Invite to Your Home for Bible Study
Invite your neighbors to your home, and read with them from the precious Bible and from books that explain its truths. Invite them to unite with you in song and prayer. In these little gatherings, Christ Himself will be present, as He has promised, and hearts will be touched by His grace.—The Ministry of Healing, 152, 153.While in Ephesus, Apollos “began to speak boldly in the synagogue.” Among his hearers were Aquila and Priscilla, who, perceiving that he had not yet received the full light of the gospel, “took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” Through their teaching he obtained a clearer understanding of the Scriptures, and became one of the ablest advocates of the Christian faith.—The Acts of the Apostles, 270.
To all who are working with Christ I would say, Wherever you can gain access to the people by the fireside, improve your opportunity. Take your Bible, and open before them its great truths. Your success will not depend so much upon your knowledge and accomplishments, as upon your ability to find your way to the heart. By being social and coming close to the people, you may turn the current of their thoughts more readily than by the most able discourse. The presentation of Christ in the family, by the fireside, and in small gatherings in private houses, is often more successful in winning souls to Jesus than are sermons delivered in the open air, to the moving throng, or even in halls or churches.—Gospel Workers, 193.The example of Christ in linking Himself with the interests of humanity should be followed by all who preach His word, and by all who have received the gospel of His grace. We are not to renounce social communion. We should not seclude ourselves from others. In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men touched by divine truth. There is another field of labor, humbler, it may be, but fully as promising. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great; at the hospitable board, and in gatherings for innocent social enjoyment.—The Desire of Ages, 152.Christ was not exclusive, and He had given special offense to the Pharisees by departing in this respect from their rigid rules. He found the domain of religion fenced in by high walls of seclusion, as too sacred a matter for everyday life. These walls of partition He overthrew. In His contact with men He did not ask, What is your creed? To what church do you belong? He exercised His helping power in behalf of all who needed help. Instead of secluding Himself in a hermit's cell in order to show His heavenly character, He labored earnestly for humanity. He inculcated the principle that Bible religion does not consist in the mortification of the body. He taught that pure and undefiled religion is not meant only for set times and special occasions. At all times and in all places He manifested a loving interest in men, and shed about Him the light of a cheerful piety.—The Desire of Ages, 86.In face of their prejudices He accepted the hospitality of this despised people. He slept under their roofs, ate with them at their tables,—partaking of the food prepared and served by their hands,—taught in their streets, and treated them with the utmost kindness and courtesy.—The Desire of Ages, 193.
Manifest Sympathetic Interest
Those who are fighting the battle of life at great odds may be refreshed and strengthened by little attentions which cost nothing. Kindly words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation and doubt that gather over the soul. The true heart-expression of Christlike sympathy, given in simplicity, has power to open the door of hearts that need the simple, delicate touch of the Spirit of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 9:30.Thousands of hearts can be reached in the most simple, humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon and praised as the world's most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words that flow from the heart of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things which his mind contemplates and feeds upon. Often the words well prepared and studied have little influence. But the true, honest words of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, will open the door to hearts that have long been locked.—Testimonies for the Church 6:115.
Cite Personal Experience
Those who have put on Christ will relate their experience, tracing step by step the leadings of the Holy Spirit,—their hungering and thirsting for the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, the result of their searching of the Scriptures, their prayers, their soul-agony, and the words of Christ to them, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” It is unnatural for any to keep these things secret, and those who are filled with the love of Christ will not do so. In proportion as the Lord has made them the depositaries of sacred truth will be their desire that others shall receive the same blessing. And as they make known the rich treasures of God's grace, more and still more of the grace of Christ will be imparted to them.—Christ's Object Lessons, 125.Arouse every spiritual energy to action. Tell those whom you visit that the end of all things is at hand. The Lord Jesus Christ will open the door of their hearts, and will make upon their minds lasting impressions. Strive to arouse men and women from their spiritual insensibility. Tell them how you found Jesus, and how blessed you have been since you gained an experience in His service. Tell them what blessing comes to you as you sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn precious lessons from His Word. Tell them of the gladness and joy there is in the Christian life. Your warm, fervent words will convince them that you have found the pearl of great price. Let your cheerful, encouraging words show that you have certainly found the higher way. This is genuine missionary work, and as it is done, many will awake as from a dream.—Testimonies for the Church 9:38.Those whom God employs as His instruments may be regarded by some as inefficient; but if they can pray, if in simplicity they can talk the truth because they love it, they may reach the people through the Holy Spirit's power. As they present the truth in simplicity, reading from the Word, or recalling incidents of experience, the Holy Spirit makes an impression on mind and character. The will becomes subordinate to the will of God; the truth heretofore not understood comes to the heart with living conviction, and becomes a spiritual reality.—Testimonies for the Church 6:444.
His messages of mercy were varied to suit His audience. He knew “how to speak a word in season to him that is weary;” for grace was poured upon His lips, that He might convey to men in the most attractive way the treasures of truth. He had tact to meet the prejudiced minds, and surprise them with illustrations that won their attention. Through the imagination He reached the heart. His illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the seed, the shepherd and the sheep,—with these objects Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these things in nature, they recalled His words. Christ's illustrations constantly repeated His lessons.—The Desire of Ages, 254.The apostles endeavored to impart to these idolaters a knowledge of God the Creator, and of His Son, the Saviour of the human race. They first directed attention to the wonderful works of God,—the sun, the moon, and the stars, the beautiful order of the recurring seasons, the mighty snow-capped mountains, the lofty trees, and other varied wonders of nature, which showed a skill beyond human comprehension. Through these works of the Almighty, the apostles led the minds of the heathen to a contemplation of the great Ruler of the universe.—The Acts of the Apostles, 180.
Deal with Practical Fundamentals
Paul was an eloquent speaker. Before his conversion, he had often sought to impress his hearers by flights of oratory. But now he set all this aside. Instead of indulging in poetic descriptions and fanciful representations, which might please the senses and feed the imagination, but which would not touch the daily experience, Paul sought by the use of simple language to bring home to the heart the truths that are of vital importance. Fanciful representations of truth may cause an ecstasy of feeling; but all too often, truths presented in this way do not supply the food necessary to strengthen and fortify the believer for the battles of life. The immediate needs, the present trials, of struggling souls, --these must be met with sound, practical instruction in the fundamental principles of Christianity.—The Acts of the Apostles, 251, 252.
Hold to Affirmative Truth
Often, as you seek to present the truth, opposition will be aroused; but if you seek to meet the opposition with argument, you will only multiply it, and that you cannot afford to do. Hold to the affirmative. Angels of God are watching you, and they understand how to impress those whose opposition you refuse to meet with argument. Dwell not on the negative points of questions that arise, but gather to your minds affirmative truths, and fasten them there by much earnest prayer and heart-consecration.—Testimonies for the Church 9:147, 148.
Representatives in the Thoroughfares of Travel
Those who in response to the call of the hour have entered the service of the Master Workman, may well study His methods of labor. During His earthly ministry, the Saviour took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. It was at Capernaum that Jesus dwelt at the intervals of His journeys to and fro, and it came to be known as “His own city.” This city was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour's work. Being on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was a great thoroughfare of travel. People from many lands passed through the city, or tarried for rest on their journeyings to and fro. Here Jesus could meet all nations and all ranks, the rich and great, as well as the poor and lowly; and His lessons would be carried to other countries and into many households. Investigation of the prophecies would thus be excited; attention would be directed to the Saviour, and His mission would be brought before the world.—Testimonies for the Church 9:121.In the world-renowned health resorts and centers of tourist traffic, crowded with many thousands of seekers after health and pleasure, there should be stationed ministers and canvassers capable of arresting the attention of the multitudes. Let these workers watch their chance for presenting the message for this time, and hold meetings as they have opportunity. Let them be quick to seize opportunities to speak to the people. Accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, let them meet the people with the message borne by John the Baptist, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. The word of God is to be presented with clearness and power, that those who have ears to hear may hear the truth. Thus the gospel of present truth will be placed in the way of those who know it not, and it will be accepted by not a few, and carried by them to their own homes in all parts of the world.—Testimonies for the Church 9:122.“Ministry of Healing” and “Christ's Object Lessons” are peculiarly adapted for use in tourist centers, and everything possible should be done to place copies of these works in the hands of those who have leisure and inclination to read.—Testimonies for the Church 9:85.Health restaurants and treatment-rooms should be established. Our efforts in these lines should include the great seaside resorts. As the voice of John the Baptist was heard in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord,” so must the voice of the Lord's messengers be heard in the great tourist and seaside resorts.—Testimonies for the Church 7:55, 56.
Sent Forth Two by Two
Calling the twelve about Him, Jesus bade them go out two and two through the towns and villages. None were sent forth alone, but brother was associated with brother, friend with friend. Thus they could help and encourage each other, counseling and praying together, each one's strength supplementing the other's weakness. In the same manner He afterward sent forth the seventy. It was the Saviour's purpose that the messengers of the gospel should be associated in this way. In our own time evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed.—The Desire of Ages, 350.
Medical Evangelistic Tours
From the instruction that the Lord has given me from time to time, I know that there should be workers who make medical evangelistic tours among the towns and villages. Those who do this work will gather a rich harvest of souls, from both the higher and lower classes. The way for this work is best prepared by the efforts of the faithful canvasser.—Testimonies for the Church 9:172.
Gospel Medical Missionaries
Workers—gospel medical missionaries—are needed now. You cannot afford to spend years in preparation. Soon doors now open to the truth will be forever closed. Carry the message now. Do not wait, allowing the enemy to take possession of the fields now open before you. Let little companies go forth to do the work to which Christ appointed His disciples. Let them labor as evangelists, scattering our publications, and talking of the truth to those they meet. Let them pray for the sick, ministering to their necessities, not with drugs, but with nature's remedies, and teaching them how to regain health and avoid disease.—Testimonies for the Church 9:172.My brethren and sisters, give yourselves to the Lord for service. Allow no opportunity to pass unimproved. Visit the sick and suffering, and show a kindly interest in them. If possible, do something to make them more comfortable. Through this means you can reach their hearts, and speak a word for Christ. Eternity alone will reveal how far-reaching such a line of labor can be. Other lines of usefulness will open before those who are willing to do the duty nearest them.—Testimonies for the Church 9:36.
There are multitudes of poor families for whom no better missionary work could be done than to assist them in settling on the land and in learning how to make it yield them a livelihood. The need for such help and instruction is not confined to the cities. Even in the country, with all its possibilities for a better life, multitudes of the poor are in great need. Whole communities are devoid of education in industrial and sanitary lines. Families live in hovels, with scant furniture and clothing, without tools, without books, destitute of both comforts and conveniences, and of means of culture. Imbruted souls, bodies weak and ill-formed, reveal the results of evil heredity and of wrong habits. These people must be educated from the very foundation. They have led shiftless, idle, corrupt lives, and they need to be trained to correct habits.—The Ministry of Healing, 192.Attention should be given to the establishment of various industries so that poor families can find employment. Carpenters, blacksmiths, and indeed every one who understands some line of useful labor, should feel a responsibility to teach and help the ignorant and the unemployed.—The Ministry of Healing, 194.Christian farmers can do real missionary work in helping the poor to find homes on the land, and in teaching them how to till the soil and make it productive. Teach them how to use the implements of agriculture, how to cultivate various crops, how to plant and care for orchards.—The Ministry of Healing, 193.In ministry to the poor there is a wide field of service for women as well as for men. The efficient cook, the housekeeper, the seamstress, the nurse,—the help of all is needed. Let the members of poor households be taught how to cook, how to make and mend their own clothing, how to nurse the sick, how to care properly for the home. Let boys and girls be thoroughly taught some useful trade or occupation.—The Ministry of Healing, 194.
Invite to Gospel Meetings
There are many things that persons may do if they only have a mind to work. There are many who will not go to church to hear the truth preached. By personal efforts in simplicity and wisdom these might be persuaded to turn their feet to the house of God. Conviction may fasten upon their minds the first time they hear a discourse upon present truth. Should your solicitations be refused, do not be discouraged. Persevere till success crowns your efforts.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.
Gather Into the Sabbath School
Another work in which all may engage is gathering children and youth into the Sabbath school. The young may in this way labor efficiently for the dear Saviour. They may shape the destinies of souls. They may do a work for the church and the world the extent and greatness of which will never be known until the day of final accounts, when the “Well done” is spoken to the good and faithful.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.
By Pen and Voice
With pen and voice proclaim that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Unite with the great Master Worker, follow the self-denying Redeemer through His pilgrimage of love on earth.—The Review and Herald, January 24, 1893.Some will work in one way and some in another, as the Lord shall call and lead them. But they are all to strive together, seeking to make the work a perfect whole. With pen and voice they are to labor for Him.—Testimonies for the Church 9:26.Christ crucified,—talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts.—Testimonies for the Church 6:67.The pen is a power in the hands of men who feel the truth burning upon the altar of their hearts, and who have an intelligent zeal for God, balanced with sound judgment. The pen, dipped in the fountain of pure truth, can send the beams of light to dark corners of the earth, which will reflect its rays back, adding new power, and giving increased light to be scattered everywhere.—Life Sketches, 214. Our ministers should not give all their powers to preaching discourses, and let the work end there. They should instruct the members of the church how to take hold of and successfully carry forward this branch of the work [missionary correspondence], which is to our tract and missionary society like a wheel within a wheel. The movement of this inner wheel keeps in healthful, powerful action the outer wheel. Let this inner wheel cease its action, and the result will be seen in diminished life and activity in the tract and missionary society.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.Do not become weary of vigilant missionary labor. This is a work you may all engage in successfully, if you will but connect with God. Before writing letters of inquiry, always lift up your heart to God in prayer that you may be successful in gathering some wild branches which may be grafted into the true vine, and bear fruit to the glory of God. All who with humble hearts take part in this work, will be continually educating themselves as workers in the vineyard of the Lord.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.
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Humility, Deeper Walk
Psalm 34:18 says, "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." But what does it mean to have a contrite spirit? We believe the following comparisons will give greater understanding to the concept of what it means to walk in humility before God.