Look to Christ, and learn how he dealt with humanity. He loved his neighbor better than he loved himself. He denied himself that he might be a perfect example for us. With unfeigned reliance upon the righteousness and efficiency of our Redeemer, we are to consider that as sons and daughters of God we are no longer our own. In receiving Christ we become dead unto the world. Our high vocation—the very highest that any human being can have in this life—is this, that we are called to be children of God. The whole future life is to be consecrated to the service of God. Sacred obligations rest upon every soul.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” The man who waits upon the Lord is strong in his strength, strong enough to hold firm under great pressure. Yet he is easy to be entreated on the side of mercy and compassion, which is the side of Christ. The soul that is submissive to God is ready to do the will of God; he diligently and humbly seeks to know that will. He accepts discipline, and is afraid to walk according to his own finite judgment. He communes with God, and his conversation is in heaven.
1888 Materials 1320
The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart. No part of it is to be reserved for the development of hereditary or cultivated tendencies to evil. To be harsh, to be severe, too self-important, selfish, to look out for ones own selfish interest and yet be zealous that others shall deal unselfishly, is a religion which is an abomination to God. Many have just such an experience daily, but it is a misrepresentation of the character of Christ.
1888 Materials 1312
We are to discard the old garment of character, and to receive from Christ the new garment woven in the loom of heaven, even the robe of his righteousness. Here is where the carnal heart has risen in rebellion. Man tried to patch the old garment of Phariseeism rather than to discard his self-righteousness for that garment which is new throughout, the righteousness of Christ. Man’s devices and methods are much more in harmony with the natural inclinations; men choose to have some of self and some of Jesus. To accept the entirely new fabric does not give sufficient honor to the natural feelings and sentiments of the human mind. The religion that must reshape the man, transforming the entire character, is very distasteful, and here man’s plans and God’s plans come into collision. The apparent good deeds brought into a life that is not Christlike, a life in which justice and mercy and the love of God are not an abiding principle, are only misleading, a stumbling-block to the world.
Let the prayer go up to God, “Create in me a clean heart;” for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding, therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savour of life unto life.
1888 Materials 1309