I am charged with a message to our churches … Without thorough purification of the life, without meekness and humbleness of mind, the professing followers of Christ can not honor Him before the world. If the graces of Christ are not revealed in their lives, they can never be admitted to the heavenly mansions He has gone to prepare for those who love Him and keep His commandments.
There are among our church members many who, while professing to walk in the ways of the Lord, are bringing into their profession the ways and habits of unconverted self, and these are spoiling their characters. So much that is frivolous is brought into the home and church life, that the Spirit of Christ is grieved. There are entire families among us who, unless they arouse from their sleepy indifference, will be lost, for they are not converted daily; they do not understand the divine science of true godliness, and therefore they are not vessels that the Master can use. They have allowed Satan to have the guidance and control of their words and actions, and they do not realize how much harm they have done to souls by their self-exaltation. They have hurt the heart of Christ by hurting those who are the purchase of His blood. I am bidden to say to those unconverted professors, Dig deep, and lay your foundation solidly upon the rock Christ Jesus. It is not enough for us to talk of the higher life. Our daily course of action is to be an interpretation to others of what the higher life means.
Unless painstaking efforts are made, every new revival will bring into the church, converts whose conversion is a spurious one, who have a form of godliness without the power. Earnest educational work needs to be done for these souls, that they may know what it means to be a Christian; for unless the foundation is laid in faith and practice of the truth, storm and tempest, beating upon the house, will cause it to fall. The character of such is like a bowing wall and a tottering fence.
I am impressed to urge upon our church members the need of building for Christ Jesus. The form of godliness without a true reformation is like a house built on a sandy foundation. Build upon Jesus Christ; He is the one sure foundation. “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” His strength of character is sufficient for you. In Christ, the Word of God gives you the right of way to spiritual blessing; but it is a way of self-denial and self-sacrifice; it is a way of self-control and self-discipline. The character of Christ may become your character; His spirit, your spirit.
Our ministering brethren need to arouse to their duty of impressing this truth on the minds of the people, and to urge them to make sure work for eternity. The future eternal life of each individual depends, not on words, not on profession, but on earnest works. We need to make decided efforts in order to keep the heart with all diligence, while looking to Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. We need to watch over an unruly tongue; we need to watch for opportunities to do good as Jesus did. Ministers of the gospel, preach Christ. Bring His heavenly grace into your lives and thoughts. Be truthful, and ever keep under the discipline of the Word of God. We must be saved in God’s appointed way. We must lean upon His counsel, and unite in His works. A penitent heart is always sensitive. Teach every individual who claims to be the child of God, that a well built character will always be after the divine pattern.
“I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy loving kindness and for Thy truth; for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name. In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise Thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of Thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord. Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hands against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands” [Psalm 138:2–8].
I am bidden to say that all who wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, will have severe trials to meet. In trial we are to stand firm, seeking to honor the One who gave His precious life to redeem us. In our work we shall have to encounter a strong under-current of resistance. Genuine conversion, a renewed heart, will keep us sweet under trial, and will teach us to reveal divine grace in our lives. Those who in the day of final reckoning receive from the lips of Christ the words of welcome to the city of God, will be those who have stayed converted under trying circumstances. With prayer and watchfulness we are individually to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
I have been referred by the Spirit of God to the many encouragements given to us in the Psalms. If more of our ministers were filled with soul-longings for God, His people would take hold of these encouragements, and thanksgiving and praise would flow from human lips. Encouragement and hope would come to many souls who are now weary and discouraged. If our people would realize the possibilities that lie in increased faith and prayer, there would be a decided change in our churches. Those who are now downcast and worried, would be lifted up from their discouragements, and would rejoice in the Lord. Brethren and sisters let us show that we have a living hope, that our service is a living service.
Australasian Union Conference Record, April 29, 1907.