Let every one placed in a position of trust be as much more careful how he speaks and acts, as his position is greater in responsibility than the position of his fellow workers; for those connected with the work of God can please the Master by speaking kindly only. Any word spoken thoughtlessly or unadvisedly should be retracted on the spot. If the speaker forgets to do this, or if he does not regret his thoughtlessness, some one should in the spirit of Christ remind him of his duty to apologize; for we are to remember that as Christians professing to work in unity, we must not act like sinners, whose sinful words and works, unless repented of, will condemn them.
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None should fear to be singular if the fulfillment of duty requires it. If it makes us singular to avoid sin, then our singularity is merely the distinction between purity and impurity, righteousness and unrighteousness. Because the multitude prefer the path of transgression, shall we choose the same? We are plainly told by inspiration, “Thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil.” Our position should be clearly stated, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
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You look upon things seen as of value, but he who is a citizen of the heavenly kingdom will be constantly looking at things not seen. The power of earth over the mind and character is broken. He has the abiding presence of the heavenly Guest according to the Saviour’s promise, “I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” He walks with God, as did Enoch, in continual communion. Only he who walks with the Lord Jesus in this life will be translated or come forth from the grave changed from mortal to immortality, to dwell with Christ in the heavenly courts through eternal ages. There must now be manifest in us the Holy Spirit’s working, a power that will enable us to withstand temptation.
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Every soul that will accept Jesus as his personal Saviour will pant for the privilege of serving God, and will eagerly seize the opportunity to signalize his gratitude by devoting his abilities to God’s service. He will long to show his love for Jesus and for his purchased possession. He will covet toil, hardship, sacrifice. He will think it a privilege to deny self, lift the cross, and follow in Christ’s footsteps, thus showing his loyalty and love. His holy and beneficent works will testify to his conversion, and will give to the world the evidence that he is not a spurious but a true, devoted Christian.
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Our work now is to confirm our souls in the faith,—that faith which is a working faith, which works by love and purifies the soul. Faith, living, active, working faith, we must have. Christ demands this of us. Verily Christ hath need of us now to represent him, not the cold, harsh, denunciatory, overbearing and ruling power of the prince of darkness. Those who are Christ’s friends will now do whatsoever he commands them. Stand, therefore, having on the whole armor, and having done all, to stand. Let the soul temple be cleansed of prejudice, of that root of bitterness, and hatred, whereby many are being defiled. Cling to the mighty one. Communicate to others light, with cheerful words, and with courage in the Lord. Labor to diffuse that faith and confidence that has been your own consolation. Let it be heard from every lip and voice, “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: “for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
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Faith in Christ will be the means whereby the right spirit and motive will actuate the believer, and all goodness and heavenly-mindedness will proceed from him who looks unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. Look up to God, look not to men. God is your heavenly Father who is willing patiently to bear with your infirmities, and to forgive and heal them. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” By beholding Christ, you will become changed, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. You will cast these sins aside as a worthless burden, and walk humbly, meekly, trustfully, before God. You will practice love, patience, gentleness, goodness, mercy, and every grace that dwells in the child of God, and will at last find a place among the sanctified and holy.
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