We Should Glorify God
By Mrs. E. G. White
Nebuchadnezzar gave himself up to pleasure, and to the glorification of himself. He built a great city, and walked about his palaces, and said, in the pride of his heart. "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom of the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" He did not know that there was a watcher at his side who inscribed his words on the records of heaven. God took away his reason, and he went forth from men to be with the beasts of the field. Why should men glory in their successes? Who gives them success? Who gives the talents with which to attain it? Did God give men talents to glorify themselves? God gives his precious gifts, that they may be used in his service. Every particle of the glory of success belongs to God. It is God's manifold wisdom that is displayed in the works of men, and to him belongs the praise. It is Satan's work to lead men to glorify themselves with their intrusted talents. While men praised the gods of silver and gold, and extolled themselves at Belshazzar's feast, there was a watcher looking on. A bloodless hand traced mysterious characters on the walls of the palace. Belshazzar had not humbled his heart before God, but had lifted up his heart against the God of heaven. And it was written against him, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting."
We should not permit Satan to put his mold upon our character. We should cherish every ray of light which God permits to shine upon our pathway. How many there are who are like the people of old. They have eyes, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not. They say, "I don't want to know what you believe. I don't want to read your publications; I am afraid that if I do, I shall be convinced, and converted to your faith." Jesus said of the Jews, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."
We should not be in this position. It is a perilous one. We should desire to know what is truth, and be able to give a reason of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear. We want a pure heart. We want Christ within, a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. We want to be as a tree planted by the rivers of water, whose leaf does not wither. We want to be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. Every one of us will be rewarded according to his works. With what kind of material are you building? Is it with wood, hay, and stubble? In the great day of testing, will you lose all your life-work, and your soul as well? It is only gold and silver and precious stones that will abide in the fires of the last day. We should seek to form characters for eternal life, and to bring the very best material into our character-building.
What have you been doing with your talents? have you been putting them out to the exchangers? The Lord will call upon you to give an account of his entrusted goods. Will you be able to say, "I have doubled my talent"? We should be light-bearers. When Philip found Jesus, he immediately went to find Nathanael, and when he had found him, he said, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." And Nathanael said, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." This is what you should do,—invite others to come, and hear and see for themselves whether your words are true, and your religion genuine. When Jesus saw Nathanael, he said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." Nathanael was astonished, and said, "Whence knowest thou me?" And Jesus said, "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee." Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the king of Israel."
Here is an example of how we may put our talents out to the exchangers. Philip communicated his knowledge to another, and so brought a soul to Christ. The light given us of Heaven is to be communicated to others in this way. If you have given light to one soul, you have enlightened one hundred, for that one will communicate the light to others, and so it will go on continually increasing. God forbid that I should spend my probationary time in selfish amusement, or in glorifying self. God has given his beloved Son for my soul; and how could He who inhabiteth eternity look upon me, if I should manifest such ingratitude, and neglect to win souls to Christ? In this age how little men think of God! How little the principles of God's law are brought into the life! But God bears long with the children of men. Says the wise man, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."
Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." It is this aspiring to be superior to others that brings us unrest of soul; in wearing Christ's yoke, there is peace and rest and happiness. When we are wearing his yoke, we cannot keep silent. We desire that those who are weary and heavy-laden shall come, and find rest unto their souls. Those who do come to Christ find his joy, and his peace is expressed in their very countenances. Christ denied himself for our sake. His divine feet pressed through every difficulty that Satan could place in his way. He trod the path to Calvary, and was crucified on the cross, that you and I might have rest, and peace, and eternal life.
There is no reason for our complaining and murmuring over the obstacles that beset our path. Jesus' divine feet have pressed down the cruel thorns of the way before us, that he might make it easier for our feet. He came to banish darkness from your path; and it only exalts the power of Satan when you talk of your discouragement and doubt. It is not God who hedges up your way. If you find the way hard and toilsome, you may be sure you are not in the right way. You are seeking to reach a false standard. Take your burden to Jesus. He waits to connect you with himself. Let your faith take hold of Christ. When trials press your soul, say, "I believe in Jesus." Think of how he made a sacrifice for you at every step. Think of how he laid aside his royal robes, stepped down from his throne, clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to our world to save you. The world was made by him, but the world knew him not. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." He was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him.... He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." But did he complain? There is no record that he murmured, or lamented his life.
Christ came to represent the Father to man. He revealed the nature of God to the world. Satan had misrepresented the Father. He had pictured him as a being full of revenge, who had no forbearance, no mercy, no patience, no love. He clothed him with his own attributes; but Christ came, and took upon him humanity, that he might reveal to humanity the true character of the Father; and we are to represent Christ to the world as Christ represented the Father.
Are you representing Christ to your children? Are you teaching them to obey the commandments of God? I educated my children from their babyhood to look upon God as a kind Father. I did not present him as a stern judge, lest they should fear to come into his presence. But how many homes there are in which prayer is not offered, where there is no acknowledgment of God or his goodness! O, let us not have prayerless homes. Let us live so that the shield of Omnipotence may cover the family. I want to be on the Lord's side. I want Jesus to build a barrier around me, so that the temptations of the enemy may not come from the inside but from the outside.
Our families should be well disciplined. We should educate our sons to resist temptation, that they may be as was Joseph in Egypt. No stain came upon his character. He did not lose his integrity in Potiphar's house, in the prison cell, or in the palace of the king. When he was in prison, he desired to be a blessing to the inmates. He did not faint in the day of adversity, for he knew that God lived. Why should we not have this same faith in the midst of trial and temptation? We may suffer for a season, but the angel of God will be near to deliver us when the purpose of God is accomplished. We are to represent our Lord; and if we are Christ's, we shall have his spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. We are to bring the sunshine of Christ's love into our lives and homes. We shall have trials, and we may expect them; but shall we sink down under discouragement and unbelief, and rebel against God?
After Satan rebelled in heaven against the law of God, he was cast out. Adam and Eve fell under his temptations, and a warfare has been going on ever since between good and evil on this earth. Christ has passed over every step of the ground where Adam failed, and he has gained the victory in behalf of humanity. We are to be partakers of the sufferings of Christ, and to share his glory. Our trials need not make us unhappy. We need not trust to feeling; for feeling has nothing to do with our religion. The promises of God are "yea and amen in Christ Jesus," and our feelings do not alter the case in heaven. We are to live by faith.
When you repent of your sins, Satan will try to make you believe that there is no hope for you; but you can tell him that Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. Tell him that Christ died for you, and that you claim the merits of his blood in your behalf. There has been a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, and you may wash your robes and make them white. We are to have our lives hid in Jesus. While we live in the world, we are not to be of the world. By faith we may behold the curtain rolled back, and see the glories of the eternal world. We shall then realize that our trials are "light afflictions which are but for a moment," which work out for us a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
The day is coming "when a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty." The riches of the world will not avail in the day of wrath; but faith and obedience will bring the victory. We shall act out all the faith we have. We must educate ourselves to talk faith, and prepare for the future life. What earnest efforts men make to obtain a lawful title to their land. They must have deeds that will stand the test of law. The possessor is never satisfied unless he is confident that there is no flaw in his title. O that men were as earnest to obtain a title to their heavenly possessions that would stand the test of law! The apostle exhorts the follower of Christ to give diligence to make his calling and election sure. There must be no error, no flaw in your claim to immortality. Says the Saviour, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. These are the words of God; they are not my words. Keep the commandments of God, and you will have a right to the tree of life.
Christ "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Will you lift his burden? Will you wear his yoke? He will bear the heaviest part himself. I want to be his child. I love his appearing. I want to praise him with an immortal tongue. I want to belong to the royal family of heaven. Says the apostle, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in himpurifieth himself, even as he is pure."
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