Chapter 20—Reaching The Wealthy And Influential
Not to Be Neglected
There is a work to be done for the wealthy. They need to be awakened to their responsibility as those intrusted with the gifts of heaven. They need to be reminded that they must give an account to Him who shall judge the living and the dead. The wealthy man needs your labor in the love and fear of God. Too often he trusts in his riches, and feels not his danger. The eyes of his mind need to be attracted to things of enduring value.—Christ's Object Lessons, 230.Those who stand high in the world for their education, wealth, or calling, are seldom addressed personally in regard to the interests of the soul. Many Christian workers hesitate to approach these classes. But this should not be. If a man were drowning, we would not stand by and see him perish because he was a lawyer, a merchant, or a judge. If we saw persons rushing over a precipice, we would not hesitate to urge them back, whatever might be their position or calling. Neither should we hesitate to warn men of the peril of the soul. None should be neglected because of their apparent devotion to worldly things.—Christ's Object Lessons, 230, 231.We are to have travail of soul for those who are in high places; we are to extend to them the gracious invitation to come to the marriage feast.—The Southern Watchman, March 15, 1904.The Lord desires that moneyed men shall be converted, and act as His helping hand in reaching others. He desires that those who can help in the work of reform and restoration shall see the precious light of truth and be transformed in character, and led to use their intrusted capital in His service. He would have them invest the means He has lent them, in doing good, in opening the way for the gospel to be preached to all classes nigh and afar off.—Testimonies for the Church 9:114.Those who belong to the higher ranks of society are to be sought out with tender affection and brotherly regard. Men in business life, in high positions of trust, men with large inventive faculties and scientific insight, men of genius, teachers of the gospel whose minds have not been called to the special truths for this time,—these should be the first to hear the call. To them the invitation must be given.—Christ's Object Lessons, 230.Mistakes have been made in not seeking to reach ministers and the higher classes with the truth. People not of our faith have been shunned altogether too much. While we should not associate with them to receive their mold, there are honest ones everywhere for whom we should labor cautiously, wisely, and intelligently, full of love for their souls. A fund should be raised to educate men and women to labor for these higher classes, both here and in other countries.—Testimonies for the Church 5:580, 581.
Special Qualifications of Workers
Some are especially fitted to work for the higher classes. These should seek wisdom from God to know how to reach these persons, to have not merely a casual acquaintance with them, but by personal effort and living faith to awaken them to the needs of the soul, to lead them to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.—The Ministry of Healing, 213.Let those who work for the higher classes bear themselves with true dignity, remembering that angels are their companions. Let them keep the treasure-house of mind and heart filled with, “It is written.”—The Ministry of Healing, 215.In every effort to reach the higher classes, the worker for God needs strong faith. Appearances may seem forbidding; but in the darkest hour there is light above.—The Acts of the Apostles, 242.God calls for earnest, humble workers, who will carry the gospel to the higher classes.—The Acts of the Apostles, 140.
Results Are Assured
There are miracles to be wrought in genuine conversions,—miracles that are not now discerned. The greatest men of this earth are not beyond the power of a wonder-working God. If those who are workers together with Him will be men of opportunity, doing their duty bravely and faithfully, God will convert men who occupy responsible positions, men of intellect and influence. Through the power of the Holy Spirit many will accept the divine principles. Converted to the truth, they will become agencies in the hand of God to communicate the light. They will have a special burden for other souls of this neglected class. Time and money will be consecrated to the work of the Lord, and new efficiency and power will be added to the church.—The Acts of the Apostles, 140.Many in high social positions are heart-sore, and sick of vanity. They are longing for a peace which they have not. In the very highest ranks of society are those who are hungering and thirsting for salvation. Many would receive help if the Lord's workers would approach them personally, with a kind manner, a heart made tender by the love of Christ.—Christ's Object Lessons, 231.Many of the greatest scholars and statesmen, the world's most eminent men, will in these last days turn from the light, because the world by wisdom knows not God. Yet God's servants are to improve every opportunity to communicate the truth to these men. Some will acknowledge their ignorance of the things of God, and will take their place as humble learners at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher.—The Acts of the Apostles, 241-242.
Wealthy Men of Bible Times
This Ethiopian was a man of good standing and of wide influence. God saw that when converted, he would give others the light he had received, and would exert a strong influence in favor of the gospel. Angels of God were attending this seeker for light, and he was being drawn to the Saviour. By the ministration of the Holy Spirit, the Lord brought him into touch with one who could lead him to the light.—The Acts of the Apostles, 107.When the Jews were trying to destroy the infant church, Nicodemus came forward in its defense. No longer cautious and questioning, he encouraged the faith of the disciples, and used his wealth in helping to sustain the church at Jerusalem and in advancing the work of the gospel. Those who in other days had paid him reverence, now scorned and persecuted him; and he became poor in this world's goods; yet he faltered not in the defense of his faith.—The Acts of the Apostles, 105.
Chapter 21—The Home a Missionary Training Center
Of First Importance
The home is the child's first school, and it is here that the foundation should be laid for a life of service.—The Ministry of Healing, 400.The first great business of your life is to be a missionary at home.—Testimonies for the Church 4:138.The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home. The work of parents underlies every other.... The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.—The Ministry of Healing, 349.The more fully the spirit of true ministry pervades the home the more fully it will be developed in the lives of the children. They will learn to find joy in service and sacrifice for the good of others.—The Ministry of Healing, 401.Let not parents forget the great mission field that lies before them in the home. In the children committed to her every mother has a sacred charge from God. “Take this son, this daughter,” God says, “and train it for Me. Give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.” The light and glory that shine from the throne of God rest upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil.—Testimonies for the Church 9:37.Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home.... There is no missionary field more important than this. By precept and example parents are to teach their children to labor for the unconverted. The children should be so educated that they will sympathize with the aged and afflicted, and will seek to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and distressed. They should be taught to be diligent in missionary work; and from their earliest years, self-denial and sacrifice for the good of others and the advancement of Christ's cause should be inculcated, that they may be laborers together with God. But if they ever learn to do genuine missionary work for others, they must first learn to labor for those at home, who have a natural right to their offices of love.—Testimonies for the Church 6:429.Our households must be set in order, and earnest efforts must be made to interest every member of the family in missionary enterprises. We must seek to engage the sympathies of our children in earnest work for the unsaved, that they may do their best at all times and in all places to represent Christ.—The Review and Herald, July 4, 1893.
The Record of the Angel
If married men go into the work, leaving their wives to care for the children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work as the husband and father. Although one is in the mission field, the other is a home missionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. Her work is a solemn and important one,—to mold the minds and fashion the characters of her children, to train them for usefulness here, and fit them for the future, immortal life. The husband in the open missionary field may receive the honors of men, while the home toiler may receive no earthly credit for her labor. But if she works for the best interest of her family, seeking to fashion their characters after the divine Model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world. God does not see things as man's finite vision views them.—Testimonies for the Church 5:594.
Children to Share Spiritual and Physical Burdens
All can do something. In an effort to excuse themselves, some say, “My home duties, my children, claim my time and my means.” Parents, your children should be your helping hand, increasing your power and ability to work for the Master. Children are the younger members of the Lord's family. They should be led to consecrate themselves to God, whose they are by creation and by redemption. They should be taught that all their powers of body, mind, and soul are His. They should be trained to help in various lines of unselfish service. Do not allow your children to be hindrances. With you the children should share spiritual as well as physical burdens. By helping others they increase their own happiness and usefulness.—Testimonies for the Church 7:63.
Far-reaching Influence of the Home
A well-ordered Christian household is a powerful argument in favor of the reality of the Christian religion,—an argument that the infidel cannot gainsay. All can see that there is an influence at work in the family that affects the children, and that the God of Abraham is with them. If the homes of professed Christians had a right religious mold, they would exert a mighty influence for good. They would indeed be the “light of the world.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 144.The mission of the home extends beyond its own members. The Christian home is to be an object lesson, illustrating the excellence of the true principles of life. Such an illustration will be a power for good in the world. Far more powerful than any sermon that can be preached is the influence of a true home upon human hearts and lives. As the youth go out from such a home, the lessons they have learned are imparted. Nobler principles of life are introduced into other households, and an uplifting influence works in the community.—The Ministry of Healing, 352.The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as nothing else can; for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart.—Testimonies for the Church 4:304.God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family in heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character and for the advancement of His work.—Testimonies for the Church 6:430.Our sphere of influence may seem narrow, our ability small, our opportunities few, our acquirements limited; yet wonderful possibilities are ours through a faithful use of the opportunities of our own homes. If we will open our hearts and homes to the divine principles of life, we shall become channels for currents of life-giving power. From our homes will flow streams of healing, bringing life, and beauty, and fruitfulness where now are barrenness and dearth.—The Ministry of Healing, 355.
Choosing the Household Banner
I saw Satan planting his banner in the households of those who profess to be God's chosen ones; but those who are walking in the light should be able to discern the difference between the black banner of the adversary and the blood-stained standard of Christ.—Testimonies for the Church 4:200.
The Importance of the Family Altar
You who profess to love God, take Jesus with you wherever you go; and, like the patriarchs of old, erect an altar to the Lord wherever you pitch your tent. A reformation in this respect is needed,—a reformation that shall be deep and broad.—Testimonies for the Church 5:320, 321.Satan makes every effort to lead people away from God; and he is successful in his purpose when the religious life is drowned in business cares, when he can so absorb their minds in business that they will not take time to read their Bibles, to pray in secret, and to keep the offering of praise and thanksgiving burning on the altar of sacrifice morning and evening.—Testimonies for the Church 5:426.Let the family worship be made pleasant and interesting.—Testimonies for the Church 5:335.They [children] should be taught to respect the hour of prayer; they should be required to rise in the morning so as to be present at family worship.—Testimonies for the Church 5:424.Children need to have religion made attractive, not repulsive. The hour of family worship should be made the happiest hour of the day. Let the reading of the Scriptures be well chosen and simple; let the children join in singing; and let the prayers be short, and right to the point.—The Southern Watchman, June 13, 1905 (The Review and Herald, March 18, 1902).At the family board and the family altar the guests are made welcome. The season of prayer makes its impression on those who receive entertainment, and even one visit may mean the saving of a soul from death. For this work the Lord makes a reckoning, saying, “I will repay.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:347.Children should be taught to respect and reverence the hour of prayer. Before leaving the house for labor, all the family should be called together, and the father, or the mother in the father's absence, should plead fervently with God to keep them through the day. Come in humility, with a heart full of tenderness, and with a sense of the temptations and dangers before yourselves and your children; by faith bind them upon the altar, entreating for them the care of the Lord. Ministering angels will guard children who are thus dedicated to God. It is the duty of Christian parents, morning and evening, by earnest prayer and persevering faith, to make a hedge about their children. They should patiently instruct them,—kindly and untiringly teach them how to live in order to please God.—Testimonies for the Church 1:397-398.Abraham, “the friend of God,” set us a worthy example. His was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside it was set up his altar, calling all within his encampment to the morning and the evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. In following years, there were those among the roving Canaanites who received instruction from Abraham; and whenever one of these came to that altar, he knew who had been there before him; and when he had pitched his tent, he repaired the altar, and there worshiped the living God.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 128.
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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.