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The plan of salvation was laid in a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. Christ did not send his angels to this fallen world, while he remained in heaven; but he himself went without the camp, bearing the reproach. He became a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; himself took our infirmities, and bore our weaknesses. And the absence of self-denial in his professed followers, God regards as a denial of the Christian name. Those who profess to be one with Christ, and indulge their selfish desires for rich and expensive clothing, furniture, and food, are Christians only in name. To be a Christian is to be Christlike. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 1}
And yet how true are the words of the apostle: “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Many Christians do not have works corresponding to the name they bear. They act as if they had never heard of the plan of redemption wrought out at an infinite cost. The majority aim to make a name for themselves in the world; they adopt its forms and ceremonies, and live for the indulgence of self. They follow out their own purposes as eagerly as do the world, and thus they cut off their power to help in establishing the kingdom of God. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 2}

These ease-loving, worldly men are Satan’s most diligent and devoted servants. They will sacrifice to the idol self; and when its demands are satisfied, there is not much left for the cause of Christ. And yet how they magnify the little crosses, the privations and buffetings they meet in their daily life. How much they talk about them, and how grieved they become over them. They feel that heaven is certainly earned by the trials they have endured and the sacrifices they have made. But the apostle says, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” All this, and a thousandfold more, Christ bore for us. Let us consider him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself. Jesus died our sacrifice. How do our works compare with his? {RH October 13, 1896, par. 3}
In his teaching, Christ illustrated this condition of selfishness by a parable. He said: “There was a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.” Self is here represented by the rich man living in a mansion, clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day, while the suffering cause of God is allowed to lie at the gate, fed from the crumbs which fall from the rich man’s table. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 4}
The work of God, which should be going forward with tenfold its present strength and efficiency, is kept back, like a spring season held by the chilling blast of winter, because some of God’s professed people are appropriating to themselves the means that should be dedicated to his service. Because Christ’s self-sacrificing love is not interwoven in the life practises, the church is weak where it should be strong. By its own course it has put out its light, and robbed millions of the gospel of Christ.{RH October 13, 1896, par. 5}
Why is it that there are not more missionaries in the field today? Why are the calls that come in from every land for men to spread a knowledge of the truth, passed by unheeded?—It is because there are none to send. The laymen, though they have the precious light of truth, excuse themselves on the plea that they cannot preach. But this excuse will not avail. Laymen can minister. It is their privilege to lay hold of divine power with one hand, and with the other to reach forth to save humanity. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 6}
To defraud God is the greatest crime of which man can be guilty; and yet this sin is deep and wide-spread. Through the prophet Malachi, God says: “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” These are the words of God, who speaks, and it is. Shall we not hear his voice? Shall we not change the order of things, and co-operate with Christ? {RH October 13, 1896, par. 7}
The Lord will not accept the gift that is presented grudgingly. He loves a cheerful giver. He is not dependent upon man for means to carry on his work. He says: “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills….If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” Have you brought to God your gifts and offerings out of the abundance he has bestowed upon you? Have you given him that which he claims as his own? If not, it is not yet too late for you to make the wrong right. The Spirit of Jesus can melt the icy selfishness that pervades the soul. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 8}
O that men and women would arouse, and venture something for the truth’s sake! Temporal matters must not be allowed to interpose between God and the soul. Heed the admonition of Christ: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Worldly treasure is a lodestone to hold the thoughts, to limit the plans, and to control the judgment according to the world’s standard. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 9}
Everywhere men are tying up their money, and hiding it in the earth. They are seeking worldly treasure. They do not make the kingdom of God and his righteousness their first consideration. That must wait their time and pleasure, although thousands of souls are dying around them without the light, unready for eternity. God says to them, “Thou wicked and slothful servant,… thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” These short-sighted men have no ability to measure the gift of eternal life, to realize the value of the eternal weight of glory. They have allowed the world to eclipse the divine attractions. They build upon the treacherous sand, and when the blasts of the tempest break upon them, their foundation will be swept away. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 10}
In a parable the Lord sets before us the results of this covetousness: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” {RH October 13, 1896, par. 11}
This is the object—to lay up treasure on earth—which the worldling sets before himself. The Lord blessed this man with rain from heaven; with sunshine, warming the earth, and causing vegetation to flourish. The Lord entrusted his means to him; but he managed it all for himself; he defrauded God of both interest and principal. Everything was used to minister to his own enjoyment. Christ denounces the covetousness which caused this man to rob God of his due. “Thou fool,” he says, “this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” {RH October 13, 1896, par. 12}
The love of Christ is broad and deep and full, and should awaken in the heart a response that will overbalance every worldly consideration. The cross of Calvary is a convincing proof of his interest in humanity. His plea in their behalf, before he ascended to the Father, was, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”{RH October 13, 1896, par. 13}
How can those for whom Christ has sacrificed so much, continue to enjoy his gifts selfishly? His love and self-denial are without a parallel; and when this love enters into the experience of his followers, they will identify their interests with those of their Redeemer. Their work will be to build up the kingdom of Christ. They will consecrate themselves and their possessions to him, and use both as his cause may require. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 14}
This is nothing more than Jesus expects of his followers. No individual who has before him so great an object as the salvation of souls will be at a loss to devise ways and means for denying self. This will be an individual work. All that it is in our power to bestow will flow into the Lord’s treasury, to be used for the proclamation of truth, that the message of Christ’s soon coming and the claims of his law may be sounded to all parts of the world. Missionaries must be sent out to do this work. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 15}
The love of Jesus in the soul will be revealed in word and deed. The kingdom of Christ will be paramount. Self will be laid a willing sacrifice on the altar of God. Every one who is truly united with Christ will feel the same love for souls that caused the Son of God to leave his royal throne, his high command, and for our sake become poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. {RH October 13, 1896, par. 16}

 

 

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