“Christ came to teach the human family the way of salvation, and he made this way so plain that a little child can walk in it. He bids his disciples follow on to know the Lord; and as they daily follow his guidance, they learn that his going forth is prepared as the morning. You have watched the rising sun, and the gradual break of day over earth and sky. Little by little the dawn increases, till the sun appears; then the light grows constantly stronger and clearer until the full glory of noontide is reached. This is a beautiful illustration of what God desires to do for his children in perfecting their Christian experience. As we walk day by day in the light he sends us, in willing obedience to all his requirements, our experience grows and broadens until we reach the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
“Keep ever before [you] the course that Christ followed. At every step it was a course of overcoming. Christ did not come to the earth as a king, to rule the nations. He came as a humble man, to be tempted, and to overcome temptation, to follow on, as we must, to know the Lord. In the study of his life we shall learn how much God through him will do for his children. And we shall learn that, however great our trials may be, they can not exceed what Christ endured that we might know the way, the truth, and the life. By a life of conformity to his example, we are to show our appreciation of his sacrifice in our behalf.
“[You] have been bought with an infinite price, even the blood of the Son of God. Consider the sacrifice of the Father in permitting his Son to make this sacrifice. Consider what Christ gave up when he left the courts of heaven and the royal throne to give his life a daily sacrifice for men. He suffered reproach and abuse. He bore all the insult and mockery that wicked men could heap upon him. And when his earthly ministry was accomplished, he suffered the death of the cross. Consider his sufferings on the cross,—the nails driven into his hands and feet, the derision and abuse from those he came to save, the hiding of his Father’s face. But it was by all this that Christ made it possible for all who will to have the life that measures with the life of God.
“We shall appreciate more fully all that God has made possible for us if we will study more faithfully what great things Heaven has already done. Our redemption cost too much for us to regard as a light thing the salvation which God’s Word bids us work out in our experience. Never feel that you need not be particular about the course you pursue; for you can never enter heaven until you have learned what it means to represent the life of Christ, until you have learned the need of living in dependence upon him. The powers of darkness are constantly gaining victories over those who do not serve God with full purpose of heart; but all who will follow on day by day to practise the virtues of Christ will triumph grandly over evil.
“Many of us need a clearer understanding of what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The word of our testimony means a great deal. It is borne before all the universe of heaven, and before the world. The soul who by word or act dishonors God, places himself on the losing side. Satanic agencies gain the advantage, and the world loses the power that soul might have exerted for the right had he honored God.
“Each one will have trials to meet. Each one has the natural temperament to contend with; but this is to be brought into subjection to Christ. The Lord will help all who will do their best, walking humbly with him. Let us be encouraged by the thought that we have a Mighty Arm to lean upon, and that so long as we rely upon his strength, we can not dishonor him.
“We are on trial now, but under every test let us make it manifest to all around us that we are on the Lord’s side. I am so thankful that none need dishonor Christ! We may all win heaven; we may all be welcomed to the city of God by the Father and the Son; we may all wear the crown of immortality.
“The Lord looks with deepest interest on each striving soul. He loves each one. Did he not, he never would have given his only begotten Son to die.
“When Christ ascended to the Father, he did not leave his followers without help. The Holy Spirit, as his representative, and the heavenly angels, as ministering spirits, are sent forth to aid those who against great odds are fighting the good fight of faith. Ever remember that Jesus is your helper. No one understands so well as he your peculiarities of character. He is watching over you, and if you are willing to be guided by him, he will throw around you influences for good that will enable you to accomplish all his will for you.
“In this life we are preparing for the future life. Soon there is to be a grand review, in which every soul who is seeking to perfect a Christian character must bear the test of God’s searching questions: Have you set an example that others were safe in following? Have you watched for souls as those that must give an account? The heavenly host are interested in [you]; and they are intensely desirous that you will bear the test, and that to you will be spoken the words of approval, “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
“Remember that here [you] are to build character for eternity, and that God requires [you] to do [your best. Let those older in experience watch over the younger ones; and when they see them tempted, take them aside, and pray with them and for them. The Lord would have us recognize the great sacrifice of Christ for us by showing an interest in the salvation of those he came to save. If [you] will seek Christ, he will make [your] efforts effectual.
“ ‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ the Savior says; ‘ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’
“Christ is preparing a place for us. Shall we prepare a place for him, in our homes, in our school life, in our gatherings for worship? God help us to do this. ‘If ye love me,’ Christ declared, ‘keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.’
“Many of us are too half-hearted. We give up under trial, and let discouragement sap our spiritual strength. Let us change this manner of service. When we serve God with the entire affections, we shall see the salvation of God in our own experience and in the experience of others. Christ lives to make intercession for us. He wants to set his seal upon us, and to fashion our characters after the divine pattern. He wants to take from us everything that would stand in the way of our reaching the standard of his Word. He wants us to believe in him, and to turn away from our sins. He calls us to reach perfection. We can fulfil his purpose for us only as we study his life and follow his example.*
* The Youth’s Instructor, November 21, 1911, par. 2-15.