Temperance

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The Character Reshaped.--Our work for the tempted and fallen will achieve real success only as the grace of Christ reshapes the character and the man is brought into living connection with the infinite God. This is the purpose of all true temperance effort.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 111.

Christ Works From Within.--Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart. . . . Circumstances cannot work reform. Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail.--Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 35.

Power of Self-Control Must Be Regained.--One of the most deplorable effects of the original apostasy was the loss of man's power of self-control. Only as this power is regained, can there be real progress.

The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being. The tendencies of our physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death.

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The body is to be brought into subjection. The higher powers of the being are to rule. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in our lives.--The Ministry of Healing, pages 129, 130.

Futility of Attempts to Stop by Degrees.--Shall those who have had more opportunities and much precious light, who enjoy the advantages of education, make the plea that they cannot cut away from unhealthful practices? Why do not those who have excellent reasoning powers reason from cause to effect? Why do they not advocate reform by planting their feet firmly on principle, determined not to taste alcoholic drink or to use tobacco? These are poisons, and their use is a violation of God's law. Some say, when an effort is made to enlighten them on this point, I will leave off by degrees. But Satan laughs at all such decisions. He says, They are secure in my power. I have no fear of them on that ground.

But he knows that he has no power over the man who, when sinners entice him, has moral courage to say "No" squarely and positively. Such a one has dismissed the companionship of the devil, and as long as he holds to Jesus Christ, he is safe. He stands where heavenly angels can connect with him, giving him moral power to overcome.--Manuscript 86, 1897.

A Hard Battle, but God Will Help.--Do you use tobacco or intoxicating liquor? Cast them from you; for they becloud your faculties. To give up the use of these things will mean a hard battle, but God will help you to fight this battle. Ask Him for grace to overcome, and then believe that He will give it to you, because He loves you. Do not allow worldly companions to draw you away from your allegiance to Christ. Rather let your mind be drawn from these companions to Christ. Tell them that you are seeking for heavenly treasure. You are not your own; you have been bought with a price,

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even the life of the Son of God, and you are to glorify God in your body and in your spirit, for they are His.--Letter 226, 1903.

Seek Help of God and the Righteous.--I have a message from the Lord for the tempted soul who has been under the control of Satan, but who is striving to break free. Go to the Lord for help. Go to those who you know love and fear God, and say, Take me under your care; for Satan tempts me fiercely. I have no power from the snare to go. Keep me with you every moment, until I have more strength to resist temptation.--Letter 166, 1903.

Personal Relationship With God.--Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears, before God. . . . "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. . . . Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.--Steps to Christ, pages 104, 105.