Channels of Light and Blessing
We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others. The Holy Spirit is to animate and pervade the whole church, purifying and cementing hearts.—.
Every follower of Jesus has a work to do as a missionary for Christ, in the family, in the neighborhood, in the town or city where he lives. All who are consecrated to God are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate to others the light of truth.—.
The result of the work of Jesus, as He sat, weary and hungry, at the well, was widespread in blessing. The one soul whom He sought to help became a means of reaching others and bringing them to the Saviour. This is ever the way that the work of God has made progress on the earth. Let your light shine, and other lights will be kindled.—.
Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His recognized followers on earth. Jesus is the friend of sinners; and His heart is touched with their woe. He has all power, both in heaven and on earth; but He respects the means that He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men; He directs sinners to the church, which He has made a channel of light to the world.—.
To the early church had been intrusted a constantly enlarging work,—that of establishing centers of light and blessing wherever there were honest souls willing to give themselves to the service of Christ.—.
As the rays of the sun penetrate to the remotest corners of the globe, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every soul upon the earth. If the church of Christ were fulfilling the purpose of our Lord, light would be shed upon all that sit in darkness and in the region and shadow of death.—.
It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour's love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.—.
The glory of the church of God is in the piety of its members; for there is the hiding of Christ's power. The influence of the sincere children of God may be esteemed as of little worth, but it will be felt throughout time, and rightly revealed in the day of reward. The light of a true Christian, shining forth in steadfast piety, in unwavering faith, will prove to the world the power of a living Saviour. In His followers Christ will be revealed as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Although scarcely known to the world, they are acknowledged as God's peculiar people, His chosen vessels of salvation, His channels whereby light is to come to the world.—.
Church members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against intemperance, the folly and the amusements of this world, and in the proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time,—all these are gifts from God and are to be used in winning souls to Christ.—.
I have been shown that the disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities, “a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to man.”—.
The followers of Christ are to be the light of the world; but God does not bid them make an effort to shine. He does not approve of any self-satisfied endeavor to display superior goodness. He desires that their souls shall be imbued with the principles of heaven; then, as they come
in contact with the world, they will reveal the light that is in them. Their steadfast fidelity in every act of life will be a means of illumination.— .
When, in the midst of his blind error and prejudice, Saul was given a revelation of the Christ whom he was persecuting, he was placed in direct communication with the church, which is the light of the world. In this case, Ananias represents Christ, and also represents Christ's ministers upon the earth, who are appointed to act in His stead. In Christ's stead, Ananias touches the eyes of Saul, that they may receive sight. In Christ's stead, he places his hands upon him, and as he prays in Christ's name, Saul receives the Holy Ghost. All is done in the name and by the authority of Christ. Christ is the fountain; the church is the channel of communication.—.
Error is prevailing everywhere. The great adversary of souls is mustering his forces. He is setting every device in operation in order to confuse the minds of men with specious errors, and thus destroy souls. Those with whom God has intrusted the treasures of His truth are to let the light shine amid the moral darkness.—.
God requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ. Their conversation should be heavenly. And while they enjoy communion with God they will wish to have intercourse with their fellow men in order to express by their words and acts the love of God which animates their hearts. In this way they will be lights in the world, and the light transmitted through them will not go out or be taken away.—.
Christ's followers should be instruments of righteousness, workmen, living stones, emitting light, that they may encourage the presence of heavenly angels. They are required to be channels, as it were, through which the spirit of truth and righteousness shall flow.—.
The Lord has made His church the repository of divine influence. The heavenly universe is waiting for the members to become channels through which the current of life shall flow to the world, that many may be converted, and in their turn become channels through which the grace of Christ shall flow to the desert portions of the Lord's vineyard.—.
Everyone who is connected with God will impart light to others. If there are any who have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the Source of light.—.
God has appointed His children to give light to others, and if they fail to do it, and souls are left in the darkness of error because of their failure to do that which they might have done had they been vitalized by the Holy Spirit, they will be accountable to God. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light, in order that we may show forth the praises of Christ.—.
All who are consecrated to God will be channels of light. God makes them His agents to communicate to others the riches of His grace.... Our influence upon others depends not so much upon what we say, as upon what we are. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of disinterested love is an argument they cannot gainsay. A consistent life, characterized by the meekness of Christ, is a power in the world.—.
Those who should have been the light of the world have shed forth but feeble and sickly beams. What is light? It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life. The gospel is dependent on the personal piety of its believers for its aggressive power, and God has made provision through the death of His beloved Son, that every soul may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Every soul is to be a bright and shining light, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. “We are laborers together with God.” Yes, laborers; that means doing earnest service in the vineyard of the Lord. There
are souls to be saved,—souls in our churches, in our Sabbath schools, and in our neighborhoods.— .
It is in working for others that they will keep their own souls alive. If they will become colaborers with Jesus, we shall see the light in our churches steadily burning brighter and brighter, sending forth its rays to penetrate the darkness beyond their own borders.—.
“Ye are the light of the world.” The Jews thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but Christ showed them that salvation is like the sunshine. It belongs to the whole world.—.
Hearts that respond to the influence of the Holy Spirit are the channels through which God's blessing flows. Were those who served God removed from the earth, and His Spirit withdrawn from among men, this world would be left to desolation and destruction, the fruit of Satan's dominion. Though the wicked know it not, they owe even the blessings of this life to the presence, in the world, of God's people whom they despise and oppress. But if Christians are such in name only, they are like the salt that has lost its savor. They have no influence for good in the world. Through their misrepresentation of God they are worse than unbelievers.—.
The Divine Commission
The work which the disciples did, we also are to do. Every Christian is to be a missionary. In sympathy and compassion we are to minister to those in need of help, seeking with unselfish earnestness to lighten the woes of suffering humanity.—The Ministry of Healing, 104.
Before ascending to heaven, Christ gave His disciples their commission. He told them that they were to be the executors of the will in which He bequeathed to the world the treasures of eternal life.—The Acts of the Apostles, 27.
In the trust given to the first disciples, believers in every age have shared. Everyone who has received the gospel has been given sacred truth to impart to the world. God's faithful people have always been aggressive missionaries, consecrating their resources to the honor of His name, and wisely using their talents in His service.—The Acts of the Apostles, 109.
The gospel commission is the great missionary charter of Christ's kingdom. The disciples were to work earnestly for souls, giving to all the invitation of mercy. They were not to wait for the people to come to them; they were to go to the people with their message.—The Acts of the Apostles, 28.
God's messengers are commissioned to take up the very work that Christ did while on this earth. They are to give themselves to every line of ministry that He carried on. With earnestness and sincerity they are to tell men of the unsearchable riches and the immortal treasure of heaven.—Testimonies for the Church 9:130.
The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. Today, as then, a crucified and risen Saviour is to be uplifted before those who are without God and without hope in the world. The Lord calls for pastors, teachers, and evangelists. From door to door His servants are to proclaim the message of salvation. To every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the tidings of pardon through Christ are to be carried. Not with tame, lifeless utterances is the message to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring utterances. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their lives. The world needs to see in Christians an evidence of the power of Christianity. Not merely in a few places, but throughout the world, messages of mercy are needed.—Gospel Workers, 29.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He committed His work on earth to those who had received the light of the gospel. They were to carry the work forward to completion. He has provided no other agency for the promulgation of His truth. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This solemn commission reaches us in this age. God leaves with His church the responsibility of receiving or rejecting it.—Historical Sketches, 288.
Upon us is laid a sacred charge. The commission has been given us: “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19, 20, margin. You are dedicated to the work of making known the gospel of salvation. Heaven's perfection is to be your power.—Testimonies for the Church 9:20, 21.
Called From Common Walks of Life
The common people are to take their place as workers. Sharing the sorrows of their fellowmen as the Saviour shared the sorrows of humanity, they will by faith see Him working with them.—Gospel Workers, 38.
In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plow and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulty will be removed, and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward and still onward the work will advance, until the whole earth shall have been warned; and then shall the end come.—Testimonies for the Church 9:96.
God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men. A doubt of His power to do this, is manifest unbelief; it is limiting the omnipotent power of the One with whom nothing is impossible. O for less of this uncalled-for, distrustful caution! It leaves so many forces of the church unused; it closes up the way, so that the Holy Spirit cannot use men; it keeps in idleness those who are willing and anxious to labor in Christ's lines; it discourages from entering the work many who would become efficient laborers together with God, if they were given a fair chance.—Gospel Workers, 488, 489.
It is the privilege of every soul to make advancement. Those who are connected with Christ will grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Son of God, to the full stature of men and women. If all who claim to believe the truth had made the most of their ability and opportunities to learn and to do, they would have become strong in Christ. Whatever their occupation,—whether they were farmers, mechanics, teachers, or pastors,—if they had wholly consecrated themselves to God, they would have become efficient workers for the heavenly Master.—Testimonies for the Church 6:423.
Those in the church who have sufficient talent to engage in any of the various vocations of life, such as teaching, building, manufacturing, and farming, generally should be prepared to labor for the upbuilding of the church by serving on committees or as teachers in Sabbath schools, engaging in missionary labor, or filling the different offices connected with the church.—The Review and Herald, February 15, 1887.
For the carrying on of His work, Christ did not choose the learning or eloquence of the Jewish Sanhedrin or the power of Rome. Passing by the self-righteous Jewish teachers, the Master Worker chose humble, unlearned men to proclaim the truths that were to move the world. These men He purposed to train and educate as the leaders of His church. They in turn were to educate others and send them out with the gospel message. That they might have success in their work, they were to be given the power of the Holy Spirit. Not by human might or human wisdom was the gospel to be proclaimed, but by the power of God.—The Acts of the Apostles, 17.
Among those to whom the Saviour had given the commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” were many from the humbler walks of life,—men and women who had learned to love their Lord, and who had determined to follow His example of unselfish service. To these lowly ones, as well as to the disciples who had been with the Saviour during His earthly ministry, had been given a precious trust. They were to carry to the world the glad tidings of salvation through Christ.—The Acts of the Apostles, 105, 106.
The Life That Wins
It is not only by preaching the truth, not only by distributing literature, that we are to witness for God. Let us remember that a Christlike life is the most powerful argument that can be advanced in favor of Christianity, and that a cheap Christian character works more harm in the world than the character of a worldling.—Testimonies for the Church 9:21.
Not all the books written can serve the purpose of a holy life. Men will believe, not what the minister preaches, but what the church lives. Too often the influence of the sermon preached from the pulpit is counteracted by the sermon preached in the lives of those who claim to be advocates of truth.—Testimonies for the Church 9:21.
The life of Christ was an ever-widening, shoreless influence, an influence that bound Him to God and to the whole human family. Through Christ, God has invested man with an influence that makes it impossible for him to live to himself. Individually we are connected with our fellowmen, a part of God's great whole, and we stand under mutual obligations. No man can be independent of his fellow men; for the well-being of each affects others. It is God's purpose that each shall feel himself necessary to others’ welfare, and seek to promote their happiness.—Christ's Object Lessons, 339.
The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a book, nor within the walls of a church. It is not to be brought out occasionally for our own benefit, and then to be carefully laid aside again. It is to sanctify the daily life, to manifest itself in every business transaction and in all our social relations.—The Desire of Ages, 306, 307.
It is the purpose of God to glorify Himself in His people before the world. He expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him in thought, word, and deed. Their thoughts are to be pure and their words noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer the Saviour. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. Their every business transaction is to be fragrant with the presence of God.—Testimonies for the Church 9:21.
Let the businessman do his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. Let him carry his religion into everything that is done and reveal to men the Spirit of Christ. Let the mechanic be a diligent and faithful representative of Him who toiled in the lowly walks of life in the cities of Judea. Let everyone who names the name of Christ so work that man by seeing his good works may be led to glorify his Creator and Redeemer.—The Bible Echo, June 10, 1901.
Women as Missionaries
Women as well as men can engage in the work of hiding the truth where it can work out and be made manifest. They can take their place in the work at this crisis, and the Lord will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Spirit of God, they will have just the self-possession required for this time. The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and this will give them a power that will exceed that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their work is needed. Discreet and humble women can do a good work in explaining the truth to the people in their homes. The Word of God thus explained will do its leavening work, and through its influence whole families will be converted.—Testimonies for the Church 9:128, 129.
All who work for God should have the Martha and the Mary attributes blended,—a willingness to minister and a sincere love of the truth. Self and selfishness must be put out of sight. God calls for earnest women workers, workers who are prudent, warmhearted, tender, and true to principle. He calls for persevering women who will take their minds from self and their personal convenience, and will center them on Christ, speaking words of truth, praying with the persons to whom they can obtain access, laboring for the conversion of souls.—Testimonies for the Church 6:118.
The sisters can work efficiently in obtaining subscribers for our periodicals, in this way bringing the light before many minds.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.
There are noble women who have had moral courage to decide in favor of the truth from the weight of evidence. They have conscientiously accepted the truth. They have tact, perception, and good ability, and will make successful workers for their Master. Christian women are called for.—The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878.
Our sisters can serve as vigilant workers in writing, and drawing out the true feelings of friends who have received our papers and tracts.... Women of firm principle and decided character are needed, women who believe that we are indeed living in the last days, and that we have the last solemn message of warning to be given to the world.... These are the ones whom God can use in the tract and missionary work.... These can in many ways do a precious work for God in scattering tracts and judiciously distributing the Signs of the Times.—The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878.
I do not recommend that woman should seek to become a voter or an officeholder; but as a missionary, teaching the truth by epistolary correspondence, distributing tracts and soliciting subscribers for periodicals containing the solemn truth for this time, she may do very much.—The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878.
If there were twenty women where now there is one who would make this holy mission their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth.—The Review and Herald, January 2, 1879.
Women who can work are needed now, women who are not self-important, but meek and lowly of heart, who will work with the meekness of Christ wherever they can find work to do for the salvation of souls.—The Review and Herald, January 2, 1879.
Hundreds of our sisters might be at work today if they would. They should dress themselves and their children with simplicity, in neat and durable garments, free from adornment, and devote the time they have spent in needless display to missionary work. Letters may be written to friends at a distance. Our sisters may meet together to consult as to the best manner of labor. Money can be saved to present as an offering to God, to be invested in papers and tracts to send to their friends. Those who are now doing nothing should go to work. Let each sister who claims to be a child of God feel indeed a responsibility to help all within her reach.—The Review and Herald, December 12, 1878.
Our sisters have been too willing to excuse themselves from bearing responsibilities which require thought and close application of the mind; yet this is the very discipline they need to perfect Christian experience. They may be workers in the missionary field, having a personal interest in the distribution of tracts and papers which correctly represent our faith.—The Review and Herald, December 12, 1878.
Sisters, do not become weary of vigilant missionary labor. This is a work that 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.