Active in Word and Deed
Diligence in spreading the gospel is our highest calling.
By Ellen G. White
Our fidelity to Christian principles calls us to active service for God. Those who do not use their talents in the cause and work of God, will have no part with Jesus in His glory. Light is to shine forth from every soul that is a recipient of the grace of God. There are many souls in darkness, but what rest, and ease, and quietude many feel in this matter! …
[I]t is enjoined upon all true followers of Christ to be a light to the world. God has done his part in the great work, and is waiting for the co-operation of his followers. The plan of salvation is fully developed. The blood of Jesus Christ is offered for the sins of the world, the word of God is speaking to man in counsels, in reproofs, in warnings, in promises, and in encouragement, and the efficacy of the Holy Spirit is extended to help him in all his efforts. But with all this light the world is still perishing in darkness, buried in error and sin.
Who will be laborers together with God, to win these souls to the truth? Who will bear to them the good tidings of salvation?
The people whom God has blessed with light and truth are to be the messengers of mercy. Their means are to flow into the divine channel. Their earnest efforts are to be put forth. They are to become laborers together with God, self denying, self-sacrificing, like Jesus, who for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.
Partners With Heaven
Divine and human agencies are combined in the work of saving souls. God has done his part, and Christian activity is needed now. God … expects his people to bear a part in presenting the light of truth to all nations. Who will enter into this partnership with the Lord Jesus Christ? He will prescribe the terms, he will make all the conditions. Has God enlightened you with a knowledge of Himself? Have the treasures of His Word been opened to your understanding, so that you have become intelligent in regard to the truths therein? Then go to work with your ability.
If you are only humble, pure in heart, single in purpose, you will see the needs and wants of God’s cause…. Where there is one laborer there ought to be hundreds receiving every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and giving it to the people as they can bear it. A hundred-fold more might have been done than has been done.
A worldly spirit has prevailed among the professed servants of God, and the souls of men have not been counted of half as much value as their cattle, their farms, and their business. God will hold them accountable for this terrible neglect in the past; but what are they going to do in the future? Will they come into co-operation with our great Benefactor? Will they as men who have had the light of truth, let that light shine forth to those in darkness?
God has honored them with the privilege of being co-laborers with Christ in the great harvest field. Will they thankfully, heartily receive all the advantages God has provided, and diligently improve them by exercise, using every ability and every sacred trust in the service of the Master? Their success in advancement in the divine life depends upon the improvement of the talents lent them. Their future reward will be proportioned to the integrity and earnestness with which they serve the Master.
All the enterprises in temporal, earthly things prosper in proportion to the wisdom, tact, and concentration of powers exercised in acquiring the desired object. Just so must it be in our Christian enterprises. We must work according to God’s Word. There must be wise planning. There must be selection of men and gifts appropriate for the various branches of the work. God’s Word must be our guide as to the conditions that are specified by which we may become laborers together with Christ. The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection of our nature, implanted there by our Heavenly Father for noble ends.
Where the Heart Is
If you ask the capitalist who has directed all his energies to the one object of securing wealth, and who is persevering and industrious to add to his property, with what design he thus labors, he could not give you a reason for this, a definite purpose for which he is gaining earthly treasures and heaping up riches. He cannot define any great aim or purpose he has in view, or any new source of happiness he expects to attain. He goes on accumulating because he has turned all his abilities and all his powers in this direction.
There is within the worldly man a craving for something that he does not have. He has, from force of habit, bent every thought, every purpose in the direction of making provision for the future, and as he grows older, he becomes more eager than ever to acquire all that it is possible to gain….
All this energy, this perseverance, this determination, this industry after earthly power is the result of the perversion of his powers to a wrong object. Every faculty might have been cultivated to the highest possible elevation by exercise, for the heavenly, immortal life, and for the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
The customs and practices of the worldly man in his perseverance and his energies, and in availing himself of every opportunity to add to his store, should be a lesson to those who claim to be children of God, seeking for glory, honor, and immortality. The children of the world are wiser in their generation than the children of the light, and herein is seen their wisdom. Their object is for earthly gain, and to this end they direct all their energies. Oh that this zeal would characterize the toiler for heavenly riches!
This excerpt is from an article written from Basel, Switzerland, that first appeared 100 years ago in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now the Adventist Review;www.adventistreview.org). Seventh-day Adventists believe Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.