Believe His Prophets

Weekly Spirit of Prophecy Reading

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More Required of Us Than of Our Fathers

Greater light shines upon us than shone upon our fathers. We cannot be accepted or honored of God in rendering the same service, or doing the same works, that our fathers did. In order to be accepted and blessed of God as they were, we must imitate their faithfulness and zeal,—improve our light as they improved theirs, and do as they would have done had they lived in our day. We must walk in the light which shines upon us, otherwise that light will become darkness.—Testimonies for the Church 1:262.

An Appeal to the Slothful Church

It is a mystery that there are not hundreds at work where now there is but one. The heavenly universe is astonished at the apathy, the coldness, the listlessness of those who profess to be sons and daughters of God. In the truth there is a living power.—Testimonies for the Church 9:42.We can never be saved in indolence and inactivity. There is no such thing as a truly converted person living a helpless, useless life. It is not possible for us to drift into heaven. No sluggard can enter there.... Those who refuse to co-operate with God on earth, would not co-operate with Him in heaven. It would not be safe to take them to heaven.—Christ's Object Lessons, 280.All heaven is looking with intense interest upon the church, to see what her individual members are doing to enlighten those who are in darkness.—The Review and Herald, February 27, 1894.You should solemnly consider that you are dealing with the great God, and should ever remember that He is not a child to be trifled with. You cannot engage in His service at will, and let it alone at pleasure.—Testimonies for the Church 2:221.Heavenly intelligences have been waiting to co-operate with human agencies, but we have not discerned their presence.—Testimonies for the Church 6:297.Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you.—Testimonies for the Church 9:46, 47.Many, many are approaching the day of God doing nothing, shunning responsibilities, and as the result they are religious dwarfs. So far as work for God is concerned, the pages of their life history present a mournful blank. They are trees in the garden of God, but only cumberers of the ground, darkening with their unproductive boughs the ground which fruit-bearing trees might have occupied.—The Review and Herald, May 22, 1888.There is danger for those who do little or nothing for Christ. The grace of God will not long abide in the soul of him who, having great privileges and opportunities, remains silent.—The Review and Herald, August 22, 1899.There is no time to sleep now,—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. We are granted the blessed privilege of gathering sheaves in the great harvest; and every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer. Who is eager to lay off the armor when by pushing the battle a little longer he will achieve new victories and gather new trophies for eternity?—The Review and Herald, October 25, 1881.The heavenly messengers are doing their work; but what are we doing? Brethren and sisters, God calls upon you to redeem the time. Draw nigh to God. Stir up the gift that is within you. Let those who have had the opportunity to become familiar with the reasons of our faith, now use this knowledge to some purpose.—Historical Sketches, 288.How can you who repeat the Lord's prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” sit at ease in your homes without helping to carry the torch of truth to others? How can you lift up your hands before God and ask His blessing upon yourselves and your families, when you are doing so little to help others?—Historical Sketches, 288.There are among us those who, if they would take time to consider, would regard their do-nothing position as a sinful neglect of their God-given talents. Brethren and sisters, your Redeemer and all the holy angels are grieved at your hardness of heart. Christ gave His own life to save souls, and yet you who have known His love make so little effort to impart the blessings of His grace to those for whom He died. Such indifference and neglect of duty is an amazement to the angels. In the judgment you must meet the souls you have neglected. In that great day you will be self-convicted and self-condemned. May the Lord lead you now to repentance. May He forgive His people for neglecting the work in His vineyard which He has given them to do.—Testimonies for the Church 6:425, 426.What can we say to the slothful church member to make him realize the necessity of unearthing his talent and putting it out to the exchangers? There will be no idler, no slothful one, found inside the kingdom of heaven. Oh, that God would set this matter in all its importance before the sleeping churches! Oh, that Zion would arise and put on her beautiful garments! Oh, that she would shine!—Testimonies for the Church 6:434.There is work to be done for those who know not the truth, just such work as was done for you when you were in darkness. It is too late to sleep, too late to become indolent do-nothings. To every one the Householder has given a work. Let us go forward, and not backward. We want a new conversion daily. We want the love of Jesus throbbing in our hearts, that we may be instrumental in saving many souls.—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.The Lord Jesus requires that every soul who claims to be a son or daughter of God, should not only depart from all iniquity, but be abundant in acts of charity, self-denial, and humility. The Lord has presented the working of a certain law of mind and action, that should warn us in regard to our work. He says: “Whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Those who do not improve upon their opportunities, who do not exercise the grace that God gives them, have less inclination to do so, and finally in a sleepy lethargy, lose that which they once possessed. They make no provision for the future time of need in gaining a large experience, in obtaining an increased knowledge of divine things, so that when trial and temptation come upon them, they may be able to stand. When persecution or temptation comes, this class lose their courage and faith, and their foundation is swept away, because they did not see the need of making their foundation sure. They did not rivet their souls to the eternal Rock.—The Review and Herald, March 27, 1894.How terrible it will be in the last great day to find that those with whom we have been familiarly associated are separated from us forever; to see the members of our families, perhaps our own children, unsaved; to find those who have visited our homes, and eaten at our tables, among the lost. Then we shall ask ourselves the question, Was it because of my impatience, my un-Christlike disposition; was it because self was not under control, that the religion of Christ became distasteful to them?The world must be warned of the soon coming of the Lord. We have but a little time in which to work. Years have passed into eternity that might have been improved in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and in diffusing the light to others. God now calls upon His people who have great light and are established in the truth, having had much labor bestowed upon them, to work for themselves and for others as they have never done before. Make use of every ability; bring into exercise every power, every intrusted talent; use all the light that God has given you to do others good. Do not try to become preachers, but become ministers for God.—The Southern Watchman, June 20, 1905 (The Review and Herald, March 18, 1902).

Forceful Illustrations

Divine love has been stirred to its unfathomable depths for the sake of men, and angels marvel to behold in the recipients of so great love a mere surface gratitude. Angels marvel at man's shallow appreciation of the love of God. Heaven stands indignant at the neglect shown to the souls of men. Would we know how Christ regards it? How would a father and mother feel, did they know that their child, lost in the cold and the snow, had been passed by, and left to perish, by those who might have saved it? Would they not be terribly grieved, wildly indignant? Would they not denounce those murderers with wrath hot as their tears, intense as their love? The sufferings of every man are the sufferings of God's child, and those who reach out no helping hand to their perishing fellow beings provoke His righteous anger.—The Desire of Ages, 825.I have read of a man who, journeying on a winter's day through the deep, drifted snow, became benumbed by the cold which was almost imperceptibly stealing away his vital powers. And as he was nearly chilled to death by the embrace of the frost king, and about to give up the struggle for life, he heard the moans of a brother traveler, who was perishing with cold as he was about to perish. His humility was aroused to rescue him. He chafed the ice-clad limbs of the unfortunate man, and, after considerable effort, raised him to his feet; and as he could not stand, he bore him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never succeed in getting through alone. And when he had borne his fellow traveler to a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he had saved himself also. His earnest efforts to save another quickened the blood which was freezing in his own veins, and created a healthful warmth in the extremities of the body. These lessons must be forced upon young believers continually, not only be precept, but by example, that in their Christian experience they may realize similar results.—Testimonies for the Church 4:319, 320.You are not to shut yourselves up to yourselves, and be content because you have been blessed with a knowledge of the truth. Who brought the truth to you? Who showed the light of the Word of God to you? God has not given you His light to be placed under a bushel. I have read of an expedition that was sent out in search of Sir John Franklin. Brave men left their homes, and wandered about in the North Seas, suffering privation, hunger, cold, and distress. And what was it all for?—Merely for the honor of discovering the dead bodies of the explorers, or, if possible, to rescue some of the party from the terrible death that must surely come upon them, unless help should reach them in time. If they could but save one man from perishing, they would count their suffering well paid for. This was done at the sacrifice of all their comfort and happiness.Think of this, and then consider how little we are willing to sacrifice for the salvation of the precious souls around us. We are not compelled to go away from home, on a long and tedious journey, to save the life of a perishing mortal. At our very doors, all about us, on every side, there are souls to be saved, souls perishing,—men and women dying without hope, without God,—and yet we feel unconcerned, virtually saying by our actions, if not by our words, “Am I my brother's keeper?” These men who lost their lives in trying to save others are eulogized by the world as heroes and martyrs. How should we who have the prospect of eternal life before us feel, if we do not make the little sacrifices that God requires of us, for the salvation of the souls of men?—The Review and Herald, August 14, 1888.In a town in New England a well was being dug. When the work was nearly finished, while one man was still at the bottom, the earth caved in and buried him. Instantly the alarm was sent out, and mechanics, farmers, merchants, lawyers, hurried breathlessly to the rescue. Ropes, ladders, spades, and shovels were brought by eager, willing hands. “Save him, O save him!” was the cry.Men worked with desperate energy, till the sweat stood in beads upon their brows and their arms trembled with the exertion. At length a pipe was thrust down, through which they shouted to the man to answer if he were still alive. The response came, “Alive, but make haste. It is fearful in here.” With a shout of joy they renewed their efforts, and at last he was reached and saved, and the cheer that went up seemed to pierce the very heavens. “He is saved!” echoed through every street in the town.Was this too great zeal and interest, too great enthusiasm, to save one man? It surely was not; but what is the loss of temporal life in comparison with the loss of a soul? If the threatened loss of a life will arouse in human hearts a feeling so intense, should not the loss of a soul arouse even deeper solicitude in men who claim to realize the danger of those apart from Christ? Shall not the servants of God show as great zeal in laboring for the salvation of souls as was shown for the life of that one man buried in a well?—Gospel Workers, 31, 32.

Profession vs. Expression

Every important truth received into the heart must find expression in the life. It is in proportion to the reception of the love of Christ that men desire to proclaim its power to others; and the very act of proclaiming it, deepens and intensifies its value to their own souls.—The Review and Herald, February 19, 1889.Our faith should be prolific of good works; for faith without works is dead.—Testimonies for the Church 4:145.All who receive the gospel message into the heart will long to proclaim it. The heaven-born love of Christ must find expression.—Christ's Object Lessons, 125.We are to praise God by tangible service, by doing all in our power to advance the glory of His name.—Christ's Object Lessons, 300.Our faith at this time must not stop with an assent to, or belief in, the theory of the third angel's message. We must have the oil of the grace of Christ that will feed the lamp, and cause the light of life to shine forth, showing the way to those who are in darkness.—Testimonies for the Church 9:155.Your spiritual strength and blessing will be proportionate to the labor of love and the good works which you perform.—Testimonies for the Church 3:526.Very much more might be done for Christ if all who have the light of truth would practice the truth.—Testimonies for the Church 9:40.I was shown that as a people we are deficient. Our works are not in accordance with our faith. Our faith testifies that we are living under the proclamation of the most solemn and important message that was ever given to mortals. Yet in full view of this fact, our efforts, our zeal, our spirit of self-sacrifice, do not compare with the character of the work. We should awake from the dead, and Christ will give us life.—Testimonies for the Church 2:114.Go forth in faith, and proclaim the truth as if you believed it. Let those for whom you labor see that to you it is indeed a living reality.—Testimonies for the Church 9:42.A Christlike life is the most powerful argument that can be advanced in favor of Christianity.—Testimonies for the Church 9:21.There are many who profess the name of Christ whose hearts are not engaged in His service. They have simply arrayed themselves in a profession of godliness, and by this very act they have made greater their condemnation, and have become more deceptive and more successful agents of Satan in the ruin of souls.—The Review and Herald, March 27, 1888.Those who are watching for the Lord, are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lord's household “their portion of meat in due season.” They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable. As Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ's servants now give the special warning for their generation.—The Desire of Ages, 634.Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it, are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.—The Desire of Ages, 239.It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.—Christ's Object Lessons, 69.Christians should arouse themselves, and take up their neglected duties; for the salvation of their own souls depends upon their individual efforts.—The Review and Herald, August 23, 1881.True worship consists in working together with Christ. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881.Let the individual members of the church take up their appointed work of diffusing as well as receiving light. Not one is excusable in being an idler in the Lord's vineyard.—The Review and Herald, February 19, 1889.The doing principle is the fruit that Christ requires us to bear; doing deeds of benevolence, speaking kind words, and manifesting tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881.The Samaritan woman who talked with Jesus at Jacob's well had no sooner found the Saviour than she brought others to Him. She proved herself a more effective missionary than His own disciples. The disciples saw nothing in Samaria to indicate that it was an encouraging field. Their thoughts were fixed upon a great work to be done in the future. They did not see that right around them was a harvest to be gathered. But through the woman whom they despised a whole city full were brought to hear Jesus. She carried the light at once to her countrymen. This woman represents the working of a practical faith in Christ.—The Ministry of Healing, 102.Seventh-day Adventists are making progress, doubling their numbers, establishing missions, and unfurling the banner of truth in the dark places of the earth; and yet the work moves far more slowly than God would have it. [Why?] The members of the church are not individually aroused to put forth the earnest effort they are capable of making, and every branch of the work is crippled by the lack of fervent piety, and devoted, humble, God-fearing laborers. Where are the soldiers of the cross of Christ? Let the God-fearing, the honest, the single-hearted, who look steadfastly to the glory of God, prepare themselves for the battle against error. There are too many faint, cowardly hearts in this hour of spiritual conflict. O that out of weakness they may be made strong, and wax valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens!—Historical Sketches, 290.It is a universal principle that whenever one refuses to use his God-given powers, these powers decay and perish. Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue.—The Acts of the Apostles, 206.Nothing will give bone and sinew to your piety like working to advance the cause you profess to love, instead of binding it.—Testimonies for the Church 4:236.Those 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.—Steps to Christ, 80, 81.


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