August 21, 2014

Spirit of Prophecy

God has manifested His love in ministry. In Him all unselfish ministry has its origin. Our Father in heaven is constantly engaged in upholding the things which He has created. . . . Each heartbeat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life. . . . The great and infinite God lives not unto Himself, but for the benefit and blessing of every being and every object of His creation.

Satan’s principle is self-serving. This principle he attributed to God, misrepresenting His character to the world. And he led man to accept the principle of selfishness. He caused him to believe that in serving himself he would find happiness. By the Son of God this principle was to be demonstrated as false. By Him the Father was to be rightly represented. . . .

That His people might not be misled by the selfishness which dwells in the natural heart. . . . Christ Himself set an example of true service. His whole life on earth was spent in ministering to others. . . . He made every case of need and sorrow His own. . . . He cast out the evil spirits that possessed both mind and body. The power of love was in all His healing, and of the suffering multitudes that were brought to Him, it was said, “He healed them all.”

[The Savior] saw symptoms of a deeper illness. The sufferings of the body excited His pity, but He was moved to still greater pity by the need of the soul. With a love that never faltered, Christ spoke to men the words of eternal life. . . . Men marveled at His teaching, and said, “Never man spake like this man.” To the weary and sin-burdened He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” . . . By His life of obedience and ministry, Christ represented the character of God. . . .

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Before He ascended to heaven, Christ gave His disciples the promise, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth. . . .”

To those who in faith claimed this promise it was speedily fulfilled. After Christ’s ascension the disciples were gathered together . . . in one place. Ten days they spent in heart-searching and self-examination. . . . Then the way was prepared for the Holy Spirit to enter the cleansed, consecrated soul-temples. Every heart was filled with the Spirit. . . . What was the result? Thousands were converted in a day. . . . The idolatry that had been mingled with the worship of the people was overthrown. New territory was added to the church of God. Places that had been barren and desolate sounded forth His praise.

The church became a vitalizing power. Believers, themselves reconverted, were a living power for God and for His kingdom. . . . One interest prevailed, one subject of emulation swallowed up all others—to be like Christ, to do the works of Christ. The earnest zeal felt was expressed in kindly helpfulness, in kindly looks, and brotherly love. All strove to see who could do the most for the enlargement of Christ’s kingdom.

Laborers Together With God

This ministry is the great need of the church today. . . . To us is offered the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit…. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with the Spirit. When God’s people will believe, . . . the Holy Spirit, in strong, heavenly currents, will be poured upon the church.

All the principalities and powers of the heavenly world are enlisted in the work of ministering for fallen man. Angels are actively engaged in executing God’s plans to bring man back from rebellion to reconciliation with God. With intense earnestness they are cooperating with God to bring to man moral efficiency, that in Christ he may be more than conqueror. . . . Angels that excel in strength . . . stand at His right hand, “all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”

God has manifested His love to men by making them partners with Himself in the work of salvation. . . . “We are labourers together with God,” called to represent Him as ambassadors of love.
. . . To us is committed a work which even the angels cannot do. Man must be the channel to communicate with man.
. . . To us, in a sense that angels cannot know, it is given to unite with God in His travail for the salvation of humanity. To us it is given to swell the tide of His joy, and to bring honor and praise to His exalted name.

The Duty of Praise and Testimony

In creation and in redemption, by gift and sacrifice and service, God has manifested His love to us. And He invites us to show our love for Him. He says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” He desires us to appreciate the great plan of redemption, to realize our high privilege as the people of God, and to walk before Him in obedience, with grateful thanksgiving. He desires us to serve Him in newness of life, with gladness every day. He longs to see gratitude welling up in our hearts because we have access to the mercy seat, the throne of grace, because our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, because we may cast all our care on Him who cares for us. He bids us rejoice because we are the heritage of the Lord, because the righteousness of Christ is the white robe of His saints, because we have the blessed hope of the soon coming of our Savior.

To praise God in fullness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. We are to show to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity, and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fullness. Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. . . . Our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service will be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children. Such a testimony will have an influence upon others. No more effective means can we employ for winning souls to Christ.

Louder than Words

And our love is to be shown, not only in words, but in deeds, in personal ministry and sacrifice. Christ says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”. . .

“Go ye into all the world,” He said, “and preach the gospel to every creature.” “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” And by the Holy Spirit, through the apostle Peter, we are admonished, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” . . .

God desires to fulfill for us His purpose of grace. By the power of His love, through obedience, fallen man, a worm of the dust, is to be transformed, fitted to be a member of the heavenly family, a companion, through eternal ages, of God and Christ and the holy angels. Heaven will triumph; for the vacancies made by the fall of Satan and his host will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord.