March 4, 2012 – March 10, 2012
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Isaiah 62:1.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 26–29; vol. 6, 421–439.
“The light that God has given His people is not to be shut up within the churches that already know the truth. It is to be shed abroad into the dark places of the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 24.
1 THE CALL OF THE HOUR
- What is God’s urgent call to all who have been entrusted with the present truth? Isaiah 54:1, 2.
Note: “The light that God has given His people is not to be shut up within the churches that already know the truth. It is to be shed abroad into the dark places of the earth. Those who walk in the light as Christ is in the light will co-operate with the Saviour by revealing to others what He has revealed to them. It is God’s purpose that the truth for this time shall be made known to every kindred and nation and tongue and people. In the world today men and women are absorbed in the search for worldly gain and worldly pleasure. There are thousands upon thousands who give no time or thought to the salvation of the soul. The time has come when the message of Christ’s soon coming is to sound throughout the world.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 24.
- Why are God’s people able to take decided action in expanding missionary efforts with holy boldness? Isaiah 54:3, 4.
Note: “Unmistakable evidences point to the nearness of the end. The warning is to be given in certain tones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 25.
2 EXPANDING OUR VISION
- Where should our main energies be refocused? Isaiah 56:8; 62:1, 2.
Note: “Time and energy and means are devoted to those who know the truth, instead of being used to enlighten the ignorant. Our churches are being tended as though they were sick lambs by those who should be seeking for the lost sheep. If our people would minister to other souls who need their help, they would themselves be ministered unto by the Chief Shepherd, and thousands would be rejoicing in the fold who are now wandering in the desert. Instead of hovering over our people, let every soul go to work to seek and to save the lost. Let every soul labor, not in visiting among our churches, but in visiting the dark places of the earth where there are no churches.
“In places where the standard of truth has never been lifted, more souls will be converted as a result of the same amount of work than ever before.” The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.
“The way must be prepared for the coming of the Prince of Peace in the clouds of heaven. There is much to be done in the cities that have not yet heard the truth for this time. We are not to establish institutions to rival in size and splendor the institutions of the world; but in the name of the Lord, with the untiring perseverance and unflagging zeal that Christ brought into His labors, we are to carry forward the work of the Lord.
“As a people we greatly need to humble our hearts before God, pleading His forgiveness for our neglect to fulfill the gospel commission.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 25.
- What vision should we have for languishing churches? Matthew 21:28: Mark 13:34.
Note: “The best medicine you can give the church is not preaching or sermonizing, but planning work for them. If set to work, the despondent would soon forget their despondency, the weak would become strong, the ignorant intelligent, and all would be prepared to present the truth as it is in Jesus. They would find an unfailing helper in Him who has promised to save all who come unto Him.” Evangelism, 356.
“Every agency is to be set in operation, not to work for the churches, but to work for those who are in the darkness of error.” The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895.
- What should be the earnest prayer of every assembly of believers, and how only can this prayer be answered? Habakkuk 3:2; II Timothy 2:15.
Note: “The work that is done for those who know the truth, and yet who do not feed on Christ, would be better devoted to carrying the truth to the cities of our world. Who is willing to go to these cities, and, clothed in the meekness of Christ, work for the Master? Will any one presume to lay hands upon those who are willing to engage in house-to-house labor, and say, ‘You must not go unless we send you’? God is calling for workers, and the end of all things is at hand. If one tithe of the labor that has been expended upon our churches had been devoted to those who are perishing in ignorance, living in sin, many would have repented long ago.” The Review and Herald, June 11, 1895.
“When souls are converted, set them to work at once. And as they labor according to their ability, they will grow stronger. It is by meeting opposing influences that we become confirmed in the faith. As the light shines into their hearts, let them diffuse its rays. Teach the newly converted that they are to enter into fellowship with Christ, to be his witnesses, and to make Him known unto the world.
“None should be forward to enter into controversy, but they should tell the simple story of the love of Jesus.” Evangelism, 355, 356.
- What attitude must we all cherish in witnessing for Jesus? I Peter 3:15.
Note: “Even though a church may be composed of poor and uneducated and unknown persons, yet if they are believing, praying members, their influence will be felt for time and for eternity. If they go forth in simple faith, relying upon the promises of the Word of God, they may accomplish great good. If they let their light shine, Christ is glorified in them, and the interests of His kingdom are advanced. If they have a sense of their individual accountability to God, they will seek for opportunities to work, and will shine as lights in the world. They will be examples of sincerity and of zealous fervor in working out God’s plan for the salvation of souls. The poor, the unlearned, if they choose, may become students in the school of Christ, and He will teach them true wisdom. The life of meek, childlike trust, of true piety, true religion, will be effective in its influence upon others.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 265.
4 NOW IS THE TIME
- What happens if we refuse or neglect Christ’s commission? Matthew 6:23.
Note: “Communicate the knowledge of the truth to others. This is God’s plan to enlighten the world. If you do not stand in your allotted place, if you do not let your light shine, you will become enshrouded in darkness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 266.
- What assurance is ours, even when some reject our efforts? Ezekiel 33:7–9.
Note: “There are those in all our cities who have not had the truth presented to them; who have not heard the warning message of the Lord’s soon coming; who have not heard that the end of all things is at hand. Unless messengers go to them in the Spirit of Christ, how shall these people hear the gospel invitation? How shall they know that their sins may be forgiven through the mercy of a crucified and risen Saviour? Aggressive warfare must be entered upon with a devoted, self-sacrificing spirit that many know nothing about. As opportunities offer, as doors open, and the word of life is brought to the people, opposition to the truth will start into operation. The door that is open to the missionary will also be open to the opposer of truth. But if the truth is presented as it is in Jesus, the hearers are responsible for its rejection.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1895.
- In view of the shortness of time, what must we keep in mind? John 9:4.
Note: “What shall be done to meet our responsibilities? How shall we make proper use of the opportunities presented? There must be prayer, earnest, humble prayer; there must be determined wrestling with God for the endowment of His Holy Spirit.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1895.
“The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scripture in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 192.
5 QUALIFIED BY YIELDING TO CHRIST
- Regardless of how incapable we may feel to be missionaries for Christ, what understanding should we quickly adopt? II Corinthians 3:5, 6; John 14:26.
Note: “Many have willing hands and hearts, but they are discouraged from putting their energies into the work. They are criticised [sic] if they try to do anything, and finally allow their talents to lie dormant for fear of criticism, when if they were encouraged to use them, the work would be advanced. … Many more who ought to have an opportunity to develop into efficient workers for the Lord, are left in the shadow. …
“There are to be no secret societies in our churches. ‘All ye are brethren’ [Matthew 23:8]. The minister’s work is the lay member’s work as well. Heart should be bound to heart. Let all press forward, shoulder to shoulder. Is not every true follower of Christ open to receive His teachings? And should not all have an opportunity to learn of Christ’s methods by practical experience? …
“Let church members awake. Let them take hold and help to stay up the hands of the ministers and the workers, pushing forward the interests of the cause. There must be no measuring of talent by comparison. If a man exercises faith, and walks humbly with his God, he may have little education, he may be accounted a weak man, yet he can fill his appointed place as well as the man who has the finest education. He who yields himself most unreservedly to the influence of the Holy Spirit is best qualified to do acceptable service for the Master. God will inspire men who do not occupy responsible positions to work for Him. … Let men have freedom to carry out that which the Holy Spirit indicates. Do not put the shackles upon humble men whom God would use.” The Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is God’s purpose for His people at this very hour in history?
2 How can a sickly congregation be revived?
3 Of what simple, non-controversial topic can new converts witness?
4 Why will it become increasingly challenging to witness for Christ?
5 Regarding our brethren, how may we be in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit?
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.