Those who are called of God to labor in word and doctrine should ever be learners in the school of Christ. They will never be in a condition where they will have no need of greater knowledge, where it will not be necessary for them to search for evidences of truth. There will be need of constant improvement, that as far as possible the workers for God may be ensamples to the flock, and do good to the souls that are brought under their influence. Those who do not feel the importance of going on from strength to strength, will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
All heaven is interested in the work that is going on in the earth today. The angels look with interest upon those who are honored in having a part to act as co-laborers with God. When the servants of Christ have a realizing sense of the presence of One who is mighty to save, they will be filled with gratitude to God for the power of his grace, and they will make advancement in the divine life. The worker with God will have humble views of self as he thinks of the opportunities that have been wasted, and he will become more devoted in his service to the Master. Those who dedicate their all to Christ will learn how to win souls; for they will have a close connection with the Redeemer of the world.
The ministers of God are not to be content to remain in ignorance of the deep things of his word. Many do not make any progress in attaining knowledge; they are slothful servants, who do not realize the importance of the truth for this time. They fall easily under temptation, and are content to meet a low standard. They are not self-sacrificing, because they have not the spirit of Christ. They do not become more and more efficient in the work, because they do not become more and more intelligent in the Scriptures of truth. They do not seek to place themselves in harmony with the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, where he is making an atonement for his people. While Christ is cleansing the sanctuary, the worshipers on earth should carefully review their life, and compare their character with the standard of righteousness. As they see their defects, they should seek the aid of the Spirit of God to enable them to have moral strength to resist the temptations of Satan, and to reach the perfection of the standard. They may be victors over the very temptations which seemed too strong for humanity to bear; for the divine power will be combined with their human effort, and Satan cannot overcome them.
All heaven has been looking on with interest, ready to do whatever God might appoint, to help fallen men and women to become what God would have them. God will work for his children, but not without their co-operation. They must have indomitable energy, and a constant desire to become all that it is possible for them to be. They should seek to cultivate their powers and develop characters that will be meet for a holy heaven. Then and then only will the servants of God be bright and shining lights in the world. Then they will bring energy into their Christian life, for they will put all their powers to the task, and respond to the efforts that have been made to uplift, refine, and purify them, that they may shine in the courts above. They will bring all their powers under the control of the Spirit of God; they will study his word, and listen for his voice, to direct, encourage, strengthen, and advance them in their religious experience. They will not be childish and be turned aside by the temptations of Satan. They will deny themselves, not appealing to their own sympathies, for they will be of a heroic spirit. They will hoard up the great and precious truths of God’s word; they will feed upon them, and grow into strong, well-developed men and women in Christ, sons and daughters of God. The greatness of the truth which they contemplate will expand the mind and elevate the character. They will not be novices in the understanding of God’s word, nor dwarfs in religious experience. Conflict with the enemies of truth will not shatter them nor weaken their energies; it will only serve to drive them nearer to Him who is mighty to save. They will receive the discipline that will give efficiency to all their faculties. Heaven will be brought near to them in sympathy and co-operation, and they will be indeed a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men; for they will be marked characters on account of their purity, their strength of purpose, their firmness, their usefulness in the world.
Those who are finally victorious will have seasons of terrible perplexity and trial in their religious life; but they must not cast away their confidence, for this is a part of their discipline in the School of Christ, and it is essential in order that all dross may be purged away. The servant of God must endure with fortitude the attacks of the enemy, his grievous taunts, and must overcome the obstacles which Satan will place in his way. Satan will seek to discourage the followers of Christ, so that they may not pray or study the Scriptures, and he will throw his hateful shadow athwart the path to hide Jesus from the view, to shut away the vision of his love, and the glories of the heavenly inheritance. It is his delight to cause the children of God to go shrinkingly, tremblingly, and painfully along, under continual doubt. He seeks to make the pathway as sorrowful as possible; but if you keep looking up, not down at your difficulties, you will not faint in the way, you will soon see Jesus reaching his hand to help you, and you will only have to give him your hand in simple confidence, and let him lead you. As you become trustful, you will become hopeful.
Jesus is the light of the world, and you are to fashion your life after his. You will find help in Christ to form a strong, symmetrical, beautiful character. Satan cannot make of none effect the light shining forth from such a character. The Lord has a work for each of us to do. He does not provide that we shall be sustained by the influence of human praise and petting; he means that every soul shall stand in the strength of the Lord. God has given us his best gift, even his only begotten Son, to uplift, ennoble and fit us, by putting on us his own perfection of character, for a home in his kingdom. Jesus came to our world and lived as he expects his followers to live. If we are self-indulgent, and too lazy to put forth earnest effort to co-operate with the wonderful work of God, we shall meet with loss in this life, and loss in the future, immortal life.
God designs that we shall work, not in a despairing manner, but with strong faith and hope. As we search the Scriptures, and are enlightened to behold the wonderful condescension of the Father in giving Jesus to the world, that all who believe on him should not perish but have everlasting life, we should rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Everything that can be gained by education, God means we shall use for the advancement of the truth. True, vital godliness must be reflected from the life and character, that the cross of Christ may be lifted up before the world, and the value of the soul be revealed in the light of the cross. Our minds must be opened to understand the Scriptures, that we may gain spiritual power by feeding upon the bread of heaven.1White, Ellen Gould. “Constant Improvement Required.” Review and Herald 8 Apr. 1890: n. pag. Ellen G. White Writings. Web.
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|1.||↑||White, Ellen Gould. “Constant Improvement Required.” Review and Herald 8 Apr. 1890: n. pag. Ellen G. White Writings. Web.|