Condescension of Christ
By consecrated, personal effort, the youth may accomplish a wonderful work for themselves and others. A faithful reflection of the light of truth in good works and helpful words will result in a continual growth in spiritual knowledge. The heart that is influenced by the love of God to labor for needy souls, will be filled with the sweetness of peace and satisfaction. And the Lord will use such youth to do a great and good work for others. Through them he will represent to the world the ineffaceable characteristics of the divine nature.
The Prince of heaven came to this world to live in human nature a perfect life, a life that would be an example for all human beings. He lived a life free from self-seeking, wholly given to the service of others. Christ came in humility. He was of lowly birth. He might have chosen the highest parentage; for he was the Prince of heaven; but he chose to come in poverty and humiliation. The Owner of the world, he had not where to lay his head. Unrecognized and unhonored, he walked in and out among the people for whom he had done so much. Of himself he said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” And to his followers he says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
The blessings that we daily enjoy cost the life of the Son of God. Does it become us to live for self? I tell you, No. We must be Christlike. In word and deed, we must reveal a deep and abiding love for others.
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The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, … full of grace and truth…. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
All who become the sons and daughters of God are possessed of his nature. They are the objects of his love. They dwell in Christ as Christ dwells in God. Knowing the power of his grace, they are commissioned and qualified to bear the message of salvation to a sinful world, to make known his grace and truth. As they consecrate themselves wholly to God, the grace they impart will be continually renewed to them. Converted to the truth, imbued with the Holy Spirit, they are under the transforming influence of divine grace. The life of self-indulgence they once lived becomes changed to a life of service.
We may understand something of our responsibilities to God, but would that we all might be brought into right relation to him. God desires above everything else that we shall love him and keep his commandments, and be happy in his love. He has given us his precious Word that we might live by it. When Christ has done so much for us, should we not show our appreciation of his love? There is a world to be saved. Shall we sit down contentedly in our homes, enjoying the privileges of church fellowship, and yet feel no burden for those who know not the truth? We have a duty to do in helping these to understand the truth for this time. The work of the Lord is to be carried in meekness and lowliness of heart. As God’s children we are to have a part in this work, taking him as our helper.
The Gospel to Change the Life
The angels of God are sent forth as ministering spirits to watch the interests of the churches, and to guard and help those souls who are in special need of help and strength. In this work of ministry, God desires to use all who are humble in spirit. But unless we are fitted for service by sanctification through the truth, we shall spoil the pattern that is to reveal to men and women about us the design of heaven. The Spirit must bear witness with our spirit that we are coworkers with Christ, and that we are acting as his messengers. Only as we become partakers of the divine nature can we show that we are bound for a better country, and are only pilgrims and strangers here. If we will take hold of the work of God intelligently, angels of God will be with us to teach us, to lead us, to bless us. Then our hearts will be filled with a satisfaction that we do not dream of while we are careless and indifferent.
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We are to reveal our faith in our dress. The time and means that are often spent on outward adornment are in God’s sight worse than wasted. The teachings of the gospel are to make us Christians in practise as well as in profession; the truth we hold is to sanctify the soul. Christ bids us seek not that outward adornment, but the adorning of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. It is the spirit of Christ’s righteousness that we so greatly need.
There is need that a reformation in many lines be seen among us. We need to let our influence be felt on the side of self-denial. If we really loved the truth, we would talk the truth; we would pray much, and study the Word of God with diligence. And this would make us living channels through which Christ could convey the message of his love and power to many hearts.
Let us not become aliens from the service of Christ. A work is marked out for us by a heavenly Father’s hand. It is not a work of drudgery, but a work of joyful service, by which the soul may become ennobled and sanctified, the heart cleansed, the will made obedient, and the life an outflowing of the streams of heavenly beneficence and love. It is not an irksome service, but one that will link the soul with God. Though the walk in life may be the lowliest, it may be dignified by the presence of him who says, “I am with you alway;” “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” and be made blessed by the ministration of heavenly beings who are sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation.
We need to study our Bibles, and learn daily lessons at the feet of Christ. The formation of character is an individual, personal work; and in this work of character building, it is the privilege of every youth in the midst of abounding iniquity, to make it manifest that he is humble in heart, that he is imbued with the Spirit of God.
Christ is watching to see what spirit we will bring into our service for him. If we realize this, we shall seek to be reconverted daily. Our influence will grow sweeter, and no trace of the spirit that Satan loves to exercise will be seen in our lives. The blessedness of true religion will be revealed in unselfish, compassionate labor for others.
Mrs. E. G. White