Seventh-day Adventists, above all people, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation. To them have been entrusted the most solemn truths ever committed to mortals. Every endowment of grace and power and efficiency has been liberally provided. They look for the soon return of Christ in the clouds of heaven. For them to give to the world the impression that their faith is not a dominating power in their lives, is greatly to dishonour God.
Because of the increasing power of Satan's temptations, the times in which we live are full of peril for
the children of God, and we need to learn constantly of the great Teacher, that we may take every step in surety and righteousness. Wonderful scenes are opening before us, and at this time a living testimony is to be borne in the lives of God's professed people, so that the world may see that in this age, when evil reigns on every side, there is yet a people who are laying aside their will and are seeking to do God's will,--a people in whose hearts and lives God's law is written.
Representatives of Christ
God expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him. Their thoughts are to be pure, their words noble and uplifting. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. They are to be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all with whom they come in contact.
t is His purpose that by exemplifying the truth in their lives, they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God's people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can they fulfil His purpose. Only as they yield their God-given capabilities to His service, will they enjoy the fullness and the power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand.
Before Christ went to His final conflict with the powers of darkness, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and prayed for His disciples. He said: "I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil. They
are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth."
The followers of Christ are to be separate from the world in principles and interests: but they are not to isolate themselves from the world. The Saviour mingled constantly with men, not to encourage them in anything that was not in accordance with God's will, but to uplift and ennoble them. "I sanctify Myself," He declared, "that they also might be sanctified." So the Christian is to abide among men, that the savour of divine love may be as salt to preserve the world from corruption.
Strength in Prayer
Daily beset by temptation, constantly opposed by the leaders of the people, Christ knew that He must strengthen His humanity by prayer. In order to be a blessing to men, He must commune with God, pleading for energy, perseverance, and steadfastness. Thus He showed His disciples where His strength lay.
Without this daily communion with God, no human being can gain power for service. Christ alone can direct the thoughts aright. He alone can give us noble aspirations, and fashion our characters after the divine similitude. If we draw near to Him in earnest prayer, He will fill our hearts with high and holy purposes, and with deep longings for purity and righteousness. The dangers thickening around us demand from those who have an experience in the things of God a watchful supervision. Those who
walk humbly before God, distrustful of their own wisdom, will realise their danger, and will know God's keeping care.
The power of a higher, purer, nobler life is our great need. The world is watching to see what fruit is borne by professed Christians. It has a right to look for self-denial and self-sacrifice from those who believe advanced truth. It is watching, ready to criticise with keenness and severity our words and acts. Every one who acts a part in the work of God is weighed in the scales of human discernment. Impressions favourable or unfavourable to Bible religion are constantly being made on the minds of all with whom we have to do.
And God and the angels are watching. God desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness; to show that they are working on a high, holy plane. He longs to see them showing that the truth they have received has made them children of the heavenly King. He longs to make them channels through which He can pour His boundless love and mercy.
Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of the Saviour shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim His own. It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel! Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come.
"Wherefore, beloved, . . . be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless."