A Message for Our Time
Giving Jesus our best affections, our holiest aspirations,
and our fullest service
By Ellen G. White
If ever there was a time when we needed faith and spiritual enlightenment, it is now. Those who are watching unto prayer, and are searching the Scriptures daily with an earnest desire to know and do the will of God, will not be led astray by any of the deceptions of Satan….
[The] Lord will help those who stand in defense of His truth. Many who see the light will not accept it, fearing to trust the Lord. Jesus says, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” The great Master Artist has provided the beautiful things in nature…. He has given the delicate tint to the flowers, and if He has done so much for a simple flower, “which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
God’s care for us
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die that He might redeem man from the power of Satan; and will He not care for man, formed in His image? … Our heavenly Father will not leave His children who put their trust in Him, and venture out upon His promises…. He understands every circumstance of our life. He sees and knows how we are situated. He is acquainted with all our sorrows and griefs. He knows us each by name, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for He has been tempted in all points like as we are, and knows how to succor those who are tempted. Jesus is our Helper, and He will have a care for all those who trust in Him.
Building assurance in Him
We must live to please Jesus; by thus living, our faith and confidence in Him will grow stronger day by day.
God has intrusted to us individually talents that are to be increased by use. Reason has been granted us with which to glorify God. In everything we are to show our allegiance to Him. Our powers were not given to us merely to be employed for ourselves. They are to be used to accomplish certain ends, to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. Christian principles must be interwoven with our life and our experience. The life we now live must be by faith on the Son of God. We must live to please Jesus; by thus living, our faith and confidence in Him will grow stronger day by day. We will comprehend what He has done for us, and what He is willing to do for us, and will possess a cheerfulness as well as an earnest desire to do something to show our love for Jesus. Doing will thus become habit. We will not question whether we will obey, but will follow the light, and work the work of Christ. We will not study convenience, nor question whether our temporal interests will be improved if we obey. Those who love Jesus will love to obey all His commandments. They will search the Bible closely to know of the doctrine. Naught but truth will satisfy them, for they are Christ’s representatives on earth.
Christ declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” His followers must be as near like Him as possible. We cannot speak as He spoke, and yet we are to imitate Him; for He is our pattern. We are to erect no false lights, present no heresies for truth. We must know that every position we take can be sustained by the Word of God….
We want the truth on every point. We want it unadulterated with error, and unpolluted by the maxims, customs, and opinions of the world. We want the truth with all its inconvenience. The acceptance of truth ever involves a cross. But Jesus gave His life a sacrifice for us, and shall we not give Him our best affections, our holiest aspirations, our fullest service? Christ’s yoke we must wear, Christ’s burden we must lift; but the Majesty of heaven declares that His yoke is easy and His burden light. Shall we shun the self-denying part of religion? Shall we shun the self-sacrifice, and hesitate to give up the world with all its attractions? Shall we, for whom Christ has done so much, be hearers and not doers of His words? Shall we, by our listless, inactive lives, deny our faith, and make Jesus ashamed to call us His brethren? …
The future victorious
None will enter the Holy City, the Paradise of God, but as conquerors—those who have separated themselves from the world, and stood in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, and have fought the good fight of faith, looking constantly to “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Then let us, like Christ, work unselfishly to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth. Our whole heart, body, soul, and strength, are required in this work; and if we labor with fidelity, irrespective of the applause or censure of the world, we shall hear the “well done” from the Majesty of heaven, and receive the crown, the palm branch of victory, and the white linen which is the righteousness of the saints.
This article is excerpted from one that first appeared in The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,now the Adventist Review, August 25, 1885. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. Whiteexercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.