Spirit: The Work And The Life (3)
Who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers, not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had.
The church of Christ is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. Its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. And the obligation rests upon all Christians. Every one, to the extent of his talent and opportunity, is to fulfill the Saviour's commission. The love of Christ, revealed to us, makes us debtors to all who know him not. God has given us light, not for ourselves alone, but to shed upon them.
If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one to-day, proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labor for souls in Christian countries.
We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ. We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business. The greater part of our Saviour's life on earth was spent in patient toil in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth. Ministering angels attended the Lord of life as he walked side by side with peasants and laborers, unrecognized and unhonored. He was as faithfully fulfilling his mission while working at his humble trade as when he healed the sick or walked upon the storm-tossed waves of Galilee. So, in the humblest duties and lowliest positions of life, we may walk and work with Jesus.
The apostle says, "Let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God." (1 Corinthians 7:24) The business man may conduct his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. If he is a true follower of Christ, he will carry his religion into everything that is done, and reveal to men the spirit of Christ. The mechanic may be a diligent and faithful representative of him who toiled in the lowly walks of life among the hills of Galilee. Every one who names the name of Christ should so work that others, by seeing his good works, may be led to glorify their Creator and Redeemer.
Many have excused themselves from rendering their gifts to the service of Christ because others were possessed of superior endowments and advantages. The opinion has prevailed that only those who are especially talented are required to consecrate their abilities to the service of God. It has come to be understood by many that talents are given to only a certain favored class, to the exclusion of others, who, of course, are not called upon to share in the toils or the rewards. But it is not so represented in the parable. When the master of the house called his servants, he gave to every man his work.
With a loving spirit we may perform life's humblest duties "as to the Lord." (1 Corinthians 10:31) If the love of God is in the heart, it will be manifest in the life. The sweet savor of Christ will surround us, and our influence will elevate and bless.
You are not to wait for great occasions or to expect extraordinary abilities before you go to work for God. You need not have a thought of what the world will think of you. If your daily life is a testimony to the purity and sincerity of your faith, and others are convinced that you desire to benefit them, your efforts will not be wholly lost.
The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realize that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward.
They do not feel or know that they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God's providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come.
(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ") (all rights reserved)
Collated Spirit Articles
Growing Up Into Christ (1).
The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more
Growing Up Into Christ (2).
A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more
Knowledge of God.
Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more
Growing Up Into Christ (3).
Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more
Growing Up Into Christ (4).
They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).
But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).
But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more
Repentance (1). It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more
Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more
Repentance (3). One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more
Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more
The Privilege of Prayer (1).
Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more
The Work And The Life (1).
The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more
The Work And The Life (2).
We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more
The Work And The Life (3).
We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more
Faith and Acceptance (1).
You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more
Faith and Acceptance (2).
Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more
Faith and Acceptance (3).
But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more
The Test of Discipleship (1).
Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more
The Test of Discipleship (2).
When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more
The Test of Discipleship (3).
If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more
The Test of Discipleship (4).
Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more
Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more
When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more
What To Do With Doubt (1).
God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more
What To Do With Doubt (2).
There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more