Bands for Christian Service
There are many lines in which the youth can find opportunity for helpful effort. As they organize into bands for Christian service, their co-operation will prove an assistance and encouragement. Parents and teachers, by taking an interest in the work of the young people, will be able to give them the benefit of their own larger experience, and can help to make their efforts effective for good.
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In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to give his message. Many of these may have had little opportunity for education; but Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to fulfil his purpose. If they put their hearts into the work, and continue to be learners, he will fit them to labor for him.
With such preparation as they can gain, thousands upon thousands of the youth and those older in years should be giving themselves to the work. Already many hearts are responding to the call of the Master Worker, and their numbers will increase.
All who engage in ministry are God’s helping hand. There is no line of work in which it is possible for the youth to receive greater benefit. They are co-workers with the angels; rather, they are human agencies through whom the angels accomplish their mission. Angels speak through their voices, and work by their hands. And the human workers, cooperating with heavenly agencies, have the benefit of their education and experience. As a means of education, what “university course” can equal this? With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the world!
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He who puts on the armor to war a good warfare will gain greater and still greater ability as he strives to perfect his knowledge of God, working in harmony with the plan God has laid down for the perfect development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
Youth to Gain Knowledge
Young men and young women, gather a stock of knowledge. Do not wait until some human examination pronounces you competent to work; but go out into the highways and hedges, and begin to work for God. Use wisely the knowledge you have. Exercise your ability with faithfulness, generously imparting the light that God gives you. Study how best to give to others light, and peace, and truth, and the many other rich blessings of heaven. Constantly improve. Keep reaching higher and still higher. It is the ability to put to the test the powers of mind and body, ever keeping eternal realities in view, that is of value now. Seek the Lord most earnestly, that you may become more and more refined, more spiritually cultured. Then you will have the very best diploma that any one can have,—the indorsement of God.
However large, however small, your talents, remember that what you have is yours only in trust. Thus God is testing you, giving you an opportunity to prove yourself true. To him you are indebted for all your capabilities. To him belong your powers of body, mind, and soul, and for him these powers are to be used. Your time, your influence, your capabilities, your skill,—all must be accounted for to him who gives all. He uses his gifts best who seeks by earnest endeavor to carry out the Lord’s great plan for the uplifting of humanity, remembering always that he must be a learner, as well as a teacher.
Every church is in need of the controlling power of the Holy Spirit; and now is the time to pray for it. But in all God’s work for man, he plans that man shall co-operate with him. To this end the Lord calls upon the church to have a higher piety, a more just sense of duty, a clearer realization of their obligations to their Creator. He calls upon them to be a pure, sanctified, working people. The Christian Help work is one means of bringing this about; for the Holy Spirit communicates with all who are doing God’s service.
Medical Missionary Work Combined with Gospel Work
To those who have been engaged in this work, I would say, Continue to work with tact and ability. Combine medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel’s message. A new element needs to be brought into the work. God’s people must realize their great need, and take up the work that lies nearest them.
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With those who engage in this work, speaking words in season and out of season, helping the needy, telling them of the wonderful love of Christ for them, the Saviour is always present, impressing the hearts of the poor and miserable and wretched. When the church accepts its God-given work, the promise is,
Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
Christ is our righteousness. He goes before us in this work, and the glory of the Lord follows.
The youth who aim to labor in the Master’s vineyard must be as apprentices who are to learn a trade. They must learn to be useful in the work by doing errands for the Lord, improving opportunities for missionary labor anywhere and in any capacity. Thus they may give evidence that they possess tact and qualifications for the greatest work ever entrusted to men. They should be continually improving in mind, in manners, in speech, learning how to become successful laborers. They should cultivate tact and courtesy, and manifest the spirit of Christ. Onward and upward should be their constant endeavor.
He who is seeking to qualify himself for the sacred work of God, should be careful not to place himself on the enemy’s ground, but should choose the society of those who will help him to obtain divine knowledge. So far as it is consistent, we should shun every influence that would tend to divert the mind from the work of God. Especially should those who are young in faith and experience beware that they do not in self-confidence place themselves in the way of temptation. Those who take hold of the work aright will feel the necessity of having Jesus with them at every step.
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Connection with God Vital
Be careful to maintain the elevated character of the missionary work. Let all connected with missions be constantly inquiring, “What am I? and what ought I to be and do?” Let all consider that they can not give to others what they do not possess themselves; therefore they should not settle down content with their natural ways and habits, seeking to make no change for the better. Paul says that he had not attained; but, he adds, “I press toward the mark.” There must be constant reformation, unceasing advancement, if we would perfect a symmetrical character.
All who become efficient workers must give much time to prayer. The communication between God and the soul must be kept open, that the workers may recognize the voice of their Captain. The Bible should be diligently studied. The truth of God, like gold, is not always lying right on the surface; it is to be obtained only by earnest thought and study. This study will not only store the mind with most valuable knowledge, but will strengthen and expand the mental powers, and it will develop a true estimate of eternal things. Let the divine precepts be brought into the daily life; let the life be fashioned after God’s great standard of righteousness, and the whole character will be strengthened and ennobled.
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He who has appointed “to every man his work,” according to his ability, will never let the faithful performance of duty go unrewarded. Every act of loyalty and faith will be crowned with special tokens of God’s favor and approbation. To every worker is given the promise,
He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Mrs. E. G. White