with deliberation and perfect assurance. "The whole world," He said, "is God's great vineyard. The cities and villages constitute a part of that vineyard. These must be worked. Satan will try to interpose himself and discourage the workers, so as to prevent them from giving the message of light and warning in the more prominent as well as in the more secluded places. Desperate efforts will be made to turn the people from truth to falsehood. Angels of heaven are commissioned to co-operate with the efforts of God's appointed messengers on earth. Ministers must encourage and maintain an unwavering faith and hope, as did Christ, their living Head. They must keep humble and contrite in heart before God."
God designs that His precious word, with its messages of warning and encouragement, shall come to those who are in darkness and are ignorant of our faith. It is to be given to all, and will be to them a witness, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Do not feel that the responsibility rests upon you to convict and convert the hearers. The power of God alone can soften the hearts of the people. You are to hold forth the word of life, that all may have an opportunity of receiving the truth if they will. If they turn from the truth of heavenly origin, it will be their condemnation.
We must not hide the truth in the corners of the earth. It must be made known; it must shine in our large cities. Christ in His labors took His position by the lakeside and in the great thoroughfares of travel where He could meet people from all parts of the world. He was giving the true light; He was sowing the gospel seed; He was rescuing truth from its companionship with error, and presenting it in its original simplicity and clearness, so that men could comprehend it.
The heavenly Messenger who was with us said: "Never lose sight of the fact that the message you are bearing is a world-wide message. It is to be given to all cities, to all villages; it is to be proclaimed in the highways and the byways. You are not to localize the proclamation of the message." In the parable of the sower, Christ gave an illustration of His own work and that of His servants. The seed fell upon all kinds of soil. Some seed fell upon poor soil, yet the sower did not therefore cease his work. You are to sow the seeds of truth in every place. Wherever you can gain access, hold forth the word of God. Sow beside all waters. You may not at once see the result of your labors, but be not discouraged. Speak the words that Christ gives you. Work in His lines. Go forth everywhere as He did during His ministry on the earth.
The world's Redeemer had many hearers, but few followers. Noah preached one hundred and twenty years to the people before the Flood, and yet there were few who appreciated this precious, probationary time. Save Noah and his family, not one was numbered with the believers and entered into the ark. Of all the inhabitants of the earth, only eight souls received the message; but that message condemned the world. The light was given in order that they might believe; their rejection of the light proved their ruin. Our message to the world will be a savor of life unto life to all who accept it, and of condemnation to all who reject it.
The Messenger turned to one present and said: "Your ideas of the work for this time are altogether too limited. Your light must not be confined to a small compass, put under a bushel, or under a bed; it must be placed on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in God's house--the world. You must take broader views of the work than you have taken."
The Work in Greater New York
St. Helena, California, September 1, 1902.
The time has come to make decided efforts to proclaim the truth in our large cities. The message is to be given with such power that the hearers shall be convinced. God will raise up laborers to do this work. Let no one hinder these men of God's appointment. Forbid them not. God has given them their work. They will occupy peculiar spheres of influence and will carry the truth to the most unpromising places. Some who were once enemies will become valuable helpers, advancing the work with their means and their influence.
In these large cities missions should be established where workers can be trained to present to the people the special message for this time. There is need of all the instruction that these missions can give.
Under the direction of God the mission in New York City has been started. This work should be continued in the power of the same Spirit that led to its establishment. Those who bear the burden of the work in Greater New York should have the help of the best workers that can be secured. Here let a center for God's work be made, and let all that is done be a symbol of the work the Lord de sires to see done in the world.
If in this great center medical missionary work could be established by men and women of experience, those who would give a correct representation of true medical missionary principles, it would have great power in making a right impression on the people.
In every city that is entered a solid foundation is to be laid for permanent work. The Lord's methods are to be followed. By doing house-to-house work, by giving Bible readings in families, the worker may gain access to many who are seeking for truth. By opening the Scriptures, by prayer, by exercising faith, he is to teach the people the way of the Lord.
In Greater New York the Lord has many precious souls who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and there are those who through ignorance have walked in the ways of error. On these the light of truth is to shine, that they may see Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
We are to present the truth in the love of Christ. No extravagance or display should attend the work. It is to be done after Christ's order. It is to be carried forward in humility, in the simplicity of the gospel. Let not the workers be intimidated by outward appearances, how ever forbidding. Teach the word, and the Lord by His Holy Spirit will send conviction to the hearers.
After the truth has made an impression on hearts, and men and women have accepted it, they are to be treated as the property of Christ, not as the property of man. No human being should seek to bind others to himself as if he were to control them, telling them to do this and forbid ding them to do that, commanding, dictating, acting like an officer over a company of soldiers. This is the way that the priests and rulers did in Christ's day, but it is not the right way. The workers are to press together in Christian unity, but no unwise authority is to be exercised over those who accept the truth. The meekness of Christ should appear in all that is said and done.
Let the worker show his growth in grace by submission to the will of God. Thus he will gain a rich experience. As in faith he receives, believes, and obeys Christ's words, there will be an intensity of effort; there will be cherished a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The fruit of the Spirit will be seen in the life, and the efficiency of the Spirit will be seen in the work.
Christ is our example, our inspiration, our exceeding great reward. Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9. God is the Master Builder, but man has a part to act. He is to co-operate with God. "We are laborers together with God." Verse 9. Never forget the words, "together with God."
Remember that working with Christ as your personal Saviour is your strength and your victory. This is the part that all are to act. To those who do this comes the assurance: "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." John 1:12. Christ declares: "Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5. And the humble, believing soul responds: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.
Christ is the sympathetic, compassionate Redeemer. He has given His commission: "Go ye into all the world." Mark 1:15. All must hear the message of warning. A prize of richest value is held up before those who are running the Christian race. Those who run with patience will receive a crown of life that fadeth not away.
Delay No Longer
Our workers are not reaching out as they should. Our leading men are not awake to the work that must be accomplished. When I think of the cities in which so little has been done, in which there are so many thousands to be warned of the soon coming of the Saviour, I feel an intensity of desire to see men and women going forth to the work in the power of the Spirit, filled with Christ's love for perishing souls.
Those in our cities--living within the shadow of our doors--have been strangely neglected. Organized effort should now be put forth to give them the message of present truth. A new song is to be put into their mouths. They are to go forth to impart to others now in darkness the light of the third angel's message.
We all need to be wide awake, that, as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the light given to enter these cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. And we are to continue the work until a church is organized and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the great cities of America, help will be given by such persons.
Workers in cities should read carefully the tenth and eleventh chapters of Hebrews and appropriate to themselves the instruction that this scripture contains. The eleventh chapter is a record of the experiences of the faithful. Those who work for God in the cities must go forward in faith, doing their very best. As they watch and work and pray, God will hear and answer their petitions. They will obtain an experience that will be invaluable to them in their after work. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.
My mind is deeply stirred. In every city there is work to be done. Laborers are to go into our large cities and hold camp meetings. In these meetings the very best talent is to be employed, that the truth may be proclaimed with power. Men of varied gifts are to take part. One man has not all the gifts required for the work. To make a camp meeting successful, several workers are needed. No one man should feel it his prerogative to do all the important work.
As in these meetings the speakers proclaim the truth in the power of the Spirit, hearts will be reached. The love of Christ, received into the heart, will banish the love of error.
There is need of camp meetings like those held in the early stages of the work, camp meetings separate from the business work of the conference. At a camp meeting the workers should be free to give the knowledge of the truth to those who attend from outside.
At our camp meetings arrangements should be made so that the poor can obtain wholesome, well-prepared food as cheaply as possible. There should also be a restaurant in which healthful dishes are prepared and served in an inviting manner. This will prove an education to many not of our faith. Let not this line of work be looked upon as separate from other lines of camp meeting work. Each line of God's work is closely united with every other line, and all are to advance in perfect harmony.
If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Infidelity and skepticism prevail. Iniquity abounds. Corruption flows in the vital currents of the soul, and rebellion against God breaks out in the life. Enslaved by sin, the moral powers are under the tyranny of Satan. The soul is made the sport of his temptations; and unless some mighty arm is stretched out to rescue him, man goes where the arch-rebel leads the way.
And yet, in this time of fearful peril, some who profess to be Christians have no family worship. They do not honor God in the home; they do not teach their children to love and fear Him. Many have separated themselves so far from Him that they feel under condemnation in approaching Him. They cannot "come boldly unto the throne of grace," "lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." Hebrews 4:16; 1 Timothy 2:8. They have not a living connection with God. Theirs is a form of godliness without the power.
The idea that prayer is not essential is one of Satan's most successful devices to ruin souls. Prayer is communion with God, the Fountain of wisdom, the Source of strength, and peace, and happiness. Jesus prayed to the Father "with strong crying and tears." Paul exhorts believers to "pray without ceasing," in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, making known their requests to God. "Pray one for another," James says. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Hebrews 5:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16.
By sincere, earnest prayer parents should make a hedge about their children. They should pray with full faith that God will abide with them and that holy angels will guard them and their children from Satan's cruel power.
In every family there should be a fixed time for morning and evening worship. How appropriate it is for parents to gather their children about them before the fast is broken, to thank the heavenly Father for His protection during the night, and to ask Him for His help and guidance and watchcare during the day! How fitting, also, when evening comes, for parents and children to gather once more before Him and thank Him for the blessings of the day that is past!
The father, or, in his absence, the mother, should conduct the worship, selecting a portion of Scripture that is interesting and easily understood. The service should be short. When a long chapter is read and a long prayer offered, the service is made wearisome, and at its close a sense of relief is felt. God is dishonored when the hour of worship is made dry and irksome, when it is so tedious, so lacking in interest, that the children dread it.
Fathers and mothers, make the hour of worship intensely interesting. There is no reason why this hour should not be the most pleasant and enjoyable of the day. A little thought given to preparation for it will enable you to make it full of interest and profit. From time to time let the service be varied. Questions may be asked on the portion of Scripture read, and a few earnest, timely remarks may be made. A song of praise may be sung. The prayer offered should be short and pointed. In simple, earnest words let the one who leads in prayer praise God for His goodness and ask Him for help. As circumstances permit, let the children join in the reading and the prayer.
Eternity alone will reveal the good with which such seasons of worship are fraught.
The life of Abraham, the friend of God, was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside it was built an altar, upon which were offered the morning and the evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. And the roving Canaanite, as he came to that altar, knew who had been there. When he had pitched his tent he repaired the altar and worshiped the living God.
So the homes of Christians should be lights in the world. From them, morning and evening, prayer should ascend to God as sweet incense. And as the morning dew, His mercies and blessings will descend upon the suppliants.
Fathers and mothers, each morning and evening gather your children around you, and in humble supplication lift the heart to God for help. Your dear ones are exposed to temptation. Daily annoyances beset the path of young and old. Those who would live patient, loving, cheerful lives must pray. Only by receiving constant help from God can we gain the victory over self.
Each morning consecrate yourselves and your children to God for that day. Make no calculation for months or years; these are not yours. One brief day is given you. As if it were your last on earth, work during its hours for the Master. Lay all your plans before God, to be carried out or given up, as His providence shall indicate. Accept His plans instead of your own, even though their acceptance requires the abandonment of cherished projects. Thus the life will be molded more and more after the divine example; and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7.
Responsibilities of Married Life
My Dear Brother and Sister: You have united in a life long covenant. Your education in married life has begun. The first year of married life is a year of experience, a year in which husband and wife learn each other's different traits of character, as a child learns lessons in school. In this, the first year of your married life, let there be no chapters that will mar your future happiness.
To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.
My brother, your wife's time and strength and happiness are now bound up with yours. Your influence over her may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Be very careful not to spoil her life.
My sister, you are now to learn your first practical lessons in regard to the responsibilities of married life. Be sure to learn these lessons faithfully day by day. Do not give way to discontent or moodiness. Do not long for a life of ease and inactivity. Guard constantly against giving way to selfishness.
In your life union your affections are to be tributary to each other's happiness. Each is to minister to the happiness of the other. This is the will of God concerning you. But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner of your individuality. Of Him you are to ask: What is right? What is wrong? How may I best fulfill the purpose of my creation? 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. Your love for that which is human is to be secondary to your love for God. The wealth of your affection is to flow forth to Him who gave His life for you. Living for God, the soul sends forth to Him its best and highest affections. Is the greatest outflow of your love toward Him who died for you? If it is, your love for each other will be after heaven's order.
Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory." 2 Corinthians 3:18.
You now have duties to perform that before your marriage you did not have. "Put on therefore, . . . kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering." Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us." Give careful study to the following instruction: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . . Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it." Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 5:2, 22-25.
Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other.
Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.
My brother and sister, both of you have strong will power. You may make this power a great blessing or a great curse to yourselves and to those with whom you come in contact. Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this and retain each other's love. Manifestations of self-will destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Let not your married life be one of contention. If you do you will both be unhappy. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words, for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. Allow no sharpness to come into your voices. Bring into your united life the fragrance of Christlikeness.
Before a man enters a union as close as the marriage relation, he should learn how to control himself and how to deal with others.
In the training of a child there are times when the firm, matured will of the mother meets the unreasoning, undisciplined will of the child. At such times there is need of great wisdom on the part of the mother. By unwise management, by stern compulsion, great harm may be done the child.
Whenever possible, this crisis should be avoided; for it means a severe struggle for both mother and child. But once such a crisis is entered into, the child must be led to yield its will to the wiser will of the parent.
The mother should keep herself under perfect control, doing nothing that will arouse in the child a spirit of defiance. She is to give no loud-voiced commands. She will gain much by keeping the voice low and gentle. She is to deal with the child in a way that will draw him to Jesus. She is to realize that God is her Helper; love, her power. If she is a wise Christian she does not attempt to force the child to submit. She prays earnestly that the enemy shall not obtain the victory, and, as she prays, she is conscious of a renewal of spiritual life. She sees that the same power that is working in her is working also in the child. He becomes more gentle, more submissive. The battle is won. Her patience, her kindness, her words of wise restraint, have done their work. There is peace after the storm, like the shining of the sun after rain. And the angels, who have been watching the scene, break forth into songs of joy.
These crises come also in the life of husband and wife, who, unless controlled by the Spirit of God, will at such times manifest the impulsive, unreasoning spirit so often manifested by children. As flint striking flint will be the conflict of will with will.
My brother, be kind, patient, forbearing. Remember that your wife accepted you as her husband, not that you might rule over her, but that you might be her helper. Never be overbearing and dictatorial. Do not exert your strong will power to compel your wife to do as you wish. Remember that she has a will and that she may wish to have her way as much as you wish to have yours. Remember, too, that you have the advantage of your wider experience. Be considerate and courteous. "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits." James 3:17.
One victory it is positively essential for you both to gain, the victory over the stubborn will. In this struggle you can conquer only by the aid of Christ. You may struggle hard and long to subdue self, but you will fail unless you receive strength from on high. By the grace of Christ you can gain the victory over self and selfishness. As you live His life, showing self-sacrifice at every step, constantly revealing a stronger sympathy for those in need of help, you will gain victory after victory. Day by day you will learn better how to conquer self and how to strengthen your weak points of character. The Lord Jesus will be your light, your strength, your crown of rejoicing, because you yield your will to His will.
Men and women may reach God's ideal for them if they will take Christ as their Helper. Make an unreserved surrender to God. To know that you are striving for eternal life will strengthen and comfort you. Christ can give you power to overcome. By His help you can utterly destroy the root of selfishness.
Christ died that the life of man might be bound up with His life in the union of divinity and humanity. He came to our world and lived a divine-human life, in order that the lives of men and women might be as harmonious as God designs them to be. The Saviour calls upon you to deny self and take up the cross. Then nothing will prevent the development of the whole being. The daily experience will reveal healthy, harmonious action.
Remember, my dear brother and sister, that God is love and that by His grace you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage pledge you promised to do. And in the strength of the Redeemer you can work with wisdom and power to help some crooked life to be straight in God. What is there that Christ cannot do? He is perfect in wisdom, in righteousness, in love. Do not shut yourselves up to yourselves, satisfied to pour out all your affection upon each other. Seize every opportunity to contribute to the happiness of those around you, sharing with them your affection. Words of kindness, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would to many a struggling, lonely one be as a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of cheer, an act of kindness, would go far to lighten the burdens that are resting heavily upon weary shoulders. It is in unselfish ministry that true happiness is found. And every word and deed of such service is recorded in the books of heaven as done for Christ. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren," He declares, "ye have done it unto Me." Matthew 25:40.
Live in the sunshine of the Saviour's love. Then your influence will bless the world. Let the Spirit of Christ control you. Let the law of kindness be ever on your lips. Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and actions of those who are born again, to live the new life in Christ.
"None of us liveth to himself." The character will manifest itself. The looks, the tone of the voice, the actions,--all have their influence in making or marring the happiness of the domestic circle. They are molding the temper and character of the children; they are inspiring or tending to destroy confidence and love. All are made either better or worse, happy or miserable, by these influences. We owe our families the knowledge of the word brought into practical life. All that it is possible for us to be to purify, enlighten, comfort, and encourage those connected with us in family relation should be done.