August 5, 2014

Spirit of Prophecy

From every human being there goes forth an influence that either gathers with Christ or scatters from Him. Our every action, our every word, exerts an influence either for good or for ill. This influence affects the eternal destiny of those with whom we associate. Influence and example, when viewed in the light of the cross and in their true relation to eternity, assume infinite importance. A word fitly spoken, an action rightly done, may save a soul from death. Day by day the example we set and the influence we exert are registered in the records going beforehand to judgment.

The child of God must never forget that he is only part of the whole. He is only a thread in the web of humanity. Everything he does makes an impression on his character, and influences others. The letters that are written sow the seeds either of tares or of wheat. Our thoughts, our words, the spirit in which we perform our daily duties—all act their part in the formation of character. . . .

It is the duty of every Christian to show himself a true follower of Jesus, loving the truth for the truth’s sake, hating every species of impurity, willingly denying self for Christ’s sake. The poorest man in this world is rich as long as he preserves his integrity of character. The one who is victorious in life’s battle is he who gives himself earnestly and unreservedly to God. The life of such a one is a constant confession of Christ. He who refuses to live for self-pleasing, who will not abate his efforts to live the truth, no matter what difficulties he may meet, walks the earth as a nobleman in his Master’s sight. He is constantly doing and saying something to prepare himself and others for the future life. He has the mind of Christ, and in private and public life his light shines with clear, steady rays.

Judicious conversation exerts an influence which is a power for good. But often those who talk much do little deep, earnest thinking, little real work for the Master. Often they neglect those who have little to make life happy, in order to talk about what should be done for the needy and unfortunate. They think that by talking they can make up for their deficiency. They talk, but they fail to show by their actions that they are directed by the Spirit of God. To such the angels of God would say, Not words, but deeds. The daily life tells much more than any number of words. A uniform cheerfulness, tender kindness, Christian benevolence, patience and love, will melt away prejudice, and open the heart to the reception of the truth. It is the doers of the word who are justified before God.

God requires us to put ourselves into His hands without reserve, to obey His directions implicitly. When we take the Lord as our counselor, when we follow Him, placing body, soul, and spirit under His control, we can work as Christ worked. Those who make Christ a personal Savior, seeking Him most earnestly in prayer, are enabled by His grace to live true, noble lives. They work in a way which Heaven approves. By unselfish actions they reveal the character of Christ. They realize that they cannot afford to lose sight of Christ; for by so doing they give unbelievers an occasion to cast reproach upon the truth.

We are to be courteous to all men, tenderhearted, and sympathetic; for this was the character manifested by Christ when He was upon this earth. The more closely we are united to Christ, the more tender and affectionate we shall be in dealing with one another. The redemption of the fallen race was planned in order that man might be a partaker of the divine nature. When by the grace of Christ we become partakers of this nature, our influence on those around us will be a savor of life unto life. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we shall be a blessing to all with whom we come in contact.

This article was drawn from one by the author that first appeared in the August 2, 1900, edition of The Youth’s Instructor, Seventh-day Adventism’s earliest journal for youth and young adults. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.