Sabbath, December 11, 2010
“The spirit and word and influence you carry are making impressions upon the minds of others. The atmosphere which surrounds the soul, if it is evil, will be like a spiritual malaria, which will be poisonous to those around. But it is profitable for the soul to have an atmosphere that will be as a savor of life unto life to others. When the soul is weighted with the truth which works by love and purifies the soul, a heavenly atmosphere will pervade the soul. ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed’ (Proverbs 13:20). Every soul that claims to believe the truth, should manifest uprightness of character, devotion to God, steadfastness of purpose, and represent the character of Christ in a well-ordered life and godly conversation.” –The Upward Look, p. 27.
Truth in practice
1. How will truth be revealed in practical application?
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
“Those who are looking for the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, in life and character will seek to represent Him to the world. ‘And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure’ (1 John 3:3). They will hate sin and iniquity, even as Christ hated sin. They will keep the commandments of God, as Christ kept His Father’s commandments. They will realize that it is not enough to acquiesce in the doctrines of truth, but that the truth must be applied to the heart, practiced in the life, in order that the followers of Christ may be one with Him, and that men may be as pure in their sphere as God is in His sphere.” –Faith and Works, pp. 115, 116.
“Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, ‘Behold your God.’ The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 415, 416.
2. How will the world be able to see that we know God and that we are walking as did Christ?
1 John 2:3-6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
“And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the word of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence shall see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 466.
Savor of life unto life
3. What illustration depicts the life of one who lives in a manner that attracts people to Christ?
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
“If Christ is in the heart, He will appear in the home, in the workshop, in the marketplace, in the church. The power of the truth will be felt in elevating, ennobling the mind and softening and subduing the heart, bringing the whole man into harmony with God. He who is transformed by the truth will shed a light upon the world. He that hath the hope of Christ in him will purify himself even as He is pure. The hope of Christ’s appearing is a large hope, a far-reaching hope. It is the hope of seeing the King in His beauty and of being made like Him.” –Faith and Works, p. 116.
“Christ wants His followers to be like Him, because He desires to be correctly represented in the family circle, in the church, and in the world…. We are to accept Christ as our efficiency, our strength, that we may reveal His character to the world.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 274.
“While helping the poor in temporal things, keep always in view their spiritual needs. Let your own life testify to the Saviour’s keeping power. Let your character reveal the high standard to which all may attain. Teach the gospel in simple object lessons. Let everything with which you have to do be a lesson in character building.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 198, 199.
“If we would become Christlike, we must study Christ’s character…. It is necessary that we should closely examine ourselves, and enquire, ‘Is this Christ’s way? Would Christ pursue this course of action? What kind of an impression am I leaving upon the minds of those with whom I am connected? Shall I pursue a course of action that will weaken the confidence of anyone with whom I deal and cause them to think lightly of the Christianity that I profess? Shall I be uncourteous, un-Christlike, unmerciful toward the purchase of the blood of Christ?’ ” –The Upward Look, p. 66.
4. What living letter do the people we meet read?
2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.
“We must live a twofold life–a life of thought and action, of silent prayer and earnest work…. God requires us to be living epistles, known and read of all men.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 317.
“Let Christ be seen in all that you do. Let all see that you are living epistles of Jesus Christ…. Be lovable. Let your life win the hearts of all who are brought in contact with you. There is too little done at the present time to render the truth attractive to others.” –Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 2, p. 433.
“God can be honored by those who profess to believe in Him, only as they are conformed to His image and controlled by His Spirit. Then, as witnesses for the Saviour, they may make known what divine grace has done for them.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 559.
“No member of the family can enclose himself within himself, where other members of the family shall not feel his influence and spirit. The very expression of the countenance has an influence for good or evil. His spirit, his words, his actions, his attitude toward others, are unmistakable…. If he is filled with the love of Christ, he will manifest courtesy, kindness, and tender regard for the feelings of others, and will communicate to his associates, by his acts of love, a tender, grateful, happy feeling. It will be made manifest that he is living for Jesus…. He will be able to say to the Lord, ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great.’ ” –My Life Today, p. 53.
5. What will happen when it is our desire, by our teaching and example, to connect sinners with Christ?
Psalm 51:15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
“The very example and deportment as well as the words of the Christian should be such as to awaken in the sinner a desire to come to the Fountain of life.” –Messages to Young People, p. 424.
“The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realize that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward. They do not feel or know that they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God’s providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come.” –Steps to Christ, p. 83.
“The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 268.
6. What great influence do our words have on the people with whom we speak?
Luke 4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
“Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word spoken in season will be as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again. What is our influence over these fellow travelers?” –Prophets and Kings, p. 348.
“The words and the character of Christ should be often the subject of our thoughts and of our conversation, and each day some time should be especially devoted to prayerful meditation upon these sacred themes.” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 663.
“It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others. In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, we must know its power in our own hearts and lives. The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved. Only through a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour is it possible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world. If we would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, our own feet must be firmly set upon the Rock, Christ Jesus.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 469, 470.
Kindness and love
7. In what different ways do we represent Christ?
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
“You are to represent Christ in His meekness and gentleness and love.” –My Life Today, p. 53.
“God sends you into the world as His representatives. In every act of life you are to make manifest the name of God. This petition calls upon you to possess His character. You cannot hallow His name, you cannot represent Him to the world, unless in life and character you represent the very life and character of God. This you can do only through the acceptance of the grace and righteousness of Christ….
“The Christian who is such in his private life, in the daily surrender of self, in sincerity of purpose and purity of thought, in meekness under provocation, in faith and piety, in fidelity in that which is least, the one who in the home life represents the character of Christ–such a one may in the sight of God be more precious than even the world-renowned missionary or martyr.” –God’s Amazing Grace, pp. 94, 270.
“In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.” –Steps to Christ, p. 59.
Faith and action
8. How can we prove our faith?
James 2:14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
“By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected…. Our words, our acts, our dress, our deportment, even the expression of the countenance, has an influence…. Every impulse thus imparted is seed sown which will produce its harvest. It is a link in the long chain of human events, extending we know not whither. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same influence upon others, and they upon still others. Thus by our unconscious influence thousands may be blessed….
“And the wider the sphere of our influence the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.” –My Life Today, p. 121.
“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415.