The work of God is a straightforward, sensible, loving work, and belief of the truth for this time should lead to a straightforward, sensible, loving experience in God's people. Truth must be received and practised in every opportunity given us for doing good. We are to treat the great subjects of eternal interest as all-important. We are to urge the truth for this time on those who know it not, saying, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve," while we pray that the Lord will bring conviction and conversion to their hearts. In this work the Holy Spirit is to be our sanctifier and our efficiency. The assurance of success is ours, because of the provision made by Christ. We shall meet with obstacles and difficulties; bitter and relentless will be our enemies; but as we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that his going forth is prepared as the morning. Christ's presence is promised to us in our labors. "Lo, I am with you alway," he says, "even unto the end of the world." In his presence there is fulness of joy; at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
The Lord is true to all the terms of salvation. He longs to work for his people. "The Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." This work will be done through the agency of those who are truly the Lord's, and who are standing on vantage-ground.
The Lord has pledged himself to make his name a praise in the earth. What power he has promised to all who will work in co-operation with heaven! The three highest powers in the universe are pledged to labor with those who will seek to save the lost. God wants his people to claim his promised help for the accomplishment of his work in the world. "Harken unto me, my people;" he declares; "and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust."
In a special manner truth is adapted to the necessities of every human heart. As the children of God comprehend the ability of the Lord to supply their needs, they will reach out to meet the needs of the souls who are perishing in sin. God will accept all who will exercise faith in him and become doers of his word.
Christ labored untiringly to accomplish the great work that he came to the world to do. His desire to save the lost race was manifest on all occasions. He went about doing good. It was his mission to help those in need, to seek the lost, to lift up the bowed down, to heal the sick, to speak words of sympathy and consolation to the sorrowing and the distressed. His heart was ever touched with human woe. How earnestly he worked for sinners! And how constant were his efforts to prepare his disciples to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth!
Christ placed himself on the altar of service a living sacrifice. Should we, his disciples, spare ourselves? In these days when there is so great a work to be done, unceasing activity is called for. Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Many are far from Christ, wandering in the wilderness of sin. They are strangers from the covenant of promise; and the Lord is coming soon. Already the judgments of God are in the land. Shall we let the unwarned multitudes go down into darkness and death without a preparation for the future life?
The testimony comes to every believer at this time, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality."
It is not learned men, not eloquent men, who are so much needed now, but humble men, who in the school of Christ have learned to be meek and lowly, who will go forth into the highways and hedges to give the invitation, "Come; for all things are now ready." Those who beg at midnight for loaves for hungry souls will be successful.
It is a law of heaven that as we receive we are to impart. The Christian is to be a benefit to others; thus he himself is benefited. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself." This is not merely a promise. It is a law of God's divine administration, a law by which he designs that the streams of beneficence shall be kept, like the waters of the great deep, in constant circulation, perpetually flowing back to their source. In the fulfilling of this law is the power of Christian missions.
God calls for whole-hearted, sympathizing, liberal, unselfish men, for nobility of dealing. He will not tolerate selfishness. Christ's servants are to have his spirit; they are to be lifted far above all littleness and cheapness of thought or action. They are to lay hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Human hands may never have been laid on them in ordinance; but there is One who will give them a fitness for the work, if they will ask in faith. I entreat of you to ask and to receive the Holy Spirit. This Spirit can be received only by those who are consecrated, who deny self, lifting the cross and following after the Lord. We have only a little longer time in which to prepare for eternity. May the Lord open the closed eyes of his people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may comprehend the great truths of the gospel--the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.
The whole body of believers needs to be vitalized by the Holy Spirit of God. We should study, plan, economize, and set in operation every means possible whereby we may reach and bless suffering and ignorant humanity. The light which God has given to us as a people is not given that we may treasure it among ourselves. We are to act in harmony with the great commission given to every disciple of Christ, to carry to all the world the light of truth. The human family is God's heritage. "Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price," the apostle declares. When this great truth is realized by believers, the affections of the heart and the powers of the being will co-operate to render to God the highest service.