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Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)

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    Manner of Labor

    Christ as a Teacher

    When Jesus spoke, it was not with hesitating uncertainty; his words came with an earnestness and assurance appropriate to their importance and the momentous consequences involved in their reception or rejection. When his doctrines were opposed, he defended them with so great zeal and certainty as to impress his hearers that he would die, if need be, to sustain the authority of his teachings.GW92 260.1


    The world's Redeemer went about doing good. When before the people, speaking to them the words of eternal truth, with what earnestness he watched the changing countenances of his hearers. The faces that expressed deep interest and pleasure as they listened to his words, gave him great satisfaction. But when the truth, plainly uttered, touched some cherished sin or idol, he marked the change of countenance, the cold, stern, forbidding look, which told that the truth was unwelcome. Jesus knew that the plain reproof of sin was the very thing his hearers needed; and the light he shed into the darkened chambers of their minds would have been the greatest blessing to them, had they accepted it. His work was to lay down in simple lines, yet so as to be clearly understood, truths that if obeyed would bring peace and happiness to the soul. He could look beneath the surface, and he saw the cherished sins that were ruining the life and character, that were shutting souls away from God. He pointed out these sins, that all might see them in the true light, and put them away. In some who presented the most hardened exterior, he discerned hopeful subjects. He knew that they would respond to the light, and that they would become his true followers. How grateful we should be to God that he can read every heart as an open book. Human wisdom casts aside many souls that might be saved; for man can judge only by appearance, but God knoweth the heart.GW92 260.2

    As the arrows of truth pierced the hearts of Christ's hearers, breaking through the barriers of selfishness, and working humiliation, contrition, and finally gratitude, the Saviour's heart was made glad; for it was just such cases that he came to seek and to save. When his eyes swept over the throng of listeners about him, and he recognized among them the same faces that he had seen on former occasions, joy was expressed in his countenance, that they were hopeful subjects of his kingdom.GW92 261.1

    The messengers of Christ, those whom he sends in his stead, will have the same feelings, the same earnest interest. And those who are tempted to think that their labor is not appreciated, and are inclined to be discouraged, should remember that Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, had just as hard hearts to deal with, and he had a more trying experience than we have had or ever can have. He taught the people with patient love, and his deep, searching wisdom knew the wants of every soul among his listeners. And when he saw them refuse the message of peace and love he came to give them, his heart felt anguish to the very depths.GW92 261.2


    Our Saviour awed men by his purity and elevated morality, while his love and gentle benignity inspired them with enthusiasm. The poorest and humblest were not afraid to approach him; even little children were attracted to him. They loved to climb upon his lap and to kiss that pensive face, benignant with love. This loving tenderness you need. You should cultivate love. [From a Personal Testimony.] Expressions of sympathy, and acts of courtesy and respect for others, would not detract from your dignity one particle, but would open to you many hearts that are now closed against you.GW92 261.3

    Christ was just what every minister should strive to be. We should learn to imitate his character, and combine strict justice, purity, integrity, love, and noble generosity. A pleasant face in which love is reflected, with kind and courteous manners, will do more, aside from pulpit efforts, than labor in the desk can do without these. It becomes us to cultivate a deference to other people's judgment, when, to a greater or less extent, we are absolutely dependent upon them. We should cultivate true Christian courtesy and tender sympathy, even for the roughest, hardest cases of humanity. Jesus came from the pure courts of heaven to save just such.—Testimonies for the Church 3:422.GW92 261.4


    Sinners should have a clear impression given them of the nearness and willingness of Christ to give them present salvation. A Saviour should be presented before the people, while the heart of the speaker should be subdued and imbued with his Spirit. The very tones of the voice, the look, the words, should possess an irresistible power to move hearts and control minds. Jesus should be found in the heart of the minister. If Jesus is in the words and in the tones of the voice, if they are mellow with his tender love, it will prove a blessing of more value than all the riches, pleasures, and glories of the earth; for such blessings will not come and go without accomplishing a work. Convictions will be deepened, impressions will be made, and the question will be raised, “What shall I do to be saved?”—Testimonies for the Church 3:32.GW92 262.1


    Ministers need to have a more clear, simple manner of presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. They themselves need to comprehend more fully the great plan of salvation. There are many among their hearers who want a plain, clear explanation of the steps requisite in conversion. The great masses of the people are more ignorant on this point than many suppose. Among graduates of colleges, eloquent orators, able statesmen, men in high positions of trust, there are many who have given their powers to other matters, and have neglected the things of greatest importance. When such men form a part of the congregation, the speaker generally strains every power to preach an intellectual discourse; he chooses a subject that will have in it as little of the simplicity of true Bible religion and heart service to God as possible. He does not preach Christ. He does not show that sin is the transgression of the law. He seldom makes plain the plan of salvation. He seldom tells what one must do to be saved. That which would have touched the hearts of the hearers would have been to show them Christ upon the cross of Calvary to bring redemption within their reach. They need to be taught as children how to make Jesus their friend, how to bring him into their life-work.GW92 262.2


    Some ministers make a mistake in the preparation of their discourses. They arrange every minutia with such exactness that they give the Lord no room to lead and impress their minds. Every point is fixed, stereotyped as it were, and they cannot depart from the plan marked out. This course, if continued, will cause them to become narrow-minded, circumscribed in their views, and will soon leave them as destitute of life and energy as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. They must throw the soul open, and let the Holy Spirit take possession to impress the mind. When everything is laid out beforehand, and they feel that they cannot vary from these set discourses, the effect is little better than that produced by reading a sermon.GW92 263.1

    God would have his ministers wholly dependent upon him, but at the same time they should be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. No subject can be treated before all congregations in the same manner. The Spirit of God, if allowed to do its work, will impress the mind with ideas adapted to meet the cases of those who need help. But the tame, formal discourses of many who enter the desk have very little of the vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit in them. The habit of preaching such discourses will effectually destroy a minister's usefulness and ability....GW92 263.2

    God's watchmen must not study how they shall please the people nor listen to their words and utter them; but they must listen to hear what saith the Lord, what is his word for the people. If they rely upon discourses prepared years before, they may fail to meet the necessities of the occasion. Their hearts should be laid open, so that the Lord may impress their minds, and then they will be able to give the people the precious truth warm from heaven.—Testimonies for the Church 5:252.GW92 264.1


    I have heard some ministers talk of Christ's life and teachings, in a commonplace manner, as though recounting the incidents in the life of some great man of the world. Indeed, it is not unusual for ministers in their discourses to treat of Christ as though he were a man like themselves. When I hear this sacred subject treated in such a manner, I feel a grief that I cannot express; for I know that although these men are teachers of the truth, they have never had exalted views of Christ; they have never become acquainted with him and learned of him. They have not that elevation of thought which would give them a clear conception of the divine character of the world's Redeemer.GW92 264.2

    The ministers of Christ, who bear the message of truth to men, will never become self-sufficient or self-exalted if they have correct views of the character and work of Christ, the author of man's salvation. The unworthiness, weakness, and inefficiency of their own efforts, in contrast with those of the Son of God, will make them humble, distrustful of self, and will lead them to rely upon Christ for strength and efficiency in their work. Habitually dwelling upon Christ, his exalted character, and the all-sufficient merits of his sacrifice, increases faith, sharpens the imaginative powers, strengthens the longing desire to be like him, and creates holy earnestness in prayer that makes it efficacious.GW92 264.3

    Silent Prayer

    According to the light that has been given me, it would be pleasing to God for ministers to bow down as soon as they step into the pulpit, and solemnly ask help from God. What impression would that make? There would be solemnity and awe upon the people. Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon the people, and angels of God are brought very near. Ministers should look to God the first thing as they come into the desk, thus saying to all, God is the source of my strength—Testimonies for the Church 2:613.GW92 265.1


    Many who profess to be ministers of Christ manifest a wonderful submission as they see the unconverted all around them going to perdition. A minister of Christ has no right to be at ease, and sit down submissively, in view of the fact that the truth is powerless, and souls are not stirred by its presentation. He should resort to prayer, and should work and pray without ceasing. Those who submit to remain destitute of spiritual blessings, without earnest wrestling for those blessings, consent to have Satan triumph.GW92 265.2


    You who labor in the cause of God and see no souls brought to the knowledge of the truth, no churches raised up and organized, should change your manner of labor. You should fast and pray. You should lay the matter before your brethren, and solicit their counsel and prayers, lest you be self-deceived, and, what is more, deceive others also.GW92 265.3

    Our Need of the Holy Spirit

    The efficiency of a discourse depends on the application of the truth to the heart by the Spirit of God. When Elijah sought God in the mountains, a devouring fire swept by; but God was not in the flame. A tempest rose, the thunder rolled, and the lightnings flashed; but God was not in all this. Then there came a still, small voice, and the prophet covered his head before the presence of the Lord. It is the still, small voice of the Spirit of God that has power to convict and convert the soul.GW92 266.1


    When the theory of the truth is repeated without its sacred influence being felt upon the soul of the speaker, it has no force upon the hearers, but is rejected as error, the speaker making himself responsible for the loss of souls.—Testimonies for the Church 4:441.GW92 266.2


    In order to be a blessing to your people, you need to improve in many things. [From a Personal Testimony.] You should cultivate courtesy, and cherish a tender sympathy for all. You should have the crowning grace of God, which is love. You criticise too much, and are not so forbearing as you must be if you would win souls. You could have much more influence if you were less formal and rigid, and were actuated more by the Holy Spirit. Your fear of being led by men is too great. God uses men as his instruments, and will use them as long as the world shall stand.GW92 266.3

    The angels who fell were anxious to become independent of God. They were very beautiful, very glorious, but dependent on God for their happiness, and for the light and intelligence they enjoyed. They fell from their high estate through insubordination. Christ and his church are inseparable. To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to lead out, and to bear the responsibilities connected with his work and with the advancement and spread of the truth, is to reject the means which God has ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of his people. To pass these by, and think that your light must come through no other channel than directly from God, places you in a position where you are liable to deception, and to be overthrown....GW92 266.4

    You frequently talk too long when you do not have the vitalizing influence of the Spirit of heaven. You weary those who hear you. Many make a mistake in their preaching, in not stopping while the interest is up. They go on speechifying until the interest that had risen in the minds of the hearers dies out, and the people are really wearied with words of no special weight or interest. Stop before you get here. Stop when you have nothing of special importance to say. Do not go on with dry words that only excite prejudice and do not soften the heart. You want to be so united to Christ that your words will melt and burn their way to the soul. Mere prosy talk is insufficient for this time. Arguments are good; but there may be too much of the argumentative, and too little of the Spirit and life of God.GW92 267.1

    Without the special power of God to work with your efforts, your spirit subdued and humbled in God, your hearts softened, your words flowing from a heart of love, your labors will be wearing to yourself, and not productive of blessed results. There is a point which the minister of Christ reaches, beyond which human knowledge and skill are powerless. We are struggling with giant errors, and evils which we are impotent to remedy, or to arouse the people to see and understand; for we cannot change the heart. We cannot quicken the soul to discern the sinfulness of sin, and to feel the need of a Saviour. But if our labors bear the impress of the Spirit of God, if a higher, a divine power attends our efforts to sow the gospel seed, we shall see fruits of our labor to the glory of God. He alone can water the seed sown.—Testimonies for the Church 3:418.GW92 267.2

    Small Congregations

    Do not become discouraged or slacken your efforts when there are only a few to listen to a discourse. Even if there are but two or three, or no more than one, how do you know but that there may be one soul with whom the Spirit of God is striving? The Lord may give you a message for that soul, and he, if converted, may be the means of reaching many others. The results of your labor may, all unknown to you, be multiplied a thousand-fold. Do not look at the empty seats, and let your faith and courage sink, but think of what God is doing, in bringing his truth before the world. Remember that you are co-operating with divine agencies,—agencies that can never fail. Speak with as much earnestness, faith, and interest, as if there were thousands present to listen to your words.GW92 268.1


    In England a minister went to his church to preach one rainy morning, and found that he had only one man for audience. But he would not disappoint his hearer, and he preached to him with earnestness and interest. As a result the man was converted, and became a missionary, and through his efforts thousands heard the good news of salvation. One discourse did the work for him, and he gathered abundantly for the Master.GW92 268.2

    Health Reform

    One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform, as it stands connected with the third angel's message, as a part of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth.—Testimonies for the Church 1:469.GW92 268.3

    Gifts and Offerings

    I saw that the cause of God is not to be carried forward by pressed offerings. God does not accept such offerings. This matter is to be left wholly to the people. They are not to bring a yearly gift merely, but should also freely present a weekly and monthly offering before the Lord. This work is left to the people, for it is to be to them a weekly, monthly, living test. This tithing system, I saw, would develop character, and manifest the true state of the heart....GW92 268.4

    Ministers should not be severe, and draw upon any one man, and press means from him. If he does not give just as much as another thinks he should, they are not to denounce him and throw him overboard. They should be as patient and forbearing as the angels are. They should work in union with Jesus. Christ and angels are watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. The Lord bears long with his erring people. The truth will be brought to bear closer and closer, and will cut off one idol after another, until God reigns supreme in the hearts of his consecrated people. I saw that God's people must bring to him a free-will offering; and the responsibility should be left wholly upon the individual, whether he will give much or little. It will be faithfully recorded. Give the people of God time to develop character.GW92 269.1

    Ministers of God should bear the pointed testimony. The living truths of his word should be brought to bear upon the heart.—Testimonies for the Church 1:237.GW92 269.2


    Never should the laborer who raises up little companies here and there give the impression to those newly come to the faith, that God does not require them to work systematically in helping to sustain the cause by their personal labors and by their means. Frequently those who receive the truth are among the poor of this world; but they should not make this an excuse for neglecting those duties which devolve upon them in view of the precious light they have received. They should not allow poverty to prevent them from laying up a treasure in heaven. The blessings within reach of the rich are also within their reach. If they are faithful in using what little they do possess, their treasure in heaven will increase according to their fidelity. It is the motive with which they work, not the amount they do, that makes their offering valuable in the sight of Heaven.GW92 269.3

    All should be taught to do what they can for the Master; to render to him according as he has prospered them. He claims as his just due a tenth of their income, be it large or small; and those who withhold this, commit robbery toward him, and cannot expect his prospering hand to be with them. Even if the church is composed mostly of poor brethren, the subject of systematic benevolence should be thoroughly explained, and the plan heartily adopted. God is able to fulfill his promises. His resources are infinite, and he employs them all in accomplishing his will. And when he sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithe, he often, in his wise providence, opens ways whereby it shall increase.GW92 270.1

    He who follows God's arrangement in the little that has been given him will receive the same returns as he who bestows of his abundance. The same is true also of those who cheerfully employ their talents of ability in the cause of God, while those who fail to improve that which has been given them will incur the same loss as though that little had been much. It was the man who had only one talent, but who went and hid that talent in the earth, that received the condemnation of the Lord.GW92 270.2


    I saw that those who profess to be looking for the coming of the Lord should not have a close, penurious spirit. Some of those who have been called to talk the truth, and to watch for souls as they that must give an account, have wasted much precious time for the sake of saving a little, when their time was worth a great deal more than that which they gained. This is displeasing to God. It is right that economy should be used, but it has by some been stretched into meanness, with no other object than to increase their treasures, which will shortly eat their flesh like fire, unless they, as faithful stewards, make a right disposal of their Lord's goods.—Testimonies for the Church 1:153.GW92 270.3

    Respect of Persons

    Ministers should not use flattery or be respecters of persons. There ever has been, and still is, great danger of erring here, of making a little difference with the wealthy, of flattering them by special attention, if not by words. There is danger of “having men's persons in admiration” [Jude 16.] for the sake of gain, but if one does this, he endangers their eternal interests. Some wealthy man may regard the minister as a special favorite, and may be very liberal with him; this gratifies the minister, and he, in turn, lavishes praise upon the benevolence of his donor. His name may be exalted by appearing in print, and yet, that liberal donor may be entirely unworthy of the credit given him. His liberality did not arise from a deep, living principle to do good with his means, to advance the cause of God because he appreciated it, but from some selfish motive, a desire to be thought liberal. He may have given from impulse, and his liberality have no depth of principle. He may have been moved upon by listening to stirring truth, which for the time being loosed his purse-strings; yet, after all, his liberality has no deeper motive. He gives by spasms; his purse opens spasmodically, and closes just as securely, spasmodically. He deserves no commendation, for he is in every sense of the word a stingy man; and unless thoroughly converted, purse and all, will hear the withering denunciation, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.” [James 5:1, 2.] Such will awake at last from a horrible self-deception. Those who praised their spasmodic liberalities helped Satan to deceive them, and made them think that they were very liberal, very sacrificing, when they knew not the first principles of liberality or self-sacrifice.—Testimonies for the Church 1:475.GW92 271.1


    The truth should be presented in a manner that will make it attractive to the intelligent mind. We are not understood as a people, but are looked upon as poor, weak-minded, low, and degraded. Then how important for all who teach, and all who believe the truth, to be so affected by its sanctifying influence that their consistent, elevated lives shall show unbelievers that they have been deceived in this people. How important that the cause of truth be stripped of everything like a false and fanatical excitement, that the truth may stand upon its own merits, revealing its native purity and exalted character.—Testimonies for the Church 1:414.GW92 272.1


    The minister should never lose sight of the fact that he is a representative of Christ. He should cultivate grace, courtesy, and refinement of manner. Both in and out of the pulpit he should carry himself with a quiet dignity becoming his elevated calling. Solemnity, a certain godly authority, mingled with meekness, should characterize the demeanor of him who is a teacher of God's truth. Ministers should not make a practice of relating anecdotes that will detract from the force and solemnity of the truth presented. The truth should be clothed in chaste and dignified language; and the illustrations should be of a like character.GW92 272.2

    How to Deal with Faultfinders

    There are in our churches those who profess the truth who are only hindrances to the work of reform. This class are frequently in trial. Doubts, jealousies, and suspicion, the fruits of selfishness, seem to be interwoven with their very nature. They are a burden to the church and to the ministers of Christ. Much of the time and labor of the ministers is required to undo their work of evil, and restore harmony and union in the church. This takes from the courage and strength of God's servants, and unfits them for the work that he has for them to do in saving perishing souls from ruin.GW92 272.3

    Many that are drifting into darkness and infidelity are picking flaws with the Bible, and bringing in superstitious inventions, unscriptural doctrines, and philosophical speculations; others excite trifling inquiries and disputations, which call off the servants of God from their work, causing them to waste their time and lose their labor. Those who permit themselves to be thus hindered are giving place to Satan, and surrounding their own souls with an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief. While doing this, they might have been bringing gold, silver, and precious stones to lay upon the foundation. The ministers of Christ should not allow themselves to be thus hindered in their work. There will be enough to question, and quibble, and criticise, to keep the ministers of God constantly busy, if they will allow themselves to be detained from the great work of giving the last message of warning to the world.GW92 273.1

    Brethren, pull away from the shore, launch out into the deep, and cast the gospel net again. In this important period of the work, ministers cannot be detained to prop up men and women who see and have once felt the force of the truth. They should fasten believing Christians to Christ, who is able to hold them up and preserve them blameless unto his appearing, while they go forth to new fields of labor.GW92 273.2

    Order and Discipline

    While the Bible teaching in regard to faith and sanctification should be presented to the people, there is need of guarding every point, so that no place may be given to those demoralizing influences manifest among some classes of people who have much to say in regard to holiness. There are many who are careless in deportment, and low and coarse in their tastes, who grasp at a superficial theory of sanctification, and justify themselves in their commonness, when they should diligently seek to purify themselves by obedience to the truth. They talk of the freedom they feel, the happiness they have; but by their words, deportment, and dress, they fail to recommend their religion. Camp-meetings should never be conducted in such a manner as to encourage this kind of experience. To encourage an unbecoming familiarity in the association of men and women, boys and girls, under the pretext of seeking conversion and sanctification, is to foster an evil whose influence is of the worst character. Christ and his righteousness must be clearly presented to the people; the teacher himself must be circumspect in conduct, having his conversation elevated and holy, that he may teach believers and unbelievers the reasons of his faith from both the law and the gospel. He must show to all that they must do the will of God if they would know of the doctrine.GW92 273.3


    “Be instant in season, out of season.” [2 Timothy 4:2.] To be “instant in season,” is to be alert to the privileges of the house and hour of worship and to the time when men are conversing on the topics of religion. And “out of season,” when you are at the fireside, in the field, by the way-side, in the market, seek to be ready to turn the thoughts of men, in a suitable and wise manner, to the great themes of the Bible. With tender and fervent spirit urge the claims of God upon the soul. Many, many precious opportunities are allowed to slip by unimproved, because men are persuaded that it is out of season. But who knows what might be the effect of a wise appeal to the conscience, by using the word of God that will accomplish that for which God has given it? It is written, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” [Ecclesiastes 11:6.] He who is sowing seeds of eternal truth may bear a burdened heart, and send up prayers with supplication and tears, but he will come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.GW92 274.1


    There are in the ministry, men who gain apparent success by swaying minds through a human influence. They play upon the feelings at will, making their hearers weep, and in a few minutes laugh. Under this kind of labor, many are moved by impulse to a profession of Christ, and there is thought to be a wonderful revival. But when the test comes, it is seen that the work is not enduring. When the feelings were stirred, many were borne along by the tide that seemed to be setting heavenward. But in the strong current of temptation they quickly float back as driftwood. The laborer is self-deceived, and thus he misleads his hearers.GW92 275.1


    When ministers have success in moving upon minds, if they are conscious that God has wrought with their efforts they will not become self-sufficient and boastful. They will walk as they have Christ for an example. Satan will not let them alone; he will assail them with temptation, and unless with humility and prayer they are continually seeking for divine guidance, they will be overcome.GW92 275.2

    Danger of Applause

    I have been shown that great caution should be used, even when it is necessary to lift a burden of oppression from men and women, lest they lean to their own wisdom, and fail to make God their only dependence. It is not safe to speak in praise of persons, or to exalt the ability of a minister of Christ. In the day of God, very many will be weighed in the balance and found wanting because of exaltation. I would warn my brethren and sisters never to flatter persons because of their ability; for they cannot bear it. Self is easily exalted, and in consequence, persons lose their balance. I say again to my brethren and sisters, If you would have your souls clean from the blood of all men, never flatter, never praise the efforts of poor mortals; for it may prove their ruin. It is unsafe, by our words and actions, to exalt a brother or sister, however apparently humble may be their deportment. If they really possess the meek and lowly spirit which God so highly esteems, help them to retain it. This will not be done by censuring them, nor by neglecting to properly appreciate their true worth. But there are few who can bear praise without being injured.GW92 275.3

    Some ministers of ability who are now preaching present truth, love approbation. Applause stimulates them, as the glass of wine does the inebriate. Place these ministers where they have a small congregation, which promises no special excitement, and which provokes no decided opposition, and they will lose their interest and zeal, and appear as languid in the work as the inebriate when he is deprived of his dram. These men will fail to make real, practical laborers until they learn to labor without the excitement of applause.—Testimonies for the Church 3:185.GW92 276.1


    A minister of Christ, a teacher of the truth, a true shepherd, is in one sense a servant of all, anticipating the wants of those who need help, and knowing how to be useful here and there in the great work of saving souls. A man who professes to teach the truth, and goes just where he pleases, and works when and how he pleases, yet shuns responsibilities, is not bearing the cross after Christ, nor fulfilling the commission of a true gospel minister.—Testimonies for the Church 2:650.GW92 276.2


    Some of our ministers carry too light responsibilities, they shun individual care and burdens; for this reason they do not feel that need of help from God that they would if they lifted the burdens that the work of God and our faith require them to lift. When burdens in this cause have to be borne, and when those who bear them are brought into strait places, they will feel the need of living near to God, that they may have confidence to commit their ways to him, and in faith claim that help which he alone can give. They will then be daily obtaining an experience in faith and trust, which is of the highest value to gospel ministers.—Testimonies for the Church 3:234.GW92 277.1

    The Shepherd's Work

    A true shepherd will have an interest in all that relates to the welfare of the flock, feeding, guiding, and defending them. He will carry himself with great wisdom, and will manifest a tender consideration for all, being courteous and compassionate to all, especially to the tempted, the afflicted, and the desponding.... “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”GW92 277.2

    It is not the work of a gospel minister to lord it over God's heritage, but in lowliness of mind, with gentleness and long forbearance to exhort, reprove, rebuke, with all long-suffering and doctrine.—Testimonies for the Church 3:228.GW92 277.3


    I was shown that the usefulness of young ministers, married or unmarried, is often destroyed by the attachment shown to them by young women. Such do not realize that other eyes are upon them, and that the course pursued by them may have a tendency to very much injure the influence of the minister to whom they give so much attention. If they would strictly regard the rules of propriety, it would be much better for them, and much better for their minister. It places him in a disagreeable position, and causes others to look upon him in a wrong light. Yet I saw that the burden of the matter rests upon the ministers themselves. They should show a distaste for these things, and if they take the course which God would have them, they will not long be troubled. They should shun every appearance of evil, and when young women are very sociable, it is their duty to let them know that it is not pleasing. They must repulse this forwardness, even if they are thought to be rude. Such things should be rebuked, in order to save the cause from reproach. Young women who have been converted to the truth and to God, will listen to reproof, and will be reformed.—Testimonies for the Church 1:381.GW92 278.1

    Labor for the Young

    Very much has been lost to the cause of God by a lack of attention to the young. Ministers should form an acquaintance with the youth in their congregations. Many are reluctant to do this, but their neglect is a sin in the sight of Heaven. There are among us many who are not ignorant of our faith, yet whose hearts have never been touched by the power of divine grace. Can we who claim to be servants of God pass on day after day, week after week, indifferent to these souls who are out of Christ? If they should die in their sins, unwarned, their blood would be required at the unfaithful watchman's hands.GW92 278.2

    Why should not this labor for the youth in our borders be regarded as the highest kind of missionary work? It will require the most delicate tact, the most thoughtful consideration, the most earnest prayer that heavenly wisdom may be imparted. The youth are the objects of Satan's special attacks; but kindness, courtesy, that tender sympathy that flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will give you access to them. You may win their confidence, so that they will listen to your words, and thus be saved from many a snare of the enemy.GW92 279.1

    When the youth give their hearts to God, your care for them should not cease. Lay some special responsibility upon them. Make them feel that they are expected to do something. The Lord chooses them because they are strong. Teach them to labor in a quiet, unpretending way, for their young companions. Let different branches of the missionary work be laid out systematically, and let instruction and help be given, so that the young may learn to act a part. Thus they will grow up to be workers for God.GW92 279.2

    The Testimonies

    There should be no trial, or labor with those who have never seen the individual having visions, and who have had no personal knowledge of the influence of the visions. Such should not be deprived of the benefits and privileges of the church, if their Christian course is otherwise correct, and they have formed a good Christian character.GW92 279.3

    Some, I was shown, could receive the published visions, judging of the tree by its fruits. Others are like doubting Thomas; they cannot believe the published Testimonies, nor receive evidence through the testimony of others, but must see and have the evidence for themselves. Such must not be set aside, but long patience and brotherly love should be exercised toward them until they find their position and become established for or against. If they fight against the visions, of which they have no knowledge; if they carry their opposition so far as to oppose that in which they have had no experience, and feel annoyed when those who believe that the visions are of God speak of them in meeting and comfort themselves with the instruction given through vision, the church may know that they are not right. God's people should not cringe and yield, and give up their liberty to such disaffected ones. God has placed the gifts in the church that the church may be benefited by them; and when professed believers in the truth oppose these gifts and fight against the visions, souls are in danger through their influence, and it is time then to labor with them, that the weak may not be led astray by their influence.—Testimonies for the Church 1:328.GW92 279.4


    Some of our brethren have had long experience in the truth, and have for years been acquainted with me and with the influence of the visions. They have tested the truthfulness of these testimonies, and asserted their belief in them. They have felt the powerful influence of the Spirit of God resting upon them to witness to the truthfulness of the visions. If such, when reproved through vision, rise up against them, and work secretly to injure our influence, they should be faithfully dealt with, for their influence is endangering those who lack experience.—Testimonies for the Church 1:382.GW92 280.1

    The Joy of the Lord

    As their reward the faithful under-shepherds will hear from the Chief Shepherd, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He will then place the crown of glory upon their heads, and bid them enter into the joy of their Lord. What is that joy?—It is beholding with Christ the redeemed saints, reviewing with him their travail for souls, their self-denial and self-sacrifice, their giving up of ease, of worldly gain, and every earthly inducement, and choosing the reproach, the suffering, the self-abasement, the wearing labor, and the anguish of spirit as men would oppose the counsel of God against their own souls; it is calling to remembrance the chastening of their souls before God, their weeping between the porch and the altar, and their becoming a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. All this is then ended, and the fruits of their labors are seen, souls are saved through their efforts in Christ. The ministers who have been co-workers with Christ, enter into the joy of their Lord, and are satisfied.—Testimonies for the Church 2:709.GW92 280.2

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