“When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost will fall on us.”
“There is a much greater work devolving upon the individual members of the church than they realize. . . . The time has come when every means should be devised that can aid in preparing a people to stand in the day of God. We must be wide awake, refusing to let precious opportunities pass unimproved. We must do all that we possibly can to win souls to love God and keep His commandments. Jesus requires this of those who know the truth. Is His demand unreasonable? Have we not the life of Christ as our example? Do we not owe the Saviour a debt of love, of earnest, unselfish labor for the salvation of those for whom He gave His life?
“Many of the members of our large churches are doing comparatively nothing. They might accomplish a good work if, instead of crowding together, they would scatter into places that have not yet been entered by the truth. Trees that are planted too thickly do not flourish. They are transplanted by the gardener, that they may have room to grow and not become dwarfed and sickly. The same rule would work well for our large churches. Many of the members are dying spiritually for want of this very work. They are becoming sickly and inefficient. Transplanted, they would have room to grow strong and vigorous.
“It is not the purpose of God that His people should colonize or settle together in large communities. The disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth, and God designs that they shall be scattered all over the country, in the towns, cities, and villages, as lights amidst the darkness of the world. They are to be missionaries for God, by their faith and works testifying to the near approach of the coming Saviour.
“The lay members of our churches can accomplish a work which, as yet, they have scarcely begun. None should move into new places merely for the sake of worldly advantage; but where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well grounded in the truth enter, one or two families in a place, to work as missionaries. They should feel a love for souls, a burden of labor for them, and should make it a study how to bring them into the truth. They can distribute our publications, hold meetings in their homes, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to these meetings. Thus they can let their light shine in good works.
“Let the workers stand alone in God, weeping, praying, laboring for the salvation of their fellow men. Remember that you are running a race, striving for a crown of immortality. While so many love the praise of men more than the favor of God, let it be yours to labor in humility. Learn to exercise faith in presenting your neighbors before the throne of grace and pleading with God to touch their hearts. In this way effectual missionary work may be done. Some may be reached who would not listen to a minister or a colporteur. And those who thus labor in new places will learn the best ways of approaching the people and can prepare the way for other laborers.
“A precious experience may be gained by one who engages in this work. He has upon his heart the burden of the souls of his neighbors. He must have the help of Jesus. How careful he will be to walk circumspectly, that his prayers may not be hindered, that no cherished sin may separate him from God. While helping others, such a worker is himself obtaining spiritual strength and understanding, and in this humble school he may become qualified to enter a wider field.
“Christ declares: ‘Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.’ John 15:8. God has endowed us with faculties and has entrusted us with talents in order that we may use them for Him. To every man is given his work—not merely work in his fields of corn and wheat, but earnest, persevering work for the salvation of souls. Every stone in God’s temple must be a living stone, a stone that shines, reflecting light to the world. Let the laymen do all that they can; and as they use the talents they already have, God will give them more grace and increased ability. Many of our missionary enterprises are crippled because there are so many who refuse to enter the doors of usefulness that are opened before them. Let all who believe the truth begin to work. Do the work that lies nearest you; do anything, however humble, rather than be, like the men of Meroz, do-nothings.
“We shall not be stinted for means if we will only go forward trusting in God. The Lord is willing to do a great work for all who truly believe in Him. If the lay members of the church will arouse to do the work that they can do, going on a warfare at their own charges, each seeing how much he can accomplish in winning souls to Jesus, we shall see many leaving the ranks of Satan to stand under the banner of Christ. If our people will act upon the light that is given in these few words of instruction, we shall surely see of the salvation of God. Wonderful revivals will follow. Sinners will be converted, and many souls will be added to the church. When we bring our hearts into unity with Christ, and our lives into harmony with His work, the Spirit that fell on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost will fall on us.”1
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“The lay members of the church should have . . . encouragement to bear responsibilities. They are to be educated to do service for Jesus. Teach them in what lines they can serve God best. Set them to work in many ways. Let there be fewer sermons, and far more taxing, personal labor. All the discourses preached will not help the members of the church to understand their duty unless you teach them how to work. The satisfaction of seeing companies raised up in different places through personal effort will strengthen and establish them. The self-sacrificing efforts put forth by all who believe in Christ as a present help in their work, will give them strength and power. All who truly follow Christ will be used to communicate light to their fellow men. Church-members need closely to examine their own hearts, to see whether they are in the love of God, whether they are serving God or self.
“Great wisdom is needed in teaching the churches to have root in themselves. They must not be taught to trust in their own sufficiency, but to depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Instead of calling upon the ministers for the living water, let them go to the fountain themselves. Let them say, We will not call the ministers from their work of giving the last message of mercy to the world, in order to keep us revived. We will institute every means possible to keep our own hearts pure and holy. We can have life through Christ alone; it is our privilege to seek him.
“The institutes that have been held for the instruction of ministers have accomplished a good work, but a work that has not been half appreciated. Had those who received instruction in these institutes spent the time, instead, in giving light and truth to those who have no knowledge of it, in starting the work in new localities, in opening the Scriptures to families by house-to-house labor,—had they moved out in simple, trusting faith, saying at every step, I must have Jesus with me,—they would have received an education from the great Teacher himself. In the day of final reckoning it will be seen that the salvation of every soul is dependent upon the fruit borne in good works.
“This work must be more extended. . . . Many are spiritually weak because they have not let the light which God has given them shine forth to the world. They have not connected with Christ, and become channels of blessing. God’s people must read and practice his word for themselves. In the place of depending upon ministers, they must learn to place their trust in God. He exhorts them to “stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”2