“Honorable In Motive And Action” 08/08

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.

Principle, right, honesty, should ever be cherished. Honesty will not tarry where policy is harbored. They will never agree; one is of Baal, the other of God. The Master requires His servants to be honorable in motive and action…. Those who choose honesty as their companion will embody it in all their acts. To a large class, these men are not pleasing, but to God they are beautiful.

Satan is working to crowd himself in everywhere. He would put asunder very friends. There are men who are ever talking and gossiping and bearing false witness, who sow the seeds of discord and engender strife. Heaven looks upon this class as Satan’s most efficient servants. But the man who is injured is in a far less dangerous position than when fawned upon and extolled for a few of his efforts which appear successful. The commendation of apparent friends is more dangerous than reproach.

Every man who praises himself brushes the luster from his best efforts. A truly noble character will not stoop to resent the false accusations of enemies; every word spoken falls harmless, for it strengthens that which it cannot overthrow. The Lord would have His people closely united with Himself, the God of patience and love. All should manifest in their lives the love of Christ. Let none venture to belittle the reputation or the position of another; this is egotism….

Never speak disparagingly of any man, for he may be great in the sight of the Lord, while those who feel great may be lightly esteemed of God because of the perversity of their hearts. Our only safety is to lie low at the foot of the cross, be little in our own eyes, and trust in God; for He alone has power to make us great….

The judgment and ability of all are needed now. Every man’s work is of sufficient importance to demand that it be performed with care and fidelity. One man cannot do the work of all. Each has his respective place and his special work, and each should realize that the manner in which his work is done must stand the test of the judgment.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

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“Reaching The Height Of Christian Perfection” 08/06

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20.

If you make God your strength, you may, under the most discouraging circumstances, attain a height and breadth of Christian perfection which you hardly think it possible to reach. Your thoughts may be elevated, you may have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, and purposes of action which shall raise you above all sordid motives.

Both thought and action will be necessary if you would attain to perfection of character. While brought in contact with the world, you should be on your guard that you do not seek too ardently for the applause of men and live for their opinion…. Cultivate the grace of humility, and hang your helpless souls upon Christ…. In the midst of confusion and temptation in the worldly crowd you may, with perfect sweetness, keep the independence of the soul.

If you are in daily communion with God you will learn to place His estimate upon men, and the obligations resting upon you to bless suffering humanity will meet with a willing response. You are not your own; your Lord has sacred claims upon your supreme affections and the very highest services of your life. He has a right to use you, in your body and in your spirit, to the fullest extent of your capabilities, for His own honor and glory. Whatever crosses you may be required to bear, … you are to accept without a murmur….

Many are without God and without hope in the world. They are guilty, corrupt, and degraded, enslaved by Satan’s devices. Yet these are the ones whom Christ came from heaven to redeem. They are subjects for tenderest pity, sympathy, and tireless effort; for they are on the verge of ruin. They suffer from ungratified desires, disordered passions, and the condemnation of their own consciences; they are miserable in every sense of the word, for they are losing their hold on this life and have no prospect for the life to come.

You have an important field of labor, and you should be active and vigilant, rendering cheerful and unqualified obedience to the Master’s calls.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Beware Of Man-Made Tests” 05/19

Beware … of evil workers…. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:2, 3.

There are those who need in their hearts the touch of the divine Spirit. Then the message for this time will be their burden. They will not search for human tests, for something new and strange. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the test for this time.

The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time…. The time is coming when all those who worship God will be distinguished by this sign. They will be known as the servants of God, by this mark of their allegiance to Heaven. But all man-made tests will divert the mind from the great and important doctrines that constitute the present truth.

It is the desire and plan of Satan to bring in among us those who will go to great extremes—people of narrow minds, who are critical and sharp, and very tenacious in holding their own conceptions of what the truth means. They will be exacting, and will seek to enforce rigorous duties, and go to great lengths in matters of minor importance, while they neglect the weightier matters of the law—judgment and mercy and the love of God. Through the work of a few of this class of persons, the whole body of Sabbathkeepers will be designated as bigoted … and fanatical….

God has a special work for the men of experience to do. They are to guard the cause of God. They are to see that the work of God is not committed to men who feel it their privilege to move out on their own independent judgment, to preach whatever they please, and to be responsible to no one for their instructions or work. Let this spirit of self-sufficiency once rule in our midst, and there will be no harmony of action, no unity of spirit, no safety for the work, and no healthful growth in the cause….Christ prayed that His followers might be one as He and the Father were one. Those who desire to see this prayer answered, should seek to discourage the slightest tendency to division, and try to keep the spirit of unity and love among brethren.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Prejudice On The Increase” 05/14

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:13, 14.

He who is closely connected with Christ is lifted above the prejudice of color or caste. His faith takes hold of eternal realities. The divine Author of truth is to be uplifted. Our hearts are to be filled with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The work of the good Samaritan is the example that we are to follow.

It will be impossible to adjust all matters regarding the color question in accordance with the Lord’s order until those who believe the truth are so closely united with Christ that they are one with Him. Both the white and the colored members of our churches need to be converted. There are some of both classes who are unreasonable, and when the color question is agitated, they manifest unsanctified, unconverted traits of character. Quarrelsome elements are easily aroused in those who, because they have never learned to wear the yoke of Christ, are opinionated and obstinate. In such, self clamors with an unsanctified determination for the supremacy.

As time advances, and race prejudices increase, it will become almost impossible, in many places, for white workers to labor for the colored people. Sometimes the white people who are not in sympathy with our work will unite with colored people to oppose it, claiming that our teaching is an effort to break up churches and bring in trouble over the Sabbath question. White ministers and colored ministers will make false statements, arousing in the minds of the people such a feeling of antagonism that they will be ready to destroy and to kill.

The powers of hell are working with all their ingenuity to prevent the proclamation of the last message of mercy among the colored people. Satan is working to make it most difficult for the gospel minister and teacher to ignore the prejudice that exists between the white and the colored people.

Let us follow the course of wisdom. Let us do nothing that will unnecessarily arouse opposition—nothing that will hinder the proclamation of the gospel message.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Motivated By Love” 04/03

And this commandment we have from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 1 John 4:21.

Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother…. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance….

Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good….

The glory of heaven is in lifting up the fallen, comforting the distressed…. No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste is recognized by God…. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It lifts out of Satan’s circle the poor souls who have been deluded by his deceptions. It places them within reach of the throne of God, the throne encircled by the rainbow of promise….

Christ is seeking to uplift all who will be lifted to companionship with Himself, that we may be one with Him as He is one with the Father. He permits us to come in contact with suffering and calamity in order to call us out of our selfishness; He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character—compassion, tenderness, and love….

“If thou wilt keep my charge,” the Lord declares, “I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by”—even among the angels that surround His throne. (Zechariah 3:7.) By cooperating with heavenly beings in their work on earth, we are preparing for their companionship in heaven.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White