“You who are tempted and tried and discouraged, look up. A divine Hand is reached toward you. The hand of the Infinite is stretched over the battlements of heaven to grasp your hand in its embrace. The mighty Helper is nigh to help the most erring, the most sinful and despairing. His great heart of love is yearning with deep and tender compassion over those who are careless and neglectful of their eternal interests.
Individual Care, Love, and Sympathy
“Let us remember that Jesus knows us individually, and He cares for each one as though there were not another soul on the face of the earth. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows the wants of each of his creatures, and reads the hidden, unspoken grief of every heart. If one of the little ones for whom He died is injured, He sees it; for He is acquainted with all that is misunderstood and misrepresented by man.
“Christ has weighed every human affliction, every human sorrow. He bears the weight of the yoke for every soul that yokes up with Him. He knows the sorrows which we feel to the depth of our being, and which we can not express. If no human heart is aroused in sympathy for us, we need not feel that we are without sympathy. Christ knows; and He says, ‘Look unto me and live.’ [See Isaiah 45:22.]
“All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but a tiny rill to the boundless ocean, when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue can not utter it; pen can not portray it. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving his Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it.
Fellowship in Suffering
“Christ is affected as His weakest follower is affected. The sympathy of Christ is such that He can not be an indifferent spectator of His children’s sufferings. Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father’s heart.
“As a faithful Physician, the world’s Redeemer has His finger upon the pulse of the soul. He marks every beat; He takes note of every throb. Not an emotion thrills it, not a sorrow shades it; not a sin stains it, not a thought or purpose passes through it, with which He is not acquainted. Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony.
Talking with God
“God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, ‘Here am I.’ The prayer that ascends from a broken and contrite heart is never disregarded; it is as sweet music in the ears of our heavenly Father: for He waits to bestow upon us the fulness of His blessing.
“The prayer of the sincere heart offered in faith will be heard in heaven. It may not be grammatical; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word, graceful and perfect through His merit; for His righteousness refines and ennobles it, and makes it acceptable before the Father.
Our Best Motives and Efforts
“When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit; for He is the source of every right impulse.
“Through the merits of the Redeemer, the Father looks upon us with tender compassion, and speaks to us hopefully the language of forgiveness and love, for Christ was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness in which we had no share.
Our Best Interests in View
“God does not require us to give up any thing that it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves! For the more we know God, the more intense will be our happiness, and the lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coals and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul.”
The Oriental Watchman, December 1, 1901.
“I appeal to all our brethren and sisters to bear in mind the words of Christ, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ [Matthew 25:40.] Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, gave His precious life to save fallen man; every son and daughter of Adam is His purchased possession. He paid the infinite price, the ransom money in His own precious life, to redeem man; therefore He identifies His interest with suffering humanity. He requires every man to be interested for his fellow-man, making the word of God his standard of duty. With meekness and lowliness of heart we are to show reverence and love to Him who hath bought us, giving His own life, that ‘whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ [John 3:16.] Then let love and tender regard toward our fellow-men be ever revealed, not merely in words, but in deeds.
“The children of the heavenly King, should represent the character of the Ruler of the heavenly kingdom. They should cultivate unity and love for one another, each member of the royal family loyally representing the principles of the government of God. Jesus Christ was sent of God; in His character and life He represented every principle of the law of God. What are the two great principles of that law?—Love to God and love to our neighbor. We are to cherish a warm, deep, abiding interest in one another, an unfeigned respect for our brethren and sisters. We are none of us to set ourselves up as critics, to discern defects in those with whom we associate, and then engage in a work of cannibalism, tearing to pieces the reputation of those who may be more precious in the sight of God than we are. Evil-thinking and evil-speaking are a great offense in the sight of God, and those who do these things are not born of the Spirit, but of the flesh.
“The sad thing in our churches to-day, is that Jesus is misrepresented in the character of those who profess to be His followers. Many claim to believe in and love Jesus, while they do neither. They advocate the law of God, but are transgressors of its precepts. The first four commandments require supreme love to God. Parents, children, wife, husband, houses, lands, or any other earthly treasure, whether of friends or property, are not to be loved selfishly, and thus become an idol to divert the mind, the time, the service, from God. He that loves and serves mammon, cannot love and serve God supremely. When friends and relations are loved with inordinate affection, they are taking the place in the heart where God should be. ‘Ye, therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.’ ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’ ‘Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.’ [II Peter 3:17; I John 2:15; James 4:4.] Here idolatry is plainly revealed, as existing in those who claim to worship God. The pure, refined, ennobling love is buried up by the love of carnal things. This the True Witness represents as a fearful loss in experience and character-building—the loss of the first love. ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent.’ [Revelation 2:5.] The True Witness sends forth this warning. Mercy and the love of God are the attributes of His throne. While claiming to be the subjects of the kingdom of God, and yet refusing to be converted from their selfish love, their stern, iron will, their own perverse ways, many are constantly bearing a false testimony of Jesus Christ. . . .
“Let the people of God have root in themselves because they are planted in Jesus Christ. There must be no strife for supremacy. Let every one seek God for himself, and know for himself that the truth of God is the sanctifier of soul, life, and character. Let all feel that it is their duty and privilege to speak those things in the church which will edify. No one should try to sermonize, but with hearts filled with the love of God, let each one have something to say that will not savor in the least of self-exaltation, of questions that will cause dissension; but let each one present lessons from the life of Christ, and represent none of self, but all of Jesus.
“To every man is given his work. One man cannot do the work for which another man has been trained and educated. But the work of every man must begin at the heart, in the character, by surrendering the soul to God, and by co-operating with divine agencies. The root must be holy, or there will be no holy fruit. All are to be workers together with God, and self must not appear. The Lord has entrusted talent and capabilities to every individual, and those who are most highly favored with opportunities and privileges, are under the heaviest obligations to God. Those who are represented as having but one talent have their work to do. By diligent trading, not with pounds, but with pence, they are diligently to employ their ability, determined not to fail nor be discouraged. Those who faithfully trade upon their one talent will hear the gracious commendation given them with as full heartiness as those who have been gifted with many talents, and who wisely improve them, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.’ He who had but one talent, had an influence to exert, and his work was needed. In perfecting his own character, he was exerting an influence that helped to perfect the character of those who had larger responsibilities, who were in danger of building themselves up, and of neglecting some important little things, which that faithful man with his one talent was regarding with diligent care. By his diligence and unwearied, faithful efforts, he gave lessons worthy of imitation to those who, from outward appearance, seemed to be greatly his superiors. Our various trusts are proportioned to our various abilities. –
“Christ can give His peace to those only who surrender their will and their way to his method and plans. Restless cravings and heart-burnings bring no joy, no happiness, but only sadness and misery to the soul. He who cherishes them, views all things in a distorted light, and thinks that others who do not view matters as he does, do not appreciate his individual importance and worth. We may be complete in Jesus Christ only as we are emptied of self. When our life is hid with Christ in God, self is lost, submerged in the breadth, length, depth, and height of infinite love. Let the burden of every soul be to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”
The Home Missionary, December 1, 1894.